We are getting to the dinner next I promise! LOL! Sorry, I ramble you know
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Ramsay's body tensed to the shrill pounding on the door, and his immediate reaction was to leap from the bed to answer it. This impulse faded with Sansa's firm hand on his shoulder and lightly given command. His senses solidified, and Ramsay remembered where he was and regretfully, who he was. It wasn't his place to attend the call; these were not his chambers, and he was not a lord in this keep any longer. In fact, he was no longer a lord at all. It came back to haunt him how this definition continuously morphed and warped as he and Sansa's relationship fluctuated into something else equally difficult to define. But, unlike before this night, Ramsay no longer doubted that Sansa had true feelings for him as that which he held for her. Ramsay had found himself questioning his own convictions even after the events they'd shared in the tub and bed had made Sansa's want and care for him quite clear. It wasn't until their sexual bout had ended and Ramsay laid secure drifting to sleep in Sansa's sweet embrace did he let go his fear that these sentiments he was grasping at were not just figments of his own imagination.
The hope and desire to feel loved had been buried by a frightened child and boarded over by a malignance that guarded Ramsay's heart. It had been much easier to be cruel and make others hurt than to allow weaknesses of the soul to take root. Delivering suffering meant no one questioned you because they feared you, and fear commanded respect and compliance. Ramsay had liked these responses when dealing with others; these interactions assuaged some social gratification within Ramsay, but it never sated him. Ramsay could demand and cajole almost any action or response from his victims once he'd broken them down, but that control had never given Ramsay what he really wanted. He had convinced himself on some level that in his mastery of dominating his Theon made Reek, he had induced true devotion over terror in the man, but now Ramsay knew the difference.
The difference was not in pretty words nor tender caresses as Ramsay's insecurities had prodded him to speculate that Sansa's touches may just amount to an infatuation that would pass when she grew weary of him. Hearts of women were fickle after all, but Sansa was like no woman he had ever known. What had finally settled Ramsay's mind had been waking in Sansa's arms and listening to the even keel of her breathing. She had been soundly asleep, and when Ramsay had shifted, Sansa had clutched him tighter nuzzling him closer into a heaving sigh of contentment. Her affection even in sleep spoke volumes; she was comfortable enough with him to sleep, and that meant on some level that Sansa trusted him.
Trust was something Ramsay had rarely felt from anyone and certainly not from anyone who knew him intimately. To their credit, Ramsay hadn't earned true trust because of the duplicitous nature he flaunted, but it didn't mean that he had not craved to feel it. Roose had always held Ramsay at arm's length attesting that even though they were blood, there was a fine line drawn in the sand between them. This was the Bolton way; treachery had run rampant for generations creating fractures throughout their family tree leaving isolated pockets of kin that might as well have been disavowed as there were none left to legitimately make a claim on the house's title.
Myranda was bold and accepting of anything that Ramsay would do to her, but there was always something in her eyes that was wary of betrayal. She wasn't afraid of him, but she also didn't trust Ramsay not to forsake her loyalty. Myranda had been right to withhold that from him as Ramsay wouldn't have recognized or appreciated it in her then if he had, and if anything, Ramsay would have seen it as a means for further amusement. What had changed? Ramsay hadn't fully pieced that together, but he knew it well enough that it soothed and mended something within him. The peace he felt led him to drift back to sleep with a teeming sensation of fulfillment that let Ramsay sleep more peacefully than he'd ever remembered.
The resonating boom from the door had jarred them both awake, and Ramsay hadn't correlated exactly what was going on until Sansa was already heading off towards the door. He frowned at the feeling of vacancy behind him displeased by the interruption but equally curious as to who the visitor was. Sansa had announced who had come to see her in her greeting, and Ramsay strained to hear their conversation picking up dinner, that it was to be with the three of them, and little else. It was enough to set his stomach to growl at the prospect, but as hungry as he was, the thought of dining with both Sansa and Jon was sending Ramsay's mind to race. It wasn't that he felt uncomfortable at the notion of dining with the two of them, but both relationships were a very different dynamic that left Ramsay to feel a tad discombobulated.
It wasn't long until this line of thought led back to Sansa's absence and all that had taken place in the time she was away. By Sansa's reaction and the words stated upon seeing the discoloration of his bottom, Ramsay knew that those events had obviously not been discussed at all with Jon. Ramsay's throat went dry, and suddenly he very much did feel uncomfortable with the coming arrangement and what topics may arise. His head snapped to attention seeing the conversation had concluded and Sansa shut the door and was turning back to face him with a brimming smile. Ramsay's eyes widened with anticipation of what he already knew Sansa was about to disclose, and his mind immediately began working at the prospect of whether or not to try and avoid dinner altogether by lying and saying he wasn't hungry. No, even if he did sidestep the awkwardness of a possible faux pas regarding the past couple weeks, it would leave Ramsay both hungry and unable to do anything but think on what 'could' be talked about in his absence. It was a no-win situation, but one that out of the two choices, being a witness to his own downfall was preferable to being blindsided by it later. Besides, Sansa already proclaimed that she planned to spank him for his transgressions, so what could it hurt to at least have the possibility to defend himself?
Sansa's smile was infectious, and even with all the turmoil that swirled through Ramsay's thoughts to see Sansa regarding him so positively brought his own lips to mimic her pleasure. She strode back over to the bed, and Ramsay watched her graceful stride mentally captivated by her approach and sitting up to meet her. Sansa stated simply, "That was Jon; he came to inform us that a meal has been prepared, so we need to ready ourselves." Glancing at the crumpled mess of clothes Ramsay had left on the floor she declared offhandedly, "I will have a servant fetch you a fresh change of clothes. It's cold, so you can remain under the covers until they arrive."
Staying cozy under the covers was not anything Ramsay wished to argue as he grinned roguishly, "Will you be joining me while I wait for said clothes?" Sansa smirked eyes brightening at the suggestion although she didn't respond to Ramsay with more than a devious grin saying without words that his offer was ideal. Sansa sauntered back over to the chamber's door opening it long enough to give the command to have Ramsay's clothing brought up to her chambers, wardrobe cabinet and all. Would he be sleeping in the lady's chambers from here on out? Ramsay was surprised and definitely not unhappy to hear this delightful turn of events. He hadn't seen this coming, but it served to set a joyfulness about him that had Ramsay grinning from ear to ear. Just yesterday his sleeping arrangements consisted of being chained to a mattress in the dungeon; things were certainly panning out much better than he'd anticipated they could with Sansa's return home. He could be making assumptions too early Ramsay considered as Sansa may just wish to have his clothes ready for purview and selection at her fingertips, but he hoped the latter was not the case as he wished very much to remain by Sansa's side to wake in her arms as he'd done earlier.
Ramsay was disappointed that Sansa did not make her way back over to climb in bed with him and instead moved to the armoire where she sifted through the choices available pulling away an emerald green evening gown from its hallows. The color was exquisite, and the embroidered black lacing was of an intricate design that reminded Ramsay of interlacing snowflakes. It was well tailored and formal but not overdone like a dress one would wear to a party. Ramsay was transfixed watching her ready herself and taking in each small detail as Sansa settled her robe on the hook protruding outside the cabinet and quickly slid the dress over her form. Normally a servant would be present to affix each clasp, without one present, Ramsay offered to help her, "You needn't wait for the chamber maid; I have nimble fingers." Ramsay left his words to hang in the air as Sansa turned to consider him.
A haunted expression ghosted over Sansa's features as the memory of Ramsay ripping her wedding dress from her flashed through her mind in a vivid jolt. The memory faded as quickly as it had surfaced, but the rippling sensation of uneasiness remained like an echo. Sansa stared at Ramsay for a long moment swallowing down the uncomfortable feeling as the rationality of what he was offering her now did not correlate with those old fears. It was time to set new memories over the scars and move forward. Ramsay was doing the same with her in different ways, and just as he was forging a new foundation from the abuse she'd heaped upon him, Sansa had to in turn be strong enough to push past points like these where she would be confronted by recollections of Ramsay's old sins. It was easier in theory than it was in reality, but Sansa forced her smile back in place giving Ramsay a small nod as she glided over to the bed and turned her back to him.
Ramsay had not read anything into Sansa's subtle shift in demeanor covered by her thin smile and wordless acknowledgement, and when goosebumps trailed up and across the skin of her back, Ramsay had only assumed the chill in the air was the culprit over the gentle maneuvering of his fingertips up her gown. Sansa mentally tracked every movement the digits made up the length of her spine; Ramsay had started gently with her then to before he'd turned to savagely rape her. So lost had Sansa become in the act that she had barely realized Ramsay had finished the task and was standing nakedly behind her. His warmth radiated into her skin like that of a cozy den fire, and his hands hovered lightly over the fabric drawing across her shoulders intimately. Sansa ventured to peer back at him now observing the way Ramsay's eyes took in her dress as he dutifully smoothed out the wrinkles. She observed that his own frame shook ever so slightly as an aftereffect of the wind whipping in through the open window and the room's fire growing dim from lack of tending.
This image erased Sansa's disquiet instantly as she turned to face Ramsay giving him a true smile once more, "Thank you, Ramsay." Sansa reached around behind him pulling the covers up as she continued, "You're cold and without dress; please, climb back into bed until you've been brought something fitting to wear. I will have the shutters drawn and the fire stoked while we sup." Ramsay smiled appreciatively; he liked when Sansa showed she cared, and he was more than willing to let her usher him back under the inviting furs to escape the winter's bitterness from ravaging him further. Instinctively, Sansa found herself tucking the covers around Ramsay tightly as she had grown up doing every night alongside her mother with her younger siblings. This too caused Sansa to smile, but it was a sad one due to the reminder of her fragmented family.
Nothing in her life was the same, but it wasn't all bad. She leaned down to kiss Ramsay tenderly on the forehead watching his eyes flutter closed and reopen to continue watching her curiously with wide bule eyes. The way Ramsay gazed upon her now Sansa often thought was peculiar with it's almost childlike wonder. It was true that he regarded her with new eyes, they both had changed to view the other in a new light, but Ramsay was more than taken by the nurturing mannerisms Sansa displayed towards him. His disposition shifted radically whenever she bestowed such attentions upon him hanging off every word and action Sansa made like that of one drawing in air after almost drowning. Sansa was reminded of the miller's wife then and the dingy hovel where the clay walls were decorated in gouged grooves caused by small desperate hands longing to be free from isolation and neglect. She hadn't recognized the extent Ramsay required such attentions until she'd witnessed his humble beginnings and understood what he'd been sorely lacking for a lifetime.
Ramsay's brow furrowed noting the sadness in Sansa's eyes, "What's wrong?" He asked worriedly, and Sansa shook her head, "Nothing, Ramsay. I get lost in thought sometimes…" Ramsay's brow remained drawn down, and Sansa laid a gentle patting hand on his chest stating reassuringly, "It's nothing, really. I need to freshen up a bit. Stay here and relax; your outfit should be up shortly." Ramsay frowned as Sansa turned quickly to move to the other side of the room where the vanity stood. He felt there was something amiss, but he couldn't put his finger on it. It left Ramsay feeling a wave of helplessness unsure what to do with this feeling other than to remain where Sansa had left him and observe her taking down her hair from afar.
Sansa sat on the small stool as she began to unravel each tendril working to compose herself from the myriad of feelings coursing through her that left her stomach to jitter in their wake and a barely noticeable tremble to her hands. She was far enough away that Ramsay could not perceive the tremors that leaked unbidden from her figure, but Sansa detected them acutely, and their presence harried her to the core. She observed Ramsay through the mirror; his eyes still watching her avidly; his expression reminded her of a forlorn puppy abandoned out in the rain to have left him alone. Sansa couldn't help but to smile at Ramsay's expression feeling a glow of fondness swell through her to have him want to be with her so badly. It was endearing, and Sansa found she rather liked being wanted by him as much as he liked being wanted by her.
A soft rap notified both that the servants had arrived, and Sansa rose spinning to face the door as she announced permission for them to enter. The door was opened quietly by one of the night shift guards, and two sturdy male servants hefted the wardrobe that had been in the room Ramsay had occupied previously and now emptied of its contents. Sansa pointed to the space beside her armoire, "Place it beside the other one there." The men dutifully shifted in the direction to accommodate their lady's wishes as four other female servants filed in behind them carrying bundles of Ramsay's finery to replace within the closet once the men had situated it in its new place. This was handled seamlessly and quietly as Sansa returned back to the vanity to finish brushing out her hair. By the time they had replaced all the items within the drawers and filed out, Sansa was ready having left her hair down but the sides twisted into delicate braids to keep her hair pinned away from her face.
Ramsay rose to meet Sansa with a beaming smile happy that Sansa's attention was moving back to him. He was selfish in this regard wanting all of her attentiveness, but Sansa didn't mind or notice enjoying giving him her attention. She grinned thinking on the fact that she would be the one to pick what he would wear from now on. Ramsay wasn't a doll for Sansa to play dress up with, but she doubted Ramsay minded letting her choose the outfit that would best compliment her dress (or at least she firmly told herself this.) She suspected that he might even prefer that she pick it for him because it was something that she would be doing for him specifically. This too, Sansa did not mind as it complimented her want to make an ensemble out of their dress and allowed her further ideas on what clothing she planned to stitch for him in the coming days. Unlike many of her siblings who may or may not wear the items she made for them, Ramsay would wear them because that was what she wished him to wear.
As Sansa's thoughts churned on these plans, she'd made her way to the new dresser and had begun sifting through the clothing. She grimaced noting that almost all of Ramsay's clothing even his finery was black or brown with red inlays. Most of his clothing was obviously from before he'd become a lord officially and the material was scratchy and stiff. These would not due for more than labor intensive work Sansa decided quickly separating them from the few outfits meant for nobles that Ramsay owned and placing them in the lowest drawer of the armoire. As she maneuvered through the outfits, Sansa recognized that more than half of Ramsay's finery had belonged to Roose Bolton and that Ramsay must have laid claim to them after his death. Almost all bore the insidious flayed man regalia stitched somewhere on the clothing (to which would be the first thing Sansa decided would be removed before Ramsay would wear them in her presence.) She wanted the man, but she wanted nothing to do with the Bolton insignia.
Her hands paused reaching the piece of finery that she knew she was bound to uncover here but to which Sansa still did not feel wholly prepared to see again. Another reminder of their wedding night, the black suit had never been worn outside of that night, and to see it now brought an instant frown to Sansa's face and a prickle of rage at the loss it made her feel. She shut her eyes to it, and Ramsay who had been silently watching on beside Sansa as she'd explored the wardrobe felt the wave of tension swell between them. Ramsay backed away a couple steps with heart racing as his gaze penetrated the back of Sansa's head with a silent plea to forget even though he knew that wasn't ever going to be possible. He felt numb with apprehension hating how his stomach flipped and tightened as he awaited a coming storm, but Sansa did something unexpected as she let go a deep sigh and removed the articles from the armoire turning to face Ramsay and holding the outfit out to him.
Ramsay's eyes widened swallowing hard as he gingerly reached out to tentatively take the items from her. He stumbled out with sudden disbelief, "You… you wish me to wear this?" Sansa's face was stony as she nodded once, "I do. It's the only ensemble you currently own that doesn't display the blood stain of your former house while still being fit to wear to dinner. I plan to overhaul much of the clothing you have in the coming days, but this will do for now." Sansa had chosen Ramsay's wedding attire for more than just this though; Ramsay had wronged her wearing those articles, and Sansa had promised Ramsay that he would still receive punishment from her before the night's end. Once their dinner concluded and they'd retired for the night, she would make good on that promise. It sent a warmth between her legs to think of taking Ramsay in hand while he wore the outfit he'd defiled her in. There was something satisfying to know that he would be squirming and wriggling on her lap to make a much-needed new memory with this same finery. She had been of half a mind to forgo the discipline entirely, but Sansa knew that in all things concerning punishment with Ramsay that she had to follow-through and remain predictable, and with Ramsay wearing this outfit in particular, the sight of it would help give Sansa the incentive needed to punish Ramsay after having given him her word that she would do so.
The look on Sansa's face left Ramsay feeling on edge watching her as he carefully laid the shirt on the wardrobe door and began donning his pants. Sansa scrutinized the activity closely keeping her mien practically expressionless outside of obvious interest in exactly how Ramsay fastened the article to his body. All the better for her to be able to take them down or better yet, she would have him do it for her, so she could watch Ramsay unveil himself to her. Sansa's nipples hardened at the prospect and she found herself swallowing a rising lump in her throat as a wave of desire washed through her. Why was the thought of punishing Ramsay turning her on so much? She had fantasized about how Ramsay tightened his abs and thighs and the way his pert ass had jostled on her lap. It had been quite visually and physically appealing to see and feel, but there was more to spanking Ramsay that caused Sansa's face to flush in heated embarrassment and guilt.
Sansa liked dominating Ramsay, and although she would never punish him without him deserving it, she couldn't say that it was wholly just for his benefit. Delivering pain was a directive of her influence over him, but the moment they had shared afterward had resonated with Sansa most. She had been able to address their problems and once they'd cleared the air she'd felt both were emotionally at peace. It was a reconciliation where Ramsay revealed his vulnerability to her in a way that felt cleansing as a release not of sorrow but of unburdening. Ramsay had let Sansa be his strength clutching her tightly, and Sansa welcomed the well of intimacy that providing this to Ramsay gave.
Her eyes had softened as Sansa's thoughts drew upon these memories, and Ramsay slipped his shirt on over his head leaving all that was left for him to be fully dressed was to have the back cinched to his form. Sansa moved silently behind Ramsay straightening his shirt into place and turning Ramsay bodily to face the stand-up mirror, so she could see both his front and back as she further adjusted the shoulders. Ramsay stood rigidly at attention staring at her through the mirror all the while curious as to her thoughts since her expressions were mercurial throughout the exchange. He sucked in a breath as Sansa gave the tassels hanging behind him a rough tug jerking his body backwards into her from the effort. Ramsay's eyes widened in surprise as he cleared his throat, "I… I think that's tight enough."
Sansa regarded him coolly through the mirror taking a step closer, so that she now loomed over his shoulder as her hands petted down his arms affectionately. She responded impassively, "Yes, I think so." Sansa stared at him a moment longer as a predatory grin grew across her face, "You look… very nice, Ramsay." Sansa smoothed the haphazard hairs behind Ramsay's ear as they stared at each other in the mirror, "Come, Jon is waiting for us," Sansa cooed taking Ramsay by the hand. Ramsay glanced one more time at their reflection taking in how different the two now looked standing beside one another. Seeing himself dressed as he was brought something else to light within Ramsay as he stared into the mirror; he felt unrecognizable to the cocky man who had paraded in front of the mirror wearing this outfit before. In fact, he hardly knew the man he was staring at now, and that simultaneously relieved and scared him.