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A is for Announcement

          a public and typically formal statement about a fact, occurrence, or intention.

I have a story to tell you. It is about want, need, love, and fear with a few other things thrown in for good measure. There are choices to be made before others make them. There are jobs, accidents, get togethers, coffee shops, pubs, family dinners, bad decisions, regrets, misunderstandings, pining, sex and of course, idiocy. I have a story to tell you and I hope you like it.

 

B is for (New) Beginning(s)

          the point in time or space at which something starts.

Every story has to start somewhere. This one begins on a Tuesday. There is nothing special about this Tuesday. The weather is pleasant enough. The sun is shining. The birds, bees and citizens of Albion are going about their business. The buses and trains are running nearly on time. All in all it’s a pleasant Tuesday.

As we look around on this typical Tuesday we spot a tall, slender man with curly, dark brown hair and blue eyes. He’s young, only 22, almost 23, just a few weeks out of university. And yet, by society’s standards he is an old spinner, an unmated omega. Society as a whole thinks he should simply want to find a mate and make babies, but young Merlin has other ideas of being something more.

Merlin entered the lobby of the offices of the Pendragon Corporation. He smiled at the girl who ran the reception desk as he passed on his way to the research and development annex. As usual the place was bustling with people getting to the business of work. After clocking in, he donned a clean lab coat and set about checking on his work. The lab was quiet and though Merlin got along with his fellow techs, they didn’t really chat.

Before he knew it lunch time had arrived. Merlin had arrangements to meet up with long-time friends (since grade school) Freya and Gwen who were determined to talk to him about his decision. He really wished now that he had kept his indecision to himself but the damage was done. He knew they meant well and appreciated their support but it felt like they were too invested. Merlin had no sooner sat down with his food than he was accosted from both sides.

Freya smiled at him, “Hi Merlin.” She proceeded to sit down next to him.

The look on Gwen’s face showed they had already been talking about him. She spoke as she sat down on the other side of him. “Hi Merlin, How’s your day going so far?”

Merlin glanced at both of them. “Hi to you both and it’s ok. Just another Tuesday.”

Freya spoke up, a goofy grin gracing her face. “Well I’ve had an exciting day. Percival Hunt came through the office and he smiled at me.”

Merlin bit back a laugh about his friend’s latest object of admiration. “You do know you can speak to him.”

Freya bit at her lip, “I know but I get so nervous.”

Gwen added her two cents, “I sort of kind of know him by way of Lance. I could introduce you.”

“Could you?” Freya said excitedly.

“I could talk to Lance, set up a pub outing and make sure he gets invited.”

Merlin rolled his eyes. “I don’t understand why you don’t just talk to him.”

Freya glared at him. “That’s easy for you. You’ve decided to be a spinner and don’t have to worry about making a first great impression.” Merlin gave her a shocked look that suddenly had her feeling contrite. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that.”

“Well now that it is out there,” Gwen started in, “have you made a decision?”

 

C is for Choice(s)

          an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.

Merlin stared at the non-descript office building. It looked like any other office building on the block, indistinguishable from the next except for the sign on the outside. No large garish letters or images. This was supposed to be the premier company so things were tasteful and sedate. He had, of course, received the standard invitation from Materix and Romantic Futures. Any alpha or omega could put their name in with them and they would match you up. It was a lot hype about love, but Merlin was looking for something more. He didn’t want to be a snob about it but he wanted someone with an education, with an enlightened view of omegas, someone who would let him explore before performing his “duty” as a citizen of Albion. He had interviewed with AlphOmegaration but it felt more like an upscale version of the other two. That left him with Wise Choices.

The alpha who had conducted his initial interview had been polite and professional. Morgause had listened carefully as he had told her that he wanted to do more than just contribute to the population. It had taken her less than a week to get back to him.

Merlin sat in a comfortable chair with a cup of tea as he answered the questions about his preferences. It really wasn’t that he was picky but he wanted someone smart, funny and kind who would challenge him. Not just a mate but a real companion. They then left him to look through about 30 profiles, no pictures yet. It was easy to eliminate 16 of them right off the top. He didn’t want anyone with a record, who was a celebrity (he didn’t mind famous) or had a career that required lots of travel. After he had over half eliminated, the profiles showed carefully constructed pictures though nothing quite straight on. He didn’t want to be so vain but if there was no initial attraction then what was the point. After about 2 hours he had it down to five. The service would make the arrangements from there.

 

D is for Date

          a social or romantic appointment or engagement.

Freya, Gwen and Gwen’s friend, Morgana had taken him shopping. He didn’t know Morgana well, but apparently she had an eye for fashion. A very well cut pair of black jeans, bright blue shirt and a leather jacket. A fresh haircut and he was ready. He checked the details on his phone three times. This first meeting was to be casual, a bit like speed dating. A coffee shop owned by the Wise Choices company. The main floor was open to the public but the upper floor was clients only. It was smart, actually owning the place, controlling the circumstances of meetings, keeping them safe. Merlin was impressed with the care they showed their clients.

Valiant was tall and good looking in his own way, but it was clear that despite his patter that mates should be equal he expected any omega to bow to his whims.

Cenred was more than handsome with dark hair and dark eyes but the smile on his face was creepy. In addition to that he apparently thought coffee included lots of touching.

Ethan liked to talk about himself. He was good looking and clearly bright but apparently the world revolved around him.

Gwaine was gorgeous. Bright eyes, a carefully trimmed beard and long, dark hair like a shampoo model. He was also funny and clever, and though a bit full of himself, he felt genuine. Merlin liked him instantly.

After the first three, Merlin’s spirits had been lifted by meeting Gwaine but he was a bit tired and ready to go. Although they were only 15 minute meetings he had already been there an hour and a half. He was just rising from his seat to leave when he noticed a tall blond man headed in his direction. The man looked smart in his three piece suit and Merlin couldn’t help but wonder what he looked like with it off. That is until a waitress accidentally ran into him.

“You should have been watching where you are going!” The blond man said angrily.

The girl was trying her best to apologize. “I’m really sorry sir.”

“You should be.” Arthur had grabbed a stack of napkins and was trying to mop up the worst.

The girl was nearly in tears as Merlin approached, “I’ll pay for your dry cleaning.”

Merlin gave the girl an I’ve got this smile before turning on the blond man. “You don’t need to speak to her like that. It was clearly an accident.”

“I don’t recall this being any of your business,” Arthur replied brusquely.

“You think I should just look the other way while you berate that girl just because you’re rich?” Merlin glared at him. “Expect me to get down on my knees to your highness as well?”

Arthur turned his full attention to Merlin, “Do you know who I am?”

“No, and if this is the way you act then I don’t want to.” Merlin pulled out his wallet, took out a few notes and tucked them into the blond man’s vest. “That should cover your cleaning costs.”

Arthur grabbed the notes, “I don’t want your money.”

Merlin spoke as he tucked his wallet away. “You might be rich and good looking but your appalling manners make you one of the ugliest men I have ever met.” With that he walked out of the coffee shop.

 

E is for Error(s)

          the state or condition of being wrong in conduct or judgment; a mistake

“This was such a mistake Gwen,” Merlin whined into his pint. “No alpha I want is going to want me.

Gwen reached over and patted his hand. “Well I think you did the right thing. No one should be screamed at like that. That poor girl.”

“It seems like deep down, no matter what they say, all alphas are the same,” Merlin pouted as he sipped his pint.

Gwen tried to give him hope, “Not all alphas are like that.”

Merlin sighed, “Yeah, but those alphas are taken. I’m gonna end up in a digenesis clinic.”

“Merlin..” Gwen started to speak when she was interrupted by his phone.

Merlin dug his phone out of his pocket. “It’s Morgause, probably calling to tell me they are dropping me.”

Gwen rolled her eyes, “Just answer it.”

Merlin pressed the button and held it to his ear, “Hello.”

“Merlin, you made quite an impression.”

“It’s ok if…”

“Three of them want to see again.”

Merlin was surprised, “Really?”

“They liked the way you stood up for that girl.”

 

F is for Friendship

          the emotions or conduct of friends; the state of being friends

After talking with Gwen, Merlin agreed to meet with all three of the alphas who had expressed an interest in him. She had reminded him that just because they are alphas didn’t mean they couldn’t have been nervous or anxious. So a week later he found himself in the same coffee shop meeting up with two of the three.

The thirty minutes he spent with Ethan felt like penance. He had done as Gwen wanted and given him a second chance but the man was just too into himself. He seemed to take the rejection well.

The thirty minutes he was supposed to spend with Gwaine turned into a bit more than an hour. They had talked and laughed. He liked Gwaine. He really did. As fond of him as he might grow though he didn’t feel anything more than friendship.

 

G is for Gold

          a yellow precious metal

It was another few days before he could meet with the third of the interested alphas. Merlin had worried over who it was and as he sat there waiting his fears were confirmed. He stood there, the man in the suit, with the sun shining through the window lighting his blond hair like a gold halo. Merlin felt bewitched. He couldn’t deny that the man was gorgeous.

“Hello I’m Arthur.” The blond man held out his hand and smiled.

Merlin felt extremely hesitant but his manners won out. He shook Arthur’s hand. “Hello Arthur, I’m Merlin.” He gestured to the seat in front of him.

Arthur pulled out the chair and sat. He stared at the table for a moment before looking up at Merlin. “Before we go any further, I wanted to apologize for my behavior. I know I was under a lot of stress and it felt like the last straw, but that was no excuse.”

Merlin watched him trying to figure out if it was genuine or not. He decided to take him at his word until proven otherwise. “I accept your apology but I am not the one who really deserves an apology.”

Arthur gave him a shy smile, “I came back and apologized to her, gave her the money you gave me.”

Merlin smiled, “Thank you. I appreciate that.”

“I also wanted to say ...thank you.”

“For what?” Merlin asked curiously.

Arthur sighed. “No one ever stands up to me and honestly, I am so tired of everyone licking my boots.” He then turned a bright smile on Merlin, “But you, you put me in my place and I really needed that.”

 

H is for His

          belonging to or associated with a male person or animal previously mentioned or easily
          identified.

Merlin laid in bed that night, thinking about Arthur. The Arthur he had met today was so different from the man who had screamed at that girl. This Arthur was funny and charming, so much so that he agreed to meet again.

They met at a little pub over pints and talked about movies and books. Star Wars featured heavily. They went out to lunch and talked music and food. Turned out they both loved Indian and Arthur promised to make his chicken korma. They went out to dinner and talked about their families. He had laughed in all the right places as he had told him about his four younger sisters, Eira, Drea, Sefa and Kara. and Merlin had smiled at how he called his sister Morgana a harpy with a deep fondness. They then laughed about the coincidence of him having met her but assuring him that she didn’t know anything aboutthem. They went on a picnic and talked about the places they’ve been and the things they want to do.

The more he thought about Arthur, about his blue, blue eyes and blond hair, his laugh, his strong nose and his pouty lips, his smile, his charm and confidence he realized how easy it would be to become his. Merlin was surprised at how much that both excited and terrified him at the same time.

 

I is for Inevitable

          certain to happen; unavoidable

Merlin didn’t want to feel like things with Arthur were inevitable. Yes, he was very interested and much intrigued. But was the nice guy an illusion to pull him in only to revert to the ugly person he was on that first meeting? He didn’t want to believe that but it wasn’t just that. He also felt a bit intimidated on some level. It was after their third date that they had finally agreed to exchange details and Merlin learned Arthur’s last name. He had known Arthur was wealthy and worked for a large corporation, but he would never have guessed that it was Pendragon Corp. So not only was he uncomfortably wealthy he was also indirectly his boss.

Merlin had really wanted to talk to his mother but he didn’t want her planning a wedding just yet. He tried to speak to his sister Eira but she was more hung up on the idea that the alpha he was interested in was rich. Freya was non-committal with saying he hadn’t done anything wrong and couldn’t seem to understand his concerns. Gwen and Morgana, at least, understood his concerns but thought he was being silly.

“Merlin, you are overthinking this. You haven’t done anything inappropriate. And if this alpha thinks otherwise then you should look somewhere else.” Morgana gave him a knowing look.

Merlin sighed and countered with “But what if Arthur doesn’t see it that way? What if he thinks I somehow set things up? Or that I didn’t tell him so that I could somehow use him?”

Gwen had stared at him and said, “Did you say Arthur? As in Arthur Pendragon?”

Merlin gave them both a shifty look, “No, I said Armor.”

Gwen looked at him incredulously but said nothing. Merlin put his hands in his hair, “Oh god, you can’t tell him you know Morgana. I told him that you don’t know and if he finds out that you do know along with everything else...”

Gwen grabbed Merlin’s arms, “Merlin you need to calm down.”

Morgana stared at him, the picture of calm. “Well you could explain the recent secret smiles on his face.” She took a sip of her drink before continuing. “You should actually be more concerned about my father. He keeps making what he considers appropriate matches for Arthur.”

“Appropriate matches?” Merlin started.

“Yeah, omegas that through marriage will further his business or the Pendragon social standing,” Morgana shrugged and then laughed as she said, “Arthur actually paid me in shoes to run off the last one although Uther has another in the wings.”

 

J is for Jealous(y)

          suspicious or fearful of being displaced by a rival:

The thought of Arthur with someone else sat hard with Merlin. They had only been on a few dates but they texted a few times most days and spoke on the phone almost every evening. And even though they had both said they weren’t seeing anyone else, they had no agreements. They had not declared themselves as anything other than interested. As far as things went they were just two people who had seen each other a few times.

Merlin made a plan to speak to Arthur. It was time to come clean about where he worked and talk about where things might be heading. Nothing serious, just a check in that they wanted to continue with whatever they were doing. His plan had been to surprise Arthur for lunch. He looked up where his office was located and had arranged to take lunch a little early and to return a little late. He was just leaving the corridor that led to the R&D annex when he spotted him. He was just about to lift his hand and call his name when he stopped. The girl clung close to his side was pretty, tall, blond, thin and no doubt omega. She’s probably one of Uther’s set ups. He clung to that thought as he noticed that they made a striking couple.

 

K is for Kiss(ing)

          touch with the lips as a sign of love, sexual desire, reverence, or greeting

Merlin leaned in close and pressed his lips gently to Gwaine’s. His lips were soft and supple. There was just the right amount of pressure. The warm press was pleasurable but nothing more. No tingling , no spark or feelings of warmth, nothing.

Gwaine pulled back and looked at him. “Don’t get me wrong, I liked it and I am certainly interested, but where did that come from?”

Merlin moved to get up from his seat, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”

Gwaine reached up and grabbed Merlin’s arm giving him a searching glance. “Look Merlin, I know we haven’t known each other long but clearly something is going on. I have two ears ready and waiting. “

Merlin slumped back in his seat and put his heads in his hands. Before he knew it he was telling his tale to Gwaine. “God, I feel like such a drama queen. We’ve only been on a few dates.”

Gwaine smiled and laughed lightly. “Give yourself a break Merlin. It’s ok to like him. It sounds like he likes you too. Just that he’s taking his time.”

“What about that other omega? She seemed like she fit right in.” Merlin smiled at him.

Gwaine shrugged. “I say you take Morgana’s word at face value and assume it is one of his father’s setups.”

“Really?” Merlin needed just a little bit more reassurance.

“Yes, but it’s clear that you need to talk to him. Just don’t back him into a corner or give him some kind of ultimatum,” Gwaine gave him a soft look. “Look, just invite him out, tell him the truth and if he’s still there, let him know you want things to be more exclusive.”

 

L is for Locked out

          to be kept out by or as if by a lock.

Things between them had been casual. They hadn’t agreed to be exclusive but Merlin had said he wasn’t seeing anyone. He knew he shouldn’t be spying and he hadn’t followed him there. He just happened to be in that pub with his friends at the same time. What Merlin did was his own business but Arthur was a little hurt to see him sitting there with another alpha. He tried to keep his attention on what Leon was saying but he kept being drawn back. Leon had followed his line of sight to see what had his friend’s attention. “Do you know them?”

The disappointment in Arthur’s voice was clear. “I thought I knew one of them.”

Leon looked at him closely, “Is that the omega you have been seeing? The one from the dating service.”

Arthur nodded as he cast a glance back over at Merlin and the other alpha to see them kissing. “Not anymore apparently.” Arthur pushed his pint away. “I’m not feeling well. I think I am just going to head out.”

Leon nodded. “For what it’s worth, I’m sorry. I knew you liked him.”

 

M is for Mistake

          An error or fault resulting from defective judgment, deficient knowledge, or carelessness.

Merlin had sent Arthur several texts but had no response. He tried to call him but it went straight through to voicemail. He left a couple of messages. After two days he felt a little panicky and decided to confide in Morgana. After forcing all the details out of him, she agreed to check things out. She called three hours later. Her response sent Merlin into a tailspin. The tears came hard and fast. He had made a big mistake and had no clue how to fix it. Morgana had no idea why but something about Merlin, that he was sweet, gentle and genuine, got beneath her skin or maybe she was going soft in the head. Either way she found herself swayed by his tear stained confession and in a moment of insanity agreed to help him.

 

N is for Nervous

          easily agitated or alarmed; tending to be anxious; highly strung.

Morgana’s plan was simple. Arthur often stayed late on Wednesdays as weekly reports were due Thursday. Merlin would wait in the stairwell until Morgana gave him the all clear that Arthur’s assistant had left for the day. Then it was all up to Merlin.

As he stood in the stairwell waiting, Merlin rehearsed again what he was going to say, went up and down the stairs a billion times and generally just tried not to vomit. The one thing he wasn’t going to do was simply leave. He at minimum owed Arthur an apology.

When the door to the stairwell finally opened and Morgana stuck her head through Merlin thought he might faint. They didn’t say a word as Morgana led the way to Arthur’s office. A few people working late gave them strange looks but they just kept moving. After what felt like an hour but was probably only 2 minutes they arrived outside an office. The light inside was on and a person could be seen sitting at the desk.

Morgana smiled at him, “Well, this is it. I wish you luck.”

Merlin nodded and sort of croaked out the word, “Thanks.” He watched as she turned and walked away. He then looked up and down the hall to make sure no one was near before he approached the office door. It was open a bit and he peered through. Arthur was seated at his desk working. He had taken off his tie and rolled up his sleeves. He furrowed his brow a bit as he read something on the screen. Merlin closed his eyes for a second and took a deep breath. Before he could chicken out he knocked on the door.

Arthur didn’t look up, “George, I thought you already left.”

Merlin pushed the door a bit and took a tentative step forward. “It’s not George.”

Arthur’s head swiveled toward him, “Merlin, How did you get in here?”

“Well, that’s something I have been meaning to tell you.” He looked down and touched his badge before looking up again. “I work for Pendragon Corp., in the labs, as a tech.”

Arthur didn’t say anything for a moment. “Ok. Why are you here?”

“You didn’t answer any of your texts or your voicemails. I just wanted…” His voice trailed off under the wilting look Arthur gave him.

Arthur cleared his throat, “There was nothing to respond to.”

“I just thought..” Merlin stepped farther into the room.

“I saw you,” Arthur cut him off, “in the pub.”

“I can explain,” Merlin said anxiously.

Arthur stood up from his desk. “You don’t have to explain. We had no .. agreement.”

“But still.”

“Really. We had a few laughs, nothing more and now it’s done.” Arthur looked down and then back at him.

“Arthur, please, it’s not what you think,” Merlin said a little desperately.

“I highly doubt it matters .” Arthur was clearly uncomfortable. “I think you should go.” He turned away, went into the bathroom and closed the door.

Merlin stood there for a moment staring at the closed door. “For what’s worth, I’m sorry.”

 

O is for Obvious

          Easily seen through because of a lack of subtlety; transparent

Gwen watched as Merlin picked at his lunch, not hearing a word she said. She finally reached over and put a hand on his arm. “Are you ok?”

Merlin gave her a tentative smile. “Yeah, I’m fine.”

Gwen tried to give him her best smile. “Come out with us tonight. Get your mind off things.”

“Sure,” Merlin nodded. “I’m not that hungry. I think I’m going to head back to the lab.”

Morgana took a cookie off her tray, wrapped it in a napkin and tucked it into his pocket. “In case you get hungry.”

“Thanks.” Merlin picked up his tray and walked off.

Morgana tapped Gwen on the arm. “Look.” She pointed at a table across the cafeteria where Arthur sat watching Merlin cross the room.

“What are you planning?” Gwen asked.

Morgana gave her a shrewd look. “I’m not sure yet but something must be done.”

 

P is for Puppy Love

          an intense but usually shallow romantic attachment

Morgana decided to approach things head on. Watching Arthur mope about was getting on her nerves. Arthur might have thought he was being subtle but he was acting more like a teenager with a case of puppy love. Even Uther had noticed his behavior and asked her about it.

Morgana found Arthur in his office. She thought nothing of what he was working on and simply marched in demanding his attention. “Arthur, you’re an idiot.”

Arthur rolled his eyes, “I don’t have time for this Morgana.”

“Well you need to make time,” she said sharply. “I have watched you moping about and you need to do something about it. I know everything and you are throwing away something really special.”

Arthur felt a bit of anger shoot through him, “Did he put you up to this?”

“No, he doesn’t know I am here,” Morgana admitted. She walked around his office touching things as she spoke. “He told me not to actually. Said it was all his fault and that he just has to live with that.” Morgana stopped to look Arthur in the eye. “He’s trying his best to accept things but I can see how much he misses you.”

Arthur glared at her for a long minute before he spoke. “This is none of your business,”

“I don’t want to see you mated to one of those fawning omegas father keeps choosing for you.” Morgana stepped close to him. “I want you to be happy Arthur and I suspect that Merlin would make you happy.”

Arthur looked down at his desk and fingered a pen sitting there. “Father wouldn’t approve of him.”

“More to recommend him then.” Morgana put an arm around his shoulder. “For your own sake, give him another chance, or you could be stuck with Sophia.” She gave him an evil grin.

 

Q is for Quote

          a quotation from a text or speech.

Dear Arthur,

I’m sure your are thinking it’s a trap. Maybe it is. I don’t know. The truth is I like you, alot, and it scared me. And as you know fear is the path to the dark side. I did something really stupid and a friend helped me realize that what I had with you is a good and precious thing.

I know it’s a lot to ask but I’m asking you to search your feelings. If there is anything there, please consider giving me, us a second chance.

I miss you
Merlin

 

R is for Reconciliation

          the restoration of friendly relations

“Ok, so we go forward with the understanding that this is exclusive.”

Merlin smiled brightly at him, “Yes.”

 

S is for Stubborn

          having or showing dogged determination not to change one's attitude or position on
          something, especially in spite of good arguments or reasons to do so.

For Merlin, the weeks following their reconciliation were difficult. He struggled with Arthur and his need to hold him at a distance. They were both stubborn and unwilling to surrender completely to the others’ demands, the biggest one being that Merlin refused to give up Gwaine as a friend. The turn-around finally came when Merlin decided to take a big risk and surprise Arthur into meeting Gwaine. It went far better than expected. Gwaine got on with Arthur and his friends well and ended up joining their footie team. Things eased after that and they found themselves settling into the roles of mates.

 

T is for Tangled

          very involved : exceedingly complex

Time has a funny way of moving forward no matter the circumstances. If someone had asked Merlin that first day in the coffee shop where he would be in a year, nestled happily in Arthur’s arms wouldn’t have been it. As they danced close, he rested his head on Arthur’s shoulder and let the words of the song he had requested flow over him….

You're my world, the shelter from the rain
You're the pills that take away my pain
You're the light that helps me find my way
You're the words when I have nothing to say

And in this world where nothing else is true
Here I am still tangled up in you
I'm still tangled up in you
Still tangled up in you

God, did they have their differences. There were a few disagreements and fights, but at the end of the day this was where he wanted to be.

You're the fire that warms me when I'm cold
You're the hand I have to hold as I grow old
You're the shore when I am lost at sea
You're the only thing that I like about me

And in this world where nothing else is true
Here I am still tangled up in you
I'm still tangled up in you

There were still things he wanted to do, get a PhD in biochemistry, travel, maybe write a book, but he wanted to do it all with Arthur. Somehow, without him it just didn’t seem like he could.

How long has it been since this storyline began
And I hope it never ends and goes like this forever
In this world where nothing else is true
Here I am still tangled up in you, tangled up in you
I’m still tangled up in you
Still tangled up in you

 

U is for Undeniable

          clearly true : impossible to deny

It was absolutely undeniable. There was no way, no how, no amount of money, no person could get him to deny it. It showed in the smile on his face, in the sparkle of his eyes. It was obvious in the way he carried himself. Merlin was absolutely head over heels in love. Whatever fears he had once had long given way to the happiest he had ever felt.

Merlin thought he knew all the things he wanted, to get his PhD in biochemistry and help create an answer to the infertility crisis, hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, make some kind of significant contribution to the poor, have a cabin in the mountains. As a very forward thinking omega he had always thought he would just be someone’s baby maker, forced into a digenesis clinic when he turned 28 because of his radical ideas. He could now include on that list meet the mate of my dreams. The only thing he could think to add was bond and spend a wonderful life together.

 

V is for Victory

          a success attained in a contest or struggle

Arthur was the definition of winner. He was a strong, tall, and handsome alpha with blond hair and blue eyes. He was brilliant with a degree in business from Oxford. He was destined to be CEO of one of the top companies of Albion. And to top it all he was wealthy. He had omegas and betas throwing themselves at him left and right. Thanks to his father’s dealings he had met some of the most eligible omegas, gorgeous women with simpering personalities just looking to live in the lap of luxury. What he wanted was a challenge and he had found just that.

Arthur had planned it all out. He had spent all morning cleaning and hanging fairy lights and ribbons in the trees over the patio. He spent the whole of the afternoon cooking his famous chicken korma. He had the table set, music playing, the wine breathing and the ring in his pocket. What he had failed to account for was the neighbors evil cat.

It wasn’t the romantic setting he wanted. His pants were ripped, there was blood on his shirt, he had 14 stitches in his hand and a big goose egg on his forehead. The smell of blood and ammonia permeated the air. He was laid on a gurney waiting to hear if his wrist was broken.

Merlin ran a hand through his hair. “I’m sorry your dinner was ruined.”

Arthur stared down at his ruined shirt. “It was supposed to be perfect.”

Merlin lifted his chin, “I don’t need perfect. I just need you.” He gave him a gentle kiss.

Arthur opened his eyes and looked at him for a moment. A smile graced his face as he took Merlin’s hand. “Will you marry me?”

 

W is for Whispers in the night

          words spoken quietly in the dark

The wedding had been beautiful but the only thing Arthur could remember was how gorgeous Merlin had looked. The smile on his face had been so bright, like a beacon of love. And the fact that he even quoted The Princess Bride…Do I love you, My god, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches. And now he had him in his bed.

He whispered his love as he kissed each inch of skin. He whispered his devotion with each caress. He whispered his need to hold him close as he pressed in. He shouted his want for this to last forever as he claimed him, made him his for all time.

 

X is for eXpecting

          in the family way

There had been so many things they wanted to do, things to achieve. They had waited five years before they decided they were ready. But it was another five years of trying, disappointments, self-recriminations, doctor visits, special diets, vitamins, fertility treatments and one big loss that nearly broke them.

They had walked on eggshells for weeks only letting themselves begin to hope when they were more than half way. After 32 weeks they finally let go the breath they had been collectively holding and embraced the joy.

 

Y is for You and I

          one

Merlin held the chubby newborn in his arms. He was perfect with a shock of blond hair and dark blue eyes.

“It’s hard to believe that You and I made this bit of perfection.”

“He looks like you, fat and all.”

“I’m not fat.”

“You agree with me don’t you? Daddy’s a bit on the fluffy side.”

 

Z is for Zoooom

          moving really fast

“Look out behind you.”

“Grandpa! Grandpa!” Merlin laughed as his youngest granddaughter ran into him and wrapped her arms around his leg. He extricated her and pulled her up into his arms. “Zoe! It’s good to see you sweetheart.”

Zoe instantly put her arms around his neck. “Grandpa, mommy told me what you are good at.”

Arthur leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. “What is Grandpa good at? I need to know.”

Zoe lifted her finger and pointed at Arthur, “Putting up with you.”

Arthur gave her an exaggerated look of shock. “Is that so!”

Zoe crossed her arms across her chest and nodded her head once. “Yes.”

Merlin was having trouble holding onto Zoe from all his laughing. He set her down on the floor and watched as she dashed off. He then stood back up and looked at Arthur. “Well, she isn’t wrong.” He laughed again.

Arthur pulled Merlin toward him. “Is that so?”

Merlin slipped his arms around Arthur. “Someone had to do it all these years.” He gave him a chaste kiss.

Arthur pulled back a little and looked around the room at all those gathered. Their four children with their mates and their five grandchildren. Tucked carefully into a chair was Merlin’s mother holding her youngest great grandchild. “Can you believe it? 50 years.”

Merlin smirked, “I almost dumped your ass around year 30.” He continued as Arthur sputtered, “But I figured I was already in that far I might as well go all the way.”

Arthur laughed and kissed him. “Feels like we just met yesterday.”

Merlin looked into his eyes and smiled. “I love you Arthur and all that we have created. I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything in the world.”

“I’ve something to say and I don’t want you to interrupt.” Arthur looked at him seriously.

Merlin returned his smile, “Ok.”

“Sometimes I don’t think I can love you more but then universe expands just a little.” Arthur stopped for a moment to clear his throat. “But right now I want to say something I don’t say very often. For all the years, the love, the crazy moments, the quiet moments, the fights, yes, the fights too, the laughter, our children, our life, I want to say thank you.”

Merlin tried to put all he felt into the kiss he gave Arthur. “50 more?”

Arthur laughed. “Like I would let you get away.”