“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Summer.” He said with a genuine smile. “Would you like me to accompany you?
His smile was infectious, and she had to return it. “That would be very welcome, sire. It’s not often a lady gets to spend time alone with the heir, is it?” Kneeling with the basket over her arm, Summer nipped the tops off a few flowers, adding them to her haul. Tossing her hair back over her shoulder, she stood up again, eyes flicking quickly over the landscape.
“It would be my pleasure.” He said, not able to keep his eyes off her. “So, what exactly are you doing out here by yourself?”
“Well, I am apprenticed to the town physician Idris, and so someone must collect the herbs in season that we use for our skills. I am younger by far than Master Idris, so I go.” Clasping one hand on the basket’s handle, Summer beckoned to Arthur. “He trusts me full well to take care of myself, and today is the first time I have been bothered by any.”
He nodded in acknowledgement. ”Make sense.” He said to himself. Arthur had a questioning look on his face. “I wonder what made today different.” He looked around and saw Merlin in the distance.
His face beet red and his breath coming in quick pants, Merlin ran up to and stopped in front of Arthur and Summer. He nodded to the unknown girl in greeting, shoved a crumpled paper that read ‘Where have you been? I’ve been looking everywhere for you!’ towards Arthur, and rested his hands on his knees as he tried to catch his breath.
“It’s a good question. I expect it was a band just starting out, or possibly lost. Banditry this close to Camelot is one of the less intelligent ideas I’ve heard.” Summer raised her eyebrows in bemusement as the dark-haired … no, not boy, definitely a man, ran up to Arthur and unceremoniously shoved a scrap at him. “Needed back at the citadel, sire?”