"How did he tame you, I wonder?"
Arya barely blinks at her husband's musing as she strips off her shift and drops it to the floor casually.
Silence is as deadly of weapon as a blade.
She keeps her expression trained and flat as she walks naked through the room to the table and pours them both goblets of wine. The chill of the night air is pleasant, merely a light distraction that tickles her flesh, even if it causes bumps to form over her body and her nipples to harden. No doubt Jaime will misjudge the reasons for the latter.
Assumptions and brash accusations are a death warrant; act with assurance and control, not emotions.
"Do I look tame to you?" She smiles lightly as she changes the subject, her words the whisper of a tease. She flips her hair - it's finally grown, but she will never wear it as long as her mother or sister - back over her shoulder in a silent, playful dare to prove otherwise. Jaime once described Arya's confidence as infectious, but she knows better; it's a dance, more subtle than that of the water dancing she once prided herself in, but equally efficient.
The strongest commands are those unspoken.
"You're not snarling and biting; that seems tame enough." He goads his wife as she makes her way back to the bed, goblets in hand. She'll snarl and bite soon enough, as the marks on his shoulders and arms evidence. She runs a finger - her nails are short and worn, skin rough from years of time outdoors and calloused from using a blade - over one of Jaime's more visible bruises to emphasize her point before she hands him the wine.
Those who flaunt their strength are the weakest of all.
"Smart wolves know when to hide their teeth." The woman sips from her goblet with a frown. Arya’s always preferred the harsher beers of the north to such finer drinks, but she plays along with the charade. Where she once might have cringed at the thought of such conformation, she now accepts its necessity; trust is impossible to breed when you're considered a blemish or aberration. If a mask is what she must wear, then she will become the person they see.
Only a few sips are necessary and Arya places the goblet down on the bedtable before turning her attention to the warm body beside her.
"Another lesson from Father?" She can sense his sneer under the words, his open distaste, but whether it arises from jealousy, disgust, or another emotion, Arya knows not. She’s not that adept at reading him - not yet.
There is value in predictability; your opponents underestimate your ability to shatter expectations.
Jaime's mistakes are juvenile and he falls into her every trap, just as she once did Tywin's. Often she tries to guide and teach him, but he never heeds her lessons. There is continual dissonance between the lovers; even though they are both creatures of action, ones of necessity and harsh realism, Jaime never quite learned the importance of hesitation and control, of words and strategy.
"Perhaps." She rolls on top of him, legs straddling his hips, bored with the game already. Arya tugs lightly at his goblet and takes it from his lazy grasp - he cares little for it, but drinks it for the same reason as she - and places it beside hers on the bedtable. She brings her mouth to her husband’s for a gentle kiss before she blows out the lone remaining candle that illuminates the room.
It's easier to pretend that fire is ice when she cannot see the difference.