Ned, the king whispered when he saw him. His face was pale as milk. "Come...closer."
His men brought him close. Ned steadied himself with a hand on the bedpost. He had only to look down at Robert to know how bad it was. "What...?" he began, his throat clenched.
A boar. Lord Renly was still in his hunting greens, his cloak spattered with blood.
A devil, the king husked. "My own fault. Too much wine, damn me to hell. Missed my thrust."
And where were the rest of you? Ned demanded of Lord Renly. "Where was Sir Barristan and the Kingsguard?"
Renly's mouth twitched. "My brother commanded us to stand aside and let him take the boar alone."
Eddard Stark lifted the blanket.
They had done what they could to close him up, but it was nowhere near enough. The boar must have been a fearsome thing. It had ripped the king from groin to nipple with its tusks. The wine-soaked bandages that Grand Maester Pycelle had applied were already black with blood, and the smell off the wound was hideous. Ned's stomach turned. He let the blanket fall.
Stinks, Robert said. "The stink of death, don't think I can't smell it.