Her hand strokes over the stone face as the babe in her belly kicks against her side. She can hear Ned's footsteps behind her, each carefully taken so that he does not startle her and yet he does not announce his presence.
"They did well." She says when he stops a few steps behind her, allowing her some space. "Though I wish he were not so serious, it looks so unlike him."
Brandon's likeness is cold under her gloved hands with none of the heat that always radiated from his flesh present.
"It was done by the same man that did the sculptures of Father and Lyanna." Ned says. "He knew Brandon for most of his life."
"I know and he did truly well. I must write him with our gratitude.” Catelyn says, her mind wandering to how she is much to young to be here. A widow at thirty. After surviving two wars, her Lord Husband dies in a riding accident somewhere between Borrow Hall and Winterfell. Riding a horse not suited for such a journey, a wild horse for a wild lord.
"Maester Ludwin is worried and wishes you would come inside." Ned says, standing still behind her. "It is to cold for you to stay here so long."
"The babe keeps me warm. His Father's blood warms me, even if he will never know him." Catelyn replies. She had always been warmer when she carried her children and even more so now that summer is truly upon them.
"Please. Cat." Ned whispers, her name leaving his lips in a plea she has not heard from him in years. "Robb and Arya wish to see you. They need you."
"They need their Father, Ned. Robb is only a boy of two and ten and now he must become the Lord of Winterfell before he can even practice with a real sword." Catelyn thinks of her little brave boy that stood as still as stone as his Father was laid to ...
... middle of paper ...
...orners. As soon as they realized the extent of their feelings they had agreed that it was best for Ned to leave and take up his holdfast near the Long Lake. Both confident that distance would squash whatever feelings they might think they had. Unfortunately the distance did no such thing.
“Cat.” He whispers.
“We can’t.” She whispers pulling back from him. “We should go.”
“Yes. Hopefully the children haven’t burned down the keep.” Ned says smiling a little, lighting up his usually solemn face and forcing Catelyn to fight harder against the temptation.
“Don’t worry Ned, Sansa will make sure no such thing happens.” Catelyn tells him, picturing the quiet eight-year-old girl, who was lady before she was three, disciplining her brothers and cousins.
Catelyn turns around to bid Brandon farewell before following Ned to find their little herd of children.
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