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Unconditional Devotion

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“What did you do to him?!” Arthur shouted viciously at the two sorcerers in front of him. He was cradling Merlin in his arms, pointing his sword in their direction. Merlin let out another anguished cry, and Arthur pulled him into his chest, trying to shield the lithe man with his body.


They had been out to capture these sorcerers. The enemies had not been known to kill their victims, so Arthur had only brought Merlin along, not expecting much of a battle. They discovered them in the forest after two days of searching. But before Arthur could even draw his sword, the sorcerers jointly cast a spell, and Merlin collapsed to the ground. 


One sorcerer was tall and muscular, akin to Percival. The other was thin and pale. The pair took a synced step towards Merlin and Arthur. Merlin flinched. Arthur grit his teeth, his eyes dangerous. “Stay away,” he warned with his sword held steady.


“We’re giving you a choice, Pendragon,” the ghostly one spoke.


The bulky one continued coolly, gazing at Merlin with desirous eyes, “either you allow me to deflower the young man—”


“—or he meets his demise, as per my magic,” his partner finished.


Merlin gripped Arthur’s chainmail tighter. Arthur continued glaring at them, his eyebrows furrowed. “Quit speaking nonsense. Deflower? Demise? What—”


“Don’t play a fool, Pendragon,” the towering man growled. “It’s simple. I fuck your servant, or…” the other sorcerer snapped his fingers, and Merlin screamed in agony, burying his sweaty head into Arthur’s neck, “...he dies.” Merlin could feel Arthur’s pulse booming against his forehead.


What the hell? Arthur was itching to kill them, but he did not want to risk angering them while they had a hold over Merlin. 


“I know what you’re thinking. Killing us will not undo the spell, it will only ensure the boy’s death.”


Damn it. Can sorcerers read minds? Arthur thought briefly. 


The two sorcerers turned and began to retreat. “He breathes his last breath at sunrise. You know where to find us,” the tall one called over his shoulder. Arthur’s eyes flicked to the sky. The sun was already low, and it would be setting soon. That didn’t leave them much time to come up with a plan. He glanced down at Merlin: his face was contorted in pain, yet his rage was evident. Arthur’s chest felt tight.


“Wait!” Arthur desperately yelled after them. “Let me… Let me take his place.”


“Arthur,” Merlin breathed.


The foe folded his muscular arms, paused, and turned around. “I can't do that, Pendragon. Your servant has something that you lack.” He gave a knowing grin to Merlin. Merlin’s eyes widened. “I only want him. We hope to see you soon.”


And with that, they disappeared into the forest.


Arthur’s knight instincts told him to follow them, but his worry for Merlin overrode them. He gripped Merlin’s shoulders and shifted him to get a good look at his face. “Merlin! Are you all right?” He fussed, nearly nose-to-nose with his servant.


Merlin winced at Arthur’s intensity. “Quit being so loud, you clotpole. I feel fine now,” he assured. Arthur let out a breath, and his shoulders relaxed a bit. Merlin saw the rare sight of helplessness plastered over Arthur’s face. 


Arthur broke eye contact and stabbed his sword into the ground. “I should have brought the knights with us.” His voice was thick with remorse.


Merlin rested a gentle hand on his shoulder. “You’re not at fault, Arthur.”


“I was careless. And now you—you have to…” Arthur trailed off, the sheer thought of that man laying his hands on Merlin making his blood boil. “Damn it all!” He slammed down his fist.


“My lord,” Merlin spoke softly, tilting Arthur’s chin towards him, “I want you to know that it has been an honor to serve you.” 


Arthur stared at Merlin, absolutely bewildered. “What?”


“Gaius may know how to remedy this spell, but we may not make it back to Camelot by sunrise. Even then—”


Of course we’re not going to make it back!” Arthur spat, and Merlin pulled back. “We’re two days from Camelot. Don’t be stupid, Merlin!”


“The sorcerers could be bluffing. That's what they do, isn't it? Perhaps I won’t die,” Merlin offered calmly.


Arthur shook his head. “That is not a risk I am willing to take. You know what must be done.”


Merlin’s nose crinkled in disgust. Arthur couldn’t be serious. “Have you lost your mind? You expect me to—to…” he nearly choked on the words, “give myself to that bastard?”


“Have you lost yours? Would you rather die, Merlin?”


“Yes, I’d rather die, Arthur!”


Fuming, Arthur stood. He was too close to slapping some sense into his servant. Turning his back to Merlin, he dragged his hands through his hair. He could feel Merlin’s eyes burning into his back. Arthur took in deep breaths and paced in an attempt to calm himself.


Eventually, he faced Merlin again, who was now standing. As he approached him, Merlin held his gaze. The golden rays of the setting sun illuminated his face, and Arthur’s heart ached. He gripped Merlin’s shoulder. “Listen to me, Merlin. I loathe this as much as you do. Hell, probably even more than you. But you’re not going to throw away your life. I won’t allow it,” Arthur’s voice was quiet, yet authoritative.


Merlin raised his arm and brushed Arthur’s off of him. “I made my choice,” came his callous reply.




“The decision is not yours to make.”


That silenced Arthur. The pair stared at each other, tension hanging in the air.


Finally, Arthur ripped his sword out of the earth and turned on his heel. “Prepare the horses,” he commanded. “I need to clear my head.” Arthur walked into the woods, not sparing Merlin a second glance. Merlin headed in the opposite direction towards their horses.






Merlin was sitting on a fallen tree trunk beside the horses. The sun had vanished behind the horizon, and the darkened forest came alive with the sounds of the night. Deep in thought, he wrung his hands. Was Arthur right? Was he being irrational? Of course he didn’t want to die, but he had his doubts about the legitimacy of this magic. He’d never heard of this kind of spell before. Then again, there were many spells he didn’t know about. But he was at peace with dying. Arthur was king now: his destiny was fulfilled. Not to mention, the idea of death was sort of freeing. As he died, he could finally be fully open with Arthur. About his past. About his magic. About his true feelings.


A heavy force tackled Merlin, knocking the breath out of him as he landed face-first in the dirt. The horses whinnied in terror. Without his breath, he couldn’t even manage a grunt. His arms were forcefully wrenched behind him, and something was quickly wrapped around them, painfully binding them together. He struggled to throw the crushing weight off his back, but to no avail. Merlin wanted to use his magic. But it wasn’t safe until he knew his assailant’s identity. When his breath returned to him, he shrieked at the top of his lungs, “Arthur!” His call echoed throughout the forest, birds fluttering away in fear. “Arthur! I need hel—”


A gloved hand covered his mouth tightly, muffling his shout. Merlin tried to twist out of its grip. His attacker leaned forward, hair tickling the side of his face.


“Shhh, Merlin. I’m right here.”


Merlin ceased his squirming. That was definitely Arthur’s voice whispering in his ear. His initial reaction was relief, but it soon morphed into fearful confusion. Arthur removed his hand and easily manhandled Merlin onto his back. Merlin hissed in pain as his weight crushed his bound arms. It didn’t help that Arthur was sitting on his hips.


“What are you doing, Arthur?” Merlin panted, his chest rising and falling rapidly.


Arthur gazed down at him, both misery and determination evident in his expression. “What needs to be done.”


Of course, Merlin knew exactly what he meant. His eyes were misty with betrayal. He was like captured prey looking up at a predator, and Arthur couldn’t bear to look at him anymore. He turned around and began securing Merlin’s ankles together. Merlin’s legs flailed wildly, but Arthur easily pinned them down. Both arms and legs immobilized, Merlin was truly helpless.


“Don’t do this. Please, Arthur,” Merlin begged shakily. He tugged uselessly at his restraints.


Arthur slid off of Merlin. He combed his fingers through Merlin’s hair gently—too gently, given the situation—and swallowed hard. “I’m sorry, Merlin,” he choked out, his throat tight. Merlin thought he saw the twinkle of tears in Arthur’s eyes when the moonlight hit them. Arthur pulled Merlin up and easily lifted him over his shoulder. “It’s for your own good.”


Panic spread throughout Merlin’s entire body. He fully renewed his struggles, grunting as he tried to wiggle out of Arthur’s grip. He tried kicking him with his tied legs, but it was futile. “No, no, no! Arthur! Please, you don’t want to do this,” Merlin cried frantically. “It’s me, Arthur.”


“That’s exactly why I’m doing this!” Arthur snapped, grief overwhelming him. He set Merlin down and kneeled in front of him. “It’s you, Merlin. I can’t lose you.” Undoing Merlin’s neckerchief, he bit his lip. “I hate this. But please, just make this easier for me, and shut up.”


Merlin gave him an icy glare. “Arthur, if you—”

Arthur shoved the cloth into Merlin’s mouth and secured it snugly behind his head. 


“Please don’t look at me like that,” Arthur beseeched. He felt like he just kicked a puppy. More accurately, he felt like he just murdered a puppy. Picking up his servant once more, he headed towards the sorcerers’ hideout.






Eventually, the defiance left Merlin. He couldn’t escape. Arthur carried his limp form, mumbling apologies and reassurances. But they fell on deaf ears.


Soon enough, the flicker of firelight caught Merlin’s eye.


“Ah, you do not disappoint, Pendragon!” a deep voice greeted. Merlin could feel Arthur’s muscles tense.

“Where’s the other one?” Arthur asked, surveying the area.


The tall sorcerer shrugged. “Asleep. I get to do the fucking, he gets to do the killing. I got the sweeter deal, if you ask me.”


“Just get it over with,” Arthur snarled. “And if this doesn’t help him, know that I will kill you and everyone you care for.”


The sorcerer’s eyebrows raised in faux surprise. “Now, don’t be like that. You can enjoy this too.”


“Don't say another word.” Arthur was really struggling to contain his rage. He couldn’t believe he was about to deliver Merlin to this sick pervert, all tied up like a gift. It made him ill.


“Okay, okay. Let’s get started,” the sorcerer hummed. He approached Arthur and Merlin, and Arthur took a step back. Tilting his head, the sorcerer asked, “would you like to undress him?”


Arthur didn’t reply. Instead, he gingerly rested Merlin next to the warm fire. Looking at him face-to-face for the first time in a while sent another wave of emotions over him. Merlin refused to look back. Arthur unsheathed his sword, his hands shaking a bit. He cut the rope restraining Merlin’s legs. Next thing he knew, his head smacked against the hard ground. Merlin had kicked him away and scrambled backwards.


“Dagmar!” the sorcerer shouted his partner’s name. A distant snap was heard, and instantly Merlin gave a muffled shout through the gag, curling in on himself. Arthur snapped up, rubbing his pounding head. He rushed to Merlin’s side and held him upright.


“Stop hurting him!” Arthur demanded, concern and hatred twisting in his gut. Moments later, Merlin went limp in his hold, too exhausted to move. All Arthur wished was for this to end as soon as possible. Propping Merlin against the tree next to them, he brought his hands down to Merlin’s breeches and tugged at the laces. In order to distract Merlin, Arthur murmured, “that was a good one, Merlin. You really caught me off guard there. I’m impressed.”


Merlin watched Arthur’s calloused hands tug down his breeches. Admittedly, he had dreamt about Arthur doing this quite a few times, but none of his fantasies were like... this. He couldn’t help the deep red that dusted his cheeks after Arthur fully removed his breeches, socks, and boots, leaving his bottom half fully exposed. He was utterly humiliated.


“His top half, too. But I want his arms restrained. Just cut his tunic in half,” the sorcerer directed. Arthur closed his eyes and set his jaw, clearly having an internal battle. “Or do I need to have my friend torture dear Merlin again?”


Arthur grimaced. He gripped the hilt of his sword and brought it to the hem of Merlin’s favorite blue tunic. “I know you like this one. I’ll have a new one made for you as soon as we return to Camelot,” he reassured quietly. “Don’t move.” The sword’s blade easily cut through the thin fabric, and Arthur was careful not to nick Merlin’s skin.


“All right. Move aside,” the sorcerer said eagerly. He had already removed his trousers, and Arthur averted his eyes in disgust.


“Wait,” Arthur interjected. “What about, you know,” he swallowed, “preparation?”


“I don’t care about that.”


“Well, I do. You’ll injure him,” Arthur protested firmly, as if he were in a position to argue.


The sorcerer thought for a moment. “Fair enough. You do it, then. I’d rather enjoy watching,” he decided. “And remove the gag. I want to hear that cute voice.”


Arthur dragged his hand down his face. He had to remind himself that this was the right decision. Merlin finally looked up at him, his expression unreadable. Arthur gripped Merlin’s soaked neckerchief and paused, afraid of what Merlin might say to him. Finally, he pulled it down.


“You’re the worst,” came Merlin’s small, hoarse voice.


“I agree,” Arthur admitted. “You can kill me once this is over. But for now, open your mouth.” Arthur’s tone was the same as when he ordered Merlin to do his chores. As usual, Merlin refused to do as he was told. He kept his lips sealed tight. Arthur sighed. “Merlin, I’m trying to help you.”


When Merlin remained stubborn, Arthur got impatient. He ran his palm up Merlin’s inner leg, then gave Merlin’s soft member a brief tug. Merlin involuntarily gasped, and Arthur shoved three fingers into his mouth. He leaned in close and whispered lowly in Merlin’s ear, “Suck. I’ll make it good for you.”


Hearing Arthur say those words send heat straight to Merlin’s dick. For a moment, he forgot about the awful situation they were in. He obeyed, running his tongue over Arthur’s fingers, coating them in his saliva.


“Good boy,” Arthur praised. The sight and feeling of Merlin’s plump lips around his fingers was doing more to him that he’d like to admit. He gave Merlin’s hardening cock another stroke, and Merlin made a noise, vibrating against him. With his free hand, Arthur spread Merlin’s legs further apart and settled between them. He pulled his fingers out of Merlin’s hot mouth with a pop. Wet strings of saliva broke, falling down Merlin’s chin.


Arthur hastily moved his slick fingers to Merlin’s ass. He rubbed circles against his entrance, then slowly pressed one in. Merlin took in a sharp breath and tugged against his bindings. “Arthur—”


“Relax for me, Merlin,” Arthur cooed, nibbling at Merlin’s neck. He brushed his thumb over the head of Merlin’s cock, wiping some of the pre-come down its length. Merlin sighed, and Arthur was able to work his finger further into him. He ran a hand over Merlin’s chest. When he squeezed a nipple, Merlin’s breath hitched. Arthur used that distraction to insert a second finger. 


Merlin’s head fell forward onto Arthur’s shoulder as he continued working him open. Arthur began pumping Merlin’s dick steadily to compensate for the pain. A sweet moan finally escaped Merlin’s throat.


“That’s enough,” the sorcerer interrupted. Arthur flinched, so caught up in the moment that he nearly forgot the other man was there. A strong hand tugged Arthur backwards, and Merlin yelped as Arthur’s fingers were yanked out of him. “I won’t last much longer.”


Arthur’s heart dropped. He started, “hold on, he’s not—”


“Need I remind you who is in control here?” the sorcerer taunted, glaring at Arthur. “Hold him. Now.”


Arthur clenched his fists. He wished he could kill the man right now. Positioning himself behind Merlin, he grabbed his legs and lifted him so Merlin’s back was against his chest.


“W-Wait, no,” Merlin stuttered, squirming in Arthur’s grip. He tried to close his legs, but Arthur held them spread apart. Merlin’s breathing was wild. Tears welled up in his eyes. The sorcerer approached him, stiff cock in his hand. “Please, no. Arthur!”


“It’s all right, Merlin. I’m right here. Just pretend it’s me, yeah?” Arthur coaxed calmly, resting his cheek against Merlin’s head.


The sorcerer’s thrust fully into Merlin in one motion, and he let out a satisfied groan. Merlin whimpered, squeezing his eyes shut.


“Damn, you’re tight,” the sorcerer noted appreciatively. “With that pretty face, I didn't believe that you're really a virgin.”


“Take some deep breaths,” Arthur comforted, trying to drown out those filthy words. Merlin’s chest rose and fell shakily. “That’s it, Merlin. Just breathe.”


The sorcerer rocked his hips. “Look at you. Taking all of me like the whore you are. Your boyfriend here is insane for never fucking you.” His hands roamed all over Merlin’s vulnerable body, sending shivers down his spine.


“Only listen to my voice,” Arthur urged. “I’m here.” The familiar sound kept Merlin grounded.


Pulling out slowly, the sorcerer jerked his hips forward. He brought his lips to Merlin’s chest, sucking at a sensitive bud. Thrusting again, he licked his way up to Merlin’s collarbone, teething at the thin skin there. Merlin hid his face in Arthur’s neck. 


With a particularly hard thrust, Merlin gasped. He felt the dick inside him twitch. The sorcerer grinned. “There it is. Let me hear that lovely noise again.” He pounded into Merlin at the same angle, and Merlin’s horror doubled as he found himself responding.


“Arthur, I’m not—this isn’t—” Merlin was cut off by his own moan as the sorcerer’s hand wrapped around his dick. He began pumping in time with his thrusts, and Merlin’s back arched into the touch.

Arthur couldn’t bear seeing Merlin like this any more. He wanted to end it. Arthur egged him on, “you like how I feel in you, don't you, Merlin? How I fill you to the brim? Do you know how long I’ve wanted to do this to you?”


Merlin’s heart skipped a beat. He knew what Arthur was trying to do, and it was working. He was breathless.


The cock in his ass moved with ease now, and the stroking became more pleasurable as his pre-come coated his dick. The sorcerer grunted repeatedly against Merlin’s skin. “Damn, I should keep you here. Tie you up and fuck you whenever I feel like it.”


“Why do you think I’m always roughhousing with you? You’re adorable, Merlin. I couldn’t wait to have my way with you,” Arthur purred, speaking over the sorcerer. Merlin latched onto his words like a lifeline, and his hot breaths ghosted against Arthur's neck.


The sorcerer—no, Arthur?—recklessly rut into him like an animal. Merlin mewled and squirmed in Arthur’s arms as he felt his orgasm approaching. Arthur sunk his teeth into Merlin’s shoulder, and Merlin let out a groan. “It’s like you were born for me. My cute little servant. You’re all mine, Merlin,” Arthur growled, nipping at Merlin's ear while massaging his dick. Merlin clenched around Arthur's cock, and Arthur buried himself deep inside of him. He heard a moan, and hot liquid filled him. Knowing Arthur had just finished inside of him nearly sent him over the edge.


Arthur pressed his lips to Merlin’s. At that, Merlin came, gasping Arthur’s name against his lips and quivering in his hold.


The sorcerer pulled out, admiring his come leaking out of the young man's ass. Arthur immediately laid Merlin's panting form on the ground and stretched out his own aching arms.


“Is it done? Is he safe now?” Arthur sounded lifeless.


“Yes, the ritual is complete,” the sorcerer confirmed, tucking himself back into his trousers. “Well done. That was—”


His sentence was cut short by Arthur’s sword being shoved through his back. Arthur heard a twig snap and twirled around. He threw his sword with perfect aim, cutting down Dagmar before he could even open his mouth.


Arthur approached Merlin. He untied the ropes binding his arms and rubbed feeling back into them. Unable to look at Merlin, he pulled him into a tight embrace. He felt like an absolute monster. Perhaps he was.


“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Merlin,” Arthur breathed, his voice breaking.


Merlin was still. “That was selfish.”


“I know.”


“You lost a lot of my trust.”


“I know.” Arthur paused, clenching the fabric of Merlin’s jacket tighter. “And if you… if you despise me, I understand. But I promise you, what I did, I did out of love.”


Merlin exhaled a long breath. Eventually, he wrapped his sore arms around Arthur.


“I know.”