Her father’s ghost followed her from the sept where she said the vows that would bind her to Orys Baratheon to the bedchamber where Orys took her maidenhood. Argella saw his face in the shadow - her father’s blood-soaked face with hollowed eyes where the vultures had feasted on them – watching, judging, and condemning her.
Blame your men for their fickle loyalty, for laughing at me when I declared myself the Storm Queen after you died, she whispered into the night to a father who was a father no longer, who was human no more. She could feel the chains on her skin still, could still taste the pain and humiliation as her own men dragged her naked to be dumped in front of Orys Baratheon.
She married the man who slayed her father, true, but she also married the man who wrapped her bruised, battered flesh with a blanket, who ordered the chains removed, who gave her wine to soothe her parched throat. He was the enemy, but the men she had trusted with her life had turned out to be enemies too. He was the conqueror, but her people had consented to be conquered, in fact were willing to sacrifice her to save themselves.
When Orys whispered her name on their wedding night, she saw the tears slid down her father’s cheeks from eyes that didn’t exist. When she whispered Orys’ name as he came, she heard her father’s cry of fury and frustration. When Orys’ seeds took hold inside her, she could feel her father’s mangled hands clawing inside her belly, trying to snuff out the life growing inside. She screamed and screamed from the vicious pain, but the maester could find nothing wrong, could give her no potion to ease the agony.
“He would kill it,” she screamed. “He would kill your baby, just as you had slayed him. My father.”
“It is your baby too, Argella,” Orys whispered to her sadly, his hands caressing her swollen belly.
Did you hear that, Father? A Durrendon as much as a Baratheon, that is who I am carrying. Spare him!
“Your father can do us no harm. He is dead,” Orys tried to convince her.
But Argella knew better. `The dead did not stay dead for long. They lived on in the ones they left behind.