CHAPTER 05 | LIES

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Every word has consequences.
Every silence too.

CHAPTER 05 | LIES

Ella watched in silence as Robb headed after Theon, a look of urgency falling upon his face

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Ella watched in silence as Robb headed after Theon, a look of urgency falling upon his face. She stood up in her crumpled dress and followed after him, her feet slightly stumbling over her dress as she tried to catch up to him. "Robb," she called, and when he didn't answer, she shouted his name louder, "Robb!"

He spun around, giving her a bizarre look before realizing their situation. "Go back to your chambers," Ella wanted to correct him and say, closet, but she didn't. Robb's feet were slowly pulling him toward his brother's bedroom, "I'll find you afterward."

Ella nodded and spun around, briskly walking toward the closet. Her heart thumped in her chest for a reason she didn't know. Perhaps she was afraid she would get caught being seen talking to Robb, and maybe she felt an ache for little Bran. She didn't know the boy, but if he was Robb's brother he must be sweet.

Her footfalls echoed through the stone corridors of Winterfell, almost making it to her closet as she saw Joffrey Baratheon round the corner on the opposite end of the hallway. Running to her closet, she slammed the door closed behind her and spun around, only for her heart to stop.

Cersei smiled at her, "it seems you've been busy," she noted, walking toward Ella.

Ella's back was as stiff as a board as she eyed Cersei, the blood in her veins running ice cold. "I went to go find you – "

Cersei's hand raised and maliciously cut across her cheek, leaving an immediately reddening mark on her face. "Lying will get you nowhere with me," a twisted smile came onto her face, "I know you slept with the boy, Robb Stark," she spat his name at her as if it was a poor tasting wine. Cersei gripped Ella's jaw, her nails digging into her skin hard enough for her to bleed. "I never knew you to be so greedy, you pathetic whore. How about we show the world just how disgusting you are?"

Ella shook her head, her eyes filling up with tears mixed with pain and fear. "What are you going to do?" She asked in a heavy voice.

Cersei laughed, "oh my dear child, you have no idea what I have planned," the door swung open and Cersei dropped her hand from Ella's face, revealing a pair of men from the Kingsguard and Joffrey.

Ella backed up only a little before bumping into Cersei, who kindly pushed her into the arms of the guards. They grabbed her arms and started dragging her to the courtyard, ignoring her pleas of innocence. She tried breaking free, only for one of the guards to punch her in the jaw, causing her head to turn the other way from the whiplash.

Panic swelled in her chest as she tried resisting their sharp tugs by digging her feet into the ground, resulting in her falling onto her knees. They still carried her as if she were a sack of flour, not caring that her knees were scraping against the hard floor and her bare feet were getting cut up.

"I didn't do it! I'm innocent, please!" Ella cried loudly as sunlight hit her face. She felt tears slide down her face as they dragged her across the muddy courtyard and to Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon who stood by their horses. Her golden hair became tangled up into a knot as one of the guards gripped it in his fist, yanking her head up to meet the Warden of the North's hard eyes. Ella's heart felt as though it was going to burst.

"What is this?" Ned demanded, glaring behind Ella to Cersei and a smug looking Joffrey.

"I have found your guilty party," Cersei stated. "My handmaiden was found yesterday, around the same time, by the tower your Bran fell from. She always was an unfaithful servant," Cersei spat at Ella, "always stealing things from my room and whoring around in the brothels."

Ella's body shook from the cold of the morning air and just how deep the grave Cersei was digging her was.

"My servant saw her lurking around the royal corridors last night as well," Joffrey included.

Robert glared down at a shaking Ella, "do you have anything to say for yourself?"

She sobbed into her muddy hands, feeling defeat creep up from behind her. "I am innocent, Your Grace," she weakly protested.

Ned stared down at her, his face emotionless. "Do you have any way of proving yourself?" He asked.

"No, I cannot," Ella hung her head. She wasn't going to tell him she was sleeping in his son's quarters, she couldn't throw Robb under like that.

Ned looked to the guards, "until I return, put her in the dungeon."

The guards heaved Ella up onto her feet and dragged her away, dirt covering her from her knees up. That was when she saw Robb, his face drained of all color and his eyes staring intently at her. She felt herself cry harder as they dragged her away from him, her shoulders hung low. Her chest burned with frustration and anger, the tears that flowed down her cheeks now hot with fury.

She did not know how long Ned Stark would be in King's Landing, so her odds of ever seeing light again were slim. The guards brought her past the kennel and to double doors that led down into a cellar-like space full of barred cubicles. They reached one and unlocked it, throwing her in and locking it behind her.

Gasping for breath, Ella found herself hyperventilating as they shut the doors, emerging her in the faint glow emitted only by two burning candles. She ran her hands down her face as she inspected her scraped legs and the welt growing on her face where Cersei had slapped her. She cradled the spot, curling up so that her legs were curled against her chest and her chin was tucked between them. Her knees ached, but she didn't care, she was saddened and angry at the fact that she allowed for Cersei to do that to her and for Robb to just stand there while it happened. She vowed to herself, as she sat on the musty slimy ground in the dungeon at Winterfell, that she would return the favor to her mother, even if it meant getting herself killed in the process. She knew she was of royal blood, who her father was didn't matter to her, even if it meant she was important to the throne or not.

Cersei would burn, her world of lies and deceit would burn, everything she loved would wither into nothing but ashes once Ella had her hands wrapped around Cersei's precious neck. She vowed to make sure Cersei would fear her daughter the next time they saw each other – and the next time would be the last.

A/N: it's a little short but i figured you guys wanted me to update before next year lmao. tell me your thoughts on this chapter and do you agree with Ella's change of heart? do you like that she's going a little dark? thank you for reading, i'll be seeing you soon! xx

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