I’m so fucking disgusted with Langly. You stupid ass pigeon bitch you had ONE JOB. Deliver the marbles to Joey. Instead you fucking fly away. You little hoe. You have no idea how much you hurt me you coward. Why can’t you be like Byres? He was a good boi. He got the job FUCKING DONE. What did you do? FLY THE FUCK AWAY. YOU ARE A COWARD. YOU ARE A BLACKGUARD, YOU ARE THE UNSPEAKABLE.
Why did they make it look like Nancy was the victim in her and Steve’s relationship????? Being drunk off your ass doesn’t excuse behavior, and she and Steve got in a fight at the Halloween party, they didn’t break up. So the next thing she does is sleep with Johnathan?? She’s the one treating Steve wrongly at this point. Yeah he was a huge douche in S1, but he’s definitely changed since all of that happened. He loved Nancy, and while she of course wasn’t obligated to love him back, she shouldn’t have treated him so badly. And then when they’re clearing out the Byres’ shed he says about how he “may have been a bad boyfriend” bullshit?????? He did nothing wrong tbh
I parked Penelope’s car at the curb in front of the house, and got out quickly to see Bree pelting down the front stairs toward Jamie, who had stepped out of the ‘49 Ford he’d pulled carefully into the driveway. He’d been doubling back to come greet me, but hearing his daughter’s squeals, he turned and crouched down in the grass for interception.
Bree, however, was far more excited about the new car. Instead of flinging herself into Jamie’s arms, she made a sharp left and thudded herself into the front passenger door with both hands. Liking the sound immensely, she began pummeling the door further, jumping up and down and shrieking with giggles as she did so.
“No-no-no, a nighean,” Jamie said sharply as he reached her and grabbed both her hands away.
Bree jumped, startled and horrified by his harsh tone. Jamie was so unfailingly gentle with her, always, that for a moment, I thought she was going to burst out into tears. Jamie realized this, too, and quickly released her hands, laying one of his own against the gleaming paint of the car door. “Now, wee Bree, ye mustna hit our Bonnie. Ye wouldna wish to hurt her feelings by thrashing her about, aye?”
“Bonnie?” I laughed, incredulous as I came to stand with Mrs. Byrd, “Is that its name??”
“‘Tis her name,” Jamie said with dignity, though I could see the corner of his mouth twitching. To Bree, he encouraged, “Can ye say ‘hello’ to Bonnie Blue?”
Without missing a beat, Bree took a step back and waved at the car. “Hiiii-lo, Bobbie bloo!”
We all laughed and Jamie kissed her cheek. “Aye, that’s right, cub. We all must be verra gentle and sweet to Miss Bonnie so she lasts a good long while.”
Bree looked pensive for a moment, considering, then walked forward to lay an unutterably delicate kiss on the driver’s door.
“‘Inna laff-me!” she scolded as we all did. She pointed a stern finger at Jamie, then the car. “M’kissie, Da.”
Jamie opened his mouth to decline, then removed his hat and laid a soft kiss on the handle. “How’s that, cub?” he asked Bree with a grin.
“’S’okay,” she said with a curt nod, rising on tiptoes to peer in the side mirror.
Jamie laughed, standing, “She’ll keep a man verra humble, one day, that one.”
Jamie was like a bronze statue behind the wheel, impeccable and sure in his movement. It was the deliberateness, the same steeled concentration in his eye that he’d used in battle. At the wheel, he used it to be cautious, careful, erring on the side of slowness for the sake of accuracy. Still, while we were puttering along at about the same speed as an octogenarian on foot, the set of his jaw made him look so…
“Damn me, but you do look sexy doing that, Jamie.”
“Oh, aye?” he said, not taking his eye from the road, but the corners of his mouth crooked downward: a suppressed smile.
“Indeed, you do,” I confirmed matter-of-factly, scooting closer to him on the wide seat and reaching out a delicate finger to trace his arm. “Positively rakish.”
“More so than when I’m about other activities?”
“Oh, in terms of sexiness, this is ranking in your top five activities, to be sure,” I said, with mock solemnity.
He snorted. “Not that I’m no’ sensible of the compliment, but I canna quite see how turning a steering wheel should be at all rousing to ye.”
“Welll….” I kept my face intentionally composed, tracing the tendons of his right hand, feeling the strength in them as they grasped the self-same wheel. “Do you…happen to know what the kids do, when they ‘go for a drive’?”
“Other than getting to their intended destination, ye mean?”
“The destination is everything,” I said dramatically, walking my fingers up his arm. “They find a secluded spot to park the car…” I leaned forward and breathed in his ear, “…and then set about to…. not enjoy the scenery.”
He shivered at my touch and his fingers tightened a bit on the steering wheel but he didn’t seem in the least bit shocked. “Aye, seems reasonable, there being fewer cow byres and springhouses to which the youngsters might secrete themselves.”
“Oh-ho! And just who was young Jamie Fraser secreting with in cow byres, might I ask?”
“And I might just as easily inquire with whom it was that ye *didna* enjoy the scenery,Sassenach…” he said sardonically.
“Oh, really!” I swatted him, making him laugh and playfully swat me back. “Teenagers didn’t have cars when I was at the cavorting age, you oaf! Movies,” I drawled, seeing his puzzlement. “Lovers’ Lanes are common spots for young people to—” Ahah, how to explain this one? “—get murdered in gory films.”
“Jesus CHRIST, Sassenach,” Jamie said in alarm, taking his eye from the road a moment to give me a look of deep revulsion. “Folk enjoy seeing young couples getting—killed?”
“They’re not all about people getting—Oh never mind, I will get you to the cinema eventually, but anyway, I also happen to know more about driving dates than I’d wish because I have the joy of being a compulsory member of the debriefing committee for Della O’ Malley’s courting escapades.”
“Ah, our wee Della,” Jamie sighed ruefully, turning right. “She must get herself marrit, soon, or she’ll end up so entangled she’ll need to be pruned,” he laughed. “So…whereabouts is the ‘Lovers’ Lane’ in these parts, then?”
“Oh, there are many, I’m sure. But Della’s favorite was in a huge copse of willow trees near the big creek off of Plymouth Tra—”
And before my eyes, not two seconds later, the car rattled merrily onto none other… than Plymouth Trace.
“What was it ye were saying, Sassenach?”
“Why, you presumptuous wee bastard! How the bloody hell did you know?”
The wee bastard in question grinned devilishly, chancing a glance away from the road. “The lads at Fernacre as about as eager to crow about their escapades as Miss O’Malley. I figured it would be fitting to take our Bonnie here on her first trip.”
“You talk bout her like she’s our child,” I giggled.
“Dinna listen to her, Bonnie,” Jamie crooned, patting her (“HER!” pah!) fondly on the dashboard. “You’re part o’ the family now.”
We pulled into the arbor, carefully, slowly and came to rest between two of the trees that stood close together. I couldn’t help gasping as I opened the door and tripped out between the fluttering curtains of yellow-green. There were perhaps twenty willows, scattered around a lazy bend in a wide, sweet creek; tall ones, with their fronds waving gracefully in the late-afternoon breezes.
Della liked this spot, I knew, for the seclusion it provided in the dark of the evening. In the afternoon, with sunlight dappling between the leaves, though, it was—
“My thoughts exactly,” came a soft, low voice at my shoulder as his arm came around my waist.
“Flatterer,” I grinned.
“No,” he whispered, pressing me back against the side rear of car, his eyes dark with feeling.
I melted into him, reaching hungrily for his mouth as he reached for mine. I could feel the sun-warmed panels hot through my skirt as he pressed me into them, his mouth, his hands, his entire body insistent against mine.
I could feel my body rising to his, my blood pounding furiously in every vessel, crying out to him.
Jamie. My Jamie.
“Does it ever stop?” I panted, “the wanting you?”
“No,” he whispered with a soft laugh before taking my mouth again. “Never.”
A long, fevered string of moments later, Jamie’s hand left my neck (though the other continued to roam freely. A moment later I heard the springing CLONK of the rear door latch releasing. “Get inside,” he whispered hoarsely. “I’ve got to have you now.”
“In the…? I thought we were supposed to ‘be gentle to Bonnie.’”
“Oh, aye, wi’ Bonnie I’ll be gentle…. Wi’ you—” He latched his mouth into the crease of my neck and chuckled darkly as I groaned with the rush of sensation. “Now… get inside.”
I had his trousers down around his ankles in a jiffy, leaving him exposed. “Kick off your shoes,” I whispered urgently. He tried but got tangled up, and had to bend down to extricate himself. I took the opportunity to spread our picnic blanket over the back seat and clamber in.
Jamie joined me a minute later, bare-arsed, pulling the door shut behind him. He knelt before me on the floor, running his hands up under the skirt of my dress. He was smiling, but I could tell he was done with kidding around.
“You’re wearing far too many clothes, mo nighean donn,” he whispered, nuzzling my thighs, “far too many.”
While my vision was obscured by my dress flying up over my head, he set to work between my legs, eliciting a moan that surely shook the vines surrounding us. “Oh….Jamie….”
I heard—no, felt—him laugh against me, not slowing his pace one bit. It seemed hardly moments before I cried, “Ja—Jamie—I’m going—to—”
And I did, my vision going lilac with energy as i melted under his touch.
He didn’t wait long. With remarkable economy of motion, he pulled me down against him and whirled us around so that I was sitting astride him on the seat. My head almost brushed the roof but that hardly mattered. I was dizzy, spinning as I was curling my entire body around him, bending my head to him, needing more even as I throbbed.
We slid together with a sigh that seemed to emit from us both. I could feel the car rocking softly back and forth with us as I rode him, hard and desperately.
“Sassenach….” he moaned, his head pressed hard into my shoulder as he gripped my hips so hard I knew I would bruise and moved me harder, deeper, faster. One hand slid further down and used his thumb to bring me to the brink again and we were crying out together, pulsing against each other to get one more moment, one more bolt of our common magic.
When we were both spent, he let his head fall back and I slumped against him, wrapping my arms slowly around his neck, both of us one sweaty, quivering heap. The sun beamed through the rear window, bathing our still-one flesh in blissful warmth and light. I took the opportunity to study him while his eyes were closed. His hair was short and arranged, and his clothes, wherever they were, were different, but he was still the lad–the achingly sweet, caring lad–who had slept outside my door to keep away brigands in the night. So pure and loving…so…exquisite. The lines of his face; the hollows of cheek and temple; the smile that tugged at his lips even as he heaved with exhaustion. Glowing in the sunlight, he looked so beautiful, I truly wanted to cry.
I opened my mouth to tell him so, but just at that moment, he spoke. “There’s a good lass.”
I thought he was addressing me, so it came as quite a surprise then he thumped not my bare arse but the seat beside us. “If this be the time we conceive, we’ll keep ye in mind when we name the bairn.”
“You’re ridiculous,” I murmured against his mouth, barely managing it, widely as I was grinning.
“Aye,” he laughed, a little sheepishly, wrapping his arms snugly around my hips. “I’ll try to be more dignif—”
“Good morning,” Jamie murmured into my neck, his lips brushing my skin as he held me close.
He was more awake than I was and in a far better mood.
“Mmm,” I groaned, swatting his tickling fingers away from my ear, “Speak for yourself.”
“Wame bothering ye again, mo nighean donn?”
The Scottish word for belly always left me thinking of the word womb, but in either case, the answer was yes.
“Again and again and again,” I grumbled.
Jamie’s hands drifted downwards, his fingers hovering over the area I had shown him. “Can ye feel him move?”
I shook my head, “He’s too small.”
“But soon?” His voice was eager, almost impatient. I couldn’t see his smile, but I heard it in his voice.
“No, it will be a while yet.”
Jamie was quiet for a while, as if he were envisioning the little one growing within me.
“When? When will he come?”
This gave me pause.
When would the baby come?
June - July - August - September - October - November - December - January - February - March
“Middle to the end of March.”
He sighed, “What a bonnie time to be born, mo nighean donn, in the spring. ‘Tis when all the creatures of the forest and byre and moor have their bairns, aye?
I rolled over to find him grinning like a cat who had just stolen the cream. Narrowing my eyes and trying not to smile myself, I poked him in the ribs, “If you’re comparing me to a cow, James Fraser…”
“Nae, no’ a coo,” he grabbed hold of my hand, his eyes twinkling, “but a mother hen, perhaps?”
Pulling him closer, I slid my arms around him and nestled my head under his chin.
My heartbeat immediately slowed as I felt and heard his strong, steady pulse.
All will be well, it echoed. All will be well.
Could all really be well? Could I find happiness here, in Jamie’s arms, while Frank’s lay empty? Could I choose to honor my vow to Jamie over the vow I had made to Frank?
Maybe, my heart whispered, just maybe.
“If I’m a hen, what does that make you?” I shoved my questions aside and asked one of Jamie.
“The cock o’ the roost, Sassenach.”
“What is that?” I asked, squinting at a lump on the floor near the bed. Daylight was just starting to stream thru the window and left the room deeply in shadow.
Jamie’s head popped out of his sark and he looked about the room, “What is what?”
“On the floor,” I pointed.
“Where?” He turned around in a full circle, eyes on the floor, looking very much like a dog chasing its tail. “I dinna see anything.”
I moved towards the object and nudged it with my toe, but immediately pulled my foot back, exclaiming, “Ow! It’s got thorns.”
Jamie came up beside me, bending to pick up the offending bundle. It looked like a strange posy of flowers, with blades of withered grass and thorny twigs bent into strange shapes.
“What is it?” I inquired.
He didn’t answer me but strode across the room, throwing it into the fire as soon as he was close enough. The flames swallowed it quickly and I heard him utter something in Latin under his breath. A chill ran down my spine as I realized he was praying… an almost silent petition for safety against those who would wished us harm.
Whatever the thing was, it was not benevolent.
“Jamie,” I asked in a low voice, “how did that get under our bed?”
“Laoghaire,” he spat the name.
Fury swelled within me at the mention of the blonde strumpet who made no attempt to hide her feelings for my husband. She openly stared, pining away at the other end of the great hall during dinner.
I’d become aware of the rumors she’d tried to spread when I overheard a conversation that ended with, “But I canna believe it, for I’ve never seen a lad so besotted in all my days, have ye? Trails after her like a lovesick puppy, he does, an’ the lass is nae different. Ye can never find her in the surgery o’ an afternoon for she’s always at the stables. ‘Tis a wonder the lad can get any work done wi’ his mind in the bedchamber.”
An almost smug sense of possession slowly encroached upon my anger as I remembered Jamie’s words the night we had returned to Leoch.
You are mine. Mine, mo nighean donn.
I was the one he lay claim to, the one he desired, the one who warmed his bed.
It was me who he reached for in the dark of the night, whose name he called out at his climax, who carried his child.
His response in this moment rid me of any doubt of his feelings words the girl. He was smoldering with rage, I wouldn’t have been at all surprised to see smoke billowing out of his ears. Doing his best to conceal his feelings but failing miserably, he turned to me and spoke, “Dinna fash, Sassenach, I’ll speak to the lass.”
“No, you won’t,” I stated emphatically.
His brows rose, no small amount of annoyance in his voice, “An’ why not?”
“She obviously didn’t get the message last time. What makes you think she’ll listen to you now?” I explained reasonably before bringing him back to the object that was now crumbling into ash, “What was it?”
“An ill-wish,” he bristled.
“I thought you didn’t believe in such things.”
He shook his head, “‘Tis a threat, Sassenach, an’ no’ one I’ll let go unanswered.”
“Just who is threatening you, Laoghaire or this?” I gestured vaguely to the fire.
Jamie stepped closer, his eyes alight. “The ill-wish is meant for you.”
Beltane, one of four Gaelic seasonal festivals, is the Celtic May Day. Historically widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man, Beltane used to mark the beginning of summer and was when cattle were driven out to the summer pastures.
Rituals were performed to protect the cattle, crops and people, and to encourage growth.
Special bonfireswere kindled, and their flames, smoke and ashes were deemed to have protective powers. The people and their cattle would walk around the bonfire, or between two bonfires, and sometimes leap over the flames or embers. All household fires would be doused and then re-lit from the Beltane bonfire. These gatherings would be accompanied by a feast, and some of the food and drink would be offered to the aos sí (spirits). Doors, windows, byres and the cattle themselves would be decorated with yellow May flowers, perhaps because they evoked fire.
In some parts of Ireland, people would make a May Bush: a thorn bush decorated with flowers, ribbons and bright shells. Holy wells were also visited, while Beltane dew was thought to bring beauty and maintain youthfulness.
All hearth fires and candles would be doused before the bonfire was lit, generally on a mountain or hill.
In the 19th century, the ritual of driving cattle between two fires was still practised across most of Ireland and in parts of Scotland. Sometimes the cattle would be driven “around” a bonfire or be made to leap over flames or embers. The people themselves would do likewise.
In the Isle of Man, people ensured that the smoke blew over them and their cattle.
When the bonfire had died down, people would daub themselves with its ashes and sprinkle it over their crops and livestock. Burning torches from the bonfire would be taken home, where they would be carried around the house or boundary of the farmstead and would be used to re-light the hearth.
From these rituals, it is clear that the fire was seen as having protective powers. As a matter of fact bonfires were meant to mimic the Sun and to “ensure a needful supply of sunshine for men, animals, and plants”, but they were also meant to symbolically “burn up and destroy all harmful influences”.
Food was also cooked at the bonfire and there were rituals involving it. Everyone present would take an oatmeal cake, called the bannoch Bealltainn or “Beltane bannock”. A bit of it was offered to the spirits to protect their livestock (one bit to protect the horses, one bit to protect the sheep, and so forth) and a bit was offered to each of the animals that might harm their livestock (one to the fox, one to the eagle, and so forth). Afterwards, they would drink the caudle.
It is a tall erected wooden pole around which maypole dances take place.
The practice had become increasingly popular throughout the ensuing centuries, with the maypoles becoming “communal symbols” that brought the local community together: even poorer parishes would join up with neighbouring ones in order to obtain and erect one.
As revived, the dance consisted of pairs of boys and girls (or men and women) stand alternately around the base of the pole, each holding the end of a ribbon. They weave in and around each other, boys going one way and girls going the other and the ribbons are woven together around the pole until the merry-makers meet at the base. There are also more complex dances for set numbers of dancers, involving complicated weaves and unweaves.
In some regions, a somewhat different Maypole tradition existed: the carrying of highly decorated sticks. The sticks had hoops or cross-sticks or swags attached, covered with flowers, greenery or artificial materials such as crepe paper. Children would take these hand-held poles to school on May Day morning and prizes may be awarded for the most impressive. This tradition is known as garlanding, and was a central feature of May Day celebrations in central and southern England until the mid-19th century.