Chapter Thirty::At Night

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The barracks were cold at night, when there was no light to fight off the darkness, and no fire to warm the shivering soldiers, it was a hideous place to be. Raina sat awake, hugging her trembling body and trying hard not to focus on the horrific chill that seeped through the cracks in the walls surrounding her. How the other men slept in such poor conditions, she didn't know, though she supposed they were so exhausted that they weren't picky, as long as they could get some rest. Raina, however, had other things keeping her up. She couldn't think about anything else, except Robb. The look he'd given her, and the way he'd said her name, it sent shivers up her spine, and made her heart flutter for a moment. He still cared, that was all that mattered, yet for some reason Raina felt as though this story would have an ending, that would come sooner than she'd hoped. She tried not to think about it, trying hard to focus on anything but Robb, or her sister, or anything that would make her break in that moment. She tried thinking of her cousins, Erena and Gawen, whom she had not seen since they were all very young. Erena was a year older than Raina, and Gawen was the same age as Esme, two years older than the youngest Glover. Since their fathers had their little spat, the younger generation of Glovers had not seen nor spoken to one another, meaning it had been quite a long time by now. Raina tried to imagine them with lives of their own, and what they might be getting up to. She liked to think that Gawen was safe somewhere nice, maybe even in King's Landing, serving as a Lord or a knight. And Erena was betrothed to a nice man, with a nice family and a nice home to take her back to once they married. It was better than the outcome of the other Glovers, where one was dead and the other three were all conspiring against their father, as far away from home as they'd ever been; well, apart from Delvin, that is. Raina also liked to think about what Delvin might have got up to in King's Landing, wondering if he ever met Mira again, or saw his cousin there. She'd hoped he'd had a good time while away, better than his other siblings. 

A creak resonated through the silent barracks, alerting Raina and causing her to instinctively reach for her dagger, which she concealed beneath the mantel beside her. She turned her head in the direction from whence it came, and found herself pleasantly surprised to see a familiar face. Raina failed to see him clearly, but could easily recognise her life long friend, who now stood beside her bed. "I wondered if you would be awake," He spoke softly, careful not to awake his men; though by the way they slept, it was hard to believe anything would disrupt their slumber. "Couldn't sleep. You?" Raina replied quietly, shifting in her bed, eyes directed to Robb. "Haven't tried." He sighed, head hung low. Raina smiled at him, which he probably could not see in the dark, but it at least comforted Raina to know she'd tried. She moved further back, till she hit the wall beside her bed, and patted to the free space that she'd made in moving, which Robb sat upon quickly. The two sat close beside each other, able to see better in the light of the moon, which poured through the window above Raina's bed. Silence dragged on between them, as the night droned on, neither one looking nor speaking to the other for some time. It burned, the wait for the other to speak; Raina hated it. She wanted Robb to voice whatever reason he had for coming to see her at such a time, she wanted to know why he couldn't sleep, and why he had instead come to sit with her in the barracks of all places. But he said nothing. Not for sometime. 

"Just tell me one thing..." He finally whispered, his voice rough, yet breaking in places. There was something eating away at Robb, something that was waning his strength, his confidence, that was clear in the way he spoke, "Why hide? What was so terrifying that made you run so far, and hide for so long?" His blue eyes looked down at her with desperation, his need to understand growing in his expression and his gaze. Raina hadn't expected this, the fury in which he'd left her in last week had led her to think she'd never speak to him again, let alone get a chance to explain herself. And for that very reason she had no prepared response to his question, only the reason she'd persuaded herself with for so long. "I didn't know what else I was supposed to do. My father, the man I've confided in for all my life, offered me to a monster, for his own benefit. My mother sided with him, and there was nothing my siblings could do to save me. What was I supposed to do? Let that bastard sell me to Ramsay without even consulting me?" Raina's voice sounded just as weak, the pair evidently reflecting the other's weakening state in that moment. "So I ran. It was like an instinct, I was scared, I wasn't ready to hand over my freedom yet; it wasn't supposed to be me getting betrothed first, it was supposed to be-" Raina paused, bowing her head and trying hard not to say her name. It was too soon. "So I escaped, prepared to get as far away from my father, and that beast, as quickly as I could. I didn't really have a plan, only running. I thought maybe, if I could, I'd find Finn, hope that he would help me, but that was as close to a plan as I got. It was only when you found me that I realised I hadn't the slightest idea what I had thought I would do once I got away from home. If you want an answer as to why I lied, I don't have one. I was scared, and alone, and trying to survive, I suppose I just panicked. I didn't know what I was doing, and for the slightest of moments I doubted my trust in everyone. And after that point, I was too afraid of you hating me that I couldn't come clean, especially after how long I had spent lying to you. I was scared more of your rejection than anything else, so I just kept it up...Until now..." 

Robb said nothing, not for a long pause that felt like years. Raina sat beside him, not looking at him, and not saying anything further, only listening to the deafening silence and trying to stay calm whilst waiting for Robb's reply. She almost wanted him to yell at her, tell her she was stupid and that he couldn't trust her anymore, because she knew she deserved it. But Robb didn't say that, he didn't say anything. He merely wrapped an arm around her still shivering frame, and brought her close to his chest, holding her tightly as he rested his chin atop her head. "I forgive you..." He whispered, his breath warm against her head, and relaxing her pulse drastically. Neither of them said anything else to one another, but simply stayed like that, with Raina's head against his chest, listening to his hypnotising heart beat, and his head leant against hers, arm securely around her, as he protected her from the cold. They didn't need to say anything for them both to know that things were finally back to some sense of normality, because they were back with one another, and that was all that mattered. 

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