A/N: I've been holding onto this, waiting till I had more written before I began posting. However, after nearly losing all of my files to the dreaded crashing of my laptop, I'm saying screw it.
This story takes place for Bella in New Moon, after Edward left. I don't have a specific season/episode in mind for Merlin, but it'll probably be from within the first two seasons. I'll try to post warnings before spoiling any major plot points (though I currently plan for this to take place between episodes).
Lost in the Legend
"This was almost too easy."
Bella whipped around at the sound of her voice, the book in her hands dropping to the floor. Worried about the wolves, she had taken to reorganizing her room, particularly her bookshelf. Although she didn't read much anymore, that didn't mean she couldn't fix them up every once in awhile.
"Victoria," she breathed, wondering if she should scream.
"Wouldn't scream if I were you," Victoria spoke as if she had heard the thought, "not unless you want Daddy to join the party."
Bella swallowed, resolutely remaining silent.
"Good girl," Victoria grinned, the light shining off her perfectly sharp teeth.
"I know why you're here."
"Do you?" Victoria asked, raising an eyebrow.
"You want to get revenge on E-Edward by killing me. A mate for a...mate," Bella continued, staggering over his name.
"Laurent always was a little too gabby for my taste," Victoria replied, rolling her eyes.
Bella took a deep breath to steel herself.
"But you're wrong. Edward left. He doesn't... He doesn't love me. You're wasting your time."
"True," Victoria acknowledged, taking a step closer. "Doesn't mean I won't have fun breaking your bones anyway."
Bella staggered back, tensing when she hit the wall. Victoria kept coming, pausing only a few inches in front of her. She raised her hand to Bella's throat, trailing one long fingernail across her skin. Bella gritted her teeth against a moan of pain, nearly dizzy over the smell of her own blood.
"Best keep quiet," Victoria advised, pointing below them.
Bella pictured Charlie's reaction to waking up to her screaming. She clenched her jaw, unwilling to watch him die trying to save her. She didn't know how long she could keep silent, and sincerely hoped that Victoria would kill her before she broke it.
Despite all her taunting of broken bones, Victoria seemed content beginning with surface wounds. Bella imagined that killing her was more of a game now and that Victoria was enjoying watching her squirm. She didn't think Victoria would allow her to die before making her scream loud enough to cause Charlie to come running.
Bella nearly screamed as Victoria sunk her nails into Bella's wrists, gripping them tight to prevent Bella's struggles. The smell of her own blood was so very potent—Bella couldn't imagine how Victoria was resisting. From the wild look in Victoria's eyes, Bella didn't think she would be able to abstain much longer.
A few more claw marks—to her abdomen, her leg, above her chest—and both the smell and loss of blood was causing Bella to lose consciousness. As darkness swelled around her vision, Bella's whole body suddenly tensed with an all-encompassing thrum.
It was then that Bella finally passed out.
It was a normal day for Merlin. Between serving Arthur and doing chores for Gaius, he had been thoroughly insulted, underappreciated, and overworked enough for a week, let alone a day. One more lecture about the evilness of magic and Merlin was certain he would begin screaming.
Merlin sighed, rubbing at his neck tiredly. He had only just managed to escape Gaius, whose endless list of duties could intimidate even the most diligent worker, when he was spotted by Arthur. Merlin cursed his rotten luck even as he turned toward the crowned prince.
"Merlin! Where have you been?" Arthur demanded.
"Gaius had a few things... Why? Did you need something?"
"It is nothing that I need," Arthur began, "it is what my horses need. Perhaps you see no problem in sleeping in dung, but I will not have my horses treated with the same courtesy."
Merlin very nearly rolled his eyes, but a pointed look from Arthur stopped him. As much as he liked the guy, he could really be a prat sometimes. Merlin nodded at the future king, changing direction to the stables.
Merlin took his time cleaning the stables, wary of finding himself with more work to do once he finished. He couldn't hide away in there forever though, so once the area was cleaned to the prince's liking, Merlin slowly made to leave. However, when he reached the door, something made him pause.
Sometimes when powerful magic was used in Camelot, Merlin would get this feeling. It was an experience he was beginning to become far too acquainted with, considering all of the magical plots against the kingdom that seemed to come about every week. It was rare that one of these moments of intuition led to anything good, so it was with trepidation that Merlin turned around to face its source.
Standing in the far corner of the stable was a girl. Merlin could hardly see her through the crackle of electricity surrounding her, but he did manage to hear what she said.
"Help me," she gasped, before collapsing.
Merlin stared at the unconscious girl lying in his bed, wondering who she was. It had taken the help of a little magic and a wheel barrel to get her here. He had shied away from other help in transporting her, unsure of what reaction her appearance would garner. While the evidence of whatever magic that brought her here had faded, her clothing was very strange. Merlin glanced up at Gaius when he re-entered the room.
"Will she be okay?" Merlin asked.
"Her injuries are extensive, but rather shallow. With time, she should heal."
"That's good," Merlin replied, looking back to the girl with relief.
Although Merlin didn't know what had brought the girl to Camelot, he didn't think she had malicious intentions. He wasn't certain if he thought that due to a feeling or witnessing how helplessly she had collapsed, but he was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.
"Her wounds are very clean and precise. I do not think that they were inflicted by chance," Gaius continued.
"What are you saying, Gaius?"
"I am saying that whoever is responsible knew what they were doing. To put it plainly, from what I can see, her assailant seemed intent on torture," Gaius replied in a low tone.
"Torture?" Merlin repeated, noting the numerous bandages Gaius had placed on her body. "For what reason?" he wondered aloud.
"Perhaps her possession of magic?" Gaius suggested, retreating back to his work station.
Merlin continued to gaze at the girl, feeling queasy over the idea.