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'I would let his whole tribe fuck you, all forty thousand men, and their horses too if that's what it took.'
Those cold words continue to echo cruelly in her head. A cold spider of fear was embedded deep inside her; her dear, cruel brother would stay true to his word if that was what it took. She stared out unwaveringly through the window of her room and into the distance at the small brown ridges of land, the barren landscape embracing her turbulent emotions.
Khal Drogo, The Dothraki leader she had been sold off to as if a mere piece of meat by her brother. He now possessed her future. Had she really expected her brother to reconsider? The welling up of hopelessness inside her took her breath away. They had met, once, a brief moment in the Free City of Pentos. The battle hardened figure had stared at her with eyes devoured in darkness. Eyes that had engulfed the heavens and stars, but reflected no light, threatened to swallow her as well. Now here they were, sailing across the narrow sea to Westeros, to White Harbor, so Illyrio Mopatis could retrieve his gift for her at her wedding to Khal Drogo.
Tears welled in her violet orbs, her lips trembled the slightest bit that she could not control. Her heart ached, 'Why?' It whispered over and over again. She wanted to close her eyes, wish away this horrible nightmare. "Why?" She whispered the word swallowed up by the howling wind.
"You know why, dear sister," Viserys spoke as he appeared in her line of vision.
Feeling a surge of rebellion, she murmured with morbid composure, "I don't want to be his queen."
A carefully controlled hand rose towards the younger Targaryen's face and five calloused fingers slowly brushed down the line of her cheek, "Why?" Viserys asked as he trailed his hand past his sister's chin, his face drawing closer, the hand wrapped carefully around Daenerys's neck. "Why?" He roared and the wind hissed along with him, a vicious gust of biting chills that whipped around their figures. She stared back unmoving, meeting her brother's encompassing eyes straight on, her eyes bright with unshed tears, gaze unwavering and strong with her convictions.
"You are nothing but my pawn sweet sister," Viserys seethed, his eyes flickered with disgust at the sight of her. "You have no choice in the matter, you shall marry Khal Drogo and I shall receive my army." His hand tightened around the slender neck of the young princess as his Targaryen temper flared. She carefully breathed through her newly constricted airway, she did not reply, she had no answers for him. "You've done it now, you have unleashed the dragon!" "Those stupid, miserable, filthy barbarians will become my army," The Targaryen heir snarled, his words stinging like the strike of a whip on her tender flesh, "You belong to me, you will always belong to me even after you have wed Khal Drogo, I will take you back and you will bear me heirs as our family has done for generations!" He gave her delicate body a violent shake.
"I do not belong to you," She rasped out weakly, while her eyes remained defiant.
You stupid girl!" Her brother hissed, tossed her aside unceremoniously as she fell against the edge of her bed; the wood splintered her pale skin. She forced away the cry of pain that formed in the back of her throat. Fresh cuts, old and new bruises littered parts of her exposed skin. Without a second glance, Viserys made his way out of the room, only pausing to snap, "Clean yourself up, you look filthy. We will be arriving to White Harbor soon." She struggled to her knees; staggered to her feet after the door was shut.
She closed her eyes in her grief, "I'm Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, blood of the dragon." She whispered feebly, repeatedly, willing the name to carry an ounce of strength in her tone, but she was failed to.
Daenerys was pale and quiet; sat on the edge of her bed, and never, in all her days did she imagine a life like the one she had lived. The silent war for her freedom in her head had continued, others never noticed the present tension; it was only the faintest of hums when listened for. Her violet eyes, though cold and distant, were still filled with an intense passion for the life she wished to live, free of her brother's hold. She took in the silence that surrounded her, gloom thrived here in this barren room she called a home for the past few weeks. Waves of silvery blonde fell off her shoulders as she surveyed her reflection in the mirror, the face unrecognizable, merely a shell of a person.
Slowly she withered onto her bed, with the promise of tender sleep coaxing her on; she fell into a dreamless slumber. It wasn't until a hand shook her shoulder did she stir. "Come my child, we have arrived." Illyrio ushered her rise, his gaze skimmed over her exposed shoulders and arms, quickly coming to the deduction for the reason of her wounds. "Child, you should not anger your brother if you wish not to feel his wrath, he is the rightful heir. You wish to help your brother do you not?"
Daenerys looked at him with no emotion. "Yes I do," She whispered the empty words.
"Good," Illyrio smiled with delight as he began to guide her towards the doorway. "We must not stay here long; there will be grave danger if others were to discover our presence so close to White Harbor." As they left the safety of the ship, enclosed within a small cove, several horses stood in waiting. Clad in only her ethereal gown and a blue, fur-lined cloak, she was helped onto a large black horse. Her hands tightened around the reins, as her brother rode past her with a twisted smirk. Daenerys urged the horse on to follow her brother. Hours seemed to pass until they reached a small castle, they were greeted by an old friend of Illyrio, escorted through the castle walls and soon they were situated in their rooms before gathering in a hidden room where three small spheres lay. Instantly, Daenerys felt a tug at her heart, as if invisible strings were attached between her and these three oddly decorated stones.
"My princess," Illyrio began with a look of wonder. "This is my gift to you; these were once dragon eggs, petrified over the centuries to stone, but they are still beautiful."
As if spellbound, Daenerys stepped forward, brushed her fingers across the jet black and scarlet egg, a light seemed to spark to life inside her. Turning, with the faintest of smiles, one which truly reached her eyes, she spoke, "Thank Illyrio, they are wonderful."
"Now there's a smile, make sure you smile like that for Khal Drogo the night you consummate your marriage, sweet sister," Viserys spoke cruelly, waved his hand dismissively to the guards as he laughed when the smile instantly faded from her rosebud lips. "Come sister, a bride needs her sleep. Tomorrow we will leave to return to Pentos and Illyrio will host your wedding." He and Illyrio left the room, leaving Daenerys alone with her eggs. Her hands fisted the skirt of her gown for a moment, until she looked back at her three dragon eggs.
"You have restored the fire in my heart," Daenerys whispered tenderly, pressing a hand over her black egg.
It was deep into the night when Daenerys snuck out from her bed chambers, dressed her in her flimsy gown, a brown satchel hung across her body under her blue cloak. She flinched when the door to the hidden room groaned in its old age as she pushed it open with precise care. There lay her precious eggs, with swift hands she slipped them into the back one by one. She was startled by their weight, they were quite heavy to hold, was there really no life remaining within these beautiful shells? Despite it all, something deep within her compelled her to them. Leaving the room quickly as she had come, she glided out past the weakly guarded castle, many of Illyrio's guard had remained back to protect the ship. Maybe the gods had taken pity on her to allow her to escape her, or maybe she would be caught and punished for trying to flee, the thought of maybe was too weak to stop her now. She would no longer be a pawn in this game for the iron throne. Dany arrived into the stables, she took the largest and fastest horse there and clumsily saddled him in her haste. There was only a single torch at the stable entrance that barely illuminated in the darkness. Once saddled, Daenerys stepped on a nearby stool, mounted the stallion, with a labored breath she situated herself in the saddle and urged to the horse to move, with reluctance the stallion paced forward.
"I need you to move along quickly," Daenerys whispered in urgency, as if sensing her desperation, the stallion nickered, and picked up his pace.
"Where do you think you are leaving to, Daenerys?" A hiss slid through the air, Daenerys was instantly shaken. The princess's eyes widened, her head turned sharply over her shoulder with a horrified stare, lips parted in a silent scream at the sight of her furious brother. His lips twisted into seething smile, "Why do you appear so surprised? Did you think I did not consider the possibility you would try to run away? I must admit it was a small consideration, I never thought you would have the insolence to try." Viserys titled his head tauntingly, committed the shattered expression of his sister's face to memory.
"I will not be a pawn to be used in your little game." Daenerys spat with vile.
Her cheeks were flushed from the cold, eyes liquid-like while teardrops clung to her eyelashes and slid down her face, reflecting the flame of the torch at the stable entrance. With haste, the Targaryen princess grabbed the torch and tossed it with all her strength to the floor at her brother's feet, the flicker of fear in his eyes as the sprawled hay on the floor caught fire was enough give the rebellious woman a spark of courage. The gate guards were too alarmed by their prince's shrill cries to make sense of what was happening as they hurried to towards the billowing smoke clouds forming from the stables only to see a black stallion bolt passed them and out the castle gates into the darkness. The adrenaline in her veins was quickly beginning to fade, she didn't know for how long she had been blindly riding away further into the blackness. The shouts of furious castle guards that had begun to chase after her had died away, now all that drowned her ears was the howling of the violent winds that tore away at her body as she headed north. She was broken from her daze when the stallion whinnied in exhaustion from its perilous sprint through the forest. It dug in its hooves, coming to a violent halt. Daenerys nearly doubled over its neck and collapsed back into the saddle, breathless.
"We have to keep going," Daenerys murmured stroking the horse's neck. After a moment, she urged the horse forward to a fast trot. A single, silent tear spilled from the corner of her eye, her voice soft and even, "It is only the two of us from now on."
The days passed, then a week, then more days, until they seemed to blur together and she was lost in the day and night of the world. The first week she had stumbled upon an elderly man and his wife, they had given her shelter in their barn, food, warmth, safety, fed her horse, until they had to continue on. The kind, aged woman had given her a few morsels for the journey. The second week, she had nearly frozen to death in sleep in the wilderness, the temperature continued to fall the further she traveled. A small village she had happened upon, the villagers had taken pity upon her, invited her into their home, given her a bed, food at their table, a sweet woman had given her a heavier, frayed dress made to withstand the harsh coldness of the north. How, her heart earned to remain there, but if her brother found her, found out the kind people had aided her, he would not be merciful. She had left the next day, bid farewell to the kind people, gratefully accepted the food they offered her to take along with her. The first few days of her third week she had finished whatever food she had had remaining. Daenerys had continued further north over the next few days, weak with hunger; a drear upon a horse. How long had she been riding? When did she last eat a proper meal? When did she last have a chance to rest? She couldn't remember. Her bones and stomach were aching.
Daenerys's dress had continued to tatter; the already distressed clothing had been poorly tailored. Her body ached; dark bruises and welts had formed along her legs from the continuous riding. The only part of her that had managed to remain almost completely undamaged was her face. Not even her greatest adversary would dare to mar the beauty that rested there.
She had no idea where she was or where she was going, she had only stopped sparsely to rest, to allow the horse to nimble grass and drink water from passing streams. The young Targaryen would continue on through the night, wavering between consciousness, fear continued to drive her on. The furthest edges of the earth would never be far enough to settle her quivering heart. Eyes bleary with exhaustion, she failed to notice the flash of white strike from below against the horse's neck. The stallion reared up in a frightened alarm, throwing off his rider, Daenerys's lips parted in a silent gasp as she was thrown callously to the ground and she whimpered of pain. Her body felt like a wavering reed, collapsing like dead weight when she tried to stand up. She had rolled onto her knees as she tried to understand what had occurred. Adrenaline was coursing through her veins quick to mask any pain she felt, the stallion galloped off into the forest, leaving her behind.
It was then she heard the sounds of spitting growls emerge from the forest, the sight before her made her blood run cold. There stood two enormous wolves. She held their fierce stares with one of her own; she didn't flinch when she heard the clatter of their teeth as they bared their fangs at her. She took three steps back, only to find her back press against the wetness of tree bark and moss.
Two figures emerged from behind the wolves, both in heavy garments of fur and leather. The first had brown hair, a stern expression. The second quickly caught her attention, he stood out, a mass of raven curls that could leave any woman envious, and piercing brown eyes so dark they seemed almost black, intense like that of a wolf. He stepped forward, sword drawn until it rested against the delicate crook of her neck, a breath stuck in her throat at the feel of the cold steel.
"Who are you?"" He demanded. The two starred each other down, neither willing to show an ounce of weakness. His eyes narrowed, pushing the sword deeper into her skin, almost slicing the pale region. "Answer me!"
Her expression was vacant, but her eyes blazed like a wild, violet flame, "My name is Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen."
The sword slowly slid down her skin to the base of her collarbone, she ignored the pain as blood began to trickle from the torn skin and trickled down the length of the sword. The man before looked startled as did his friend, both exchanged rapt glances.
"We must take her to father," The brown haired man spoke abruptly; he shot her a cold glare as he turned and began to trek back into the forest. She felt a sharp jerk of her arm, unable to stifle the small hiss of pain that escaped her lips. Daenerys felt the raven-haired man's eyes on her, she looked up furiously at him, she was taken back to see a glimmer of apology in his impassive expression. It disappeared as quickly as it had come.
"Come with me," He spoke with a newfound gentleness to his voice as he began to guide her by the hand in the direction his friend had taken.
"Where are you taking me?" Daenerys managed to whisper with a determination that startled both of them.
The man shot her a small glare, "You do not get to ask questions."
"Wait," She began.
"Quiet, prisoners do not get to speak," The brown-haired man snapped, as he reappeared through the trees mounted on a horse and leading another by the reins. "She will ride with you."
Without warning Daenerys felt herself airborne as she was seated on the horse, he mounted and sat behind her, he was swift as he was graceful. He gathered the reins, one arm on either side of her, caging her in. Daenerys looked at him over her shoulder with wide, questioning violet eyes. With a swift nod to each other, both men spurred the horses into gallops and dashed into the forest, the two wolves following close behind. With the sudden lunge of the horse's powerful legs, Dany was thrown back into the broad chest of the man behind her.
"My apologies," She hissed at him.
"Think nothing of it," He murmured a cold reply, he glanced down at her once before the horse began to gallop faster, reaching the other horse's side in a few, easy strides. The Targaryen was suddenly thankful for his arms at her sides, keeping her upright. Her body ached painfully as they galloped through the forest and into an open field, there was a large castle. It was then it struck her, she knew this place from her studies with Illyrio, the direwolf insignia on the flag.