Tyrion pushed at the door, to no avail. He was about to push harder, when his fingers pressed against a small iron hook between two stones. He pulled on it, and light flowed into where he was. Tyrion looked out, and then ducked his head when he saw movement.
The familiar figure of his father as he got out of his bed. Tywin Lannister was naked, and he turned away from the bed as he put on a gold coloured bathrobe, leaving it open. There was no mistake what he had just done. His father, the man who had shown such devotion to his late wife.
"Go," he heard his father said, and then Tyrion's blood froze when he heard the woman's voice.
"M'lord, what about – "
Tywin Lannister was so fast that Shae had no time to react. He spun around, and slapped her so hard that Tyrion recoiled in his hiding place. The sound of that slap reverberated around the room.
"What about what?" the elder Lannister snapped at her, and then stepped aside. And it was only then that Tyrion was able to see Shae.
She scrambled on her limbs towards the King's Hand and held his hand. She was naked, and still dazzling beautiful, but her skin was no longer flawless. Tyrion saw bruises everywhere, on her face, her neck, her arms, her breasts, between her thighs. Bite marks that were fresh, one of them still bleeding.
"Your son," she pleaded. "I've done whatever was asked of me. I have torn down his credibility. He is now powerless, defeated. No one will trust him anymore. You promised that you will spare his life. You promised that you will let him live."
Tywin grabbed Shae her hair and dragged her towards him, pulling her so that her face was close to his.
"I never made any such promise," he gritted through his teeth before he slammed her head against one of the bedposts. Shae struggled as she tried to get out of his grip, but he was too strong for her.
"You're nothing but a whore, and I never make promises to a whore!" he said as he slammed her head against the bedposts again and again, ignoring the woman's cries to stop.
He did not notice the short figure who climbed out of the hearth until he saw the crossbar with his peripheral vision.
"Let. Her. Go."
The older man turned and saw his son.
"Tyrion," he called his name, his demeanor immediately changed of one of easy-going, as if they were just having a conversation in a room, and his son was not on death row.
"I say. Let. Her. Go."
Tywin released his hand, and Shae whimpered in pain.
"Put on your clothes," Tyrion told the girl. She nodded, and then quickly scrambled to the foot of bed where her clothes were. She picked up her clothes, but her hands were shaking so badly she dropped them, and she had to pick them up again.
"She is just a whore, Tyrion," his father said. "Look at her. She testified against you for money, and the moment you are in jail, she tried to seduce me. She seduced me, Tyrion. You should have heard the words that she said, telling me how inadequate you are. How you are unable to satisfy her. The only thing she loves is money. And a good fuck."
"Shut up," Tyrion barked. "I don't trust you anymore."
"Why not? I'm your father." Tywin moved slightly. Tyrion moved with him, the crossbow following its target.
"You sentenced me to death."
"It was just a strategy, my son. I had it all planned out. My men have been told to rescue you. They have been instructed to bring you across the sea, where you will be given a new identity. See? Aren't you here now?"
"Your men didn't rescue me. I escaped on my own. The guards were careless," he lied, not wanting to get anyone into trouble. "And I overheard your conversation just now," he gestured with his chin to Shae.
"The whore? Of course I lied to her. I don't share my plans with whores," he tittered as he took another step.
"She's not a whore."
"She opens her legs to any man who is willing to pay. And uses her mouth for those who prefer the other way. She's a slut." Tywin took yet another step.
Tyrion cocked the crossbow, all the while his eyes not leaving his father.
"Alright, maybe she is not," he shrugged and spread out his hand in a friendly gesture.
Tywin made a mistake then. He turned his head slightly, trying to see where the cord was exactly. And Tyrion fired.
The bolt buried itself deeply into his body, so deep that only the fletching was visible. Tywin looked at the arrow, then at his son. Tyrion felt a sense of satisfaction when he saw the surprise in his father's eyes.
"You shot –" blood bubbled out of his mouth and he collapsed onto the floor, his sentence incomplete.
"You tried to summon the guards," Tyrion replied the dead man calmly, as a stink filled the air. He twitched his nose, or what was remaining of it.
He turned his attention to the woman in the room. Shae looked at him, half scared and half in awe.
"My lord, I'm sorry. They made me testify. They – "
Tyrion stopped her by reaching out his hand.
"You can apologize later. I believe we have a ship to catch."
He watched as a smile broke across her face. His Shae, beautiful even when blood was running freely from her the open wound on her forehead.
She gave a shy smile and reached for his hand, and then stopped at the last moment.
"Wait," she said, as she went towards the chest of drawers, her hand wiping off the blood on her forehead. Shae opened a few drawers in random and closed a few. She came back to the bed, and tore the curtains, folding them into squares before making her way back to the cupboards. She came back, her arms filled with dragons and non-descript jewelries and dumped them onto the cloth. She criss-crossed the corners and tied a double knot, and did the same for another set. She slipped her hand through the knots and gave the bundles a shake to ensure that the knots were secure, a satisfied look on her face.
"You're practical," Tyrion noted.
She beamed at the compliment.
"Mind you, you'll be a fugitive once you follow me," he warned her. "You will be on the run with me, without a place to stay. There will be no more silk dresses, no more jewelry. You will never feel safe again."
Her smile grew wider, and then suddenly something occurred to her. She removed one of the bundles from her arm, and untied the knot. She approached Tyrion, wrapping the ends around Tyrion's chest gently before she secured it with a double knot.
"I can't wait," she said as she slipped her hand into his again.
Tyrion smiled at her.
Practical? Maybe not.