Will that bring Ned back to me? she said sharply. The wound was still too fresh for softer words. She could not think about Ned now. She would not. It would not do. She had to be strong. "All that will keep. I must see Father."
He awaits you in his solar, Edmure said.
Lord Hoster is bedridden, my lady, her father's steward explained. When had that good man grown so old and grey? "He instructed me to bring you to him at once."
I'll take her. Edmure escorted her up the water stair and across the lower bailey, where Petyr Baelish and Brandon Stark had once crossed swords for her favor. The massive sandstone walls of the keep loomed above them. As they pushed through a door between two guardsmen in fish-crest helms, she asked, "How bad is he?" dreading the answer even as she said the words.
Edmure's look was somber. "He will not be with us long, the maesters say. The pain is... constant, and grievous."
A blind rage filled her, a rage at all the world; at her brother Edmure and her sister Lysa, at the Lannisters, at the maesters, at Ned and her father and the monstrous gods who would take them both away from her. "You should have told me," she said. "You should have sent word as soon as you knew."