The desire… It burned in his chest like wildfire. No. It was even more… like the fire of a thousand suns.
His hand moved slowly to caress her cheek, almost shyly.
“I love you”
The words were uttered like a confession of a crime, filling the air of the strange room.
Time seemed to stop as they remained silent, and it felt like eternity to Jorah.
The faceless woman finally moved his lips, opening her perfect mouth, the only part of her face Jorah was capable to distinguish, an she let out a sigh, nuzzling into the man’s big hand. How tiny, how fragile she looked!
“And I love you too, my brave bear…” she said, stepping closer to the Mormont and brushing her lips against his.
Jorah’s heart raced, and he felt himself die of happiness. His fingers tangled in her long hair and his mouth kissed her mouth, the corner of her lips, her cheek, the curve of her neck.
Desire. Fire burning. In his chest, this time it was like if a bomb exploded. She was his… and he was hers.
But the spell broke. Jorah felt himself falling down into a dream from which he was sure he would not be able to wake up.
And the last thing he saw it was her, with a sweet motherly smile in her perfect lips: her white hair, and her pale young face.
And then, the darkness.
Jorah woke up covered in cold sweat. He sat up on his bed, his breath accelerated.
He leaded his hand to his lips, slowly touching them with his fingertips.
A dream… It had all been a dream. But something was still burning inside him, deep in his chest.
Had it been… the young Ms. Targaryen the one he had been willing to touch, to kiss, to have?
Jorah burried his face in his hands. No, no, no… Lynesse. It had always been her and she would ever be… He was not capable of loving another woman… Or was he?
Lynesse, Lynesse, Lynesse… Her name had been like a balm all this time, but now it was just like a woodden board floating in the middle of a sea, the only thing that kept him close to his past.
Lynesse… Jorah took a deep breath before he layed down, back in his bed.
But when he closed his eyes, it was the young Ms. Targaryen’s face what he could see in his dreams, and were her lips what made his heart race again like once it did.
Fire and desire. Joy and disgrace.
A lock of wavy raven hair fell in front of Dacey’s shoulder and she picked it up, twisting the strand of hiar around her finger as she watched her cousin. There seemed to almost be an internal struggle between what he was saying and what he wanted to say. Dacey couldn’t blame him for that. There were more times than she could count where she was forced to bite her tongue on a subject and keep quiet when her sisters were speaking out. All she wanted to do was correct them but her mother had told her that they needed to make their own mistakes. Maybe that was how things were for Jorah as well.
“At least you’ve realized it,” Dacey said with a slight sigh as she released the dark curl, letting it bounce against her shoulder. “Even if it took time you did finally realize it. You’ve learned from your mistake and that’s the important thing.” The woman offered her cousin a reassuring smile and tucked the lock of hair behind her ear. Now that she and Jorah were talking then maybe, maybe everything would fall back into place. Maybe they could be family again, not that they ever really stopped to begin with; but things had been different. Now they could get back to how things used to be.
But he hadn’t learned. If he was back again to those days when he met Lynesse, when they were living togheter, when she got bored from the house and of Jorah’s family… he would do it again. He would give everything he had now to love again as he had loved… But maybe it was impossible. And he knew never again things would be like they were before he left London. His father would not forgive him. His father was still hurt about what he had done. A Mormont! Smuggling! How did he dare!
Though that was what it was going around Jorah’s head, the words he said were very different. “Yes… ” Jorah lowered his head, not capable of staring at her eyes. He tried to smile slightly.
Dany turned, concerned briefly by the look that crossed Jorah’s craggy face. But she still didn’t feel comfortable enough to ask him about it, about the locked up places that she felt in him, a balled up thread of grief and loneliness, though she had too much empathy not to lay her hand comfortingly on his arm. So she did.
With the anger drained out of her there was only the beginnings of embarrassment at having accosted a near complete stranger on the streets (how long before that ended up in some London tabloid, her scrunched up face plastered on the cheap print?) and a stubbornness against admitting to it.
“What’s that for?” she asked. The pen was hardly a butcher’s knife, but she she eyed just as warily, not certain that given the conversation she’d just finished it was a good thing this rockstar star had asked for it.
He took the pen from Jorah with a mumur of thanks and dug around in his pockets for any scrap of paper. The only thing he could find was a bent and twisted piece of white paper. Holding the pen in his mouth without a thought (oops), he untwisted it and smirked around the plastic, snorting to himself. It was the remains of that morning’s coffee trip: the standard white chocolate mocha, as big as they made it. “Fitting,” he mumbled, and spat the pen out into his hand. Maybe Jorah wouldn’t want it back…
“This, Tiny, is a very special instrument.” Drogo held it up, level with her eyes, looking very solemn behind it. “Used, I’ve heard, for writing.” Pause. ” It is known.” He finished with a wry smile, hoping she realised there was no harm intended behind his sass. Beside that, she looked a little spent, and was probably better left alone. No trailing after her like a lost little kid out of boredom for the afternoon, it seemed. London looked a little crazy on both of them if he were honest, so he’d decided to give her something of a peace offering.
He turned and pressed the paper against the wall of the building they’d stopped outside of, slowly and carefully printing out a phone number. Above it, he spelled out a simple, nondescript name: E m i. After howling for half his life at anyone (including his mother) using the shortened version of his realm name, it came in very handy as an alias. No one expected the very tall, very gruff looking musician when they read it.
“And this,” he said, holding the paper out to her, “is an out. If you feel the need to yell at me again, or hang out like a nomral person, you can find me.” There was a slight emphasis on the word normal. He was himself, and she was Daenerys Targaryen. That, he could understand.
It was not very pleasing for Jorah, that had to try his best for not make a face, to see his father’s pen in that man’s mouth, but he could do nothing at all. Maybe he should have warned him that he had to treat it like a son. It was, after all, the only thing he had from his father…
What came next really made his inexpresive face raise an eyebrow interrogatively. “Oh gods, my father’s pen…” he was just able to think all over again. What a pitty…
But the man was strangely nice, in his weird way, that way only rock stars and that kind of people were. He smiled at her commentary about the pen as he though that putting it into his mouth wasn’t the correct way to use such an important instrument.
Just as he had expected, Khal Drogo handed her the paper with his phone number written on it. Ah, so all the man wanted was to… erm… hang out with the young Ms. Targaryen. Strange that he still wanted to be yelled by her. She could actually have made Jorah show some king of emotion with that voice… But who wouldn’t want to go out with someone of her beauty? After all, it was quite understandable.
Dacey couldn’t help the soft sigh of relief that escaped her lips as Jorah acknowledged that the troubles between he and their family had been the fault of Lynesse. The Hightower woman had gotten between them and forced them to turn their backs on each other. Dacey would never forgive Lynesse for that. There was so much time lost and wasted because of her selfishness. At least Dacey felt safe in the knowledge that no matter what, Lynesse was the past. They could put all the anger and hatred behind them now and fix the broken bonds of family.
Even though she did not want to seem smug over her cousin’s admission, Dacey could still feel the corners of her mouth turning upwards in a slight smile. “I’m glad you’ve opened your eyes, Jorah. She was blinding you but now you can see we were there all along. You were the one who chose to leave.”
Jorah had to bite the inside of his cheek in order to keep himself to show any other emotion that wasn’t the look of sadness that he couldn’t control. But inside him there was a voice that wanted to yell at everyone that he was sorry, that he would never make the mistake he did again. It was a stupid will, a stupid voice he tried to silence… But it was hard to get rid of it.
Finally, he nodded, in agreement. “I have never made a greater mistake than the one I made when I left London.” He was sure that was what she wanted to hear, what his whole family wanted to hear, and so he said it, though he didn’t felt it. How to feel that the time had been with the love of his life, and he was sure that there would be no other woman for him, was a mistake? It hadn’t been for him. It hadn’t been… until she ran away. But he was sure that Lynesse Hightower had actually love him… Once. Maybe shortly. But she had.
When Jorah reached across the table and took her hand, Dacey stilled for a moment. She dropped her gaze to their hands before slowly looking back up to meet his eyes. Even though she wanted to protest the words died in her throat when she met her cousin’s guilt ridden eyes. Instead of complaining that there could have been something for her to do, Dacey merely nodded.
His confession that he was the one who needed to apologize had not been what she had expected. For her whole life there was certainty about Jorah where he didn’t like to admit his failings. Dacey assumed it had to do with the Mormont stubbornness as it had come to be known. “Lynesse was the problem,” Dacey said with a soft sigh. “You cannot help that she tangled you up in her web of lies.” Of course Dacey had blamed Jorah for that. She’d blamed him for years but slowly she was beginning to realize that maybe Jorah wasn’t the only one who had made a mistake.
Lynesse had been the problem. Sure, but he was also guilty. But it had taken for him years to realize he had not been completely not guilty. Even now, when he had said he was sorry about everything it had happened, it had been hard for him to say the words and to accept his part of guilt.
“Yes…” he said as he tried to smile, that smile he hardy ever used, a natural smile of simple relief… but he was sure he failed. How stupid he had been to let himself fall for Lynesse’s lies… And how strange it was that he regreted nothing. But Dacey must not know that. That would be something that he would keep for himself, all what he had lived with Lynesse…
“Now I know you were right… All of you…” this time, he looked back down when he spoke.
Very slightly Dacey nodded as Jorah spoke. She could understand that. Cut off from everything and everyone had to be so difficult for Jorah. Dacey didn’t know if she would have had the strength to simply leave everything behind like that. In fact, she knew she couldn’t. Not when she had little sister’s to be a role model for, even if only little Lyanna was still young enough for her influence to do any good. She would have missed them terribly and never would have left them behind.
Smiling sadly when he looked into her eyes, Dacey bit her bottom lip. There were things in her past she wouldn’t have wanted her family informed of either. Drunken nights in university immediately sprang to mind and she shook the memories away. “I understand, Jorah.” Frowning slightly she absentmindedly drew shapes on the tabletop with her fingertips but her eyes never left his. She wished she could have been there to help him through that but he had betrayed their family. If she had seen him before now she might not have even said hello. Dacey would have merely averted her eyes and walked in the other direction. Now, thankfully, she was growing up. Almost hesitantly Dacey spoke again. “I’m sorry I couldn’t be of any help.” She didn’t know why she was apologizing to the man who could have ruined their family with his expensive wife but it felt right for Dacey to say the words. Maybe it was an empty gesture but she didn’t think so. They were family after all. Despite everything they had said and done bonds like that just don’t disappear.
Her apologizing was the last thing in the world Joarah would have wanted. Apologizing for not being there? Aplogizing for not being able to help him. How could him let he do that to herself, her that had been by her family’s side all that time? Jorah moved his hand across the table to reach hers. “There is no way shoul apologize, Dacey…”
“It is me who should” he said to himself. But how to say sorry if you do not feel so? Because he didn’t regret falling in love with Lynesse. He couldn’t. They had been the best years of his life, and he was not able to tell himself that had been a mistake. He had learned about how love and being loved was…
“It’s me who should” this time, he said the words out loud.
Hearing his words brought a smile to her face. They were making progress and she knew it. Maybe things would work out for the best in the end after all. It was good to know that seeing her again had not been the last thing in the world he would have wanted. Dacey didn’t know how well she would have handled that. “I’m glad to see you as well, Jorah.” It might have been surprising to her but she knew it was the truth. Family was important and even though she didn’t realize it until now, Dacey was glad they were getting the chance to fix things between them.
It seemed to Dacey that Jorah was almost as relieved as she was that they were clearing the air. “I hadn’t realized how much I wanted to talk to you, how many things I had to say to you, until now.” There was so much time lost and so many things to get caught up with. Dacey didn’t know where to begin. “What have I missed in your life, Jorah? Certainly there must be a lot of things that have happened.”
The relief he felt was even greater when she said she had been willing to talk to him for some time… Though, Jorah had to remain like he was, looking down. How much had she missed…? Just the worse years of his whole life. The rejection. The loneliness. The poverty. Having to sell his services and risk his own life to protect people that didn’t deserve it… She had missed so much, and yet he was glad she had. How much she would have suffered if she had known, if she had seen him… If his whole family had seen what he had become. They had never wished him to end up like he had. They had warned him…
He finally found the courage to look up at her. “You have missed nothing but what I would have wished you to miss, Dacey. My life since I left the city… let’s say it hasn’t been easy…” were his only words before he couldn’t avoid looking back down.
Some part of him was a little disappointed that she’d given up so easy. It was hard for him to himself in her - or anyone’s - place. Most people weren’t so physically large, outspoken, or privy to having their opinions heard and followed. He’d taken to this sort of leadership naturally, and while he was stubborn about arguing and getting his way, he rather liked the good argument. Now she’d wilted, and was turning to go away. It wasn’t the cheery sort of ‘agree to disagree’ he’d imagined, and thoughts of killing the rest of the afternoon with her (and Ser Shadow) were slowly drifting away.
“I will,” he said, more flippant than he’d intended. His mouth quirked to the side, staring at her profile. “If it makes you feel any better, there’re about five other people angry at me right now.” He simply had a yellable-at face. Not that it didn’t mean the others weren’t wrong. They were.
He took a step towards her then stopped, eyeing Jorah warily. “Got a pen, man?”
Maybe it was that he had just been listening to everything, but not actually hearing what they were saying, but the truth was that Jorah stared at him for a moment before he realized Khal Drogo was talking to him. How stupid, of course he was refering to him! Since when had he become like that? He would not get far as a bodyguard by acting like that. He moved slowly to reach the black pen he had in the inside of his long-sleeved coat, a pen his father had given him when he was still considered like another member of the family… and not a criminal.
Again thinking about that? He had to push himself to focus in the pen he had to give to the man and not in his thoughs about his own disgrace. Enough of that… He had to forget about the past, and live for the future.
“Here you are…” he just said as he offered him the pen, waiting for him to reach take it.
He went very still when she shrank back, brows immediately flat. She continued to rant and throw a fit (her teeth really were very white!), all while he watched with a sort of grim curiosity. Their last meeting had been random and fleeting, but he was sure he didn’t remember her like this. He’d touched her last time, moved her around. There hadn’t been that reaction. There must be something in the water here. Not twitchy or over dramatic. His hand went away slowly, both of them digging into the pockets of his jacket as he rocked on his heels with a sigh.
“This may surprise you,” he started, expression bland and bored. “But people ask for my opinion, so I give it. They’re like assholes, everyone has one.” Shrug. “Mine just happens to cast a wide net.” Khal Drogo was big, thick, and sturdy. He’d gotten that way through a terrible amount of exercise and the help of genes. A Khal does not run to or from anyone, he almost said, unless there’s food involved.
“So take a breath, Tiny, and give me and this dude’s ears a rest.” He made a show of looking put-upon, huffing a sigh that moved the hair hanging over his forehead. “Then decide if you’re yelling at me because you’re angry, or if you really don’t have anyone else to yell at.” He hadn’t raised his voice at her, hadn’t (intentionally) raised a hand, or done anything besides stand. Really, he thought the disguise in California would have been more of a cause for hysterics.
No, Dany thought, no. It wasn’t fair, that he got to strip her bare so quickly. Did she have anyone else to yell at? No, of course not. No one who would listen anyway. Poor little rich girl, an old, tired insult that always rubbed her raw. But she was angry, at the whole world maybe, and he was part of it—so she was angry at him too.
Well. Not any more. Now she was just tired. Suddenly, and completely. No one asked for her opinions, mostly, but she was certain that if someone did she’d try her best not to hurt anyone with them.
She didn’t bother arguing about it, and now she was acutely aware of Jorah looking at her back and she didn’t want to but she wondered if his thoughts weren’t aligned with Khal Drogo’s.
Neither defeat nor isolation where knew to her, but that didn’t they didn’t sit bitter on her lips.
She sucked in one quick, hard breath and forced it out just as harshly through her lips. “Breath taken,” she announced. And, quieter, turning on her heel, blonde hair cascading over her hair and obscuring her view of Jorah, said, “Just forget it.” World: 1, Dany: 0.
Story of her life.
Jorah’s eyebrows raised, almost imperceptibly at Khal Drogo’s words. If he had been the young Targaryen woman that would just have increased his anger… But clearly, she was made of something that he was. She took a deep breath and seemed to relax. Just a bit… But maybe that helped to redirect the conversation. After all, they had already met. They were acquitances, not enemies… Words were words, and the wind erased them. At least, that was what he had thought all those years after that Lynesse left him, with all her love words and all her promises.
But Daenerys Targaryen still did not seem as he should after breathing deeply as she did and Jorah could see it somehow. He thought about saying something to her… But he would just sound like a father trying to cheer his daughter. How humiliating for her. How shameful for him.
Remaining silent and staring at everything was possibly the best option for a prudent man like him.
“Am I supposed to guess you’re already into politics then if you’re already putting words in my mouth? Chill.” His brows went flat, eyes narrow with unamusement. This was an over-reaction if he’d ever seen one. What was so offensive about suggesting that the running Targaryen put a muzzle on the spewing-detrimental-shit Targaryen? He looked between Dany and her shadow again, then snorted. He didn’t have anything else to do for the rest of the day presumably, and the universe had dropped an angry, small blonde in his path for a reason. Entertainment, flirting, trading teeth whitening tips. Whatever’s clever, his brain supplied.
“I didn’t say you were, Tiny.” But you’re making a great bid for the title. “So, are you? Is he,” he nodded to Jorah, “there for your protection or mine?”
Before she could answer, he held up a hand. “Wait, no, don’t answer that. Let me bother trying to find out for myself.”
She shrunk back when his hand (big, why hadn’t she realized how big) came up, without thinking, and instant, imbedded reaction. One that she hated, and would have done anything to stop.
But she rallied quickly. Or told herself she rallied quickly. Being cowed by Viserys was one thing. She’d grown up thinking that was all she was really good for, being the a plaything for her brother to pick up and toss aside as he pleased.
“Go then,” she invited. “Figure it out. And when you’re all done with that you can go running right back to the press to drag me through the muck like you did with the rest of my family.”
Someone might have classified this as a tab bit overdramatic and that someone might have been right but that someone would have also had to deal with a blonde handful because—well, it was her family and if someone wasn’t going to stick their neck out for them, who would? And. And she had thought he might have liked her. And it stung to know that if he thought that of her family, then he couldn’t think very highly of her.
Overdramatic… That was just the word that was going through Jorah’s mind as he tried to remain still as a statue, his eyes still examining Mr. Meyers’ face. But somehow he couldn’t help but sympathizing with the man, as well as he couldn’t help feeling admiration for the young Ms. Targaryen and her… mmh, courage. Yes, maybe that was the word he was trying to find. Not everybody would be able to talk like she was to someone like Khal Drogo.
But was feeling quite out of the conversation, just like like if he was not needed there. A ridiculous thread for Mr. Meyers and maybe a disturbing presence for the young Targaryen woman.
Maybe he should step back. Maybe he should ask her if he should leave them alone, but he did not dare to. He had been told to be her shadow…
And that he would be.