Author's Notes: Good day, my wonderful readers! I'm sure a lot of people are looking forward to this chapter. Thank you all so very much for your continued support of this fic. It is my sincere hope that it continues to meet your expectations!
Forever and always, I want to thank Catzrko0l for their continued work as the beta. Thank you so much!
"It's time for the bedding! The bedding!"
Just like that, Aemon's mirth vanished and there was uncertainty in his eyes.
The red-haired young man with the Stark household rested a hand on her shoulder and smirked at her. In the next instant, two arakhs and a sword were in his face. Her bloodriders and Ser Jorah were bristling. The young man's eyes went wide and he held his hand up in surrender. Daenerys tutted. "That is quite enough. The bedding is a harmless tradition in Westeros. This young man won't hurt me. Isn't that right?"
"Thuh-that's right, your Highness," the man said in alarm.
"Let's not tarry." She stood up on her toes and planted a kiss on Aemon's cheek. "I'll see you in a few minutes, my love."
"Theon?" The young man turned to face Aemon. "You treat her right."
"Of course, Your Grace, I would never—"
The tension went out of the audience. The young unmarried women swarmed Aemon and men swarmed her, though she noticed that they dared not make any sudden moves and were careful under the watch of her bloodriders, who followed in their wake.
Her exterior belied her racing heart as a heady mixture of excitement and nerves rushed through her veins. She sighed in dismay as she heard the cloth of her dress tear away from her back and she soon felt the sweet night air. The men surrounding her whistled and even sighed lustfully at the sight of her as they carried her to her rooms. All that protected her was the undercloth shielding her groin and it was only once they set her in front of the door to their rooms that the last man tore it away. The men took the moment to sweep her head to toe, but she had turned to open the doors and slide through. She was the first to arrive at their chambers. Candles had been lit and arranged around the room to give it a soft glow.
Daenerys stepped deeper into the room and frowned when she did not find Ghost. She enjoyed how fierce and fiery their dragons were, but she took comfort in Ghost's calm and steady presence. She found it odd that he was not here. The balcony doors were open and she was just making her way over to look out upon the sea at night when Aemon's arrival was heralded by the creak of the door and a wave of giggles as he was shoved in, equally naked as herself. There was no mistaking the crimson blush under his beard for rosy drunkenness.
"You look like you had fun."
"I'll be glad to never go through that again," Aemon replied, running his hands through his now mussed-up hair.
She laughed merrily.
His face darkened though and he said, "Are you all right? They didn't hurt you?"
"You need not fear for me, Aemon," Daenerys said, raising an eyebrow. "You saw my bloodriders at the wedding. They were like wolves snapping at the heels of their prey. Those men were very nearly too terrified to touch me."
"Good," he said. His darkened mood shifted and she noticed him hungrily staring at her body.
She openly returned the favor and then stepped over to him and pulled him in for a yearning kiss. She sighed as their lips parted once more. "It has been a pleasurable torture waiting for this moment," she whispered into his ear.
He shivered in response, opened his mouth to speak, but then seemed to think better of it and pulled her into yet another kiss. This one was lustier and he quickly strayed from her mouth to nip at the skin along her jawline near the back of her ear and down her throat. She moaned and reached her hand down to stroke him.
Aemon bent down and hoisted her up by the waist. Her surprised yelp quickly turned into laughter as he carried her to the bed and tossed her on it. She sprawled across the bedding, spreading her legs to welcome him. He climbed on top and gazed lovingly at her body again, placing a hand on her stomach and running up it to cup her breast.
"You're so beautiful," Aemon whispered, his voice full of reverence and longing.
"Then what are you waiting for?" Daenerys said with a coy smile.
He grinned and dove in to kiss her. Their movements were hot and urgent as they struggled to get closer. Aemon continued his earlier ministrations to suckle at her breast. Daenerys arched her back against him, her eyes rolling in her head. Drogo had never paid her special attention. They rutted like dogs against one another every night and often separated after. She had at least made him more comfortable with cuddling in the afterglow of their fucking, but that was all she was allowed to expect. Their couplings were a mere shadow to what she was experiencing now.
Aemon slowed for a moment to peer up at her, hovering just above her core with a surprisingly cocky smirk and then lowered his head between her legs. Her eyes flew open and she clenched the sheets between her fingers, struggling to keep from thrashing as the pleasure overwhelmed her. "Oooooh, yes!" she cried. She closed her eyes, barely feeling her body pitch and roll as Aemon reached up to grasp her thigh and hold her in place while he continued to delve into her.
Daenerys let out a final low moan as she crested. It was only as her senses were returning that she realized she was breathing as if she'd been running.
Aemon pulled himself eye level with her, a self-satisfied smirk on his face. She blinked slowly at him before wrapping a hand around his neck and joined their lips. This time she was on the attack, nipping at his skin and licking the salt of his sweat. He groaned and fell back to sprawl himself. She tried to take herself lower, but his hand on her arm halted her. "No … No …."
"I wish to return the pleasure," Daenerys said, frowning down at him.
His chuckle was low and raspy. "You're more apt to fill your mouth with my seed. I'd rather be inside you tonight."
"That's hardly a problem," she replied and climbed atop him.
He was the one to blink at her and then he stared as if all of his dreams had come true. It was her turn to smirk. She lowered herself onto him, closing her eyes, and letting out a breath at the sensation. She peeked through her eyelids at him and her smile only grew as he threw back his head and sucked in ragged breaths.
She waited a moment for him to catch his breath. As soon as his hands moved up to grip her hips, she started moving. Aemon's moans were low and quiet, so she went faster with every stroke, hoping to take him to the same heights he had just taken her. She was surprised when he made to sit up and wrapped her more fully into him, bearing his face into the crook of her neck. She let out a surprised gasp at the sharp bite he gave to her shoulder.
They ground together, harder and faster, their moans intermixing. The pleasure flushing through her body felt like the music she heard earlier in the evening; a decrescendo to a tickling quiet, then ramping up to be loud and bombastic.
"You have no idea how long I've been waiting for this," Aemon breathed into her neck.
Daenerys felt him stiffen beneath her and he threw his head back, groaning through his climax. She kept riding him until she finally reached her peak. In her own ecstasy, she could feel him fondling her breasts and planting soft kisses on her as she rode out her pleasure. When she felt her sense returning, she relaxed and allowed her head to fall forward, stopping only once their foreheads touched as they breathed in each other's air.
"You mean the world to me," Aemon whispered. He ran a hand softly through her hair.
She nuzzled him. "I never truly thought I'd find love," she whispered back.
After a time, they separated. Daenerys fell back and splayed across the bed. Aemon stretched out beside her, smiling in fondness. "Your dress was beautiful, Dany, but I much prefer you like this."
"I could walk naked through the halls—"
She gave a shrieking laugh as he pulled her in roughly. "And allow another man to feast his eyes on you? I think not," he playfully growled. They indulged in a few more kisses.
Once the heat had left their blood, they cuddled up together to sleep. Daenerys smiled softly to herself. All of her life, she had been longing for peace and happiness, having grown up with only snatches here and there, short-lived largely due to her brother's temper and the assassins on their trail. Finally, after sixteen years, she could say that she found her happiness exactly where she had hoped to find it.
|-The Dragon's Roar-|
It pained him to leave their bed. His wedding day had been blissful. At no point in his life, particularly in the time before, did he ever think that he would look forward to marriage and that it would be one of the happiest days of his life. All of the pent-up passion he felt came out as they made love. His heart had soared once they finally connected. Falling asleep with the woman he loved in his arms made him feel like a whole new man.
Much to his pleasure and surprise, she woke him with her mouth around his cock. He refused to allow himself to finish in her mouth and he turned it around to finish inside of her. He allowed himself a moment to relax against her, then he pulled away.
"I am still king; I must see my family and Jaime off . This is the last that I will see of them … for some time," he said. His mood dampened at the thought, but he forced a smile. He would miss having Robb to train with and, though he dare not say it to the man, he would miss Jaime's barbed remarks. He would at least have less difficulty keeping his face straight at small council meetings.
"As queen, it is my duty to see them off by your side," Daenerys proclaimed and also made to get ready.
"I shall fetch your handmaids," Aemon said. He opened the door a crack to have the servants summon the girls.
Aemon ended up leaving quicker than Daenerys. Although she was dressed, beautiful as ever, her handmaidens were still fussing over her hair. He thought she looked radiant even with her hair hanging half-dried, but he was not about to say otherwise and made his way to the courtyard, a Kingsguard in tow. The second one remained outside the door, waiting with Ser Jorah and the bloodriders for the queen to emerge.
He did not begrudge that she had her own guards, but he was pretty certain he had noticed Ser Jorah glaring at him from time to time. He hadn't remembered the man acting quite so territorial in the time before. As far as he was aware, there had been nothing between him and Daenerys. While she had been kind to Ser Jorah, Aemon didn't remember her treating him any differently than she had treated the rest of her loyal followers.
It was an annoyance, but he paid it little mind. He was king. Ser Jorah was undoubtedly a good fighter, but not better than Ser Barristan or the Hound, specifically. The other Kingsguard trained with each other and were also always improving. He was certain Ser Jorah wouldn't dare do anything rash and Dany could handle herself.
Aemon stepped into the godswood and breathed the morning air deeply. The days were starting to begin with a chill that freshened his lungs and made him feel more at home. A mist hovered in the trees, obscuring everything behind it. As he walked deeper, he heard the sleepy snort of a dragon rolling over in the underbrush. When he stepped into the trees, he found Drogon on his back, his legs up in the air. The dragon tilted his head at him in a curious manner.
"Morning, Drogon," Aemon said, bending down the scratch under the dragon's chin. The dragon leaned into it. A nearby bush stirred and Rhaegal clambered out. He was still half the size of his brother and sister, but he was growing just as rapidly. Aemon stepped around Drogon and scratched Rhaegal's neck. Rhaellon gently butted in, shoving Rhaegal out of the way. "I didn't forget it about you, Rhaellon!"
After a time he said, "I have other business to attend to. Have any of you seen Ghost?"
As if born from the mist, Ghost materialized in front of him and nudged up against his side. "It's good to see you had little trouble with the dragons."
Ghost had tolerated Rhaegal when he was no bigger than a clumsy puppy, but he seemed to understand the inherent danger of Drogon and Rhaellon. Although Aemon was familiar to them and he felt safe in their presence, he wasn't certain how the dragons would tolerate his dire wolf. He was pleased to see that they seemed to give little thought to Ghost.
"Come on, boy, I have a job for you," Aemon said and headed back towards the Keep. Even as he walked, every step felt laborious and he felt pain in his heart as he protested. Was this the right move? All of the times he'd been without Ghost, there was a hole in his heart. It seemed ridiculous that a wolf should take up any space where his family usually occupied, but then Ghost had been his only kin with him in the Night's Watch. His only piece of home, his connection to the Starks.
He shoved the feelings aside. His reluctance did not matter. This would be crucial for looking in on the negotiations when it became time. The free folk held wargs in high esteem; he could only imagine their reactions when they learned the King of the Seven Kingdoms was capable of seeing through his wolf's eyes.
He heard the sounds of horses whinnying and the rumble of voices. The courtyard was a hive of activity as soldiers and servants dashed to and fro with supplies and forgotten things. Despite everyone's distraction, they still took notice of him and Ghost, clearing a path for him.
Robb and Lady Margaery were standing next to their horses. Ghost hurried over. Robb patted him on the head, but he was more interested in tussling with Greywind.
"Ah, Your Grace," Margaery said and dropped into a curtsey.
"Your Grace," Robb said. His tone was mocking but he couldn't keep the smile from his face. "Up early after such a night? That bodes ill."
Margaery shot her husband an irritated look. Aemon punched him in the shoulder and Robb chuckled. "Not all of us have the luxury to laze about like a pig in a sty."
Robb made a motion like he'd been wounded and they both laughed.
"But where is Queen Daenerys? I very much would like to see her one last time."
"She's coming. Her ladies were still fussing with her hair."
Margaery raised her eyebrows and smirked. "She is your queen now; she must be perfect."
Aemon's lips quirked. "She's already perfect."
Margaery seemed to be having difficulty suppressing a smile and finally, she gave a sweet sigh, "Only just married and singing such proclamations of love. Take heed, my dear husband."
Robb snorted. "Do I not already worship the ground at your feet?"
Her laugh was light and airy as she kissed him on the cheek.
"Are you ready?" he asked to cut them off from getting lost in one another's eyes as they seemed wont to do.
"It will be such a relief to return home. I look forward to running Roose Bolton through," Robb said, the fury returning to his face briefly.
"All in due time," Margaery soothed. Her expression was considerably more pained. "I do look forward to seeing the North, but I am sad to leave my family behind, the Reach, and the Red Keep. And from what Robb has told me, I'm apt to miss the warmth as well."
"Don't you fret, my lady. The hot springs provide all the warmth you'll need at Winterfell," Robb said, wrapping an arm around her to bring her close.
"It is time, though, that we headed back. After all, we want our child to be born in the land he is to inherit," Margaery said, placing a hand over her middle and looking back at Robb expectantly.
Robb swelled with happiness and pride.
Aemon's eyebrows shot up into his air. "That's wonderful news," he said. "Congratulations, cousin. I wish you both the utmost happiness. When you are able, it would please me to be informed of the birth of another of my brethren."
"Of course," Margaery demurred. She suddenly looked past him and smiled. "Excuse me, Your Grace," she threw her arms around Ser Loras who was dressed in full armor. "I know you are intending to dedicate yourself to the Wall, but I am so pleased that I will have a brother in the North."
"Were I not going to the Wall, I would insist upon staying in Winterfell with you," he replied.
"Step aside. I expect this will be the last I look upon my granddaughter," Lady Olenna said, lightly pushing her way through.
Margaery threw her arms around her. "Grandmother, I wish you wouldn't speak in such final terms."
"Why not? You think I will be making the long journey North? Not these old bones."
"Perhaps not, but there's always a chance we will come south," Margaery said.
Olenna gave Margaery a look that Aemon had seen often when she thought someone had said something ridiculous. Margaery just laughed.
"You be safe."
"I have Loras and my husband," Margaery said, making a show to link her arm with Robb.
"Yes, that certainly eases my mind," Olenna said, her disappointment evident.
"Lady Margaery will be well cared for in Winterfell. She will have support in my own wife as well," his Uncle Ned said, finally joining them.
"Uncle, are you ready then?" Aemon asked.
His uncle's smile faltered and he said, "May I have a word?"
They went around the horse for a little bit of separation, but Aemon had a feeling there was nothing that would demand secrecy.
"I understand that Sansa is betrothed to Lord Willas and will therefore remain in King's Landing, but must Arya remain?"
"We discussed this. She has a chance for her best match here in the south and you agreed. Have you changed your mind? There aren't many men of an age with Arya in the North," Aemon said.
They both turned to find Arya. She and Lord Edric Dayne were sharing a tearful farewell with Lady Lucille. Edric was dry-eyed, but his smile was pained. Arya kept vigorously wiping her eyes, but Lucille wept openly as they kept hugging. It tugged on Aemon's heartstrings that the two girls should be separated. Lady Lucille had been a positive influence on Arya, proving that it was possible to fight and sew at the same time. He almost wanted Arya to head back north if only for the two to stay together a little bit longer, but they were to separate eventually since the Alexandratos family would live in the Westerlands.
"I hadn't … quite prepared myself to leave both Sansa and Arya here," his uncle said.
Aemon smiled. "She will be in good hands here, Uncle."
His uncle sighed.
"Father? May I say goodbye?" Sansa asked, peering around the horse.
"Of course, sweetling," his uncle replied.
Aemon held out his hand. "Goodbye, Uncle. Keep me informed of happenings in the North. Let me know if you need anything. Good luck," he said.
His uncle grasped his forearm and nodded. Aemon was surprised that he was temporarily overwhelmed with emotion, though he pushed it to the back of his mind. He hadn't realized until they were leaving what a comfort his family's presence had been as he struggled for his foothold in King's Landing.
They walked out from between the horses. His uncle enveloped Sansa in a hug. Daenerys had finally joined in a stunning floating red dress with characteristic Targaryen black ruffles. She was involved in a conversation with Lady Margaery and Lady Olenna.
He lingered a moment to admire his wife, barely able to believe that they were now bound together for the rest of their lives as he had so longed for. Furthermore, she returned his love. There could be no mistaking her enthusiasm in their activities the previous night and that morning. His heart felt lighter than it had since she had perished in the time before.
Aemon whistled and patted his side to get Ghost's attention once more and the direwolf fell into step with him again. He headed further down the line until he found Jaime and Brienne next to their horses. Much to his amusement, both were fully dressed in their armor compared to his uncle who was dressed in his simple riding gear.
"Ah, Your Grace, at last you make your appearance," Jaime said with a smirk.
"I know you think you're first in all things, but you come second to my family," Aemon shot back.
Jaime affected a nettled expression. "You wound me."
"Lady Brienne, you'll keep this rogue in line?"
"The Seven help me in that endeavor," she replied with a long-suffering look. Jaime only grinned at her.
"You have your instructions?"
"Of course, Your Grace. How could I forget those?"
"Then you'll be needing him," Aemon said, tapping Ghost's head. His fingers lingered in the fur.
"I can't imagine a direwolf will be too much trouble."
"I should think not. He hunts for himself. Just don't lose him. He will no doubt be of use in the North, beyond the Wall," Aemon replied. Then he knelt down to look Ghost in the eye, continuing to stroke his head. "Ghost, you will accompany Jaime to the North." He looked up at Jaime and he noticed his direwolf follow his gaze. "Stay by his side, protect him from danger."
"I don't need protection," Jaime scoffed.
"Keep him from doing anything foolhardy, okay?" He turned back to Jaime, "I do expect him back."
"Of course, Your Grace," Jaime replied. He held his hand out to Ghost who sniffed it tentatively and then turned away. Jaime tentatively touched his head and began petting him as he grew certain the wolf wasn't going to turn on him.
Aemon stepped away. Ghost was looking at him in what he thought was a mournful expression, but he stayed by Jaime as commanded. "Good boy," he mumbled.
He allowed his attention to be drawn to other commotion. Nearby, it seemed the entire Shepherd flock had entered the Red Keep to say their farewells to the Alexandratos family. Lucille had finally pulled away from Arya and Edric and was now accepting hugs and words there. David separated himself from the group to speak to Jaime.
"You will keep them safe," David said sternly.
Jaime scowled back. "My father is dead; you don't need to step in and act like him."
"They may now be of the Westerlands, but they will always be Shepherds," David replied. "My concern for them will never vanish. I wish you good fortune in the North. May the wildlings accept the terms with little difficulty."
Aemon and Jaime shared a look as they tried not to laugh. Tywin would be more amenable, he thought, shaking his head with mirth, but they had worked hard on the negotiations, giving Jaime a few different terms to offer should there be pushback.
His uncle finally gave the signal to mount up and march out. The bulk of men were already outside the city and would join with their lords as they passed. Aemon found Daenerys and he interlaced his fingers with hers as the column began to move. He held a hand up in farewell. His uncle nodded at him, Robb smirked and winked, Jaime sat haughtily on his horse and nodded. Ghost actually looked over at him, but kept pace with Jaime's horse. Greatjon Umber, Lord Helman and Leobald Tallhart and their sons, Lord Galbart and Robett Glover, Lord Rodrick Ryswell and his sons, Ser Edmure Tully, and Andar and Robar Royce. He and Daenerys stayed there until the last person left, leaving the grounds empty and forlorn.