Arthur/Gwen, Bradley/Angel

He watched the sunlight glint off of her hair and face, bathing her in the morning glory. She offered a hesitant half-smile, clearly uncomfortable in the prolonged silence and under the intensity of his gaze. When he leaned down and gently pressed his lips to hers, he didn’t know who was more surprised. He supposed that he had intended it as a thank you, for the token and her honesty and faith and laughter and just being Gwen.

He felt more than heard her gasp of surprise, and then she melted into him, every inch of her softening and accepting and yielding. The warrior in him immediately the instinctive surrender for what it was, and it took everything in him to keep the kiss light, to not claim her mouth and all the sweet lushness her taste implied. Her breathy groan of protest, and the way she followed his mouth to prolong contact as he drew away nearly shredded his resolve, but he regained control enough to pull back.

He watched her eyelashes slowly flutter up, revealing her warm chocolate brown eyes, now dark and hazy with desire and need. He still didn’t speak, too entranced by the sunlight once again now surrounding her like a soft halo. She looked like an Angel…

 

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Player Got Played: 03

Uncle was still on the phone when I reluctantly entered his office, so I took a moment to admire his walls. With the exception of a few ornate and obviously expensive art pieces, all of the frames showcased various awards and record sale accomplishments earned by his power pop group and main cash cow of the moment, Backstreet Boys.

Five All-American, good looking, white guys from different parts of the country who had auditioned and been picked specifically to form the next New Kids on the Block. Kevin Richardson, AJ McLean, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, and Nick Carter had been rushed through what I thought of as ‘boyband training camp’, polished up a bit, and then sent to test their newly earned skills on hapless European ‘tweens.

I smiled fondly as I stopped in front of their debut album. The guys and I had become…not necessarily friends, but compatriots over the course of their career. Uncle had a habit of throwing elaborate parties, mostly so ‘his boys’ could meet, greet, and mingle with the beautiful people (aka potential sponsors). I was young, fit, curvy, and business savvy enough to be able to act as an extra set of eyes and ears for Trans Continental to help protect their assets from their own innocence and naivety. Plus, socializing with me meant that the boys wouldn’t be seduced away by some ‘harlot groupie’ and get into some trouble that would tarnish their vanilla, boys next door image the public had of them. Teenage girls do not like it when “their boys” have relationships other than that with their fans.

Continue reading “Player Got Played: 03”

Yet another drabble

Speculation on how the inevitable conversation/confrontation could go.

“I am not my father.” The words burst out of Arthur, angry, full of betrayal and grief and fear.

“I know you’re not.” Merlin’s reply is quiet, thrumming with the underlying confidence and faith and trust that has always been there, even when the words are prat, and arrogant, and condescending.

“You lied to me. All this time—“

“And when exactly, sire, was I supposed to tell you?” Merlin interrupted, throwing up his hands. “My very first day I came to Camelot, before I even set foot into the castle, I witness a beheading of a man who had used sorcery. Two weeks later, his grieving mother nearly assassinates you using magic, and I’m the only one who can—and does—stop it the same way. And then along comes Valiant, with his bloody giant magical snakes coming out of his shield, for crying out loud. Then the Affanc in the water, and the poison in the cup, only I suppose that was more an attempt on my life rather than yours…” He trailed off, distracted, and then shook his head. “Not to mention the unicorns, and griffons, and Questing Beasts, and trolls and Sidhe and all the other bloody sorcerers who attack you every other week, either for a personal grievance or because they’re looking to strike back at your father by killing the son! So you tell me, Arthur. When and how exactly I was supposed to tell you that I am a warlock? That I was born this way, with magic in my veins, just as you were?”

Arthur sucked in a harsh breath and opened his mouth to reply, but Merlin wasn’t finished.

“So yes. I lied to you, by omission and directly. But I did so to protect others who were innocent and unable to protect themselves, and a couple of times, I lied to protect you from yourself.” He blew out a long breath and met Arthur’s eyes defiantly. “You are not your father, but you are your father’s son. And it would have killed you to murder Uther out of rage. I would not see that scar on anyone’s soul, no matter what the sins of the father may be. No matter what the sacrifice.”

His last sentence is quiet, but carries the loudest into the space between them.

“As always, sire,” and this time there is no hint of irony or sarcasm in his voice or movements as he bows, chains rattling slightly.“I am at your service, and your mercy.” He stepped back into the cell, away from the door.

 

Born of Magic 03

Truth. He could sense it, feel the magic in his veins vibrating with the truth of those simple words. And straight from the dragon’s mouth, no less, Arthur thought sardonically. It was a surreal feeling, standing in a cave and speaking calmly with a dragon, a creature of magic, someone who had been judged evil and cruel and not even worthy of death in Uther’s eyes, though he had done no wrong except to be who and what he was.

“Why should I believe you?” he still demanded, though it was half-plea. He was still Uther Pendragon’s son, after all. “I have no reason to trust you, and you clearly have a grudge against my father since he trapped you here. Plus, you’re a dragon.”

The dragon thrust his head forward, glaring down at Arthur balefully. “Think, princeling. You are the heir to the throne. The fate of magic rests in your hands, not Uther’s. You have the potential in you to be the greatest king this land has ever known, but it means forging your own path towards your destiny, instead of following in your father’s footsteps.” He exhaled, a stream of smoke curling from his nostrils. “You may not trust me, young Pendragon, but neither do I, a creature of magic and your kin, have reason to trust you.”

The two royals glared at each other, neither backing down.

Finally Arthur yielded slightly, dropping his gaze. “I apologize, dragon,” he said. “The very fact that I’m down here speaking with you indicates some semblance of trust on both of our parts, after all.”

“My name is Kilgarrah.” It is hard to tell who is more startled, Arthur or the dragon himself. But now that the words are out, he cannot take them back. Still, his lips tighten over his teeth in an instinctive gesture to do just that, and he meets Arthur’s gaze defiantly once more.

The prince bowed, once again giving the acknowledgement of royal to royal. “Kilgarrah.” The name rolls off of his tongue with ease, despite the strangeness of it to his ear. “You have given me much to think about, Kilgarrah.” He frowned darkly, thoughts already turned inward, then glanced up. “Thank you.”

“A word of additional warning then, Prince Arthur.”

Arthur paused, but did not turn back to look at him.

“You are a warrior, Arthur Pendragon,” Kilgarrah begins slowly, trying to put to words the warning of the vision he can feel ghosting over his skin. “By birth and by nature. You know your physical strengths and weaknesses, and are learning where to verbally yield and where to stand firm.” He paused, and Arthur half-turned so that his face was partially in the light, partially shrouded by the darkness. “You also know what it means to take a life, and the scars it can leave on the soul. Merlin has had some hard lessons and painful truths as to the extent of the power at his fingertips, and that frightens him and fascinates him in the same breath. Remind him that there are many types of strength, and be his anchor, as he has been and will be yours.”

Arthur was silent for many long moments. “I will take your words under advisement.”

“One more thing, Arthur Pendragon.”

The prince raised his brows, but waited.

“Since it is a night of revelations about the sins of your father, I would reveal one more for your judgment, that the witch Morgause did not. The Lady Morgana…is your half-sister and also kin to Morgause and the Druid boy, Mordred. She is the daughter of Uther Pendragon and the Lady Vivianne, conceived during the dark of the moon when Lord Gorlois was away, fighting under the king’s banner.”

Arthur’s body jerked, as if he had been physically dealt a harsh blow. Kilgarrah continued, merciless. “The Lady Morgana is a witch as well, sharing the powers of her mother, sister, and nephew. She is also the unacknowledged heir to the throne of Camelot. Beware, Arthur Pendragon, because while she is bitterly aware of one secret, she is not yet aware of the other.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

The dragon blew out a gusty breath that smelled strongly of iron and ore. “Because even as you and Merlin are two sides of the same coin, Morgana and Merlin are similarly bound. I have warned the young warlock of the viper in your nest, and he will not heed me. His actions towards the witch has obscured her path of destiny. She stands at a crossroads, her future uncertain. Your actions in response to the revelations of tonight will directly affect her decision to take the first step towards darkness, or towards the light.”

He could not read the prince’s expressions in the flickering torchlight.

“How long has Merlin had magic?”

Kilgarrah answered without thought, caught by surprise by the abrupt change in subject. “Merlin was born with magic in his soul, the result of a prophecy predicted well before your time. He can no more deny it than you can deny the air which you breathe. It is a part of him. It is him.”

Arthur nodded abruptly and melted back into the shadows without another word. Only when the prince was beyond even his keen hearing did Kilgarrah breathe another gusty sigh. He had planted the seeds. Now to see if they would come to fruition.

Born of Magic 02

Arthur lay awake in the darkness for a long time, staring up at the ceiling of his four -poster. Finally he cursed in frustration and threw the covers off. He dressed easily without a candle, a sardonic smile twisting his lips at the reaction his manservent would have had if he had been there to witness such a feat.

The smile quickly disappeared as he buckled on his swordbelt. He and Merlin were long overdue for a conversation about a few things–but first, he was going to go have a little chat with a dragon.

“So, young Pendragon,” the dragon rumbled as Arthur stopped just beyond the opening to the cave. “You have come at last.”

Arthur stepped out onto the ledge. He and the dragon regarded each other for a long moment,  assessing. The dragon inclined his head slightly, an acknowledgement of royal to royal, and Arthur returned the gesture, sheathing his sword but letting his hand rest easily on the hilt. {Continued…}

Born of Magic 01

“You were born of magic.”

Igraine is still speaking, but Merlin only distantly hears the rest, his entire being caught up by that one revealing sentence.

You were born of magic.

It explains so much. He had sensed that connection, the meeting of two kindred spirits, from the first time he had met Arthur, though they had both recoiled rather violently from the recognition. Yet still their paths had crossed, twisted and turned until now they finally ran parallel, side by side headlong toward their destinies.

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