Bolton Rising Part 69 - Gregor and Melly

A shirtless Gregor stomped around the spacious kitchen as quietly as a man his size could, grunting and cursing in sheer frustration as he opened one cabinet or drawer after another, grabbing ingredients and utensils haphazardly. Gas burners on the stove roared with flames, a pot boiled over with water, while a pan sizzled with crackling bacon, and a large flat skillet burned over-sized pancakes. The stove's overhead hood worked overtime to vent all the smoke, while the building heat made the Mountain break out in a sweat, the morning light casting a soft sheen over his slick chest, cut biceps, and defined abs leading to the low slung jeans over his pelvis.

The kitchen had always been his woman's domain. Melly could cook up a meal like no other, and the Mountain's appetite demanded a feast every time they sat down to eat. But today, he would return the favor and treat his woman to a meal of his own making. Clegane opened the fully stocked fridge and almost yanked the double doors off the hinges, scowling as he reached for the spare egg carton, concentrating on not crushing such fragile things with the strength in his large hands again. The pack of guard dogs paced restlessly, wagging their tails and barking, following Gregor everywhere he went, expecting their own breakfast as well. "I said QUIET, damn beasts," he growled, ordering them all to sit as the dogs whined in reply, salivating for food. The Mountain flipped the burnt hot cakes onto a giant stack already gone cold and poured more lumpy batter, determined to make a perfect set to feed his woman.

"Now let's try this again..." Gregor opened the egg carton and stared at the twin rows of eggs, his thick fingers plucking one out gently, willing the shell not to crack, before dropping it into the pot of boiling water. He smirked in satisfaction, confident he could poach an egg after boiling through half a dozen. As the Mountain went to drop another, he grunted in sudden pain and crushed the egg, yoke spilling through his fingers, adding to the mess already on the counter-tops. Gregor glared downwards at the black fur ball clawing her way up his long leg, little razor anchors digging into his jeans, while the soft squeak of a meow came forth. "Didn't I leave you upstairs sleeping with Melly? Just one night and you're already taking over my bed." Clegane cleaned his hand before plucking the small terror off his thigh and cradling the purring kitten. All the dogs peered upwards at their intimidating Master, perplexed but interested in this tiny brave creature playing with Gregor's scolding finger.

The sound of a distant crash followed by deep, mumbled cursing coming from the first floor of the house brought Melly slowly out of a deep, restful sleep. For a moment she was afraid; the memory of the Mountain's absence and his brother's unexpected assault flashed through her mind. She found herself alone in the room. Gregor, the dogs, and even the kitten were nowhere to be seen, however, she could see the indent in his pillow and the bed covers tossed back on his side of the bed. She sighed, closing her eyes in relief. It was early yet, and understanding that it was her man who was the source of the noises from below, she was just about to turn over and allow herself to drift off for a little bit longer, when she smelled the faint odor of smoke wafting into the room. 

"What on Earth..?" she thought, as her sleepy brain tried to make sense of what could be happening. Coming fully awake, she sat up in bed and listened. "Oh no!" Tossing back the comforter, she scrambled out of bed and pulled an over-sized T-shirt over her head before hurrying into the hall and down the stairs. She paused in the doorway to the kitchen, surveying the damage, running a hand through her sleep-tousled hair. It seemed that Gregor had removed all the pots and pans from the cupboards. Towers of used bowls and utensils filled the sink, and the counter-tops were strewn with broken egg shells, burnt toast and strangely shaped stacks of what might have been hot cakes, all covered with a fine coating of flour. In the middle of all of this stood Gregor Clegane, his massive form making everything else appear to be small, like a playhouse kitchen made for dolls or children. He held the kitten in his huge hand, stroking its tiny head with his index finger, while pots overflowed on the range top and the smoke detector began to emit a shrill whistle.

"Gregor! Better open some windows!" She hurried into the kitchen, slipping in front of him, switching off burners and flipping the stove's exhaust fan on high. "Are you... making breakfast?" she asked, biting her lip to suppress a giggle as he moved to throw the windows open and turn off the smoke alarm. The rest of the world would never understand; they would never know 
her Mountain. He was her benevolent protector, her savoir, her perfect mate. It was true, of course, that he had a ruthless side. He could be cruel if he needed to be, but never to her. He couldn't help his roughness, but he would never hurt her on purpose. He turned to her, frowning, a smear of flour across his chest, and she smiled, crossing the room to him. "Why didn't you wake me?" she asked, leaning in to kiss the little ball of fluff he still held. 

"I thought you would be pleased by a surprise breakfast. Isn't that what normal couples do?" Gregor replied, sliding his free arm around Melly's waist and pulling her in closer to him. "I overheard that talk show you were watching the other day." Since his return, the Mountain had been more protective, perhaps even too overbearing, but Clegane's need to keep Melly safe was riding him hard. The fact that his younger brother Sandor had dared to violate his home, kill one of his beloved dogs, and even put a disgusting burnt hand on Melly made Gregor's blood boil with a dangerous rage.

The Mountain would hit the gym every time dark thoughts of his woman being taken by that Dog sexually clouded his thinking. Unleashing monstrous anger and frustration through a pair of massive fists, he would punch the workout body bag till it broke and flew off the hanging chain, smashing into the wall. Several now laid in a giant heap, too broken and destroyed to be saved. Gregor always visualized his dead beaten brother in their place. Afterwards, the Mountain would seek out his woman, fucking Melly senseless with a raw brutal passion, thrusting his claim on her until every drop of semen was milked from his balls. It didn't matter where he found her or what Melly was doing at the time; Gregor's stomping footsteps and her name called out in a growl clearly announced his desired intentions. Melly's complete and utter submission time and again quelled the lingering dark shadow inside Clegane's soul, the one full of masculine dominance and proud entitlement that would never stop if she ever refused him.

"We don't really need to be a normal couple," she answered, smiling up at him. "I think we're perfectly abnormal. But I love it that you take such good care of me. Of us." She stroked the tiny kitten, who purred softly in the Mountain's giant hand and glanced at the dogs who were gathered around, patiently watching their master. "I'm so glad you're home," she whispered, leaning into him, suddenly overwhelmed by her need for his support.

After Gregor had taken away her from Ramsay Bolton, her readjustment to living freely had been long and slow. Her physical wounds had healed, but her mind had taken much longer to recover. There was relief at being alive, at being free, coupled with the confusion of her love for Ramsay, because despite her terror of the Bastard, she loved him and mourned the loss of him. She was not brave to have made her escape from the Bolton compound, this she knew all too well. It was not bravery, but desperation, which finally pushed her to the point of flight. It was the knowing that she would be caught and the desire to have it all, finally, come to an end. Melly understood that she could never survive the punishment for running, and that by fleeing, she was, in essence, committing suicide. She had not been prepared for the Mountain's intervention and freedom was not something she had considered even remotely possible. Gregor had saved her, allowed her to mend, and never once had he put any restrictions on her movements. Although not normally a patient man, his patience with her seemed infinite. Over time, the nightmares had become less frequent, the memories of her former Master's punishments had begun to fade and she had begun to finally feel safe until the Hound's assault, which brought the fear rushing back in huge, crippling waves. 

Laying her head on Gregor's herculean chest, Melly couldn't feel anything but safe. She breathed deeply, sliding her hand slowly up over sculpted abs, turning her head to lay tiny feathery kisses on his flour smudged chest. "I'm not really very hungry yet..." she whispered, tilting her head back to look into his dark eyes, his brow furrowed as he peered down at her and she was, all at once, aware of her nakedness beneath the over-sized T-shirt. Melly gently took the kitten from Gregor's hand and placed the tiny creature on the rough oak table beside them, where it stretched languidly and then hopped to the windowsill to bathe in a patch of sunlight.

"Is that so? You should be famished after the pounding I gave you last night." Gregor smirked, sliding his hand down and squeezing Melly's firm ass cheek. The sight of her in his shirt had already aroused the Mountain, especially watching the girl's frantic efforts to clear the smoke from the kitchen as the dogs chased her in excitement. Melly could be quiet and still at times, lost in her thoughts, with Gregor gazing at her soft femininity from afar, then panicked and fearful the next, like a beautiful gentle doe on the run from a pack of hungry predators. The girl's very nature attracted men like him too easily, like Ramsay, even his brother if given the chance. Despite modern times, they were still beasts of an ancient era, possessive, territorial, and full of masculine pride. Clegane's home was his castle, and he was lord of everything under its roof, including Melly. She was now his woman, his lady, the sheath to cover his sword. Fighting to protect her would be his right. To kill for her, his ultimate pleasure.

"I shouldn't let all my hard work go to waste woman," the Mountain teased, grabbing the plate full of bacon and sausage, then leading the parade of hungry dogs to the back patio and locking them outside. "I don't need such a large audience watching us." He grabbed Melly around the waist with his large hands and easily hoisted her up onto the kitchen's island counter, moving between the girl's spread thighs as he captured Melly's soft lips for a kiss. Deep and sensual, Gregor rolled his tongue over Melly's until she moaned and went weak in his arms, making him growl with desire in return. Clegane pulled away, leering at her with a glint of darkness in his eyes as his voice commanded roughly, "Lay back and show me how wet you are. I want to taste what's mine, girl."

Blood rushed through her veins, butterflies soared in her tummy, and she could already feel the wetness between her thighs. Even if she had wanted to, Melly could never resist him. Gregor was not only her great love, he was her addiction. She was always hungry for him, and no matter how much he gave her, how satisfied she felt, she was always ready for more. She slowly leaned back on the counter, her chestnut hair spilling out all around her. With a slow smile, she pulled her knees up toward her chest, allowing the Mountain a quick peek before playfully trailing pink manicured toes up his chest, then parted her thighs and rested her pretty feet on his massive shoulders.

Hearing his deep growl as he took in the view before him caused another surge of longing to flood through her. She needed nothing more than his eyes on her to feel herself grow even more lubricated; her whole body was quivering now, longing for the touch of his hand, his mouth. She would wait as long as he commanded. The girl had been well trained in the art of complete submission, however, Melly silently prayed that his need in this moment was as urgent as hers. She longed to be consumed and devoured all at once. There was nothing she would not allow this man to do to her. "Gregor... please..." she breathed, staring up into eyes that darkened with lust. Even as she watched, his inner beast was emerging. There would be no turning back now.

“You tease me at our own peril, girl." The Mountain knelt down, lowering his towering height and bringing his stern face right to the prize he sought. Gregor's large rough hands ran up Melly’s parted thighs, feeling the softness of a woman’s skin, while inhaling the alluring fragrance of the opposite sex. His thumbs caressed the girl's wet delicate folds. "My hunger is a bottomless pit and I will happily drag you down with me.” Clegane spread her open and dipped his tongue into the honey already collected there, groaning deeply as the taste exploded over his taste buds.

Gregor's predatory glare upwards was fierce and dangerous, holding Melly’s erotic gaze captive as he suddenly yanked her closer by the hips, sliding her spread legs completely over his broad shoulders. Melly’s bare ass hovered in the air as the Mountain thrust his tongue hard into her wet pussy, his mouth covering the girl’s entire pink mound, sucking and feeling her clit throbbing as blood pounded in his ears. Clegane’s engorged cock strained with pressure, but the girl’s delicious weeping was too intoxicating to stop, his tongue feasting deeper as two fingers penetrated the tight opening.

Clegane held her tight and fast, and she knew that her skin would be marred with bruises when he was finished with her. Her head rolled back as she writhed in the Mountain's vice-like grip. It was too much and not enough. She wanted more, needed to feel his cock buried deep within her and yet she never wanted him to stop sucking, licking and drinking her in. Melly clawed at the smooth, cold marble counter top, trying to find something to hold onto as her pleasure surged higher and higher. Crying out in her frenzy only made the Mountain bear down harder, increasing the assault with his tongue while pushing his fingers into her slick entrance. She tried to clench her pelvic muscles tighter, to pull him deeper inside her, savoring the sting as her body stretched to accommodate those thick fingers. Raising her eyes to meet his, she found Gregor's fierce gaze still upon her, watching her every move.

The Mountain pulled away from his woman, leaving her soaking wet and quivering from her climax as he watched and licked his mouth clean. He reached for Melly then, yanking his shirt off of her and baring the full tits he loved to squeeze as he fucked her from behind. But first Gregor popped the button to his jeans open and exposed himself with pride; he was engorged, veins full of hot blood, and hard with a flared head. He rested his thick shaft against Melly's spread pussy and began to rub himself over the wet folds, growling softly at the slick sensation. "Is this what you crave, girl? A good hard fuck?" He smirked, hauling Melly off the counter and turned her around, giving her ass a punishing smack with the pancake spatula. That red welt would turn him on for days to come.

Melly could not hold back, her climax came rushing through her body with a fierce intensity. When she might have pulled away, Gregor held her fast, his mouth still on her, licking, sucking, until she cried out, begging for mercy. He stood over her then, and she gazed up at him, her vision blurred, his hulking form towering over her as she waited for what would come next. When he spoke to her, Melly could only nod in response, there were no words for how much she needed him inside of her now. He lifted her so easily, as though she weighed no more than the tiny kitten. She loved being manhandled by her man, reveled in the feeling of utter helplessness that it gave her to be manipulated by him, as though she were not a woman at all, merely a doll to be posed and used however he wished.

Clegane's hand fisted a chunk of soft hair and pinned her pretty face down to the cold marble, holding his female captive as he entered Melly from behind. He groaned and his cock throbbed at the tight squeeze, impatient to be inside her moist heat. Gregor used his free hand to lift one of the girl's legs onto the counter, displaying her pink cunt even more, while thrusting more deeply. When he felt Melly's velvety walls encase him, surrendering to his demand, the Mountain began to pump his hips, slow but deep, filling her up with his entire length.
The whimper that escaped her lips as he pushed inside of her expressed both ecstasy and agony. She had longed for this moment, and yet she was so sensitive, still, that the pleasure was nearly too much to bear. Every time she gave herself to Gregor it was perfect, however, since he'd returned home, their lovemaking seemed to soar to even greater heights. He held her still now, open and fully exposed, taking his pleasure with long, slow strokes, the head of his cock plunging deeper with ever thrust as her body opened wide to allow him entry. He controlled her completely, there was nothing she could do but accept the gift he gave her.

The Mountain was merciless with his thrusts. Once his full shaft was embraced by Melly, he took her like a wild beast uncaged, hard and deep enough to hurt, letting his balls slap against her wet mound. Gregor's deep rumbling growls were drowned out by the girl’s cries echoing through the house as she came again, soaking his swollen length as that glistening honey gushed and dripped down Melly's trembling thighs. With a clenched jaw, Clegane fought his own release as he pulled out and dragged Melly by the hair off the counter, pushing her to the kitchen floor. The Mountain leered down at the submissive female before him, Melly's chest rising and falling, panting through parted lips as her hands held onto his legs, sliding upwards, knowing what her man expected.
Wrapping one hand around Gregor's thick erection, she could feel the blood pumping under her fingertips. Melly guided him into her open mouth, licking at the head of his cock, sliding her tongue around the bulbous tip, sucking him deeper into her mouth as her lips tightened around his throbbing shaft. Gregor held her close, her hair wrapped around his fist as hot, thick jets of cum hit the back of her throat and she clutched him tightly, stroking his length with both hands now as she nursed and suckled, swallowing every drop he gave to her. She could have gone on forever like this; tiny pleasure sounds came from deep within her throat until finally, he gently pulled her back by the hair. Melly sank back onto her knees, looking up at the Mountain with wide eyed adoration.

"Come here, girl." Clegane held out his hand, wrapping his fingers around Melly's petite ones as he hauled her back to her feet, embracing his lover. A long quiet moment passed, until they were both called to attention by a hungry feline. "Have you picked a name yet? Because Little She-Devil sounds pretty good to me." He grunted softly while tiny nails dug into his flesh, the fearless kitten venturing up the Mountain again.
Melly laughed and removed the kitten from Gregor's leg. "I was thinking of something a bit prettier than that for her!" She kissed his chest again, then once more for good measure. He'd rescued both her and this little tiny kitten, neither of whom would ever have survived without him. There was no end to her love for this man, so brutal and yet so gentle. Stooping to retrieve the over-sized shirt from the floor, she smiled up at him. "Let's think about it while I make you both some breakfast."


Bolton Rising Part 68 - Petyr and Alayne

Two months had passed and still no news had been heard regarding the Bastard of Bolton. All reports indicated Ramsay was seriously injured, but still had escaped alive from Roose Bolton's military compound with the aid of Gregor Clegane, the Mountain. It was only a matter of time when that Bastard would retaliate with cold​,​ calculated cruelty.

Petyr Baelish sighed and pushed the stack of documents in front of him aside, rubbing the bridge of his nose, too lost in thought to give his full attention to such business. Hiding one's personal wealth was always such a tricky matter. Reaching for a glass of wine, the Mockingbird swirled the dark red liquor, inhaling the deep aroma before having a final taste. He set the empty glass down and leaned back in his expensive leather office chair, turning around to stare out the huge paned glass windows over the night skyline.

His city glowed with life and radiance, where before it had been nothing but chaos and disorder. He smirked softly, interlacing his fingers, recalling fond memories. Oh, how he had thrived and risen through the ranks of office and politics in that mess. It had been a bloody affair, but the excitement of every personal victory had been worth it. It was a chess game filled with pieces he moved as he dictated from the shadows without anyone being the wiser.

His grey-green eyes searched the vast, expansive view and settled upon the Eyrie Tower in the distance, away from the sprawling downtown atmosphere. The tall, exquisite penthouse stood out like a beacon, glowing brightly in the darkness, calling him home. Alayne was there, waiting up for him no doubt, despite his earlier phone call home for her not to, but he would not return until morning. Petyr had felt something amiss between them for some time, and avoiding her delayed the confrontation he had no desire to address. He wasn't exactly sure how to begin, but distasteful suspicions creeping into his mind had become a nuisance and a distraction. He was no fool. It was his business to know what people wanted to hide the most.

Baelish rubbed the dull ache in his tightening chest, the burning slash traveling down his body from torso to pelvis. He breathed calmly, letting thoughts of losing Alayne fade away, feeling the pain subside along with his new jealously over the Hound. The way that hired Dog looked upon Alayne had changed, and his Little Bird no longer acted fearful around Sandor Clegane's ominous presence. They shared a secret communication Petyr no longer was included in, and Littlefinger never liked any situation he couldn't control.

After calling for the town car, Petyr put on his designer suit jacket, adjusting his silver cuff links and silk tie before heading downstairs, and walked through the busy nightclub with a cool bravado. Despite his troubled emotions, the Mockingbird still knew appearances were everything. He greeted wealthy customers and shook hands with people of influence, even posing for their self absorbed selfies, which would be online and spread across the globe the second after the flash faded. It was all a wonderful, operatic play with Petyr Baelish as the skilled director, manipulating the strings of these marionettes to do his bidding either now or later. Eventually, Littlefinger would get exactly what he wanted from each and every one of them before discarding his used playthings when they no longer served his purpose.


There was a feeling of turmoil within Alayne, which she could not quiet no matter how hard she tried. She stood on the penthouse balcony, looking out across the ​ ​glittering​​ city lights, her auburn hair blowing gently in the perpetual wind that always surrounded the Eyrie. Despite the stillness of the penthouse, she felt a restlessness that matched that of the persistent wind. She crossed her arms across her chest, as though to control the emotion that threatened to rise within her. Tears welled in her wide blue eyes, but she blinked them away. I will not cry again.

Although the penthouse was as quiet as a tomb, she knew that the Hound sat silent behind her, moving only now and then to raise a glass to his lips. She could feel his presence in the darkened flat, ever watchful, always her protector, he was never far from her side. His possession of her was palpable, she could feel his ownership of her draped around her shoulders like a heavy cloak. In her mind she turned to him and entered the flat, crossing the room to him. In reality she remained still, staring out into the night.

Alayne's eyes were drawn to the tallest building on the city's skyline. Petyr's offices were still brightly lit, and she knew that business continued there until the wee hours of the morning, and beyond. ​ Although the night was not cold, a sudden shiver came over her, ​​ ​and she felt the Mockingbird's keen eyes on her, as though he too, was watching her from only a few feet away. Shaking her head, she pushed the thought away. Impossible. He could not see her from this distance any more than she could see him. And yet somehow, she knew he was watching, and that she was in his thoughts. Closing her eyes, Alayne breathed deeply. Come home to me. Please...


Petyr made his way out of the packed club slowly as one person after another called out for his attentions. Being a politician of importance and a beloved celebrity could be tiring for some, but the Mockingbird thrived on all the adoration. He smiled pleasantly and stroked egos, easily winning their favor, all the while listening, watching and learning everything he could glean off a person. When you know what a man wants, you know who he is, and how to move him.

Petyr strolled outside with a confident swagger and a satisfied smirk, heading for the car as his security force flanked him. "I see you're as popular as ever, Mr. Baelish," a sultry voice spoke from behind, one he easily recognized before even turning around to gaze upon Margaery Tyrell, the wealthiest heiress in the city. Her influential family was deeply involved in several agricultural companies, and more importantly, was a key contributor to all his political campaigns from the very beginning.

"Well this is a surprise. To what do I owe the pleasure, my lady?" Petyr stopped, watching openly as Margaery closed the distance between them, walking with an air of confidence and pure sex. Her exquisite blue evening dress and plunging neckline made several bystanders turn their heads as well and she flaunted her assets even more.

"Are you leaving so soon?" She placed her hand on his arm, pouting softly in a teasing manner. "I was hoping we could have a little chat over a bottle of wine. It's been so long since you've visited Highgarden. I was beginning to think you've forgotten me."

Petyr chuckled, his grey-green eyes vivid in the night. "No one could forget The Queen of high society my dear. You have been quite the talk of the town as of late." Littlefinger raised a curious brow, seeking her confirmation for the rumors he had heard. "Engagement?"

"Yes... to Renly Baratheon," Margaery replied with an air of indifference. "My Father and Grandmother insist upon the match. Old money marrying more old money and all that." She sighed, giving his arm a tender squeeze before letting go to fetch a cigarette from her dainty purse. "He has little interest in me as a woman. Everyone knows he has a secret lover. My family is crazy to expect such a marriage to last with the constant gossiping," she explained, holding the smoke to her inviting red lips while Petyr offered her a light, her brown eyes glistening with pent up tears.

"A marriage of convenience has its merits and you are not without your skills, Margaery. Am I to believe you will be a faithful wife with no fun on the side of your own?" Petyr gave a charming smile in response to the girl's practiced charade, glancing down at his watch. "Though I must say this performance is most impressive. Alas, I have pressing matters to attend to."

"Oh Petyr. You never play along with me! How unchivalrous." Margaery sighed, tossing her cigarette and snuffing out the tip with her high heel, exposing her leg through the high dress slit. "Very well. I will have your club all to myself. I'm not responsible for what happens!" She laughed sweetly, turning and walking away with a swing of her hips, disappearing past the entrance doors.


"Stay behind and make sure she doesn't get too wild in there, and then escort her safely home. I don't need the press here over a dead Tyrell," Baelish ordered one of his security men, before climbing into the car and heading home, where he found the penthouse still and quiet as a tomb. He walked towards the master bedroom, business jacket draped over an arm, and loosened his tie, removing the public mask before greeting his love. He found Alayne asleep on his side of the bed, curled around a pillow, the tv light flickering over her. "I'm home, Sweetling," he whispered softly, sitting down and brushing the girl's hair back to kiss her cheek with a minty caress.

Alayne's arms were around Petyr's neck pulling him close as her sleepy blue eyes blinked open, drinking him in. "There you are! I must have drifted off!" She kissed him softly, her lips skimming his smiling ones as she pulled herself out of sleep. "I've been waiting... I know you told me not to wait, but sometimes I just can't help it. I miss you."​

Settling back into the pillows, she looked up at her Mockingbird and was overcome by so much love that tears welled up in her eyes, causing them to shine an even brighter shade of blue. He was so handsome, she thought, and yet he looked so tired. Petyr worked too hard, she knew, but there was nothing that would stop him. Not even his recent hospitalization had put a damper on his drive to keep his empire moving forward. Nothing she could say would deter him from his endless hours of puppeteering, as he made all the little figures in his game dance like marionettes, doing his bidding. Alayne knew that very few people saw Petyr Baelish without his mask. His famous, knowing smile faded when he was at home with her, and underneath his public mask there was a man who no one else knew.

Reaching up to caress his cheek, she could see the fine lines at the corners of his eyes. She knew that people ​whisper​ed about their relationship. ​If only they knew, she thought. ​Petyr was older than she was, to be sure, and this was a source of great discussion among those who played the game. When Alayne's family had fallen from grace, it was Petyr who had taken her under his proverbial wing, and there were whispers that she, a girl who had nothing,​ was only using Petyr to help her climb to the top of the ladder. ​What they didn't know was that Alayne loved Petyr with all of her heart. The mere sight of him filled her with such joy that she felt like she was floating every time he entered the room. When she was in his arms she felt safe. He had, in fact, saved her, when the rest of the world had been content to watch her burn.

Petyr cupped Alayne's cheek, sliding his thumb across her soft skin to wipe a fresh tear away. "You seem to be crying more often lately. At first, I had wondered if perhaps you were pregnant and hormones were to blame. But I think you would have told me such happy news by now, so that can't be the case." He sighed with disappointment, rising from the bed as he slipped off his tie and tossed it into the hamper. "I know something is going on, Alayne. What is it that you are afraid to tell me?" Petyr pressed, returning his full attentions upon Alayne, his grey-green eyes watching and observing the girl's response. "Are you having second thoughts about marrying me after the attack at the hospital?"

Alayne sat up in the big bed, heart pounding, understanding that the moment had come. She had tried so hard to keep her emotions in check ever since that night in the hospital when Sandor Clegane had taken possession of her. It seemed impossible, and yet she did not love Petyr any less than she ever had. But there was no denying her feelings for the Hound. She could not hide from Petyr any longer.

"Petyr, no..." she began, pushing her tousled hair over her shoulder, her wide blue eyes locked with his. "I've never had a second thought regarding my marriage to you. I love you so, you need never doubt that. When you were in the hospital... when I saw you fall... I was so afraid that I was going to lose you." She wiped at her tears with the back of her hand, reaching for a way to explain something even she didn't understand. "I always want to be with you, my love. Truly."

Alayne rose and crossed the room, placing a hand on Petyr's chest, needing to touch him. "I'm only afraid that I'll lose you if you know the truth, and I couldn't bear it. I just couldn't!" She gazed up at her man to see his handsome face without a hint of mirth, there was no twinkle in those grey-green eyes; they'd gone cold. "You own my heart, Petyr, but my soul... it's not my own. It belongs to someone else, and I don't know what to do." Alayne could no longer hold back the wave of emotion that had been rising inside her. Sinking to her knees before him, she covered her face with her hands and dissolved into tears.