After riding on horseback for a full day, the dull gray stones of Castle Leoch were a welcome sight. Jamie could feel every man sigh in relief as that large shadow came into view. All except one, that is.
Claire’s tension grew with each passing step. As the foggy outline of the castle sharpened, her muscles tightened under Jamie’s hands. He tried his best to soothe her without speaking– an arm around her middle, a thumb caressing her shoulder. He did not want to draw attention to themselves.
Claire had put on a brave, hardened face for the other men in the party. But, as her body weakened– from pain, from hunger, from exhaustion– so did her resolve. The fear became apparent in those tawny eyes, and her initial anger began to dissolve. She looked lost.
He only hoped that some of his own strength would seep into her. Entering a world full of strangers is no easy feat, Jamie knew. Especially for this English woman in the Scottish countryside, where all she had was that weakened brave face.
There was no grand welcome when they entered the courtyard. The few people milling about greeted them quickly before going about their business. All except one.
Mrs. Fitz was a small, plump woman with contagious energy. The keeping of the castle took stamina, which she seemed to have an endless supply of. “Yer back! Wonderful! I’m sure yer starving. Plenty of food in the kitchen.”
With a rustle of skirts, Mrs. Fitz made her rounds. With a ‘Hello,’ and a pat on the shoulder, she sent them away to eat.
Jamie wasn’t exactly sure how to explain Claire to Mrs. Fitz. He supposed the truth was his best option, but would Claire want everyone to know of her situation?
“Angus, what happened to ye?” Angus was limping, an arm slung around Rupert’s shoulder for support.
“Ach, a soldier knocked me off my horse. Dinna fash. Our traveling nurse fixed me up.” He nodded toward Claire, who was still astride Donas.
Jamie reached up to help her down, but she stiffened at the new found attention. Mrs. Fitz was staring, at a loss for words.
“Mrs. Fitz, this is Mistress Claire…” He realized for the first time that he didn’t know her last name. She never said it.
At the sound of her name, Claire relaxed, shaking herself from her thoughts. “Beauchamp,” she croaked. “Claire Beauchamp.” She then placed her hand in his, and he heaved her to the ground.
“Well, Mistress Beauchamp, this is Mistress Fitzgibbons.”
Claire inclined her head politely, and Mrs. Fitz mirrored. “Well, Claire. How about ye come with me? Ye look as if ye have some injuries that I could help he with.” She wrapped her arm around Claire, and began to lead her toward the castle.
Jamie watched as they left. Claire turned back to him, her eyes wide and fearful, before disappearing around the corner.
Jamie did not see Claire for the rest of the day. He knew she needed her sleep, more than anyone else. However, his worry did not subside.
When she didn’t appear in the hall for dinner, he sought out Mrs. Fitz.
“Mrs. Fitz!” He found her by the kitchen hearth.
“Jamie, lad!” She stretched out her arms to him, and he gladly accepted her embrace.
“Hello. Um… where is Mistress Beauchamp?”
“Mistress Beauchamp? Claire?”
Her forehead creased. “She’s still in her room, I believe. I havena seen her since this morning.”
“Was she all right?”
The lines on her face deepened with sadness. “Aye, I suppose as well as she can be. Considering…”
“What she’s been through.”
“Did she tell ye everything?”
“Nay. But she told me enough. I’m sure she’ll be up and about tomorrow, though. Dinna fash, dear. She just needs her rest.”
Jamie nodded. His worry hadn’t abated, but he was comforted a bit by Mrs. Fitz’s presence. “Thank ye.”
Mrs. Fitz was wrong. Claire didn’t show up for breakfast the next morning.
Jamie wasn’t sure was sure what possessed him… But, he decided to go see her.
Murdoc and 2D doing the weather forecast in France in a nutshell
•Northeast is from the northeast
•Murdoc STILL has that weird wonky eye of his 😂
•*2D bouncing up and down*
•Comme ci comme ça
•*just Murdoc and 2D just trying to speak proper French* you can do it you guys!!
•2D’s thumb and levitating arm
•Keep it left
you know if they made a tv show with just the silliness of these two, I don’t know anymore 😂😂