Prologue

The pain was excruciating, all Cersei Lannister wanted was for it to be over. As her handmaidens and Grand Maester Pycelle helped to bring her child out, Jaime held her hand.

"You're doing well" he said reassuringly squeezing her hand. "You can do it, Just one more push." Cersei was grateful that her twin was here and returned the squeeze. Robert was out hunting but she cared little for it as long as her other half was by her side, Cersei knew she would be fine.

She gave a final cry and a final push and felt her second child enter the world. "Congratulations my queen" said one of the handmaidens. "It's a boy, a healthy son." Cersei gasped in exhaustion, grateful that is was finally over. But her relief was short lived as her ears met silence. Panic set in, "he's not crying," she exclaimed frantically, "why isn't he crying?"

"Shh," Pycelle put a hand on her forehead. "It's alright, the baby is fine, he's just quiet is all." He rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "Very unusual but not unheard of, I remember Tywin didn't cry either when he was born."

Cersei sighed in relief as the handmaiden wrapped the baby in a blanket. Cersei gathered the tiny bundle in her arms. 'A little brother for Joffrey, and an older one for those yet to come' she thought to herself. She looked at his face, he had her cheekbones, nose and chin. Then she pulled back the baby's hood and got the shock of her life. Instead of the golden locks that she was expecting the boy had a thick layer of jet black hair.

Jaime and Cersei looked at each other. 'This is Robert's son' Cersei realized. The first thing she felt was shock which slowly turned to anger. 'How could this of happened,' she wondered in horror. "I was so careful, this should be Jaime's child."

Then the baby opened his eyes and looked around taking in the world that surrounded him. Then his gaze focused on Cersei showing her his dark blue eyes. The baby smiled up at ersei and extended his tiny hand reaching out to her. Cersei felt her anger quickly melt away at the sight of that smile. Even though he was Robert's spawn she realized that she couldn't hate him. 'This is my son,' she told herself. 'black hair or golden this is still my baby boy.' Everything she used to love about Robert was in this child. While she had labored for a day and a half to birth Joffrey, this labor lasted only a few hours. The baby wrapped his tiny hand around her forefinger and fell asleep.

Robert arrived and hour later from his hunt. He entered Cersei's room and presented her an deer pelt. Cersei in turn presented him with his son. Robert stared at the baby boy and gave a smile that Cersei had never seen on him before. It was a smile of pure joy. then he knelt down in front of Cersei and kissed her on the forehead. "What shall we name him" she asked.

Robert thought for a moment. "Roland" he suggested.

Cersei took her own moment to consider it before smiling."Yes, Roland will do nicely" she agreed. And so it was 'Roland Baratheon the first of his name, second son of King Robert Baratheon, prince of the seven kingdoms.'

Years went by, and Roland became and older brother to Myrcella and Tommen. As the time passed, it became clear that Joffrey and Roland couldn't be more different. Though both brothers were handsome and willful as well as tall and strong for their ages. Roland was muscular, with dark features, but at the same time he was mature, and cunning. Joffrey on the other hand was lean and fair. But he was also cruel, arrogant and idiotic at times. Despite being given lessons, he was unskilled with a blade but he excelled with a crossbow and . Joffrey constantly bullied Tommen and Myrcella while Roland did his best to shield them from his mood swings. Unlike Tommen and Myrcella, Roland was never afraid of Joffrey and none of his taunts bothered him.

Not surprising to Cersei, Roland's relationship with his father was very close. When he became old enough, Robert would take Roland on his many hunting trips and would even spar with him on occasion. This show of affection earned Roland the jealousy of Joffrey and eventually his hatred. Roland had developed a habit a always wearing black. This was noticed by the commoners and they had taken to calling Roland 'The Black Prince.'

Roland would end up having two animal companions in his life. A black courser stallion he named Bane, and a dog he named Shadow. Roland had found Shadow as a puppy in the street of steel when he was eight. Bane was a gift from his Uncle Renly on his tenth name day. Roland would personally take care of both of them. Feeding and training them. Shadow would become Roland's ever present companion. even having a special spot made for him next to Roland's bed.

From the balcony, Cersei watched as a ten year old Roland sparred with Ser Barristan Selmy. Beside her, Jamie and Tyrion also watched as Roland held his own against legendary kingsgaurd. Roland was drenched in sweat but had a grin on his face as he continued to spar.

"That boy was born to wield a sword" Jaime commented. Even Cersei had to agree Roland would make a great warrior one day.

"His mind is as sharp as his swordplay as well" added Tyrion. Cersei glared at him but knew he had the right of it. She thought on both of those things. 'The physical power of a Baratheon, with the cunning of a Lannister, what a combination'. Cersei noticed movement on the far end of the sparring arena and saw Joffrey standing there. He was staring at his younger brother with the look of pure envy on his face.

One day when Roland was twelve. Robert decided to bring Joffrey and Roland on a hunting trip. Despite her protests, both boys were eager to go. When they returned Robert was carrying a mountain lion he claimed Joffrey had manage to kill. He also had a boar that Roland had slain. Joffrey was holding a bloody sword in his hands looking pleased with himself. But Cersei saw in the eyes of her sons that something was amiss. Though she nagged them about it many times, both boys refuse to buckle and stuck the same exact story. Finally she let it go, but Joffrey never went out hunting again.

Cersei often worried about her eldest children. She knew that it was only a matter of time before the two brothers came to blows. Cersei soon learned that Jon Arryn was snooping around and realized that he would eventually discover the truth about Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella. Cersei now understood that Roland may one day become her only lifeline if it ever happened. Regardless Cersei remained calm and began making preparations. The moment he slips up, Jon Arryn will learn how dangerous it is to provoke a lion.