books**

7

From this side of the house I could see dimly through the rain the outline of a rocky, grass-topped hill in the distance. It reminded me of the fairies’ dun where I had stepped through a rock and emerged from a rabbit hole. Only six months. But it seemed like a very long time ago

Jamie had come to stand beside me at the window. Staring absently out at the driving rain, he said, “There was another reason. The main one.” 

“Reason?” I said stupidly. 

Why I married you.” 

“Which was?” I don’t know what I expected him to say, perhaps some further revelation of his family’s contorted affairs. What he did say was more of a shock, in its way.

 “Because I wanted you.” He turned from the window to face me. “More than I ever wanted anything in my life,” he added softly.

I continued staring at him, dumbstruck. Whatever I had been expecting, it wasn’t this. Seeing my openmouthed expression, he continued lightly. “When I asked my Da how ye knew which was the right woman, he told me when the time came, I’d have no doubt. And I didn’t. When I woke in the dark under that tree on the road to Leoch, with you sitting on my chest, cursing me for bleeding to death, I said to myself, ‘Jamie Fraser, for all ye canna see what she looks like, and for all she weighs as much as a good draft horse, this is the woman.’ ” 

I started toward him, and he backed away, talking rapidly. “I said to myself, ‘She’s mended ye twice in as many hours, me lad; life amongst the MacKenzies being what it is, it might be as well to wed a woman as can stanch a wound and set broken bones.’ And I said to myself, ‘Jamie, lad, if her touch feels so bonny on your collarbone, imagine what it might feel like lower down …’ ”

He dodged around a chair. “Of course, I thought it might ha’ just been the effects of spending four months in a monastery, without benefit of female companionship, but then that ride through the dark together”— he paused to sigh theatrically, neatly evading my grab at his sleeve—“ with that lovely broad arse wedged between my thighs”— he ducked a blow aimed at his left ear and sidestepped, getting a low table between us—“ and that rock-solid head thumping me in the chest”— a small metal ornament bounced off his own head and went clanging to the floor—“ I said to myself …” 

He was laughing so hard at this point that he had to gasp for breath between phrases. “Jamie … I said … for all she’s a Sassenach bitch … with a tongue like an adder’s … with a bum like that … what does it matter if she’s a f-face like a sh-sh-sheep?” 

I tripped him neatly and landed on his stomach with both knees as he hit the floor with a crash that shook the house.

“You mean to tell me that you married me out of love?” I demanded. He raised his eyebrows, struggling to draw in breath. 

“Have I not … just been … saying so?” 

Grabbing me round the shoulders with one arm, he wormed the other hand under my skirt and proceeded to inflict a series of merciless pinches on that part of my anatomy he had just been praising.

1.12 Lallybroch

anonymous asked:

Why does Jamie use the alias Alexander Malcolm in Voyager? I don't understand why he can't use his own name, hadn't he already been pardoned for his role in the Jacobite rebellion?

Ah, Jamie and his names––he really has and uses a lot of them, doesn’t he? 

Once Jamie has left Helwater with his pardon, he is able to go by his real name of James Fraser at Lallybroch again with relative ease; those are people who have always known him and who respect the role he has played in their lives: as laird, as a military leader, as the man who sacrificed himself for their protection and ensured survival (in arranging to be turned over for the money).

But while he may be technically pardoned, he is and will always be Red Jamie to the British authorities. He wasn’t just a Jacobite soldier but a convicted traitor (hence the need for a pardon). Just because he’s been freed and has cooperated with British authorities/figureheads (see the Lord John series, specifically The Scottish Prisoner), doesn’t mean they trust him. There are going to be lots of people in the British army, government, aristocracy, etc. who lost friends and family fighting in the Rising and Jamie, as a prominent figure, is probably someone that many of them thought should have been executed. They would look for him to step out of line in any way just so they could lock him up again or worse; his own name is simply too dangerous for him to use widely. But some random Scot named Alexander Malcolm? Not so much. When he moves to Edinburgh and begins working as a printer he uses Alexander Malcolm as a form of self-protection. Some of what he prints for patrons (and some of what he writes himself for printing and distribution) could easily catch the attention of the wrong people and land him in trouble especially if he were to do so under his own name (the article that Claire and company find in their search for him is critical of the British government in a way that probably would have gotten James Fraser arrested so he wrote it as Alexander Malcolm). Similarly, he uses a bit of an alias while engaging in his more illicit smuggling activities. Having so many names to go by keeps the authorities from putting the pieces together and realizing just what he’s up to. 

When the smuggling situation goes awry, word does get out to some authorities that the Jamie Roy behind it all is actually James Fraser and that causes problems for Jamie and Claire as they seek to go after Young Ian. At the time they leave Scotland the British Army is actively looking for James Fraser again so every time they encounter British officials (with the exception of Lord John who knows Jamie better than that and seeks to protect him) Jamie uses the Alexander Malcolm alias again (or variations thereof: Captain Alexandre anyone?) to keep from being recaptured by British authorities. This is why when he and Claire finally discover that they’ve landed in the American Colonies Jamie is so proud to be able to introduce himself as James Fraser (and his wife Claire) again without fear or repercussions (the way the colonial system worked at the time is difficult to explain but the legal system in place meant that the British Army couldn’t just arrest Jamie and drag him back to Scotland/England for a trial without going through the proper channels of the colony first which was time consuming and probably useless). 

There’s also the question of his notoriety among his fellow Scots. They may view him as a hero for the role he played and how close he was with the Bonnie Prince. He’s already assailed by former comrades who can’t seem to let go of the cause seeking to find a way to bring Charles and the Jacobite cause back again. He knows it’s over and isn’t one who enjoys or seeks that kind of attention so using the name Alexander Malcolm helps give Jamie a bit of anonymity amongst those who wouldn’t be able to appreciate the man beneath the myth of Red Jamie. 

That Jamie’s aliases are pulled from the list of his many names is what helps Claire and company track him in the historical record. They’re names she recognizes and associates with him but not everyone (even in his own time) would have; it’s simply too long a name for the authorities to bother themselves with or care about learning/knowing. 

Tiger tissue maybe frozen in the hope that future generations can re-create these animals. A few Tigers maybe kept alive in zoos. But only a westerner could think that a tiger could exist apart from its own unique environment and still be a tiger. The belief that we can save Tigers by freezing some salve is a very belief that is destroying the Tigers habitat: the belief that we are separate. A habitat is more than an environment, something to be exploited. In fact, the tiger and the jungle are one; each cannot exist without the other.
—  Original wisdom

Last year, I organised a Travelling Book Project, using All the Bright Places by @jenniferniven as the travelling book and it was absolutely amazing 😄
In case you don’t know what this is - the people participating select a book, that will go from one person to the next, each reading it, making notes, writing down their thoughts, reactions, drawing in it, anything goes 😊 In the end, the book returns to the person it left from. It lasted 10 months until it found its way back to me.
But I got back a book full of other readers, full of their thoughts and feelings. It was beautiful. ❤
And All the Bright Places was the best pick possible for this project. I adore this book with all my heart ❤