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Before the End
Chapter 1
Casterly Rock was just as grand as she had been told it was. The castle sat proudly on top of a vast amount of rocks, looking out the glimmering sea. The views were spectacular and the castle decorated even more so. She wondered if she had ever seen such a sight before. She kept silent as she stood on the balcony, awaiting her parents to return to her. She kept her hands on the stone and her back straight. She did her best not to slump, recalling the manners which her mother and septa had taught her to have.
She continued to stare out to the sea, watching as ships sailed, her green eyes alight with wonder. At the age of ten and seven she often found pleasure in simple things she had not seen before. She had never been to the coast, but the sea air was so refreshing against her pale skin. She could not help the smile on her face.
It was only when she heard the door to the solar open did she turn around and look behind her. A simple net curtain was the only thing which separated the balcony from the solar. She placed her hands into her skirts as her parents wandered back over to her. She noted that they were not alone. A tall man walked behind them, conversing with her father of matters. Her mother beamed to her before opening her arms, urging her daughter to move forwards.
"Elena," she called and the girl slowly moved, her eyes still glancing between the three adults.
Her mother bent slightly and rested her hand on her daughter's back, just by the end of her soft brown curls. The green gown she wore was a deep colour with intricate flower detailing on the bodice. Elena bent into a curtsey in front of the visitor her father was speaking with.
"And this is your daughter?" he checked.
Elena met his cold stare. He had white hair on top of his head and was tall with a stiff posture. A lion pin occupied his chest and Elena wondered if this was the mighty Tywin Lannister she had heard of.
"Lady Elena," her father spoke. "This is Lord Tywin."
"Pleasure to meet you," Elena spoke and Tywin gave a stiff nod.
"Has she bled?"
Elena seemed confused at the intimate question. She looked up to her mother who answered for her.
"She was a late bloomer, but she has now bled," she promised him. "I have no doubt that she is fertile."
Elena could not help but allow her brows to furrow together and her forehead to crease. Why did it matter if she was a late bloomer or not? Why did any of it matter? She kept silent for a few moments and watched as her father smiled proudly.
"Good," Tywin spoke. "Perhaps we should take this conversation to my private rooms, Lord Marcel?"
Markus Marcel nodded in haste, leaving his wife and his daughter in the guest chambers before walking away. Elena then looked up to her mother, hoping that she could clarify what had just happened. Her mother continued to beam until the door was closed and then her eyes closed and her smile disappeared. She had to be strong for her husband. His word was law and he was deciding what was going to happen to their only daughter. She did not agree to it, but she had no say. She was a female and his wife. She had questioned him but it had not ended well.
"What is happening, mother?" Elena wondered. "I have a theory, but I do not want to be correct."
Mary Marcel nodded and looked to her daughter, taking her hand and leading her to the stone bench on the balcony. They sat down on it and Mary wrapped her arm around her daughter's shoulders tightly.
"There is a reason as to why we came to Casterly Rock," Mary admitted. "But I think that you know that reasons. Lord Tywin has a son...and...he wishes for him to marry. Your father thought that it would be a good match. House Lannister is powerful, much more so than House Marcel."
"Which son?" Elena asked.
She had always known that her time to marry would be upon her. She did not like it, but there was nothing that she could do about it. She could run away. She could run and forget her problems. She could forget the fact that she was nothing but a pawn for her father to pass of when he felt the time was right. Her mother had told her that too. Her mother had not wanted to marry her father, but their marriage was not entirely loveless...well...when her father was sober.
"Jaime," Mary spoke and Elena shook her head. "His sister is to marry soon and you are to marry Jaime should Lord Tywin allow it. We cannot waste Lord Tywin's time. He is Hand of the King and should be in King's Landing. It is a miracle he is here."
"But I would have to move here?" she checked.
"Yes," Mary said. "I tried to stop it, my love. I would keep you with me if I could. Believe me of that."
"I know," Elena said, her head resting on her mother's shoulder as she kept silent and still, wondering what was going to happen.
Tywin had dismissed Markus Marcel as soon as his son came storming into his office. At the age of eighteen, Jaime Lannister was a young man. His blonde hair gleamed in the sun and his youthful looks were enough to make him the envy of many men and the lust of many women. Tywin shifted through his papers and looked to his son who pushed past Markus. His eyes were narrow and he wore a simple shirt tucked into breeches with a coat over his shoulders.
"I will not marry her."
Tywin continued to glower, paying more attention to the papers in front of him than to his son. Jaime soon saw to that. He acted brashly, pulling out the chair to the desk and throwing it to the floor. It was only then when Tywin moved his stare back to Jaime.
"Do I have your attention now?"
Tywin ground his teeth together. He should have been prepared for his son's rage. He should have known that Jaime would act in such a manner. Tywin had caught wind of what had happened during Jaime's stay at King's Landing before he travelled for the Rock. Tywin knew what he intended to do and he would not allow it.
"You will marry Elena Marcel," Tywin dangerously spoke. "I shall not have you serve on the Kingsguard and throw everything away. I shall not have rumours spread about you and Cersei. You shall marry the girl, father her children and learn your role as Lord of Casterly Rock."
Jaime's eyes widened and he continuously shook his head during his father's speech. He would not do it. He would not have the girl.
"I do not want her."
"It is not a matter of what you want," Tywin assured his son. "It is what you shall do, and you shall marry her. Did you honestly think that I would let you leave for the Kingsguard. You are my son."
"You have another son," Jaime snarled.
"He is not fit to be my heir, nor will he ever be," Tywin spoke, his voice still level that Jaime wondered how he could be controlled and cruel at the same time. "Cersei shall remain in King's Landing and you shall stay here. I do not wish to listen to foul rumours spread of you anymore. We are not debating this, Jaime."
"I will leave-"
"-You will grow up," Tywin snapped and then stood up, his fists slamming on his desk as he did so. He lifted his gaze to meet Jaime's, noting how his son cowered slightly under his intense stare. How could he not? "You will be a man and you will do your duty. Elena Marcel is a comely girl. I am sure she will give you heirs. You will not disgrace the Lannister name anymore."
Jaime felt his teeth grind together. How could he accept this fate? How could he stand there and allow his father to dictate his life to him? He did not know, but he did know that he had nothing more to say on the matter.
"Now, go and prepare for the feast tonight. I make the announcement then and you shall wed and bed her by the end of next week."
"Shall I?" Jaime snapped back.
"Yes," Tywin dangerously replied. "Now get out of my sight and do as I say."
Tywin took his seat, only looking up as he heard his son leave the room. He knew that Jaime would contest his decision for many more days to come, but Tywin did not care. Jaime would do his duty; Tywin would see to that. He would do his honour and he would complain no more.
A/N: A new Jaime/OC story! Hope you enjoyed the first chapter and do let me know what you think!
Chapter 2
The first time Jaime laid eyes on his bride to be was full of hatred. He looked on at her, anger taking hold of him at the sight of the girl. She was not Cersei. She was merely a girl with girlish looks and girlish features. Her hair was not the colour of sun, nor was her skin as pale as snow. There was truly no beauty to her. He saw that the corset she wore was pulled so tight that it tried to prove she had breasts. She kept pulling at it, trying to pull it from her body slightly as thought she couldn't breathe. She was silent for a while; sitting to her mother's left before she whispered into the woman's ear.
Her mother looked like a comely woman: Jaime could deduce that. She had flowing brown hair and a heart shaped face. Her lips were smiling to her daughter in a reassuring manner before she moved her hand to pat her daughter's shoulder comfortingly. It was clear that the two of them were close.
"Ask the girl to dance."
Jaime looked to the side where his father sat. He leant back in his chair and looked down to the benches in the main hall. The noble houses around Casterly Rock had turned up to the event. There had been rumours about an impending engagement, but no one had dared to whisper of it. No one publicly said anything that Lord Tywin had not declared formally yet.
"Why?" Jaime replied, his eyes noting how she lowered her gaze to the table.
Her father was also sat next to her on the long bench. He was whispering in her ear, but Jaime suspected he was scolding her for something. He was right, for the next moment the girl sat up straighter than before, her shoulders taut. Her chest was pushed out in front of her and she was sipping on her wine. Her mother looked annoyed at her father, but she said nothing on the matter. She kept quiet and Jaime's brows furrowed.
"Because she is to be your wife by the end of the month," Tywin hissed, the grip on his cup increasing at his son's arrogance. "Now, stand up, move down the steps from this table and ask for her hand."
"And if she refuses me? Would you have your son be publicly humiliated in front of all these lords?" Jaime continued to refuse his father and Tywin felt anger at his son's arrogance. He had let Jaime get along with his ways for far too long.
"I doubt she would do that," Tywin snarled. "Now, stand up-"
"-My bride has saved me the bother," Jaime interrupted and Tywin followed his son's stare.
Jaime watched on as Elena stood from her seat. Her mother was taking her by the arm as she hissed down to Markus Marcel. He kept hold of his cup of wine and glowered back, but said nothing, preferring the company of liquor instead of harsh words. Mary Marcel took her daughter by her arm and led her down the middle of the tables towards the large balcony outside of the grand hall.
"What is the woman doing?" Tywin snarled and Jaime nonchalantly shrugged.
"I do believe that her father has had far too much to drink," Jaime said and he saw his father's anger rise.
He always knew when the mighty Tywin Lannister was angry. His jaw seemed to stiffen and his eyes narrowed more than usual. Jaime wondered if there had been a time when his father truly was happy. He knew that his mother brought a smile to his face, but Jaime had never remembered his father truly looking happy.
"Markus Marcel is a drunkard," Tywin hissed. "He is an embarrassment, but he is a powerful man."
"He looks much older than his wife," Jaime continued and sipped at his wine.
"Twice her age," Tywin agreed. "His wife was of House Hightower. She married him when she was just a girl. She gave birth to Elena when she was fifteen. The bond between mother and daughter is strong with them."
"Perhaps I might be lucky," Jaime snorted. "Her mother might snatch her away before she can marry me. I can only hope."
"Are you trying to test me?" Tywin hissed. "Your brother already does that without you adding to the pain. Now, stand up and go and find the girl. Offer her your condolences...congratulations...apologies...anything...I do not care so long as you go and find her."
Rolling his eyes, Jaime knew that there was no escaping his father's command. He pushed himself to his feet once he had finished downing his wine. Moving down the steps, he walked down the three steps which led up to the head table. People watched as he moved to the balcony, whispering amongst themselves before the music struck up from the band once more.
He walked through the thin net curtain and out towards the balcony. He could see them stood right at the end, leaning against the stone and whispering to each other in hushed tones. Elena was stood to her mother's right, her hands gripping the stone ledge in front of her. Her mother had her hands on her daughter's shoulders, trying to comfort her. The air was cool and Jaime could taste the salt from the sea as he folded his hands behind his back.
"Your father meant nothing by his comments, my love," Mary whispered into her daughter's ear. "He is drunk. You know what is like when he has had a cup of wine."
"But it is always more than one cup," Elena said and Jaime heard her speak for the first time.
Her voice was rather high pitched and quite squeaky against his ears.
"He does not quite understand how much he should drink," Mary said through pursed lips. "You are not the only one who detests his manners. I am sure you shall be a good wife to Lord Jaime. Ignore your father's comments."
"How can I?" Elena asked back.
"You do what your duty is as a wife," Mary said. "You smile, speak when spoken to, birth heirs...and whatever it is your husband asks of you."
It was then when Jaime spoke. He coughed lightly into his clenched fist and the two women turned silent. Elena turned around first, her entire body spinning to look at him. Her mother looked over her shoulder, her hands still on her daughter's shoulders.
"Lord Jaime," Mary spoke as her daughter remained silent and wide eyed.
She had dared to catch glimpses of Jaime during the feast, but she had never caught his eye or studied his features. She could not deny that he was a handsome young man. He had golden hair which she assumed would shine in the sunlight. His eyes were wide and green and his chin was stubbornly set in front of him. She could not deny that he was handsome. She finally knew what all of her handmaidens' spoke of now. It finally made sense to her.
"Lady Marcel...Lady Elena," he spoke and Elena picked her skirts up into her hands and curtsied.
Mary squeezed her daughter's hand before smiling between the soon to be betrothed couple. Clearly they already knew their fate before it was made public.
"Did you wish to converse with Elena, my Lord?" Mary asked when she realised that Jaime looked as though he would not speak.
"Yes," Jaime responded. "I hope you don't mind."
"Not at all," Mary said and quickly left after smiling fondly at her daughter.
It was only when she had left did Elena turn back to look out to the sea, clearly avoiding Jaime's intense stare. Jaime took a few more steps forwards to stand next to her at the ledge. He moved his hands out in front of him and leant forwards, bending at the waist to look over to the sea.
They both remained silence. Jaime could not deny that there was an atmosphere. Both of them didn't know what to say to each other. Jaime had half expected his betrothed to swoon over him; to tell him how happy she was to marry him, or to tell him how she hoped she would please him. But she said none of those things. She said nothing. She was clearly looking out to the sea. She was looking anywhere but at him.
"I should go back to my parents," she finally muttered and turned on her heel, preparing to leave.
She only stopped when she heard Jaime scoff.
"Your father would mistake you for a common whore if you went back in there now."
Elena had to do a double take at his words, her orbs widening as she felt the small of her back moved against the stone ledge. Her eyes remained to the side, cast down on Jaime who was staring out to the sea.
"I did not know Lord Marcel was a drunkard," Jaime informed her and she shrugged again.
He noted how she pulled at the skirts of her gown. He wondered just how many layers there were to such an item of clothing. The skirt swayed out around her and it was clearly one of the finer gowns she owned. It was even Lannister red. Jaime couldn't help but scoff again when he noted.
"My father has always been partial to a cup of wine," was the only response she could give.
"Or more," Jaime replied and she furrowed her brows.
"Pardon me, my Lord. I came out here with the intention of speaking to my mother, yet somehow my intention has gone astray as I find myself hearing words of insult with regards to my father. I truly should return."
Jaime then stood up straight and caught her by the wrist before she could move. His bare fingers around her bare wrist did nothing but add anger to how she felt. She kept still, her brow arched as she waited for some form of explanation. The poor little dove wouldn't have one.
"That was a very tactful statement."
"Women have to be tactful," she responded with a soft voice. "Men use weapons of steel, women use weapons of words."
"So it would seem," Jaime replied. "I trust you know why I came out here."
"I have an inclination," she responded.
Jaime released her waist and placed his hands behind his back, longing to remove himself from the leather coat he wore over his shirt. He had suddenly turned rather warm, and he did not know why. He kept silent for a few moments, his eyes raking up and down the girl's slender form.
"We both do not want this marriage-"
"-How do you know?" Elena interrupted him. "Did you ask me if I wanted this marriage?"
"Do you want this marriage?" Jaime asked without skipping a beat.
"Not particularly," she replied just as quick.
She mentally scolded herself. What would her father say if he heard her speak in such a manner? She could only imagine the tone of his voice as Jaime looked mildly impressed with her. He had thought that she was a shy creature; a delicate and shy lady who would do anything to please him. It didn't matter regardless. She could never please him. There was only one woman who could please him and she was stuck in King's Landing being used as his father's pawn in a chess match.
"Was there anything else?" Elena wondered back when she saw that Jaime was not replying to her, merely standing still and saying nothing of the matter.
Jaime blinked profusely and shook his head, unable to think of anything else to say.
"I should go in. My father tells me the announcement is to be made before the feast is over."
"Yes," Jaime mumbled, his mind going back to that night he had spent with Cersei.
He would not do this. He would not marry her. He would leave Casterly Rock and never come back. He remained on the balcony for a few moments as Elena made her way back inside, her skirts swaying behind her as she went. He could have sworn that he heard her sniff as she went. She hid it well, a hand against her mouth covering a strangled sob at the mere thought of marrying a man as cold and sarcastic as Jaime Lannister.
It was when she had gone when Jaime looked out to sea again. His mind recalled the way his twin sister had touched him and kissed him. He remembered how she had whispered her words of love into his ear. He remembered everything about their final night in King's Landing. She had begged with him to join the Kingsguard. She had told him that they could be together then, regardless of anything else. He had whispered his agreement before taking her again. Jaime had never experienced a night like it.
He doubted he ever would again.
It was then when Jaime knew what he had to do. He had to saddle a horse and go. He had to leave Casterly Rock and ride hard and fast to King's Landing. He would beg to join the Kingsguard; fall to his knees and plead if he must.
He swept from the balcony, walking with haste out of the grand hall and towards the corridors, determination etched on his features as he went. It was only before he rounded a corridor did he hear raised voices.
"He doesn't care for your cries, girl...just your cunt..."
"Please," the sobbing voice responded. "Please do not make me marry him. Surely there are other lords near Gardfort."
"Can't you see what you are doing to her, Markus?" an elder and more controlled voice spoke. "There are other women who will be much more suited to House Lannister. Elena does not want this. Let her marry for love."
"Piss on love," Markus snarled back and Jaime wondered when he should make himself known. "She has been a burden for far too long. It is time she married and I will hear no more of it."
"You are dunk, Markus," Mary responded in a tight voice. "We shall speak of the matters in the morning when you are sober."
"She will still marry him," Markus snapped. "House Lannister is the finest we could hope for. Have you seen her? She is not an attractive girl...bards will write no ballads for her...the best we can ask for her is that he looks on her face when he fucks her."
"You bastard!"
The shrill voice reached Jaime and then silence followed. It was only after that silence when the sharp slapping noise echoed in Jaime's ears. He heard more commotion and finally rounded the corner to find Elena on the floor against the wall, her mother next to her and cradling her stinging red cheek in her hands.
"You have no right-"
"-Family feud?" Jaime interrupted before Markus could finish his sentence.
The three eyes turned to him and Jaime lounged against the wall, folding his arms over each other. Elena stopped staring first, her gaze returning to her lap where her skirts pooled. Mary then set about stroking her daughter's cheek, urging for there to be no mark on her pale skin.
"Apologies, Lord Jaime, my daughter-"
"-I do know where Gardfort is," Jaime interrupted again. "In fact, it is only two day's ride from Lannisport. Not far at all...but Casterly Rock, we do not hit women. Is there a different tradition at Gardfort? Is it acceptable there?"
Jaime knew that many women before Elena had been hit, and he knew that many women after Elena would be hit. But Jaime did not agree with it. He did not agree with beating defenceless women or picking on the vulnerable. It was not in his nature.
"I thought not," Jaime said when he realised Markus would say nothing on the matter. "Lady Marcel, perhaps you should escort you husband to his chamber before returning to the feast. I shall take Lady Elena to a maester."
"Of course, my Lord," Mary said and grabbed Markus roughly by the arm as Jaime bent down to look at Elena.
He moved his hand to her cheek as she remained on the ground with her feet curled beneath her. His fingers were delicate against the red patch on her skin and her eyes were still on her lap.
"I do not need a maester," she assured Jaime.
"Does it sting?" Jaime ignored her.
"Then a damp cloth should suffice," he replied and stood tall again.
He offered her his hand and she laced her fingers into his, allowing him to haul her from the floor. She steadied herself on her feet before Jaime wrapped his arm into hers and led her towards the guest chambers. She kept silent as her arm remained in his, only looking up when he urged her to sit down in the chair at the desk by a large column. She did as he had asked, noting the exquisite detailing of the carved lions which stuck out at the top of the column.
Jaime grabbed hold of a washcloth and a jug of water, dropping the cloth into the cold water before standing in front of Elena. He bent down slightly, his hand outstretching to press the wet cloth against her warm cheek. He noted a spot of blood by her lip, making sure he rid her of it.
"Hold this to your cheek for a few moments," Jaime demanded from her, recalling how he had been about to make his escape before he saw the girl. He could still go.
He could still do it. All he had to do was leave her in the chamber and run.
"I should go and tell my father to postpone the announcement. I doubt you would want people looking at you with a red face," Jaime mumbled and turned around to leave the room.
He would go. He would do it and his father would not stop him. It was only when he made it to the corridor did he see his father walking towards him and he felt his hope vanish. He would return to Cersei one day. He would see to it.
A/N: Thank you so much to those who reviewed the first chapter. Thanks to Kitty, Richasa, fairydaisy777, ZabuzasGirl, xxxRena, zZhell-butterflyZz, HermioneandMarcus and Miss Lori MacManus! I hope you will let me know what you think so far!
Chapter 3
"You must have been dishonourable to your father for him to have granted you with such a mark," Tywin Lannister drawled as he stood before Elena in the guest chamber.
She remained seated, the wet cloth on her skin cooling her reddening cheeks. But she knew that her cheeks were burning for another reason. Suffering under Tywin's harsh stare was enough to make even the King quiver. She wondered if he often did.
"Yes, my Lord," Elena did nothing but agree and Tywin cocked his brow.
Jaime remained stood against the pillar behind Elena's chair. He folded his ankles and his arms, lounging against the pillar in silence whilst his eyes remained on the sea outside of the chamber.
"Well, girl?" Tywin pushed her. "What did you say? A man does not hit a woman without just cause. If you cannot keep your mouth closed then you shall not make a fine bride for my son."
Jaime looked then, cocking his brow as Elena remained staring at her lap. The girl could scarcely tell Lord Tywin that she had been contesting her marriage. He would see it is an insult. Jaime didn't even want to imagine what he would do to her and her family. Jaime moved then, kicking his foot and his body from the pillar before moving to stand by Elena's chair.
"Her father was making crude remarks," Jaime spoke and she looked up to him. "She was on her way to freshen up when he found her with her mother. The old drunk was speaking nonsense and Elena merely told him that. He did not take kindly to her."
Tywin watched between his son and the girl, trying to deduce who was telling the truth.
"Is that so, Lady Elena?" she asked of her.
"Yes, my Lord," Elena responded in a small whisper.
"Very well," Tywin spoke back. "I shall go into the hall and announce your engagement by the end of the night. Try to cover up the mark before you return. I have no time to waste."
"But-" Jaime protested.
"There will be no buts," Tywin replied. "Look after your betrothed and escort her back to the hall. I fail to care of her parents are present for the announcement."
"As you say," Jaime mumbled and watched his father turn on his heel and leave.
The door closed quietly behind, creaking as it did so. Jaime glowered at the wood for a few more moments before he heard Elena speak.
"Thank you," Elena spoke, grateful for what he had done.
Jaime turned his head over his shoulder to look at him. It was only then when he slumped down into the chair near hers. He extended his legs in front of him and lounged back, settling his laced fingers on his stomach. His brows rose on his forehead. Elena remained sat up straight, her small fingers holding the cloth to her cheek still.
"You were being mocked, were you not?" Jaime checked. "You were being mocked whilst you begged for an escape from our impending marriage."
"Can you not blame me?" Elena asked. "Do you truly wish to be stuck in a loveless marriage?"
"Does anyone?" Jaime retaliated.
"Why has your father suddenly decided you are needed to marry? At eighteen you are quite old to be betrothed," Elena merely asked and ignored his question.
"At seventeen, are you also not old?"
"I hope not," Elena muttered.
Jaime sighed and then nodded his agreement with her. What did she truly want to know from him? Why was she even pretending to be interested? Nothing he did should have interested her. They were not in love with each other and Jaime doubted they ever would be.
"I spent my years squiring," Jaime shrugged. "And then I heard that my father had asked for me to return when I turned fifteen. The thought of coming back here did not interest me, and so I continued on my travels for a while. A while turned into a year and then a year turned into two. I realised that I couldn't run for much longer. I visited my sister at King's Landing before I came here...and she tried to talk me into joining the Kingsguard..."
Elena seemed to understand. Jaime Lannister was a man who preferred not to be bound by the shackles of being a lord. He wanted nothing of that sort. But now he was to be pushed into it. He was to be the man his father had always wanted to be.
"Father decided that it was not for the best," Jaime muttered. "He already detests the King...the Mad King...they are calling him. Did you know that?"
"Everyone knows that," Elena replied with a quick glance to Jaime.
"Father rides for King's Landing on the morrow. I doubt it will be long before he resigns as the Hand of the King and resumes his place as Lord of Casterly Rock."
"They say that tensions are high in King's Landing," Elena replied. "Perhaps it is for the best that he leaves. Everyone wants their family to be safe."
"Even you?" Jaime pondered and Elena looked to him.
He could not deny that she would make someone happy one day. She was a sweet girl: Jaime could see that. She was not unattractive, but she would make a nice lady to a nice lord. She was not someone who was suited to Jaime Lannister. He was too harsh for her. He was too brash. She would never grow used to him.
"He is my father," Elena responded in a small voice. "I do not wish him ill."
"No," Jaime muttered. "I should suppose not. Anyway, you will become Lady Lannister soon enough, and Casterly Rock will be yours and mine."
"And you will become Lord Lannister," Elena replied and Jaime snorted.
He moved to the desk then, jumping from his chair with haste. He poured himself a cup of wine and drained it before offering a cup to Elena. She tentatively took it from his fingertips and held it in her grasp. She dropped the wet cloth onto the table and sipped at the strong tasting wine.
"We should toast to that," Jaime replied and held his cup in the air. "To a loveless marriage," he jeered.
Elena placed her glass into the air for a second and then downed the wine. The prospect of becoming Lady Lannister was enough to make her contemplate downing the jug of wine instead of the cup.
"I have known you for one night," Elena said. "We cannot decide what our marriage is going to be before we know each other."
Jaime always wanted to snap back at her that they could. He would never love her. He would never love another so long as Cersei was waiting for him King's Landing. They could elope together and run. The Targaryen family married brother to sister for years. Why should Jaime and Cersei be any different?
"I have no doubt that you would make some little lord very happy," Jaime promised her, placing his cup down on the desk. "He would dote on you and you would have lots of children and spend your days sewing."
"And you think that is what I want?" Elena wondered back.
She took a moment or two to push herself to her feet. She clasped her hands into her skirts. Jaime stood close to her, his feet nearly brushing the edges of her flowing skirts as she looked at him in the eye. She said nothing for a few moments and Jaime tried to weigh her up.
"Do you think I want a husband and children and nothing more?"
"I do not know what you want," Jaime replied.
Elena placed the cup on the table and poured herself some more wine. Jaime took a step back to allow her to complete the motion. He continued to watch her for another moment as she drained the cup as though it had no taste to her.
"And that is because you do not know me," Elena replied.
Jaime did his best to weigh her up, but he was struggling. One moment he though he knew, then the second moment he had no idea what was happening or who she really was. Every lady was the same in Jaime's eyes. There was only Cersei who was special to him. It was only her.
"We should go before your father comes to search for us," Elena spoke.
"Perhaps so," Jaime agreed and reluctantly held his arm out for her.
She laced her arm into his and they made their way back through the corridors. Jaime ignored everyone's stares as he led Elena down the middle of the hall. The band stopped playing and everyone stopped chattering as Tywin stood at the head table. He held his cup of wine in his fingers, watching as his son held Elena's arm.
"My Lords and my ladies."
Tywin's cold voice rang out through the cold hair and Elena did her best not to shake. She held her hands in her skirts as Jaime dropped her arm and clasped his hands behind his back. Tywin stood in front of his son and looked back to the couple behind him.
"It is with great pleasure that I bring you this announcement this evening," Tywin said.
Would it be wrong for Elena to run? How far would she make it? Would she be able to run as far as she hoped? She did not know, but she wished she could try. She wished she could attempt to. No doubt Tywin Lannister would have her punished for doing so. She suspected he would have to line u behind her father however.
"My son Jaime," Tywin drawled, "is to marry the Lady Elena of House Marcel."
Everyone clapped and made loud cheers along with soft sighing sounds. Blinking back the fear which rose inside of her eyes, Elena dared to glance at Jaime who was staring back at her. Would anyone believe that they cared for each other? Was anyone foolish enough to believe them? He doubted it, but he did not wish to discuss it.
"Kiss her on the cheek," Tywin demanded Jaime.
Growling lowly, Jaime moved his neck outwards. Slowly, he grabbed Elena by the waist, forcefully pressing her body against his before his lips pressed her cheek. She closed her eyes at the motion lingered, a shiver running down her spine before she stiffened. More cheers erupted around the hall as Jaime pulled back from her and noted the red blush on her cheeks.
"You shall spend the rest of the evening dancing together," Tywin Lannister spoke lowly as he pretended to congratulate the couple. "And you shall smile and laugh. I will have no one speaking of trouble during your relationship so early on."
The demand was clear and Elena was not one to question Lord Tywin. She looked into his harsh gaze for a couple of moments before Jaime took hold of her hand, his grip hard and cold.
"And we would not want to disappoint the Lannister name," Jaime mumbled before taking hold of his bride to be and spending the rest of the night dancing with her and faking a smile.
A/N: thank you to HermioneandMarcus, danceegirl92, Guest, Guest, xxxRena, zZhell-butterflyZz, BookWorm4479 and ZabuzasGirl for reviewing. Do let me know what you think!
Chapter 4
Elena's cheeks ached by the end of the night. She had done as Lord Tywin had demanded from her. She had spent her night in the arms of Jaime Lannister, laughing and smiling at whatever it was he said to her. He was mainly sarcastic, his own sneer refusing to disappear from his face as he twirled Elena around and did his best not to step on her feet.
She had accepted people's congratulations with a gracious smile under Lord Tywin's stare. She could feel his beady eyes watching them all night. She had done as he had asked, but it was only to keep his favour. Lord Lannister was not a man she wanted to make an enemy of. It took her a while before she could drop her smile and that was only as she drank a cup of wine.
"Your pretty little bride to be seems to be doing well," Tywin commented as Jaime rested and allowed Elena to dance with some lord of some place far away.
He had settled himself down at a table and his father had wandered over to him, ever the stern looking lord. Tywin sat down too and picked up a cup of wine and sipped at it slowly.
"She will be very dutiful."
"Perhaps that might rub off on you," Tywin mumbled. "The wedding preparations shall begin in the coming days. You will do well to be hospitable to anyone who asks you to be present at any event."
"What do I have to do?" Jaime grunted. "I hope you don't think I shall sit by and watch my little flower pick which cake she prefers."
"Yes," Tywin replied. "If this marriage is to succeed then you need to spend as much time as possible with her. I want no more rumours about you and I want you to dispel them. If that means you sit by her side whilst she eats cake or when she picks flowers then you shall do that. Affection is what is needed in this situation."
"As you wish," Jaime grumbled as the song finished and his bride to be looked like a lost sheep in the middle of the emptying dance floor.
Jaime stood and moved over to her, clasping her waist forcefully and taking her hand again as more couples began to descend for the next song. Elena noted a small tick in his jaw and she looked to where Tywin sat before daring to whisper to Jaime.
"Does he watch every move you make?" Elena wondered and Jaime scoffed.
"Mainly. It wouldn't shock me if he was there to make sure you bled on our wedding night," Jaime complained and he noted how she kept silent at the mention of that.
She had done her best not to think of the wedding night. She didn't want to think about what he would do to her. She had heard of the pain. She had heard of the pain that came with the bedding and it was enough to scare her to her wit's end. Keeping quiet, Elena began to twirl with Jaime again, allowing him to move her under his arm as she kept her skirt from the floor in one hand.
"How much longer shall the feast go on for?" she changed the topic of conversation, a false smile on her face once again.
"As long as father demands," Jaime replied. "Why? Do you grow tired?"
"Yes," she said bluntly. "We have been dancing and smiling for hours. Can we not escape somehow?"
"Follow my lead," Jaime demanded from her and dropped her waist.
He took her hand and led her through the parting crowd as they bowed and curtseyed. He winked to his father as he walked by his table and led his betrothed onto the balcony again. The cool air blew against her cheeks and she took a deep breath, thankful for the freshness the balcony offered. Dropping formalities, Elena kicked her slippers from her feet and bent down to pick them into her hands. Her corset strained against her waist, but she didn't care.
"Are you certain that you are a lady?" Jaime taunted her as they wandered the length of the balcony to where steps stood and led down to the gardens. "I have never known my sister to be so ungraceful."
"I hear that your sister is the most beautiful woman at court," Elena spoke as they walked down the steps towards the gardens.
Elena folded her arms over herself, feebly attempting to keep warm as they wandered the darkened gardens. She knew it was improper to be with a man in the dark, regardless of whether or not he was her betrothed. But she didn't care. There was something about Jaime which told her that he had no interest in harming her.
"She is," Jaime agreed, failing to care how odd it sounded. "I went to visit her before I came back to the Rock. She is lusted after by many."
Elena swayed slightly, knowing that she had a little too much to drink: especially now she was out in the open air. She almost lost her footing and fell, but Jaime didn't notice as he was walking in front of her.
"And she is still not betrothed?" Elena checked, her voice slurred too.
"No," Jaime said. "My father is waiting for the right lord. It is a shame though...any man would be lucky to have her...she is very comely."
"And I am not?" Elena wondered and Jaime turned over to look at her, noting how she had dropped one hip and stood at an angle. She had mussed her hair up by running her hands through it so that it no longer sat delicately around her shoulders.
"You have no breast," Jaime informed her in a flat tone, knowing that she was slightly tipsy.
However, he had not been prepared for what she did next. She dropped her shoes to the floor and raised both of her hands to her breasts, cupping them and looking down her gown. Jaime's eyes widened in shock and he worried if anyone would see her from the balcony. He rushed over to her, his hands holding her wrists.
"I do have breasts," she complained to him. "They're...just not too men like big breasts?"
"Some do," Jaime said, finally managing to prise her hands away from her.
She tripped over her own feet as she fought him, falling slightly. Jaime's arm moved hastily and he grabbed her waist as she bent over his arm. He acted quickly, stepping behind her to wrap his other arm around her torso to haul her up straight. She leant back against him and her head rested on his shoulder.
"How much have you drank this evening?" he wondered.
"Not enough," she grumbled.
"I would care to disagree," he responded in a small voice.
"I bet you would."
"What does that mean?" Jaime asked her back but received no coherent response, just a shrug of her shoulders as she slouched against him and he did his best to keep her upright.
"I should get you inside before my father comes to look for us...and then I need to hide you from my father..."
"Nonsense," Elena shook her head at him and moved from his grip. "I am fine to go back in and walk through the hall myself. I am scarcely drunk...I can still keep control of my thoughts."
"You just felt your own teats," Jaime reminded her and she pointed a finger at him, allowing it to jab against his chest. Her orbs widened and Jaime snatched her wrist once more.
"I was proving a point," she responded. "I may not be the most beautiful woman...but I could be with someone who appreciated me and didn't mock me...someone who might actually care for me...but no...I am now stuck on this giant piece of rock with you to mock me whenever you feel like it."
She began to walk forwards again and Jaime couldn't stop his jaw from dropping open as he heard her speak. He followed her to the next balcony which overlooked the ocean. She bent over it, the spray of the waves hitting her face as she did so. Jaime even thought that she was about to fall into the sea after a few moments as her feet left the ground.
"Could you please be careful?" he urged her, stopping her from leaning too far. "I don't want people accusing me of murder just yet."
"Worried?" she cocked a brow and Jaime rolled his orbs at hearing her.
"Of being accused of murder? Yes," he answered for her and she turned her back to the wall and leant against it. "Besides, I really do think that you should retire for the evening. You've lost your shoes somewhere back there and the grass is damp."
"I had not noticed," she mumbled.
"Blatantly not," Jaime responded. "Come on, Elena. You look a state already."
"You really are romantic." She snorted loudly and almost toppled back.
Jaime caught her waist and pulled her into his arms from the wall, refusing to let her go. She wrapped her arms around his neck, holding him tightly as she closed her eyes. Jaime watched her for a few moments as he found her shoes on the floor. It was only then when he noticed she was falling asleep. Groaning and cursing, Jaime awkwardly bent down to pick her shoes up, managing to drop them into her lap.
He wandered through the gardens and took the servants staircase to get to her chambers. Once he was there, he made sure no one was in her chamber before he deposited her on the bed. She bounced a few times and only then did she open her eyes again.
"You didn't need to be so rough," she complained and flopped onto her stomach.
She reached for her laces at the back of her dress, her hands slapping her back as she did so. Jaime watched her miserably fail. She huffed loudly and gave in, her cheek on the pillow and her eyes closing again.
Jaime sat on the edge of the bed and pulled the laces for her, waking her once more. She kept silent as he loosened them and the gown pooled at her sides to reveal her white underclothes on her back.
"I trust you can manage now?" Jaime said and she waved a hand to him, indicating that he could go.
He couldn't help but smirk as he went: knowing full well that his father would not be happy if he knew what his bride had just done. But Tywin Lannister knew everything. He had spies at every corner. His son would learn that.
A/N: Thank you to Guest, LittleNK, KatieGG, ZabuzasGirl, xxxRena, BookWorm4479, and zZhell-butterflyZz
Chapter 5
"Your bride cannot be seen in public when she is in such a state."
Jaime had scarcely slept the previous night and he had risen for his breakfast before anyone else had. He went and sat down in the grand hall which only his father occupied. He had bid him a good morning and the serving staff had scurried off to leave the two men to talk alone. Jaime had buttered a slice of bread and commenced chewing it when Tywin made his declaration.
"I did not think she was aware of her actions. She has never been the centre of attention before. House Marcel is not known for its great feasts."
"It will be soon enough," Tywin spoke back and continued to sip his water. "It is ruled by a drunk. I shall not its heir's wife in the same position."
"If you are so worried then why am I to marry her?" Jaime continued to push, still hoping that there was a way out of this marriage. "Cersei remains at court and innocent because you have decreed that no man is good enough for her, yet you would marry me to a girl who can scarcely drink two cups of wine without remembering her own name."
Tywin shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "You are well aware that Gardfort is near the Reach. It is on the edge of the Westerlands."
"I would have lain in if I knew I was to be given a history lesson," Jaime complained and Tywin frowned but paid no attention to his son's smart comments.
"Do you know how much the gold the goldmines of the Westerlands have produced this year?" Tywin asked and Jaime shrugged to him. "Barely enough to keep House Lannister afloat for another ten years. Our dynasty needs to live on."
Jaime cocked his brow as Tywin leant back in his seat and closed his eyes, thinking about what would happen when the gold finally did run out. He could not have that. He could not have House Lannister go into ruins.
"Gardfort is built on gold," Tywin continued. "The area is surrounded with picturesque views. It is known for its natural beauty. A deal had to be struck. I needed an agreement with House Marcel and they gave it to me."
Shaking his head, Jaime supposed it all made sense to him now.
"Lord Marcel agreed to give you Gardfort in exchange for a marriage to a strong house," Jaime noted and Tywin nodded brusquely. "And now his home shall be surrounded by mines."
"He was paid handsomely for it and he rid himself of a daughter in the process," Tywin replied. "Besides, saying no to House Lannister is not an option. I sweetened the deal, but I would have taken the land if I had needed to."
"But you prefer not to make enemies."
"Enemies are not needed in these tense times," Tywin responded. "I imagine there shall be a war before the year is out. The Mad King has made no friends and Robert Baratheon has already declared bad blood with the Targaryens. Wars cost money. Money which we cannot waste. Your marriage shall ensure that House Lannister stays rich for at least another twenty years."
"And after that?" Jaime wondered and Tywin stared at him with narrow eyes. "Should you not think about the long term instead of the short term? Twenty years may seem long enough, but it is not really."
"I shall think of that when I have a chance," Tywin said and Jaime continued to eat his breakfast. "For now I will do all I can to keep House Lannister alive, and if that means marrying you to a girl from a lesser family then I shall do it. The girl can learn how to be Lady of Casterly Rock and you shall teach her well."
"Shall I?" Jaime snorted. "And does Elena know that she is being used?"
"She is a woman," Tywin replied. "It is her duty to marry regardless of the circumstances. She should count herself lucky that she is not marrying a man whom is twice her age and would find joy beating her and drinking with whores."
"Her father, then?" Jaime continued and Tywin looked less than impressed with his son.
He stood from his seat and kept silent for a few moments and Jaime did his best to look impassive: quite a hard feat when your father is Tywin Lannister.
"Go and scold her for her behaviour last night. You are fortunate no one saw her. I ride for King's Landing on the morrow. Lady Marcel is in charge of wedding preparations but I shall be here for the wedding with your sister. I do not want her in King's Landing for much longer."
"Why?" Jaime asked, overly excited at the prospect of seeing Cersei again. "Do you intend to lay siege to King's Landing."
"I do not know what shall happen," Tywin replied. "Now, set about your duties. I do not want to hear that you have been spending time with your brother and compromising your bride."
"Tyrion is my brother," Jaime reminded his father. "I should take Elena to meet him. He is part of the family, regardless of his height."
"Much to my dismay," Tywin hissed and Jaime ground his teeth together.
He never understood why his father despised his brother so much. Tyrion had not asked for their mother's death. He was a babe, and now he was still a child who was much younger than Jaime. Jaime felt protectiveness towards him, and Elena would have to accept him if she was to stand any chance of keeping some civil tone in their relationship.
"He is nine years old," Jaime replied. "He will be at the wedding and I shall see to that."
Tywin knew that Jaime was stubborn when it came to his brother. Cersei had never loved Tyrion and Tywin could not bring himself to feel affection for the creature. Jaime was the only one who struggled to care about his deformation.
"Go to Lady Elena," Tywin demanded Jaime and swept from the hall.
"I feel like a fool," Elena complained as she walked next to Jaime before lunch.
They had stepped out into the gardens after Jaime had discovered she was still sleeping when he first went to call on her. She was up and dressed before lunch and Jaime could see the bags under her eyes and how she squinted whenever the sun appeared from behind a cloud.
"I know that I should not have drunk so much. I despise my father when he does it...and now I..."
"You were nervous and you did not know how much wine you had been gulping down," Jaime replied to her, not too sure why he was trying to soothe her. Why did he care? "You are not your father. I may have known you for less than a day, but I do know that you are your mother's daughter."
"Truly?" she checked, her hand gripping his arm tightly as she did so.
Nodding at her, Jaime noted his brother sat in the corner of the gardens, a book in his lap and his blonde hair hanging in his eyes. Elena followed his gaze and her orbs widened at the sight of Tyrion in the corner. Jaime judged her reaction for a moment, wondering if she would react like every other woman did when they were near him.
"Your brother," she said, her lips lifting.
Jaime wondered if she was sneering or mockingly smiling at him. But then he saw her cheeks crease and he wondered if she was being genuine.
"I thought it would be for the best if you met him," Jaime spoke.
"I hear he is very clever for a young boy," Elena continued as they moved closer to him.
"And he knows it," Jaime smirked.
Tyrion finally looked up and stood, knowing that his brother had intended to show him his bride. He was more shocked that his father had allowed him to do so. Even as a young boy, Tyrion knew what he was. He knew far more than a boy of his age should.
"Tyrion," Jaime inclined his head. "This is my betrothed, Elena of House Marcel."
Elena released her arm from Jaime's arm and picked her skirts up. She dropped into a curtsey and Tyrion gave her a curt bow.
"A pleasure to meet you, my Lord," Elena spoke. "I have heard many tales of the clever Lannister child."
Tyrion cocked his brow. "And are those the only rumours you have heard?"
"The only ones to concern me," Elena said and she settled down on the bench which Tyrion had been sat on. "What book was it that you were reading?"
"A history of Westeros," Tyrion said and took his seat next to her, jumping up to make sure his backside landed on the stone. He dropped the book into his lap and Elena nodded to him. "It is fascinating. There have been so many men before us."
"Of course there has been," Elena agreed. "There were conquerors for hundreds of years...and have heard about the dragons, haven't you?"
"Yes," Tyrion replied. "I would love to see their skulls. They say that there are some at King's Landing."
"I would not know of that," Elena shook her head at him. "But I would like to see them if there are. The largest dragon could have destroyed King's Landing with little more than one breath of fire."
"Preposterous," Tyrion responded.
"And why is that?"
"King's Landing is huge. It would have taken a couple of breaths at least."
Elena pouted and smiled to Tyrion before nodding. "Fine, a couple of breaths it is."
Jaime remained stood still, watching in awe as she continued to speak with Tyrion of the matters in hand. She laughed lightly as she did so and shook her head when she disagreed with him. His brother was every his witty self, but he even turned red when Elena kissed him on the cheek once Jaime had told her that they should go in for lunch. Tyrion had declined her invitation to join them. He knew that his father would not appreciate him being at the lunch with all the other noble houses. He had been told as much by his uncle Kevan.
"Your brother is very clever. You'll have to keep an eye on him," Elena informed Jaime with a wry smile as they walked through the gardens. Jaime had decided to take the longer route to the hall, realising his anger with his father for leaving Tyrion outside of the event.
"You were not repulsed by him," Jaime stated and Elena stood still and looked up to him.
"Why would I be repulsed by him?" she wondered. "Because he is a dwarf? That is not his fault."
"Everyone has always looked at him as though he is not worthy of the Lannister name," Jaime responded. "I never liked it. He is my brother."
"And he is as human as any one of us," Elena quickly spoke back. "I would never be horrid to your brother. You didn't think I would be, did you?"
Jaime shifted uncomfortably for a moment, any cocky remark he had died on the tip of his tongue. He shrugged his shoulders awkwardly and Elena arched her brow to wait for a response. He didn't know that she could be so demanding.
"We really do not know each other," she whispered when Jaime was at a loss for words.
Turning on her heel, Elena wandered away from Jaime and left him stood in the gardens, his mouth agape as she went without him.
A/N: Thanks to anyone reading and do let me know what you think!
Chapter 6
"I hear you spend your morning with Tyrion Lannister," Mary checked with her daughter as they stood on the balcony of Elena's chamber and looked out to the sea, their eyes wide and full of wonder.
"He was a pleasant child," Elena said. "He thinks that is...I cannot explain it...he has never known any true love from his father, but Jaime seems to care for him. Perhaps he isn't as cold as he seems."
"I hope not," Mary spoke with a small smile and patted her daughter's hand softly. "Jaime Lannister is a cocky young man, but he does care for those who he is close to. Besides, he did interrupt your father when he hit you. I do think he is rather gallant."
"You sound more in love with him than I ever will be," Elena scoffed and Mary nudged her daughter in the ribs.
"You may grow to love him," Mary spoke. "I know that this is not ideal and I would take you away from here if I could...but your father made an arrangement...and denying Tywin Lannister is not clever. Although your father may be a drunk, he is not stupid."
"I did not see him at lunch," Elena admitted.
"He was busy with some business. I do try not to get involved these days. He just snaps at me and curses me for being useless. I can do nothing right, can I? I haven't been able to since I miscarried."
"Mother," Elena sighed and her mother shook her head back and forth, longing for her daughter not to comfort her. It would only cause her to cry and she couldn't do that. She couldn't cry and appear weak when it was her daughter who needed her.
"No," Mary said with a small shake of her head. "You don't need to worry over me, Elena. Your father and I have never truly loved each other. We never had that, but I wanted you to have it. Maybe you still will? I do hope that you will."
"My Lady."
Both of the women turned around to see a handmaiden stood there with Tywin Lannister stood behind them. Elena and Mary curtseyed, knowing that manners were necessary for greeting Tywin Lannister.
"Lady Marcel," Tywin spoke. "I would like to escort your daughter on a walk."
It wasn't a question. It was a demand. Nodding, Mary smiled brightly and Tywin offered Elena his arm. She took it with hesitance, doing her best to make sure her hand barely rested on his arm. He said nothing until they reached the gardens and he moved with her down the rows of roses. She looked to them, admiring their different colours as Tywin spoke.
"Your behaviour last night was not acceptable," he said and Elena inhaled sharply as she heard that. "My squire saw you being carried by my son to your chamber. I did not realise that you were your father. I had thought you to be a dutiful woman."
"I am, my Lord," Elena promised him, wondering if he would call the marriage off if he thought so little of her.
She could only hope.
"I should hope so. I never wish to see behaviour like that again, but Jaime tells me that you spoke with my dwarf son this morning."
Cringing at his harsh tone, Elena nodded and Tywin dropped her arm as they stood at the end of the garden by the stone wall which peered down into another garden before the sea came into view. Elena placed her hands on the stone ledge and Tywin folded his hands behind his back.
"You have no need to speak with Tyrion is you do not wish to," Tywin promised her and Elena cocked a brow, unable to believe what she was hearing.
Tyrion was his own son. He was his flesh and blood, but he spoke of them as though he was a leper.
"It was quite pleasant to meet him," Elena said, wondering if she was saying the right thing. "I am to be a member of the family so it is only right I meet the family."
Tywin pursed his lips, not truly knowing what he should say to her. He wanted to do nothing more than tell her not to be so foolish. He wanted to snap and snarl and tell her not to associate with Tyrion. She was to bear Jaime's children to make sure the little dwarf had no right to Casterly Rock. Tywin would never let him have the Rock.
"Your main job is to spread your legs whenever Jaime commands it and to bear him heirs," Tywin said.
"And what creamy white thighs they shall be."
Jaime's voice interrupted the conversation after he had heard his father speak in a distasteful tone. Elena blushed as Jaime smirked and then offered his arm to his betrothed, sensing that she was in over her head with her father. Not that Jaime was shocked. He didn't particularly feel at ease with his own father.
"I should like to escort my bride to the kitchens. I am told they have a pigeon pie for her to sample. They wish to be prepared for such an extravagant wedding," Jaime said and Tywin gave him a curt nod.
Elena latched onto Jaime's arm and followed him through the gardens once more, the sun beating down on them and causing her brow to sweat. Jaime sensed her tight grip and he wondered what troubled her. He did not ask. He did not care. He led her to the kitchen and pulled out a wooden chair at the wooden table as a slice of pigeon pie was placed on her plate.
Jaime sat down next to her, one foot resting on the bars underneath her chair whilst his other arm draped over the back of her chair. He lazily leaned forwards and picked up a slice of pigeon pie with his fingers. Elena looked at him pointedly and offered him a bite from her fork.
He took it and gulped it down as the kitchen staff pretended to carry on with their business and the head cook stood on the other side of the table.
"Do you not have lemon cakes?" Elena wondered and Jaime cocked a brow.
"Pigeon pie tends to be traditional," he informed her and she shook her head.
"I do not like the taste of it," she admitted. "It is far too...I cannot explain, but it does taste sour to me. I would much prefer lemon cakes."
"But baking a vast lemon cake would be problematic, m'lady," the cook said, her face covered in sweat and her blue dress covered in flour.
"How many guests are to be at the wedding?" Elena wondered and she stood up before noting a cake sat on the side. She wandered over to it and the cook followed her. Jaime remained seated, folding his arms over his chest as he allowed Elena to do what she pleased.
"Over two hundred," the cook said.
"Then two hundred lemon cakes should suffice," Elena nodded and motioned to the simple cake on the worktop. "Can you make a lemon cake as big as that? I do think it would work. You would not need to bake it for so long either and it would look pretty with some simple decorations."
"Of course, m'lady," the cook agreed and Elena nodded.
"I do hope that won't cause you too much trouble." Elena said kindly. "Perhaps we can get rid of some courses to give you more time to make the lemon cakes? Making two hundred could take a while and we don't really need forty two courses. I personally believe twenty is too much."
"Yes, m'lady," the cook said and Elena turned back to Jaime and wondered if he had any input.
"Father would kill you if you had less than twenty courses. People would claim that the wedding was not majestic enough," Jaime informed her and Elena nodded.
"Twenty courses it is," she nodded and Jaime rolled his orbs.
He watched her bid the kitchen staff a good day and then he stood and offered her his arm again.
"I thought that my mother was supposed to be helping me with the wedding preparations?" Elena asked from Jaime and he nodded.
"She is, but she is busy at this moment in time. I thought that I would be useful. You seem to have a grasp on what it is that you want from this wedding."
"Yes, not pigeon pie," she said and they both smiled before Jaime stood still and looked at her with a small grin on his face. She was turning out to be a surprise to him. "A tourney is to be held at the end of the month when my father returns from King's Landing with my sister and all of the other lords and ladies descend on Casterly Rock for a wedding."
"And shall you fight?"
"I should assume so," Jaime replied. "Perhaps I might be killed before the wedding."
"No," Elena said before she could stop herself. "Don't say such a thing and curse yourself."
"Do you not already feel cursed by marrying me?" Jaime wondered.
Elena thought about that for a moment. There were plenty of worse people she could marry. There were multiple other men who would beat her and rape her for their enjoyment, but Jaime Lannister did not strike her as cruel. He was cocky and arrogant, yes, but not cruel.
Elena shrugged and shook her head.
"I would like to think that I could have done worse," she whispered. "Maybe you'll feel the same one day."
A/N: Thanks to everyone reading! Do let me know what you think!
Chapter 7
The weeks leading up to the wedding were hectic and Elena was struggling to believe how much preparation there was. She had walked around with her mother and looked at flowers, dresses and cakes. She could have sworn that she had put weight on after testing the twenty courses which were to be served.
Jaime had taken part of the testing occasionally, walking with Elena to look at what outfit he should wear. He had complained and asked why he couldn't wear his normal clothes, but she had shook her head at him and said that his father demanded him to have new clothes. She had taken a seat on the edge of his bed as he stood behind his screen and the tailor measured him for his clothes.
She had found her time with Jaime to be quite enjoyable recently. He complained about everything and his sarcasm was evident, but Elena was becoming bold enough to snap back at him in a witty tone and he had appreciated that. His wife was slowly becoming outspoken, but she still remembered her manners.
"My sister and father return this evening," Jaime informed Elena as they sat at breakfast and preparations for the tourney raged on outside. Elena was overseeing that too, making sure that there were plenty of seats and tents for the knights.
Jaime had noticed that she was much more tired during breakfast and supper. He could see bags forming under her eyes and she was constantly yawning and slumping back in her seat and not sitting up straight like a lady should.
"I know," Elena said. "A raven arrived yesterday. I have the small hall overlooking the sea set up for a quiet and intimate meal. My mother and father are entertaining House Westerling this evening, but I said I would go in and greet them once we finish dining with your family. Should I invite Tyrion?"
Jaime shook his head. He knew that would not go down too well with his father and sister. Truth be known, he didn't want his brother to suffer his father's glares all night, nor did he want his bride accused of treachery for asking his brother to dinner.
"No." Jaime said. "He will be better off dining alone tonight."
He had been dining with Elena and Jaime whenever he could, and he had spent much more time following Elena around when she asked him for help. It seemed as though he was rather good at choosing songs for the bards to sing and he could do multiply numbers much quicker than she could to know how many tables were needed.
"As you say," Elena said. "I shall ask my mother to entertain him this evening. She finds him charming and funny. And the tourney should hopefully be ready to take place tomorrow morning. I just have some more tents to see too which need added touches along with the platform for your family. I have placed them in the middle so that they have the best view. Do you think that is the best place for them? Or do they not like the attention? I should-
"Elena," Jaime interrupted her and stood up, finishing his bite of bread as he went.
He offered his hand to his bride and she took hold of it, allowing him to haul her to her feet. He moved his fingers to her cheeks and ran his thumbs underneath her eyes.
"You are exhausted," he informed her. "Why do you not let someone else take care of all of this?"
"And if they do something wrong?" Elena asked. "Your house is prestigious and known for perfection...I need...father says that I need to prove myself worthy enough to join your house."
"We are bound together," Jaime reminded her. "I need a bride to walk down the aisle. The way you are going will end up with you in an early grave."
"Then come with me," Elena urged him. "Mother tires more than I do, but I need someone to yell at the men who do something wrong. Have you not trained for this tourney enough recently? I have no doubt you will win."
Sighing, Jaime looked to her and nodded. He would take some strain from her if he could. He wrapped his arm inside of hers and they spent the rest of the day walking through the courtyard and doing their best to set up the tourney. More than once Jaime watched Elena roll the sleeves to her dress up and help men to lift heavy chairs onto platforms as Jaime set up tables.
He watched as sweat dripped down her forehead and she tucked her hair behind her ears, looking around to make sure that everything was in place. She watched as the banners with the Lion of Lannister were brought down and she placed them onto the posts in the middle of the jousting field.
"Never before have I seen a lady sweat," Jaime informed Elena as he helped her to tie the banner to the post. "The men are already impressed with your dedication, regardless of how often you yell at them."
"And I have never seen a lord sweat," Elena said as Jaime raked a hand through his blonde hair and they finished with that banner. "Perhaps the men think that we are both odd?"
"No doubt," Jaime said and looked around. "I do think that we have finished everything. The field looks ready for tomorrow. Can I assume that I will have some form of token from you? Or do you wish for me to gift you with a flower like the Knight of Flowers does?"
Elena scoffed and she felt Jaime wrap his arm inside of hers, practically dragging her away from the courtyard.
"Can you imagine the whispers if you gifted me with a rose?" she wondered. "I think I would prefer it if I just gave you a handkerchief of mine. Is it true that you will ride against The Mountain?"
"Worried?" Jaime cocked a brow.
"I worry for anyone who goes against that man. I hear he is as big as a giant."
"He wouldn't dare hurt me," Jaime promised her. "My father would have his head on a spike if he did. Anyway, stop trying to change the subject."
"I already said that I would give you my handkerchief. What more do you want from me?" Elena wondered. "Besides, we should go and change before your father and sister arrives. I think a bath might also be in order...and I promised I would spend some time walking through the gardens with Tyrion. He is already learning about plants and flowers and what they all mean."
"Elena," Jaime complained.
"I know," she said. "I should rest, but Tyrion deserves someone to spend some time with him. I think he is lonely and bored most of the time."
Jaime sighed and nodded at her. Tyrion really had taken to Elena and Jaime was grateful for that.
"Go and bathe," he urged her. "I shall see you this evening."
Elena nodded and kissed him on the cheek after a moment of deliberating how she should leave him. Jaime watched her go with a puzzled expression, wondering whether or not he could have done worse to find a wife like Elena Marcel.
Elena had looked at Tyrion with such fondness as she knelt by a rose and Tyrion told her their optimum growing condition and what they needed to live for as long as possible. She had picked one from its stem and Tyrion had looked scandalised once she had done so. She laughed and he took it from her fingers.
"You shouldn't ruin flowers," he spoke to her and she cocked a brow as he took the flower from her fingers. "But I do suppose there are plenty more."
"This entire garden is devoted to roses," Elena reminded Tyrion. "Mother says she has never seen so many flowers before."
"I do not doubt it," Tyrion replied and handed her the rose. "You should keep it now that you have taken in."
Elena laughed as he handed her the rose and she kissed him on the cheek. "Why Lord Tyrion, are you presenting me with a flower?"
Tyrion smirked at her and moved his hand to his cheek, wondering if this was what it felt like to have some form of mother? Did they walk and read with their sons? Did they show affection? Tyrion didn't know, but he knew that Elena was sincere.
Elena stood up and twirled the flower in her hand as she saw Jaime advancing towards her, but her mouth hung open when she saw the two people walking behind her. She recognised Tywin immediately and she could make a reasoned guess that the woman with him was Cersei. She was slender and elegant, blonde curls falling down her back and her pale skin glowed in the sunlight. She was exactly like Jaime in the face, but there was a cold look to her which Jaime didn't have. Elena couldn't explain it, but she could sense that she did not like Elena straight away.
"You should have come for me before your father and sister arrived," Elena hissed as Jaime offered her his arm and ruffled Tyrion's hair.
"Tyrion," Tywin spoke before Jaime could say anything back to Elena. "What are you doing out here?"
"Yes," Cersei said and Elena picked up on her cold tone. "Shouldn't you be inside and out of sight?"
Elena couldn't help but tightly hold Jaime's arm when she heard her spoke in such a cold and calculating tone. It was horrible, but Lord Tywin did nothing about it. It was then when Elena looked down to Tyrion and saw the hurt on the young boy's face. She wanted to do nothing more than reach down and assure him she would see him the following day.
And she did it. She didn't care what Tywin or Cersei thought of her. Could they begrudge her for being kind?
"I asked my mother if you could dine with her this evening," Elena said to Tyrion. "She said she would be glad to entertain you before greeting House Westerling. I think she said that she would meet you in the library."
Nodding, Tyrion rushed off and Jaime looked down to Elena as she bent at the waist and pecked him on the cheek. It took a few more moments for her to stand up, still holding the rose she held in her hands. Tywin regarded her coldly and Cersei looked at her with narrowed orbs.
"It is a pleasure to meet again, Lord Lannister," Elena curtseyed.
"And you, Lady Elena," Tywin said. "This is my daughter, Cersei of House Lannister."
"My Lady," Elena greeted with another curtsey, but Cersei did not return the gesture.
"What were you doing with the imp?" she asked from Elena. "He shouldn't be outside of his chambers."
"Cersei," Tywin warned his daughter and Jaime shook his head slowly. He didn't intend to make a fuss, but he didn't agree with anything Cersei said. "I am sure Lady Elena was merely being kind like a good bride should be for her husband."
"Jaime tells us that you have made certain that dinner is in the small hall this evening," Cersei spoke. "I had expected a grand feast, especially because it is the night before the tourney."
Elena felt worry run through her and Jaime took her arm once more.
"Elena thought that it would be nice to have an intimate meal. She has been working hard in the run up to this wedding. Perhaps this should be a nice break for her," Jaime suggested and Cersei looked at her twin, wondering why he was not taking her side.
"There are servants for that," Cersei reminded him.
"Regardless," Elena said, sensing that Cersei would not be happy with anything she did. "Perhaps we should head to the small hall? I have asked for dinner to be served before sunset. I thought that you might be hungry after riding all day and would care for an early night."
"Very thoughtful," Tywin mused and took Cersei by the arm and pulled her away.
Elena stood still for a moment and sighed as Jaime moved his hand to her cheek, his fingers curling around her skin as he urged her to look him in the eye. She did so and he nodded to her. She had handled herself well. It was only when he placed a kiss to her cheek did Cersei turn around to glare at her brother, wondering what he was doing and how she could stop the little whore from gaining her brother's affections.
A/N: Thanks to everyone reading and I hope you enjoyed the chapter. Please do let me know what you think!
Chapter 8
"The meat is overcooked."
Elena listened to Cersei complain for what seemed like the hundredth time that evening. She had taken the seat next to her husband to be when Cersei demanded that she sit next to Jaime after claiming to have missed him dearly in her time away from him. Elena had smiled courteously and allowed her to take that seat before settling down next to Tywin on the opposite side of the table.
Keeping her gaze on the meat, Elena folded her hands into her lap whilst chewing on the piece of beef. She placed her small hand to her mouth when she swallowed and Cersei continued to pick at her food.
"The meat is just fine," Tywin was the one to answer.
"I never was keen on beef," Cersei rolled her eyes and leant back in her seat, placing her knife and fork together on her plate.
"I apologise, Lady Cersei," Elena said. "I would have asked for a different meal should I have known."
"And it is too cold up here." Cersei complained once more and Jaime looked over at his bride to be.
He could tell that she was deflated. She was tired and scared of what could happen. She continued to stare down to her plate and Jaime wondered if she was about to burst into tears. Tywin merely glowered at his only daughter. He knew that Cersei could be manipulative. She was clever, but with that cleverness there was emotion in relation to her twin brother. Tywin was well aware of that.
"Jaime, perhaps you could escort me to find a shawl before the cakes are served?" Cersei said and she stood up, not giving Jaime a chance to argue against her wish.
Shaking his head, Tywin slurped on his wine and then stood up. "I think that I shall retire for the evening. It has been a long day, but I do thank you for the meal, Lady Elena. Perhaps you shall make a fine bride yet."
Elena nodded her thanks as Jaime stood up and Cersei stared at Elena with those narrowed eyes which could pierce through anyone's heart. Standing tall, Jaime allowed Cersei to grip at his arm as he escorted her from the small hall. Elena remained seated amongst the half eaten plates and heard the door close behind her. It was then when she slumped back in her seat and drained her cup of wine and picked up a small carrot without her cutlery.
Jaime nodded to his father as he left in the other direction of the corridor and Cersei clutched his arm tighter then. Jaime was in half a mind to take his sister as roughly as possible, but the other half of his mind wanted to scold her for being so rude to Elena. Jaime may not love the Marcel girl, but he knew that she did not deserve the horrid comments Cersei had made earlier.
"I have missed you more than you could imagine," Cersei whispered to Jaime. "Men in King's Landing plead with me to marry them...but I could is a shame you are so weak..."
"Do you think that I want to marry Elena?" Jaime wondered back and they entered Cersei's chamber.
He slammed the door shut and it was then when he saw that his sister was angry with him. What right did she have to be annoyed with him? He had done nothing wrong.
"I do not know what you want," Cersei responded. "I saw you kiss her cheek!"
"And do you think that means anything to me?" Jaime snapped back, all thoughts of Cersei now consuming him. She truly knew nothing. "I tried to run away the same night our engagement was announced."
"You didn't try hard enough," Cersei snapped and she sat down on the edge of her bed once she had picked her shawl up from the armchair. "You look at her as though you would be happy to marry her."
"I would be happier marrying you," Jaime snapped. "Father caught wind of my plan to join the Kingsguard and he stopped it before anything could happen. He is suspicious of us already. We cannot give him more reason to doubt us if we are to continue being together."
Cersei shook her head, her blonde curls bouncing around her back and shoulders as Jaime took a seat next to her and moved his hand to her back before his other hand took hold of her fingers inside of his. How could he have been so foolish to think that he might be happy with Elena when he had Cersei? Having his twin back with him made him realise that.
"I thought that you would do anything for me," Cersei whispered and Jaime sighed before kissing her cheek. "I thought that you wanted no one but me."
"I don't want anyone but you," Jaime replied.
"Then prove it to me," she urged him. "Find a way to call off this wedding. Find a way to get rid of the girl and join the Kingsguard."
"And how do you suggest I do that?" Jaime wondered. "Would you have me kill her?"
"If needs must," Cersei said flatly and Jaime looked to her, wondering if she was serious. He stood up then and looked to her as she folded one leg over the other.
"And when you marry?" Jaime wondered. "I already pleaded for you to run with me and you refused. Do you expect me to kill your husband too? How long do you think this can go on for?"
"Tell father the girl is not pure," Cersei said. "She looks like a whore. I saw the way she was speaking with Tyrion. Perhaps she could marry him when he comes of age? She is the only woman who seems to be able to stand being near him."
Jaime looked to Cersei and she stood up, moving towards her twin slowly until her hands were cupping his neck and her thumbs stroked his pale skin. She looked up to him and saw her naive twin brother. Jaime was devoted to her and she knew that, but he needed to be fully devoted if he wanted to keep her. He could not do that if he had a wife.
She moved to whisper in his ear, her breath warm as she wrapped her fingers into his blonde hair.
"I want you more than any man...the thought of sharing you with another woman...I cannot bear it, Jaime. You have to know that."
Jaime watched on with wide orbs before Cersei pressed her lips to his and he knew then that she truly was the only woman who could hold his heart.
Elena was still slumped in her seat as the servants cleared the table and asked her if she would have the cakes served. She nodded and they came out before Jaime returned with Cersei. Elena didn't know how long she had been sat at the table, her fingers drumming against the table as she did so. But it was only then when she picked up a small lemon cake and bit on it. She didn't care where Jaime or Cersei had gotten to. She thought that perhaps they had abandoned her at the meal.
Was this what her life was to be now? She had never felt truly alone at Casterly Rock. She had been busy and she had always had company, but now she did feel alone.
Jaime's footsteps were quiet as he walked back to the small hall. He stood in the doorway and tucked his shirt back into his breeches as he raked a hand through his hair and looked to Elena. She was leant back in her chair, picking at cakes from her plate and sipping at wine. A moment of guilt came through him as he realised that he had left his bride to be alone for what must have seemed like an eternity.
He walked into the room then, resting his hand on Elena's shoulder as he took the seat next to hers. She startled as Jaime sat down and picked at a cake.
It was only then when he saw that she had been crying. Her eyes were red rimmed and her cheeks were tinted red.
"I see that you couldn't wait."
"And how long did you want me to wait?" Elena whispered back, her eyes set straight ahead of her body.
"Elena, why-"
"-Don't," she urged him, sniffing and making a move to stand up.
Jaime allowed her, watching as the blue gown she wore got caught in her chair and she almost tumbled over. She caught the edge of the table, knocking a cup of wine onto her gown. She cursed as the redness of the wine stained against the blue of her dress. Jaime sighed and stood up as she smoothed out her gown and tears continued to spill down her face.
"Just leave me alone," Elena sniffed as Jaime stood in front of her and placed his hands on her shoulders, his fingers curling around her slim figure.
"What is the matter?" he wondered.
"I just spilled wine on a new gown," Elena grumbled and Jaime shook his head as she looked to his chest. "Just let me go and change."
"You were crying before the wine," Jaime informed her and she placed her hands on his wrists, trying to push him from her. But Jaime was stronger than she was and he kept his hands firmly on her shoulders. He moved one hand to her chin and curled his fingers around her chin to force her gaze to his.
"Your sister hates me," Elena finally spoke.
Jaime rolled his eyes. So this was about the dinner.
"She sat there and insulted me as often as possible...and I do not know what I have done to her..." Elena said, shaking her head. "And then you left me alone in here and for the first time since I came here I felt alone. I was surrounded by my future family, but I felt lonely. It's pathetic, and I do know that."
Jaime was almost tempted to agree with her as he dropped her chin from his hands and she finally turned from him. He was quicker, catching her around the waist to stop her from going anywhere. She startled at the sudden intimate contact, her gaze widening as Jaime tucked her hair behind her ear, thinking about his sister's words.
Ruin her...question her virtue...give her moon tea to make her seem barren so you can dispose of her...just do not sit happily with her like some lovelorn fool...that is not you...
Gulping, Jaime thought of what he should do before he swiftly bent down to kiss her on the forehead and she leant against him, not too sure why she craved his comfort.
"My sister is a hard woman to please."
"But I displeased her as soon as she saw me," Elena said. "Does she not think me worthy of the Lannister name? Is that why she detests me?"
"Cersei detests everyone. My father is the only one you should be concerned with pleasing, and you managed to do just that today," Jaime assured her and she shrugged against him as she looked up to him.
"And you?"
"What about me?" Jaime wondered back from her.
"Have I managed to please you just yet?" she asked from him. "I know that we both do not love each other, but we have managed to grow closer over these past few weeks, haven't we?"
Jaime looked away from her then. Gods, why did she look at him with those doe eyes? Why did she look to him as though he truly was the one she wanted to please? He had no idea, but he did know that he couldn't bring himself to shake his head at her. He couldn't bring himself to snarl at her about how he had just fucked his sister whilst she sat here all alone.
"You are a sweet lady, Elena," he replied impartially and kissed her forehead once more. "Do not concern yourself over me. You should go and get some rest."
Elena shook her head and rubbed her eyes with her fists as Jaime took her arm inside of his.
"I need to go and greet Lord and Lady Westerling," she responded quickly. "I told mother that I would and they expect to see me."
"And they can wait until tomorrow morning," Jaime promised her and she continued to stare at him. "You are beyond exhaustion, Elena. Besides, you are in no fit state to go and greet people. Now come along, I am taking you to your chamber and you will sleep."
"Is that an order?" Elena appeared startled and Jaime smirked before leading her from the hall, picking a cake up on his way.
"Consider it an order to save your sanity," Jaime nodded and stuffed the cake into his mouth before leading Elena back to her chamber, handling her delicately like a husband should handle his wife. And it was then when Jaime realised that he couldn't break Elena like his sister wished.
A/N: I am so overwhelmed by everyone who is currently loving this story! I'm having so much fun writing it and the reviews have been so lovely. I do hope you'll stick with me as this story could go on for quite a while to come. Please do review in the meantime!
Chapter 9
Elena spent much longer brushing through her hair the following morning due to sleeping on it when it was wet. She tugged the brush through her curls before her mother came in the help her pick an outfit for the day. Mary laughed at her daughter's hair which resembled a bush before helping her to comb it to look presentable.
"I saw the Lady Cersei at breakfast this morning," her mother informed her. "She wears her hair like a proper Southern lady. Have you ever thought of doing something other than allowing yours to hang limply down your back?"
Elena scoffed at the mere mention of doing something to her hair. "You know that I merely endure having it brushed: anything else would be a danger to the woman combing it. I have no patience to braid it or play with it."
"Even as a child you were always insufferable," Mary concluded. "You never used to let anyone brush your hair. You have mellowed slightly."
"I am glad," Elena replied. "And I am sorry for not greeting Lord and Lady Westerling last night."
"Oh," Mary responded, recalling the previous night.
She had to admit that she and Lady Westerling had spent far too much time chatting and drinking to recall exactly what had happened by the end of the night, but she did remember one thing.
"Jaime came to greet them. He said that he had seen you to bed after you grew tired. He was weary for your health. He was most pleasant so you really do not have anything to worry over."
Elena's brows furrowed as her mother finished with her hair and pulled open the doors to her intricate wardrobe, searching for a suitable gown to wear. She clucked her tongue whilst Elena tried to think of why Jaime would spend his time with people he had no inclination to meet. His time moaning and groaning about the lords and ladies attending the tourney had not fallen on deaf ears.
"That was kind of him," Elena responded.
"Very," Mary agreed. "I am glad to see that you two are trying to build a relationship. You no longer look disappointed when he walks into a room."
Elena shrugged and stood from her vanity, tucking her stool underneath it and moving to stand next to her mother, peering into the wardrobe with intent.
"There is no reason to mourn," Elena said. "I have known for years that I would marry a highborn lord...but when the time is hard to accept that, but I think we have grown to make the best of our situation."
Mary squeezed her daughter's shoulder tightly and beamed radiantly. "And I only hope your situation continues to get better."
Elena had told her mother that she would seek Jaime out before the tourney, knowing that it was only respectable to wish him the best of luck before it begun. She made her way out towards the vast grass area which was housing the tents as people conversed and joked around her. They inclined their heads as she passed them and she gave them each a grateful smile in return. She wore a sheer pink dress for the day, the material loose on her body to stop the sun from warming her too much. Her hands hung down in her skirts, holding them up as the rows of red tents didn't seem to end.
Swords were being sharpened, lances were being tested and horses were being fed. Each man was determined to win the champion's prize of a thousand dragon coins. Elena had deemed it fit to ask Lord Tywin how much money the champion should win. She had no intention of spending money which did not belong to her.
Elena finally came to Jaime's tent and the flap blew open in the soft breeze. She paused for a moment and noted Jaime stood in the tent, fully sheathed in his armour and a helmet underneath his arm. His squire poured him a cup of wine as Elena made her presence known and stepped into the tent.
Jaime turned around once he heard her and sipped at his wine.
"Shouldn't you be with your parents and my family?" he wondered from her and she nodded.
"The crowds are still assembling. I told the majority of them that there would be wine served on the way to their seats. It seemed to hurry the men up, at least," Elena shrugged and Jaime smirked at her.
She took in the way his silver armour gleamed and the attention to detail on it. Lannister red occasionally poked out from the uniform and the Lion decorated his chest.
"Would you care for a seat?" Jaime asked and then turned to his squire. "Pour Lady Elena a cup of wine and then see if you can be of use to anyone else."
The blonde squire quickly did as he was told and Elena smiled at him as she took the wine and Jaime motioned to the chair by the desk which contained the jug. She settled down in the seat and he remained stood, making sure that his armour was securely fastened as she sipped on her wine.
"You went to greet the Westerlings last night," she suddenly commented.
Jaime arched a brow and nodded, seemingly more interested in his armour than in her. "You mentioned that you intended to go to them. I thought it only right that one of us went. I only stayed for one cup of wine as they congratulated us on our marriage."
"Thank you."
"What for?" Jaime asked her.
"For doing something I know that you would have begrudged doing," she said and Jaime let out a low laugh at hearing that. "You have only moaned to me about things for weeks."
"I hardly moan," Jaime said.
"You really do," she rebutted quickly and Jaime scoffed.
"Do you know who you are to ride against first?" Elena asked when they lapsed into silence.
"Not the Mountain, thank the Gods," Jaime said and gulped down another cup of wine. "Some knight from the Riverlands who has travelled to the Westerlands. They truly do come from all over to see a good wedding."
"I know," Elena said. "I did the numbers."
"I thought Tyrion did the numbers?"
"Is that what he's telling you?" Elena joked, her tone mockingly angry as her fist hit the arm of the chair. "He is always trying to take credit for everything I do. Honestly, that child."
Jaime grinned at hearing her and a small smile fell onto her face too. Jaime placed his cup down on the table and refilled it with more wine.
"You truly do care for him, don't you?" Jaime checked, looking down and to the side at Elena as she sat in the chair.
She was sat up straight, a nice view down the gap in between her dress for Jaime to ogle. It was then when he recalled his sister and their night together whilst his betrothed waited for him to return to her. Elena may not be a comely woman, but she was a kind woman. She had her mother to thank for that.
"He is a sweet boy, Jaime," she replied. "Unnecessarily clever, but sweet."
"I am glad you think so," Jaime responded.
It was then when his squire returned and squeaked out to Jaime how he was requested to come and seat himself on his horse. He drained the last of the wine and Elena placed her cup next to his on the table before moving to pull a handkerchief she had stuffed down the front of her dress. She looked to Jaime as she held it out to him and he looked back to her, his lips upwards in a cocky gesture at where the handkerchief had been hidden.
"I had no pockets," Elena explained. "And I told you that I would give you a handkerchief."
"It is blue." He replied.
"House Marcel is known for the blue roses they grow. We do not have many, but we have a few. We need to be known for something," Elena shrugged back and Jaime took the handkerchief from her and placed it into the crook of his neck.
"Perhaps it will bring me luck should I face the Mountain," Jaime told her and she groaned at the thought of him facing a man so large. "He is scarcely older than me, but I would be a fool to want to fight him."
"But you are too proud to purposefully lose so that you do not have to face him," Elena replied and Jaime shook his head before offering her his arm.
She took hold of it and he led her from the tent and towards the courtyard where the tourney was to be staged. The roaring of crowds could already be heard as Jaime picked on a squire and then looked down to Elena.
"Try not to injure yourself," she said and Jaime nodded.
"I will do my best," he assured her and she nodded before turning from him and to the squire who was to escort her back to her seat.
It was then when she quickly turned back around and kissed him on the cheek. He looked shocked for a moment, wondering when she had ever been the one to offer him a peck to the cheek before. She smiled and turned red before taking the squire by his arm and speaking with him as he led her to her seat.
"And what do you think of Lord Jaime's chances?" Elena asked after she recognised the squire boy to be someone who had helped her set up the tourney.
"He is a good swordsman, m'lady," he told her. "But his jousting isn't as great as people say it is. I saw him once at Willem Frey's wedding tourney when I went with Ser Marley to squire for him."
Elena smiled at the boy's naive honesty as she kept hold of his arm and wandered down the rows of people who drank and chatted amongst themselves.
"And have you every squired for a Lannister?"
"Never, m'lady," the boy said. "I have always squired to House Marley until I was sent her to act as a serving boy."
"That is quite a step down," Elena commented as they neared the middle of the congregation where she had placed her own family and Jaime's family. "Why were you sent away?"
"My master said I was useless...I didn't know what to do...I did try my hardest..." he assured her.
"I do not doubt," Elena responded. "Perhaps Lord Jaime requires another squire once he begins to learn his duties for Lord of Casterly Rock. I could always ask him to take you on if you would like."
"That means I don't have to wash anymore dirty breeches?" the boy looked hopeful and Elena laughed and nodded.
"Yes," she assured him.
"Yes please, m'lady," he said with a vigorous nod as they stood at the bottom of the platform and Elena ruffled his hair before making her way up the steps.
She took her seat to Tywin's left as he sat in the middle, his eyes set ahead as they waited for the tourney to begin. Her mother and father were seated further back, whispering to each other and Elena wondered if they had finally managed to speak amicably after weeks of bickering. When her father was sober things were always better.
"Quite the people of the lower classes," Cersei's voice suddenly entered Elena's ears and she did her best not to look downtrodden as she took her seat next to her. "First you entertain the imp and now you entertain squires. Perhaps you like younger men? Jaime would be disappointed to hear that."
Elena couldn't think of a snide comment to reply with. Her witty remarks usually came so quickly when she was with Jaime, but there was something about Cersei where her mouth dried up and all she could think to do was spend her time apologising.
"Your brother has been very kind to me," was all that Elena could reply with.
"I wonder if he would be so kind if he knew you laughed with other men who were lower than you," Cersei said. "How many squires have you joked with before? Is it them you take to bed in the evening?"
It was only then when Elena's mouth hung open and a snarl formed on Cersei's upper lip. Elena could scarcely believe what she had just heard fall from the girl's mouth. It made her feel disgusted and degraded. She was no harlot nor would she ever be.
Thankfully Elena could only stare on as Cersei turned her gaze in front of her as the sound of trumpets bellowed over everyone's chatter. Elena felt her blood boil slightly, but she did her best not to let it show. She kept still with her head held high. She refused to let Cersei demean her.
The crowd roared loudly and clapped. Elena sat in her seat, laughing and gasping when appropriate and when the other members of the crowd did. She watched as Jaime finally entered the courtyard on his white horse and she felt herself lean forwards in her seat slightly as a knight with thunderbolts on his armour stepped forwards.
Elena watched as they were introduced and Elena clapped loudly for Jaime. She couldn't see his face, but she wondered whether he was nervous. There were a lot of expectations, and many people assumed Jaime would win. The horses suddenly charged at each other and Jaime knocked his opponent off with one simple hit. Elena confessed that she was slightly impressed. It had taken the other men about three attempts on average. Tyrion jumped from his seat and clapped loudly as Jaime allowed his horse to trot back down the length of the dirt covered courtyard.
He pulled his helmet from his head and Elena noted that he was sweating profusely and his hair was sticking to his neck.
"Has he always been so talented?" Elena dared to ask Tywin as she looked across to him and Tyrion continued to clap, a frown on his face as he did so.
"Jaime would often prefer to spend his time with a lance in his hand rather than a pen," Tywin said and Elena wondered if she noted a tone of resentment from him. "He enjoys a fight, but if he stays on form then he risks taking the Mountain on."
"Do you not think that he could defeat him?" Elena asked and Tywin shrugged, looking bored as Jaime shook the fallen man's hand.
"I think he will live if Clegane wishes to keep his holdfast," Tywin replied and Elena gulped before Tyrion looked to his father as Tywin turned his narrow glare onto his son, sensing that he wanted to ask a question.
"May I be excused momentarily?" Tyrion asked.
"Why would I care?" Tywin responded dryly and Elena stood up and offered Tyrion her arm, lowering it slightly for him to take hold of it.
"And where is it you want escorting to?" Elena asked from him, walking past Cersei without glancing at the woman as she took the steps down the platform.
It was only then when Cersei moved and settled down on Elena's empty chair and whispered into her father's ear about her suspicions of Elena Marcel.
Tyrion kept silent as he walked past the crowds. He heard them whispering about him. How could he not? He was a dwarf. He knew what he was. Jaime looked on for a few moments as he stood at the edge of the courtyard and noted his bride to be with his brother wandering to the corridor which led to the gardens behind the castle. He continued to speak with the knights for a few a moments before he decided to catch up with Elena and Tyrion.
They were already by the gardens and perched on a bench when Jaime caught them, his clunking armour announcing his arrival.
"You're missing the show," Jaime said as Tyrion stopped telling Elena what it was that concerned him and he looked to his brother. "I am due to joust again in another hour or so."
"I will be back for that time," Tyrion promised with a low nod to Jaime and Elena bit down on her cheek. "Should you not be celebrating? Or getting drunk so you do not feel the Mountain's lance through your chest?"
"I think I will survive," Jaime promised his brother and sat down next to Elena, his arm behind her and his fingers wrapping around the stone bench. "Has father been mean, Tyrion?"
"Father has barely acknowledged my existence," Tyrion replied with a bow of his head. "Cersei scowls at me whenever she can. I can feel everyone looking at me in the courtyard. They look at me from every direction and whisper. I know that they do."
"They only whisper because they have nothing better to do with their time," Elena promised him, resting her hand on his shoulder. "You should not pay them any attention. You are a Lannister and you are above all of them."
"Elena is right," Jaime agreed. "I shall speak with father and Cersei-"
"-And say what?" Tyrion asked. "I might just be a child, but I know that they look at me with disgust and that will never change. They blame me for mother's death."
"You are not responsible," Elena promised him. "Your mother would be looking down at you and she would not blame you for her death."
"How do you know?" Tyrion replied and Elena smiled before she moved to kneel on the floor in front of Tyrion and she took hold of his hands.
"My mother gave birth to two boys after she had me," Elena said. "I was only a little girl when it happened. She blamed herself for their deaths. She said that she was responsible...but...her mother told her that her babes would be in a better place. She told my mother that they would not blame her. And do you want to know why?"
Tyrion nodded and Elena wondered if he was close to tears as his eyes widened and seemed to grow wetter.
"Because we do not blame the people we love," she said. "And I am sure your mother loved you and would never blame you."
Tyrion felt Elena squeeze his hands and Jaime watched on as she kissed him on the cheek and he couldn't help but feel something inside of him warm up at her words. She was gentle and nurturing. She looked at Tyrion as though they were already related. Yes, she may not be clever. She may not be beautiful. She would never have married a well off lord with her looks. She wasn't charming. She couldn't make men fall to their knees. She couldn't sew and she was terribly shy around people who intimidated her. But she was kind. She had a kindness in her eyes that Jaime could not deny. Some may call her weak, whilst others may call her naive.
"So you see," Elena said and she stood and helped Tyrion to his feet, "your mother could never hate you, and if your sister and father refuse to spend time with you then they are missing out. Would you not say so, Jaime?"
Jaime blinked profusely as he snapped himself out of his thoughts and nodded his agreement with her. She smiled to him and Jaime watched her push her hair behind her ear.
"You have me, Tyrion," was all that Jaime could say.
"And if you want to wander the gardens until your brother jousts again then so be it," Elena decreed. "Actually, I do believe that there is a balcony right above the courtyard. We could sit there and eat lemon cakes and drink water whilst Jaime jousts? No one would ever spot us."
Tyrion smiled then and nodded at her in agreement before Jaime rested his hand onto her arm and looked to his brother.
"Would you mind if I stole my bride for a moment?" he asked and Tyrion nodded before Jaime steered Elena to the corridor behind the gardens.
"What you just said to him...why did you do that?"
"Because he is a boy, Jaime," Elena replied. "He is a boy and it seems to me that he has not known what it is like to be loved by his own family. I look at him and I see a sadness inside of him which should not exist in a boy his age. Is it so wrong for me to try and aid him?"
Jaime shook his head then and Elena smiled softly.
"No one has ever tried before," he told her.
"Maybe someone should start to," Elena whispered back and Jaime kissed her cheek, something conflicting inside of him as he watched Elena move her hand to where her handkerchief poked out. "It has brought you luck so far."
"Let us hope it continues to," Jaime responded. "And thank you for looking after him."
"It is a pleasure, Jaime," she replied. "You should get back and rest before the next joust."
He watched Elena wander back into the gardens, bending down to offer Tyrion her arm as she spoke to him in a dramatic tone;
"We should go and find the lemon cakes before anyone else gets to them. I've heard that magical gremlins live in the kitchens when no one is around...they sneak out of the cracks in the woodwork."
Jaime laughed as he heard her and she heard him, turning her head over her shoulder she shot him a small smile as Tyrion questioned her and she looked offended.
Shaking his head and rolling his eyes, Jaime kept his smirk on his face as he wandered back down the corridor only to bump into his father and his sister following him. Tywin's face was one of thunder and Jaime stood still, wondering what was happening.
"Is it true?" Tywin demanded from Jaime.
"Is what true?" Jaime wondered with knitted brows.
"Your bride to be is no virgin," Tywin stormed. "Where is the girl?"
Jaime looked to Cersei and knew that this was her work. She gave him a confident smile and Jaime knew that he could not let Elena fall into ruin. It would not be the honourable thing to do, and when it came to Elena Marcel, Jaime was an honourable man.
A/N: Thank you so very much to everyone who has reviewed! I do hope you enjoyed the chapter!
Chapter 10
"I don't think it is possible to love someone you have just met," Tyrion informed Elena as they sat on the balcony overlooking the tourney together.
Elena had settled down on the floor, folding her legs underneath her and resting the plate of lemon cakes in between her and Tyrion. Tyrion crossed his legs and continued to lean forwards to pick at the lemon cakes. He had brought up love to Elena and she had told him that she thought it took time for someone to fall in love with someone else.
"Most certainly not," Elena agreed with him as jeering continued beneath them and a man fell from his horse. "You need to know someone to be certain that you love them...and you need to gain their trust...not to mention they need to learn how to trust you..."
Elena shifted her weight onto one hand, holding her upper body up as she picked at a lemon cake and sucked her fingers clean.
"Will you love my brother?" Tyrion asked and Elena kept a finger in her mouth for more than a few seconds before withdrawing and shrugging at Tyrion.
"I cannot say," she answered honestly. "I do think that he is a good man."
"Even though he is arrogant?" Tyrion checked and Elena laughed heartedly at hearing him. Tyrion almost smiled as he heard her and she shook her head.
"I suppose he can be rather big headed occasionally," she nodded in agreement with him. "But he loves you dearly and he knows what is right and what is wrong. I could have a husband who does not care for me."
"Jaime likes you," Tyrion assured her with a stiff nod. "He smiles at you...normally he just smirks..."
"He does a bit of both," Elena mused before Tyrion peered through the gapes in the stonework to look over the courtyard.
The sight of his father dragging Cersei back to the platform was visible. Jaime walked behind him, his strides long and purposeful as he went. Cocking a brow, Elena wondered why they all appeared so angry with each other. She watched her father stand along with her mother before Tywin curtly dismissed them and Cersei sat down, her arms folded over her chest.
"What do you think is wrong with them?" Tyrion asked Elena.
"I have no idea," she muttered back. "Your sister looks angry and Jaime has just stormed off. Do you think that I should go and speak with them?"
"No," Tyrion replied. "I never speak to my father when he is angry. He just gets angrier. Jaime will tell us after the tourney."
"Yes," Elena said.
Truth be known, she didn't want to go down to find out what was wrong. She would rather live in peace for a while than face the wrath of the Lannisters. And she didn't want to leave Tyrion alone to watch the tourney. They remained seated until they saw Jaime again. He sat tall on his horse, but Elena sensed that there was something different about him. He made his horse gallop faster than usual and held his lance at a different angle. It was only when it made contact with the other knight did Elena stand up and clutch the stone ledge. Tyrion did the same, his mouth agape as he watched his brother fly through the air until he landed in the dirt. Elena shook her head and placed her hand over her mouth as Jaime stirred in the ground.
It took a few more moments for Jaime to sit up and pull his helmet from his head and cough for breath. A squire rushed to help him, but Jaime refused his help. He stood on his own accord and placed a hand to his neck as his body ached. He looked to his father and sister before storming away from the crowds who were whispering about his shock defeat.
"At least he seems well," Elena whispered to Tyrion and he nodded at her. "And now he doesn't need to face the Mountain."
"He looked really angry," Tyrion spoke.
Elena found out why a few minutes later when Jaime came storming onto the balcony from the spare guest chamber. He looked at Elena with a low glare and she wondered what she had done since the last time she had seen him less than an hour ago.
"Elena, I need a word," he demanded and ignored Tyrion as his brother looked between the two of them.
Elena ruffled Tyrion's hair and followed Jaime through the chamber. He was two paces ahead of her as they came to the corridor and he took her across it to another spare chamber. He slammed the door shut and she watched him begin to pace.
"What is it?" she wondered. "Have I done something to displease you?"
Her voice was small and worried as Jaime turned back to look at her. She was stood with her hands in her skirts, as if to stop her from trembling. Standing tall, Jaime shook his head at her.
"You have done nothing to displease me...but my sister claims that she has heard a rumour to question your...well...innocence..."
"My innocence?" Elena asked and Jaime nodded before Elena's mouth gaped open in realisation. "Before I left...she mentioned something about me...she called me a whore...but you know that I am not, Jaime. I am innocent. I do not know where these rumours started, but they are not true. I promise you."
Nodding as Elena started to take deep breaths, Jaime moved over to her and took her cheeks in his hands, cradling her softly as tears rolled from her eyes and she wondered where the rumours could have started from. Of course, Jaime knew full well that his sister had started them. He was no fool.
"I defended you to my father," he promised her. "I knew that you would never lose your innocence before you wedding."
"No girl should," Elena said. "Did he believe you on the matter?"
"He asked your parents and they assured him that they were lies," Jaime nodded to her. "My father merely wonders where the rumours started. There are multiple people who could have started them who wish to marry me to someone else. Many noble houses..."
Jaime didn't know why he was lying for his sister. He didn't know what good it would bring him, but he felt better knowing that he had protected Elena's virtue.
"Did you not have a chance to ask your sister where she heard the rumours from?" Elena wondered and Jaime knew that he had to think quickly when she asked him such an obvious question.
"I did not," Jaime replied. "But father has demanded it not to spread any further to keep you safe. I do wonder if he will wish to be certain of your innocence...but a septa can be certain of that another day..."
"Is my word not enough?" Elena asked. "Can you not see that I am telling the truth?"
Nodding back to her, Jaime brushed her hair behind her shoulder in a tender motion. It was much more tender than usual.
"I know," he said, "but my father is not me. He does not take these things lightly. You are to become a Lannister. You are to be the future Lady Lannister and that is important."
"Who would do this to me?" Elena suddenly snapped and commenced her pacing up and down the guest chamber. "I have done my best not to upset anyone since I arrived here."
"-And now someone wishes to defile my virtue! I have tried my best not to be cruel about others. I have done my best to be a good bride to you-"
"-But I don't think it is enough. If someone wants to be so cruel as to ruin my reputation then I shall find out who they are. I have done no ill and I do not believe people should be cruel for no given reason...but I intend to find out who started the rumour and I shall be cruel."
Jaime watched as she stopped pacing and he dropped his hands to his armour covered hips. Elena looked at him, her face contorted with anger and Jaime wondered if she really would go against Cersei. Did she have it in her to be as cruel as his sister? Jaime knew she didn't, but she was clearly aggrieved with what she had just heard. Of course, he could scarcely blame her.
"I shall speak with your sister," Elena said confidently to him. "I shall ask her who started this foul rumour."
Jaime didn't think he had ever seen Elena so angry before. She stormed forwards and away from the room. Tyrion was in the corridor and Elena couldn't even bring herself to smile at him as she swept past. Jaime followed her, his armour clanking as he went.
"Is Elena alright?" Tyrion asked and Jaime shook his head.
"You enjoy the tourney," he urged his brother as his bride moved to the spiral staircase.
Jaime sighed and began to run, finally grabbing hold of Elena by her arm to stop her from going any further. She whirled around to look up to Jaime and he saw her red tinted cheeks before he stood on the same step as her.
"You can't rush out there and make accusations," Jaime urged her.
"I am not intending to make any accusations," Elena replied. "I want to know who started this lie. That is a question and not an accusation."
Rolling his eyes, Jaime kept her elbow in his hand before he noted someone moving up the steps and towards them. He groaned as he saw his father and Elena's parents. Cersei was loitering at the back, her eyes travelling to Jaime and she flashed him a confident smile.
"Elena," Mark Marcel snapped at his daughter and she looked down to him. "Come here."
She moved down the steps, trying not to trip on her gown as her father looked down to her. She still wasn't best pleased with her father after his recent behaviour in Casterly Rock. She was more thankful that her mother had her arm around her shoulders instantly.
"Is it true, girl?" Tywin asked, knowing that he didn't need to ask her what was true.
"No," Elena shook her head. "I am innocent. I can promise you that. I merely wish to know who said otherwise? Surely this gossip has only just begun? No one has whispered such a thing before."
Tywin cocked a brow then and nodded in agreement with her. He had not heard of this news until his daughter had told him. He looked to Cersei and Jaime was tempted to tell his father that he knew where the rumour had started. But would he then guess that Jaime and Cersei still loved each other more than they should as siblings? And why would Cersei wish to dishonour Elena? Well, most people would put it down to spite and Cersei's mean spirit, but Tywin would know better than that.
"Cersei," Tywin spoke her name. "Who told you of this rumour?"
"A handmaiden...I heard them whispering in the corridors," Cersei lied to her father.
"And who were these handmaidens?"
"Do you think that I remember the name of every single handmaiden in the Casterly Rock?" Cersei scoffed.
Tywin glowered at her as she folded her arms around her body and nodded. Elena allowed her mother to keep her in his arms as Jaime remained silent.
"Then there is no other option," Tywin hissed. "We shall check the girl to be certain she is innocent."
The shame was evident on Elena's face and Cersei was trying to conceal her smirk.
"Lord Tywin," Mary pleaded. "I promise you that Elena has never done anything-"
"-A septa shall check her to be certain."Tywin interrupted.
It was then when Jaime intervened. He stepped down the final steps and shook his head.
"No," Jaime said confidently and Tywin looked at him.
"No?" he echoed.
"No," Jaime shrugged again. "I believe her. If she is to be my bride then I need to trust her, do I not? How can a relationship be built if there is no trust? And you are always telling me to try and make something from this marriage. So no, I will not believe gossip from handmaidens," Jaime shot Cersei a dark glare, "and I shall not have my bride humiliated. I do believe that is all there is to it."
Jaime moved forwards and took Elena by her hand and began to drag her away from the scene. She clutched tightly to his arm and continued to hold his hand as Tywin called after his son. Jaime heard their footsteps approach and only when he rounded the corner did he looked down at Elena.
"Run," he urged her.
And she did just that. She ran beside Jaime as he led her through the corridors and pushed past all of those who stood in his way. He finally slowed when they reached the library where Tyrion spent all of his time. Jaime dismissed the servant who was placing the books away and he then locked the door.
"You just did a foolish thing," Elena said to him. "Your father will be fuming with us."
"He will calm down," Jaime assured her, trying to untie his armour from his body. He struggled awkwardly and Elena noticed.
She moved over to him as he stood in the middle of the bright room. She held him still with a gentle touch and then moved to help loosen the straps on his body. Jaime pulled her blue handkerchief from his neck and smiled sadly to it.
"It didn't help," he informed her and she shook her head.
"It helped to save you from facing the Mountain," she shrugged and Jaime caught his heavy armour as it fell from him and Elena bent slightly to tug at the ties near his waist. "And how long do you think we can hide in here for?"
"Until father stops yelling," Jaime said.
"And you defended me..."
"Would you have preferred for me not to?" Jaime wondered back. "I can easily have a septa spread your legs and check you."
"No," Elena said. "I're really full of surprises."
Jaime turned around as his upper body was cleared of armour which was discarded on the floor. He took hold of Elena by the arms, his fingers curling underneath her elbows as Elena rested her hands on his leather clad forearms.
"Good surprises?" Jaime wondered.
"They're turning out to be good."
"You bastard!" Cersei roared once she had gone to Jaime's chamber later on in the evening.
Jaime had snuck Elena back to her own chamber and bid her a goodnight before retiring himself. Cersei had been sat there waiting for Jaime. He entered the chamber and began to pull his jerkin from his body.
"Good evening to you too, Cersei," Jaime replied. "And I should thank you for making my life a misery recently."
"You did that yourself," Cersei snapped back. "You are to wed that whore in less than a week. I was trying to help you!"
"I do not need your help. Father is to marry you off and he is to marry me off," Jaime shrugged back. "We can find a way to be together, but I will not have you dishonour Elena. She is far too kind to suffer your poisonous lies."
"Poisonous lies?" she repeated to him and Jaime nodded back at her.
"You know I speak the truth," he informed her. "Elena is as innocent as the purest virgin in Westeros. Discrediting her in such a manner is not acceptable."
Cersei continued to stare, her mouth agape and Jaime settled down on his bed, running a hand over his forehead.
"You are the woman I want, Cersei," Jaime assured her, "but Elena is a kind girl. She is sweet and loving...hurting her is not in my interest and I want you to leave her alone. I will marry her but you are not to torment her."
"You truly have no idea what I could do to her," Cersei spoke with a low hiss.
Jaime kept silent as Cersei stormed out of the room and he flopped onto his bed, closing his eyes and wondering what Cersei would do now.
The wedding was due to take place in less than two days and Elena had never felt so stressed. The flower arrangements were scarcely complete and her dress was still nowhere near to completion. Lord Tywin had glowered at her whenever she passed him by, but Jaime had continued to defend her. He promised his father that his bride would bleed on their wedding night.
Jaime had been by Elena's side for the past few days, constantly dragging her away when his father made an appearance. She had grown tired of hiding, but Jaime had assured her that it was necessary. Fortunately his father was too busy with King's Landing rumours to hunt them down at every given moment. They said that the Mad King was growing even madder. They also said that Lyanna Stark had been spirited away by Rhaegar Targaryen.
Tywin knew that a war was brewing. Jaime knew it too. He also knew that his father would be apprehensive about letting him fight, but Jaime wanted to fight. He wanted to learn how to be a warrior like his father. He had the skills, but he needed to test them.
"Elena." Jaime spoke her name as he sought her out one evening as the sun slowly lowered behind the sea. He had seen her settled in an alcove which was hidden in the corner of the garden. Her feet were curled underneath her and a book rested in her lap. It was only when he came closer did he see that her eyes were closed and her head drooping.
He suppressed a laugh at the sight of her and rolled his eyes as he bent down to tap her on the shoulder.
"Yes?" her eyes instantly opened and she looked up to him. "Oh, it's you."
"Only me," Jaime confirmed. "What are you doing out here? Your mother is searching for you. You have a dress fitting before supper."
"Another one?" she checked and Jaime sat next to her.
"How many have you had?"
"More than I can count," she grumbled. "The gown doesn't fit well on my figure. The seamstress keeps telling me that my non existence breasts are making for hard work."
Jaime snorted then and Elena's lips also turned up as he laughed and resisted the urge to look at the said asset in question. She leant back against the stone wall and looked out to sea, closing her book and placing it next to her as she uncurled from her position and stretched.
"You sought solace out here," Jaime clarified. "I know how you feel. The only time I can train is at night. It helps me to relax."
Elena bit down on her bottom lip and Jaime noted that she wore nothing but her sheer blue gown on her figure. She looked up to him and lowered her gaze as soon as his orbs found hers.
"I worry," she admitted. "I have seen you training...I have seen you defeated...and now people whisper a war is about to begin. I worry about whether or not your training will become real."
Jaime's brows knitted together. "You worry about me?"
"I am to be your wife," she reminded him. "Of course I worry about you. I admit that I have grown fond of you over the past few weeks. You may be arrogant are rather pleasant."
Jaime gulped and closed his eyes. The girl truly was falling for him. He liked Elena. He could not deny that he enjoyed her company, but he did not desire her. He was a man and of course he had some lust inside of him. But he never felt the desire to kiss her tenderly or fuck her roughly like he did with Cersei. He didn't know whether or not he could allow himself to feel like that.
"I have a duty," he warned her.
"I know," Elena whispered. "It just feels wrong that we are so involved with a wedding whilst war looms."
"Well," Jaime awkwardly spoke and he stood up to offer her his hand, "try not to think of war right now. We will worry about that if the time comes."
Elena nodded and took Jaime's fingers to help her up. She picked her book up and allowed him to escort her back to her mother. If only she knew that war should be the least of her concerns at that moment in time.
A/N: Thank you so much to everyone reading! I'm glad you're liking the story. Please do let me know what you think!
Chapter 11
Elena was a bag of nerves on the morning of the wedding. All she could do was sit still as her mother fussed around her and had her hair flattened. Elena had grown bored with waiting for her hair to be pinned to her head as the curls continued to defy wherever they were placed. She finally demanded for her hair to be left down and loose. Her mother was in dismay, but she could hardly argue with her daughter when she saw how stressed she was.
"You do look radiant," her mother assured her as she was placed into her dress and Elena looked at how long the trail was behind her.
It was an ivory colour with lace sleeves and a lace trail. The lace was in the shape of roses and it was sheer down her arms and down the trail. Everything looked so delicate that Elena could scarcely believe the seamstresses had managed to design it. The bodice was high on her chest, her breasts pushed upwards as far as possible without revealing too much. She had moaned and grumbled as her mother tightened the dress on her body.
"Do I?" Elena replied and Mary could see the nerves on her daughter's face.
She wished she could whisper to her how everything would be fine from now on. But she knew that nothing would relieve Elena. Her daughter had always been one to worry. She was a sweet girl, but she worried about everything.
"Lord Jaime will be a good husband to you," Mary promised as the handmaidens continued to rush around her, making sure that everything was prepared. "He is a kind man."
"I know," Elena said.
And she did know. She was well aware of how kind Jaime had recently been to her. That was one of his good traits.
"Does anything else need doing before the wedding? Have the flowers been seen to? And the cakes?"
Mary laughed gently and tapped her daughter on the shoulder, helping her down from the pedestal she had been placed on to fit her into her dress. She rested her hands on her shoulders and looked her in the eye.
"It is your wedding day, Elena," Mary spoke. "You do not need to worry about anything today. I shall see that it is all taken care of and you can spend your day in peace. The feast is set up in the gardens and the servants all know what it is they have to do."
"Fine...good..." Elena said and she tucked her hair behind her ears: a nervous trait. "And Jaime?"
"He is ready and waiting for you in the Sept. Your father is there too. I also made sure you had a nice red cloak. Lady Cersei had given one to Jaime which had a tear in it. No doubt the girl didn't know," Mary smiled warmly and Elena almost scoffed.
She didn't trust Cersei. Usually Elena was a trusting girl. She never wanted to be mean to anyone when she had no just cause. But Cersei was different. She was spiteful and Elena could see that. But Elena didn't know why. She didn't know what she had done that could make Cersei hate her so.
"Are you ready?" Mary asked her daughter and Elena shrugged.
"I suppose so."
The walk down to the Sept was long and slow as Elena did her best not to trip over her dress. She had two handmaidens carrying her train from the floor as she went. She could hear the crowds from inside of the Sept as she stood still and outside of the double doors. She kept silent, her hands in her skirts whilst her mother made sure that her hair was still as neat as possible and behind her shoulders to keep her face visible to the crowds.
"Deep breaths," Mary said lowly to her, kissing her on the cheek.
"Lady Elena."
Elena turned to look at the sight of Cersei Lannister as she wandered forwards with her father. Of course she would have to make a grand entrance before Elena. Men were competing for her hand and Tywin had hoped he would finally find a husband for her. Tywin inclined his head as Mary and Elena did the same.
"Lady Cersei, Lord Tywin," Mary said. "Is everything alright?"
"Everything is fine," Cersei smiled sweetly. "Father just escorted me after I forgot a pin for my hair."
"You look lovely, Lady Elena," Tywin said and Elena smiled before Tywin offered Mary his arm. "I shall escort you in, Lady Mary. Your husband should be here momentarily. I just saw him go to fetch something before you arrived."
"As you say," Mary said, smiling to her daughter and then taking Tywin by the arm.
Elena remained still as Cersei looked to the trail of her dress. It was only when she bumped into a handmaiden who was sorting it out to flow behind Elena did the handmaiden fall. Elena remained startled and jumped forwards before the sound of cloth ripping dawned on her. Elena gasped, mortified at the sight of the ripped lace which ran from just below her knee.
"M'lady...I am so sorry..." the handmaiden said, stepping off from the train whilst Cersei resisted the need to smirk.
Elena picked the train up and saw that it had ripped from the seam, leaving it in disarray on the floor. But the force of the movement had ripped her dress too, the ivory material revealing a long slit up her leg.
"Oh Gods," Elena whispered as the handmaiden picked up the train.
"Foolish girl," Cersei snarled at her. "Do you not see what you have done to her gown? It is truly ruined. She cannot enter the Sept with a slit up her thigh. She would look like a harlot."
"I am sorry, m'lady," the handmaiden said and she was close to tears.
Elena shook her head, doing her best to think of a solution. "It is only a gown. No blood was spilt. Go and bring me my...oh Gods..."
"There is no time to change," Cersei shook her head. "Everyone grows impatient, especially my father."
"-Elena, what have you done to your gown?" Mark Marcel's voice echoed into the corridor and Elena looked at her father as the handmaiden tore off the ripped part of the train.
Mark's eyes widened as he saw the lace was halved then and the train looked absurd. He noted the slit at the back of her dress too and shook his head, annoyance coursing through him at the sight of his daughter.
"You will have go in with it," Cersei said. "Your handmaiden will be dismissed however. We cannot have people like her ruining-"
"-No," Elena interrupted. "She will not be dismissed. I do not blame her for this. It was an accident."
"Elena," Mark scolded her. "Do not be so rude to Lady Cersei."
"It is quite alright," Cersei said. "She is stressed...especially now...but I doubt Jaime will care about your appearance if he truly does want you as his bride."
Elena glowered as Cersei left her alone and her father grabbed her shoulders before the handmaidens disappeared.
"Do you know how much money the Lannisters have put into this wedding? Into your dress?" he snarled at her and she tried to push him from her as she smelt wine on his breath. "And you go and ruin everything. You do not deserve the Marcel name...never mind the Lannister name...and if those rumours are even true and you are a whore-"
"-They are not!" Elena yelled at him and she was surprised no one could hear them from the Sept.
"We will see tonight if you bleed," Mark growled lowly. "What did I do for the Gods to curse me with a daughter so stupid?"
Elena felt stung by his comments as the doors suddenly opened and the people in the Sept looked up the stairs to where Elena stood. Mark had taken her arm harshly and she knew that was almost close to tears. Everything had gone wrong. She wasn't supposed to walk down the aisle crying. People whispered and stared at her dress. She did her best to keep her head held high, but how could she deny that the left hand side of the train was missing and a large split ran up the silk dress.
She could even hear people giggling at her and that was when she contemplated leaving the wedding. She could throw her father's arm from her and go. But she knew the repercussions of doing that. She finally made it to the front of the room where Jaime stood with the septon. He looked at her and she wondered what he was thinking. His face was impassive and his eyes were wide at the sight of her.
"You may now cloak the bride and bring her under your protection," the septon spoke and Elena turned around to allow Jaime to place the cloak over her shoulders.
He hastily did so, watching the red material flow to the floor as he made sure the golden and red cloak was securely fastened around her shoulders. He pulled her hair from the collar and she moved a hand to help him. It was only then when she felt Jaime squeeze her hand for a brief moment, as if he was assuring her that everything would be fine. She turned back to face him and he gave her a soft smirk.
"My lords and ladies," the septon spoke. "We stand here in sight of Gods and men to witness the union of man and wife. Now and forever."
Elena remained silent until it came time for her to speak. She did so quietly and Jaime managed to wrangle the words out. He could sense Cersei glowering at him, but he did his best to ignore her. He focused on his bride in front of him. It was only when they were bound together did Elena finally realise that it had happened. She had married Jaime Lannister. He kissed her on the cheek tenderly and led her back down the aisle. That had all happened so fast.
She kept still and silent, doing her best not to trip over the cloak or her dress as people clapped them as they went.
"What happened to your gown?" Jaime whispered down to Elena once they were outside and making their way to the wedding feast.
Jaime shooed the serving staff away. He could find his own way to the gardens.
"My handmaiden fell on the train and it ripped," Elena said in a small voice. "I heard them all laughing and whispering."
"Their opinions don't count," Jaime nonchalantly spoke. "You are a Lannister now, Elena. You are superior to all of them."
"Am I?" Elena wondered. "I don't feel like that. It is my own wedding and my father insulted me...people laughed at me...I already feel like a fool in this dress...mother said I looked lovely, but I saw myself..."
Elena heard her almost choke out a sob, but she held it back with a hand over her mouth. He tugged her down and empty corridor as he heard people begin to catch up with them. It was only then when he wrapped her into his arms and she allowed her cheek to settle against his shoulder. Jaime was shocked at his movements, but he allowed Elena to remain still against him. He suspected that he would have to grow used to being close to her.
"You look lovely," he whispered to her, "even with a slit up your dress...especially with a slit up your dress..."
She managed a small laugh then and Jaime ran his hand up and down her back as he tried to soothe her.
"Do you remember what you told Tyrion less than a week ago?" Jaime asked of her. "You sat in the garden and you told him that he should not let those who are mean to him win. Perhaps you should learn to follow your own advice."
Elena remained still, her cheeks reddening as she realised that Jaime spoke sense. She remained with her hands by her side as Jaime's fingers brushed against her hair down her back. What had Elena done to him? He should be miserable right now. He should want nothing more than to rid her from his arms and find his sister. But Jaime didn't have the heart to do that. He couldn't do that when she was so vulnerable. She had shown him nothing but kindness and he would be a fool not to return that favour.
They both looked down the corridor to where Tyrion came. He was by himself and had a smile on his face. Elena wiped her eyes as she pulled back from Jaime and ruffled Tyrion's hair when he came to them.
"Everyone is looking for you in the gardens. What are you doing hiding here?"
"Elena was just emotional," Jaime said. "Weddings do that to women."
"Why?" Tyrion asked.
"Because it is a big thing," Elena said with a small gasp. "You will find out one day, I am sure."
"No one would want to marry me...and you looked pretty," Tyrion said.
"Why thank you, kind lord," Elena said, instantly feeling better as Tyrion smiled to her. She was right. She had to follow her own advice. "Now, would you care to accompany your sister to the wedding feast?"
"Do you not wish to change first?" Jaime wondered from Elena as she took hold of Tyrion's arm and Jaime placed his hand on the small of her back.
"You're right," Elena replied to him. "I don't want is my wedding, isn't it?"
"Very perceptive," Jaime smirked and walked out with his bride to the wedding feast, wondering what more bad fortune could come their way.
A/N: Thanks to everyone reading and please do review!
Chapter 12
Jaime watched on as his new wife danced with Tyrion, holding his hands inside of hers and allowing him to move around the floor with her. Jaime smiled fondly as Tyrion laughed and Elena snorted at something which he had said. Jaime had taken his seat at the head table, looking down and over the gardens which were covered with long tables. Guests drank, ate, sang and celebrated his new marriage. Jaime had not been as disappointed as he had hoped he would have been when his wedding morning came around. He had done his duty and now he had a wife.
Of course Cersei had tried to ruin everything. Jaime knew that she was responsible for Elena's ruined gown. He deduced that from the smirk she shot him from the table she sat on to the right of him. He often looked across to her and she smiled: a twinkle in her orbs as she did so.
"Your bride is drawing attention to herself," Tywin said as he took Elena's empty seat and Jaime shrugged and sipped on his wine.
"My bride is a member of the family. She is at liberty to dance with her brother if she so wishes. Tyrion is having fun with her."
"She is humiliating herself," Tywin hissed, leaning closer to Jaime's ear.
"No," Jaime shook his head. "She is not humiliating herself. She is my bride, is she not? Did you not say that she becomes mine once we have married? Well, if she is mine then I am allowing her to dance for as long as she wishes. Other people can whisper and laugh, but I do not care."
Tywin ground his teeth together as he heard his son. "You're stubborn."
"I wonder where I get that from?" Jaime wondered and he made a move to stand up as people roamed the garden.
He was about to go and ask his wife for a dance before he felt his sister tap him on the shoulder and draw his attention back to her. Jaime almost groaned as she laced her arm into his and led him to the open dance floor where the band had started to play 'The Bear and the Maiden Fair.'
"You haven't asked me to dance yet," Cersei noted and she allowed Jaime to place his hands on her waist. "I wondered if you had forgotten about me now that you seem to have eyes only for your foolish little doe eyed whore of a wife."
Jaime snapped his mouth shut and his lips pulled into a tight line as he heard Cersei speak about Elena in such a manner.
"You know that you do not have to be so cruel about her," Jaime hissed. "You are the only woman I love. Elena could be a friend, but I do not desire her like I desire you."
"So when you fuck her tonight will you take her from behind so you do not have to look on at her foul face?" Cersei dared to ask from Jaime and he felt the urge to snarl at her and do something he may regret. He didn't. He kept still for a moment as she urged him to move around the floor.
"Are you jealous?" Jaime wondered and Cersei looked to Elena as she twirled Tyrion under her arm and the dwarf smiled to her.
"Of her?" Cersei checked. "Do I have cause to be? Would you toss me aside to sit prettily by her side for as long as you live?"
"You know the answer to that," Jaime said with a frown.
"Do I?" she replied. "Perhaps you should prove your loyalty to me somehow. Perhaps you should let me know just how much you love me so that I don't forget. Because I want you, Jaime. You are the only one I want and I know that you feel the same. We are one."
Jaime was glad at that moment in time that no one was near them to hear her speak such thoughts. He gulped and looked down to his sister, sensing that she was going to ask him to do something dishonourable on his wedding day. But the truth of the matter was that he was weak. He was a weak fool for Cersei. He always had been. He liked Elena. He truly did think that she was a sweet and innocent girl, but she didn't bring out anything passionate from him. Only Cersei could do that.
"Meet me in the library tower," she urged him.
"You'll find a way," she smirked. "Perhaps I can satisfy you before tonight."
She left suddenly and Jaime remained still on the floor before he noted Elena and Tyrion walking towards him. The girl had shed his red cloak and the rip in her dress was visible for all to see. Her cheeks were red from dancing and her gown had fallen down her shoulder slightly. Jaime moved his hand to pull it back up her shoulder and Tyrion watched his brother affectionately.
"When will the pigeon pie be served?" Tyrion asked.
"Ah," Elena said as Jaime dropped his hand from her shoulder, "there is no pigeon pie. We are having individual lemon cakes instead."
"But pigeon pie is traditional," Tyrion told her.
"It tastes foul," she commented back. "Besides, everyone loves lemon cakes."
Jaime suddenly felt trapped as Elena began to discuss how they should begin to thank the guests. He really was trapped in a marriage with her. He had not thought that it would be so bad. He thought that he could survive with her. And he could. But he wanted some freedom too.
"Jaime, are you listening to me?" Elena wondered as his thoughts turned to Cersei.
She was his freedom.
"Yes," Jaime promised her. "I just need to go somewhere for a freshen up...perhaps you could eat something. You have not touched any of the food."
"Perhaps," she agreed numbly and Jaime rushed off then.
Her brows furrowed and she wondered where he was going before Tyrion gained her attention once more.
Fucking his own sister when he was supposed to be cutting lemon cake was not how Jaime had pictured his marriage. But he had left Cersei to dress in the tower before he rushed back to Elena. He found her hid amongst the corridors as servants rushed past them. She had a lemon cake in her fingers as she sucked the crumbs from her fingertips.
"Why are you hiding in here?" Jaime asked and Elena noted that he seemed flushed.
"The cake is to be cut and the bedding ceremony is to take place," she muttered to him and he nodded, tucking his hair behind his ears as he remained flustered. He only hoped that he didn't look as though he had just slept with Cersei.
"Ah," Jaime nodded. "You do not wish for the bedding ceremony?"
"Does anyone want the bedding ceremony?" Elena wondered back from him and he chuckled before looking outside and then nodding.
"Go to the chamber and wait for me," he urged her. "I will tell my father that you are feeling unwell all of a sudden and that we are retiring early before anyone can see us escape."
"You are sure?"
"Go," Jaime urged her and she began to move away, wondering if Jaime truly had any intention of taking her for his own that evening. She hoped not. She didn't want the pain that came with bedding a man.
She was so involved in her thoughts that she scarcely noticed that she had bumped into Cersei. She shrieked once and Cersei stood back before nodding towards her.
"Sloping off?" she wondered. "I take it that you are too scared to go through with the bedding ceremony? Although men have been groping at your shapeless figure for they say," Cersei nonchalantly shrugged. "Tell me, do you think that you will be able to please Jaime? Do you just lay there as men rut on top of you?"
"I have never been with a man," Elena managed to speak lowly.
"I suspect that will be even more of a disappointment to Jaime," Cersei drawled. "Don't worry; they say that it only hurts momentarily when his cock enters your cunt."
Elena almost gasped at her vile language and Cersei laughed, moving around the girl and running her hand down her hair, pushing it over her shoulder before she whispered into her ear from behind her.
"Will you bleed when he takes you? Do you think that he would want to see a girl like you nude? You will displease him and he may cast you out and take another he desires..."
"What have I done to you?" Elena suddenly snapped as she turned to look at Cersei and pushed her away from her. "I have been nothing but pleasant and you still ridicule me."
Rolling her eyes, Cersei knew that her behaviour must look suspicious, but she didn't care. The girl would soon come to understand that. She could be spiteful for no reason and no one could stop her. That was the part that Cersei loved. Did Elena believe that she could hold any power over her? She would be a fool is she did.
"I merely do not like you," Cersei nonchalantly responded. "I shall tolerate you when I have to, but do not expect to become friends. I am not Tyrion."
"And what more could you do to me but be cruel?" Elena replied. "I am a Lannister now. I am a part of your family."
Cersei snarled as she heard that and began to walk away, calling out to the girl as she went.
"You could never be a Lannister."
Elena's encounter with Cersei was still in the front of her mind as she settled down on the edge of the bed, her hands moving over the white covers. The bed had been turned down and readied for them, but she had simply sat on the edge of it. It was only when Jaime quickly entered the room and locked the door did Elena forget about Cersei.
"You're panting," she noted.
"Lord Westerling heard that we were retiring. He practically sent an angry mob to find you and order a bedding ceremony to take place," Jaime informed his wife and she gulped.
He noted that her cheeks were pale and her hands were in her skirts in her lap. He didn't want her like this. He didn't want a timid girl, nor did he want her to be worried about being with him. But he also felt as though he was dishonouring Cersei by taking Elena. But he had dishonoured his wife earlier. Jaime didn't know what to think. He just knew that his breeches remained loose at the thought of having Elena.
"We don't have to do this," he suddenly told her as he shrugged from his jerkin and placed it on the back of the chair in the corner of the room. "We can wait until you are ready."
"There has to be evidence," Elena reminded him.
"I can prick my finger," he promised her.
"The sooner it is done with then the sooner I grow pregnant," Elena said and Jaime wondered what tone she held when she made that statement.
It was only then when he loosened the ties to his shirt did he wander over to her and settle down on the bed beside her. Gods he hadn't thought of children. He knew that he would be in need of an heir, but he wasn't ready for the responsibility that came with children. Would he have any responsibility? Could Elena not manage them on her own?
But then Elena remembered what Cersei had said to her in a spiteful tone. She had told her that Jaime would not her. She had told her that Jaime would want nothing to do with her. That was the part which angered her the most. The thought of Jaime not wanting her filled her with fear. She said nothing. Of course she kept quiet.
"I don't want to be a disappointment," Elena suddenly said. "And if there is no blood then people will gossip. We have to do this eventually, Jaime. It is our duty."
Jaime gulped and nodded to her. He knew what his duty was. His father only reminded him whenever he could. Jaime kept still for a few moments and then moved his hands to the back of Elena's gown and tugged at the laces, gently pulling them as her gown loosened and she held it to her chest to stop it from falling.
"Will it be painful?" Elena suddenly asked, turning her head over her shoulder to look at Jaime with wide orbs.
It was then when he gulped and pictured that she was Cersei as he lowered his eyes from hers and looked to the pale skin of her neck and her back which was expose to his sight.
"Slightly," Jaime muttered and Elena allowed him to continue. "But I will try to be as gentle as possible with you."
She nodded then and Jaime kissed her neck softly. It was only when she was naked and underneath him did she wonder why he couldn't look her in the eye. He had scarcely looked at her body. He had merely groped at her breast and entered her swiftly before thrusting. She had tried to keep quiet at the initial pain, waiting for any pleasure. But she found none. Before she knew it Jaime was pulling out of her, his seed now in her womb. Elena remained still and looked to Jaime as he rested on his side.
She thought that he cared for her. She had thought that they had grown close, but there had been no closeness in the act they had just committed. She propped herself onto her elbows and looked at him, her eyes wide and wet. He hadn't even looked at her with the kind eyes he had grown accustomed to showing her. He had been cold and distant.
Elena was about to open her mouth to say something when she remembered Cersei's words.
"Do you think that he would want to see a girl like you nude? You will displease him and he may cast you out and take another he desires..."
Had she been right? What had just happened was nothing like Elena had thought. She felt numb, not pained. She slumped onto her back and closed her eyes, pulling the covers to her chest as Jaime remained awake. He couldn't even begin to explain the guilt which racked through him. He should have paid Elena more attention. He should have pleasured her instead of pawed at her and rushed through the act. He was never like that with Cersei. What was he thinking? He didn't know. His mind was in such disarray that he supposed he wasn't thinking.
Being a friend to Elena was easy, but being a lover was not. He could not be her lover so long as another held his heart.
A/N: Thank you to everyone reading and I do hope you will review to let me know what you think!
Chapter 13
Anger coursed through Elena in the middle of the night. She had never felt such emotion before, but she knew that it was present when she saw that Jaime had disappeared. She flung the covers from her and stood up, grabbing her nightgown and clutching it to her stomach.
She didn't know how she felt about what they had just done. She had been intimate with a man. She had been taught how to be intimate with a man and what was required of her, but she had never thought that it would have been like that. Jaime had been quick and reckless. He couldn't even look at her. Elena stood at the foot of her bed and looked at her naked reflection in the mirror. Was she really so displeasing to look at? She had been trained her entire life how it would be her duty to marry a lord and bear heirs.
She had expected it and she could scarcely resent her parents now that it had happened. She knew that Tywin Lannister had demanded she marry his son so that he could destroy her home to mine for gold so that the Westerlands continued their prosperity. She pretended not to know. She pretended to be insolent to that fact. She pretended to be insolent to many things.
But she could not be insolent to what had just happened. She thought that she and Jaime were friends. She thought that they had established some form of relationship. But she awoke alone and cold. Clearly he did not want her intimately. Perhaps he was the one who had not been ready?
Yet Elena had tried for him. She had done her duty and she had spread her legs for him and then he had run away. She didn't know why she felt resentment for that. But she couldn't help herself from slide everything from her vanity table as glass broke on the floor and objects clattered. It was then when she sat down on the stool and buried her head into her hands.
"I knew that you couldn't be without me," Cersei said smugly once Jaime had rolled from her and she knew then that she had him in her clutches. He loved her. She was the only one for him.
"I had Elena," he spoke in a soft voice as he ran his hands through his hair. "I couldn't look at her as I took her. Every time she moved underneath me...I remembered you...and I couldn't do anything but look away from her..."
"I know," Cersei said in an understanding tone. "And I want you too...I had sat up and thought of other ways to stop your wedding, but father dragged me aside yesterday before the feast."
"What did he say?" Jaime wondered, propping himself up on his elbow as Cersei pulled the white sheets to her chest and he remained naked from the waist up.
"He warned me to stay away from you...that if I did anything to ruin the wedding he would sell me to any man," Cersei said with a scoff.
There had been a time when she thought that she would marry a Targaryen. Rhaegar Targaryen. Cersei couldn't think of a better match. She had been infatuated with his white hair and his pale complex. She had imagined their children together. But he had been snatched away from her and now she heard her father whisper the name of Robert Baratheon. She heard him speak of how war was looming and Robert Baratheon was the one leading that war.
"And which man should that be?" Jaime wondered from her.
"I do not know," she shrugged back, a slight lie but she didn't care. "But now that you have been married and your duty has been proven...perhaps it is time for us to think of a way to rid you of your bride...I would have found a way before the wedding, but I did not want to anger father."
"No one wants to anger father," Jaime scoffed to her. "And how do you propose we rid ourselves of Elena? I do not think I can look her in the eye after what just happened...but she is a kind girl, Cersei...despite everything..."
"But do you want to spend your years married to her?" Cersei worried.
"Of course not," Jaime said. "I just don't know what you want me to do. I can hardly kill her."
"I did not mean that," Cersei rolled her orbs, her hand running down his chest as she did so. The motion was slow and soothing and Jaime was almost tempted to take her again. "But there are other people who could dispose of her...send her to Braavos..."
Cersei remembered her friend of many years ago. She remembered how she had seen her taken care of after they had seen that woman who had predicted Cersei's prophecy. Cersei had heard her and how she asked if she would marry her brother. She had disposed of her. But stopping her brother's wedding when she had been in King's Landing had been difficult. Her father had also been difficult to work around. Everything had proven to be difficult and Cersei did not approve of that.
Jaime chuckled and Cersei wondered if he was taking her seriously. "I cannot kill her, Cersei."
"I am not asking you to," she said as she straddled his waist and he sighed as her hands ran over his chest to his shoulders. "Once she has gone then you could join the would never have to marry again...and we could be together..."
"How?" Jaime wondered. "The Gods only know who the next King will be after the Mad King."
"We will find a way," she assured him, "but we need to rid ourselves of your little wife."
Jaime groaned as Cersei teased his neck with her lips and she knew that he would be putty in her hands. He always would be.
Elena sat at her vanity, her hands holding onto her book as she remained silent. She heard the door creak open and her orbs snapped upwards, looking at Jaime as he made an appearance. She watched as he shut the door, his own eyes wide with surprise as he saw that she was awake and reading.
"Why are you still awake?" he wondered.
"I couldn't sleep," Elena responded.
"I can have the maester give you something if you wish?" Jaime asked and Elena noted how cold his tone was.
Had he ever been so distant to her before? Perhaps at first he had been cold, but she had managed to worm her way around him as time went on. Had he truly been so repulsed by her? She didn't know, but she knew that she couldn't keep anything she thought inside of her.
"Did you have an accident?" Jaime wondered as he noted the shattered glass on the floor along with other pieces from her vanity table.
She was still, her hands holding her book and she shook her head. If he wanted to be cold with her then she could be cold back.
"No," she said. "I felt angry for some reason. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that my husband couldn't even stand to look at me as he fucked me?"
Jaime remained taken back as she heard him speak in such a vulgar tone to her. She remained still, her face impassive and her orbs narrowed. She didn't know if she should say any more on the matter, but she couldn't help herself.
"I honestly thought that perhaps we had a chance at being happy. You're cocky and often rude, but you have been kind to me," Elena admitted. "I thought that maybe you could come to care for me, but that was foolish, wasn't it? You couldn't even look at me when you took me...and do you have any idea how that made me feel?"
Jaime gulped as Elena turned her head over her shoulder to stare at him. "I knew that you wouldn't particularly want to bed me because we do not desire each other. I know that a man and a woman need desire. But to be so cold..."
Elena trailed off and shook her head. Jaime continued to stare out to the balcony and Elena sadly looked back to her book on the table.
"You can't even look at me now," she whispered and Jaime inhaled sharply. "Was I that bad? I did what I was told-"
"-You were fine," Jaime assured her with a lie.
"Then why did you run?" Elena asked. "Where have you been?"
"I needed some air," Jaime replied. "I apologise for how I was earlier. I should have been gentler to you, but I...maybe it was me who was not ready?"
Elena shook her head and stood up, taking her book with her to the balcony. Jaime watched as she walked past him, pushing the net curtain out of the way and he watched her settle down on a chair by the table in the dark of the night.
"What are you doing?" Jaime wondered.
"Thinking," she whispered. "You can have the bed if you so wish."
"You should sleep, it-"
"-I am tired of people telling me what to do," Elena interrupted him, her hand in the air as she stared out to the sea and ignored Jaime.
Jaime was tempted to go and comfort her, but he couldn't do it. He thought back to Cersei and what she had said to him earlier. He took a moment to turn on his heel and walk away from her and back out of the chamber to his own chamber. He pitied the girl; truly, he did. But he didn't desire her. He never could desire her so long as his heart belonged to Cersei.
"You look tired."
Elena sat in the garden with her mother the following morning, breaking her fast in the morning sun. She had changed into a simple red gown and was chewing on a bread roll as she watched the waves form in the crystal blue sea in the distance.
"It wasn't as painful as I had thought," Elena replied.
"Was he gentle?" Mary checked.
"He was quick," Elena scoffed. "He couldn't even look at me...he said nothing...he left after and I wondered if I had done something wrong. It was like nothing I have been through before. It was like he didn't care all of a sudden."
"Men are complicated," Mary explained to her. "Perhaps he felt guilty for taking you when he scarcely knows you?"
"I don't know," Elena shrugged. "He didn't change with me this morning and I haven't seen him since last night when I decided to destroy the chamber."
"What did you do?"
"I was angry," Elena explained, looking at her mother. "When he had gone I wondered why he looked at me with such distaste. I resented my marriage instantly. I've always been brought up to know that I would marry a lord...I even know why father married me to Jaime...because Lord Tywin needs his gold from our home...and I resented being sold like a piece of meat. I knew that it would happen, but I was still angry."
"Oh, sweetling," Mary crooned and reach to place a hand on her daughter's shoulder.
Elena shrugged her off, refusing to accept any pity. She made a move to stand and watched as her mother remained confused.
"I need time alone," Elena muttered. "I will see you at luncheon."
Elena rushed off without another word, wandering down the levels of the garden until she came to the one which overlooked the sea. She leant on the pillar and closed her eyes, wondering what more was to come and what she had done for Jaime to look at her with such distaste.
Chapter 14
Weeks passed and nothing changed between Elena and Jaime. He continued to look at her whenever she looked away. He couldn't even look her in the eye. He spent his evenings in Cersei's chambers once the dark of night swept over them. He didn't sleep in Elena's chambers and she didn't mind. She only wished to know what ran through Jaime's mind. She had pleaded with him to tell her. She had begged him to tell her if she had been so repulsive that he couldn't bear to look at her.
Jaime had told her that he felt being intimate had ruined everything they had built. He told her that he longed to be her friend, but he couldn't love her. She had asked why, of course. She had begged for him to tell her why he wouldn't even try to love her. It was then when Jaime walked away from her and she wondered if they would ever have a marriage.
It was only when her mother and father returned home did she find out what was to happen.
"War?" Elena croaked out when Jaime told her one morning when they broke their fast together.
He was leant back in his seat, picking at the bread roll and focusing on that more than her. Jaime nodded and shrugged nonchalantly to her. War didn't bother him. He was well aware that the Mad King had no chance of survival now.
"Lyanna Stark was spirited away by Rhaegar Targaryen," Jaime informed his wife. "He is to go and bring her back and go against House Targaryen. We march for King's Landing on the morrow."
"You are leaving too?"
"Hence why I said we," Jaime muttered back and he internally scolded himself for being rude to Elena. He peered over to her, but she was looking away, her chin jutting out and her eyes focused on the gardens beyond her.
"Has my father agreed to join this war?" Elena finally changed the subject to ask him.
"House Marcel has agreed to join us," Jaime confirmed to her. "I doubt your father will be in the vanguard however. He is too old for such things now. Anyway, I should go and speak with my father before the morning is out. There are many plans to discuss."
"As you wish," Elena replied and Jaime made a move to stand.
She watched his back as he left her and she didn't know how she felt. He had just told her that he was riding off into war and she couldn't even bring herself to feel anything. Before the wedding she would have been worried. She still was worried, but shouldn't she be weeping over him? Shouldn't she beg him to come back safely? She suspected so. It was only then when she knew that their marriage truly was empty.
Cersei had killed before. She had pushed Melara Hetherspoon down a well to stop her from speaking of the prophecy Cersei was scared of. She had seen to it that the girl couldn't speak and she couldn't marry her brother. She had asked whether or not she would be Jaime's wife and Cersei couldn't let that come true.
But this girl had now become Jaime's wife. This girl from a lower born House. Tywin had been displeased at first to marry Jaime to someone from House Marcel, but he needed their alliance if he was to keep House Lannister wealthy. It made Cersei's blood boil as she stood on the balcony of her chamber which overlooked the gardens.
She could see her imp brother playing with the girl. Both of them sat on the grass with a book in between them. It seemed Elena would rather spend more time with the little imp than with Jaime. Not that Cersei minded. It was better for her that way. Still, she couldn't stand the girl and she knew that killing her would require someone who would keep quiet. Cersei had access to gold, but what she needed was a true secret keeper. At least whilst her father rode for King's Landing he couldn't keep an eye on her.
"You are thinking, sweet sister."
Cersei almost shrieked as she felt Jaime's arms wrap around her waist, his chin on her shoulder as he pecked her on the neck. She remained still in his hold, her hands moving to his on her stomach.
"You ride for war tomorrow. I worry for you," Cersei promised him and Jaime stopped kissing her neck, lifting his gaze up to note his wife in the distance. "Has she expressed her concern?" Cersei wondered once Jaime had followed her glare.
"No doubt she will," Jaime mumbled. "She is a dutiful little wife. I feel sorry for her...I truly do..."
"You were blinded by her during my absence," Cersei reminded him. "It is not your fault that you cannot bring yourself to dishonour me by bedding her. We shall have our time soon, Jaime."
"How?" Jaime muttered. "I am wed to her...and I could not kill her. Killing innocent women is not right."
Cersei almost wanted to roll her eyes. She often thought that she had been born the wrong sex. She kept silent as Jaime seemed more interested in groping at her. She allowed him. Of course she allowed him. He dragged her back into her chamber before covering her body with his body. She closed her eyes for a moment as Jaime pulled at her gown.
"She is unhappy," Cersei continued to speak and Jaime groaned as she brought up his wife. "Women die when they are unhappy."
"Cersei," Jaime complained, rolling from her and onto his back. "Killing her cannot be an option."
"Why not?" Cersei replied. "It is the only way to rid yourself of her."
"We can be together," Jaime promised her, "but there has to be another way."
Cersei scoffed at him and straddled his hips, leaning down to kiss him to silence him of his worries. He had no need to worry. When he returned from his war he would find himself a widower. He would have no need to fret then. Cersei would see to it. She had to see to it.
"Come to see me off?" Jaime checked with Elena the following morning as she wandered into the courtyard.
His horse was stood tall as he stroked its mane and Elena did the same, the motion soothing her for some reason.
"As a wife should," Elena replied.
Nodding, Jaime continued to stare at his horse whilst Elena did the same, an uncomfortable silence passing between the pair of them. She was almost at odds as to whether the man in front of her was the same one who had defended her honour one time. Gods, she didn't know how it had all gone so wrong. It angered her more than she cared to admit.
"Well," Jaime coughed softly, "I should go and find my father. The men are outside of the Rock."
"Yes," Elena agreed in a small mutter. "And...come back safe..."
"Truly?" Jaime checked.
"Whatever has happened between us has done nothing to make me wish you dead," Elena replied in a small voice and she looked to Jaime, her eyes wide and he wondered if he had hurt her feelings again. He was good at that.
"Of course," Jaime replied and he climbed onto his horse.
There was no fond farewell between the pair of them. There was no kiss on the cheek. There was nothing after Jaime had spoken those words to her. Elena stood back and watched her husband begin to trot away. The men in the courtyard followed him and she gulped as he placed his helmet onto his head. What if he didn't return to her? Elena dreaded to think.
"We have always been an ally to the Mad King," Jaime reminded his father, "and now we intend to go against him."
"We know who is likely to win," Tywin replied, wandering around his tent to look at the war map which stood in the middle of it.
Jaime had his helmet under his armour as he bent down to look over the map, noting where Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark were. They were not far away from them and they could soon join their forces together.
"Regardless, I have heard talk of you and your wife," Tywin said. "Is it true that you have not bedded her since your wedding night?"
Jaime lowered his gaze and pushed his hand through his hair before resting his helmet on the table and folding his arms over his chest.
"Why is my marital bed so interesting to people?"
"Because there is no marital bed," Tywin replied to him. "If you are to give her an heir then you need to bed her. Has she had her moon's blood recently?"
"I do not ask her such questions."
"You should," Tywin replied with a stern look. "And if I even hear any whispers of you and your sister then I swear that they shall be the last I hear. Cersei shall marry soon enough and move away. You will stay at Casterly Rock with your wife and be happy with her."
"If we survive this war," Jaime reminded him.
"I have no intention of dying," Tywin promised his son. "Nor do you. But you need to do your duty, Jaime. You need to get the girl pregnant with a son when we return to the Rock."
Jaime grunted a incoherent response before he turned on his heel and swept from the tent and Tywin knew that he had reason to be concerned by the rumours.
Elena had spent many days alone whilst Jaime was at war. She woke, dressed, ate, read with Tyrion and then took a stroll along the cliff edges of Casterly Rock. She often went off alone, her skirts blustering around her and her shawl scarcely staying on her shoulders. Her hair was always askew from the sea breeze, but Elena didn't care. She found that she slept better after walking through the wind. It was all she could do to keep her mind clear.
She often stopped at one high point, settling down on a large stone to pull her legs to her. She rested her chin on her kneecaps and stared out to sea. She knew that she was not pregnant with Jaime's child. Her moon's blood had crept up on her, but Elena failed to care at that moment in time. They were not ready for a child.
She pushed her hair behind her ears before leaning back on the bolder, her hands holding the rock as she did so. She continued to stare behind her, the noise of the waves crashing keeping her occupied. She didn't even hear the footsteps behind her or see the glimmer of a knife in the sunlight.
She didn't note the smirk on the man's face as he ambled towards her and knew that this would be too easy.
A/N: Thanks to everyone reading and please do review!
Chapter 15
Tyrion had been wandering along the cliff top after he had wondered where Elena had gotten to. They had been reading earlier, but he hadn't seen her since. He finally caught up with her in time to see her take a seat on a rock. But he looked behind her and saw someone else. Tyrion felt his blood pump at the sight of the man behind her, a dagger in his hand. It was then when Tyrion began to run, his little legs carrying him as fast as possible as he went.
"Elena!" he roared her name, longing for her to turn around. "Elena!"
She finally whirled her head to the side and that was when she saw it: the glimmer of the dagger in the sunlight. She yelled loudly as the blade came closer to her and she tumbled from the stone she sat on, falling to the floor as the blade scraped along the rock.
"Come along, sweetling," the man hissed to her as she rolled closer to the edge of the cliff and scrambled to her feet, making sure that she kept her distance between herself and him. "I'll make it quick and painless."
"What do you want from me?" Elena roared.
"Is it not simple?" he asked, his teeth dirtied and his face shallow and pale. "You stupid whore."
Elena yelled as he rushed towards her and Tyrion finally came closer to her. She continued to fight for all the good it did her as she grabbed the man by his wrists, the blade in his hands and cutting her arm as she tried to wrestle it from him.
"Tyrion...go for help!" she demanded from the young boy who remained in confusion as to what he should do.
He looked around for something heavy enough to knock the man out, but he knew that he had no hope. He could not lift it to help Elena. He watched on as blood poured down from her arm and the man finally wrestled her from him, grabbing her by her waist and moving to knife to rest by her throat. She acted with haste, biting down onto his hand as hard as possible, determined to leave teeth marks.
He yelled then and she managed to escape from his grip, elbowing him in the stomach as she saw the skin which had peeled from her arm. He still had the dagger, but Elena had managed to escape his grip. She held her arm, panting heavily as he wafted his bitten hand in the air. She then moved when he was unfocused, wrestling for dominance over the blade again.
She managed to take him off balance and she pushed him to the floor, her gown ripping around her as she slapped him across the face and the blade tumbled to the side. Elena acted quicker than he did, picking it up and refusing to hesitate as she plunged it into his chest.
The man gasped for breath as she fell off of him, her own thoughts askew before she finally collected them and grabbed the man by the collar.
"Who sent you?" she demanded to know, the blade still protruding from his skin. "Who sent you!?" she screamed this time and the man chuckled and shook his head, tapping his nose.
Elena collapsed back onto her heels, her side resting against a rock as the man closed his eyes and took his final breaths. She clutched onto her arm, her skin sweating and her mind a blur before she realised what she had just done. She had just killed a man. Guilt swept over her, but she soon pushed it away. He would have killed her if she had not defended herself. She had done what had been necessary.
"Elena," Tyrion whispered her name and she looked up, her mouth agape as he moved closer to her. "Can you walk?"
"Yes," Elena said, pushing herself to her feet and cradling her cut arm, the sight of the limp flesh enough to make her gag. She knew that she would require stitches when she returned to the Rock. "Come on...we need to get back..."
She walked alongside Tyrion back along the cliff top, occasionally allowing her hand to drop down to a bolder to support her as she went. She kept looking behind to make sure that no one else was following her. She was only thankful that Tyrion had been following her and keeping an eye on her. She dreaded to think what would have happened otherwise.
"Your wife was attacked."
Jaime looked up from the seat he had taken in the council tent. His eyes went to his father and he cocked a brow, wondering if it was concern which was currently flooding through his veins. He made a move to stand as Tywin handed him the parchment which had been sent from the maester. His eyes travelled slowly over it and Jaime couldn't quite believe what he was reading.
"She was walking along the cliff top when some unknown man attacked her. She did not know why, but she stabbed him before he could kill her," Tywin said and he poured himself a cup of water.
He was well aware what loomed for them once they reached King's Landing. The plan had been put in place and Tywin had joined forces with Robert Baratheon. No doubt the man was still only concerned with getting his precious Lyanna back. But Tywin had sent the Mountain to deal with Rhaegar's wife.
"Elena killed him?" Jaime checked, unable to believe what he was hearing as he stopped reading and dropped the letter.
"Your wife isn't as weak as you thought, it seems," Tywin commented and Jaime scoffed at hearing that understatement. "She was saved because Tyrion warned her. Thankfully all she has is a scar down her arm. The girl was lucky."
"But who would want her dead?" Jaime worried.
"We have many enemies right now," Tywin warned his son. "Cersei informed me that the pommel of the dagger was in the shape of a dragon. No doubt a Targaryen...perhaps the Mad King."
"But they would want to kill me...not my wife..." Jaime muttered. "That is if they want to hurt you."
"The Mad King wants nothing more than to see tensions boil over, and I shall give him that if he so wishes. He would do anything to harm my family, and Elena is now a part of the family. Besides, if he thinks that he can kill you in war then I doubt he would hesitate to wipe out the Lannister legacy which would be carried on by your wife and heir...of course...he wouldn't know that she is without an heir."
Jaime was unconvinced. The Mad King was simply that. Jaime doubted he would be bothered about whether or not the future Lady of Casterly Rock would be killed. Jaime had other suspicions, of course he did, but he didn't want to discuss them with his father. He didn't want to mention how he feared his own sister could have sent someone to kill Elena.
But even Cersei surely wasn't that cruel. She had mentioned disposing of Elena, but Jaime never thought that she would try. Was his wife safe so long as she remained at the Rock? Jaime didn't want her death on his hands and if he had to scold that into Cersei then so be it. She would soon see that killing was not an option.
"You must have been brave to fight him off."
Elena had been told to rest, but she had grown bored after a day in bed. She had slept at first, only to wake up and scream from her nightmares. She only calmed once she realised she was safe and in her chamber. She had stayed in bed for three days after that, always screaming when she woke.
She had left her chamber and headed towards the library, wondering if anywhere was truly safe after the fourth day. She kept quiet as she picked a book up and settle down on the chaise longue, her lap holding the back as she looked to her bandaged arm.
It was only then when Cersei had made her presence known, her hands holding her skirts as she moved. Cersei had not bothered to come and see her before, but Elena did not mind. Tyrion had been her main source of comfort during those few days.
"I did what I had to," Elena replied. "All I want to know is who sent him."
"A fitting question," Cersei agreed, "but there are more pressing matters. My father just sent a raven. He is returning to Casterly Rock. Robert Baratheon has taken the throne for himself...with father's help and it would seem my dear brother played quite a part."
"Is Jaime safe?" Elena asked, not too sure if she had a great deal of concern in her voice or not. She felt concerned. Despite Jaime making her feel as though she was nothing but an inconvenience in his life, she was concerned.
"He killed the Mad King," Cersei informed her. "People are calling him Kingslayer...apparently he is doing his best not to seem too bothered by the comments, but he isn't as strong as people think. I often wondered whether or not I should have been the man."
Elena gulped at hearing her, but Cersei remained staring in the opposite direction.
"No doubt he will have his reasons for killing the Mad King," Cersei nonchalantly shrugged and then looked to Elena. "Just like someone had their reason for wanting you dead."
Elena felt a chill run down her spine as Cersei left the library and she finally slumped back against the arm of the chaise longue, wondering what it was about Cersei Lannister that she could not bring herself to like.
"Is Jaime really a Kingslayer?" Tyrion asked Elena as they sat in the gardens and she pushed her hair behind her shoulders and nodded to him.
"He killed the Mad King," she confirmed. "He must have had his reasons for doing it. Killing a King is not the cleverest idea he has had."
"He hasn't had many clever ideas ever," Tyrion scoffed. "I think marrying you was a good idea."
Elena smiled at him then. She didn't want to tell him that Jaime would no doubt disagree with her. She didn't have it in her to say that to Tyrion. He was a young boy who should not be troubled by her marriage worries. Even Elena tried to forget her marriage worries more than once. She knew that Jaime cared for her. She had seen that in the letter he had sent to her, expressing how concerned he was that she had been attacked. But she didn't know whether or not his concerns were forced or genuine.
"Why thank you," Elena mock bowed at the waist. "But Jaime will still be Jaime when he returns. You know that, don't you? He will still be your brother."
"I should hope so," Tyrion replied. "I didn't believe it when I heard it."
"Nor did I," Elena mumbled back. "But he will explain everything when he returns with your father. I hear that there is to be a coronation back in King's Landing for the new King Robert."
"Can I go?"
"I don't see why not," Elena replied. "They say that King's Landing is the grandest city in Westeros. No doubt there will be many beautiful sights there."
"I hope so," Tyrion said. "I like Casterly Rock, but I would like to go somewhere else."
"And where would you like to go?" Elena asked of him.
"Dorne...the Wall...Braavos..."
"That is quite a distance," Elena commented. "But maybe one day you will do it...just go and explore everything that you wish to..."
Tyrion smiled then and Elena ruffled his hair before lying on her back, thinking about how appealing Tyrion's dream sounded. At that moment in time she would do anything to leave Casterly Rock and all of the fears she now carried from it.
A/N: Thank you to everyone reading and reviewing!
Chapter 16
"You have a duty," Tywin spoke lowly to Jaime once night had fallen and Casterly Rock had come into view. "You have a duty to give your wife an heir and you will do that. Go to your chambers and see her. I am sure she shall be happy to see you after everything that had happened."
Jaime was forlorn. He was miserable and he had not been himself ever since they had left King's Landing. No one had listened to him and no one had asked him for his side of the story. Robert Baratheon had congratulated him for ending the Mad King's reign before asking him how difficult it was to stab him in the back. People looked at him with distaste but no one asked him why he had done it.
Even his own father hadn't bothered to ask.
It was almost as if no one cared.
He longed to crawl into Cersei's bed, but he needed to speak with her first. He needed to know whether or not she had been the one to try to kill his wife. If she had then Jaime didn't know what he would do.
"I don't want to wake Elena," Jaime mumbled as his squire took his horse from him once he had dismounted and wandered through the courtyard.
"I don't care," Tywin said. "Go to your wife now."
Jaime glowered but he did as he was told, storming off from the courtyard towards his chamber. He found Elena laid in bed on her side, a candle still burning on the table next to her. It was only then when Jaime heard her whimper. Her hand was stuffed under the pillow and she had commenced squirming in her sleep. He sat down on the edge of the bed, noting the long scar which ran up her inner arm before he took hold of her shoulder and shook her.
"Elena," he spoke her name.
She opened her eyes wide as she woke up, her mind a blur as she finally realised that Jaime was sat near her. She looked to him as he looked back to her with a furrowed brow.
"Bad dream?" he asked from her.
"I have been having them ever since I was attacked," she whispered. "When did you get back? I didn't know you were going to be home so soon?"
"We rode hard and fast," Jaime responded and he stood up to begin peeling his clothes from his body.
Elena plumped up the pillows and rested them behind her body. She leant against them as Jaime finally deposited his clothes on the floor, only remaining in his breeches and shirt. He loosened them and pulled the covers back to the bed and looked to Elena as she continued to stare at him.
"What?" he asked from her.
"Are you not going to tell me anything?" she asked. "You rode off to war and we did not know whether or not we would see you again."
"Tyrion and I," Elena said. "And then we heard that you killed the Mad King. I told Tyrion that you would have had your reasons for killing him and I assume that you do. Do you intend to tell me? I am your wife, after all. You may despise me for some unbeknownst reason, but don't I deserve to know?"
Jaime looked at her with wonder. She was asking him why he had killed the Mad King. She was asking him why he had done it. She really was full of surprises sometimes. Jaime didn't know what to think of her. He doubted he would ever know what to think of her.
"He...he was as mad as everyone said," Jaime informed her in a small whisper, recalling the moment he had killed him. "I managed to fight my way to the Throne Room first. I knew that my father would never let him leave alive...or King Robert...but I told him to plead for mercy. He was stood there with his pyromancer...whispering about how he would kill everyone and how he would see everyone burn. I followed the pyromancer and found stacks of wildfire underneath the castle...I killed him before he could burn anyone...and then I went to the King...and I killed him before he could do anything."
Jaime remained silent for a few moments and Elena's mouth remained gaping as she listened to him and rolled onto her side, her head on the pillow and her nightgown sleeve slipping down her arm slightly.
"Even when he died he kept whispering about how they would all burn. I could have restrained him...I could have stabbed him in the leg...but the thought of him running away to try and blow King's Landing sky high caused me to ram my sword through his back," Jaime concluded and Elena wondered if he would shrug her away if she tried to rest her hand on his arm and comfort him.
He moved to lie on his back, his eyes staring at the ceiling above him as he did so.
"You did what was right," Elena said in a small voice. "You did what you had to do to survive."
"No one else saw it that way," Jaime said in a mutter.
"Did you not explain to your father? Or to the King?"
Jaime scoffed and looked to his naive wife. "Do you think that they wanted to listen to me once they found out, Elena? They saw what I had done and they judged me as soon as they saw me. No one asked me why and no one was concerned about the Mad King's death. It was all for naught anyway. Lyanna Stark was found dead and Rhaegar's wife and children were murdered. The war is over and everything has changed."
Elena moved then, her hand moving to Jaime's shoulder and she squeezed it softly. Jaime watched her for a moment before he gulped and took her hand from his shoulder, squeezing it before dropping it on the feather mattress.
"You should speak to your father," Elena said. "People deserve to know that you did the right thing."
"People do not care," Jaime said. "I have been labelled a Kingslayer and that is all there is to it. My father is not happy with me, but I almost fail to care. Let people think what they will."
Elena was about to challenge him on the matter, but she didn't have the nerve to say anything to him. He was evidentially in distress about the topic. She supposed that was why he changed it.
"And how do you fare?" Jaime wondered. "After the attack?"
"Oh," Elena said. "Tyrion was there thankfully. I dread to think what would have happened if he had not been with me."
"As do I," Jaime mumbled. "And you now have a scar."
"Ugly, isn't it?" Elena whispered as she let her arm drop above the covers so that he could see the long scar. "Wearing short dresses will be an issue."
"Men are expected to carry scars," Jaime replied.
"Women are not," Elena replied. "But I have been told that House Targaryen sent an assassin."
"A dragon was on the pommel," Jaime nonchalantly shrugged. "The Mad King would do anything he could to have revenge on House Lannister. I should go to see Tyrion in the morning. I will thank him for his impeccable timing."
"He has missed you," Elena promised Jaime. "We were both worried."
"Were you?"
"Of course," Elena said. "As a wife should worry for her husband."
Jaime watched as she closed her eyes then and pulled her hands to her side of the bed. He was about to lean over her to blow out the candle, but he decided against it. He fell asleep without another word to Elena, but he did think of her more than his sister that night. And he couldn't stop that from happening.
Elena awoke before Jaime the following morning. The light was streaming into their chamber, but that did not bother Jaime. She had decided to sit up and reach for the book which was on her bedside table. She propped it up against her bent legs and began to flick through the pages slowly. It was only then when she heard Jaime begin to mutter in his sleep.
She turned to look down at him and found his body convulsing. Elena moved with haste, grabbing his shoulder and shaking it as Jaime began to mutter incoherent sentences about the Mad King and his father. Elena finally managed to wake him as sweat collected on his forehead and he looked to her before realising that she had her arms wrapped around him.
"A...a bad dream..." Jaime muttered to her, unable to form a coherent thought.
His cheek was against her chest and her hands were on his head, holding him to her. He slowly pulled back to stare at her as her hands ran down to his shoulders.
"I know," she promised him. "I get them're safe here..."
Jaime searched her gaze then. He saw the kindness in her stare and the understanding. She understood him. She knew how it felt to be haunted by something in sleep. It was then when Jaime moved his hand to brush her hair from her face and he kissed her on the cheek. What did he feel for his wife? It was not lust, nor was it love. He was confused as to what it was, but he knew that he was content in her arms for the rest of that morning.
"I was here when she was attacked," Cersei said as she ate her breakfast with her father the following morning. "Elena came back cradling her arm. I sent a guard to find the assassin and he had the dragon pommel on his dagger. I assumed it was House Targaryen."
"I am not certain," Tywin said in a low and dangerous voice in the empty small hall. "The Mad King had very few men to spare."
"He was mad," Cersei pointed out to her father. "Who do you think could have done it to her? She is such a sweet girl."
Tywin didn't want to tell her his suspicions. Truth be known, he didn't want his suspicions to be confirmed. He was better off remaining ignorant and inside of the lie which had been built. He had bigger matters to deal with. He glared at Cersei as she looked back to him, her eyes wide and innocent like.
"If I ever find out who did this to her then justice shall be made," Tywin said in a low voice and even Cersei gulped at hearing him. She remained still and shifted in her seat.
He knew his daughter and his son. He knew of what they had done together according to rumours which he had quashed. But he didn't want to believe that Cersei was capable of murder. She was a lady, not a warrior. But she resented her position. She openly resented her position. Tywin knew that she was more cunning than he had given her credit for.
"I should hope so," Cersei nodded. "Anyway, where is my dear brother? I wish to ask him how it felt to ram his sword through a King's back."
"He is sleeping," Tywin said. "He went to Elena last night. He is where he should be...with his wife...and married. That is something I hope to see happen soon enough with you."
"What do you mean?" Cersei asked as she paused chewing on her bread.
"I intend to make a match between you and King Robert," Tywin said and Cersei's mouth gaped open wide once she had heard her father. "You are not to protest or argue with me on the matter. It shall happen and that is all there is to it now. You are of the age to marry, just like your brother."
But Cersei didn't protest. She didn't say anything. She was too shocked.
A/N: Thanks to everyone reading and please do review!
Chapter 17
Jaime had been shocked by the news that Cersei was to marry King Robert. She had told him and she had remained calm during it all. She reminded him that he had married and that it was only natural she followed in his footsteps and married too. Jaime had asked her if she wanted to marry the King and she had shrugged, reminding him that she would always love him but she had to go on.
"You have Elena," she spoke as Jaime sat on the edge of her bed and she continued to pack her trunk full of gowns. "I trust she will make a fine Lady of Casterly Rock...but I am to be Queen. It has all been arranged."
"I almost didn't have Elena," Jaime reminded his sister, bringing the subject up. "The Mad King sent someone to kill her."
"Yes," Cersei nodded and Jaime wondered if she was telling him the truth. "Clearly someone wanted her dead. I would keep a close watch on her if I were you."
"You had talked about having her killed," Jaime reminded his sister, standing up and wandering over to her, taking her arm into his grip. "Did you have anything to do with it?"
Cersei looked back at her twin, doing her best to keep calm as he looked at her with those familiar eyes. She shook her head and moved to kiss him on the cheek, hoping to appease him with the motion.
"I hate her," Cersei nodded. "She thinks she is so perfect, but I did not send someone to kill her. You know that the dagger had a dragon pommel. The Mad King hated our House."
Jaime studied Cersei, doing his best to weigh her up and make sure that she was telling him the truth. He wanted to believe her. He had to believe her. She was his twin and she was the woman he loved. She would never lie to him. She would lie to everyone else, but not to him.
"You believe me, don't you?" Cersei checked. "Besides, your wife is stronger than everyone thought. She managed to kill a man...something you are clearly now familiar with."
She released him then and commenced packing her trunk again. She folded gowns and did her best to make sure she didn't crease any of them. She had dismissed her handmaidens, preferring instead to do the job herself and spend time with her twin brother.
Jaime inhaled a sharp breath and looked out to her balcony slowly. "The Mad King was just as mad as everyone had said. He-"
"-How did it feel to kill a King?" Cersei interrupted her brother and Jaime's brows furrowed. "Was it different to killing a normal man?"
That was when Jaime noted Cersei was watching him expectantly. Her brow was arched and her hands were pulling at her hair once she had discarded her dress. She laughed once when she saw Jaime's expression. It was a mixture of confusion and hurt.
"Was it that traumatising?" she wondered. "Everyone knew how mad he was, Jaime. You don't need to fret."
Jaime folded his arms over his chest and shook his head. He turned on his heel and left Cersei alone, wondering how she could stand there and ask him such crass questions. She hadn't even asked him why he had done it. She had said nothing on the matter.
"I trust you have packed all of your belongings for the trip to King's Landing, Lady Elena?" Tywin checked as he sat opposite Elena in her and Jaime's private solar room the morning they were due to depart.
He was chewing on a piece of bacon whilst he read through the letters he had received in his absence. Elena sat across from him, her hands buttering a bread roll as she wondered where Jaime had gotten to that morning.
"I have everything ready," Elena said. "I think I have managed to pack everything that Jaime shall need. He intends to fight in the royal tourney, but I do not know what he requires."
"The squires shall see to it," Tywin said as the door opened.
Jaime closed the door behind him, sweat dripping down his forehead as he pushed a hand through his hair. His shirt was loose on his body and he held his sword over his shoulder as Elena frowned at him. He clearly had been practicing again. He took a seat at the table, dropping his sword to the floor next to him as he reached for his cup of water.
"I hope you intend to change before we depart," Tywin demanded from his son.
"No, I thought I would go out looking like this," Jaime said, his voice dry as he did so. "Besides, we do not need to leave so soon, do we? I heard that King Robert is trying to delay the wedding."
"He can try all he wants," Tywin said in a low and dangerous voice. "The wedding shall take place and your sister shall be Queen."
Elena sensed some form of tension in the room and so she cleared her throat and tried to find words to change the conversation.
"Tyrion is most excited about the trip to King's Landing," she said in a soft voice. "He says-"
"-Tyrion shall not be joining us."
Tywin's interruption caused Elena to widen her orbs as he remained intent on his letters. Jaime looked to his wife, the cup of water pressing to his lips as he saw her look to her lap. He knew the look on her face and he knew that it would more than likely get her into trouble if she decided to act on what she thought.
"He is a child," Jaime was the one to speak. "He would be no trouble. I am sure I could look after him."
"He is not joining us," Tywin said once more. "Taking him to King's Landing would do nothing but bring about endless whispers and laughs. I will not have him humiliate me in front of the new King."
"He cannot help who he is," Elena blurted out and Jaime took a deep breath. "Lord Tywin, surely he will cause no trouble in the Capital. I shall look after him and he has been excited at the prospect of seeing the sights."
Tywin finally dropped his letters and stood up, his hands on the table and Jaime gulped.