Title: More Than A Feeling [Part 4]
Character/s: Merlin, Jarl, Mordred
Summary: Merlin is brought before one of Jarl's clients
Warnings: forced bonding, mentions of selling people, black market stuff, the usual for this fic
Word Count: 515 (I know, shocking)
Prompt: #325: pick a Donate-A-Prompt: an inconvenient vessel
Author's Notes: Interpretted this prompt loosely. Merlin is indeed an inconvenient vessel to Jarl, as far as familiars in this world go. Also this is only part of the chapter and it takes place the day after the Part 3 happenings and the same day as the Part 2 happenings. Let me just make this as confusing as possible....
[Part 1] / [Part 2] / [Part 3]
Mordred scrutinized Merlin, gaze weighing him down. “This is yours?” The disdain was clear in his tone, a response Merlin was used to. He had bore it many times before.
But he would take that over the greed in the eyes of many clients as new merchandise was laid out before them. Power-hungry people clamoring over each other to sink their teeth into and strip the magic off a familiar to adorn their fur coats and flaunt like a prized pet.
“Yes,” Jarl said, his head held high despite the sneer on his face.
“A black cat?” Mordred raised an eyebrow, eyes still holding Merlin in place. “Interesting. I had expected something more, “ he waved a hand and looked at Jarl as if to emphasize his point, “prestigious given your line of work and stature.”
Irritation flashed across the bond. Merlin held his ground, refusing to look away from Mordred despite his witch’s obvious displeasure. It was an emotion he was used to feeling from Jarl.
“I was in a bind,” Jarl huffed, crossing his arms. “Needed something quick and fast and he was the only one my boys could scrape up at the time.” In his periferary, Merlin could feel Jarl’s gaze slide to him. With all the attention focused on him, it took a lot of effort for Merlin not to cower to stay still, head held high. Jarl smirked. “Put up a fight too.”
Not that it had done him a lot of good. Merlin shivered at the memory.
“It’s been what? Two years?” Mordred gave Merlin a sidelong glance. “You haven’t drained him yet?”
“He’s more powerful than he looks,” Jarl shrugged, arms still crossed.
Merlin chuckled to himself.
Mordred contemplated him for a beat before nodding. “We will see.”
At his words, ice ran down Merlin’s spine. He wasn’t entirely sure what Mordred meant but he knew it didn’t bode well for him. It sounded like his magic was going to be put to the test. The last time Jarl had tried to experiment with Merlin’s range, he had nearly lost consciousness. It had worked in his favor in the end, Jarl sensing Merlin’s distress and ending the spell, but it was an experience he didn’t want to repeat. If Jarl hadn’t been so reliant on his magic at the time, Merlin had no doubt he would have just continued on with the spell until it was finished or Merlin died from burnout.
“How’s everything coming along?”
“A few minor setbacks here and there but this one should help, greatly.” He nodded over toward the bear familiar, her brown hair fanned out around her head like a muddy halo. Merlin only gave her a cursory glance, enough to commit her face to memory. Just another to add to his growing list of failures. “If you acquire any more of this calibre, give me a call.”
“Of course.” Jarl nodded, all business. “And when you are ready—”
Mordred’s eyes locked onto Merlin again, gaze boring into his soul and ripping it out with clawed hands. “You’ll be the first to know.”