The Secrets of a Queen

When Jorah returned from the docks with the morning's news and rumours, he found his queen still fast asleep, curled into a tight ball under her silken sheets. He took a step forward and a half-step back, hesitating to disturb her rest.

"Khaleesi?" he cleared his throat loudly to attract her attention.

She responded only by shifting slightly and murmuring, and did not wake.

"Khaleesi, wake up." He raised his voice and stepped a little closer, trying not to focus too much on the shape of her body as it was outlined by the fine material in the morning sunlight. She mumbled again and rolled over, turning her peaceful face towards him. Holding his breath as he surveyed her beauty, he moved to the side of the bed and laid his hand on her shoulder, shaking her gently.

"...Daenerys..." he whispered, leaning closer only to be enveloped by her scent; it took all his resolve not to kiss her, to wake her up as she deserved to be awoken, with love and affection.

"...Mmm..." she uttered in a breathy moan, shifting again, " sweet bear..."

He stepped back to a more respectable distance, trying to keep the confused blush off his face at the words he dare not believe referred to him. Jorah watched as she rolled onto her back and stretched, cat-like, arching her chest upwards and pressing her hands against the headboard for stability, "Mmmmph..."


She collapsed back onto the bed, suddenly stiff as a board in shock, and her eyes flew open.

"Jorah." It was not a question.

"Good morning, Khaleesi."

The heat was unbearable, even in the shade of her tent, and every breath seemed to burn her throat and lungs as if she were sucking in fire instead of air as she lay on her pallet, trying to ignore the pain in her belly and the cracks in her skin.

"Khaleesi, look!"

Forcing her eyelids to open and her neck to turn towards the familiar voice, she was greeted with the decidedly welcome, if extremely confusing sight, of a very wet-looking Jorah Mormont.

"Ser Jorah...why are you so...damp?"

His shirt was translucent, clinging to his skin and the contours of the muscles in his arms and chest, his hair dark and pushed back from his face haphazardly, a loose strand hanging over his left eye.

He held out the object in his hands as if it were a newborn babe.

"Water. A spring," he heaved great breaths between his words, forcing his thin shirt to stretch tighter over his chest and emphasise the spread of dark hair that covered his upper chest and trailed in a straight line down the centre of his abdomen, disappearing into his breeches. "I found it earlier, there's enough water for all of us, and plenty more to fill whatever jars and skins we can find or fashion," he smiled, his eyes wide with relief and wonder, "Drink, Khaleesi."

Her knight sank to his knees beside her, and held the skin to her cracked lips, tilting it gently for her to drink.

She was sure that no wine had ever tasted so sweet. She would have happily swallowed it all and more until she was sick, but her bear was more sensible, cupping her head gently as he trickled a little at a time into her mouth.

"Tell all those who can still ride how to find this spring, tell them to take every vessel we have, and then return to me."

He bowed his head, rose and turned to leave, and she admired the flexing of the muscles in his back as he did so, the soaked shirt hiding nothing from her curious eyes. When he was gone, she picked up the miraculous water skin and promptly pressed it to her face, her neck, her chest, basking in the feeling of cold seeping into her feverish flesh. Unstopping the flask, she poured liquid into her palm and rubbed her face, repeating the process until she felt a degree cleaner and cooler, corking it again to preserve what remained.

Her tent flap opened and closed, and Jorah was with her once more, resting on one knee by her side.

"It is done; they will make as many trips as it takes to fill our casks and our bellies. We can move the khalasar on the morrow, it is not far, and no great distance out of our course when the difference is between life and death."

His shirt was already beginning to dry in the stifling heat, his hair was returning to its dirty blond waves, and she'd never seen a sight more appealing. Her thoughts shocked her, she wondered if it was the dehydration or the starvation that was twisting her mind. Since her sun-and-stars had died she had not felt anything of that sort, and if she had, she had passed it off as loneliness. But now she found herself reaching out and brushing his cheek, feeling the roughness of his beard against her fingertips. He had such a pained look in those stormy blue eyes that she felt compelled to reassure him somehow, reaching up with her other hand to tuck the loose hair back behind his ear, dropping her fingers to smooth over the scar Qotho's arakh had given him when he had defended her in the Dothraki Sea.

"Khaleesi...?" he breathed, his voice rougher than it had been after days and days without water, this time for entirely different reasons.

"Don't speak, ser..." she watched intently as his gaze dropped from her eyes to her mouth and slowly dragged back up again as spoke, "Show me."

The tent was silent and motionless for several seconds, time itself stood still as her knight processed what she had said, what she was implying, what she was imploring.

He moved forward slightly, until there was only a couple of inches between his face and hers, dropping onto both knees as he brought a hand up to rest lightly on her neck. His eyes searched hers once more for any doubt or artifice, then they shifted to take in her features, focusing on certain places; her left eyebrow, her right cheek, the tip of her nose, her chin, and finally, her lips.

Her brow creased in the middle slightly in confusion at his behaviour, which was immediately relaxed as he pressed his lips to the furrow, his touch feather-light. He then proceeded to kiss each point his gaze had lingering on, the contact soft and all-too-brief, her anticipation building with each movement.

He paused after kissing her chin, pulling back to look deep into her eyes again, his own half-closed with desire. She noticed the wetness of his lips, and realised with a pang of affection that he had been kissing the water droplets from her skin.

Daenerys opened her mouth slightly, intending to investigate her lips for water, but her knight interrupted her, brushing his thumb along her jaw.


He kissed her then, and the feather light touches and chaste pecks were gone, his mouth soft but firm as it moulded to hers, caressing the crystal droplet from her bottom lip with an insistent tug and a graze of teeth.

She moaned, her fingers tangled in his hair, pulling him down on top of her, relishing the feel of his weight pressing her into the furs of her bed. His tongue smoothed over her lip asking for entry, and a growl rumbled deep in his chest as she complied, arching her back to press closer to his body as he ghosted a rough hand along her spine.

She gasped as the cold metal of his belt buckle pressed into the exposed skin of her midriff, and he broke the kiss for a moment, tracing the line of her nose with his, his eyes still closed lightly. His lips left a burning trail over her cheek and along her jaw as her fingers worked at his belt, gasping as his teeth nibbled at her earlobe.

"Daenerys..." he whispered reverently, rolling them so that she sat astride him, the caress of his warm breath over her skin sending a shiver of desire down her spine.

" sweet bear..." she groaned into the boiling air as her knight turned his attention to her neck, sucking gently at the sensitive point under her jaw as his right hand slid over her abdomen, his fingers beginning to trace the ridges of her ribs on their steady upward journey. His sword and belt were gone, along with the long protective skirt he wore over his breeches, and his shirt was hanging loose at the bottom where she had yanked it from his waistband to run her hands over his chest. Their movements were becoming quicker and less synchronised as arousal took over, and as a result she was having trouble remembering when this or that piece of clothing had been removed, or when his hands had first caressed her breasts, or when she'd moaned as his thumbs grazed over and circled her rapidly hardening nipples, or when she'd unlaced his breeches and felt his strong hands grip her hips.

She seemed to be drifting now, leaving her body and all those wonderful sensations, and looking down on the scene from outside, losing her senses one by one, until her vision faded just as Ser Jorah lifted her onto his lap, her back arched, her head thrown back, and her mouth open in silent ecstasy.

With a disappointed groan she woke slowly, stretching to relieve the tension of unsatisfied arousal from her muscles, curving her back in echo of her dream in the hope of falling back asleep and continuing where she'd been so rudely interrupted.


She jolted awake like a bucket of ice water had been thrown over her, her eyes flicking open to confirm that, yes, he was there, watching her, hearing her.


She said it as a statement of fact, more to warn herself than to question his presence, clamping her eyes shut for a moment to calm herself and push away the memories of her dream, which were currently insisting that she see Ser Jorah's face contorted in rapture and feel the ghosts of his hands on her body.

"Good morning, Khaleesi."

She really should forbid him from saying that word in that voice, she thought to herself, resisting the shiver that reverberated down her spine every time he spoke her title. Thankfully, she was saved from the awkward atmosphere by the entrance of one of the servants with her breakfast, a tray piled high with fruits, jams and small, neat slices of bread, along with cool wine, water and juices. She smiled her gratitude to the maid and noticed Jorah's small nod to her as well, hiding her smirk as she recognised his own relieved thanks for interrupting the uncomfortable situation.

Daenerys stood, yawned and stretched again, and disappeared behind her screen to change into more suitable attire for receiving her knight, advisor, friend, and subject of several unsettlingly arousing dreams, doing her best to avoid his gaze as she made her escape.

"What news?"

She was thankful for the thick screen when he began speaking, allowing her the freedom to chew her lip to bite back the gasp that would have escaped her otherwise. Shimmying into some pale silk pants that gathered at the ankle, she donned a finely tooled leather vest and returned to the bed barefoot, picking up the tray of fruit on her way.

"Do you require me to braid your hair this morning, Khaleesi?" he asked as she settled herself cross-legged, on the sheets, breakfast in front of her, already biting into a peach.

"If you would, thank you."

When she made no move to get up, he spoke again, and she was glad of her loose hair to hide the smile on her face.

"Do you wish me to do it while you eat your breakfast in bed, Khaleesi?"

She could hear the amusement in his voice and turned to look at him, glad to see the small smirk tugging at one corner of his mouth.

"If you would, ser, I would be grateful."

He chuckled and shook his head, moving to her dressing table to collect her comb and pins and such.

"Can you move closer to the edge of the bed, Khaleesi? It might seem improper for me to climb in with you. Next you'll be sharing your breakfast with me, and there will be anarchy."

Laughing with him, she shuffled to the side of the bed, sitting with her back to him while she finished her peach and considered what to eat next. He continued with the lies and exaggerations from the docks and markets as he gently combed her hair, his fingers pulling loose strands from her vest, sending bolts to her core each time he touched her skin.

They continued in a quiet and companionable manner until Jorah's stomach interrupted them, rumbling angrily. His hands froze in her hair, and she tilted her head back to look up at him.

"Have you not eaten, ser?"

"Not yet Khaleesi, I will break my fast once I have completed my duties here."

She dropped her gaze back to the opulent spread of exotic fruit lying before her and spoke again, "I'm sorry, I didn't know. And here I am, gorging myself while you haven't touched so much as a berry since dusk yesterday."

He chuckled, and her heart leapt, "Don't worry, Khaleesi, I'll not waste away if I break my fast later than usual. We came through the Red Waste together; an hour will make little difference. Eat your breakfast."

His mention of the Red Waste brought her dream back to her in vivid colour and sensation, and her mind decided to focus on the feel of his tongue as it explored her mouth and smoothed over the gentle bites he'd placed on her skin. She considered this as she chewed a grape, ripe and bursting with sweet juice, and had an idea, remembering his sarcastic words earlier.

Plucking a large grape from the bunch, she tilted her head back again and held it up to him. He frowned at the fruit offering, and so she explained,

"Eat it. I'll not waste away for lack of a few grapes."

His eyebrows rose and knitted, and that clever tongue of his poked out to wet his lips as he searched for words.

"I...I would, Khaleesi, but my hands," he tugged lightly on the braid he was forming, "Are somewhat occupied."

He didn't say it, and she didn't ask for clarification, but the suggestion hovered in the air between them for a moment before she reached up further and held it out again. This time, his mouth came to meet it, opened and took in the grape, his tongue wrapping around it and drawing it back between his teeth. He chewed slowly, his eyes lightly closed, and she wondered whether it was due to the relief of food, the quality of the fruit, or the sensuality of the act itself that caused such pleasure.

Dropping her gaze back to her breakfast, she shivered and ate another grape herself as Jorah slowly resumed his braiding and his stories. They continued like that until he had finished her hair, Daenerys rewarding each tale he told with another grape from her hand, the exchange becoming more comfortable but no less arousing. When he had finished with her hair, she was sure that either he had moved closer to the bed or she was leaning back, as she could feel the heat of his chest on the back of her head as his fingers stroked idly through her hair as their conversation drifted to Westeros as Jorah described the kingdoms he'd visited and the things he'd seen.

He had never been so glad to see a servant as he had when that maid entered Daenerys' chamber with her breakfast, saving him from having to endure the awkwardness that was tangible in the air, and briefly forcing his queen's words from his mind.

'" sweet bear..."? What can that mean? Surely she isn't referring to me?'

He was left to turn this over in his mind while she got out of bed and stretched again and, while this time she was facing away from him, he was still presented with the tempting but forbidden view of her shapely backside pushed towards him as she arched, rising up on her toes. Thankfully, she disappeared from his sight to get dressed, and he was able to distract himself from her words by recounting the many things he'd heard that morning.

Her attire, while perfectly acceptable on this continent and in this climate – and considerably less distracting than those Qartheen dresses that traditionally exposed one breast – the thin silk of her pants did nothing to hide the form of her legs as the sun filtered through them, and the leather vest she wore in the Dothraki fashion exposed her midriff, emphasising the curve of her waist and hips, and presenting her smooth, creamy skin for inspection. She swept through the room, picking up the tray containing her breakfast and seating herself back on her bed, biting deeply into a ripe peach, juice gathering at the corners of her mouth so that she had to swipe her tongue over her lips to catch it. He closed his eyes briefly to focus his mind again, lest it wander towards his late night fantasies.

"Do you require me to braid your hair this morning, Khaleesi?" he asked, remembering his other duty of each morning, besides relaying any new tales from the traders and sailors.

"If you would, thank you." she replied, yet made no attempt to get up and move to their customary position at her dressing table, continuing to eat her peach, her pink lips stretched over it as she sank her teeth into its flesh.

Unable to contain the smirk stretching across his face, he replied with rather more sarcasm than he usually allowed himself in her presence,

"Do you wish me to do it while you eat your breakfast in bed, Khaleesi?"

His smile spread as she turned to him with an eyebrow raised, the corners of her mouth turning up,

"If you would, ser, I would be grateful."

He laughed and set about his work, stepping as close as his restraint would allow, immediately engulfed in the scent of her mixing with the aroma of the fruit and jam in front of her, but she was still too far away for him to braid her hair, sat right in the centre of the huge bed.

"Can you move closer to the edge of the bed, Khaleesi? It might seem improper for me to climb in with you. Next you'll be sharing your breakfast with me, and there will be anarchy."

He'd laced the request with sarcasm to hide his secret desire to do exactly that, to hold her to his chest and bury his face in her hair. She laughed lightly and shimmied closer to him as she sucked the last of the flesh from her peach stone, and he began his task.

Watching her eat her breakfast reminded him that he had yet to eat, initially put off his food by the pools of vomit and nightsoil in the alleys around the docks, mixed with the smell of rotting fish and other waste from the taverns and the markets, he had not been able to stomach anything when he returned from his morning rounds. But now he was definitely feeling better, and his stomach decided to voice this opinion rather loudly.

Much as he appreciated his queen's concern about his well-being, when she held the grape out for him to take he wondered what she was thinking.

"Eat it. I'll not waste away for lack of a few grapes."

It seemed that his words to her earlier had been picked up on, and while propriety dictated that he politely decline, they were alone, and he was hungry, but for more than just one grape.

"I..." he considered his words for a moment, daring to imply something he had only dreamed about, and which he was certain she would draw the line at, "I would, Khaleesi, but my hands," he shifted his grip on the half-completed plait which provided a perfect excuse to both suggest and decline, "Are somewhat occupied."

She was silent for a moment, staring up at him from where she had tilted back her neck, the crown of her head almost resting on his chest, then she only held the grape higher, insisting that he take it in the only way he could, with his mouth alone. He bent slightly and took great care not to touch her fingers with his lips or his tongue, lodging it between his back teeth and biting down. Sweet, tart juice flowed through his mouth, but it wasn't the exquisite taste of the fruit that forced his eyes shut.

He had thought that this would be a one-off occurrence, and the rest of the morning would pass uneventfully, but it became clear that Daenerys was intent on seeing him eat, even if that meant she had to hand-feed him. So, when he finished each story from some oarsman or trader or fishwife, she fed him a grape, shuffling a little further backwards so it was easier to reach him, her back almost resting against his stomach. He found that he had finished the day's news, and her hair, long before he wanted the moment to end, so he slipped into stories about the Seven Kingdoms, and continued to play with her hair, under the pretence that he was still working on it. When his stories ran out, they remained in silence, the only sounds being their chewing as she continued to feed him grapes and berries from her platter, and he continued to stroke her silver-gold tresses.

Suddenly she rose up on her knees, and he was sure she was going to send him away, his duty done, and nothing would be said of the time they had simply been together. But she turned, and could not stop his eyebrows from rising in shock as she placed a grape between her teeth and jutted her head forward, as if she was offering it to him. With her mouth.

'She must be mad. Surely she's not suggesting that I...She can't be!'

But then her hands were sliding up his chest, over his shoulders and clasping the back of his neck, pulling him down to her, the expression in her eyes shouting that she wanted him just as much as her fingers threading into his hair did. She pressed the grape against his lips, forcing them to part over it and meet her own on the other side, her tongue pushing the fruit into his mouth and then retreating, placing a lingering but chaste kiss on his closed lips. She never broke eye contact for a second while he chewed the grape slowly, trying to understand where all this was coming from. Not that he was complaining necessarily, and he couldn't pretend there hadn't been some heated looks and affectionate moments, but this was on a different level entirely. When he swallowed, she leaned forward and kissed his throat gently, all the way down to his collarbones and back up and along his jaw, before pulling back to look at him again.

"Khaleesi..." he groaned, his voice deeper and rougher than he had expected, resting his hands on her shoulders, not knowing whether he intended to hold her back or pull her into his embrace.

"Use my name, ser, and I'll use yours." Her tone was commanding, and he could do nothing but obey with every fibre of his body and soul.

"Daenerys..." he whispered it like it was treason, and felt like he'd been made privy to some great secret, like he'd been entrusted with a great treasure.

"Jorah," she smiled, almost sadly, and took his face between her hands, "Just for now, I am no queen and you are no knight. We are just a man and a woman," she stared at him intently, "Do you understand?"

He nodded, rubbing small circles into her shoulders, "Are you sure?"

"Yes," she was completely serious, "Don't you think we've been dancing around each other for long enough?" she rubbed her thumb across his cheekbone tenderly.

He was desperate to kiss her properly, to claim her as his own, and it took all his resolve to keep his hands resting on her shoulders and school his face into a more acceptable expression.

She smiled at his restraint and moved forward, pressing her body flush against his, "Go on, you can touch me, I won't break."

She didn't know what she had been thinking when she put that grape between her teeth and challenged her knight to take it from her. Well, that wasn't entirely true; she had been thinking about her dream again, and lamenting the fact that she'd forgotten several of the most thrilling parts, and she was so tired of watching Jorah try to hide his feelings, knowing she did the same herself. So she'd given him -them – an opportunity to end the lies and frustration, and when he took it... she couldn't breathe. She knew that if this was going to work, they couldn't be the people all their titles said they were, with all the responsibilities and expectations that went along with those troublesome words. She really did want this to work, for both of them, but right now the priority was more one of sensation than emotion; they both had an itch that needed to be scratched, the tenderness could come later. So when she told him to touch her, claimed that she wouldn't break, she had been sure he would grab her, throw her down on the bed and get rid of all that pent-up energy and sexual frustration in the only way they could.

But he didn't. In fact, he didn't move for a long time, apart from to run his hands up and down her arms, then across her shoulders and down her back, then up from her knees and over her hips, coming to rest on her waist. He bent his head as if to kiss her, and she closed her eyes in anticipation of his mouth crashing down on hers, but he didn't kiss her, not yet. Instead, he buried his face in the crook of her neck and nuzzled the skin with his nose, inhaling her scent and sliding a hand into her hair, cupping the back of her skull gently. When he pulled back she almost thought he'd changed his mind, but he brought his other hand up to cradle her cheek, finally pressing his lips to hers, light and soft.

As much as she had expected – and partly wanted – him to be more forceful, more frenzied, she couldn't help but sigh into his kiss as his lips massaged hers gently, her hands grabbed fistfuls of his shirt as he flicked his tongue over her bottom lip, asking for entry, and she groaned as it slid lightly over hers – even kissing her, he was respectful and cautious. It didn't last long however, as he withdrew slowly, leaving her leaning forward as he pulled away, her hands tugging at his shirt.

"I'm not going anywhere," he breathed, his voice deep and husky as he removed both his belts and the protective skirt he wore, before unbinding his sword hand, "You might want to move that tray, unless you're planning on using the fruit for further seductive attacks."

She didn't laugh, she was too aroused to be distracted by mirth, but she smiled to let him know she appreciated the joke before she moved the tray. When she returned to the bed she lay back on the thick pillows, picking at the laces of her vest, intending to remove it.

"Leave it..." he practically growled, and it sent a jolt right to her core, which was quickly overshadowed by the effect of seeing Ser Jorah Mormont in just his boots and breeches. He wasn't heavily muscled, he certainly wasn't as bulky as Drogo had been, but there was a latent power in his frame, his muscles no less defined for his age, which was not really so great when she saw that his body was still young. There was a spread of dark hair over his upper chest, which tapered into a single strip from breastbone to groin, and his tanned skin was scattered with scars large and small, some neat and straight, others jagged and poorly healed. She watched the stretch and twitch of his muscles as he balanced on one leg at a time to pull off his boots, then he joined her on the bed, kneeling at her feet as if waiting instruction. Impatient, she sat up and pulled him towards her by the shoulders, forcing him to settle between her thighs and rest on top of her.

He took a deep breath and looked at her again with questioning eyes, "Are you absolutely sure?"

"You've got this far. Wouldn't you be disappointed if this was all you got?" she quirked an eyebrow and gave him a slow once-over with her eyes, "I certainly would be."

He leaned forward and kissed her hard, as if he were committing it to memory in case this was the last time he ever got to touch her this way. She almost laughed – 'if this is enough to commit to memory, his brain is going to explode later on, if I get my way!' – but then he pulled her lower lip into his mouth and bit it gently, and she forgot all about laughing. His right hand smoothed over her abdomen and moved up over her ribs, caressing each new inch of skin until his fingertips grazed the underside of her breast, at which point his mouth moved to her neck, sucking at the pulse point under her jaw, smoothing his tongue over the red mark he left. The rough calluses on his hands only increased her arousal as his fingers circled and brushed over one nipple and then the other until they formed hard, sensitive peaks. He removed his hand, and she didn't bother to contain the whine of disappointment, but his lips smoothed over hers again while his fingers removed the laces of her vest, pulling it from her gently, exposing more skin to the careful ministrations of his mouth.

Her back arched as his lips enclosed a nipple, his tongue swirling around the sensitive nub before flicking it, eliciting a moan that had her clutching the bed sheets to stop her hands from seizing him. He repeated the process for the other breast, then began kissing his way slowly, ever so languorously, from her chest to her belly button and to the last inch of skin above her waistband, where he untied the drawstring of her pants with his teeth. The sight of that forced her to throw her head back and bite her lip, knowing if she continued to watch she wouldn't be able to control herself. His hands then came to rest on her shoulders, from whence they glided over and around her breasts, over the ridges of her ribcage, around her waist and hips, and smoothed over her buttocks, gently sliding the trousers from her legs and dropping them on the floor. He ran his hands lightly over her thighs, brushing the sensitive skin on the inside of her legs, sweeping ever closer to her core. Just before he reached the patch of silver curls he removed his hand, crawling back up the bed to look at her.

"Daenerys...look at me."

She forced her eyes to open, her body feeling like it might melt like wax under his touch.

"I love you, with all my heart," he smiled, resting his forehead against hers, "And I still can't believe you're real," he chuckled quietly, his warm breath ghosting over her skin, raising goose-bumps.

"Are you completely sure?" his blue eyes pleaded with her, and he rose up on his elbows to distance himself from her.

"Yes, a thousand times, yes." She reached for the straining laces on his breeches, but his hands caught hers and held them as he sat back on his heels.

"What about the servants? If they come back..." he trailed off, knowing he need not elaborate.

She smirked then, and pulled at his hands to bring him on top of her again, working her fingers into his hair.

"...What?" he whispered, a frown still fixed on his face.

"They won't be coming back. I told them not to."

"But, don't you have appointments today?" he stroked her hair reverently, as if he were sure this was the last time he would ever touch it.

"No." Her smirk spread wider.

"Then...why did you have me braid your hair?"

"Because," she paused and kissed his throat, drawing a deep, rumbling growl from her bear, "I love it when you touch my hair, "she whispered in his ear, her tongue poking out to trace its shell, "And I ordered the servants to take the day off, so that we wouldn't be disturbed."

She dropped her hands to his breeches again, and this time he did not stop her, "So, my sweet bear," his mouth dropped open in shock at her words, and she smiled seductively again, "Will you please stop talking, and make love to me?"

She watched the apple of his throat bob as he swallowed hard, her hand slipping into his breeches. When his eyes opened again, he fixed her with a piercing gaze and said, in that voice that could reduce her to a puddle of desire,

"As you command, Khaleesi."