Time was when brushing Morgana's hair was Gwen's favorite part of the day. She'd be dead on her feet after a long day's work, but she felt easy and calm in the soft light of the candles. They'd smile at each other in the mirror and talk of ribbons and tournaments and scandalous love affairs. All talk of treason, war, and executions was quietly kept outside Morgana's chamber doors, and neither of them said a word about the sleeping draught Morgana swallowed, or about the fact that it never seemed to work. They pretended that this night would be different, and Morgana's sleep would stretch smooth as the long dark hair between Gwen's fingers.
Sometimes they'd go quiet and Gwen would let her mind drift, thinking one of these nights truly would be different, and Morgana would take her to bed, let Gwen bury her head in Morgana's bosom and kiss her there, kiss her all over, and sleep be damned, they would find the rest they needed, and every ache would be a blessing.
"Will there be anything else, my lady?"
She always braces herself for the answer now. Most nights it's a cold, "No, Gwen, that will be all." If Gwen lingers in the room Morgana's liable to scold her, and once she slapped her face. If Gwen lingers in the corridor she'll usually see Morgana stealing away in her red cloak within the hour. One of these nights she'll follow her and find out whom she's going to meet, but so far the terror has been too strong.
That's all still better than when Morgana tells her to stay.
Gwen's feet ache a lot more now that she's tense, careful in her every movement, biting her tongue for fear of offending, provoking, or telling the truth. She avoids touching Morgana's cheek or her neck, hides from Morgana's measuring gaze in the mirror, murmurs empty nothings when Morgana asks her about servants' gossip.
She lets Morgana tug at her wrist as she crosses to the bed. She won't resist or call for help, but she won't pretend to be eager. Sometimes Morgana tells her what to do, but mostly she just pushes and pulls. It's not hard to interpret – the pressure on her shoulder means go down; Morgana's mound pushing into her mouth means harder. Morgana's fingers tangle in Gwen's hair and when she pulls Gwen knows she wants more tongue; when she digs into Gwen's scalp with her fingernails it means it's too much. Morgana's pubic hair slides sharp across Gwen's tongue. She never dreamed her lady would taste so bitter.