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Of Robber Knights and Forbidden Dreams

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"I [...] pretended that some robber knight had brought me
here to have his way with me, [...] a tall hard man with black eyes and a widow’s peak."

(Arianne Martell – A Feast for Crows)

 

 

I
At first there’s nothing but the sky, dark and crossed by a lightning, followed by the fresh and spooky roaring of a summer storm.
Arianne touches Oberyn’s hand without even realizing it, while she absently sticks out on the solarium table in order to grab an orange from the fruit basket.
Oberyn’s perplexed gaze falls on their accidentally joined hands, on their stranded fingers. Arianne feels herself burning up.
Just a moment of silence, then her uncle’s face relaxes into a gentle smile.
«My apologies.»
Words in the wind, then the man leaves in the aisle. Arianne stares at him, aghast.
Oberyn Martell never apologizes.

 

II
Oberyn is her knight.
He fights with lions’ fierce, with dragons’ strength, with seas’ impetuosity.
If Arianne reads a ballade, in her mind the knight owns her uncle’s features, with his raven-black hair free in the wind and his warm and home-feeling laugh.
If Oberyn will ever be someone’s knight, Arianne is sure he will be hers.
A champion mid as sunrise and fierce as descent, the spear of Dorne, a poison which leads to death trough the sweetest of pains.
Impossible to disown, impossible to understand.

 

III
Oberyn’s lips among hers … Arianne is certain she imagined them way too many times. For thousands nights she has daydreamed on that mouth, giving it a different taste every time: warm, intimate, soft, embracing, seductive, electrifying.
Instead Oberyn’s kiss is tart, thrown to her apartments’ door. Ser Hota’s stomps are not far from them, Quentyn’s enthusiastic voice is accompanying them.
Oberyn’s lips are already far from Arianne’s when the young prince appears in the corridor to wish them good morning.
«Up for a hunt trip, uncle?»
Oberyn’s eyes hesitate into Arianne’s.
«Tell Daemon to get ready.»
In the distance, a thunder announce the start of a storm.

 

IV
«What are we doing?»
Words pronounced in the air and sentenced to wander into the room, destined to be left without an answer.
Oberyn’s lips greedy taste Arianne’s neck, his hands tie her hips against the cold marble wall.
«I feel like I’m doing nothing but follies», the princess murmurs. Again, those words sound weak and lonely like a night song.
The man stops for a while, his dark eyes are thin like needles.
«People always do nothing but follies, Arianne.»
Once again there’s nothing but a breath, a laugh in the silence, a gasp into a night that tastes of caresses and loneliness.

 

V
They spend their first night while a storm murders the sky with thunders and lightings.
The wind blows through the palace’s corridors, it enters that enormous bedroom exposed to the sea, it dances furiously with the tents that sweetly are bowed at its will.
Arianne is sure she will remember every detail of that night, every fine wind gasp or warm breath on her burning skin.
The storm howls above Sunspear and covers her groans, it hides her between those arms which could not tight her stronger, while that man takes her like nobody has done before.
Arianne open her mouth to talk, but she is not able to hear her own words: the wind’s pitiless and it covered her too.

 

VI
The room is warm, lightened only by the few candles that survived the night. Outside the sky is dark, the wind blows and moves the tents on the balcony in a slow and sinuous dance that stands out into the stars.
Arianne sighs, grips her shoulders in that single bed sheet that covers her naked body. She claps her arms around Oberyn’s chest while he kisses her, while he covers her face with his lips. She softly points her fingers on his visage, her dark eyes into his.
«There’s something in you I had never seen before», she whispers.
Oberyn does not answer, for a while is like he’s absent from reality. Then he continues kissing her, grabbing her, taking her.
In the mirror on the wall, Arianne sees their woven bodies reflected; their naked backs now uncovered by the bed sheet that slowly flies on the floor.
Suddenly the sunrise comes, it enters indiscreet between the tents and it shines on their sweaty and aroused faces.

 

VII
«When will I see you again?»
That question is lost into the wind caressing the desert, covered by a handful of sand and by the horses’ neigh in the square.
Oberyn has left at sundown, right after greeting his daughters one by one, giving a kiss to the younger but only a formal advice to the eldest and his nieces.
From her balcony, Arianne looks at the caravan disappearing in the dark dunes that softly crown the sky.
In the lead, Oberyn almost looks like a dragon, majestic in the sand, ready to burn his enemies to death.
From her palace, Arianne reads in his eyes the flame of strength and passion.
«When will I see you again?»
Sighing, she take one hand to her breast. She needs to make an effort to hold her soul, otherwise she is sure it would follow that man far over King’s Landing.

 

VIII
Sunrise in the Speartower is pitiless: it shines over the prison cells without grace and it breaks the sleeping of the prisoners from the first while the sun comes up from the pale sea.
Arianne is always awake.
She watched the water dying into the day’s colors, now sure that those lights will eventually come to kill her.
Her uncle’s death; only when the sun sets, she can realize it.
There was a time when they used to watch the sunrise together. Their bodies weaved together in front of the sea’s immensity, cover by anything but a bed sheet that constantly dropped from their shoulders.
That time Oberyn had kissed her and he had whispered her words that had melted in the sun of a newborn day.
Locked up into her imprisonment tower, Arianne dreams of that day, once among many, the warmer, perhaps, surely the one he thought the most. She dreams is and think about it, sit in front of that pitiless morning, unmoving and helpless in that tower over the sea.
“Where are you?”, she asks, but she’s not able to find an answer.