Chapter Eleven::Leaving The Twins

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  How this had all come to pass was slightly too hard to comprehend, and so Raina found herself pushing any thoughts of yesterdays events to the back of her mind, focusing more on Greywind who remained at her side than anything else. It was easier that way. Easier to cope with the whole ordeal if she wasn't thinking of it all, if she wasn't thinking of what would become of Robb after such a union. It all seemed to familiar, and so the sickly feeling returned. His hand had been forced, and she understood that, but never should anyone be forced into such a situation where the only thing that they can do is give up their freedom in the one they marry. Robb had always said he wished to marry for love, and as a Lord he would have mostly been given that opportunity. It appears as King he wasn't as fortunate. But Raina dared think of it, it made her feel too uncomfortable, too helpless. She'd do anything to ensure Robb's happiness, she always would have done. But in this instance there was nothing she could do. What made that worse is that she'd pushed him, whether she knew it at the time or not, she still told him what he needed to hear in order to give such an answer to an absurd request. He hadn't blamed her, but she'd blamed herself in a twisted way, whether it was warranted or not. And once again, her only way of coping with such a heavy weight of guilt, was to push it as far from her thoughts as possible, in hopes it may fall from her mind and dissolved into a distant memory, one that would not arise again.

"Ray!" A familiar voice called from behind, the same voice that had plagued her dreams the night before. "You may tell Lord Walder that i shall marry one of his daughters, as requested. I consent." Who knew such words could hold such pain and discomfort? Two short sentences had managed to create a void in which Raina sincerely wished she would end up in, swallowed by the darkness; as she believed it could be no worse than the hell she found herself in now. "He shall be a king in the north, and he'll be perfect." Mira's eight year old, annoyingly honest voice resonated in Raina's head as she tried her best to ignore her company. Distracted by the road and ongoing thoughts, Raina found herself thankful that she had found something to detract from her concerns about Robb's whereabouts. The long lost conversation with Mira now replaying in her mind as though it had just happened. Before, she hadn't been able to deduce what was so significant about that memory, or why now of all times it had decided to resurface, but it appeared she'd finally come to some sort of conclusion. Mira had been right. There was a king in the north now, and the most disconcerting thing was that she'd also been right about something else; he was perfect. And that was what had Raina so depressed. Mira had gone on about how this perfect man was the one Raina was to marry, and Raina had begun wanting that too, in time. But looking at the situation now, that couldn't have been a further away fantasy.

"Ray!" The voice called out a second time, only now it was from a lot closer, and had managed to capture Raina's attention. Her eyes darted up from the wolf at her side, and found they landed on the one person she so desperately wished to be far away from in that moment. "Your grace," She mumbled, turning to face the road ahead of them. His white horse approached her side, his beaming face appearing in her peripheral vision. "I haven't seen you since yesterday," The king's voice began again, his northern tinted voice making Raina uncomfortable. Not in a bad way, but because of how much she had always loved his voice. She couldn't find the strength to look up at him, in fear of falling again. It wasn't a shock to her that she had loved him as children, but now it only stabbed her to think those feelings may have only been the start of something that was now returning. "I've been around." She replied in a quiet voice, still not looking in his direction. It was only with her eyes on the horizon that she spotted something familiar. It was far off in the distance but she recognised it without hesitation, which brought a strangely warm sense of comfort to her otherwise cold mood. She knew the Stark's, but with the amount of time spent away from them it was as though they were nothing more than a distant memory haunting her, this however was more than that. And she may know her brother, but there was no mutual love shared between them at this time, and so that left her feeling mostly alone. Up until now.

A small smile rose onto her face, as her eyes scanned the crowd for something more. And suddenly she found it. The smile grew, her heart buzzing with familiarity and love. It had been a year, but finally some light had been shed on the dull atmosphere on the road. "You seem upset. Is everything alright?" In that moment, Raina had all but forgotten about the King's presence beside her , who's gaze now showed nothing less than pure concern. "I'm just tired." She snapped quickly, glancing his way and finding the heavy weight in her stomach to only get worse as a result. She forgot how his eyes illuminated in the daylight, the blue of the sea sparkling in those dazzling orbs. His hair looked redder under the sun, his curls tinted crimson, and his beard resembling the dull colour of a burnt out fire. He was a marvel of perfection, one that Raina had always admired. Only now looking at him in such away brought sick to her throat, knowing that all of him, everything she loved, would belong to someone else in less than a year. "Will you excuse me?" The words all but flew from Raina's mouth, her gaze now refocused on the horizon. She didn't quite hear whatever Robb had said in return, the only things on her mind now being what she was going to say next. But not to Robb, to an old friend. Her horse kicked off, galloping away from the King and towards her chosen destination. There was so much rushing through her mind she hardly noticed anyone else whom she passed on her ride forward, the only thing clearly in sight being the person whom she wished to speak to instantly. She'd missed him beyond belief, and finally she'd found him again. She could remember receiving the letter to say he'd left with his father, and she could feel the stab of worry she'd felt when thinking of all that could go wrong at war. She now found that she was unbelievably happy to just see him alive again. Even if he didn't quite remember her.

When she finally slowed to halt, she was but a few feet away from him, merging with the familiar soldiers that rode along behind him. The sigil she head so dearly rising above their heads and present on their shields, reminding her of her dearly loved friends. "Rodrik!" She spoke up, her grip tightening around her horse's reins when realisation sunk in. How long had it truly been since they'd last spoken? Really spoken. They'd grown up together, with their father's being so close, her, Asher, Mira, Rodrik, the whole lot of them had been incredibly close as children, not like the Glovers and the Starks, this friendship lasted all their lives, and to this day it was yet to fade away. His head turned slowly, his solid grey eyes gazing into the vast crowd behind in him search of the person in question. It was only when he really paid attention that he noticed her. The look of unsurety playing in his gaze as he stared at her for a moment. A small smile cracked onto his manly features, stopping his horse instantly. "Seven hells. Raina!" He chuckled, trotting his horse closer to hers. "Hello Rodrik," She beamed, happy to be hearing his voice again. "What are you doing here?!" He instantly asked, voice filling with shreds of concern and curiosity. "It's a long story,"

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