Hello! I am RoweenaJAugustine, and with me here is MissMac :D You might remember us from out notable works, such as

Price of Our Sins, by RoweenaJAugustine
and
Hear My Fury by MissMac

But here we both are, writing a story...TOGETHER!


Prologue

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Robert of the House Baratheon, First of His Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm would forever be remembered for years to come by the rebellion he led and the bastards he fathered, although no one knew the exact number of them. While many of these bastards would come to be cared for, the lucky few would be given the gift of becoming an acknowledged bastard. Robert did not offer his love or affection to his many children, except for one of his first bastard boys.

Macon.

Macon Waters had once been destined to inherit the Iron Throne, months before he was born. His mother had once been one of the two women Robert Baratheon ever treasured, ever cared for. He held Lady Dahlia Penrose above any whore or tavern wench he'd ever had, but it was Lyanna Stark who he held far above anyone in the world. When the Stark girl died, Lady Dahlia was the first name that came on his lips when his men demanded the name of his queen. His men were pushing him to marry—what king could rule without a queen who could give him strong sons? — and who better than an old friend who'd silently held a torch for him all these years? But their destiny had been changed with one switch move of Tywin Lannister.

Robert had been given his choice of brides after Lyanna Stark had been found dead, but he was young and angered and would have no one else but the beautiful Dahlia Penrose, one of his lesser bannermen's daughter's and his friend since boyhood. When he had met his bride-to-be after so many years apart, Robert had been preparing to storm King's Landing, to end his rebellion and exact his revenge on the dragons which repeatedly wronged all of Westeros. He had taken his frustration and anger and pain and turned it into a strength that would allow his vengeance to be fulfilled. Lady Penrose had lain with Robert the first night he came to her castle—enchanted by the handsome rebel— and all the nights after, with the promises of being his wife and queen dancing through her mind. The young, innocent girl was easy prey for Robert, who hadn't known how easy young hearts were broken.

It was not to be; life is no song, life is no fairytale as the sweet Lady Dahlia soon learned. She was young and innocent when Robert suddenly proclaimed he would marry her. She was but a child, with wonderful dreams of being a queen, of marrying some handsome rogue. When the old lion decided to join the winning side, he demanded his only daughter marry Robert instead, else his forces remain unused and in the west. Robert cast Dahlia aside without a second glance, for although he held her above other women, his vengeance for his beloved Lyanna was all he truly cared for.

Robert Baratheon took her innocence, her childhood with such ease, without looking back to see what he had left behind. Her dreams and heart were ripped to shreds when he married Cersei Lannister, the most beautiful girl in all the kingdoms. How could she compare? She was fatter than the beautiful lioness, her house was smaller and poorer, her hair was common brown rather than spun gold, and she was now ruined. For nothing...nothing but a man's momentary comfort.

She never thought she would have been so replaceable—for how could people be so expendable? — and it suddenly occurred to her that she had never meant anything to Robert, not really, maybe not ever. At best she had been a distraction from cold and lonely nights, but never a girl he could love. Lyanna Stark had taken his love with her when she died. Somehow Dahlia was comforted by that—let Cersei Lannister have a callous, unfeeling marriage with him, let her suffer through it. But the other half of her was angry. Bitter. How dare he use her like a common whore, and then promise her a marriage and crown as though it would all be made better then. The hatred for the black bearded rebel-King faded into hurt and grief at all she'd lost—all so quickly—when her moons blood ceased to come.

The months were cold and long there in her father's castle in the Storm Lands, hidden away in shame and embarrassment. Her belly grew larger, her baby kicked and rolled inside her, giving her no rest. Father had forbidden her to write letters to Robert, "He's a king" he said with a scowl, "the last thing he needs is some slut claiming her whelp is his." She flinched. Father had never been so nasty to her...before. Dahlia endured months alone in that castle, her mother would not see her, and her brothers agreed with their father she had been an idiot, although in a far kinder way. Yet one morning as she stroked her bulging belly she could not endure another moment and wrote Robert a letter, pushing away fear of her father's wrath. Her babe needed its father; it needed a home where it could grow, safe and happy without the terrible glower of its grandfather on them.

Although the letter was meant for Robert's eyes, it was the Hand who first discovered the bastard that had been created from lies and lonely nights. It was by lucky chance that Jon Arryn was given the letter, for his Hand was just. He had pondered of the situation, knowing that the Realm was still hanging in a fragile balance from the recent rebellion, knowing that a woman who was not Queen was carrying the first-born of the King would destroy what little control over Westeros Robert had. They'd call him 'defiler', seducing some young girl for his own pleasures and that would breed more hatred for the new king. After many days and nights spent staring at the letter, Jon addressed Robert of the situation.

"Your Grace, when you took Lady Penrose to your bed, it was under the pretense that the two of you were betrothed." Robert had remained silent, even half-drunk he would not sprout lies to the man he saw as a father. "A bastard grows in her womb, larger each day. Your child, you know. She wrote to you, begging for the child to be taken in, to be cared for. She spoke nothing of herself, only the babe." Robert had sat across from Jon as the Hand spoke of options, each scenario sounding worse than the last. It had been decided that the girl, who carried the would-be heir in her womb, would be brought to King's Landing before a decision would be made.

As Lady Penrose traveled to the capital, her child refused to wait to be born. It was with the most brutal of pains that she bore a wailing boy into the world on her journey. Born at the side of a road, she thought with a laugh. Dahlia could not stop staring at her beautiful black-haired son, even as the beauty of King's Landing, and then the Red Keep, came into her view. Nothing in the world existed over the next few weeks except for her son, for her little Macon. How could something so perfect, have come from such a horrid situation?

Dahlia had not been made to see Robert for nearly a week after arriving, staying shut away in her room with Macon. No expense had been spared for her, and she for once felt like the Queen she had once been told she would be. When the knock arrived at her door, Lady Penrose had been shocked to find both the Hand and the King had come to see her in her chambers. She might have been ashamed at her rumpled and tired state, but Robert's appearance kept her from lingering on her useless shame. She took in the King's condition, and saw none of the man she'd been half in love with in him. This made her sad. Where was the king she thought to one day call her own? Robert was half-drunk and half-mad, but she would not discover until shortly later that cause of his distress.

Three days prior the Queen had given birth to a son, Robert's first legitimate son. And just the evening before, the infant had been taken away to the crypts as Robert beat his hands bloody against the wall. For even a man who led a country into Rebellion, death was not able to be conquered. It was from this state that Robert had visited Lady Penrose, with Jon Arryn at his side. When she offered her son to Robert, the man had taken one look at the healthy, breathing, living child and made his declaration.

"This boy may be a bastard, but I claim him as mine."

And with those words, Robert Baratheon had damned Macon Waters and his sweet lady mother to a life worse than Hell.

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For over a year, Lady Penrose lived her life and took care of her son with relative ease and in lavish comfort. Her rooms were large and looked over Blackwater Bay, often she and Macon would watch the boats sail past until the sun set over the sea. He was such a jolly little thing, so very easy to love. Her little prince, the heir to the throne so long as Cersei Lannister never gave Robert another boy. Robert loved Macon, she could see it in the way he spent time with him, and the way he gave the boy so much of his time. Macon could be so much more than a bastard or knight or a merchant or a sailor, and Dahlia prayed everyday he rose above his lot in life. Every day she hoped the gods never gave Cersei Lannister another child, never gave her another son. That way, it would be assured her son remained safe and had a chance to be more than she ever thought he could be.

Cersei Lannister...there had been a time, not very long ago, when Lady Penrose pitied her; she'd married Robert for a crown and was sentenced to a life of cold misery with him, and she'd lost her first child too make it worse. But soon it became very plain that that woman did not want her pity. Once, as she made her way through the halls of the Red Keep, that golden haired shrew and her mangy, honourless brother had cornered her. Thank the gods Macon had not been with her. The Kingslayer stood back and let his sister do the talking, but the threat was clear in the way he held the pommel of his sword (the same one he'd used to kill the Mad King, no doubt): I will not hesitate to stop you if you say something my sister doesn't like.

"Don't you dare think, for one instant, that your bastard will ever be king. You're a whore, a pathetic husk who gave Robert nothing but a bastard with dirty blood. I am the queen, and my children will rule. Now take your whelp, and leave the Capitol before you and that thing at your tit meet the fate of Princess Elia and her babe." The queen left her with that, her brother smirking like he should be proud as he followed her down the hall. Lady Penrose was tempted to take the queen's threat to heart, to run with her boy back to her father's castle in the Storm Lands, where it would be cold and cruel, but safe. But she couldn't...she wouldn't give that bitch the satisfaction; she wouldn't run away like the ruined woman they all thought she was. The people of the Storm Lands were hard, weathered by the storms which plundered their lands, and she would not concede defeat, not when Macon had the chance to be so much more than she'd ever hoped him to be. Robert cared more for Macon than he did his wife. So she stayed, and told the king what his wife had done, what she'd threatened.

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Each time Robert had visited Cersei in that year, he had always arrived more drunk than the last she had seen him. But after her confrontation with Lady Penrose, Robert had arrived sober, but no gentler than he was when drunk. The sound of the slap had echoed through the room, but Cersei did not cry out, not for him, not anymore. The queen blocked out his words of reprimand that he used to defend his whore and her babe. What made her so special? What made Robert care for her more than his wife?

He had taken her that night after his angry words were spat out, as if to show her once more that she would always be beneath him, no matter her actions or words, he'd always be in power. As Robert grunted and groaned above her, Cersei allowed her mind to wander, shutting away what was happening and only thinking of what would happen soon. She had yet to tell Robert, but the signs of her pregnancy had started to ail her. Cersei knew in her heart that the babe would be Jaime's, seeing as Robert had been too drunk and too preoccupied in the last year with his bastard son to notice. As the young Queen lay in her bed alone, hours after Robert had left, a change had occurred. What had started on her wedding night, hearing another woman's name spoken in her ear, and what had continued the day her first-born son died, had nearly completed. That night, Cersei changed from a starry-eyed cub into a fierce lioness.

It wasn't until Cersei bore a son with golden hair that Lady Penrose felt danger growing inside the Keep. With each passing day Macon grew to look more like his father, with his deep black hair and shining blue eyes and his temper was starting to show as well. When whispers of the King's new son fell on Lady Penrose's ears, telling of the golden-hair of Joffrey Baratheon, the Queen's words came back to haunt her. Lady Penrose did not take Cersei for a liar, and everyone knew that a Lannister paid their debts. It was only a matter of time before Macon would be in danger, driving Lady Penrose into Jon Arryn's chambers, begging to be sent away. He had assured her that Robert would not have it for he did care for her son, and would forbid her from leaving King's Landing. Lady Penrose left the Hand's Tower, no more comforted than she was entering it.

But weeks later a raven arrived from her father, one that Lady Penrose thought would ensure both Macon's safety and her happiness. For years to come, she would always regret her response to that letter, would torture herself every night for accepting Lord Godfrey Trant's offer of marriage.

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And so life went on, as it always does. She married Godfrey in a small sept in the city. It was not a grand ceremony, and it was not even in the Great Sept of Baelor, because a king's mistress does not deserve such finery. She'd never met Lord Godfrey Trant before; all she knew of him was that his father had died in the Rebellion and that he was thirty and two and that his hair was greying. When she met him he was not romantic and didn't spout ballads of love to her. She was thankful for that. His civility towards her was more welcome than any false affection. He made no acknowledgement to her son, but it would be stupid to assume he would ignore him completely.

"It's a miracle he even took you," her father spat the day of her wedding. "Marching about the Red Keep as though you were the queen herself, when you have not a husband to call your own. Soft headed girl, you." She ignored him. Lord Godfrey would take her back to his home and keep her son safe, even if he doesn't mean to, he will take her son away from the Capitol and put him under his castle's protection, and that would be enough. That would be enough...

Lord Godfrey was a...cold man, she could say. It was as though affection was never given to him, and so he knew not how to give it. The night of their wedding was cold and dispassionate, but she didn't mind much, her mind only of how her son would be safe with this marriage. Only they didn't retreat back to the Storm Lands after the wedding...they remained there in the Capitol, her lord husband moving into the rooms which she and Macon had once called theirs and theirs alone.

"He's the king's bastard, ev'ryone knows it," Godfrey grumbled to her one night when she demanded to know why they stayed where she and her son were most vulnerable. "Don't deny it, woman. I'll be damned if I go back to my family's seat and take him with me. I'd rather leave him here and take you with me, but you love the little bastard so. It will not please me to have a cold and weeping wife. We stay here, until the boy's old nuff to handle 'imself or we find a good marriage for 'im."

It was almost a kindness, but not quite. He hated Macon; she could see it in the way he looked at him, and the way he looked at the king. He hated her son who was not his own. Would he love him better, if Macon was his? Would he look at her like his wife and not his duty, if Macon was his? For the first time, Lady Penrose—well, Lady Trant now—cursed her boy's father for being who he was, a whoring drunkard King, who would have shamed whatever wife he'd had—weather it was her, Lyanna or someone else. What she once pitied Cersei Lannister for, she now had condemned herself to: a loveless marriage.

The Capitol which once held such lavish beauty to her before became a place where danger lurked behind every corner, in every shadow and in every stranger's smile. The queen had spies everywhere, and a low born would do about anything for a purse of gold. Even kill an innocent child. She kept Macon close, entrusted his welfare with few, and rained affection on him because who knew what would happen? But every time she held her son close, every time she showered him with affection just to see him smile his beautiful toothy grin, her husband's resentment grew a little more. She wished she could make Lord Godfrey happy, wished she could see him smile at her, but she couldn't. She couldn't stop loving her boy, to make her husband happy, and so she suffered for it.

Lady Penrose had taken her suffering as her punishment from the Gods for being foolish, for being weak. She had tried to remain strong; from the day she was told she was with child, until the night she laid awake next to her new husband. But the next morning, her first morning as a wife, had proved that Lord Godrey was no savior. It was a slow change at first, with Lady Penrose thinking he was just adjusting to life as a husband and that the anger in his voice would fade as they spent time with each other. It may have happened that way, no one but the Gods new for sure, but because of Macon, the walking and now talking proof that his wife had been soiled, Lord Godfrey felt a fool. What started as harsh words quickly changed to harsh hands. Lady Penrose suffered in silence, never speaking of the abuse to any for fear that it would only become worse. Living in fear, both of outsiders and the man she shared a bed with, had changed Lady Penrose into a docile, withdrawn woman. The only one she was able to find comfort in was Macon, even as they never spoke of the raised voices or bruises that marred her skin. She never blamed her son though, only herself.

Macon had little time with his mother's husband, but the small amount was enough for him to understand that Lord Godfrey hated him. The young boy, who would often be found spending time alone with the King no less, had had never understood why Lady Penrose warned him to stay quiet and out of sight when Lord Godfrey was around, always sending the poor boy to bed before the Lord returned to their chambers. It wasn't until many years later that Macon discovered why his mother feared Lord Godfrey as much as she did.

He had seen Lord Godfrey raise a hand to his mother but once in his life, one terrifying night when he had been a lad of seven. Macon heard it many times before, but somehow that night was different. When he awoke to shouting, he rose from his bed, pressed flush against the wall, hiding, watching, listening until he turned the corner and saw his mother and her lord husband down before the fire.

Macon didn't even remember the argument; he forgot everything when he saw the man raise his big hand to his mother, and watched in horror as it struck down onto her soft red cheek, knocking her down on the floor. The man was drunk, Macon could see it in his stumbling steps as he began to raise his hand again—

"Stop!" he had shouted, and suddenly he was down before the fire too, pushing the tall skinny man from his mother, and when he stumbled away, Macon was never more terrified when he realized it was Lord Godfrey he'd pushed. But instead of beating him, or dragging him out of the Keep kicking and screaming, and throwing him out into the cold with a promise to kill him if he ever returned, Lord Godfrey only stood, straightening himself into a dignified stance. His mother wept and raised a shaking hand to grip her son's arm, just as terrified as to what her husband would do to her sweet son, who'd only been defending her.

Lord Godfrey only stared at him. Macon was too young a boy to hold such an intimidating stare and turned to find comfort from his mother. She pulled him close, her tears wetting his black hair. As she held him, rocking him in her arms like a babe, Lord Godfrey staring at him almost sadly, Macon suddenly felt ashamed. He should be stronger, he should be a man. Maybe then Lord Godfrey would love him.

After that, Macon never clung to his mother again.


Once again, this story is being written by MissMac and RoweenaJAugustine

PS: For hardcore Throners, as I've dubbed them, House Penroses' seat is Parchments which is far from King's Landing by the sea, but for the sake of the story, let's pretend it isn't :D

Please review and tell us how it's going so far and leave any suggestions or comments ;D

TATA!