How will our newlyweds handle the aftermath of their first night together in The Black Watch? Will Claire come out of her shell and surprise us all?
The Black Watch: Part 4:
Pulling the duvet up and over her head, Claire listened to the soft swish of the dog’s tail against the small rug that sat in front of the fire. Bran liked to keep her company, and usually she liked it in return.
Covering her ears, she tried to block out the noise, all manner of disturbance disrupting her calm.
True to his word, Jamie hadn’t touched her again –leaving her, instead, to her own devices.
Instead she’d begun to wake, alone and covered in a cold sheen of sweat, her mind replaying erotic imagery that she just couldn’t shake. Trembling, she curled her knees up to her chest and felt beside her, the small dent in the mattress evidence that Jamie had not long been up and away. His side of the bed was still warm, the scent of his flesh buried deep into the down of the duvet.
Her thighs, drawn together by the pulse that throbbed solidly between them, curled towards her chest as she tried to contain the feelings that had been steadily mounting inside of her.
Shrugging her shoulders, Claire slid herself out from under the covers in preparation for the day.
The water in the basin beside the fire was cold, but Claire dipped her hands in nonetheless, ensuring that her skin didn’t freeze too much before washing her face and neck. Shivering, she pulled the cloth from where it sat on the arm of the chair and began to dry the cold droplets from her skin.
Gathering her sewing basket, she pulled the delicate wool of her blanket around her shoulders and curled up on the chair. Usually Claire would do her darning downstairs in the company of Jenny and the others, but today she felt the need for some privacy. Her heart was still racing from her dream, the blood in her veins boiling beneath her skin.
Her hands shook as she ran the coarse fabric of Jamie’s socks through her fingers, poking her fingers through the small holes he’d managed to create with his toes. Claire wriggled her hips, trying desperately to concentrate on her task and not the unspoken devil that seemed to have taken up residence in her tummy.
“Ow!” She yelped, the needle pricking the skin of her fingertip as she lost focus for just a second. Dropping the sock, needle and thread, Claire curled her knees up to her chest as she sucked the injured article into her mouth.
Feeling daft, she closed her eyes letting the damp digit fall from her lips before bending down to collect the limp sock from the floor. Claire continued on, managing to ignore the persistent niggle that had begun to irritate her now.
One sock down, Claire placed her sewing kit safely down on the mantle over the fireplace and paced in front of the fire. The pile that she had to complete seemed to mock her as she puffed and panted stomping her feet against the neatly woven rug. Her discomfort had only grown and instead of dissipating once she’d busied herself it had solidified, causing her skin to tingle periodically, gooseflesh rising on the tops of her thighs as they brushed together.
Below, Jenny glanced towards the ceiling as the rhythmic creaking stopped and started once more. She smiled to herself recalling the conversation she’d overheard between her brother and father only days before.
Jamie had been worried about his approach to Claire after their first *unsuccessful* interaction. In an attempt to comprehend the subtleties in his new marriage he’d approached his father for some sage advice. Jenny, well trained in the art of eavesdropping, had busied herself far enough away that she wouldn’t be noticed, but close enough to hear their conversation.
Having some idea as to Claire’s dilemma, Jenny hitched her skirts and climbed the stairs quietly. She opened the door carefully, hunching her shoulders as she leant her head around the entranceway.
Keeping her voice low, Jenny stuck one foot over the threshold as she approached Claire cautiously.
“I noticed ye didna come to join us, Claire,” she said, breaking the silence.
Turning her head slightly, Claire nodded over her shoulder at Jenny, her hands clenching in the loose fabric of her night-shift as she swayed to and fro. “No, I just wanted some time alone,” she replied smiling slightly as she faced Jenny fully.
“Get yersel’ dressed, lass,” Jenny asked, waving her hand towards the wardrobe as she marched towards Claire’s dresser, “I think we need to have a wee chat, aye?”
Nodding, Claire did as she was told, unable and unwilling to put up any resistance against her – more than compelling – sister-in-law.
The morning air was warm as Claire walked slightly behind Jenny her mind flitting all over the place as she tried to enjoy the fresh air and Jenny’s company.
“You’re restless, Claire,” Jenny interjected, stating the obvious as they stood at the edge of the very field Jamie and Brian were hard at work in. Waving at her brother and father, Jenny bumped her shoulder gently against Claire’s in a familial show of camaraderie.
“He’s restless too.”
Claire’s eyes held Jamie’s as he bowed, winked and continued with his work. Her heart ached a little as she rested her palms on the fence allowing her thick curls to fall over her ears.
“He was asking da for advice the other day so you can trust me when I say this, Claire. He’s a good man, and I’m no’ just saying so because he’s my brother.” Placing her hand on top of Claire’s she squeezed lightly. “He’s too scared to touch ye again, for fear that ye’ll reject him…or that he’ll hurt you again.”
Staying quiet, Claire let Jenny’s warm touch soothe her as she allowed her words to sink in.
“That feeling ye have, the one inside you that willna leave ye be,” Jenny continued, a knowing glint in her eye, “you canna ignore it, Claire. Let it guide ye instead. I promise you, trust in it, and trust in Jamie.”
Jenny left her then, returning to the big house with an impressive smile on her face.
Dipping her toes into the hot water, Claire slid the robe from her shoulder as she sunk into the tub, the steam rising around her as she turned her face towards the fire. She’d taken Jenny’s advice to heart and had spent hours preparing for Jamie’s return eager to attempt intimacy once more.
But the sun had long since set and Jamie had yet to turn in.
Pushing the disappointment away, Claire reached for the soap rubbing the thick bar against her sodden skin as she washed the dirt from the day away.
She closed her eyes, letting the soft lap of the water lull her. The fire kept the tin warm enough that the bath retained its heat. Basking in the glow, Claire dunked her head under, letting her hair float around her face as her feet dangled over the edge. With her ears plugged by the water, Claire failed to notice as Jamie finally appeared.
Closing the door behind him, Jamie held his nerve. Undoing the buttons on his waistcoat, he plucked it from his shoulders, unbuckling his belt next as he neatly folded his dusty clothes and placed them carefully over the arm of the chair. Sitting, he toed off his boots before stripping the shirt from his back leaving him naked as the day he was born.
Upon hearing the noise, Claire peeked her head over the metal edge of the bathtub, her nose butting against the moist, tepid surface as she glanced over to watch her naked husband. Hidden, Jamie could only see her bright whisky eyes as they slid over his nude form.
“Ye waited up for me, sassenach?” Jamie asked, seeing her lost for words.
Smiling coquettishly, her mouth still hidden from view, Claire nodded. Pulling herself up further, her fingers gripped the rim, her knuckles going white with the pressure of holding her weight steady. “I miss you,” she whispered, her wet hair bobbing on the surface of the water as she levered herself so that her elbows now rested along the top of the bath, bringing her head and shoulders fully upright.
Raising himself from the chair, Jamie strode over to Claire and knelt beside her, reaching his hand out to run his finger along the length of her sodden cheek.
“Do you?” He returned, a hint of humour in his tone.
“You spoke to your father about me?” She asked, curious as to what had transpired between the Frasers.
Blushing, the red stain ran along Jamie’s cheeks and down his neck as he dipped his head a little, his forehead coming into contact with Claire as his hands snaked further down her bare body.
The ache intensified as Jamie’s large palm ghosted against the side of her breast.
“Aye,” he whispered in return, his lips resting softly over hers as he wetted them with his tongue, tasting Claire for the first time in weeks. “I wanted to ken how to be a good husband to ye, Claire. HIm and my mam loved one another deeply and I hope,” he paused, placing one delicate kiss against her mouth before continuing on, “one day we might have the same bond.”
Sloshing the water surrounding her, Claire pushed herself up, Jamie’s words warming her inside and out as she joined her lips fully against his now, her hands tangling in his hair as she dragged him forwards.
Doing as Jenny said, he allowed the neediness that she’d been holding back since their arrival at Lallybroch to take precedence over the fear.
“Can I wash you?” She mumbled, pulling back a little now, panting with the exertion of her forceful embrace. Taking a moment just to breath, Claire realised suddenly how little she knew of Jamie. She’d learned, of course, about him as a man, but his flesh was a mystery to her.
Wanting to memorise every inch of him she climbed from the bath and ushered him into the cooling waters, intent on her mission.
Allowing her to take some form of control, Jamie obeyed her signals, plunging himself into the bath in front of her, his back to her chest as Claire lathered up the sponge. Gazing around at her, he reached his hand backwards to keep contact with her, tickling his fingers along the smooth expanse of her arm, the tips of them gathering up the droplets of water her own dunk had left upon her skin.
“Beautiful,” he sighed, blinking rapidly as she began massaging suds into the dirt that’d smeared over his chest during the day.
Claire smiled, a small thing that tugged at the corners of her mouth as her cheeks began to flame under his scrutiny. “Not too bad yourself,” she returned, her tone breathless as if she were struggling to speak.
Leaning forwards, the peaks of her breasts brushed against Jamie’s back as her hands reached below the water line to wash his submerged belly. Trying to contain herself, Claire swallowed, her heart picking up paces as it thudded harder beneath her chest.
He was aroused. His hard flesh bobbing against the back of her hand as she ran the sponge over his groin. Trying to remain calm, she attempted to ignore the sight of him, only failing when she heard him moan lightly. Turning her head she could see his pained expression. Head falling back against her shoulder, Jamie had his eyes squeezed shut, his mouth hanging open as if he were trying desperately to stay still.
“It’s alright, Claire,” he groaned, unable to keep the lust from his tone as he twisted towards her, causing her to drop the sponge in the water and raise her hand to take hold of his. “Ye dinna need to stop…”
“Take me to bed, Jamie,” she stuttered, the throb between her legs intensifying at the mere thought of him holding her against his chest now. Gone were the awful memories of their first encounter, replaced now with a softer image of Jamie, one moulded by the gentleness of his father instead of the merciless Black Watch.
She knew he wouldn’t hurt her, she could feel it in the air that whirled around her in their large master bedroom.
“As you wish,” Jamie returned, quickly rising from tub to take Claire into his arms as they clasped each other close, the moisture making their combined skin slippery as Jamie walked Claire slowly towards their bed.
“I promise–” he began, tipping his head to the left as he nudged her nose.
“I know,” she interjected, her thighs hitting the solid base of the bed as her hands came round to grip his arse. “I trust you, Jamie.”
Wrapping his arms around her hips, Jamie placed Claire gently onto the bed, on top of the sheets, opening her legs with his knees as he crawled over her. Brian had opened his eyes, talking to him about the *proper* way to love a woman. Instead of –coming from behind–, he’d been advised to place himself face to face with Claire, making him more able to watch her. Being more conscious of his movements meant that he’d be able to ensure her pleasure.
Claire lay silently beneath him, her eyes half closed as she ran her hands up and down Jamie’s back. Waiting patiently. Content to have broken the divide that’d separated them, she was happy for Jamie to take his time.
With his father’s advice at the forefront, Jamie slowly pushed his way forwards, twisting his hips upwards stopping just shy as he captured her lips, kissing her passionately until he felt her legs wrapping around his waist.
Reassured that she wanted him, Jamie pressed his way inside her.
Biting down on Jamie’s bottom lip, Claire made a quiet keening noise as her muscles tensed. Pulling her legs closer to her chest, she kept her bottom levered to allow Jamie free movement against her, the pain nowhere near as harsh as she’d remembered it.
Breathing through his nose, Jamie swivelled his hips as gently as he was able, pushing and pulling himself against Claire, holding his weight over her as the pleasure built within him.
Muted gasps filled the room as Claire uncovered the small place inside of her that had been plaguing her dreams. Shuddering with the thrill of it, she rolled her arse upwards, thrusting her hips flush against Jamie as the twinge of something incredible bubbled beneath her skin.
Claire tensed as the sensation grew, her vision blurring as she opened and closed her eyes as she tried to make sense of the ever increasing titillation.
As the room seemed to tilt and swirl below her, Claire cried out, oblivion claiming her for seconds before allowing her body to collapse, fatigue overtaking the pleasure.
Jamie stilled for as long as he was able, his heart pounding as he watched Claire. The whole time he’d been hyper aware of her wellbeing. Cautious of every movement he made, not wanting to hurt her as he had done before. Safe in the knowledge that he’d shielded her from that, he finally let himself go.
Claire smiled, opening her bleary eyes now as she felt Jamie climax above her. Placing the flat of her palm against his cheek, she traced the heated sallows of his face, cementing the vision of him as he panted, trying to fill his lungs with as much oxygen as they could take.
Falling to the left, Jamie shimmied himself and Claire under the covers, keeping her close to his chest as she dozed soundlessly against him.
Kissing her forehead, he linked his legs with hers beneath the duvet and joined her in slumber, the crackle of the fire the only noise remaining as silence engulfed the lovers.