So, as you can see, that's my story. The last case I took. Why am I here? Truth is, I was bloody tired of the city, of its people, of its mess. It was a never ending parade of corruption and lies. So, here I am, on a ship, staring at the sky blend with the sea as I move closer to London. I am leaning on the rail, my hat slightly askew, hiding half of my face. I normally don't give a damn whether people are frightened of me or my scars, but I'd like a quiet trip, and I have no need of bloody buggering parents telling me I scare the children.
The sun is setting and the horizon has taken a deep red colour, just like fire. I would have hated it before, but now it only reminds me of her. That, too, is part of the reason I left town. Damn woman. She comes through the door with her pretty face and her sweet voice and turns it all upside down. I should let it go, I want to. If I had stayed, I'd have been half afraid of meeting her at every corner, every turn. And what's the point? What does a Fifth Avenue gal like her have to do with a dog like me, I ask you?
I know she tried to reach me for a week after Littlefinger's death. The first three days I was in the hospital, I pretended to be asleep when she visited, and then I asked the nurse not to let anyone in. In any case, I discharged myself on the very next day. After that, I never took any messages, nor did I visit the church where we had met that one time. If she had stood there and tried to thank me for all I did, I don't know how I would have reacted. Probably kiss her senseless and ask her how thankful she felt now. So I left, my tail between my legs like the miserable old Hound I've become. She'll be fine. The Baratheon-Lannisters are in prison, her dear Robb has become the thorn in Tywin Lannister's side, and Snow, after such a high profile case, finally became Chief. She won't lack protection. She won't need me.
"A lovely sight, isn't it?"
The voice that is shaking me from my thoughts comes from my right. I freeze. Impossible. So I turn. And sure enough, it's her. My own personal little devil. God, she looks beautiful. A simple white and blue dress that reaches slightly past her knees, her hair pin up in curls over her shoulders, her lips as red as blood, and she is smiling. She was leaning over the rails too, but now she stands straight.
"Little bird?" That's all that manages to come out of my mouth.
"Hello, Sandor." She smiles pleasantly, as if we were meeting on the street instead of a ship in the middle of the ocean.
"What the hell?" I recover quickly. "What are you doing here, Sansa?"
She turns back to the ocean. "I needed a change of air, after… everything. I wanted to travel, see new places, meet new people… and I came to find you. You've become a difficult man to get in touch with, you know?"
This is getting more insane by the second.
"And how did you know I'd be here?"
She smiles and takes her ticket out of a pocket. Without saying a word, she points to the name of the ship and the company, with a little proud look. S.S. Saltwife by the Greyjoy Iron Fleet Line. Greyjoy… as in Theon Greyjoy, old friend of Robb Stark, married to Jeyne Greyjoy, Sansa Stark's best friend.
"God, Birdie, is there any place your family doesn'thave any connections in?"
"Mmm, I don't think so, no." She claps once, as if she was getting ready for something. "So, what will we do once we get there?"
She nods. "Of course! London is a big city; surely you won't leave me alone in it, would you? I would not know where to start!"
I grunt. "Well, you won't like London, let me tell you that. It rains all the time, and you won't have any of your little high society friends there."
She smiles again and she intertwines her arm with my own. The nerve of her!
"Then I'll be glad for the company. Unless you wantme to leave. Sandor…" she seems serious as she looks up to me. "I know what I want now." She stares at me with her big, bright blue eyes, lit up by the twilight, and I already know (much as I hate it) that it's too late for me. I could never refuse her anything she asked for. Not even me.
I pull her closer and without another word I lean in for a kiss. I stop at almost half an inch from her, giving her an outing. At this, she groans and closes the distance between us. I have never, ever felt anything like this. The taste of her, her soft lips, the little sounds she makes; how can I do anything but worship this woman? It lights a fire in me, one I fear (The way I've always feared fire, and perhaps always will) but at the same time one I yearned for. I can't tell for how long our lips melt together, or in what moment our breaths mingled, but after a second, an eternity, we pull apart. She's smiling at me, and the sun pales in comparison.
"Stupid little bird." I say, as I put my arm around her shoulders, and she leaves hers around my waist. The sun is setting, a mild breeze whips our hair, and as we both stare at the beginning of dusk, I feel, for the first time in a long time, my damned life is actually worth living.