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Ooh, deep and wild, hungry sea

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It was already quite late when Princess Rhaenys wore her black cloak, but did not cover her raven hair. That was unnecessary, after all. Having inherited the hair of her mother, the lady Jocelyne, a lot of precautions were not always needed.

Her humble appearance and the color of her hair often confused the guards enough, to the point that they thought she was some maid.

It wasn't hard to slip away after all. The  Red Keep was a huge place, but, she had explored every inch of it as a child, along with Viserys and Daemon. They'd found plenty of tunnels and secret passages like this one.

A tapestry in a room—which was always empty at the late night hours—actually led to a secret door and then to a tunnel that reached the door leading to the gardens. 

The tunnel was dark and smelled of humidity and mold, but she didn't mind. It was a small price to come out of the castle.

Furthermore, the rest of her way was clean, as pleasant as the smell of King's Landing could be. In the garden close to the weirwood there was a secret door that led to freedom.

She'd been down this road a number of times, but tonight, she was feeling both tired and excited.

Today's Small Council had lasted longer than usual and it would have been boring if the new Master of Ships had not aroused her curiosity.

His name sounded in the councilors' mouths as a legend even to her own father, and only her uncle, Prince Baelon, whispered that he was a common man.

Rhaenys, on the other hand, did not find him a common man at all. 

The first thing she was impressed with was the color of his skin. "But he is a Valyrian, isn't he?" She asked the Spring Prince discreetly, when Lord Velaryon walked into the room, but the reply came from her father's mouth.

"The Valyrian Freehold was a great territory, Rhaenys. Within it lived thousands of people with different features and yet they lived in harmony with one another. Just like us. Moreover, Lord Velaryon's mother was some princess from the Summer Isles."

She tilted her head, giving a brilliant grin to the Prince of Dragonstone, but with the edge of her eye, she caught sight of this strange man sitting next to him.

She then observed his eyes. He had the darkest purple eyes, that Rhaenys had seen in one living person; were nearly black. A color much more intense and deeper than hers.

Neither did his body's movements go unnoticed by her. He had something magical in his way of speaking, and his hands were always well-tuned to strengthen his words.

Even her grandsire was so impressed by him that he invited him to stay at court for as long as he wanted.

It was a very interesting change in the atmosphere of the Keep, for there were always peace and serenity.

Unlike other times, however, there was no quietness in otherwise dark corridors. In this place where there has always been nearly funeral calmness today stood guards.

Rhaenys managed to move away from them just to stop a bit later. The place was heavily guarded that night.

Murmuring a curse through her teeth, she passed another guard without, however, still reaching near the entrance that led to the godswood.

She kept moving, though, trying to understand what had changed lately. Surely her father hadn't understood anything, but perhaps her uncle would have understood that  Daemon had also begun to leave, spending many of his evenings here and there, often leading Viserys to the same foolishness. Rhaenys had spoken to them and had warned them, unsuccessfully.

"Little shit, you're to blame for that." She whispered when she found that a short distance from the door there was another guard, not a common man but the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard himself.

If he discovered her he would definitely lead her to the king's solar, and Rhaenys was old enough to know that this would displease both him and her father.

Before thinking about anything, however, she felt a heavy hand on her shoulder.  "Fuck!" she turned slowly towards him thinking that he was some guard or worse another knight of the Kingsguard, but she was surprised when she found out that face to face was Lord Velaryon himself.

He seemed equally surprised but seemed to enjoy himself and when seconds before Ser Gyles Morrigen, —the lord commander of the Kingsguar— turned his head in their direction, the Sea Snake opened the heavy oak door with his own hand,Rhaenys was the one who felt weird.

She could not hear the typical words they were talking about, but she was grateful that the godswood was empty. In the farthest gardens there were guards, but not in this place; she could go if she wanted to.

Instead, she straightened out her cloak and braid and sat down at the weirwood's root, she could hear her heartbeat. He went to her a few seconds later and he sat beside her, indifferent to the velvet cloak he was wearing, which would surely get dirty from the ground.

"Princess!" His voice made her heart beat faster.

"Lord Velaryon! What a breathtaking surprise!"

The way he looked at her brought a shiver down her spine, but she covered up her uneasiness with a bright smile. He got near her.

"My apologies, Princess. I never meant to scare you."

"I feel fine," she politely reassured him. "I just thought it was some guard and that it would get me into trouble."

"Better be me, then."

"I suppose."  This time she did not hesitate to look at him, but when their eyes met and he stared at her, she felt that same strong heartbeat. It was a strange yet pleasant feeling.

"So what's a princess doing all by herself in the hallways this late?"

She was surprised by his question, but of course she responded in the same tone.

"Whatever a lord may do, Lord Velaryon!"

"I must confess that I got lost in the hallways, Princess. I was on my way back from the king's solar to the guests' chambers, but this place is,"

"Huge?" she stopped him.

"Scary, I might say."

"You are indeed lost within the halls and corridors, good lord. Guest rooms are up front." She answered with laughter, not hesitating to look at his face. She was fond of what she saw. Somehow, she compared him to herself; we're so different among others.

"I believe you're right. What's your secret then?"

He was honest with her and took it upon herself to be honest with him. "I used to sneak out of the castle. There's usually a lot of quiet so late at night, but tonight there are guards everywhere."

"So, do you want to see a loved one in secret?"

Rhaenys, despite being quite upset by his audacity, did not take her gaze off his face. He asked her if she had a lover, with the same naturalness which would ask her how the morning meal was.

He made her angry, but he also confused her and, on top of that, he aroused her mood to play with him. She had played with her two cousins, some squires, and two young lords in the past, had kissed once or twice in the dark, but that was all. She was familiar with this game, but she has never had such a man. He threw her into the air, made her burn for more.

Her reply was highly diplomatic and she could feel his breath on her face while she was talking. So close they were sitting with one another now.

"Not exactly, Lord Velaryon, but it means a great deal to me."

"A fiance you're trying to get to know more about before you marry him."

Instead of becoming angry with his insistence, she started enjoying herself.

"I shall no doubt do my duty when the time comes, but for the moment I am not betrothed, my Lord."

"A lowborn companion then. Someone the king would not agree with."

He fell easily into her trap and Rhaenys noticed that the deep purple in his eyes had turned black. This man was not only asking to spend time. She was young, yes, way younger than him, and yet she felt it.

"What could a man offer me that my dragon cannot? With twelve name days I first mounted Meleys, yet ever since my father named me his cupbearer he won't let me stray too far. So, I used to go to the Dragonpit at night. Sometimes on cloudy weather I ride her secretly high above the city, but this evening it is impossible to leave."

When he offered to give her a hand, he surprised her. It would be a good idea and she missed Meleys a lot, but she also enjoyed his company.

"You will help me, but for some other reason," she replied mischievously and bringing her face closer to his. He has not turned away, whether for interest or curiosity. "As one of the ladies of the castle, I am obliged to offer you a drink, even at this hour."


They returned to the godswood and sat down on the root of the weirwood, very close to one another, enjoying the same bottle of wine. It was easy for her to steal one, but the glasses were a tough topic, yet the Sea Snake had no problem sharing it with her.

They had discussed a variety of trivial issues when Rhaenys found that the bottle was already half empty and felt the blood in her veins running warmer now.  

"So, your lordship is building a new castle?" She asked with as much audacity as she had, staring at him.

"From the same pale stone that Eyrie has been built, my Lady. Its roofs will be made of beaten silver, and when the waters of Blackwater Bay are at high tide the castle shall be connected to the island by a causeway. I have accumulated much treasure from my journeys thus far, Driftmark is not worthy of them nor of the  Driftwood Throne."

She closed her lilac eyes, trying to imagine this castle, which would be so different from Dragonstone or the Red Keep. It would no doubt be a great sight with its roofs that shine like a silver crown in the morning sun.

Perhaps she would soon visit it during the upcoming royal progress. Driftmark was quite close, her grandfather would have no objection if she accompanied him there.

"Have your famous voyages come to a close, Lord Velaryon? Some would say that it is difficult for a man with such many experiences to live away from the sea."

"To be honest, this is just a small break." When he made a vague gesture around them, Rhaenys already understood the meaning, but when his fingertips touched her hair for some time, she felt her body arched and trembled.

The idea came to her mind when, by clumsily repairing her braid, she noticed that her earring had already started to lose. It was a marvelous thing made of valyrian steel and rubies, a gift of the queen's own hand. The time had passed, but there was still time to work out her plan.

She never wanted to lose her earring forever, of course, but that plan was all she had. Her grandmother would understand her deeds.

She succeeded to unscrew it further when she gave him the nearly empty bottle again, before turning his eyes back on her. She had to keep talking a bit longer until she felt her earring fall off.

She was very pleased about the evening's progress. If her plan had the same success, another one would follow in the near future.
This game was not about what she had played until now, It was more like the dance of  the dragons, like the movements they did when they hunted in freedom on Dragonstone. Claws and fire, horns and blood this was the predator's dance, the dance of the Red Queen.

She rose slowly with her eyes still on his face and extended her hand. "I have enjoyed the company of you, Lord Velaryon, but I must return to my chambers. Daybreak will soon be upon us."

He stood up like a feline, and his next move took her breath away, as he held her hands in his and looked into her eyes, before kissing her on both wrists.
"It was my pleasure, Princess," he murmured, and his hot breath on her skin turned her face into a spring-red rose.

She hated looking like a maiden on her wedding night, so she turned away, hoping that,-

"Princess, princess, wait!" His voice stopped all her thoughts, and she had to gather all her strength not to respond to his  siren call.

"Rhaenys!"

Hearing her name from his lips made her warm up to her core and brought a brilliant smile to her face, but she did not turn to look back on him.

"Tomorrow." She whispered to herself, and went on walking constantly. This was her plan anyway.