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Hot blood and tired hands

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She smelt of orange flower, and when she leant close he could smell mint hot on the breath. You learnt a lot about people in King’s Landing from their smell. In the forge all was damp clay, leather, iron, embers choking out their laboured breaths in the forge. It smelt of earth and work. The rich had a chance to slather on perfumes to try and stop the shit and piss from penetrating their bodies. And colours too, colours that blinded you. This one wore turqoise and spun gold to match her husband. Her eyes drank him in, this boy-child

They did that often. They saw him as exotic and brutal and rough and imagined his hands over them, bruising their hips with the thumbs used to work metal. When they found out he was a bastard it was all the worse, for bastards had hot blood, everyone knew. Conceived in lust to live in lust, they said.

So she tilts over to him and begs him to take her, here, amidst the smoke and the clay and the stink. He imagines her body twisted over the anvil, submitting to the dirtied hands and crude words he could fashion with his mouth about her body, not the poetry soft noble lovers speak of maidens with skin as soft as cream but of a woman he would twist his body into, break in half. But it is desire not for her body but for something else, something he can never voice properly, and it only becomes a temptation when he thinks of the husband watching as he took his lady-wife in the ground, marking his treasure as his own.

“No thank you, m’lady.” He mumbles, as usual. She flutters away, embarassed. She will find another boy, he thinks, another boy who wishes to rip the silks away (even if just to feel them) and taste the perfume, sweet as fruit ripened on the tongue. He flexes his fingers for the hold of the hammer.