ladytp: (Anne)

He pressed a few feather-light kisses there, then moved to the hollow place under her throat and continued there with equally soft touches with his lips


Sandor sat brooding on a chair and studied the sleeping form of the girl. She was breathing steadily, her lashes fluttering every now and then as her eyes moved under her lids.

Bloody buggering hells! What kind of a mess have I gotten myself into!

He had deliberately tried to find the girl alone. He had had a hunch that such a fine lady would not run away to the city – no, she still had to be in the tower. And he had been right.

He hadn’t had any precise plan, only a vague notion of wanting to catch and keep the little bird for himself for just a while, just so he could satisfy his curiosity of how such a fine young thing could exist. He had always seen her in the company, from afar and when her attention had been turned to others. The only time he had been alone with her had been at the Hand’s Tourney, when he for some unfathomable reason had told her the story of his scars. The most incomprehensible thing of all had been her reaction; how she had touched his arm with an expression of sincere concern in her face.

Then things had gone horribly wrong as she had fallen. Initially Sandor had thought her dead and felt a cold dread in his stomach when kneeling beside her on the floor. He hated failure and the King’s instructions – parroted from Cersei’s – had been clear; find her alive and bring her to the Maegor’s Holdfast unharmed. He wasn’t sure why, as surely her engagement to Joffrey would be broken after her father was declared a traitor. However, it was not his position to question his orders, just to obey them.

When he had noticed she was still breathing, he had done the first thing that came to his mind and taken her into his room. He had ripped the tattered and sooty dress away and examined her to see if she had broken any bones. In the process he couldn’t help comparing his own rough hands, covered with a fine criss-cross of countless scars and cuts, to her supple and smooth limbs. He had dabbed the bloody bruises and scratches clean lest they fester, and again been astonished of the softness of her skin.

After the first few days Sandor found he simply didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t return her to the King after such time – there would be questions where she had been. He might have claimed to have found her in the city, but if questioned, she would surely reveal the truth even without intending to. She was bound to be a bad liar, such a fine lady as she was.

And so he found himself stuck with her. And more surprisingly, found that he didn’t mind. Sandor started to look forward returning to his room in the evening. Before it had been only an empty shell, needed only for whiling the evening away drinking, sleeping, and occasionally, tumbling with a whore. Never for a whole night though, he always kicked them out of his room as soon as possible.

After the little bird had moved in, when he entered his room in the evening, there was someone waiting for him. As the girl had gotten better, he noticed she had started to make some subtle, hardly noticeable chances. The meagre cutlery he had was arranged neatly on the table to wait for the meal he brought, and the clothes that used to lay on the floor or hang from the wall rack had been folded away on top of the chest. She had even found some scraps of cloth he had intended to use for polishing his leather gear and used them as a table cloth. Table cloth – for the Hound!

Most of all, she was there. Still shy, but getting more and more relaxed, fussing about the food he carried in, offering him a goblet of wine when he sat down. She had haltingly started to tell him about the life in Winterfell, partially in response to his snorted comment about high lords and how one was not different from another. She had become almost agitated about it and started to defend his father and explain how he was different. How his smallfolk not only respected but loved him, how he always made sure that the castle folk had enough food and firewood. Sandor had listened, cynical at first but after glimpsing a life so different to what he had led so far, with more curiosity. He even asked questions, enjoying seeing her spirited responses to them. Indeed, their evenings were starting to be... almost too domestic.

After Sandor had told Sansa about his plan to send her to the North, she had brightened up noticeably. Sometimes he heard her humming to herself as she was setting the table or sewing.


One evening when she was working on her new dress to make it fit better, she wore Sandor’s tunic and he found he simply couldn’t turn his gaze away from her. Long auburn hair curling on her shoulders against the coarse fabric, sleeves rolled into thick bundles to keep them falling down over her hands, her small feet peeking under the hem as she sat curled on the bed. He had never seen a woman looking like she did then. Women he usually saw were either servants with coarse dresses and rough feet, whores dressed-up in too tight dresses of garish colours or noble ladies in their silks and satins. His little bird looked like none of them – and he couldn’t stop staring.

Sansa seemed to sense his gaze and raised her head to look at him. Without thinking he beckoned her to come closer. “Come here, girl.”

She rose obediently, put her sewing aside and approached his chair, stopping a few paces in front of him.

“Closer,” he growled. As long as she was still in his power he might as well explore the exotic little bird a bit better, before she flew away. Sandor still remembered his examination of her after the fall, but then he had had a task to perform and hadn’t been able to fully appreciate the rare opportunity to see something so fine so close.
Sansa stepped towards him hesitantly, standing so near that he only needed to extend his arms to capture her by the waist and pull her to his lap. She gasped but didn’t struggle, settling to just sit there rigidly.

Sandor lifted his right hand while still holding her by the waist with his left, and traced the lines of her face with his fingers. He felt the silken feel of her hair and combed his fingers through it all the way to its ends, extending almost to her waist.

“Don’t fret girl, I am not going to hurt you or touch you – much.” Whether it assured her or not, he couldn’t say. She was sitting still, her head bowed towards the floor.

Sandor continued his exploration by brushing his fingertips down the side of her neck, sliding them across her collarbones and then to her shoulders and down the arms to her waist. He marvelled how small and delicate she was; he could cover her stomach completely with just one hand. He rested his right hand on her thigh, on top of the tunic. Its hem had hitched up slightly to reveal her bare knees, and while his hand was not moving, his little finger was resting on her bare skin. His whole existence on that moment seemed to concentrate to the tip of his finger touching lightly that small piece of skin – it almost felt hot to the touch.

Breaking the sensation he moved to grab her head, pushing it slightly aside to reveal her neck. After observing how her veins appeared faint blue below her skin he tentatively pressed his lips on it. The little bird tensed but still didn’t move. He pressed few feather-light kisses there, then moved to the hollow place under her throat and continued there with equally soft touches with his lips. He could feel the fast pulse of her heart but ignored it, thinking that he wasn’t really going to do anything bad to her; only hold and touch her for a while.

Eventually Sandor released her, pushing her back on the floor again. “You see, I told you I was not going to hurt you.” Sansa scrambled to her feet and moved quickly back to the bed, dropping on top of it and mechanically reaching for her sewing again. Yet she didn’t start working on it but just sat there, an expression he could not read flickering across her face.

Sandor started to feel uncomfortable and decided it was time for him to go and check that the new guards were doing their job properly. He rose, muttered something about a need to go and almost ran through the door, quietly cursing on his way out. I didn’t really even touch her – it could have been much worse had it been some other man here instead of me.

ladytp: (Anne)

He scrutinised Sansa for a long time and finally uttered, “Why didn’t you reveal yourself, little bird? He could have taken you away from here, you know.”


Over the next few days Sansa started gradually to feel better. She still slept most of the time, only leaving the bed by necessity to visit the garderobe and privy in the other end of the room. The Hound stayed away during the day, only coming back as the evening was falling, bringing with him food such as cheese, bread, cold cuts of meat, wine; sometimes a bowl of cold soup and once even some apples. They ate in silence and afterwards he laid a bedroll on the floor on the other side of the room. He left the room again and came back much, much later, stumbled onto his roll and slept.

Nobody else came to the room and not once she was taken elsewhere. As Sansa started to feel better and lose the thudding pain in her head and queasiness in her stomach, she started to wonder what her position was. It was clear she was kept in the Hound’s own room, but why? Why hadn’t he taken her to Queen Cersei and Joffrey? Where are father and Arya? She tried the door the next day when he was gone and noticed it locked – not that she would have had a mind to escape to roam the Red Keep on her own anyway.

She wanted to ask the Hound about her family, but at the same time she was afraid to, being fearful of the answers he might give her. Eventually – it was probably the third day after the accident, as much as she had been able to keep track of days – she gathered her courage and addressed him after he had returned once again in the evening.

“My lord, do you know what has happened to my father and my sister?”

The Hound stopped, turned towards her and after a while growled, “Don’t call me lord, girl. And don’t even think about calling me Ser either.”

“What shall I call you then?” Sansa was anxious about not wanting to make him angry.

“Call me the Hound, or a dog, or Clegane – or I do have a first name too, call me Sandor.” His grey eyes looked at her almost challenging. She shuffled uncomfortably. All those names were so impolite – she couldn’t call him a dog! Using his surname would sound as she would be addressing a servant – but using his first name was just so familiar and intimate. Sansa bit her lip trying to decide what to do, before he got annoyed. Eventually she continued, bracing herself.

“Sandor… do you have any news about my father and sister?” He looked at her approvingly and despite her nervousness Sansa felt better – and a bit more grown up.
“Your father has been arrested. He stands accused of treason for consorting with Lord Stannis trying to deny King Joffrey’s rightful inheritance of the Iron Throne.”

Sansa was staring at him uncomprehending. Treason? My father? This can’t be true!

As she didn’t say anything, Sandor continued. “Your sister hasn’t been seen since the day when the Hand was arrested. Some say she is dead, but her body hasn’t been found. Some say she turned into a wolf and ran away.” He grinned now, the burned side of his mouth twitching.

“That’s what they say about you too; that you became a wolf and slipped both the Red Keep and King’s Landing and are now halfway across the country on your way to Winterfell.”

Sansa closed her eyes wearily. I wish… But then she opened them again. As long as she was asking questions and he seemed to be amenable enough to answer them, she needed to know.

“Why…why am I here? Am I kept as a prisoner?”

“Aye, one could say so – but not of the crown. I am keeping you here as my own…guest.”

Sansa gulped, not knowing what he meant. His guest? He must mean his captive!

Sandor walked to the table and sat down heavily. While Sansa was eating, she felt his eyes weightily on her. It made her feel uncomfortable, that intense stare she could not evade. If I he aims to keep me here, what he intends to do with me?


The next evening there was a loud bang on the door. Sansa froze, her heart pounding. King’s soldiers coming to take me!

“What is it!?” Sandor growled towards the door

“Open the door, Hound, the King needs you!”

Sansa didn’t recognise the voice but it sounded uncouth and rude. Apparently Sandor did, as he thundered back, “Bloody hells, Boros, can’t you look after him for a moment without me as a nursemaid! I am done for the night!”

“Fuck you Hound! Just open the door!”

Sandor moved to the door, gesturing for Sansa to hide. Quick as a flash she dived under the blankets and flattened herself as well as she could, turning her back against the room. As an afterthought, she grabbed a wash towel hanging on a wall rack and bound it tightly around her head. She knew there were not many auburn-haired women in the court.

As Sandor pressed the door latch down, it was immediately pushed in so forcefully that even he couldn’t stop it in time. The man behind it sounded angry and slightly drunk from the slur in his voice.

“Do you think I wouldn’t rather retire as opposed to run around the Keep after you! The King wants you – the small council is organising yet another sweep of the keep and the city to find those Stark bitches.”

Heavy steps entered the room, stopping next to the bed. Sansa tried to be as still as possible, but it didn’t seem to help, as the next sound she heard was a derisive snort.

“So that’s why you are so reluctant to come; you have a whore here. Did I mayhap interrupt something? So sorry to intrude you lovebirds!” The steps approached the bed and lifted the blanket in one rapid movement. Sansa stilled but kept on staring at the wall, fisting the cloth against her head as tight as she could. The man – Ser Boros ¬– laughed and reached his hand to spank her on the bottom.

“Turn around girl, let me have a look. Mayhap I would like you to visit me after you have done the Hound. I may not be much to look at, but I am comelier than him, that’s for sure, and my coin is as good as his!”

“Leave her be if you value your life, you whoreson!” growled Sandor ominously. Sansa heard him stepping close to Ser Boros. The silence that ensued made her grimace. Don’t let them fight here …

Ser Boros must have seen something in the Hound that persuaded him to let it go. “Nah, not worth fighting for a cheap fuck. Nonetheless, when the King calls, you better come no matter how sweet cunt you have lined up here. Soon now, you know how he hates waiting.”

Sandor grunted and the next thing Sansa heard was the sound of his swordbelt clanking as he tied it on his waist. “You wench, you stay here until I come back. We will finish then what we started – and don’t you even think about leaving before that. My coin is good, and to make sure you don’t do a runner I will lock the door behind me.”
Thinking it might appear strange if she wouldn’t react, Sansa responded with her best imitation of the speech she had heard from kitchen maids, “Aye m’lord!”

The men left the room banging the door heavily behind them. Only after hearing the key turn, Sansa turned around and got up slowly, still breathless of the tension.

When Sandor came back, he removed his swordbelt and doublet and sat down heavily. He scrutinised Sansa for a long time and finally uttered, “Why didn’t you reveal yourself, little bird? He could have taken you away from here, you know.”

Sansa looked at him nervously. Why indeed? She wasn’t sure herself. All she knew was that despite her feeling of being trapped, she felt safer here than she would be out there, held by King Joffrey as they were holding her father. She mumbled, “I…I don’t know…”

He shrugged his broad shoulders. “Well, just as well you didn’t, as it would have surely meant the loss of my head. There would be no way explaining what the precious lady Stark was doing in the room of the Lannister dog, that’s for sure.”

After a short silence he continued. “Aye, I guess I ought to thank you for that.” He shrugged his shoulders again and moved to set up his bedroll. Sansa stared after him wondering how the situation had temporarily turned – he was grateful for her?


As Sansa still didn’t have proper outer garments besides her tattered dress, she went through the wall rack one day and found a light tunic to wear. It was ridiculously big, the hem reaching all the way to her knees, the shoulders sagging close to her elbows. It smelled different to any of her previous clothes; of sweat, smoke, horses and something earthly. Not a bad smell though, just different.

When Sandor returned that evening, he noticed her appearance immediately, rising his good eyebrow questioningly. Sansa gathered her courage.

“I do apologise for borrowing your clothes, but I don’t have anything else to wear. Do you think you could…” She didn’t finish her sentence, unsure of how exactly she could ask him to find some ladies clothes. He seemed to understand her nonetheless and nodded briefly. Sansa felt bold enough to ask if he could find some needle and thread as well, so he could make some adjustments.

The next evening he handed her a dress and a small package. The dress was of cheap but decent material, simply cut but of gaudy colours; bright red skirt with yellow bodice with clumsy red flowers embroidered around the neck. As Sansa tried it on behind the curtain, she blushed to see how low the neckline was, revealing much more than she was used to. Especially as the dress was too big and hang somewhat loose on her shoulders, exposing even more skin.

With a relief she noticed that Sandor had also brought a scarf of a different shade of red, which she used to cover herself. She didn’t want to ask where he had got such a dress but could guess. She had glimpsed similarly dressed women on the streets of King’s Landing, and Jeyne Poole had giggled and told her that they were ladies who got paid for sleeping with men.

The small package contained needles, several types of thread and a small pair of scissors, all brand new. It was a kind of package she knew men of smallfolk gave their brides as a bride gift. Sansa wondered where he had found that. Probably not from the same place as the dress. He must have gone to King’s Landing to purchase it. She felt suddenly a gush of gratitude towards the bold warrior, wandering into a shop selling women’s goods.

As she was not in a position to be choosy about the dress, she thanked him courteously and their evening resumed its usual pattern; they ate, she tried to ask him questions, he answered as briefly as he could, then he left and came back after she had already gone to bed, rolled open his bedroll and slept.

Sansa started gradually to feel more at ease in his company, and the next evening asked him once again for any news. “Do you know when my father’s trial is going to be – and what may happen to him?”

Sandor finished his wine with few big gulps, swiped his mouth with his hand and replied with a low voice, “The trial date has not been set yet, but will likely be in a few weeks’ time. He will be found guilty, of course. Nonetheless, the small council thinks he should be allowed to take the black and return to North.”

“Oh!” exclaimed Sansa. The Wall! It would be so far away…but at least he would be allowed to return to the North. He had always had such respect of the Night’s Watch, and his brother was there too. Maybe they could visit…

“And…what will happen to me?” She had not asked that before, not being quite sure as to why. It seemed as if the time itself had stopped, and her life shrunk only to daily existence in the big man’s room.

“When that happens, he will be whisked away immediately. He will be given an armed escort to make sure he goes all the way to the Wall. It will likely be joined by other smaller groups also going to the North. New recruits to the Wall, Northerners from King’s Landing returning to their homes, traders and hunters. I could get you a place in that procession, but mind you, you would have to pretend to be a servant or mayhap a squire.”

Sansa was so excited she hardly knew how to contain herself. I will be able to go back home!


ladytp: (Default)

April 2017

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