Bolton Rising - Part 30 - Sandor & Alayne

The bright green flames were all around him, glowing against the night sky. The scorching heat suffocated him as he struggled to breath in the thick smoke. The fire was a  living, breathing beast, consuming all, yet always hungry, and it was after him. But men came at him too, wielding
swords and he slashed back with his own, hacking bodies to pieces like meat. He felt the spray of their hot blood splash upon his face, a burnt facade that he saw smirking back at him from his sword's own gleaming blade. It was a dark haunting reflection he had seen time and time again since his horrible accident as a child.

The battle raged on, men died and the flames came closer. Sandor felt real terror run through his spine and he fled, back to the safety of the castle and it's high stone walls, hiding in the darkness of a room like a coward.  He tasted the sharp, red wine upon his tongue as he drank, trying to ignore the sounds of war coming from outside the window. He only looked up when a young girl raced inside and bolted the door, seeking refuge, herself, from some threat. "Little Bird..." His drunken lips slurred, staggering towards her as she gave a panicked cry, catching thegirl by the shoulders and crashing to the bed with her pinned beneath him. "Sing for me... Sing for your life." Sandor demanded cruelly, a dagger pressed against her delicate throat as she pleaded for him to stop.

And then he heard her sweet song. Pretty notes from some hymn he cared little about, but as long as that girl was staring into his ruined face, cupping his scarred cheek, he would listen to her sing anything for as long as the fates would allow.

"Sandor... Do you hear me? I'm singing just like you asked." The Hound felt someone close by, whispering in his ear while squeezing his hand. He struggled to lift heavy eyelids, groaning underneath a breathing mask and wrapping his fingers around the small hand. "Shhh... You don't need
to fight anymore. Rest Sandor. I'm right here."

"The doctor says that he's under heavy sedation. Don't worry my sweet. The Hound will come around in time." Petyr placed a comforting hand upon Alayne's shoulder, glad she had finally stopped crying and had begun to sing softly instead. The Little Bird had been hovering and holding vigil by her protector's bedside since they had arrived at the hospital after Gregor Clegane's phone call. Sandor's older sibling was the man responsible for the Hound's current condition. He was a bruised, battered and broken mess. Even had Baelish appalled at the brutality needed to commit such monstrous destruction of a man.

"Alayne, I must return to the office and handle some business. Stay here and keep talking to Sandor. That will give him comfort. I'll come back to take you home later."  Baelish bent down and kissed her soft lips as Alayne peered up at him with a sad smile. "Don't leave this room till I return, understood? There are guards posted outside if any problems arise." Petyr caressed her wet cheek, gazing into her teary eyes and gave his love a reassuring smile, before departing.

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Peytr's departure was a relief, and yet she had dreaded this moment. To be alone with Sandor was to face her feelings, and that was something she didn't know if she was ready to do. Since he'd kissed her, when they'd almost... She shook her head, trying not the see the images that flashed before her eyes. He had felt so good to her, so... right. Her love for Petyr was as strong as ever, so how could she feel so drawn to Sandor Clegane?    

When the call had come in, she'd felt cold and sick. Petyr had told her she should stay home, rest, but she'd insisted upon accompanying him to the hospital. The drive had been agony, not knowing anything but that Sandor was terribly hurt, perhaps dying. She had never met Gregor Clegane, but she had heard stories of the things he did for that terrible Ramsay Bolton. He must truly be a monster, if he could hurt Sandor so badly. Sandor himself was a huge man, nearly 6'7" and incredibly strong. That someone could have bested him in a fight was unimaginable to Alayne. Arriving at the hospital, she felt her stomach clench as the car slid into the parking garage, coming to a stop near an elevator. Two men exited the SUV that had been following and came to open the doors for them. Alayne recognized them as security from the club and was reassured by their presence.

Their small group entered the Lobby, drawing looks and whispers as they passed. Everyone knew who Petyr Baelish was. Either through his business or his politics, Petyr's face was well known through both television and print media, the internet only adding to his public accessibility. Handsome, charming and incredibly wealthy, there were many women who envied the quiet red haired girl who stood by his side. Alayne knew how lucky she was. Fate hadn't always been so kind to her. She was grateful for all that Petyr gave her, but most of all his love and his kindness. In the past, men had not been so kind to her, had not cared if they'd hurt her, as long as they possessed her. And yet with all the love she felt for Petyr... Alayne felt an undeniable bond to the man who's life's work was to protect her.

Sandor's room was on the seventh floor and the ride up in the lift seemed interminably long. She waited, arms wrapped around herself, shaking, as she watched Petyr talk to the nurse on duty, listened as the pinched faced woman refused to tell him anything about Sandor's condition. Family only, she told him, yet it was his only family who'd broken him. She watched as Peytr became angry, but he never lost his head. This was how he got things done, she knew. Petyr always got what he wanted. A supervisor was called, apologies were made and they were hurried down a long hallway. Alayne heard talk of contusions, multiple fractures, subdural hematoma... her head was swimming. Tears poured down her cheeks and she held tightly to Petyr's arm.

Rushing into the room, standing beside his bed, she saw the huge man lying in a hospital bed that was too small for him. He was bruised and bandaged, IV fluids dripped from their hanging bags, pain medications, but rationed out too slowly, she knew. His face was broken, but still she recognized her bodyguard lying there. Her head swam and she was dizzy. An unearthly green light flickered outside the window, lending a greenish cast to everything in sparsely furnished room. "I could keep you safe..." he growled, and his hot breath smelled of sour red wine. She felt the bite of cold steel at her throat and yet, she was not afraid. But who would keep him safe, she wondered. And then she sang.

She sang to him, words she did not know she knew. Sitting on the side of he bed, she held his hand and felt his fingers wrap around hers. When Petyr left them she stood, drawing the privacy curtain around the bed, then she returned. Slipping off her shoes, she climbed carefully into the bed beside him. Leaning over him, Alayne kissed his lips, softly, gently, careful not to hurt him, her tears falling onto his cheeks. "I love you... Sandor, I love you, I do... " She stroked his cheek gently with her fingertips and saw his eyelids flicker. Her heart surged and she prayed long and hard to anyone who might hear her.

"Please, if you can hear me... please get well for me..." She curled up beside him, entwining her fingers with his, whispering, "I love you... I love you... I love you..."


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