Jon left their chambers before the sun rose. He sent a servant to wake Lord Cerwyn, Arya, Brienne, and the Durwells. Two guards brought the Slynt brothers to the courtyard, a squire tailing them with the blocks. Jon stood to the side, waiting for the witnesses to gather, waiting for the prisoners to be shoved to their knees in front of him. He asked them if they had any final words. Jothos spat, as was expected. Danos only shook his head.
He passed the sentence.
He swung the sword.
When Danos Slynt’s head dropped to the ground, there went up an eerie howl of wolfsong. As the Starks’ direwolves sang out, a response on the wind was heard. Jon’s skin rose into gooseflesh and he shuddered.
“Burn the bodies,” he ordered gruffly as he took a rag from a nearby squire to wipe down Longclaw.
“Will you join us for the morning meal, your grace?” Lord Cerwyn asked graciously. From his tone, there was no suggestion that he would be disappointed by Jon’s absence. Jon lifted his gaze to the manse that housed his wife, hopefully still asleep. He refocused his attention on the blade.
“No. I shall be spending the day with my wife.”
He sent Arya home with the direwolves, with the exception of Ghost and Steel who were reluctant to leave their sides. Arya wasn’t happy about it, but she understood his need to have someone he trusted with his children. He also wanted a full report of their well-being once she arrived home.
Sansa was still half asleep when he returned to her. He slipped out of his cloak and tunic, went to the basin to wash himself. He always did so before going to bed with her. And he wouldn’t be able to bring himself to touch her now if he didn’t. He scrubbed the soap on his hands, working it between his fingers and under his nails. He was so fixated that at first he did not hear his wife call out to him.
Hearing her, he spun quickly, taking in her disheveled state. Gods a fortnight away from her was beyond absurd. He might as well have been four and ten again, telling Gilly her name was pretty. Sansa had grown increasingly self-conscious with every pregnancy, a little shier in how she presented herself. But, in true, while she had been heralded a spectacular beauty in the previous decade, Jon very much preferred this version of her. Hair longer, lines around her mouth and eyes from laughing too much, marks and scars from where her skin had stretched to accommodate their babes, dimples and dips in her thighs that felt softer than any silk, ribs and shoulder blades hidden from view by a healthy appetite and fortuitous harvests. Her eyes were just as bright, laugh just as sweet, and her kisses more reassuring. Ten years later and Sansa still took the breath from his lungs. Apparently his astonished silence prompted her concern. She got up from the bed, hands coming. To his forearms.
“Jon, you’re shaking like a leaf! Where were you this early?”
He inhaled deeply, taking in the warm scent of her lavender and vanilla bathing oils, something the maid had rubbed into her skin and hair to help her sleep. It lingered even still.
“I’d not suffer them to see another sunrise,” he confessed gently, bringing one of her hands to his lips to kiss. Still, she clicked her tongue at the unsteadiness of his hands, the way the muscles of his arms clenched and released aggressively. She led him back to the bed, pulling him to lie across her lap as she had done the night before, and she stroked her fingers through his hair.
“I wish someone else—”
“It is my duty.”
He laughed softly at her derisive scoff. “Yes, but it always upsets you so.”
“Perhaps. But it reminds me the cost.”
“Was today so heavy a cost, then?” If it were anyone else, they might have been offended that he shook so after executing the men who’d wanted her dead. As if he were truly capable of being so distant and detached even in his anger. No, every swing of his sword cost him something. But this was Sansa. When she asked, she wanted only the truth. She wanted to know how he fared, she wanted to help. Jon curled his arms around her leg and nuzzled into her lap.
“Some part of me wishes it were heavier.”
Sansa smoothed his hair back and dipped to meet his gaze.
“And the other part?”
He swallowed thickly, “Could only think that I almost lost you.” Her expression turned pained and she looked away from him. “How are you faring?” He rubbed his thumbs along the divots of her knees, stroking soothingly.
“I will be better when we are home again with the children. Other than that...I just feel stupid for wandering off alone.”
“It was stupid.” She scowled. “Well I’ll not tell you I'm happy about it! Lucan is ready to fall on his sword and you know how Brienne can be.”
“I know. I wasn't thinking clearly. I only wanted to be alone for a while.”
“Where were you going?”
“I don't know.” He huffed. “Well I hardly know what to tell you. I wish there was some deeper meaning to it or that there was some place of import I had hoped to revisit, but there wasn’t. Sometimes...sometimes these things just happen and there is no reasonable explanation for any of it.”
“So I would have lost you for nothing?”
“We lost Father for nothing. We lost my mother and Robb and Jaime and so many others all for nothing.”
He was up and flipping them, shoving her down against the furs and laying on top of her faster than she could squeal or protest.
“Not for nothing.”
“Jon—” she breathed out.
“We are here. And anything coming for you is going to have to rip you from my cold, dead hands.”
“Don't talk like that.”
“I mean it, love,” he growled out. He unlaced her shift so that he could get to her breasts. He pressed wet, open mouthed kisses down the line of her throat, to her chest and over the rounded softness of each breast. “Don't know how many ways I can say it, how often,” he murmured against her skin. He smoothed his hands along the thick of her thighs and gripped her arse tight. He was trying to be careful, not to put weight on where she was bruised and hurting. But her legs gripped his hips, she was pulling them up closer to her chest. And Jon knew that move, knew what she wanted. It was how they made the twins after all.
“What do I have to do to convince you? How do I get you to be more cautious? Do I have to lock you away in the Keep?” He bent her legs back slowly, gauging her reaction to make sure she wasn’t in pain. He rolled his hips down teasingly, smirking when she bit her lip to stifle a whine.
“I would do it, you know,” he continued, reaching down to undo the laces of his breeches. But it gave her enough room to sit up and shuck off her shift, to reach for the hem of his shirt. When she pulled it over his head, he ducked to kiss her, hungry and excited and just this side of agitated.
“I would lock you in our bedchamber,” he said around kisses, maneuvering her back so he could get rid of his breeches. Then he dove back down, rumbling in satisfaction for skin on skin, and bracing her legs against his chest. Sansa arched up to meet him for a kiss, her hands in his hair as he worked her nub. “I would,” he bit out against her lips. “You would just have to conduct your duties from our bed.” He slid the breadth of his hand along her cunt, dragging his fingers back between her folds. He drank down her gasps. “No one would get to see you but me. They would write songs about the hidden Winter Queen.”
“Jealous,” she hissed, lifting her hips against him.
“Always,” he kissed her deeply, “Endlessly.” He moved down to lavish attention on her teats, sucking and lightly biting as she liked it. When he felt her peak, he kissed her mouth again and pushed into her. She cried out, finishing on a satisfied hum, and moved her left leg to his left shoulder to clamp tightly down on him. Jon let out a long string of expletives, mentally reciting the Targaryen family tree to keep from coming. (He’d mastered the Stark line years ago, at least the Targaryens required some concentration.)
“You missed Daemon,” Sansa japed breathily, her reddened face making her the blue of her eyes sparkle all the brighter. Jon bit out a noise somewhere between a laugh and a growl, and hiked his hips back to thrust back into her. Sansa’s giggles were replaced by moans as he set a steady pace, slow and even, wanting to burn her up, mark her. Remind her who she belonged to.
Remind her just how desperately and pathetically he belonged to her.
Sansa was babbling incomprehensibly at him, her face and chest burning bright red. He ran his hands up the length of her legs, separating them again and urging her onto her side to change the angle. She had one leg on the bed, the other hooked over his shoulder, and he picked up the pace, shallowly driving in and out of her with a hand on her nub, working it in opposite time.
Jon didn’t last more than a thrust after her muscles fluttered around him. He’d been barely holding on as it was. She was just so wet and took him so eagerly, always struggling to keep him with her. Given even the smallest opportunity, he would have fucked her forever, just stayed buried in her. He’d long hoped the sharp edge of his need for her would lessen or dull as time passed, but to no avail. He never tired of being close to her, he could never turn her away. Jon dropped her leg as he spilled into her, smoothed his hands along her sides and belly as she fluttered through the aftershocks of her release.
When he finished and pulled from her, Jon slid his hands to her waist and rolled them so she was stretched atop him. She sighed in relief, the pressure off her bruising, and perched herself on his hips. Her hair fell forward in waves as she balanced herself, still catching her breath. She scratched her nails into his chest hair, twining the rough curls around her fingertips.
“Are you trying to keep me pregnant?” she rasped out indignantly. “I swear on the seven, Jon Snow--” But he cut her off by reaching for her neck and dragging her mouth back to his.
He kissed her deeply, thoroughly exploring her mouth with his tongue, gentling her protests with the softness of his lips and expert nips.
“Sounds like an excellent plan.”
She pinched his side, “Yes, because your feet don't swell to the size of boats.”
“All I'm hearing is that you cannot get very far, very fast, so the plan is better and better by the moment.”
She thwacked his chest, “Idiot.”
“An idiot with a mission now,” Jon mumbled lifting his head to latch his mouth on her teat. She squirmed against him, rocking her hips. “Have mercy,” he groaned, “I’m an old man.” Sansa laughed, twisting her hips, making his cock twitch with interest.
“Oh,” she crooned teasingly, “But I thought you had a mission?”
“Well some of us,” he rumbled, kissing between her breasts and down her belly. He gripped her hips tight, lifting her just so, so that he could slide down between her legs. “Need a break after doing all the work.” Sansa laughed only long enough for Jon to latch his mouth on her cunt, making her groan and shudder for being so sensitive. He lapped at her, tongue curling into her only to drag out, licking a stripe up to her nub. He brought her back up slowly, spurred on by her breathy moans and whimpers, by the shake of her thighs from trying to keep upright. His hands dug into the give of her softness, pulling her down closer to his face for better access. And she moved against him, fucking herself on his lips, and fingers, and tongue, not caring if he could keep up with her. It was something he’d come to love about doing this to her; she always chased her own end, thoroughly enjoyed his attentions and just let everything go. No trace of the proper lady Catelyn Stark had raised could be found in their bed. Her heat pulsed, the pressure around his fingers jumped, and she gushed with a dry squeal. Gods, he loved that squeal. He moved to eagerly lick at her sweet juices, soothing her through her peak. But he didn’t have long, however, because she must have been too sensitive. Sansa threw herself off of him, flopping to the side. He rolled, following her, trapping her legs beneath him and using her belly as a pillow. He hummed when she dug her fingers into his hair.
“How was that a part of your mission to keep me pregnant?” she panted out flippantly. Jon snorted, turning into the softness of her belly, kissing and nuzzling.
“Remember the first few days after our wedding?”
It was her turn to snort, “I remember not being able to sit a horse for a week.”
“When we’re home, we’re trying for a fortnight.”
“I thought Tormund was incorrigible.”
“You can share the title.”
“All right, well, Jon the Incorrigible is ready to go again.”
“Jon! Honestly—ugh, would you mind the ribs? Ah oooh ooh ooh, hhhmmm, bloody buggering Others, I hate you.”