She hated him when he slew her father. But she hated him even more when he removed the chains her cowardly, traitorous men had brutally forced on her; when he covered her bruised, battered, naked flesh with his cloak; when he offered her wine, the only thing besides water that had passed her throat in days.
She hated her relief, her enforced meekness, her gratitude.
Where is your pride, Argella? The Storm Queen who knelt to the Targaryen bastard. The whore who fucked and then married her father’s slayer.
Her father had been full of pride. Argella wanted to live. She wanted her people to live. And she wanted Storm’s End, the only home she had ever known.
She had knelt, true, and she had married him. But she had never offered herself to him.
She did what she had to do, to protect herself, and everything she held dear.
“You should be proud,” he told her. “Your sigil, your House words, I’ll not change that. They will be mine as well.” I did that for you, was what he was implying.
No, you did that for yourself. For a bastard without his own House and his own words and his own sigil. She smiled and told him, “I am most grateful.”
When he left to serve his dragon king, and they saw each other not more than once or twice a year, she was the happiest. It was the same for him, she knew.
There were children. There had to be; he was most insistent. He was starting a new House, a new dynasty, and he needed sons. A lot of them. “The Baratheons will rule over the stormlands for thousands of years to come,” he announced, proud and confident.
When the dragon king finally drew his last breath, and the new king had no more need of Orys Baratheon in King’s Landing, he came home for good to Storm’s End. To Argella. They sat across the table from each other, staring but not seeing.
“Well,” he said, finally.
Indeed, thought Argella.
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