Arthur and Merlin entered the throne room to see the knights waiting for them and
"No need for that, Tristan, you are among friends. Where's Isodole?"
Pain flashed across Tristan's face. "That's what I came to see you about. She's gone."
"Bandits. We had gone North to Lester buy a new kind of seed. We were camping half a day's journey from the border to Camelot when they struck. There were too many, they caught us by surprise and we couldn't fight them off. They took Isodole and our horses."
Arthur's jaw set as did most of the other's in the room. If they had just taken Isodole, that meant that they weren't after slaves in general, but a specific kind of slave. Arthur had heard of this happening, and had done everything in his power to prevent it and punish it to his fullest extent within his borders, but he couldn't stop what happened in other kingdoms as much as he despised it. But if it were true that they had been outside Camelot when it had happened, it would mean that any official move by Camelot to help Isodole would be considered an act of war.
However, without Tristan and Isodole's help there would be no Camelot, at least not one ruled by Arthur. Lester was surrounded on the East and South by Camelot, to the West by Caerleon, ruled by Queen Annis, and to the North by Nemeth, where Mithian and her father resided.
"I promise that we will get her back," Arthur said to Tristan, putting a hand on his shoulder in consolation. "But what you're proposing is an act of war, we must be cautious."
"I have no time for caution," Tristan spat angrily. "Not while Isodole is with those creatures."
"I understand, but this is not something we can do alone. I must consult some others. We both know that Isodole is a fighter. She will be okay."
Tristan continued to frown, evidently not convinced by the king's words.
"Look, you're tired, and hungry I'm sure. If you follow Gwen into the great hall, she will make sure you get a good meal, and we will have a room prepared for you as well. I give you my word, Tristan, we will get her back."
"What are you thinking, sire?" Leon asked after Tristan had left with Gwen.
"We need to send riders to Caerleon and Nemeth, we'll need their help invading Lester."
"I'm sorry, you want to invade Lester?" Lancelot asked.
"King Gahereth has been creating a hostile environment for his people for the past quarter of a century. Women aren't allowed to leave, and the ones there are systematically abused. He lets anyone do anything as long as they keep him in gold and women."
"And you want Caerleon and Nemeth's help?"
"We can't go in alone, it's a tactical risk and sets the precedent that we're not afraid to invade anyone without cause," Arthur said.
"I think stopping what Gahereth's doing is a just enough cause," Gwaine said.
"Yes, but he hasn't directly offended us. Going in with two other kingdoms, however, would make it legitimate."
"What do you think will motivate Annis and Rodor to help us?"
"Besides dethroning an evil man and stopping any more people from being taken from their borders, we will divide Gahereth's land three ways, assuming we succeed. Despite the slave trade, Lester does have fertile growing ground and many other resources."
"What about Odin?" Percival asked.
"Lester shares no border with Odin's kingdom, this is no concern of his."
"If that is your decision, my lord, I will send riders to Caerleon and Nemeth at once," Leon said.
"Sire," Merlin interjected as Leon made to leave.
Arthur turned to the warlock.
"Given that this is a time-sensitive matter, I may have a faster way of reaching the other kingdoms. But I will need two letters from you explaining what you want, one for each kingdom."
"Very well, Merlin. My seal is in my chambers, let us go there and I will draw up the papers."
After Arthur had drafted two letters, on each to Queen Annis and King Rodor, Merlin took them and went to the window. Placing the letters on the sill, he opened the glass, and made a strange sound like a bird call. No sooner had he stepped away from the window, two falcons had swept in and landed on the sill.
"What are they?" Arthur asked, not recognizing this specific species.
"They're Merlin birds," the warlock said with a small smile, as he took a length of leather cord and tied a letter and an additional piece of parchment to each bird's leg. "My mother's favorite, she named me after them. They're faster than riders, so they should get to Caerleon and Nemeth before nightfall. I've also included instructions on how to send them back. It will considerably speed up the process."
Then Merlin picked them each up one at a time and tossed them out of the window. They took flight immediately, off into the midday sun.
"You really are clever sometimes, aren't you, Merlin?"
Merlin blushed, his head bowed. "No, sire, I just—" But Merlin didn't get to finish his sentence as suddenly Arthur's lips were on his, his hands on his hips, pulling him closer.
Merlin suddenly found his own fingers weaving through the king's hair.
"I can't tell you how glad I am to have you," Arthur muttered against his manservant's lips.
Merlin smiled into the kiss, pressing himself as close as possible to his master's body. "Why don't you show me, sire?"
Arthur smirked walking Merlin back towards his chair at the table, shoving him down on it and dropping to his knees between his legs.
Merlin's mouth dropped open in shock as Arthur undid his trousers and pulled out his already hard and weeping cock. The king gave his manhood a few tugs before enveloping the entire length in his hot mouth.
Merlin's head dropped back and thunked against the wood of Arthur's chair as his master began to suck eagerly. The warlock's hands automatically went to the king's golden hair, pulling at the strands and stroking his cheek as he watched his cock reappear and disappear back into Arthur's mouth.
"Arthur," Merlin gasped as the king took a break from his shaft to lap at his balls. "Arthur, Christ, so good. Don't you dare stop."
Arthur lifted his head from Merlin's lap with a raised eyebrow. "Are you sure you want to be giving me orders now?" Arthur asked.
Merlin whimpered. "Please, Arthur. So, good, please keep going."
Arthur grinned and continued his ministrations until Merlin was writhing and begging.
"Yes, Arthur, going to come, so if . . ." He meant to warn him to move if he didn't want a mouthful of come.
Arthur didn't move and soon Merlin was shooting down the king's throat. Arthur raised his eyes to his manservant's face as it contorted in bliss, his head thrown back, neck arched in pleasure.
So fucking beautiful, Arthur thought. How was it that he was lucky enough to be given something as wonderful as Merlin? He internally swore at that moment that he would spend every day for the rest of his life trying be worthy of this man and every night attempting to show him how much he loved him.