This is one of those online free fictions that make me wonder why I ever pay for books.
The writing is excellent, the characters have depth, the dialogue is sharp and the plot is perfectly paced.
I can't do this justice, so here is an excerpt from early on:
“What am I even here for?” he bursts out suddenly, and then freezes.
He can almost hear Will’s exasperated cry of Merlin, you idiot! Do you want to be brutalized?
“What?” The Prince glances up from the papers in front of him.
Merlin bites his lip and for once in his life decides to stay silent. Far, far too late, of course.
“Why are you here?” He leans back in his chair, eyes glittering as he stares across the room at Merlin.
“Nothing,” Merlin mutters. “Forget I spoke.”
He’s actually smirking now. “You’re here to warm my bed, Merlin, weren’t you listening?”
“And that’s it?”
A blonde eyebrow arches. “Is there something else you’d rather be doing?”
,” the word bursts out and he steps back, reflex. He’s infuriated at the sudden pit of black in his stomach. The shadow that passes over the other man’s face isn’t pleasant to see, either. He already knows the Prince isn’t going to hurt him, won’t whore him out amongst the knights and nobles, or any of the other panicked imaginings he’d created that first night. He almost feels like apologizing. Almost.
“It’s just – I’m bored
,” he says instead, truculent, knowing it will amuse Arthur. How he knows that, he’s not quite sure. But he's right.
“I’m devastated to hear that simply basking in my presence doesn’t fill your days with delight, Merlin,” the Prince says, turning his eyes back to the papers in front of him, mouth twitching. “I will of course give it my immediate attention.”
He doesn’t look Merlin’s way for the rest of the night.