Chapter Sixteen


[Broden]

Broden Magnar had never been a particularly emotional person. He had been the second son of Drystan Magnar, and therefore his life had been planned out for him since birth. Of course it was Keeran who would be heir of Kingshouse, that was the birthright of the firstborn. But Broden knew in his heart that he was born for greatness beyond that of a second son.

He had been hardened by discipline, by duty. His father expected him to be ready should the time ever come. But there were times when he was overwhelmed by it all, and the emotion deep within the barriers of the walls he built within him would creep out. Keeran's death had been one of those times. Broden had seen much death in his life. His mother was the first and he stood by his father that day without a tear in those light eyes of his.

But when his eldest brother fell to his death, something rushed over him. The grief was mixed with guilt. He wasn't guilty of Keeran's death, but he was guilty of envy and greed. He had envied his brother, lusted after the power he would one day have on the seat of House Magnar. Broden had thought it was the gods laughing at him, punishing him maybe for his hateful thoughts. But no matter how much he wanted to be the firstborn, to have the respect and the honor, never had he wished his brother dead.

Since then he hadn't cried, not when his father had been taken, not when his siblings had perished in the fires. Not even as he held his youngest sister in his arms as she sobbed against his chest and cried out to the gods when she learned of her family's fate. Fallon had a fierceness about her that reminded him of himself in many ways. She too held a lot back from most. But she mourned with the same passion that she fought with in battle.

And today she mourned as well.

It had been three days since the raven had come. The camp had barely woken from their victorious stupor, the morning crept over the horizon slowly and steadily until the sun made it's first appearance through the clouds. It was then that the raven had flown in to deliver the news.

Lord Eddard Stark had been executed for treason.

No one saw their commander for the remainder of that day. Broden had immediately sought out Fallon who he found in her tent, red eyed and in disbelief. It was like the day their mother had passed when he'd found her on the cliff-face near the sea of their family home.

Now as they stood out in the cold of the night, the snow falling down on their heads as the fire burned brightly at their backs, he reached for Fallon's hand, holding it tightly in hers as she stood before the men. Her expression now matched his as they stared at Lord Umber who had caused a great commotion by spitting at the name Baratheon and the Iron Throne.

He wasn't sure what made him grab her hand then, but the urge was there and soft skin was like ice against his palms. She looked up at him for only a moment, nodding as she too knelt next to Lord Umber. She too shouted the words of the great man next to her, looking up into the eyes of her Young Wolf.

The King in the North, as Lord Umber had declared him on one large bended knee.

Robb looked more surprised than anyone as he stared down at the man who was calling him King. One by one men fell, pulling their swords from their sheaths and laying them in the snow. Broden too pulled his sword, placing it before him and Fallon looked at him with a small smile and a nod as he crouched down on one knee.

He didn't have to look to know the other Skagosi men would follow suit. But he was most surprised to see that when he turned his head, Dearg Crowl was at his side, his eyes full of respect as he nodded, whispering the words as well. Lord Crowl had once said he'd never bow to anyone but the Magnar. Broden too had made a similar promise in his youth. But this man before them, Robb Stark was a friend with a cause as right as theirs.

Perhaps the Skagosi would never have a Magnar, but they would have a King in the North.

And for him, that was worlds better than the Lannister bastard sitting his little arse on the Iron Throne.

He looked at his sister and he wondered if things in his life might have been different if she had not been there. Her hair flew wildly about her, as dark as the night sky above them and it was the first time he saw her as a woman. Gone was his young sister who used to tease him, laugh at his sour expressions. Born was this woman before him who fought for justice, sacrificed for love. No matter her heritage, Fallon was a Magnar and Broden could finally see why his father had loved her so dearly. He had kept this secret from her so she would never doubt that she belonged.

Broden had made a selfish choice when he'd met at Robb Stark's camp weeks ago. He could not tell her who had fathered her and he would not for fear that she would never speak to him again. Broden had devised a plan to keep her from marrying the Frey. The gods may never forgive him for what he planned to do, but if it meant keeping Fallon from this fate, then he would condemn his soul.

Broden had never met a woman he would die for. He'd never loved so heartily that he would sacrifice himself as Fallon had for Robb. Back home Dearg Crowl had a daughter who would, one day, be Broden's wife. She would do well enough, he thought, but never had he felt the type of passion he saw in Fallon's eyes in this moment as she looked up at her Young Wolf. She would die for the Stark.

The only woman Broden would die for, was Fallon.


[Fallon]

Fallon had never felt more uncomfortable in a dress than she did that night.

It was a night for celebration, to honor their newly crowned king but everything felt wrong. She wore beautiful gown of deep blue and silver thread. The expensive fabrics were well fitted to her small frame. It was a gift from Aenys's sisters. The dress tailored in the fashion of the Riverlands. It was fitting attire for the coronation of the King of the North and the Trident. She would have preferred something more Northern.

But Aenys had insisted.

The dress sparkled in the brightly lit room, the silver-colored thread reflected the light as if there was ice sewn into delicate little swirls upon the deep blue fabric. Aenys had it sent with a maid from the Twins, Cyrenna, who had a pretty face with a sugary sweet expression. The two had argued for nearly an hour about how Fallon was to wear her hair for the feast. Cyrenna repeatedly told her she would do her hair in a fashion that Lord Aenys would admire, but Fallon quickly told the girl that she would do in the Northern style or she would do it herself. Fallon knew the girl was another way for him to spy on her, to make sure she was behaving as she ought to as a woman betrothed.

But Fallon would not be coerced by the man. She had made that very clear.

So now she sat, fidgeting uncomfortably as Broden and Rowan sat on either side of her. She had barely looked at Aedan who continued to send her looks that varied between ones of longing and ones of anger. Her attention was focused on the High Table where the King was seated next to his mother on his left and his UncleEdmure on his right. Hoster Tully was a sickly man in his elder years and though he was still Lord of Riverrun, he was bedridden from his illness. His son Edmure took his place at the table.

Robb, however, was in no mood to celebrate. It had only been a few weeks since his father's death but the lords had advised him that a change in scenery would be good for the men. Riverrun had a large hall and the men were in high spirits with their wine goblets constantly filled. The lords and their men had many pretty women to dance with from the local village and the food was hot on their plates. Lord Umber sat across from her, staring at her whilst finishing his third leg of pheasant.

"This, girl," he said, holding out the bone that was mostly devoured, some covering his beard. "This is how a woman ought to cook."

"Perhaps you should stay at Riverrun then," she suggested with a playful smirk. "I'll keep your flank well looked after." The great brute laughed as he pounded back the horn of ale to wash the meat down, wiping his mouth with his sleeve and Fallon laughed then as well.

"Oi, Bolton!" the Greatjon shouted. Fallon's smile slowly faded as Roose Bolton stopped in his path as he was walking by the table and looked down with a bored raise of his eyebrow. "You off to grab one of those gals to dance with, or do you even dance up at that dreary Dreadfort of yours?" he asked with great booming laughter.

"If you're asking me to dance, Umber, I unfortunately must decline," was the man's attempt at a joke. No one laughed. "I am tasked with finding a lovely lady for His Grace to dance with."

Fallon suddenly felt tense as Lord Bolton looked down at her with a sneer. She looked away, pretending to find interest in the potatoes on her plate but she could still feel his eyes on her.

"Lord Frey has graciously sent along several of his daughters to show off to our newly crowned king. I see one that might catch His Grace's eye," he said before sauntering off towards where Fallon had seen the table of Frey's sitting not far from her place.

"He'll have a right hard time trying to find a 'lovely' one'a them Frey girls," the Greatjon mumbled through a bite of bread and the table snickered in agreement.

The Late Walder Frey had sent seven of his younger daughters for Robb's coronation, seven that were more suitable to Robb's age than the elders who had already looked sunken and wrinkled. The girls were dressed in the same variations of blue as Fallon. Their dresses of fine fabrics and silks that exposed their full bosoms and slim figures. She could see the girl Lord Bolton spoke of, a young girl that had pale features and a frame even smaller than that of Fallon's. The girl was taller however and had a fine face with a pretty smile as long as her lips were shut tight. Fallon decided if he must marry one of Frey's unfortunate daughters, she was certainly the gem of the lot.

"Jon," the Greatjon said then, nudging his son who seemed rather preoccupied with his wine goblet. He looked up at his father expectantly. "Would you get outta that cup'a yours and take this gal out there to dance already?" he said, gesturing towards Fallon, but the Smalljon simply shrugged.

"I ain't much for dancin' Lady Fallon. I'll probably just end up steppin' on yer toes," he said apologetically, gaining a scowl from his father.

"My Cley will dance with you, Lass," Lord Cerwyn interjected and Fallon looked up to see Cley being pushed off the side of the bench until he was forced to stand. He laughed as he walked over towards her and offered her his hand with a wide grin on his handsome features. Fallon was reluctant at first, but after a eager nod from the boy's father, she couldn't say no.

"Careful where you place your hands, boy," the Greatjon said, his voice slurring from the excess of ale. "That's the King's gal you're holdin'. Remember that."

Fallon felt the heat rush to her cheeks then, finding the rather loud statement to be a dangerous thing to say in a hall full of Frey supporters. She glanced over towards the table where Aenys was sitting only to find him, too, in a drunken stupor with a whore on his lap. The Greatjon was loud, but the hall was louder so it seemed.

Cley was a fantastic dancer, she discovered after several songs. He kept his hands in only the appropriate places and when he lifted her into the air with his hands under her arms, he was very careful to keep his fingers from grazing her breasts as any other young male usually would. As far as she could tell, Cley Cerwyn was a gentlemen.

"You are well-versed in your steps, My Lord," she said politely and he smiled down at her.

"My father saw after my swordsmanship, and my mother to my dancing," he said, his sideways grin exposing his slightly crooked teeth. "She said I'd never find a wife if I couldn't win her on the dancefloor."

"Well I think you'll find that there are several ladies waiting for a turn to dance with you," she whispered, leaning in and he looked up, surprised. "I think you'd better pick one before the daggers in their jealous eyes wound me."

"And leave you without a partner?" he asked and she laughed quietly.

"I will see that she is occupied," a voice said from behind her and she saw Rowan standing with his hand outstretched towards her. Cley took her opposite hand in his and brought it to his lips then.

"My Lady," he said, bowing his head before releasing her into Rowan's arms. She watched as he approached a very young and fresh looking girl she recognized as a daughter of Lord Piper. She then turned to Rowan with a relaxed smile.

"Since when do you dance, dear brother?" she asked as the previous song finished and a new one began. She recognized the Northern tune as one of her favorite upbeat songs and took the opportunity to humiliate her brother with her advanced skills.

"Since my sister was in need of her spirits being lifted," he said as if it were obvious and he spun her twice and then the steps began, slow at first and then sped up as the song did.

Rowan had never liked dancing, but he had always been good at it when it counted. She often wondered if it had been Enat who had taught him the steps that he so easily remembered, knowing the two had been very close back in Skagos. Rowan had always had an easy way with women, just as Enat did with men. But neither had been particularly interested in pursuing anything further with their relationship. Purely physical, Enat had told her once and Fallon had shrugged her shoulders. It was no business of hers.

"Do not worry about the Great-Brute's comment earlier," he said in her ear and she looked up at him in confusion.

"What do you mean?" she asked as he lifted her in the air. Her hair fell in his face once and she laughed as he pulled it from his mouth.

"The men know Robb favors you, but no one yet knows you share his bed," he said once he'd pulled the last of her hair from his lips. Her eyes widened.

"What!?" she said, her voice loud at first and he shushed her so she lowered it. "What?"

"Don't act as though you are some innocent maiden," he said, amused at the blush on her cheek. "Don't worry, I've been seeing to it that no one has noticed. You've done well at hiding it. Took me long enough to realize you weren't sleeping in your own bed every night. Most of the men think our young King simply has a love of whores in his bed each night."

"Perhaps this is not the time to discuss this?" she said, looking around to see if anyone was listening but they were all preoccupied.

"Would you rather talk about that pretty young thing your Young Wolf has got his arms wrapped around right now?" he asked and she went to look, jerking her head frantically but Rowan stayed it with his hand. "Try your hand at some subtlety," he suggested, spinning them both so she would have a view of where Robb was now standing, not far from them with Roslin Frey's hand in his.

She had never seen Robb dance with another woman and she could tell by the sharp feeling in her stomach that she didn't care for it too much. However she knew he was keeping his facade up just as she would. His eyes were tired and his movements weary but he still looked graceful as he danced with her and that was enough to make a small smile appear in the corner of her mouth.

"Bolton's been parading that one in front of His Grace for some time, is that one of the Frey girls?" Rowan asked and she simply nodded, keeping her eyes glued to Robb as he danced.

"Her name is Roslin," she whispered.

"She's fetching enough," Rowan said as if inspecting a mare to purchase. She looked up at him with a raised brow. "What? You're the one that suggested he marry the girl."

"A girl," she corrected. "Robb can have his pick of whichever he see's fit. Of course if he wants beauty, then she's surely the best pick."

"Quite small though, isn't she?"

"What's wrong with being small?" she asked him, and he laughed, lifting her up by her hips and spinning her once in the air.

"Nothing is wrong with it," Rowan corrected and she smiled. "But those hips of hers aren't ripe for bearing your king any sons."

"Do you enjoy being a pain in the arse?" she asked him, swatting his shoulder for saying 'your king' and his smile widened.

"Just a pain in yours," he replied and Fallon stepped away from him, curtseying as the song ended.

The celebration lasted long into the night and the Greatjon saw that her glass was never empty. As the hall began to clear out she was told by Cyrenna that it was a good time for her to retire to bed. She had laughed the girl away, sending her off to take care of someone else so Fallon could drink herself into a stupor.

Cyrenna had stormed off with a sour expression and Fallon was sure she'd seen her walk straight over towards Aenys who looked up, his eyes narrowing at Fallon's disobedience. She felt she had won the argument when she turned away, nearly running into a small figure as she did so and she steadied herself to see that it was young Roslin Frey.

She was young, and only slightly smaller than Fallon. The small gap in between her two front teeth was exposed as the girl beamed up at her.

"Lady Fallon," she said excitedly, taking Fallon's hands in hers. "I have been waiting to talk with you all evening."

Fallon was having difficulty focusing on Roslin, but she did her best to keep her eyes from drooping as she gave her the best smile she could muster. It was the first time that she noticed the girl was wearing a dress that was the color of steel with very fine designs embroidered into the fabric. Along the bodice were silhouettes of a graceful looking wolf and Fallon could tell the girl had done her very best appeal to Robb.

"That dress," Roslin gasped, running her fingers over the fabric. "I just knew it would look exquisite on you. You have such lovely features. I never knew Skagosi women were so lovely."

It was a common myth that Skagosi women were hideous. It was their fierce reputation that made Westerosian believe the woman were uglier than their men. Eustace Hunter had been very pleasantly surprised to find that his bride, Albertha, was such an exquisite beauty. Elsbeth too had the Magnar looks, very much similar in features to her father's sister. Fallon, however knew that while she was not ugly, she was not as lovely as the Skagosi women were.

Of course, she wasn't really a Skagosi woman, she recalled. Her father would have killed any man from their land that laid a hand on her mother. This meant Fallon's trueborn father would have been someone from Westeros.

"You're too kind, My Lady," she replied and the girl continued to grin from ear to ear. The pinkness in the girl's cheeks made her wonder if she too had indulged in too much of the wine.

"My sisters and I were so very excited to see this dress on you. My brother, also, was thrilled to see how you looked in our colors."

"I'm sure Lord Stark was very fond of your gown as well," Fallon said then, doing her best not to sound as bitter as the wine was making her thoughts. The girl blushed then looking over her shoulder and Fallon could see Robb watching them from the High Table with interest.

"Oh yes," Roslin said happily, with all the excitement of a 14 year-old maiden. "He said he liked the pattern very much. I had so hoped that he would." Fallon was getting ready to speak but Roslin didn't seem to be quite finished as she smiled, dreamily. "He is a very fine man, isn't he? My sisters said you came to the Twins with his mother. Do you know him very well?"

Fallon considered this for a moment, wondering how to answer such a question.

"I was Lord Eddard Stark's ward at Winterfell for nearly a year. All of the Starks are like family to me," she admitted truthfully. "Robb was always very kind to me. We are good friends."

"Yes, I can see that. He is quite the gentleman," Roslin said longingly. Fallon looked up once again over the girl's shoulder and her eyes met with Robb's. He was standing now, and her eyes followed him as he left the hall, saying goodnight to a few of his men before walking off towards the outer keep. Roslin was still talking, but Fallon couldn't hear her over her own beating heart that was running wild as Robb looked over his shoulder at her once more before leaving the hall.

"Oh my," Fallon said, perhaps a little too dramatically as she tried to steady herself. "My head is spinning, or perhaps it is the room. I think I should lie down."

"Oh, yes," Roslin said, a look of concern washing over her face. "Should I help you to your room, or fetch your brother?"

"No," Fallon said quickly. "I wouldn't want to rush anyone away from the festivities. Thank you for your company, Lady Roslin," she said and Roslin leaned in and kissed her cheek.

"It was my pleasure," she said, her brown eyes sparkling as she stepped back and walked back towards where her sisters were sitting.

Fallon looked around once to see if anyone was watching but she couldn't make out all the faces and just gave up and spun around in the direction she'd seen Robb leave. Her pace was quick down the stone corridors and she felt the air grow cooler and cooler on her shoulders which were mostly exposed in her Frey gown.

The outer keep led outside, and she knew Robb would have walked towards the godswood. She had found it to be the most peaceful place in the Riverlands. The single weirwood in the heart of the lovely garden provided her the peace and solace to pray for the first time since she'd left Winterfell. As far as she knew, it was the only weirwood still standing in this part of Westeros.

It was secluded enough that Fallon didn't see Robb until she had rounded the corners of many hedges. His figure finally appeared, knelt beneath the slender tree as he looked up at it in wonder. She slowed her unbalanced footsteps as she waited for him, not wanting to disturb whatever thoughts he had on his mind. But it was clear by the way he moved his head in her direction that he had heard her steps, that he had expected her to come.

He rose quickly, looking at her bare arms and pulling his cloak from his shoulders. He placed it over hers, lifting her hair so it was resting over the fur lining. He pulled his fingers gently through her hair and a small smile appeared on his lips.

"You're going to freeze out here," he whispered, his breath appearing before her and she shrugged.

"It's this awful dress," she said, pulling at the fabric carefully. He touched the dress and ran his fingers over the silver thread.

"It's a fine dress," he said absently.

"For a Frey perhaps," she said leaning in towards him slightly, feeling herself beginning to sway from the ale. She couldn't touch him the way she wanted to right then, not here, not out in the open where at any moment one of his guards, or worse - a Frey, could walk by. "You should retire to bed," she suggested. "You have not been sleeping."

"Only if you'll join me," he said, touching her hand, concealed by the cover of his cloak over her.

"Aenys has put Cyrenna in my rooms tonight. He says it is to keep my company but I know it is to make sure I do not leave," she said with a frown. "Perhaps you will rest better if I am not there to distract you."

"I welcome the distraction," he told her.

There was a thin layer of bitterness in his words. Robb was almost absent these past few weeks, his mind solely on the task of war and which battles would be next. Always their time spent together was quiet and contemplative. Several times she had woken up next to him the darkest part of the night to feel him holding her tightly as if she might disappear at any moment. Once she had even heard him crying but she hadn't dared mention it to him.

She wanted to comfort him, but Fallon never knew what was right. She ached because he ached, cried because he cried. All of her soul felt crushed when she saw the pain in his perfect blue eyes, now tainted with the redness of sorrow.

"Come to my bed tonight," he whispered. "I will see that your maid has other things to tend to. You have spoiled me too much and now I fear I cannot sleep without you by my side."

She knew she also would not sleep well unless the heat of his flesh was against hers. The nights they spent apart Fallon would stare up at the ceiling anxiously, awaiting the dawn so that she might be near him once again. They had been careful not to spend their time together, both agreeing that the watchful glances of the men had already picked up on more than they should have. But very few knew of the extent of their relationship. Rowan had assured her of that.

"It will be easier once we leave this place," she told him, squeezing his hand in hers and then glanced up into his searching eyes.

"Fallon," he said and she frowned at the discomfort in his voice.

"What is it?" she asked, watching as his gaze looked away reluctantly.

"I need you to do something for me," he said slowly. "Something I have no right to ask of you."

"Anything," she said, feeling the concern rising, deep in the pit of her stomach.

"I need someone to treat with Renly Baratheon," he said and her eyebrow rose in curiosity. "You and my mother did well with the Frey's-" At this she let out a bitter chuckle.

"I got us both betrothed, and not to each other. Arya will hate me as well. Though you'll have that beauty Roslin for your bed before long-" she started and he silenced her with a kiss on her lips.

"You, Mo Gra, have nothing to worry over. In fact, I'd say she's more infatuated with you, judging by the looks she was giving you."

"Do not worry, Your Grace," Fallon said with a laugh. "I can assure you it is you she has her sights set on."

"Do not call me that," he whispered against her lips and she sighed, once again, into his kiss.

"It is-," she paused as his mouth moved over hers, speaking only when she had a moment for air. "-what I must call you," she told him.

"Not you-"

"Especially me," she said firmly. "You are my king as well."

"Will you please go with my mother, travel to the Stormlands?" he asked her and she took in a deep breath as she looked away. "Consider that you've never been so far south, that it's your chance for adventure."

"I have plenty of adventures here," she told him and he laughed.

"I fear too many. Lords Umber and Cerwyn might try to kidnap you from the Freys soon, bring you back to the North and wed you to one of their sons."

"They'll have a fine time trying," she replied with a smirk. For many moments they did not speak and she could see he waited for her answer. "How am I to convince a man like Renly to fight for our cause?" she asked him.

"I've heard Renly is much more reasonable than his brothers," Robb replied. "He will help us if it means more men against his brother. Once the war is over we go back to our own dominions."

"And you think he will recognize the North as it's own kingdom? And the Trident?"

"That will be your job, love," he explained. "I need you to convince him."

"And what of all those sleepless nights you will encounter?" she whispered, her mouth against his ear and she felt his hand on her waist tighten.

"I will focus my efforts on winning this war so I can take you home," he whispered and Fallon didn't want to ruin the moment by asking which home he referred to. They hadn't spoken about her returning to Skagos since she'd arrived. Neither thought it best.

She wanted to do this for Robb, but she was scared to leave his side at this time. He was still suffering from the news of his father. Sending her away would leave him utterly alone. Robb didn't discuss his family with any of his men and likewise his men knew better than to broach the subject in his presence. His mother's grief wasn't helping. Perhaps taking her to the Stormlands would be better for the both of them.

"I'll go," she told him, a smile on her lips. "I'll do what I can with Renly."

He embraced her then and Fallon felt warm against him for the first time since she stepped out into the cold. She could tell by the way he held her that he had no intentions of letting her sleep alone tonight. He would want her to leave in the morning.

That meant they would spend the rest of the night saying their goodbyes.


[Robb]

Robb had seen the sun rise and set since Fallon rode off in the early hours towards the Stormlands. He had felt a pain in his chest as he watched her ride off, Fiachra yipping excitedly as they rode at a quick pace.

Sleep had finally found him in the wee hours of the morning, not long after he had finished making love to her for the second time, holding her bare skin against hers under the furs of his bed. Her skin was hot against his, her whispers comforting and soft against his ear. It was a combination of both that lulled his tired mind into sleep that seemed to end too soon by the sound of her stirring.

She had packed light, telling him it would a short journey, that she would return to him as soon as she convinced Renly to help. Even now as the sun set and he prepared for his army to ride out the next morning, he felt uneasy without her there. His mother, too, was gone, riding off alongside Fallon. Theon had rode out as well, a few hours after sunrise in the opposite direction. He'd be first to reach his destination and hopefully soon he'd have the support of Balon Greyjoy on his side.

Robb was nearly done packing when he heard a commotion outside his door, the guards that were stationed nearby were arguing with someone whose voice was muffled by the thick wood door that separated them. He paused his movements and listened as the voices rose into shouts. Soon after Broden came marching through the door, looking panicked as he rushed towards him. The guards followed by Robb held up his hand to stay them, allowing Broden to approach.

"Stark!" he said quickly, his voice loud. "Where is she? Where have you sent her?"

"Broden," Robb said, trying to calm him by placing a hand on his shoulder but it was shaken off. Robb then saw Rowan running in after his brother.

"Where?!" Broden shouted again.

"She's left this morning, with my mother. I needed her to negotiate for support," he explained and as Rowan tried to hold Broden back, he too was shoved away.

Broden, the man who was nearly always composed, was now frantic. He had never seen him like this. Countless times Fallon had fought now in the war and never once had her brother looked as concerned as he did now. Something was wrong.

"Where? With whom?" Broden said then, as he tried to calm his voice and Robb furrowed his brow in confusion.

"Renly," Robb said. "Baratheon." At that Broden closed his eyes as if he had been struck and he groaned in anger. "I do not understand," Robb said. "I told you I needed her for negotiations. You agreed she was best for the task."

"But I did not agree that you should send her to treat with Renly Baratheon!" Broden shouted. "You do not know what you have done!"

"Broden!" Rowan was shouting now as his brother paced.

"No!" he shouted back. "Do not touch me, I-" he started and paused, catching his breath. "I have to go after her."

He turned to leave but both Robb and Rowan stepped in front of the larger man and stayed his retreat. Broden tried to get around them but both Robb and Rowan wrestled him until he was on the ground.

"You will not leave until you tell us what is wrong," Robb whispered, again deterring his guards from interfering.

Broden was panting now from his spent energy, the struggle leaving him slightly out of breath as both Rowan and Robb held him down. He sighed, his eyes still burning angrily, much like Fallon's did.

"I tried to warn you, that she was safe only here where I could protect her," Broden said, his voice lowered.

"Baratheon won't hurt her, he's much too busy spending his money and hosting tourneys in his honor," Rowan said and Robb nodded.

"My mother knows Renly," Robb added. "He is a gentle man. He has no reason to harm her or Fallon."

Broden pushed them off of him, sitting up with his hands on his knees as his breaths finally steadied. But still he was shaking his head. Robb trusted Broden, but he could see that the man was keeping secrets from him. He didn't like secrets, especially ones that could put Fallon in danger.

"Tell us what's going on," Rowan demanded. Broden looked up at him. "You've been hiding something from us, brother, something Father told you and Aedan about Fallon." Broden diverted his eyes from his brother's at this. "She's a bastard, isn't she?" Rowan then asked, the question sounded painful as it left his lips. As Robb feared, Broden nodded.

"What else?" Robb said then, the confirmation of Fallon's heritage weighing heavily upon him. "What else aren't you telling us? Why is she in danger?"

Broden paused for a long time before he seemed like he would answer. There was worry in his eyes at the mention of his sister, of the danger she was in and Robb noticed it all as if the thoughts were being played right through Broden's eyes.

"Because," Broden said finally as he stood, adjusting his tunic. "She is the firstborn bastard of King Robert Baratheon and you have sent her to treat with the brother who seeks to claim his throne."


A/N: I hope you enjoyed this chapter. It was a little short but I had a few points I wanted to focus on and hopefully I hit them well. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks, xo Lola