The slap of his boots in the corridor behind her make her smile before he even turns her around.
His hand is rough, and his fingertips glide along the underside of her wrist as he pulls at her. She shreds like silk in his grasp, and the wall is cool where her back comes up against it. ‘A fair evening, Arthur,’ she says quietly.
The corners of his mouth turn hideously downward. ‘You do not find it so,’ she offers.
‘For you, perhaps. Tell me, sister, what does it feel to lead a Stark around like a kicked dog on a chain?’
She tilts her head to the side, and he is so close that the tip of her nose catches on his. ‘Which one?’ she asks.
Arthur shakes his head. ‘Any of them. All of them.’
‘Hm,’ Ashara says. ‘Brothers can be such silly things.’ Her lips are like flowers, curling into a smile as she slips under his arm and lays a hand on the door to her rooms. ‘Do come in, Arthur. I’ll sleep sounding knowing that you guard my honor.’
He is shaking his head no even as he shuts the door behind them. ‘You speak like a lady,’ he says when they are alone.
Her eyebrows raise crookedly. ‘I’d love to see anyone but a lady turn wolves to squealing pups.’ And she laughs, desperately, as Arthur fairly tears her gown to shreds, and leans into his hand at the small of her back.