An arm slides around her waist, warm and firm, and Sansa bites back the urge to giggle. She peers out through her mask and sees Joffrey on the other side of the room- disguise or no disguise, she’d recognize that arrogant posture, that petulant whine anywhere. No, it cannot be her betrothed who touches her in so familiar a way, who pulls her into an alcove and sprinkles light, tantalizing kisses just below her ear.
“You must try to keep your wits about you,” the Queen had instructed her with a smile, long fingers reaching up to adjust the golden wig that Sansa wears over her auburn hair. “People often behave recklessly when they think no one can recognize them.” Cersei had then pulled the laces of Sansa’s embroidered-silk gown tight, pushing the girl’s small breasts up into a convincing imitation of cleavage. Finally, she dipped the tip of her finger into a crystal vial and dabbed one of her own fragrances on the girl’s pulse points before handing her an elaborate mask of gold and crimson. The Queen waited for Sansa to affix her mask before tying on one of her own; Sansa beamed when she looked at their reflections in the mirror- nearly of a height, with identical streaming curls, the beautiful Lion Queen and the soon-to-be Crown Princess, Lannister colors worn proudly over their faces.
Sansa’s companion wears the same colors; he must be a Lannister cousin or something of the like. Half the population of Lannisport and Casterly Rock appears to be present, after all. Wine of Arbor Gold and Dornish Red swirls in her brain, and she lets herself lean into him, her fair head dropping back against his shoulder as he softly sucks the skin near her collarbone. She feels the light scratching of stubble- he’s a man, then, not a boy.
In an unpleasant little crevice of her mind, Septa Mordane’s voice echoes sharp and dissonant, chastising her for allowing a man, a stranger, to take such liberties. But as she looks around the Hall, she sees that every alcove is occupied by a necking couple. And a glance to the dais reveals Joffrey with a pair of slender, masked women on his lap, his face buried in a pillowy bosom while a pair of gloved hands strokes the hardness between his legs.
A similar hardness pokes at her own backside; Sansa recalls an early evening in Winterfell, when she’d heard strange noises in a normally-secluded hallway. She’d turned a corner and beheld Theon with his breeches down around his knees while one of Sansa’s chamber maids wrapped her hand around him and pumped up and down. And Theon, his head thrown back, the look on his face...
Emboldened by the wine, Sansa reaches behind and softly cups the man through his breeches, applying only the smallest bit of pressure. But before she can properly register what she’s doing, he grips her wrist and pulls her farther into the darkness, bracing her back against the wall and closing her hand more tightly around him. She rubs, a dull fascination pressing at her brain, and she opens her mouth for him, tasting the wine on his tongue when he kisses her (this part, at least, is familiar; Joffrey’s kisses grow more insistent by the day).
He cups her breasts, stroking his thumbs into the tight space between them; when he bends his knees and replaces his fingers with his tongue, she whimpers, tossing her head with enough force to knock her wig askew.
He pushes up harder into her palm and drops his hand down to brush over her lower belly, slowly but surely moving down-
She flinches back from him then, shifting her hips away, and he gives her a savage grin, white teeth glittering in the low, low light.
“Don’t play with me,” he hisses before delivering a hard nip to her neck. “It’s dark enough, there’s no one to see.”
Sansa thinks to turn and run, but the wine buzzes through her body, along with something else, something she remembers feeling when she watched Theon and the chamber maid, a queer tingling between her thighs...
He kisses her again, his hand large and calloused against her cheek. When he breaks away, he holds her fast, his thumb in her mouth, and stares hard into her eyes. The light is scarce, but she can still see the green of his, the vibrant, jewel-toned green...
And then a startled flicker, and he’s pulling at the ties of her mask, deaf to her peeping objections. It falls away, and he sucks in a horrified breath- suddenly incensed by the unfairness of it all, she reaches for him and pushes his mask up over his brow-
Jaime Lannister looks at her as if he’s seen a ghost, lips pressed thin and face blanched. A hard punch of dread assails her stomach; Gods, he’s Kingsguard, he’ll have to tell Joffrey...I’ll be paraded through the streets as a whore, and then they’ll have my head...
Her heart thumps in her ears, so loud that she’s sure the sound will ricochet off of the stone walls. Perhaps if she begs, perhaps if she tries to barter- nonsense. I don’t have anything that Jaime Lannister would need or want.
While she gapes at him in silent panic, Ser Jaime takes hold of her shoulders and speaks in a low growl:
“This never happened. Do you understand? I’ll walk back into the hall. You’ll take a few moments here to straighten yourself up, and then you’ll return as well. This will never be spoken of again.”
A warm blanket of relief wraps itself around her, and she nods eagerly. His eyes are still so stricken, his face still parchment pale- it occurs to Sansa to wonder why the infamous Kingslayer would fear Joffrey’s rage so powerfully, but she has no wish to question this unexpected good fortune.
As she reattaches her mask to her face, she watches Ser Jaime pause in the archway for a moment before streaking across the Hall in a flash of red and gold, determinedly striding to an area near the dais. There the Queen sits, her golden curls cascading over her shoulders, her red and gold mask perfectly in place...her mask, exactly like Sansa’s...
She shakes the ridiculous thought from her head with a nervous laugh and reminds herself never to mix gold and red wines together again.