Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary:Arthur will do anything to have Merlin
Word Count: 1139 (oops)
Author's Notes: Thanks to derenai for the beta. Follows Odalisque
Arthur couldn’t believe he was really doing this… Putting his life and the peace between his kingdom and the Sultan’s at stake for a man he had only seen for a minute.
But here he was, crawling in the dark, trying to reach the harem. His Knights were meant to distract the Sultan’s guards long enough for Arthur to find the Odalisque.
Since his visit to the harem, three days before, Arthur hadn’t stopped thinking about that young man. He had tried, he had even asked for another man to share his bed. But he had dismissed the slave barely a candle mark later when he had realized he only thought about the Odalisque.
Arthur had never let himself be guided by his feelings. He had always followed his father’s advice and done what was the best for the kingdom. It was different now, though. When he had seen the boy, it was like nothing else had existed anymore. He felt drawn to him by a force he couldn’t resist. It wasn’t only lust or desire, it was something else, deeper, stronger.
So strong it made Arthur plan the way to reach the boy’s chamber to abduct him and bring him back to Camelot.
When he had exposed his idea to his Knights, nobody had said anything but Arthur had seen the disapproving glances nonetheless. It didn’t matter though. Arthur had to find the boy.
He finally reached the harem. He had managed to gather some information and he knew that the chambers of the Sultan’s mistresses were at the end of that hallway. He had also discovered the Odalisque’s chamber was guarded, day and night, by two guards but his Knights should have taken care of that.
In fact, the corridor was empty when Arthur moved into it. He advanced carefully, trying not to make any sound. Finally he reached the end of the hallway and faced the wooden door leading to the Odalisque’s chambers. Behind that wood panel was the boy that had driven Arthur mad. His treasure.
He opened the door slowly, careful not to make the wood creak. The room was plunged in total darkness. Only the light of the moon filtered through the windows. It was enough though for Arthur to find the man he was looking for, asleep on the big bed. He was only wearing a veil robe, showing his nude body under it.
Arthur tried to stay focused on his goal, he had to if he wanted to escape alive.
Slowly he came next to the bed and looked at the boy. He was so beautiful. So different from all the other men Arthur had admired. His dark hair contrasted with his pale skin. A drawing decorated his left tight, intricate arabesques. Another one ran around his wrist. Arthur wanted so badly to touch it but now was not the time. In a swift move he put his hand on the man’s mouth to prevent him from crying. That’s when he was faced with blue eyes full of fear.
“Shh… Don’t be afraid! I’m not here to harm you.”
The boy relaxed slightly but still seamed wary of Arthur’s intention. That was understandable but if Arthur wanted to escape with the boy he had to gain his trust.
“Ok… I’ll remove my hand if you promise not to make any noise, ok?”
The boy nodded. Arthur took a deep breath. He didn’t have any reason to trust the boy but it was the only way to be trusted in return.
Slowly he lifted his hand. No sound came.
“Thank you,” Arthur murmured to himself, to the gods, to the boy.
“Why… Why are you here?” The boy finally murmured.
“I’m here for you!” Arthur answered matter-of-factly.
“I don’t understand.”
“Do you remember me?”
The boy nodded. “You came three days ago.”
Arthur smiled. So the boy had seen him then.
“We don’t have a lot of time…” Arthur stopped. “Oh… What’s your name?”
“Merlin”, Arthur repeated, testing the sound of the name. “My name is Arthur. I come from another kindgom. I’m a Prince.”
Merlin was attentive to Arthur’s words. He hadn’t moved, hadn’t tried to escape and that was already a victory. Now, though, Arthur had to tell him the motive behind his nocturnal visit.
“The Sultan, he offered me to spend a night with one of his slaves that’s why I was in the harem the other day…”
“So you want to spend the night with me?” Merlin interrupted in a strangely calm voice.
“No, Merlin. I want way more than that… When I saw you, it was like nothing else mattered anymore and then the eunuch told me you were the Sultan’s only, that I couldn’t have you, talk to you… I couldn’t bear this! I had to see you again.”
“But you shouldn’t be here! Nobody is supposed to see me… Only the eunuch and the Sultan,” Merlin explained a hint of sadness in his voice.
It was Arthur’s chance.
“Do you like your life here, Merlin?”
He didn’t answer immediately. Arthur felt him move and he sat in the middle of the bed, cross legged.
“I…. I don’t know. Here I live in a beautiful palace, I can eat whatever I want, I have people taking care of me… But…”
Arthur didn’t press him to talk even if they should probably go soon if they didn’t want being caught.
“I don’t want to Sultan to take me,” he finally confessed. ”I… I’m afraid of him and he’s… He could be my father.”
Arthur nodded, understanding.
“Would you like me to set you free?”
A new light appeared in the blue eyes, hope. But it disappeared quickly.
“You can’t! The Sultan will find me and bring me back here… He will punish me!”
“And what if I took you with me to my Kingdom? The Sultan couldn’t find you there.”
“What? Why would you do this? You don’t even know me!”
“But I want to. Merlin, from the first time I saw you, I was attracted to you. Not only physically but in a deeper way, too. I want you by my side but more than this, I want you to be happy. And… If you decide that you’d like to stay with me, then… We will see.”
A sound coming from the hallway made them jump.
“Merlin, we don’t have much more time… You need to decide.”
Merlin looked around him, checking the room then his eyes met Arthur’s.
“Take me with you.”
As they rode to Camelot, hidden under heavy capes, Merlin sitting in front of Arthur, the Prince couldn’t help but feel happier than he ever had.
Whatever was awaiting Merlin and him, he knew he was ready to face it.
For that strange and marvelous boy, he would do anything.