Wow, I can't believe how much feedback I've gotten from this story so far! A special thanks to everyone who added this story to their list, reviewed, and read the first chapter! I have so, so many ideas for this story, and I've been writing chapters like crazy! The only reason why it's taking me so long to update this story is because it's rather hard to do without internet at home. But alas, stealing wifi seems to have become one of my favourite pastimes whenever I feel like lugging my laptop around! So here we are!
Since I won't be updating as often as I'd like to, I've decided to make this chapter a little longer than I normally would. It isn't fair to keep people hanging for too long. I hate it myself. I keep finding amazing Game of Thrones stories, but they never seem to get updated and it breaks my heart every time. So I'm going to make the chapters longer if I'm unable to update on a regular basis. Hopefully you guys won't mind reading a (much) longer chapter. If you do, by all means, let me know, and I'll do my best to accommodate everyone.
Thanks again to everyone who enjoyed the first chapter, and I hope to write many more that you enjoy just as much! Enjoy, everyone!
Gwynne could never stay inside the castle walls for very long. Not since her first days of living inside the strong castle walls, and certainly not now. During the day, she tried to go out and explore the land as far as her legs would take her. And during her restless nights, she found herself too consumed, too overwhelmed by the thoughts in her head to get a half decent sleep. More than often, she found herself wandering around the streets, even though it was well past the time a woman should do so alone.
It was strange, but she never worried for her safety when she was alone in Winterfell. The people of Winterfell were respectful, decent people and had loved and respected her father long before he had fallen to protect their Lord. And if that wasn't enough to prevent any harm from coming to her, the fact that the Starks had considered her one of their own was more than enough. No man would ever be stupid enough to lay so much as a finger on the girl without accepting the brutal consequences that would fall upon him once Lord Stark found out.
Yet another reason why Gwynne would be forever thankful to the Starks and all they'd done for her. Her mind wandered just as aimlessly as she was when she turned the corner and headed into an alley, heading back to the castle. Fear about what might lie ahead was the last thing on her mind as she listened to the restless thoughts inside her head.
She couldn't help but wonder what her father was doing at that exact moment. Was he watching over her, protecting her from harm and guiding her in the right path? Was he happy that Lord Stark had taken her into his family and provided a life for her that she never would've had otherwise? Was he resting in the heavens with her mother, his beloved wife, as they smiled and watched her mature into the person that she now was?
Whenever she thought about it, she prayed to the Gods that that was the case. But the poisonous voice in the back of her head always seemed to reveal itself, assuring her that it couldn't be further from the truth.
What if he was looking down at her, disappointed that she wasn't outside of the comforting, secure walls of Winterfell searching for his murderer? Was he upset that she had never avenged his death and that, realistically, she probably never would? Was that what he expected of her as he took his final breath, slowly suffocating from the blood that gathered deep in his throat?
A violent shiver ran through Gwynne's body as she pictured her father lying on the cold ground, his eyes slowly closing for the final time. It was the very image that haunted her dreams since Ned had sat her down and broke the news to her. It was the only image that had ever made her heart drastically sink within her chest. Tears burned her eyes each time she pictured her father lying broken and battered on the floor, taking his final breaths, by himself.
Lord Stark had never fully told her about her father's final moments, despite the fact that it was something she had spent countless hours begging for over the years. He always told her, 'when you're old enough and strong enough, I'll tell you everything.' But she was a woman now, had already bled and had many suitors that requested her hand in marriage. She was definitely old enough to hear of her father's final moments. It was the second part of Ned's promise that she had yet to fulfill. She wasn't strong enough. She wasn't strong enough to hear how her father had died, how he had given his life for his Lord. Maybe one day, one day soon, she could prove to Lord Stark that she was stronger than he thought.
She had been so consumed by her haunting thoughts that she hadn't heard the movement around her. It was the abrupt voices that surrounded her that had snapped her back to present time and reality.
"Well, look at what we have here."
A startled gasp slipped through Gwynne's lips as she stopped dead in her tracks, her head shooting up to find a man standing before her, blocking her way. Her hands shook as she gathered up the fabric from her skirt, absentmindedly taking a step away from him.
"I haven't ever seen such a beauty in this alley before. Well, at least not until I pay one to be, anyway."
The voice behind her made her glance over her shoulder as her heart pounded furiously in her chest. The smirk spread across the second man's lips had her body paralyzed with fear, her mind racing with horrid thoughts of what was about to befall her.
"What are you doing out here at this time?" The first man asked, taking a step closer to her.
Instinctively, Gwynne took another step away from him, unintentionally putting herself closer to the second man who had appeared behind her. "Don't take another step further," she warned him.
The first man fell into a fit of laughter. "And just what are you going to do about it?"
"Lord Stark will have your head if you do." She tried to keep her voice calm and steady. She intended it to sound threatening. But when the words came from her lips, they only quivered and shook. Not threatening at all. Not wonder he was laughing at her.
This time both men erupted into laughter. It was so loud and so obnoxious that it echoed throughout the otherwise empty alley. Surely their laugh would wake someone who would come to her rescue, she assured herself.
"Has anyone ever told you what beautiful lips you have? Gods, the things I can do with those lips. Come here." The second man said, reaching out and pulling him towards her.
It was then that something took over her. When she closed her eyes to blink, even though it was just for a second, she saw her father's soul coming into her, taking over her body and giving her the strength she needed to escape from this nightmare unscathed.
She grabbed a tight hold of one of his fingers and snapped it back, the sound of the bone breaking echoing through the alley as his laughter did only moments ago. He instantly let go of her, clutching his injured hand with the other as he hunched over in pain.
Gwynne took this as her opportunity to escape as she quickly moved around him, moving as fast as her dress would allow her as she left the two men behind her. She had only ran for a few seconds before someone had a strong grip on her hair, yanking her head back and holding her in place.
Her hands reached back, desperately trying to pry herself free from his grip, but she couldn't do it. A headache overcame her instantly from the force and it wasn't too long after that the second man walked up to stand in front of her.
"You bitch! You broke my finger!" He hollered at her.
She sneered, staring directly into his dirty eyes. She had her father's fight in her, that much was plain to see. Even if they raped her and killed her right now, there was nothing in the world that would stop her from putting up a fight. If she were to take her final breath right here in this dirty alleyway, she was going to do it the way her father would. She would cause them as much pain as she could before succumbing to the darkness that would consume her body and bring her to be reunited with the parents she had never known.
"I'll break even more if you don't go of me!"
"Gods, I know who this is. This is Lord Stark's girl! The adopted one." The second man said when he finally recognized her in the dim lighting.
The other man yanked her head back further so he could get a better look at her face. He stared at the other man in astonishment the moment he laid his eyes upon her. "You're right! I hear she's never been touched. A maiden." His eyes lit up as the words left his lips.
Gwynne felt the bile coming up in the back of her throat. This was it. This was how she was going to lose her maidenhead and there was nothing she could do about it. Not here and certainly not against two full grown men. What could a girl of fourteen possibly do against two men who were at least twice her size?
She closed her eyes and felt her father's fight rise in her again. She felt the powerful surge of strength flow through her veins and she slammed her head back, the force breaking the other man's nose as he stumbled backwards, freeing her from his grip. It was then that she realized that the only way she was going to get out of this alive and untouched was if she did it herself. There was no knight in shining armour coming to defend her honour. If she wanted to escape this bad enough, she would have to do it herself. And right now there was nothing she wanted more than to be back in the safety of the castle.
The moment she was free from his grip, she grabbed a hold of the fabric of her dress and began to run away from them again. Her legs wouldn't fail her, not now, not when she needed them the most. She wouldn't let them. If she let herself give up, she wouldn't live to see another day. And right now, that was all she wanted.
Gwynne had only gotten a few steps further away from them before she found herself pulled to a stop once more. She pushed against the body pressed up against her, tried to kick him and claw at him, but it was no use. She was trapped.
"Let me go!" She cried desperately, almost begging for her release.
The man stepped in front of her and glared at her, blood pouring down his face as he sneered. "You'll pay for this. We'll make sure of it."
Before Gwynne could say anything, she felt a fist collide with her stomach. Still in the hands of the other man, she crouched over, her lungs struggling for air as she struggled just as hard to breath. She didn't have the time to compose herself before she felt the back of his hand make contact with her cheek. The sheer force of the blow sent her to the floor as she crawled away from them, tears finally streaming down her face.
She looked up at the two men, blinking the tears away as they edged closer towards her. She closed her eyes for a moment and all she could think of was her father and failing him. What would he think of her if he could see her right now, bloodied and crying as she lay on the floor of a dirty alley?
One of the men fell to his knees by her head, grabbing a rough hold of her wrists as he pinned them against the floor on either side of her head. She struggled, trying to free herself from his grip, but his fingers dug so deep into her skin she could almost feel the blood seep out from within.
She cried out desperately as the other man kneeled in front of her, prying her legs open and holding them in place with his own. He had a smile so sickening it made her stomach turn as he ripped the thin fabric of her dress, lifting it up over her hips. She watched in horror as he undid his belt and pushed his pants down.
She shut her eyes tightly, unable to watch him as he raped her. She cried silently as she felt his body hover over hers, his legs pushing hers open further. She was waiting to feel herself tear open for him as she tried to mentally prepare herself for the pain that would follow. But she felt nothing.
When she heard a scream followed by a thud, her eyes shot open. It was then that the other man had freed her from his grip. Gwynne's eyes flashed to the man beside her, watching as another stood over him, the tip of his blade pressed against the swell of his Adam's apple. She blinked furiously, clearing her vision to try and make out the shadow of the man who had saved her.
She saw his curls, the auburn colour somehow becoming clearer the longer she stared at him. But it was only when he glanced over at her, anger consuming his young features, that she recognized him. Robb.
His eyes flashed back to the man who begged for his life on the ground in front of him, digging his blade deeper against the man's throat. "Not so tough now, are you?" Robb snarled.
The second man ran the moment he saw Robb Stark standing tall and furious over his friend. As far as he was concerned, his friend had acted alone. With the Gods permitting, if he ran fast enough away from the alley, Robb Stark wouldn't be able to identify him. And Lord Stark wouldn't be able to kill him.
He glanced over his shoulder briefly to ensure himself that he wasn't being followed. A sigh of relief slipped through his lips when he saw that Robb was too preoccupied with his friend to chase after him. Maybe he would get out of this predicament after all.
He turned the corner and finally turned to look in front of him before stopping dead in his tracks. Jon stood there, his sword pointing in front of him as the man nearly impaled himself on it.
"And where do you think you're going?" Jon asked, taking a step forward and forcing the man backwards.
"Get out of my way, bastard. Lady Stark wouldn't shed a tear if you dropped dead right here right now."
Jon shrugged the harsh words off; though he knew full well every part of it was true. Whether Lady Stark cared about him or not was the furthest thing on his mind right now. Right now his thoughts were focused on his good friend who had almost been raped by this poor excuse of a man.
Jon dug the blade deeper against the man's chest as he took another step forward. All he could think of was this man's intentions only a few minutes ago. He could picture it as he stared into his dirtied face. They would've rapped her, over and over again, taking turns while the other one recovered. They would've killed her, leaving her body in a dirty alley, and never would've shed a single tear about any of it. But no matter what Jon wanted to do to the man, his father would do ten times worse.
Gwynne watched as Robb raised his sword, slamming the hilt of it against the man's head and knocking him out instantly. Her eyes were red and swollen as she gasped for air. Robb slid his sword back into its sheath as he left the man and knelt down by her side.
He reached forward and gently wiped the blood from her lip with a gloved hand. His features had gone soft, concern for her filling his eyes as he watched her carefully. "Are you okay, Gwynne?"
She nodded, unable to speak. Her body still shook from it all as her hands fumbled with the fabric of her dress, trying desperately to cover herself up. She didn't flinch when Robb raised his hand, tucking her tangled hair behind her ear before cupping her cheek.
"Tell me they didn't touch you." His voice was a near whisper as he spoke to her. He had hoped that he and Jon had gotten to her in time, but he still feared for the worst. For all he knew, those men had already had a go with her.
"They didn't rape me."
A shaky sigh of relief slipped through Robb's lips as he pulled her terrified body against his. He held her there, one arm wrapped over her shoulders as the other clutched the back of her head. He heard her weep into his shoulder, her hands moving to wrap around his waist. He leaned down and gently kissed the top of her head, the smell of the alley radiating off her.
"There were two of them." He heard her say against his chest.
"I know. Don't worry, Jon got the second one."
More tears fell from her eyes, streaking down her cheeks when she heard that. They had saved her. Both of them.
Footsteps approached them as Jon dragged the unconscious body behind him. He let the body drop to the floor as he came to Gwynne's side, kneeling down on the other side of her. He reached forward and placed a hand on her shoulder, his hand inches away from his brother's.
Her body stayed against Robb's for comfort, but she turned her head to look at Jon. "Thank you."
"Gods, are you alright, Gwynne?" A third voice rang out.
All three of them glanced up at watch Theon as he approached, coming to a stop the moment he saw her. Her dress was torn, blood covered her face, and there were two unconscious men only a few feet away from her. Concern for her consumed him as he looked back and forth between the brothers.
"Was she-" Theon started.
"She's fine." Robb assured him, cutting him off before he could finish his thought.
Jon got to his feet and began walking to the unmoving bodies. "Theon, help me bring these men back to the castle. Father will want to take care of them himself."
Had this been any other situation, Theon would've reminded Jon that he was a bastard and in no position to make demands of him. But the half brothers had not been the only ones to grow up with Gwynne. Theon had too. And though they had their fair share of arguments and fights in the past, he was just as protective of her as Jon and Robb were.
Without saying another word, Theon nodded and bent down to retrieve the bodies with Jon. Robb carefully helped Gwynne to her feet, noticing the look of shame on her face as her eyes fell to her torn dress.
He held onto her waist for support as they walked in front of Theon and Jon, making their way back to the castle. "Father will take care of those men. You'll never see them again. And it will be a clear example to every man in Winterfell who may ever have a thought of touching you."
Robb had been right. Lord Stark was furious and had sentenced the two men to death the moment he had been told what happened. He and Lady Stark had rushed to Gwynne's side the moment Robb had woken them from their slumber to make sure she was unharmed. Gwynne couldn't remember much after they had gotten back to the castle, it all seemed like a blur, but she remembered hearing Ned growl when he saw the bruised and swollen mess her face had become.
He hadn't brought her into the world, but he still considered her as one of his own children. Her father had made him promise in his final moments that the good Lord would protect her and take care of her. And he had failed him.
She had accompanied the men to the field the next day as Lord Stark had wished her to. She stood behind Ned, feeling the eyes of the men around them on her face, or more specifically, on her bruises and busted lip. She heard Robb and Jon come to her side as the two men who tried to rape her were forced to their knees, their necks pressed against the thick bark under them.
Ned had wanted her there to see their final moments. He wanted her to hear the men as they begged for their lives, assuring the Lord that they would never touch another woman again. He wanted her to watch as he swung the sword that severed their heads from their shoulders. Lord Stark wanted her to know that though her name wasn't "Stark", she was just as much of a part of his family as any of his trueborn children. And he would be damned if he ever let any harm fall onto her while he was still living and breathing.
Gwynne shot up in her bed, gasping for air as her eyes darting around her dimly lit room. She was alone. Those men weren't here; they weren't even alive any longer. They weren't going to hurt her ever again. They were never going to rape her. Lord Stark saw to that personally. She knew all of that, yet still she couldn't help the nightmares and the fear that followed once she awoke from the nightmare.
She remembered hearing that it was only natural to have reoccurring dreams about the event. A whore had found her walking in the streets a few days after the incident. Of course, all of Winterfell had heard what had happened to the girl Lord Stark had adopted as one of his own. Word spread faster through the town than she would've liked.
Gwynne couldn't remember the girl's name. In fact, thinking about now, Gwynne wasn't sure if the girl had ever told her her name. Robb stood beside Gwynne, watching the young whore speak to his friend as she recited her own experience that unfortunately bore a much different ending.
"I know I'm nothing but a lowly whore, my lady, but when I heard what happened to you, I knew I had to speak to you."
Gwynne had smiled sweetly at the girl who must've been around her age. "Please, I'm no lady, and you are not a lowly whore. I'd love to hear what you have to say."
Robb couldn't help the smile that played at his lips as he watched Gwynne from the corner of his eye. From the time his father had brought Gwynne into his family, she had been treated like royalty. She was told that she could have anything she wanted and that she was as much as a Stark as the rest of them. But she had never let that go to her head. She never once looked down on the people of Winterfell. She considered herself lucky to live the life Ned had given to her and as far as she was concerned, she was not a noble. The people of Winterfell had never forgotten how she spoke to them as though they were all equal. It was one of the many reasons that the people of this kingdom cared for her so dearly.
The girl smiled and nodded, grateful that someone inside the castle walls of Winterfell would speak to her so kindly. She had heard tales of Gwynne's kindness, but she had expected the girl to shoo her away and instruct her to never speak to her again. She was in so way expecting her to be so sweet towards a common whore. "Thank you, my lady," she said, even though Gwynne had just told her not to address her in such a manner. "When I first began working in the brothel, I was young and scared. I had no choice in the matter, you see. My father had fallen ill and the good Gods took him soon after. My mother was unable to support both her and me, and so she sold me to a brothel for whatever little coin she could get. It was my first night there, and I didn't want to please the man that walked through my door. I tried to reason with him, but there is no reasoning with a man once he has his mind set on something."
Gwynne listened intently to the girl as she spoke, reciting her tale. She watched her carefully, taking in every word of the story as it captivated her. She tried to imagine herself in the brothel, having no choice but to please whichever man entered and shuddered at the mere thought.
"Did he rape you?"
The girl nodded solemnly. "He did, my lady."
Gwynne noticed Robb tense beside her at the admission. It was something to hear about a girl being raped outside the castle walls, but it was something else entirely to hear the story being told first hand by a victim. He could almost picture her crying, pleaded for the man not to take her, praying to the Gods to grant her mercy. A prayer they surely never heard.
"He took my maidenhead. I couldn't walk for days because he had caused me so much pain. That was years ago, and I still find myself waking up screaming. I just wanted you to know that it will get better. You may still have nightmares, years from now, but you will wake up with the satisfaction of knowing that they never had a chance to take what no man should take on his own free will. You have protectors to keep you safe and they have done an excellent job. I just wanted to tell you myself that you're not alone in feeling the way that you do, my Lady. I hope I haven't taken too much of your time." She finished quickly, scared that she had spoken for far too long.
Gwynne shook her head, a soft smile on her lips. "Not at all. I'm sorry for what he did to you."
"Thank you, my Lady." The girl bowed her head and turned her back to Robb and Gwynne, making her way back to the brothel she had been forced to call home.
"The next time someone forces himself on you, find me. I may not be as strong as the Starks, but I'd still like to know."
The girl stopped walking and smiled sweetly at Gwynne, almost unable to believe that someone actually cared about her wellbeing. It was something she hadn't been used to feeling, not since her mother had sold her like a horse. "Thank you, my Lady. I will."
Robb turned to Gwynne once the girl had disappeared from their site. "And what exactly do you plan to do with a rapist, Gwynne?"
She shrugged at his question. It was true, what would she do with a rapist? She wasn't strong enough to take care of him on her own, and she knew that no one would care if a whore was raped. After all, they were there to please the men that entered through the strong wooden doors, whether they liked it or not.
"Perhaps nothing. Perhaps I'll gut him with your sword."
The memory played through Gwynne's head, ending abruptly when she heard steady knocking at her bedroom door. She pushed herself out of bed, noting that the sun had not risen just yet. She cursed herself silently as she slid a robe over her thin nightgown. Had she made so much noise that she had woken someone?
Her palms were sweaty as she approached the door and opened it, terrified to see Cat or Ned standing there with anger on their tired features. A sigh of relief slipped through her lips when she saw it was only Robb. She smiled at him and made note of the concern on his face.
"Are you alright, Gwynne?"
She finally steadied her heartbeat and nodded. "I am. I'm sorry if I woke you, my Lord."
Robb laughed breathlessly. "I don't know how many times I have to tell you not to call me that. Especially when we're alone. No one will care what you call me if it's just you and I."
Gwynne smiled shyly, her eyes falling to the ground between them. "I know. I'm sorry."
"I heard you from across the hall."
Her eyes shot up, a sudden panic rising in them. Robb was quick to finish his thought, noticing the look in her eyes.
He raised his hands and shook his head to reassure her. "Don't worry, you weren't that loud. I was still awake. I barely heard you."
"I'm sorry if I startled you, Lord…Robb." She corrected herself quickly.
"Would you like to go for a walk with me? Maybe that will help both of us fall asleep quickly again."
Robb saw the look of doubt on her face, the hesitation as she opened her mouth to respond. He noticed that ever since the attack, Gwynne had stopped exploring Winterfell when she was restless. At night, at least. He had told her, over and over again, that it would never happen again, but she was still uncomfortable with the idea. It was a good thing, he told himself. Just because he and Jon had happened to hear her leave her bedroom that night, it didn't mean that they were always going to be around to protect her. In fact, he would've preferred it to be this way.
But still, he couldn't help but feel guilty for her fear. She had always loved to go for a walk in the night. It helped clear her head, she always told him. And now she couldn't even do that without a surge of fear ripping through her.
"I would love to, Robb."
They walked together in silence, both enjoying the cool night breeze as it blew past them. Gwynne looked to Robb's side and noticed that his sword was strapped to his waist. She frowned to herself before gazing up to look upon his face.
"You have your sword with you." It was more of a statement than it was a question. Robb nodded, glancing over his shoulder to look at her. "Do you sleep with it, as well?" She asked with a broad smile.
"A man can never be too prepared, Gwynne. When I heard you, I feared for the worst."
Gwynne stopped walking, an eyebrow rising. "And if someone was attacking me? They would've come to open the door and let you in so you could slaughter them where they stand?"
Robb stopped by her side and turned his body to face her, his hand absentmindedly resting on the hilt of his blade. "If you didn't answer, I would've entered. And yes, I would have slaughtered him where he stood."
A shaky breath slipped through her dry lips. She stared at him, probably longer than she should have, as she admired the man he had grown to be. His auburn curls fell around his face, messy from a sleepless night. His blue eyes were striking, even in the darkness. It was amazing how quickly he had grown to become a man. She could still remember playing games in the fields, running after each other mercifully until they both collapsed from exhaustion. It seemed as though those memories were a lifetime ago. She hadn't realized that he was a man until he stood before her in that moment.
Robb took a step forward, his gloved hands reaching up to cup her face within them. His face was inches from hers and her breath hitched in her throat as she stared into his glorious eyes. The kind of eyes a woman could easily get lost in if she wasn't careful.
"I will never let anything happen to you. Neither will Jon."
Gwynne smiled and reached her hands up, placing them over Robb's. "I know. And for that, I will be forever grateful. Your family has been nothing but kind to me since my father's death. There isn't enough gold in the world to repay you. The Gods are truly watching over me to give me such a blessing."
Every inch his body was telling Robb to lean in and kiss the lips that haunted him at night. He wanted nothing more than to feel them against his, to taste her once more. He still remembered her sweetness, even after all these years. He knew her kisses would be different now, sweeter, more intoxicating. He wanted to claim her lips as his own, but for the life of him, he couldn't make a move.
"Speaking of Jon…"
Robb let go of her face, his hands dropping to his side faster than he would've liked. She must have noticed the abruptness. He watched as a look of confusion flashed over her features but vanished just as quickly as it had come.
"What of him?"
"Isn't there something you can do to calm Lady Stark's hatred of him? It's heartbreaking to see." She admitted.
Robb let out a heavy sign, nodding in agreement. "I know. I've tried, Gwynne. Believe me, I've tried. But she won't hear of it. She's set in her ways and won't budge from them."
Robb started walking again but stopped when he felt Gwynne's hand reach out to take a hold of his arm. He glanced over his shoulder and noticed the desperation on her face. He had that same look years ago when he tried to tell his mother that Jon's existence wasn't his fault.
"He hasn't done anything wrong, Robb. It's not fair that she treats him with such harshness. She cares for me than her husband's own blood. It's not right."
"She spoke to me about it, once. When I was too young to understand her words fully." Robb admitted. He was staring into her eyes but he was miles away. "She told me that each time she looks at him, each time she hears his voice, she pictures her husband, her Lord, lying with another woman. And every time she does, it breaks her heart a little more. It wasn't Jon's fault, he didn't ask my father to betray his wife and break his vows. But he did, regardless. And in a way, I'm kind of glad he did."
A look of confusion washed over Gwynne's face as Robb continued.
"If he hadn't, I wouldn't have Jon. Neither of us would. He might only be my half brother, and a bastard at that, but I think of him as more than that. He is my brother, despite what anyone else has to say about the matter."
A smile finally spread across Gwynne's lips at Robb's kind words. She knew that his siblings felt the same, except for Sansa, and was grateful for that. At least if Jon was forced to live in a world full of hatred, he had his brothers and sister by his side to carry him through.
"Don't worry about him, Gwynne. Jon is a strong person. He will overcome whatever my mother throws his way."
Though she had so many more things to say on the subject and Robb's final words, Gwynne decided it would be best to bite her tongue and nod in agreement. Speaking of a solution wasn't going to make Jon's life any easier. Only the realization of her own hatred would change Lady Stark's mind.
They began walking side by side again and Gwynne decided to change the subject to break the silence that had grown between them. "So what did you dream about that had you awake at this hour?"
Robb was taken aback by the question. "I never said it was a dream that kept me awake."
"Please, Robb. It's written all over your face. It must have been some dream to keep you up."
Robb chuckled and shook his head. "It was nothing. Just an unsettling dream."
Gwynne nodded and decided not to push the topic any further. She knew Robb well enough to know when he didn't want to speak of something. They remained quiet the rest of the way back to the castle, the sun finally breaking over the horizon and giving them natural light to guide them the rest of the way.
Always the gentleman, Robb walked Gwynne to her door and wished her a good night, well, whatever was left of it, at least. She flashed him a smile before wishing him the same and quietly closing her door.
Robb stood on the other side, his smile slowly faded as his dream replayed in his head. He made his way across the hall and into his own room as he shut the door behind him, leaning his back up against it.
He glanced over at his bed, the very bed that had him tossing and turning from his dream.
He remembered feeling her against him, feeling the warm of her skin as he pressed his body against hers. He felt it as though it had happened only moments ago and couldn't have been further from a dream. The way she tasted, the way her soft skin trembled under his calloused fingertips, he could feel it all. He could hear her moaning into his mouth as his fingers trailed down to stomach, finding her wet and aching for him. He remembered the way she moved under him, giving her innocence to him as he slowly found his way inside of her.
Unfortunately, he also remembered when the beautiful dream had turned into a nightmare.
He remembered hearing her sneak out of her bedroom and curiosity had gotten the best of him. He had followed her outside, walking far enough behind her so she wouldn't hear him. He stopped dead in his tracks, watching and unable to believe his eyes as she threw herself into another man's arms. It wasn't until the other man had torn his lips away from hers that he realized who it was.
He had woken abruptly the moment he saw the face of Jon Snow.