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“Where are those fucking riders? My balls are freezing off,” Kert complained and stood closer to the brazier atop Winterfell’s walls by the Hunter’s Gate. Word had been sent from Castle Black of wildlings bringing a shipment of obsidian blades to help Winterfell’s guards better protect the Queen in the North. They were due to arrive this very night.

“You stand any closer to those coals and your balls will burn off.” Sandor Clegane pulled his cloak tighter around him as he stood with the other guards.

“Seems to me they should have waited till morning to avoid the Others and the wights,” Pellar mused, while attempting to pick his nose with heavy gloves on.

“And just where should they have waited?” Kert snorted. “At the Inn that the Bolton bastard burned or the one under thirty feet of snow?”

Sandor’s mouth twitched in amusement or perhaps annoyance. Sometimes even he couldn’t tell the difference.

Pellar frowned, embarrassed.

“Or perhaps you mean the one overrun by the great pack of wolves,” Kert continued mocking, and some of the other guards snickered.

“You made your point,” Pellar sulked. He gave up trying to clear his nose looked out into the moonless night.

Sandor shook his head before addressing Pellar. “Anything?”

“No,” he dragged out the word, “Just the--hold up. I think I see them! Look, by the treeline!”

“Where’s their fire? They’re supposed to have torches. Are they mad?” Kert leaned on a crenel.

Sandor squinted into the icy gloom before turning on his heel and running toward the gatehouse.

“Raise the bridge!” he bellowed to Ren, the gatekeeper.

“What is it Commander?” a third guard, Cassins, asked him.

“Raise the bloody bridge! Those are wights,” Sandor shouted.

When he reached the gatehouse he demanded to know why Ren hadn’t complied.

“It’s the windlass, Commander! It’s frozen stiff,” Ren exclaimed. Sandor saw what he meant and tried to move the mechanism himself, but it wouldn’t budge.

“What about the gate? Can you close it?” Sandor asked grabbing a torch and handing it to Kert who had joined him.

“Aye, but not soon enough,” Ren said worriedly.

Sandor nodded and loosened Ice in its sheath on his back. The sword had been reforged by Sansa’s insistence, despite how useful having two Valyrian steel blades would have been. And while Ned Stark obviously couldn’t wield it in battle anymore, Sandor could. He ran down into the courtyard flanked by guards.

“Listen up!” he yelled and everyone did. “We need to buy them some time to get the gate closed. Kert, Cassins, Drabb,” he pointed to each squad leader as he said their names, “bring your men with me. Pellard, Rabbit, Smeyton, make sure nothing that breaks through us gets into the castle.”

The leaders nodded and began to gather their men and form up.

“And somebody wake the Sers,” Sandor shouted at a group of squires unlucky enough to pull night duty, “Wouldn’t want them to die in their sleep.” They ran off to comply.

“Sandor,” the call came up from the wall, “One rider approaches! Wights in pursuit!”

“Right.” Sandor unsheathed Ice and strode forward, the rest of his men drew their own weapons and followed.

They stepped out from the courtyard, over the drawbridge, and into the snow of the field beyond. Twenty paces from the outer wall, they saw the rider. It was a Spearwife. She looked up and to Sandor’s relief her eyes were not glowing blue. She galloped past them, horse kicking up snow with its hooves, and Sandor called behind her for the guards to let her through. He barely got the words out before the first wight came into view.

“Winterfell!” he roared and he could hear the rest of his men echo his cry as he swung his greatsword in a vicious uppercut. His sword sliced the wight in half, bloodlessly. Kert screamed and shoved the torch into the fallen creature and it lit up like kindling.

 

In moments, four more wights stumbled in from the darkness and then another three after that before Sandor stopped counting and focused on killing. Resetting his stance, he saw the other men hacking off limbs and setting fire to flailing bodies. Sandor slashed at a woman with one arm and took the other off at her shoulder. Turning with the momentum, he hacked at a corpse so decayed he couldn’t tell what it used to be. He severed the exposed spine and the wight dropped to the snow, blue fading from its eyes.

More and more wights trickled out from the inky blackness. The men seemed to be handling them well, but Sandor moved to where the most wights were gathered. Two stepped close enough to each other that he could slice through them both with one sweep of his sword. He arched the swing back up and around and down again to take off the head of a third.

A quick battlefield count showed over ten wights up and moving with more coming. There were too many by his approximation. He’d only ever encountered wights in groups of less than ten. With more than that, they usually had a force driving them. And besides, fires from the rider’s torches should have scattered them. They were too brazen and their numbers too large. There was an Other with them.

Just at then, a wooden pole shot forward into the wight on his right. He turned to see the Spearwife pulling her obsidian-tipped spear from the dead thing’s stomach.

Sandor caught the Spearwife’s attention. “How many Others?” he shouted over the noise of battle.

“Just one!” she answered and skewered a boy with no jaw through the eye, “And he has a horse.”

“Fuck.” He thrust the tip of Ice into what was possibly once the boy’s father before kicking it off the tip of his blade, “You’re sure?”

“Aye.” Her lip curled up in a grimace of rage, “It was mine.”

Sure enough, he could hear hoof beats draw near. Sandor roared and the Spearwife screamed a war cry to draw the Other’s attention. He could see the eyes of the horse glow through the darkness. They grew brighter as the Other charged. The Spearwife took a few hopping steps forward before hurling her spear with a grunt, just as the Other rode into full view. It struck the horse in the center of its chest. The horse crashed to the ground with an unholy shriek and it moved no more. The Other tumbled into the snow, but managed to roll itself upright just in time for Sandor to bury Ice in its neck.

It melted into an icy puddle as the rest of the men cheered and finished off the leftover wights. The lack of their own commander and the amount of corpses alight kept any more from joining the fray.

Cassins offered his hand not holding a torch to the Spearwife when it was over. “Thank you for your help. What’s your name?”

She looked at him and then at Sandor.

“Nald,” she answered before walking over to her dead horse. Wordlessly she pulled her spear from its chest, then drew a dagger and cut the lacing connecting the saddlebags to the saddle. She yanked the bags free and sheathed her dagger, looking down at the animal.

“She was a good beast,” Nald said simply, wiping the frozen snot from her face with the back of a mittened hand.

Cassins stepped over to her, his torchlight flickering with the movement, “I’m sorry.”

Sandor couldn’t still his twitching mouth, but he managed to keep his amusement limited to his eyes.

Nald looked at Cassins like he’d just sprouted another nose, grabbed the torch from his hand, and dropped it onto the dead horse before walking away from the blaze that sprang up. She stopped and threw the saddlebags at Sandor and he caught them against his chest.

“There’s your fucking Dragonglass,” she muttered before striding to the castle.

Sandor slung the bag over his shoulder and began to issue orders for burning the wight remains. He slid Ice into its scabbard on his back and looked down at the puddle freezing into the snow that used to be an Other. An Other that he killed nearly effortlessly. Sandor was already one of the largest men in Westeros, but right then he felt over 20 feet tall. His blood surged in his veins. He could shout the mountains down or tear off the head of an aurochs with his bare hands. He could kill every last Other if he wanted. But right now, what he desired most of all was nestled safely in her bed, asleep. Not for long.

The knights had been roused and at last they came to take over. Fine by him. He gave the Sers a quick rundown of events and headed off to the castle as soon as he could.

“Clegane,” one of them called after him, “Where are you going?”

“I have to inform her Grace her obsidian has arrived,” he grabbed the bag off his shoulder and tossed it to Pellar.

The knight protested, “Surely you should wait till she has woken--”

He didn’t stop to hear the end of that sentence. He’d wake her, sure enough. As he thought of his little bird wrapped warmly in her blankets, naked as her name day he quickened his pace. And adjusted his breeches. Anyone who tried to stop him would have to explain a black eye the next morning. Mercifully, no one did and as he took the steps to the royal bedchamber two at a time, his heart pounded in his chest. The door was all that was left between him and Sansa Stark. He didn’t even bother to knock.

 

The bed was empty. Sandor took a few steps into the room before he saw Sansa, wrapped in a robe, leaning on her writing desk, and peering out her window, heavy brocade curtains flung open. The light from her hearth exaggerated the red in her hair. Closing the door he made his way to her, armor clanking. He could see the flickers of the wight-pyres in the field as he approached. She glanced over her shoulder at him and smiled, relieved.

“I couldn’t sleep,” she explained looking back to the orange points of light in the darkness.

Sandor didn’t say anything. He moved her hair off of her shoulder and lowered his mouth to her neck, inhaling her scent. As he kissed her from ear to collarbone, he wrapped his arms around her waist, the metal of his armor sliding over the smooth silk of her robe.

“I dreamt of you,” She sighed softly as Sandor found her belt and pulled the cord out of its knot.

He didn’t respond and tossed her belt across the room with a flick of his arm.

“Did the riders come?” she asked and shivered when the cold steel of his gauntlets touched her skin as he pulled her robe down her shoulders.

Sandor’s lips curled up on the unburnt side of his face as it became evident she wasn’t wearing anything else. The sight of her nakedness sent another surge of desire coursing through him. He cupped one of her breasts and trailed the fingertips of his other gauntlet across her hip.

“Did they?” She leaned back into him and closed her eyes.

“Just one,” Sandor finally answered and pinched her nipple. Her soft, pink flesh stiffened between his metal-clad thumb and forefinger. He pulled her hip in close, moving her backside against his groin, and gave an impatient grind.

“And the shipment?”

“Yes, you got your buggering obsidian, woman,” Sandor snapped and pressed himself against her harder.

“‘Your Grace’ or ‘your royal highness’ are the proper terms for your Queen, not ‘woman’.” Sansa squirmed further back between his tassets.

“Will her royal highness shut her royal mouth so I can fuck her royal cunt?” Sandor rasped and slid his gauntlet down her hip and to her thigh.

“I can promise you the second, but I cannot promise the first,” she said breathlessly as Sandor ever-so-gently circled the tiny nub between her legs with his thumb.

“Oh, I’ll make you scream for that,” Sandor growled in her ear before dipping a finger of his gauntlet into her.

Sansa yelped with the shock of the new sensation of frost-kissed metal and leather slipping between her folds.

He couldn’t feel her through his armor, but he certainly enjoyed the reaction he was getting. He pushed in another knuckle’s length. Sansa reached over her head and grabbed the top edge of a pauldron, trying to pull herself away from his hand but she could move no further against his breastplate.

“Caught,” Sandor said wickedly, “just like a little bird.” He pushed the rest of his finger inside. Sansa whimpered and opened her legs a bit as he slowly fucked her with his gauntlet. He gently teased her breast with his other hand. When she started to grind her hips against him he removed his finger and she spun on her toes to face him. She wrapped her arms around his neck and dragged him down to meet his lips with her own.

Sansa tried to kiss him tenderly but Sandor would have none of it. He kissed her deeply, fiercely. He grabbed her hip once again and spun her around roughly. She lost her balance and fell forward, catching herself on the writing desk. A moment later he lifted her off the ground and set her on all fours atop the desk. He immediately began working on the laces of his breeches, not entirely an easy task with a lust-clouded head and gloves on.

“Stay,” Sandor commanded and at the last second added, “your Grace.”

Once his breeches were undone, he gingerly navigated his hard cock out. Sansa was waiting so patiently. She rested on her elbows and knees and the sight of her cunt and round bottom in the air made Sandor forget himself for a moment.

“Is something the matter?” Sansa asked politely over her shoulder.

Sandor was past retort. He squeezed one smooth arse cheek before sliding his left hand up her back and past past her shoulder blades, to rest on the back of her head. Grabbing a fist full of her hair, he pressed the side of her face to the polished wood of the desktop so her buttocks raised higher. Wrapping a large hand around the base of his cock, he positioned himself and entered her in one long, smooth thrust. Sansa gasped as the broad head of his cock pushed past her folds and she trembled as he filled her.

Sandor groaned as she stretched to take him in. He planted his right hand on the table with a clunk to take some weight off his left leg which was starting to ache slightly. As he hunched over Sansa he nipped at her shoulder. She smiled and that was all the signal he needed. He drew almost his full length out before plunging back in so hard she would have slid forward if not for his grip on her head. His armor clanked with every thrust and Sansa’s breath wavered with the force of it. Soon Sansa’s exhalations could no longer remain voiceless as Sandor held her down and fucked her mercilessly. Not that she would ever ask for mercy.

Sandor said not a word and his only sounds, besides the ungodly amount of clatter his armor made, were his panting and occasional grunts. Sansa was vocalizing significantly more than he. Every so often a slurred word would escape her lips. Sometimes it was his name, sometimes it was just desperate syllables. He was fucking her to the point of incoherence and that was one of the sweetest things he knew. His cock could render Sansa Stark speechless.

He finally let go of her hair and let his hand ghost over her back and side before sliding back down to revisit her nub. He had to slow his thrusts to pay it proper attention, but he was more than rewarded by the noises she made. They were getting higher and higher in pitch as he increased his pace again and pressed the leather pads of his gloved fingers firmly into her flesh. At last she inhaled raggedly and cried out his name, toes curling as her body was wracked with pleasure.

Sandor knew his release was near and stood upright again, grabbing her hips with both hands, he rocked her body back and forth as he slammed into her with his full strength. Sansa didn’t struggle against him. She relaxed and let him take her and before ten powerful thrusts he spilled his seed inside of her with a rasping groan. He almost slumped forward on top of her before he realized he was still encased in almost four stone of steel.

Reluctantly, he pulled out and saw the red marks of where his tassets had pressed into her bottom. Sansa carefully turned herself onto her back and lowered her legs to the floor, toes grazing the stones. Her legs were spread wide on either side of Sandor’s. She looked up at him, almost as exhausted as he was and smiled, sighing contentedly. Her back was arched so prettily and her hair mussed so unmistakably that Sandor couldn’t help but return her expression as best he could. Bending down clumsily, he kissed her, gently this time. She grabbed his head before he could pull back and lengthened the kiss, lifting her legs up and placing the soles of her feet on the sides of his poleyns.

When she released him, he gazed down at his queen sprawled out on the table before him, his seed dripping out of her cunt.

“You kept your promises, little bird,” Sandor said, finally starting to unbuckle Ice from his back.

“I always do,” she said softly. She touched her belly, just below her navel and, seven bless her, actually blushed. “I’ll be surprised if I can walk tomorrow.”

Sandor couldn’t stop the smug expression from creeping onto his face as he laid the greatsword against the wall.

She regarded him curiously. “Why are you still wearing armor?”

“Always so full of questions,” he laughed harshly, “I was fighting. What do you expect? I am exactly as I was from the field.”

Sansa smirked playfully. “Exactly?” She looked pointedly down at his cock still hanging out of his breeches.

“Perhaps not exactly,” he said tucking it back in before scooping her up off the table and slinging her over his shoulder.