Hello, readers!

Eh, this is my first time writing a Fanfiction for anything other than Dramione (Harry Potter) and it's my first Fanfiction that I've posted in ages upon ages!

But what can I say? Shirtless Gendry will launch a thousand smutty fics! ;)

Anyway, hope you enjoy!

I'm not even sure if there are people in this fandom but I thought I'd give it a shot anyway!

Let me know what you think,

Dee (Shadowdust)xxx

Grasping her spoon tightly in her hand, Arya swirled her beef stew absently around her plate. Her food held little of her attention this night. With an exasperated sigh, she dropped her spoon, splashing tiny drops of liquid over the bodice of her light-blue dress.

He was at it again, she knew.

Swallowing slowly, she tried to forget the butterflies that were causing havoc in her abdomen. In an effort to distract herself, she rose and moved to sit near the small crowd of people sitting at Old Nan's feet and the surrounding benches. Surprisingly, the old bat had survived the last few years with all her story-telling abilities intact. In fact, she had acquired quite a few new stories.

Stories of bravery and loyalty, stories of despair and loneliness, stories of good men and bad men and stories of heroes, villains and ordinary men who had changed the course of history.

Since Daenerys Targaryen had taken her the Iron Throne, peace had spread like wildfire across the land of Westeros. One by one, all the Major Houses had declared their loyalty to their new Queen, including House Stark and, as a result, the sigil of the direwolf hung high on the towers of Winterfell.

Peace and the coming of summer agreed with Westeros. The common people were merry and food was plenty. As was the Dornish wine which was clearly emphasised by the many drunken men in the Great Hall during the twilight of this summer evening.

Sitting down on a hard bench on the outskirts of the group of avid listeners, the youngest Stark girl kept her eyes downcast. She focused on Old Nan's words and made a concentrated effort not to look in his direction.

The old woman was just finishing a tale. Arya recognised it immediately. It was one of Sansa's favourites, a tale of romance between a young man and woman who seemed destined to never be together because of the expectations their rival families had put on them. It wasn't Arya's kind of story but she'd take any semblance of distraction from the ice-blue eyes currently boring into the back of her skull. She could feel her cheeks heat up although she dared not glance towards the back of the Great Hall, where she knew he sat.

"Nan," a young boy said from his place at the front of the group, "Can you tell us a story of adventure now?" Arya sincerely hoped she would. An exciting tale of adventure and mystery would be just the trick to forget about the maelstrom of thoughts colliding in her head, thoughts that she had no idea how to digest.

The young Stark girl could see the old lady give the boy a half-smile. "Adventure, you say, my child?" she said in an amused tone. "Am I to understand that you do not find my tales of love to be worthy of your attentions?"

"They're boring!" the boy protested, as laughter resonated from some of the listeners around him. "I want tales of dragons and knights and battles and incredible adventures!"

"Oh, my dear boy," the woman replied, the half-smile reappearing on her face, "Some say love is the greatest adventure of all." Nan raised her eyes from the boy and spoke to the entire group of listeners, her eyes focusing on one face after another in turn. "Love is love is love is love. Love is the original story. Love can raise you up over the highest mountains, high above the clouds and everything we know in this life but," Old Nan paused for a split second and Arya almost felt like her pulse stopped as well, "love also has the power to clip the very wings it gives you and send you crashing back to earth, hurt and bewildered and utterly broken."

"But-" the boy started to argue.

Old Nan laughed, "Oh, until you've experienced its power you cannot possibly fathom what you are arguing against, little one." This statement met with nods of approval from several of the older members of the audience, Arya noticed as she looked around. "Love is the original story," she repeated slowly, "tell it, just tell a story of love and there is absolutely no need to dress it up. No dragons or Whitewalkers are required to spice up a story of love. Love is a simple tale but it is the tale of the biggest and most worthwhile adventure of all."

Arya was stunned at the resounded applause that met the end of Old Nan's words. Men and woman alike clapped their hands in unison, some with a smile on their face but others with tears in their eyes.

"She's a wise woman, that Nan," she heard a voice next to her say.

Feeling her spirits soar, Arya turned to face her older brother. "Jon!" she cried, enveloping him a hug. Being as she was now six-and-ten, Arya could no longer expect him to swing her around as he used to so many years ago.

"Hello, little sister," he greeted warmly, "It's good to see you."

"You too." She smiled broadly. She had missed him. His hair had gotten longer since she had last seen him and it still surprised her whenever they met how well he fit the part of Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. He certainly looked the part.

"So, tell me," he said as they sat back down on the bench, "how have you been? I'm sorry it has been so long since my last visit. I know I promised to come back sooner..."

Arya shook her head. "It's fine," she said with a smile. Her brother was the Lord Commander; of course he had more pressing matters to resolve. "Well, I've been keeping busy. I've been practising swordplay with some of the knights and I've started giving lessons to some of the younger children."

"That's really good, Arya," Jon encouraged as he poured himself a large cup of wine.

"And I have a new sword now as well." Her smile faltered a little as she said the words. Thinking about the sword in turn led to thinking about the certain Blacksmith who had forged the sword for her.

"Ah, yes," Jon said, "I expect you've outgrown Needle at this stage. Whose work was it? Good quality? I'm thinking about purchasing new steel for the Wall so perhaps I can give this Blacksmith some business while I'm here."

"Gen- Gendry," Arya said, stumbling over the name.

Jon gave her a knowing look. She had told him all her tales of her failed journey back to Winterfell through to her time in Braavos and beyond. After a moment, he took a sip of wine and nodded. "Well, perhaps I'll go speak to him about the steel tomorrow."

"Yes, I'm sure he'll help."

Jon regarded her again. "Are you sure you're alright, little sister? You smile at me and yet in your eyes I see only misery."

Arya looked at her dearest sibling. He really knew her much too well. "He looks at me," she said.

A curious look overtook her brother's features. "Who?" he asked.

"The Blacksmith," Arya confessed.

"This Gendry? Would you like me to have a word with him?" Arya knew that look. Jon would destroy anyone who would try to hurt her but Gendry wasn't hurting her. She just didn't know what on earth it was he wanted. They had been friends once but since she had returned some kind of obstacle had been wedged between them and, try as she might, she couldn't move it out of the damn way.

"No! I just-I just..."

"Arya, is he looking at you now?"

"Yes," she breathed.

"And where is he sitting?" Jon asked.

"At the very back of the hall, to the right."

"And have you looked at him since you came into the hall this evening?" Arya raised her eyebrow. Just where was Jon going with this line of questioning? Was he implying that she was to blame for Gendry's attentions?

"No," she answered.

Jon paused for a moment as if considering something deeply. "So, my dear, little sister, how is it that you know exactly where he is sitting and you know that he is staring at you?"

Arya's eyes widened when she realised that Jon was right. "I can feel him," she whispered quietly.

Laughing loudly, Jon said, "Sometimes I think Old Nan has a talent for mind-reading."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Arya asked before she realised the answer for herself. Jon thought that Gendry had feelings towards her but that wasn't right, was it? Was it?

Turning her head towards the back of the room, Arya caught sight of Gendry and for just a split second their eyes met before he looked away.

In that second, Arya's stomach lurched, her throat went dry and she felt a sharp pang in her chest.

In that second, she felt like Gendry had the power to unravel every layer of her until she was naked and quivering before him.

She put her two hands on the table steadying herself and took a deep breath.

"Gods, look at your face," Jon said, "A mixture of panic, desire, anger, hatred, sorrow and most of all hope." He said with a smile.

"No-one can display that many emotions at once," Arya argued.

Jon shrugged giving her an amused look. "Seven Hells, Arya!" he said shaking his head, "You're already trembling and this is just the very beginning." Jon looked down the back of the hall and ran his fingers through his thick, black hair. "Your Blacksmith appears to have vacated his seat. Perhaps you should go after him?"

Go after him? Why?Arya did not try to speak, for fear her voice would fail her.

"You're not afraid now, are you, little sister?" Jon's look of amusement made Arya grit her teeth. She slapped him sharply on his arm and strode out of the hall, his laughter echoing in her ears the whole way.

She wasn't afraid.

What on earth had she to be afraid of?

Cursing Jon under her breath, Arya made her way to the forge. Somehow she knew he'd be there.

She slid in the open window, not wanting Gendry to know she was coming. For once, she wanted to have the upper hand. Since her return, Gendry seemed to have this power to unnerve her and she wasn't quite sure why.

Sitting on the window sill, her back to the right-hand-side of the wooden frame and her arms wrapped around her legs, she watched him work. Gendry was always so immersed in his work that he seemed to forget the world around him entirely. Arya swallowed thickly as she watched him hammer a new sword. The steady sound of the hammer beating the steel into shape entranced Arya and she found she could not take her eyes off of him.

It reminded her of a similar scene that had occurred years before in Harrenhal. Back then she was only struck by how strong he was, an innocent observation, but now the sight of Gendry working ignited new feelings within her, feelings that excited and confused her.

Gendry paused at his work, as if sensing something, and before Arya could even think to duck out the window and run back to the safety of the castle, his blue eyes were on her. The look of shock on his face would have normally made her laugh but right now she could not utter a sound.

She could only gaze back at him, as if her eyes were glued to his. His eyes seemed to be drinking her in and Arya could do nothing, just clutch her knees closer to her chest and hope that a giant chasm would open in the ground and swallow her whole.

Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime, Gendry spoke. "Arya...," he said, his voice raw, as if his throat had swallowed a thousand knives.

Arya didn't know what to say. She didn't know what to think. She just knew that thoughts of Gendry had invaded her mind since she had seen him again at the Celebration Feast upon her return to Winterfell. She didn't know what he wanted. She didn't know what shewanted but she knew that something had to happen because it felt like Gendry had engulfed every fibre of her being and she wasn't sure how much longer she could handle this.

She could feel him unravelling her and it scared her. Arya Stark may have been intensely brave when it came to a physical fight or to fight for survival but this was different. The only people who knew her completely were her family but when Gendry looked at her it seemed like he was reaching into her soul and she wasn't sure she wanted to give him that power, that knowledge.

He unnerved in a way no other person ever had and she hated him for it.

She feared him for it.

Arya decided to be brave. Jon had told her to talk to Gendry and so she would. She would find out why this wall had been erected between them and she would break it down and then they could go back to being friends, just like in the old days. A tiny smile made an appearance on Arya's lips.

Yes, back when he was part of her pack.

Back when everything made sense.

She slid down from the windowsill, smoothing the back of her dress when she stood up. Looking up, she realised that Gendry still had his eyes trained on her. She couldn't identify the emotion in his eyes. She wasn't sure if she wanted to.

Gendry moved towards her until he was standing just two steps away from her. Heat seemed to radiate from his body and Arya gritted her teeth in an effort to remain steady and not to dissolve into liquid on the mud ground of the forge. This had been the nearest they had been to each other since her return to Winterfell. He hadn't even delivered the sword he had made her personally. His apprentice had brought it to the door of the castle one bright afternoon three months ago.

Wordlessly, Gendry held out his mildly soot-stained hand. As if a magnet was drawing her hand to his, she slipped her hand against the callous skin of his. His touch nearly made her melt and when she met his eyes, she knew that he was feeling the same way.

She had a need coursing through her veins, a need she didn't quite comprehend.

But gazing into Gendry's eyes in the moonlit room of the forge, she knew the same need was driving his actions.

Their hands grazed over each other several times as they tested each other, their eyes never straying from each other.

They didn't move.

They didn't breathe.

It was if they both had the same realisation, the only thing worse than the touch notending was the touch ending.

In her quest for more, Arya slipped her fingers through his. Her eyes sparkled in the light as she raised her eyebrow and dared him to make the next move.

Heat flushed her cheeks at the surprised look on his face.

Her gaze moved to the floor, but only for a second before he captured her chin between the thumb and fore-finger of his right hand and raised it up so she was once again looking into those blue eyes of his. "Are you sure you want this?" he whispered.

Gods, yes, Arya thought but instead of voicing her enthusiasm she raised her lips to his and placed a sweet, chaste kiss on his lips. It seemed so right. It seemed like the natural course of things and up until this very moment Arya would have denied to the world ever wanting to kiss Gendry. She had buried her feelings so deeply that she hadn't even realised that they existed.

The kiss lasted just one second, just the gentle press of her lips against his before she withdrew her lips a couple of inches, smiling softly to herself.

Gendry raised a slightly trembling hand to her face before murmuring something to himself. Arya couldn't hear what it was he said until he repeated himself a little louder. "More," he whispered softly, "more." His voice, though low, was saturated with want and need.

When Gendry's lips met hers for the second time, the kiss was fierce. Now that the first barrier between them had been broken, now that they knew they both wanted the same thing, there was no need to be afraid.

They both wanted the same thing and now they could have it.

Gendry's left arm slid around her waist, bringing her as close as he could to his warm body. She could feel his calluses through the thin fabric of her blue dress and the feel of his hand on her back increased her desire for the man before her. His right hand moved to her hair, losing itself inside her long tresses in his mission to bring her lips ever closer to him.

Arya's arms wrapped themselves around Gendry's neck, seemingly of their own accord. Her thought process was seemingly lost to the wind. Her need fuelled her actions and she was powerless to stop herself from kissing Gendry back as passionately as he was kissing her.

When his tongue slid across her bottom lip, begging for entrance, Arya left him in without hesitation, eager to learn and do something to quench this need inside her, this need that was only burning hotter with each flick of Gendry's tongue across her teeth. He tasted of wine and beef stew. Arya thought there was no other such sweet tasting combination in all of Westeros. After leaving him explore her mouth for a few moments, Arya met his tongue with hers as they battled for dominance. He conceded the battle and let her run her tongue along the top of his mouth and everywhere else she wanted to go.

His fingers dug into her hips, as he encouraged her to move backwards, making her moan loudly. Arya hesitated for a second, unsure of whether or not to be embarrassed by the sound that had escaped her lips, but Gendry pressed his lips against hers more firmly, unwillingly to break the kiss. If anything her moan had made his more enthusiastic. This spurred Arya on, as she lost herself again in the kiss and the feel of his hard body against hers. She raised her hand and grabbed a fistful of his hair which made him grunt against her lips.

It was seconds later that Arya's back slammed into the stone wall of the forge, next to the window she had crawled in earlier. She gasped, the pain shocking her as she had been so lost in the feel of Gendry and the delicious movements of his tongue.

Gendry tore his lips from hers, his eyes wide. Never in her life had Arya been as regretful as she felt in that moment. She hadn't wanted the kiss to end. What if she didn't get another one? She already missed the feel of his lips on hers. She needed another taste. She thought she might die if she didn't get it. In that moment, she would have given up everything for just one more taste of him.

She tightened her arms around his neck. If he wanted to leave her like this then he'd have one tough fight on his hands. Gendry seemed to get the message that she wasn't done with him and, instead, proceeded to rain light, chaste kisses on her jaw, murmuring apologies as he went. His right hand, which was still buried in her hair, tilted her head very slightly to the side. His lips found a sweet spot under her left ear. A very soft moan escaped her raw lips which caused Gendry to suck harder. Arya arched her back, throwing her head back, completely lost in the feelings he aroused in her. She would have certainly dashed her head against the stone wall if Gendry hadn't taken the impact on his own hand.

The pain didn't seem to bother him much. He kept his hand behind her head to shield her from the wall. His forehead rested gently on her shoulder, kissing the bare skin that showed near the neckline of her left shoulder, and she could feel the cool drops of sweat that dripped from his hair through the fabric of her gown.

"Oh," she said quietly when her breathing returned to some semblance of normality.

Oh, this is what he wanted when he had asked for more.

Oh, her silly, little fantasies, the ones she would never admit she had, had never prepared her for what this moment really felt like.

Oh, she liked this.

This is what the hundreds of stories and ballads that she had heard her entire life were about.


The timeless story, just like Old Nan had said.

This feeling right here was what Robert Baratheon had started a war for, a war that had rocked the entire foundation of the Seven Kingdoms. This feeling had seen her parents through many years of happy marriage. This was the feeling that she had witnessed countless times in others but had never in her sixteen years of life comprehended completely.

This feeling was what it was all about.

For the first time in her life, Arya felt like she understood.

Love had never been something she wanted. Sansa had been the one who dreamed of fairytale romances, loving marriages and the gift of a large family.

Arya, on the other hand, dreamed of being a courageous and respected warrior. Love hadn't entered the equation.

Not until Gendry.

Not until this night.

Arya stroked the back of Gendry's neck lightly with her fingers. She could feel him shudder under her touch and it made her feel powerful. Her touch could do that to him.

A few moments later, she took a fistful of his hair and raised his face to meet hers.

"I want more," she said simply. All trace of embarrassment was gone.

"Arya..." he started but she pressed one finger to his lips.

"Please," she whispered.

"I've already hurt you," he murmured, looking ashamed of himself.

"I'm fine," Arya protested.

Gendry cocked one eyebrow and then lightly pressed the bruises on her back.

Arya winced slightly and he gave her a look that indicated that he thought his point was proved.

"Gendry...," Arya spoke quietly, "take me to your bed tonight."

The Blacksmith withdrew his hands from her, leaning them up against the stone wall, one on either side of her head. Arya did not miss how his eyes had darkened with lust at her words. He seemed to be having trouble with his ability to speak. His mouth opened slightly and closed again as if he had thought better of what he had been going to say.

Gendry leaned towards her right ear and spoke in a low, rough voice. "Arya, do you have any idea what you do to me?" His breath tickled her ear and his words sent a tingle down her spine.

She held his gaze, waiting him out, knowing it wouldn't be long until he gave in, judging by the tremble of his arms as they locked her against the hard, stone wall. The thought excited her. She had no idea what to expect and the anticipation was more than she could bear.

Slowly, she reached a hand out to touch the strong outline of his jaw. The second her fingers met his skin he let out a growl and before she knew it his lips were back on hers.

Arya moaned, and hitched her skirt up to her knees so Gendry could carry her to his bed, his arms wrapped tightly around her.

He set her down on her feet in front of his bed and let out a nervous cough. "It's not much," he muttered as Arya looked around in wonder.

She smiled shyly at him, suddenly embarrassed by her earlier brazenness and, even though she hated to admit it, a tiny bit scared.

But when Gendry kissed her again, some of that fear evaporated. This kiss was passionate but slower in pace. This kiss was leading somewhere and they both wanted desperately to savour it.

It wasn't long until they were both panting and Arya thought she would combust from all the unresolved need inside her. Impulsively, she reached out and grabbed his shirt. She could feel Gendry still beneath her hands but she persisted in her task, nonetheless. She unfastened the first few buttons with shaky hands but when the fifth button continued to evade her trembling fingers, Arya reached out and wretched his shirt apart. The last few buttons fell to the floor, scattering to all corners of the room.

Looking at Gendry, Arya found he had a grin on his face. She blushed. No doubt, her impatience had amused him greatly. She swiped his arm with her hand but that only caused him to grin wider as he dodged her blows.

"Stop it!" she ordered.

"Yes, Milady," he returned in a teasing tone.

Arya's eyes flashed dangerously and in a split second, she had him backed against the wall while her lips smashed against his.

After a few seconds Gendry reversed their positions, pinning Arya's arms above her head with one of his strong hands. Enraged, Arya struggled to free her arms but to no avail and when Gendry's lips crashed down on her again, she found she didn't care.

When Gendry released her arms, she wrapped them around his neck once again. Gendry hitched up her skirt to her knees once again. Then he cupped her bottom as she slid her legs around his waist. He rocked his hips gently against her and relished the successive moans that he extracted from her sweet mouth. They were like music to his ears and he was eager to hear them again and again and again.

"Gendry...," Arya pleaded for more and he was more than happy to comply. He carried her over hesitantly to the foot of the bed once again. She disentangled herself from his arms and stood in front of him flush-faced, with her hair unkempt and her dress in disarray. A broad smile appeared on her face and, just as soon as it came, Gendry returned it.

"Will you help me?" she asked, indicating the long row of buttons on the back of her dress.

Gendry turned her around and slipped one button free and then the other... a long tortuous process.

Every time a new piece of skin was revealed, she felt him reach out to stroke it with his thumb. Each touch made her quiver and her legs felt like jelly. She reached out to hold onto the bedpost with both hands, to steady herself.

When, finally, her dress slid down her body and hit the floor, Arya stepped out of it and turned around to face her soon-to-be-lover.

He cupped her face and asked a silent question.

In answer, Arya shrugged out of her smallclothes, letting them fall in a heap on the floor. She did not miss the complete awe on Gendry's face as he reached out to stroke a nipple.

He gave her one last kiss before turning his attentions to his remaining clothes. Arya sat on his bed, mesmerised as she watched him discard his clothes.

When he was fully naked, it was Arya's turn to stare in awe. She bit her lip, trying to hide her nervousness. Of course, she had seen him naked before when he had been "pissing in front of her and everything" but this was a completely different experience. Now, he was actually going to be insideher.

Gendry walked to the bed and Arya moved to lie down. He took his place above her and kissed her gently. Arya deepened the kiss, and ran her hands over his back.

After a few minutes, Gendry trailed kisses down her neck. Arya closed her eyes, concentrating on the feeling of biting, sucking, licking and kissing his way down her body. He paid close attention to her breasts, small as they were. Swirling his tongue around her left nipple, she could felt the heat of his gaze on her face. He was memorised every reaction, recording every moan. Gendry made sure to pay special attention to any spot that made her moan loudly or arch her back from the bed. He explored every single inch of her soft skin as he kissed his way down her body.

Tears of frustration welled in Arya's eyes. Was he just going to tease her all night?

When Gendry reached the end of her abdomen he planted some kisses on her hips before turning his attentions to her thighs. He kissed them softly before stopping.

"Arya, I need you to spread your legs for me." He requested gently.

She had kept her legs shut thus far trying to contain the need and the wetness that soaked her clit and her upper thighs.

Opening her eyes, she met his gaze and nodded. Slowly, she opened her legs a couple of inches.

"Wider." He commanded, rubbing light circles on her inner thighs to calm her.

She swallowed thickly, allowing him another few inches of access. No man had ever seen her nude body before and especially not down there. Embarrassment heated her cheeks.

"Wider, Arya," he urged in a soft voice. "Please."

Summoning up the last bit of courage she possessed, Arya spread her legs wider for Gendry, allowing him full access to her.

Gendry moved his head lower between her legs. "Beautiful," he murmured. The vibration of his voice against her clit caused Arya to shove a fist in her mouth to keep from crying out.

"No," Gendry said in a firm voice, raising his head to look her directly in the eyes. "I want to hear every singlesound you make for me."

The firmness of his tone excited Arya. The thrill of anticipation sent a shiver up her spine and her clit throbbed with want and need.

When Gendry suddenly dipped his head between her legs to pleasure her most delicate parts, Arya screamed out begging for him to continue and continue he did. Gendry worked a steady rhythm on her clit until Arya could focus on nothing else but the huge build up of pressure in her lower abdomen. Seconds later wave after wave of pleasure crashed over her, reducing her to a quivering mess in front of the Blacksmith with the talented tongue.

Arya twisted her hands in his rough pillow as she came down from her climax.

She looked down to find Gendry watching her, a look of unadulterated lust with a hint of wonder on his face. Blushing, she motioned for him to come up and kiss her.

His kiss was rough and when his tongue entered her mouth, she was surprised at the taste of his tongue. Gendry broke the kiss and chuckled in her ear. "You really are delicious, Arya," he teased.

Arya shifted against him and suddenly all thoughts of teasing were forgotten. Gendry growled dangerous as she reached out and took him in one of her little hands. The skin covering him was surprisingly soft, silky even. She ran her hand over him, delighting in the way his eyes rolled back in his head.

Gendry snatched her hand and pressed it to his lips. The look on his face confirmed that it had taken even last ounce of his strength to do that. His lips were white with restraint. "Not now. Now I need to be inside you," he whispered.

"You really are beautiful, Arya," he whispered against her lips as he slid a solitary finger inside her. Moving down her body and kneeling between her legs, Gendry pushed his finger in and out of Arya's most private place, watching every reaction that his actions caused. His free hand began to massage one of her breasts, causing Arya to mewl softly.

Squeezing her nipple, Gendry slid a second finger inside Arya to join his first. She arched her back high off the bed, wanting Gendry inside her already.

Gendry prepared her for a few more minutes stretching her opening around two fingers before adding a third. The desperate need that was building up inside Arya was reaching break-point.

"Gendry," she said, "Please."

He withdrew his fingers, licking them clean as Arya watched with a fascinated glance.

Gendry held her gaze as he nestled himself between her inner thighs.

When he pressed his tip inside her opening, she gasped.

"Relax," he said. "It'll hurt more if you don't."

Arya nodded and calmed her muscles with a few deep breaths. Slowly, Gendry edged inside her trying his utmost not to hurt her and allowing her muscles time to accommodate him.

Frustrated, Arya wrapped her legs around Gendry, pulling him closer to her in one sudden movement, filling her completely.

Her maidenhead broke, causing a sharp pain to Arya. She screamed and bucked against Gendry, not liking this one bit. She scratched his bare back, drawing blood but Gendry just stayed her hips with one hand, the other caressing her face. One solitary tear slid down her cheek and Gendry kissed in away, murmuring sweet nothings in her ear and kissing every bit of bare skin he could reach.

After a few moments, Arya found the pain was bearable and began to flex her muscles.

Gendry groaned as she moved against him experimentally. The pain wasn't half as bad as it was originally. He pulled out of her before pushing his way back in. His pace got faster and faster with every thrust and soon the pleasure Arya felt far outweighed any pain.

As the pain lessened, Arya began to meet his hips, which made Gendry smile. He shifted his position a little, pulling one of her legs over his shoulder, running his fingers along the smooth skin of her thigh.

The fireworks in her abdomen threatened to explode again and soon she was riding out her second orgasm. Gendry came soon after, filling her with his warm seed. He collapsed on top of her for a few moments, too exhausted to move, before moving next to Arya.

He lay on his side and she moved to face him. Both were still breathing too heavily for words. Sweat dripped down both their bodies and Arya felt an ache inside her that she hoped would fade soon because she really wanted to do that again and again and again...

Gendry reached out to stroke her cheek, as if he couldn't get enough of touching her. Arya hoped he never did. "Are you alright?" he asked, worry in his eyes.

"Yes," Arya smiled, despite the soreness between her legs. That had truly been one of the most incredible experiences of her life and if she had to put up with a little pain the first time then so be it.

The anxiety in his face lifted. What replaced it was an expression of love. Arya recognised it as an expression her parents had used quite frequently when they looked into each other's eyes.

He smiled sweetly at her and she returned the smile. It was filled with genuine happiness.

Tiredness began to overcome Arya and, all of a sudden, she struggled to keep her eyes open. Gendry noticed and beckoned her to turn around. He pulled the thick blanket at the end of the bed up to cover her and then he moved closer to her, enveloping her body in his. Arya couldn't help but let out a sigh of contentment. It felt so right to be here in Gendry's arms.

"Arya?" Gendry asked.

"Yes?" she answered, snuggling in closer to his warm body.

"I would very much like to make you my wife," he spoke quietly and he seemed almost nervous, "if you would agree."

Arya's eyes darted open. Marriedto Gendry? She considered the possibility for a couple of seconds before answering. "I would very much like to accept," she agreed, teasing him on the wording of his proposal.

"Good," he said, roughly, but she could tell he was pleased by the way his muscles relaxed around her and the way he pulled her ever closer to his chest.

After a few moments, Arya decided to confess something. "I would happen to love you quite a bit, Bull," she said softly, running her fingers along the hard muscles of the arms that encased her.

She heard him laugh and felt the vibrations against her back. "I would happen to feel the same way, Milady," he said, "I have done for a very long time."

Arya smiled at his words and drifted off to her best night's sleep in years.

Her nightmares seemed to disappear in the safety of her lover's arms.