Blood and Honor
The leather Astapori armor still sat ill on his shoulders. He missed the reassuring weight of his Westerosi plate, fashioned using fine Western steel. With his tourney winnings after his knighting at Pyke, he had bought the suit that followed him across the Narrow Sea. After he had passed out from heat exhaustion after several days ahorse, the Queen had commanded he buy another suit. She'd traced the coils of serpents decorating the spaulders, remarking they resembled her dragons when in flight. Jorah had felt the ghost of her insubstantial touch for an hour.
When Daenerys Stormborn batted her purple-hued Targaryen eyes at him, Jorah Mormont obeyed. Even when she commanded he follow the word of an upjumped sellsword into a hostile city. If we are truly her loyal servants, we will do whatever needs to be done. No matter the cost, no matter our pride. His own words to Barristan galled him now, as he swung his sword down and around, hewing through a slave's spear haft and into the vulnerable juncture between neck and shoulder. The blade jarred against bone and Jorah yanked it free. His victim howled, crumpling into a fetal position. Jorah finished him with curt backhanded slash across the throat. At his left Grey Worm was like poetry, all lithe grace and coiled power. Daario was a capable warrior, Jorah thought grudgingly, as the sellsword dispatched a man with his arakh, then crippled another with a slash across the hamstring.
"Come, the gate!" Daario said. Jorah and Grey Worm trotted at Daario's flank, and between the three of them, heaved open the mechanism to the city's gate. Yunkai fell within two hours, and exultant and bloodied, he and Grey Worm abjured from the Unsullied's methodical dismantling of the city to report to the Queen. Overhead, he saw the swooping shapes of her dragons on wing. His left knee ached from an old injury, and bruises throbbed beneath the armor from blunted spear thrusts, but when he saw her face, all of it dissolved into nothingness. Gods, she was beautiful. A smile lifted his weary cheeks.
"It was just as you said. They did not believe until it was too late. Their slave soldiers threw down their spears and surrendered." His voice was dry and hoarse, still winded from the long battle. Her ripe mouth remained unsmiling.
"And Daario Naharis?" she asked. His smile died, and he stared unbelieving. Inside, something shattered and Jorah howled. He'd seen a man in Braavos stabbed through the heart in a duel. The Braavosi had succeeded in slaying his enemy and walking three steps before he fell into the canals dead. Jorah now knew the feeling of pain so acute he knew he would die, and the blazing wave of feeling defy it, for however brief a time. After their tryst in Qarth, he had held the anemic hope that she would summon him again. He would have whatever part of her he could, and if she was flushed and liquid sweet and coming around him, then he would thank the Seven for their blessing. But the Queen had not summoned him, and now she had this fair sellsword with his cheap-silk charm wooing her.
"The city is yours, my Queen," Daario said, offering her a favor in the form of Yunkai's blood-spattered standard. Jorah had risen her own dragon banner over Yunkai himself, but to draw attention to that would be petty. But, gods, he was small and petty and old. He coveted and loved and longed. Grey Worm's flat brown eyes held his own blue, and in them he saw understanding that transcended language or experience. Understanding and respect. Jorah felt a moment's gratification. To earn the commander of the Unsullied's respect was no small thing. A slave soldier knew something of hiding a bleeding soul.
"You may all seek your beds. Tomorrow we secure Yunkai," she said.
"As you say, my Queen," Daario said smoothly, stealing a kiss on the back of her hand. Jorah's knuckles tightened on the hilt of his sword as the sellsword brushed by him, yearning to hack Daario's tongue from his head, to smash his pretty face and show the Queen that he was—Grey Worm interrupted Jorah's bloody imagining with a salute of his spear, accompanied by a string of something in Valyrian. The Queen's face softened and she replied in the same tongue.
Manfully swallowing the burning lump in his throat, Jorah prepared to take his three steps. He would die alone in his tent, washing his wounds with numb fingers and burying his pain in the body of a blond whore. A beast stirs in every man when you put a sword in his hand, and Jorah's roared for a mate.
"Ser Jorah." Her voice, ringing like the song of swords meeting, was enough to rouse him even from the dead. It took two tries to summon enough spittle to speak.
"Yes, khaleesi?" The rage of man scorned stirred in his heart, and that, coupled with the dregs of battle and the fleshly hungers of a man made a dangerous brew for his lady to tease tonight. Fire might not harm her, but Jorah might with the force of his wanting.
"I would speak to you. Come into my tent," she ushered him forward with a languid gesture, moving into the interior partition of the tent. Jorah followed, mindful of his battered armor, muddy boots, and bloodied person.
"Thank you, Ser Barristan," the khaleesi said. After a moment's hesitation, Barristan moved from his place in the shadows.
"Good to see you well, Ser Jorah. Well met," the other Queensguard said, bowing before he took his leave. Jorah found space enough in his heart to smile at his boyhood hero.
"My thanks, Ser Barristan," he said. The former slave girl, Missandei, pressed a silver cup into his hand and Jorah murmured his thanks, drinking deeply of cool, sweet wine. It did little to douse the burning well of feeling in his belly, or the urgent pulsebeat of lust. Gods, the lamplight toyed with her silver hair, hinted at all manner of feminine ripeness at the curve of breast and hip. He'd barely the time to touch in Qarth . . .
"Missandei," she said softly, and the servant helped divest the queen of her boots, necklace, and outer robe, leaving her in a thin shift of pale blue silk. Gods, was she torturing him knowingly, disrobing before his eyes?
"You wished to speak to me?" he prompted. There was a faint flicker across her face at his harsh tone, a twitch of her expressive brows.
"Yes. But after you refresh yourself." There was some of their old camaraderie in her tone, and he gobbled it up as he did the cool wine and half a loaf of bread. He might both love and hate her, but the needs of his belly belied his pride. Out of the tail of his eye, he saw his Queen gently grasp the wrist of her servant after the girl had combed her silver hair into a loose, shining wave, but for the braids the Dothraki had given her.
"You may now see to your brother." The former slave girl stepped back, hands folded and eyes demurely lowered.
"Did this one mishear you, Breaker of Chains? It is your wish to be left alone?" The shadow of a smile touched the Queen's lips.
"I am not alone. My Queensguard is here. Now tend to my commander of the Unsullied." A thread of steel lurked beneath the softly spoken words and Missandei had been a slave long enough to know to obey.
With a whisper of the heavy partition swinging in her wake, Jorah found himself alone with her. Swiping bread crumbs from his beard, Jorah straightened. He would not remember Qarth and the sweetness of her; he would not look at her bare feet and long to kiss them. No, he would remember her asking for Daario when Jorah stood before her bloodied from battle.
"Do you wish to know of Yunkai, khaleesi?" he said, his anger surging hot and strong.
"Yes, but I will hear it later," she said, drawing a silver cup to her lips and drinking, her wide, clear eyes never leaving his as her throat shivered.
"Then what do you wish to know? Shall I play bard for you as well?" Bitterness soaked every syllable. She simply cocked her head.
"If you are a bard, than you are a man of many talents, Ser. Come, speak to me." Jorah's throat threatened to close, his anger wavering like a timber tower aflame. It would topple to a pile of useless embers eventually, but now it blazed.
"You might dislike what I have to say."
"You have always spoken the truth to me."
"Then tread carefully, khaleesi. Cruelty is an earmark of an unstable ruler." She grew very still, purple-hued eyes glittering like Drogon's before a kill. His Targaryen queen, a dragon to the bone.
"Is that a threat, Ser?" Jorah closed his eyes, blotting out her face. Seeing or not, she sat enthroned in his heart, her every feature seared into his mind. Even ablaze, Jorah could not lift a hand against her, and it was cruelty half again to remind him of the imbalance of power between them.
"No. No, never," he breathed, passing a hand caked with dried blood over his face.
"You name me cruel?" She had the audacity to sound hurt!
"Crueler than Maegor, and too clever not to guess why," Jorah said. He swayed a little on his feet, feeling drunk on wine, weariness and her candlelit beauty. She rose, with the whisper of silk and jasmine oil.
"I am sorry," she said. For what? Jorah thought. For not loving him in return, for flaunting her preference for another? For fucking him against a wall in Qarth? He felt as used as a three-copper whore. The bottled emotion left him quivering, fists knotted at his sides.
"You should be," he snarled, "I have served you faithfully since the day you wed Khal Drogo. I have broken oaths and scorned kings for you. I have fought and bled for you halfway across a continent, and I will follow you to the gates of the seventh hell if that is what you command me. Please . . . Daenerys . . ." He never spoke her name, not even in the deepest reaches of his heart. He knew if he tasted her name, he would misstep and shame her before her lieutenants if he did so. But his strength and his anger failed him and he was on his knees before her, tears cutting paths in the filth on his weather-beaten face.
"Hush, hush now," she crooned, and her hands were in his hair, cradling his head against her belly. Jorah pressed his stubbled cheek against the cool silk, seeking the soft warmth of her beneath it.
"Come here, come here to me," she whispered, tilting his chin up and capturing his mouth with her own. Gods, she was just as soft and sweet as he remembered, with the faint tang of wine on her tongue as it slipped into his mouth. Rage melted into lust, jealousy crumbled into agonized love. Jorah could never hold his anger against her.
Not content to let her toy with him, Jorah surged forward, sweeping her up in his arms and bearing her toward her sleeping couch. He set her gently on the couch, his eyes bored into hers, daring her to command him to stop. Kiss-bruised lips, sleepy amethyst eyes and clever white fingers seeking the fastenings of his armor answered him. Jorah sought the clasps himself, seeking to loosen them enough to take her, as they had in Qarth.
"No, no all of it. I want to feel you," she breathed against his throat, before suckling at his pulse. An animal-like snarl left him and he rose, shucking off the cuirass and mail, boots, sword-belt, chausses and braies. All that remained as a sweat-stained shirt of thin linen that fell to mid-thigh, tented by his manhood that ached for her tight heaven. It wasn't as before. She wanted to touch, to linger, to play. It wasn't a quick fuck to scratch the itch, it was . . . it was . . .
"I am unfit, I should wash . . ." he said. Daenerys grasped his hand, wound with strips of grimy linen to keep his sword hilt from slipping and nestled her perfect cheek into his palm.
"It is as you said," Her breath curled deliciously against his skin, and she gently bit the fleshy side of his thumb, "You have sweat and bled for me, from the moment you met me. Come here, Ser."
A smile lifted his cheeks and he covered her with his body, raining kisses on her mouth, the space between her brows, her jaw, her ear. Soft, white skin, tasting bitterly of her perfumed oil and the faint tang of her own sweat. Gods it was good, just kissing, just his hands tracing the shape of her arms and torso, cupping the ripe weight of her breasts, suckling her nipples through the fine barrier of silk. Together, they teased apart her gown and Jorah gasped, slain by the beauty of her.
"Khaleesi," he breathed, wanting to taste every inch of her, taste the dew of her arousal and make her scream. As he pressed kisses down her belly, her nails prickled his scalp.
"No, I want you. Come here," she said, and Jorah dared any man in the world to refuse such a command. An arch of her hips and a thrust of his and he was enveloped in scalding pleasure, her body silken and soft and wet. Time stretched and warped like warm taffy, Jorah knew nothing but her breathless little cries, the shivering clench of her body, the prickle of her nails and the scrape her teeth as she marked him. Her release was blazing and glorious, her body arched beneath him in a parody of agony. When her pleasure-blurred eyes opened, shining with nameless emotion, Daenerys whispered: "Jorah."
His name on her lips called down his release like a command from the gods, and he thrust once, twice, thrice more before pulling free and spilling his seed on her belly. As dearly as he held the vision of her ripe with his child, in his bones he knew she could never wed him. Even if she did love him. Sweet lassitude filled his limbs and their kiss was sweet and lingering. He moved to nestle beside her.
Daenerys pawed at his shirt and he peeled it off, at as bare as she. She made a soft distressed sound, fingers pressed to his chest over his heart. Sleepily, Jorah followed her gaze and saw the blue-hued tattoo of a sinuous dragon sleeping between the protective paws of a bear.
"Oh that. Volentene slavers tattoo the task of their slaves. I thought it only fitting I bear the mark of your service." A frown puckered her brow and she arched up, kissing the mark, nuzzling the sparse smattering of chest hair. Pleasure's burn was softer, sweeter.
"You are not my slave," she said.
"No, I'm your lover," he said, watching her carefully. The assertion was hardly a surprising one.
"For tonight," she said, leaning up to kiss him.
A/N: AAANNNGST! GoT brings it out of me. Blame Iain Glen and his stupid good please-love-me face.