"Are you dressed warm enough?" Jaime checked with Gwen once the night had well and truly fallen on them. Jaime had gone for a midnight stroll around the castle, subtly nodding at some of the guards which patrolled it to make sure that they had no intention of double crossing him. He certainly hoped they had more sense than that. He'd returned to the chamber and Gwen had been sat on the bed, her head held in her hand as she waited impatiently for him to return.
"I'll be fine," Gwen promised him and he looked at the fur cloak which hung around her shoulders and draped to the floor. He nodded once at her and took a moment to look her up and down, making sure she was dressed for the winter outside. Jaime had changed into his Kingsguard armour once more, Gwen helping him to dress suitably before he wondered if the suit would be cumbersome. He certainly hoped that it wouldn't be.
"Wait here for me." Jaime urged her gently. "When I come back then you need to be prepared to leave immediately."
"I know," Gwen said. He had already dictated the plan multiple times to her to the point where she could recall every single feature of it. Jaime nodded once and ran his hand down her cheek before moving to the window. As soon as he opened the glass he felt the surge of wind rush into the room and chill his body. Gwen watched as he climbed out the window and took stance on the ledge, steadying himself whilst she sat on the windowsill, her hand holding onto the open glass before she looked down to the floor.
"It is much higher than I had expected," Jaime mumbled and Gwen threw him a smug look.
"I did tell you so."
"Didn't you just," Jaime muttered and began to move along the small surface, one foot in front of the other in an attempt to keep him on balance. Gwen watched nervously, her eyes following Jaime before quickly darting to the door to make sure they weren't disturbed.
Jaime moved a hand against the stone to steady himself before he felt the wind cause him to lose his balance slightly. He could hear Gwen gasp from behind him as he continued on his mission, refusing to give in as he counted the number of windows he had passed before he reached Sansa's.
Gwen had never felt her heart race so much in a long time. Watching Jaime move along the small tightrope like floor was giving her chills and causing the hairs on the back of her neck to stand on edge. She could barely take her gaze from Jaime, willing him not to fall and keep calm. He didn't look back once as his eyes remained focused on his feet. Gwen drew a deep sigh as she saw him finally turn his body to a window and knock softly on the glass.
Jaime's patience wore thin as he held onto the side of the window, balancing himself as he watched Gwen from the distance and then knocked on the window once more. He didn't want to be too loud for fear of being caught. It took all of his self restraint not to break the glass and barge into the room. But Jaime remained where he was, taking a deep breath and looking at Sansa who sleepily moved to the window, a hand pushing through her hair as she did so.
"What are you doing?" she wondered sleepily from Jaime as he forced himself into her room and looked around, making sure she was alone.
"Rescuing you, apparently," Jaime sniped back and she arched a brow at him before stepping back and allowing him to enter. His eyes adjusted to the dark as Sansa looked at him with disbelief.
"This is your rescue effort?" she checked and Jaime rolled his eyes before moving to her wardrobe and opening the door, looking for something warm for her to wear as she folded her arms and glared at him.
"Unfortunately knights on white horses don't rescue Lady's," Jaime responded. "Even though I am a knight but I've never had a white horse."
"No," Sansa drawled, snatching the dress from his hands and suddenly realising that she was stood in front of him in her undergarments. Not that Jaime really cared. He seemed to have eyes for only a certain blonde nowadays. "Apparently not."
"Hurry up," Jaime commanded and turned around to give her some privacy. Sansa had to admit that she would be glad to flee. Petyr had told her that everything he did had been for them. For her. But every time she was near him she would feel her pulse quicken. Her heart would beat ten to the dozen but not in the way that she had dreamed of. Her arranged marriage had scared her to death. She did not want to marry Lisa Tully's son. The boy was sick and spoiled. Sansa could not marry once again without love.
"Where's Gwen?" Sansa asked as she finished with her gown and grabbed her boots, pulling them onto her feet. "And how are we going to escape? You do know that Lord Baelish has spies everywhere, don't you?"
"Gods, are all women this inquisitive?" Jaime snapped in annoyance and Sansa huffed loudly. "Gwen is waiting for us and we are escaping down a vine. And I do know that Lord Baelish has spies everywhere. But not all spies are loyal."
"Down a vine?" Sansa snapped and Jaime quickly rushed over to her and placed his hand over her mouth.
"Keep your voice down," he hissed. "It is the only way. Now come on."
Jaime took hold of her wrist and dragged her along the room as she tried to fasten her cloak around her shoulders. Sansa protested yet Jaime had no time for her stubbornness. He took the window first, pushing himself out of it with ease as Sansa looked at him with hesitance. Jaime rolled his eyes before he offered her his good hand to climb out through the glass.
Jaime walked ahead of Sansa, his golden hand steadying him against the wall whilst he looked back at Sansa. The young girl had her eyes wide open and focused on her feet as she daintily walked behind him. Jaime came to the window and hauled himself in, helping Sansa in after him as she shook from the fear of the height on the small walkway.
"Gwen," Jaime spoke as he turned around and saw her stood the other side of the bed. But she wasn't alone. Jaime shook his head in disbelief as Baelish stood by her side, her elbow in his grasp and held tightly. She was squirming around as Sansa stood behind Jaime, her glance full of fear. Jaime caught the maid's blue eyes and nodded sternly, assuring her that he would find a way to get them out of the mess they were in.
"I do hope you weren't intending on going anywhere," Baelish said, his brow arched and Jaime shook his head.
"Just a little night time stroll," he shrugged nonchalantly at Baelish who rolled his eyes at Jaime's arrogance. It was a Lannister trait which no one favoured.
" Unfortunately for you, you can't buy all of my men," he informed Jaime who chuckled darkly and shook his head. "And I thought that my dear Alayne knew better. After everything that I have done for you. Everything I did has been for us. For us to regain power."
"Yes," Jaime drawled before Sansa had the chance to. "You seem to be rather infatuated with the girl. I wonder what Catelyn Stark would say if she knew."
"I doubt she will gain a chance to find out," Petyr responded quickly, his face stern as Jaime moved closer to them.
"Do you intend to kill us, my Lord?" Jaime wondered. "You do know who I am, don't you?"
"I doubt anyone could forget, Kingslayer," Baelish said and Gwen squirmed once more only to be held tighter. "The Lannister name is disgraced, is it not? Your brother killed your father. Your sister committed sins beyond belief. King Tommen is too young to rule and is controlled by his small council no doubt," Petyr spoke.
"But you know that you would pay a price," Jaime said. "If you kill me then people will know about it. I have Ser Ilyn Payne on his way along with some of my men."
"I don't see them."
"Do not doubt that they know where I am. They would know that you killed me."
"Oh, I have no intention of killing you," Petyr promised Jaime. "I have every intention of sending you on your way. Tell me, how far do you think you will make it without a horse and water?"
"Not far," Jaime replied simply to him and he chuckled at hearing the Kingslayer speak. "Death in the Mountains of the Moon? It sounds very dramatic to me."
"Perhaps it is," Petyr spoke. "And if you do make it then it is not my concern. However, you will be going alone, I'm afraid."
Jaime then froze at hearing that and his lips tightened as Baelish looked down to Gwen and then across to Sansa.
"Give her to me," Jaime simply declared. "She has done you no harm."
"She intended to," Petyr spoke. "And for that she will suffer as you have done. But why let you both suffer together? There's something romantic about dying in each other's arms which makes me feel slightly ill."
"Please, my Lord, I beg of you-"
"-Silence," Baelish interrupted Sansa without a moment of hesitance. The young girl kept her mouth closed as he turned his glare to her, the disappointment clearly evident and playing on his features. Gwen inhaled sharply as Baelish released her from his grip and pushed her to the floor.
"After everything I have done, Alayne," Petyr said disappointedly. "I have done everything for us and this is how you repay me? You intended to escape with the Kingslayer and some whore?"
"No," Sansa snapped. "My mother is alive and I have to see her! I am not your daughter! I am her daughter!"
"The truth pains you, doesn't it, Baelish?" Jaime checked. "You wish she was her mother, don't you? The beautiful Catelyn Stark."
The knight bent down and offered Gwen a hand, lacing her fingers through his as he pulled her back to stand and wrapped her into his arms as he continued to glare at Baelish.
"Please let us go!" Sansa cried out. "You can have Winterfell. I will bestow it to you! But please let us go!"
"My dear," Petyr drawled, "you should consider yourself lucky that I have no intention to punish you."
"So what is your intention?" Jaime wondered from him. "I get to wander in the Mountains and Gwen gets to...well...what do you intend to do?"
"Keep her prisoner until I am sure you have died in the Mountains. She can then follow after you. Perhaps she will find your rotting body. Who knows?"
"No!" Sansa cried out loud. "Let Gwen stay with me. She can be my maid."
"I think not," Petyr said and moved to the door. He opened it wide and five guards came rushing in. Jaime reached for the hilt of his sword, unsheathing the weapon and holding it tightly in his hands as he pushed Gwen to stand behind him.
"I wouldn't bother," Baelish spoke before moving to Sansa. He took hold of her arm in his hand, tugging her to the door as she fought against him. Gwen felt a guard take hold of her by the wrist and draw her against him whilst Jaime's sword mercilessly clashed with others. She looked at him in horror as he pulled her from the room and he caught her eye.
"Jaime!" she yelled out to him. "Don't get yourself killed!"
"I think that's the plan somewhere along the line," he grunted back as he felt himself stumble slightly. He was caught off guard as his jaw was hit with a fist and his sword flew to the floor. Gwen shook her head and watched as the guards took him by the arm.
"Take her to the dungeon and cast that one out. The night is so very harsh. I do wonder how he will survive now that the road is covered."
"No." Gwen snapped. "At least let me go with him. Please."
"And you would like that, wouldn't you?" Baelish checked with her. "The Knight and the maid. I doubt anyone could even imagine it."
"Possibly not," Jaime mumbled as they were dragged along corridors. The grand entrance was soon in sight as Gwen and Jaime parted ways. The pair of them looked at each other, their lips closed as they knew that they may just have reached the end of their journey. Jaime nodded stiffly at Gwen and she felt tears well up in her eyes as she struggled in the man's hold even more, wanting to do nothing but go after Jaime.
"Jaime...I..." she called after him, her voice faltering as she did so.
"I know," he replied and then he was gone from sight.
Sansa sat at her dresser, her mind in a whirl as she thought of what had just happened. Her excitement had been uncontrollable when she had been told that they were escaping. She had honestly thought that she was going to be saved.
And then she had seen him. She had seen him holding Gwen and she knew it was over. Her maid was in trouble and the Kingslayer had been cast out. There was no hope. Baelish was stopping there from being any of that.
He was the one from stopping them escaping. He was the one who was ruining everything for her. She had a chance to go back to her family and now he was ruining everything. He was running her life.
She stood up, knowing what she wanted to do. But she first went to see Gwen.
The dungeon was dark and damp. The stereotypical type of prison which she had seen before in Kings Landing. But this time she knew that there would be no Jaime to rescue her. She had paced up and down the cell, her mind turning to Brienne as she wondered what the future would hold in store for her. Gwen inhaled sharply as she turned to face the wall and tried to stop the tears from building in her eyes.
"Crying over him won't save you."
Gwen felt her blood boil as she heard Baelish's voice enter the cell. She whirled around, her dress turning around her body as she did so.
"I wasn't crying over him," Gwen said. "I'm thinking about Brienne. The Knight who you have basically killed."
"It matters not to me," Petyr said to her and she shook her head, annoyance evidence in her actions. "I allowed you to stay here as a guest and you tried to steal my daughter from me."
"She is not your daughter!" Gwen snapped at him. "She is Sansa Stark. She is the daughter of Lord Eddard Stark and Lady Catelyn Stark. She belongs with them and not with you."
"You speak out of turn for a maid," Petyr observed. "Is that why the Kingslayer was attracted to you? Word had broken out of a pretty little maid being in his company quite a lot. Gossip still likes to travel."
"Lady Stark will hear about this," Gwen said, refusing to acknowledge his previous statement. "Word shall spread. Jaime told you that he had men coming here after him."
"The weather will stop them," Petyr said. "Besides, I hear he simply travelled with a few squires and an ugly whore."
"You still won't get away with this," Gwen said to him in a small voice and he grinned widely before chuckling. Footsteps echoed throughout the dungeon and he turned to see Sansa moving down the rows of cells towards him. Her eyes held a vacant stare and her pale face was expressionless.
"My dear," Petyr said, extending an arm out to her as she shook. Her hands were tucked in her skirts, one of them held tightly onto something hidden in the depths. Gwen watched as Sansa moved closer, their eyes meeting for a moment and Gwen saw something there. Something was different about her.
"Have you come to say goodbye to your maid before I cast her out in the morrow?" Baelish wondered.
"You intend to still do that?" Sansa checked in a small voice. Everything depended on his answer. Her entire plan was based on it.
"Of course. She is a traitor. She was trying to ruin things for us."
"No she wasn't," Sansa replied and she moved her hand from her skirt. "She was trying to save me and I will let her."
"What are you talking about?" Baelish wondered as he saw the glimmer of the blade in her hands. He felt anger inside of him as Sansa moved and stabbed the blade into his upper thigh. He screamed in pain once before falling to the floor. Gwen watched on in horror as Sansa pulled the dagger from his thigh.
"You stupid girl!" he yelled at her. "What are you doing?"
"What needs to be done," Sansa spoke, her body shaking in fear and adrenaline pumped through her veins. She couldn't believe what she had done. She had just stabbed a man. She had stabbed the same man who had rescued her only to make her endure pain.
"Sansa," Gwen whispered. "Are you...what...?" Words failed her as she watched Sansa drag the keys from the wall and search through them for the one to Gwen's cell.
"You won't make it out," Petyr warned her. "You'll die before you make it!"
"I have to try," Sansa said and placed the key into the lock, opening the door for Gwen's cell as the maid took hold of one of her shaking hands. "Why wouldn't you let me? She is my mother. I need to go to her. I have to do this."
"You silly girl," he snapped at her. "We could have had everything."
"I'm sorry," Sansa said finally and allowed Gwen to drag her from the dungeon as Baelish remained yelling on the floor. Sansa led her through the corridors which were free of knights. She had made sure of it as she moved down to the dungeon, stationing them elsewhere for fear that the Kingslayer may return.
"We need to get two horses," Sansa said, her mind still clouded over the actions which she had completed. Gwen nodded in agreement with her as they moved outside, ploughing through the snow hastily on their way to the stables.
"Sansa...what you just did...stabbing him..."
"It was only in the leg," Sansa said. "You said you'd been stabbed in the leg. My father was and he lived."
"But you still stabbed someone," Gwen replied.
"It seemed the only thing to do. He was going to kill you and I couldn't let him," Sansa said as they entered the empty stables. Gwen began to try and saddle a horse with her one good hand as Sansa helped her, not too sure how to do it but giving it her best attempt.
"You were so brave," Gwen told her and Sansa shook her head.
"I did nothing brave," Sansa muttered. "I'm not brave...not like Arya..."
"No," Gwen agreed. "But what you did was brave. What you did took courage."
"Really?" Sansa whispered in a small voice, her eyes looking at Gwen and the maid realised that she was still just a little girl. She was a girl and she was lost. Everything that had happened to her had been things which should never have happened to someone so young. Gwen felt sorry for her.
She moved over to hug her tightly for a moment, holding her in her arms and keeping her close.
"You're safe now, Sansa. We'll get away from here and find...we'll fine Jaime...we have to..."
"He cannot have gone far," Sansa assured her as she moved her arms from Gwen and helped the maid onto her horse. "Is it true that he has men on their way?"
"They rode behind us but I do not know what happened to them," Gwen replied as Sansa pushed herself onto the creature and looked across to the maid. She could see the fear hidden in her blue eyes. The fear of wondering if they would find Jaime.
"He'll be out there," Sansa promised her and her horse set off in a trot.
"I hope so."
A/N: Thank you so very much for those who have reviewed! I do hope you'll keep letting me know what you think. The next few chapters should be interesting with some developments so please do stick with me!