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Locked out

Chapter Text

“No! Shit!” Sansa blushed furiously once the expletive left her mouth despite no one being around to hear it. She was alone in the hallway outside of her apartment. Alone and locked out. “Shit.”

The second time the word came easier but her voice sounded much more tired than before. She had been working a twelve hour shift at the coffee shop, covering for her coworker who had called in sick, and she had an essay that was due tomorrow and now she couldn’t even get inside her own apartment. She rifled through her big bright yellow tote bag, hoping beyond hope that the fourth time checking she’d find her keychain. In her desperation she sat down on the floor, not caring if she got dirt on her work clothes, and upended her bag and poured out all of the context on the floor.

There was a lot of stuff, receipts, tissues, make-up, a bar of chocolate, lip balm, even a notepad but nowhere to be seen was her keychain with the neon yellow band. Her niece Catie had braided the band at kindergarten and the loss of that felt worse than the hassle of being locked out.

Thankfully her phone was one of the things that were in the bag and she had googled and called a locksmith who promised that they had someone close that would be there in a little while. So while she waited she sat down against the wall, her clothes were already dirty anyway, and ate the chocolate bar.

What the hell is a few calories when the day has already gone to shit?

Just as her pity party had started getting good the elevator dinged and the largest man she had ever seen stepped out. He was so tall that he had to duck through the doorway and so broad shouldered that he almost took up the whole doorway. The effect of his size was only heightened by the fact that Sansa was sitting on the floor and for some reason she found herself flushed as he walked over to her.

He had long dark hair that reached his shoulders and a thick full beard. If it hadn’t been for the locksmith tools he was carrying the red flannel shirt and blue jeans made him look more like a lumberjack and like he just stepped out of the cover of a romance novel.

Where the hell did that thought come from?

When he came closer, she noticed that his full beard had a spot close to his mouth where no hair grew as well as raised scarred skin on his cheek up to the hairline above his temple. It looked as if he had a skin transplant or something and she couldn’t help but feel curious as to what had happened to him.

“You the one locked out?” If she had thought his appearance rugged, his voice just completed the whole thing. It was low, rough and raspy, almost like a growl. And it had a very distinct Scottish burr that reminded her of home.

Just as she was about to answer his grey eyes locked with hers and the intensity of them made her suddenly tongue tied. It was as if he was trying to see into her very soul. She only managed a small nod before needing to look away.

Get a grip, Sansa Stark. You’re acting as if you have never seen a man before!

She had of course, seen men before that is. She just hadn’t seen a man like him. He looked scary and imposing. From the corner of her eye she could see him nodding at her door and she hastily nodded her affirmation and he got to work.

It was fascinating to watch a man of his size first try to pick the lock from the outside and work with a lot of small tools that his big hands almost engulfed. It was also terribly awkward. He didn’t say a word, barely made a sound as he worked and she just watched, unable to find anything to say to break the silence. Would she just be disturbing him working?

She could check stuff on her phone but she found that incredibly rude. What if he needed to ask her something or check something with her and he’d look up and she’d be on her phone like some teenager? So instead she watched and hoped that it would be quick work.

But today was not her day.

“Yeah, I’m gonna have to use my camera,” he said breaking the silence so suddenly that she jumped a little. “It means I’m gonna have to remove a piece of your doorframe.”

And then he did just that. Worked on silently as if he had done it millions of times before, he probably had, and then he was watching a small screen and there was a sound that almost sounded like a cough coming out of him.

“Cat huh?” he said and before she knew what she was doing she was on her feet moving closer to where he was kneeling by her door.


“You’ve got a cat,” he stated and as if to prove to her that she in fact had a cat he held up the monitor to her. She grabbed the monitor, her hands over his as she saw her red short haired cat swatting at the camera as if it were a toy.

“O’Malley no!” she cried out when the cat started biting at the camera. “Stop it! O’Malley!”

There was that small, deep cough again and she realised that it was his chuckle. The large man was chuckling at her cat’s antics. Chuckling as her cat was trying to eat what was probably very expensive equipment.

“I’m so sorry,” Sansa managed to say and quickly pulled her hands away when she realised they had been resting on his for quite some time.

“Don’t worry about it. He’ll get bored soon enough,” the man said and she could hear his amusement in his deep voice. “It’s cute.”

She couldn’t hide the surprise on her face, her red eyebrows rose high and it made his lip twitch. Was he fighting a smile?

“You Irish then?” he asked. His question caught her off guard and when she frowned he nodded towards the top of her head. “I just figured, with the hair and the cat’s name.”

“Oh no. I’m half Scottish actually, on my dad's side,” she told him and that made his lip twitch again. “Lived up north when I was little but we moved down here before I started school. My hair I got from my mother, and she’s from Cambridge.”

She had no idea why she was giving away so much information all of a sudden. Perhaps it was because now that the silence was finally broken she didn’t want it to return. There was also a strange sense that he suddenly seemed easy to talk to. He thought her cat was cute after all.

“And the cat’s name?” he asked and she felt her cheeks flush.

“It’s… uh… a character from a movie,” she said and his forehead knitted, as if he was trying to figure out what movie it could be. He didn’t have a chance to ask her anything else because it seemed as if O’Malley had gotten bored with his new toy.

With a nod he went back to working in silence and it wasn’t broken for a long while. She found she didn’t mind it as much since it was due to him concentrating and not purely ignoring her. He had initiated conversation after all.

“Fucking bloody buggering cunt!” The row of sudden, harshly spoken profanities made her cheeks flush bright red and her eyes widen. As if he suddenly remembered he wasn’t alone the man’s head whipped around to look at her and he cringed. “Shit, sorry.”

She was appalled, his use of language was beyond crude, but the soft apology in his eyes as well as in the deep set voice made her nod her head and she tried to fan her face in hopes of settling the bright red skin into a more normal pink.

“I’m gonna have to break your lock, no way around it,” he said gruffly and he sounded almost as annoyed as she felt about it. That meant she had to get a new lock, she doubted her landlord was going to pay for that since she only had herself to blame.

There goes my Christmas gifts budget. They're all just gonna get candy this year.

“I understand,” she said as she realised he was waiting for her confirmation. Once he had it he thankfully put the piece of her door frame back and then he proceeded to cut her lock. She stepped back and covered her ears at the loud noise.

In a matter of minutes she was inside of her apartment and it was a bittersweet feeling. She was happy that she wasn’t locked out but it sucked that she had to get herself a new lock. The feeling turned almost completely bitter as her phone dinged with a text from her coworker Sara. It was a picture of her goddamn keychain and the simple words.

Sara: Lost something?

She was about to break out in her own litany of crude words but she was cut off by the appearance of her cat. O’Malley strutted out of the bedroom and went right for the locksmith. He was standing just inside her doorway, looking at something on his phone as the cat reached him.

“Careful, he tends to bite and scratch. He’s not much of a people person,” she warned as she hurried over to grab the cat before he could cause any bodily harm. She was amazed to first hear the deep purr coming from the cat and then see how the large locksmith knelt down and scratched behind the cat’s ear with two of his large fingers.

“I can relate to that, Mr O’Malley,” he said softly with another twitch of his lips. The cat proceeded to press himself even closer to the large man and Sansa could only watch the cat, who still scratched everyone she knew if they tried to pet him, enjoying the large man’s attention. She was the only one who was allowed to pet him. Well, she had been. Now he apparently counted a big, broad shouldered hairy locksmith in the same category as her.

“Do you have pen and paper?” the locksmith asked, making her stop her staring and she hurriedly got out her notepad and pen. When the man stood O’Malley mewled his protest before jumping on the couch to relax. “You can get a new lock at this place. And this is the make and model of the lock you had. It’s easiest to replace it with the same kind.”

His penmanship left a lot to be desired, it was sprawly and rough but she could make out an address and a name and numbers. She figured she’d just bring the note with her to the store. Her dad could probably handle changing the lock for her.

“Thank you,” she said as she realised he hadn’t had to help her with this. He had gotten her inside her place, as soon as he got paid his job was done. Yet he had taken the time to find out where to go to replace her lock. “What do I owe?”

As soon as the words left her mouth dread set in her stomach. She tried to picture all the items she had poured out of her tote bag and she couldn’t remember having seen her wallet.

“Shit,” she said in a hiss as she proceeded to pour out the context on her small round kitchen table. No wallet. “Shit, I’m so sorry. I seem to have lost my wallet as well as my keys.”

She was mortified. He must think her such a mess. She was a mess.

“No worries,” he said but she doubted that it was. This was his job, this was how he got paid. If she didn’t pay him, how did he get paid? He had done all he could to help her and now she felt like a complete idiot. “You can phone in and pay once you’ve got everything sorted.”

She nodded, feeling relieved as she accepted another note from him where a phone number and what she assumed was a reference number, was written on it.

“Thank you. Again, I’m so sorry,” she said but he only shrugged and started collecting his things. She was relieved that he didn’t make a big deal of it but she was also concerned that the stress of juggling school and a job as a barista was getting to her. She shouldn’t have lost both her keys and wallet like that.

“Hey, anyone can have an off day,” he said over his shoulder, as if he had read her mind and then he was gone. She was surprised that such a large man could move so silently, the only thing signaling that he had left was the sound of the elevator door closing.

Sansa appreciated the kindness of the large man but he obviously overestimated her ability to handle changing a lock by herself. Not that she had expected him to do it for her, not at all. He probably wouldn’t even have been willing to since she was unable to pay him for his actual work. But the idea of sleeping in an apartment with nothing but her safety chain as a lock didn’t appeal to her. So she did what her twenty-four year old self hated.

“Hi daddy,” she said sweetly once he picked up the phone. “I need some help.”

Dad is going to murder me.

It had only been a few weeks since she had to change her lock and here she stood again. Staring down at the content of her purse poured out on the floor yet again with the yellow band of her keychain missing.

This time she checked with her coworkers first but no one had found her keys. Admitting defeat she googled for a locksmith and then she could only wait. There was no chocolate in her purse this time, but at least her wallet was there.

The elevator dinged and if she had been troubled before somehow everything was heightened when the large lumberjack-looking locksmith stepped out. His eyes caught hers and she wondered if you could die of mortification. Not only did he have to witness her making a fool of herself twice in little over a month but she realised that she had forgotten to pay him for the first time.

Maybe he won’t remember me?

“Might as well just cut the lock right away, huh?” he said and she couldn’t bear meeting his eyes. So much for hoping he wouldn’t remember her.

She remained sitting on the floor and watched him. He was wearing another one of those flannel shirts, a deep green one this time and as he bent down to pick something up her eyes lingered on the shape of his butt in his blue jeans. It was a very firm nice butt.

Oh God. Stop staring.

She had forgotten how large he truly was, but as he worked her eyes followed the lines of his body and there was something very appealing about the size of his hands. She flushed as he turned his head to look at her and busied herself with her phone. She prefered he thought she was acting like a teenager rather than being caught checking him out.

Despite him saying that he was going to cut the lock right away he still tried to pick the lock but soon admitted defeat. She still appreciated that he tried because having to change the lock again was an expense that would hit her hard. When he started cutting the lock she saw her savings account flash into single digits in her mind.

“All done,” he called out and she practically jumped to her feet. He followed her inside like last time and as her cat hurried over to him he didn’t hesitate to kneel down and scratch him.

“Well hello there Mr Thomas O’Malley, the alley cat,” he said and she stared at him wide eyed. He looked up at her with a slight twitch in his lip and she found herself blushing under his gaze. “You know, I hadn’t seen Aristocats before.”

“Never?” she said surprised and that sudden burst of air that was his chuckle rang through the room as he stood to his full impressive height.

“You have the exact same expression as my sister when I told her. She made me watch it with her,” he admitted and the mention of his sister drew an actual smile to his face. It was small and some people would probably call it a smirk but on him it seemed to be as much joy in it as a full blown smile on anyone else. “She got where the name came from right away when I told her about you.”

Sansa’s eyes turned wide and she was practically gaping at him, like a fish out of water. But there was a low warmth setting in her stomach and she couldn’t help herself from taking a step closer.

“You… told your sister about me?” she said and watched with fascination as he looked caught off guard. One of his large hands grasped at the back of his neck, making the fabric of his shirt strain against the muscles of his bicep and she could have sworn there was a slight tint to his cheeks. It was hard to tell with the thick beard.

“I… I told her… about the cat,” he said without being able to meet her eye and she couldn’t help but smile. He was acting suddenly shy and it was so endearing to have this giant of a man turn shy because of her attention.

To think he talked about her, or her cat, with her sister for some reason made it feel like there were butterflies flying around in her chest.

“What did you think? About the movie,” she asked, hoping that the change of subject would make him more comfortable and slow the frantic flutter in her chest.

“It was alright. I’m not much for cartoons.” His response came with a slight shrug. His words made Sansa gasp and she almost reached out to grab his arm, but stopped herself when her hand was just a few inches away from it. He stared down at the near contact and when his eyes darted up to her face, her breath hitched and her cheeks flushed. There was an unexpected heat in his eyes, turning the grey into a moltens silver.

“They are not cartoons,” she managed to get out beneath her breath and cleared her throat nervously as she stepped back. “They are animated features. Some of them have even won Academy Awards.”

“Right,” he said noncommitedly but there was a twitch of his lip again and by now she was pretty sure that meant that he was fighting a smile. “So, I took the liberty of picking up the lock you need. If you want I can change it for you right now?”

She was taken by surprise by him thinking ahead for her. He was definitely going beyond what was required of him as a locksmith. It also meant she wouldn’t have to tell her dad about this, but she knew that probably would cost a lot more. He must have sensed her hesitation and gave a slight shrug of his broad shoulders.

“You can have the lock at market value. Same price as at the store I recommended last time,” he said and she could have hugged him. Except that would mean making a fool of herself and she wasn’t sure he was the kind of man that would appreciate that kind of display of gratitude.

“Really? Won’t your boss get mad?” she asked and he scoffed as he walked over to the door and started taking out the cut lock.

“I am the boss,” he said and there was a wash of shame as she remembered that she hadn’t paid him for the first time. He was running his own business, which she could imagine was really tough, and he had done her a kindness that she hadn’t returned. Yet here he was, still being kind to her.

“I’m sorry I haven’t paid for the first time. I swear it slipped my mind. I’ll pay you for both right now,” she blubbered out frantically and he looked up at her with his one whole eyebrow raised in surprise.

“Don’t worry about it,” he said but she shook her head vehemently as she made her way over to him.

“No, it’s not right. And I want to make it right,” she said and this time she couldn’t fight the urge to put her hand on his arm. He stiffened under her touch but he didn’t flinch or pull back so she carefully let her hand rest on his arm.

His very firm arm. His very warm firm arm.

“Alright,” he said in what almost sounded like a growl and pulled his arm away from her grasp. It felt as if her hand was tingling from the contact and she saw that he rubbed the spot where her hand had rested. Had he felt that too?

She then stood there and watched as he started rolling up his sleeves, exposing his muscled and hairy forearms. That was even worse than having the fabric of the shirt clinging to his arms. To have his weather worn skin on display like that made her cheeks flush and her stomach flutter.

Worse isn’t the right word. It’s too good. I gotta stop staring.

“Do you mind if I change?” she asked and his head whipped up so fast that his hair flew into his face. With a low curse he pushed it away and then his eyes were on her. She had never met anyone with such intense eyes, it was almost unsettling but in a way that sent a shiver down her spine.

“Go ahead,” he managed to say after having shaken his head, as if he was trying to clear it, and she gratefully walked into her bedroom.

Her apartment was small, with a joined kitchen and living area and one bedroom that only had room enough for a bed, dresser and desk but she loved it. It was hers and it was nice without being overpricy. She knew she could have chosen a bigger, fancier place since her parents were paying her rent while she was in school but she had wanted to get a place that she could afford to pay for herself once she was done in school.

She quickly threw off her work clothes, wishing she could have taken a shower to get the coffee smell out but she would never have the guts to do that with him out there. So she had to settle for putting on new clothes.

It was just a simple blue sleeved knitted dress that reached just above her knees but when she stepped back out he looked up and froze. His eyes widened as they lingered on her naked legs and there was that sudden shiver again, running down her spine. It was as if he had completely forgotten what he was doing, and she felt her cheeks flush. She could feel the heaviness of his gaze like a caress as it moved up her and finally settled on her face.

Sansa’s mouth suddenly felt dry and her tongue darted out to lick her lips, making his eyes follow the motion and the way his adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed made her feel almost faint. She wanted to put her teeth there, scraped them along his jaw.

What the hell is going on with me?

She needed to collect herself before something happened, before she embarrassed herself even more than she had already had, so she broke his gaze and moved into the kitchen to pour herself a glass of water. She gulped it all down in one go but it did nothing to cool the heat in her stomach or on her cheeks.

“All done,” he suddenly said and when she whirled around he was in the kitchen. Not close enough to make her feel uncomfortable but close enough for her to almost be able to smell him. She could make out a hint of pine and apple. Maybe it was his fabric softener? It was both manly and comforting rolled up into one.

“Great. Can I get you anything to drink? I probably have some soda in the fridge, or there’s always water. Or I can make coffee.” Her nerves were making her babble but he only had to shake his head to shut her up.

“I’m fine. I better get going,” he said and of course he did. He didn’t want to hang out with some silly girl who was brainless enough to lock herself out twice in a month. He definitely wouldn’t want to have coffee with her.

A frown appeared on his forehead then and he looked at her for a long time before shrugging. 

“Actually, I wouldn’t mind a glass of water if that’s alright.” Had her disappointment been that obvious? She chose not to dwell on that, instead she hurried to pour him a glass which she then handed to him with a smile.

As he accepted the glass their fingers touched, it was inevitable since his hands were so large. What was unexpected was the warm tingle that the touch caused, a tingled that spread up her arm into her chest, making her breath hitch. His grey eyes were staring down at her and she couldn’t look away, didn’t want to.

His scarring was more prominent up close, the skin raised and pinker than the rest of his face and she noticed it pulled the corner of his lip down, perhaps that was why he seemed to always hold in his smiles.

Sansa wasn’t sure how long they stood there, the glass between them, holding each others eyes but she didn’t mind. She was actually reluctant to look away from the heat in his eyes and the way his eyelashes brushed his cheek when he slowly blinked. She couldn’t remember ever having anyone looking at her like this, like she was mesmerizing.

She nervously cleared her throat, trying to find something to say but the sound must have startled him because he quickly pulled his hand away and stepped back. She watched as he drained the glass in one go and then moved over to his bag where he started writing up a receipt.

They distance gave her a chance to calm down, to catch her breath and slow the racing of her heart. Perhaps he needed the same because he took his time and once he was done he only moved close enough so that she could pay.

It wasn’t until after she paid and he gave her a copy of the receipt that she reacted to the amount being only slightly higher than the cost he had given her the first time.

“Hey, you didn’t charge me for the first time. Not all of it,” she tried to protest but the look he gave her made her stop her protest. There was a different kind of heat in his eyes, one that challenged her to dare and argue with him.

“You’ve paid what I deemed fair. Just give it a rest,” he said sternly. Despite the imposing figure he made she couldn’t help but smile up at him. Her smile seemed to take him off guard as his face lost it’s hard tint and his eyes narrowed slightly.

“If you’re ever at the coffee shop on campus, make sure you tell them Sansa said you get free coffee. For life,” she said with a soft smile but her offer was met with a derisive scoff that made her flinch.

“Do I look like I’ve ever set a fucking foot at a University?” His voice sounded almost angry and that made her frown.

Okay fine, he looked like he was well over thirty so maybe he didn’t attend University but that didn’t mean that he might not have a reason to be on campus sometimes. And it didn’t give him a reason to suddenly be rude to her.

I was just trying to be nice ,” she said emphasizing the words and he seemed to get the hint because he turned his eyes downward and his hand scratched the back of his neck.

“Right. If I’m ever there then,” he said and she took it as an apology. “Sansa was it?”

“Yup. That’s me,” she said and when she smiled he managed to smile slightly back. It caused a complete uproar in her chest that was so unexpected she could do nothing but grin at him.

“Thank you again for all your help. Both times…” she hesitated and he seemed to understand what she was asking without her having to say the words.

“Sandor,” he rasped out. She wasn’t sure how long they stood there, looking at each other but it felt both merly seconds as well as minutes before he stepped back and picked up his things.

“I’m grateful for the business but try and keep a better eye on your keys from now on, yeah?” His voice sounded surprisingly soft and Sansa gave him a blushing smile as she nodded.

“Yeah, thanks again Sandor.” She wasn’t sure but it almost sounded like his breath hitched, his eyes molten silver again before he nodded and left.

He left her there, standing in her kitchen with a hand on her heart trying to steady the beating of it into a more manageable rhythm. There was a heat that had settled all over her from the moment their eyes had met and it left her skin humming.

“What was that?” she asked O’Malley as he came up to rub himself against her leg.

There was no way she could just happen to lock herself out again. Her savings account would be able to take that. No matter how much she’d want to see a certain locksmith again. That would just be insane, wouldn’t it?

Chapter Text

He had said that he never set a foot on University campus so Sansa shouldn’t be looking up every time the bell above the door chimed, yet during every one of her shifts the following week she did just that. It was pathetic how desperately she wanted him to walk through that door. Was she really that desperate? Had she only imagined the attraction and connection she had felt with the large burly man? Perhaps he hadn’t felt the way she did and in that case he would probably never show up at the coffee shop.

“Okay, what’s going on with you? You have been especially mopy lately, even for you.” Her coworker Margaery hip checked Sansa out of her gloomy thoughts and even managed to pull a smile out of her.

“I am not mopy. I was just thinking.” Margaery gave one of her pointed looks that made Sansa sigh.

“About a boy?” Sansa couldn’t keep in a laugh at the ridiculousness of categorizing Sandor as a boy. 

He is all man, that’s for sure.

“It doesn’t matter because it isn’t happening.” Even to Sansa that sounded sad and depressing and the look on Margaery’s face told her that it had sounded that way to her too.

“Okay, that settles it. We are going out tonight.” Sansa was about to protest but Margaery shot her down with a firm look. “Don’t even try with me. It’s Friday, we are both single beautiful women. We deserve to cut loose and enjoy ourselves.”

Sansa couldn’t help herself and threw her arms around Margaery in a firm hug. When she had started working at the campus coffee shop she had thought Margaery was a bit judgy and too bold and too loud but they had quickly bonded when it turned out that they had both dated Joffrey Baratheon. Nothing like a bonafide asshole to get two girls to bond. Sansa had since learned that Margaery was fun, outgoing, caring and loyal. She was also stubborn as an ox and there was no arguing with her when she had made up her mind.

“Fine. I’ll come over after I’ve been home and gotten ready.” Margaery’s eyes narrowed for a split second before she shook her head.

“So that you can come up with an excuse to bail? I don’t think so. We’ll get ready at my place, I know just the right dress for you to borrow.” Sansa wanted to protest but she knew there was no point. Margaery always got her way, it was just easier to go along with her.

Margaery lived in an old building, not the kind of old that meant run down, but the kind of old that meant it had intricate crown moldings and the rent was ridiculously high. Margaery’s family was old money and she had admitted that she only worked at the coffee shop because she wanted her to be able to save money that was all hers. Sansa knew all about wanting to feel independent of her family’s wealth.

“Can I take a bath? There is no way I want to go out and reek coffee,” Sansa asked and Margaery nodded towards the bathroom.

Sansa might have taken a while, using the clawfoot tub to take a nice bath, since her own apartment only had a shower. By the time she got out of the tub she felt a bit more relaxed and she was actually looking forward to going out for a girl’s night.

Her growing excitement faded quickly when she tried to open the bathroom door and found that it didn’t budge. She tried turning the lock again and both pushing and pulling but the door didn’t budge.

“Margaery? There’s something wrong with the door!” Sansa called out and heard the muffled steps of her friend.

“You didn’t lock the door did you?” Margaery asked through the door and Sansa huffed annoyed.

“Of course I did.”

“Crap. There is something wrong with the lock. It gets stuck.” Margaery said as if it was no big deal and Sansa felt her stomach sink.

“Why didn’t you say something?!” Sansa cried out and she sat down against the edge of the tub.

“It’s okay. I am going to get some help. You’ll be out there in no time.” Sansa knew there was nothing to do but wait. She felt ridiculous sitting there with only a towel wrapped around herself with wet hair and for every minute she waited she felt more deflated.

“Okay, I’ve gotten help. The locksmith said he’d be here any minute.” Sansa jumped to her feet and with her heart in her throat she hurried over to the door.

“The locksmith?” There was no way that it would be Sandor. Margaery didn’t live in the same neighbourhood as her so he couldn’t be the only one in the area.

“Yeah. That’s what we had to do last time.” Just then Sansa heard the knock on the door and held her breath as she tried to make out the muffled voices.

There was a mix of dread and excitement that ran through her when the voices came closer and she instantly recognised Sandor’s deep scottish burr.

Oh god. Oh god. Why is this happening to me?

Sansa knew she was being ridiculous but she couldn’t help but look at her reflection in the mirror and tried to make her wet hair look a little more put together. She was in a freaking towel so she doubted that he would notice her hair being out of place.

Her heart was beating out of her chest and she didn’t know what to do. Should she sit down against the tub? Should she stand? What was she going to say? How do you act in this situation?

Before she could make sense of her thoughts or make any type of choice the door opened. Sandor was on his knees and as his eyes moved from her feet up to her face she felt herself flush bright red. His eyes widened before he scrambled to his feet and he looked so caught off guard that it made her blush deepen.

“Eh… Hi.” His only response was a cough, as if he had gotten something stuck in his throat and he cleared it nervously. His eyes moved over her body and it sent a shiver through her, drawing goosebumps on her skin. His eyes widened even more and now her blush was spreading down her chest. He lifted his eyes to look at a spot above her head and she appreciated his effort at not staring at her when she was this exposed.

“Oh you got the door opened! That’s awesome!” Margaery stepped into the hall and her eyes moved from Sansa’s flushed face to Sandor’s whose eyes was very firmly fixed on a spot on the wall.

“Yeah, awesome.” Sansa said softly and it drew Sandor’s eyes to her face again. Her breath hitched as their eyes met and that surge was there again. It settled low in her stomach and it was accompanied by a tug in her chest. What was happening to her?

“Sansa?” Very reluctantly Sansa pulled her eyes away from Sandor’s to look at Margaery who was looking at her with a confused frown.

“What?” she sounded breathless and she shouldn’t have since nothing had happened. They had just been looking at each other. How could that make her this affected?

“As I was saying… You can go put some clothes on while I pay the nice man,” Margaery gave her a pointed look and Sansa flushed even deeper when she remembered that she was just wearing a towel.

“Right. Of course,” Sansa moved towards the door and it wasn’t until she stood right in front of Sandor that she realised how narrow the hallway was. It made her stop just in front of him and he quickly took a step back to let her pass. “Thank you Sandor.”

When Sansa closed the bedroom door behind her she had never wanted to scream so badly like she wanted in that minute. Why was this happening to her? What part of the universe wanted to see her mortified in front of a man that she was terribly attracted to?

Oh God, what if he thought that this was a set up? That she had faked being trapped in the bathroom to see him again? 

How am I supposed to even look him in the eyes now?

She felt so conflicted. A part of her wanted to hide out in Margaery’s bedroom until he left and another part of her wanted to hurry out there so she would get to talk to him again. The part of her that apparently thought she hadn’t embarrassed herself enough won out and she quickly threw on the green sequin dress that Margaery had laid out on the bed for her. She didn’t even bother with drying her hair, she just quickly braided it and hurried out into the living room.

Sandor was by the door, his toolbox in hand and looked ready to leave but as his eyes met her he froze. That urge to be closer to him was there again and without thinking she crossed the room to him. Margaery took a step back and Sansa could feel her confused stare on them but in that moment Sansa couldn’t care less.

“Thank you for saving me. Again.” Sansa felt herself blush and there was a twitch at his lip that had her stomach fluttering.

“Nothing to it. Just doing my job.” His words were casual but his voice sounded deep and raspy, even compared to what she remembered. His eyes darted down to her shoulder and she felt the drop of water that ran down her arm just as acutely as she felt his stare as he followed it’s decent.

Oh my gosh. Those eyes.

Turns out that it wasn’t that hard to look him in the eyes when they were the deep shade of silver that his was. The way he was looking at her, almost greedily, had her wishing that she was bold enough to invite him out with them. Instead she could only stare back and try to remember to breath.

“So… we should finish getting ready.” Margaery’s voice interrupted their staring and Sansa felt herself blush when Sandor’s eyes traveled over her body in the tightfitting dress. “We are going out to this club downtown, Club Azul. Do you know it?”

“No.” Sandor answered Margaery without taking his eyes of Sansa and the fact that he showed zero interest in her very beautiful friend made Sansa smile at him.

“Well that’s where we’ll be this evening.” Margaery nudged Sansa’s shoulder, pulling her attention to her. Margaery gave Sansa a pointed look and winked at her, making Sansa’s cheeks blush even deeper.

“Right, well have a good night.” Sandor gave her a slight smirk that created a twitch in her lower abdomen and when he closed the door behind him Sansa held her breath.

“OH MY GOD!” Margaery screeched and started jumping up and down excitedly. “You looked as if you wanted to devour him and he looked as if he’d be more than happy to let you!”

“Nuh uh.” Sansa protested weakly and then she sighed. “I have met him before. He helped me when I got locked out of my apartment. Twice. That’s all.”

“Yeah right. So he’s not the one who you have been moping around for?” Sansa knew there was no point in denying the truth so instead she just sighed and Margaery gave her a triumphant smile.

“We are going to get all dolled up and then we are going to snag you a locksmith.”

“How? He left.” Margaery gave her another pointed look that had Sansa frowning.

“Oh, you just follow my lead.” The smirk on Margaery’s face made Sansa feel a little uneasy and she had no idea what her friend had in mind. But it probably wasn’t anything Sansa would come up with herself.

The only thing that Margaery seemed to be doing was taking a lot of pictures, making Sansa pose with her on the dancefloor, at the bar and even in the bathroom. Between taking pictures they were drinking and dancing and even though Sansa’s mind tended to drift to Sandor she still had a great time.

“Hey Sansa, can I borrow your phone? I want to take a picture and my phone died.” Sansa eyed Margaery warily before handing over her phone. Margaery leaned her head against Sansa and held up the phone. Sansa smiled for the picture and then watched in horror as Margaery quickly typed something.

“What the hell are you doing?” Sansa tried to grab her phone but Margaery slipped out of their booth and headed towards the bar. Sansa followed her with an angry huff and once she caught up to her Sansa grabbed the phone out of her hand. “Margaery!”

“You’ll thank me later.” With a frown Sansa checked her phone and whipped her head up with an angry scowl.

“You did not just send that picture to Sandor’s work number. Are you insane?!” Margaery just gave a casual shrug as she gave a flirty smile towards the bartender and Sansa groaned.

How could she? Sure it was a nice picture but who the hell sent a selfie to someone who they had only met three times when they had been doing their job? He was going to think she was some weirdo. Not only because of the picture but because she had saved his number in her phone. She was that pathetic.

“Oh my gosh, that worked faster then I had thought.” Margaery’s words made Sansa frown and Margaery nodded towards the entrance. Sansa turned around and her breath caught in her throat. 

Sandor was walking through the door, his height made him stick out as much as his jeans and flannel shirt did with this dressed up crowd. His mere presence made her heart skip a beat and she turned towards the bar so that she wouldn’t be caught staring. To keep herself busy she tried to catch the bartender’s attention.

“What are you doing? Go talk to him.” Margaery elbowed her hard enough to make Sansa hiss and she glared at her friend. “Come on, he obviously came here to see you.”

“You don’t know that,” Sansa argued and Margaery gave her a look as if to say that she was being stupid.

“Uh huh. Then why is he headed over here?” Sansa couldn’t help but turn her head again and there he was standing a little to the side and looking at her hesitantly.

Oh gosh, oh gosh. What do I do? What do I say?

“Offer to buy him a drink.” Sansa hadn’t even realised she had been talking out loud until Margaery answered and it made her blush. She still managed to collect herself and walked up to where Sandor was standing at the end of the bar. Her skin tingled when his eyes moved from her feet up her body until they reached her face and he gave her a hesitant smile. That small smile calmed her nerves and made her smile back.

“Hey.” His voice came out in that gruff and raspy tone that had goosebumps erupting on her skin and she took a step closer to be able to talk to him without having to shout. It was purely for that reason, not because she felt drawn towards him and this way their arms were nearly touching.

“Hi. Can I buy you a drink?” Sandor opened his mouth to respond but just then a brown haired man walked up to them with two beers in his hands. He looked at Sansa appreciatively and a cocky grin split his face.

“Well hello there. Aren’t you a pretty thing?” Sandor’s eyes darkened as he glared at the other man and the possessiveness of that look sent a thrill through Sansa. She usually wasn’t that much for possessive jealous guys but it was something different about the look in Sandor’s eyes. It was as if he couldn’t keep himself from taking a step closer towards her and she didn’t mind it at all. He still took one beer from the other man who kept his grinning face focused on Sansa.

“Bronn, knock it off.” Sandor’s voice came out in a low growl that made her want to press herself against him to feel it’s vibrations against her skin.

I am losing it, how many drinks have I had?

“What? There’s no harm in being friendly.” Somehow Sansa knew that this Bronn fellow was trying to get a rise out of Sandor and she was pretty sure Sandor knew it too. It made her smile towards the other man and reach out her hand.

“Hi. I’m Sansa.” The other man’s eyes widened in understanding before he grinned at Sandor and started looking around the club. The dance floor was packed and Sansa saw that Margaery was dancing with a dark haired man, grinding almost obscenely against each other and she couldn’t understand how her friend could be so bold.

“Nice to meet you Sansa. Since you are in good hands with my friend Sandor over here I am going to find myself someone as lovely as you.” The other man disappeared out on the dance floor with a wink and Sansa heard Sandor grumble something under his breath that sounded like a string of bad words.

“I am sorry about him. He nagged me about coming here tonight. I hope it was okay.” His words made her stomach drop as well as her good mood and she tried to hide it by turning her attention towards the bar.

Great, his friend had made him come. He didn’t want to be there. He hadn’t wanted to see her again and here she was practically throwing herself at him. It was embarrassing. She felt Sandor watching her and she forced herself to turn her head and meet his eyes. Those grey eyes did something to her insides that she couldn’t explain and despite him not being there because he wanted to see her she still felt this attraction to him.

“Can I buy you a drink?” he asked and she gave him a polite smile.

“Don’t worry about it. You don’t have to feel like you have to.” He frowned at her and it made her hesitate. “I mean, you didn’t want to come here…”

“I didn’t say that,” he interjected and it was enough to make her heart skip a beat again. She couldn’t keep the blush off her cheeks as he looked at her softly. “I just said he nagged me about coming. After I told him about you. I mean…”

She couldn’t keep the grin off her face at how flustered he seemed and when the bartender finally got to her she ordered a glass of wine and smiled at Sandor when he paid for it. More people started crowding around the bar and she used it as an excuse to take another step closer to Sandor. Her hand rested on his arm and she tilted her head up to look at him.

“I am very happy you came. And I am sorry about sending you a picture on your work phone. It was Margaery who did it.” His face turned into a confused frown as he looked down at her and she felt her cheeks grow hot again under his intense look.

“I don’t have my work phone on me tonight. What was the picture of?” She felt her cheeks blush but the alcohol as well as the intoxicating feeling of having him close made her feel brave and she picked her phone out of her purse and showed it to him. His eyes grew hot as he lifted his eyes to look at her and she smiled shyly at him.

“Would it be too forward of me to ask you to send that to my private number?” She couldn’t help but giggle at his playful tone and he smiled at her.

“Oh I don’t send pictures of myself to just anyone. I have to have danced with them at least once before I can do that.” His face fell as if he didn’t want to dance and she worried for a second that she had pushed too hard.

“Well if I have to dance then it better be a picture of just you. No offence to your friend.” Sansa was pretty sure she was grinning like a fool as she raised her glass in a toast. “Shit, I’m gonna need a shot for this.”

She laughed as he ordered them shots of tequila and once they had finished their drinks she felt happily buzzed and took his large hand in hers. At the contact there was a current that moved from his skin into hers and it spread further through her for every second the connection lasted. She dragged him out to the dancefloor and he grimaced as she started moving to the music. He looked so uncomfortable that she couldn’t help but smile at him and take his hands in hers. She placed them on her hips and stepped closer, wrapping her arms around his neck and he leaned down to make it easier for her to reach. She slowly swayed her hips to the beat and he followed her lead.

There was a heady feeling in the way his grey eyes held hers and the current was there again, making her press herself closer. When his hands on her hips tightened their grip she bit her bottom lip and his eyes fluttered down to follow the movement. Was she insane for feeling this connection with him so soon? Was it insane that she wanted nothing more than to kiss him? That she wanted to feel his hard body beneath her hands and see how far that thick chest hair of his went?

She wasn’t the kind of person who slept with someone quickly. She had never had a one night stand but she had never felt such a sudden intense attraction like she did with Sandor.

She wanted him badly and she didn’t see the harm in letting herself be bold and going for what she wanted. 

Her mind flashed to images of them together and as her cheeks flushed her thoughts moved on to having breakfast together in bed the next morning, then to cuddles on the couch. He would probably be a great cuddler with those large strong arms.

Holy hell I am getting ahead of myself.

His big thumbs stroked the side of her stomach, causing it to flutter and it pulled her back to the present. She bit her lip again and this time she heard him groan and it gave her a surge of power to know that such a small thing could affect him that much. To see how much she truly affected him she twined her fingers into the hair at the back of his neck and felt him shudder. 

The music changed into something with a salsa rhythm and Sansa moved her hips more forcefully, brushing against him and one of his hands moved to span across her back. His large hand rested just above her butt and he looked at her as if he wanted to move it lower but didn’t dare to.

The heat in his silver eyes gave her the courage to press herself flush against him and his breath hitched. She smiled up at him with hooded eyes and he visibly swallowed before leaning his head down.

“Fucking hell.” His breathless curse made her giggle and his lips twitched into a small smile.

“Is that a positive thing?” she asked and was surprised with how husky her voice sounded. He leaned a little closer and as he spoke she could feel the vibrations from his chest against hers.

“You’re kidding right? A woman as beautiful as you actually wanting to dance with me? It’s fucking great.”

Sansa moved one hand from the back of his head over his shoulder and gently dragged a finger into the gap between two buttons. She wasn’t sure how she could feel comfortable being this forward with him but there was no hesitation or even the slightest of nerves. Maybe it was the alcohol but mostly it felt like it was the strong attraction and connection she felt. She wanted him and he seemed to want her too.

“What if I want to do more than dance with you?” she asked and his hand on her back grabbed a fistful of her dress, making her suck in a sharp breath from the wave of want that rushed through her in response to his actions.

“I’d say you could do whatever you want with me.” The second those words left his mouth she pressed up on her toes to be able to press her lips firmly against his. He groaned deep in his throat and the sound sent another flash of need through her. She couldn’t help but want to see whatever noise she could draw from him.

She opened her mouth slightly to be able to drag her tongue against his lower lip and his hand cupped the back of her head and as his tongue entered her mouth it felt as if he was devouring her. She had never been kissed like that before, like he couldn’t get enough and neither could she. One hand was in his hair and the other had a firm grip on his shirt and his large hand on the low of her back pressed them firmly against each other.

Sandor groaned again, a sound she was quickly becoming addicted to, when her tongue pushed back and their kiss deepend. It was as if she couldn’t get close enough, couldn’t get enough of the feel of him against her, enough of the feeling of him beneath her hands and it was almost dizzying.

Eventually they did pull back slightly to breath and she couldn’t help but grin so wide that her cheeks hurt at his disheveled and dazed look. There was a deep throb in her core at the way his eyes were such a dark grey they were almost black.

“I could use another drink. How about you?” she asked low and stood on her toes and nipped at his bottom lip. She felt like the most attractive woman in the world with how he was looking down at her with such heat but there was also a tenderness in his eyes that made her heart thump hard.  

His hand moved from her back to take her hand and he nodded towards the bar. With a big smile she made her way across the dancefloor, which was made much easier by the giant of a man walking close behind her. Once she reached the bar she put her elbows down on it and tried to catch the bartender’s eye.

Her heart started beating a mile a minute when she felt Sandor stand behind her instead of next to her and when his arms came around her waist and he held her against his chest another big grin split her face. With a happy sigh she leaned back against him and turned her head up to the side to look at him. She found him already smiling down at her and when their eyes met he leaned down and pressed the gentlessed of kisses against her lips.

Is it insane how comfortable I feel around him?

“What are you having?” the sound of the bartender’s voice drew her attention away from Sandor but his arms around her grounded her to him in a way she had never felt with anyone else before. It was so distracting that she almost forgot to answer the question.

“I’d like a Mojito, please.” She turned her head to look at Sandor while he kept his eyes forward on the bartender. It gave her an opportunity to take him in this close and she found that she was very fond of his strong jawline and how rugged his neatly trimmed beard made him look.

Sure, his scars were prominent but she found that they weren’t where her eyes lingered. Instead she found herself wanting to trace his cheeks and hooked nose and to smooth out the slight frown on his brow with her fingers. He looked so manly and Sansa found herself almost regretting ordering another drink. Instead she desperately wanted to go home with him so that she could explore the rest of him.

It’s like I’m drunk. But it’s not the alcohol, it’s all him.

“Whiskey, neat.” Even his drink was manly. She pressed a kiss beneath his jaw and felt his pulse skip beneath her lips. It made her nip at the same spot and his grip on her tightened as he bent his head down to press his face into her neck.

“You’re killing me here.” His warm breath against the skin of her neck sent a shiver across it and his words were followed by the wet press of his mouth and she had to fight back a moan when his beard rasped her skin. 

“I’ve barely gotten started.” She felt bold with the way his eyes turned even more heated and when the bartender returned with their drinks she took a big sip. He kept his arms around her and she felt safe with him. That might not be logical but there was no doubt in her mind that she was. With a smirk she picked up his drink and took a tentative sip.

His deep rumbled laugh shook them both when her face scrunched up in disgust. His hand wrapped around hers around the glass and brought it to his lips. She held his eyes as he sipped the amber liquid and it felt strangely intimate.

This was out of this world, it couldn’t just be her that felt this, could it?

“Well, hello again.” Margaery came up to stand next to them at the bar and gave Sansa a suggestive look as she took in Sandor’s arms around her. “You two look cosy.”

“Margaery,” Sansa’s voice dropped into a low calm tone and she knew that her friend would understand that she should back off. “This is Sandor.”

“Oh, I remember. I would be surprised if he remembered me though, considering how underdressed you were at the time.” Margarey grinned devilishly and winked at them. Sansa felt Sandor stiffen behind her and she turned her head up to look at him. He was looking off to the side, as if he was avoiding to look at her, and there was a pinch in his forehead.

“Okay, you’ve had your fun. No leave us alone, please.” Margaery stuck her tongue at her and Sansa rolled her eyes but a small smile tugged on her lips. With one last smile at them Margaery headed back to the dancefloor.

Sansa knew her friend had only been teasing but she could tell that Sandor hadn't found it funny. When Margaery left he quickly pulled away and drained the rest of his glass. The sudden change was confusing to her because they had been so comfortable and close just moments before. Why had what Margaery said bothered him so?

Before she had a chance to ask him he turned towards her and the look in his eyes were different. The surge of electricity was still there but she noticed that he seemed worried and confused. It made her clutch her glass a little tighter and worry her bottom lip with her teeth. His eyes zoned in on the motion and it sounded like he grunted deep in his throat before he cleared it.

“I need some air.” She nodded to show that she had heard him and felt her stomach drop. He was trying to get away from her now, she was pretty sure that was the case. She didn’t understand why but she wasn’t going to embarrass herself by asking. She couldn’t hide her surprise when he held out his hand towards her and gave her a hesitant smile. “Come with me?”

She bit her cheek to fight the grin that threatened to split her face as she nodded and he took her hand. She threw a glance towards the dancefloor but she couldn’t see Margaery, she figured she could just text her later. Sandor walked out of the club and stopped at the side of the entrance. He took a deep breath and she squeezed his hand, it made him turn his head to look down at him and this time she did smile up at him.

She barely knew him but it was something about this man that drew her towards him and she couldn’t explain it. He made her feel comfortable and she wanted to be close to him, she couldn’t help it. When he moved to lean against the side of the building she stood in front of him and wrapped her arms around his neck. He looked down at her with slightly wide eyes and when his hands held her hips she smiled up at him.

“You okay?” she asked in a hushed whisper and he exhaled with a deep sigh. He pulled her closer to his chest and she enjoyed the warmth of him pressed against her. He was all firm hard muscles and the shiver that went through her had nothing to do with the chilly october air. Instead it had everything to do with how his large hands had moved lower on her back and she twined her fingers into the hair at the nape of his neck.

“Yeah. Just not much for the club scene.” His answer came out in a slow exhale of air that tickled her lips and she wanted nothing more than to close the short distance between their mouths. His eyes held hers as she moved closer and instead of her having to stand on her toes he leaned down to meet her.

This kiss was different from the earlier ones. It was hard and almost desperate in their need for each other and when their tongues explored each others mouth he grunted and it made her press herself flush against him. His large hand moved down and when he grabbed her butt she couldn’t help herself from biting down on his bottom lip. He hissed and when he lifted her feet of the ground she clung to his shoulders, pulling at his hair to make him tilt his head to the side to give her access to his jaw and neck.

“Shite,” he groaned out as she trailed open mouthed kisses along his jaw and grazed her teeth over his adam's apple like she had wanted from the first time she saw him. “What is this?”

She pulled her face back to look at him, trying to make sense of his question and was relieved when there was only amazement in his face and eyes. She couldn’t keep in a smile as she leaned down to nip at his pulsepoint, feeling it jump beneath her lips.

“I have no idea. Wanna find out?” her voice came out in a husky whisper and he nodded his head in agreement so quickly that his chin almost hit her on the forehead. She giggled as she pulled back and he very reluctantly released her. “You want to come back to my place?”

“Fuck yes.” His crude comment and heated eyes sent a tug at her core and she had never wanted anyone like this. She grabbed his hand as they walked up to the sidewalk and he very efficiently hailed a taxi.

She couldn’t keep her hands off him even during the taxi drive, wrapping her arms around his to keep him close. She giggled when he nuzzled her neck and her giggle turned into a swallowed moan when he dragged his beard along her neck and placed an open mouthed kiss behind her ear. As the taxi stopped outside of her building she thought that she would second guess herself or feel unsure but as she looked into Sandor’s grey eyes there was only excitement and desire bubbling in her stomach. 

She pressed him against the elevator wall and as her tongue explored his mouth he grunted and his hand cupped the back of her head, keeping her close. She opened her eyes as the elevator stopped on her floor and stepped back with a flirty smile when he opened his eyes slowly, as if he was in a daze. She turned around to walk down to her door and smiled when he followed her quickly.

“You’ve got your keys right? I don’t have my work tools.” His teasing tone made her turn her head to look at him over her shoulder and he was grinning down at her.

“Of course I do, shut up,” she fired back at him and when she pulled them out of her purse his hand grasped her hips and she had to swallow a moan when he pressed himself against her back. He pushed her hair over her shoulder and as he kissed the exposed skin she shivered. He made it terribly difficult to actually get the door open but once it was he spun her around to face him. She grinned up at him and when his hands moved from her hips to her butt she couldn’t keep herself from jumping up on him. As her legs wrapped around his hips his eyes darkened and the grip on her butt tightened. 

“Fucking hell.” His deep voice did surprisingly strong things to her centre and she couldn’t keep herself from leaning forward and taking his earlobe between her teeth. “Sansa…”

The sound of her name in his deep breathless voice made her want to rip his clothes off and she started to work on his buttons. It made him quicken his steps and when they entered her bedroom he put her down on the bed. With her standing on it their faces were more level and she pushed the shirt of his shoulders. His chest was covered in dark, thick hair but beneath it was large slabs of firm muscles and she couldn’t keep herself from dragging her nails across his chest. 

He is so manly. It just blows my mind.

With a grunt his large hands grabbed the hemline of her dress and with slow steady hands he pushed it up her body. His rough calloused hands felt amazing against her skin as the moved up her thighs, up along her side and when the grazed the side of her breast she moaned. He pulled the dress over her head and threw it carelessly into the corner, making O’Malley snarl when it hit him.

“Oh shit, sorry mr O’Malley,” Sandor hissed out and standing there in her black lace underwear and strapless bra she threw her head back and laughed. His eyes snapped back to her and when they took her in the laugh died in her throat.

That look in his eyes, the heat in it makes my knees go weak.

His hands grasped her hips again and as his thumb stroked the top line of her underwear she shivered and she dragged her hands into his hair and tilted his head towards hers so that she could kiss him. She gasped when he grabbed her behind her knees and she fell backwards on the bed. With a smirk he crawled on top of her and she felt the heat of his eyes like a physical caress. But it was nothing like the way it felt when his large hand caressed up her side and she bit her bottom lip when his thumb grazed the bottom of her bra. He pressed soft hot kisses along her clavicle and it made her arch her back up towards him. She moaned when his mouth moved down to the top of her breast and she wanted to feel his mouth on her breast so badly that she reached behind her back and took off her bra.

“Fuck,” he moaned out as she pulled the bra away and exposed her breasts to him. She only had a second to take in the fact that he was staring at her naked chest before he took a nipple into his mouth and sucked hard. 

God, yes. That feels amazing.

She ran her hands down his back and the firm muscles rippled beneath her hands and when his lips traced their way across her chest to her other breast she dragged her nails down his back, making him hiss.

“Sorry,” she gasped out and he pulled his head away from her breast to look at her. His eyes were a swirl of heat and gentleness as he moved up her body again and it made her heart flutter even faster. It felt like she had a hummingbird in her chest.

“Don’t be.” The kiss that followed his words was slow and languid, causing her insides to tremble with need. Her hands moved up and down his back until one of them entwined in his hair. He moaned into her mouth when her legs wrapped around his hips and she greedily swallowed the sound.

Having his large heavy frame above her like this made her feel both bold and needy. Without hesitation her hands moved down his back again and lingered over his still jeans clad butt and when she squeezed it he ground his hips against hers with a low hum in his throat.

Her hands snaked between them and he pressed his forehead against her throat as she worked his belt buckle. There was a sharp sting as his teeth nipped at her skin but it was followed by the delicious wet heat of his tongue and she couldn’t keep in another moan. When she pushed his zipper down her fingers grazed his hardness and his breath hitched. She smiled as he rolled off her and pushed his jeans down. He hissed out a cuss as they got stuck around his feet and she couldn’t help but giggle as he kicked them off. He turned his head towards her and smirked at her before he turned on his side and his large hand on her hip pulled her to him.

His hand moved down to caress her hip and her thigh and his eyes followed the movement. His fingers were dark and rough compared to her skin and she found that she really liked the way they looked together. Like a mix of soft and hard, light and dark.

“You’re so fucking beautiful,” he whispered out and looked at her with such awe that there was nothing she could do but throw her leg over his hip and press their centres together. She was never this forward but maybe it was the fact that he allowed her to lead that showed her how much she liked it.

Sansa pushed her hand inside his black boxer and grasped his buttcheek firmly, causing him to grind against her again and the angle caused him to hit just the right spot and she released a low groan of pleasure. He repeated the motion and his eyes held hers with rapt attention.

“Can I?” It took her a moment to realise what he meant but then she felt his fingers gently pushing at her underwear and she nodded with a blush. She shifted to the side and lifted her butt off the mattress to aid him in removing them and once she was exposed completely to him, he started kissing down her torso.

Her voice sounded huskier and deeper than she had ever heard it as his mouth traced wet kisses down her stomach and when his hands grasped her knees and pressed them down into the mattress she was trembling with anticipation.

“Sansa…” She looked down to where his face was hovering right above her core and when his grey eyes met hers the heat there made her moan and her hips pushed up on their own accord.

“God, yes. Please.” As the words left her mouth in a breathless exhale the flat of his tongue dragged from her entrance all the way to her core and the sound that came out of her throat was so raw that it shocked herself.

She found herself getting pushed closer to the edge with every swipe of his tongue or press of his mouth against her. What really made her feel like she could sing with pleasure was the way he kept watching her, as if he was trying to memorize how she reacted to each of his movements and touches.

“Sandor…” she keened and it made him press a firm open mouthed kiss against her core that nearly pushed her over the edge. Before he could she shimmied up the bed. His eyes narrowed in confusion but as she smiled softly at him he relaxed.

“You okay?” he asked and she hurriedly nodded. She opened her arms to him and he scrambled up the bed and hovered above her. She pressed her lips against his and the taste of her on his lips and mouth made her groan.

She grabbed the waistband of his underwear and firmly pushed them down his legs. His mouth moved down her neck as her hand reached down and wrapped around him. He grunted in surprise and the sound was followed by a deep moan as she slowly moved her hand up and down.

“Do you have a condom?” she asked and he nodded with wide eyes. He pressed a hard kiss against her mouth before he got off the bed to rummage through his jeans. She couldn’t help but smile at him as he stood at the end of the bed and looked down at her.

“Sansa… I…” The spark that she had felt between them from the first time she had met him had been there the whole evening but in this moment it felt like lightning between them. It wasn’t just one spark, it was a whole storm. There was no doubt in her mind that he was feeling the same way as he put the condom on and knelt on the bed.

“I know,” she said as she sat up on her knees to look into his eyes. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed her lips softly against his cheek. Her lips moved along the line of his beard until she reached his ear. His breath hitched as she took his earlobe between her teeth. “I want you on top.”

There was a deep grumbled growl emanating from deep in his chest as he pushed her back down on the bed. The sight of this large man hovering above her had her core clenching almost painfully and she knew it was because she wanted him so badly. She couldn’t wait any longer. She kept his eyes as her hand reached down to position him and he pressed his forehead against hers as he slowly slid into her.

For a second it was almost painful, both because he was large and it had been a long time for her. She was grateful that he held still, keeping his eyes on her face. After a moment she felt herself adjust to him and with a small smile she experimentally rolled her hips. 

“Fu…” he grunted out and his hips pushed back into hers. They started at a slow but firm pace and Sansa enjoyed the way he voiced his pleasure in small grunts and moans. There was just something about his voice that did wonderous things to her. She had never heard or felt a voice as deep and manly as his and it fit so perfectly with the man that he was. All large, hard and strong. She was also surprised that she enjoyed all of his body hair. It caused a delicious rasp against her nipples as they moved together and when he kissed her neck the scratchiness of his beard just added to the whole sensation.

“Oh God,” she moaned when he sucked on her pulse point and pressed firmly into her. He grunted against her neck and repeated the motion with a little more force. “Sandor…”

“What do you need?” he asked in a deep set whisper and goosebumps erupted all over her body at the amazed tone of his voice. “I want you to come. I need to make you come. What do you need from me?”

The needy desperate growl that followed his words made her drag her nails down his back and over his ass. His very firm ass that sure could fill out a pair of jeans but was even more amazing naked. She grabbed it in her hands and thrusted her hips up to his.

“Keep talking. The sound of your voice. God.” His head lifted from her neck and he looked surprised for a second before a smirk pulled at his lips.

“Yeah? I can’t fucking believe I’m here with you.” He punctuated his words with a firm thrust of his hips that caused his pelvis to hit her clit, making her throw her head back. “I wanted you from the moment I saw you. You were so fucking beautiful. You are so fucking beautiful. I can’t believe you want me too.”

Her gasps and thrust became more frantic the closer she got to the edge but he held her hips with a large hand, making his strokes long and deep. It made him hit a spot inside of her that she rarely had felt before and she couldn’t keep herself from crying out.

“That’s so... Sandor...!” She gasped as another firm thrust pushed her over the edge and he kept the same firm pace through her orgasm. She grabbed his hair firmly in one hand to keep herself grounded to him. He groaned as she squeezed around him and when he came he pressed his face to the crook of her neck and released a low moan that sent another wave of pleasure through her.

“Oh shit.” His voice came out in a shaky whisper and when his heavyweight slumped on top of her, her breath left her in a huff of air. It made her giggle but the giggle caught in her throat when his teeth grazed her neck. “Sorry.”

He rolled off her with a sigh and for a moment she felt unsure. They had this amazing attraction to each other but to her it was more than that. But it might not be that for him. He might see this as it and in a moment he would get up and leave. She couldn’t help but turn her head to look at him and found him already looking at her. She tried to keep face calm so that he wouldn’t see the nervous feelings that were fluttering in her stomach.

“That was amazing.” His grey eyes searched hers gently and there was that surge of electricity again. It wasn’t gone just because they had slept together. If anything it felt stronger to her.

“Yeah.” She scooted over so that she could throw an arm over his chest. He turned towards her and grabbed her hip and pulled her flush against him. He was so warm that she couldn’t help herself from burrowing closer. His hand moved to cup her chin and tilted it up so their eyes met. “You’re amazing.”

She smiled at him and he pressed the softest of kisses against her smile, making her heart feel like a hummingbird again. She wanted him to stay the night and perhaps this could turn into something more but she had no idea what he was thinking or feeling. He kissed her once more before he got up and headed to the bathroom.

For the first time in her adult life she didn’t feel the need to cover up when he reentered the bedroom. As his eyes scanned her naked skin from head to toe she instead felt that delicious tingling down low. She felt desired and beautiful and when he gave her a crooked smile she laid down on her side and held out his hand towards him. His eyebrow rose in a moment of surprise and then with one long stride he got into her bed and pulled her flush to his side. With a happy sigh she rested her head at the crook of his neck and his arms wrapped around her to keep her there.

“Is this okay? Me staying?” he asked and in response she moved a little closer and pressed a soft kiss to his chest.

“More than okay.” His hand slowly caressed her back and the motion was so soothing that she found herself soon dozing off. The last thing she remembered was the gentle kiss he placed at the top of her head.

All this just because I locked myself out. Wow. Just wow.

Chapter Text

There was a heavy weight across her abdomen. There was also a radiating heat against her back and it took a moment before the memories of last night washed over her. Her eyes opened with a flash as her cheeks turned a bright red.

The heat came from the man who was pressed against her back and the weight was his large arm that held her tightly to him. She waited for the flash of embarrassment over the fact that they were both still completely nude but it never came. Instead the feel of his hairy body against hers brought back delicious flashes of last night and how great everything had been. Kissing him, holding him, having him. It had all been amazing and she couldn’t help but wonder what he would think of the fact that she wanted him again. She could only hope that he didn’t regret the whole thing.

“Hmm…” His deep set voice was even raspier with sleep and she had to bite her lip to keep in the needy sound she almost let slip when his arms tightened around her.

I have never reacted so physically to anyone before, let alone someone's voice. What is happening to me?

“Fuck.” Sansa had never liked it when people cursed but it added another thrill to his amazing voice to hear such crude language and she couldn’t help but press back towards him. His large hand moved to span across her stomach and it trembled as his large fingers caressed the soft skin. “Sansa.”

She hummed low in her throat as his warm mouth pressed a gentle kiss against her shoulder. She couldn’t keep in a giggle as he dragged his bearded chin up her neck, tickling her. The soft laughter that he huffed out against the side of her face had her smiling as she turned her face to look at him.

Even this close there was that surge again, somehow it had gotten so tangible that she felt like she could almost touch it as much as she could touch him. His silver eyes searched her face and she tilted her chin up towards him. Thankfully he understood what she wanted and pressed a soft kiss to her lips.

“Good morning.” His lips twitched as he looked down at her and she turned around so that she could wrap her arms around him properly.

“Good morning,” he said back and followed his words with another soft kiss that turned firmer when she grasped the back of his head. He hummed against her lips and it sent a jolt into her core that made her throw her leg over his hip pulling him so close that she could feel him growing against her. “A really good fucking morning.”

“Yeah?” she asked shyly and the deadpanned look he gave her made her chuckle. Her chuckle died in her throat when his large hand grasped her buttcheek and pressed her core flush against him. “Oh!”

He didn’t answer her instead he moved his face down her jaw, kissing his way down her throat. She released a shivered breath as his hot lips made their way back towards her mouth and she involuntarily rocked against him, making him groan against her skin. As his tongue pressed into her mouth she was surprised that she felt so ready for him after only a few moments of kissing and rocking against each other.

She turned half away to be able to pull out her bedside drawer and turned back with a condom in her hand. She had thought it impossible but his eyes turned even more heated then and with a shy smile she put the condom on him. His breath hitched as she held him in her hand and she felt impossibly powerful with how he kept looking at her in heated awe. She threw her leg over his hips again and took her bottom lip between her teeth as she slowly guided him inside of her.

“Oh fuck…” he gasped out in a half whine, half moan and the large hand that still held her butt squeezed it even harder and pressed her as close as she could be in that position. When she rocked her hips gently against him he whined again and the needy sound spurred on her own desire.

She kept a slow steady pace as his hand on her butt guided their movements and she found purchase on his shoulder. His eyes held hers and the tender amazement lingered in his eyes and she felt as if it’s twin lived in her heart. It was strange, they were supposed to be strangers but he didn’t feel like a stranger. They didn’t really know anything about each other but she knew she wanted to know everything.

At this moment she learned that despite his size and strength he was gentle and caring. She learned that whenever she tightened her grip on his shoulder or pressed herself more firmly onto him he let out this needy little whine that made her moan in return.

He gave her all of the control and she had never felt more powerful or desired and when her orgasm hit her it wasn’t a sudden push over the edge. Instead it came in waves that kept washing over her, making her whole body tremble as she clinged to him. He pressed his lips in a firm kiss against hers as she felt him start to tremble too.

“Oh fu… Sansa…” She sagged against him then and he held her in a firm grip as he came down from his own high. There was a moment of pure happiness as he moved his lips to kiss her cheek and she felt it flush.

She wasn’t sure what was going to happen next but she didn’t feel anxious, she felt excited. She could only hope he felt the same. At least he wasn’t pushing her away and rushing out of there like she imagined one would do after a one night stand.

Can you still call it a one night stand when you had sex the day after too? I’ll have to check with Margaery.

Sandor’s dark thick eyebrow rose in question at her puzzled look and she found herself flushing even deeper. Just then his stomach growled loudly and it broke the tension, making them both chuckle.

“So, breakfast?” she suggested and he eagerly nodded.

“Is it okay if I use your bathroom?” he asked and when she nodded he pulled away to sit up on the bed. He looked over his shoulder at her and with a small smile he leaned down to kiss her softly before he hurried out to the bathroom.

The giddy feeling in her chest had her grinning as she put clothes on. The blue jeans and black and white striped long sleeved shirt she put on was nowhere near as sexy or glamorous as the dress she had worn last night but since he had a pretty simple style himself she didn’t think he would judge her.

She had made her way into the kitchen and as she put her hair up in a messy bun he stepped out of the bedroom. He had put on his clothes from last night and there were a few water droplets in his beard, as if he had quickly washed his face.

He smiled hesitantly at her before walking over and she opened the fridge. There was a pink tint of embarrassment to her cheeks when she took in the practically empty shelves. She had planned on going grocery shopping after work yesterday but since Margaery had other plans she had forgotten all about it.

“I’m sorry I don’t have that much…” she started as he looked inside the fridge over her shoulder. She was yet again surprised by the heat that he radiated and how badly she wanted to lean into that heat. Lean into him.

“I could make some cheese and ham omelettes,” he suggested and she turned her head to smile up at him. Of course he could cook. Because there just had to be another reason for her to like him.

“Great. Do you want tea or coffee?” It turned out that he drank his coffee black and he looked horrified when she poured enough milk in her cup to turn her coffee a light brown.

“I take it you are not one of those who jump for joy when the seasonal drinks are put on the menu,” she teased as they sat down at her small round kitchen table.

“Seasonal drinks?” he asked confused and she figured he wasn’t the kind of guy who went to hipster coffee shops or cafées.

“From the first of October we’ve got Pumpkin Latte on the menu and closer to Christmas we have nutmeg, cinnamon and gingerbread lattes. And people are crazy about them.” His face scrunched up in disgust and she chuckled. “You can’t knock it until you’ve tried it.”

“Yeah, that’s not gonna happen.” He shook his head and she gave him a soft smile.

“If you would have taken me up on my offer of free coffee you could have tasted some.” She said it as a tease but part of her was curious as to why he hadn’t come into the coffeeshop. He obviously had been interested in her too, if last night and this morning was anything to go by. Why hadn’t he come to see her? Had he felt too insecure or shy? She had trouble picturing this huge man as shy but he had shown her moments where he seemed unable to believe that she wanted him too.

“I came in once. You weren’t there…” he said softly and kept his eyes down on his plate but she had heard him and she couldn’t keep the shocked look off her face. “I mean… I was in the area and…”

“I thought you said you didn’t put your foot on University campus?” He lifted his eyes to look at her pleased grin and shook his head with a sigh.

“I said that didn’t I? Fuck I’m stupid…” She wanted to ask what he meant by that but he took a big fork of his omelette and she figured he didn’t want to talk about it anymore. Instead she settled the fact that he had looked for her and ate her omelette with a smile.

“This is really good.” He smiled shyly at her praise and she could have sworn that there was a slight pink tint to his cheeks.

“It’s nothing. I could cook you dinner sometime and really impress you.” A surprised giggle escaped her lips and now she was sure that he was blushing. “I mean… Only if you want to. You don’t have to…”

“I would love that. Feel free to impress me.” He chuckled at her teasing and she wondered if things usually felt this easy going. She couldn’t imagine hooking up with a stranger would entail having breakfast together the next day and feeling this comfortable. She couldn’t really settle the thought that Sandor was a stranger, she didn’t really know anything about him yet she felt like she did know him. “Do you like to cook then?”

“I like it well enough. I have to feed myself so I figured I might as well enjoy what I make.” He said the words with a shrug but something in his body language, the way his jaw clenched, told her that it was something deeper behind it. “My mum died when I was four and my dad could barely cook anything but mac and cheese so my sister and I tried to figure it out.”

“Oh, I’m sorry for your loss.” She knew it was a weak thing to say, but what else could she say? Yet again he just shrugged and she decided to focus on the positive part of his story. “Is she your younger sister?”

“Nah, Ellen’s three years older than me. We basically raised each other. It’s just been me and her for years now.” There was a soft smile on his face when he spoke of his sister and a warmth in his eyes that just confirmed on another level that he was a nice guy. “How about you? Any siblings?”

“Only five.” She couldn’t help but laugh at the shocked expression on his face. She knew that it was a lot and most people today found it a bit insane. And it had been utter chaos some days while growing up but looking back at it now she knew that they had been lucky having such a safe childhood. “I have two younger brothers and a little sister. Then there is my older brother and we also had my cousin growing up with us. He lost his mom, my aunt, when he was five. So there are two protective older brothers in my life.”

“Good to know.” She couldn’t help but blush at his words. He might have said them in jest but to her they sounded like more and she sure hoped that she was understanding him right. That he was hoping to keep seeing her. He had offered to make her dinner some time and she truly hoped that he meant it. “Do you work full time at the coffee shop or…?”

“No, it’s only part time. I am working on my bachelor’s degree in Education. I am in my last year and once I have achieved my Qualified Teacher Status I want to train to become a Special Needs teacher.” There was a new type of look in his eyes that somehow made her cheeks flush deep red. She had never had anyone look at her with such open admiration before and it was a bit overwhelming.

“That’s amazing. There are a lot of kids who would be lucky to have you as their teacher.” Now she was pretty sure she was beet red but it was such a sweet thing for him to say that she couldn’t help but reach out and squeeze his hand.

He opened his mouth as if he was about to say something but was interrupted by the loud sound of the song “Lollipop”. With wide eyes Sandor cursed under his breath as he fished out his phone.

“That fucking numpty keeps changing my ringtone,” he said as a way of explaining and with an apologetic look he got up to answer it. While he moved over to her couch to talk to whoever had called Sansa busied herself with doing the dishes and with a surprised smile she saw O’Malley strut over to Sandor and the cat jumped up into the large man’s lap. While he received his scratches he started purring so loudly that it amazed Sansa.

She had found O’Malley in the back alley of her apartment building, he had been so skinny and scared that it had broken her heart. She had started leaving him food and after a few days he had dared to come up to her and allowed her to touch him. She had petted him for a while and left him some more food. To her great surprise he had decided to follow her inside and since that day he had lived with her. That had been almost three years ago now and he had never allowed anyone else near him. But for some reason he seeked out Sandor’s attention. She had always believed that animals were great judges of character and O’Malley had liked Sandor from the first moment he had met him.

Am I just one step away from being a crazy cat lady if my cat’s opinion on someone means a lot?

The soft smile on Sandor’s face as he scratched the cat behind the ears made Sansa’s heart leap in her chest and it was insane, she knew that, how much she liked him already. She just did.

“Stop hassling me you bawbag. I’ll be there like I am every bloody Saturday.” He hung up his phone with a sigh and Sansa tried to make herself look busy drying the dishes. He came up to stand next to her against the counter and he was so large that he took up almost all the small space of her kitchen.

“That was my mate Bronn, the knobdobber you met last night.” He gave her a slight smile and she looked up at him in confusion.

“I’m not sure what a knobdobber is.” He threw his head back and laughed at her confused face but when he looked back at her again his face turned soft.

“That’s probably a good thing. We play rugby in the park with a bunch of lads every Saturday and he wanted to make sure that I didn’t bail because of some tai… because I’m with you.” She was pretty sure of what he was about to say before he interrupted himself and a part of her didn’t like the term at all but somehow she figured that was Bronn’s words and not Sandor’s. 

She was tempted to ask him to bail, to spend more time with her but that wasn’t an attractive trait. She didn’t want to seem needy or desperate. His grey eyes searched her face almost imploringly and she made her smile light and carefree.

“You don’t want to disappoint your friends.” She kept her voice casual and she hoped that she was making a convincing case of it because on the inside she was really reluctant to see him go. He was silent for a long moment before he nodded.

“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” He turned towards her door and she followed him right behind. What happened next? Did they just say goodbye and never saw each other again? The mere thought of that made her chest hurt.

As he reached the door he turned around and looked down at her with that soft look in his eyes that made her stomach flutter. 

“So… Can I call you…? About that dinner or…?” his hesitant voice made her smile and she nodded eagerly. She didn’t see the point in hiding the fact that she wanted to hear from him. Instead she happily gave him her number and her phone dinged as he sent her a text so that she could save his number.

“Well, have a good weekend then.” She said softly and stood on her toes to press a soft kiss to his lips. His large hand came up to cup her cheek so gently that she was afraid that she might burst from the affection that welled up in her chest. Instead she pulled away and gave him a happy smile.

“You too. I’ll talk to you soon.” She couldn’t keep in a happy smile at that and with an equally pleased grin he walked out of her door and closed it behind him.

With a happy sigh she sat down on the couch and picked up her phone. When she read the message Sandor had sent she threw her head back and laughed.

Unknown number: Don’t forget, you owe me a picture.

She couldn’t fight the excitement in her stomach as she placed her phone on the armrest of the couch and set the timer. She wrapped her arms around her legs and rested her cheek against her knees and smiled softly. It was a nice picture, despite her hair being in a messy bun and she had only remains of last night's makeup on. But she figured that if he liked her he liked this version of her just as much as last night’s so without overthinking it she sent it to him.

Deciding that she couldn’t just sit and wait to see if he responded she decided to take a shower. She probably needed to do some laundry, even though she felt reluctant to wash her sheets. It was probably stupid and silly but she liked that they smelled like him. Like cedar and pine.

Man I’ve got it bad.

She had just wiggled out of her jeans when there was a knock on the door and with a frustrated sigh she grabbed a pair of shorts and threw them on as she hurried over to the door. No one had called her to buzz them in so just to be safe she checked the peephole and her heart jumped in her chest as she hurried to open the door.

She was about to ask Sandor if he had forgotten something but before her mouth could speak the words his lips swallowed them. It was a hard, passionate kiss that had her head spinning and if he hadn’t been cupping her face in his hands she might have stumbled. Instead she found herself grinning stupidly up at him.

“What? Rugby…?” She sounded like an idiot but thankfully he didn’t seem to mind. Instead he pressed a softer kiss to her lips and she was pretty sure her face was set in a permanent smile.

“Fuck it.” Her heart was practically singing in her chest as she wrapped her arms around his broad back and held him close. His arms wrapped around her waist in turn and for what felt like the hundredth time since last night Sansa wondered what the hell was happening. 

“You shouldn’t blow off your friends because of me,” she said against his chest but instead of agreeing with her he scoffed.

“They’ve done it often enough to me.” She lifted her head to look up at him and he looked suddenly shy and unsure. “Unless you’d like to come with me? It’s just a bunch of us playing for fun in the park but we could do something after. Only if you want to though…”

Sansa had never seen a rugby game before, not even a friendly game. She wasn’t that interested in sports and when she grew up it had been football that had been the main sport in their household. She had a vague idea that rugby was more like American football and that it was pretty rough. There was no way that she would enjoy watching that kind of sport yet she still ended up nodding her head.

“It sounds like fun.” No it didn’t. What did sound fun was getting to spend more time with Sandor and him being okay with her meeting some of his friends this soon. 

She was suddenly aware that she hadn’t even showered and was wearing worn ugly shorts. There was no way that she could meet his friends looking like this. Feeling suddenly self conscious, her cheeks flushed and she pulled out of his arms. Sandor’s grey eyes watched her with his brow knitted in concern and she gave him a shy smile.

“I need to take a shower first…” she said and his face relaxed in understanding.

“Yeah, sure. I need to go home and get my stuff too,” he said and cleared his throat. “The park is actually not far from here so I could pick you up on my way back?”

“Or we could meet there. I don’t want you to go through too much trouble…” she offered and the deadpanned look he gave her made her blush even deeper.

“I’ll be back in 30?” he offered and when she nodded he stepped closer and pressed a firm kiss against her mouth. Her stomach flipped and she grinned up at him as he walked backwards towards her door. “Fuck you’re too good to be true.”

He didn’t give her a chance to respond. Instead he turned and walked out of her apartment for the second time and she couldn’t help but wait by it for a few minutes in case he came back. When she felt sure that he wouldn’t she practically ran towards the bathroom. She showered and blow dried her hair in record time only to get stuck staring at the content of her closet.

What do you wear to a friendly rugby game at the park?

She didn’t want to look like she was trying too hard but she still wanted to look good. She wanted him to be happy to introduce her to his friends and she wasn’t sure what type of people they were. Sandor seemed pretty down to earth, sporting jeans and flannel shirts so he wasn’t that into the latest fashion trends. She tried to remember what his friend Bronn had been wearing last night but she barely remembered what he had looked like. Her mind and attention had been too focused on Sandor to take in much of anything else.

Feeling desperate she picked up her phone and dialed Margaery’s number.

“You badass bitch!” Sansa flinched at Margaery’s loud greeting but before she could say anything Margaery continued. “Did his key fit your lock? Or did he have to use his tool to get you opened?” 

Sansa couldn’t help but roll her eyes at Margaery’s bad analogies but bit her tongue. She knew the teasing would only get worse if she tried to protest.

“I am sure you’ve been waiting for hours to say that, but can we please try and focus for a minute?” Sansa said dryly and she heard Margaery sigh. “I need help. What do you wear when you are going to the park to watch a bunch of guys play rugby and then are going to hang out with one of those guys?”

“What? You don’t even like sports, why…? Oh…” Even though Margaery couldn’t see her Sansa ducked her head when her cheeks flushed. “You like him. Shit, that dick must have been a good one!”

“Margaery!” Her scolding only made her friend burst out in laughter and Sansa felt herself getting frustrated. “I have to be ready in 15 minutes and I don’t know what to wear!”

“Oh come on, don’t be a spoilsport! At least tell me something,” Margaery persisted and Sansa took a deep steadying breath.

“Best sex of my life, alright? I swear I will tell you more later if you just help me!” Sansa had to pull the phone away from her ear when Margaery’s glee filled squeal surged through the phone.

“You should wear the deep green knitted sweater with your high waisted black pants. And those flat heeled boots you bought last month.” Sansa would never cease to be amazed over how Margaery seemed to have her wardrobe memorized. Sansa supposed it came with studying fashion design. Her passion for fashion, as Margaery put it.

“Thank you Marg, you are the best.” Sansa offered in gratitude once she had pulled out the items her friend had listed.

“You will pay me back with explicit details. I want positions, number of orgasms, size, rough or sweet, possible kinks…” Sansa only felt a little bad as she hung up on her friend in the middle of her tirade but Sansa needed to give her flushed skin a chance to calm down before she could put on makeup.

She decided to go for a simple look, just putting on some foundation powder and mascara. She didn’t want to look like she was trying too hard, she was watching a rugby game in the park after all. Margaery’s outfit choice personified that perfectly. The green knitted sweater made her hair look even more vibrant and it would keep her warm along with her coat and she looked nice enough for a possible date afterwards.

Exactly 30 minutes after he had left he called to be buzzed in and a few minutes later there was a tentative knock on her door and Sansa opened it, unable to keep from smiling. Sandor stood on the other side of the door, his head ducked a little as he took her in.

“Hi,” she greeted cheerfully but found her smile dimming when he only grunted in return.

He shoved his large hands into the pockets of the black jacket he was wearing and he wasn’t looking her in the eyes. Instead he kept his eyes downcast and his demeanor made Sansa frown. Where was the man who had grabbed her and kissed her senseless the last time she had opened her door for him? It had only been 30 minutes since yet he seemed like a different person now. Standoffish and withdrawn.

God, he’s changed his mind. He doesn’t want me to come but he doesn’t know how to say it.

“You ready to go? If you still want to, that is…” his deep set voice still sent a shiver down her spine and she wished he would look her in the eye so that she could feel that surge again. She couldn’t have imagined it, could she?

“I… Do you not want me to?” the words left her mouth without her meaning to and she felt herself turn bright red. 

“Don’t even know if you like rugby.” His words came out in a low rumble and she couldn’t help but start to feel a little disheartened. If he had changed his mind about her coming then why was he here? He could have just texted her to let her know or not have contacted her at all. It would have hurt her feelings but it would have gotten him out of this awkward situation that obviously made him very uncomfortable.

“Neither do I,” she answered honestly and he must have been surprised by her answer because for the first time his eyes lifted enough to meet hers. It was just for a split second but Sansa felt so relieved when that tug in her chest followed it. “But I am open to trying new things.”

“Come on then.” There was a slight twitch to the scarred side of his lips and it made her feel calmer. Maybe he was just unsure? Perhaps this was as new and strange to him as it felt to her?

She decided then and there that she wouldn’t let his hesitation get to her. He had been the one to invite her and she was going to make the most of it. With a small smile towards him she grabbed her coat and bag as he stepped back to let her out of her door.

She felt his eyes on her, heavy and warm as she attached her keychain to the inside zipper. When she was done she looked up at him and this time he held her eyes. There was an amused tilt to his smirk that had her fighting her own smile.

“What?” she asked and his eyebrow rose as she blushed.

“Just making sure you’ve got your keys,” he teased and she narrowed her eyes at him.

“I am never going to live that down, am I?” She asked with a small shy smile. His slight teasing made her feel much lighter and maybe he didn’t regret inviting her after all. 

“It’s very rare that I get such a frequent return customer.” She glared at him as he walked into the elevator and leaned against the wall. “Not that I am complaining.”

Oh god, does he think that I set it all up?

As the thought crossed her mind she turned beet red and he raised his eyebrow at her in question. She didn’t want him to think that she had been desperate enough to see him a second time to pretend to be locked out. Or locked into a bathroom.

“I… I didn’t set this up.” The words spilled out of her mouth in a rushed exhale and his eyes narrowed but he didn’t say anything. “I mean… I did get locked out. I didn’t do it so that we would meet again. Not that I didn’t want to meet you again… I just…”

“I didn’t think you had,” he cut in and she was surprised to see his face turn sour. “I mean, I didn’t think that someone like you would want anything to do with me. Still don’t really think that’s the case.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” she asked and watched him drag one of his large hands across his face. After a moment of silence he sighed and she steeled herself as he opened his mouth.

“You’re like ten years younger then me, fucking beautiful and bright. You’ve got your future planned with a great goal set. I’m… this.” He waved a hand across his chest as if that was all that was needed to make his point clear. “I know I’m out of my league here and I’m not going to pretend that I know what the fuck you’re doing going on a date with me.”

She felt taken back by the way he spoke so negatively about himself but what caught her attention most was his final words. The words that made her heart jump in her chest and her face split into a smile. A smile that made his eyes widen in confusion.

“So this is a date?” she asked and she almost giggled when the huge man across from her ducked his head and blushed.

“No. I mean… Fuck.” He lifted his head and she tried to hide how amusing she found his flubbering but she must have done a poor job of it because he scowled at her. “I mean, not the rugby part. I am not that stupid. But maybe… the after part?”

The elevator dinged as the doors opened at the ground floor but instead of stepping out, Sansa stepped up close to him and smiled softly when he tilted his head down to look at her.

“I’d really like that.” The air between them felt thick and crackling as they held each other's eyes but neither spoke or made a move for a long time. Finally he cleared his throat nervously and nodded firmly as he reached out a hand to stop the elevator door before it could close. His face softened as he nodded towards it and with slightly flushed cheeks Sansa stepped out of the elevator.

They drove to the park in his work truck, his company logo covered the whole side of it and there was only a front seat since the back was storage for his tools and equipment. It looked neat and functional, not a tool out of place. She figured that was a sign of how seriously he took his business and she admired that.

The drive was short and made in companionable silence. She was slowly learning that Sandor might not be that much of a conversationalist but he spoke volumes with his eyes, like how they kept glancing at her and softening whenever she caught them. She saw the hesitation in them as they stepped out of the truck and started walking towards the gathered group of men on the field by the park's entrance. Sansa noticed the way his hand clenched and unclenched, as if he didn’t know what to do with it and without a moment's hesitation she reached out and wrapped hers around it. His eyes went wide as they held hers and she squeezed his hand in question. She couldn’t keep in her smile as he squeezed back and tugged her towards the group.

“There you are! Thought we were going to have to start without you,” the man Sansa recognised from the night before called out as they came near. Bronn, she reminded herself as he grinned at her hand in Sandor’s before moving his blue eyes up to Sansa’s face. “Well, nice to see you again, sweet thing.”

“You mean you were worried that you were going to have your asses kicked if I’m not here to pick up your slack?” Sandor countered and the glare he gave Bronn was almost murderous. “Bronn, remember your fucking manners.”

“What he lacks in them, I have in spades.” A broad shouldered man with red hair and a bushy beard said as he grinned almost wildly at her. “I am Tormund Giantsbane, as in Slayer of Giants. Without me the game would truly be lost.”

“Don’t mind Tormund. He’s Scandinavian so he’s a bit weird,” a fourth man wearing an eyepatch but a kind, calm smile and knowing eyes said and Sansa had to fight a snicker at the outrage on the red haired man’s face.

“How many times do I have to explain that Scandinavia is a region, not a country? I am fucking Norweigan. Say it with me. Norweigan!” Tormund barked out but the other’s ignored him in favour of turning their attention to Sansa.

“You are regretting this already, aren’t you?” Sandor said in a low voice that made Sansa turn her head up and smile at him.

“Not in the least.” Her softly spoken words made Sandor’s lip twitch and she turned her best smile towards the group of men who were watching the exchange with wide eyed surprise. “Hi, I’m Sansa. It’s nice to meet you all.”

After a quick introduction to the other guys that were there to play the game was on. Sansa had been right in her guess that it was a violent and rough sport. The men threw themselves at each other, tackled each other down into the ground that was turning muddy beneath their feet. She jumped every time they slammed into each other, which was a lot. Sandor seemed to be a very prominent fixture in stopping the other teams plays by throwing himself at the player who had the ball, taking them down hard into the ground with him.

Not knowing the rules made the game just look like a big pile of men fighting over a ball but she could see glimpses of the appeal whenever one player ran ahead of the rest with the ball, apparently scoring a point by the sound of the other’s shouting. Whenever they huddled or took a breather Sandor’s eyes would find her standing to the side and it would make her smile. It made her happy to know that he thought of her even when he was in the middle of this physically demanding game.

By the end of it Sansa had no idea what the score was but based on the way that Bronn and Tormund were grinning at Sandor and pounding on his back she figured they might have won. They were all covered in mud, Tormund’s bright beard was a dull brown with it, but they all seemed in good spirits.

“What did you think of rugby then?” Sandor asked as he came up to her and she couldn’t help but grin at his mud splattered face. Despite the chilly October air he was only wearing a t-shirt and his muscular arms were covered in mud, as was the rest of his body, making her step back when he came too close. “What? No victory hug?”

She saw the teasing glint in his eyes and the twitch of his lip and it made her smile despite her shaking her head. His mouth pulled into a smirk and she shrieked when he lunged for her. His thick, deep laugh made her giggle as he reached for her again and she leapt out of reach.

“No! You’re filthy!” she cried out in protest but she couldn’t stop laughing and it gave him enough advantage to reach out a hand and drag his mud covered fingers down her cheek. She gasped in indignation at his proud smirk. “You are in so much trouble…”

Her low warning was met with a huge smile that even made his grey eyes twinkle with mirth and she tried to keep her eyes glaring at him in anger but that damned tug was there again, making the corner of her lips twitch as she fought her own smile.

“Worth it.” His eyes turned warm and heated as he took a step closer and he ducked his head down to press a quick kiss to her lips. It probably got some more mud on her face but in that moment Sansa couldn’t care at all. She could only smile as she held Sandor’s eyes in hers.

“So pints at Davos’ bar, you guys in?” Bronn suggested, his voice sounded almost distant to Sansa even though he was standing right next to them. She only had eyes for Sandor and maybe it was insane, maybe it was too soon. But she was pretty sure she would only have eyes for him from now on.

What does time matter when he looks at me like that?

“I was promised a date,” Sansa said softly and Sandor’s lip twitched again as he nodded. From the corner of her eyes she saw his friends grinning at each other and she suspected that they would have a lot of questions for their friend. Sandor ignored them, keeping his focus on Sansa.

“Right you were. We better head out then.”

Chapter Text

Since he was covered in mud Sansa wasn’t surprised when he suggested they ate at his place so that he could shower. Sansa would be lying if she didn’t admit to being curious about the dinner he had promised would impress her. Most of all though she was excited about the fact that she was going to see his home.

Sandor was quiet again during the drive but Sansa didn’t mind it, she felt like she didn’t need to fill the silence with chatter. It was strange being this comfortable with him already but she didn’t want to question it.

When he parked outside of an apartment building not far from hers she saw him watching her reaction from the corner of his eye and she turned her head to give him a genuine smile. It was an older building but it was in good condition and it looked like it had six apartments by her count of the balconies. When he got out of the car she followed and her heart jumped in her chest when he reached out his hand to take hers. She had to bite her lip to keep in a squeal when he interlaced their fingers and she felt like she floated up the stairs to the third floor.

“It’s not much…” he started as he dropped his bag on the floor with a thud to free one hand to pull his keys out of his pocket. It sounded almost like he was apologising and she wanted to assure him that she was sure his place was lovely but she felt pretty sure that he would only scoff at her. So instead she squeezed his hand and allowed him to pull her inside his apartment.

They stepped right into an open floor plan. To the left white kitchen cabinets covered one wall and on the right he had a big black leather couch and a big tv. He had a small kitchen table for two that stood to the side and she realised everything was in black, grey and white. It looked nice but there were no paintings on the walls, no pictures that made this place stand out as his.

“I’m gonna hit the shower. There is beer in the fridge. I have a bottle of red in the wine stand if you prefer that or…” Sansa turned her head to smile at him and for the second time that day the big man blushed and the fact that he was nervous made her feel calmer.

“I’ll manage until you’re done. Should I start with the food while you shower?” she asked and his free hand moved to cup her cheek and she didn’t care if it caused even more mud to streak her face. The touch was tender, as was the look in his eyes as he leaned down to brush his lips against hers.

“In order to impress you with my cooking skills I need to do everything myself.” She smiled up at him and stepped back as he cleared his throat. He grunted once before turning around and headed down the short hallway. He opened the door on the end, that she figured was the bathroom door and closed it behind him.

For a moment Sansa just stood there in his space, wondering what this actually meant. He had called it a date, and the thought of that made butterflies erupt in her stomach. But she was also confused. She had never had a casual relationship in her life, she had never slept with a guy this fast. It was all backwards for her. Would Sandor be interested in a relationship or was this weekend going to be all he wanted?

Gods, I hope not.

Sansa felt so sure that the surge she felt whenever their eyes locked was more than just physical attraction. There was a connection between them, something more, she could feel it. Perhaps he would think her crazy if she actually said it outloud but she could see it in his eyes, how much he wanted her. And that was something to build on.

Don’t go moving too fast. You’ll ruin it before it can even begin.

To keep herself from overthinking she turned towards the kitchen to get herself something to drink. It felt wrong to open the wine bottle on her own so she turned towards the fridge for a beer and on the fridge was two pictures. Sansa’s eyes caught on the picture of Sandor with his arm around the shoulders of a dark haired woman, who had to be rather tall based on how she reached past Sandor’s shoulders. For a split second there was a pang of jealousy at how comfortable and happy they looked together. Sandor had his face turned towards the woman, his unscarred side towards the camera and the smile on his face was nothing short of ecstatic.

Sansa shook her head in hopes of clearing away the awful feeling. No way that Sandor would bring her back to his place if he had a girlfriend, or a wife. She didn’t really know him but it just felt wrong to even imagine him doing something so awful.

Her eyes moved to the second picture and it was a sonogram. Immediately Sansa’s eyes moved down to the corner and there in plain font was the name “Ellen Clegane”.

“His sister.” The words left Sansa’s mouth in a relieved sigh and as she turned her attention back towards the other picture she looked at it with new eyes. There was an obvious resemblance between the two now that she knew to look for it. They had the same dark hair, similar grey eyes and Sansa remembered him telling her that they had raised each other.

Forgoing the beer Sansa’s feet took her towards the bathroom and before she knew what she was doing she was knocking on the door. She heard the water being shut off before Sandor’s voice rang out.

“Yeah?” Perhaps she imagined the shaky nervous tilt to his deep voice but the responding flutter in her chest told her she hadn’t.

“Eh… I have mud on my face,” she said and gritted her teeth to keep from cursing out loud at herself and how pathetic she sounded. “Is it alright if I come in and wash it off?”

“Ye… Sure.” He cleared his throat and as she opened the door she held her breath. The bathroom was small, just a toilet, sink and shower. The shower walls were made of frosted glass so she could only see his silhouette, but even through the glass the sheer size of him was impressive.

He had his face turned towards the door and her and she gave him a nervous smile before turning towards the sink. She couldn’t keep in the indignant gasp as she saw the long streaks of mud caked on her cheek. There was a deep chuckle from the shower and she turned her head to scowl at him. She wasn’t sure if it had the desired effect through the glass because there was another chuckle from him.

“You let me walk around in public looking like this?” she asked and she tried to sound angry but she couldn’t keep in a giggle as she looked at her reflection again.

“Why would you give a shit if people saw you with some dirt on your face?” he asked and she was about to open her mouth and explain it to him when he continued under his breath. “I thought you looked cute.”

She snapped her head towards the shower but before she could say anything he had turned the water on again and she was left there just looking at him for a moment and her mind drew blank. She needed to come up with something to cut the heavy silence between them.

“Are you going to be an uncle?” As soon as the words left Sansa’s mouth she wished she could take them back. She didn’t want him to think that she was snooping or prodding him. “I… I saw the sonogram on the fridge and… I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to prod…”

“Yeah.” He cut off her stuttered apology and his deep voice rang out over the sound of the water. “In about 4 months. Ellen’s raising the baby on her own because the motherfucker ran with his dick between his legs as soon as he got the news. That’s why I moved down here a few months ago. Not sure what fucking help I can be but I figured I’d be better then none.”

She could only stare at the form of this large imposing man through the frosted glass for a long moment. There were no words to respond to what he had told her. He had said it so casually, as if it was no big deal. When in fact, it was huge, and selfless and Sansa was so happy that he was the man he was. That he had gotten his sister’s news and not hesitated to move his life and his business for her. Because if not for that Sansa would never have met him.

It was obvious by the way he kept talking about himself that he didn’t think highly of himself and Sansa wished that there was something she could say or do to make him understand how wonderful he was to her. She barely knew him and chances were that there were sides of him that she wouldn’t be as happy about, but in this moment there was only warmth in her chest. A warmth that spread down her body to settle in her core, making her ache for him in a way that surprised her with its intensity.

Before she could overthink it her hands grasped the hem of her sweater and pulled it over her head, pulling her shirt and bralette with it. There was a loud thud as the clothing hit the white tile floor and she could feel Sandor’s eyes on her as she shimmied out of her pants. There was a surprised gasp as she pushed her underwear down and pulled the shower door open. Sandor’s eyes were wide and the grey of his irises turned almost black as his eyes moved up and down her body.

“Is this okay?” she asked and his eyes snapped up to her face so fast that he almost hit his head on the showerhead. The shower wasn’t large, there were barely twofeet between them and she could feel the heat from the water that was still gushing but she was pretty sure that some of that heat came from Sandor and she wanted nothing more than to press herself against him.

“Fuck…” His hands flew out to grasp her hips as he pulled her into his chest. She shivered at the feel of his hairy chest against hers and she lifted her hands to caress the warm wet skin of his upper chest and shoulders.

Sandor tilted his head down to look at her and water droplets fell down his face and onto hers as his eyes held hers. There was a look of amazement in them as well as that unmistakable heat.

“Sandor…” he swallowed the sound of his name with his mouth and as one of his large hands dragged up her back until it cupped the back of her head, keeping her face against his. In response one of her hands pushed into his wet hair and a low growl reverberated from his chest when her fingers caught in a tangle. She did it again and felt his teeth bite into her bottom lip. There was a slight sting that pulled a needy whine from her and the hand still on her hip slid down to grasp her butt, pressing her even closer to him.

She felt his hardness against her stomach and the rush from knowing the power she had on him made her pull her mouth away from his. She used the grip on his hair to tilt his head back and as the hot water rushed down his scalp Sansa’s mouth trailed wet kissed across his jaw and down his neck. When she reached the spot where his neck met his shoulder she dragged her teeth along it before biting slightly.

A sharp gasp escaped his mouth as her tongue came out to soothe the sting and she smiled against his wet skin. It was such a rush to have this large giant of a man that was so strong, be so affected by her. How a simple touch, the hand still on his shoulder moved down his chest making his breath hitch as her fingertips skated down his abdomen, could create such a reaction. Her fingers were mere inches away from where he was pressed hot and warm against her when he spun them around so that she was beneath the spray of the shower.

She gasped as the hot water fell on her and turned her hair a dark shade of auburn. Sansa turned her face up to look at him and found him looking down at her with a different kind of glow in his eyes. He took a slight step backwards and despite the warm water she instantly missed his heat. She wanted to pull him back against her but before she could he bent down and dragged his mouth down her throat until he reached one of her breasts. He looked up at her before dropping to his knees and taking her nipple into his mouth. The force of his lips and tongue made her grasp his shoulders for support as her knees shook.

His other hand moved down to join the other on her butt and then his mouth made a trace down her stomach and she couldn’t look away. Having Sandor on his knees before her, his long dark hair and muscles wet made Sansa feel such a need for him that she released a whine as he grabbed her knee and placed it over his shoulder.

“Sansa…” his hot breath hit her lower lips just a second before his tongue did and she cried out as the sudden pleasure surged through her. He moved his tongue along her lips until it reached her entrance and dragged it back to her clit.

Sansa threw her head back, causing the water to hit her face as he pushed one long finger inside of her and she felt such a rush of heat that was almost overwhelming. With a whine she pushed him away from her core and he turned his head up to look at her. His finger was still inside of her and as he slowly pushed the finger in and out of her his eyes held hers. When he added another finger she moaned loud enough that she would have been embarrassed had it not been for how good it felt.

“Sandor, I need you…” she gasped out and the sound that her words pulled from him was a cross between a whine and a growl. He pulled his fingers out of her and gently placed her leg back down on the floor. He held her hips as he stood and she reached up to grasp his head and pressed her mouth firmly against his. He pulled away with a curse and she frowned at him as he moved to turn away.

“Condom,” he grunted as he opened the shower door and he was only gone for a second. Sansa heard him close a bathroom cabinet and then he returned with a foil package in his hand that he opened and slowly slid it on. She pulled him to her by his head and his strong arm wrapped around her back as their mouths crashed together. There was such an intense need building in her that Sansa had never experienced with anyone before and it felt so right to be there in his arms.

They pulled apart enough for him to be able to lift her with his firm grip on her butt and align him with her entrance. He pushed her back against one shower wall and as he thrust up into her she held onto his shoulders. Sansa wrapped her legs around him as she rolled her hips in time with his thrust and as their pace picked up he pushed the palm of his hand against the glass next to her head to keep his balance.

Her mouth surged up to press against his and as the heat built in her she felt her pace become more and more frantic and as she reached her peak she was panting into his mouth. His eyes went wide and a whine escaped his mouth as her walls clenched around him and it was the most amazing sight to behold. As she came down from her high she enjoyed the way he held onto her and looked straight into her eyes as he slowed his pace.

“How the fuck can I have this?” he asked and she couldn’t help but wonder why that question came out in this moment when she could tell, by the way she felt his whole body shake beneath her hands, that he was close to his peak. She frowned in confusion and he grunted as he thrust slowly up into her. “Have this with you?”

She wasn’t sure what he was asking. She wasn’t sure what he wanted her to say, if he even wanted an answer but she pressed her forehead against his and ghosted her lips over her mouth with a soft exhale. She moved her hands from his shoulders down his back and stroked it softly in hopes of reassuring him.

“Well you do Sandor. You have this. You have me.” There was a wounded sound that burst through his mouth and she couldn’t keep from stealing it with her mouth. The movement of his hips picked up again and as they kissed she swallowed his cry of pleasure as he came.

For a long time they held each other, their lips softly kissing while they were still joined but after a while the water started to turn cold and Sandor gently put her feet down. She looked up at him and the softness in his eyes made her smile gently up at him. He responded with a smile of his own and then he dragged his thumb across her cheek with a slight chuckle.

“You had some mud on your face,” he explained and she leaned her forehead against his chest as her shoulders shook with laughter. She felt his responding laughter and then the water was shut off and he wrapped his arms around her. He lifted her feet off the ground as he carried her out of the shower and she giggled when he placed her feet down on the floor again.

He handed her a towel that almost swallowed her as she wrapped it around herself and as they both dried off Sansa enjoyed another moment of companionable silence. She watched from the corner of her eye how Sandor dried off and brushed his hair without ever turning towards the mirror and her heart ached at the pain he must have gone through due to his scars.

In hopes of keeping herself from thinking too hard about it she wrapped her arms around him from behind and squeezed him as tightly as she could. His hand came to rest above hers on his stomach and she pressed a soft kiss to the skin between his shoulder blades.

“You hungry?” he asked and there was a slight tremble to his voice that made her feel more sure of the connection she felt being mutual.

“Starving,” she answered and he pulled out of her embrace only to grab her hand and tug her with him into his bedroom. It was a simple room, white walls and a neatly made bed. There was a dark dresser and on it she saw items that seemed personal. There was a framed concert ticket from a festival and what looked like a really old pocket watch, engraved with what seemed to be a sigil with three dogs.

“Do you want to borrow something to wear?” his question made her snap her head towards him and he scratched the back of his neck as he ducked his head down. “If you want, I mean. Nevermind. I’ll get your clothes from the bathroom.”

Sandor dropped the t-shirt he had been holding on the bed and hurried past her without lifting his eyes and Sansa had to bite her lip to keep in the giggle. Sandor was adorable when flustered and she couldn’t help herself from picking up the discarded t-shirt and pulled it over her head. It was a soft grey cotton shirt and so large that it reached her knees, the best part was how it smelled like him.

A surprised grunt made Sansa turn around and Sandor stood in the doorway, his towel hung low on his hip and her clothes in a pile in his arms. She felt her cheeks heat up as she watched the muscles of his arms move as he put her clothes down on the bed. He didn’t say anything about her wearing his shirt, instead he simply pulled a new one out of the dresser for himself as well as a pair of black pants. He held up a pair of black shorts to her and choked on a laugh as she held them up. She could easily fit in one of the pant legs and with a laugh she threw them back at him.

“Don’t laugh at me! I am not the giant!” She mock-scolded as she grabbed her panties and unceremoniously pulled them up her legs. Her black pants followed and once she was dressed she pushed her wet hair over her shoulder and quickly braided it.

She felt Sandor’s eyes on her the whole time, staring as if he was fascinated and as she tied it off she stepped towards him. He looked at her with focused eyes that he closed as she dragged her fingers through his dark hair.

“I could braid yours if you like?” he opened an eye to give her a suspicious look and she smiled softly at him. “Just a plain braid. I think it would look really good.”

He opened his mouth as if to protest but she dragged her fingers against his scalp and his words were replaced with something very close to a purr. With a heavy sigh he sat down on the edge of the bed and she climbed onto it to sit behind him. For a long time she simply dragged her fingers through it to untangle it and Sandor seemed to relax more and more by the minute. As she braided his hair she hummed softly and smiled as one of his large hands reached back to rest his palm on her thigh.

“I could get used to this…” the words were barely above a whisper but loud enough for Sansa to hear and her heart practically jumped in her chest. She saw him stiffen, as if he was caught off guard by his own words and she wrapped her arms around his shoulders from behind and rested her chin on his shoulder.

“That was my plan all along,” she whispered against the side of his face and there was a dark chuckle that shook his body.

“Don’t need no plan to get me to want you around.” Sansa pressed her face against his neck to hide the furious blush on her cheeks but she couldn’t help but smile against his warm skin. “I want you around for as long as you want to be.”

“What if I said I wanted that indefinitely?” she held her breath as she waited for his response and she felt him relax against her before lifting his large hand to tug at the end of her braid.

“Then I’d say I am a fucking lucky bastard.” Maybe it was crazy, feeling this close to someone she didn’t really know. Maybe it was naive to think that this could be the beginning of something amazing. But as Sandor led her into his kitchen and served her a glass of wine before starting with dinner, she didn’t feel naive.

What she felt as she leaned against his counter and he turned his head away from the thai chicken stir fry he was making to smile at her, was happiness. He made her happy and excited over what this, them, could become.

Their start might have been an unconventional one. It might have developed in a way that was completely foreign and new to her. But she didn’t regret getting locked out and meeting him. She realised that what she had originally thought had been a horrible case of bad luck had led to one of the best things she had in her life right now.

“What are you smiling about?” he teased as he moved to reach for something in the cabinet above Sansa’s head. She tilted her head up to look at him and he cocked his eyebrow at her curiously.

“I’m just smiling because I’m happy.” Her words pulled a smile from him, a smile that she gave a light kiss, only to have him pushing his tongue into her mouth and making her head spin. After a long moment he pulled away and he grinned at her dazed face.

“Why are you smiling?” she asked with a teasing twinkle in her eyes and he chuckled before he shrugged his shoulders.

“I guess because I’m happy too.”