The Evil I Did For Love
"No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks"
—Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly
The candle light flickered against the walls, the soft orange light waving against the dark shadows that shrouded their tent. Silhouetted against the brown deer skin wall, two figures stared at one another, one lying down on the warm furs while the other held her hand. Laboured breathing was all that sounded from the prone figure, each breath feeling more difficult than the last.
Eve took in a shuttering breath as the life slowly faded from her body; pain just a dulling throb on her side, where the axe had been buried. Death was near, she could feel it in every weak pulse her heart gave, every weak breath she drew, every sweet promise Robb whispered. The hope had died from his eyes, and she knew, this night would be her last.
Eve Karstark had never felt weaker as she lay there, struggling for breath. Of all the things to die of, she thought bitterly, a Lannister's axe did me in.
Robb stared down at her beautiful face. Her long black hair was matted with dirt and blood and sweat, her face was pale and her dress was stained red with her blood, on her long neck, her blood had spattered in red blotches. Vainly, Robb stroked her hair and held her hand, watching as her skin grew pale. His face was unmasked and bare before her dulling blue eyes. Dread and heartache was written clear in his eyes, an emotion so vulnerable and awful, that Eve herself had only seen it once before...when she, his wife—his Valery—had died.
For the first time, as she lay dying before the man she loved enough to kill for, Eve felt a wave of regret crush her like a tidal wave against the sharp and jagged rocks on the shore. She had to tell him, she could never die in peace if he didn't know the truth. That would forever be her torment in the afterlife, knowing that Robb had lived on without answers to the question that pained him. Know her for a fool, but she had to tell him. He had loved his wife, very much so, and it burned her like nothing ever had before.
In Queen Valery's presence, anger took hold; when that woman smiled or kissed Robb, Eve's hands clenched into fists, when they retired to their tent at night, the knowledge of what they must have been doing made her want to scream. Instead, Eve Karstark held in her wrath, her jealousy, hid it with smiles and jokes, when underneath her skin, a fire burned though her, so hot and fierce it frightened her at times.
Eve had known Robb since childhood, had known him before he was king and before he was a man. They had played at kissing in the godswood, sloppy little children's kisses and pretended to hate it, only to go back for more afterwards. Then, as they grew, their kisses grew more confident and more passionate, and soon, childhood playmates became lovers. They had been gloriously happy, kissing in the dark halls at Winterfell, sharing secret smiles, curling up together at night when she slipped into his room.
Eve had entertained silly little girl dreams of her and Robb, and now that she was older and used to the disappointments of the world, she knew that what you want is never really what you get.
The gods, cruel as they were, had doomed them to ruin.
Each passing day brought closer the time when her fostering at Winterfell was to come to an end. Suddenly, one day during her fifteenth season, her family's banners had been spotted not far off from Winterfell's walls. This would be the last time she saw Robb Stark until she arrived at his camp, a year after his wedding to that mousy little Valery.
Her family had been driven from their castle by a fleet of a hundred war ships and because all their defending knights had left for Robb's Rebellion, they were forced to flee South. They found the northerner's camp, and upon seeing Robb, four years older and so handsome and strong, Eve's heart left her once more and returned to his hand, only to have him crush it when he introduced some mousy little girl as his wife.
Valery Frey, a petite red haired girl that Robb had seen fit to marry. The girl was quiet and shy, so delicate that Eve knew the girl could barely get atop her horse unassisted. She was lovely enough, as Frey's go, but was a weak attempt for a Queen. Robb Stark deserved a strong wife, one who would give him good advisement, and strong sons. Valery Frey would only whelp little weaklings, as small as her, as shy as her, as unfit as her. But oh, Robb had loved her.
She squeezed his hand a little, trying not to remember the way his face twisted in agony when his wife had died. The attempt proved impossible, and it weighed so heavily on her chest that her breathing came shorter.
Valery Stark had been safe in her and Robb's tent, her slender fingers dancing anxiously as she awaited her beloved's return. The little goblet of wine was half empty as she raised it to her lips, sipping and swallowing innocently. When Robb returned from battle, red with the blood of the Lannister's, he found his sweet wife dead on the ground, her poisoned wine cup lying next to her cold hand.
Eve drew in a painful breath, tears stinging her eyes as she gave a bitter laugh.
"The, the god's p-punishment...is just." She managed to choke out, her voice trembling in pain. This agony, it was her punishment; Robb's pain was her punishment as well as her sin. She had caused his pain.
Robb squeezed her hand tighter. "Shush," he whispered. "You've done nothing to deserve this, Eve. You're a good woman. You're..." he choked on his words. "You're going to be fine." His voice remained unconvincing. His heart gave a painful throb as he realized he was going to lose the one other woman who had ever held his heart. First Val, and now Eve...what had he done to deserve such hatred from the gods?
"Oh, don't be stupid, Robb." She snapped painfully, almost teasingly. "I'm dying, and I can't, can't leave for the afterlife with l-lies in my heart." Her brows creased, a distressed look flitting across her face for the first time that night.
Robb frowned. "Eve, what lies? I love you; you've been good to me, my wife in all but name." He stared at her, not a trace of doubt within his beautiful eyes. Eve's tears finally fell, rolling down her temples and disappearing into her hair.
"N-no," she whimpered. "I haven't, ha-haven't been good." Robb remained silent, confused by her words. It was a dying woman's ramblings, wasn't it? Why else would she be saying these lies?
Her breasts heaved with her laboured breaths, "P-please remember," she wheezed. "What I did, I did out of my l-love for you." Robb tensed, fearful of what she was trying to tell him. What had she done?
Eve looked away, unable to meet his eyes as she confessed her sins. After an endless moment her weak voice said in barely a whisper, "It was me. I...I killed Valery. I poisoned her w-wine pi-pitcher."
The world slowed a moment, the silence endless, deafening, and cold. Eve felt the air shift, felt his hand squeeze her own painfully tight as he mulled over what she had just admitted. After sometime in this horrid limbo, Eve found the courage to look back up at Robb, to find a frightening look she had never seen before, take over his features.
Ice water had entered his blood, shocking him to his very core. Eve, the woman who had comforted him when Val died, had killed her herself. It seemed so impossible and for a moment, he was numb with the weight of this admission. Valery had died because some soldier had been a traitor and poisoned her...Eve she...wouldn't...she was dying! Why was she saying this?
Then the horrible realization sunk in.
Valery...his sweet Valery. She had never done anything ill to Eve, nothing! Val was a good woman. She was kind and sweet, shy and he loved her more than he thought it was possible to love another. More than the childhood love he had felt for Eve.
When he first met her, she was a tentative seventeen year old girl, wide eyed and tense in his presence. Her long, lustrous red hair tumbled down to her curved waist, her pale skin tinted pink from the cold, and her grey eyes watched everything in a silent fascination. It took them a while to get comfortable with one another, several awkward nights and shy mornings, but soon enough, Valery's smiles were no longer shy and forced, but loving and natural. Gone was the timid, unsure girl he'd met back at the Twins. In her place was a Queen, strong and sure, the woman who owned his heart.
When she died, Eve had comforted him! Had told him they'd find the traitor and make him suffer. The need for comfort had taken him, and Eve's arms were always open. Her words were sweet, but they never felt like enough. He needed more than her kind words innocent embraces, although it made him feel like a cad fro thinking such things. It was months before he was able to kiss her, to betray his wife's memory, and no matter how content and peaceful he felt with Eve, guilt and loss still owned the part of him that had belonged to Valery.
He missed her, grieved for her, but at the same time, had managed to fall in love with another woman. It's what she'd want, he had told himself after he and Eve made love. She wanted people to be happy; she liked it better when we smiled instead of cried.
Valery wouldn't have wanted this. He'd fallen for her murder. How sick was that? Robb felt disgusted with himself. How could he have been so blind? So stupid?
Eve watched as Robb's face grew stony, letting out a weak whimper when Robb tightened his hold on her wrist even more.
Perhaps Valery had been better for him, Eve thought. She had never broken him as I have.
"Why?" Robb finally growled out. Eve flinched, wincing as the pain the action garnered. She did not answer. "Why!" he snapped again.
Holding back a sob at the hate in his voice, Eve whispered out weakly, "Because, I wan-wanted you for m-myself." Death was closer now; she could see it in Robb's eyes. She welcomed it; if it would bring him comfort...she was going to die either way.
Robb released her weak hand from his vice grip and let his fingers touch the side of her long neck one last time. For a second, he let his thumb rub across the line of her jaw. In that touch, Eve could feel everything: his hatred that twined with his love, the pain of loss creating the hollow feeling of justice.
"Goodbye my love," she wheezed as Robb closed his hands around her neck and squeezed. Robb's face remained hard and lifeless, watching, without blinking, as Eve Karstark died beneath his hands.
Hmmm...well...uh, I may rewrite this in the future, add more detail, make it longer etc.
*shudder* ooh, this was fun to write, but I am pretty iffy about it :/
please review! ;D