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.
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?
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.
“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.
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.
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!”
“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.
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?”
“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.
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
So I have a feeling this may end up being 4 chapters not 3 sorry!!! Minor smut ahead - don't say you weren't warned.
He was in the middle of a small council meeting when Jory burst through the doors unannounced. “Sorry to interrupt my lord but there has been an attack made on Prince Gendry,” he said as he bent the knee and kept his head bowed.
“What of Arya?” he demanded, concern etched in his voice. He strode towards Jory and beckoned for him to stand.
“Lady Arya was un-harmed and has been escorted back to her chambers my lord.”
“And Prince Gendry?”
“He took an arrow to the shoulder and is with the maester having it removed.”
Ned nodded. “Excuse me,” he looked towards the shocked faces of the other members of the council. “I must see to the Prince and to my daughter.” He and Jory hurried out of the room. He desperately wanted to check on his daughter but his duty as Hand of the King was to first check on the Prince’s condition. “Do we have the attacker in custody?”
“Yes my lord. He is in the black cells but hasn’t said a single word. He killed three of the Kings men but we shot him in the leg with a cross bow to weaken him.”
“Good. I will have words with him later.” He went to the Prince’s chamber to see that he was sleeping due to a heavy dose of milk of the poppy. “How are his wounds?” he asked the master.
“There was only a small amount of bleeding so he should recover nicely. He will have a scar and will need to rest his arm until it heals.”
“And how long till he wakes? I’d like to speak to him about his attack?”
“Not until the evening I’m afraid. You would be better served waiting till the morn. He will be well rested that way.”
When he reached his daughter’s chamber he saw her pacing back and forth, worry lines making a home on her face. “Father!” she screamed excitedly as she ran towards him.
“I’m glad to see you haven’t lost any of your energy,” he chuckled as he encased her in his arms. “How are you feeling?” his tone now serious.
“I’m fine father, I just hate being locked up here like some bloody lady in need of protecting. I’m perfectly capable of looking after myself you know?” she whined.
“I’m sure you are but it’s for the best that you stay here for now. Now tell me what happened today?”
She walked over to her dresser and sat on the chair positioned directly in front of it. “It all happened so quickly. One minute I was talking to Gendry about home and the next there’s screaming and shouting coming from all directions.” She was looking at her feet and began fidgeting with her hands. “How is he doing anyway?” Ned saw a faint blush creep on her face.
“The maester said he should make a full recovery. He will be sore for the next little while but the arrow didn’t do any real damage.” He continued to watch his youngest daughter. She let out a sigh of relief which led him to believe that she and the Prince may have bonded on their day out together.
“Will…will I be able to see him?” she asked almost shyly. “I mean just to make sure he’s ok.”
“You can speak with him in the morn. He has had milk of the poppy and won’t be in any state for visitors.”
“You should rest. I’ll have your supper brought up to you tonight. Please try not to give your mother or sister a hard time about staying in. You’ll be able to roam the castle freely tomorrow.”
Leaving Arya’s chambers he and Jory headed towards the black cells to begin questioning the assassin. The sight that met them was one that left Ned feeling even more pressure mount on his already heavy shoulders. “What’s going on here?” he queried.
The guards looked at him with fear as they mumbled out their confusion. “He…he’s dead milord. We don’t know how or what did it…but he’s dead.”
Ned stepped closer to the body of the attacker and saw that he was indeed dead. His eyes were glazed over and his skin cold. Ned pinched the bridge of his nose as if trying to will away the disastrous news. “It looks like poison,” he relented, finally breaking the silence. “Did you search him before you brought him into the cell?” he questioned looking at the man who was brave enough to tell him what happened.
“We did milord, but only for weapons and he had none on him.” The man still had his head lowered and Ned could see his hands tremble.
“Don’t worry, no harm will come to you. It’s just unfortunate that he was able to silence himself before our questioning. Come Jory there’s nothing more we can do.” When they were away from prying ears, Ned voiced his concern. “No ordinary man would chose to take his own life to avoid questioning.”
“What are you suggesting Lord Stark?” Jory countered.
“Have you heard of the faceless men?”
“Well I have a feeling our dead prisoner was one of them.”
“Seven hells,” Jory breathed.
“I know. I’m going to have to speak to Robert and let him know. Whoever wanted Prince Gendry dead would have paid a hefty amount to have hired someone with his skill.”
She was tossing and turning in her bed. The heat mixed in with the events of the day had made it difficult for her to sleep. Her day with Gendry had surprised her. She didn’t’ think she would enjoy the company of a man who wasn’t her family, yet here she was wishing she could see him and make sure he was ok. When he had pulled her into his embrace her heart quickened and she felt her stomach churn with a combination of excitement and nerves. She hadn’t seen him since the maester had hauled him away to treat his wound. He had insisted he was fine but his mother stepped in and before she knew it he was gone.
She got up off her bed and grabbed a cloak to wrap around herself. Gendry’s chamber was only a few rooms down from hers so she opened her window and stepped out onto the sill. She wasn’t as good as climbing as her brother Bran but she was still better than most, so the height didn’t deter her from her mission. She shouldn’t be doing what she’s doing. If she was caught her mother and father would chastise her to no end. She doesn’t even want to think about what the King and Queen would do to her if they found her sneaking into the Princes room. Since the assassination attempt he had knights placed at the entrance of his door keeping guard over him.
She carefully made her way to the window to his chamber. She peered in making sure there were no guards in there with him as well, and when she found he was alone she slowly pushed it open and slipped in without a sound. His chamber was much larger than hers and was draped from floor to ceiling with yellow and black. She continued to look around and found herself staring at a portrait of the young Prince starring back at her. Making her way closer to it she saw how the artist had made his blue eyes glow in the moonlight. Arya was not one to swoon over anybody, especially not a Prince but Gendry was truly handsome. Even though she had just met him she felt like she could trust him. He didn’t judge her and seemed genuinely interested in hearing what she had to say.
Lost in thought, she felt something cool sit under her chin and rest along her neck. “Who sent you?” a croaky voice asked.
Seven hells she’s been caught. Now what’s going to happen to her? “I, I…just wanted to check up on Gendry,” she muttered.
She felt the cold substance lift from its spot on her neck and large hands turn her around. “Arya?” Gendry’s startling blue eyes looked directly into her grey and a look of confusion and shock washed over his face. “What are you doing here? I could have hurt you!”
“Oh stop acting like such a baby,” she hissed. “I just wanted to make sure you were ok and I couldn’t sleep because of this damned heat.”
“You were worried about me?” His eyebrows shot up and a smirk crept onto his face making those blue eyes of his glow just like the painting. Damn those bloody eyes.
“NO!” she said far too quickly. “I mean yes, why wouldn’t I? We’re friends aren’t we?”
“And what if I don’t want us just to be friends?” he asked.
He doesn’t want to be friends? She felt a stab at his comment and bit her cheek from screaming out at him in anger. “Fine, I wouldn’t want to be friends with a stupid Prince like you anyway.” She tried to make her way back to the window but he blocked her. When she stepped left so did he, when she stepped right he was still there following. “Get out of my way Gendry” she seethed.
“I think you misunderstand Arya,” she cut him off by pushing hard into his chest. She had expected him to fall over but it was like pushing into a wall. He was solid muscle and her tiny fists didn’t have any impact on his large body.
“I understand perfectly. You were just trying to be nice because my father no doubt told you to do so. You were only pretending to be my friend but now that we are back in the castle you want to continue to play the Prince and me the lady,” she huffed.
“No, Arya I do want to be friends. I am your friend, I umm – just want to, to -”
“You just want to wha-“ it was her turn to be interrupted. She felt his lips press onto hers and his tongue slip into her open mouth. She should have pulled away but she wanted more. She stood up on her toes and wrapped her hands around the base of his neck, pulling him in for a deeper kiss. She felt one of his large hands grip at her hips to crash their bodies against each other. She had never kissed a boy before and had never wanted to until now. But Gendry was different. He was unlike anyone she had ever met.
He pulled away, both of them breathing erratically. “I don’t just want to be your friend Arya,” he was staring intently at her. “I want to be more. I want to wrap the Baratheon cloak around your shoulders and spend the rest of my life laughing and japing with you like we did today. I want to take you across the Narrow Sea so you can feel the heat of the Braavosi sun on your soft skin. I want to watch you train for tourney’s and show the world how wild and beautiful wolves can be. I want you to always be mine and for me to always be yours.”
She was speechless and was silently thanking the Old Gods that it was dark and he couldn’t see how red her face surely was. He wanted her the way a man wanted a woman. He wanted to take her to see the world and he wanted to help her fight what it meant to be a lady. “Why?” is all she could manage to muster. She felt shy, like one of those stupid maidens Sansa loves hearing stories about.
“Isn’t it obvious Arya? You are the most beautiful creature I have ever seen. When I first saw you step out of that wheelhouse I swear I forgot how to breathe. You are unlike any other woman I have met.” He held her hands in his as he continued. “I like that you speak your mind and that you’d rather spend time with the common people than with those at court. I like everything about you Arya Stark and I wouldn’t change a thing about you.”
He moved to kiss her again but they were disturbed by a heavy knock on his door. Moving as fast she could, she quickly ran to hide under his bed. “Come in,” Gendry called out, after making sure she was well out of sight. The door swung open and she could smell the foul stench of wine fill the room.
“Good you’re awake boy. It takes more than a bloody arrow to take down a Stag,” the loud voice hollered. “Now this business with the Stark girl, you know the younger one. I’ve spoken to Ned and he has agreed. Our two houses will finally be joined.”
What is he talking about?
“She’s a pretty little thing that one. If only I was younger, I could have taken her for my wife and finally be done with that mother of yours,” he jested. Gendry could see some truth behind his father’s glassy blue eyes.
“Ned nor Arya would ever allow it,” she heard Gendry say. There was a threat in his tone and she couldn’t help but smile at the sound of it.
“No I suppose they wouldn’t would they? Just take care of her. I know what it feels like to lose your other half. It hurts more than you can imagine.” Robert trailed off again. “And with someone wanting you dead that little wolf of yours is also a target, but don’t worry boy, I’ve doubled our guards and Ned is looking into the matter. Whoever did this will be caught.”
She heard the door close as the King left the room. “You can come out now,” she heard Gendry call out.
“What was he talking about?” she demanded as she straightened her cloak.
He ran his fingers through his thick black hair. “I was hoping you didn’t hear that. I think it’s best you speak to your father, I’m sure he’d want to be the one to tell you.”
“No Gendry tell me now. What have you all been planning?”
He sighed and walked over to her. “Don’t be mad Arya, please don’t be mad…we…umm…you and I are to be betrothed,” he gulped.
“What?” she pushed away from him. “You knew this whole time? Is that why you came out riding with me today?”
“I only found out last night and I came out because I wanted to get to know you better. This doesn’t change anything though, I still want to do all those things with you.”
“You say that now but once you’ve made me yours and stuck your prick in me you’ll forget all those promises and expect me to be a proper lady. A lady who wears pretty dresses and has pretty hair who gives you pretty babies. I won’t be me anymore I’ll just you yours,” she spat.
“How could you think so little of me? Do you honestly think I am the kind of man to do such things?”
“You are your fathers’ son are you not?” She knew she shouldn’t have said that. She could see the hurt in his eyes and noticed how his fists curled and fell to his side.
“I think it’s best you leave my lady before I say something unkind in return.”
He turned his back on her and made his way back to his bed. He couldn’t believe that she would compare him to his father, especially after he confessed his feelings to her. He heard the window close and saw that she had done as he requested. Sleep was not going to come easy tonight.
When he awoke his head was spinning. The pain from his wound was still fresh and he needed assistance from one of the servants to bathe and dress. He was torn about his feelings for Arya. He wanted to stay mad at her but he knew that as soon as he saw those steely eyes stare back at him all anger would evaporate. He just hoped that she wasn’t still angry with him and that they could forget about their little disagreement.
He was already seated when the convoy of Starks walked into the hall. His eyes automatically searched for his grey eyed wolf and he wasn’t disappointed when he saw her return his stare and smile. She sat opposite him and the two stole glances at each other from across the table. He could see a slight pink colour make it’s way onto her cheeks and he thought it only made her look more beautiful. He couldn’t help but think about the kiss they shared the night before in his chamber. He had kissed his fair share of women, but none had felt anywhere near as good as the one he shared with Arya.
As they all got up to leave Gendry quickly made his way to her side of the long table. “Would you care to join me for a walk Lady Arya? I don’t believe you’ve seen our Godswood yet and I’d like to hear how ours compares to the one you have at Winterfell.”
She nodded and linked her arm with his as they made their way to the Godswood. The smiles her mother and sister gave her did not go un-noticed and he saw the pink on her cheeks turn a deeper shade of crimson. “I’m sorry about what I said last night. You’re nothing like him, I was just angry.”
“It’s ok. I’m sorry too. I shouldn’t have gotten mad at you. Everyone thinks that just because I look like my father that I’ll end up like him. He can be a good man Arya he really can, but when he drinks he turns into a different person. He is just so unhappy with my mother and I swore that if I ever married it would be to someone I cared about. Someone I love.”
He looked over to her to gauge her reaction. “Ever since I was little I hated the idea of marriage. Becoming someone’s wife meant that I would never be able to do the things I wanted. I always thought that I’d end up being wed to some old fat lord or someone who was sickly.” She pulled her arm out of his and looked directly into his eyes. “The idea of getting married still scares me Gendry, but…but I think if I had to marry anyone you wouldn’t be such a bad choice.”
His heart skipped a beat as he felt his mouth twitch upwards. He knew he must have looked like a fool but he didn’t care. He was one step closer to making Arya his wife. “So are you saying yes?”
She tilted her head to the side and bit her lip before nodding. “What do you think stupid?” she laughed. He lifted her up with his good arm and spun her around causing her to giggle. He loved hearing her laugh.
“C’mon there’s something I want to show you.” He placed her feet back on the ground before giving her a quick kiss. His hand intertwined with hers as they made their way into the Godswood.
“Where are you taking me?”
“You’ll see, just be patient my lady.” She punched him lightly in the arm at her title.
They stopped in front of the largest Weirwood tree. Arya stood there in awe her mouth gaping at the size of it. “Wow,” she breathed. “Jory told me the trees were bigger here but I never thought it would be this big,” she gasped. “It’s amazing!”
“I thought you might like it. Your father told me you loved the Godswood and I know how much you miss Winterfell…so I thought this might remind you a little of home.”
He could see her blink back tears. “That’s very kind of you, thank you.”
“That’s not all, just wait here I’ll be right back.” He walked around to a bush where he hid a basket of her favourite desert. He managed to find out from Sansa how much Arya loved lemon cakes and had the kitchen staff bake a whole tray especially for her. Walking back to the spot he left her he found her kneeling in front of the tree, running her hands along its face. “Ahem,” he coughed trying to get her attention.
“Oh,” she replied. “Sorry I just wanted to touch it. It’s amazing how different the face on this tree is to the one back at Winterfell. This one looks angry compared to ours.”
“Maybe it doesn’t like the South either,” he mused.
“Maybe…father said these trees are of the North. Their powers aren’t as strong here.” She looked lost in thought like she was reminiscing about something. “What’s in the basket?”
“Come over here and find out,” he challenged. She glided over to him like a cat and he popped open the basket lid. He saw her eyes widen in surprise and couldn’t help the laugh that escaped his lips as she jumped up and down with excitement.
“Lemon cakes! I love lemon cakes, how did you know?”
“Sansa told me,” he shrugged like it was nothing.
“And why would Sansa tell you I liked lemon cakes?”
“Because I asked her what your favourite food was. She said you two used to fight over them when you were back in Winterfell and that they only ever baked them for you on your nameday.”
She giggled again as if remembering their fights. “Mother said if we ate lemon cakes all the time we would end up as wide as fat Manda.”
“Who is fat Manda?”
“She was the wife of the baker at Winterfell. She was so big that she waddled when she walked.” She was chuckling to herself again and Gendry couldn’t help but laugh along with her.
“Well I’ve had a whole tray baked just for you so you can eat as many as you like, for today at least. I wouldn’t want you waddling about the place,” he teased.
“Thank you Gendry, I…I can’t tell you how much this all means to me.” She looked down at the ground and shuffled her feet. He stepped closer to her and lifted her chin with his thumb and forefinger.
“You could show me?” He was getting that same feeling he had last night when he crashed his mouth on hers. He lowered his face to meet hers and captured her mouth with his. She moved in tandem with him and opened her mouth for him to let his tongue roam freely. He heard her moan which only urged him to deepen the kiss. He walked her back until they bumped into the trunk of the Weirwood tree. He lifted her up using the trunk as leverage as they continued to explore each other’s mouths. She was becoming more confident and he submitted letting her take control. He could feel the mounds on her chest rub against him causing him to groan into her mouth.
He pulled away trying to catch his breath. Her face was flushed and her lips pink and plump from their kissing. She had a slight glaze to her eyes but he could also see hunger in them. “More,” she whispered as she stroked the side of his face. He couldn’t resist and moulded his mouth back with hers. His body was starting to take control and before he could stop himself, he found himself grinding into her. She didn’t seem to mind as she moved with him. His arousal rested right where her sex was and all he could think of was how wet she would be under her small clothes. He was getting harder with each thrust and wanted to bury his cock so deep inside her that she came screaming his name. He knew they should stop but it felt so good, so right that he kept grinding. Her whimpers were like music to his ears and only spurred him on. “Ge…ge..endry!” she cried. He could feel her shudder and felt a wet substance seep through his breeches.
“Oh Gods,” he grunted as he reached his peak spilling his seed in his pants. He laid his head against hers whispering sweet nothings to her. Telling her over and over again how beautiful she was and how lucky he was. When he finally regained his strength he lowered her back to her feet.
“Is that what laying with someone is like?” she panted.
He shook his head. “No that’s not what laying feels like Arya…laying with someone is one thousand times better,” he smiled.
He couldn’t help but smile at the sight of Arya and Gendry sparring. The Prince had agreed to spar with his daughter so she could put all her training into practice. She was fast. Much faster than Gendry and would often side step him, avoiding his blows. There was an elegance to the water dance style that made the Westori style look brutish and outdated.
“She’s grown up so fast hasn’t she?” Ned turned to see his wife’s beautiful bright blue eyes looking at him.
“Aye, she has.” Catelyn hooked her arm around his and leaned her head to the side so it rested on his shoulder.
“Do you remember when she was nine and told us that she was going to marry herself so she didn’t have to put up with silly little lords?” she giggled.
Ned laughed along with his wife as the memory came to his mind in full view. “I remember it well.” His little Arya was no longer a little girl. She was a woman grown, a lady of the North who was going to be Queen of the Seven Kingdoms someday. The thought both pleased and saddened him. He knew what it felt like to have the fate of the Seven Kingdoms upon your shoulders and knew that both his daughter and her husband to be would take on the responsibility with more vigour than the current King and Queen. He just hoped that the pressure didn’t drive the two apart, because the idea of Arya and Gendry turning into Robert and Cersei made his blood boil.
Robert was his dearest friend and although he held no love for Cersei, she was still the mother of his children and his lady wife. His blatant disregard for her and his position as King often made him question what it was about Robert that attracted his friendship. Gendry reminded him of that man Robert used to be, but better. Unlike his father Gendry had a certain gentleness to him which was surprising for someone of his stature. Although Robert had been gentle and kind to Lyanna when they were growing up, he never took the time to truly understand her. Gendry on the other hand had a genuine interest in Arya that was deeper than his physical attraction to his youngest daughter.
“What are you thinking about Ned?” Catelyn asked, pulling him out of his thoughts.
“They remind me of a young Robert and Lyanna,” he sighed.
“She does have her look doesn’t she? And he is the mirror image of Robert…but they are not Robert and Lyanna reborn my love, and there are no dragons left in the world to take Arya away.”
“It’s not the dragons that concern me but the lions.”
“Lions?” she stated confused.
“Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed the way the Queen and Joffrey watch Arya,” he started. “There is a hunger in their eyes that I don’t like.”
“The Queen is only being friendly and Joffrey has had his eyes on Arya since she stepped foot in this place. Even the Kingsguard keep a closer look on her than what is required. Our daughter has grown into a beautiful rose Ned and with that comes admirers. He is simply one of them.”
“You are too kind for your own good Catelyn. The Queen has no love for Prince Gendry and her intentions for our daughter are still unclear to me, but to trust a Lannister is asking to meet the Stranger,” he replied coolly.
“Yes she is colder to Gendry than to Joffrey but how could I woman not love her own son? I think the burden of being Hand has made you too suspicious dear husband.”
“No it has just made me more weary. Since Gendry’s assassination attempt I have thought of all else. Tell me dear wife, who do you believe would truly benefit to see the Crowned Prince dead?”
Catelyn was taken aback by his question and took a few moments before she answered. “I…I don’t know.”
“Who would be the next in line for the throne if Gendry were to pass?” he asked this time hoping to lead his wife to the answer.
“Prince Joffrey,” she whispered wide eyed. “You don’t think that…that…Cersei would allow such a thing?”
“Her love for Joffrey is much stronger than that for Gendry. The idea does not sit well with me but Joffrey is the only one who would benefit from Gendry’s death. He would become King after Robert and would have the power to end his betrothal to the Tyrell girl and take Arya as his wife.” There was silence for a few short minutes before he continued. “I won’t be able to voice my concern to Robert without angering him. I may be his most trusted friend but he would not hear of this. It would shame him and because I have no proof it would be dismissed.”
“So what will you do?”
“Nothing,” he sighed. “We will just have to watch both Gendry and Arya. Her newfound friendship with the Queen needs to be monitored closely.”
“Should we say something to her?”
“Not directly…mayhaps you could mention something in passing or see what it is she and the Queen discuss so closely.”
Catelyn laughed at her husband, shaking him out of his solemn demeanour. “So are you asking me to be a spy Ned?”
“No, not a spy. I’m simply asking you to talk to your daughter.”
“As you wish,” she smiled before giving him a kiss on the cheek.
She looked at her reflection in the mirror and didn’t recognise the woman staring back at her. She was never one to care about her appearance but being with Gendry changed that. She knew he loved her, he had told her over and over again but she still found it hard to believe that she of all people would end up marrying the Crowned Prince of the Seven Kingdoms. It had been four moons since their betrothal had been announced and she found that the more time she spent with him the more she craved his touch, his scent, his everything when they were apart.
She had told him once when he had her pressed up against his chamber wall that she would pleasure herself before sleeping if he hadn’t been able to do it for her during the day. His eyes had darkened and she felt his seed spill into her hand soon after. She loved making his eyes darken, having that power over him. He did his best to reframe from taking her maidenhood. They would often be so consumed with their passion for one another that she often begged for him to take it and on more than one occasion he almost complied. She could feel her sex moisten at the thought of his fingers and tongue plunging in and out of her. The first time he had placed his fingers on her mound she had exploded with desire. She didn’t think anything could better that until he lapped at her like a man dying of thirst. The feeling of his tongue flicking over her most delicate parts left her body trembling.
“What are you thinking about?” She turned to see her mother standing at the doorway to her chamber.
“Nothing,” she lied.
“Is it Gendry?” her mother questioned her brows raised in suspicion.
She let out a little giggle. Something she had done often since meeting her betrothed. “Maybe,” she finally relented. She was an awful liar and often felt guilty lying to her family.
“He makes you happy doesn’t he?” Her mother was behind her now, running her long fingers through her dark tresses.
“Very,” she hummed.
“Sit down. I’ll braid your hair for you. I know how much Gendry loves your hair in a braid.” Arya did as her mother asked and watched as she pulled out a green ribbon with what looked like golden flowers and acorns printed on one side. Her mother weaved the ribbon in between the strands of the braid and used a black leather band to seal the ends. “There all done.” Arya stood and faced her mother. She was almost the same height as her now. “My how you have grown. It felt like it was only yesterday that I would have to scold you for running mud through the castle or have to calm poor Septa Mordane when you missed sewing for archery or dancing for swordplay. You were always my wild little girl and now…now you’re a woman grown, now six and ten and soon to be married.” Tears formed in her mothers’ eyes and rolled down her cheeks.
“Don’t cry mother, I’m happy I truly am. Gendry loves me and I him. The Gods know I never wanted to marry but knowing that it will be Gendry I spend the rest of my life with is a prospect I look forward to.”
“I know my sweet, I know. It seems all my children are no longer children. Your sister is heavy with child and Robb is already a father to two. Bran is now betrothed and we are already in talks with Stannis to betroth Rickon to his daughter. It seems as if time has crept on me all of a sudden.”
“It’s crept up on all of us…we should start making our way to the feast. You know how Queen Cersei is when anyone is late,” she joked.
Her mother chuckled and used a piece of cloth to wipe away her tears. “She has gone above and beyond it seems for your nameday celebration. If I didn’t know any better I’d say you were her daughter.” The Queen had softened with Arya. She doesn’t know exactly how or why it happened but the once cold woman was caring and warm. She even treated Gendry differently, acting like a mother to him for the first time. She knew it was something he craved so it made her heart flutter with joy at the sight. “She often seeks your company, does she not?” her mother asked.
“I suppose she does. I don’t know why but it seems like she is lonely. King Robert doesn’t really pay her much attention and she said she tires of being surrounded by men.”
“And what do you speak of when you take your walks?”
Arya cocked her eyebrow at her mother. Why is she asking all these questions? “Mother is there a reason for all these questions about the Queen?”
“I’m just curious. Her attitude towards you has changed dramatically since your arrival. Does that not strike you as…interesting?”
“No, not really,” she said shrugging her shoulders. “We really must head to the feast before they send someone to find us,” she mocked.
They made their way to the hall where the feast was being held. All eyes were on her making her feelings of insecurity bubble to the surface. She could hear the lords and ladies whisper to each other and nod in approval. Her grey eyes caught the eerie green of Joffrey’s and she quickly glanced away, looking for the cerulean of her betrothed. She found him smiling lovingly at her and felt the familiar flush of her cheeks creep over. No matter how many times she had spent with Gendry or how comfortable she was with him, he still managed to make her blush like a shy maiden.
The feast went by in a blur. She was introduced to a number of lords and ladies that she wouldn’t remember if they were to meet again and had to continually avoid being left anywhere alone with either the King or Joffrey. All she wanted was to be with Gendry, but it seemed like everyone had planned to keep them apart for as long as possible. It was the end of the night before they were actually able to see each other. “I missed you,” he murmured in her ear.
“I missed you too,” she replied.
“It’s been torture watching you and not being around you.”
She couldn’t help the smile that made its way on her face. “I know…it feels like everyone has been keeping us apart on purpose.”
“Do you think they know what we’ve been getting up to?” he japed.
“Whatever do you mean my Prince?” she countered playfully.
“You know exactly what I mean, Arya.”
“I’m sure they have their suspicions,” she said smirking at him.
“Don’t worry it’s only another two moons until we say our vows. Then we can do what we want”
“It seems like forever away.”
“I know exactly how you feel. I can’t wait to make you mine. I’m sick of all these men leering at you.”
“And what about all the ladies and wenches that bat their eyelashes at you? I swear they do it to get a rise out of me.”
“They can bat all they want, there’s only one woman I want.” He gave her a chaste kiss on her cheek before being pulled away by his mother. Joffrey now stood in front of her and held his hand out, inviting her to dance with him. She wanted to decline but everyone was watching her and it would be rude to turn away her brother to be.
“You look beautiful as ever Lady Arya,” he whispered softly into her ear. The feeling made her stomach churn. She hated being so close to him and could smell the sweet wine he had been drinking.
“Thank you your Grace,” she replied not really wanting to extend the conversation further.
“It seems you and my brother have grown quiet close since your betrothal was announced.”
“Yes, your Grace we have. Just as I imagine you and Lady Margery have since your match was made.”
She could tell he wasn’t happy with her response. Joffrey was used to having people fawn over him, so whenever someone said something that he didn’t approve of, his charming demeanour would fade quickly. She also knew that he wasn’t terribly fond of Margery either. The Tyrell girl was beautiful, but for some reason Joffrey had never taken a liking to her.
“Yes, Margery and I get along but I find you much more interesting Arya.” He smirked at her like he knew something she didn’t. “Don’t you find me interesting too?” he finished with a smug look on his face.
“You are interesting your Grace, but not as interesting as Gendry,” and with that she let go of his hand and made her way to Gendry who had been watching them the whole time.
His wedding to Arya was half a moons away. They had travelled to Winterfell so they could say their vows in front of the heart tree at her childhood home. He remembered the smile on her face and tears of joy she shed when he told her they would be travelling to Winterfell for the ceremony. Seeing her cast any tears whether it was from anger, hurt or happiness was a rare thing, so he knew it must have meant more to her than he could have possibly known.
“How are you feeling dear nephew?” Gendry looked over his shoulder to see his uncle Renly coming up from behind him.
“Uncle,” he greeted as the two men embraced. “I’m well and you?”
“Apart from almost freezing to death, I’m fine. I don’t know how these Northerners put up with such dreary weather,” he fussed. “You know,” he said looking directly at Gendry’s face, “you look more like your father with each passing day.”
“I don’t know if that’s meant to be a compliment or an insult,” he laughed.
“It’s a compliment trust me. In his youth your father could make any woman weak at the knees with a single look. I dare say he has lost that ability now, but as long as that little wolf of yours keeps you…active, there is no reason why you would meet his same fate.” Renly wiggled his eyebrows at the active reference.
He shook his head at his uncles comment. “Honestly uncle, I thought you had more tact than that. That’s the sort of thing I’d expect my father to say.”
Renly sniggered in response. “You have always been a combination of the best of us you know. You have your father’s strength and look, Stannis’s high morals and values and well my good nature and intelligence. We are all very proud of you, especially your father. He has never been good with words but I can see it in the way he looks at you. You should have seen him when he found out about your attack. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him move so fast in my life.”
Gendry laughed along with his uncle then nodded in appreciation for his kind words. The two men made their way to Winterfell’s Great Hall. It wasn’t as big as the one at Kings Landing but it was still large enough to hold all those invited to the celebration. He instantly scanned the room for Arya and saw her talking to her bastard brother Jon. “Excuse me uncle,” he bowed as he made his way towards her. Renly followed his trail of sight and nodded with a smile. He was only a few feet away from her when he caught sight of his mother approaching his pretty little wolf. Damnit! The two of them hadn’t had a chance to truly be alone together and even though they would be wed soon it didn’t help the longing feeling he had to be with her. He watched helplessly as his mother linked her arm into Arya’s and the two walked off side by side to their positions at the table. His mother had been un-usually kind to him of late and he had a feeling it had something to do with her new found relationship with his bride to be.
“It seems your mother has taken quiet a liking to my dear sister,” he heard a voice say. He twisted to see a familiar pair of grey eyes set on him. Although Jon Snow was a bastard he had more of the Stark look than any of Ned’s trueborn sons.
“Yes, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.”
Jon looked at him puzzled. “You and your mother aren’t close I take it?”
“No, not normally. She’s always preferred my brother Joffrey, but since Arya has come into our lives she has made more of an effort.”
“Yes, she has that effect on people. I’m not sure what it is but she can be rather infectious,” he joked. Jon was everything Arya said he was. He was kind, accepting, honourable and brave. The quality he found the most endearing was his selflessness. No matter how badly Lady Catelyn treated him, Jon continued to maintain his composure, accepting his position in her eyes. Most people he knew would have caved into their feelings and stood up to the women. He surely would have been guilty of it if he was in the same position. There were a number of occasions where he said what was on his mind to his mother. “As much as she likes to pretend she doesn’t care what people think of her or about the feelings of others, my sister has a surprisingly big heart,” he continued. “I would hate for something to happen to her to make that part of her change,” he finished.
Was he threatening him? “Is that a warning?” he replied.
“No, not a warning. I’m simply stating a fact. I’ve never seen my sister look at anyone the way she looks at you. As happy as I am to hear that she was not forced into this union between the both of you, I can’t help but worry about the amount of claim you have to my sweet sisters’ heart. If you treat her the way your father treats your mother I swear you will see what a wolf can really do to a stag.” With that he watched as Jon Snow gave him a slight bow before turning on his heel and walking towards a table reserved for the knights.
“Wait…what do you mean,” he called out, causing Jon to turn and face him.
“You know exactly what I mean. You may be the Crowned Prince but don’t think for a second I won’t defend my sisters honour if you hurt her.”
“I would nev-“
“Keep your false words to yourself your Grace. I have it on good authority that you are well on your way to becoming your fathers’ son. I don’t know how you managed to coax my sister into your twisted game but if anything happens to her you’ll have me to deal with.” There was so much anger in Jon’s eyes that Gendry didn’t understand. Jon continued to walk back to his table, leaving Gendry to digest his words.
Feeling slighted by Jon’s remarks he made a move to follow him. He was furious that Jon could even think he would do anything to hurt Arya. Jon had his back facing him and without thinking he grabbed hold of his shoulder spinning him around. His clenched fist connected with the side of Jon’s face sending Arya’s favourite brother falling to the ground. There were screams and shouts coming from all directions and he felt a dozen hands pull him back, stopping him from continuing his assault on Jon. “What have you done you?” he heard a woman squeal. He looked to see Arya kneeling down to where her brother was. She looked at Gendry with a mixture of confusion, shock and anger. His mother had somehow made her way by Arya’s side and was trying to calm her by rubbing her shoulders. As his blue eyes met her green he saw a smirk form on her face. That glint was in her eyes again. The one she used to give him whenever she put him down or took something away from him. His gut twisted and he now knew the true reason as to why his mother had taken a liking to his little wolf. This was her plan all along, to make him feel like he had the world in his hands and to rip it out as soon as he dared to hope it was real.
Thanks for all the kudos and comments. Really glad to see people actually reading this!
Chapter 4: Chapter 4
So we've finally made it to the end. Thank you to everyone who has left kudo's and comments. Really appreciate it.
“What happened Jon?” He looked at the son that looked so much like himself. Grey eyes on grey, the two men stared at each other, before his son finally gave in and looked away.
“Nothing happened. The Prince just doesn’t know how to control that temper of his.” Ned could see the lie written plain on Jon’s face. He was never good at lying, just like him.
“You’ve never lied to me before son, so don’t make this a time to start. Now tell me why your brother to be would punch you?”
“I…I don’t know.” He could see Jon was warring with himself. He could never look Ned in the eyes when he was trying to hide something from him. Unlike Robb, Jon always tried that little bit harder to follow in his footsteps. He could see he wanted to prove to the world that just because he was a bastard, didn’t mean he was any less a Stark than his other siblings. It hurt him to see his son pay for his mistakes. It hurt him even more to see the hate that filled his wife’s eyes when they were directed at Jon. He was a good man and Ned couldn’t have been more proud, but he knew Gendry as well, and Gendry didn’t strike him as the type to hit someone without reason.
“Nothing will happen to you Jon, you have my word.”
Jon looked at him and finally resigned, taking a seat and burying his face in his hands. “I may have provoked the Prince into hitting me,” he began. “But it’s not my fault father, I was just looking out for Arya. Out of everyone she and I have been the closest and to see her so taken by another had me concerned for her.”
“Concerned? Why would you be concerned?”
“Because I’ve heard things about him…about the Prince and what he gets up to. I see how unhappy the Queen looks and I don’t want that for her. Arya doesn’t deserve to have her fire stomped out like that.”
“What have you heard?” as Hand of the King, Ned made it his business to know the comings and goings of the Prince, especially after his attack. He may have also done it to make sure that the man who was about to marry his daughter didn’t have the same interests as his father.
“He takes whores and drinks until he cannot stand.” Ned noticed how Jon’s jaw clenched as he let the words fall out of his mouth. “He also strikes women. How can someone who is supposed to be the future King behave like a bloody bandit? How could you allow this betrothal and how could Arya fall for it?”
“You know as well as I do that your sister isn’t easily fooled and if I thought Gendry was unworthy of her I would have refused Robert’s offer. But Gendry isn’t the man you are describing. That man is his father and from the time I’ve known Gendry I have never seen him do any of the things you have accused him of.”
“You are so blinded father! I have heard what people say about him.”
“And who are these people that you put your faith in instead of listening to your sister? Instead of listening to me?”
“It was the bloody Queen! She told me of his indiscretions. Of how she had hoped he would change and how she wished a different fate for Arya. Of how he and Robert would share whores and drink their fill of wine until the dark turned to light again. What was I supposed to think? She’s his mother!”
Ned felt himself stiffen at Jon’s announcement. Could Cersei be so cruel? He knew the woman was never truly fond of the heir to the iron throne, but he never thought she would seek to cause him pain. He was still her son. How could a mother feel such hate for their own blood? “Damn that woman,” he seethed.
“What are you talking about?” Jon asked puzzled.
“We’ve all been played. The Queen has filled your head with false ideas of the Prince. I believe she means to end this match between your sister and Gendry and you were the means by which she hoped to achieve it.”
“But…but why would she want that? Does she not think Arya good enough?”
“No, she simply wants to afflict pain on the son that reminds her so much of the man who took everything away from her. You have to understand Jon that what the King and Queen feel for each other is nothing but complete and utter hatred. I fear that her mind has wandered and that she may be going mad.”
“I’m such a fool father…I’m sorry…I’ve brought shame to your good name and understand if you-“
“No Jon, don’t apologise. You weren’t to know. I’ll speak to Gendry and to your sister to explain there was a misunderstanding. What you told me must never leave this room understand? Jon nodded in response. “Gendry is a better man than his father and he would never do anything to hurt your sister. You must trust Arya’s feelings on this Jon, as hard as it is to believe, she is not a child anymore.”
She still couldn’t comprehend what had just happened. She was sitting with Cersei talking about something or a rather but kept her eyes glued on her prince. Her Gendry. It looked like he and Jon were getting along and it filled her heart with warmth to see her two favourite people talking happily to one another. That feeling was soon shattered when she saw Gendry’s expression turn sour at something Jon said. He stalked after her brother and in a blur he had managed to knock her brother to the ground. She had always thought herself fast but the speed in which she moved to get to her brother even surprised her. How could he do that to Jon? Why would he do that? She had so many questions running through her head but couldn’t bring herself to face Gendry.
The feast had been put on hold and her parents thought it would be best if she was sent straight to her chambers. She was absolutely ropable and felt like she was being treated like a child again. She didn’t even get a chance to speak to Jon to see why he thought Gendry punched him. “Stupid” punch “bloody” punch ”bull-headed” punch “boy!” She looked down at the poor pillow she had taken her anger out on and buried her face in it to muffle her screams. She heard a knock on the door and lifted herself up off the bed. “Who is it?” she called out a little too hoarsely than she should have.
“It’s me little wolf. May I come in?” It was Cersei. No doubt she wanted to talk her into forgiving Gendry. She straightened herself up before calling out again.
“Of course you can your Grace.” The door creaked open and the blonde haired beauty stepped in. She closed the door softly behind her before moving to stand in front of her.
“How are you feeling my sweet?” she asked as she stroked Arya’s cheek.
“Not as good as I could be,” she sighed. The Queen looked at her queerly. She could see sympathy in her eyes but there was something else. Something she couldn’t really place.
“I was hoping that you never had to see that side of him.” Arya looked at Cersei startled. “He has more of his father in him than most people would believe. I had hoped that being with you would change him, but it seems it’s only paused the inevitable.”
“What do you mean?” She had no idea what Cersei was talking about.
“Sometimes I forget how young and naive you really are little wolf,” she breathed deeply. “Gendry is going to end up exactly like his father no matter how hard he or you try to fight it. Unlike my Joffrey, Gendry is his fathers’ son and todays debacle only proves it.”
“Why would you say such a thing?”
“Because I have grown quiet fond of you and I’d hate for you to follow in my footsteps. There is no love between the King and me and there has never been. Mayhaps when I was as young as you I had hoped that something could grow between the two of us, but as you can see the only thing that has grown is our disdain for one another.”
“What are you saying?...I still…still don’t understand.”
“Oh my poor sweet girl, of course you wouldn’t. Gendry is not the man you wish him to be. I am giving you a chance to change your fate. Joffrey seems a much better match for you and with Gendry’s outburst the King would not be slighted if you wished to call of your betrothal to my oldest son.”
Arya felt her head spin and bile begin to rise from her throat. “I have to sit,” she said edging her way closer to her four post feather bed.
“I know this must come as a shock but Joffrey has no intentions of wedding that Tyrell girl. Since your arrival my dear boy has only sought to make you his wife.” Cersei reached out to touch Arya’s face but she pulled away.
“I’m not feeling well your Grace. I think it would be best if you leave, thank you for your…comforting words.” She needed Cersei out of her room and sight before she said something that would most likely end up with her head on a spike.
Seven Hells! Why was he so stupid? How could he fall for his mothers’ treachery so easily? He should have questioned her sudden change in behaviour, but no, he was too hopeful that it was real. What did the wench say to Jon to make him snap at him like that? He ran his hands over his face in defeat. Arya was never going to forgive him for this and their union would most likely be called off. He had to find Arya and explain. He was ordered to remain in his chambers which were heavily guarded with both Stark and Baratheon men. He felt a cold chill enter the room and strolled to the window in which it came from. He looked out helplessly but then an idea formed in his mind. He peered down to see how high he was off the ground. If he fell he would definitely crack a few bones, but it was worth it. Arya was worth it.
Taking a deep breath he took off his cloak and stepped out onto the ledge, carefully placing his left foot out then his right. His legs were shakey and the harsh cold wind of the North didn’t help to steady his steps. He gripped onto the crevices in the stone wall and gradually made his way towards Arya’s window. He prayed to the Old Gods and New that she was alone and that she wouldn’t be so angry as to push him onto the cold hard surface below. He almost reached it when he saw them fly open causing him to lose his footing momentarily and yelp with panic.
“Gendry!” she hissed. “Get in here you stupid idiot before you kill yourself!” She grabbed at his arm and helped him into her chamber. “You’re freezing,” she said worriedly and pulled a fur from her bed to hug around his shoulders. This is a good sign, he thought. “What are you doing here? Do you know how dangerous that was? You could have slipped and broken your neck! Why are you so stu-“
He slanted his open mouth over hers to silence her rant. He needed to show her how much he missed her and how much he loved her. She responded by slipping her tongue in and out and wrapping her small hands around his neck. He pulled away and leaned his forehead on hers. “I’m so…so sorry for what I did to Jon…but I can’t lose you Arya…I’ll go mad if I don’t have you in my life.”
“Why did you do it?”
“Because I was stupid…please don’t hate me…I love you Arya Stark.”
“He’s my brother Gendry…how could you hurt him?” she pushed away from him.
“It was a mistake and it won’t happen again I promise…It was my mother, she must have said something to him and well one thing led to another.”
“I don’t know what game she is trying to play Arya but she is no friend of ours. I know she had a hand in this.” She paused before progressing.
“I think you’re right,” she slumped down next to him. “She came in here before. I think she wants me to call off the wedding and marry Joffrey.”
“What?” he scream shouted.
“I thought she was actually being nice Gendry, but it’s as if she really hates you. She sees you as her father and me her. She thinks you’ll hurt me and that you’ll end up turning into him.”
“And what do you think? Do you think I’ll turn into him too?” there was a bitterness in his tone that he hadn’t intended to display.
“No, of course not. I know you Gendry and I know you and your father are nothing alike. I just don’t understand why she would want to hurt you so much?”
“I don’t know Arya but I’m sick of it. All I’ve ever done was prove to her that I’m not him but she throws it back in my face. But this…this was too far. She knows how much I love you and to try to tear us apart like this is…unforgivable.” He buried his face in his hands again and let the tears flow freely. He didn’t care if Arya thought him weak, this was something he needed to do. Years of neglect and hate from his mother poured out of him. He felt Arya’s small frame try to engulf him as best she could into her arms.
She shifted so she was now straddling his lap and crashed her mouth on his. Their tongues collided and she bowed out letting him take the lead. He gripped onto her hips for purchase and explored her hot little mouth, relishing in her taste and warmth. He felt her centre rub against his arousal and canted his hips upwards to meet her frantic movements. One of his hands moved under the skirts of her dress to the thin lining of her small clothes. He heard her gasp as he stroked the sensitive skin. She repositioned herself and hastily untied the laces to her dress to expose her firm breasts. He lapped at the two globes before him, paying particular attention to the pink peaks. They were both panting into each other, the cold bite of the Northern chill replaced with a burning fire of desperate want and need for one another. One of her small hands weaved into his breeches finding his stiff staff. Running it up and down he felt his climax approach as they moved against each other. When they both found their relief she rolled off him.
“You’re the only man I ever want to marry Gendry,” she said softly as she snuggled into his body.
“And you’re the only woman I ever want to give my heart too Arya.”
“I love you Gendry.”
“I love you too Arya.”
“So what do we do about your mother? About Jon?”
“I’ll apologise to your brother and beg him for his forgiveness. I’ll let him punch me if that makes him feel better. As for my mother, I’ll leave her be. She can continue to play her games but I won’t fall for them any longer.”
“You’re too good for her you know. You are the best person I know.”
“Thank you,” he replied before capturing her mouth with his again and repeating their actions from before.
Her mother was a mess. She was sitting in the corner of the room bawling her eyes out and mumbling incoherent words about them all growing up so fast. She loved her mother with all her heart but when she babbled on like a babe it really tested her patience. Sansa had to step in and help Arya get ready for her big day. They had gone out to the open fields beyond the castle walls to pick the blue flowers that would be weaved into her hair. She remembered how she wore her hair the day she first met Gendry and wanted to keep the same style for him, hoping it would take his breath away like it did the first time.
“How are you feeling?” Sansa asked as she brushed out the knots that had formed in Arya’s hair.
“Nervous…but excited,” she smiled.
“Do you remember when Old Nan would tell us stories before we went to bed?” Arya nodded her head. “I always loved hearing about the handsome knights who rescued the beautiful maidens and you loved hearing about the beasts that lurked beyond the wall. I dreamed that I would be a princess one day but here we are years later and my wild little sister, the one who always wanted to be a knight is going to be the Princess of the Seven Kingdoms.”
Arya rolled her eyes at her sister. “I’d still rather be a knight than a princess any day,” she replied.
“I don’t doubt that,” she giggled back. “I’ve noticed you haven’t spent much time with the Queen of late. Is everything between the two of you ok?”
Her sister was completely unaware of the contempt she now held for the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. She still couldn’t shake the chill she felt when the woman tried to comfort her after Jon and Gendry’s ordeal. She had thought of her as a friend, but soon found that there was nothing but treachery in her kind words. What angered her the most though was how Cersei seemed to take pleasure in causing Gendry pain. What kind of monster was she? And to use her brother like he was some kind of pawn in her sick game made the feeling worse. Although she still acted pleasant towards her, she would never forgive her for what she did and would never again fall for her tricks. “I’ve just been busy.”
“Yes I suppose you have. There, your hair is all done, now turn around and let me start work on your face.”
“Do you really have to put that stuff on me? The powder always gets up my nose and makes my face itch a little,” she frowned.
Sansa just shook her head at her. “Honestly Arya, who would have thought that a little bit of powder could scare you so,” she teased.
“It doesn’t scare me!” she retorted. “I was just saying that it’s itchy, that’s all.”
“That’s because of the powder you use. I promise that this one won’t make you itch or go up your nose.”
“Fine, but please try not to make me look stupid.”
Sansa raised her eyebrows at her and sighed deeply. “I won’t make you look stupid, I swear. Now close your eyes and try not to talk for a few moments until I’m done.” Arya sat silently and patiently, something she was definitely not comfortable with, as her sister proceeded to dust the light substance on her face. “Now part your lips slightly so I can put some colour on them.” Arya obeyed and felt the cold liquid brush over the skin. “I need you to smack your lips together now to even out the colour.” Arya rubbed her lips together as her sister requested. “Almost done, just the kohl on your eyes to go and we can get you in your dress.”
After she donned on her dress she looked in the mirror and couldn’t help but smile at her reflection. Sansa had done a good job and she felt the knots in her stomach turn as she thought of what Gendry would think of her. He always told her she was beautiful but she always doubted it. But looking at herself now, she believed that mayhaps, she was prettier than she thought.
“You look beautiful,” both her mother and sister said simultaneously. Arya blushed at their words and nodded in thanks.
“I guess it’s time.” She followed her mother and sister out as they made their way to the Godswood, where she and Gendry would say their vows to one another.
His heart was thumping in his chest. They had finally made it and he couldn’t wait to wrap the Baratheon cloak around Arya’s shoulders and to officially claim her as his, like she did him so long ago. He never thought Arya could look more beautiful, but once again his little wolf proved him wrong. She had her usual side braid but there were blue flowers weaved carefully in and out of the loops. It was like the first time he saw her and he couldn’t help the toothy grin he revealed at the sight of her. Her face had been painted, her lips a bright red that contrasted perfectly against her dark hair and pale skin. The dress she wore made her look even more out of this world. The long train that followed made her look like something out of a story. She was so graceful and elegant as she walked towards him and Gendry felt his breath hitch again at the thought of her being his and only his.
The two stared at each other, smiling as they said their vows. When they wrapped their cloaks around the other the crowd cheered and the two shared a short but sweet kiss before being presented to the people of Winterfell and their family and friends as Princess Arya and Prince Gendry of the Seven Kingdoms. The feast was a jovial affair. He danced with his sister Myrcella and even managed to twirl Lady Catelyn around the dance floor. He desperately wanted to dance with his ‘wife’ but she was constantly busy entertaining her family. She danced with all her brothers and her lord father and even managed to get his father moving on his feet. Gendry noticed how his fathers’ hand had slipped lower than it was supposed to on more than one occasion, but Arya would quickly correct him and move it where it was supposed to be.
He contemplated asking his mother for a dance but decided against it. He could never forgive her for what she had done. He looked over to her and saw her with that dull look on her face. Her golden hair didn’t have the shine that it used to and her face looked gaunt like she hadn’t eaten anything in days. He noticed that she was watching Arya intently. Her obsession with his pretty little wife had him concerned. “I’ve noticed too,” said a voice from behind.
Gendry turned to see Jon standing behind him. The two had made amends and had actually begun to form a friendship. “Noticed what?”
“How her eyes always follow my sister. It’s strange.”
“I know. She has been doing it for some time now.”
“What does she want with her?”
“Only the Gods know the answer to that. I stopped trying to understand how my mothers’ mind works a long time ago.”
“I don’t like it. Promise me you’ll watch out for her when you take her back to Kings Landing.”
“Of course I will. I’ll never let anything bad happen to Arya, you have my word.”
The night had gone by in a whirlwind. She danced the whole time and felt as if her feet would cave in beneath her. When she heard someone call out for the bedding she froze. She looked around to see the hungry eyes of the men surrounding her. Someone made a move to grab her but little Rickon popped up from nowhere and pushed the man away giving her the perfect opportunity to escape. She ran out of the hall and made her way up to the chambers that her and Gendry were sleeping in. She could hear the roar of laughter behind her and smiled at her triumph. No dirty old man is going to undress me.
She rounded a corner and bumped into someone, sending both bodies sprawled on the floor. “Seven hells,” she hissed in pain. She looked at the palm of her hands and saw that she had scraped it against the hard surface of the floor and noticed a small amount of blood escape the wound.
“You should watch where you’re going good sister,” she heard the other person say. She looked up to see emerald green eyes glaring at her. “You never know what’s lurking in the dark,” he finished before giving her a cruel smile. He reached down to grab a hold of her but she was too quick for him and rolled out of his grasp, springing to her feet. “I’m not going to hurt you Arya,” he sighed. “I was just going to help you up.”
She looked at him curiously. She could never truly understand Joffrey and although some thought him handsome, she didn’t find any of his features endearing in any way. “Thank you for the offer but I can manage on my own.”
“Why do you hate me? What does Gendry have that I can’t give you?” he pleaded. For the first time Arya saw a sadness exposed in his eyes.
“You shouldn’t be asking me these questions Joffrey...It’s not proper.”
“Since when have you followed what’s proper?” he snorted.
“Since I became the Princess of the Seven Kingdoms,” she replied coolly.
“Yes of course, you are a Princess now. I could have made you happy Arya, if you had given me a chance.” He moved to close the distance between them but she pulled away.
“No you wouldn’t have. We would be miserable like your mother and father.” She left him alone to think on her words as she continued to make her way to the bed chamber. She pushed against the heavy wooden doors and entered the room. Gendry still hadn’t arrived so she made her way over to the dresser. She unlaced the front of her dress and let the soft fabric fall to a heap on the floor. Left in nothing but her small clothes she began cleaning the wounds on her hands with the pot of water placed in the corner. It was cold and instantly caused her skin to break out in goose flesh. It didn’t help that one of the windows was open, allowing the cold Northern wind to fill the room. She had forgotten how cold the North was compared to Kings Landing and closed her eyes welcoming the feeling.
She could hear the sound of giggling women coming from the other side of the door and saw it swing open letting an embarrassed Gendry run through. He slammed it behind him and took in a deep breath. “Seven hells those women are crazy!” he all but shouted once he composed himself. “Honestly it’s as if they’ve never seen a man nude before!”
She couldn’t help the giggle that escaped her lips.”Mayhaps they wanted to see if you were big all over,” she teased. The look he gave her in return made her burst out with laughter. He hadn’t expected her to be so bold, and even though she had said many vulgar things around him in the past, she still had the ability to shock him.
“Well wife it appears the only way they will know is if you tell them,” he replied sinfully. He locked the door to their chambers to make sure they wouldn’t be interrupted and strode towards her. His long legs didn’t have to travel far and in an instant he lifted her up claiming her mouth with his. He settled her on the dresser as their tongues continued to dance with one another. She could feel the bristle of his whiskers brush along the skin around her mouth. His hands trekked down her sides sending jolts of electricity through her and rested firmly on her hips. He pulled her closer so his arousal and her sex were in direct contact. The only thing that separated their bodies from moulding into one was the fabric of their small clothes. She moved to run her hands through his coal black hair but hissed in pain at the contact.
“What’s wrong?” his voice laced with worry.
“Nothing,” she replied too quickly, trying to hide the scratches on her hands. She went to kiss him again but he pulled away and grabbed her hands, turning her palms face up to expose the tender abrasions.
“Your hands…what happened? Who did this?” his voice now serious.
“I fell is all. I was in too much of a hurry to get up here that I slipped and fell.” She didn’t want to lie to Gendry but she knew if she told the truth about her encounter with Joffrey he would show that Baratheon fury of his. “I’m fine Gendry, or should I say husband?” she smiled.
He lifted her hands up to his lips and kissed them tenderly as if it would heal them and make the pain go away. “I don’t like to see you hurt Arya.” His bright blue eyes were staring into her grey and he moved one of his hands to cup the side of her face. She sighed heavily and leaned into his touch, her eyes never leaving his.
“I know, but I’m not some fragile princess who needs constant protection, or have you forgotten that already?” she mused.
“How could I ever forget? But you are still my wife and no matter how well you wield a blade or how good a shot you are with a bow and arrow, I’ll always want to be the one protecting you.”
“Fine, if anybody was to be my protector then I suppose you aren’t such a horrible choice.” He chuckled at her response.
“I think it’s time we see how soft this featherbed is wife.” Gendry leaned in and resumed their kissing from before. He placed his hands on her hips again and she wrapped her legs around him so he could pick her up easily. Arya carefully wrapped her arms around the back of his neck for purchase, careful not to irritate her cuts further. Slowly but surely, Gendry lifted her up from her position on the dresser and stumbled to the large four post featherbed waiting for them. It was finally going to happen. Tonight was going to be the night she lost her maidenhood. The thought sent a needy sensation to her centre and she felt herself rub against Gendry’s already stiff staff.
He gently lay her down on her back and crawled over her, only breaking their kiss for a brief moment. When he kissed her again it was more desperate and needy than before. It was a kiss full of passion, lust and love that sent a burning heat to course through her body. “I’ve wanted this for so long Arya,” he whispered as he began to nibble on her ear and kiss his way down her neck. He found the spot that made her melt and she found herself moaning and whimpering at the feel of his mouth sucking on that sensitive skin. His hands were greedily roaming over her body and she felt one of them make its way under the thin fabric of her small clothes to grab hold of one of her breasts.
She gasped at the feeling and arched her back upward as his thumb began to stroke her nipple causing it to harden. He continued to tweak and pull at it, teasing it until it was fully erect before removing his hand completely and pulling her whole body up with him. “Wha-“
“Raise your arms,” he ordered silencing Arya’s protest. She followed without question and felt the top half of her small clothes leave her pale skin, leaving her pert breasts bare before him. “Perfect,” he breathed before seizing one of them with his mouth.
“Seven hells!” she wailed. Gendry lapped at her breasts, rolling his tongue and scraping his teeth over the soft flesh. Her sex was basking in her wetness now and she was sure it was seeping through her clothing. As he sucked harder she tangled her fingers into his thick dark hair, ignoring the pain in her hands. He moved his mouth off her fully erect nipples and began peppering kisses down her torso. Each kiss sent a new shot of electricity to her clit, eliciting more screams of pleasure from her.
She felt him tug at the last piece of clothing on her small frame and canted her hips upwards so he could slide it down her legs. She felt a flush creep on her face as Gendry sat upright, his eyes ogling her naked form. “You’re so beautiful Arya…I don’t think you realise just how beautiful you really are,” he announced. He knelt down and kissed her while stroking the side of her face. It was soft and slow, both savouring the taste of the other. One of his hands travelled down to rest on the nest of curls on her mound. He slid one finger into her moist cunt wiggling it around and curling it. She cried out as he began pushing it in and out of her at a slow and torturous pace. He quickened the speed as he inserted a second finger then a third, stretching her opening wider for him. “You’re so wet Arya,” he murmured in between his groans.
“It’s your fault,” she replied breathlessly. He continued to pump his fingers in and out of her and Arya followed his movements, grinding her sex onto his hand. Their kisses were getting sloppy as Arya felt herself ride out the first wave of her orgasm. It was becoming harder and harder to keep her eyes open and focused on Gendry’s blue. Her words became disjointed ramblings as she tried to tell him how good he was making her feel. How his touch set her whole body aflame with desire and how the feel of his tongue on hers made her feel a hunger she never knew existed. Sensing that she was close, Gendry moved his mouth from hers and found the pink peaks of her stiff nipples waiting for him. He proceeded to suck and nip at them and brought his thumb to her nub, rubbing it gently until he felt her come undone. She convulsed around his fingers and called out his name as her juices trickled down his hand, leaving a damp spot on the sheets of the bed.
She was out of breath but still felt like she needed more. She knew that it would hurt at first but she wasn’t afraid because it was Gendry. Even though her arms felt weak she managed to weave her hands into his small clothes, grabbing a firm hold of his pulsating cock. Moving up and down his length she noticed how his blue eyes rolled into the back of his head and proceeded to pull down the rest of the clothing with her feet. With his member free from its restraint she began to move her hand faster, making sure to rub the beads of liquid on the head of his staff with her thumb. “Arya, Arya, Arya,” he muttered into her hair. She loved the sound of it. She was so lost in the moment that when he pulled away from her a growl escaped her lips.
“Calm down little wolf,” he chuckled. “If you keep going like that I won’t be able to last much longer,” he whispered. “And I’ve waited for too long to see what it feels like to come inside you.” She bit down on her lip and watched as he positioned himself in between her legs. “Are you ready?” he asked her. She nodded, the words caught in her throat. The tip of his cock was now at the entrance of her mound. He drove it in slowly and she could tell it was taking all of his strength to stop himself from plunging into her. The feeling was strange and uncomfortable at first but when Gendry muttered sweet nothings into her ear and kissed her softly she could only feel fullness. There was a sharp sting when he burst through the wall of her maidenhood causing her to gasp. “I’m sorry, do you want me to stop?”
She still couldn’t find her voice and shook her head violently. He smiled sweetly at her then started to pull out and push back in until she was able to match his rhythm. They moved in unison, their bodies slapping and grinding against the other and their sounds of pleasure mingling into a mixture of moans and grunts. Their eyes were fixed on the other, unblinking and unwavering, both getting lost at the sight. “I love you, I love you, I love you,” they both said. A declaration they wanted the Old Gods and New to hear. Gendry was pounding into her now as he was on the verge of reaching his climax. She was close too and as her tight walls closed in on his enormous member, she screamed out his name and he groaned hers in return. He stayed inside her, not wanting to lose the feel of her warmth around him. “Thank you,” he said in a whisper.
“For what?” she asked puzzled.
“For choosing me,” he finished.
She smiled at him and nudged her nose into his. “You silly Prince, how could I choose another?”
Arya looked out the window of their chambers and rubbed her swollen belly. She thought back on their wedding night and about all the times since. She had never imagined her life could be as joyful as it was. The idea of being a mother never appealed to her, but now as she felt the child within move and kick inside her she couldn’t help but feel that the next chapter of her life would be the biggest adventure of all.