Rapid and heavy knocking upon the door to her chambers woke Arya in the dim glow of morning. Beside her in the bed, Sansa groaned in protested, pulling a pillow over her head and rolling over as though ignoring the knocker would make them go away.
"Arya? Open the door!" Father's voice called through it and Arya's brow furrowed.
"What have I done now?" she muttered to herself.
The twinges and aches as she rolled out of bed to her feet stilled her heart, recalling to mind that before her late-night feast with Sansa, she'd slept with Gendry. What if someone had seen them? Arya's stomach turned over and she blanched, reaching for the bedpost before squaring her shoulders and steeling her courage.
Sansa grumbled under the pillow again when their father pounded on the door again. Hurrying, even though it might mean her doom, Arya crossed to the door and wrenched it open.
"What is it, Father?" Arya asked, scowling at him in the dim light of morning.
"It's Sansa," Ned Stark said seriously, paying no mind to her dishevelled hair and foul mood so early in the morning. "She disappeared from Lord Tyrell's chambers last night and didn't return. He said he left her in the kitchens with you, but when she didn't return, he grew worried. I…"
Ned trailed off when Arya began to smile just a little bit before stepping to the side to reveal the lump Sansa made under the covers of her bed.
"Arya… you had better…" Lord Stark began, obviously mistaking the lump for Gendry, rather than Sansa.
"Too much noise," Sansa's voice was muffled by the pillow over her head, but nonetheless distinguishable.
"Sansa?" Ned asked hoarsely, frowning at the lump under the covers as Sansa rolled again, the sheet pulling tight to reveal her pregnant, feminine shape.
He looked to Arya for confirmation when Sansa grumbled inarticulately in response.
"We had a sleepover," Arya shrugged her shoulders.
"You've never had a sleepover," Ned argued, his shoulders slumping a little as the tension and fear drained away to know his eldest daughter was safe.
"Now, we have," Arya said. "Hadn't you better go and let Willas and the others know that Sansa is fine, before this turns into an uproar?"
"Is she fine?" Ned asked of Arya, frowning at her suspiciously.
"Why wouldn't she be?" Arya demanded, putting her hands on her hips. "She's my sister!"
"Father, I'm fine," Sansa groaned from the bed. "Tired…"
Ned shook his head slowly, his eyes returning to her where she still laid in bed as she pulled the pillow from over her face, revealing the shock of her bright red hair against the cream of the bedding.
"Get some more sleep, darling," Ned said gently, smiling just a little when Sansa looked at him with bloodshot eyes.
Sansa nodded, rolling away again, one hand clutching her pregnant belly carefully before she groaned.
"Can't," she muttered. "Need the chamberpot."
"We'll get out of your hair, then," Arya rolled her eyes, stepping toward her Father.
"Stay and get dressed," Ned cautioned her. "Many are already up and about, worried for Sansa. And the King and Queens and all their host will arrive today."
Arya frowned at the order, but sighed, nodding her head as she watched her sister climb out of bed and carry a clean chamber-pot behind the screen for dressing, apparently wanting a little privacy.
"I'll let the others know that Sansa is safe," Ned said.
Arya nodded, watching Lady and Nymeria both dart out the door of the chamber before Ned closed the door behind him.
"I'll never live this down," Sansa said when he was gone to cover the said of her emptying her bladder.
"It's just a night spent with your sister, Sansa," Arya said. "If anything, it will please Mother to know we're finally getting along, and it might even make things with your Tyrell friends a little less strained to know that you are human and love your sister. Being so prim and proper and perfect all the time is probably as tiresome for them as it is for you. Maybe you can all relax a little more, now."
Sansa sighed, sounding like she doubted it, while Arya dressed in one of the many tunics that Sansa had made for her – this one a deep shade of plum – and pairing it with charcoal britches. Secretly, she thought the darker colours might better hide the sooty fingerprints Gendry was likely to leave upon her. Her stomach flipped nervously at the thought of seeing him again after what they had done last night in the forge and she smiled, wanting to hurry to breakfast so that she could see him.
"Do you have anything a bit more suitable that I can put on?" Sansa asked of Arya carefully when she rounded the privacy screen dressed only in her underthings that she'd slept in before raiding the kitchen.
Arya looked over the dishevelled and pregnant young woman her sister had become and she couldn't help but smile.
"Don't you look a picture?" Arya teased her gently.
"Arya," Sansa warned, never at her most cheerful in the mornings. "I already feel like I'm going to be struck by morning sickness. I'm a laughing stock. Please don't make things worse by being cruel."
Arya's grin widened.
"You look more beautiful this way, you know?" Arya told her quietly, watching her. "With your hair loose of any style and hanging down your back, and your pregnancy evident, but hidden. The make-up and the fancy dresses and elaborate hairstyles are lovely, but you really do look lovely just as you are."
"Are you sure you're my sister?" Sansa challenged, as Arya had done to her last night.
"It seems we both have changed a little for the better since your wedding, dear sister," Arya said.
Sansa nodded, biting her lower lip and looking around the chamber.
"I'm wasting my hope to think you might have a dress I could borrow, aren't I?" Sansa asked finally.
"Not at all," Arya grinned. "Mother had several dresses made for me that I've been refusing to wear."
"They will hardly fit me," Sansa sighed, indicating to her pregnant belly and then to Arya's own lithe frame, not to mention the difference in their heights.
"We can make do," Arya said, digging into the foot locker at the end of the bed and unearthing a brilliant forest green gown made in the Northern style, but from a lighter fabric to accommodate for the humidity of the Stormlands.
"Why did Mother have these made for you?" Sansa asked, picking over the other dresses of a similar style and noting that they had been designed to adjust for an expanding waistline.
"Imagining I'll succumb to wearing them should I ever fall pregnant, I expect," Arya told her. "She muttered something about ease of access to the privy without the complication of ties on my britches. They might not be quite long enough for you, but we could let the hems down?"
"Unpicking them will take too long," Sansa said, slipping the dress on carefully and tying it up, accommodating for her bulge and her heavy breasts as best she could.
The tops of her feet were visible – making it evident they were bare thanks to her shoes still being her chambers, but that was all.
"I can't offer you shoes," Arya told her.
"No, they won't fit," Sansa sighed. "That's ok. I'll return to my chambers for my own."
Arya nodded, leading the way out into the corridors. A few of the servants were wandering about, and Arya saw a few of them look at the Stark sisters curiously before turning away. Arya saw Sansa tense at their actions, too, clearly worried about their opinions and Arya shook her head, leading the way down the hall toward the chambers her sister had been given to share with Willas.
Inside, Sansa hurried to put on her boots, not bothering to change out of the dress, knowing Arya likely didn't want it back, anyway. Arya stood by the door, noting the messy state of the bed and the obvious hurry Willas must have been in when he'd awoken to find Sansa missing. His outer doublet was still hanging over the back of a chair by the fire, along with his belt and his sword.
Just before they could turn to make their own exit, Willas appeared.
"By the Seven, thank the Gods you're alright," he exclaimed by way of greeting, and Arya was impressed with his speed when he strode toward Sansa determinedly, his relief evident upon his face. He was so intent on the redhead, Arya felt certain he hadn't noticed her; what was more, he moved so quickly to scoop Sansa into his arms that he almost seemed whole, barely limping at all. And when he reached Sansa, who immediately looked chastised and sheepish, Willas wasted no time scolding her before lifting her right off her feet and lowering his face to hers.
He kissed her passionately, and it was evident to Arya in that moment that he poured his every emotion of the past hours into that kiss. His worry. His fear. His frustration with his own impotence. His love for Sansa. All of it was evident as he held the pregnant young woman to him and claimed her lips as Arya was sure he'd feared he might never manage to do again.
Taking her leave silently when Sansa surrendered to the kiss and tangled her fingers into Willas's hair, Arya pulled the door closed behind her to allow the young couple some privacy.
Inside, Sansa was breathing hard when Willas's bad leg got the best of him and he sank to sit on the edge of the bed, his arms still tight around her and forcing her to straddle him as she had never done before.
"I'm sorry," Sansa whispered against his lips when they broke for air. "I didn't mean to worry anyone. Arya and I stayed up late in the kitchen eating lemon cakes, and then returned to her chambers to continue our talks. It was just easier to stay there to sleep than to get back out of the bed."
"I was so worried," Willas admitted just as quietly, opening his eyes to look at her, drinking her in.
"I'm sorry," Sansa repeated.
"Don't be," Willas said, smiling a little. "I am pleased that you and your sister have found a truce between you. I know you had feared she did not care for you."
Sansa smiled shyly, sitting up a little straighter but not moving off his lap. She was finding that she actually liked touching him, and it felt good to know she was cherished. The anguish on his face before he had scooped her up let her know that he truly had worried she'd been lost, and that the thought had pained him. Arya's words from the night before returned to her mind as she traced her eyes over his handsome face, regarding her husband in a new light.
"Arya's promised that she will come to Highgarden when it's time for the baby to come," Sansa said softly, smiling.
"I'm sure that will make you feel more at peace," Willas smiled in return. "Though terrifying your newly wedded sister with the strains of birth might not be the wisest move if Lord Gendry is ever to manage heirs of his own."
Sansa giggled a little bit.
"Somehow, I don't imagine he'll have so very much trouble with that, based on what Arya was saying to me about him last night. I never would've believed it possible, but I do think my wild little urchin of a sister might actually be in love," Sansa shared quietly.
"Just so," Willas nodded. "It wouldn't do for poor Lord Baratheon to be so utterly besotted without his Lady returning his affections."
Sansa wondered if that was how he felt about the two of them and she wondered if maybe Arya was right that she should spend a little less time worrying what other people thought, and a little more time building something real with her husband. Leaning forward slowly, watching him carefully, Sansa reached for his lips gently with her own. She was careful, hesitant, unsure what he would think when he was usually the one to initiate such things.
Willas's eyes dropped to her mouth as she leaned closer, and he wetted his lips with anticipation. Sansa closed the distance between them until she could kiss him again, taking her time to explore his mouth and to find out what he liked. Seated in his lap as she was, Sansa found that she could feel it as he hardened beneath her, and for the first time, it felt like a reward for the way she was kissing him, rather than a chore to be dealt with. She shifted a little on his lap, and they both gasped at the sensation.
Shifting again until Willas lowered his hands to her hips and guided them in a circular motion, Sansa kissed him harder, sparkles of pleasure the friction incited making her quiver with need.
"By the Gods," Willas muttered, his eyes closed in rapture when Sansa carefully pulled at the ties on his shirt before pulling the garment off over his head.
He made to roll the two of them, scooping one arm around her back, but Sansa stopped him. Maybe Arya had been right. Maybe she could enjoy being with her husband. Maybe she could offer him relief without pain if she was on top.
"Wait," she said, pulling back to press her hands to his shoulders. "I… lie back, please?"
Willas looked surprised but he complied, lowering himself back until he was stretched out flat.
Shifting slightly, Sansa pressed soft kisses over his strong chest, the soft hairs there tickling her nose and her cheeks even as her hands began to gather the skirts of her dress and her shift. When they were out of the way – and she wasn't brave enough to take off the dress and ride him at the same time just yet – Sansa fumbled with the ties on his britches. Willas hissed in a breath, his eyes blazing with heat when she slipped her hand inside them and stroked his cock carefully. She had touched it before, of course, but she'd never been so forward. Those times when she had done so, he had guided her hand, trying to show her what he liked without pushing her to hard.
Now, she wished she'd paid more attention, but Willas didn't seem to mind her clumsiness. She stroked him until his breath came in sharp puffd and gasps, his hands gripping her hips so tightly, Sansa wondered if she might bruise. Unable to believe she was doing so, but doing it just the same, Sansa moved her free hand to her drenched folds, grinding against him having aroused her more than she could ever remember before. She carefully parted her body, preparing to guide him inside of her.
"Gods, Sansa," Willas breathed, his eyes closed, his grip fierce, and Sansa paused, her body poised over his, the tip of him just waiting to bury within her like an arrow.
Sansa felt a thrill rush through her at his words and she marvelled at feeling so desirable. So powerful. She'd never wanted him so much. Sinking down on him slowly, Sansa worked him inside of her body until he was fully sheathed and Willas groaned with delight. Sansa sighed happily, rising up his length again only to sink down once more. It felt good. From this angle, it felt good to sleep with him. It felt good to take him inside her body this way. Stimulated beyond belief, she found a slow and satisfying rhythm; up and down and up again, riding him gently and feeling him flex into her on every one of her downward strokes. He never released her hips, his strong arms lifting her and guiding her when her thighs quaked with the strain of the unfamiliar movement.
"Oh," Sansa huffed, overcome when she sank again and he flexed hard, hitting some new part of her.
Her head dropped back, and she was breathing hard.
"Gods, that feels so good," Willas told her, his voice hoarse as his breath sawed in and out.
Sansa moaned softly in agreement, rising again and sliding down upon him all over again. She needed more, her body practically hummed with it, and Sansa realised in an instant as she began to chase that feeling of something building deep inside her that this was what Arya had meant about thinking less and feeling more. Increasing her pace, intent on chasing down that tightening heat deep inside of her, Sansa threw off the restraints of propriety for the first time in living memory as best she was able. Faster and faster, she rose and fell until she was bouncing upon him as though he was a galloping steed.
Curses she'd never heard him utter fell from his lips and Sansa let them go because they were the very words she was thinking as she chased and chased and chased that feeling until she caught it.
"Oooohhhhh," she moaned hoarsely, her back arching, her hips spasmsing, her body twitching with her release before she collapsed against Willas's chest, spent.
Willas hummed softly as she laid her cheek against his bare chest, both of them breathing heavily while his hands began to smooth up and down the length of her back in a way that made Sansa want to arch into the touch like a languid kitten.
"By the Gods," Willas murmured some time later. "I was so worried when I woke and you were gone, my lady Sansa, but if this is the type of reunion I can expect when you return, I think I could stand to see you spending more nights with Lady Arya, if it pleases."
Sansa giggled against his chest, her cheeks aglow with sweet satiation and embarrassment at her own forwardness, but she couldn't find it in herself to regret what they had done or to lament taking Arya's advice. Perhaps her little sister was cleverer than she'd been led to believe, after all.