Her eyes were frightened as they went to her father. “He doesn’t mean Lady, does he?” She saw the truth on his face. “No,” she said. “No, not Lady, Lady didn’t bite anybody, she’s good … ”
“Lady wasn’t there,” Arya shouted angrily. “You leave her alone!”
“Stop them,” Sansa pleaded, “don’t let them do it, please, please, it wasn’t Lady, it was Nymeria, Arya did it, you can’t, it wasn’t Lady, don’t let them hurt Lady, I’ll make her be good, I promise, I promise … ” She started to cry.
All Ned could do was take her in his arms and hold her while she wept. He looked across the room at Robert. His old friend, closer than any brother. “Please, Robert. For the love you bear me. For the love you bore my sister. Please.”
They were all staring at him, but it was Sansa’s look that cut. “She is of the north. She deserves better than a butcher.”
He left the room with his eyes burning and his daughter’s wails echoing in his ears, and found the direwolf pup where they chained her. Ned sat beside her for a while. “Lady,” he said, tasting the name. He had never paid much attention to the names the children had picked, but looking at her now, he knew that Sansa had chosen well. She was the smallest of the litter, the prettiest, the most gentle and trusting. She looked at him with bright golden eyes, and he ruffled her thick grey fur.