Bolton Rising - Part 16 - Arya/Jeyne & Melly

At the top of the staircase, they turned to the left, proceeding down a long hallway and through a door on the right hand side. Arya was unsure why she noticed this, as she felt like she was in a fog. It’s funny, she thought, the little things that you notice sometimes. The woman, Melly, turned to her and smiled, pushing a strand of hair behind her ear. This little gesture of kindness was too much, and Arya dissolved into tears. 

Melly took her hand and led her to a cluster of chairs near a huge fireplace. They sat down on a large couch and Melly put her arms around Arya, stroking her hair and letting her cry for what seemed like a very long time. 

When she was finally able to lift her head, she realized that Melly had given her a handkerchief and she dried her eyes, suddenly embarrassed. “I…I’m so sorry, you must think I’m so stupid…

“Stupid? No, anything but.” The girl responded, her green eyes suddenly taking on a faraway look. “I understand better than you know.” She stood and poured a glass of water from a nearby pitcher, handing it to Jeyne. “What’s your name, love?” 

“Jeyne…but he thinks my name is Arya….”

Melly held up her hand as if to stop her. “Then your name is Arya now. You must forget you ever had another name, do you understand me? Never mention it again. He won’t like it if you do. You must never make a mistake like that. Never.” 

Arya nodded. She must remember. “I don’t mean to be so careless. I do try not to anger him, truly…”

“It isn’t easy, I know. But you must try very hard. For your own sake. Here, take off your coat, and let’s get you cleaned up before they finish downstairs.” Helping Arya out of her coat, she walked around her, looking her up and down. “I can certainly see what he sees in you. You’re lovely. And he always does prefer brunettes.” She led her into the bathroom and began to put her back together, covering Arya’s breasts with the silky fabric of the bra, helping her wash between her thighs, then step back into the still damp panties that they found in the pocket of the fur coat, straightening the garters and stockings. 

It felt strange to have a woman look at her and touch her this way and she could feel her skin breaking out in goose bumps. Finished with that, Melly directed her to sit at the dressing table to fix her face and hair. As she removed her makeup and carefully applied more, Melly brushed out her hair. Arya stole little glances at her in the mirror. She was lovely, that was certain. Her chestnut hair fell in soft waves around her shoulders and her eyes were large and haunting, strikingly green. She wore a black dress, that accentuated her curves. Something in her bearing made Arya think of Rita Hayworth or Ava Gardner, or one the other the movie starlets from the 1940s.

“Where are we? Who are you…may I ask you that? And what is the Mountain?” She asked cautiously. She half expected not to get answers to her questions, but surprisingly, Melly laughed and began to speak.

“This house is called Harrenhal, it belongs to my husband, Gregor Clegane. We’re far from the city, to the north. Ramsay Bolton is my husband’s … employer.” She smiled and began to twist Arya’s hair into a design of loose braids.”  Gregor stands over 7 feet and is as strong as he is tall … and he has a reputation for being a bit… immovable. Because of that, people refer to him as the Mountain.” She smiled fondly as she spoke of her husband, Arya noticed, though he sounded terrifying. She was of similar height to Arya herself, no more than 5’3” tall and though she was voluptuous, she looked delicate. It was difficult to picture her with so huge a man. 

Arya,” Melly continued. “I don’t know if he’ll prevent me, but I may be able to help you...with Ramsay.” 

She frowned, thinking for a moment. “I was in your position once, you see. I was Ramsay’s pet. Few survive and none escape, but I got away. I can’t tell you as much as I’d like to now, there isn’t time… but, I’ll think of a way to see you again. For now, you mustn’t anger him, do everything he tells you to. Even if it’s… difficult. You need to stay alive. If you make him angry enough, he will kill you. And it will be slow, and worse than you could ever imagine. I can’t stress that enough to you.” 

She stood behind Arya, meeting her eyes in the mirror and Arya noticed suddenly that her green eyes looked very tired for a moment. Nodding, Arya only now began to understand the gravity of her situation. Most don’t survive. Shaking, she rose from the dressing table and Melly took her hand. Come now, we must hurry. He’s angry enough already. I’ll think of something, I promise you. They started toward the door and Arya found she couldn’t even speak, so she followed silently behind. 

When they reached the end of the hall, Melly stopped and turned to her. “I promise.” She said again, and pulled Arya into a tight embrace. It was all she could do not to cry again. Not to beg Melly to keep her here, not to let him take her away. They pulled apart and Melly squeezed her hand, then she turned the corner and led the way down the huge staircase. Standing there watching their descent was Ramsay, looking annoyed and, Arya thought, incredibly handsome. Beside him was the biggest man she had ever  seen, he towered over Ramsay who was not a small man. He wore a tight fitting t-shirt and she could see that he must be over 300 pounds of pure muscle. His face was rough, handsome in a way that she couldn’t quite put her finger on, as he scowled and his look was far from hospitable. 

“Finished already?” Melly asked, going to the huge man. He wrapped a massive arm around her and nodded. 

“Bolton was just going.” He growled as Ramsay stepped forward and took hold of her arm, smiling darkly.

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