It’s my birthday today and I always loved this little exchange between Jamie and Claire in The Fiery Cross, so great excuse to post it!
“How did ye ken what I was doing? Taking stock, as ye say?”
I let him keep hold of the hand, but shifted to set my chin in the center of his chest, where a small depression seemed made for the purpose.
“I always do that, when I have a birthday—though I generally do it the night before. More looking back, I think, reflecting a bit on the year that’s just gone. But I do check things over; I think perhaps everyone does. Just to see if you’re the same person as the day before.”
“I’m reasonably certain that I am,” he assured me. “Ye dinna see any marked changes, do ye?”
I lifted my chin from its resting place and looked him over carefully. It was in fact rather hard to look at him objectively; I was both so used to his features and so fond of them that I tended to notice tiny, dear things about him—the freckle on his earlobe, the lower incisor pushing eagerly forward, just slightly out of line with its fellows—and to respond to the slightest change of his expression—but not really to look at him as an integrated whole.
He bore my examination tranquilly, eyelids half-lowered against the growing light. His hair had come loose while he slept and feathered over his shoulders, its ruddy waves framing a face strongly marked by both humor and passion—but which possessed a paradoxical and most remarkable capacity for stillness.
“No,” I said at last, and set my chin down again with a contented sigh. “It’s still you.