Gendry smiled when they came across the inn. It was small and looked to be in need of several repairs, but the road north was long and taxing, and he was glad for any sort of shelter that wasn’t a cold ground and a canopy of trees.
“I told you it would be here,” he said self-assuredly to the young woman riding the horse that walked beside his own mount. He could practically hear the eye-roll she gave him before she spoke.
“You had no idea where it was. You’ve been saying ‘it’s just up ahead’ for miles now. Eventually you’d be right.”
He turned to look at her, a grin on his face. Arya Stark was very different from when he had known her as a child, but still the same in so many ways.
Adult Arya was stiller than she’d been as a child; she listened quietly, she seemed to measure her actions before carrying them out, and she was less fidgety. She moved with an almost unnatural sense of agility and covertness, something he’d noticed when she’d found him again after five years. Adult Arya was also far prettier, a fact which seemed to constantly nag at him, showing up at the forefront of his thoughts every few minutes lest he forget.
Gendry grinned at her because she was teasing him, something that made him think of how she had been as a girl. Their bickering was a comforting reminder that she had not entirely lost her old self in Braavos, and that she still considered him a friend and someone she could trust. Of course, he had realized she still trusted him when she had asked him to accompany her on her journey north.
“You just can’t stand it when I’m right,” he said, still smiling at her. She returned it with a smirk, something which he thought made her appear far too attractive for his own good.
“I suppose I should let you gloat— you’re not right all that often,” she said.
They put their horses in the stables and bought a room for the night. The inn had a tavern, and Gendry and Arya took the liberty of sitting down at a rickety table in a dimly lit corner to eat a warm meal and drink a flagon of ale before retiring to the room.
The woman who brought their ale and bowls of stew looked to be around Gendry’s age, with long brown curls and large hips and breasts. He had probably stared at her for a moment longer than necessary when she set down their food, but he didn’t think that warranted the scowl that Arya was shooting his direction when he looked back over at her. He raised an eyebrow.
“Something wrong?” he asked her. Surely she wasn’t looking at him like that for the way he’d glanced at the serving girl.
“No,” she said, a bit too quickly for him to believe her. Her hands were wrapped firmly around her cup, her fingers bright pink at the tips. She took a sip, her eyes never leaving his, before breaking her gaze to dig in to her stew, eating hastily.
“Right…” he said, figuring he would let her be mad as he ate his own stew.
Arya finished her meal before he did. She pushed up from the table, her chair making a loud scraping sound against the floor.
“Where are you going?” he asked. She let out a breath that sounded like an angry huff.
“I’m going up to the room, obviously,” she said irritably before turning on her heel and heading for the stairs. Gendry quickly downed the rest of his stew and ale, following after her.
“Arya,” he called after her, just a few steps behind her on the stairs. She didn’t turn around until she was in the room that was theirs for the night.
“What?” she spat, her voice and her expression doing a poor job of concealing her foul temper.
“What’s gotten into you?” he asked, starting to grow irate as well. She stayed quiet.
“Hm?” he added, taking a step closer to her.
“Nothing,” she said between clenched teeth. She turned away from him, dropping her pack in the corner of the room and beginning to unlace her boots.
If Gendry were still the boy he’d been when they had first known one another he would have stopped his questioning there, becoming angry and silently fuming to himself for the rest of the night. But he was not still that boy.
“Is it because of the barmaid?” he asked. She yanked off her boots, not turning to look at him.
“Did I offend your lady-like sensibilities?” he teased, knowing that would draw a response from her.
“Shut up, Gendry,” she said, her voice low.
“I didn’t mean to make you—” he started, but she cut him off.
“Will you shut up and turn around?” she nearly shouted.
“So I can change,” she explained with another drawn-out roll of her grey eyes.
He did as he was told then, figuring that he would press her no further. There was no use in having her mad at him, and he thought that if he didn’t let it go any further she would be fine when they woke up the next morning. He heard the sound of her removing layers of clothing, and damn him if he didn’t grow the least bit aroused at the thought. He mentally chastised himself, as he’d been doing for the past week or so (though it was with far less harshness than at the beginning of their journey), for thinking about her like that.
“You can look now,” she said, and before he turned he noted that her voice seemed to have lost all the anger it held just moments before.
Gendry’s eyes widened and his jaw nearly dropped open. She stood before him in nothing but a white shift, presumably the one she had been wearing under her tunic and vest, which stopped at the middle of her thighs and left her arms bare. The material was so thin that he could nearly see her skin through it. Her dark hair was free of its braid, spilling over her shoulders and down her back. She walked past him, ignoring his reaction, and climbed into the bed. Gendry stood there dumbly, staring blankly into the crackling flames of the small fireplace as he tried to regain even the slightest measure of composure.
“Are you coming to bed?” she asked in that same soft voice. He cleared his throat loudly before answering.
She had asked the question so easily— as if sharing a bed was the most natural thing in the world for them— that he didn’t even think to argue with her. She seemed to be in a good mood again, and he didn’t want to take the chance of having her get angry at him once more.
He stripped off his jerkin and shirt. He pulled off his boots and socks as well, deciding to leave his breeches on rather than get down to his small clothes. He couldn’t trust that his body wouldn’t betray his arousal. Best to have as many layers of fabric between his cock and her body as possible, he thought, before scolding himself for thinking of Arya and his cock at the same time.
Gendry turned around and walked toward the bed. He was pulling down the blanket on what was to be his side of the bed when he saw the way that she was staring at him.
Arya’s eyes were as wide as he guessed his probably just were. She was biting her bottom lip, something she had also done as a child, only now it made her impossibly more desirable. If he didn’t know any better he would say that her expression was one of unbridled lust. Her eyes were trained on the expanse of hard muscle and tanned skin that made up his torso. She was sitting atop the mattress, a position which made her shift ride up her thighs just a bit further.
“What is it?” he asked, his voice low. His heart was hammering in his chest, but there was something in the air between them that extinguished any fear he may have felt. Her teeth released her now reddened bottom lip, and the tip of her tongue darted out briefly. Did she have any idea what she was doing to him?
“Nothing,” she said, but her voice betrayed her, coming out soft and breathy. Gendry climbed onto the bed, getting closer to her. His mind seemed to be telling him that this was a bad idea, a dangerous idea, but his body wasn’t listening.
“Then why are you staring at me like that?” he asked, feeling emboldened by the way her eyes were raking over him. She met his eye, raising one eyebrow.
“When did you become so arrogant?” she said, her voice a note steadier. Her playful barb was far more familiar territory for him.
“I saw the way you were just looking at me,” he said.
“And why,” he went on, reaching out to brush his fingers against her shift, his hand landing on her thigh, “are you wearing only this to bed?”
Gendry waited for her answer, hoping he hadn’t misread the entire situation. She might murder him in his sleep if he had.
To his relief and delight, the corners of her lips lifted in a hint of a smile. She reached her hands out and pushed hard on his shoulders, forcing him to lie on his back.
“I wanted to see,” she said, climbing over him to straddle his waist, “if you would look at me the way you looked at that barmaid.”
His hands came up to run over the smooth skin of her thighs. Her shift was bunched around her hips now, exposing her smallclothes. She had to be able to feel the hardness of his arousal pressing against her.
“And?” he choked out, hoping he was doing a decent job of concealing the shock he felt.
“And I much prefer it when you look at me that way,” she said.
Gendry sat up suddenly, keeping her in his lap while his hand cupped the back of her head. He brought his lips to hers in a kiss that was full of the longing he felt for her. She responded without hesitation, opening her mouth to let his tongue meet hers. She moved her hips, causing her to shift against him, an action which made him moan against her lips. He clutched her hips, moving her against him in just the right way. He moved his mouth to her neck, licking and nipping at her skin until sweet, breathless gasps passed through her lips. She moved back, reaching down so that her hand could tug free the laces of his breeches. When her hand moved over his cock he groaned against her neck. She stroked the bulge in his smallclothes tentatively, but with the confidence he expected from her.
Gendry bunched her shift in his fists, pulling it up and over her head. She was bare to him then, save her small clothes, and he ran his hands over her skin, cupping her breasts in his large, rough hands and causing her to cry out.
“Gendry,” she said, her voice not sounding like he had ever heard it before.
“Is this why you wanted me to travel with you, milady?” he said into her ear, just before his teeth nipped at the lobe.
“How many times,” she began, panting between her words, “must I tell you not to call me ‘milady?’” She grasped his shoulders then, pushing him down and away from her so that he was once again lying flat on his back. She took advantage of her dominant position to push his breeches all the way off. She re-positioned herself, her hands on either side of his head as she moved her lower body against his groin in an agonizingly sweet motion.
Gendry looked at her then and found that she was wearing that damned smirk. He lunged forward, one arm wrapped around her waist as he dipped his head to take one of her nipples in his mouth. She cried out, an unrestrained sound that went straight to his cock as his tongue swirled around one pink tip and then the other. He had caught her off guard, and he used her surprise to flip them over so that he was on top of her.
“Should I just call you mine?” he whispered against her lips. His words came out sounding sweeter than he had intended, and he saw a flash of some emotion in her eyes, probably just surprise but possibly adoration.
He kissed her neck as his hands went for the knot in her smallclothes, his maneuvering made difficult by the fact that her legs had come up to wrap around his waist. He slowed his actions when he got her free of them. He pulled away from her for only a moment to remove his own smallclothes, but when he came back down he lied to the side of her rather than between her legs.
“What—?” she questioned, but he silenced her when he brought his hand between her thighs. He moved with a slowness that made him ache, but he wanted to make her feel good, to give her every bit of longing he had pent up inside himself so that he could prove to her that she was the only woman he wanted.
He pushed his fingers against her slick heat, watching her face as he stroked her softly and deliberately. He moved his fingers higher, moving in small circles until her breath started to hitch. He kept his pace and rhythm as she clutched his wrist in desperation, keeping his hand moving against her. She made soft noises in the back of her throat, her pleasure nearing a crest. He moved his fingers faster, his eyes never leaving her face as he watched her bite her lip, her eyes screwed shut and her cheeks flushed.
The muscles in his wrist were beginning to tire but he didn’t stop. Instead he leaned into her, putting his lips to her ear.
“Come for me,” he said, his voice coming out a husky command. Arya broke then, her fingernails digging into the skin of his arm as a strangled cry passed through her lips. She jerked her legs, his hand still against her, and her hands came up to grasp his face roughly. She pulled him close to kiss him, her lips and tongue and teeth persistent as she came down from her peak.
Gendry moved so that he was positioned between her legs again, his cock pressing against her wetness. He waited, giving her time to catch her breath. He kissed her breasts, his hands at her hips, and soon she had her legs hitched around his waist, telling him she was ready.
Gendry had bedded three women before Arya, but at the moment he entered her he would not have been able to recall any of his past lovers’ names for all of the gold in the Seven Kingdoms.
It was better than any of the other times, and he knew why. He knew, looking down at her as he pushed inside of her, that he loved Arya. He knew it as he kissed her tenderly, easing the pain of pushing past her barrier as he took her virginity. All he could think about was the feel of her, the way she clung to him as he rocked his hips into hers. He could feel her fingers tugging at his hair, her breath already beginning to quicken.
He moved faster, pulling back from the junction of her neck and shoulder so that he could look into her eyes as he brought her to her second climax. Her legs wrapped tighter around him as she came, her heels pressing into his ass as her sex throbbed around his cock. He had to pull himself away from her, spilling his seed against her stomach as he came forcefully. He groaned roughly, completely overwhelmed by the feel of her, by the feeling in his chest.
She rolled away from him only to wipe herself, and then she was curling against his side, her breathing ragged but steady. Gendry pushed strands of dark hair away from her sweat-slicked forehead. Her body was impossibly warm against him.
He kissed her, not knowing what to say. When he pulled back her eyes were closed and she was smiling, a sight so pure and beautiful that it made him feel ten feet tall.
“You have no idea how long I’ve wanted that,” Arya said, her hand resting against his abdomen.
Gendry looked down at her, taking in the sight of her naked body pressed against his.
“I have some idea,” he said with a laugh.