Disclaimer: I don't own Merlin.

A/N: So, this was a series of drabbles in wrote in A Glimpse. But, I decided to put them together, add detail, and make a chapter story.

I hope you enjoy it. :)

Merlin walked along behind Arthur on yet another hunting trip. Rays of late afternoon sun peaked through the trees, casting long shadows on the ground before him. Tripping over a stick, he yelped and the items he was carrying fell, scattering on the ground.

"Merlin!" Arthur hissed at his manservant. Merlin sighed as he lagged behind Arthur who was chasing particularly clever deer. Muttering, he stared to pick up the fallen bag and game when Merlin felt a hand clamp down over his mouth. He tried to scream, react, but his mind grew foggy and he couldn't think.

Darkness. Then, there was light and pain. He groaned and tried to move but there was a tightness around his chest that restricted his breathing.

Merlin opened his eyes, blinking several times to clear his vision, and found several burly men surrounding him. Great, bandits again.

He felt his magic well up within him, preparing to defend him.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you." A voice warned.

His head snapped to the side. A woman dressed in a dark blue gown and dark curls loosely hanging around her face lifted her hood. "Morgana," he spat. He tried to rise but chains stopped his attempts and he slumped back to the ground.

"Merlin," she returned with equal venom and approached him, skirts ruffling around her legs.

"What do you want?" he demanded as he was forced to look up at her from his position on his knees.

"What do I want?" She paced around him before finally smiling, "Your loyalty."

"Never," he declared, his eyes hard and cold watching as she came to a stop before him.

She smiled again, "What if I gave you an offer you couldn't refuse?"

"I refuse." Merlin said instantly.

"How can you say that? You don't know what I am offering." She demanded, her face pulling into a slight frown.

"Nothing you could offer me would make me betray Arthur." He once again tried to rise to his feet to no avail. He just stared stubbornly at her instead.

"Hmm..." She replied, pulling a vile from her dress, "How about this?"

He shuttered as he felt powerful magic emanating from it, "What is that?"

"My insurance policy," she answered with a deadly smile, "With it, I can kill Arthur without a moment's thought."

The vile flew from her hand, hitting the ground hard. It remained untouched, not a crack appeared on its unblemished surface causing Merlin to hiss in disappointment.

"Did you really think I would come unprepared?" she asked, voice mocking before turning as smooth as silk, "So, do I have your loyalty?" She reached down to pick up the vile and slipped around her neck once more.

"What makes you think I won't kill you right now?" He stared up at her defiantly.

A smile touched her lips once again. How he hated that smile. "Because Merlin, if I die your precious prince will die too."

Merlin felt himself grow cold, his insides turning to ice. There was no choice. He was trapped. With confidence he didn't feel he demanded, "How do I know you are not bluffing?"

"You don't. But, would you really take a chance with Arthur's life?" He grimaced, for they both already knew the answer, "Tell me something, Merlin. How does it feel to be helpless? To feel alone?"

"You were never alone, Morgana. You just didn't see it." He looked at her with something akin to pity on his face.

"You know nothing!" She exclaimed. Merlin felt the chains tighten and he gasped for breathe as they bit into his skin, "How it feels to be alone? And I am alone. For you took Morgause from me too."

"Morgause is dead?" he asked, the chains still pressing into his flesh made him feel lightheaded.

"Yes. Now, you are going to lose Arthur as I have lost Morgause. For I have your loyalty now Merlin and there is nothing you can do to change it." The chains finally loosened.

He forced himself not to gulp for air, to show weakness before his captor, "You will never have my loyalty, Morgana." He felt anger grow inside him, taking over his helpless feeling. How dare she to force him against his will! He straightened the best he could and shot her a glare before trying to calm himself down.

"You will do as I say. Tell me Merlin, how is that not loyalty?"

"It's not. I believe the word you are looking for, Morgana, is blackmail." She pursed her lips in displeasure.

"It doesn't matter what it is. Just as long as you follow my orders."

"You haven't given me much of a choice." The distaste of his predicament lacing every word.

Morgana's eyebrows shot up, her features twisting in anger of her own, "Choices. When has anyone ever had a choice?"

"You do, Morgana. You could stop this." He pleaded with the stubborn witch.

"I've never had a choice, Merlin. Don't presume to think I do now."

"Someone is forcing you to do this?" He asked with hint tiniest hint of concern.

"Yes." She was staring at him with an intense gaze he couldn't interpret.

"Who?" He questioned again, his confusion growing.

"You. You made me who I am. Now, it is time for you to take responsibility for your actions." She stepped toward him and he feared she might hurt him again.

"I-" A bandit approached and whispered in Morgana's ear.

"Enough talk. Arthur approaches." Morgana announced, as the chains slipped from his body to the ground and he gingerly picked himself up. He had to fight his magic from rearing up and knocking Morgana across the clearing.

"What am I supposed to do?" Merlin asked quietly through clenched teeth.

"Make it up. You're good at that." Then, she disappeared into the trees with one last thought touching his mind, Don't even think of telling the truth. I'll be watching you.