She looked up at him from under her cowl - at the young man standing on the balcony, with his blond hair and carmine cloak a bright and blazing figure against the gloom of the rain, looking down at the people milling in the castle's inner yard where the market was held week-round in peacetime. And these were peaceful times indeed, the High King had made sure of that, for he carried every line of blood that was necessary to rule all people living in these lands. Born of a mother coming from the people of the land, sired by a father from a forced union of Roman and Saxon houses, the boy Arthur had had all the makings of ruling everyone from the white cliffs to the vallum aelium in the north. The Picts beyond the wall were supposed to stay just there. Barbarians were not welcome in civilized lands.
The strands of their destinies should never have been interwoven. The silver thread of his soul stretched from the western cliffs all the way to the golden court of Camelot and was lost in time and the abyss decades later, beyond mists and surging tides. So it had been foretold, so it had been seen. She, the daughter of earth and blood and magic, she had been meant to wander the world and be of little consequence until her time came, when she took her own seat of power and would be henceforth never again be called by her name, but only by her title.
This had been the truth until the day of his anointment came, when suddenly the old powers, thought long dead by the people living in towns and close to courts, had demanded old rituals, that demanded their bodies but not in sacrifice. The young King had understood his role, that he was but a player in a vast field, and had submitted to the rules, not wanting to go to war with powers beyond his understanding.
They had met, there on the shore of the lake, both of them clothed and painted in the colours of the earth, the brown of soil and red of blood and green of forest, as well as in the gold of human power, to symbolically form a union. But when they had looked each other in the eye, the churning emotions in him had calmed and the smooth water in her mind had heaved up, roared in her soul and her veins. Seed should never have been spilled, yet it had. Passion should never have awakened.
Their handlers, when they had found them entwined the next morning, had lamented. Each for their own reasons. He had whispered to her to come find him, before they were pulled apart.
She still looked at him, the golden boy with the old man at his side, talking quietly, while his eyes roamed the square. They rested on her but momentarily, the dark hood disguising her features, her swollen belly succeeding in making her unrecognisable for someone looking for a young, slim woman with dark hair and eyes.
Paths were closed to her now. Still fated to wander the world in her own time, she was no longer able to go home, her power still accessible to her but her claim to her title made void. Because a man, a human man, had defiled her. She could not see such a stain in the act of uniting two bodies in lust and heat, yet the rules were not hers to make. Not yet. When the child was born, yes, she would make new rules.
But the now interwoven threads of their souls were responsible for a change in the pattern, she could see as much. This young man's destiny was no longer lost in time. The future stood before her as bright and clear as the present; his life, his deeds, his death. And her role in it, all of it, and her task when he breathed his dying breath.
Years from now, when the young man Arthur was not as young anymore, when he was married and his wife had proven barren, she was to stand before him, just as young and proud as on the evening of their lovemaking, and he would know her. He would still not know her name, for Morgan Le Fay was a name not yet thought of, but his eyes would alight on her and he would know. The pain, the loss, the life and maybe love, once more.