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The Nightwatch rose early, but no earlier than the servant who came to Evan.

"Lord Stark asks you to come to the Great Hall at ten this day," he said gravely, and waited for a response.

"My brother feels need to stand upon ceremony," said Benjen. "And to be seen to be doing so. How well do you know Lord Bolton?"

"Well enough to know that he will find this entire situation as distasteful as we all do," Evan shrugged.

Sharing a communal barracks with his men and the Winterfell guards was not the most comfortable of accommodations, but compared to what the last week had been, it was a Dornish palace. Evan looked the world better for it, far less rumpled and disheveled than he had been when he had dragged his carcass into Winterfell the day before. Despite the gravity of the situation, the improvement in his immediate surroundings had left him with a positively sunny outlook, at least by comparison.

"I was only a boy, but I can clearly recall every time I saw my uncle visibly angry. It doesn't happen often, and it never happens without good reason. The day he cast out his bastard son was one of those. And I see no reason to believe his opinion of the bastard of his foolish younger brother is going to be any higher." Evan bit into the crusty breakfast bread for emphasis. "Particularly not when said bastard may well bring down the wrath of the Starks and the entire North. My uncle is a wise man - I can't imagine anything that would make it worth his while to support this charade." He raised an eyebrow. "Why do you ask?"

"Because," said Benjen, "were I my brother, a certain course of action suggests itself. Do you want more bread, or shall we go?"

"Lead on," Evan said with a wave of his hand, grabbing another crust as they went. "Let us see what this certain course of action might be."

Page last modified on August 29, 2007, at 07:58 PM