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Whether Mordred being lanky made him difficult to train with, Gaiane couldn’t say. She hadn’t exactly had any other partners. Besides, she was loyal. Mordred had taught her an awful lot. Sure she’d known the principles of combat and the theory, but he’d built her muscles and discipline and actually taught her how to strike. It had been a big leap from reading about the force for a punch, and actually throwing on (Gaiane had been certain her hand was broken at the lightest jab). He’d taught her everything, so she’d hesitated to change who she trained with. She supposed it was possible Mordred was getting tired of the lack of competition.

She was grateful that the dinner bell rang before she had to give excuses for not converting. Taking the offered hand lightly, Gaiane followed the family to the table, and waited as her chair was pulled for her. Smoothing her gown as she sat, Gaiane had a hard time pulling her eyes away from her date, though she’d managed as Nimueh leaned in to whisper to her. She chuckled amicably, though she had no idea if that had been a typical experience or just one within the royal household.

It hardly mattered, and the soup was served shortly after. In case there was any sort of ritual that the family liked to do, or the family would wait for the missing member to appear before beginning, Gaiane waited until someone else had begun before dipping her own soup into the fragrant soup. Unsurprisingly, Tristan was the first.

By the time Morgana arrived, Gaiane was halfway through the bowl, and far more relaxed about the entire evening. She wasn’t getting any vibes that the family disliked her, and she hoped that meant she was making Mordred proud of her, making him love her more. She smiled at the woman striding so confidently across the hall, and set her spoon down.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Gaiane hopped by initiating the greeting she might avoid more comments about her looks compared to Mordred’s (though she still wasn’t sure what the family meant by it.) The smell of the main course was wafting gently into the hall, sweet and spiced, and surprisingly unfishy. Certain that Mordred had been a bit naughty and dropped hints to the chef, Gaiane left the last few spoonfuls of soup in the bowl, leaving room for one of her favorite courses to be brought. Under the table, her hand reached over to rest on Mordred’s free hand contently.




photo by knowhimonline at flickr.com



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