296 Chapter 296


She woke to the sounds of the bells ringing in the distance.

She removed her night gown and quickly wore her clothes before leaving the room.

Outside she could see Ser Rodrik Cassel standing in front of the door with a few Stark men while Lord Renly Baratheon, Ser Loras Tyrell and a few Baratheon guards stood opposite to them.

She closed the door behind her and turned to Ser Rodric Cassel "Ser Rodrik. What is going on here?"

Before Ser Rodrik could say anything, Lord Renly spoke.

"My brother, King Robert is dead my lady." He said "The Grand Maester tells us that it was heart attack but we all know that he serves the Lannister. My brother was in better health these past days than he had been in a long time. I suspect foul play my lady."

"Foul play. By whom?" she asked.

"By the Lannister." He replied "The Lannisters have been after the crown for a long while. And now they've finally assassinated my brother for it. The Red Keep is no longer safe my lady."

"What are you saying Lord Renly?" she asked.

"The Queen hates you Lady Catelyn. She hates the Starks. With the King no longer around to hold her back, she might do something… foolish." Lord Renly said.

"We're leaving Red Keep in an hour." Ser Loras said "We're asking if you wanted to come with us."

"And why are you leaving the Red Keep Ser Loras, Lord Renly. I don't remember the queen have a vendetta with you."

The two men looked at one another before Lord Renly turned to her.

"We suspect that the Queen's children are illegitimate." Lord Renly said "The Princes and Princess are the bastard children of Ser Jamie Lannister and Queen Cersei. With no legitimate children, the crown would go to the true Baratheon line. In exchange for seeing to your safety, I ask for the support of House Stark and the North when I'm crowned the King."

All kinds of alarm bell rang in her mind as soon as she heard those words.

"If the King's children are illegitimate, then the crown would go to Lord Stannis." She said.

"Perhaps." Lord Renly said "But my brother is a man who has no allies or friends. He has no mind for diplomacy. The 7 kingdoms will break under his rule. He might be the next king by the law but I am the only one who can keep the Kingdoms together. Will I have the support of House Stark my lady."

She stayed silent and thought about his words.

Even if she refused, there was no guarantee that the Baratheon and Tyrell guards won't simply kill the Stark guards an abduct her and Sansa to use them as hostage against House Stark.

It was better to be a guest then a hostage.

With that said, she knew that her husband would never support Renly if the truth of Queen Cersei's children came to light.

As it was, she could only stall for time and send Sansa to Lord Stannis.

With her thoughts clear on the matter she nodded to Lord Renly "I'll come with you. But I'm not willing to leave my household behind."

"They can come with us." Ser Loras said.

"No." She shook her head "Too many people will only slow us down and once the Queen finds out that we're missing from Red Keep, she'll no doubt send men after us. We must travel fast."

"You have a point my lady." Lord Renly said "What do you propose then?"

"Lord Bolton has a few ships in Kings Landing. My household and guards will leave for the North on those ships." She said.

"That is accepta…" Ser Loras said but she cut him off.

"Along with my daughter."

Ser Loras frowned at her words while Lord Renly's lips thinned.

The atmosphere tensed and she could see the guards tense from each side.

There was silence for a long moment before Lord Renly smiled.

"Of course my lady. Lady Sansa can leave with your household." He said before his eyes turned serious "But you must understand my lady. Even if the Lannisters don't have a fleet of their own, they do have a few ships of their own that they might send after your Household. If Lady Sansa goes with your household then I'll not be able to guarantee her safety."

"I'm willing to take that risk Lord Renly." She replied.

Lord Renly took a deep breath.

"If that is your wish my lady." He said "I'll give you a few minutes to talk with your household and prepare your belongings. We'll wait for you do in the stables."

"Very well Lord Renly." She said and the Lord and his men quickly left the corridor, waiting

Once they were in the clear she turned to Ser Rodrik.

"My lady. You mustn't go with them." Ser Rodrik said but she shook her head.

"I do not have a choice in this matter Ser Rodrik. But you must take the rest of our men and Sansa and leave for Winterfell."

"My lady."

"That is an order Ser Rodrik." She said sternly and the knight stopped arguing at once "Please take Sansa to Winterfell."

He looked conflicted for a long moment before he gave a painful nod.

"I'll see to it my lady." He said and bowed to her and she quickly went inside her room to gather her belongings.

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