you know that im lost without you, stumbling in the dark
"Your Grace, a word with you?" Lord Baelish asked.
"Of course," Gendry answered as he stopped looking to intently at the map on the wall, taking a seat at his desk.
"I'm sorry for the interruption, but a raven arrived from the Wall for you, from the Lord Commander of The Watch..." Lord Baelish said slowly, afraid to let the words spill from his mouth. They both knew who it concerned but neither wanted to say anything out loud. Gendry was afraid to ask and Littlefinger was afraid to tell. Lord Baelish had told him of the plan to wed Arya to Lord Frey only just days ago, but by then she was already missing. They had expected her to come back, but she hadn't, and news just traveled so slow up and down the Kings Road. It was a long trip all the way to The Wall, and still a long, long flight for a raven.
Gendry sat still with the scroll in his hand. He took a deep breath as he trembled, but reigned himself in, a king should not tremble. His eyes scanned the words and then scanned them again.
"What have you done about this?" he asked crumbling the letter in his fist.
"We have men looking for her, they left a few hours ago...we will find her my Lord. Arya Stark will not stay missing for long," Petyr told him.
"How ever many you have out, double it! Hell triple it. Put a price on her so high that anyone would be a mad fool to not bring her to me!" He exclaimed pounding both fist into his desk. Arya always got the best of him, always elicited the emotions he tried to keep hidden, to keep under control.
Lord Baelish bowed at the waist and left the room. The King was alone in his thoughts and suddenly they were tormented. The Kings Road was long with plenty of terror hidden along the way. Arya was smart, no doubt. But never for one second did he believe that she was lost. That she was still alone out there wandering around and she hadn't crossed one manor, one person...she was strong as well but any two hired men could easily over power her. They might fall victim to a brash sword attack first, but no matter, she was still a woman. He imagined her cold and alone, hungry and covered in mud. He remembered the long journey they had shared years before and wondered how she was going to do it on her own...to do it without him. He had images of her dress torn from her body...someone taking what had always rightfully been his. It had been some time since he had last seen her, but it was no matter. He remember her touch, her hair...her kiss.
His blood boiled and his rage threatened to over flow. He would have someone's head for this, for making her run. Jon was a fool to think he could control her, and that she would agree to just be given to that old, decrepit man. He could hang Jon for waiting this long to tell him. Three weeks...she had been out there, alone, possibly taken, for the last three weeks.
Gendry paced the length of the room, for hours. It was one of the first times since he became King, that he felt helpless.
He stopped pacing. There was someone more important in all this then Jon Snow. It was her uncle that was at the center of this arrangement; Jon was just none the wiser to not go along with it. He hadn't any experience with the way these houses work, the backstabbing and conniving nature of "noble men". This was the greed and stupidity of Edmure Tully.
His scream echoed through the halls with a ferocity that nobody would ever challenge. It was only a moment later that Lord Baelish breezed into the room.
"Bring me Edmure Tully, I wish to speak with him..."
Lord Baelish nodded and smiled...his King was on the right track.
Wherever he was holding her, she didn't know where she was. She didn't know how long it had been or if she would ever see daylight again. She could hear water running but she didn't know what it was or where it was. She did know she was underground. And she knew her Uncle was afraid of her. He kept her tightly bound, always threatening her with the thought of Lord Frey. Why he hadn't just turned her over to him, she wasn't sure. But she had started to convince herself it was just a matter of time.
Nobody would ever find her down here, it had to be somewhere close to a residence of Edmures, or somewhere he could stay as a welcomed guest... She was near The Twins, she would bet her life on it. Possibly somewhere hidden beneath the Whispering Woods. That meant she was about half way to Kings Landing...
Kings Landing...she tried not to think of him. Even he didn't have the power to find her here in this...whatever it was. A secret passage way maybe? A long forgotten dungeon under the woods? Gendry's hand only reached so far. And it did not reach into the darkness of this place. This moldy, damp, nasty place.
She saw the light first before she saw him coming. She felt her stomach turn when she heard him whistling.
"Hungry?" he asked tossing a stale loaf of bread her way, landing at her bound feet.
"Why don't you just marry me off already yeah? What good is it keeping me down here?" she asked with distaste.
"Your dowry is not quite...arranged," he admitted as he turned the lamp up higher so he could see her. "Do you know how dreadful you look?" Edmure asked just to make her mad.
She didn't give him the satisfaction.
"You should be interested to know that I've been summoned to King's Landing... apparently the boy thinks that I know something about your unfortunate disappearance from The Kings Road."
"He will find me, and then he will have your head...unless I take it first."
Edmure laughed before picking up the lamp. "Your King is a child, and no more of a threat to me than you are, you vile girl. To bad I need you..." He turned to walk away, "Enjoy your dinner...if you can reach it."
She could have cared less about the bread, she just cared what she got to see when he turned the lamp up. She wasn't so much in a room as she was in a partially finished out cave. The lump on the back of her head had finally gone down from when they had taken her from the road and she was finally seeing single again. Now if she could only make it over to that wall she just knew she could free her hands. Had her knee not been so knocked up she may have been able to jump back through and bring her hands to the front. But her Uncle made sure that wasn't going to happen for at least another few days...and in another few days she could be married. She was in trouble.
Edmure sauntered into the Kings hall without a worry or care in the world. He wasn't afraid and he showed it to all the wondering eyes of the court that were milling about... But he underestimated who he was dealing with.
" Your Highness I-"
"Seize him," Gendry ordered with the wave of his hand. He lounged casually over the arm of the Iron Throne as he watched his Kings Guard surround Edmure. Littlefinger stood beside him, a smirk gracing his features. He had never much liked Edmure...
"I believe you have something I want." Gendry told him as he rose and walked into the circle of guards.
"My Lord, anything you want is yours," Edmure told him. His eyes followed the King as he walked around him, his armor clinking slightly... again and again...
"Are we going to keep pretending like you don't know that I'm asking, very kindly I might add, about your niece?"
"My Lord I am as worried as you are about her, the help you have given us has been so kind. I never knew she was such an interest to you," Edmure stammered as Gendry continued to circle him.
"You do not convince me..." He saw Edmure start to wring his hands slightly as he adjusted his stance. He shifted from foot to foot for just a second. It was all Gendry needed to see...Edmure was worried, but not about Arya. The King stopped walking, Edmure's back to him.
"How should I convince you Your Highness?" Edmure muttered. Before he could take his next breath, Gendry had unsheathed his dagger and had it held to his throat. Edmure seized up, still as anything. He felt the hot breath of his King at his ear, the rhythmic breathing was slow and steady...calm.
"You have a fortnight to deliver her here to me, and the bounty is yours. I'll double it if you bring her sooner..."
"But...but my Lord, she's pledged to Lord Frey..."
Suddenly everything was red...Gendry felt red, saw red, WAS red.
Quickly the dagger was brought up and sliced across Edmure's ear as he felt a crushing knee to his back and instantly he was on the ground, his breath nowhere to be found. The blood coming from his ear was warm and sticky as he soon found the side of his face pushed into the dirty floor of The Kings Hall.
"SHOULD A KING HONOR A TRAITOROUS PLEAGE BETWEEN YOU AND THAT OLD FOOL? DO YOU TAKE ME FOR AN IMBECILE?"
His scream was the only thing that echoed in the hall. Gendry could see where his spit had landed on Edmure's face as he crouched on top of him. He didn't struggle though, he knew his place was that of one lower then the King. Gendry got close to his face again...
"Fix what you have...so stupidly...caused and do it quickly," he whispered, "and if one hair on her head is harmed, I believe I'll have some new decoration to adorn the top of the keep..."
In the darkness, her mind played tricks on her. It echoed Gendry calling her name over and over again. She would awaken but the cave before her was always dark, the same dark that it was before. Arya had lost track of the days and tried to concentrate on the trickling sounds of the water. It was calming at least.
But it was her dreams that tormented her... memories of forgotten moments long ago past that rose to the surface once again. It all just made her wonder.
What did he look like now? Had a few years of being King hardened his face? Surly his eyes were the same piercing blue they had been. Maybe his hands had softened some, the calluses of a smith now gone. Would they feel the same when he touched her?
Ohh she didn't want to think of this, to think of him, but it was all she could do to stay sane. To imagine his hands large and warm on her body as he pulled her into his bed. The way the scruff on his face would tickle her neck...the way she wouldn't be afraid to laugh and run her hand along it. She cried out to herself in the darkness of the cave, the thought of his whispered declarations of love directed to her. The way that he made her feel like a woman and not some grubby boy he had known on the road all those years ago.
It had been too long maybe... it had been at least 2 years since he left her on The Wall at her request. Look at where she was now... along in dark cavernous hole in the ground.
After a moment she began to laugh to herself. Why had she been so stupid, so hard-headed towards him? Why didn't she just yield and go with him when he wanted her? Was she fooling herself thinking that he was looking for her? Why would he care after all this time when she had denied him so.
She realized, no matter where she was... she was just in a dark cavernous hole in the ground. Because what was there for her in life without Gendry?
She looked around her...darkness, only darkness.
I don't know where to turn, and here in the dark I'm burning,
lost without your love
** Song credit to Amy Pearson**
**I don't own these characters...do I really have to disclaim that? :)**
**Authors note: I am so sorry if I spammed your e-mail with update notices! For some reason my little lines to break apart the chapter were not showing up! I hope you like this chapter though, it sort of took a life of its own at the end and really clicked for me! More to come! **