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Stark Reflections

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Sandor Clegane didn't know what to make of the young girl who was sleeping in his bed. He sat across the room and watched her. Her eyes twitched as she moaned and shuddered. She'd been like that for nearly 18 hours now. If she didn't wake up soon, Sandor knew he'd have to get her into town - to a doctor or to someone else who could get her to a doctor. Thing is, he hated going anywhere near town, especially in daylight.

The large, rough man turned back to his work on the table. He had caught two wild turkeys and four rabbits the day before the storm. The turkeys were awaiting their fate in a hastily constructed pen in the barn behind the cabin, and the rabbits had made a nice stew. Now he was cleaning the rabbit skins. He wasn't sure what he was going to use them for just yet, but he wasn't one to waste anything.

The girl moaned again. Sandor looked over to see her brow crease with some unpleasant thought. He wondered who she was, how old she was, where she'd come from, and why she was here. He easily could have gone through her pack to find out, but it was best not to invade her privacy unless he absolutely had to. Gaining her trust was going to be hard enough when she finally decided to open her eyes and got her first look at him.

"I don't need this bullshit," he grumbled to himself. Perhaps it was best he waited until dark and took her down to the Doc's place. He could be rid of her without any confrontation and she'd be better off. The only reason he hadn't done that yet was because of her injuries. A deep gash on her side, from under her right arm to the top of her hip, probably needed stitches or he risked the chance of accidentally opening her wound again if he tried to move her. Although it wasn't broken, he had made a splint for her left wrist - probably just a sprain. The worst injury the girl had sustained was a dislocated knee. It hadn't been badly dislocated so Sandor had managed to use a manipulation technique to relocate the patella, but the girl would still feel a lot of discomfort when she woke up. Not to mention the fact that she'd have limited use of the leg for a few weeks at least.

The rest of the girl's injuries were minor by comparison - cuts, scrapes, and bruises. She'd been extremely lucky. If Sandor hadn't come along at exactly the right moment ... He shook his head and tried to focus on the work in front of him. Until she could tell him how she felt or about any pain she had that might be internal, Sandor just didn't want to risk moving her.

It was getting dark and Sandor reluctantly admitted that he'd have to go into town. He could use some more bandages and ointment for the girl's cuts. He would pick up some dry goods now that he had an extra mouth to feed, and maybe stop and have a chat with the Doc, just as a precaution.

Before he left, Sandor made sure everything was in order in case she woke up while he was gone. As he leaned over her to check her pulse and her breathing, the corners of her mouth rose slightly. It wasn't quite a smile, but he couldn't deny how beautiful it made her look. Despite how filthy she still was - caked with dirt - he could see that she was one of those naturally beautiful women. If she wore makeup she certainly didn't need to. The girl had high cheekbones and a rosy flush. Her skin was pale and delicate, but he supposed it was because she was a natural redhead. Redheads were always very fair skinned, weren't they?

He had cleaned her up as best he could without becoming too intimate with her. He'd kept it innocent and very PG-13. Sandor had washed her face and combed her hair, picking out chunks of mud and debris. He'd loved the feel of her thick, wavy hair and imagined that after it was washed, it would probably feel like silk. Hard as it was to control his curiosity, he'd never even considered removing her clothes although the mud and rocks had gotten inside her shirt and pants, causing rips and tears, but he'd done the best he could getting her cleaned up. She'd have to do the rest herself.

Sandor leaned over and brushed a wayward strand of hair that was caught in her long dark eyelashes. He stood straight, took a deep breath and made a mental note to pick up a shirt and pair of pants for her as well. The girl moaned softly again as Sandor left the cabin and locked the door behind him.