The first time they lay together, it's nothing like Sansa imagined it would be. She's not a child any longer, she knows how to stimulate herself and how wonderful the sensations are that come of it. In fact she has brought herself to her peak so many times thinking of him that it never occurred to her she would not climax, when she first allows him into her bed. And though she wants him, the burning heat of her desire shocking her with its intensity, it also hurts more than she hoped it would and leaves a small part of her wishing that he would simply hurry up and finish, and withdraw from her tender woman's place.

It hurts the second and third times, too, though with each invasion of her body the pain lessens. He is, after all, a very large man, and she supposes it's only natural that her body make some adjustment to accommodate him.

By the fourth time, it's beginning to feel good, and she clings to him tightly, hoping that the sensation will tip over into something more. When it doesn't, she tries not to show her disappointment.

That isn't to say Sansa doesn't enjoy herself. She loves Sandor fiercely, feels a strange desperation to be close to him, to possess him in this way and be possessed by him. She loves the way he never ceases to want her with a passion that is almost terrifying in its intensity, the way he will only confess the depth of his feelings for her in the moments before he crashes into release, the feel of his skin pressed to hers, his breath panting into her hair, the way he kisses her, as though he is starving and she is the feast.

But by the fifth time, she's starting to feel embarrassed by her body's lack of echoing passion – frustrated and irritated that once again she's fallen prey to a little girl's romantic notions of what her first couplings would be like. She wants... she wants to tell him to touch her on that secret spot between her legs, wants to tell him to slow down, take more time kissing her neck and – gods – her breasts. She wants him to let her touch him in turn, to caress the taut lines of his muscles and stroke his manhood. Sandor takes her like a man who fears his prize will be snatched away from him if he does not claim it quickly, and Sansa, despite everything they have gone through together, still finds it difficult to ask for the things she truly wants. For Sansa Stark was taught from a young age to please, and though the girl who first left Winterfell all those years ago has been tempered by grief and experience, still she wants desperately to make Sandor happy.

She even goes so far as to consider pretending that... that she... well. She still remembers Randa's outrageous re-enactment of her most recent encounter in her bedchamber one evening, Sansa and Mya giggling helplessly into their pillows. But Sansa can't quite bring herself to grunt and moan so, the mere thought bringing an embarrassed flush to her cheeks, and besides, should Sandor ever discover the deception Sansa feels certain he would be furious. He said once he wanted the truth from her, always. She had thought at the time that she was brave enough to give it to him, but when he takes her again that night the words please, my love, touch me seize in her throat at the look of overpowering need glittering in his eyes.

Next time, she promises herself as Sandor places gentle, sated kisses down her jaw to the crook of her neck and curls his body around hers before falling immediately into a deep sleep.

Sansa does not sleep. Sandor's passion has left her hot and restless, an insistent, unsatisfied feeling between her thighs, and his big hand tucked low around her belly seems to tease her with the promise of her desires. Laying her hand atop his, so small in comparison, she feels a new rush of arousal at the thought of nudging his hand lower, sliding his big forefinger between her wet and aching lips. Her womanhood throbs and after a moment of indecision, Sansa carefully reaches around her lover's arm to touch herself.

Gods, it feels so good! She hasn't dared see to her own needs since she started sharing her bed with Sandor, more than a fortnight ago. They have made love every night since then, and suddenly she feels as though all the little hints of pleasure she has felt in that time have been brought together into this gathering wave, this feeling of rapidly building bliss.

Perhaps she moans, or perhaps she squirms in his embrace – Sansa is uncertain, lost as she is to the sensations coursing through her body – but before she even realises she has woken him, Sansa finds herself released, the hand that had been wrapped around her belly now tracing almost curiously down her arm.

"What are you doing, little bird?" he rasps hotly in her ear, and Sansa shivers even as she feels the blood rushing to her face in shame. She licks her lips, mouth gone dry, and cannot think of a single thing to say. Especially when his fingers trace down her hand to find her own fingers, frozen in the act of pleasuring herself.

Slowly, slowly, he strokes the length of her fore and middle fingers pressed tight to her nub, before moving lower, touching her inner lips almost gingerly before stroking lightly around her womanhood.

Sansa doesn't realise she's been holding her breath until she lets it all out in one go, a long, low, shuddering moan escaping her lips.

But that was the wrong thing to do, it seems, because Sandor suddenly withdraws his hand and pulls her over onto her back so that she lays staring up at him as he looms over her in their bed. The room is dark except for the dying embers of the fire, and his expression is hard to read, but despite the way his breath is coming quicker, despite the way his manhood has come to full hardness once more against her hip, Sansa thinks he looks angry.

"What are you doing?" he asks again, each word pronounced carefully and edged with danger. She does not know what to say to him, shame pricking the backs of her eyes, and so she merely stares up at his glinting grey eyes and takes short, shallow breaths like a rabbit in a trap. It has been a long time since Sansa has feared Sandor's anger – for her own sake, at the least – but when he leans closer, pressing her deeper into the featherbed as he puts more of his weight on her, Sansa feels a jolt in her belly that is almost like fear... like it, but more exhilarating. It must embolden her somehow, that is the only explanation for the words that come forth from her lips.

"I am trying to ease my ache, my lord," she says, her voice thready and trembling with adrenaline.

"Is that it?" Sandor rasps, his mouth twisting into something too jagged to be a smile. "The little bird doesn't find me man enough to please her?"

"No!" Sansa gasps, horrified at the way he has interpreted her actions. She wonders for a moment if it can be true what the septas say about the evils of self-abuse, if doing so has upset him in this way. Then he thrusts his erection against her hip almost roughly and the heat of her shame runs back through her body and pools low in her belly instead. "It's just..." she tries, "Randa said women need more than men-"

"More than a man like me can provide, you mean? A pretty face and some honeyed lies to make your cunt twitch?"

She doesn't know where the impulse comes from, in a well-bred girl who has barely ever raised her voice let alone her hand: she slaps him, hard, across the face.

"How dare you doubt me?" she whispers furiously. "After everything. Everything, Sandor. How dare you?"

They stare at each other for one long heartbeat before Sandor yanks her up against him and kisses her fiercely, and it feels to Sansa as though he is trying to devour her, and gods be good she wishes to be devoured. And somehow she has taken custody of one of his hands, her sense of propriety melted away in the sudden hot flash of her anger, the following heat of her passion, and is pushing it roughly between her legs. His fingers twitch, not even near her nub but she's so sensitive right now it still sends sparks flying up her spine and she arches helplessly against him.

"I just want you to touch me," she tells him, begs him, soothes him, spreading her legs for him as he dips a finger into her wetness, his caution in utter contrast to his angry words. "I want you to touch me. Only you, my love."

His deft hands are suddenly fumbling and it occurs to her that Sandor may never have taken a woman for mutual pleasure before. The thought makes her ache with sympathy, and ignites her equally, the thought that she is his first in this – that she may have something to teach him after all this time.

At first all he does is thrust his finger in and out of her as he would his manhood, but this distracts him sufficiently that Sansa can trail a curious hand down the soft skin of his abdomen until her fingers brush against hot, smooth skin. Usually he pushes her hands away, and Sansa suspects he somehow does not like the idea of a highborn lady pleasuring an old, scarred dog like him. In this refusal to let go of the childish ideals of chivalry he is not so dissimilar to her. But she wants to, gods she does. He is her dog now, and it strikes her that it is well past time that she trained him.

She wraps her hand around his shaft and lightly strokes him up and down, up and down, until he is growling and telling her to squeeze him harder. He seems to notice then, however, that he is becoming more rapidly undone than she is and so he slows and kisses her once more, almost tenderly this time, and withdraws his finger from her womanhood. It is wet with her desire and slips easily over her flesh, flushed with arousal as it is, feeling unbelievably good despite the inexpert touch. She makes sure to moan so prettily for him – the way he's told her he likes – when he finally brushes her nub, but when he realises how much she likes it when he rubs her there in tight little circles, she no longer has to remember to moan.

She only realises she has stopped pleasuring him when he pulls on her hips to change their positions, lying against her back and curling around her as he does when seeking sleep. Now, though, he pulls her tight against his chest and plunges his free hand straight back between her legs with less skill than enthusiasm, making her wince for a moment before his fingers become slick with her wetness once more. She can feel the hard, hot length of his shaft between her buttocks, delighting in the way he groans helplessly into her hair when she squirms back into him. The arm beneath her holds her trapped tightly against him and, heart racing with her own audacity, Sansa twines her fingers through his and slides it higher. When he feels the curve of her breast against his knuckles he seems to get the idea, cupping her in his big hand, one finger running light circles over her taut nipple as the same finger of the other hand does the same between her legs. Sansa has never felt more aroused in her life.

"Sansa," Sandor rasps against her ear, "little bird. You take me to the highest of the seven heavens with that sweet cunt of yours. Tell me what to do to take you with me."

He must be nearing, to admit such a thing, she thinks wryly, but it is a distant thought, subsumed by the utter pleasure thrumming through her body. For a moment, she thinks it would not be so bad a thing to give him his release now. Even if she does not peak she still feels beyond incredible, and there is a very insistent part of her that urges her to please him. But no, she wants this, wants to follow this building wave until it crashes over, wants to give this to him, as he has given over his pleasure to her all these nights.

"Can you... ah... can you take me like this?" she gasps.

He does not reply, but hauls her thigh up and back over his own hips. It is a very undignified position, but Sansa is quite past caring. It exposes her woman's place to his hand entirely, and he spends some moments running his fingers down to her entrance and back up to her nub, over and over, as she shivers and moans and he pants against her hair, hot breath brushing over her ear as he thrusts himself along the cleft between her buttocks.

The bright burn of sensation Sandor is rubbing from her nub finally, finally begins to sharpen into something less diffuse, more acute, her inner walls tightening with hot stabs of pleasure.

"Oh, please," she breathes, unthinking, barely knowing what she is asking for.

"It feels good," he groans in her ear, his words a statement but his voice a question. She nods jerkily, eyes screwed closed, unable to speak through a shocking wave of pleasure. "Your little nub has gone hard as my cock," he says.

"Yes, yes," she grits out, nonsensical, chest heaving, "now, please."

"Always so polite," he growls, "why not just tell me to stick my cock in you?"

He removes his hand to do just that and Sansa whines piteously at the lack of contact, breath hitching and uncontrolled when she feels the head of his manhood pressing against her.

"That—would not be—ladylike."

"Neither is frigging yourself while I'm sleeping, my lady."

He thrusts into her. The angle is very different and for a moment she stings all anew. But then she tilts her hips back just so, and he shifts slightly too, and then he is sliding smoothly into her aching womanhood, his thrusts brushing a spot inside her that she has recently begun to realise brings her much pleasure. The new angle causes him to press there with greater force than when he lies atop her, and Sansa cannot restrain herself from crying out from the onslaught, her muscles clenching so tightly she trembles with the strain.

Then Sandor puts his hand between her legs once more and that is her undoing. Her body slams into bliss, wave after wave of pleasure like she has never felt by her own hand, forcing her awareness down to a single point of sensation between her thighs. Every time he pushes into her, a new ripple of heat is wrung out of her and by the time he thrusts hard once, twice, and shouts his own release, she is almost sobbing with it.

"Fuck," he groans when their breath has slowed sufficiently for words, stroking her hair in tender counterpoint to his coarse speech. He touches her gently on the soft skin behind her ear, on her neck, her cheek, making Sansa sigh almost involuntarily at the sweetness of his touch on skin that is deliciously sensitised. She kisses his fingertips as they ghost over her lips, before he gently cups her chin and turns her face towards him. "Sansa, why didn't you say something?" he asks quietly, voice a low rasp that lodges itself in the centre of her chest.

I couldn't, she almost says, but that seems stupid now – of course she could have. "I don't know," she says instead, staring back into bottomless grey eyes. "I'm sorry."

He sighs and frowns, and looks about to say something Sansa does not, at this moment, care to hear, and so she twists around to face him slowly, shivering with a last little stab of pleasure as his manhood slips out of her. She puts her arms around his shoulders and kisses him, a simple press of lips, long and sweet, and when she draws back she strokes his cheek and says, "I love you."

He has never said those words to her in return, even when on the brink of his release, though Sansa knows it to be true, knows it down to her very bones. He does not always react well when she tells him this most precious of truths, and she knows it must he a hard thing for a man such as him to accept, though that will not stop her from saying it. Tonight, however, he merely snorts, the corners of his mouth twitching up into a small grin, and he pulls her close and says, "Aye, woman, that you did."