F O U R T Y - S I X

F O U R T Y - S I X

You see your love
Made complete

─── 。゚☆: *. .* :☆゚. ───

Daella lay breathless and tangled in the sheets, her blue eyes looking up at her husband and her head resting on the pillow. Aemond reached out and for the smallest of moments, she closed her eyes as she felt his fingers brushing one of her wild locks behind her ear, his skin leaving a trail of fire on hers. Opening her eyes again, she pulled the duvets over her shoulder in an attempt to shield her body from the mean draft that tended to haunt the rooms of the Eyrie. 

"I must return to Kingslanding soon, Aemond," she said softly, her voice barely audible over the wind tugging at the walls and screaming through the tiny cracks. 

Aemond frowned. "What of the plans to go North?"

"You will have to go alone," Daella replied, folding her hands over her stomach underneath the sheets. Her eyes flickered over her husband's face as she watched the wrinkles between his brows increase, his mind probably getting heated at trying to find an explanation. Not being able to resist the smile that came to her face, she took a deep breath and pushed herself up on her elbow. "I am with child, Aemond."

Daella was sure that she would never again see the change of expression on her husband's face like now again. It went from a deep frown to an even more profound one as he took in the meaning of her words, his mouth twisted away in a pensive grimace, but then the light in his eye began to shine as though she had granted him the world and a wide grin broke through on his face. He too pushed himself up from the bed and placed an urgent hand on Daella's cheek, angling her face up so that she could stare right into his gaze.

"Are you speaking the truth, my beloved?" Aemond said, his voice a breathless whisper. "You are not merely jesting me?"

"I am speaking the truth, Aemond," she replied, a genuine expression on her face. "It was the Lady Jeyne who noticed it first by my repulsion for food and the fullness of my face, then came the morning sickness and the lack of having blood. The Maester confirmed it."

Aemond pressed his mouth against hers at once, chaste and sweet, before leaning back again. Daella stared at him with a dumbfounded expression on his face, surprised at his sudden happiness. It had not been that long ago that they had sat in Lady Jeyne's solar, discussing the possible consequences of Aemond taking Lucerys' eye in a show of petty revenge, and the mood had been far from joyful. Now, nothing of that sullen atmosphere was left. She smiled as her husband littered her face with kisses, his hand gliding under the sheets and resting on top of her stomach. 

"The Maester said it will be at least another three moon's time before you will be able to feel the child," Daella said, a soft chuckle escaping her mouth. Grabbing Aemond's face between her hands and letting herself fall into the soft pillows underneath his body, she looked up at him lovingly. "Only you, Lady Jeyne, Lady Jessamyn and the Maester know it for now."

"And the circle will stay small for a while," Aemond decided. His eye flickered over her face with a newfound passion, as though she was a goddess he had not noticed before. "But it is wonderful news as it is. People will be delighted at the news of it, especially the Grand Maester, since he considers our marriage unconsummated still."

Daella let out the most unladylike snort and rolled her eyes. "I doubt it, my husband."

"It is true, my beautiful wife," he countered, a smirk tugging at the corners of his mouth. "He spoke to me about it right after our marriage day. I told him that he could visit the doors of our chamber every night, if he wished, and hear the-"

Pulling a mean face at him, Daella slapped Aemond in the chest. "Do not be so lewd," she chastised him, feeling her cheeks heat up at the thought of him actually having this conversation. "Where is your respect for the elderly?"

"Where is his respect for our privacy?" Aemond returned, still wearing that infuriating smirk of his. He placed his elbows next to Daella's head and leaned down, the weight of his body resting comfortingly on top of hers. 

"You are King, Aemond," Daella said, wrapping her arms around Aemond's neck. "Privacy is something you will never have."

Daella walked the halls of the Red Keep at a leisurely pace, her hands folded in front of her stomach and conversating animatedly with her sworn sword ser Golding. After telling her husband the news of her pregnancy, Aemond had arranged for the two of them to return to King's Landing the very next day. He had been hesitant to let her fly, insisting that she should ride on top of Silverwing instead of the other beasts if she really did not want to accompany him on Vhagar, but she had merely rolled her eyes and mounted the Cannibal either way.

The Dowager Queen and Helaena had been captivated by the news, instantly taking upon themselves the task of pulling together the best team of midwives who had helped them through their pregnancies as well, and arranging for the Grand Maester to check on Daella's health daily. Truth be told, the latter found it more fuss than it was worth since she was barely showing, but the two women were determined. It also created a bond between the three of them that before this news had not, if barely, existed. 

Daella was just about to reply ser Golding's question about the scald on her hand and how it was faring, when one of Aemond's cupbearers rushed towards her, looking sweaty and absolutely breathless. "Your Grace," he breathed out, inclining his head deeply. "Your presence has been requested in the King's solar, at once."

She shared a short look with ser Golding, who merely shrugged as a sign that he did not know either, before returning her gaze to the page. "Thank you," Daella said, already putting one foot in front of the other. 

"My Queen," the boy said, bowing deeply once again before rushing off to another part of the castle. 

Daella frowned and increased her pace, keeping her head held high and putting in the effort to keep her face from showing doubt. The walk to the King's solar was not long, but by the time she was there, her Lady Mother-in-law, the Hand and the Small Council had already managed to assemble themselves. They all rose as she entered the room, inclining their heads as she walked past them and took her seat on the chair at the head of the table, next to Aemond. He grabbed her hand at once, giving it a soft squeeze, and the small show of affection filled her with fright. 

"What is it, my good lords and mother?" she asked, her voice loud and steady. "What is the cause of the frowns on your faces?"

A tense silence followed, one that was only broken by the Hand as he presented Daella with a sheet of parchment. "It is the response of your Lady Mother from Dragonstone against the King's latest... actions to her son," the Hand said. He had considerably warmed up to her now that she was carrying an heir, obviously of the firm opinion that motherhood would lessen her ambitions and danger to Aemond. 

Daella rose her eyebrows interestedly and all but managed to accept the letter gracefully, instead of snatching it out of Otto Hightower's hands. Her eyes glided over her mother's writing swiftly, doing her best to keep her face as neutral as possible. 

𝔗𝔬 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔔𝔲𝔢𝔢𝔫 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔎𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔬𝔣 𝔎𝔦𝔫𝔤𝔰𝔩𝔞𝔫𝔡𝔦𝔫𝔤,

𝔗𝔥𝔬𝔲𝔤𝔥 ℑ 𝔴𝔞𝔰 𝔞𝔭𝔭𝔬𝔦𝔫𝔱𝔢𝔡 𝔞𝔰 𝔯𝔦𝔤𝔥𝔱𝔣𝔲𝔩 𝔥𝔢𝔦𝔯 𝔬𝔣 𝔱𝔥𝔢 ℑ𝔯𝔬𝔫 𝔗𝔥𝔯𝔬𝔫𝔢 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔓𝔯𝔦𝔫𝔠𝔢𝔰𝔰 𝔬𝔣 𝔇𝔯𝔞𝔤𝔬𝔫𝔰𝔱𝔬𝔫𝔢 𝔬𝔳𝔢𝔯 𝔱𝔴𝔢𝔫𝔱𝔶 𝔶𝔢𝔞𝔯𝔰 𝔞𝔤𝔬 𝔞𝔩𝔯𝔢𝔞𝔡𝔶, ℑ 𝔡𝔬 𝔫𝔬𝔱 𝔴𝔦𝔰𝔥 𝔱𝔬 𝔯𝔲𝔩𝔢 𝔬𝔳𝔢𝔯 𝔞 𝔎𝔦𝔫𝔤𝔡𝔬𝔪 𝔬𝔣 𝔞𝔰𝔥𝔢𝔰 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔡𝔲𝔰𝔱. 𝔑𝔬𝔯 𝔡𝔬 ℑ 𝔴𝔦𝔰𝔥 𝔣𝔬𝔯 𝔢𝔦𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯 𝔰𝔦𝔡𝔢 𝔱𝔬 𝔤𝔢𝔱 𝔥𝔲𝔯𝔱 𝔦𝔫 𝔞𝔠𝔱𝔦𝔬𝔫𝔰 𝔯𝔲𝔰𝔥𝔢𝔡 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔡𝔢𝔢𝔡𝔰 𝔬𝔣 𝔯𝔢𝔳𝔢𝔫𝔤𝔢. 𝔗𝔥𝔢𝔯𝔢𝔣𝔬𝔯𝔢 ℑ 𝔭𝔯𝔢𝔰𝔢𝔫𝔱 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔱𝔢𝔯𝔪𝔰 𝔦𝔫 𝔱𝔥𝔦𝔰 𝔩𝔢𝔱𝔱𝔢𝔯 𝔬𝔫 𝔴𝔥𝔦𝔠𝔥 ℑ 𝔴𝔦𝔩𝔩 𝔞𝔤𝔯𝔢𝔢 𝔱𝔬 𝔞 𝔩𝔞𝔰𝔱𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔭𝔢𝔞𝔠𝔢, 𝔞𝔰 ℑ 𝔥𝔬𝔭𝔢 𝔶𝔬𝔲 𝔴𝔦𝔩𝔩 𝔱𝔬𝔬.

ℑ𝔱 𝔴𝔞𝔰 𝔢𝔳𝔢𝔯 𝔪𝔶 𝔣𝔞𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯'𝔰, 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔩𝔞𝔱𝔢 𝔎𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔙𝔦𝔰𝔢𝔯𝔶𝔰 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔓𝔢𝔞𝔠𝔢𝔣𝔲𝔩, 𝔴𝔦𝔰𝔥 𝔱𝔥𝔞𝔱 ℑ 𝔴𝔬𝔲𝔩𝔡 𝔰𝔦𝔱 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔗𝔥𝔯𝔬𝔫𝔢 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔪𝔶 𝔬𝔣𝔣𝔰𝔭𝔯𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔞𝔣𝔱𝔢𝔯𝔴𝔞𝔯𝔡𝔰. 𝔗𝔥𝔲𝔰, 𝔪𝔶 𝔣𝔦𝔯𝔰𝔱 𝔬𝔭𝔱𝔦𝔬𝔫 𝔴𝔦𝔩𝔩 𝔟𝔢 𝔳𝔢𝔯𝔶 𝔰𝔱𝔯𝔞𝔦𝔤𝔥𝔱𝔣𝔬𝔯𝔴𝔞𝔯𝔡. 𝔖𝔱𝔢𝔭 𝔡𝔬𝔴𝔫 𝔣𝔯𝔬𝔪 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔗𝔥𝔯𝔬𝔫𝔢, 𝔬𝔣𝔣𝔢𝔯 𝔶𝔬𝔲𝔯 𝔠𝔯𝔬𝔴𝔫𝔰 𝔱𝔬 𝔪𝔢 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔫𝔬 𝔣𝔲𝔯𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯 𝔥𝔲𝔯𝔱 𝔴𝔦𝔩𝔩 𝔠𝔬𝔪𝔢 𝔱𝔬 𝔞𝔫𝔶𝔬𝔫𝔢. ℑ 𝔰𝔥𝔞𝔩𝔩 𝔫𝔞𝔪𝔢 𝔇𝔞𝔢𝔩𝔩𝔞 𝔓𝔯𝔦𝔫𝔠𝔢𝔰𝔰 𝔬𝔣 𝔇𝔯𝔞𝔤𝔬𝔫𝔰𝔱𝔬𝔫𝔢 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔰𝔥𝔢 𝔴𝔦𝔩𝔩 𝔦𝔫𝔥𝔢𝔯𝔦𝔱 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔱𝔥𝔯𝔬𝔫𝔢 𝔞𝔰 𝔞 𝔗𝔞𝔯𝔤𝔞𝔯𝔶𝔢𝔫 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔞 𝔣𝔦𝔯𝔰𝔱𝔟𝔬𝔯𝔫 𝔞𝔣𝔱𝔢𝔯 𝔪𝔢. ℑ𝔫 𝔥𝔢𝔯 𝔪𝔞𝔯𝔯𝔦𝔞𝔤𝔢 𝔱𝔬 𝔪𝔶 𝔥𝔞𝔩𝔣-𝔟𝔯𝔬𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯 𝔄𝔢𝔪𝔬𝔫𝔡, 𝔥𝔢 𝔰𝔥𝔞𝔩𝔩 𝔟𝔢𝔠𝔬𝔪𝔢 𝔎𝔦𝔫𝔤 ℭ𝔬𝔫𝔰𝔬𝔯𝔱 𝔦𝔫 𝔤𝔬𝔬𝔡 𝔱𝔦𝔪𝔢.

𝔗𝔬 𝔲𝔫𝔦𝔱𝔢 𝔬𝔲𝔯 𝔣𝔞𝔪𝔦𝔩𝔦𝔢𝔰 𝔢𝔳𝔢𝔫 𝔣𝔲𝔯𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯, ℑ 𝔭𝔯𝔬𝔭𝔬𝔰𝔢 𝔞 𝔟𝔢𝔱𝔯𝔬𝔱𝔥𝔞𝔩 𝔟𝔢𝔱𝔴𝔢𝔢𝔫 𝔪𝔶 𝔶𝔬𝔲𝔫𝔤𝔢𝔰𝔱 𝔰𝔬𝔫 𝔙𝔦𝔰𝔢𝔯𝔶𝔰 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔣𝔦𝔯𝔰𝔱 𝔡𝔞𝔲𝔤𝔥𝔱𝔢𝔯 𝔇𝔞𝔢𝔩𝔩𝔞 𝔪𝔦𝔤𝔥𝔱 𝔟𝔢𝔞𝔯, 𝔦𝔣 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔞𝔤𝔢 𝔡𝔦𝔣𝔣𝔢𝔯𝔢𝔫𝔠𝔢 𝔟𝔢𝔱𝔴𝔢𝔢𝔫 𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔪 𝔯𝔢𝔪𝔞𝔦𝔫𝔰 𝔰𝔲𝔦𝔱𝔞𝔟𝔩𝔢. 𝔉𝔲𝔯𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯, ℑ 𝔡𝔢𝔪𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔠𝔬𝔪𝔭𝔢𝔫𝔰𝔞𝔱𝔦𝔬𝔫 𝔣𝔬𝔯 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔡𝔞𝔪𝔞𝔤𝔢 𝔡𝔬𝔫𝔢 𝔱𝔬 𝔏𝔲𝔠𝔢𝔯𝔶𝔰' 𝔢𝔶𝔢, 𝔣𝔬𝔯 𝔥𝔢 𝔥𝔞𝔰 𝔩𝔬𝔰𝔱 𝔥𝔦𝔰 𝔰𝔦𝔤𝔥𝔱. 𝔉𝔦𝔣𝔱𝔢𝔢𝔫 𝔊𝔬𝔩𝔡𝔢𝔫 𝔇𝔯𝔞𝔤𝔬𝔫𝔰 𝔴𝔦𝔩𝔩 𝔰𝔲𝔣𝔣𝔦𝔠𝔢.

𝔉𝔞𝔦𝔩 𝔱𝔬 𝔞𝔤𝔯𝔢𝔢 𝔱𝔬 𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔰𝔢 𝔱𝔢𝔯𝔪𝔰, 𝔣𝔦𝔯𝔢 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔟𝔩𝔬𝔬𝔡 𝔴𝔦𝔩𝔩 𝔠𝔬𝔪𝔢 𝔶𝔬𝔲𝔯 𝔴𝔞𝔶.

ℜ𝔥𝔞𝔢𝔫𝔶𝔯𝔞 𝔗𝔞𝔯𝔤𝔞𝔯𝔶𝔢𝔫 ℜ𝔦𝔤𝔥𝔱𝔣𝔲𝔩 𝔥𝔢𝔦𝔯 𝔱𝔬 𝔱𝔥𝔢 ℑ𝔯𝔬𝔫 𝔗𝔥𝔯𝔬𝔫𝔢 𝔞𝔫𝔡 𝔓𝔯𝔦𝔫𝔠𝔢𝔰𝔰 𝔬𝔣 𝔇𝔯𝔞𝔤𝔬𝔫𝔰𝔱𝔬𝔫𝔢

Daella let out a shaky chuckle and threw the sheet of parchment onto the table in an act of utter carelessness. She could feel the eyes of every person in the room burning on her frame and she pulled her hand from Aemond's, smoothing down the skirts of her dress and offering everybody her carefully executed smile. "I find that it is quite stuffy in this room. If you would be so kind to allow me to take a breath of fresh air outside," she said, already rising from her chair. "Though I do not think there is much to discuss, you should begin without me. I shall return shortly."

All of the lords and the Dowager Queen inclined their heads in respect and rose along with her. Daella motioned for them to take their seats again, gave Aemond a small smile upon noticing his worried expression, and took her leave in silence. When she stepped outside, the guards made no move to close the doors and frowning, she did it herself, already hearing her husband's hushed voice exclaiming that the letter was an act of pride. 

When Daella turned around again, ready to take a walk outside and recollect her thougths, she could feel something cold and sharp pressing against her stomach. A gasp escaping her mouth, she looked up and stared at the man in front of her. He was not much taller than she was and despite the treacherous smile on his mouth, he had a very hollow face. Behind him stood another man, as tall and muscled as an oak, a cleaver in his hand and blood droplets spattered on his face. 

"Your Grace the Queen," the man holding the dagger to her stomach said mockingly in a soft voice, bowing deeply to Daella. 

She gulped loudly, wondering why in Seven Hells the guards at the door were not moving in her defence. Clenching her hands into fists, she peeked from the corners of her eyes and noticed what she had not seen before. The household knight had a spear shoved all the way from his back through his mouth, giving him an extra spine as he leaned in an awkward angle against the door. Her eyes flickered back to the two men in front of her as she held her head high and waited patiently for their demands.

"I take it that you have received the letter from the true Queen?" the man spoke again, tilting his head to the side as the sly smile grew. Daella stared at him in revulsion and upon her lack of reply, he added a little more pressure to the knife to her stomach. She nodded tersely, not quite able to keep the contempt from her eyes. "Then you know that that was the first option. We are the second. If you would be so lovely and kind as to follow us, Your Grace, your mother does not wish for you to be harmed."