“A Dothraki wedding without at least three deaths is deemed a dull affair.”
The men had come in a sudden storm. Viserys had not expected them. Nor had the fat man named Illyrio who had been so kind to her. Certainly, the Dothraki warlord who was meant to be her husband had not expected the sudden flood of warriors interrupting their wedding. Perhaps Khal Drogo would have been better prepared but as it were his Khalasar had been drunk, scattered and occupied with their wedding’s revelry. Pentos had been turned into a bloodbath.
The details had become a muddied blur in her head. The rocking of the horse beneath her did not help. At least they let me keep Silver. It was a small victory, but one Daenerys would cherish. Her wrist ached from her bindings and they had gagged her hours ago to stop her screaming. Fortunately, Daenerys could still see them.
There were over a hundred men that Daenerys could count. Sellswords of the Usurper most likely. They wore plate or mail with bright banners that blazed with the sigil of a rose on a sea of plum. Three men had been assigned as her escort and their faces were hidden by tall, dark helms with only slits for their eyes. A fierce haste had been upon them after sewing chaos amongst the Dothraki and the city guard. Now their pace had slowed considerably yet their riders still moved with purpose.
Where are you taking me?! She wanted to shout at them but even if she were not gagged, Daenerys did not know if she would have the strength to find the answer. They mean to kill me or rape me I am sure. Daenerys could still remember the sight of her brother falling to his knees. His hand a bloody stump.
The tears were there in her eyes, but they would not fall. I’d let his whole khalasar fuck you if need be, sweet sister, all forty thousand men and their horses too if that was what it took to get my army… Well, Khal Drogo was dead, as were his bloodriders and his Khalasar in chaos. She could scarcely believe it. When Dothraki are defeated in combat, they cut off their braids so the whole world can see their shame. Khal Drogo has never been defeated. He's a savage, of course, but one of the finest killers alive. There had been one finer though, a tall man with a pale sword that shone like the sun. He had fought Khal Drogo in a duel and slain him in a half a dozen blows. When Drogo’s bloodriders leapt to avenge him, the man with the white sword killed them as well.
Daenerys could remember the Illyrio Moptais’ panicked screams and his pathetic attempt to run until he was struck down. Ser Jorah, the bear knight, had stood in her defense until he had taken a lance to the shoulder that emerged from his back. After killing Ser Jorah, the rider had dismounted and made his way towards her. Daenerys had tried to flee from her seat of honor until the man in armor grabbed her.
“Princess.” He had yelled in her ear. His strength was insurmountable, and Daenerys stilled when he shook her. “Look at me.” His faceplate was up then, and Daenerys was surprised to see someone so young staring back at her.
She had had not remembered when she grabbed the dagger, but she remembered the young man’s cry of surprise and the flash of blood. He released her and then she was running. Doreah and Irri, the two handmaidens gifted to her by her brother were on the ground, frozen in fear or wonderment at the chaos unfolding around them. Jhiqui was nowhere to be found. Daenerys ran to them, grabbing the two girls and tried to make her escape. Irri regained herself quickly but Doreah stumbled. They did not make it far before another armored man caught them. Irri clawed at the warrior but his fist to her gut collapsed the Dothraki girl. Doreah was still near catatonic and the dagger that had cut the last man was slapped from Daenerys’ hand before she could raise it. His gauntlets wrapped around her wrists like shackles and then Daenerys was turned so that her back was flush against his chest.
“Brother!” The man who had her in his grasp called out. Before Daenerys, the scene which had captured the man’s attention unfolded. Viserys had pounced on the man Daenerys had cut. The sword Illyrio had gifted him was in his hands, stabbing and slashing widely at the man prone below him.
“You’ve woken the dragon!” Viserys screamed. The fury upon him was greater than Daenerys had ever seen. His feverish eyes seemed aglow with madness, his silver hair coiled like serpents and his mouth was morphed into a cruel sneer. The men below him only survived by the strength of his wooden shield. Chunks of wood were thrown into the air with every blow of Viserys’ sword.
And then suddenly Viserys delivered a savage slash that embedded his blade into the wood. The prone warrior yanked and then pushed the sword back into Viserys’ chest. Distance enough was created so that the warrior could climb to his feet. Dirt and blood caked half of his face but when the warrior drew his sword in a flourish, Daenerys knew her brother had lost. The scream of a blade being drawn was accompanied by a flash of white light as bright steel was bared to the eye.
In the depth of his madness, Viserys showed no fear and charged the warrior without hesitation. He was savage, swiping and stabbing all the while screaming, “I am Viserys Targaryen! Son of Aerys, blood of Aegon the Dragon!” Yet each time his blade fell, bright steel leapt up to meet it.
Daenerys could hear the bloodied warrior yell at her brother. “Prince Viserys stop this madness!”
“Prince?! I am king!” Viserys yelled but he grunted as the warrior delivered an elbow to his chest.
“Jae! End it!” Daenerys’ captor yelled.
The man named Jae and her brother traded another blow before Viserys’ scream pierced the air. His sword and hand fell to the ground a moment later, severed at the wrist. Reality seemed to suddenly fill Viserys eyes. “Dany!” He called out, eyes searching for her. Jae’s fist to his skull ended his search before his eyes could find hers.
Their march was ended with the sudden blowing of a horn. Her horse’s trot was stopped, and Daenerys lifted from the saddle. Part of her wanted to fight but Daenerys felt too afraid to move. Viserys had occasionally whispered to her at night what the Usurpers men would to her if they ever found her. You’ve grown pretty enough that maybe he won’t kill you first. There are worst things than death, sweet sister. The cock of the man who killed our brother inside that little cunny of yours or maybe he will give you to his men. Don’t like that thought? Then never leave my sight!
Whatever her fate, Daenerys would not give her captors the pleasure of her tears. Of that she was sure. Tents were erected rather quickly, and Daenerys was ushered into a rather large one. Her chains were struck from her wrist and Daenerys looked to the man in confusion. “We are just out the door princess, and this is the center of camp. Don’t try to run. A bath will be prepared for you shortly.” She was left alone for a while after that. The tent was large but bare.
Near an hour passed before three men carried in a large wooden tub sealed with animal skin. When they were done, the tub was nearly filled to its brim. Daenerys stared down at her wedding dress. Viserys had picked the dress for her. It was made of a fabric so thin that her nipples could be seen. Her shoulders and arms were bare as well as the entirety of her back from where the dress ended in a tear drop opening near her bum. This morning the dress had been a clean light purple, the same color as her eyes. Now it was stained with dirt and droplets of blood. A bath would be nice. She decided. If her captor chose to take her then the dress would offer little protection.
As soon as the dress pooled at her feet, a woman entered the room. She was elegant, even in dusty riding leathers. She wore a grey tunic. Her dark hair was held in a high ponytail and her eyes were bright purple. An easy smile was on her full lips. “Do not be alarmed, Princess.”
Daenerys stared at the girl suspiciously. She looked young, perhaps only a few years older than Daenerys’ sixteen years but she was several inches taller and there was a Myrish stiletto on her hip. The woman held up her hands in a peaceful gesture. Her voice had a pleasant drawl. “My name is Allyria Dayne. I do not know what your brother has told you both my family has long been loyal to yours as I am now.”
Dayne. She recognized the word. Ser Arthur Dayne had been the only man who could match her brother Rhaegar’s skill in blade. So, spoke Viserys. “The same Dayne as Ser Arthur?” Daenerys asked.
Allyria’s smile grew wider. A flash of white teeth. “My brother’s fame has its uses. Ser Arthur is here, and I am his much younger sister.”
Daenerys nodded but still, her hands did not move from her breasts. What does she want with me?
“I am sorry for barging in here like this. I can go if you’d like but that’s the only water we have for a true bath. The boys can make do with a bit of soap and handcloths but I’d prefer a soak.” Allyria’s face was beginning to put her at ease.
“My handmaidens, what happened to them?” Allyria blinked. Daenerys persisted. “The two girls that were with me when I was captured. One was Dothraki and the other was born in Lys.”
“Oh, the Dothraki girl ran off but the Lyseni girl is still with us. Would you like her here as well? I suppose the bath can hold the three of us.” Daenerys nodded. Allyria stuck her head out the tent flap and issued orders to the guards. Moments later Doreah entered the tent. She ran to Dany and pulled her into a hug.
Daenerys embraced her friend, regardless of her nudity. “Were you hurt?” Doreah shook her head.
“No Khaleesi.” Doreah answered with a smile. Grime covered her face but the Lyseni girl looked otherwise unharmed.
“I wouldn’t call her that. A Khaleesi whose Khal dies is expected to be taken to Vaes Dothrak and live out her days with the Dothraki’s old crones. Daenerys is a princess, a dragon princess.” To their surprise, Allyria had already stripped and was climbing into the water. Her breasts were high and full, capped by brown nipples with large areolas. Her legs long and smooth. Her skin golden. Strands of silver-gold hair were interspersed in her dark mane. “Will you two bathe or gawk at me?”
Daenerys and Doreah soon joined Allyria. There were vials of soaps and oils along the bath’s rim but when Daenerys reached for one, Allyria’s fingers wrapped around her slim wrist. The taller woman pulled her closer. Her purple eyes roved over Daenerys’ form.
“What are you doing?” Daenerys squeaked.
Allyria released her a moment later. “We got there in time, didn’t we? He didn’t have a chance to touch you.”
“Khal Drogo?” Daenerys questioned.
Allyria nodded. “No one could have guessed that Viserys was mad enough to sell you to a Dothraki warlord. Well except for Jae.”
Daenerys grimaced. “He killed my brother.” She should have felt sad for the death of her husband and fiancé. The latter she had only met once and had been terrified of marrying but Viserys had been plagued by his demons for years. Still, he was her brother and for many years her protector. Anger and tears should have come easier. Yet they dried like a well.
“Viserys still lives though Jae could have easily taken his head. And you scarred his pretty face rather well. Maester Colette says he will keep the eye, but it will be months before he might see.” Allyria offered.
Daenerys could have apologized but she did not want to lie. “Was Ser Arthur the one who killed Khal Drogo?”
“Yes, that was my brother,” Allyria answered. She looked as if she was waiting for Daenerys to solve some mystery.
“He was a Kingsguard-“ Daenerys started.
“Is.” Allyria corrected.
“Viserys told me that Ser Arthur was my brother Rhaegar’s greatest friend and yet one of his men nearly killed Viserys, Rhaegar’s younger brother.”
Allyria’s lips pursed. “Viserys would have watched Khal Drogo rape you every night in the hope that the horselord would do what no Dothraki has ever done and cross the narrow sea. Did you know that many Khals see themselves and their bloodriders as one man? So, they share the Khal’s wives amongst one another. Viserys would have raised no protest if Drogo had chosen to follow that tradition done, even if you came to him for help. Jae did yourself a favor, though he took no pleasure in it.”
Daenerys swallowed. The dreams in the nights leading to her wedding night had filled her with dread. What would I have become if they had not intervened? What will happen to me now? “You said Ser Arthur is still a Kingsguard, which king does he serve?”
Allyria’s small smile returned. “My husband. Aegon of House Targaryen, sixth of his name but we like to call him Egg.”
Daenerys’ eyes widened. “Viserys told me that Rhaegar’s child died in the sack of King’s Landing. Us two were the last of our house.”
“A necessary lie that most of the world needed to believe. In truth my sister was able to escape King’s Landing with her best friend’s baby before the Usurper’s men could reach them. Ashara gave her life to protect him.”
“I am sorry,” Daenerys said sincerely.
“Do not be. My sister died a hero’s death. The warrior has a seat for her in his hall.”
She smiled. “Can I meet this Aegon?”
Allyria stood and uncorked a vial to gather some lather in her palm. She placed a hand on Daenerys’ shoulder and turned her, so she faced opposite. “You already have. “ Allyria said as she fingers worked through Daenerys’ locks. Doreah took it upon herself to soap Daenerys’ breasts.
“I have?” Daenerys asked and then another thought came upon her. “You are a queen if you are married to him.”
Allyria shrugged and Daenerys could feel the woman’s large breasts press against her back. “I suppose though we would need to win our kingdom back before either of us is crowned. Egg prefers to style himself as a prince until that day. So, I suppose I am a princess like yourself.”
The combined attentions of Princess Allyria and Doreah made Daenerys relax further. “Why didn’t Aegon make contact with us sooner?”
“We tried. Sending messages is too dangerous and your brother moved too often to set a reliable method of communication. The last few envoys we sent, Viserys likely thought they were Robert Baratheon’s men. The truth of the matter Daenerys is that your brother was far too gone to listen to reason, so we watched and waited. Finally, when we knew that you were staying in Pentos for months we prepared to meet you both in person.”
“Then Viserys planned to wed me to Khal Drogo for an army.” The months spent in Illyrio’s palace had been a welcome reprieve from their years spent on the road. City to city with no true place to call home. “Did Illyrio have to die?”
“Do not mourn for that Cheesemonger, princess. He was no friend of yours nor your brothers. Whatever he was planning it would not have been in your best interest, and I suspect not in your brother’s as well.”
The words were spilling from her lips before Daenerys could think to stop them. They were her brother’s words, a mantra that he repeated to himself and to her, but she said them all the same. “The Dothraki would have won my brother his throne.”
“The Dothraki, if they ever stirred themselves to cross the Narrow Sea, and that is doubtful in itself, would have ensured your brother’s head ended up on a pike.” Allyria’s tone was gentle but dismissive.
“Viserys said the people would have raised their banners when he landed. For their rightful king had returned.”
“If that were the case, Aegon would have announced himself when he came of age. None was more beloved than Prince Rhaegar when died and two of his sons returning to reclaim the throne that is rightfully theirs is as close to a song as one could imagine.”
“Two sons?!” Daenerys made an effort to turn to stare at Allyria but the woman stilled her motion. Her head titled under the power of Allyria’s hand and then the back of her head was underwater. Allyria’s fingers combed through her hair.
“Yes, two,” Allyria said as she cleaned the suds from Daenerys’ hair. “My husband and your nephew whose eye you nearly cut out.”
She paled. “I didn’t know…”
“Don’t worry, Jae may be a little grumpy, but he is not one to hold a grudge,” Allyria smirked. “Especially from one such as you.”
Daenerys was mortified. In the course of ten minutes, she had gone from thinking that she was the last scion of her house to learning that she had nearly maimed her nephew. Great work Daenerys.
Doreah giggled. “I have seen that one Princess, he was laughing with his brother even with the bandage across his face.” Daenerys relaxed slightly at her handmaiden’s words. Jae isn’t even a proper Targaryen name.
“His real name is Jaehaerys, but my brother gave him the name Jae to protect him after his mother died. Soon after Jae was born the Usurper sent men to the tower that Rhaegar had left his Lady Lyanna at when he rode off to war. Arthur and his sworn brother’s slew all the men sent to kill the prince but only Arthur survived his injuries. Egg and Jae may only be half-brothers, but they are as close as Aegon the Dragon and Orys. Do not worry Princess Daenerys, apologize, kiss Jae on the cheek and all will be forgiven.”
When they were finished bathing, Allyria had produced three long silken robes. Daenerys was given the beautiful crimson robe with striped black sleeves, Doreah wore a blue and cream robe that paired well with her blue eyes and blonde hair, and Allyria wore a plum and black that clung tightly to her curves. Daenerys looked for small clothes but there were none.
“We took a lot of the wedding gifts and your wardrobe should be in one of the chests we liberated but real clothes can wait for the morrow.” Allyria tweaked Daenerys’ nose. “It is time you meet your nephews.”
They walked through the camp on thin sandals. There were scores of men walking to and fro, sitting at campfires and fortifying the perimeter. Daenerys could feel their eyes on her form but whenever she met them with her own gaze they bowed their heads. They came to a large tent with two bodyguards in steel plate guarding its entrance. In their hands, they held long spears and from their helms spilled dark beards that reminded her of Ser Jorah. Jae killed him too. The guard’s surcoats bore the same device that fluttered on the banner attached to the ceiling of the tent, a blue winter rose on a sea of plum.
The first to greet them was Aegon, evidenced by Allyria’s enthusiastic jump into his arms and the kisses she peppered on his face. He held his exuberant wife with ease. Her nephew was six and a half feet tall with broad powerful shoulders, thick-necked and thick-limbed. His stomach was flat. His silver-blonde hair (a shade darker than her own) was cut short and his eyes were a dark indigo. A neatly cropped beard graced his face. The wide smile on his face was a welcome contrast to his powerful visage. I imagine the conqueror looked very much like this man. Then another thought came to her. He looks exactly how Viserys imagines himself.
Daenerys extended a hand in what she thought was a Westerosi greeting but Aegon pulled her into a hearty embrace that lifted her off her feet. “Hello, my little aunt.” He exclaimed. When he set her down, Daenerys could not help but smile. “I thought you’d be taller.”
Before Daenerys could reply, Aegon was shouting. “Jae get your arse in here and meet our aunt.” He turned and whispered to her. “You know, Arthur and I are giving him so much shit for removing his helm. It’s the first rule of combat that you leave it on until the fighting is done. And now I learn a little thing like you nearly took his eye out...” He threw his head back and laughed.
Jae emerged threw back the partition that separated his portion of the tent. Daenerys’ gasped. Jae’s one eye narrowed. He was not what she expected. His hair was paler than hers or his brother’s, white rather than blonde with only a hint of silver. It was a longer length than his brother’s, allowed to flow loosely around his shoulders. The one eye uncovered by gauze was so dark that Daenerys first mistook it for black and then as he stepped closer, she could see the grey. He had a cold beauty to him, a long face with a defined jawline and noble features.
Jae was several inches shorter than his brother, much taller than her still at an inch or two above six feet. Rather than the thickly muscled build of his elder brother, Jae’s body was lean, and he carried himself with an obvious grace. She felt something stir within her chest. Fear or desire she could not say.
“So, this is the one who nearly blinded me.” His voice was as cold as an ice spike. Daenerys’ face fell. Then a smile touched his lips. “Hello, Dany.”
Dany. Viserys called her Dany. At times it would be from the lips of the brother she loved, and other times a warning, a curse or a threat. She found she liked the word better from this one’s lips. This time when she extended her palm, Jae kissed her knuckles. When her eyes left Jae’s face, she found the tent’s three other occupants staring at them both.
Daenerys remembered Allyria’s words. She kissed stood on her toes and kissed Jae’s cheek. Color bloomed on his face. “I’m sorry for your eye.”
“Uh.” Jae seemed at lost for words. “All is forgiven, Princess. If it comes to time to fight or flee at least we know you can do both.”
“He is a quick one. Don’t give him too much credit, I thought him everything he knows.” Aegon joked. The king grabbed his wife’s hand and spun her in a circle. “I think this requires some wine to celebrate.”
So spake the king and the wine flowed freely. Viserys had never allowed her to drink much, even in Illyrio’s manse when the coin that bought the wine was not his. She found she liked this wine that her nephews poured. It tasted rich and sweet.
“Arbor Red,” Jae told her when she asked. The five of them sat on large pillows arranged around a low table in the center of the tent. Before them was a feast of fruits, spiced meats, fresh oysters and a game of carved wooden pieces she learned was called Cyvasse. With a start, Daenerys realized the food was from her wedding feast.
“If you will forgive us, Princess, we did forget to grab the horse and dog meat. Something must be left for the Dothraki.” Aegon joked. Jae snickered.
Daenerys giggled but she would not let her nephews off the hook that easily. After a sip of her drink, she teased, “So my gallant nephews interrupted my wedding, killed my future husband, murdered most of my guests…” She trailed off for dramatic effect. “Are you sure you two are pair of princes and not vagabonds?”
“You wound us!” Aegon exclaimed. He clutched his chest as if she had struck his chest with a dagger and then fell over.
“Get up you fool,” Allyria told her husband but then she shrieked and then moaned as he pulled her on top of him.
Jae rolled his eyes. “They are disgusting I know but you will get used to it. For better or worse we are your family now.”
His words did more for her than he could ever know. Daenerys could not help but squeeze her arms around him tightly. After a moment Jae returned her embrace and rested his chin on the crown of her head. Tears came to her eyes and she tried to move away but Jae pulled her closer till she was all but laying his lap. “Sssh it's okay. You are safe now.” Jae whispered. When her tears stopped, Daenerys did not want to leave her nephew’s arms. He made no move to displace her.
Doreah, Aegon and Allyria smiled at them both from across the table. “You should show Daenerys her wedding gifts,” Allyria told her husband.
“Good idea.” The big man rose and left the tent.
Daenerys’ brow furrowed. “I have already seen the gifts.”
“Did you see all of them?” Allyria asked.
“I believe so.” Daenerys answered.
“Oh, you would remember these gifts if you saw them.” The Dornish woman grinned.
Aegon returned carrying a large chest he hefted over one shoulder. The chest was huge and the thick wood with its iron lock had to be well over a hundred pounds. Aegon carried it with ease. “Show off.” Allyria teased.
“Why yes my wife, I will show off for you every chance I get.” He flexed an arm to prove his point. Allyria threw a pillow at him. Aegon sat the chest near the head of the table. A cascade of light spilled across the room when he opened the chest. Three smooth stones were unveiled. There was a silver stone with swirls of cream, a green stone intermixed with amber and an onyx stone with crimson whirls and scarlet veins.
“Dragon eggs.” Daenerys whispered. Somehow, she knew. Aegon handed her the silver and gold egg. It was large and heavy enough that she required two hands to hold it. Despite the colors that danced across its surface and shifted whenever she turned the egg in the candlelight, it was as cold and lifeless as stone.
“The centuries have turned them to rock but they sure are pretty.” Aegon said. He had grabbed the green egg and was turning it in his palm.
“And they are yours, princess. We wouldn’t dream of taking them from you.” Allyria smiled at her.
“Are you sure?” Daenerys asked. “What if they hatch?”
Aegon laughed. “I wish they would. It would make taking back the throne much easier. If you can find some way to hatch them then I will make you Princess of Dragonstone rather than my useless brother here.” Jae made a rude gesture in response.
“That won’t matter much if they marry.” Allyria goaded.
“Deal.” Daenerys agreed. She turned to Jae and was surprised to see his frown. “I didn’t mean-“
He shook his head. “That is not what I am worried about. Our family has been trying to hatch dragons ever since they died out. Aegon may have given you a fool’s quest but many of our ancestors died trying to do the same. Please don’t seriously attempt to hatch them.”
“Forgive him Daenerys. Jae has always been a bit too serious for his own good.” Allyria said. “Now have you ever played Cyvasse? What of you Doreah?”
Later as they sat on pillows around a low table while Allyira explained the rules of the game, the objective, how each of the ten pieces could move in unique ways and most importantly how to win. Jae sat next to her, close enough that their knees were touching. Daenerys’ wine glass seemed full, no matter how much she drank but the food she had eaten combatted the effects of the wine. Rather than sluggish, Daenerys felt loose, comfortable and most of all happy. Happier than she could ever remember.
The breath on her ear surprised her. “Oh, and if you try to steal my claim then I suppose I’ll have to marry you.”