Sanctuary

Chapter 8

The parlor was feeling smaller and smaller every day, and Robb felt like he was going mad. His brothers and sisters would visit him throughout the day, and the Frey schoolteacher had offered him use of her books to stave off the boredom, and all the while Jeyne or his mother would hover; he was her oldest, the one she'd always worry about the most.

Right now, though, he was alone. Jeyne had gone back to town to rest. The children were outside, and his mother had gone to call on Miss Dacey and Jory. Robb had read the penny novels Roslin had lent him, and his hand felt raw from stroking Grey Wind's head. He'd memorized the grain of the beams of wood running along the ceiling, and he was about to scream from boredom.

Finally, three days after he woke up, he’d had enough. Forcing himself to sit up, he grit his teeth and gripped the arm of the sofa. His feet felt rubbery and thick when he set them on the ground, and his legs felt wobbly and hollow. By the time he straightened, a fine sheen of sweat covered his face. Still holding onto the couch with one hand, he reached over and pushed the window open. From here he could see the horse pasture, the thriving garden, the purple smudge of mountains on the far northern horizon.

Robb gazed out over the pasture. Midnight and Smiler were missing, as they usually were. Only now it was Alice riding his horse, doing his work. Just last Thursday she'd helped deliver Senecca's foal, a bold, sweet, black filly named Whisper. Robb had no idea how she was able to work with Theon, but according to Sansa and Roslin, she was up every morning at dawn with no complaints and returned by dusk every night. He'd asked Theon a few nights previous what he thought of her, and his oldest friend had shrugged.

"Ain't doin' bad, but she's still got a lot to learn." Theon slumped back in the chintz armchair across from Robb's davenport. "She ain't...born to this." His grey eyes flicked to Robb's and the words went unspoken. She ain't you.

"Give her a chance." Robb had said. "You an' I've been at this for years. She's only had a few weeks. Less than that." He scowled, scratched at his beard. "Hate this damn thing. How's the land? Anything unusual out there?"

Theon shook his head. In the low lamplight, Robb realized how hollow he looked. He'd lost weight, and there were heavy bags under his eyes. He swallowed, and when he spoke his voice was raw. "Just come out and ask, Robb. I ain't seen her. Yg- the Wildling woman. I told you, she's gone."

Robb just nodded. Theon had always kept himself closed and locked tight, but Robb had been around him long enough to find little chinks in his armor, ways to tell he was hurt. And he was hurting now. He'd never been close to anyone, never had many friends or acquaintances. The loss of the Wildling woman was digging deep into him.For a moment, Robb felt bad for forcing the issue. Outside of the parlor he heard childish laughter, running feet. They're why I did it. To keep them safe. It's what Pa would do.

He cleared his throat, casting around for another topic. "So, Alice treatin' Midnight alright?"

Theon snorted. "Caught her fuckin' singing to the horse while she was grooming 'er last night. Some bawdy bar tune. She turned pink as a whore's cunt when she saw me."

"Poor thing." Robb grinned. "I hope you're bein' nice to her, Theon."

"I am, I am." Theon scrubbed a hand over his face, muttering something.

"What?"

"She makes me lunch now." Theon's expression was carefully arranged, but Robb thought he looked pleased. "And she makes sure I eat it all too. 's like having your mother riding out with me every day."

"Don't get used to that. Soon as I can I'm back out there with you and you're packin' your own lunch, buster."

"You think she'll leave then?" Theon was picking at a bit of dirt lodged under his nails.

Robb shrugged. "Dunno. Wouldn't mind if she stayed on. The kids like her. Ma likes her. We could always use an extra hand." He looked carefully at his friend. "You haven't heard why she was on the run, have you?"

Theon shook his head. "Haven't asked. She stays out of my business, I stay out of hers.” He stood, brushing his trousers off. “I’m gonna go down to the saloon.”

“Play a round of poker for me.”

“Please. I’d like to come back with some coin, thank you.”

Now, it hurt to stand. The pain radiated through the bottoms of his feet through the top, up through his ankles, but it was a good hurt. Robb pressed his toes against the floor, baring his teeth at the flares of pain that shot up through them. Standing hurt, and walking was nearly impossible, but after several long minutes he was able to ease himself into one of the old rocking chairs on the back porch. His bones creaked in protest, but he ignored them. The air was sweet and the sunlight warm, and the soft breeze tickled his skin. He rubbed at his beard, irritated at the pain in his right shoulder that kept him from holding a razor steady enough to shave.

“Robb!” From the yard Rickon’s voice piped up, and he sprinted towards his big brother. “You’re alive!”

Robb saw Rickon flinging himself toward him and realized too late he was about to catch him full in the gut. “Rickon, no-”

Right as the boy sprang towards Robb a pair of arms caught Rickon and swooped him away in a flash of red fabric. “Easy there, cowboy!”

Roslin, the Frey schoolteacher, was exiting the house at the same time Rickon was taking flight and had managed to catch him. Showing surprising strength, she tossed the boy over her shoulder with a laugh, drawing a whoop from him. "Make me fly, Miss Rosie!"

"Not so soon after lunch, there." Roslin set Rickon back on his feet, both their cheeks flushed, and brushed his wiry auburn hair out of his eyes. "You can't go jumping on your brother like that so soon, honey. He's not feeling well enough." She glanced over at Robb and blinked before hurriedly glancing away. "Right?"

"Uh...yes ma'am." Robb felt suddenly foolish and exposed as he realized he wasn't dressed in anything other than his red union suit. If Ma were here she'd have your hide. "It's cool out here, Rickon, go on and fetch me a blanket, would you?"

"But you're sweating, and your face is all red," Rickon replied.

"Just do what I'm tellin' you, boy, less you want a switchin'." It was an empty threat; Robb could barely stand, but the four-year-old didn't know any better. His blue eyes widened slightly and he skittered inside the house. The screen door squealed as it shut. Roslin didn’t know where to look. Rob cleared his throat. "I hope you like it out here. I know a lot's happened since you came and I...I just hope you're comfortable."

Roslin glanced at him, smiling shyly, before looking away. "I'm just fine. I come from a big family and someone's always shooting someone else or getting stuck in a bear trap or something like that."

It was Robb's turn to raise his eyebrows. "Bear traps?"

Before the girl could respond the back door squealed again. "Robb, lookit! Lookit who’s home!" Rickon was shouting. Robb looked, and his jaw dropped.

"Pa..."

Ned Stark filled the doorframe, Rickon clinging to him. He looked haggard and dusty, as if he’d ridden for days on end. Robb struggled to his feet as Ned set Rickon down. His father took a step towards him, his grey eyes flicking over his firstborn, as if reassuring himself that Robb was alive and standing before him.

“Your mother sent letters. It took them a long while to hunt Jon and I down. We rode as soon as we heard. I feared the worst, Robb.”

“I’m sorry.” Robb wasn’t exactly sure why he was apologizing, but it seemed like the right thing to do. “Ma and Jeynie’ve been with me since it happened. I talked her into going to see Miss Dacey and Jory today-”

Ned shook his head, cutting Robb off. “She said it was a Wildling ambush.”

“It wasn’t an ambush, not really. It was just…” Robb swallowed. He knew he should tell his father the truth, all of it. But what if his father sent Theon away? Worse yet, what if he punished Theon somehow? That could bring the wrath of the Greyjoys, Theon’s true family, and Robb didn’t want to think about consequences of that. He swallowed again. That clan was small, but ruthless. “It was just one. And Theon took care of him.”

Ned seemed to visibly relax. His broad shoulders slumped slightly, and for the first time he saw Roslin. He blinked. “Who’re you?”

“That’s Roslin Frey,” Robb jumped in before Roslin could. “She’s the new schoolmarm, starting in the fall, and we’re putting her up. She’s been teaching Arya, Rickon and Bran extra sums so they’re ready for their lessons.”

Roslin looked like a rabbit sighted by Grey Wind. She offered a hand. “Pleased to meet you.”

Ned’s own hand engulfed hers perfunctorily. “Likewise.” His attention, and Robb’s, turned to the tall, slender young man mounting the porch steps now, whose approach had been so quiet as to have gone unnoticed.

Jon was Robb’s half-brother, younger by a few months and loved well enough by the rest of the family, save Catelyn. With his dark hair, long face, and grey eyes, he looked more like Arya and Ned than any of the other children. Alongside Theon, Jon was Robb’s closest friend, and he had missed him.

Jon stared first at Robb’s clothes, then at Roslin. “I put the horses away. There’s a girl in the barn.”

Ned’s thick eyebrows arched. “Another one? Did your mother start a boarding house while we were gone, Robb? You’d’ve thought she’d learn from her sister’s mistake.”

Catelyn’s sister Lysa and her husband, Jon Arryn, had run a boarding house for years until Jon’s death. After, Lysa had taken up with a childhood friend, and the boarding house gradually slid into decay and sin. Now it was a seedy whorehouse in the Vale, and no one talked about Lysa.

“No.” Robb struggled to find the words to explain Alice, then gave up. “She just took on some extra help.”

Roslin took a step towards them both. “Mr. Stark, let me fix you and…” She looked at Jon pleadingly.

“Jon,” he provided.

“You and Jon something to eat. You must be so hungry. And I’m sure Mrs. Stark will be back soon.”

Thank you, Robb mouthed when his father turned to Roslin. She gave him a small smile, her cheeks as red as her dress.

Ned looked over Robb one last time. “I’m sure you need your rest still. We can talk later.”

Jon waited while Ned herded Rickon into the kitchen, then raised his eyebrows at Robb. “I can’t leave you by yourself for five minutes, can I.”

“Go on and eat, you scrawny little ass.” Robb grinned at his brother. “After I want you to tell me everything about your ride.”

Supper that night was one of the happiest, noisiest meals the Stark house had seen in a while. Robb was only able to spoon weak broth, but it was enough. His brothers and sisters were all talking at once, clamboring over one another to tell Jon and their father everything that had happened since they’d left. Their mother was sitting at their father’s right hand, an exhausted relief on her face, while at the far end Theon, Alice, and Roslin were talking among themselves. Robb watched the three, feeling a little jolt of surprise at how Alice and Theon were getting along. She had said something that made him laugh, her dark head bent close to his. Robb suddenly felt like he was interrupting an intimate moment, and cleared his throat, trying to turn his attention back to his father.

Ned was wiping his beard with a napkin. "Robb, as soon as you're feeling up to it I want to go look over the house you and Jeyne are going to move into after your wedding. It hasn't been touched since Jory lived there and it's going to need some love. Now that Theon doesn't need you on the range we'll be able to fix it up ourselves."

"Sure thing, Pa." Robb felt an odd flutter in his stomach. The wedding was looming now - a mere two months away. He and Jeyne had been childhood sweethearts; it had been a given that they would marry eventually. For them, there had never been anyone else, and in 8 weeks they would ensure there never would be. The broth in Robb's stomach seemed to have gone cold. 'Eventually' was lurching closer and closer.

The thought was still in his mind later that night. The rest of the house was quiet - the only creatures awake, it seemed, were him and Grey Wind. Still too weak to climb the stairs to his bed, he was again relegated to the parlor. Grey Wind nuzzled his cheek, his nose wet against Robb's beard, and Robb scratched the dog's ear.

"I'm not about to sleep, boy. May as well try to get rid of this thing."

Climbing stiffly to his feet, he padded out to the sitting room. His father had left his rucksack there when he'd rushed into the house that afternoon, and it was easy to find his dusty old shaving kit. Fiddling with the lamp resting on a small table against the stairs, Robb adjusted the flame until he could see his reflection in a mirror hanging on the wall. He lathered his cheeks with his father's shaving cream, but when he gripped the razor his hand trembled, the muscles protesting.

"C'mon," he muttered. His shoulder ached and throbbed, but he raised the blade to his cheek anyway. The first swipe brought with it a sharp sting. Robb swore as blood welled from a deep nick in his jaw. The razor clattered onto the tabletop, and he pressed the heel of his hand to it, blood welling around his palm. “Son of a bitch.”

“Are you alright?” a voice asked above him.

Robb glanced up. Roslin was leaning over the stair railing, halfway down.

“I’m fine.” Robb pulled his palm away, wrinkling his nose at the blood smeared there. “I thought you all were asleep.”

“I saw your light and thought you might need something.” Roslin descended the rest of the stairs, wrapped in a dark dressing gown knotted tightly around her waist. She picked up the razor and wiped the blood on a towel in the shaving kit. “You’ll kill yourself if you try to shave with your arm like that.” Pulling a spindly stool over from next to the fireplace, she nodded at it. “Sit down.”

Robb sat obediently, eyeing Roslin as she adjusted the lamplight. “What’re you doing?”

She stood in front of him, holding the razor. Planting a finger under his chin, she tipped it up. “I’m helping you.”

“You’re shaving me?”

“I’m helping you.” Roslin repeated. “Hold still.” Pursing her lips, she dragged the razor along his chin, carefully, smoothly.

Robb swallowed reflexively as the razor moved over his throat, cold steel, and a brush of Roslin’s warm hand against his skin. “You’re not really a schoolteacher, are you. You’re one-a those bearded ladies on the lam from the circus, I wager. That’s how you got so good at shaving.”

Looming over him, Roslin smiled, rather prettily, Robb thought. “You’re awfully cheeky for a man with razor blade against his jugular.”

“I’m always cheeky in the face of danger.”

Roslin wiped the razor blade on the towel and turned Robb’s face to the side. He wasn’t sure if it was the glow of the lamp light on her skin, but she looked like she was blushing. “‘s not what Theon said. He told Alice and me at supper about one time you and he came across a nest of snakes and how fast you ran.”

“I was eight!” Robb exclaimed. “What eight-year-old boy do you know who wouldn’t run away from a nest of snakes?” He shuddered. “Made me feel all itchy.”

“I know plenty of eight-year-old boys. Hold still, please.”

Roslin continued her slow, steady work. Her hands were surprisingly steady, firm and sure of their movements. Robb watched her face as she worked, smiling to himself at the small smattering of freckles across her nose and cheeks. He’d never noticed them before. “I’ve got dozens of brothers and sisters, and most’ve them have been eight at one point or another. A nest of snakes is one of the more harmless things they’ve stumbled into.”

There was a fondness in her voice as she talked, and Robb wondered if she missed her home, her family. She’d been relatively quiet since arriving, spending most of her time with the younger children, brushing them up on their sums and writing.

“How many are there?”

Roslin was quiet for so long Robb thought he’d offended her. When he glanced up he saw she was counting to herself. “More than there ought to be. Nearly a hundred, give or take a few.”

“A hundred?” Robb started, and Roslin yanked the blade away from him.

“Stay still!” Roslin tapped Robb's nose with the flat of the blade. "I've shaved my older half-brothers plenty of times but they didn't wiggle so much. You're like shearing a sheep. Now just hold still. I'm almost done."

Roslin worked carefully, thoroughly. Her fingers gently turned Robb’s face this way and that, her touch gentle and sure. She hummed to herself as she did, a soft, slow song. Robb had to bite the inside of his cheek to keep from dozing off. After some time, Roslin carefully dabbed the towel over Robb's face. "There."

Robb patted his cheeks, relishing in the feel of smooth, hairless skin. "That's wonderful. Thank you, Miss Frey. Jeyne will be so happy."

"Roslin,” she replied, folding the towel. “Miss Frey is...well, one of my innumerable sisters."

"I'm starting to understand why you wanted to come north. You're the only Frey for hundreds of miles."

"I am. It was a nice, long journey. And I'm so glad I met Jeyne. I don't make friends easily."

"I can't imagine that." Robb smiled, enjoying the little flare of pink in her cheeks. "You seem harmless enough. 'Less you've got my Pa's straight razor in your hand."

Roslin laughed, and her eyes widened as the clock on the mantle bonged the late hour. "Oh goodness. I've got to get to bed. Hopefully Alice is asleep by now. Do you need any help getting back to the parlor? Any water? I know Arya made some lemonade..."

"Arya made up a pitcher of straight lemon juice, more like. She's not graced with the domestic arts." Robb rose to his feet. "And thank you, but I should be able to make it back just fine on my own. If not, don't you worry. Grey Wind here'll take care of me." He grinned down at his wolfish dog, and the dog looked right back at him, pink tongue lolling.

"He better." Roslin patted Grey Wolf's head, and Robb tensed. Normally his dog was gun shy around strangers, and sometimes he was downright aggressive. But tonight he pushed his large head against Roslin's hand, chuffing playfully. "There's a good boy. You sleep well now, y'hear? Both of you." She winked at Robb and started back towards the stairs.

"Yeah..." Robb rubbed one of Grey Wind's ears, wondering what had just happened. "You too."


The next morning, Robb leaned his head against the back of the porch swing, rubbing his smooth jaw. Grey Wind was sprawled next to him, his large head resting on Robb’s thigh. The only sounds were the boys and Arya bickering as they tended the vegetable garden, Sansa and Roslin laughing about something inside, the occasional birdsong. He could hear snorts and wickers from the paddock across from the barn, and when he glanced over he could see little Whisper, bucking and prancing around in the grass.

Presently a new sound reached his ears - the creaking of wagon wheels. It’d be Jon, of course. He had gone into town earlier in the morning to collect the mail and do whatever else it was that Jon did. Robb thought he was just craving social interaction. His months of riding with the Wall had proved to be trying and lonely, and he’d been spending as much time in town as he could.

The wagon rounded the corner of the porch, and Jon whistled sharply. “Up and at ‘em, you lazy sack of bones! There was a parcel waitin’ for you in town.”

Robb had lifted his head at the whistle, and Grey Wind jumped down from the swing, loping down the porch steps. He grinned when he saw Jon’s parcel. “Mornin’, you.”

“Morning.” Jeyne sat pertly next to his half-brother, hands folded on a small pile of needlepoint work sitting on her lap.

Robb stood carefully, gripping the porch rail. “Thought you were stayin’ home today, resting up and such.”

“Oh, I was, but…” Jeyne shook her head, obviously agitated. Jon had hopped down from the wagon and extended a hand to her to help her down. “My pa and I got into a spat and I can’t bear to face him just now. I caught your brother comin’ out of the post office and bothered him till he agreed to bring me out here to you.”

“‘s no bother.” Jon mounted the porch and leaned against the rail, flipping through the mail. He held out an envelope to Robb. “Make sure that gets to Sansa, could ya? ‘s from your Aunt Lysa.”

“Give it to her yourself.” Robb settled back on the porch swing, patting the seat next to him for Jeyne. “You live here too.”

Jon scowled. “Your ma in there?”

Catelyn’s dislike of Jon, her husband’s illegitimate son, was well-known around these parts, and Robb couldn’t blame Jon for being wary of her. Robb shifted slightly, allowing more room for Jeyne’s skirts. “Sure is, but she won’t bite you ‘f you don’t bite her first.”

Jon just shot him a look, but pulled the screen door open and vanished into the house. Robb turned to Jeyne, resting his arm along the back of the swing. “Now, what’re you and your pa up in arms about?” Jeyne didn’t answer him at first, instead focusing on an invisible spot on her skirt. Her cuticles were ragged. She’d been picking at them again, a nervous habit she’d had for as long as he’d known her. “Jeynie?”

Jeyne looked over at him almost guiltily. “I told him I want to go to the Citadel.”

It took the words a moment to register with Robb. The Citadel was the oldest, most well-known medical school in the country. It was also in Oldtown, thousands of miles away on the southwestern tip of the continent. Doc Luwin had gone there, ages before he’d found himself up here in Winter’s Town. He blinked. “Why d’you want to do that?”

“Well…” Jeyne chewed her bottom lip. When she did start speaking, her words were jerky and hesitant. “We went down there when I was visiting my cousins in the spring. We saw where they teach the students, where they open up bodies to study them, all the mixes and elixers. It was fascinating. I wanted to see more, to learn what the doctors were learning. And then I wasn’t back home for more than a day before you were shot. I came with my father every chance I could, helped as much as I could-”

“-I remember,” Robb interrupted. It was mostly true. The first few days after his attack were a painful blur, but he did remember Jeyne’s touch, her voice.

Jeyne nodded. “I want to do what my father does, Robb. I want to know what he knows and help people like he and Doc Luwin do. I want to be a doctor.” She stared at him warily.

Robb shifted on the swing. He didn’t know if it was the fact that he’d been unconscious for days or not, but his brain seemed to be having difficulties groaning to life now. “Why don’t you have your pa teach you, then? Doc Luwin taught him when he was your age. Or ask Ol’ Nan, that midwife. She could teach you ‘bout herbs and birthin’ and whatnot.”

“I don’t want hand-me-down knowledge, Robb.” Jeyne laced her fingers together and for the first time she sounded like she’d rehearsed this speech. “I don’t want to be some woods witch delivering babies and making moon tea. I want to learn. Find out why lightning makes my heart race, or why my mother’s knees creak in the morning, or what happens to us when we die.”

“Jeynie, sweetheart…” Robb rubbed a hand over his face, trying not to sound as confused as he felt. “That kind of schoolin’ takes years. And we’re getting married in a few weeks now, remember? What’m I supposed to do, say ‘I do’ and then send you on a train to the far side of the country for the gods know how long?”

“No.” Jeyne was facing him, taking his hands in hers. “I want you to come with me. You can find work down there, and when I’m done with school we’ll just come back up here, or...or wherever the Citadel says I’m needed.”

“Wherever the Citadel says you’re needed?” Robb was incredulous now. He tried to keep his voice from rising. “Jeynie, that could be anywhere. Hells, it could be in Essos for all you know. If they even take you! There’s never been a woman taken into the Citadel.” He stood stiffly and leaned against the porch railing. “Are you out of your mind? You think you can just spring this on me so close to our wedding and that I’ll be fine with...with just leaving?

“I know I’m asking a lot-”

“No, you’re not asking a lot,” Robb plowed over her words. “You’re askin’ too much. Is this what you and your pa argued about? ‘f he doesn’t agree with this I can’t blame him!”

He shook his head, gazing out over the fields. This was his home. He’d spent all of his life here, nearly 20 years, and he had every intention of spending the rest of it here too. He was going to see his sons and daughters and grandsons and granddaughters take care of the land, love it like he did. He’d thought Jeyne shared his vision.

“Gods’ sake…You are out of your mind, Jeynie. Who’s gonna take care a’ this place when my pa’s too old? I stand to inherit all this land.”

“Jon could-”

“Jon won’t inherit cow shit. Not ‘s long as my ma’s got breath in her lungs. And Bran’s too young.” Robb fell silent, more than irritated. Jeyne’s little flight of fancy, if she saw it through, would throw more than just their marriage into upheaval.

They were silent for a long while before he heard Jeyne stand. She pressed a kiss to his shoulder. “Think about it, Robb. It’d make me so happy...just think about it.” When he didn’t respond, she disappeared into the house, presumably to bother Jon for a ride back into town.

Robb didn’t need to think about it. He wasn’t about to be dragged off to a city like Oldtown, where there were no trees and no open space. Where there were more people than he could count, and where there was no room to breathe. No, his place was here. He just had to make Jeyne see that hers was too.

Hours later Robb was still angry. He’d been short with his family all afternoon and eventually they’d just left him alone. After supper he’d returned to the back porch, just him and Grey Wind. He idly stroked his dog’s head while the sun sank below the horizon, trying to think of a reason not to go into town to shake some sense into Jeyne. He still couldn’t fathom how she could ask him to leave everything he’d ever known so she could chase some spur-of-the-moment whim. It just wasn’t right.

The screen door creaked. Robb braced himself for an incoming squabble between Rickon and Bran, or more wheedling from Arya about him giving her shooting lessons. Heavy footsteps on the wood slats told him it wasn’t either of these; instead, it was just Jon. He pushed himself up onto the porch rail to sit and sipped a mug of coffee, the steam rising into his dark curls.

“Your gal was pretty worked up this afternoon.”

Robb snorted. “My gal’s gone crazy. She tell you about her harebrained idea?”

“Some of it.” Jon reached down and scratched Ghost’s ears. The albino dog was a littermate of Grey Wind, silent and red-eyed since birth. Most people, especially strangers, found the animal unsettling, but Robb liked him. “Said she wanted to head south.”

“She wants to go to the Citadel and she wants me to tag along.” Robb raked a hand through his hair. “She wants me to just give up the ranch and follow her.”

“What’s Pa say?”

“I haven’t mentioned it to him. It’s just...we’ve been plannin’ this wedding for a year. Why’s she bringin’ this all up now?”

“Girls are fickle.” Jon shrugged lazily. “Could be she’s just gettin’ a little case of cold feet. I wouldn’t worry about it. Give her a day or two and she’ll come off it.”

Robb glanced at Jon. “You sure?”

“Sure.” Jon slid off the porch railing. “Now, don’t go gettin’ your guts twisted about it though. They’ve been through enough lately.”

Robb snorted. “You’re tellin’ me. You think she’ll come around?”

“‘course she will. Listen, she’s the one facing all these huge changes. It’s her name that’s changin’, her that’ll be movin’ to a new home, her that’s getting a new family. It’s like when the first time Theon tries to put a saddle on a yearling. They buck it off at first, but eventually they get used to and hardly know any different. This is just Jeyne bucking it off. She’ll calm down just as soon as the wedding’s done.”

“...you comparin’ my future wife to a horse?” In spite of himself, Robb chuckled. “No wonder you can never court a girl properly.”


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