"You will not hurt me.”
It is not a question, it is a statement. A realization. Stannis will not hurt me either, she thinks. But he is offering to take me home.
“No,” he says, brow furrowing. His eyes do not leave hers. “Little bird, I will not hurt you.”
Sansa brings herself up to her full height, panicking slightly when he moves to turn away. She reaches out for him without thinking, wrapping her arm around his blood-slicked armor. Pulls him back—her strength is too weak to be forcible, but he turns for her anyway.
Stannis will not harm her. She told him that. But is staying the correct choice? Will Stannis send her home or will she be yet again a prisoner?
This is her chance.
She swallows, forcing him to look at her now, keeping him from turning with her gaze. “Is—is that a vow?”
“What are you going on about, little bird?”
“Is—that—a—vow.” She spits the words out between her teeth, grabbing at his wineskin and throwing it to the floor. “Do you vow it? Will you make vows, my lord? You have deserted your king. You may leave now if you so choose, but if you wish to take me with you, I will not be some—some.”
He laughs. “I am no hero. Just a killer.”
She bristles. “All men are killers?” She throws his words back at him, a bitter drink.
“You’re a killer,” she confirms, raising a brow. He nods. “But you will not hurt me.”
“No.” He sighs, growing more and more uncomfortable. She raises a hand—it is like calming the women, singing hymns, tending to Lancel, calming the queen—to his cheek, directing his gaze to her face. Away from the green fire, Littlefinger’s words in the back of her mind. He is afraid.
“And you will take me to Winterfell.”
“And I ask again,” Sansa says, dropping her head and wiping it on her dress discreetly. “Will you vow it to me?”
“What are you asking, girl?” He looks like he is about to bolt again, his hand going to the pommel of his sword before flitting to the handle of his dagger. She eyes him warily, taking a step backwards, a sharp intake of breath belaying the calm she is trying to exude. “I will go with you if you swear your sword to me.”
Clegane barks a laugh. “I came here with an offer. Not to enter into a contract with a little girl.”
Sansa feels tears prickling at her eyes. He is so hateful. He speaks of killing. But he has done good. He is no true knight, yet he saved me all the same. And now he will walk away.
“Fine,” she says, voice wobbling. “I will not keep you, ser. Go, if you intend to leave.”
He nods, and turns to leave. Sansa’s breathing hitches, tears finally escaping her eyes as she whirls to face the window, to watch the fire that the hound will now run to escape. The fire, the Lannisters, his demons. She had prayed for him to be gentled, and this had happened.
Had she made the right decision? Should she had left with him?
The door shuts, and Sansa turns around, furiously wiping at her eyes.
His bloodied cloak lays on the floor, abandoned in a wrinkled heap. Her blood pounds through her body, making her feel light and weak. She can barely stand, and then cannot, crumpling to the floor, overwhelmed by fear and indecision.
The sky darkens as the flames die. A chilly wind bursts through her window, rattling the shudders.
Sansa crawls over to the cloak, shakes it out, and wraps it around herself.
No velvet has ever felt as fine.