Chapter 1 – The Road Ahead

Tyrion Lannister considered himself to be a fairly intelligent person, he was in no way omnipotent but he was proud to say that few things in this world truly surprised him anymore. Sitting at his desk reading the letter his father had sent to him that evening surprised him greatly, this was something he was sure no one would have ever foreseen. 

“What news husband?” Looking up, his eyes rested on his darling wife Janyse and he debated with himself as to what he should say. He was going to tell her of course, but he wasn’t sure if now was the best time for this kind of conversation. The topic wasn’t exactly restful and he hated to disturb her peace.

She sat across from him in her night dress, its upper half was pulled down completely and the silken fabric pooled around her waist leaving her entire torso exposed to the cool night air giving him a rather lovely view of her. Emmaline, their seven month old daughter, was latched onto one of her breasts having her final feeding for the night. There was something about the sight that always made him bubble with glee, he wasn’t sure what it was exactly. If it was simply the sight of his wife in such a motherly state, reminding him with nothing more than a glance that she loved their children with a fierce passion that he had never been sure he would possess in this life. Or if it was simply the lusty image she presented in her current position. Either way it was his favorite time of the day and his father was ruining it.

“It’s rather a lengthy letter, we can discuss it after Emmaline is put to bed.” He knew the contents of the letter would be enough to upset her and it grieved him so to have to be the one to tell her of this. He wished fervently for a way out of the hidden command in his fathers words but he knew there wouldn’t be one. There never was when Tywin truly wanted something.

Deciding to leave the letter for now he instead focused on his wife and daughter so he allowed far more pleasant thoughts to fill his mind. He had never thought that this would be his life, but he would never change it for anything in the world. When Jaime had first been sent to house Tully in a bid to secure a marriage, under a thinly veiled guise, he had only been excited to get to see somewhere beyond the Rock. He hadn’t expected anything exciting to happen for him, he was only a little lad of nine, instead he had met his future wife. 

He sometimes wondered how his life would have turned out if Jaime hadn’t insisted that he come along, using him as a buffer and a way to avoid the marriage proposals for as long as possible. Of course he was ready and eager to be used as long as it got him off the blasted Rock and away from the arms of his loving family and back to the one sibling that truly valued him. 

Or what if he hadn’t tried to hide away from everyone in the library after the first day when his short stature and twisted limbs were put to shame by the strapping knights of the Reach. It wasn’t until the third day that the youngest daughter of house Tully had joined him before the warm fire to enjoy a book and it wasn’t until the ninth that the two of them had gotten up the courage to speak to one another. She was only seven at the time so her first overture was to ask him about a word she hadn’t known in her book, something he was all too happy to help her with. His mind was his one weapon, he’d known that fact even back then, and he was always eager to pass on any knowledge he had even deceivingly simple things like words.

After that they were nearly always together talking about one thing or another, at the time their conversations had seemed so stimulating and at the tender ages they were they likely had been, now looking back he could see that it wasn’t the talking that had mattered to either of them but the acceptance. She had been the youngest of her siblings and was constantly being told to go away or to leave them to whatever task they had to finish. He in turn was shooed away from his brother by marriage minded adults who kept pushing poor Jaime towards Lysa Tully. They were alone and clung to one another for companionship. 

Their fledgling friendship hadn’t gone unnoticed. His brother and Lord Tully both had written to his father about how easily the two of them had fit together, alongside missives about how completely unsuited Jaime and Lysa were. It was decided by raven that a different match would join their houses together. Tywin had simply been elated that he had found a use for his dwarf son whom he hated, and while Lord Tully had initially been insulted at the idea of settling for the deformed youngest son he knew it was either settle or have no connection to House Lannister at all. Jaime had made it beyond clear that his own interest lay beyond House Tully and its middle daughter. No one had bothered to tell either him or Janyse about this turn of events until the start of Robert’s Rebellion four years later. Even then nothing came of it until the dust had settled and the battle was won. 

By the year 280 all of Lord Tully’s daughters were wed bringing his house in alignment with the Lannisters of the Rock, the Starks of Winterfell, and the Arryns of the Vale making the Reach a new power to be carefully watched even with its incompetent heir. 

He had to admit that in his own opinion and the opinion of many others he had been the luckiest of the grooms. He was certain that if anyone had known what a true beauty his wife would eventually grow to become they would never have wed her to him at the tender age of twelve.

Watching her hand their daughter off to her night time attendant he felt the same rush of love now that he had felt for nearly the whole of their life together. While it had taken them a few years to find their stride, once they did they fit together quite nicely, and now he was going to have to introduce a new hurdle to their peace together.

“Now what was in that missive you seemed so frustrated by?”

“My darling wife, I am loath to inform you that your good brother Jon Arryn has passed.” He watched as many emotions passed through her lovely ocean blue eyes. Jon was many years the senior of his wife so his passing wasn’t entirely surprising, but it brought with it a few complications that he could see her already beginning to work through without him having to continue just yet. Oh how he loved her beautiful mind, it was as sharp as his own.

“What more beyond that?”

“My father has been in touch with both your brother Edmure and your good brother Lord Stark and it has been decided that House Tully should come together to help your sister and her son in this trying time.” It did not escape either of them that they had not in fact been consulted, only commanded once the plans were already set.

“Where will we be gathering to give this help?” It was a fair question and an important one given all the power players involved in the life and now death of good old Jon.

“Since the King intends to ride to Winterfell to see his foster brother, your sister Lysa will be traveling along with the royal retinue north. It has been suggested that we not delay our own departure from the Rock by more than a few days.” There had been no mention of her brother either way, but it was clear that all three sisters were being commanded to the same place. 

His darling Janyse had not seen either of her sisters since before their wedding, once they had been scattered to their respective husbands houses they had essentially ceased to be a part of one another’s lives. This trip would mark the first time either of the others had clapped eyes on his wife in nearly twenty years. Even with Lysa’s husband being hand of the King and her being at court for most of the year their paths had never crossed during the twice yearly visits they were forced to make to King’s Landing, something that was obviously intentional on both sides, while their eldest sister Catelyn never left the north.

“Very well.” Her tone was sweet but her eyes were hard, this would not be a happy reunion for any of them. 

The preparations were plentiful but their time was short so they both worked nearly to exhaustion for the next two days making sure all was ready for this rare trip up to the frozen north. His uncle Kevan and aunt Genna were delighted to watch over their children for them since neither of them wanted to risk the baby in the cold weather, leaving them with just the normal travel retinue to organize. It was a nightmare.

Tyrion hated long trips, every year when he and his wife were forced to show their faces at Kings Landing it was a dreaded affair and Winterfell was leagues beyond even that infernal place. Over the years they had worked out a system that made the long tedious journeys more pleasurable for them both. In the beginning she had ridden in the wheelhouse with a handmaiden or other such female companion while he used his augmented saddle to ride his horse with the other men. It was what was expected of them both so it was what they did. Eventually they both came to the realization that this arrangement didn’t work for either of them. Her companions were rarely well read enough to give her stimulating conversation and when he rode with his fathers men they almost never acknowledged his existence and if they did it was never for a good reason. 

One day when he knew she was having a particularly bad day he chose to ride with her in the wheelhouse, he was jeered at by the men for being as weak as a woman to give up his horse for a carriage but he paid it no mind. In truth that day was the most fun he’d had on any of his trips from the Rock in ages. After that they both decided that it was better for them to be happy than for them to be accepted, so Tyrion rode with her everywhere.

He was of the opinion that any man who naysayed his choice had obviously never spent a weeks long trip in paradise. It hadn’t taken them long after growing comfortable with their new routine to work out that the enclosed space and lush cushioning of the bench seats were ideal for more than just idle chatter between them. 

They made ample use of this discovery during every trip they were forced to take and it made the entire process more pleasurable for them both.

He thrust harder into his welcoming wife and her resulting moan of pleasure was enough to puff up even a Lannister’s pride, it didn’t hurt that he knew her cries of pleasure could be heard by the surrounding guards. All of “their” men were loyal to outsiders so he enjoyed giving them scandalous reports to give to their true masters. He was sure his father was as unimpressed as he imagined him to be. 

The only man out of hearing range was the scout they had riding ahead to spot the royal caravan, it was likely they would be meeting up with them in the next day or so and they wanted plenty of warning before being forced to descend into the vipers nest. Even away from the Red Keep the court was not an easy place to be for either of them and they were going to need all the advantages they could get, even if it was just a short warning of impending doom.

The touch of Janyse’s fingers against his face brought his mind back into focus and on the pleasurable task at hand. He knew he hadn’t upset her since it wasn’t the first time one of their minds had wandered during the spiteful act of fucking for an audience. Sometimes the reasons for their actions distracted them from the action itself and since everything done outside of their bedchamber at the Rock had an ulterior motive to it that was a lot of reasoning to keep up with.

Picking up his pace he drove her hard and fast towards her climax in apology for his wandering thoughts. Her nails bit into his shoulders as she clung to him and her voice rose in volume as her encouragement became more lude and inventive. While he was satisfied with simply imagining the stammered reports the men would have to make about their more lascivious actions his darling wife was more inclined towards making them blush in the moment and leaving it at that. He grinned in satisfaction as he felt her walls begin to convulse around him and he spilled his seed into her waiting womb. Both of their children had been conceived in this caravan going to or coming from court so it wasn’t unreasonable for him to hope that this journey might spark new life once more.

Catching his breath he rested his face against her supple breast, it was his favorite position to lie in, and he watched as his puffed breath against her opposite nipple sent shivers down her body. Her breasts were always the most sensitive while she was feeding a babe and he took full advantage of that to make her quiver and quake in his arms.

“We’ll be stopping soon, we should start putting ourselves back to rights.” It was a well worn pattern by now that after he made his wife climax the men would wait a short while to see if they started up again before calling a halt “to give the horses a rest” during which all the men seemed to disappear into the deep woods for some alone time. It made the trips take longer, but it was well worth it in his opinion.

“If we must.” His wife was just as amused as he was by the results of their scandalous behavior and it showed in the knowing glint in her eyes.

It wasn’t until two days later with nine stops along the way that the royal party was spotted. They were resting not far ahead and their scout had helpfully informed the kingsguard that they were tottling along behind them so they would be merging together soon.

He knew he would be enduring a fair amount of ribbing from his brother at his travel choices, but he also knew that he would likely switch to horseback once they came together since Jaime was the only person he truly enjoyed riding with. Janyse would likely end up with Myrcella and Tommen in with her before they continued on as well, it was a well known fact that his dear sister only truly cared for the company of her eldest. Joffrey the little shit would most likely try to weasel his way in with his wife as well, but his mother would put a swift end to that so he didn’t worry that he would have to try and pull rank on a petulant and prideful prince.

Both he and Janyse had noticed in the last few years that Joffrey was beginning to have certain feelings for his dear aunt. Ever since his cock had begun to twitch at the sight of a shapely lady he had been following his dear wife around in every direction whenever they were at court and had even been known to try and convince his father to summon them more often. He was half the reason they were both so tired of coming to court as often as they were commanded to. The other half of the reason was of course Joffrey’s doting mother Cersei who had also taken notice of her little boy’s special interest. She seemed to forever shift between being outraged at Janyse for having the nerve to excite her baby and being amused at the thought of her son taking her demon brother’s wife to bed to shame him. 

It seemed to change by the hour, but either way she was very much against the idea of Joffrey being alone with Janyse especially while Robert was near. He had never thought he would be thankful of Robert’s famous temper and his near obsessive devotion to the Stark family, but he was. While Cersei was his sister and Roberts wife, Janyse’s sister was married to the honorable Eddard Stark and that made Janyse family in Robert’s eyes. While some liked to argue that Robert would have preferred to marry Lord Stark himself with the way he waxed poetic about the man everyone knew better than to disrespect Stark in the king’s presence and lusting after his good sister would be seen as disrespect. Cersei was very mindful of keeping her son’s comments low and his hands busy because they all knew who would win if it came down to a choice for Robert and it wouldn’t be Joffrey. 

The merging of the two parties took so long that they were all forced to make camp and start off again at first light. Things went as he had expected and his wife was left with two child companions, which she likely preferred to be honest, and he was riding beside his golden brother.

“I hear your trip has been far more pleasurable than my own brother.” He knew that the Lannister guards would report to Jaime once they came together, but he felt no shame from his brother knowing such intimate details of his marriage. He was privy to plenty of such stories every time he and his wife were summoned to court, so much so that it had become a running joke between them. Jaime kept saying he didn’t know who had the more active sex life his dwarf brother or his whoremongering king.

“It always is, Ser Jaime.” He wiggled his brows in lewd suggestion that made his brother laugh and the others around them blush. They would finally reach Winterfell in three days and he for one couldn’t wait, he had only been in the saddle for one day and he already missed his time in his carriage with his wife. While his brother was good company, no one was as good as his wife for keeping his mind occupied during long journeys.

He knew that the time in Winterfell was going to be cold in more ways than one, he was just looking forward to it beginning already so that it could end just as quickly. He wanted to be back at the Rock with his children and he knew Janyse felt the same.

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