There was mud in her hair. Mud and some other substances she could not even bear to think about.
There was mud in her hair, three of her nails were broken, she had a scrap four inches long down her shin and her shirt was ripped.
Crouching down and leaning her back against a large oak tree next to her older brother she fixated her blue eyes on him in a glare that rivaled that of their younger sister. "If you would have just married Roslin Frey none of this would have happened!" she snapped.
Her brother looked taken aback at her outburst, shock written over all of his features as a glob of mud hit him in the side of the face and began to trickle down into his beard. Letting out a groan she took off again in the opposite direction, mud splashing up onto her legs as she ran.
Although her brother looked shocked by her statement Sansa Stark knew that she was absolutely right. If Robb had never cheated on Roslin Frey than he never would have gotten Jenye Westerling pregnant and done the honorable thing and married her (even though a small part of Sansa thought it was all horribly romantic). No, if Robb could have just kept it in his pants he would have married Roslin Frey which would mean that Jenye Westerling would never have felt the need to help her sister in law move into her first ever apartment in Storm's End. And if she had never felt the need to force sister-in-law bonding time on Sansa than she never would have bought her the world's most ugliest curtains, an orange cloth monstrosity with little pink butterflies on them.
And if Jenye had never bought Sansa those curtains, well, none of this would have ever happened.
It wasn't entirely Jenye's fault of course. Sansa could have bought herself new curtains as she ripped the ones Jenye bought her down the moment her sister in law left to return to Winterfell. However, Sansa simply left the large glass door to her balcony curtain free, the only thing across from her was another apartment, in fact their balconies were so close one could reach out and grab the other railing, but as the apartment was always dark Sansa did not think anyone lived there.
For over three weeks she never saw a light in the apartment, never saw a person enter or exit its balcony. She began to be less cautious about her uncovered window, walking around in a sports bra when she was to lazy to find a shirt. Over time she began to walk around in only her underwear, not used to the freedom of living alone after living in a crowded house her whole life.
After a long day of classes she got home later than usual one night. The second she locked her door behind her she flipped on a light and dropped her bag at her feet. With a sigh of appreciation she kicked off her heels and reached behind her to unzip her dress. Letting the green material puddle around her ankles she stepped forward across the room to head to her kitchen, the path of which took her in front of her balcony's window.
Just as she was crossing she noticed that there was a light on across the way from her and standing on the balcony, lit cigarette dangling from his fingers, was a large man. Sansa stopped in her tracks at the sight of him. There was only roughly ten feet between the two of them and one very clean window. She could feel his eyes travel up her very nearly naked body in appreciation as she stared transfixed at the large burn scar covering half his face. Suddenly it dawned on her that she was in only her bra and panties. Letting out an embarrassed squeal she turned and practically dove away from the window.
As she huddled behind her couch she could hear the man laughing gruffly outside before his balcony door shut.
Her face burning as bright as her hair she peaked over the edge of her couch before grabbing a blanket and wrapping it around her body. Slowly she walked over to the window, peering around it nervously. The apartment across from her was lit up showing her a room filled with boxes and a half naked man standing among them. Gasping she sprung back away from the window pressing herself flat against the wall. Very slowly she leaned over and peered across the way again. The man stood with his back to her, shirtless. She stared appreciatively at the muscular back before her. She had only ever seen her brothers and Theon Greyjoy shirtless and she had never before understood why her friends appreciated their bodies so much. But she certainly appreciated the body before her now. She moved a little farther away from the wall just as the man turned around. Caught in the act she blushed before raising her hand in a sheepish wave unable to tear her eyes away from the muscular chest of her new neighbor. Face expressionless he rose his hand back.
Sansa went to bed that night vowing to buy some curtains first thing in the morning.
The next day she woke up ten minutes late and spent the whole day trying to gain them back. After a hectic day she was unlocking her door when she remembered her new need for curtains. Cursing under her breath she decided it could wait until the morning and headed inside her apartment. As she moved to place her bag on her kitchen counter she looked out across her balcony and saw her new neighbor standing by his still uncovered window with only a towel wrapped around his waist. Before she could tear her eyes away he looked over and caught her eye. This time he was the first one to wave.
And so their game was born.
Neither one bought curtains in the weeks to follow nor did they cover their windows in any way. Nor did they change their routines that much. As she grew used to having someone across from her, and since he was clearly not concerned with her seeing him nearly naked, she stopped caring if he saw her either. She went back to her previous freedom of walking around in just a towel or in her underwear.
It was like a game. Who could wear the least and who could look the longest without blushing, even once they were caught. As time passed, Sansa got more daring. She bought a few pairs of 'sexy' underwear and took to wearing those around her house. The first time the man across the way saw her in them he was outside on the balcony smoking. She passed in front of the balcony, a cup of tea in hand, and stopped in the middle of the window when she saw him. Slowly she brought the mug to her lips and took a long drink staring at his shirtless chest as his eyes drunk her in. She couldn't help but savor the lustful look in his eyes as she turned away.
Never before had she had this power over men. Men had always had some form of power over her. It felt good to have the upper hand.
More weeks passed and the two continued their game. As she grew used to seeing him practically naked she also began to learn other things about the stranger next door. For one he only smoked when it was dark out. She never once saw him outside on the balcony in the daylight, even though she sometimes saw him inside during the day. Over time she realized that he must work nights and sleep during the hours she was gone at school because the only times she saw him in the mornings were when he was stumbling bleary eyed across his apartment.
Another thing she learned was that he liked music. She could not always make out what song was playing but she could always hear some faint tune spilling out of the building. He also owned a dog, a large black unpleasant looking mix that seemed to glare at Sansa whenever they were in sight of each other.
As time continued to pass Sansa began to fantasize about having the courage to introduce herself to her neighbor. She never dated anyone at her college, even though people often asked her on dates. Her mind was too preoccupied by her large and surly looking neighbor. She also wasn't the easiest girl to date after the mess Joffrey put her through. Her first semester at college was drawing to a close and she was about to head back to Winterfell for the holiday break.
Everyday she looked across the balconies and told herself to just introduce herself, it wasn't that hard. The man had seen her in her underwear more times than he had seen her clothed for goodness sake! But no matter how hard she berated herself she could not work up the nerve. Finally, the day she was leaving for the airport she managed to gather a smidgen of courage.
Tearing a piece of paper out of one of her notebooks she quickly wrote in her loopy cursive, Hope you have happy holidays and a great new year! -Sansa She reread it three times and cursed each time at how stupid it sounded. Not knowing what else to write and her flight departure time creeping closer she grabbed a candy cane off her counter and ducked out her balcony door. Shivering against the cold she leaned over the half a foot gap between their balconies and placed her note down on a table next to an overflowing ashtray. Weighing the paper down with the candy cane she ducked inside before she could change her mind.
The entirety of her holiday break she cursed her stupidity. Why didn't she write something cute? Something funny or hell even sexy?! No, she had to write the equivalent of 'see you next summer' to the neighbor she had been eye fucking for three months. As much as she loved and missed her family to say that she was glad to return to her little apartment was an understatement.
As she flicked the light on and the sight of her own place filled her she let out a sigh of relief. A big family meant no privacy which was a luxury she had grown used to. She crossed to her kitchen counter to put down her keys when something fluttered out of the corner or her eye. Cautiously she crept closer to the window to see something was tapped to the rail of her balcony. Heart in her throat and suddenly nauseous she stepped outside, sliding the door shut behind her to keep in the heat.
Taped to her balcony was a piece of notebook paper like the one she had left her neighbor. The messy scrawl on this one had been damaged by the snow and rain that had fallen in her time away. Smiling at the gesture but a bit disappointed she couldn't read it she turned back to head back into the warmth. As she moved to open her door though it stuck fast.
Sansa's face paled as she tugged on the door again. She hadn't locked it, it could only be locked from the inside. Frantically she tugged on it again before she realized the problem. The metal of the sliding door was so cold that the blast of icy wind that it had received when she opened her door had frozen. Once she shut the door it got stuck on the ice causing a jam. Cursing she slammed her head against the cold glass window before instantly pulling away at the chill.
Giving the door one last fruitless tug she reached into her coat pocket to get her phone out to call the supervisor. Her hands came away empty as she stood in the cold twilight. Turning she peered though the window to see she had left her phone on the counter next to her keys. Cursing again she peered over the edge of her balcony but the sight of the ground four stories below nearly made her pass out. Finally she turned to her last option, the apartment across the way.
The window was dark, either the man was asleep or he wasn't home. Sansa had no way to knock on the door, she had nothing on her balcony that she could throw at it. She would have to huddle on her balcony and hope he looked outside before she froze to death.
What felt like hours later, but was likely only fifteen shivering minutes, a light flickered on across from her. She turned with a hopeful look as the man stepped into his apartment, his dog in front of him on a lease. Both shook off snow as she frantically began waving at him.
His brow furrowed as he crossed to his door and slid it open, as he did so his dog growled at Sansa.
"M-my d-door froze s-s-shut." She chattered out through lips that she felt surely had to be blue. "Can I u-use your p-p-phone?"
The man stepped outside, wisely leaving his own door open a crack so he would not have the same problem. "I can open it for you." he said in a rough growl of a voice.
Sansa's brow furrowed. "H-h-how?" she began to question but even as she asked she saw how. The man straddled his balcony railing before leaning over and grabbing hers. In about as much time as it took for her to blink in surprise he was standing next to her. He was much taller than she realized, she had to crane her neck up to see his profile.
He passed her shaking form to her door which he gave three quick tugs before it slid open with a groan. Sansa let out a breath of relief that could probably be classified as a moan and darted inside the warmth.
"T-t-thank you." she chattered out pulling her coat closer to her form. The man nodded and moved to turn away back towards his apartment.
"Wait!" she cried. He turned back to her with a slight look of surprise on his face. She felt the same amount of surprise. What did she want him to wait for? "You shouldn't climb over the balcony like that." she finally got out, thankful her teeth had stopped chattering. "Its slick, you could fall."
He let out a small laugh. "I won't fall." he moved to turn away again but Sansa stepped forward and grabbed his arm, surprised by how muscular it felt. She had know he was fit, but damn.
He looked down at her and she smiled, unsure. Interaction was not part of their game. "What did your note say? The rain blurred it." she finally managed to get out, a blush forming on her warming face.
"Happy holidays." he grunted raising one eyebrow at her as she still didn't remove her hand from his arm.
"Oh, right thank you." she knew she ought to let go but she couldn't seem to get her hand to corporate with her common sense. They stood there, her inside her apartment with one hand on this stranger's arm (his very nice arm) as he stood outside in the cold. Every part of her brain was screaming at her to let go and let him continue across the way where they could continue to stare at each other in their underwear and not have any other awkward interaction. But every bone in her body was having a very different reaction indeed. "What's your name?" she asked in an attempt to calm her thoughts.
"Sandor." his voice was deep and gruff still but not annoyed like she expected. Maybe he knew what she was about to say before she did because he did not seem to be put out about standing in the freezing weather on a stranger's balcony.
As her head screamed at her to let him go her body whispered past the screams. 'Think of how much fun this will be. He could warm you up faster than any blanket ever coul.' At that statement even her common sense shut up and before any part of her truly knew what she was doing she let go of him and stepped away from the door.
"Would you like to come in?" her voice was remarkably steady considering what she had just done. Sansa was no innocent maid, she knew what usually happened when a stranger invited another stranger over at night. She was no maid at all in fact, stupidly she had given that up to her loser boyfriend in high school in the hopes it would make him treat her better. It hadn't.
Sandor stepped inside slowly, as if he thought that she would change her mind and push him out with a scream. She moved to shut the door behind him but it was stuck again. He removed her hands from the cold steel handle and slid it shut for her easily.
"Thanks." she breathed out as she struggled out of her coat.
He turned to look at what little of her studio apartment that he could not see from his own as she struggled to come up with something to talk about. She was about to settle on the weather when his eyes landed on her suitcase where she had left it by the front door.
"You just get back?" he asked.
"Oh, yes. I spent the break at home with my family." she explained as he turned back towards her.
"Where's home?" she was surprised by the fact that he actually seemed interested in her answer.
"Winterfell." he took another step closer to her which she reciprocated. She must have turned the heat up before she left because it was boiling in here.
"Never been." he said with a shrug as he reached forward to place a large hand on her hip. She looked down at in wonder, feeling as though the heat of his body was burning her in the most pleasant way.
"You should go one day." she whispered before he leaned down and kissed her. The hand on her hip pulled her closer as the other one wound behind her back. She buried her hands in the hair at the nape of his neck as their mouths moved furiously against one another. Sansa had never felt this when kissing boys before. She felt like she was on fire, that every nerve in her body was a lit fuse and this man was a match. As his tongue slipped into her mouth she let out a small moan. Part of her wanted to feel embarrassed but seeing that he just gripped her tighter she wasn't. Feeling that there wasn't enough heat between them her hands slid down his chest to unzip his coat and push it from his shoulders.
The second it hit the floor Sandor slipped his hands under her arse, lifting her up off the floor in a move Joffery would never have been strong enough for. She wrapped her legs around his waist as he moved them across the hardwood to her bed in the corner of the room.
The second they hit the bed she went for his shirt hem pulling it up and over his head. Her fingers quickly went to feeling out the body her eyes had long since memorized. Her shirt followed his quickly and Sandor's hands unfastened her bra faster than she could blink. She had never had sex with the lights on before and was surprised when she didn't even flinch to cover herself as Sandor drank in the sight of her bare breasts. One large hand cupped her and she arched her back against the feel. Pulling him down to kiss her again she breathed a moan against his lips as his rough fingers brushed lightly over one nipple. His other hand trailed up her waist to her other breast and he began performing the same ministrations to it. His fingers rolled and pinched her nipples in a way that had her wriggling against him in minutes. Sandor pulled away from her mouth suddenly, she made a noise of protest before he began kissing his way down her jawline and neck slowly as he approached her breast. Sansa's fingers stilled in his hair as he took her nipple in his mouth. As he swirled his tongue around her fingers tightened and she gasped at the sensation.
She had never wanted anyone so badly as right now. Kicking off her shoes she wrapped her legs tighter around his waist. The sound of her shoes hitting the floorboards pulled him away from her breasts and his shoes followed shortly. Sitting on his knees he looked down at her as he unzipped her jeans. For some reason the unbreaking eye contact he kept with her as he slid her jeans off her legs was one of the hottest things she'd ever seen. Sandor moved to settle himself on top of her but she placed a hand on his chest to stop him and push him over onto his back.
Straddling him she placed a light kiss on his mouth before moving to his earlobe which she took lightly in her mouth and bit softly. He groaned and put his hands on her hips as she moved to kiss him down his toned chest and abs. Unzipping his fly she pulled his jeans down off his hips, his boxers following quickly. She took his large erection in her hands and moved her wrist quickly. A soft "fuck" spilled from his lips. Smiling and feeling drunk with power she moved down to swirl her tongue over the tip of his penis. His hands gripped at her hair suddenly as she moved to take him in her mouth.
He was to big for her to take all of him in so she made do with what she could. She moved her tongue in the pattern Jenye Poole had once taught her by practicing on a banana in the ninth grade. As ridiculous as that lesson had felt it was certainly paying off now as the man beneath her bucked his hips and tried to press himself more fully into her mouth.
Unable to continue without feeling him inside her Sansa sat up and moved to her bedside table where she grabbed a condom from a box Theon had given her when she moved out, on the pretext of "Just in case." Passing the condom to Sandor she stood by the edge of the bed and slipped her panties off. Sandor stopped in the process of rolling on the condom to gaze at her body from head to toe. He swallowed and finished rolling on the condom. Her heart beating rapidly in her chest at the fact that she was about to sleep with this man, this stranger, Sansa straddled him again.
Positioning him at her entrance she slowly slipped him inside her gasping at how full he felt inside her. Sandor grasped her hips again as she wiggled against him. Placing her hands on his chest she began to ride him, another move that Jenye had taught her ages past. As Sandor groaned underneath her and she let out a small moan herself she vowed to buy Jenye Poole a damn thank you basket in the morning.
Their movements developed a rhythm and Sansa began to feel herself coming closer and closer to an edge she'd never been before. As if sensing this Sandor reached between their connected bodies to rub his finger over her clit. A rush filled her at the sensation and she gasped. Sitting up Sandor wrapped one arm around her to keep her from falling backward off the bed as she rode him and moved the other hand to continue his movements. Their breath became faster and more laborious as Sansa gripped his shoulders tightly. Suddenly she felt herself come completely undone in a sensation like she had never felt before. As if sensing she was about to scream Sandor grabbed her face in a rough kiss and swallowed her sounds of pleasure as he came as well, her clenching muscles sending him over with her.
Afterwards they lay on her bed, under the covers this time, arms wrapped around each other. It was surprisingly easy to give herself over to this stranger and as such she kept giving. Both her body and her words, they stayed up all night talking and repeating their past experience two more times.
The next night they went out on an actual date and five weeks later they agreed to go exclusive, as if they weren't already. At the end of summer, which she had spent in Storm's End taking classes, her parents asked her to come spend a week up with them. She agreed on one condition.
While her family had all seemed weary of Sandor at first, and him equally as weary of all of them, they eventually grew on each other. Which was how she found herself, on the last day of their vacation, caught in an extremely vicious match of Rickon's favorite game, mudball. Having abandoned Robb to their younger siblings she hunched against their deck and tried to catch her breath.
A person slipped up next to her and she nearly screamed.
"Your family is fucking crazy."a familiar gruff voice growled next to her ear.
Sansa laughed and turned to face her boyfriend who looked equally as disheveled as she did. "Wanna ditch them and do it in the pool house?" she whispered raising her eyebrows. Sandor grabbed her arm and had her on her feet before she could finish the sentence.