SUMMARY::: Maeve is a Septa (priestess), taken her vows, but when war breaks out, she is sent to Robb Stark's camp to care for the few unfortunate children and mothers caught up in war, but then Jon comes down from the wall and she finds herself torn between her life and vows as a Septa, and Jon Snow. Jon faces similar torment.
Also, I don't know if Septa's can get married or have to be celibate, but in here they do. They're like nuns.
Also-I own SQUAT! (((except Maeve she's mine.)))
A/N-this has be edited since July, nothing too big, so you don't have to read
Vows were what shaped her life.
Her father, Eli, had sworn vows and oaths to a lord that had betrayed him and her mother, resulting in orphaned state.
Maeve remembered the screams, her father's guards, their families, her uncle, her mother, her father. She remembered the pain in her leg from the arrow that pierced her as she tried to run into the woods. Even now she didn't know why the noble spared her when he had no problem killing the other children of her guard's families.
The murdering Lord ordered one of his wife's handmaids to take her to the local whore-house to be degraded and humiliated; however, the handmaid had taken mercy on the little five-year-old and dropped her at the small, humble sept in the center of a nearby village. It was there, that Maeve lived and learned as a septa, a priestess of the Seven Gods.
Maeve hadn't really had a choice in the matter, it was expected that she become a septa and there was no way to fight it. It would shame her to fight the people who had taken her in, clothed her, fed her, housed her, educated her, so she did not fight.
At twelve she vowed to spend her life worshiping and serving the Seven. She was not a septa yet, but vowed to go through the trials to become one. At sixteen she completed the trials and obtained her title as Septa. That night she was anointed with the Seven holy oils and took her official vows, to remain loyal and true to the Seven, to love and serve no one else but the Seven and the sept and to help those who needed aid.
It would be years before she could go out into the world. A young septa was deemed too inexperienced to be given a job anywhere else but the sept where she pledged her loyalty. Before she would act as a governess to a noble's child or provide comfort to dying men or heal the sick, she was to maintain the library under the watchful eye of Septon Phillip.
But her years of service to the library of the sept was cut short when Robb Stark, the son of the late Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell, called the banners against the South.
A breeze suddenly chilled over her skin and she instinctively curled closer to Jon's side to deflect the gooseflesh prickling against her body.
The weight of her vows hung heavy on her chest as she watched his profile as he slept. He hasn't gotten much sleep. The fear of invasion was enough to keep everyone in the camp awake well into the night before the body's needs overtook the fears of the mind.
Shame did not batter her as ruthlessly as it had their first time together but it still weighed heavily enough that it bit at her. Jon's presence in her life made her question the gods she so piously fallowed. If the gods wanted her celibate all her life, why did they send Jon Snow in her path? If they didn't want her to love, why did they give her a heart? Why did they make this feel so natural and good if it was so wrong?
She bit anxiously at her thumb nail as a soft breeze lifted a strand of auburn hair to caress her cheek. Septas do not show their hair; their womanly looks could inspire lust in men and with lust came temptation. For some reason it had not mattered to her when Jon first saw her hair—possibly because it hadn't meant anything then, she didn't believe anything would develop into anything.
When word of war spread across the land, life became very complicated for everyone in the sept. Some wanted to stay, withhold the temple from any and all soldiers and others wanted to aid them, to pick a side to serve.
Maeve wanted to stay, but in the end it was decided that those who wanted to go should go, but the others would stay. She was set on staying, but old Ysilla had plans otherwise. Ysilla was a septa, a teacher and mentor to the young, close to her ninetieth name day and wiser than any within ten miles. She ordered Maeve to ride with a group that was headed to the North to aid the weak and helpless. With the old woman's crooked hands, frail body and that unseeing left eye of hers, she was the most commanding sight in the entire sept.
Maeve grudgingly obeyed.
The ride was long and tedious. The cart that they had brought along, filled with fine fur blankets, healing herbs, food and simple hunting traps for game, was also occupied by the elder Septa and Septon's. With their escort of ten village men going off to fight for the north, Maeve was deemed capable and young enough to ride her own horse. Each day, she slid off her mare with an aching, sore bottom, blistered hands and raw thighs. Maeve was only too happy when she lay down by the fire with her wounds dressed with soothing herbs only to have to do it again for hours again the next day. By the middle of the trip, the older people she traveled with granted her a kindness and let her ride in the back of the cart.
When her group arrived three weeks later, they were not received with a welcoming party. The army believed that they were Southern spies in disguise. Theon Greyjoy's mouth did not help matters. When a black haired boy with a white dire wolf growling at his side spoke some reason to the mob of armed men around them, Theon Greyjoy managed to get them all tense again with a single sentence.
Finally after a good twenty minutes of arguing, Robb Stark's army accepted that they were who they said they were and dispirited back to their duties. After most of the men had gone away, the boy with curly black hair came forward, his albino wolf trotting behind him.
"I'm Jon Snow." his brown eyes gazed across the lot of them. A few of their eyes narrowed ever so slightly at his last name. Snow was the name Northern bastards took. "I'll take you to Robb." Maeve wanted to ask where the young Lord was when all the chaos was erupting, but refrained. They'd just escaped being killed in a riot, now was not the time to question their Lord.
Her group was then assigned according to Robb Stark. Maeve was allocated to Allyria Waters, a withered mother of five young children whose husband was killed in a raid on their village. They and the others from that village were now refugees traveling with Robb Stark's army. Her five children, ranging from fifteen to a year old, kept her busy for the next week so she hadn't had time to bathe.
The day he saw her was a week after her party had arrived. The men and refugee women and children had grown to trust the Septon's and Septa's, but still their eyes followed her as she made her way through the temporary camp to where Allyria had told her to wash up.
It was late afternoon, the sun just starting to set. The forest surrounding the camp was thick and the low riding branches made it harder to stay straight. The river she came across was wide but not very deep.
After looking around to be sure that no one was watching, she carefully stripped off her dress and unfastened her hair scarf. Her auburn hair curled wildly after she freed it from the braid.
The water was cold as she waded through it in her shift, it made her shiver. She washed quickly and thoroughly, saving her hair for last. After she was satisfied, Maeve stood atop a rock along the bank. Using the small cloth Allyria had given her as a towel, she wiped off the water from her shoulders.
Suddenly a twig snapped, shattering the silence she had enjoyed. She squealed, dropping her towel into the water and snapped her body around, reaching for her dress she rested atop a nearby rock as she did so. Covering her body with her dress, she eyed up Jon Snow, his brown eyes wide and his cheeks red.
For one very long second, they stared at each other, frozen. Maeve became very self-conscious of the fact that her hair was unbound and that she looked like a normal girl, not a septa. That was dangerous, if men see you as a girl and not a part of a holy order, they might ignore the fact that you are. It didn't help that behind this dress that the only thing shielding her body from his gaze was a very thin, nearly see-through, shift.
"I-I'm sorry, milady." Jon stuttered as he quickly turned away and nearly ran back into the woods.
For a long time, Maeve stood there stunned. He was a bastard...he was suppose to be wanton and a cheat and a liar and amoral. Not stutter and run when a girl, nearly naked and alone was presented before him. Maeve dressed quickly, rebound her hair and hurriedly made her way back to Allyria's small tent before as the sun went down. She was confused on Jon Snow's actions for the rest of the night.
From beside her, Jon groaned and shifted in his sleep, tightening his grip around her waist. She had to smile as she recalled after that.
The camp was large so Maeve hadn't seen Jon Snow since the river. After some of the refugee women had gossiped as they sat together making supper, Maeve had learned that Jon Snow was Lord Eddard Stark's bastard, Robb Stark's half brother. Not only that, but he had taken the black, swore his vows and then left in the dead of night! Bastard boys are oath breakers; why does that surprise me, she thought.
A week later, Maeve had finally had enough of Allyria's children going to bed with growling bellies and sadder eyes. She stormed from the tent at first light and marched to Robb Stark's tent. He, Jon Snow, Theon Greyjoy and a few other men were outside, talking to one another about battle plans and whatnot. She blushed as she spied Jon, but swallowed her hesitance and walked up to them.
Boldly, she demanded Robb ration the food more fairly to Allyria, personal bitterness adding to the venom in her tone. She despised Robb Stark for causing all this. A war between the north and south would divide everyone in the middle, and all those who didn't swear fealty to the new child King would be condemned as traitors and executed. The Lannister's and Robb Stark and their war pitted everyone between two pointy swords.
Not only that, but he unknowingly tore her away from her sept, from her sisters! That was not easily forgiven, although she chastised herself for such a sinful feeling as wrath.
Jon watched her, surprised by her boldness. He had never seen such a young woman in a septa's garb before that the first time he'd seen her, he too had questioned whether they were truly from a sept or spies.
He could see she was quite beautiful, even more so close up. When her party arrived that day she was behind the others, covered from his view. By the river he was farther still, but he could tell she was quite lovely, her auburn hair long and wild. Up close, her body was covered and her hair was hidden, she was gorgeous.
Although her tone was sharp, Robb did not take offence and assured her he would take care of it.
Maeve didn't know how it happened, but Jon became her friend. He seemed to always be there when she needed help, when she stumbled over war props or one of Allyria's younger children got away from her. During these times, they'd make small conversation and by the third month of her being there, she and Eddard Stark's bastard had acquired a friendship.
He was sweet to her and, never having had a man's attention like this before, she was not especially uncomfortable with the boundaries of her vows. Her former traveling companions looked down on her friendship with Jon Snow and she herself was torn. He was a bastard, people of the sept did not approve of bastards. Yet, she still conversed with him freely and when he was free from war efforts or meetings, and when they were virtually alone (Allyria's children under ten) they had come to call each other by their first names.
She remembered the night he first kissed her. She did not know what had possessed him to do it or what had left him, but he had.
After Allyria and her children were blissfully put down to rest and most of the men and other women and children had gone to sleep, Maeve had gone out for a brief stroll to help wind herself down when Jon happened upon her, sitting on a fallen tree not far from the camp. The celebration feast the camp had held was as grand as it could be with music and dancing. Little Sybelle, Allyria's youngest daughter, had demanded that Maeve dance with her all night. It was difficult to say no to the little child.
Jon settled besides her, facing the opposite way into the woods, and they sat and talked a while. Somehow through their innocent conversation, it had shifted to family.
Maeve remembered the quiet voice she had used when she talked about her family, telling him the shameful truth that she didn't even remember what her mother's name was, what she looked like. That she only really knew her family through the stories told to her by the elder Septa's. She also remembered the shame that washed over her at his story. He had a father with a wife and family but no mother, he never knew her. His stepmother hated him and he had never been welcome in Winterfell. She may not have remembered her mother's name or what she looked like, but she remembered her warmth, her love. She may have been orphaned but at least she got a new family. She had no right to be sorry for herself.
Jon told her as such.
Anger and embarrassment flared thorough her and soon they were in an argument, a stupid, meaningless fight. After their hurtful words had been spat, silence engulfed them. It was long and drawn out. When she realized that neither of them would apologize first, she abruptly stood up and turned away, stalking back to the camp still seething.
She stealthily slipped into the tent and saw the children's sleeping mats unoccupied and looked to Allyria. Sometime during the night, all five wayward children crawled over to their mother and curled up next to her.
That little sight made her smile and made her want to weep. They were scared to be away from Allyria during the dark night, that raid that had taken their father had scarred them.
Long after she'd curled up on her own sleeping mat near the entrance of the tent, she heard footsteps outside.
"Psst! Maeve!" she heard Jon whisper. From their spot by their mother, Gerold and Lyla, the eldest boy and girl, stirred in their sleep. Without thinking Maeve shot up from her spot and dashed out of the tent, rushing toward the side where she had heard Jon.
"Are you bloody mad?" She hissed at him as she towed him away from the tents.
Once they were far enough away, he spoke again, surprising her with an apology. Jon Snow did not strike her as the type of man to apologize, but he was one to know when he was wrong. Even though she was angry with him for snapping at her, he was not wrong for it. It was reasonable that he snap at her, though she did not appreciate it. She told him that.
With soft, sad smiles at one another all was forgiven. She did not really know who had initiated it; perhaps it was mutual, perhaps not. Whatever had happened it didn't matter because in an instant, Jon's lips were on hers. The thing that damned them was that she didn't push him away, she didn't scream, she kissed him back. They were hooked after that.
It had been so pleasant at first, warming her from the inside and unleashing butterflies in her belly. Then reality began to bombard her with its facts and all the unpleasant emotions that came with it followed suit. So, in that likeness of fear, Maeve did the only thing her body could think of: she hit him.
She slapped him across the face and after a second of astonishment, she turned and ran back to Allyria's tent.
Maeve let out a small giggle at the memory. Before it hadn't been funny but after their anger and surprise had vanished, it became a fond memory they shared.
Abruptly her smile vanished. She should be like this. She was a woman of the gods, a septa! Every time she saw the other septa's and septon's he heart dropped in guilt as well as sadness. She vowed to herself to a life of chastity, a life devoted to the gods and her sept. She was not to be made some love-sick girl with her legs spread wide. What had she become? An oath breaker? Was she still a septa when she was soiled so?
That small little spark that was her anger ignited into a full flame. What seemed to add to her fury was that Jon had taken vows too. She shouldn't have been the one who kept them in check, he should have left her alone and none of this would have happened. He was a man of the Nights Watch, sworn to be celibate and love no one for as long as he lived. To take no wife, to father no children. How dare he bewitch her like this! How dare he allow himself to get caught up with her?
Old Ysilla's face appeared in her mind then. It made her want to break something.
She stood up, quickly grabbing her shift which had been discarded carelessly to the side and roughly pulled it over her head. Upon her sudden movement, Jon awoke, watching as she yanked up her dress and clumsily tried to do up the laces.
"What are you doing?" he asked.
Without turning back to look at him, she answered in the iciest tone she could manage, "Leaving. You're familiar with it aren't you?" Jon licked his dry lips. She had been doing this their last few meetings; she'd leave as soon as they were done and cross with him. It was time to demand a real reason.
"Are you doing this again?" he asked as he stood up, lacing his trousers as he did so. This time she turned around, trying desperately to do the knots up the back of her dress.
"What?" she snapped.
"The anger. You've done this these last few months. What is it?" He tried to be as kind and as calm as possible, but he quickly grew frustrated. The stress of battle, the guilt of his broken vows, his confusion over his relationship with Maeve, it was slowly taking its toll on him.
"I guess I have a right to, since I've become nothing but a common whore." she snapped, her shaking hands still desperately trying to do up the laces and tie the knots. Tears began to sprout in her eyes.
Jon could've rolled his eyes at her foolishness, if he wanted a slap in the face. "You're not a whore." He assured her tiredly.
"I might as well be! I broke my vows, I let you ruin me and I enjoyed it! Damn it!" she yelled, finally giving up on trying to tie up her dress. She held her head in her hands as she tried to blink away her tears. Jon tried to move forward to help her lace up the dress, but she wretched her body away from his grasp.
"Don't touch me." her voice was hard and slow, shaking with mixed emotions, her face flushing in anger and the tears finally falling down her pink cheeks. He watched her a moment, both of them glaring at one another.
"I broke vows too, Maeve. Don't think that I don't feel the same."
"Yes, yes you did. You broke vows to the Nights Watch, but you tell me Snow didn't you break your vows before you laid with me? You abandoned your post." He was silent. "Yes, you see that's why I'm angry. You don't have a bloody reminder of your betrayal watching you every day!"
They were both very silent the next few moments. Jon was at loss of what to say or do. He couldn't hold her; she'd fight him and fight him hard so he'd probably end up with a red hand shaped mark on his cheek. He couldn't say anything that she could not twist around. After the end of five, very long and tense seconds, Jon decided to hold her, but she spoke before he could move.
"Jon I'm going to go back to the sept." she stated in a mechanical voice, trying to leave no room for negotiation.
"What?" he demanded.
"Yes. This has long since gotten out of hand and I think it would be best if one of us departed. Since you cannot, I will." It was a bit odd watching her, eyes glassy, face flushed and wet, her dress loose on her form from the undone laces, a small purple mark on her neck from his kisses.
She was serious though, that was plain to see. In her steely grey eyes he saw the strict, dutiful, emotionless woman she portrayed to all others but not him. This angered him further; he hated it when she shut him out like this.
Maeve's fortitude nearly broke at the rising anger she saw in him. He would never hit her; he never hit a woman or a child. She nearly submitted because she didn't want to fight with him, she wanted him to understand, to just let her go. To spare her.
She wanted to tell him that at times, she could not stand the other Septa and Septon's condescending looks that fitted across their faces when they saw her talking to him. She wanted to tell him that the disgrace of breaking her vows bit at her at night and made her lose sleep and not only that, but when shame didn't rack her with guilt, did she feel wrong.
But mostly, she wanted to tell him that she could not bear the grief of knowing that what they had could and would never bloom.
Maeve had never dared herself to dream in the beginning, she knew that a life with Jon would never be possible, not only because of their vows, but how would they live? Being a bastard he was entitled to nothing, being an orphan whose parents' belongings were pawned off, she would get nothing. Also, Jon did not want a child that would bear the bastard name Snow, so what would they have done about that? Even if they over passed all of this in some way, who were they to assume they would be together all their lives happily? The Seven worked mysteriously and could twist their future into a dark one if they chose to.
Unfortunately, one night as she lay dozing at his side, she had dreamed of a life with him and what she saw she could not forget. In that life they were happy, four beautiful curly haired children with his black hair and brown eyes running around, smiles that were still genuine and loving, touches that still made her quake and tingle. She longed for it, wished for it, but it pained her that it would never happen.
She loved him and if she told him these truths, it would make haunt him too. So she kept her mouth shut and let him speak.
"Mae, you cannot go back to the sept, it'd be suicide!" He watched her demeanour begin to chip away. "The Southerners are too close, you're safe here." Jon said his tone a bit softer and gentler.
"I'll just be more careful." she uttered. He glared at her sadly, almost pleadingly. She was honestly considering leaving Robb's camp and going off to a sept that probably isn't there anymore? And if it is, it would be occupied by Southern troops and they would know where she came from. It sickened him to think of what they'd do to her for information. The thought filled him with new conviction.
"Maeve, are you so big of a fool that you'd get yourself killed to manage a few dusty books—"
"They're not just a few dusty books!" she objected fiercely.
"—I won't let you. I love you too much." She stared at him with her unreadable face.
"I am not your wife, Jon," she remarked bitterly. "You cannot command me." That panged both their hearts. Jon wanted a life with her too but, like her, he could not see that ever happening in this life.
"Even so, Robb couldn't let you. It would risk the camp if they interrogated you and succeeded in obtaining information." Maeve was quiet for a long moment.
"Well that settles it then doesn't it?" she muttered, looking down at her bare feet before looking up into his beautiful brown eyes. "Leave me be from now on Jon. Don't approach me, don't talk to me, don't watch me. We cannot continue this." her eyes began to grow blurry once again, but she quickly blinked them back.
She turned away then, into the dark forest with her dress still unfastened in the back, and her scarf swaying in her arms as she walked. Jon remained there stunned, and burned from the order. The camp was large but not so large as to aid in them avoiding each other until the refugees found a new, permanent village. Sooner or later they'd come across one another and be filled with temptation once again.
The sounds of his feet were cushioned against the forest floor, and the wind was chilling against his skin, though he had put on his under-shirt and boots. Maeve had gotten quite far in only five minutes.
When he saw her figure, still dark in the early morning daybreak, he ran faster. Before she knew what was happening, he seized her upper arm, turned her around and roughly pressed his lips against hers.
Weakly she pressed against his chest, before yielding to him, gripping his hair and pulling him closer, both their vows forgotten again. When he pulled away, they were both breathless. He rested his forehead on hers, his palms cupping her cheeks. Her eyes were closed, her hands resting on his biceps.
"I love you Maeve. I would never hurt you, cheat you, or abandon you." he promised. She opened her eyes. Her lips began to tremble and her eyes softened into sadness once again and it made his heart ache. Her hands trailed down his arms and to the hands that were framing her face and gently gripped his wrists.
"My heat is yours Jon." she promised. She pulled away from his embrace. "But my life isn't." Maeve pulled away fully then, her body slipping away from him and into the dark forest and left him standing there.
She moved through the trees as best as she could with bleary eyes and a throbbing heart. Right before the woods sloped into a grassy clearing where the current camp was located, she pinned up her hair and retied her scarf. Her dress was still unbound and she could never retie it now, so she quickly moved back to Allyria's tent, grateful everyone was asleep yet, even the watch at their posts.
The dress crumbled in a soft heap on the grassy floor. Allyria and her children were right where Maeve had left them not three hours before: curled up together in a deep yet uneasy sleep. Carefully she pulled back the simple fur blanket that covered her sleeping mat and curled up there, wiping the tears from her eyes. Even under the furs the cold bit at her like it should have in the clearing where she laid with Jon.
Although she had begged him to leave her be, one way or the other they'd meet again, weather they'd seek each other out mutually or happen upon each other by chance. They'd bush it off but inside feelings and duty would battle.
For Maeve, it was so hard to stay away from someone she held so close to her heart. Jon had already damned himself by leaving the Wall...really what harm could loving Maeve do to him that he already hasn't done to himself? It's hard to stay away from the one you care for so deeply, especially when they are so close. Temptation was so sweet and taunting that it made them forget everything but each other.
She had taken vows once to love no one and to remain a maid for her entire life. But how can the gods expect that of her, when they sent Jon Snow in her path? Why did they make it so that her heart called out painfully for him whenever he left for battle?
Her ponderings kept her awake until Sybelle stirred and bounced over to her to wake her.
okay, this was my first story, please be gentle. Read and review!