Prologue

Cradling his tiny infant in his arm, Arthur Pendragon held up his other arm lifting up his gray cape, used for disguise, to shelter the child from the pouring rain. He walked along the dark damp roads in hopes of finding someone, anyone, to care for the child, but had no fortune in doing so.

He sat under a nearby roof and held up the child, rivers of tears rising up in his eyes.

"Mordred, my son," Arthur uttered remorsefully. "I am truly sorry it has to be this way for my heart desires nothing more than for you to stay here with me in Camelot and be my one true heir."

Merlin's words of the prophecy pounded morbidly into Arthur's mind. Could it really be true? Would this infant child, his own flesh and blood, one day bring forth his downfall? Arthur could not accept this or bring himself to so what Merlin demanded of him, put this innocent child to death. How could the wizard expect him to murder his own son? Arthur thought of Merlin's caveat. The child was conceived within his sister, Morgana, and therefore was an abomination. Camelot would never accept this boy as their king. If he were to acknowledge Mordred as his son, as Merlin threatened, it would lacerate his peaceful kingdom into chaos. The all-knowing sorcerer had retrieved this boy from his mother, the very moment of birth, so that Arthur could do what must be done for his kingdom.

As his infant son stirred and started to wail, Arthur felt his own heart begin to crumble. He knew there could be no possible way he could bring himself to slaughter his own offspring, but now Arthur was not even sure he could give this child up. Perhaps he could run away, leave Camelot and raise his son peacefully in the country. His heart ached to do so, but for the sake of his kingdom he could not. According to Merlin, too much depended on him as king. The only choice Arthur had that he could bear was to find a decent home for his son, return to Camelot to marry Princess Guinevere, and move on as though that night with Morgana never happened.

"So tell me, sister," Arthur demanded, slamming his cup of ale against the wooden table in the courtroom. "Have you finally come to accept me as…as a…?"

Morgana giggled as she sipped her own cup. "I believe I have made it clear, dear King Arthur, I have come to acknowledge you as the legitimate king."

"I know that." Arthur tried to look her directly in the eye but found that his vision was blurred. "You have shown that by attending this royal banquet. I meant have you… have you come to accept me as your brother as our sister Morgause does?"

Morgana stretched her arm out, taking Arthur's hand. "Of course. I know now you are not to blame for the sins of your father." She paused and jiggled her empty cup. "I think its time for some more… Elena, more ale for the two of us!"

"I think we have had quite enough, Morgana," Arthur protested.

Morgana leaned in closer, running her long, thin fingers through his short curly auburn hair. "I feel our fun has just begun."

Arthur attempted once again to focus his eyes towards his sister, as she seemed to shine in a whole new light. Her deep purple, royal gown foamed perfectly shaping her cleavage. Her long wavy Brunette hair fell down freely with a single golden jewel on her forehead. Her fair skin glowed reflectively in Arthur's eyes as her vivid red lips began to draw him in closer. His mind seemed to have floated away to another place, a forbidden place.

"Sister?" Arthur uttered as Elena penitently refilled their cups, while keeping her head low.

Morgana raised her cup. "Yes, King Arthur."

"I told you, Morgana, we are family," Arthur insisted, slouched in his chair. "So long as we are alone, I am simply Arthur."

Morgana snickered playfully as she set down her cup. "Alright then, simply Arthur, what is it you wanted to ask me?"

Arthur rested his head on his hand, as it seemed to grow heavy. "Do you love me, sister?"

Morgana laughed once more. "Of course I love you, dear Arthur. We are, as you say, family, are we not?"

"Yes," Arthur replied tiredly in a heavy breath. "But all these years you have despised me. How do I kn…" he paused to yawn. "How do I know for sure your feelings for me have truly regenerated?"

"Of course they have," Morgana assured. "Over the recent times we have spent together I have grown quite fond of you, dear brother. As you said, all we had to do was get to know one another."

Arthur felt control of his speech slipping from his grasps. "You are fond of me. That is good to know. However, many citizens are fond of me, as they would be to any king. What I must know is do you love me, sister."

Morgana gently lifted his chin, gazing deeply into her brother's golden eyes. "With all my heart, I have come to love you, dear Arthur."

Arthur leaned back in his chair, unconvinced as he gawked into her glistening violet eyes.

"You do not seem to believe my love for you to be genuine, my brother." She leaned in closer so that their faces were just inches apart, her warm breath whispering, "Perhaps there is some way I can show you my love is true." She elegantly rose to her feet, enticingly taking hold of Arthur's hand. "Come brother, let us retreat to your chambers so we may be in private."

A faint voice uttered in Arthur's mind, cautioning him no to follow her, but his head remained too disoriented to take heed of this prudence. Intrigued, Arthur gracelessly slumped down the dark, candle lit hallway, following his sister to the royal chambers.

Talking hold of the doorway for support, Arthur entered his bedchambers to find Morgana haltingly untying the lace on her gown, standing beside his bed. She seductively brushed her fingers along the sheer canopy as she approached him, taking hold of his shirt, gently swinging his body evoking him to fall on his back on his own bed. The dizziness overwhelmed him. To Arthur, it seemed as though the entire room spun around him, expect for Morgana, who hovered above him, her hands pressed against the bed on each side of his head. She bent down closer. Arthur felt the warmth of her body as she passionately kissed him with her soft, smooth lips, and then…

Arthur could not recall any more details from that night, though the child he now held in his arms divulged the rest. The fire of Merlin's eyes when he discovered what happened became forever engraved in Arthur's mind. His heart throbbed for causing his mentor such disappointment.

Arthur's mind turned back to Morgana in wonder of why she behaved as so. Was it because she mind was merely under influence of the ale, or did she plan it? Could she somehow have known of the prophecy? Arthur could not accept the fact that his own sister would go through such lengths to bring about his downfall. He desperately desired to believe that he and his sister both simply made a mistake that night, nothing more.

Upon this experience, Arthur could not imagine himself ever again lying with another woman. Although for the sake of Camelot, he must lie with the Princess Guinevere in hopes of providing a legitimate heir for his kingdom.

As the rain seemed to soften, Arthur turned his thoughts back to Mordred, remembering his mission. He had to admit he stalled purposely knowing these would be the last moments he would ever spend with his the child close to his heart, he walked back out on the streets in search of a home.

"Hello?" a soft female voice called from behind him. "What are you doing out in this weather, Sir?"

Arthur turned to see a short woman who appeared to be a nun, standing in the street, gazing upon him, curiosity and concern filled her eyes. Tilting his head up, he praised the heavens. At last, he found a safe home for his son.

"Please, oh holy one," Arthur pleased. "This child needs a home. Will you not provide him one?"

The nun reached her hand out, gently stroking Mordred's forehead. "How did such a beautiful child come in such desperate need of a home? Are you not able to protect and care for this boy?"

Arthur looked down at her son, shamefully. "I fear I cannot. He is not safe with me. Someone close wishes him dead."

"Who could desire such harm on an innocent child?" the nun sincerely wondered aloud.

"Someone who fears what he will one day become," Arthur muttered. "Please, my lady, will you take him in? His name is Mordred."

"I cannot turn away a child of God," the nun replied holding out her arms, warmly.

Before he handed the boy to her, he held up his son to look into his golden eyes, inherited from Arthur himself. "Mordred, my child. Not a day will pass by where thoughts of you do not cross my mind. I wish nothing more than to be the father you deserve. Even though we will be apart, I will always bear the same love for you as any father would have for his own son."

Tears began to ripple from his eyes as Arthur gently placed his son into the nun's arms. Comforted, Mordred's eyes gradually began to shut. Arthur bent down to give his boy one final kiss on the forehead before turning away, wiping the flood of tears from his own face.

"Do not fear, my child, for the day will come when you have everything you deserve."

Arthur halted, his limbs frozen solid, his heart jerked downward. The woman's voice seemed to have transformed into something familiar. With dread, Arthur turned his body back to face her.

"Morgana!"

"Not to worry, my dear brother," Morgana taunted, now revealed in an ebony silk cloak, holding Mordred close to her chest. "You will one day see your son again."

Arthur lunged at her, but the moment he came close enough to touch she vanished. The only thing his fingers could grasp was the smoke floating above where she last stood.