hillside in the snow


Good Morning from Scotland

Snow and Sunrise - Morvern from Loch Sunart Shore, Rockpool House, Resipole, Ardnamurchan by Steven Marshall
Via Flickr:
The light from a spectacular early winter sunrise over the first of the Winter’s snow paints the sky and Loch Sunart with shades of red

Looking down on the cemetery from the top of a hill. It’s easy to see all the “terraces” which were built all over the hills to accommodate the many family plots. I call them “terraces of the dead.”  But for me, there’s something breathtaking about this very old, historic cemetery, especially covered with white snow. 

hillside cemetery, north adams ma 1/1/17

The beam of light glowed like fire through the trees, vibrant flora erupting from where it hit the ground. The surrounding forest was dark and bitter in comparison, the snow blanketing the hillside in an icy embrace.

“Is it magic?” Tenn enquired, her eyes never leaving the patch of vitality.

“It used to be,” replied The Count. “At one time, it covered this entire valley. Now this is all that’s left. It will last another year at most.”

Then after a moment.

“You can touch it if you like.”

“No,” Tenn whispered. “Some things are better left undisturbed.”

A Lightened Soul

Ah, here it is at last! I hope you guys enjoy this new chapter. It is the ending of part one of this story and probably one of the last linear chapters. There will be more of these two, never fear! Also it’s nsfw in the last part. And it’s Jamie’s pov! Wooo. Let me know what you think and enjoy!

Part 1 2  3 4 5 6 7 8 9  10 11 12 13

The landscape of Scotland had never looked brighter. The rolling, majestic mountains seemed something from a movie. The vibrant colors of the hillside glistened in the sun and the snow atop them was like white velvet. Alba had always had a magic about the country, a special something that took the breath away of everyone who saw her.

But there was something that made the air all the sweeter and the skies bluer now. And Jamie knew exactly what is was.

He took his eyes off the road for a moment to gaze at her. His wife. Finally.

Her dark brown hair was blowing in every direction as the wind ran through through it from the open window of the car. The yellow sunlight set off all the colors in the mass of curl tumbling around. He saw the light strands running along with the darker ones, dancing in a hypnotic motion that never failed to enchant him.

The ivory skin of her neck was visible from her blue, deep V-neck shirt. The dark blue making her skin look like peaches and cream, sweet and soft. How he wanted to worship every inch of that opal skin over and over again for the rest of his time on earth.

And then as she sensed his gaze, as she sensed so many things about him, her eyes turned to look at him. Those eyes that had bewitched him from the start. The whiskey colored eyes that were fierce as a hawk but tender as the night sky. Eyes he wanted to look into for the rest of time.

She smiled at him as she felt his gaze, her face soft and excited as they drove into their new future, their new life together. Jamie remember the same look as he saw her the first time the day of their wedding.

Murtagh clasped his rough hand hard on Jamie’s knee, which had been bouncing up and down like a jack rabbit. They were standing in the empty kitchen of Claire’s flat. The walls were barren and the boxes gone, packed away in the moving van they were driving to Scotland in a few days.

For a couple nights, they would stay in a romantic cottage Jamie had found, away from the city and away from anything that could possibly distract them for each other. A isolated place in the world in the wild country side to just soak each other in.

“Keep yer calm, lad,” his Godfather said with an exasperated look. “She will be out in a moment. Ye can go a few minutes without her.”

Jamie rolled his eyes, but tried at least to stop his tapping. They were going down to city hall in but an hour to become man and wife. He was going to marry the love of his life at last. After so much trouble and so much to overcome, they were finally going to be joined offically. He felt it hard to believe it had only been four months since she had come into his life.

In his pocket, he felt the reassuring wait of his mother’s pearls that he planned to give to Claire as soon as she appeared to him. The thought of putting the gems around her elegant neck made him shiver with pleasure.

But there was that overwhelming moment of grief that took his breath away at the thought of his parents. The beauty of the future dimmed a little at the thought of those who will be unable to share it.

Jamie hadn’t put too much thought into his wedding when he was a lad, but he had always thought that he would marry a Scottish girl and have a small wedding at Lallybroch. He couldn’t have been more wrong.

Now, on the eve of marrying a Sassenach and going down to city hall, he couldn’t help but picture a different image.

One where Claire walked down an aisle to him made out of  the grass and flowers of his land. He saw his mother and father beaming with pride as they watched their son marry at the home they had built together. He saw Jenny sitting with Willie, his brother long passed, and felt another pang of grief at his complicated relationship with one of the only family members he had left.

Jamie could almost feel the wind against his skin and the leaves crunching under his feet as he shut his eyes. The feeling was overwhelming and he fought the tears back as he waited for his bride.

Bittersweet, he believed was an appropriate word for today. For in a few hours, he would marry his soul mate and the future mother of his children, who he loved more the universe. But it would be without his family by his side and without Claire’s. But perhaps, they would be there with him.

For he was a walking legacy of the story his parents had written when they eloped so many years ago. The pressure of the pearls against his hand was the reassuring pat of his mother’s hand he had felt so many times as a boy.

“Jaime,” Murtagh jabbed him with his elbow, interrupting his thoughts as there was a creek of the bathroom door.

As Claire peeked out of the door and his eyes met hers, he almost felt dizzy, as if his eyes were seeing something so magnificent, his mind couldn’t truly comprehend it at once.

Her face glowed and was flushed pink with pleasure at the most likely idiotic face he was making. Slowly, she stepped out of the shadow of the door and revealed a beautiful and simple white dress.

It fit her body like a glove, ivory wrapped around ivory with details of lace here and there. A bit taller because of the tan wedges, she was stunning.

And he couldn’t manage a word. Cocking one eyebrow, she walked towards him with a smile and he dimly noticed Murtagh had left to go out in the hall.

Twirling her way to him, he watched, bewitched, as her dress floated back around her like a cloud.

“You,” he croaked, “You are so beautiful, Claire.”

His voice was cracked with emotion and her eyes grew tender as she watched him. A hand as elegant as marble reached to cup his face, “You look mighty fine yourself, soldier.”

Smiling, he leaned down to rest his forehead against hers, “ready?”

Her sparkling golden eyes opened to his, light with love and excitement that he knew she saw in his. “Let’s go.”

“What are you thinking about?”

Jamie smiled like a man who had just won the lottery and he supposed in one way, he had.

“You,” he teased with a quick smile in her direction while keeping a careful eye on the winding roads.

She leaned over and kissed his cheek, her warm breath causing him to break out in goose bumps. Her full lips lingered on his skin, brushing back and forth.

“Anything in particular?”

He jumped as her teeth bit into his earlobe. “The way ye looked at our wedding.”

“Oh, well, don’t let me interrupt,” she said and smiled, pleased with herself, as she sat back into her seat, crossing her long legs. Legs he wanted wrapped around his waist as soon as they got to the inn they would stay at tonight. He could still feel those heels digging into his arse from the nights previous.

The whole day seemed something from a dream. Jamie desperately tried to take in every detail of every minute of this day that would forever be engraved in his mind. A day they would tell their children about and a day they would celebrate until they left this earth.

It was a day to never be forgotten and Jamie knew that. His life, her life would forever be changed and twined into an unbreakable string. A string formed of iron and forged with enough power to overcome anything.

And so he so desperately tried to take a mental picture. The way the morning light made her eyes look like pure honey and cast a candle like glow on her face. The way her hands felt in his as the Justice of Peace stood in front of them finally. The glimmer of the pearls against her bonny skin.

The way her lips mouthed the words I love you as the justice read monotonously to them. The flickering light that blinked over them, the smell of spring from the air freshener in the office, the fuzzy carpet under his shoes.

But in the end, all he needed to remember was they way she looked at him and the way her eyes melted as he looked back at her the same way.

“I do,” she said reverently and carefully as if those were the most important words she had ever spoken and ever would speak.

Jamie gave up trying to hold back the tear that was forming in his eye and let it roll down his cheek in the rawness of the moment.

Claire’s eyes got glassy at the sight and she bit her bottom lip as it trembled and she reached up to brush the tear away.

“I do,” he said back to her, his voice full of love and passion.

And then he slipped the wee sliver ring – his mother’s wedding ring- onto her ring finger. A band that was symbolic of so much. So much history, so much love.

Claire didn’t want an engagement ring, but something simple and elegant. Jamie had immediately known that it was the right choice. He had had it since he went to the middle east for the first time.

His father had clasped him on the shoulder the day before he left and gave him the ring.

“This is not only for a lass that ye will cherish and love one day,” his father had said gruffly. “It will serve now to remind ye of home. Of us. No matter how far ye go, we’ll always be with ye. And that yer mother will be minding you for us.”

And she did. And so was his father as he watched the light reflect off the polished silver on Claire’s hand.

Her wee fingers then firmly smoothed his own ring onto his finger. A simple band to match hers.

“I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.”

Jamie barely heard the older man’s voice as he cupped Claire’s face as if she was as delicate as the flowers that she held and kissed his wife for the first time.

Jamie grabbed her hand and kissed the band that would never leave her finger. He glanced in the rear view mirror to see Murtagh in the car behind them. Faithful as ever. And one of the main reasons that helped him make peace with the decision to move back home and to try and mend his relationship with Jenny.

He and his sister still hadn’t spoken since his father’s death. There was an empty space in his heart missing and he knew he would have to mend it. It gave him comfort to know that when the time came to revisit the past, he would have his wife and Godfather by his side.

The rumblings from the uncomfortable justice didn’t interrupt their kiss, but when Murtagh patted Jamie on the back with an excited and proud hum, their embrace broke apart.

Jamie turned to see Murtagh with a smile – bigger than Jamie had ever seen on him – and his heart swelled.

Murtagh came and wrapped them both in a big hug. The ole sap.

“Congratulations,” he mumbled as he stepped back a bit self-consciously, clearly overtaken by the moment.  

Claire stepped and kissed his red cheek. “Thank you.”

Jamie laughed and wrapped his arm around his wife and the other around Murtagh. And he thanked God for his family and all the love that he had been given in his life. He felt the ghost of his parents and brother wrap their arms around the three of them.

“How much longer, solider?”

He glanced down at his phone attached to the dashboard. “About another 40 minutes until the inn ye found online.”

“Hmm,” she shut the medical book she had been browsing and squinted into the setting sun in front of them.

She placed the book back in the bag on the floor and leaned her head against his arm, wrapping her arm around his bicep. The gentle scratches of her nails made him shiver in excitement. Those fingernails were vivid in his memory of their wedding night.

“Ach! Christ, woman!” He panted. “Are ye trying to kill me?”

The vibrations of her laugh tickled his sensitive skin. Those leopard eyes snapped back to his as quick as a snake and flashed those white teeth that just bit into the inside of his thigh.

“I’m just exploring, husband,” she purred. Her nose brushed against him and he shivered in anticipation.

“I do believe that ye have explored there before, wife.”

His eyes closed in bliss as he felt the heat of her mouth. “Well, I didn’t have a thorough enough inspection.”

“Ugkk,” he moaned as she wrapped her lips around him, centering him. It wasn’t the first time she’d done this, but it was the first time as his wife. And that feeing only added to the pulsing pleasure that rained through his veins.

He moved his hands to wrap in her curls. “Oh, Claire,” he breathed.

And when he moved inside her for the first time that night, Jamie felt like was divine. His hips moved slowly against hers and he felt her quivering from the inside.

The tips of her breasts brushed his chest and her mouth was glued to his own. Their breath mingling together, making it seem like they were giving each other life. Her wee noises made him harder inside of her and he couldn’t help but groan into her mouth in response.

“Jamie,” she sighed into him, closing her eyes as she was overcome with sensation.

He slowed his rhythm as he brushed a stray hair from her sweaty forehead. It was another image he never wanted to forget. His wife come undone, a sight no one would ever see but him from this point on.

His body tensed as the feeling of her starting to overwhelm him. Leaning his forehead against her, nose to nose, her whispered to her how much he loved her. And when she let go, he fell with her.

Jamie picked up her other hand and kissed the inside of her palm while keeping a firm hand on the wheel. A thought came to him suddenly as he watched his first sunset back in his country.

“Ye know what, mo nighean donn?”

She kissed his ring in response, “what’s that?”

“You’re a Sassenach now.”

had a couple of moments today where i felt kind of like.. “this is it. this is what i’m here for”

just small simple things

Kai’s first snow. zoomed in circles, leapt up to knock it off of tall grass. pounced, chomped, playbowed, scrabbled around on his elbows, took off too fast and tumbled over himself. 

i cried watching him run around because. he is very small and very new and this world is. hard. but it’s also one where puppies experience snow for the first time.

second moment was after letting the sheep into a new pen with fresh grass. Spooky (tiny black cat) came up to me. i crouched to pet him, he climbed onto my shoulders and snuggled against my neck.

 i just sort of

sat down in the snow-tipped grass and soaked in the hillside. for a very long time. too-busy-brain totally silent. small noises of the sheep grazing, bundled up in their woolly coats. warm purring cat. snow drifting down in loose flakes, softening everything. songbirds, wind through pine needles, not a trace of chaotic human noise. 


“mythical beast a question is a frothy little clump of snow, it’s nothing until you pick it up with your mitten hand, pack it together and hurl it at your little brother. but missing young timmy by an inch, it flies down the nearby hillside, gaining speed and size! suddenly it’s a giant ball of snow careening towards the edge of a cliff, it takes flight oH NO IT’S HEADED STRAIGHT FOR ANSWERTOWN! see what you’ve done with your little question ball? you flattened answertown! but we don’t live in answertown, we live in answerville.” | GMM #815 [x]