AN: This chapter is all Arya and next one will be Gendry!

Disclaimer: It all belongs to GRRM!


The ride took them a few hours, but to her it felt like the entire day. Her side ached from the ride, but she said nothing. All she wanted was to shut herself into a room and hide away from it all.

Killing him should have been easy. How could I have let him get so close to me? Thoughts of her weakness flooded her mind. Thoughts of how he had touched her chest…how he had traced his hand up her thigh to her hips. How he had gotten to touch her in a way no man had ever touched her before.

And Gendry had seen.

Another wave of pain invaded her and she had to choke back a cry. She did not understand why it hurt so much that he had been there. It hurt almost as much as having Raff assault her, but she could not rationalize why.

It hurt to think of what he may think of her now.

She knew he would die to protect her, as she would for him, but she had thought of him as a brother for so long. They protected each other without question, and he teased her as Jon and Robb had teased her. But now she felt differently. Somewhere along the roads and paths she had started looking at him differently.

When she looked at Gendry now she didn't feel like she was looking at a brother. This felt stronger and it controlled her in a way she did not like. She needed control, needed to be aware, but this feeling had overwhelmed her and left her weak. She felt unfamiliar in her own skin. When Gendry gazed at her she could feel her stomach coil almost unnervingly and she had not understood the feeling before, not until he had stared at her naked and bruised body.

She felt broken and useless, even though she wasn't actually broken. But still, she felt ruined as he stared at her, examining every bruise and cut.

Then he held her, and she released it all into his arms.

She shook with relief from being spared the cruelty of rape, with gratitude for him saving her, with pain for being hurt, with rage at Raff for thinking he could take something that was hers to give, but mostly she shook with anger that it had been Raff and not the man whose arms were wrapped around her exposed frame.

She had wanted Gendry to love her in that way, but she had never thought about it until it had almost been ripped away from her.

How could she ever think he would want her now? He had barely spoken to her as they rode the horses into town. She could see his stupid thoughts clouding his stupid face. He was thinking hard and it annoyed her.

Even Hot Pie was annoyingly silent. She didn't want to be treated differently. She wasn't a delicate little flower to tip toe around.

She was hurt, she may not want to admit it, but she knew Gendry did not need her to admit it to know. He could be stupid sometimes and he probably thought she was overcome with grief from the attack, how could she explain to him that, while it hurt, what hurt more was the idea that someone else could take it….without her having it the way she wanted…with him.

What is wrong with me! She thought, since when did I become this whiny little girl drooling over a man. That's Sansa, not me. But is it really so wrong to want a man….and he isn't a lord or prince….he's a man. Different than the fluffy little idiots my sister drooled over.

And now they were on their way to a brothel where sex was in abundance. Women would be faking pleasure as horny and lonely men humped themselves into oblivion. A place where people bought love and affection…and she would never have any of that.

"Arya…" Hot Pie quietly spoke her name. "What?" She said sharply not realizing Gendry and him had stopped, and were now behind her.

"We're here." She quickly looked up and pulled the reins on the stallion back so he would halt.

She looked around at the building. There was a small fountain in front with exposed women lounging around it, some sitting by their lonesome and rubbing their breasts with their own hands while others sat in the laps of lonely men. She knew inside it would only be more obnoxious.

Maybe Gendry was right about not coming here.

Gendry had already tied the horses down to posts and walked over to her wanting to help her down. "I'm fine stupid!" She lifted her leg over and started to slide down the horse, knowing jumping would hurt her more than she was willing to admit.

Still she felt his strong hands slide along her waist as he guided her to the ground regardless of her claim that she was fine. She didn't fight it though because at least he was touching her. Even if it was innocent, at least it was something. As soon as she was steadily on the ground he released her and moved to tie her horse to the post as well.

Hot Pie carried their supplies over his shoulder and Gendry tied the coin pouch to his breeches and together they walked over to her. "You sure about staying here tonight? I could look around, see how far an inn is from here…I'm sure there's one probably a few miles up."

"I am fine. The whorehouse will be cheaper than an inn, and we're less likely to run into trouble here anyway stupid. So can we just go in already?" She looked up at him then pleading with her eyes for him to just agree. An inn wouldn't cost much more, but she didn't want to ride anymore. She just wanted this day to end and for tomorrow to come.

No amount of travelling would erase that ache, and she was right….the brothel offered a shelter in a way…nobody came to the local whorehouse looking for bastard boys with a bulls helm or little lost ladies. However, people talked at inns…about who stayed and who they were with. Staying at inns was a luxury they seldom enjoyed.

When their journey had first begun, Gendry often insisted that she was a lady and he wouldn't allow her to stay in a brothel, but after one too many encounters with drunken fools at inns he had relented. She had hated him treating her as some fragile little lady and himself a dirty bastard. It had taken several beatings and arguments until he had seemed to realize that titles were just that, a title.

Now after 5 years he seldom acted like she was any different than him, except when he was feeling exceptionally moody or simply wanted to annoy her. Then he always seemed to remember she was lady.

She didn't want this experience to change that.

They walked into the brothel as a group. Colored curtains hung over the outer walls giving the room a red glow. Moaning and grunting could be heard from every corner as well, and naked women walked around without any shame.

"Well hello there….don't you three make for quite a little group..." A robust woman with red hair walked over to them with her eyes lingering on Gendry. She felt the familiar annoyance flush inside of her, as the woman gently placed her hand on Gendry's arm tracing the cut where blood from his wound had seeped through. "Seems you need some attention big fella….I could help with that.." she trailed her finger down to Gendry's chest.

Gendry had flushed red across his face and neck, and moved back so that the whore's hand no longer could reach him. " I'm… err. I'm alright, thank you anyways..." The whore smiled at his shyness, "Then what are you doing here, if it ain't for some attention? You look like a big strong man, I bet you're big all over." Her eyes travelled to Gendry's waist as she spoke.

She was shocked at the women's brazenness. This was her Gendry the woman was talking about, and anger flooded her mind. She saw Gendry turn even redder, and just as she was about to snap at the whore, he spoke.

"My name's Tom and this is Sarha, and Hot Pie." The lie came easily, as they had already used it so often. "We…we're actually just looking for a place to stay tonight….we have coin, and Hot Pie here is great in the kitchen and willin' to help." Gendry said gesturing to their friend. "We're heading North away from the war and…" She interrupted him then, "This isn't an inn….our rooms are for paying fellas."

"We have coin.." Arya heard herself say with more force than was necessary. The whore looked at her then, "Well, aren't you a pretty little thing Sarha…" she stared at her as if examining her. "You willing to work too little thing" Before she could reply, she heard Gendry growl out the word, "No."

The whore looked up at him then…..then back to Arya…and she smiled. "Don't worry tiger; I won't put your woman out then." Gendry's hands wrapped around her and he pulled her back into him. Your woman, she thought. She wanted to be annoyed, but she was too happy that he was touching her again.

The whore continued, smiling brightly. "Alright then, the name is Ros, 2 silvers and you 2 can stay upstairs in our spare room. It's small but it'll do for you two. We don't want any trouble here, and you're out tomorrow. No questions asked. You'll have to make your own fire and heat your own bath water, but there's a tub in there and a bed with blankets."

Glancing at them she added, "One of my girls will bring you up some clothes that fit, a pretty thing like you shouldn't hide such a body." Arya felt her face flush and she felt Gendry's hands tighten.

She gestured to Hot Pie then, "I'll show you to the kitchens, we could always use willing help in there, and there's a bed back there in the kitchen for ya as well."

Gendry quickly handed her 2 silver coins, and took their supply pack from Hot Pie, swinging it over his shoulder. Ros pointed them in the direction and reiterated that she wanted no trouble, and they'd be out if they caused any. Then she took Hot Pie off to the kitchen, with a dumb slobbery smile plastered across his face.

They quickly made their way up the stairs and through the halls of naked women and men in corners and loud moaning coming through the walls.

When they reached the last door they turned in and opened it. It was a simple, but cramped room. In one corner there was a decent sized bed with furs and blankets thrown across it. There were candles in one corner on a table. There were also kettles, jugs and pots on a small table beside the fire. A large tub sat in the corner across from the bed, and that was it.

Gendry shut the door and dropped their supply sack down, and Arya quickly dug into it looking for their supplies. Gendry immediately set to making a fire.

After the fire was done, Arya stood there smiling and pointed at the bed. "Take off your shirt and sit." She demanded. He looked at her with obvious fear. "Seriously, Arya it can wait…"

"I said sit." She left no room for question in her voice.

He obeyed, and she quickly filled a small pot with water and set it above the fire to heat. When it was warm enough, she dampened a rag and went to work on the cut on Gendry's chest. She stood in-between his legs and wiped away blood as she worked. Over the years, they had both stitched each other up enough times to do it blindfolded. "All done!" she said putting the needle and thread away quickly.

The stitches weren't that even, and she was sure she had stuck Gendry with the needle more times than was necessary, but he handled it with a few groans of pain.

The important part was that he was stitched up and the blood stayed inside instead of pouring out.

She looked at her work, "I'm getting better at this. Maybe this one won't scar so bad."

"Lucky me. I get to be your practice dummy." He said giving her an annoyed look.

"Shut up before I poke you with a real needle! You should be thanking me you stupid.."

He interrupted her tirade with laughter. She started laughing too then. She was no maester and she knew he would bare more scars due to her horrid medical skills than many other men.

"Thank you Arya." She smiled again then, staring at his piercing blue eyes. "I mean it, here we are. Both beaten and bruised and yet you," He placed his hands on her hips pulling her closer to him, and she felt herself stop breathing. She was so short that even with him sitting she barely had to look down to see his face. "You always find a way to take care of others before yourself. Your first thought is to stitch up the bastard."

A tiny part of her heart cracked, but she placed her hands gently on his chest instead of hitting him when he was sore. "You are not a bastard, Gendry. We know who your father is. Stop.."

"But I am Arya. We heard rumors about my parentage, but who knows if they're true. Even if they are true, I am still a bastard, and you're a lady…actually a Princess now with your brother proclaiming himself King in the North."

She moved her hands up towards his neck, and stepped closer to him forcing his hands to wrap around her waist.

"You aren't a bastard." She spoke gently now, feeling that delicious tightening in her stomach and she stepped closer so that her legs were hitting the bed.

"You are Gendry, just Gendry, the guy who beat that craven so he couldn't laugh anymore and hurt me. The guy who has saved me more times than I can count, the guy who knows everything about me, my best friend, just Gendry. And I'm just Arya. She leaned her head down so that their foreheads were touching.

Oh my what am I doing…he is going to push me away…but those lips….those stupid lips…

She felt his fingers had tighten on her back, and his breathing increased. She so badly wanted to lean down further. To push herself again his thick body, and feel him, all of him. She briefly wondered if he was big all over as Ros suggested, and she wondered what it would matter. She knew all about what men and women did, and she had seen his cock before, but never in that way…never in the way a man looked as he was going to be with a woman. She wanted to see him in that way, to feel him on her, beneath her, in her, but she was afraid.

She felt a moistness pool between her legs, and she rubbed her legs together unthinkingly. The friction just made her more frustrated, and she desperately wanted more.

He groaned softly and looked up at her. "Arya," He tilted his head up higher so that their lips were only inches apart, and his hands trailed higher towards her ribs as he gently tugged her down more. "If only everything was just that simple."

"It can be that simple Gendry, you just have to stop over thinking it."

They were so close now. She could feel his breath on her face, and she closed her eyes.

"Arya," he breathed her name like it was all he had, and then she felt his lips gently touch hers.

It was so gentle, but it made her insides swirl with a fire she had never known. Her head filled with images of him and how much more she wanted. Somehow she thought Gendry would be rough and fast, but this kiss touched her like a feather.

She felt him pull back, and she opened her eyes to look at him. His blue eyes had darkened and were clouded with a primal look, but he somehow looked unsure. Like he was afraid he had hurt her.

She smiled at him, and gently brought one of her hands to her lips. "That's what it's supposed to feel like then."

She saw something in his face crack, and then he quickly brought her face back down to his. His kiss was harder this time, and she felt herself kissing back just as forcefully. Without thinking about it she slid her tongue out to touch his lips. She wanted to be in him. She moved her hands along his chest and abs, loving the feeling of his body tensing as she traced him. He was all muscle, and it seemed to stretch everywhere.

He obliged and opened his mouth allowing her access, and she explored willingly. She heard him groan below her, and it made the wetness grow in-between her legs. Ignoring the small sting of her side, she moved forward crawling on top of him, and he pulled her against him.

She could feel his pants straining under what must have been his hardness as she sat on him. She had never seen him hard before, and before she unconsciously ground herself against him. The feeling was amazing and the fire intensified within her. His moan sounded delicious and she wanted to make him do it again, and she rhythmically began to grind herself against him.

The feelings were too much, and she felt herself wanting more. Images of Gendry loving her wiped away every thought about the day's earlier incident. She pushed herself against him harder as his lips left her lips to explore her neck. She gasped with pleasure as he nipped a small spot above her collarbone.

Oh yes, yes this feels so good. More I need more.

He turned her quickly but gently so as not to cause her pain so that she was lying on the bed and he leaned above her. She looked up at him, and his blue eyes were hooded with lust. She reached up for him, "Gendry."

He quickly leaned down and kissed her softly on the lips, and pulled away, sitting himself up and away from her.

Her mind went blank wondering why he pulled away so quickly from her.

"What's wrong? Did I do something wrong? I thought that felt like it was supposed to…" she asked. She pushed herself up, but winched at putting the weight on her shoulder.

He looked at her then, his face looked pained. "You did absolutely nothing wrong, and it did. It felt better than I ever could have thought," He ran his hands through his coal black hair, "But after what just happened to you..and we're in a brothel…and Arya I can't just do that to you…even if you weren't a lady and I wasn't dishonoring you, I care about you way too much to do this here…for the first time….now…..I feel like I'm taking something without permission…"

She was annoyed now. "What happened back there Gendry is bound to happen again one day," His eyes darkened with anger, "Yes Gendry it will happen again, I hope it doesn't but reality is that it fucking will! Men will keep trying to hurt me simply because they can, and you won't always be able to save me. This.." she gestured between his body and hers, "This felt good….it actually made me forget about that craven touching me...but with you…it felt like what I always hoped it would feel like, and I don't want that stupid craven to make you treat me differently!"

She felt embarrassed laying it out there so bluntly, but she was frustrated with her want for him, and this felt like rejection even though he said he was enjoying himself for the first time…. Was this his first time? She found herself pondering his experience and what he had done with women before, but she was too shy to ask.

His face softened slightly. "I won't treat you differently Arya." He reached out and took her hand in his. "I promise I won't…. I just don't want to rush you and hurt you…I've wanted this for a long time, and when we find your brother I don't know what he plans for you, but I doubt it will include me, and I just want you to be safe."

A long time…he's thought about me…about us. A new hope filled her then.

"Whatever my brother plans for me WILL include you Gendry, and if he dares to try to take you away or marry me off, then I'll leave. I won't stick around to be a pawn in this game." She held his hand tighter. "But this was all I've been thinking about doing for days, not the fighting part, but the, you know, the kissing part." She felt her face flush as she said that.

He smiled and leaned in kissing her again. The fire filled her body again, but he pulled away. Damn his honor! She scowled at him as he laughed. "I'm happy to have been of service m'lady." She reached out and smacked his arm in annoyance.

He stood up laughing then, "Guess I'll heat us up some water then so you can wash if you want." She turned so she was looking at him. "Are you trying to say I smell?" That familiar smirk came across his face then, "Aye, m'lady, but I was trying to be respectful. Being that close to you was actually painful."

The tightening was still evident in his pants and she chose to ignore it, but she doubted that he was in pain. He was just trying to respect her…..she would show him how little she wanted to be respected by him. She couldn't help the smile that stretched across his face as she reached to punch him out. He just laughed at her hit. "You're the smelly bull here!" She felt the urge to stick her tongue out at him, but didn't.

He smiled at her for a minute, letting the silence fill their ears. Then he grabbed the jugs and went off to fill the tub.

She made her way to the bed and sat down. A small pain pierced her as she moved, but she was able to handle it. She watched as Gendry made his way about the small room, filling the tub with steaming water for her.

She knew a warm bath would feel good, especially since she was so sore, but there was a new feeling of frustration in her. She was unsatisfied and she knew he could fix that problem.

When he was finally done with the tub, he stood up and placed the jugs back on the table. He looked at her, "You first m'lady." Then he smiled that stupid smile she loved and hated so much at the same time.

She was too tired to fight him, so she just stood up and started untying the laces to the breeches she had swiped. She quickly kicked them off along with her boots, knowing he was watching her. Then she gently laid Needle on the table by the fire where Gendry was standing.

She moved to lift her shirt off Gendry gently placed his hand on hers stopping her, "What are you doing?" His voice was quiet, like a whisper. She shook his hand off, "Going to take a bath stupid. Isn't that why you filled the tub! You've seen me naked before stupid….plenty of times actually."

His breathing stopped and his eyes darkened again, "Arya," It came out low like a warning, and she liked it. It made her even wetter. She peeled her shirt off and climbed into the tub, moaning as the hot water surrounded her sore bones and muscles.

She looked over to him by the fire. The light from the fire made him look fierce and his features were sharpened attractively. The look in his eyes made her ache between her legs, and she vowed she would make him wear a shirt as little as possible if she could. His fists were clenched and his mouth was shut tight. He looked like a bull ready to charge her, and she could see his hardness straining against his pants.

She looked up at him innocently, as if nothing had just happened and lifted a wet rag towards him. "Gendry, would you mind coming over here and helping me? It seems my arms hurt too much, and I'd like to wash my back too."

She kept her game face on, refusing to show any emotion, as he slowly walked towards her.

AN: Don't shoot me! Thank you so much for the amazing reviews! I appreciate each and every one. Sorry this was late, but I came down with a bug. It got pretty cold over here, and after all the heat we had lately. Then I had this chapter written for over a week, but wasn't sure if people would like it so here it is. Anyways I plan to write the next chapter all in Gendry's POV and then progress their relationship into my version of the story =)….soon they will be meeting Robb and what could possibly happen then!

Review please!