Categories > Original > Drama

you don't feel pretty (you just feel used)

by peitho_x 0 reviews

Rhaenyra confronts Daemon about leaving her behind in the pleasure house.

Category: Drama - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama,Romance - Warnings: [!!] [Y] - Published: 2022-10-01 - 1015 words - Complete

When Rhaenyra had left the Valyrian steel necklace on her bedside table that morning, it had not been a deliberate move. She had slept in longer than normal and had had to hurry to appear at breakfast like everything was normal. But now, after her conversations with Alicent and her father, she thought it could perhaps have been a subconscious move.

She wandered through the Red Keep, her anger with Daemon growing with every step until she inevitably ran into him in the gardens.

He still wore the same clothes as he had last night, though considerably worse for wear. She was so used to seeing him always put together, it was a bit disconcerting.

"Good morning, princess," he said, amiably.

"It is afternoon, uncle," she said.

"So it is," he said.

Rhaenyra's hand involuntarily reached up to touch where the necklace usually rested between her collarbones. Her fingers found no cool metal there and she pretended to be adjusting the neckline of her dress instead. But Daemon's eyes followed her movement and then looked up at her face, in that way he always looked at her. Like she was fascinating, or amusing, or he was trying to figure her out. She could never quite read him, but always got the feeling that he could read her perfectly.

She cleared her throat. "You look terrible."

"I may have indulged somewhat heavily in drink last night after we–" He paused almost imperceptibly. "–parted ways."

Her jaw tightened. "Parting ways is not exactly how I remember it."

Daemon just looked at her a little longer, then said, "You're angry with me," as though he was making an observation about the weather.

"Of course I am angry, you abandoned me!" she burst out, then lowered her voice when she remembered where they were. "And we were seen."

Rhaenyra thought she saw a flicker of worry in his eyes, but it was gone so quickly she could have imagined it. He shrugged carelessly.

"Does this not concern you?" she asked. "If the wrong person found out, the entirety of King's Landing could know by the end of the day."

"Only the most gullible or meanspirited would believe such vile rumours."

She frowned at his flippancy. "I cannot tell if you are being deliberately naïve or if you are mocking me."

"I would never mock you, princess," he said, somewhat sincerely.

"Then what was the purpose of leaving me behind?" she demanded, working hard to keep her voice down. "Of bringing me there in the first place if you weren't going to follow through?"

He huffed out a frustrated breath through his nose, looking away from her for a moment.

"Unless..." Rhaenyra's face fell, and she looked up at Daemon with more distrust than before.

This even he found troubling. "What?"

"Unless you are the reason the news reached Lord Hightower so quickly," she said slowly. "Lord Hightower, who has made no secret of his disapproval of me as the heir."

"Rhaenyra," Daemon said, for a moment – for once – at a loss for words. "Lord Hightower does not much care for me as heir either."

"Yes," said Rhaenyra. "That's the part I haven't quite worked out yet. If you wanted to discredit me in your favour, why not have the news reach my father directly, so you could spin it in such a way to benefit you? Or, even better, to someone sympathetic to your claim to the throne? Although–" She allowed herself a little smile. "–there aren't that many of those, are there?"

"Then again," Daemon said, and Rhaenyra got the feeling that he was beginning to enjoy this conversation again. "Being caught with you would sully my reputation too, would it not?"

Rhaenyra rolled her eyes. "Not as much as mine, and we both know why."

Daemon is quiet again, searching her face. "Perhaps you're not angry with me."

She blinked. "Um, no, I am quite certain that I–"

"You're embarrassed."

She bit the inside of her cheek, cursing the feelings that rose in her as she remembered. Daemon pulling away from her, his mouth away from her, his hands off of her. Turning away like he didn't want her anymore. Like he had grown tired of her.

Now, with the fear that he had never actually wanted her in the first place – and knowing that she had let him see how much she had wanted him – the feeling pressed up against the back of her throat. She could even feel tears pricking at her eyes.

But she swallowed hard and then looked her uncle in the eye. "If one of us should be embarrassed, it is you, not me. You took me to that pleasure house, you started it, and then you didn't finish it. And then you ran." She took a breath. "And I had to seek my pleasures elsewhere."

Rhaenyra felt a distinct triumphant rush as she watched the words sink in. His eyes darkened and roamed over her body as though it would reveal its secrets to his gaze.

"Who is he?"

Another rush at the jealousy in his voice. "Who is who?" she asked. "I don't know what you mean." She smiled sweetly. "You should take a bath, uncle, you smell dreadful." And she turned on her heel and walked away, resisting the urge to look back at him.

That night, she found out that Daemon had left for the Vale under her father's orders and was expected to be gone for some time. As she got ready for bed, she could not decide whether she was happy he was gone. While she no longer had the same blind trust in him that she had had before, she could not deny the pull she felt whenever he was around her.

She heard the latch of the door open and turned to see Cristan's deep eyes peering into the room. Perhaps it was best Daemon was gone, she decided. Dallying with a knight was one thing, but her uncle? She wasn't a fool; she knew that was a dangerous desire to even entertain.
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