"You've gotten much better!" Lord Gregor announced with a chuckle, a sense of pride in his tone. "I've had time to practice," Raina remarked, lowering her dull blade that had previously been aimed at her opponent, Rodrik. Though having practised a lot with her blade, Raina could not take all the credit for her skills, as it had, after all, been the Forresters whom had swayed her interest in swords and battle. Asher, Rodrik's younger brother, and himself had been the ones to teach her most of what she knows, them and Robb. The Starks had taught her some things with close combat weapons, but it had been them to inspire her talents with a bow. Talents she now cherished dearly. "You have done well." Lord Gregor exclaimed, placing a firm hand upon her shoulder, a warm smile etched onto the ageing man's stubbled features. The time in which they had been separated was clear in the difference in their appearances; they each looked older, more mature, and, in Lord Gregor's case, wiser. He reminded her of what her father had looked like, in the last days she had spent with him, some months ago, though that was a distant memory now, and with everything that was happening, it was one she chose not to think of.
"How is the King?" She turned to Rodrik, her innocent facade waning at the mention of him. Rodrik had picked up on her complicated feelings for the King rather quickly, and had understood her fragile situation regarding her father, having vowed to help her in any way possible. "We have not seen much of him in the passing days. He is preparing for the arrival of a guest." The Forrester replied solemnly, dusting off his leathers as best he could. "Do you know whom this guest is?" Raina asked in curiosity, mimicking Rodrik by cleaning herself of dry dirt, that had been collected when fighting. "I'm afraid only his grace, and his small council know," Rodrik stated, towering over Raina's short stature when he came to face her. It had been some time since Raina had been in the company of the King, finding it too hard to ignore the deal he'd made with Lord Frey, a deal in which he would marry a girl whom he'd never met. Something about the deal hurt Raina, in a strange way, she felt bad for Robb having given up his freedom in marriage, but there was something else. Something more personal. Perhaps it was just her childish promises still wishing to be upheld, who knows; but whatever it was, it was preventing her from facing Robb, and not giving into the disappointment of his betrothal.
"Lord Forrester!" Called a familiar, northern voice, "Rodrik!" Turning to face the small group approaching, Cynthia found herself reaching for Rodrik, the closest thing she found that could help keep her steady. "Your Grace," the three said instantly, bowing their heads in respect for their King. It was only upon examining the members of the King's company that Rodrik became aware of the cause of Raina's sudden panic. Though the King's arrival had come as a surprise to them all, it was the companion he brought with him that had the young girl so unnerved. "May I introduce Lord Galbart Glover - he shall be acting as Master of Coin for the foreseeable future." Robb announced nonchalantly, casting a brief hesitant glance to the cowering figure at Rodrik's side. "My Lord, it has been some time." Gregor exclaimed, extending a hand to his old friend, whom gladly took it in his own. "That it has, that it has. By the gods, Rodrik, how you have grown! I can remember when you were but a lad." Lord Glover laughed, patting Rodrik's shoulder in a fatherly manner, only just avoiding catching sight of Raina, who somehow remained out of his sight, but not out of Robb's. It was not shocking how comfortable Galbart was around the Forresters, as the two families had always been very close, just as the Glovers had been with the Starks. "I heard of that business with Asher; nasty stuff. Shame really, Raina quite fancied him." Lord Glover continued, a hint of amusement in his tone as he reminisced, receiving a muffled chuckle from Lord Forrester's son; whom faced the wrath of the embarrassed young girl at his side. Robb, though having glanced at Raina the entire time, watched as Rodrik disclosed his laughs as best he could whilst 'Ray' barrelled discrete punches into his side, trying to cease his amusement. And although aware of Robb's watchful gaze, Raina remained thankful her father was yet to spot their suspicious behaviour. "We heard of the business with Raina-" Rodrik said calmly, his laughter having subsided, "do you believe she ran away?"
Suddenly aware of her predicament, Raina became cautious, hoping Rodrik knew what he was doing. "Aye, that is the only conclusion we could come to." Galbart replied, evidently saddened at the thought, yet, for some strange reason, Raina felt no remorse or sympathy for the man who tried to sell her off to the Boltons. "Any idea as to where she's got to?" Gregor asked curiously, nudging his son's arm subtly. It was only when finally looking up at her father that Raina noted their other company; her brother, Finn. Rodrik spotted him too, also becoming aware of Raina's sensitive position, being so close to the man she had tried so hard to escape over the past few months. "We had thought maybe she ran to Ironrath, but when we stopped there on our way here, your wife informed us that they had not seen her in many years." Galbart explained, only increasing Raina's desperation for escaping their company. "Shame, such a nice girl. You knew her well, didn't you, your grace?" Gregor spoke once more, turning the group's attention to the silent King, who's eyes remained fixed on Raina, who still hid behind her close friend. "Aye, I was when we were children." The King smiler, bowing his head as if thinking back to his times with her. Raina smiled too, recognising Robb's expression of slight content.
"Go!" Rodrik whispered, leaning over so that she and no one else could hear the instruction. Looking up at Rodrik, she noted his stern expression; his eyes were locked on Finn, whose gaze did not leave the suspicious pair. "Go!" He repeated, nudging her out from behind him. "Excuse me, your grace. My lords." Raina mumbled, bowing her head, before she shuffled away, leaving the group behind her as she moved as quickly as possible to get away.
"Ray!" Ignoring the call that echoed from behind her, Raina kept moving, desperate to get further away. "Ray!" Whomever it was had caught up with her, reaching for her arm in hopes to slow down her rapid pace. "What?" She snapped, whirling around to come face to face with the Stark King. "Are you alright?" He asked carefully, his eyes showing pure concern. "Yes, I'm fine!" She replied quickly, and though wanting to step away, something about the King's grip help her in place. She looked at his face and tried so hard to disclose the fear she had of being caught by her father or the man she loved. "I have not seen you in some time." The King stated slowly, removing his hand from her wrist, unknowingly leaving her wishing for the contact. "You've been preparing Lord Glover's arrival." She mumbled, looking away from his discomforting stare that fixed on her timid frame. "Perhaps you will train with me again? When you have time," the King challenged, a toying smirk slipping into his stubbled features, stubble sharing the same auburn shade as his hair. "Perhaps," Raina replied simply, spying the Forresters and Lord Glover edging nearing to where she and the King now stood. "Your Grace," she said abruptly, before dashing behind nearby tents. She couldn't risk it, being caught, she had gone through too much to escape the man she knew as he father, she would not give it all up now, not when she's finally found Robb again.
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✓ | WOLF'S BANE (R.STARK)Fanfiction
**FINISHED** This story is completely out of context and NOT following the story of the programme/books. Forced to run away, Raina Glover finds herself far from home and in a rather curious predicament, in which she is believed to be a boy by the ki...