grey-shawl

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SUPERTANYA very long fuzzy grey mohair shawl - 100% handmade

Owls and Men.

A random wee fan-fic that occurred to me today. Thank you for reading :)

“In my time you would have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.”

“Would I?”

Jamie asked mildly, taking the damp cloth from Claire and wiping it roughly over his face and the back of his neck.

“I believe so, yes. The nightmares …”

“Would they have been able to stick me wi’ a wee needle like ye do for the ‘germs’? To cure it I mean.”

His tone was sharp but Claire could see his hands trembling, pale in the moonlight.

“No, they couldn’t cure it that way but …”

“Then it doesna matter what time I am in does it?”

Jamie slapped the cloth onto the floor and kicked it impatiently toward the door. Claire bit her lip and drew the soft grey shawl tighter around her shoulders, striving for patience. It was the third nightmare this week. There had been no identifiable triggers to the best of her knowledge and they were both becoming sleep deprived and irritable.

“You’re right, I’m sorry.”

She said finally and moved to recover the flannel. It had left a wet streak across the floorboards that glinted silver in the white light filtering through the windows. Her wedding ring caught the same glow and Claire ran her thumb across its burnished surface, thoughtfully.

“Claire…”

Jamie’s voice cracked ever so slightly and she knew he was once again able to be held. She turned towards him and stopped with a rather high-pitched noise as her hand flew to her throat.

“I may not be such a bonnie sight as I was when we wed Sassenach but I didna realise I was poor enough to make ye scream!”

Jamie smiled dryly and placed his hands in front of himself for modesty but made no move to pick up the discarded blanket at his feet.

“I … no … you just surprised me.”

Claire smiled and reached towards him, stepping close but not quite touching the solid muscle of his naked hip.

“Because I canna normally stand to be touched after the … the … nightmares?”

Jamie asked his voice carefully devoid of emotion. Claire nodded, slowly once and gently traced the tip of her finger from his shoulder to the centre of his chest.

“Yes.”

“Would ye prefer I keep it that way, Claire? I wouldna blame ye for no’ wanting to lie wi’ me so soon after …”

He made a sweeping gesture with his hand encompassing all that accompanied his vivid and terrible dreams of Wentworth and Culloden Moor and the moments after waking in which he could not bear to be near another soul, even Claire.

“I wouldn’t want to do anything to … alarm you. That’s all.”

Claire whispered the last two words and pressed her hand flat against the deep copper curls that covered her husband’s chest. The skin there was warm despite the chill in the room and she smiled slightly, allowing her fingers to spread so that the tip of her little finger rested over the tiny bud of his nipple, which rose to greet her touch, stiffening and puckering the ruddy skin around it.

“Whilst I dinna doubt ye could alarm me if ye chose to, Sassenach, I dinna think ye will.”

Jamie lowered his guarding hand and very lightly pushed the shawl away from Claire’s left shoulder, leaning down to place a single kiss on the exposed skin.

“Will ye … draw me to ye, mo ghraidh? I wish to be wi’ ye but I dinna think I can manage it myself just now.”

He asked, straightening and staring down at his wife with large eyes, that were almost black behind the veil of his hair which obscured his face from the light. Claire flexed her fingers, digging her nails ever so gently into the flesh of his chest. She did not speak for there was no need for any words now. Jamie had asked her to draw him out of himself and into her and she would do so in silence, the better to hear the need of his body.

She replaced her little finger with her tongue, allowing her hands to travel around his hips and drop to grasp his thighs, just below the sweet curve of his arse. Somewhere over the ridge an owl called out into the night in search of its mate and the soft patter of Spring rain began to drum against the window panes, changing the smooth arc of light to a rippling, writhing glow that fell upon Claire as she eased Jamie back onto the bed, in a tumble of shadows.

“Claire?”

“Mmmm?”

“I love you.”

His words stilled the movement of her hips as she looked down at him. His hands resting lightly on her hips, head back against the pillows on their bed and the silver shine of tracks down his cheeks.

“Oh! Jamie …”

She began to move but his grip tightened and his own hips gently lifted; a fragile command and fierce plea for mercy in one.

“Dinna feel ye need to say more. I’m no’ a broken thing, not here with you.”

The quickening of their mingled breath joined the forgiving sounds of rain washing away the dust of the day from the house. The owl called out again and this time his mate answered with her own cry, somewhere deep within the pines, inviting him to her home and shelter.

*

“Ye smell of tree sap…”

Jamie murmured, tucking the blanket up around them and drawing Claire close to his chest, burying his nose in the cloud of her hair.

“I collected the buckets today. I’ll be boiling it tomorrow. Syrup, you see?.”

Claire’s voice was thick with sleep and Jamie felt a small tug of guilt for disturbing her.

“I see. Good night, mo Sorcha.”

He whispered, kissing the curve of her ear gently. She sighed in response and moments later her breathing took on the gentle, easy rhythm of sleep.

Jamie calmed his own breathing still further and closed his eyes. His legs and arms ached from the work of the day and his very core still seemed to throb with the memory of Claire’s flesh around him. He felt his heart beat quicken but pushed the thought away, he would not wake her again if he could help it. No, he would listen to the rain and to his wife breathing easy beside him and count the many, many blessings he had.

“Jamie?”

The word sudden and urgent from the pillow beside him made him jump slightly.

“Aye, I’m here.”

“I love you too.”

Claire raised his knuckles to her lips and kissed his hand before sinking back into slumber and a little while later, Jamie gave himself over to a deep and dreamless sleep too, a small smile playing in the corners of his mouth.

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