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The Southern Prince and Northern Lady

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ARYA

 

She would be at Kings Landing within the next week. Although Arya wanted to see the world she knew that leaving Winterfell meant never returning. She was five and ten now and it was her duty as a lady of House Stark to marry some lord and birth his babies, to become a wife and say good-bye to her dreams of ever becoming a knight. Her older sister Sansa had already left for Kings Landing when she was only two and ten, so Arya was grateful her father gave her an extra few years of happiness before forcing her to leave her home.
 
She was accompanied by her mother and thirty of her fathers’ men, most of which she knew when she was only a babe. Her father Lord Eddard Stark, Hand of the King had sent his most trusted men to guard Arya and her mother to make sure they didn't face any trouble on the Kings Road. Although the kingdom was at peace, there were still bandits roaming around who would happily kidnap a lord’s wife and daughter for a hefty ransom.
 
Arya however wasn't like most highborn ladies. She was as wild as the North itself and had learnt to yield a sword when she was only nine. She was better than her brothers at using a bow and was an even better rider, often besting them when they raced. Although her mother, sister and septa often frowned upon her unladylike behaviour, she had earned the respect of her people and the men who served her father. It was with that respect that she was able to ride with the men, not sit in the wheelhouse where her mother, septa and hand maids were. Normally her mother Lady Catelyn Stark would argue profusely with her daughter about how inappropriate it was for a lady to ride out in the open with men simply dressed in breeches and a tunic, but knowing this was her last bit of true freedom she allowed her daughter this last indiscretion.
 
The sun began to set and they decided to set up camp. Arya joined her mother in her tent for dinner both sitting in silence as they drank the warm wine and ate the platter of food placed before them. “What’s to become of me when we reach Kings Landing?” she asked her mother.

 

Catelyn sighed in response hoping to prolong this conversation. She knew how hot tempered her youngest daughter could be especially when it came to marriage. “Your father and I will find you a suitable match” she replied calmly.

 

“Will I have a say at all?” she countered.

 

“Of course you will my sweet, but that does not mean you can turn down everyone we suggest” she mused, knowing clear well that is what her daughter intended to do.

 

Arya huffed in response. “Do you have someone in mind?”

 

Catelyn thought carefully about how to phrase the next sentence. “There have been many suitors who have presented their interest in you my sweet, wild girl but no your father and I have yet to make a decision.”

 

“Right” she nodded.

 

Arya made her way out of the tent to sit around the campfire with some of her fathers’ men. She found an empty spot near Jory who was busy polishing his sword. “Not long till we arrive in Kings Landing my lady” he stated as he glanced over at her.

 

“Yes I know” she replied dryly. “Maybe if we’re lucky we’ll get stuck in a storm so I have a few extra days of freedom” she continued.

 

“It will be fine little wolf,” he chuckled. “You’ll see your lord father again and your sister…won’t that be good?”

 

“Yes and…no” she said as she stared into the dancing embers of the campfire. “It’s true I wish to see father again and I do miss Sansa as hard as that may be to believe but…It won’t be the same as Winterfell. I’ll have to wear stupid dresses all the time and keep my hair neat. I’ll have to take stupid dance lessons and do needlework and remember my manners. My life is over once I step foot there.”

 

Jory mussed up her hair like her brother Jon used to do earning him a smile. “Oh c’mon little wolf it won’t be so bad. They’ve got all kinds of travellers visiting Kings Landing, many from across the Narrow Sea who can tell you stories of their homelands. There’s also a mighty big Godswood full of some of the biggest Weirwood trees I’ve ever seen. There isn’t a hot spring mind you but it’s always so warm there you won’t need it.”

 

“That does sound nice but it still won’t be home and I’ll still have to marry some stupid little lordling who probably can’t even fight or ride anywhere near as good as me.”

 

“Aye that’s true little wolf. You are very much like your aunt Lyanna in that way. She was as wild as you and each day you look more and more like her. She was a true beauty.”

 

She couldn’t help but laugh at his last words. “I may be as wild as my aunt but I’ll never be as beautiful Jory. I know everyone keeps saying it but I’ll always be Arya Horseface.”

 

Jory lifted her chin with his thumb and forefinger so her steely grey eyes bore into his own. “Aye you were once Arya Horseface little wolf but no-one could call you that now.”

 

She felt her face grow warm and knew she must have been blushing. She turned away from his gaze and stood up. “Thanks for the talk…it’s getting late I should rest.”

 

He nodded and they said their good-byes as she headed back to her tent. Her mother was already lying under her furs, the long ride taking its toll. She felt herself yawn and shrugged out of her tunic and unlaced her breeches so she was left only in her small clothes. She lay in the bed next to her mother and let sleep take hold.

 

GENDRY

 

A guard had announced that the Stark banners could be seen in the distance and that they would be within the walls of Kings Landing in an hour. The whole family was eagerly awaiting their arrival, especially Lord Eddard and Lady Sansa. Since becoming The Hand of the King, Lord Eddard appeared to have aged significantly, the weight of the Seven Kingdoms slowly taking its toll on the man. He was everything Gendry had imagined he would be. He was strong, smart and honourable. He often found himself wishing that he was his father instead of Robert. The stories people told him about his father when he was younger always left him wondering what had happened to turn him into the man he was today. King Robert Baratheon was no longer the fierce warrior singers sung about. He was heavily obese and when he wasn’t busy drinking himself stupid he had his cock buried deep in whores. To say Gendry was embarrassed by his father’s actions was an understatement. He vowed to never end up like the King so he could return honour back to the Baratheon name.

 

They were all lined up at the entrance of the castle as they could see the wheelhouse containing Lady Catelyn and Arya Stark approach. Out of the corner of his eye he could see his brother Joffrey talking to Lady Sansa. Joffrey had immediately taken a liking to her and she him but after spending a few years within the Red Keep she began to see Joffrey for what he really was, a monster. He couldn’t believe they were related and that his father never saw fit to punish him for his actions. He could see the fear in Sansa’s eyes as Joffrey leaned into her and whispered something in her ear. Although he didn’t particularly care for Sansa, she was a Stark and Gendry held the highest respect for Ned and would not let something untoward happen to one of his daughters.

 

“Joffrey, brother I think it best if you keep your hands to yourself” he announced in a voice fit for a King.

 

Joffrey looked at him wide eyed, shocked at the ferocity in his voice. But then as predicted the weasel within came out distorting his face. Joffrey looked around cautiously before he leaned into in brother “why brother do you want her for yourself? How about I make you a deal, I play with this Stark and you can have the other one. I know how fond you are of horses and she’s supposed to be a dead ringer” he sneered.

 

Gods he hated Joffrey. He always felt guilty for feeling that way but when he made comments like that how could he not? It was true that Sansa was beautiful. Her auburn hair fell down in loose curls just above her hip and her sapphire eyes always seemed to make men weak at the knees. Although he thought her attractive he never entertained the idea of the two being together. His father had originally wanted her to be his betrothed but Gendry quickly waved off the suggestion as he wanted to marry for love not for political reasons. His parents had been the perfect example of what a loveless marriage involved and he would fight tooth and nail to make sure that did not happen to him.

 

He was nine and ten and it was expected of him to marry soon. All the ladies in the court would bat their eyelashes at him and laugh and agree with everything he said. It drove him mad! Although most lords liked a trained animal as their wife Gendry couldn’t help but feel bored at the idea of spending the rest of his life with someone who didn’t have an opinion of their own. He didn’t know exactly what he wanted but he knew he hadn’t found it yet.

 

The wheelhouse stopped only a few feet from where they were standing. The first person to exit the carriage was Lady Catelyn Stark. He could see Ned’s face soften immediately at the sight of his lady wife. Her blue Tully eyes also seemed to sparkle with life at the sight of her lord husband. He gave her a chaste kiss and pulled her into a tight embrace before she made her way down the line to greet everyone. She was an older copy of Sansa with only slight differences in the shapes of their faces. Catelyn was followed by her hand maidens who quickly stepped to the side to make way for the other Stark sister.

 

Gendry felt his breath catch in his throat as he saw her step out of the carriage. She had her hair in a loose braid that fell over to the side of her shoulder. Blue flowers were weaved into the knots of the braid and contrasted perfectly against the dark brown colour. Her bright red lips glowed against her pale skin and her grey eyes felt as if they pierced his very soul when she glanced over in his direction. He had seen an abundance of beautiful women in his time but none had ever had the ability to take his breath away. It seemed he wasn’t the only one as all the men including his father stared at the other Stark girl with something akin to awe.

 

“Arya my sweet little girl…you are lovelier than I remember” Ned greeted as he pulled her into his arms. She was a tiny thing and the smile she gave her father left an ache in Gendry’s heart as he hoped she would smile like that for him.

 

“I take it back” he heard Joffrey whisper. “You can have Sansa, I want her” he breathed.

 

As Arya made her way down the line he saw his father linger at her for too long. “You’re mighty pretty Lady Arya” he croaked. “You remind me of someone…someone who was and is very important to me” he finished.

 

“Umm…thank you your Grace” she bowed before removing her hand from his hold and continuing down towards them. He could feel his heart beat faster and his stomach flip in all directions as she got closer. His mother looked at her with disdain and expected Arya to cower, but she only looked Cersei in the eye holding her stance. Interesting he thought. He was eager yet nervous at the same time to have her standing before him. She was even more beautiful up close and she smelt of pines and rosewater. Her grey eyes bore into his blue and he felt himself stiffen as he bowed down to kiss her hand. He was eye level to where her pert breasts were and he wanted nothing more than to rip off the tight fitting blue dress she wore and take her right there and then. He was disappointed to see the smile he so desperately wanted to see from her again disappear from her face. She was looking at him cautiously as if she didn’t trust him. Definitely interesting he thought again.

 

“It’s an honour to finally meet you Lady Arya” he said as he finished kissing her hand.

 

“The honour is mine Prince Gendry” she curtsied.

 

She now moved to stand before Joffrey. The blonde prince bowed before her and kissed her hand sweetly before complimenting her on her beauty. He was much more composed than Gendry was but her face didn’t soften at his words which left Gendry feeling relieved. At least she wasn’t as easily fooled as her sister.

 

“If you would please excuse us your Grace” Ned spoke, “It has been too long since Sansa and I have been in the company of Catelyn and Arya and we would like to take a moment alone” he concluded.

 

“Of course” he nodded. “I’d like to better acquaint myself with the girl once she has settled” King Robert finished.

 

“I think we would all like to get to know Lady Arya better husband” Cersei interjected.

 

Gendry clenched his fists, angered and embarrassed by his father’s boldness. Arya was more than half his age and he had the audacity to think that just because he was King he could have a moment alone with her like she was some common whore. He averted his eyes to catch Arya’s. She quickly turned away. Was she watching him?

 

ARYA

 

She felt uncomfortable in her dress and wanted to rip it off in exchange for a pair of riding breeches and tunic. Why did she have to be born a girl? If she was a boy she would still be at Winterfell fighting with her brothers or riding through the rolling hills. She also didn’t like how the men looked at her when she donned on a dress. She hated when people looked at her. Why couldn’t they just leave her be? And why was King Robert looking at her like that. His stare sent chills through her body. There was something in his eyes that she couldn’t quiet pin-point but she most certainly didn’t want to be anywhere alone with that old fat man. He smelled too and looked nothing like what she had imagined. The Robert Baratheon her father told her about was supposed to be strong and fearless – a fierce warrior. The man that was now King was nothing but a shell of his former self, his protruding belly reminding her of a pig.

 

She wasn’t impressed with the Queen either. The woman looked like she had smelt something foul when Arya went to greet her. And they say I’m rude! At least I smiled and curtsied for the woman. Sure she was pretty but Arya thought her lady mother was much more beautiful. She felt slightly sorry for the woman; it would be horrible having to be married to the King. She briefly thought about what laying with a man like that would feel like. He’d surely squash her and she could imagine all the sweat – disgusting she thought.

 

Prince Joffrey also left her skin crawling. He was full of pleasantries and said all the right things most ladies would love to hear but it just made Arya want to vomit. His blonde hair and green eyes made him look like a male version of his mother. He was tall but his arms were thin and he looked like he had the body of a child. He was definitely one of the little lordlings she could best at fighting and riding. When he kissed her hand she had to resist the urge to pull away and wipe it on her dress.

 

Prince Gendry however was the complete opposite to Joffrey. He looked like what she had imagined King Robert would look like. He was tall, his skin kissed by the sun and she could see the outline of his muscles through his tunic. His raven coloured hair and deep blue eyes left little knots in her stomach. She could feel the callous on his hands as he gently held hers to offer it a kiss. She liked the feeling of his calloused hands. He would be more of a challenge if she was to ever spar with him. But he still made her feel uneasy. Not like his father or brother where she felt like retching at their touch but more so one of nerves. She was Arya Stark and no boy had made her nervous before.

 

They were walking towards the Red Keep. The palace was much more extravagant than their home at Winterfell and she could see why Sansa loved it so much. The halls were decked in the colours of house Baratheon and Lannister.

 

She felt an arm link around her own and looked up to see Sansa smiling happily down at her. She was still so much taller than Arya and as beautiful as she remembered, but her eyes didn’t sparkle as they used to.

 

“Are you ok Sansa?” she asked.

 

“I am now that you and mother are here” she beamed. “You’ve changed little sister” she continued.

 

“How so?”

 

“You are no longer a little girl running around in ruined breeches and tunics…you’re a woman now and a beautiful one at that” she finished.

 

Arya snorted at the comment. “No I’m not” she smiled. “But that’s ok, you know I don’t care about things like that Sansa, plus the only reason I’m in this dress is because of mother. Don’t you worry I’ll be running around in a tunic and breeches again soon enough” she laughed.

 

Sansa threw her head back in laughter. Arya didn’t really think she would enjoy seeing her sister again but there was something about her that was different. “Well I’m sure King Robert and both the Princes would disagree with you”

 

“The King was just drunk and the Princes were just being courteous.”

 

“For someone who is so smart you can be quiet blind when it comes to matters of the heart” she mused. “Just be careful with Prince Joffrey” her voice serious.

 

Arya couldn’t help but roll her eyes at her sister’s words. “What could that skinny little Prince do to me?” she teased.

 

“He’s dangerous Arya. Don’t go anywhere alone with him, promise me. He might seem sweet and innocent but he’s a monster and he will try to hurt you if he can” Sansa’s grip on her arm tightening.

 

“Ok, ok I won’t…don’t worry I’d never go anywhere with him alone, he reminds me of weasel” she chuckled. “Sansa did he do something to you?”

 

“Arya my sweet you are a true Northern beauty” her father called out interrupting her conversation with Sansa. With that she watched as her sister unwound her arm from hers and made her way towards their mother.

 

“Father please, I’ve had enough of all this nonsense about me being pretty. It’s starting to make my head hurt.”

 

“Oh sweet girl you are more like your aunt than you will ever know. She too denied her beauty but men would not start a war over someone who was just comely now would they?”

 

“Is that why King Robert looked at me like that? Because I remind him of aunt Lyanna?”

 

“Yes little one, he misses her dearly but don’t fret I won’t let him do anything to you” he smiled softly before kissing her on the forehead.

 

“He’s not what I pictured” she continued. “King Robert I mean…he is much…older and bigger than I thought” she finished.

 

Her father simply chuckled. “That’s what happens when you drink more than you should. Robert wasn’t the same after your aunt died. Something in him broke, his love for her was greater than anyone could ever have anticipated.”

 

“Do you miss her?”

 

“Everyday. But then I feel blessed because I have you to remind me of what a rare spirit she was. I just hope that you will make wiser decisions then my sweet sister did” he concluded.

 

“Since when have I been good at making decisions father?” she challenged.

 

He laughed at her retort and brought her in for another embrace. “You are definitely your aunt reborn,” he mused. “You must be tired?” he asked. She nodded before releasing a rather large yawn. “I’ll let Robert know that you and your mother would prefer to stay in your chambers for the evening. We can break fast with them in the morning.”

 

All the feelings of worry that plagued her about marriage and living the life of a noble lady were forgotten as she enjoyed the company of her father and sister. She missed her brothers dearly but seeing how happy her father was made her hope that maybe life at Kings Landing wouldn’t be so bad.

 

GENDRY

 

They received word that the Starks would not join them for supper that evening and that they would break their fast with them in the morning. He could understand that both Lady Catelyn and Arya would be tired from their journey, but it didn’t help diminish the disappointment that washed over him at not seeing the youngest Stark girl again.

 

Supper was a dull affair. His father was well into his cups and was grabbing at the serving maids right in front of his mother. He could see the flash of disgust creep up on her face but saw her gulp it down with each sip of Dornish wine. “So Arya is quiet comely for a wolf,” she announced suddenly breaking the silence. She didn’t direct the comment at anyone in particular but he saw her emerald eyes drift to him as she continued to drink the sweet red liquid that filled her cup.

 

“She’s very beautiful,” he replied looking over to his father who was now completely enthralled with their conversation.

 

“That she is boy,” he bellowed, sending streams of saliva out of his mouth in the process. “Even more lovely than my Lya.” His voice trailed off as he looked into his mug lost in deep thought.

 

“She will make a good match for Joffrey, don’t you think my love?” his mother cooed. There was no love in her tone and he couldn’t remember a time where there ever was. His blue eyes flashed over to his mothers’ green instantly and he could see mockery in them. He and his mother were never close, she always favoured Joffrey simply for the fact he looked nothing like their father.

 

“HA,HA,HA,” his father responded. “Don’t be daft woman, she will be matched with Gendry.” He stood up from his place at the head of the table and made his way down to Gendry. Clapping him on the back and placing a firm grip on his shoulders in congratulations as if the girl had already accepted. “She needs someone strong to tame her wild ways. She needs a Baratheon and you my poor boy are too Lannister for the likes of her.” He looked at Joffrey shaking his head. “Look at your little arms, she’ll break you in a second if given the chance. No you are more suited to a delicate Southern lady, which is why I have arranged for the Tyrells to bring down their daughter in a moons time.”

 

“WHAT?” his mother shrieked, obviously unaware of his fathers’ plans. “How dare you suggest such a match and with a bloody rose of all things!”

 

“Oh shut your mouth woman. He is my son and I’ll do what I want with him. The Tyrell girl is comely enough, she’ll whelp out a few good heirs for the boy.”

 

Gendry couldn’t help but smile. Joffrey was betrothed and his father had planned to betroth him to Arya. For the first time in his life it felt like things were actually going in his favour. Now all he had to do was win Arya over. If she was as wild as what his father suggested it would not be an easy task.

 

ARYA

 

She awoke to the sound of steel clashing. Jumping out of her bed she raced over to her window and peered out to see some men sparring. Leaning over slightly to get a better view she noticed one of the men who was clad in armour wearing what looked like a bulls helm. He was strong but slow and Arya was sure she could best him if given the chance.

 

“Arya get away from there!” her mother chastised.

 

She just rolled her eyes in response then hopped over to her mother and gave her a peck on the cheek. “Good morning mother,” she beamed.

 

“You’re awfully jovial today,” she questioned a suspicious look on her face.

 

“I’m excited that’s all,” she replied. “Father said I could explore Kings Landing today and that I’d get to meet my new dancing master!”

 

“Dancing master?”

 

“Yes! Not boring dancing like what you and Sansa do but water dancing. It’s like a more elegant way of swordplay.  He is coming in today from across the Narrow Sea and I get to accompany the men to escort him back to the castle.”

 

“Well that doesn’t seem very lady-like,” her mother reproached.

 

“Oh come on mother. There will be plenty of time for me to play the proper lady. Right now I want to enjoy as much of my life as I can as a wildling before I’m forced to throw away all sense of adventure.”

 

Catelyn tried to contain her laughter but couldn’t help the wide grin that spread across her face at her daughters’ comments. “Well if your father says it’s ok then I suppose it won’t do any harm. Just make sure you are always with the men and that you dress appropriately. This doesn’t mean you can run around in your brothers breeches. You will still need to wear a dress.”

 

“Fine but as long as it’s not one of those pink frilly ones that Sansa loves. I’ll wear one of my riding dresses.”

 

“Good. Now get dressed the King and his family are expecting us to dine with them this morning.”

 

She donned on a simple grey dress that hugged her figure a little too tightly for her liking and quickly braided her hair so it rested over her shoulder. She probably looked more like a commoner than a lords’ daughter but she would be out riding today and knew the delicate dresses Sansa wore would end up torn and muddy by the time she made it back to the castle.

 

She felt extremely uncomfortable in the presence of the royal family. The King kept looking over at her like she was a piece of meat ready to be eaten. The Queen on the other hand looked at her with complete and utter disdain and Prince Joffrey kept talking to her about himself like he was the most exciting thing in all the Seven Kingdoms. All she wanted to do was get out of the castle and start exploring Kings Landing. In her distracted state her eyes flickered across the table to Prince Gendry. He was holding her gaze, his blue eyes a much deeper colour than her mother’s. She felt her stomach flip at the sight and when he offered her a soft smile she felt the tips of ears burn. Oh seven hells I’m blushing.

 

As soon as her father signalled it was time for her to ride out to the harbour she all but jumped out of her seat doing her best to courtesy before she left the hall. “Will you be joining us father?” she asked.

 

“No sweet daughter I shall not. I have very important business to attend to with the King but you will have Jory and Prince Gendry has kindly offered to accompany you as well.”

 

Arya’s face fell as she stopped in her tracks. “What?” she all but shouted at her father. “Why is the Prince coming? Doesn’t he have anything better to do?”

 

“Don’t be rude Arya. Prince Gendry is a good man and he has a better knowledge of Kings Landing than I do. I expect you to behave and please try not to insult him.”

 

“Does that mean Prince Joffrey will be coming as well?” Please say no, please say no.

 

“No just Prince Gendry. Joffrey isn’t very liked by the common people so it’s safer for him to stay within the castle walls.”

 

“Well that’s something at least. I don’t think I could stand hearing him talk about himself for the whole day.”

 

Ned laughed at his daughters’ remarks. “I think you and Gendry will get along fine. Just give him a chance, I’m sure he will surprise you like he did me.”

 

“I doubt it but I’ll try.”

 

“Good, now off with you. You don’t want to keep everyone waiting.”

 

Arya nodded and ran towards the courtyard where the men were waiting. She hurried over to Jory who was preparing her mare for her. “Why hello little wolf, are you ready to see the city?”

 

“Yes!” she beamed. Jory made to help her up on her horse but instantly bent the knee when he saw Prince Gendry come up from behind her.

 

“Please allow me Lady Arya,” he offered extending his hand out to hers.

 

She looked at his hand a little longer than what would be considered courteous, then reluctantly accepted it. When their hands touched she felt a heat spread through her and was sure she was blushing again. What is wrong with me? She made sure to avoid eye contact and thanked him for his help.

 

GENDRY

 

He couldn’t help but watch her as they rode through the streets of Kings Landing. She was so graceful sitting atop her horse and as she bounced up and down in her saddle he also couldn’t help how his eyes wondered to her budding breasts that  jiggled with each trot the horse made.

 

“So how are you finding Kings Landing my lady?”

 

She looked at him with her brows creased. “It’s very warm,” she began. “Winterfell is much cooler and I like the cold much better - but it’s also very interesting. I’ve never seen so many people in one place,” she finished.

 

“You’ll get used to the heat. It’s nothing compared to Dorne or Braavos so count yourself lucky.”

 

“You’ve been to Braavos?” Her eyes were wide with excitement and fully focused on him. He felt his breath catch in his throat just like the first time he saw her step out of the wheelhouse. Get yourself together Gendry, he chastised himself.

 

“Yes, I went with my uncle Renly when I was younger. He loves the colourful lifestyle of the Braavosi.”

 

“What’s it like?”

 

“Its sun is much stronger there and the people much more relaxed. It smells of the sea and there are ships docking in and out of the harbour constantly so you never know who you will run into. There are also performers on every corner. Some bending their bodies in ways that seem so un-natural and others playing with fire yet coming out unharmed. In truth, it’s quiet – magical.”

 

“I’d love to go across the Narrow Sea,” she sighed. “And even beyond if I could.”

 

“So why don’t you my lady?”

 

She looked at him again with that angered expression she had before. “I’m not a lady,” she huffed.

 

He looked at her confused. “You’re a lord’s daughter aren’t you?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Then you’re a lady.”

 

“Just because my father happens to be a lord doesn’t mean I’m a lady,” she growled.

 

“Well if you aren’t a lady then what are you?”

 

“I’m, I’m…just me. Just Arya.”

 

He thought about how he should phrase his next sentence. “Well just Arya, I’m just Gendry. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” He pulled the reigns of his horse so it would stop and jut out his hand. She smiled at him and shook it with a strength he hadn’t expected from such a small girl.

 

The day had gone better than he had hoped. She talked to him openly about Winterfell and her brothers, paying particular attention to her bastard brother Jon Snow. She told him of how she dreamed of becoming a knight one day and how she wished she was able to travel. She looked so beautiful as she spoke, that he found himself entranced by her even more.  Whether it was the way her grey eyes would sparkle when she talked of her family home or how the slight breeze would blow wisps of hair out of her braid and into her face, this slip of a girl had somehow made a claim to his heart that no-one else could rival.

 

He was so distracted in his admiration of her beauty that he didn’t notice that their party had been followed. The man had hidden in the crowds of people and before he had time to react he felt a sharp pain shoot through his right shoulder.

 

“GENDRY!” he heard her scream. He felt himself being ushered away by Arya’s men but couldn’t see where she went. He tried to struggle against their hold but his right arm wouldn’t cooperate with what his mind was telling it to do.

 

“WHERE’S ARYA?” he shouted at the men. He had been brought back into the castle walls and scanned the faces around him looking for her pretty face. He saw the man they called Jory ride in with a hooded figure under his arm and instantly ran to him. “Arya?” he questioned, his voice riddled with panic.

 

She pushed the hood up off her head and looked up at him, her face full of worry. “Thank the Gods you’re ok.” He pulled her into his arms, ignoring the searing pain that coursed through his body.