Chapter One: Union
A/N: So this idea just tackled me and I ran with it. House Piper is a real house from Martin's universe - I only own Elyssa. Not sure exactly where I'm going with this, but I'll continue if I get a good response I suppose. Sorry this is short, but it's only really an introduction.
Although this chapter is not overly dark, the story will be. It is not a romance. Ramsay and Elyssa are going to have a dark relationship and there will be rape, abuse and other dark elements within the story. I'm warning you now so that you know what to expect. This isn't a story for the faint of heart.
"I can't believe you agreed to this, Father."
Marq Piper paced the hall and ran his hands through his sandy blonde hair as his siblings and father watched. Elyssa clasped her hands together demurely and avoided meeting anyone's eyes. She was in agreement with Marq, sharing his displeasure about the circumstances she felt had been forced upon her. Yet it was Marq who was known for his hot temper and sharp tongue, not Elyssa, so she remained quiet as she watched her brother pace.
Their father, Clement Piper, frowned. He was a stout old man with hair of a greying red. He wasn't very tall – Elyssa and Lewys were nearly of a height with him. In fact, Elyssa prided herself on still being slightly taller than her younger brother even though he was only two years her junior.
"It was the only way, Marq. Don't blame me for a decision to make amends for your inability to hold your tongue."
Marq glared at Clement, but could not deny that it was the truth. Elyssa did not know whether to blame her brother, or her father. All she knew was that like most other families in the Riverlands, they feared the Boltons. Roose was a man known to hold grudges and considering what Marq had done – well, Elyssa knew that her father was only attempting to solve the problem. She just wished she didn't have to be part of it.
"But it's not me paying the price," Marq pointed out, gesturing to his younger sister. "It's Elyssa."
Elyssa had silently prayed that Ramsay would find her unattractive. She was no great beauty like Cersei Lannister, or even Catelyn Stark. Considering her mother had died in childbirth with Lewys, it was difficult for Elyssa to compare herself with other members of her family. She and Marq were blonde like their mother, while Lewys had inherited Clement's crimson hair.
"Elyssa is sixteen years old," Clement replied, as if her age decided everything, "She is comely enough, and unmarried. I cannot see why Roose or Ramsay would object to such an offering."
"You make her sound like a sacrifice," Marq said in frustration, his muscular frame tensing up. Although he and Elyssa were too far apart in age to be close, he was very protective of both his younger siblings. The idea of giving Elyssa up to a family with a reputation like the Boltons did not appeal to him in the least.
"If the Boltons agree, then they will wed here." Clement spoke loudly over his son, as he had a tendency to do. Elyssa had always been frustrated by that, the fact that her father bellowed over any interruptions until there was nothing but sullen silence. "Elyssa has already flowered, there is no need for delays."
Elyssa heaved an audible sigh at that. So she was not only to be wed to Ramsay Bolton, but the union was to happen soon after they arrived. She understood that Clement was eager to undo the damage that Marq had caused, yet it seemed unfair that she was the one to fix her brother's mistakes. Elyssa didn't quite understand how a marriage would heal an insult in any case.
"After which, I suppose, I will away to the Dreadfort," Elyssa remarked without even a hint of enthusiasm, a shudder rippling up her spine. Everyone had heard the tales of Ramsay's hunts. To her, he was nothing but a baseborn boy elevated to legitimacy because of his father's lack of heirs. That did not make him noble.
Clement looked upon his daughter with sympathy. Elyssa was a good, obedient girl. It was not with her that he had a quarrel. Yet considering the severity of Marq's actions, peace needed to be reached with the Boltons. Offering his young daughter seemed the only way to achieve it.
"Elyssa Piper," Ramsay drawled the name, sprawled in a chair with his legs crossed on the table.
Roose frowned. "Get your feet off the table."
"Is she pretty?" Ramsay inquired. Everyone knew the Piper words: brave and beautiful. They made him snicker. Odds were, this girl was neither. Ramsay knew Clement to be a stout old man, his son Marq tall and muscular with glossy blonde hair. Stupid, foolish Marq who would likely have lost his life if not for Clement offering the girl. "How old is she?"
"Sixteen," Roose replied casually. If it hadn't been for him, this arrangement likely wouldn't have gone ahead in the first place. He remembered Elyssa vaguely. Pretty and blonde, small and slender but with full breasts. He had no doubt that Ramsay would approve. "She is quite comely."
"Good." If Ramsay was to marry, it would be to a woman who would give him plenty of sons. From what he had heard, Elyssa was a shy young thing, but they were broken easily enough. It had been some time since he'd had a virgin. The prospect of having one in the near future pleased him.
"I want you to remember your manners with the Pipers," Roose paced back and forth in front of the hearth. Seven hells, it was getting cold of late. Ramsay glared defiantly across at his father, pushing himself to his feet.
"Why should I? Marq forgot his."
"I don't give a damn about Marq, and you shouldn't either." Roose's cold gaze bored into his bastard son. He knew that Ramsay had been raised a farm boy and sometimes niceties evaded him. But while in Pinkmaiden, he would do well to remember them. It wouldn't do to have Lord Piper decide to withdraw his offer of a fine young girl. "Ignore him. Be polite to Clement, and his daughter too."
"I don't give a fuck what they think about me," Ramsay said dismissively, his eyes narrowing.
"But I do," Roose reminded him, stepping closer. Although he had possessed some of the same tendencies as his son when he had been young – but not to quite the same degree, of course – it wouldn't do for Ramsay to make an enemy of Clement when the entire point of him marrying Elyssa was to maintain friendships, and control. "I don't care what you do with the girl when you return to the Dreadfort, but in Pinkmaiden you will be civil."
A smirk tweaked at the corners of Ramsay's lips. Civil, he could do that, for a time. At least until Elyssa was his. Then there would be no objections, for a married woman was the property of her husband. In truth, he didn't really care much for whatever politics his father and Clement would discuss. The point was that he would get a comely wife out of it. A new toy.