Chapter Five::Dreaming

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The sudden constriction of her chest only made the act of breathing ever-growingly harder for Raina, her eyes bulging and eye brows slowly rising in the process of her brief suffocation. How could this have been happening? So far things had taken a turn for the worse but never before had things fallen so far off the rails that Raina couldn't even see the track anymore. Every aspect of her life had just crumpled to pieces with a mere few words spoken by her mother, a woman she was supposed to rely on, trust and love; now all she could feel was the cold pain of truth stabbing her in the back and slapping her across the face all at once.

Staring wide eyed at the unfamiliar person in front of her, Raina could do nothing but release the breath she had unknowingly been holding, glaring daggers in her once favoured parent's direction. "W-what?"She uttered slowly, unaware that her voice had actually worked, as her mother's expression did not shift. Whatever reply she received had transformed into meaningless murmurs of familiar voices and unrecognisable words, no longer being of any importance to the Glover child. "Marriage." "Ramsay Bolton." "A fortnight." Had been the only things she had registered, replaying in her head until she could take no more of it. Screaming out in frustration, Raina barely noticed anyone in the room, her vision turning tinted red as she stormed past her family and out of the wooden doors. Everything about this entire situation was wrong. Everything. She could not, no, would not marry Ramsay Bolton, even if he were the last man in the world, she would rather take the leap off the wall than marry that monster. He was a pain to every family in the north, only able to get away with it because of his father, a man loyal to the king, Robb Stark. Now that was a man Raina had once considered marrying. Their friendship had spread from a very young age, up until the last few years when it died down, they had always spoken of marrying one another to 'stay together forver'. It wasn't unusual for children to speak of such things, the strange part was that Raina found herself believing it more with every time they spoke the words. "We will be married one day, Ray," Robb had promised, an innocent 12 year old boy who knew nothing of his future, or what marriage truly entailed. "I hope so," The equally young and naive Raina had replied, linking her hand with his.

Oh how she missed those times, her young self never ceased to amaze her at the best of times, the plans she had made so long ago now only being a dull haze in the back of her mind, accompanied by the thought of her once fond friend and now just another face in the growing crowd - Robb Stark.

Sighing miserably, Raina found herself peering out of Deepwood Motte, hands clutching the damp wooden banister, as if to keep herself from falling face-first over the edge. That may be a more fitting end than one involving the bastard son of a Bolton. Her knuckles had become white at the thought, fingers gripping tighter onto the wood the more she thought of what was to come. It was only one a calloused, pale hand clamped down on hers that she even registered how tight her grasp had become. The hand, of course, was cold and one she had never wished to touch, belonging to the beast himself. Ramsay's piercing gaze stung into her, her lifeless eyes meeting his and causing a sickness to form within her. The mere sight of him was enough to make Raina want to lean ever so slightly to the left. Trying to retract her hand, Raina found it stuck within Ramsay's own, his hold growing stronger on her the more she tried to pull away. "My blushing bride..." He hummed, eyes sparkling with a certain darkness that could make any sane man tremble. Trying harder to fight him, Raina found her futile attempts only being blocked further by the impressively strong bastard still enclosing her hand in his. She hated him. It was fair to say, he was a demon born from the shadows, and no one would argue that. And now, of all people to willingly chuck her into the pit, her parents had bargained her off to the Bolton's as if she were a prize piece of cattle, used for mutual benefit. She struggled though, never wanting to give in to her fate, and willing to accept any other than to be forced into a betrothal with a man such as Ramsay Snow.

It was only when the familiar coldness of steel pressed into her side that she shot awake, eyes bloodshot and heart racing as she lay awake in her makeshift bed, the tent walls billowing around her as a storm raged on. Realisation struck and it soon came to her that her imagination had once again run wild, revealing images of how her engagement would have played out had she stayed. It was now she was ever-more thankful that she had run when she had the chance, leaving behind that life and replacing it with one that meant something to her. At least where she was now was near a family member that cared for her, whether he knew it was her or not, her brother was still the only real family she had left.

Settling back down in the bed, mind racing with things she could not order, Raina began thinking of the only thing ever able to distract her, and more so now considering where she was and who was only a few feet away. Robb Stark. Once her eyes had drifted closed she had intended on seeing his face flashed through her dreams, however what she was introduced to was a memory she had all but forgotten, one of her and Mira Forrester, another good friend of hers from an early age.

"I suppose I am to marry Asher then," Raina hummed to herself, lying her back to the ground, and head beside Mira's. Rodrik and Asher Forrester had developed a habit of fighting for Raina's hand in marriage, and battled over it every chance they had. This was one of those instances, and as usual Asher, being the stronger of the two Forrester boys, had beaten his brother again, and declared that he should be Raina's husband once they came of age. It was the same logic Robb had had when they were friends, that if they were to marry then they could spend the rest of their lives together, a dream all children fantasized about when thinking of their close friends.
"What if he is not the one you are supposed to marry?" Mira inquired, turning to cast her gaze upon her close friend.
"Who am i to marry then? If not Asher." Mira thought for a moment, transferring her eyes to the darkening sky. Mira had announced a few weeks back that she could predict the future, no one believed her, of course, but Raina had always found it fun to listen to her theories even if she did know it was all nonsense anyway.
"A man you have met once before, but will meet again," Mira riddled, giggling softly as she raised her hands behind her head.
"Do not jest, Mira. Tell me of this man i am to marry." Raina replied, growing slightly impatient.
"He shall be strong, and brave; but wise and smart. He'll be loyal, and honourable; funny and very handsome," The two girls burst into fits of laughter, fidgeting in the mud as they giggled together.
"I doubt there is a man in all the seven kingdoms anything like that," Raina shook her head, watching the sky change its colours as night grew ever-closer.
"There will be." Mira stated simply, only turning her head briefly in order to spot her friend's curious stare.
"Tell more about my future husband," Raina chuckled softly, rolling onto her side to face Mira.
"He will be a king." She continued, eyes focusing on the sky above.
"A king of where?" Raina asked, mind racing with excitement, even if this was just two innocent girls joking about their future.
"He shall be a king in the north, and he'll be perfect," Mira sighed in content, a small smile gracing her pale lips.
"There is no king in the north," Raina corrected, growing cocky with the idea Mira had gotten something wrong.
"There will be. And you two shall be married and live happily together for the rest of your days."  She stated finally, the smile breaking out on both girls faces proving to be brighter than the illuminating stars above, and even if this was just a fantasy, it was a nice thought to consider.

Who knew a 9 year old girl could be so right and so clueless at the same time?

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