Robert smiled to himself as he gazed down at the village built at the foot of the kingís castle. Smoke drifted from a hundred chimneys, and he could already smell wood smoke and food cooking over the fire. Memories that had long been forgotten bloomed to life once more, and he remembered playing in the streets as a child, stealing kisses from his love in hidden corners. The war had taken him so far away from his home, put him through so many horrible things, but Robert finally felt as though he was at peace.
He approached the town alone on horseback, having refused the customary honor guard that usually accompanied returning knights. The streets were strangely empty, and from the amount of noise coming from behind the high walls of the castle, he assumed there was some sort of feast going on. Though he was excited to finally return, he decided to make his entrance as quiet as possible to avoid any unwanted attention that he would most likely be showered with.
He left his horse at the nearest stables and proceeded towards the side gate, hand clenching and unclenching nervously on the hilt of his sword. The guard at the gate let him pass the moment he saw the kingís crest emblazoned on the breast of his tunic, and he walked into the castle unmolested. Pulling the hood of his cloak up to cover his face, Robert used the servantís side entrance to get into the building itself, and from there made his way to the one place he knew Morgan would be; their garden.
Sure enough, as he walked into the quiet little space he saw her, standing hunched over one of her precious rose bushes. She looked up and froze as their eyes met, and Robert felt an uncomfortable lurch in his chest.
ďHello Morgan,Ē he said quietly, standing as still as a stone under her gaze.