You Can't Bed Honour!
Of all the places to be on his eighteenth nameday The Pleasure Palace was the last place Dadder Hill would have chosen. Even from a distance, the place reeked of wine.
Dadder hated wine.
It did naught but burn his throat and muddle his mind. That night's wine had already plagued his head with an unyielding headache. It throbbed in his ears. It throbbed behind his eyes. It throbbed with each muddy step along Pleasure Alley.
There were so many more pleasant things to do in Old Town, even during winter; throw dice with ancient gamblers in dingy taverns; explore the neverending back alleys; stick duels. But Jard, his brother and twin, insisted that: stick duels are for boys, they had explored every inch of the city, and if he won anymore at dice he wouldn't live long enough to spend any of it.
All wrong. Yet, here he was. Damn that silver tongue.
"What's there to bloody frown about? The wine is flowing! The whores are squealing! And you have money to buy it all!" Jard shouted as if he were half a league away instead of at Dadder's side. He was a head and a half shorter but made up for it with twice the voice. "Wipe that cursed frown off your face!"
Dadder did not wipe away his frown. "A new sword would be much sweeter."
Jard groaned. "Again with the bloody sword! What's so great about war? Where's the fun? In a brothel you drink until the world spins, eat until you burst and rest your head between a busty bosom. In battle, you drink your own blood, eat mud and the only rest you're likely to get will be spent screaming for your bloody mother. She's not like to come, mate. Unless it's to finish you off herself." Jard's voice grew as sour as wine. He spat.
Dadder hated repeating himself. But he hated falsehoods even more. "Knights don't go to war for pleasure. They go for the honour of their house. It's their duty."
"Bah! Honour!" Jard's words began to slip and slide. "Tell me, can you bed honour? Can you squeeze her teats? Can you taste her mouth? Can you fill her arse with your seed? You can't! Honour is a piss poor mistress with a dried-up cunt and a face that withers roses and sets babes to squalling! I hate squalling children, Dadder. More than fucking anything."
Dadder hated it when Jard was drunk. All he ever thought about was whores, and half of what he said made little sense. "I will have plenty of time for fornications when I marry."
"Not if you die a foot soldier, fool!"
"I won't!" Dadder shouted with all his chest. He had a big chest. It gave him a big voice; a voice suited for the battlefield, for command. It thundered above the bustle of pleasure alley; above the laughs of drunkards; above the ravings of gamblers; above the moans of whores. It did nothing to quiet them, though.
Jard stopped walking and smirked. The smirk was all lies, low cunning and all things sin. Dadder hated it when Jard smirked.
"You won't die a foot soldier, fine, I'll grant you that much. But the battlefield's no place for boys. Have you claimed your manhood, Dadder?"
"You don't become a man by-"
"No! No you bloody haven't, and the only place to claim your manhood is in there." Jard pointed to the Pleasure Palace at the end of Pleasure Alley.
The palace was infamous for the beauty of their whores and the steepness of their prices, as Jard had reminded Dadder half a hundred times. Even their ugliest whores would cost a hard-working man a week's salary. It was a place for the highborn. Not for them. Not for baseborn bastards of some unremarkable, dead Lannister.
Dadder thumbed his bulging coin purse inside his dirty, patchwork cloak. "The battlefield is also no place for a man without a sword."
"And, again, I promise we'll leave enough for your bloody sword."
Dadder's head pounded with the beat of drums, the crash of thunder and the voice of The Father. He rubbed his temple. It helped naught. He sighed. "A good one. Not cheap steel."
"Yes, a good one. That dimwitted lord lost enough dragons to you to let you fuck every whore in The Pleasure Palace thrice times over. And after all is said and done there'll still be enough left to buy a golden suit of armor to make you the very likeness of our king-slaying cousin."
That wasn't true, Dadder knew. But his brother wasn't one to lie, only exaggerate. "One whore each. No more."
"One whore for you. Two- no three for me!"
Dums. Thunder. The Father's voice. "Three cheap whores."
"Two cheap, one expensive."
Jard clapped his hands together and laughed. "I knew there was a man in you somewhere! You'll see, brother. Once you've gotten your first taste of cunt you'll be throwing dragons at them like the golden buggers are made of water!"
Dadder huffed and marched off down Pleasure Alley. If The Young Wolf could face Lord Tywin on the field, he could face a whore in the sheets. Best get it over with, he reckoned. If he made quick work of whatever sad girl Jard picked out for him, he might be able to visit the smith before the night was over.
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Next chapter, Dadder discovers that Jard has done something quite stupid.