Wow once again I have many new readers, thank you so much for reading and supporting me :)
Someone asked a couple questions in the review section and I will gladly answer. I did answer them in a PM but I thought others might have the same. Will I follow Arthur and Gwen's story? Not much. I will when Scarlett's story intertwine with theirs, which is a few times, but we all know the tale of Arthur and Gwen and Lancelot. I dont plan on changing it.
Although in this chapter I do include a little bit of Arthur's POV, I thought it would be good to show what he see's so far as to what is going, since Arthur is in the dark about Merlin's magic.
When we got back to the castle I thanked Arthur for taking me on a ride. He seemed distracted though and after a few quick words he headed back into the castle. Guinevere also seemed a little out of it, she said she had to go attend to Lady Morgana and took off. I was left standing in the courtyard with Merlin. He had to take the two horses back to the stables, I gladly went with him.
-"You don't have too."
-"I know ... but I want too."
No one was to be found in the stable so Merlin unsaddled the horses; I grabbed a brush and started brushing the horses while he put stuff away. It felt nice to do a simple task like this.
-"I take it you have no horses in your time?" Merlin asked while wiping down the leather saddle.
-"Oh yes, we have them, but it's more of a pastime. People ride for fun, but it's not an activity I ever tried."
-"Really? So how do you get around then?"
-"Most people own a car ... its uhm ... complicated. It's a box made of metal and it has wheels, runs on gasoline ..." I frowned at my lame explanation of an automobile. "In my time ... it's nothing like here. Believe it or not, here it's simple. In my time people rush all over the place all the time, busy with work, or their kids activity. We all have a cellphone in our hands 24/7, there is no ... nothing like this, " I waved at the stables and horses.
-"It sounds ... strange ... "
-"I guess it is, but this time is strange to me. I'm not sure how much I should tell you, I think me being here is already disruptive enough, I can't change how things turn out with you and Arthur." I groaned, "shit ... " I mumbled, I had a big mouth sometimes.
Merlin had finished putting away the saddles and the horses were all taken care of. He stood near me while I was leaning back on one of the wood coral.
-"So you know about my destiny."
-"They still speak of us 1000 years later? How amazing."
-"Oh yes ... actually its up for debate, some say this place, you, Arthur ... were a myth. Others say it's real. They made movies and books ... you are still quite famous even in my time."
Merlin's lips curled into a smile.
-"And here I am always wondering if I can get through the day ... glad to know it turns out good."
I smiled back and pushed myself off the fence. We slowly walked out of the stables and into the courtyard. It was late afternoon and overcast. The courtyard was busy with activity, people coming and going from the castle. Some gave me a peculiar look, and talked in hushed tones. I tried to keep my head down wishing I had my cloak so I could sink into it, Damon's words about the superstitions were still fresh in my mind. Merlin seemed to notice my discomfort.
-"They are just curious about who you are. Word travels fast around here; they know you ate with the King and that you are staying at the castle."
I nodded, still not sure that was the only reason they stared.
-"I was under the impression that they might think am a vampire."
"My red hair ..."
-"Oh ... I wouldn't worry, you being the King's guest should banish most of those doubts, and the King is having a celebration tomorrow night where you should be formally introduce, that will make everyone feel better."
Merlin seemed very sure of himself on this, he lived here, and he would know, but I didn't like being the focal point of attention for all these people ... We kept walking till we reached the tower that Merlin resided in.
-"So ... I take it Damon is a vampire?" Merlin tried to ask as casual as he could, he had been good and not mention Damon since we left our little excursion. But I knew he had questions. He noticed my hesitation to answer. "Come on lets go upstairs."
He headed inside and we both climbed up the stairs. The tower was connected to the castle by a long hallway. Once we reached the top Merlin opened the old wood door for me. Merlin's guardian, Gaius was nowhere to be found. I was relieved for that; the old man sort of freaked me out. Merlin pulled out a chair for me to sit, and he sat in the chair next to me. I looked down at my hands and picked at my nails anxiously, Merlin waited patiently, his eyes watching me.
-"Yes Damon is a vampire."
-"How can he walk in the sunlight?"
-"A lot of the vampire myths aren't true, garlic, holy water, crosses, silver ... none of it is true. The sun thing is about the only thing that is true."
-"Interesting ... "
-"Yeah ... Damon and his brother are the exception. They ... had help from a witch and can walk in the sun." I was still leery to tell all of Damon's secrets. Yes he had lied to me, but that was my problem with him, I would take care of Damon myself.
-"But they do drink blood?"
-"Yes. But they don't have to kill. They can also compel you, but I'm immune to it. Maybe all witches are?"
-"I don't know." Merlin shrugged, he really didn't seem all that worried about the mind control.
I sighed and turned my palm up gazing at the scar. How could I let this happen ... now I was linked to a selfish monster for the rest of my life? Trish had said it was permanent. I couldn't comprehend how Damon could be so self-centered and egocentric; did he think I would never find out?
-"Why did he do this to me?" I wondered sadly out loud.
-"I don't know Scarlett ... "Merlin sounded just as upset as I.
He took my hand with the small scar and held it in his big warm hands.
-"We'll figure something out, I swear."
We were both still for a few moment. The door suddenly opened and Gaius walked in. I quickly pulled my hand away from Merlin's grasp.
-"Oh Merlin, I wasn't expecting you back so early." Gaius set a leather bag down on one of his tables and turned to us. His eyes darted from Merlin and I, and I was feeling guilty like I did something wrong. He finally spoke. "What's happened?"
He was very perceptive.
-"You were right about Damon ... " Merlin said quietly.
-"I suspected as much." He watched Merlin, "What else is there that you are not telling me."
I started to feel a panic feeling in my chest. Was it such a good idea for this guy to know? He was friends with the king...
-"Scarlett is bonded to him."
I stood up and started to pace, I knew I was doomed now.
-"Merlin ... " I said in a small voice.
-"It's alright Scarlett, Gaius can be trusted. I promise. He won't tell anyone." As if that was supposed to comfort me. He turned to Gaius. "She was tricked, now Damon can use her magic."
-"Oh my ..." Gaius cast me a sad look. This sure didn't seem promising.
-"We need to find a way to break their connection. Have you heard of any?"
-"Well let me think ... vampires have not been in Camelot for a very long time. Even they are afraid of Uther's wrath. Maybe we can find something in the books." Gaius waved his hand to his large collection of books.
He had four large bookshelves overflowing with books and encyclopedias. That was not counting the dozens of stacks around the room, some higher than me.
I let out a small groan. This might take a while.
Several hours went by. Merlin and I had moved to his room, we both were on the floor with dozens of books littered around us. Merlin sat with his back leaning against his bed frame; I lay next to him on my stomach. I had a book opened in front of me but I paid no attention to it. Instead I was gazing up at Merlin grinning. Merlin was concentrating on the task at hand.
In front of him was a large pyramid of books, which was about five feet tall now. We had taken turns building each layer, but the catch was we could only use our magic, more specifically telekinesis, which we both possessed. The base of the pyramid had been easy to put together, but the higher the tower got the harder it became to set the books down. It proved to be a delicate task. Merlin was a much more powerful wizard then I, but being delicate was not an area he was excelling at. He let a book drop with a bit too much power and the whole tower went toppling over.
Merlin let out a small groan of frustration and I laughed loudly.
-"Looks like I win!" I boosted.
-"I think you cheated."
-"And how would I have cheated?" I sat up.
-"The layer you just put down was obviously unstable."
-"Uh huh ... I think you are just a sore loser!" I poked him in the arm.
Just then Gaius came into the room. I was starting to wonder if Merlin or I had some sort of warning signal that went off whenever either one of us touch each other, someone always seemed to interrupt us.
-"Merlin! Shouldn't you be attending to Arthur?"
Merlin looked towards the window. The sky had gone dark; we had both lost track of time. He jumped to his feet.
-"Shoot!" He ran by Gaius and headed for the door, but stopped short and came back and stood in the door frame.
-"I'll be back in a few hours ... if you want to wait ..." He paused and looked to the ground blushing slightly. "But you don't have too." He headed for the door again and came back a second time, "Not that I want you to leave, but you know you can stay … if you want."
Gaius rolled his eyes, "Merlin, go!"
Merlin gave me a silly grin and he hurried away and left the apartment.
Gaius gave me a smile.
-"How about you take a break and help me for a little while." I nodded happy to do something else other then look at these old books.
Damon was annoyed. He had shown up for dinner, so did the King and Arthur even Morgana was there, but Scarlett was not. No one seemed to know where she was either but mysteriously Arthur's servant Merlin was also missing. He wanted to go hunt her down now but when he went to get up Uther gave him quite a murderous look. He could see why he made a good king, people feared him. Frankly he would have just snapped the guy's neck but he needed to stay in Camelot for his plans and he's seen enough movies to know not to mess with history. He couldn't kill the king.
He suffered through another dinner of Uther's tales of his conquests and Morgana making cow eyes at him. Arthur had remained fairly quiet most of the meal, but he did notice the glances Arthur and Morgana's servant kept casting each other. When King Uther excused himself Arthur took off. Damon tried to stop him but he was ambushed by Morgana.
-"Damon, I was hoping I could get a moment of your time." She gave him a small shy smile that was obviously rehearsed.
Damon let out a long annoyed breath; he then looked into Morgana's eyes. He had to get rid of her fast.
-"Morgana, go away."
Shit, I can't compel Morgana? What the hell ... Damon shook his head and gave her a tight lip smile.
-"I'm sorry, I am just in a hurry to find Scarlett ..."
-"Oh I understand, this won't take long. Tomorrow Uther is hosting a celebration in honor of the summer festival; I was hoping you would escort me." She was confident.
-"Oh yeah sure ... whatever." Damon bypassed her and was hurrying down the same way he saw Arthur leave.
Fortunately for him Arthur was outside his door talking with a couple guards. He walked up to them and waited for the guards to leave, Arthur turn his gaze onto Damon.
-"What can I do for you Damon?"
-"How was your ... ride today?" Damon tried to keep a lid over his temper but that had come out a little snippy.
-"It was good." He replied carefully.
-"That's great ... so ... where the hell is Scarlett?"
-"I don't know. I brought her back safe and sound as promised. Have you checked her room?"
-"Yes of course I have, she wasn't there."
-"I would look again, she did mention something to Guinevere about dresses ... " Arthur never blinked or flinched.
Damon kept his steely gaze on Arthur.
-"And where is your servant?"
-"Doing a task I asked him to do earlier."
Damon growled and was about to take a step closer to Arthur, he knew he was lying, but two guards walked by slowly. Damon took off in the direction of Scarlett's room again.
Arthur watched Damon stomp off towards Scarlett's room; he then hurried into his room. He wasn't about to tell Damon that he had caught Merlin and Scarlett holding hands earlier when he had gone looking for them, and when they got back he had seen Scarlett head into the stables with Merlin. He had not seen either one since.
He didn't like Damon; there was something off about the guy, something that made him edgy. He also didn't know what was going on between Merlin and Scarlett either, but he was going to get to the bottom of it.
Anything to keep his own mind off his problems.
Right one cue Merlin rushed into the room and shut the door.
-"Sorry am late ... Gaius had me ... picking herbs for him."
-"Hmm mmm ... picking herbs at night ... and was Scarlett helping you?"
Merlin looked a little shocked at first then shook his head.
-"Yes ... I mean no ... of course not ... what was the question again?"
-"I don't know what is going on with you two Merlin but her guardian is looking for her and he does not look pleased."
Damon barged into Scarlett's room, no candles were lit and it didn't look like anyone had been in here all day. He didn't buy what Arthur told him.
Merlin ... that's where he hadn't look. He took off with vampire speed to the tower where Merlin lived. Before knocking he used his hearing to listen in. He wasn't sure he could walk in this apartment. So far he could go in everyone's room that he had tried. When the King invited him to stay at the castle it had granted him access to just about everywhere. As it turned out people didn't own most of their houses, it was all King Uther's property. It would make feeding much easier.
He heard bottles rattling around and a man talking about grinding the herb carefully. He then heard the soft sound of Scarlett's breathing. He could recognize that anywhere. But why she was hiding in here and not shown up for dinner. Damon had been looking forward to see her, he decided after last night he owed her an apology for acting like he did. He had been an ass, trying to scare her, and then kissing her and after that he had freaked out. But Scarlett made him crazy; he had meant every word he said. She called to him, not just her blood, but he craved her.
That beast inside him wanted Scarlett, now. He kicked in the wood door, which was probably unnecessary; it was just a simple old wood door. The old man that he had seen before was standing next to Scarlett; she held a mortar and pestle.
-"Damon." Scarlett said, her voice was pained.
-"Where the hell have you been Scarlett?"
-"Here" She said coolly.
Damon wasn't sure what her problem was, but he was getting a weird vibe from her. He looked down and carefully put his foot through the door frame. No mystical force kept him out, he grinned, nice, he put his other foot through the door and walked in casually. He came to a stop near one of the bookshelves, keeping his eyes on the old man. He was watching Damon carefully.
-"Well I was worried when you didn't show up at dinner. "
-"As you can see I am fine Damon, so you can go now."
Whoa ... what was going on here ... now he was sure something was up.
-"Okay Star, what's wrong?" He grabbed a book from the shelf and looked at it bored.
-"Nothing, I just want you to go." Scarlett set her mortar and pestle down and crossed her arms over her chest.
Damon furrowed his brow.
-"Tell me what the fuck is going on."
Damon heard Scarlett's heartbeat pick up, her face grew red and her eyes flashed with anger.
-"What is going on … Maybe you should be the one to answer that."
Damon knew he had to thread very carefully … He set the book down and let his eyes narrow on her.
-"No answers for me Damon? How typical … how about you tell me why we really are linked together?"
Fuck … she was on to him … He was actually stumped he didn't know how she found out. He gave her a nervous grin.
-"I told you … to protect you."
Scarlett took a few steps closer to Damon; he could feel the anger radiating from her.
-"STOP lying to me Damon! I might be stupid, and I might be naïve and to trusting, but I – I thought you wouldn't …" She couldn't finish her sentence; she swallowed hard and stood a few feet from Damon her eyes ablaze.
-"Scarlett … it's not what you think … I mean it was, but now …" Damon was tripping and stuttering over his own words. He hated what she was doing to him, making him a babbling fool.
He could feel the electricity building in the air around them.
-"Now it's what? Now you are busted, I put a kink in your plans?"
-"Who told you the truth?"
Scarlett's eyes lowered to the floor for a fraction of a second, long enough for him to see her hesitate.
-"Just tell me why Damon."
-"Look you are upset right now; we'll talk about this later."
Damon headed for the door. He was getting mad, and he didn't want to do anything stupid, especially right now, Scarlett was upset enough. The door he came in had been left opened but when he got near it, it slammed shut. He turned around to see Scarlett glaring at him. She had this eerie look to her. Her ivory skin was now even lighter, almost a sickly blue. Her hair that had been done nicely was now wild and frizzy, almost standing on end in some spots.
-"Scarlett … "
-"I just want to know why Damon … why me? Why don't you give a damn about who you hurt, is revenge that important to you?"
Damon answered without hesitation.
-"Yes it is." The answer seemed to have surprised her. "Now let me out."
She paused for a moment, taken aback by his answer and Damon took the opportunity to turn this in his favor. He wanted to know how she found out. With vampire speed he ran to the old man who still stood by the table watching their exchange, Damon ran behind the old man and had one arm around his chest the other wrapped tightly around his throat.
After a few seconds Scarlett realized that Damon had moved and whipped around to find him holding Gaius.
-"Damon, no let him go!" She cried loudly. All the magic she had been building dissipated.
-"Tell me who told you the truth?" Damon was in predator mode. He had turned off any sort of emotion or guilt he might feel for frightening Scarlett. He had felt cornered and no one does that to him. To make it more dramatic Damon let his fangs slide out and let out a low growl.
-"I figured it out." She held her head high and she even tilted her chin up a bit, Damon was rather proud of her how she was standing up to him, but he could smell the fear coming off of her.
-"tsk tsks Scarlett … don't lie to me." He tilted the old man's head to the side exposing his neck. "Let's try this again … who told you?"
-"What does it matter? Just let him go Damon, you have what you want, me! You have my powers, what good will it do to know who told me? You should have told me."
He knew she was stalling. He ignored the stab of guilt he felt in his chest and without another thought he bit the old man. He let out a scream and so did Scarlett.
-"STOP! Merlin told me! Just let Gaius go!"
Damon took a couple sips from the man's neck and let him crumple to the ground.
-"See that wasn't so hard."
At that moment the old door opened and Merlin ran inside, he took in the situation, seeing his guardian's form on the ground, and Scarlett crying but not moving from her spot. Merlin's eyes darted to Damon. He had blood on his lips and it was obvious he had attacked Gaius. Damon gave Merlin a malicious grin and was about to charge at him.
Merlin was a powerful warlock. Sometimes he didn't even understand how his magic worked; this was one of those times. He had somehow slowed time down, for everything around him, he caught Damon's form running at him with his supernatural speed, but he was ready for him and without another thought he put his hand up and had a strong gust of wind push Damon back, hard. He went flying into a stack of books and then flew right into a table, toppling it over, all of the herbs and bottles on top of the table went crashing to the floor.
Damon stood up with lightning speed but was dazed and shocked with what just happened. He had not expected that. He was about to charge again but Merlin had already another spell.
-"Ástríce!" Merlin shouted.
A small ball of energy shot from Merlin's hand and hurled right into Damon and hit him in the chest. Damon grunted and stumbled back. Thanks to his vampire healing and probably some of Scarlett's healing the spell did little damage to him, but he also knew when it was time to back off and try again later.
Merlin moved in front of Scarlett.
-"Leave, now!" Merlin said with force.
Damon ignored Merlin and looked at Scarlett over Merlin's shoulder.
-"We'll talk later when you've calm down …" He straightened his shirt and casually walked out of the apartment.
He was infuriated; he had to go find someone to kill to relieve some of this anger.
Both Merlin and I watched Damon leave. Within moments of the door closing Merlin rushed to Gaius and turned him on his back.
I knelt next to Merlin.
-"Damon bit him."
Merlin moved Gaius head to expose his neck which was bleeding rather badly. Damon had not taken enough blood to kill him, but he had left the wound open and Gaius was losing blood fast. Merlin quickly got up and ran into his room; he came back in a flash with a very large book. He set it down in between us and closed his eyes. A gust of wind stirred the pages making them flip on their own until it came to stop.
The pages were all quite lovely, each of them decorated with different borders, but the words were strange to me, with odd letters I couldn't even begin to recognize. Merlin scanned the page quickly and put his hand over Gaius neck wound.
-"Wel cene hole!" He said firmly. I saw that his eyes flickered from its original blue to an amber color that glowed, and went back to blue.
-"Why isn't the spell working?" His voice was anxious and he tried again, "Wel cene hole!"
Still nothing happened. He looked at me with a pleading look.
-"Here let me try."
I reached over Merlin and put my hands over Gaius neck. I closed my eyes and tried to clear my mind like Trish had told me when she had me cast a spell. I quietly uttered the words I heard Merlin say.
-"Wel cene hole."
Within moments I felt the familiar pressure in the pit of my stomach and slowly building and growing till I directed it to my hands, the energy shot out, and I felt that blessed relief from the pressure being gone from my body. I opened my eyes and the wound was slowly closing.
Merlin let out a small sigh of relief and looked at me astounded.
-"One of my powers is healing … "
-"We should move him."
Gaius had a small cot in the corner of the room, I picked up his feet and Merlin picked him up at the shoulders. It was not easy task for me, but we finally got him on the bed.
-"He should be alright tomorrow … " We both stood by his bed and gazed down at him.
-"I didn't even think of asking … Are you alright?"
-"I think so … But I'm afraid what Damon is going to do now."
-"You don't think he will go after Arthur do you?"
-"No … well I don't think so. He seems more the torturing type. He has been tormenting his brother for 150 years, so who knows what we are in for."
-"I will make sure he doesn't harm you."
I turned to Merlin and gave him a small smile.
-"I'm not worried about me. He won't hurt me, he needs me. It's you and everyone else that should be careful."
Merlin covered up Gaius with a blanket and went to the area Damon had crashed into. He picked up the table and started to clean up some of the mess.
-"I can handle him."
I walked over and knelt down to start picking up some of the broken glass, Merlin walked by me to grab a broom but let out a small gasp.
-"Scarlett! I thought you said you were fine!" He put his hand gently on my back.
-"I am fine." I felt alright anyway, just a little tired.
-"There is blood on the back of your dress."
I crane my neck to the side but of course I couldn't see anything. Merlin helped me up and I stood with my back to him. He slowly tugged on the fabric lowering it. I felt his hesitation; I knew this was probably incredibly inappropriate in this time period for a man to pull on a woman's dress that wasn't his wife. I remained as still as possible, afraid I might spook him. I felt his warm fingers on my cool back and it made my flesh goose bump.
-"It ... It looks like there was a deep gash but it's almost gone." His voice was a pitch higher.
-"Oh ... well if it's almost gone I'm alright then."
Merlin quickly moved his fingers and I turned to face him.
-"When were you hurt?"
-"Probably when Damon went crashing into those bottles." I shrugged and went to resume my cleaning task.
-"Are you telling me that when he gets hurt, you hurt as well?" Merlin still stood in the same spot.
-"I think so. I'm not sure how it works. Sometimes I just feel pain, this is the first time I have actually bled from him being hurt."
My exterior self was calm but on the inside I was panicking. What will happen when Damon gets really hurt, will I get hurt too? Why had the glass cut me but the hit Damon took to the chest didn't harm me at all? I also was afraid my theory from earlier might be right that if Damon died I would as well ... But I didn't tell Merlin this. He was already worried about Gaius and now he had his friends to protect.
-"How did you heal so fast?"
-"Another great thing being me, it's one of my powers I guess. I have been able to heal myself for some time; I guess it also means am good at healing others, including Damon."
Once the room was in order I tried to stifle a yawn.
-"Merlin ... I'm not sure I want to go back to my room ... can I stay here, just for tonight?"
He seemed a little surprise but nodded.
-"Sure, you can have my room, I'll sleep out here."
-"You don't have too, I just ... I don't think Damon will try and come back here tonight but am not ready to face him just yet."
-"I know. It's alright I insist."
Truth be told I was actually afraid to go to sleep by myself. The last couple weeks my life has been ... well like a story book. When I had started to get used to things, I had the rug pulled out from underneath me again. I thought Damon was the one thing I could count on and remain stable in all this craziness. But he wasn't. I wasn't afraid of Damon, I was afraid that I was alone. I bit my lower lip.
-"Can - can you sleep with me?"
Merlin gaped at me.
-"I mean ... " I let out a nervous laugh, that had not come out like I wanted it too. "Not with me but in the same room ... please."
Merlin was going to say no, but I knew the look at my face made him hesitate. He then nodded.
In the room he set some blankets on the ground next to the bed. I laid in his small bed. It was nothing like the bed in my room I was staying in. His bed was old, and hard. It reminded me of the night I had slept on the forest ground. But his bed smelled like him and it was lovely and comforting. My eyes were fixed on the ceiling.
-"Goodnight Scarlett." Merlin said softly.
Author's note: As always I appreciate all comments, reviews, questions, theories and suggestions! :) Don't be shy, I don't bite ... but I heard Damon does ;)