Seventeen year old Arthur Pendragon was a walking disaster.
Or, well, to be more precise, he'd been a walking disaster since the moment his father hired a new farmhand to help work off their crops this summer. Normally, this would not have been an issue, but the stranger that his father had brought back from town two days ago wasn't like the other men who had worked temporary summertime hours over the years.
No, this man was different in that he was tempting Arthur unduly. Tall, dark, slender, with a head of unruly black hair that shone in the summer sun, Arthur knew that anyone with a pair of eyes would have been affected by him.
The problem, though, was that Arthur did not need this distraction.
He was waiting, you see.
His father had preached of sin many a time from his place at the pulpit on a hundred Sunday mornings. Of desire, of wicked and wanton behavior, of things that were uncommon and unnatural - a category that Arthur, at least in Uther's oblivious eyes, would fall into headfirst, seeing as how Arthur preferred the touch of a young man to that of a young woman.
Arthur, for his part, felt no need to be sorry for the man he was, but at the same time, he simply chose to be silent about who he really was. He was biding his time, waiting for he day that he could finally escape and make a life for himself, somewhere far from the Virginia mountains he'd grown up in.
Somewhere far away from his father.
So, he had been waiting. Waiting to escape. Waiting to take what he wanted from life. Waiting to summon the courage to simply act.
Waiting, though, can be tiring, and it can be terribly lonely. Things can change, though, especially when one is presented with something that you have only dreamed of encountering. That something caught Arthur unawares one hot July afternoon when Arthur was carrying a bag of tools into the smokehouse only to find the new farmhand casually leaning against the door, almost as though he'd been lying in wait for Arthur.
Arthur nearly whimpered aloud when he realized that the other man was shirtless, sweat-soaked, and mere inches away from him. He dropped his tool bag.
"Y'see somethin' that you like?"
Arthur tore his eyes away from the man, more specifically from the light smattering of hair on his chest, from his nipples that Arthur wanted to write bad poetry about, and blushed. "Um... "
"Sorry, darlin'. D'ya want me t'put my shirt back on?"
"N-no!" Arthur stammered, blinking rapidly.
The stranger cocked his head at Arthur and licked his lips. "No, I reckon y'don't want me to at all do ya? What's your name, sugar?"
Arthur pulled nervously at the belt loops of his jeans but did not speak. The stranger moved closer and peered at him, his eyes crinkled in interest. "Cat got your pretty tongue, darlin'?"
"Um, no. Arthur. It's Arthur."
"Arthur. I like that. My name's Merlin." Merlin stepped forward and reached out to shake Arthur's hand. Against his better judgement, Arthur took it, a smoldering smile manifesting on the brunet's face. He was wicked, so wicked, Arthur was sure of it, and when Merlin allowed his eyes to rake across Arthur's body he did it in an undeniably wanton fashion.
He was pure sin.
Arthur, virgin that he was, could recognize sin when he saw it.
And as he shook the devil's hand he knew that he wanted it.
"I think we're gonna have a good time together, don't you?" Merlin drawled, still holding tight to Arthur's hand.
Arthur managed to squeeze Merlin's hand once in response; he swallowed nervously but managed to bolster the courage to nod.
Merlin took a step forward, smoothing the hair back from Arthur's eyes, the touch practically shooting through Arthur's skin like electricity. "I'm stayin' at Macy's boardin' house in town. Room seven." He glanced back at the other men tending to the fields, then back to Arthur. "How about you come say hey later on, say, around nine?"
Eyes wide, Arthur nodded. Merlin giggled as he walked away, giving Arthur a good, long look at the way his jeans hugged his backside as he did.
Arthur smiled wider with every step he took towards his house.
He reckoned that a hot July night was a good one to bring all this waiting to an end.