She thought him beautiful when she first saw him; beautiful and terrible in the way mountains are, jagged and towering and ugly and indestructible. She supposed he wouldn’t have appreciated that comparison, considering his brother, but that was apropos. He was nothing like Gregor, whom she and everyone else knew to not possess a heart or soul. Though Sandor Clegane might have feigned to be the same she would not so soon forget the time he seized her before she could slip from the rocks into the sea. No one had commanded him (Joffrey would sooner have laughed at her crumpled body than see her rescued, had he been there) no one saw or would have, her accidental death would not have meant anything other than a few solemnly uttered regrets. He merely uttered that she not be ‘so stupid again’ and went on his way.
She would also not forget the solid strength of his arms, the same she’d think about alone in her bed. It was difficult, at first, to identify what that fixation of hers was, a thing she hadn’t the chance to acquaint herself with among fabrics and jewels and the fierce guarding of her honor and any knowledge of physical pleasures until the time of a strategic marriage. Secretly, she’d think of his arms around her again and feel the throbbing between her legs, a hunger that would only grow with time. She knew enough of female desire to know what she wanted.
Vevynne was well past her first blood, 24 years of age, not yet married and considered also past her prime to most. This was not an encouraging fact for her secret desire, as it was the case only because her father refused any suitors presented to her. Ser Kevan fancied for her a higher born, ever hopeful a Dornish prince might offer himself and therein forge an alliance, but she knew this to be foolish no matter how sweetly he campaigned to his brother and the rest. Myrcella, a proper princess, would be given for this task not she.
Therefore she supposed for herself it would be a Frey or someone of the like, someone for whom she could easily excuse a lack of a maidenhead (if she was so lucky) on a poor saddle, provided it was even an issue. She didn’t much care, being the Lannister girl to fall between the cracks as her brothers worked towards knighthood. She was useless without fulfilling her purpose of marrying and having children, would eventually be too useless for even that, but in this she was not disheartened. In many ways she was free, more so than most highborn ladies, and though she dreamed of running away through the hills or charting a ship across the Blackwater to wherever she pleased she still enjoyed what free reign she did have in not being held so closely to expectation.
No one noticed where or to whom she looked and that was fortunate, as her gaze so often was devoted to the King’s loyal Hound. Cersei did catch her staring once, and in her infinite egotism assumed it was at Joffrey. Vevynne was made quite aware of the fact that such a union would never happen beyond her wildest dreams and she did her best to seem solemn and regretful that her monstrous goblin of a cousin would never wed her.
She didn’t like many things Joffrey did, but the way he spoke to Sandor Clegane made her the angriest. Perhaps he didn’t realize his loyal ‘dog’ could break him in half over his knee if he wished it? She wished he would. She didn’t think the anger she saw burning subtly in his eyes at the things the King did and said was just her imagination. Perhaps one day.
For now, she could only nurse the growing hunger that had situated itself inside her. Longing gazes might have been sufficient for a time but it was not enough, never enough, and though she was not entirely resolved on what she planned to do about it she did begin to speak to him anyway, as coy as she dared. She began by bidding him to do things for her, small tasks, “fetch this, if you would”, only when Joffrey was away or out of ear shot. “Might the King spare you for a moment, Clegane?” she would ask with a smile before giving him some frivolous request. He didn’t speak to her, however, not extensively beyond the necessary courtesies.
As she wanted him to say more she began daring to ask questions, innocent things that wouldn’t push his patience or have her removed from court. Things like “How do you find the afternoon, Clegane? Beautiful, isn’t it?”, soon became, “I’ve heard of your father Ser Clegane. Was he a strong fortress of a man as well as his sons?” and he would concede with short, grunted answers, leaving before a conversation could take place. He didn’t have to deign to pass the time with her.
All of that was permissible, but it was the day she requested he fetch her ‘accidentally’ dropped handkerchief in the gardens, thanked him with a brush of the hand on his own that lingered just a bit too long that things began to change. She didn’t expect, some days later, to be cornered by him in the foyer on the way to her chambers, but nor did she protest. He didn’t lay a hand on her at that point, merely rounded on her at a corner in such a way that she couldn’t easily slip past. He also moved in close enough that she could feel his hot breath on her cheeks; this made her back into the wall, though only in the hopes that he might follow and pin her there.
“A woman’s charms are a powerful thing. She should take care how she uses them, don’t you think?”
It was, to this point, the most she’d ever heard him say. She’d be lying if she said she wasn’t a little bit frightened, but this fear mixed with her desire in the cruelest, most delicious of ways. If there had been a fire burning in her before it was merely embers in the kindling. Now, it began to consume her.
“I’m fully aware of this power,” she replied, standing as tall she could (though still barely to his shoulder). “And I think you’ll find, Sandor Clegane , that I use it only as I mean to. Not unlike your sword, perhaps?”
“You know nothing of my sword.” The words were challenging, but the tone that delivered them wavered. “And if it were in your hands I think you’d find it too large a burden.”
She assumed he was testing her, a game she intended to win. He would soon discover she was not the blushing, naive highborn he perhaps expected her to be.
“Though we may not partake in battle, it is as you say; women have their own strengths. I think if you were to allow it, you would see I have a sheath worthy of your weapon.”
She stepped closer to him as if to prove this, did her best to hide the trembling she felt in her hands. He did not move away, but she saw his jaw clench in restraint. Whether he meant to take her or kill her, she didn’t care. With every bit of courage in her she placed a hand on his breast, drew it up gingerly.
“It would be...difficult, I imagine.” She swallowed, her throat dry. “To fit such a large sword in something so tight and untested...but perhaps we’d find a way?”
He seized her wrist, her breath caught in her throat. His grip was as strong as she remembered it to be and she only burned hotter. He then backed her right up against the wall again, pressing her wrist there, arm above her head, against the cold, hard brick.
“There are men a plenty in Kings Landing and beyond that would fuck you like a whore. Hike your skirts up, take you hard and fast against a wall-” He did as he described, lifting up the fabric of her dress to hook a hand under her knee, draw her leg up roughly around his waist. She could feel herself become wet, even more so as he thrust his hips into hers and pressed them there. She knew what a man’s desire felt like- his was hard and long and so very noticeable against the thin fabric of her small clothes, even through his armor.
When the Hound leaned into the curve of her neck and whispered she thought she might die from it all. She welcomed it.
“Is that all you want then?”
“Only from you,” she replied, though the words felt as if they came from someone else. She was miles away, floating on a haze of glorious desire and the heat of his breath, the coarse scratch of his stubble, his smell of ale and oak and smoke and blood.
“Come to me, then. Come and beg for it.”
And then, he released her, leaving her hot and cold and wet and aching. He must have known as he walked away, brisk and powerful, perhaps all the more satisfied in knowing he left her hunger peaked and unaided.
Vevynne knew only that she would go to him when the time was right and she would make him her own.