Sansa was too young then. His beautiful bird with flaming hair and bright blue eyes. Battered and bruised, nearly raped by him and scared out of her wits. He had done that to her.
Guilt washed over him and only seemed to intensify with each beat of his heart.
“Father?” Minisa had caught up to him, her tiny hand gripping onto his arm, fear in her eyes when she saw the tears upon her father’s cheeks. This was a side of him that he never let her see.
Sandor turned away, ashamed. “No more talk. To the castle now. Go.” He swiped at his cheeks when she couldn’t see.
He noticed her out of the corner of his eye; hesitant at first, her own eyes filling with tears. This only managed to make his heart break more. But this is what he deserved. This realization at how fucked up he had been and still was.
As soon as Minisa was out of eyesight, he collapsed to the ground, his head in his hands as the tears came unchecked. His beautiful, loving wife. How had she forgiven him? How had she fallen in love with him and defied her name and title to spend her life with him in Winterfell? He felt like the lowest, most despicable of men. Which he had felt before, but somehow it was so much worse.
Sandor stayed like that for hours, wallowing in his own misery, too shocked to move. The sun had come and gone, leaving him to the emptiness that surrounded him.
The crunch of fallen leaves snapped him out of his misery, causing him to grip the hilt of his sword as he looked behind him with narrow eyes.
It was her. Her voice sweet as the lemon cakes she loved so. His fist immediately loosened.