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Everything I Wanted

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"How does it feel, my queen?" Joffrey taunted. "You finally have everything you ever wanted, don't you?"

"Yes, your grace." The little bird stared straight ahead, her face blank.

Sandor stood still as a statue behind the high table. His jaw was tight and his hand flexed on the hilt of his sword.

"Well? How do you feel?"

"Very happy, your grace."

Sandor almost snorted at that, but managed to turn it to a cough. The king glanced over his shoulder at his guard, an evil smile on his face.

"You'll be a good wife to me, won't you Sansa?" The twat turned back to the girl.

"I will try, your grace."

"Good. You know what will happen if you disappoint me, don't you? You remember what I told you?"

The girl glanced back at Sandor, and the fear that broke her serene mask made his blood run cold.

"I remember, your grace." She quickly faced forward again.

"Good." The king leaned back, giving Sansa a triumphant look. "I hope you know that I meant it."

"I do, your grace. I pray I do not displease you."

Joffrey stood then, going to dance with some lady or other.

"What did he tell you, little bird?" Sandor's question was barely more than a whisper.

She shook her head and didn't answer, eyes downcast.

"I can take you away from here." He took a small step forward and lowered his voice further. "I can keep you safe."

"It's too late." She replied, even quieter than him.

He frowned down at her but didn't reply, stepping back against the wall again. He felt sick, thinking about the cunt of a king violating his little bird. She would lose her last spec of innocence this night, and there was naught to be done about it. For one insane moment he considered throwing her over his shoulder and making a run for it.

He sneered at himself for the thought; the only thing that would accomplish would be getting both of them executed. Then again, the girl may very well wish she was dead by the time dawn broke either way.

The feast dragged on and on, each minute felt like an hour. Sandor reminded the girl a couple times to drink her wine.

"It'll make it easier, girl. Trust me."

She obeyed each time, draining her goblet immediately. Every time Joffrey glanced her way, Sandor felt sure he was about to call for the bedding ceremony. It seemed the twat wanted to drag out the wait, give the girl as much time as possible to stew on what was coming.

After a while, Joffrey called for quiet. Sandor watched him expectantly, waiting.

"Dog! Bring my queen to me." He called, an evil gleam in his eye.

Sansa hesitated, then rose to her feet. Sandor took her by the arm and led her around the table.

"Just ask me, girl, and I'll get you far away from her." He muttered to her, then crossed the room to Joffrey. She curtsied when they reached him.

"Ser Meryn, take my wife to my chamber. Come, dog." The king turned on his heel and left the hall.

Meryn Trant quickly crossed the room and grabbed Sansa's arm, much rougher than Sandor had, and dragged her behind him out of the hall. Sandor followed after a moment, his heart pounding. What was the meaning of this? Sandor had been sure that the king would've called for a proper bedding ceremony, more humiliation for the little bird.

The group reached the Kings chambers quickly, Sandor's hand on the hilt of his sword the whole way. He was more tempted now to kill Trant and the king, and sneak the little bird away. This was his only chance to save her with her honor intact.

They reached the Kings chambers quickly, Joffrey leading the way into the room. Trant pushed the girl into the room, and she stumbled, but caught herself on a table. She was pale and shaking, and looked fearfully at Joffrey.

"Bar the door, Dog." Joffrey instructed, eyes on Sansa. "Ser Meryn," he continued as Sandor barred the door, "please remind my queen what happens to traitors."

Sandor's head snapped around just in time to see Trant hit the little bird across the face, sending her tumbling to the ground. He watched in horror as Trant beat the girl, yanking her to her feet just to send her back to the ground a second later.

"That's enough." Sandor said hoarsely after some time.

"It's not." Joffrey countered, never taking his eyes off Sansa. "She needs to know what will happen if she ever betrays me."

"She knows." Sandor growled.

Joffrey ignored him. "Ser Meryn, unburden my queen of her gown."

Sandor closed his eyes as Trant drew his dagger and cut open the ties on the back of her dress, pushing it roughly down her thin body. Sansa sobbed and Sandor gritted his teeth. Until this moment, he'd thought Gregor was the most evil person who'd ever lived, but this little cunt of a king was quickly proving him wrong.

"Dog!" Joffrey barked, and Sandor opened his eyes. "Don't you want to see my lovely wife? Don't look away."

Sandor looked back at the girl. Her face was bright red with shame, tears streaming down her face, and attempting to cover her breasts with her arms as Trant pulled the shredded remains of her dress from her body.

"Don't cover yourself." Joffrey instructed.

Trant grabbed her arms and wrenched them away from her body when she didn't obey and the girl sobbed again, beginning to hyperventilate. Bruises were already blooming over her pale skin where Trant had hit her.

"Obey your king, girl." Trant instructed, then released her arms.

She dropped her arms limply to her sides as she cried, her eyes squeezed shut. She stood in just her small clothes now, the color of her shame creeping down her neck and chest.

"Please, Ser Meryn… continue your warning." Joffrey said, seating himself in a high backed chair and pulling at the laces of his breeches.

That little shit was going to take himself in hand while Trant beat his bride. Sandor took a deep breath to steady himself, closing his eyes for a moment. He opened them again when Sansa whimpered and hit the floor again. Trant kicked her swiftly in the gut and Sansa gasped and coughed, unable to catch her breath before Trant seized her by the elbow and wrenched her back to her feet. Sandor was about to object again when Joffrey spoke.

"Stop." He commanded. "Come here, Sansa."

Sansa rose shakily to her feet and approached Joffrey, keeping her eyes down. Her entire body would be black and blue in the morning, Sandor was sure.

"Now… will you be a good wife to me, Sansa?" Joffrey was still stroking his shockingly small member.

"Y-y-yes, your g-grace." Sansa choked out through her sobs.

"You'll not run away, will you?" He was taunting her now. "You'll not betray me? Ever?"

"N-no, your grace. I p-p-promise. I won't d-do any t-treason, I swear it."

"Do you promise to obey me always?"

"Y-yes, your grace. I promise."

"Good." Joffrey grinned evilly. "Ser Meryn, you may go. Dog, bar the door behind him."

Sandor glared at Trant as he left the room, looking smug. Sandor barred the door and turned back to the king and his little bird.

"Now, sweet wife…" Joffrey let out a shrill giggle and Sansa cringed at the sound. "Get down on your knees."

Sansa hesitated for a heartbeat, then sank to her knees, staring at Joffrey with wide eyes.

"Come closer." Sansa scooted closer to him, shooting a terrified look at his manhood. He grabbed her by the hair and forced her head down into his lap. "Take it in your mouth, Sansa. Yes, that's it, like the little whore you are."

Sansa choked out another sob as she sucked the king cunts member, tears continuing to roll down her cheeks as she bobbed on him. Joffrey firmly wrapped his hand in the hair at the nape of her neck and forced her down. She choked and gagged, but composed herself and continued.

Sandor wanted nothing more at that moment than to cross the room and rid the little cunt of his head. There was no one but the girl to witness it, and the boy certainly wouldn't be able to stop him. He could plunge his sword into the idiot king's belly before he even knew what was happening. But Sandor was frozen to the spot. He screamed at his feet to move, screamed at his hands to draw a sword, but his body wouldn't obey.

Joffrey began to groan under her attentions, his hand tightening in her hair. He forced her head all the way down as he climaxed, and Sansa choked again as he spilled down her throat.

"You stupid little bitch." Joffrey pushed her roughly away from him and stood. Sansa fell back against the hard stone floor, shaking like a leaf again. "How am I to claim your maidenhead if you've already brought me to completion?" He demanded of her.

"I'm s-sorry, your grace. I didn't mean to." Sansa whimpered.

"Mother says a king should never hit his lady." Joffrey said, taking a step back. "Dog?" He turned expectantly to Sandor.

"No." Sandor choked out.

"No?" The king repeated. He hadn't laced his breeches back up and it was an absurd sight, this petulant child staring indignantly at his guard with his limp member hanging out.

"No." Sandor repeated. "The girl is black and blue already, your grace. Surely she expected you to stop her."

Sansa shot him a grateful look behind Joffrey's back, and quickly looked down again when Joffrey turned back to her.

"I did, your grace. It was so stupid, I know, but I thought you would tell me when to stop." The girl whispered, staring at the floor.

Joffrey considered her for a moment, then a wicked smile broke across his face.

"Of course you did, my queen."

Sansa flinched at the words, and Sandor knew that she could sense just as much as he did, that Joffrey had something worse in mind.

"Sweet wife, get on the bed." Joffrey instructed.

Sansa hesitantly rose to her feet and clambered to the middle of the bed. She pulled her knees to her chest and wrapped her arms around her legs, watching Joffrey fearfully.

"Since you've rendered me unable, my dog shall take your maidenhead." Joffrey announced, an evil smirk on his face.

"Your grace!" Sansa objected. "Please, your grace, you said you wouldn't bring the Hound to my bed unless I disappointed you!"

Sandor's blood turned to ice. So that was the threat he'd made that the little bird didn't want to tell him earlier.

"But you have disappointed me, Sansa." Joffrey said sweetly, approaching the bed. "Anyways, someone has to take your maidenhead. We can't very well have the maids remove clean sheets from my bed on the morrow, what would they say about their king?"

Renewed sobs wracked Sansa's body and she buried her face in her hands. Sandor was still frozen to the spot.

"Well, Dog?" Joffrey said expectantly, turning to Sandor.

He stared back at the king in shock. "Your grace," he said slowly, "mayhap you should take some time to consider-"

"I've considered enough!" Joffrey shouted, his face going red at being disobeyed. "You WILL fuck my queen this night, dog."

Sandor moved his gaze back to the girl. She looked so tiny like that, naked but her smallclothes and wrapped around herself as she sobbed. Nothing about that picture was remotely arousing, how could the king possibly expect him to do this?

"Dog!" Joffrey said again. Sandor returned his gaze to the king and once again was tempted to run him through with his sword. Joffrey took a step back and crossed his arms. "Well," he said warningly. "If you refuse, I suppose I could call Ser Meryn back and have you beheaded as a traitor."

"No!" Sansa cried, and Joffrey's head snapped back around to her, eyes narrowed. Sandor shot her a warning look. "Please your grace, mayhap if you just wait a few minutes, you'll be ready to take me yourself? I don't want any man but you, my king." Sansa said hurriedly at the looks from Joffrey and himself.

Sandor almost gagged at the words, but knew it was all just for show, to cover her slip; she couldn't very well have Joffrey knowing she'd rather have the Hound in her bed than Trant, otherwise he'd surely call Trant back regardless.

"No." Joffrey said, turning back to Sandor. "What will it be, dog?"

Sandor looked again to the little bird and she nodded once, trying for a small smile. The sight made him sick, but he nodded once in return. The relief on the girl's face was clear, and she buried her face back in her hands as Joffrey turned back toward her.

Sandor slowly removed his sword belt from his hips, then the sling holding his longsword across his back, leaning both weapons against the wall next to the door. Joffrey seemed satisfied and walked across the room to his basin to clean himself. Sansa peeked at him between her fingers, then at Sandor. She raised her face slightly, and mouthed 'thank you.'

He swallowed the bile that rose in his throat at that and averted his eyes as he began unbuckling his armor. Thanking him for raping her in place of Meryn fucking Trant, he almost wanted to laugh at how ludicrous this situation was.

He dropped the outermost layer of his armor to the floor and looked back at the girl. She was still curled around herself, but her tears were slowing and her face returning to it's normal color. Sandor cursed quietly; she was likely just all cried out, of course, but he worried that Joffrey would mistake her lack of tears for willingness. They would both lose their heads if that thought occurred to the boy king.

His chainmail dropped to the floor with a loud clunking, and Joffrey turned from the basin. He had laced himself back up now, and walked back toward the bed. Sandor pulled his linen tunic over his head and took a few steps toward the bed.

"Make her bleed, dog." Joffrey instructed, then dropped back into his chair to watch.

Sandor swallowed thickly and climbed onto the bed, moving on his knees toward the girl. She looked frightened again, and Sandor wanted to scream.

"Ask me." He breathed, and she shook her head almost imperceptibly. What the hell was she playing at?

"Go on, then." Joffrey called from his chair.

Sandor closed his eyes as he tugged at the ties to his breeches and pulled out his flaccid member. He opened his eyes again, and gave Sansa's shoulder a gentle push. She followed his touch and laid back on the bed, her face bright red again as she dropped her arms to her sides. She turned her face away from him. With shaking hands, he reached for the ties on her small clothes and quickly removed them.

He looked at her scared, beautiful face for a moment, then lowered his eyes to her cunt. He felt his cock twitch and silently admonished himself for becoming aroused; it was sick, he was sick, for becoming hard for her when she was so unwilling.

He grasped his manhood with one hand to stroke himself to full hardness, and lowered the other hand to her folds. He almost cursed out loud for how dry she was. There was no way around hurting her like this. He was about to have something in common with Gregor, he realized bitterly; he too had raped a queen.

Without really thinking about it, his fingers found her little nub, circling it gently as he raised his other hand from his cock and spat into his palm. Sansa bit her lip as his fingers worked her and he spread his saliva on his member.

"Do it already!" Joffrey shouted from his chair.

Sandor lowered his body over hers. "I'm sorry, little bird." He murmured in her ear, then thrust into her all at once.

She screamed in anguish, her hands flying to his biceps and squeezing her nails into his flesh. Sandor groaned in spite of himself at the feel of her; so tight, and so warm. He waited for the space of a few breaths, trying to let her adjust, but he had to begin moving before Joffrey had his head for being gentle with the girl.

As Sandor began to move, he raised one hand to his mouth, coating two fingers in saliva, and lowered them back to her nub. He said a silent prayer for the king not to notice, but he had to get the girl wet.

Her face was twisted in pain and her fingers still dug painfully into his arms. He exhaled heavily when he felt her channel get wetter under his attentions to her nub, but her face was still contorted.

"Breathe, girl." He reminded her softly. "Try to relax."

She let out a huge exhale and her fingers flexed on his arms. Tears were streaming freely again and Sandor closed his eyes at the sight. He'd imagined taking the girls maidenhead many times, of course, but his fantasies were nothing like this. In his fantasies, he always brought her to peak with his mouth before he pushed into her, she squealed with pleasure and shouted his name, she clung to him and begged him not to stop, she was a willing fucking participant.

A surge of hate rolled through him; hate for himself, hate for Joffrey, hate for the buggering Gods for putting them both in this situation. He'd never be able to think about her like that again without remembering this night, and she'd always associate him with being violated and defiled. He felt the corners of his eyes beginning to prickle and shook himself. He had to keep control over his emotions, for himself and the little bird.

He opened his eyes again and looked down at her face. She was biting her bottom lip hard, her brow furrowed, but she met his gaze.

"I'm sorry." He breathed again and she squeezed his arms in response. He dropped his head to her shoulder. "Don't stop crying if you like your head where it is, little bird." He rasped in her ear, though deep down he felt slightly relieved that what he was doing didn't feel terrible for her.

He felt her nod slightly, and dropped one of his hands to her leg, hiking her thigh up roughly and holding it in place with a strong hand on the back of her knee.

She let out a soft cry and Sandor's eyes snapped to her with a warning look; that was a cry of pleasure, not pain.

"Please stop." Sansa whimpered to cover the moment, throwing her head back only a second later.

"Get it together, girl." He growled to her, his hand flexing on her leg.

She was wet enough now, and Sandor sat back on his knees, roughly pulling her closer by the hips, and increased his speed. He had to get this over with, for both their sakes. Her fingers twisted into the sheets on either side of her, her face contorted again but not with pain. He closed his eyes and tried to forget where they were, the circumstances that led them here. In his mind, she was willingly his. Joffrey didn't sit behind them, Joffrey didn't even exist. It was just him and his little bird, far away and safe from everyone who would hurt her, who would use him to hurt her.

His fingers found their way back to her nub of their own accord, circling it in time with his thrusts.

"Oh gods, no, please stop it!" Sansa cried and Sandor's eyes snapped back to hers. Her face was twisted up again, but her eyes betrayed her to him alone; she was close to climax.

He growled softly, tensing his hold on her leg as his hips and his fingers both increased pace. Sansa screamed as she peaked, and Sandor's hand flew to her throat, squeezing down to stifle her cries as he pounded into her. He felt another surge of her wetness as her cunt clenched down around him, and he roared his own release, shuddering and squeezing her throat.

He released her throat and backed away from her as soon as he came back to himself, panting hard. He gave Sansa a stern look and she remembered herself and her situation, rolling to her side and curling up as she began to cry again.

Sandor felt sick, disgusted with himself as he tucked himself away and tied his breeches, eyes on the deep red stain on the sheets where she'd lain just a moment before.

"Take my queen back to her chambers, dog." Joffrey ordered suddenly.

Sandor glanced over at the twat king, then moved around the bed and pulled Sansa up by her elbows. She was putty in his hands and he cursed quietly.

"Get up, girl." He growled at her, and she swung her legs around and stood shakily.

Sandor glanced around for her dress and his heart sank when he saw the tattered remains of her wedding gown on the floor.

"What's she to cover herself with?" Sandor demanded of the king, who was lazily stretching his arms over his head.

"Why cover her at all?" Joffrey smirked and Sandor glowered.

He glanced at the little bird and saw her face red with shame again as she crossed her arms to cover her breasts. Sandor mumbled curses under his breath as he quickly put his armor back back on, then wrapped Sansa in his white cloak. She clutched it around her slender shoulders, shaking again as he installed his swords back onto his body.

"Aren't you going to kiss your husband goodnight?" Joffrey called mockingly as they started toward the door.

Sansa gulped, then handed his cloak back to him; Joffrey hadn't turned to see that she had it. She crossed the room and bent down, giving Joffrey a chaste kiss on the cheek, then returned to Sandor's side. Joffrey turned to watch them leave and Sandor cursed softly before dragging the naked queen into the hall and slamming the door behind them.

The hall was blessedly empty, but Sandor pulled her around the corner before he wrapped his cloak back around her and lifted her into his arms. She was crying again, her body shaking with sobs.

"I'm so sorry, little bird." He managed to grit out, and she buried her face in his shoulder, crying harder and clinging to him.

Sandor shouldered open the door of her chambers and kicked it shut behind him. He lowered the girl to her feet, but she stayed close, flinging her arms around his neck as she sobbed.

"Hush now, little bird." He whispered into her hair. "It's over now."

"It's not." She whimpered into his neck. "It won't be over until I die."

Sandor's insides twisted at her words, and he clumsily patted her hair. "Don't think like that, girl." He whispered, but he knew she was right.

She shrugged away from his hold and his cloak and walked deeper into the room. She didn't seem to notice her nakedness now as she walked to the door of her balcony. She stopped in the doorway, leaning on the frame. Sandor tried hard not to notice the way the moonlight illuminated her body but felt his cock stirring in spite of himself.

"Let me take you away from here, Sansa." He heard himself rasp. She looked over her shoulder at him, her face blank. "Give me a few weeks to prepare, and I can sneak you away. I can take you north, or across the sea, and keep you safe from him."

A small smile crossed her mouth but didn't touch her dead looking eyes.

"No." She whispered, turning her attention back to the sky. "It's too late for that now."

"It's not too late to save you from the rest of your life with that cunt!" Sandor said harshly, and he could've swore he saw Sansa's bare shoulders shake with a laugh.

"It's been too late since the day my father lost his head." She replied quietly.

Sandor crossed the room silently until he stood right behind her. He didn't know what to say once he got there. He wanted to wrap her up in the safety of his arms, but knew she would feel anything but secure if he pulled her against him now.

She raised her hands and began to pull at the pins in her hair. A few moments later, the entirety of her hair cascaded around her shoulders. She took a step back and leaned into his armored chest. Sandor winced at the contact, then set his hands on Sansa's hips. She hummed softly.

"Do you want to protect me, Sandor?" She asked softly.

He winced again. She'd never used his name before.

"More than anything." He breathed, subconsciously pulling her hips closer to his body. "I don't want anyone to hurt you."

"Keep up the act." Sansa whispered. "I'll keep up the act that I'm scared of you, and you try to keep Joffrey from letting Ser Meryn rape me."

Sandor shuddered at that, and Sansa twisted around to look at him. She raised one hand to his unscarred cheek, then leaned up on her toes to press a chaste kiss just next to his mouth.

"Do your best, Sandor." She whispered, eyes closed. "I trust you."

Sandor felt his heart break then, like a million pieces of glass were falling around his feet. He pulled her close against him in spite of himself, burying his face into her hair.

"I'm so sorry, little bird." He whispered again. "I didn't want it like that, I never wanted to hurt you."

They held each other for some time like that before Sansa pulled away from him. He dropped his arms immediately and took a step back.

"You should go." She whispered, ducking her head.

He nodded silently and moved back to the door. He stopped and looked back at her, standing naked in the middle of her room, her arms hanging at her sides. She gave him a weak smile and he squeezed his eyes shut.

"Bar the door behind me." He rasped as he pulled the door open.

He slipped into the hall, then looked back to make sure she'd followed him to the door. He began to walk away when he saw her sweet face inches from his own.

"Sandor?" She called as he walked away. He turned to look at her. "I'm glad it was you that took me." She said softly.

She didn't meet his eyes and quickly closed the door. Sandor's entire body tensed as he heard her bar the door. He practically ran to his chambers, breaking down as soon as the door was closed behind him. He pounded his fists against the wall and door as he sobbed, not stopping until his knuckles were bruised and bleeding, and the wood of his door dented.

He collapsed to his knees, sobbing uncontrollably into his hands. How could he have done that? He'd raped his little bird, taken her against her will as she cried. It had seemed a kindness in the moment, the lesser of two evils that he take her instead of Ser Meryn. But she was raped either way, never to be the same.

She would look at him with nothing but disgust now, he knew. He should've killed Trant, and the king, and run away with her in the dead of night. She might've fought him at first, but surely she would've preferred the rough life on the road to being raped and degraded. Why did she stop him?

He eventually dragged himself to his bed, crying himself to sleep like a child as he clutched at his pillow.

It was past midday when there was a sharp tap on his door. He'd yelled and thrown a cup at the door, and the maid on the other side croaked that the king had summoned him before she scurried away.

Sandor rose from his bed, feeling as though he might've been a thousand years old. He donned simple leather armor over his tunic, slung his longsword around his back and fasted his sword belt around his hips before he left the room. He moved like he was in a dream to the king's chambers. He wondered fleetingly if he was marching to his own death, but couldn't find it in him to care.

He reached the King's door and knocked twice, then entered without waiting for a response.

"I trust you slept well, dog?" Joffrey said in greeting, an evil smile on his face.

"Very well, your grace." He said, keeping his face and tone void of emotion.

"Good, good." The king said absentmindedly. "I'd like you to fetch my queen, dog. Bring her here to me."

Sandor stiffened and hesitated. "As you wish, your grace." He replied curtly, quickly leaving the room.

He didn't hurry as he made his way through the Castle, but it seemed that only seconds had passed before he was in front of the girls door. He knocked and waited this time.

He heard the latch of the door, and then it opened, Sansa looking up at him.

"My queen." He murmured in greeting, bowing his head.

"My lord." She replied, dipping into a curtsey before she stood back to let him in.

"The king has requested your presence in his chamber." Sandor said as he entered the room, shutting the door behind him.

Sansa's body stilled, and she stiffly turned to face him. He noticed then her black eye and swollen lip.

"Did his grace tell you why he required my presence?" She asked softly.

"He did not, my queen." Sandor replied.

He saw the fear dance across her face before she composed herself, rising to her full height.

"Let us not keep him waiting then, my lord." She replied, moving quickly back to the door.

Sandor caught her arm and crooked his finger under her chin so she would look at him.

"Are you alright, little bird?" He asked softly.

"No." She replied simply, then walked past him into the hall.

She took his arm as he led her back to the king, and Sandor almost shook her off. Surely anyone who saw would think nothing of the queen's hand on the arm of her husband's sworn protector.

"I can get you away from here, little bird." Sandor rasped as they walked. "Just say the word, and I'll free you from your gilded cage."

Sansa didn't reply, but he felt her hand flex on his arm. She dropped her hand from his arm as they reached the corridor of the kings chambers. Sansa took a deep breath, then walked ahead of Sandor to his door. She waited for Sandor to catch up to her and knock, and he opened the door for her. She walked in with her head held high, and Sandor briefly admired her courage.

"My king." She sank to a curtsey before the twat, staying low as she raised her head to meet his gaze.

"There she is, my lovely bride." Joffrey simpered, rising from his chair. "I trust you feel well after last night's events?"

"I am quite well, your grace." She replied immediately. "I appreciate your concern."

Joffrey seemed unsatisfied with her response and quickly dropped all pretense. "Dog," he looked at Sandor. "Unburden my queen of her gown; I'd like to look upon her lovely skin."

Sansa glanced back at him, then swept her hair over her shoulder to give him access to the ties down her back. Frustrating as the ties were, Sandor's dagger stayed at his hip as he fumbled with the ties, finally loosening them enough for the dress to fall. Sansa let the dress fall down her arms without hesitation, and in a moment she stood before the king again in just her small clothes.

Sandor had stepped back as her dress fell, averting his eyes. He didn't like seeing his little bird like this. Joffrey circled her, his eyes raking up and down her slim body. Sandor stole a glance and saw that, as he suspected, most of her body was bruised from the beating Trant had given her.

"I trust you understand now." Joffrey said as he stood again before her.

"I do, your grace." Sansa whispered, eyes downcast.

"Good." Joffrey flopped into his armchair. "I can't help but think I should give you one more reminder, just to make sure the message truly sticks. Dog!"

Sandor stiffened. "Your grace?"

"I think you best take my wife again." Joffrey said, grinning widely.

Sansa didn't look at him, but her face was growing redder.

"Sansa," Joffrey turned back to back to her. "Get on the bed, hands and knees. Let the Hound take you like the dog he is."

Sansa glanced at Sandor then crawled onto the bed, lowering her head in shame as she settled on her hands and knees.

"Go on then, dog." Joffrey said with a laugh.

Sandor's body moved of its own accord as he again removed his weapons and leaned them against the wall. He hated himself. With every fiber of his being, he hated himself as he climbed on the bed behind his little bird. She was shaking like a leaf again and didn't spare him a glance as he pulled her small clothes down. Her little cunt was as purple and bruised as the rest of her body.

His hands trembled as he stroked himself with one hand and touched her folds with the other. She winced away from his touch, whimpering softly. Joffrey laughed. The little bird lowered herself onto her forearms and buried her face in her hands as she began to cry again.

Sandor closed his eyes for a moment, breathing deeply in an attempt to steady himself. He set his hand gently on her hip, rubbing circles with his thumb, and lined himself up. He held his breath as he began to push into her, and she sobbed, squirming away from him on the bed. Sandor felt the corners of his eyes beginning to prickle again as he firmly gripped her hips to keep her in place. He rocked into her slowly, pushing deeper with each thrust.

There was nothing he could do to try to help her this time; Joffrey was pacing around the bed, watching them. He sped up when he felt her start to get slick and she relaxed slightly around him. The king wouldn't stay quiet for long if Sandor kept up this slow pace, he wanted his queen fucked like a bitch.

Sandor swallowed down the bile in his throat and shut his eyes, willing his mind to clear and focus just on the feeling of her around his cock so he could get this over with.

He heard her gasp in pain and opened his eyes, stilling for a half a breath before he realized what was happening; Joffrey had yanked her head back by the hair, forcing her to look at him.

"Do you understand now, wife?" He was sneering in her face. "Do you understand that this will happen to you every time you disobey me?"

"Yes." Sansa whispered in a cracked voice. "I'm sorry I d-displeased you, my k-king."

Joffrey gave her a smug look, then turned his attention to Sandor. "Don't you want to touch her, dog? I've seen the way you look at her. Go on."

Sandor growled, but reached for Sansa's hair. He pulled her roughly against him so her back was against his chest, and she cried out as he pulled her. He wrapped one arm securely around her, resting his palm against her flat belly just below her navel. His other hand circled her throat, but didn't squeeze.

"Fight me, little bird." He murmured in her ear, on the opposite side from where Joffrey stood watching.

Sandor slid his hand down her belly and through her curls, and Sansa began to claw at his arms as he found her nub. He circled it slowly with the pads of his fingers and her hips jerked. Joffrey was laughing hysterically, clapping his hands. Sansa squirmed in Sandor's arms, every time she wiggled away from his hand, she impaled herself further on his cock.

She let out a groan of frustration as she clawed at the back of the hand that was between her legs. "Please don't…" she groaned out, her fingernails digging into his flesh. She leaned her head back on his shoulder and he tightened his grip on her throat slightly.

Joffrey was doubled over laughing now. "You'll peak from the Hound's touch like the little fucking whore you are!" He cackled, and Sandor glanced toward him. "Go on then, my queen."

Joffrey had taken himself in hand again as Sandor raped his wife. Tears continued to stream down Sansa's face as she struggled against Sandor's hold on her. He had no way of knowing whether she was fighting him for show or for true, so he had no choice but to hold her fast against his body.

"Don't think about him," Sandor rasped, his mouth barely touching the hollow behind her ear. "It's just me and you, girl. He doesn't exist. Come for ME, little bird. Come for me."

Her body tensed in his arms and he managed to move his hand from her throat to her mouth as she began to cry out, her body jerking against his as she climaxed. Her hands gripped the arm of the hand that covered her mouth, pulling at him uselessly as her hips jutted and rocked against his.

"Just for me." He rasped into her ear, then withdrew his arms to let her fall forward onto the bed, seizing her hips and pounding hard into her, chasing his own peak now. It was her whimpers and cries that pulled him over the edge, and he felt sick as his hips thrusted hard into hers as he reached completion. One of his hands twisted into her hair as he groaned and jerked into her, spilling himself deep in her belly.

He heard the King cunt reach his own climax behind them and felt another surge of hate roll through him. He squeezed Sansa's hip, hoping she understood that he meant it as an apology, then withdrew from her and rose to his feet. He panted as he tucked himself away, unable to avert his eyes from the little bird's cunt. She was dark and bruised still, his seed dripping from between her folds. Her opening clenched and flexed around nothing as she tried to regain composure, and Sandor put the flat of his palm against his stomach as the sight of her like that made his stomach flip flop within his gut.

He had to escape, to get away, or his stomach would betray his disgust for the king's treatment of the little bird. He managed to grab one of his swords as he fled the room, heaving his supper over the edge of the rampart as he collapsed against it. His right hand clenched on the hilt of his sword as he heaved and retched into oblivion.

He coughed and choked, and barely registered the soft hand between his shoulder blades. He jerked his head around when he returned to himself, and the little bird blushed hard as she withdrew her hand.

"I'm sorry, my lord." She murmured, lowering her gaze.

Sandor glanced around and noticed that his mail and leather armour had been deposited beside him, and the little bird's dress was unlaced; she clutched it against herself to keep her breasts covered.

He sighed heavily as he quickly pulled his tunic back into place, then let his gaze rest on the little bird. Her face and chest were bright red as she clutched her gown against her body. Her gaze was lowered as though he might find some offense in her eyes.

"Turn your back to me." He rasped as he settled on one knee behind her.

She shuddered slightly before she obeyed, still clutching the silk layers to her chest. Sandor's fingers deftly worked the ribbons of her corset, tightening it as best he could, before he knotted the ribbons and tucked them down into her gown.

He rested his forehead briefly against her back, the rose to his feet. He put his armor back on, gave her an apologetic glance, then opened the door to the King's chambers.

"Return my queen to her chambers, Dog." Joffrey commanded at once. "And make sure she doesn't return to court until her face has healed."

"As you wish, your grace." Sandor mumbled as he retreated.

Sansa averted her eyes from him, but took his arm as they started down the corridor. Sandor still felt queasy and kept his eyes cast down. That petulant little boy had given evil new meaning, and Sandor had thought he was familiar with the concept.

He opened the door to Sansa's chamber when they reached it, and he stood back to allow her to enter. She walked in and hesitated, looking back at him.

"I'm sorry." She whispered again, then began to close the door.

Sandor's hand flew out to stop the door. "What the fuck are you sorry for?" He demanded, bewildered.

Sansa turned red again and ducked her head down. "I made you sick." She whispered. "That's what… what Joffrey said, the sight of me made you ill."

Sandor growled and came into the room, closing the door behind him. Sansa stumbled back away from him, terror plain on her face.

"Listen to me, girl." He rasped, dropping to one knee in front of her so they were closer to eye level. "The king made me sick. What he's doing to you made me sick. Fuck, I made myself sick." He carefully grasped her arms and she whimpered softly, eyes closing. "Look at me." He waited for her eyes to reopen, and they shined with tears again. "You are the only thing in this buggering castle that doesn't make me sick. Don't let him break your spirit, little bird."

Tears spilled freely down her face again. "I don't want to be queen anymore." She whispered. "I was so stupid."

"That was years ago, girl." Sandor raised a clumsy hand to brush her tears away. "You were a child, you didn't know any better."

She sobbed and buried her face in her hands. Sandor was tempted to pull her into his arms and try to comfort her, but he was almost certain that would make it worse. She wouldn't want to be anywhere near him, now or ever again.

"Let me take you away from here, Sansa." Sandor urged her quietly. "I can charter a ship, sneak you out of here. I can do it."

"We'll never be safe." She sobbed. "They'd find us and kill us."

"I'll kill them. I'll kill everyone in the fucking castle if I have to." He countered immediately.

"We'd never make it." Sansa shook her head.

"I can't do nothing. Don't ask me to do nothing."

"Please, Sandor!"

He sighed and rose to his feet. She'd be the death of him; he'd either die trying to escape without enough time to prepare, or fling himself from the window of a high tower when he couldn't stand himself any longer. But she lacked choices now; this was the only thing she had any say in, he had to try to respect her wishes. Likely she didn't want to be alone with him while they travelled after being twice raped, and he wouldn't force her to leave with him if she didn't want to.

"Alright, little bird." He said finally, meeting her gaze. She exhaled hard, shoulders slumping in relief. "Promise that you'll tell me if you change your mind. I don't care if it's been years, if you want to leave, I will get you out of here."

"I will, I promise." Sansa nodded.

Sandor sighed again, nodding once as he turned away.

"Where are you going?" Sansa asked, her fingers flying to his sleeve.

"To stand guard." He replied, brow furrowing in confusion.

"Can't you stand guard from in here?" She asked in a small voice, her cheeks turning pink. Sandor regarded her suspiciously and she ducked her head. "I don't want to be alone."

"You don't want to be with me either, girl. I've just raped you, haven't I?"

She flinched and her face burned bright red with shame. "Oh… right. I'm sorry."

Sandor gaped at her. "You've done nothing wrong, little bird. Why the fuck do you keep apologizing to me? I should be begging your forgiveness."

She ducked her head and Sandor left the room, shaking his head and fuming. He heard her tiny voice again as he pulled the door shut.

"Thank you."

He almost doubled back again but thought better of it and snapped the door shut. He took his place in front of the door and clasped his hands together behind his back. He didn't own a watch, he'd never felt the need for one when his job entailed remaining at the beck and call of a demanding child from daybreak until sunset. But now he wished he had one, so he could count the minutes until a shift change when another guard would come to relieve him; he desperately needed to drown some of his hatred and rage in sour red wine before he snapped and hurt someone.

It felt like hours had passed when her maids appeared with water for her bath. He stood back to allow them entry to her chamber and closed the door behind them. Several more long minutes passed when he heard Sansa shout. He couldn't tell what she'd said, but the maids began to scurry from the room before he could decide whether he should enter.

The maids were muttering to themselves as they departed, all sounding annoyed and affronted. Sandor caught the arm of the last to leave and she squeaked in shock when he yanked her back. She gasped as her eyes found his face and quickly lowered her gaze and attempted a curtsey.

"What's wrong with the queen?" He gave the girl a little shake.

"N-nothing, m'lord!" The girl said quickly. "She just said she'd do it herself and dismissed us for the day."

"Then who's to bring her super and ready her for bed?" He asked.

The girl must've understood that he was genuinely asking who would tend to their queen with her maids dismissed, and she straightened up a little.

"I… I suppose I don't know, m'lord." She said slowly. "I'll ask, ser, and if need be I will return meself at dusk."

He nodded in thanks and released her arm, stepping back into position in front of the door. The maid curtsied again and hurried away.

The last day had been one of the worst of Sandor's life. He truly struggled to decide whether the day his brother marked him was worse than this one.

He'd begun by standing sentinel in Joffrey's chambers as his attendants prepared him for his wedding. He'd bade Clegane stand inside the door, and described in detail to his squire all the ways he intended to defile his wife after the feast. At the time Clegane had not understood why the cunt had demanded his presence and then ignored him completely, but he understood now; the King had already planned the rape of his wife and wanted to goad Sandor into a reaction.

Then Joffrey had sent him to escort Sansa's entourage through the Red Keep and to the Sept of Baelor, where the ceremony would take place. Sandor had arrived at the girl's chamber and found the door wide open. Her maids were bustling around excitedly, and Cersei stood near the door with little Myrcella. Myrcella chirped away about how exciting a real wedding would be to witness, and Cersei wore her usual satisfied smirk. He'd cleared his throat and the bustling died down.

"Here to escort the future queen." He'd grunted.

The maids had exploded with excitement at the words, and only then did his little bird turn to face him. They had dressed her up in Lannister colors: red and gold. Her hair was twisted up in the Southron style, and the dress was cut low to expose her cleavage. Even before the ceremony, her eyes looked blank and unseeing.

And then there was the actual ceremony. He stood ever faithful at Joffrey's back as they exchanged their vows, and then was forced to follow him through a crowd of well wishers, congratulating him on his marriage, as Sansa drifted along behind him, ignored by most. No one seemed to notice or care that the new queen was not a happy blushing bride; that he did not hold her husband's hand or arm; or that she did not give reply to the few well wishers who did acknowledge her presence. No one but him.

Sandor had prayed all through the feast for Joffrey to dismiss him, preferably early enough that he could leave the keep and drink himself further into an early grave at a Flea Bottom brothel, and attempt to fuck the pain away. But no, instead he had to listen to Joffrey taunt his bride and promise her a life of anguish and despair.

Gods, raping her was the worst of all. Even worse than watching Trant beat her. The terrified look in her eye when Joffrey gave the instruction, the way she screamed in agony when he took her maidenhead, the smile she tried to reassure him with as he removed his weapons. That tortured little smile. He wanted to retch again as he remembered it but his stomach was blessedly empty.

She had tried to reassure him. She was that good of heart, that she saw the torment on his face at the prospect of raping her, and attempted to tell him that she understood his pain; she understood that he didn't want this any more than she did; she didn't want him.

A renewed wave of self hatred flooded his veins at that. How could he possibly be focusing on that slight rejection? That silent acknowledgment that she didn't want him and never would should not make him want to fall to his knees and scream, but he was shaking with the effort to remain on his feet.

He would've been so good to her if only he'd been given the chance. Mayhap he didn't understand love, per se, but he would've cherished her, honored her, protected her, and worshipped her. She would've wanted for nothing, he'd have made sure of that, and their children, too. He would've learned to be a better man so he could be a better husband; the kind that shared a bed with his wife every night, the kind that kissed her forehead and held her when she cried, the kind that would've made sure every day to kiss every inch of her skin, from the crown of her head to the tips of her toes, so she would know exactly how beautiful she was.

He could almost see the little ones, girls with fiery red hair and charcoal grey eyes, and boys with jet black hair and eyes blue as sapphires. He'd teach them how to protect and defend what was theirs, how to be loyal and fierce. And she'd teach them how to be kind and gentle, the importance of stopping to smell a flower or thanking a servant for their work.

The fantasy life that they would never share had never been so vivid as it was now. He would've relived the day Gregor marked him a thousand thousand times over if it would've spared him from imagining the life he yearned for with his little bird. That pain was simply too much for him to bear. Just the pain of knowing his little bird would never smile at him again was enough to make him wish he could cut his own heart out of his chest.

Her frustrated yell broke him from his reverie, and he realized his eyes were brimming with unshed tears and shook himself. He tried to focus on any sound on the other side of the door, but she'd gone silent again. He released a shaky breath and turned back to the opposite wall.

"Sandor?"

He thought he might've imagined it for a moment, so he merely grunted in response. But then her door cracked open.

"I need help." She whispered.

Sandor didn't turn. "Shouldn't have dismissed your maids then." He barked at her.

"Sandor, please…"

Her voice cracked and Sandor swore. He looked over her shoulder and saw her tear stained face gazing up at him with wide eyes. He grunted again and motioned for her to let him in. He closed and barred the door, then turned back to her.

"I can't get my dress off by myself." She whispered, eyes downcast.

He grunted again and moved toward her. She silently turned her back and pulled her hair over her shoulder. Sandor untied his previous knot and loosened her laces.

"That all?" He asked as he turned away when the dress began to fall down her slender arms.

"No." She caught his sleeve. "I don't think I can get in the tub without help."

She blushed furiously again as Sandor looked at her incredulously.

"It hurts to raise my legs…" she whispered, averting her eyes again.

Sandor sighed. Of course she was in too much pain between the legs to climb into the tub, he should've expected as much. He nodded again, and she turned her back to him to let the dress fall off her body. She whimpered in pain as she tried to pull her shift over her head, and he quickly came behind her to lift the hem and pull the item gently over her head. Her hands immediately jumped to cover herself and she kept her eyes trained on the ground as her cheeks betrayed her shame.

"I'm not looking, little bird." He rasped to her, but she didn't let her hands drop.

He exhaled hard through the nose. One more pointed reminder that she didn't trust him one fucking bit. He guided her over to the tub by her elbow, pointedly not looking at her, then untied and removed her small clothes. He lifted her as gently as he could and lowered her into the tub. The water was lukewarm at best now, and she shivered a little when it touched her.

Sandor tried to leave again when she withdrew her arms from around him, but again she caught his sleeve.

"The fuck do you want now?" He growled at her, and she released his sleeve.

"Please don't go." She whispered.

"Why the buggering hells did you dismiss your maids if you wanted to be tended to, girl?" He demanded harshly.

She ducked her head down again and seemed to unconsciously wrap her breasts in her arms again.

"I didn't want them to see…" her whisper was barely audible, and Sandor felt like a twat immediately. Of course she didn't want her maids to see the bruises that decorated her pale skin; rumors would travel like wildfire through the keep, and that was the last thing a new queen needed.

"Fine." He snapped. "Do you need me to help you? Or just stand by?"

"Stand by… please…"

Sandor scoffed a little as he turned his back to the girl and fixed his gaze on the door. He tried not to focus on the soft splashes behind him as his queen, the woman he loved, slowly cleaned herself. He managed to stand perfectly still until she whimpered in pain.

He flinched at the first whimper, then finally turned around at the third.

"What is it?" He asked roughly, noticing grimly that her hands jumped to cover herself once again.

"Beg pardon-" she began.

"Bugger that." He stomped forward and dropped to his knees behind the tub. "Hand me the bloody sponge. What can't you reach then, girl?"

She buried her head between her knees and he barely heard her answer.

"My hair."

He had to take a deep breath to steady himself before he began to wash the girls hair. She tried to stay curled up on herself, but it proved fruitless with the way she had to tip her head back for him to rinse her hair.

His cock was painfully hard and the fire of his self hatred sufficiently tended to by the time he rose to his feet and held out a towel. She rose shakily to her feet in the tub, and he quickly wrapped the towel around her and lifted her out.

"Trust you can dress yourself in your nightclothes?" He asked rhetorically as he stomped off to the door.

When the young maid returned at dusk, he'd pressed a silver coin into her hand.

"For your silence." He grunted, and she nodded enthusiastically before entering the girls chamber with her supper.

As the days drug on, Sansa began allowing more maids to enter her chamber. It was at least a fortnight later when he stood in the kitchens, waiting for the stew he'd missed at dinner, when he heard two maids gossiping together.

"And the king is not pleased, I tell you that." The taller girl said.

"So the king bade his lady return to him when she had healed?" The shorter asked.

"Oh aye, just when her face was ready to appear again at court." The taller said with a knowing nod. "Apparently she's been right for days and never did send for the king!"

The maids bustled off, leaving Sandor to stand numbly in a dark corner. The girl would be punished again tonight, then. He wished he knew of a way to warn her, so she might brace herself.

A small serving girl stopped him as he left the kitchen and informed him the king had requested he deliver the queen to his chamber. Sandor moved as though in a dream until he reached the little bird's doors, knocking sharply.

A maid opened the door a moment later and frowned up at him. He forced himself into the room without invitation.

"Leave us." He directed the maids.

They obeyed at once, a couple of them quietly bidding Sansa good night before they made their exit. He closed and barred the door behind them, and turned once again to face her where she sat on a bench at the foot of her bed.

"Joffrey has asked for me, then?" She asked softly in a resigned voice.

"Aye. Seems there's a rumor about that you have been well for days and avoiding the king." Sandor told her gruffly.

Sansa sighed and looked out the window for a time. Sandor noticed upon gazing at her that her eye still had a noticeable shadow beneath it that was unmistakably a healing bruise, but that surely wouldn't stop the king from attempting to humiliation her.

"Come now, girl. No use in denying the inevitable." He urged her.

"I expect he wants you to hurt me again." She said softly, and Sandor's heart dropped out of his chest.

"I assume so." He conceded, averting his eyes from her.

She rose slowly. "I've been thinking…" she said, so softly Sandor had to move closer to hear. "You've tried both times to make it… less painful." She shuddered and he immediately fell back a step. "That part of me that you touch… to make it… hurt less…"

She finally turned to face him, and Sandor could clearly see the plea in her soft blue eyes. He wanted to balk and shout at her, but knew he would obey whatever she asked of him.

"Will it hurt less if you touch it now?" She blinked her wide blue eyes up at him questioningly.

It occurred to Sandor again that she was very much still a child, maybe six and ten. She didn't understand why what he did eased her suffering, she didn't know the power she had between her own legs.

"Aye, my queen." He agreed slowly. "I don't know for sure, but I reckon."

She nodded slowly and looked down at her hands.

"Will you?" She asked softly after a time, her cheeks flushing bright red at her words.

Sandor wished desperately to demand her to speak clearly what she wanted from him, to hear her beg him for her release, but she didn't understand any of it. She only understood that he didn't want to hurt her, and that he would do whatever he could to ease her pain.

He nodded thickly and guided her back to the bench. She followed without flight, and Sandor dropped to his knees before her. With trembling hands, he pulled at the ties for her dressing gown. She made no attempt to cover herself as the dressing gown fell away and he lifted her shift. He hesitated at her small clothes, then gently removed those as well.

He was face to face with her sweet little cunt, pink and glistening in the moonlight. He thought about how he'd last seen it, purple and blue with his seed dripping from her folds, and vowed to never again remember her like that; he'd only think of her how she was now, soft and pink and asking him to pleasure her.

He lifted her thighs over his shoulders, gently holding them in place, and slowly leaned forward to let his tongue dart along her folds. Encouraged by her soft gasp, he began to kiss her womanhood in wonder, letting his tongue explore every crevice of her sex. Her quiet whimpers and moans were like fuel on his soul, and with every sound he focused harder on bringing his queen, his little bird, to peak.

Her fingers tangled in his hair after a few moments, her thighs clenching around his head as she tried to push him closer between her legs. How badly he wanted to give in to her, to forget the rest of the world in favor of worshipping her cunt. But the king was waiting, and he had to force her gentle cries from his mind and focus on what she needed. He sank one finger into her opening and she practically squealed in delight as he crooked his finger and dragged it down.

"Quiet, please, little bird." He murmured against her. "Gods know I love the way you sing for me, but I like my head where it is…"

He wasn't fully aware of the words leaving his mouth, but the girl did stifle further cries as she rocked her hips up into his face. Sandor couldn't help the soft moan that escaped his own mouth when he felt a surge of moisture from her. It was a dangerous game they played, he acknowledged to himself as he pressed a second finger into his queen. Joffrey expected his punishment to, well, punish; he could never have any inclination that the girl was spared a moment of pain, or they'd both lose their heads. Or worse, Sandor would lose his head and leave the little bird to the mercy of Trant or Boros.

"Sandor, please…" the girl's strangled whimper brought him back to reality. He curled his fingers tighter around her thighs, pushing his face closer into her quim.

She shuddered into release, her ankles crossing briefly behind his head as her fingers dug into his scalp. He lapped at her through her peak, wanting to give her as much pleasure as he could before he personally put that blank, dead look he feared so much back in her eyes.

When her hold on him began to relax, he leaned his forehead into her inner thigh, silently sending a prayer to whatever Gods were fucking listening, if they were even there, to show him and his little bird a way out of this nightmare. He almost barked a laugh at his own naivete; he had forsaken the Gods, and they had forsaken him, some 30 years ago now. They didn't listen to the blood curdling screams of a 6 year old boy burned alive, and they sure as shit weren't going to listen now to a 30-something non-knight beg mercy for an innocent girl. A child with no family. No one to look after her, to pray for her. Except him.

"Thank you."

Again, her voice anchored him back to reality. He raised his head to meet her gaze, and saw her sad eyes filled with tears. He pulled away from her quickly, realizing that her legs still lay on her shoulders.

"Stop thanking me, girl. Cover yourself and be quick about it." He snapped at her as he rose and returned to the door.

She joined him quickly, her dressing gown back in place. She gave him that small reassuring smile that made him want to beat his hands bloody. He swallowed and tore his gaze from her, leading her quickly through the Keep to the Kings chambers.

He knocked twice and entered, pulling the girl in behind him by the elbow.

"Your grace." Sansa sank to a curtsey before Joffrey, keeping her eyes low.

Sandor couldn't focus on the exchange between the cunt and his wife. He already knew that Joffrey would accuse her of some kind of betrayal, and then Sandor would be forced to rape her again.

"Clegane, remind my lady why she must obey." The king instructed lazily, turning away to pour himself a drink.

Sansa met his gaze and nodded once while the king's back was turned, and they both silently began to disrobe. Joffrey turned back and positioned Sansa bent over the back of a chair. Sandor saw the King's mouth move, saw the sadistic glint in his eye, as he took his place behind the girl. She was trembling like a leaf again, her fingers shaking as she tried to brace herself on the arms of the chair.

Joffrey settled himself on the foot of the bed, directly in front of the girl, giving her a smug grin. Sandor ran his finger tentatively down the girl's spine as he stroked himself to hardness behind her, focusing on the taste of her sweet cunt to find his arousal. She arched away from his touch with a whimper, and Sandor hesitated; did she truly recoil, or was that for Joffrey? She knew as well as he did that the king must remain in the dark to whatever it was that gave Sansa strength to ask the Hound the pleasure her to ease the pain of her imminent rape.

He dropped his hands to her hips, steadying her as he pressed into her. He met far less resistance than before, thanks to their previous actions, and couldn't help the low moan that left his throat at feeling her willing acceptance of him within her body. Sansa dropped her head low and let out a small sob. He waited a moment once he was fully sheathed in her, still concerned that his intrusion had caused her pain. After the space of a few heartbeats, she raised one foot to stroke along the side of his calf; her silent signal that she was okay.

He squeezed briefly on her hips, then raised one hand to press into her back, to keep her bent down on the chair where she wouldn't have to see Joffrey's pinched little face. He swallowed bile as he began to fuck her. The only sounds were the chair knocking back and forth beneath them, Sansa's soft grunts with his every thrust in, and the sound of their skin slapping together.

Sandor focused his gaze on the opposite wall, using every ounce of willpower he had to trick himself into forgetting his surroundings. He remembered her taste, her fingernails scraping his scalp, her thighs locked in a death grip around his head, that desperate sound she made as she begged him for more…

He shuddered into his release, his hips stuttering against the little bird. Her feet left the ground from the force of his thrusts into her, and he hated himself for the deeply satisfied groan that sounded from deep in his gut.

He released her the moment he returned to himself, staggering back against the wall. He panted hard, his eyes fixed once again on her little cunt. He knew the relief showed on his face that he didn't seem to bruise her so brutally this time.

He tucked his cock away in his breeches and began to replace his armor. Only when he turned back, armor and weapons back in place, did he realize the girl had not moved. She pointedly didn't meet his questioning gaze, and Sandor turned his attention to the king, who was frowning as his wife.

Sandor's stomach leapt with dread.

"Your grace?" He heard himself speak. "Shall I return the queen to her chambers?"

"No. It seems my punishment has lost some of its effect, wouldn't you say, Dog?"

Sandor looked from the cunt to his queen, not understanding what else Joffrey could possibly intend to inflict on the girl.

Just then there was a sharp knock on the door, followed almost immediately by Meryn Trant entering the room. Sandor almost gasped as the realization hit him.

Trant and Joffrey wore matching evil smirks, both aimed at the terrified little bird. Again he didn't hear the words spoken by the king or Trant, but his eyes focused on the girl. Her gaze met his, and he knew she could see the plea in his eyes.

Let me take you from here, he silently begged her.

She shook her head almost imperceptibly, and Sandor was ushered from the room before he could fully register the reality of their situation. The door snapped shut in his face and he heard the bar lock into place.

He stared at the door for what could've been hours, dumbstruck.

"Away with you now, Dog." A Lannister soldier guarding the door gave a half-hearted kick in his direction.

"You heard the King, you're to return at dawn." The other added, then spat at the Hound's feet.

Sandor remained frozen to the spot, blinking stupidly between the two soldiers. Then he heard the telltale sound of a harsh impact of skin against skin, and the little birds shriek of agony.

He took a step back towards the door without thinking, and both soldiers drew their swords.

"I said away, Dog!" The first soldier barked at him.

Sandor stumbled back from the door, and forced himself to run before another cry from the girl would command his instinct to kill everything that stood between him and her safety.

She shook her head. She rejected his offer to cut them all down. He had to respect her refusal of his help, however painful it may be for him.

He kept running, all the way out of Maegor's Holdfast, out of the Red Keep, off the grounds, until he reached Flea Bottom. He'd stopped twice to retch, but both times he'd continued to run as soon as he could draw breath.

The whole night was a panicked, painful blur. The brothel he'd found, where he drank enough wine to put a man of twice his size to bed. The tentative whores he'd barked and snarled at when they'd dared to approach him. The concerned Gold Cloak he'd taken a swing at, who'd laid a careful hand on his arm as he slumped against the table. The madame, shouting at him to leave.

He aimlessly wandered the streets for a time, not knowing how many times he'd stopped to retch. He felt emptier with every step he took. He finally came to himself and looked around, finding himself on the floor of a sept, curled in on himself before the statue of the Maiden.

He scrambled to his feet and took several steps away, until his back pressed against the cool stone of the sept wall. He was still quite drunk, and clutched at the divots of the wall behind him for balance.

What in the seven hells could've brought him to a sept, of all bloody places? This was the last place we wanted to be. He felt himself dry heave as he remembered the look on his little birds face when she realized Trant would be raping her as well. He glared around at the statues of the Gods, suddenly spurred forward by a jolt of hatred.

"You abandoned her!" He shouted to the statues, whirling around wildly to glare at each of them in turn. "You abandoned me? Fuck me! Don't abandon her! She needs you! She believes in you!"

He spun on the spot to the statues of the Father and the Mother. They seemed to morph before him, and he blinked several times as if his eyes were tricking him. He didn't see his own parents, he could barely remember what they looked like. No, he saw Ned and Cat Stark, both regarding him with curiosity.

He dropped to his knees before them. "You're not here to protect her." He whispered. "Do you see what's happening to her?" He bellowed at the ghost of Ned Stark. "Do you see what your death allowed? Are you happy now, you honorable twat?" He was on his feet again, and Ned Stark raised one eyebrow with a slight smirk.

"You trusted me to protect her." Sandor whispered dejectedly, gazing up into the face of the girl's father. "You trusted me, and I failed you."

Ned Stark's head inclined slightly, and just as quick as he'd come, he returned to stone. Sandor turned with wild eyes to Cat.

"How do I help her?" He asked desperately. "She needs you now, she needs her mother to guide her."

Cat Stark gave him a warm smile, and she, too, returned to stone.

Sandor let out a frustrated shout, tugging aimlessly at the arm of the Father's statue, wanting to topple it, shatter it. The God's mocked him, they mocked his pain, and that of the little bird.

He abandoned the mission to topple the statues that had appeared as the girl's parents.

"What am I to do then?" He demanded of the stone. "How am I to help her?"

He looked around to the other five statues, waiting for one to give him an answer, any answer.

"You must pray, child."

He rounded on the statue of the Crone, now replaced with a Septa. Septa Mordane, he realized with a shudder. He'd only seen her up close when Joffrey had shown Sansa her head on a pike next to her father's, but it was her, he was sure.

"How?" He asked desperately, staggering towards her.

"There's no wrong way to pray, foolish boy." She gave a dry chuckle. "Sansa has lost sight of us; she doesn't believe any longer. If you are to summon the strength to do what must be done, you must ask for it."

"I ask for it!" He yelled to her, dropping again to his knees before the Septa. "I beg for it! Please, Septa, what must I do to save the girl from this pain?"

"Her pain is unavoidable, child." The Septa gave a small smile. "But only you will have the power to end it, and only if you ask."

He gaped at the Septa, and with a small smile, she returned to stone.

"No!" He roared, slamming both fists into the ground before her. "Please! Tell me!"

He panted as he raised his eyes back to the expressionless face of the Crone's statue, and let out a wordless roar of frustration when no answers came to him.

He lay panting against the stone floor for some time, then found his resolve.

They wanted him to pray?

Fine.

"Damn well better be prepared to answer this time." He grumbled to the Gods in general as he rose back to his feet.

The Father, Mother, and Crone had already spoken to him, so he determined that he need not pray to them; they knew what he asked of them, and he wouldn't bloody beg for it, even now.

He paced around the small room for a few minutes, muttering angrily to himself. Finally, he heaved a sigh, and walked to the Smith.

He stared up into the blank face of the Smith's statue. What the fuck did he even need from this cunt? He scoffed to himself, turning away from the statue. He had weapons, he had the knowledge and skill to wield them in protection of the girl.

"There's no wrong way to pray, foolish boy."

The Crone's words rang in his ears, and he scowled at nothing in particular, then turned his gaze back to the Smith. The statue seemed to be watching him expectantly.

"S'pose I'll need a boat." He finally grunted to the Smith.

The stone shifted, taking the form of a handsome young man with a shock of black hair and piercing blue eyes. He held a bulls head helmet under his arm, and something about those eyes had him thinking of King Robert. Was this one of the bastards Joffrey had seen slaughtered?

The boy gave him an encouraging nod, half a smile pulling at the corner of his mouth.

Sandor gave an exasperated sigh, throwing a scornful look over his shoulder at the Father, then returned his gaze to the Smith.

"Smith… please grace me with the skill to cut down the girls' enemies. Please place in my grasp the hardware I shall need to acquire her safety. I'm really going to need that fucking boat."

The boy winked at him with a grin, lifted the helmet into place, and promptly returned to stone.

Sandor glowered at the statue for some time, half of him fuming with rage, the other half thinking, the boat. Bugger everything else, I just need to boat.

He sighed and turned away from the Smith. This was ridiculous, he knew the God's weren't there. They weren't listening. They'd never listened to him before, and they wouldn't listen now. He found himself back in front of the Maiden, and sank to his knees.

"She has to trust me." He whispered to her. "Let her see that she can trust me."

The Maiden morphed into the little bird herself, but not as she was now. He saw her as she was years ago, just after her father had died. This was how she looked when she thanked him for saving her during the Bread Riots.

"You won't hurt me." The girl said, looking down at him.

"No, little bird." He whispered. "I won't hurt you."

She smiled broadly down at him, and that was pure imagination. She'd never smiled like that before, at least not at him. He'd truly gone mad now, talking to statues and thinking they were responding to him.

There was only one left now, he reasoned. Might as well finish what he'd started. He knelt before the Stranger and this time, he lit a candle.

"I know those cunts aren't listening." He jerked his head back towards the other statues. "Take us before we both disappear." He pleaded to the Stranger. "Don't let her become something I can't recognize. Don't let me live in a world without her. When they fail, I'm counting on you to save us both."

He waited for the Stranger to morph like the others, but it didn't. He glowered up at the blank face under the Stranger's hood. The one God he thought might be there, and he was being ignored. Then the stone hand lifted, and pointed across the room. Sandor spun around on his knees to see where the Stranger pointed, and gasped when he saw.

He'd forgotten about the fucking Warrior, and he saw himself in the alcove where the Warrior statue had stood. His apparition was heavily armored, all his weapons strapped into place, but bore no scars and fewer worry lines.

"You'll know when it's time." The apparition told him.

Sandor blinked and the Warrior was stone again. He turned back to the Stranger, but he was still again too. Sandor staggered back until he felt a wall, and sank down it. He sat there, perfectly still and staring across the sept, until the sky began to lighten. He wasn't sure now if he'd slept or not, but as he clambered to his feet, he began to think that it had all been a dream. The God's hadn't spoken to him, he was almost sure of it. It was a stupid, desperate, drunken attempt by his mind to make sense of his conflict.

The girl had rejected his help at every juncture, Sandor reminded himself as he started back towards the Red Keep. He'd begged her multiple times now to let him help, and she refused. He couldn't let himself be consumed with guilt when the girl wouldn't help herself.

He returned to the King's chambers, remembering one of the soldiers had told him the King bid him return at dawn. There were no guards at his door now, likely due to the hour. Sandor hesitated before he knocked on the door. When there was no answer, he tentatively tried the handle.

The door swung open and Sandor slipped inside, quickly shutting the door behind him. It was quiet and he glanced around the room before his gaze came to rest on his little bird. He suppressed a gasp; she was on her knees at the foot of the bed, her wrists tied to the top of the bed posts. More ropes secured her knees, keeping her legs spread wide. Her fiery hair hung in a curtain that covered her face, but what truly captured his attention were the lashes and welts that covered her back, from her shoulders to her rear. Her body was limp against the restraints and Sandor's heart skipped a beat.

"Little bird?" He whispered as he crossed her room, kneeling on the bed in front of her. He cupped her face gently, noticing as he did that they'd refrained from marking her face this time. He could see dried tear tracks down her face. "Sansa?" He murmured, his heart starting to beat wildly in his chest.

Her eyelids fluttered and Sandor let out a long breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding. She blinked at him but seemed to be struggling to keep her eyes open. He saw a flash of recognition on her face when she finally focused on him, then a split second of relief, before her eyes slipped shut again.

"Where are they, little bird?" He asked softly, looking around the room again.

"Left for a hunt…" she was barely audible.

"They left?" Sandor repeated.

"Yes." She let out a small pained noise as she shifted slightly. "Will you take me to my chambers, please?" She breathed, grimacing from the pain with her eyes still squeezed shut.

"Aye,"

Sandor went to work on the ropes on her left wrist. He freed it quickly, and slowly lowered her arm to rest on his shoulder. She let out another pained whimper as her shoulder moved, and sighed in relief when she let the weight of her arm rest on his shoulder. He repeated the same on her other wrist, and she fell forward, letting her weight rest against him. He could see muscles in her shoulders and back twitching; they must've left her tied up like that for hours for her to be so stiff.

He quickly untied her knees, then just knelt there for a while, holding up her weight but not sure where to touch her so he wouldn't make the pain worse.

"I can't move." She whispered finally.

"Oh hells, I'm sorry." Sandor carefully gripped her waist and lifted her weight off of him, steadying her by one elbow.

She blinked unseeingly at his shoulder for a moment, then met his gaze. "All I can feel is pain," she stared at him with a blank look that made his blood run cold. "All I can feel is hurt and I can't move."

For a moment he thought she was going to laugh, her face twisting in something like a deranged smile for a breath, but then her face was blank again.

Sandor swallowed. He had no idea how to respond to that, or how to help.

"Sandor…" her eyes focused on his face again with a small frown. "Could you try to make the pain stop again? Maybe it'll help even after."

He stared down at her for a long moment before understanding dawned on him, and he felt his cock twitch in anticipation.

"You want me to… you want me to touch you?" He asked softly.

"Please, Sandor…" she whispered, a single tear falling down her cheek. "I just want to feel something besides the pain all over."

"Are you not sore THERE too, little bird?" He asked carefully, his heart rate speeding up again.

"Only you have touched me there this night." Sansa mumbled, and Sandor felt himself grow harder still. Her eyes fluttered again for a moment. "Ser Meryn hurt me in other ways."

Sandor swallowed again. "I don't think I can do that without hurting you worse, my queen." He said softly.

A small smile touched her lips but didn't reach her eyes. "Nothing you do could make the hurt worse."

She leaned her weight back into his body and sighed softly. Sandor's mind raced before he slowly nodded, even though she couldn't see him. He glanced at the door to make sure he'd barred it, then reached for the ties on his breeches. His cock sprang free a moment later, and Sandor hesitated before sitting back on his heels. Sansa made a confused hum as they moved; he kept her body against his, but now she was kneeling over his thighs.

"Sandor?" She murmured questioningly.

Sandor gave her waist a gentle tug to pull her up, ducking his head into the crook of her neck and pressing a soft kiss there.

"I can't hold you the way I want," he said softly. "The lashes… this way I can support your weight, but you're in control." He felt her shiver a little and hesitated, then dropped one hand between her legs. She was wet, whether out of desire for him now or left over from earlier, he didn't know. "Are you sure this is what you want me to do?" He asked softly, praying by now that she wouldn't change her mind.

"Please, Sandor…" she whispered as she tucked her face into the crook of his neck. "Make the pain go away."

Sandor swallowed thickly again, then moved his hand from between her legs to grasp his length. His other hand rested lightly on her hip, careful not to touch too far back, and guided her down onto him.

"Oh..."

He felt her soft moan against his neck before he heard it, and it made him impossibly harder. Sansa sank herself onto him slowly, his hands on her hips only guiding and supporting her; she lowered herself onto him.

Sandor couldn't help the satisfied groan that rumbled from his chest as their hips touched. Sansa wrapped her arms around his neck, linking her fingers together to hold herself there. He stayed still, waiting for her to make the first move.

"That doesn't hurt you, little bird?" He asked softly, brushing her hair behind her ear.

"No, my lord." She murmured into his neck. "Please guide me. I don't know how to…" she trailed off with a gentle roll of her hips that made Sandor see stars.

His hands flexed on her waist, then slid down slightly to the swell of her hips. He kept his fingertips off her as he guided her in a firmer roll of her hips, and her soft gasp sent a jolt of arousal through his body. He continued to guide her for a few moments, then loosened his grip when he felt her movements grow more confident.

He raised one hand to her hair, cradling the back of her head against him as he pressed a soft kiss to the crown of her head. He wanted nothing more than to lay her back on the bed and make love to her, to worship every inch of her body the way she deserved. But the lashes made that impossible.

He released a low groan as she clenched down around him, and she whimpered softly into his neck, tightening her grip on him.

Sandor began to roll his hips up to meet hers, growling softly at the little gasp she released as their bodies rutted together. He wrapped an arm around her waist without thinking and she cried out in pain.

"I'm sorry." He rasped, quickly removing his arm. But a second later she was bouncing on his cock again like nothing happened.

She whispered his name after a moment and he felt his balls clench. Tears pricked the corners of his eyes again as she sped up. This was more than he'd ever dated to hope for; he should be giddy that she'd ever fathom being taken by him willingly.

But this isn't what he wanted, or how he wanted it. He didn't want the broken shell of a girl that couldn't think of anything else to make the pain stop. He wanted Sansa, as she'd been before her father lost his head. He wanted her bright, cheerful, and full of life.

She moaned his name again as her hips began to stutter against his, losing their rhythm. He wrapped his hands under her thighs and continued her movements, and she peaked a moment later, clinging onto him with her whole body as he whispered her name and followed her over the edge.

He disentangled their limbs after a few moments of heavy breathing, and carefully helped her to her feet. He righted his breeches, and she slipped back into her dressing gown, wincing as the fabric rested against the wounds on her back.

He followed half a step behind her as she returned to her chambers. She held her head high, though there was no one awake yet to witness her courage. She took his hand and pulled him into her chamber with her, then pushed the door shut behind her.

"Please don't leave." She asked softly without looking at him.

"I won't." He agreed.

She flashed a halfhearted smile at him, then moved to her bed. She shed her dressing gown and carefully climbed onto her bed, settling herself on her belly.

"Don't let my maids in." She asked softly.

Sandor nodded, though she couldn't see, but knew she didn't need him to say anything. He barred her door and sat on a bench beside it, watching the steady rise and fall of her shoulders as she drifted to sleep.

It was then that he vowed to take her away from here. Willing or not, he had to get her free. Maybe she'd hate him for it, but that was a risk he had to take. He could survive her hatred, he knew. But he wouldn't survive her death.

***

His preparations were almost complete. He'd managed to sneak one of her simpler dresses from the laundry and taken it to a seamstress in Flea Bottom. She'd made several replicas, and additional clothes for Sandor, that were packed safe in a chest on board the ship he'd chartered. He'd paid the captain and crew to wait, and the amount of gold he offered kept them from asking his name, or even when he intended to depart. He'd simply instructed that they remain ready to leave at a moment's notice.

He hadn't confided his careful planning to Sansa, knowing she'd object. The king had taken to assigning Sandor to look after Tommen and Myrcella, but still regularly called him to pick up the broken pieces of his queen and return her to her chamber.

She barely spoke anymore, even to Sandor, and he'd heard rumor that she never made a sound now when Joffrey had his men beat her. Sandor had tried to press her a few times to tell him what Joffrey and Trant were doing to her, but she never relented.

It had been just over a moon since Sandor had found her tied up in Joffrey's chambers, and he was just biding his time for the right moment to whisk her away. He knew it was a dream now, but he kept remembering his own voice as the Warrior, telling him he'd know when it was time.

He stood outside her door now. He'd announced his presence when he arrived, but she hadn't made a peep. He'd been guarding her door for a couple hours when Grand Maester Pycelle appeared with a couple maids and an assistant. Sandor frowned but allowed them in, grimacing as the door snapped shut behind them.

Sansa never called for the Maester to tend to her wounds, and Sandor was nervous about the implications of his arrival.

A short time later, the Maester and his company emerged.

"We must tell the king at once!" Pycelle was saying.

"A little prince or princess, how lovely!" One of the maids sighed happily.

Sandor carefully schooled his expression until they were out of sight, then turned to her door.

"Little bird?" He gave the door a gentle tap.

She didn't answer.

He tapped again, with a little more force. "Girl, it's just me. May I come in?"

He cursed softly when she didn't respond, and leaned back against the wall. To his knowledge, Joffrey had still never taken his queen to bed. Sandor had found her with blood smeared down her inner thighs and her rear more than once, but she'd always shaken her head vigorously when he asked if they'd raped her.

"Sansa?" He called softly.

He squeezed his eyes shut and swore again, then turned on the spot and opened the door. He slipped inside and shut the door behind him, quietly sliding the bar, then turned and looked into the room.

He felt like his heart hit the floor as he caught sight of her.

She was in just her shift and bodice, her fiery red hair fluttering around her. She stood on the thin rail of her balcony, arms hanging at her sides. She swayed back and forth slightly with the force of the wind.

He started across the room, all reason leaving his body as she lifted her chin and let her head fall back. She lifted her arms out to her sides, and Sandor didn't hear his own shout as her body tipped forward.

He caught her just in time, making her release a startled gasp as he fell to the ground with her on top of him.

"What the fuck are you thinking?" He asked, squeezing her against him.

"No!" She sobbed, fighting against his hold. "Stop it, Sandor, please! Let me go, you have to let me go!"

He rose to his knees and turned her to face him, seizing her shoulders in a bruising grip. "Bugger that!" He hissed. "Stop it, girl! Stop this!"

"Please Sandor!" She sobbed, still trying to twist away from him. "Please let me go, let me die! Sandor, I'm begging you!"

"No!" He roared, and she flinched hard away from him.

"It's the only way." She whimpered as she buried her face in her hands. "It's the only way to stop this nightmare."

"I can still take you away." He said, giving her a little shake that made her cry harder. "The ship is ready, little bird. By dawn we can be far enough away that they can never touch you!"

She was shaking her head, but Sandor couldn't discern any words in the sounds she was making.

"I won't touch you, no one will touch you ever again." He vowed, his own tears beginning to fall down his cheeks. "I'll keep you safe, little bird, no one will ever hurt you again."

She hiccuped and sobbed more, then slowly seemed to regain a bit of composure.

"Oh Sandor…" she whispered, and the small smile she gave him made his heart shatter. He knew on that smile alone that she was lost to him. "You could take me to the end of the world… you could take me past where the maps stop… but nothing will ever undo what they've done to me."

One of his hands dropped to her flat belly, staring at it for a long moment before he raised his eyes to hers again.

"But the babe…" he whispered desperately, "OUR babe, Sansa…"

She shook her head and gave him that little smile again. "It might be Joffrey's." She whispered. "Or Meryn's."

Sandor shook his head desperately, looking from her belly to her face and back again.

"No…" he whispered.

"There's no other way, Sandor." She whispered, fresh tears staining her beautiful cheeks. "We can't leave, we'd never make it out alive. I can't stay here, I won't do this any longer. I won't give him an heir."

"Let me try." He was begging now. "Please, little bird, don't give up. Have faith in me, I can get you out. I can keep you safe. Little bird…"

He trailed off as she shook her head with a sad smile. He felt a shudder rip through his body and pulled her into him.

"Shh, Sandor. Shh, it's okay." She nestled his face in the crook of her neck and stroked his hair. His hands fisted in her shift at her hips as he tried to stifle his cries into her neck. "It's okay, Sandor. I'm ready. Shh…"

He clung to her and let her comfort him, let her whisper soothing words and pet his hair, let her rock him gently from side to side.

"Please don't do this, Sansa." He whispered when he regained some control of his breathing.

She nudged him and he lifted his face out of her neck and met her gaze.

"It's the only thing to be done." She gave him the same small smile and his breath caught. "Sandor… I want to ask you one thing first…"

"Anything." He whispered, pulling her close to lean his forehead against hers.

"I know you love me." She breathed, and Sandor's body stiffened in spite of himself. "I want you to take me. The way you wanted to that first night."

Sandor released a shaky breath and tightened his fingers in her shift.

"Before I die… I want to know what it feels like to be loved." She reached up and cradled his scarred cheek, and he opened his eyes to meet her gaze. Her sapphire blue eyes were wide and pleading, begging him for one kindness before she extinguished her light from his life.

He gave a curt nod, and she gave him another watery smile. She rose to her feet and he followed. He stared down at her for a long moment, then raised one hand to cup her face. She leaned into it with a soft sigh and her eyes slipped shut, a tiny smile playing on her lips. Sandor leaned down and pressed his lips to hers.

It felt clumsy, kissing her. All the ways he'd known her body by now, but they'd never shared a kiss. His other hand pulled her against him at the waist, and he darted his tongue along her lower lip. She opened her mouth to him and he deepened the kiss, pushing his tongue against hers to taste every bit of her he could reach.

He broke the kiss and leaned his forehead against hers again. He had one chance to convince her to live, he realized. And he wouldn't waste it. He pressed his mouth back to hers with a hungry groan, and she met him with enthusiasm. His fingers began to work the ties of her bodice, and hers rose to the fastenings of his armor. They undressed each other slowly, hands exploring each other's bodies like it was the first time. And in a way, it was.

He was in just his breeches and boots when he tugged at her shift, lifting it over her head and tossing it away. She blushed and looked down as his eyes raked down her body. He kissed her again and guided her back to her feather bed. She reached down and unfastened the dagger strapped to his leg, and carefully placed it at the foot of the bed. She sat on the edge and scooted back, reaching out for him. He came to her at once, balancing himself on his knees and one hand above her, and started kissing his way down her throat and chest.

"Sandor…" her soft gasp sent a jolt of arousal through him, and he growled into the soft skin of her belly.

He kissed and licked his way all the way to the auburn curls at the apex of her thighs. She sighed softly as he hooked his arms under her thighs and pulled her closer. He looked at her face for a moment, her eyes closed and a soft, blissful smile on her lips, then he lowered his mouth to her core.

He shivered when she gasped, and he ran the flat of his tongue from her opening all the way to her nub. He closed his twisted lips around her nub and sucked softly, grinning to himself when she keened and wrapped her fingers in his hair.

He sucked and kissed and lapped at her, tasting every inch of her he could reach. Her nails scraped along his scalp and he hummed against her. Her hips jerked up at that, and he hummed again. She jerked again and her hands in his hair pushed his face harder into her core.

"Think I'd like that song now," he murmured against her between licks and kisses.

She made a confused hum that was quickly swallowed by a moan as he pushed his tongue inside her.

"You promised me, long ago." He kissed her nub softly, letting his lips move against it for a moment, then pulled back and leaned his head against her thigh. "Do you remember?"

"I remember." She breathed, raising her head to meet his gaze.

He trailed his fingers down her sex, brushing against where she was most sensitive.

"Then sing for me."

The words had barely left his mouth when he continued ravishing her with his tongue. She let her whimpers and cries flow freely then, moaning under him as her fingers clenched in his hair and kept his mouth on her hard little nerve bundle.

Words tumbled clumsily from her mouth between her moans, and he only caught 'Sandor' and 'please.' He pressed two fingers into her as deep as he could and curled them forward forcefully. She came apart in his arms, her hips bucking up into his face as she practically screamed his name as she climaxed. Her juices soaked his beard as he continued to lap at her through her orgasm.

Her fingers went lax in his hair as she slumped back, panting hard. He crawled up the bed and collapsed next to her, leaving her the choice to curl up to him or shy away. She did neither, laying still as she caught her breath. He turned his head to look at her; her eyes were closed and her cheeks flushed. She turned towards him and gave him a dazzling smile, like he hadn't seen in years. He rolled onto his side and cupped her face, pulling her towards him for a searing kiss. Her hands cradled his face in return, kissing him back as eagerly as he kissed her.

They broke apart, both panting slightly.

"Little bird." He whispered, letting his eyes shut.

"I know." She murmured, brushing her thumbs over his cheekbones. "I know."

He pulled her against him, wrapping her up into his arms. He kissed the top of her head and rubbed her back, willing every emotion he felt to come through in his touch. She curled her arm around him, letting her dainty hand splay across the small of his back, holding him against her.

Sandor sat up after a moment, and slowly unlaced his boots. They dropped to the floor, and he took a deep breath to steady himself before he looked back at Sansa. She was laying on her side, propped up on her elbow, and watching him curiously. He rose to his feet, holding her gaze, then began to slowly untie his breeches. Her eyes flashed to his groin, then back to his face as he pulled at the ties.

He kicked his breeches away and stood next to the bed, watching her as she drank up the sight of him from head to toe. When she met his gaze again, he could see the need in her eyes. He knelt on the bed, slowly moving over her. He held his weight on his forearms on either side of her head, and he felt her release a long breath as his body settled against hers. She met him for another searing kiss, one of her little hands cupping his jaw. Her other hand snaked around him to cling to his back.

"Sandor…" she whispered desperately between kisses. "Please, Sandor…"

He pulled back enough to look at her face again, then slid one hand down her body, over her hip and down her thigh, and guided her leg up to wrap around him. He grasped his cock and lined himself up, slowly pushing into her. Her eyes rolled back a little and fluttered shut as she let out a soft moan.

Sandor settled himself in the cradle of her thighs, and waited. Her breathing had quickened and her eyes were shut, her fingertips digging into his flesh. He leant down and brushed a kiss against each of her closed eyelids in turn, then ghosted his lips across her cheeks, down her jaw, the tip of her nose, and finally met her lips again.

She hummed softly and returned his kiss, her hand sliding up from his jaw to tangle in his hair, pulling herself flush against his body.

"Oh Sandor…" she whispered when he broke the kiss, and a single tear escaped the corner of her eye as she looked up at him.

He kissed it away, then leaned his forehead against her shoulder. "Are you in pain?" He asked softly.

"No." She whispered. "There's no pain, Sandor." She gave him a gentle smile and he pressed his mouth to hers again as he began to move.

He kept his pace slow, achingly slow, as he rocked in and out of her. She was moaning so prettily beneath him, eyes closed and her perfect lips parted. He would draw this out as long as he could, anything to keep her alive for just a moment longer.

She tentatively raised her hips to meet his and they both gasped. Her head rolled back as she moaned louder, rocking her hips up into his thrusts.

"Little bird…" he groaned, kissing her again. "Fuck…"

His eyes had closed with the effort of keeping his pace slow, but snapped open when she cupped his scarred cheek. She gazed up at him with such care in her eyes that he felt his heart clench and tears sprang to the corners of his eyes again. He crashed his mouth back to hers desperately as a sob wracked his body; he could've spent the rest of his life watching her look at him like that, it was all he'd wanted since he first laid eyes on her.

He wrapped his arms around her, one under her waist and the other behind her shoulders, and held her tight against him as he increased his pace slightly. He broke the kiss and nuzzled his face into the crook of her neck, panting as hot tears began to fall down his face. Sansa wrapped her legs higher around his waist, her hands clinging to his shoulders.

"That's it, girl, hold on to me." He whispered into her ear. "No one will hurt you as long as I'm here. No one will ever hurt you again."

She moaned into his shoulder, and wrapped her arms tighter around him.

"Sandor…" She whimpered, her body beginning to tremble around him.

He moved to brace his weight next to her head, leaning heavily on his forearm so he could look at her face.

"You're so fucking beautiful, Sansa." He whispered, ducking down to kiss her again. "So fucking beautiful."

She arched her back, sliding her hands up into his hair and dragging her nails along his scalp. He hissed at the sensation, a new wave of arousal making him shudder. Sansa writhed beneath him, her body rolling to meet his. She pulled him closer by her grip in his hair, dragging him into another desperate, open-mouthed kiss.

He groaned into her mouth and increased his pace, wrapping one huge hand around her waist and pressing her deeper into the feather bed. Sansa cried out, throwing her head back and squeezing her fingernails into the flesh of his bicep. He growled as her nails pierced him hard enough to draw blood, and pounded into her harder.

He heard her gasping and mewling, his name and various pleas interspersed with her cries of pleasure.

"Sandor!" She whined suddenly, drawing out the last syllable of his name as her back arched high off the bed and her dripping wet quim tightened on his cock.

"Fuck!" He groaned out. His hand tightened on her hip, and his other flew to her throat, squeezing her neck hard but not pushing in.

"Ah!" He heard her shriek of pleasure, muffled under his hand on her throat. Half a heartbeat later, she arched impossibly higher, clamped down on him like a vice, and let out a desperate shout as her climax wracked her body.

She writhed and rutted her hips desperately against his as she rode out her peak. Sandor let released an undignified whine as he watched her, and dropped his face into her shoulder, pounding into her with abandon as he chased his own pleasure.

Her cries and gasps accelerated as he slammed into her, her arms wrapping around his head and holding him against her shoulder.

"Oh Sandor…" she whimpered, "yes, God's, that feels so good… so good…"

"Fuck, little bird…" he gasped, sinking his teeth into the soft flesh at the join of her neck and shoulder, and she shivered violently. He let out a wordless cry as his release hit, his hips losing their rhythm and stuttering against her. "I love you…"

He wasn't aware of what he'd said as he let some of his weight fall onto her as he caught his breath. He didn't notice that she'd stiffened beneath him until she began to slowly relax, threading her fingers through his hair.

"You love me." She repeated softly, something like wonder in her voice.

With a huge effort, he raised his face from the crook of her neck to meet her gaze.

"I love you." He repeated.

Something almost like a smile lit up the little bird's face, and she dragged him to her for another searing kiss. He cupped her face and pulled himself tight to her body, wrapping his free arm securely around her waist as he nuzzled into her clavicle.

"I love you." He whispered again as he trailed kisses up her neck to her jaw. "I love you so much, Sansa. So much. No one will ever hurt you again, or I'll kill them. You're safe now, my queen. You're safe."

She sighed shakily against him as his mouth reached hers, capturing her lips with his. He cradled her head in his hands, desperately trying to show the depth of his feelings through his touches to her body.

He pulled away and looked into her eyes. He saw contended bliss gazing back at him, and his decision was made in an instant; it was time.

He leapt to his feet and started yanking his clothes on. This was it, he knew. Time to fly away.

"Get up." He barked at Sansa, "get dressed."

He spun wildly on the spot until he saw his tunic, and yanked it quickly over his head, tucking into his breeches as he laced them up.

"Sansa!" He barked, grabbing her elbow and pulling her into a sitting position. "Get up, my love, come on. You need to pack."

He seized his boots and hopped a little as he pulled them on roughly. He balanced on one foot, then the other, as he knotted the laces on his boots. He was slinging his sword belt around his hips when he turned and saw Sansa still had not moved.

"Sansa!" He made a frustrated sound, "what are you…"

He trailed off when he saw his unsheathed dagger lying flat across her thighs. She was looking intently down at the blade, cradling it in her hands like it was fragile.

"Little bird…" Sandor dropped his sword belt and slowly approached her bed. "What are you doing?"

She moved her gaze from the blade to his face and gave him a gentle smile as she pushed herself up onto her knees on the bed. "It's time, Sandor."

"Time for what?" He demanded hoarsely. "Sansa?"

"My time is up." She reached for him and strokes a soothing hand down his arm. "It's time for me to go. My family is waiting for me."

"Stop this." He whispered, eyes wide as he stared at the dagger.

Sansa looked back down at the blade, then twisted it around to offer him the handle. He noticed as she did that she kept the tip pointed at her breast.

"Please, Sandor…" she whispered, her voice growing hoarse with emotion. "You're the only one that can save me now." She carefully angled the blade between her ribs and leaned her chest forward until the tip of the blade pressed into her pale creamy skin.

"Ask anything else of me, little bird, and it will be yours." Sandor met her eyes on a shaky exhale, even as his steady fingers wrapped around the hilt of the dagger. "Don't ask this of me, little bird. I can't."

"You can." She replied simply as she cupped his face. "You're the only one who can. Please, Sandor."

"No." He sobbed, his hand beginning to tremble. She didn't seem to notice as the point of his blade vibrated against her soft flesh.

"It must be you, Sandor." She said softly, using her thumbs to brush away his tears that had begun to fall.

Deep down, he knew she was right. It didn't matter where they went, nor how far he took her; they would never be truly safe, and she would never be rid of her ghosts. He forced himself to meet her gaze, and she gave him a watery smile.

"Are you sure?" He whispered brokenly, unable to feel any shame at the way his voice cracked, bringing his free hand up to her her cheek.

"I'm sure." She assured him with another soft smile, then leaned forward and pressed her lips to his. "Thank you, Sandor. For everything."

He bit his lip and screwed his eyes shut, unable to look at her as he put all his strength behind the dagger and plunged it between her ribs and directly into her heart.

He heard her muffled, strangled gasp, and couldn't help looking at her face again. She coughed and her blood splattered across his face. He removed the dagger as swiftly as it had entered, and gathered her into his arms. Her temple leaned against his shoulder, and his arms wrapped around her as he sank to the floor. She touched the sleeping wound, then raised the same fingers to touch his cheek.

"I'll wait for you…" she whispered hoarsely.

"I don't think we're going to the same place, little bird." He half chuckled, half sobbed, as her body began to grow limp in his arms and her face paled.

"Well I won't go without you…" she coughed again and more blood sprayed from her mouth. "I love you too much…"

Sandor's eyes snapped to hers just in time to see the last of the life drain from her eyes as she slumped against him.

"No." He whispered, clumsily pushing her hair back over her ear. "No. Sansa? Sansa, answer me."

He shook her and her head flopped wildly, then lolled back at an unnatural angle. His breathing accelerated, then he roared in anguish, screaming wordlessly to the God's who clearly hated him so. No just God would dangle love in the face of a man like the Hound, only to rip it away a moment later.

He sobbed as he clutched her limp body against him, burying his head in her chest as his grief wracked in waves over his body.

He felt like it had been hours when he finally began to catch his breath. He looked down at his little bird, peaceful and tranquil as he'd never known her in life. He smoothed her hair back and kissed her forehead, shaking with renewed sobs as he rose to his feet and settled her into her bed. He tugged the sheets and furs up around her, tucking in her lifeless form as he gasped for breath.

He stared at her for a long moment, trying to gain his composure, and caught sight of himself in her looking glass when he finally turned away; his tunic and breeches were covered in the deep red blood of his queen, her blood splattered and smeared across his face. Even from across the room, he could see the delicate fingerprints where she had touched his cheek after realizing what he had done.

But what really caught his attention was his own eyes, wild and bright with bloodlust and rage. He breathed hard as he stared at his own reflection, his little birds blood decorating his body. He picked up his sword belt and unsheathed his weapon, spinning the handle in his loose fist as he took in his reflection.

And just like that, his decision was made.

He stalked across the room and wrenched the door open, hurdling into the hallway and stumbling along the wall; he didn't bother to close the door behind him. They'd find her soon enough anyways.

He moved in a daze through the keep, noticing how serving maids and squires took in his horrid and bloodied appearance, and ran the other way. He'd almost reached his destination when he came face to face with Boros Blount.

"Clegane?" Ser Boros called. "What's happened? Where did all the blood-"

Boros cut off with a satisfying squelch as Sandor swung his sword and cut Blount's belly open. He squeaked and gurgled as he fell to his knees, cradling his spilling intestines in his hands as the Hound walked by him.

He was almost there now. Just a few more moments and he'd be stumbling into court. He did just that a moment later, one heavy door slamming against the wall as he flung it open.

"Ah, there he is! My dog!" He heard Joffrey call. His vision turned red as he glared up at the angry cunt on the Iron Throne.

His cries and shouts didn't register in Sandor's ears as he stalked forward, nor did the arrows shot from crossbows from the floor above.

Sandor took the stairs three at a time until he reached the young cunt of a King, giving his sword a wild swing that sent Joffrey's blonde head tumbling down the stairs.

Sandor turned in his blood soaked glory back to the court, not noticing the way Joff's body fell and twitched, nor the way his mother screamed, simply watching his head bounce down the stairs.

Sandor started dangerously back down the stairs. Meryn Trant charged him, and Sandor parried his strike, dropping to one knee and forcing his blade up through Trant's heart. He watched the knight twitch and shudder for a moment, then gave him a solid kick to push his body away, off his sword.

Sandor fought for a few moments, easily overpowering the Kingsguard as they rushed to avenge their king.

Sandor swung up on the spot, meeting the furious blue-gray eyes of Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer. The Kingslayer's chest was heaving as he drew his sword. They sized each other up for a moment, then Ser Jaime released an anguished cry, charging towards Clegane.

Clegane snarled and started towards Lannister. He saw every move he could make to block the poor bastard, but none of that mattered now; he could feel her waiting for him, calling to him.

The Kingslayer was just a few feet away and had wound his sword arm back with a yell, and Sandor Clegane dropped to his knees in front of the Lion, placing his neck directly in the path of Jaime Lannister's swinging sword.

He looked at the approaching blade as it whistled through the air, and tossed his own weapon away. He turned back to the Kingslayer, and closed his eyes.