Mountain - Part 5 - Agreement

Lord Gregor looked down at Melicent and smiled, darkly. He walked away from her and sat down on one of the huge roots of the Heart Tree, then he leaned back and looked her over once more. She was a bit over five feet tall, with fair skin that glowed in the soft light of the clearing. Her flowing chestnut hair was unbound and fell in soft waves to the small of her back. Her eyes were big and green, she had soft features that made her look young, yet she was beautiful enough that she looked by no means a child. He admired the curve of her hips, small waist and full breasts.  “I am most pleased with you, my Lady. My last wife was not so beautiful as you.” He shrugged his massive shoulders. “She is dead now.”

She blushed. “I’m so sorry to hear that my Lord.” she said quickly, as she seemed to not quite know how else to respond. “You must miss her very much.”

“Hmmph.” He grumbled. “Miss her? No. I don’t miss her. You’re a funny little creature … I think perhaps you will amuse me more than my other wives.” He smiled wryly. “Yes, you please me, my Lady.”

“I want very much to please you, my Lord” she said shyly. He liked her demeanor. She was cautious... meek and obedient. Yet there was something else, something that was different about her. When she looked at him, she really looked at him, deep into his eyes. That both unnerved and excited him. Even men cared not to look him in the eyes, but women never did. Was she brave? Or foolish? Gregor was intrigued, and that, too was rare. Normally women were frightened of him. His last two wives were both terrified of him. They had been weak creatures. The other women he had were either whores, or those he took by force. The latter sometimes annoyed him so much with their begging and crying, that he would often find them dead when he was finished with them.

All at once, a thought occurred to him and he looked at her and frowned. “What were you doing out here in the middle of the night, girl?”

“I was praying…”

“You were crying…” he interrupted. “You are unhappy?” His frown deepened.

“Oh no my Lord, I am not unhappy!” she said quickly. He raised an eyebrow. “But I am also sad to have to lose leave my home, to leave Karhold behind. It’s all I’ve ever known, you see.”

“Hmmph.” he grumbled again, not sure what to make of her.

“But I am very, very lucky to have you for my betrothed…” she went on. “It is said that no Knight in the Seven Kingdoms can withstand you…”

He nodded. “Yes, that is true. It is said that I am the most feared Knight in all the Seven Kingdoms, and beyond.”

She walked toward him, slowly, until she stood only a few steps away. He could reach out and touch her if her wanted to... and he did want to. But this was no whore, or servant that he could do with what he wished. She did not yet belong to him. He must be careful.

“My Lord, I am pleased to become your wife. But our marriage arrangement is not yet sealed.” He knew at once what she meant. In the North, the custom was that when a marriage agreement was made between two families, the betrothed must exchange a kiss to seal the arrangement. It represented the swearing of a solemn vow and after the kiss, the arrangement cannot be broken, save only by the death of one of the parties. “I fear I cannot rest until the arrangement is final, my Lord.”

She took a step closer and her skirts brushed up against his leg. What harm could it do? He’d like to have his hands on her, even if only for a moment. She took another step. He reached for her waist and pulled her in so she was nestled between his legs. Standing, she was of a height with him as he sat on the root of the weirwood. He liked the way she smelled, of roses and spices and other mysterious feminine things. Gregor could feel that she was trembling, which excited him. Must be careful... Shouldn’t break this one... Can’t hurt her…  It would be so easy to lose control…

She touched his chest lightly with her fingertips. He slid both of his huge hands around her waist, letting one hand slide up her back and tangle in her hair, guiding her closer. She leaned in, unresistant, and closed her eyes. Her lips touched his, ever so gently, and he kissed her as gently as he could. Her mouth opened soft under his. He expected her to stiffen or to pull away, but instead, felt her settle into his chest. Startled, he pulled back slightly. She opened her eyes. “Was that right, my Lord?” she asked, looking worried. “Did I please you, my Lord?” She did not move away.

“Right? What in Seven Hells do you mean, Girl?” Was she to be a constant puzzle?

She blushed and dropped her gaze. “I have never been kissed before my Lord. Did I do it correctly? I can do better, I’m sure…” she whispered, raising wide, green eyes to lock with his once more.

He raised an eyebrow. “Never before… do you mean…” he frowned. He would have sworn she'd had some idea of what she was doing, the way that she responded to him. “You did... erm... very well, my Lady. So… you are a true maiden, then? Never even kissed?” he narrowed his eyes.

“No, my Lord. I mean…yes!” she stammered, blushing furiously. “No, I had never been kissed, not until now, that is... and yes, I am a maiden… of course, my Lord!” Still she trembled. This further aroused him. He laughed then, almost a growl. Pulling her tight against him, he kissed her again, roughly this time. To his surprise, she melted into him, sliding her little hands up over his massive shoulders and twining her arms around his neck. He kissed her more deeply, and she kissed him back. She let out a little moan in the back of her throat. He growled and slid his hands down, cupping her backside, pulling her closer, still.

He heard a sound, the snapping of a twig. In one motion he thrust her against the Heart Tree with his left hand and drew his sword with his right. Turning, he saw it was just a girl standing at the opening to the clearing. This one had hair that was darker, and was bound in the northern style. She too was beautiful, and resembled her father enough that he knew she must be the younger sister. “You little fool.” The girl said coldly, and she turned and ran back the way she’d come.

He stood for a moment, then sheathed his sword. He turned back to the girl, Melicent, and said “Your sister.” She nodded, eyes downcast. She was beautiful, he noticed again. Her hair was tousled, her cheeks flushed, her lips were swollen from his kisses. Gregor found that he wanted to kiss her again. “She did not know about our arrangement?” he frowned.

“No, my sister Nella, she… you see….” she shifted uncomfortably. ”My mother did not, that is to say, my father was going to….” She looked up at him then, seemed to gather all her courage and said “None of them know, my Lord. There was your raven. I heard them talking about… about your terms. But my mother was against it and father said he would speak to you about... another way.” she sighed. “I only thought that this would be the best way to save my people.” 

Melicent cast her eyes down again and toed at a small stone, seeming to accept that she would now pay for her scheming. Clegane lifted her up and pushed her back against the tree. He could feel her shaking now, far more than before. “You thought you would kiss me and seal the arrangement, without your father’s consent?” he growled. “You thought you would take things into your own hands, then? You would trick The Mountain That Rides?” he roared? She turned her head as if to avoid his anger. A single tear rolled down her cheek.

And then he began to laugh. He could not remember the last time he had found something so amusing. Melicent turned back to look at him, disbelief in her eyes. “Little Melicent…” he said and smiled wryly. “You are small and timid, you shake and tremble and this pleases me. Yet you have defied your father and no doubt caused a great deal of trouble. And somehow, this also pleases me.” Placing a finger under her chin, he tipped her head back and kissed her again.

This time though, he controlled his desire and let her go after just a moment. He set her down in front of the tree and she staggered slightly. "And now, you are mine." He reached out a hand to steady her and grinned. “Well, come on girl. Do you want to stand here all day?” he said and turned toward the path. She hesitated and he stopped and looked over his shoulder at her, frowning. “The sun is rising and I am hungry.” he frowned. “And apparently I need to deal with your family now.” And he set off through the trees.

She hurried to catch up with him, taking four steps for every one of his strides. Several times, they came to a place where tree trunks had fallen across the path. Lord Gregor would turn, put his hands around her waist, and lifted her over. He’d deposit her on the other side, then step over after her. Her eyes widened in surprise at first, but by the third tree she seemed resigned to it.  “Thank you, my Lord.” she said. He looked at her, frowned and nodded before heading off down the path again.

When they finally came to the entrance to the Godswood, she realized that it must be later than she thought. It was much brighter in the garden.  She quickened her pace to try catch up with Lord Gregor. She looked around the garden and noticed that Arry was nowhere to be seen. He must have noticed her looking around because he said “I sent the boy away.”

“The boy, my Lord?” She hadn’t seen any boys, only Arry who’d shown her the way.

“The boy. I questioned him. He told me he’d brought you here. I ordered him to go.” He looked slightly exasperated.

“Oh, but that child was a girl. Arry.” she said.

“It makes no difference.” he said, and walked on. She hurried after him as he led her back to the castle keep.

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