They reached the city by nightfall. On the train back to Marinette’s apartment, Adrien turned his phone on for the first time in almost twenty-four hours, fully expecting a deluge of text messages from his father and Lila. What he got instead was nothing.
“Well, that’s unsettling,” he said. He showed Marinette his screen.
“They’re probably waiting for you to make the first move.” She leaned against his shoulder, making his heart beat faster. “What will you do?”
Adrien opened his contacts list, tapped on Lila’s name, and lifted his phone to his ear. He was anxious. He didn’t want to talk to her, didn’t feel ready to take that step yet. But there was too much at stake. He had to get Plagg away from her.
@mybeautifuldecay asked: So, we know Jamie fell in love with Claire almost right away, but what if it had been Claire that had fallen for Jamie. Love at first sight. Modern or canon :) *Mwah* <3
Is it possible for this to get more and more fun every time we do this??
I paced around my flat, wringing my hands.
“If ye dinna stop pacing,” came the voice of a dear friend. “Ye’ll wear a hole in yer carpet!”
“I don’t know why I agreed to this,” I said, lifting my hands to run through my hair.
But I couldn’t. I already gotten it pinned down and behaving. If I touched it again, it would spring to life and take over my head. It wouldn’t be fair to the man if she showed up looking like an angry hedgehog.
“Or perhaps a porcupine,” I said, looking at herself in the mirror.
“Because ye asked me to. I’ve kent his family for a long time,” Mrs. Fitz said, coming out of my bedroom with a pair of shoes.
“But this… This isn’t something I do! I don’t go on blind dates!”
“That’s because ye dinna go on dates at all! Not after that bastard ye called a man.”
She pursed her lips and one eyebrow lifted as though daring me to disagree with her.
“And how will I know who I’m supposed to meet? Fraser is a common enough surname.”
“Weel the man is head and shoulders taller than any ye’ve met. And hair red as can be. He’s a braw lad.”
“I’m sure he’s very handsome, Mrs. Fitz, but a good relationship is more than physical attraction.”
Mrs. Fitz smiled and nodded. She worked in the cafeteria at the hospital and we’d struck up an unexpected friendship.
“Och to be sure. But a verra handsome man doesna hurt the chances of a relationship starting!”
I laughed a little and sat down to put on the shoes she’d brought out for me.
“I suppose it doesn’t hurt, no. Tell me, though. What exactly did you bribe this poor man with to get him to go out with me?”
Mrs. Fitz’s contagious laughter broke out and echoed around my flat.
“Och! I didna have to bribe the lad! I told his godfather that I kent a lass who was verra lonely and looking for a decent man. We made the arrangements for the two of ye.”
I glared up at her.
“You and his godfather got this all together? Are you both already planning a wedding?”
She shrugged, but I knew her very well.
“I think ye’d make a lovely summer bride, Claire.”
Getting to my feet, I took my purse from her hand.
“And how many children are we to have?”
“Seven. Three girls, two boys. Both boys will ha’ red hair, like their da.”
I laughed and prepared to leave.
“You’re a terrible woman, Mrs. Fitz.”
“Aye, so my husband tells me. If I ken him as well as I think, he’ll be waiting for ye already. His godfather said he’d put some heather on the corner of the table. But ye canna miss him.”
“Alright. If I don’t text or call you in forty-five minutes, please rescue me.”
“Oh give the lad a chance, Claire!”
“Fine. An hour.”
After a deep breath, I drove to the small cafe where I was supposed to meet my blind date. The cafe was busy when I got there, a mob of people moving about. I was right on time, right in the middle of the lunch rush. I looked around, searching for the bright red hair and ‘braw lad’ Mrs. Fitz had described.
That deep voice was like velvet in my ears, sending a tendril of heat down my spine. I looked up his broad chest into very blue eyes that stole my breath away. Physical attraction might not be the only thing involved in a relationship, but Mrs. Fitz was right about attraction helping something get started.
“Are ye Miss Beauchamp?”
“I’m James Fraser, but most everyone calls me Jamie.”
“Claire,” I said, offering my hand.
I’d expected him to shake it, like any other stranger might do. But he took my hand in his and kissed the back of it, very gently. I felt my face flush.
I’d been orphaned at a young age and I didn’t remember much about my parents. My uncle Lamb had raised me all over, being an archeologist. He’d never married or had children of his own, but he’d told me something that I never forgot.
“No matter what you choose to do in your life, Claire, remember this. Love exists, but it is not easy to find and even harder to keep. As cliche as this will sound, you will know him when you see him. Maybe not in the first instant, but your heart will tell you.”
“If love is real, Uncle Lamb, why haven’t you married anyone?”
“Because I have not found Her yet. Perhaps I never will. But if He comes along, don’t let him go, Claire. Trust your heart for once. Your mind isn’t always the best at recognizing love. Do you understand?”
Jamie was staring at me as if he expected an answer.
“I’m sorry, what did you say?”
“I asked if ye’d like to sit wi’ me?”
“Oh! Yes, that would be lovely.”
“Here,” he said, motioning to a table with two chairs.
He pulled out one for me and helped me into it before sitting across from me.
“I have these for ye,” he said, offering me a small bundle of heather.
“Thank you, they’re lovely.”
One corner of his mouth pulled up in a smirk and something clicked inside me. I’d never really been in love before, not even with Frank.
“Would ye like something to eat? My treat,” he said.
“Oh, I’m not very hungry,” I said.
My stomach rumbled traitorously and Jamie laughed. He had a wonderful laugh, deep and full.
“I ken we’ve only just met, Miss Beauchamp, but I feel I must ask something of ye.”
I frowned at him.
“Honesty. Be honest wi’ me and I’l do the same for you, aye?”
I smiled and nodded.
“Alright, honesty it is. Yes, I suppose I could eat.”
“Order anything ye like.”
After refusing to let me pay, he got me a sandwich and small bowl of soup with it.
We talked for what felt like an eternity. Mrs. Fitz texted me only twice and I only glanced at them. I didn’t want this to end. I didn’t know if this was love or not, but I knew I wanted to see him again.
Nearly three hours later, I pressed my hand to the stitch in my side.
“And he’s your brother in law?”
“Aye, he is now. Jenny didna gi’ him much choice. But we all kent he was smitten wi’ her.”
“Oh he sounds like quite the character.”
“Aye,” Jamie smiled. “He is.”
When his cell phone buzzed, he glanced at it but did not answer.
“Is that your rescue text?”
The tips of his ears turned pink.
“Aye, it’s Ian.”
“And you… You don’t feel the need to reply?”
“Och, no. That would be verra rude, Sassenach.”
I rolled my eyes. Being an Englishwoman in Scotland wasn’t uncommon, but I still heard that word thrown around behind my back.
“Must you call me that?”
He smirked at me again and my heart thudded unevenly.
“Aye. It’s what ye are, ken?”
“Are you saying it isn’t a rude word?”
“No’ when I say it.”
My face flushed again and I looked down. God this man was very nearly perfect. He was beautifully formed, but it was more than just his physical appearance. Jamie was also incredibly smart and resourceful.
“Claire, I… I hope I’m no’ being too forward, but… I’d verra much like to see ye again.”
“I think I’d like that too, Jamie.”
With the smile of a child who’d just gotten a cookie before his supper, he pulled out his cell phone and handed it to me.
“Enter yer number so I can call ye later.”
“Call? I thought people texted more these days,” I said, entering in my number.
“I suppose they do, but I’d rather speak wi’ ye.”
“So would I. But… Fair’s fair. Give me your number too.”
I slid my phone over to him and he did the same.
“Can I take a photo of ye? To put wi’ your contact information?”
“Oh,” I said, my hand moving to my hair. “I suppose.”
I smiled softly and he took the picture before stealing my phone from my hand. His smile was brilliant as he took his own picture.
“There. Now you’ll ken who it is when I call ye.”
Like I could forget anything about him? The glint of his eye while he told a story, the way his auburn hair shot sparks when the sun hit it, the way his eyes narrowed while he laughed. And the sound of that laugh…
“Oh I’m sure I’ll know exactly who it is.”
“Now that I’ve your information, I’ll let ye get on wi’ yer day. I’m verra glad to have met ye, Claire.”
“So am I, Jamie.”
We stood and looked awkwardly at each other. Should we hug? It was far too soon for a kiss. Oh, but what would those full lips feel like? Taste like?
Jamie opted for the same old-fashioned curtesy he’d shown me earlier and kissed the back of my hand.
“Until the next time, Sassenach.”
“Until then, Jamie.”
He and I both laughed and I made my way out to my car. For a few minutes, I sat there, just smiling. I’d never had a date go that well, especially not on the first. But that had gone very well and I looked forward to see him again.
I jumped in my seat when my phone began buzzing. I looked down to see Jamie’s smiling face looking up at me. Rolling my eyes, I answered it and tried not to laugh too hard.
“Is this too soon to call?” he asked.
“I think the protocol is to wait at least one day.”
“Damn. I thought it was too soon.”
“And you called anyway?”
“Aye. I wanted to hear your voice just once more. I’ll wait a bit longer afore I call ye again.”
I laughed a little.
“I’ll be waiting.”
I hung up and drove home. A text message waited for me when I walked through the door to a beaming Mrs. Fitz.
I said I’d wait to call, not to send you a wee text. I hope you’ve no plans this weekend, Sassenach. I’d like to take you out for dinner.
I smiled and immediately texted an answer back.
I don’t have any plans yet, but I’m a very busy woman. If you want to take me out, you need to tell me now so I can clear my social calendar.
I didn’t have to wait very long for a reply to that.