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Lonely makes a heart ruthless

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The bar is dimly lit and hazy with smoke, the jukebox slightly too loud and the people all slightly too beaten down. Not the place someone would go for anything but getting anonymously drunk in a corner and making a bad decision on purpose for once.

It's exactly what Brienne's looking for.

Beer and a shot of bourbon are the order of the day, and she downs half of one and all of the other while ignoring a handful of nosy stares. Two men buzz near like a pair of annoying flies, but she shoos them off again easily enough. All Brienne wants right now is this corner of the bar to herself and another shot of bourbon for the second half of her beer.

She gets one of those, but the other is taken from her by a tall blond in a supple leather jacket, jeans, and white t-shirt who slumps onto a stool one over from hers, his face handsome and haggard and lined. He orders just the bourbon.

Rough day? she thinks about saying. Or: the bourbon isn't good enough on its own here. Or: where the hell did you come from and are you a model?

Brienne finishes off her drink in silence, and so does he. He's near enough she can hear the clink of ice in his glass over whatever classic rock is being played on the jukebox. She stares down at her beer, buzzed but not drunk, and wonders if she'll ever get over her insecurities and fears enough to talk to a stranger someday. She might be at least plain in this light, and she's so lonely. It's been a lifetime since she's felt more than a handshake. Brienne presses her lips together and blinks rapidly, her eyes hot.

“Rough day?” the man asks her suddenly. His voice is smoother by far than the bourbon.

She clears her throat. “Rough year,” she says, finishing off her beer.

“Don't I know it.” Brienne feels him studying her, but she focuses on the bubbles at the bottom of her glass. “Fuck 'em though, right?”

That brings her gaze to his, and he's got a bitter grin on his face. He holds his glass up in a toast. Brienne clanks her empty one against it.

“Right,” she says.

“You want another one of those?” he asks. The man's got eyes like emeralds and a face like cut marble and a hurt he's hiding that she's all-too-familiar with. Disgust is missing, and so is pity. She nods in assent.

They make it through a second drink each and Brienne learns his first name – Jaime – gives him hers in return, and discovers they share the same opinions on alcohol in general and the bourbon in particular. While they're talking, he shifts into the stool immediately next to her, and the leather and sweat smell of him has her leaning a little nearer. Jaime doesn't lean away.

By the time they order their third round, Brienne's looking for more than just an anonymous drink tonight, so she leaves off the shot this time. Jaime's hand presses against hers on the bar as they discuss the song on the jukebox. He's one big distraction – his skin touching hers, the furrows in his brow when he disagrees, the way his foot keeps tapping the bottom of her stool. It's perfect; what she needs is to not think about her life for a night.

They nurse their third drinks for awhile, talking around anything personal. When Jaime moves his hand to her knee, Brienne doesn't care that there's a pale shadow on his ring finger, or that he doesn't know her last name. She cares that his smile is quick and interested, that the v of his t-shirt hints at tufts of golden hair underneath, that his thumb is making slow circles on the inside of her leg.

When their third drinks are empty, she excuses herself and he takes all of her in when she stands, from her big feet to her thick torso up to her limp hair pulled back in a low ponytail.

“Shit, you're tall,” he says, half-surprised, half-impressed.

“My whole life.” It's her standard answer, and he smirks a little but doesn't seem to take it personally.

When she returns from the bathroom their drinks are still empty and Jaime is gone. Brienne's not surprised.

She's stunned when he comes back.

“Seemed like a good idea,” he says. Jaime licks his lips and leans close without sitting down, whispers an invitation in her ear that makes her press her thighs together to ease the sudden yearning.

There's a motel a minute's walk away, and she doesn't think she picked this bar because of it, but maybe her subconscious knew what she wanted better than she did. They both throw money on the bar, far more than they need to, and head for the exit. He opens the door for her and ushers her through. His hand skims lightly along her lower back and she has to bite back an unguarded noise.

It's late and dark outside. The halogen streetlamp is buzzing in the night air, leaving a pool of dirty light that they walk into and out of on the way to the motel. She wonders if her car will still be in the bar's parking lot in the morning, before realizing she doesn't care. Right now she doesn't care about anything except what Jaime is promising her: something unfamiliar and hurried and impossible.

She's buzzing as loudly as the streetlight as they hurry from asphalt to scrubby gravel to asphalt again. Jaime's invitation had been explicit – no let's get out of here for him, no false assurances or lies about her beauty; he'd gone straight to I want to fuck you, will you come with me? His lips had been soft and wet along the shell of her ear, and his breath had made her shiver. Brienne's never been so directly propositioned before, couldn't even imagine it in a way that wasn't insulting. She likes Jaime's sincerity and candor.

She hopes it translates to his fucking, too.

They don't hold hands as they walk. They don't touch at all, or even talk, stepping silently over curbs and around garbage in the road. Jaime holds the door for her again at the motel lobby. It's a long, single-story building that reminds her of something she'd see in an old travel magazine. There's a handful of cars parked in front of the various doors outside, and a bored young man reading a porn magazine behind the counter. It's much brighter in here and she gets a better look at the planes and angles of Jaime's face, the fluorescent lights beaming down and casting shadows under his eyes, along the tight ridge of his jaw.

He's still leagues more beautiful than she is, and she wonders if he's regretting his decision when he grabs the key and turns to hand it to her.

“I'll be right there,” he says, and his voice is different out here, too, without the music softening it. In this light, in the quiet, he's all rough edges and sharpness. It reminds her of the jagged rocks of Tarth.

Brienne escapes back into the evening, checks the number on the key and heads for the room. The lock is a little tough but she gets it and opens the door to exactly what she expected: one limp-looking queen-sized bed, a wobbly circular table, a scratched dresser with an old TV on top, and a bland painting on the wall. There's a bathroom at the back of the room. The curtains are paisley and match the bedspread. It's cheap but clean. Exactly what she wants.

She turns on the lamp by the bed and closes the curtains, goes to look at herself in the cracked bathroom mirror. Her eyes are big even to her and she forces herself to take a few calming breaths. Brienne's never done anything like this before, has never been as tired and lonely as she is today where disappearing with a complete stranger feels like a solution and not a problem.

She hopes he doesn't run out on her.

A minute later, after she's slipped off her shoes and is testing the structural integrity of the bed by sitting on it, there's a knock at the door that Brienne feels like a jolt to the stomach. It's Jaime and he strides in, throwing a box of condoms on the nightstand.

“Just carry those around?” she asks as she sits again, and she's proud of herself for sounding far less breathless than she feels.

Jaime's standing in the middle of the room, pulling his leather jacket off. “I only had one,” he tells her, and the promise of that is a slow, swelling fire burning through her.

Somehow he's more handsome in just his tight t-shirt and jeans, as though the more he strips down the more she sees him. She gets a much closer appreciation of his thighs when he nudges her legs apart with one knee and steps into the space she makes. Brienne tilts her head back to look up at him.

“Brienne,” he says, like he's trying to remind himself of her name. She doesn't care what he calls her when she rubs her hands up the back of his legs, over his firm ass, around the front of his jeans to his belt buckle and he makes a dark, midnight noise deep in his chest.

“We don't have to do anything you don't want to,” he says in a low voice. “That's my only rule.”

Brienne nods and undoes the buckle and unsnaps his jeans while he exhales shakily. His cock is forming a growing bulge, but she doesn't unzip him yet, just rubs her palms over it while his hands clench at his sides. This is what she needs. Someone she can be whoever she wants with that she never has to see again. He'll be gone in the morning, and any unpleasant consequences with him; Brienne intends to pull enough heat out of this one night to warm her for a lifetime.

Jaime doesn't rush her, doesn't try to force her into sucking his cock, he just moves his pelvis in small, aborted thrusts as she rubs him hard. After a minute he grabs her wrist and holds her hand away. “I don't want to come in my pants, either,” he tells her. “My other rule.”

“Then don't,” she tells him, twisting her wrist free and getting back to it while he groans.

“I didn't know you were gonna torture me,” he says, but he's pressing up into her hand now, and with her other hand she feels the tight clench of his ass with every movement. “I thought those eyes were more innocent than that.”

Brienne leans forward and presses her mouth wide and hot against his jeans and the sound he makes shudders through her. “Is that what you wanted?” she asks against his body. “An innocent?”

He grabs her ponytail and pulls her head back, gently, but firm. “You know what I want.”

“I don't know anything about you,” she says. Brienne feels bolder than she's ever been, a woman not herself who has hookups in motel rooms with gorgeous strangers. Slowly, one metal tooth at a time, she unzips him, nuzzles her nose into the gap, smells his sweat and desire. It's a shockingly primal scent, so different from her own when she touches herself alone in her bed.

She sucks the tip of his cloth-covered cock into her mouth and tastes fabric softener while Jaime curls his hands into her hair. His moaning is desperate and urgent, and when she lets him go he slips his hands under her arms and lifts her up and nearly tosses her back onto the bed with a strength that shocks her. It's so unexpected that Brienne yelps, but she's not hurt. She's arching towards him, thrilled, undone by such a simple act that she's never experienced before. The few men she's been with had never been able to. Jaime's still unzipped, the front of his gray underwear wet from her and himself.

“Let me tell you something about me,” he growls as he quickly undoes her jeans, pulls them halfway down her thighs, exposing her white cotton panties and all her freckles and the trembling in her legs. “I pay everything back two-fold.”

Jaime lays his tongue flat against the center panel of her underwear and his breath is hot and smells like bad bourbon and she has to bite her lip to keep from coming on the spot. His teeth dig in, gently, to the elastic at the edge, then his nose, brushing the curling hairs, then his tongue again, dipping between fabric and skin and fuck. The cry she looses would embarrass Brienne of this morning.

She can feel his smile between her clenched thighs, until his hands come up, two strong vises forcing her apart for him, as wide as he can make her jeans stretch. Jaime's mouth is relentless, his tongue and her own body working together to soak the crotch of her panties until she's whimpering and rolling her hips towards him searching for release.

He stops and pulls away and she's not proud of the sound she makes. Jaime's chuckle is warm against her inner thigh.

“Hold on, Blue Eyes, your pants are in the way.”

Blue Eyes. Brienne's already flushed with need, but she feels warmth deepen her chest, flare up her neck at the nickname. Maybe he's already forgotten she's Brienne; maybe it's a name he uses for all of his blue-eyed conquests. She doesn't care.

Jaime's good at undressing her; swift, confident movements that get her pants off and tossed over his shoulder with ease. He licks his lips and then snaps the band of her underwear.

“I want you to take your panties off for me,” he tells her and Brienne tries to bring her knees together to stall the sudden ache in her cunt, but his shoulders are too wide and strong for that. He backs up so he's on his heels, tugging her to a sitting position with him. His cock has slipped out of the slit in his boxers and Brienne imagines just shoving him down where he is and sinking onto it.

It takes every last brain cell she has to not get lost in that image, but she manages a response. “You're not very polite.”

A smile spreads slow, like butter melting, and he wraps his hands around the backs of her calves. Brienne has long, thick legs, and the men she's been with have always been intimidated by them. Jaime's hands are big enough they make her look normal; she stares at his fingers golden against her ghostly skin.

“Will you please take your panties off for me, so I can fuck you with my tongue?” he asks, all sweet tones and dirty intent.

Even the other woman Brienne has been tonight can't form words to that, so she just nods and wriggles out of her underwear while Jaime's eyes devour her. He's still holding her calves as she does it, just enough width that when she pulls them down past her knees, she knows he's getting a full view of her cunt. He drinks it in, fingers tightening on her legs.

He helps her get her panties the rest of the way off, and then buries his face in her lap, his rough stubble rubbing hard along the tender skin. Brienne expects him to go straight for her clit, but he works his way around, lapping at the seam of her thigh, mouthing her labia, sliding his tongue in a figure eight that avoids the parts of her burning hottest for him.

She grips his head and tries to hold him still, but it's no use, he's got a mind of his own and her body is barely under her control as he builds her up like an architect and then, when he sucks her clit between his lips and slides his finger into her cunt, he shatters her apart again with unbearable ease.

Brienne arches up off the bed into his mouth, and his free hand slides up her leg to cup her ass and hold her against him while he laps eagerly at her. It's too much; her whole body is a bundle of nerves and she squirms until he stops, staring up at her with so little green left in his hungry stare it's easy to think he's not real at all.

“Get a condom,” he tells her, and she's too limp and hazy to do more than lay back on the bed and reach with one long arm over her head to grab the box. “Oh fuck,” he groans, like he's hurting. She looks back at where Jaime's standing, his cock sticking out proudly from his jeans, his face twisted with desperation. “You are so fucking long.”

In a moment she's herself again, half-naked and too big for a motel room bed, and she clutches the condom box to her chest. “Sorry, I--”

“Sorry?” he rasps. He palms himself and Brienne swallows hard. “Give me the box and just... will you leave your arms up above your head like that while I put it on? So I can see all of you?”

Brienne nods and does as he's asked, stretching both arms up so her palms are flat against the wall behind her, and she's never seen a man look at her with such wild, fierce arousal. She clenches her legs together, her feet tucking up against the bottom of the bed. Jaime's naked seconds later, ripping open the box and throwing it aside once he's got a condom. There is something in his barely restrained lust – for her, somehow, and for tonight she decides to believe it – that makes her brave again.

“Don't lose those, we'll need them,” she murmurs, and the sound he makes is pulled up from the earth itself.

“I'll steal more from the front desk if I have to,” he assures her as he urges her legs apart again and moves between them, tugging their length up and around his hips. The bed creaks under his added weight, but it's a lot quieter than the sound she makes when he slides his cock into her without another word. Her hands press so hard into the wall her wrists ache.

Jaime tugs at the top button of her shirt, then the second, exposes her bare chest underneath and he gives a tiny, strained laugh. “You're killing me,” he says appreciatively, dipping his head to suck at her small breasts, his hands gripping her waist. He's thrusting shallowly into her while he drags his teeth over her nipples, teases just the end of his cock at the entrance to her fluttering cunt when he takes her breast into his mouth. It feels good but her impatience is ferocious, a monster unfolding from the dark loneliness inside her, one she never lets out and can't control tonight. She grabs at his shoulders, his back, trying to get him to thrust all the way in, scratching blunt nails over the bunching muscles of his body.

She's nearly begging when Jaime lets her breast go with a pop and then drives his length into her in a sharp move, their pelvises locking together while Brienne wails with relief.

Jaime, it seems, can't wait any longer either, because his hands are iron bands on her hips as he pistons into her with an abandon that she encourages with high-pitched keening, with the push of her body to his. She slaps her hands back against the wall again for leverage and he curses low and long and then cries out as she clenches around him, demanding his surrender. He gives it to her, jerking pulses that swell and shudder and finally still with a last few stuttered movements of his hips into hers.

“Holy shit,” Jaime gasps, trembling when he slides out of her and collapses on the bed at her side. They're both gulping air, and Brienne's realizing it's not as warm in this room as she'd thought when she'd been on fire with need.

He sneaks his hand onto her sweaty stomach under her rucked up shirt, runs his fingers over her abdomen. “You didn't orgasm, did you?” he asks and Brienne, inexplicably given what they've just done, blushes, turning her face away from him. His breath puffs hot on her shoulder.

“I did the first time,” she mumbles.

Jaime's suddenly much nearer when he whispers in her ear, “I promised you two-fold.” He slides his fingers down over her mound, slips them between the lips of her cunt and her clit is plump and aching and it takes no time at all for him to tease her over the edge again on a cry she chokes back in the quiet room.

“Better,” he says smugly. Brienne stares hazily up at the ceiling and wonders if he's always like this, or if he's different tonight, too. His eyes are very green up close, his lips pink and shiny, his face unspeakably handsome, so much so that her confident image of herself starts to fade before it.

“I should...” she starts, gesturing at the bathroom, and Jaime lifts his hand from between her legs, wiping his fingers on his own stomach. Brienne escapes into the tiny space, closing the door. It's thin as cardboard and she hears the bed creak as Jaime gets up, hears him moving around the room. She waits to hear the front door open and close, but it never comes, and when she peeks her head out again, Jaime's lying on the bed, his head tucked on his arms. There's no hesitance or shyness to him, stretched out long and muscular, though she supposes he doesn't need it.

She wonders whose ring he's not wearing, and for how long he hasn't worn it.

Brienne washes her hands and looks at herself in the mirror. Her chest is red, her face and neck are pink. There are freckles all over her broad face and down her neck and disappearing into her shirt, just as always. But she looks well-fucked, and the man on the bed behind her seems interested in more, even though she's feeling more like a fraud by the second.

“I don't usually do this,” she says, her voice timid even to herself.

“Hm?”

Brienne looks at him in the mirror, his head turned curiously her way. His hair is gold as summer.

“Picking up strangers,” she explains, and Jaime's mouth cracks into a lopsided smile.

“You still haven't. I picked you up.”

She laughs a little, startled, and nods at his reflection. “I guess so.” Brienne wants, desperately, to ask him why. What or who he's avoiding that he'd settle for her, but she's not sure she really wants to know. It's better they both just accept they're using each other without having to explain why. That's her only rule tonight.

Brienne takes a steadying breath and turns to face him. “So now what?” she asks, and Jaime's flaccid cock twitches.

“Now you come sit on my face,” he says, and she can't even look at him as he laughs in delight. “Mostly naked and yet so demure.”

“Totally naked and yet so arrogant,” she says, lifting her chin. Somehow he looks even more pleased at her response.

Jaime rolls one shoulder in an elegant shrug. “Should I not be? You seemed satisfied enough.”

“What if I tell you I was faking it?” she says archly. She's not sure where this snappy, confident Brienne came from, but she's going to miss her when she's gone in the morning.

He lifts up onto his elbows, his cock lengthening under her stare and she's as hungry for him in a moment as she was when he first entered the room. “Then you're a fucking liar,” he says. “And I'd be happy to prove it to you.”

While she was in the bathroom he'd laid out a handful of condoms on the end table and she stalks over and grabs one while he flops back down on the bed, his eyes darkening pools. Brienne rips it open and hands it to Jaime, but he just stares blandly at her.

“You're so eager, you put it on,” he tells her. “I wanted to eat you out first.”

She feels half-drunk, but the bad bourbon and plain beer burned off awhile ago so she knows it just for a sudden, consuming lust. Brienne tries to remember what they taught her in health class years ago about putting a condom on and it's awkward but she manages while Jaime hisses a little as she holds him tightly. It's nothing like a banana she thinks, and bites back a semi-hysterical grin.

“Quite a grip you've got there, Blue Eyes,” Jaime interrupts her careening train of thought, his voice ragged as she sits astride his legs, hovering over his cock. “Your bench press must be impressive.”

“It is,” she says, and then sits down slowly, welcoming him inside. She's not as wet this time and it's slow progress until Jaime starts playing with her clit, rubbing and nudging it with his knuckles, his other hand working at the last buttons on her shirt in a surprisingly coordinated attack.

Soon enough Brienne's shirt falls open and her cunt is leaking around him and she settles all the way down his thick length, worried for a moment she's too heavy when he shuts his eyes and arches his head back. She starts to lift off again and he grabs her waist and pulls her back down.

“Hold on, it's just-- you're so tight. I just want to feel you.”

Brienne clenches her cunt around him and Jaime groans. “Like this?” she asks, adopting his sweet tone from earlier and when his eyes fly open again she inhales sharply at the pure, wild want in them. He's as desperate as she is.

They don't talk much after that.

She controls the tempo this time and though she wishes she had his teasing resolve from earlier, she doesn't. What she has is his chest hot under her hands and his eyelashes fluttering closed as he makes her come hard around him, steel in her soft, grasping center; she has the way his biceps strain when he grabs her hips after and pounds into her, nearly lifting them off the bed in his furious jerks and she's wrung out and sensitive and needy when he cries out and goes rigid between her thighs.

She has barely any breath at all as she lays down on his chest and he wraps his arms around her, holding her close. Without thinking she presses her mouth to the underside of his jaw, runs her lips over the stubble. He stiffens and she realizes we haven't even kissed and tucks her head to the other side, staring at the ugly curtains. It's much easier to look at them than to look at his too-beautiful face.

“Sorry,” she mumbles into the matching ugly comforter.

“You apologize too much,” Jaime says. He shifts out from under her and climbs out of bed, dropping the condom off in the trash can on his way to the bathroom.

I should go, she thinks. It's early-late and she's getting tired and Jaime's the one who paid for the room, not her. Brienne's knows what she imagined when she'd left the bar with him: an entire night of unrestrained fucking, falling asleep sated and exhausted, and then waking in the morning with him gone and her heart lifted enough to go on not quite as heavy as before.

It was a foolish thought, she realizes now, because she's not who she's pretending to be and they're both still human; they both have to stop and recover between sessions, they both have to pee, and her mouth is starting to taste like cotton from the alcohol. Jaime's a little too full of himself and she's not enough.

Brienne stands, finds her pants easily enough on the TV, but is still looking for her underwear when Jaime comes back out of the bathroom.

He lifts his eyebrows. “Tidying or leaving?”

She clutches her pants against her body and tries to look as nonchalant as he is, but she's not sure her shoulders know how to do anything but creep up nervously towards her ears. “I don't know,” she tells him, defaulting to honesty.

“Well,” he drawls, “we've got the room all night, and I did buy an entire box of condoms.”

“Are you trying to convince me to stay so we haven't wasted your money?”

“Is it working?” he asks, grinning sharply as he sits down on the bed, leaning against the wall and crossing his legs out before him. Whatever had been haunting him at the bar seems to have been exorcised for the moment, and though Brienne stares openly at his body, Jaime doesn't seem to mind at all. She's never seen anyone so unconcerned with their own nakedness; in Brienne's experience even men want to disappear under the covers once they've gotten off.

Of course, in Brienne's experience she's also never slept with someone who could be an underwear model.

“You're more convincing than guilt,” she admits, and he pats the bed next to him in invitation. Brienne folds her jeans and sets them on the dresser before she joins him, wincing with every angry creak of the bed frame.

Her legs stick out farther than his do.

“Should we take a nap?” she asks, her voice hushed. They can hear the faint sound of the highway outside and she wonders with mortification how many of the other people in the motel have heard their ecstatic noises. It's so much easier when she's being the Brienne who wouldn't care about those things.

“We could,” Jaime says. “Or we could talk. Or the face-sitting is still on the table.”

Brienne laughs and her cheeks go red again. Jaime draws his finger along the top of her thigh, connecting the freckles in a crooked line. The ring-shaped line on his finger isn't as pale as it could be, she thinks. It must have been a little while at least.

The only things she can think to ask him are dangerously personal, so she covers his hand and presses it flat down onto her leg. “I'm picking the third option,” she says, and his fingers curl against her skin.

“I'd hoped you would,” he murmurs, before he slides back down.

He doesn't give her time to worry about smothering him, and soon she's got her forehead and forearms flush against the wall, and Jaime's head between her thighs. Brienne's struggling not to scream while he fucks her with his tongue and she drenches his cheeks and chin with her shaking release. He holds her up as she comes down, his forearms tucked so firmly under her thighs that she’ll have bruises in the morning to remember him by.

On weak knees she scoots down and off of him, lying on her back at his side. Jaime's cock is half-hard, but when she reaches for it he grabs her wrist.

“Not yet,” he says. She drops her fingers to his hip, but he doesn't let go of her wrist, his hand curving loosely around it, holding her there. If she closes her eyes, it's almost like they're holding hands.

The air is thick with their silence, and Jaime lets her go, rolling to his side to turn off the lamp. It's darker than she'd have expected, the only light what's filtering between the small slit where the curtains don't quite close all the way. Brienne folds her hands over her chest, imagines she must look like a very untidy corpse and then lays them straight at her sides. That doesn't feel much better.

“I don't do this either,” Jaime says. She hears him moving in the darkness, feels his fingers brush her arm. “Picking up strangers.”

“Now you do.”

The bed shakes a little with his chuckle. “I guess I do.”

“I'm glad you did,” she chances, and the pads of his fingers press a little more firmly against her.

“So am I.”

After that they do nap, near each other and barely touching. Brienne's curled on her side facing away when she's woken by Jaime nudging his cock against her ass, his hand skimming over her thigh.

“Are you awake?” he asks out of the darkness.

“I could be,” she whispers back, pushing her body back against his, eliciting a pleasantly guttural growl from him.

Jaime's hand slips down and lifts her leg and he slides his cock between the folds of her cunt, rubbing all along the outside in slow strokes until she's slick and whimpering. He mouths at her shoulder, at the nape of her neck, small bites and tracing paths with his tongue, never quite kissing her but close enough that when he pulls away to put on the condom she whines a little.

He fucks her in slow, easy motion, like the night will last as long as they want it to, and they're in sync through all of it. Jaime sneaks his free hand under and around her body to gently tease her clit and Brienne wants it to go on for hours, the wild need of earlier a tamed, content thing, sweet and almost domestic. But too soon she's gasping, trying to hold on and drag it out before there's a burst of unavoidable white light in the dark and then Jaime's biting down on her shoulder, muffling his cries on her skin.

They lay entwined, Jaime's arms around her, his chest hair tickling her back, his cock softening in her cunt. He kisses her shoulder blade and, with one arm holding her possessively, shifts enough to pull off the condom. She hears it plop to the ground and shakes her head.

“Someone's going to step on that,” she warns him.

“You're welcome to clean it up,” he replies sounding drowsy as he curls around her again, nuzzling into her neck. It's a sensation so intimate that Brienne blushes in the dark, certain he must feel the way her heart's beating harder.

“Jaime,” she says.

“Hm?”

What's your last name? and Where do you live? and Are you thinking of her while you hold me now? all flash in quick succession, right on the tip of her tongue.

The clock is blood-red in the night. 4:03. Dawn is just a couple of hours away.

“Nothing,” she says. She wraps her legs around his, holds his arms close to her chest, and she drifts off to sleep to the sound of his steady breathing.


Brienne wakes, and it's not dark but it's not light either, it's gray, just on the cusp of sunrise. Her back is cold and she feels a tingling swirl of panic. I'm not ready, she thinks, reaching for the empty space at her side. It's still warm.

“Jaime?” she asks, blinking around the room.

“I'm here,” he says, from the chair. Now that she's found him, he's growing clearer, the strip of light from outside decorating his bare chest. Whatever he's doing, he's still naked.

“Is everything all right?” she asks tentatively.

“Yeah.” He levers himself up and crawls onto the bed in a single, smooth motion that takes her breath away. Jaime hovers over her, his eyes searching hers. “I really don't do this,” he says, quiet and intense, his tone begging her to understand.

Brienne touches his jaw, scraping her fingers across his stubbled chin. She nods a little, and though she wants to be confident, one-night-stand Brienne, she's just herself when she says, “I believe you.”

He presses a tender kiss to the side of her mouth, to the bridge of her crooked nose, over the arch of her eyebrow. Brienne wants to kiss him back, but she's absurdly terrified. Instead, she links her arms around his neck and pulls him onto her. He comes willingly, and she can feel him hard against her leg, the roll of his hips as he rubs against her.

“One more time?” he murmurs against the base of her throat. It sounds so final that any answer chokes her. She reaches for the condoms instead, and she can feel him smiling.

He enters her on a sigh, she welcomes him with a soft moan. They move in time, measured at first and then, as the gray starts to brighten, with a fierce passion that has them gripping each other's bodies so hard they'll leave marks. Brienne hopes he feels her all day when he returns to wherever he's from. Jaime comes first, sounding almost reluctant, and then he presses his forehead into her shoulder and slips his hands between them and she lets him lead her willingly into the wave of pleasure one last time.

Brienne blinks hard against threatening tears when he gets up and heads for the bathroom. Jaime may not make a habit of picking up strangers, but they're still both just that, no matter how much she knows now about what he looks like coming apart, or how he knows what she sounds like hoarse and needy. But this is what she went to the bar for: a night to forget how alone she is, and at least she found him instead of just a parade of drinks.

They both take care of themselves and then, unspoken, return to the bed, even though it's getting brighter and the clock shows a little past six. She can see just fine in the room. It's going to be a sunny day.

Jaime pulls her against his side and she lays her hand over his heart, the beat of it strong against her palm. He kisses the side of her head in a gesture that feels romantic but is probably just friendly. He did make her come six times; they may not know each other but they do have that. “You can go to sleep, Brienne,” he says softly.

I don't want to, she protests like a stubborn child, but it's been a long night and it'll be easier to sleep and find him gone, than to be awake and watch him leave.

She knows this is the last she'll see of Jaime, so she memorizes the sharp edge of his jaw, the curling golden hairs on his body, the way she can see the pulse beating in his throat from this close. Brienne wishes she were the other woman she's been pretending to be; that one would have the perfect last words, and a heart strong enough to deliver them. She'd be the one making him watch her leave.

She's not that woman, though, she's just Brienne, with a body too big and a life too empty and this night with a man she barely knows yet might be a little in love with. She falls asleep with her head pillowed on his shoulder and his hand caressing her back, and she wakes a little while later, alone.

Brienne sits up in bed and pulls the blanket up to her neck, staring around. There's almost no sign there was anyone here but her. Her jeans are still folded where she left them, but he's folded her other clothes, too, and laid them on top. All the condoms and wrappers have been thrown away, and the box is sitting on the table. She gets up and gets ready, and once she's fully dressed, her purse tucked under her arm, she hesitates at the door, staring at the box of condoms. God knows she doesn't need them, but it would be a shame to throw them away, and no one's going to use them here, so she grabs it and is surprised to find a slip of paper peeking out from inside. Frowning, Brienne tugs it out, and then opens the curtains to let the light in so she can read it.

There's a phone number, and a message.

Brienne, call me when you're ready to use the rest. - Jaime

It feels like the sunlight is beaming through her skin, pushing the darkness away there, too. She holds the message to her chest and smiles.


Two nights later, Brienne enters the number with a shaky finger, tries to control her breathing as the phone rings once, twice, a third time. Jaime seemed sincere, and to leave a note like that and not mean it would be a cruelty he did not in seem capable of. But she's terrified to hope until someone picks up.

“Hello?”

It's Jaime, and he sounds breathless, too.

“Hi,” she says, too high and fast and she worries he won't remember her.

“Brienne,” he exhales, as bright as the dawn. “You called me.”

“You asked me to.”

“I did. Before you say anything else – what's your last name?”

She smiles down at her bare feet. “Tarth. What's yours?”

“Lannister.”

“Jaime Lannister,” she says, testing the sound of it. “It's nice to meet you.”

“It's nice to meet you, too, Brienne Tarth.”

She can hear him smiling from here, and wherever he is, he doesn't feel far away.