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She is called the Virgin Queen. It’s not an official title, nothing that anyone in any royal position acknowledges. But Sansa knows enough of the people to know that they call her such a thing. Unwed and unbowed, she rules the North alone and allows them their ideals, allows them to think of her as pure and chaste, like the snow that surrounds them through the long winter and blankets everything in a soft, chill hush.

They need not know that when she is in her chambers at night with Jon Snow on his knees at her feet with his mouth worshipping her cunt, she feels anything but pure.

She watches him during the days, her sworn shield, captain of her guard and protector of her person. He trains in the yard below her solar window, teaching her men, fighting them, protecting them as he does Sansa herself. Unlike the men he trains, he wears no helmet and his dark curls shine in the harsh light of the sun. Her fingers were twined in that dark hair just this morrow in the hour before dawn. She fisted her hands and opened her knees wider, as wide as she could, until they touched the bed on either side of her, and he sucked and lapped at her, kissed her in a way more intimate and primal than she could have ever imagined as a starry-eyed girl when he was only her half-brother rather than also her lover.

“Sansa,” he’d said, the rare use of her name rather than her title sending a thrill up her spine. “So sweet, gods, I could taste you forever.”

“You are sworn to me until death,” she’d reminded him, panting, writhing up against his mouth, needing to feel him a hundred times more than she ever could. She could feel his lips curve into a smile against her most tender flesh; her answering shiver was violent, painful, perfect.

“Then taste you forever I shall.”

Little of that sweet, carnal man remains in the yard below as she watches now. His face is set in a thoughtful frown as he focuses on the men he trains. Sansa does not delude herself into thinking anything in her life is truly private, but oh, how careful she is with Jon, how secret, until the secrecy itself becomes part of the pleasure. Even after he’s tasted her more times than she could count, her blood still sings with illicit delight when he leaves Ghost in her antechambers to guard them, when he comes to her bedchamber with his eyes hot and his words sweet and obscene, telling her how he wants to taste her, how he’s thought of her cunt all day, how he wants to bury his tongue inside her and make her scream. And she wants him to, oh, how very much she wants; she spends the hour before she retires wet and throbbing each day in anticipation, wanting to touch herself but refusing, preferring the sweet, fierce relief she feels at the very first touch of his mouth. And then he kneels before her, he works her shift up with small kisses at her knees and thighs and hips. They wrench her heart and make her ache, those small, chaste kisses that he presses against her, like snowflakes on her skin. He opens his mouth between her legs and she is shattered into so many pieces she thinks she could never be reassembled.

“Please,” wells up in her throat, a hundred times over, but she never gives it voice. Queens do not say please, they do not beg. Each time her heart and mind say please, she tightens her fingers in his hair, opens her knees wider or lowers herself more on to the mouth she is astride as if riding her horse in a royal procession. She opens herself to him and demands what he wants so desperately to give. He is her sworn servant, her subject. She is his liege.

He is a rarity in Sansa’s world, a man who does not press or demand. He tastes her with unbridled desire and delight each time, as if each time is the first time, and never asks for more. While part of Sansa wants more – part of her is desperate for more, always more from him – the rest of her needs this secret bliss, her sworn man wanting only to please her with his mouth. Perhaps it’s that he’s her half-brother that does not allow her to consider more. Perhaps not. Sansa only knows that she’s not had enough yet, not near enough of Jon on his knees, giving service to his Queen and asking for nothing, wanting only to give.

Perhaps someday she’ll have had enough. That day seems far away yet.