Outside Twin Towers, army camp
Lady Catelyn collapsed on the foldable seat in Robb' tent. She croaked:
The Lord of Winterfell was too surprised to comment on his mother's new drinking habits but simply picked up the vessel and brought it to her.
After chugging at the contents – this sight making Robb's eyebrows rise - she gasped:
"What a ... a ... a ... an OBNOXIOUS MAN!"
Clearly her courtesies were close to breaking.
After another generous swig she continued:
"The ... DESPICABLE CAD ... in return for passage ... tried to marry half of the rats in Twin Towers to the Starks, Tullys, and any other House he could think off."
"And?" – Robb asked with some trepidation. He also had heard the tales about the looks of Lord Frey's descendents.
"I managed to pare it down to one marriage and one betrothal. As well as fostering a dozen of the cockroaches with various Houses and half a dozen squires and handmaidens. Poor Arya ... "
The woman sighed:
"I had to betroth her. But no wedding until a year and one day from flowering."
As Robb opened his mouth she raised her hand and gave him the "you shall not speak until your mother is finished" look.
This was followed by an indiscernible expression as she moved on to the next item:
"You will have your stupid wish fulfilled. I obliged us to legitimise the bastard at the first opportunity. He is getting betrothed, wedded and bedded tomorrow".
Lady Catelyn took another swig to hide her smug look from her son. She did not wish to reveal that upon Walder's outrage at getting a bastard Stark instead of Robb she agreed to a certain "clause". Catelyn smirked inwardly. The line-up of eligible maidens – from which the bastard HAD to choose from - was to be limited to the six LEAST marriageable female Freys.
Later rumours circulated across the camp that Jon Snow had tried to high tail it back to the Wall. Opinion over whether it was over the impending nuptials or the bath and haircut to precede the event were divided. The Lady Stark was supposedly heard screeching "You will not look like Rickon's wolf!". But who believes rumours, eh?
Next day Inside Twin Towers
She stood alongside five of her relations. Although rarely rolled out as one of potential brides she had taken part in similar events times enough to be familiar with the motions. Yesterday the news that one of Lord Walder's distaff descendants was to marry the Stark bastard – hopefully to be legitimised in the near future – had spread through the female quarters like wildfyre. But the hopes of most of the girls of a chance to get out of the rat nest were quickly dashed. Grandfather had rejected the likes of Rosilin, for instance, as "too pretty". Another girl had heard – "no, you've got all your teeth". What was he thinking? No man would want any of those trotted out as choices! And half of them were Rivers to boot! Well, they were being offered to a bastard, so she supposed it was per course. She hoped that the ordeal of the "meat market" will be quick and the man will make a quick choice without making any disparaging remarks about her. Or at least not loud enough as to reach her ears, if the Maiden was merciful.
When the entry of Stark party in the Hall was announced she struck a demure pose – same as her relations – and looked from under her eyelashes at the groom. Not bad looking. White, with dark hair. A face she deemed handsomer than the male standard prevalent in the Twin Towers. Sullen. Very sullen. But no wonder, forced to pick a wife from amongst them. Not that he would choose her – even making part of such a sorry display of dregs of Frey femininity she rated her chances as second bottom - anybody was more attractive than Waldemara. But a girl could still ogle some male flesh, couldn't she? The word flesh made her feel hungry and her stomach growled audibly – resonating across the Hall in the silence after Lord Walder had finished extolling the virtues, skill and arts which the Frey maidens on display supposedly possessed in spades.
Upon entering the Main Hall Jon's vision immediately fell upon the hopefuls. His grim mask did not change but inside he was ready to see red and lash out in murder. The reason for Lady Stark's little smile she gave him on the ride to the Frey stronghold was painfully apparently. His expectations had been low but what met his eyes was Drowned God level. He ignored the borderline vulgar praises lavished by Lord Walder upon the girls and prayed to the Nameless Old Gods for mercy. And to send Holy Wrath upon Lady Stark. Jon heard the stomach of one of the girls rumble and turned his eyes to her. She blushed. He barely suppressed a shrug – why did girls get upset about rumbling stomachs? Sansa's reaction to a little tummy growl was such red faced embarrassment as if she had hitched up her skirts and shat in the middle of Main Hall. Pooped, not shat – he reminded himself, this is Sansa we are talking about.
One is almost as good as another, Jon decided, this girl at least not looking like a stick-insect ready to knee over, with a pleasantly smooth, pear shaped face, and made a beeline to the flushed stomach rumbler. He was beyond caring for the protocol at such proceedings. He had made his choice. After introducing himself he extended his arm:
"Walk with me, Lady ... ?"
"Walda, milord, Walda".
Jon almost snorted at the unimaginative name.
While she curtsied in greeting he heroically fought to keep his eyes on her face.
"Could you show me your godswood, your ... whatever? Bridge?"
"If it pleases you, milord".
As they exited the Hall a thought struck him:
"Or maybe the kitchens, as the lady seems to be in need of sustenance?"
The look Walda gave him in response simply embarrassed him. It was his turn to blush at her pure and unadulterated adoration.
Their wedding night was a disaster. First during the feast they were regaled with jokes on their appearance together, with a "union of mosquito and bumblebee" being one of the gentler ones. The chief instigator of those japes was Lord Walder himself, naturally. He barely restrained himself not to beat up the revellers and murder some of his new Frey relations. And a few Northerners too. Then during the bedding ceremony that idiot Greatjon decided it would be a great idea to have six of the strongest men heave Walda into the air and drop her down onto the bed from as high as possible. This action made the bed come apart – causing great merriment to everybody but the newly weds. Walda was fortunately not hurt. They did not consummate their marriage that night as – lying in the ruins of their bed - he had to console his sweet sugar dumpling who cried herself to sleep in shame and embarrassment. Comforting her, rubbing her back, stroking her wet cheeks Jon nonetheless got some notion of her delicious curves. Walda had curves everywhere ...
Twin Tower's southern gatehouse
Now, riding out of the Twins a sennight later to catch up with the slower moving army Jon Snow was a happily married man, half-way to being deeply in love with his rotund wife. He carried Walda's favour on his sword arm, just like the knights in Sansa's songs. Walda also had stuffed his saddle bags with delicious sausages and hams – something the songs had never mentioned. Jon smiled at Arya's inevitable comment – "songs are stupid!". His little sister was right!
He received a special gift from Lord Walder – Walda's weight in silver Stags. But Jon promised himself to kill the old goat at first opportunity anyway. As well as any Frey to be named Arya's intended. He turned in his saddle and blew a kiss to Fat Walda Snow giving him a teary smile and a wave from the battlements. Jon felt warmth looking at her. He was missing her beautiful, soft, warm body, the delightful sounds she made in bed, her soft smile and gentle eyes already! And Gods – could she cook!