Part 10: link Can anda get a lift halaman awal from Merlin? My dad is sending me on an errand close to EOD.
Gwen reads the text and chuckles.
“What’s up, Gwen?” Merlin asks, peeking at her around the massive bouquet of bunga that was delivered earlier in the day. There is a balloon suspended above it emblazoned with the words Happy birthday.
“Can anda give me a ride home?” she sighs, still smirking.
“Of course. Why are anda laughing?”
“Because Arthur continues to be a terrible liar.” She shows him Arthur’s text.
“Errand. Right,” Merlin says sarcastically. “I believe the errand part, but I doubt very much that his father has anything to do with it.”
“I know. It’s cute how much he tries, though, isn’t it?” she grins and starts poking at her phone. Yes, he can.
She stares at the phone another moment, then: You are still a terrible liar, BTW.
She shows Merlin and he laughs just as another text comes. I will see anda later, Madame Smartypants.
Merlin pulls into the driveway behind Arthur’s car. “So he’s here waiting for you. Does he have his own key now?”
“Um, yeah, kind of…” Gwen says, biting her lip.
“Does he ever go to his own place?”
“Sure,” she says. “He has to get his mail. And he rotates his clothes in and out…”
“Does he have closet luar angkasa at your house? His own toothbrush? Towel?” Merlin grills her, eyebrow raised.
“I have to go, Merlin,” she says, reaching for the door handle.
“Has he berkata it at least? Have you?”
“Merlin! I am going!” she huffs, opening the door and stepping out.
“Love you, Gwennie,” Merlin sings from the car just before she slams the door and balasa with a raised middle finger. He drives away laughing.
Gwen walks up the driveway to the back door, stopping when she sees Arthur lounging on her back patio, supervising a man in coveralls crouched outside her back door.
“Hi,” he calls casually, handing her a drink. “Happy birthday.”
“What are anda doing?” she asks, taking the drink.
“You’re welcome,” he says, smirking at her.
“Sorry, thank you. What are anda doing?”
“I’m having your door fixed,” he explains. “Got anda a new lock and knob and he even fixed the door so it won’t stick anymore.”
“Oh…” she stands and stares, looking from Arthur to the door and back again. “For my birthday? anda fixed my door?”
He nods, looking very proud of himself. “I didn’t like anda having a faulty door when anda are here all alone. Well, not that you’re here alone much…”
“That’s the most… romantic non-romantic thing anyone’s ever done for me,” she giggles. “It’s so… pragmatic, but your reasons…”
Arthur pulls her into his arms, wrapping her in a tight hug.
“All set, Mr. Pendragon,” the workman says, standing and wiping his hands on his celana panjang, perapi celana legs.
“Oh, good, thanks, Jim. Come see,” Arthur says excitedly, pulling her up the steps. “It has a number pad, so anda don’t even need a key. I mean, there is
a key, too, but…”
“You’re such a geek,” Gwen laughs. “What’s the combination?”
“You choose it, miss,” Jim says, handing her instruction pamphlet before heading out to his truck.
“Thank you,” she says, looking at the instructions. “Seems simple enough,” she mutters.
“Give me that,” Arthur says, reaching for it. She jerks her hand away, out of his grasp.
“Hands off! I am doing this,” she tells him. “Behave atau I won’t tell anda the combo.”
He withdraws his hand, eyes wide.
She programs it easily, grinning smugly at him when she’s done.
“What number did anda choose?” he asks, a bit warily.
She pulls him close and kisses him. “One. Eight. Zero. Eight,” she tells him, ciuman him between each number.
He looks at her, puzzling a moment before realization dawns. “That’s the hari we met,” he whispers. She nods, and he pulls her against him, ciuman her deeply. “There’s more,” he mutters against her lips. “Let’s go inside.”
“More?” she asks, her face lighting up as she opens the door and scurries inside. He’s got the meja set, candles lit. “Oh…”
“I thought about taking anda out, but then I decided that an evening in would be…”
“Better,” she finishes, leaning back against him as his arms snake around her middle. “You cooked for me?” she asks, turning her head to look up sideways at him.
“I did. I told anda I could cook, remember?” He bends down and kisses her neck.
“Mmm, anda did,” she says, “what are we having? Smells good.”
“Come sit,” he unwinds himself from around her to lead her to the table.
“Can I at least take my shoes off?” she asks, pulling against his hand.
“You can take off whatever anda like,” he says, smirking at her, taking his own shoes off as well. His mantel and tie had long since been discarded.
Gwen laughs and sits at the table, waiting patiently, watching him working in her kitchen. “I’m enjoying this,” she says.
“Watching anda cook me dinner. It’s very sexy.”
He turns around and looks at her, potholders shaped like sharks over each hand. “Oh?”
“Especially the potholders,” she giggles.
“Yes, well, the Kiss the cook
celemek is in the wash, so…” he shrugs and returns to the oven, withdrawing a basi, casserole dish and then a garlic bread.
“Italian,” Gwen says, smiling, remembering their first real tanggal at the Italian place. Remembering the dare, his hand under the table, beneath her skirt.
“Chicken parmesan,” he says, turning on the tap and running hot water in the sink, warming up the noodles he had already cooked and drained.
He dishes up the plates and brings them to the table.
“Arthur, I’ll never eat all this!” Gwen exclaims at the mound of pasta on her plate topped with a chicken breast smothered in marinara sauce and keju mozzarella, mozzarella cheese.
“Eat what anda want, then,” he shrugs, his eyes dancing in the candlelight.
They are mostly quiet while they eat. Gwen compliments his cooking. She thanks him again for fixing her door. She gets the distinct impression that there’s still lebih to come, because he has that sneaky, shifty look about him.
“What are anda smirking at over there, little one?” he asks suddenly.
“Me? How am I amusing anda now?”
“You’re just… cute. Because anda think you’re being so crafty and sly. I know anda have lebih up your sleeve.”
“Ah, perhaps, but anda don’t know what,” he declares triumphantly.
“True,” she shrugs, taking a bite of garlic roti and lifting her foot up into his lap, sliding it up his thigh and pressing his groin lightly.
“Oh,” he grunts, dropping his fork. He meets her eyes across the meja and she drops her eyes coyly to her plate before looking up at him through her lashes. “Tease,” he says.
“We both know that’s not true,” she laughs.
They finish quietly, Gwen only eating about half of what was on her plate. While she waits for Arthur to finish, she cocks her head to the side and says, “Truth.”
“Hmm? Oh. Um, oh, I know. How old are you? I realized that I don’t know.”
“Boring,” she declares, leaning back in her chair, swinging her other foot up into his lap now. “Twenty-six,” she answers.
“Ooo, you’re older than me!” he exclaims, grinning.
“What?” Gwen is shocked.
“Okay, it’s only… six months, but still.
Older woman. Kind of hot.”
“You’re goofy,” she declares.
“Probably,” he shrugs, tossing his napkin on the table. He gently eases her feet down so he can stand and clear the dishes.
“Do anda mind if I go change clothes?” she asks. “Or are we going somewhere?”
“No, was planning a night in. We do still have to work tomorrow,” he says.
“Good. I want out of this bra,” she says, standing. She hears his laughter as she heads back to get comfortable in a soft t-shirt, her own this time, and a pair of cotton pajama pants.
“I have dessert, Guinevere,” Arthur calls. “Do anda want it later?”
“Yes, I’m too full right now,” she calls back. She comes back to the dapur and he shoos her into the living room to go relax while he cleans up.
Fifteen menit later, Arthur emerges, in shorts and a t-shirt, cozy now himself. Gwen eyes him suspiciously. “That was… fast.”
“I am very efficient,” he says, sitting carefully beside her. He has something behind his back.
“Okay,” she says slowly, wondering how clean her dapur actually is, but deciding it doesn’t really matter because she is too curious about what he’s hiding. She tries to pindah surreptitiously to peek, and he catches her.
“Impatient,” he chides her, but he is grinning, loving her childlike excitement for gifts. “I bet anda were fun at Christmastime when anda were little.”
“What do anda mean, ‘when I was little?’ I’m ridiculous even now,” she laughs. “What are anda hiding back there?”
He leans meneruskan, ke depan and kisses her, nibbling, lingering over her lips. “At least we both taste like garlic,” he says, and she giggles.
“That’s your fault,” she reminds him, catching his lips again.
“You didn’t think I’d honestly get anda a doorknob for your birthday and nothing else, did you?” he mutters against her lips. “That’s about as romantic as getting a vacuum cleaner.”
She feels something land in her lap now, so she quickly pulls away from Arthur’s tempting lips and snatches up the box.
It is about three inches square, about an inch high. Not heavy. She shakes it, and it rattles slightly. Jewelry? Did he get me jewelry?
Gwen tears into the paper to uncover a telltale box in robin’s egg blue. Tiffany’s. He did get me jewelry!
She gasps, and is suddenly a little scared to open it.
“Go on,” he urges, whispering. “I dare you.”
She opens the lid to find a beautiful silver bracelet: simple, daisy-like flowers, linked together. It is beautiful but not too fine, something she could wear every day.
“Oh, it’s beautiful,” she finally says, lifting it from the box and laying it across her hand.
“You like it? I… I know anda like flowers, and I thought with the whole warna ungu tua, petunia controversy…” he laughs a little. He was nervous that I wouldn’t like it,
she realizes. “It’s perfect. I cinta it. But these aren’t petunias,” she grins at him.
“I know. They didn’t have anything with petunias.”
“I like daisies better anyway,” she says, fastening it around her wrist. “And it’s not too big,” she says.
“I was careful about that. I told the saleslady that anda were small,” he smiles. “I rather think she found me somewhat amusing,” he adds.
“Why is that?” she asks, looking down at the bracelet, admiring how the silver contrasts against her skin.
“She was older, motherly. I think she just thought I was some…” he hesitates a moment, “lovesick puppy.”
“And are you?” Gwen asks, very softly.
“Probably,” he mutters shyly, leaning in to ciuman her some more. “Happy birthday, Guinevere.”
Part 12: link