the black candle in front of you and light it. Say: easily lit, you burn
as I allow, but I have the power to disavow. Blow out the candle.
the candle from the bottom into the white paraffin, you may dip it as
far as two thirds of its length, but leave some of the black portion
near the wick untouched. Dip the candle three times. Notice how each
time you dip it, it gets whiter. Allow this to dry.
Light the candle
again and allow it to burn the black portion remaining. As the flame
reaches the part where the white paraffin begins, say: your will remains
and though it is black, it has been transformed, it cannot attack.
Allow the candle to burn down into the white paraffin area, and then
snuff it out. Discard the unused portion at a crossroads, over your
shoulder, without looking back.
This spell can be performed any time you
know or suspect someone has put a spell on you, or when you seem to
having a string of bad luck and you can’t explain why.
all i can say is…. wow. its incredible to finally have this done, i never imagined i would be working on it for this long. but even then it’s been a ton of fun, from writing the script to laying out the panels to deciding which red paint splatters should go where. thank you so much for bearing with me all this time. and now that this is finished, there will be more au stuff to come!
When Jamie woke in the morning he registered three things.
First, his left hand was cupping the lovely pink clad arse of one
Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp.
Two, he had an erection. Again.
Three, Claire was soaking wet which meant her fever had
And for good measure he counted a fourth. He’d never slept better.
He let his lips brush gently across her forehead, and started to
get up. Claire stirred, and like new butterflies slowing opening their wings,
her eyelids fluttered open. She took in
their position and her eyes widened.
Jamie attempted to soften the shock, “Seems as if yer fever’s
broken, Sassenach. Yer a sweaty
mess. How do ye feel?”
Claire dipped her head and took stock. She met Jamie’s eyes again. “Better, actually. Hungry.”
“Lucky for you, Sassenach, I make a mean scotch woodcock.” And he
rolled out of bed quickly before she could feel the state of his manhood. He definitely needed the island and the
cooktop between himself and Claire.
“A what??” She sounded
He peeked back around the door frame. “Relax.
Scrambled eggs on toast.”
After breakfast in which Claire proved she could, indeed, eat a
lot, she announced she needed a shower and some fresh clothes. Jamie agreed she would be more comfortable in
her own bathroom. When she announced she’d be back in an hour, his relief
surprised him. He wasn’t ready to let
He couldn’t quite put his finger on why, other than that Claire
intrigued him. She was this angel of
mercy who came into his life and left a mark on his heart. She was honest, and straight-forward. She worked hard and never complained. For God’s sake, she was going into work with
The one and only girlfriend he ever had was the most high-maintenance
of women. Annalise needed constant
attention and when he couldn’t give it, she constantly pouted. Always dressed to perfection, he’d never seen
her without makeup. In contrast, he’d
never seen Claire with makeup wearing anything other than her scrubs. Well, her
pink knickers were nice. He’d be willing
to take a second look at that again sometime soon.
Showered, dressed in jeans and sweatshirt, feet bare, Jamie set up
his work for the day. Even though he was
CEO of Fraser Distillery, he was also its graphic designer. As the company grew he was constantly being
told to hand it off, but he refused. He
needed his creative side to stay sane.
And because it was his name, he would also be responsible for the face
Today’s task – labels for the new wines. He knew the shape of the label, and using his
template for the lettering he started work on his computer. Having carved out the space for the artwork,
Jamie started to sketch. Deep into his
work it was a while before he realized Claire wasn’t back yet. Pocketing his mobile, he went upstairs to her
flat. He knocked on the door. Nothing.
Banging now, he shouted, “Claire!”
God. What if she fell in the
shower? What if she decided to go to
work? No. No, she would have come for her pocketbook. He paused and knocked again, louder. Dammit. Nothing.
Sprinting down the stairs to his flat he tore through the lounge
and lifted his window. Freezing November
air caught him in the face. Heedless of
his bare feet he sprinted up the fire escape to her window. Cupping his face to the glass he breathed a
sigh of relief and fogged it up. He
stepped back, took a deep breath, and let it out slowly. Heart rate decreasing, he tried the
window. Locked. Okay.
She was okay.
He took out his phone and texted her. Bloody cold out here Beauchamp. Help a guy out?
He watched as Claire looked at her phone, and turned sharply from
her kitchen sink to the window. Thank
God for notification sounds.
She grabbed a towel to dry her hands and hurrying over to the
window, she fumbled with her phone and took out her earbuds. “Bloody hell, Jamie! What do you think you’re doing?”
He felt stupid now that he was in her flat. And he couldn’t think of anything cool to
say. So, he blurted out the truth. “Ye said an hour. I was worried ye’d fallen or somethin’. Yer still somewhat weak.”
He gestured helplessly as he looked down at the floor. “I mean, yer fever just broke last night and
ye havena eaten in days.”
Claire was touched. And now
that he mentioned it, tired. But her
flat was such a mess. It’d been ages
since she’d cleaned and when she walked in earlier it seemed like she should
take care of it. “My laundry’s a fright,
Jamie. And my flat is disgusting. I work so much…I thought the music would keep
me awake long enough to put a dent in it and….”
She let the sentence trail off.
Jamie nodded. “Here. Let’s do the laundry at my place. The rest we’ll tackle when yer feeling
She nodded. Jamie gathered
up all the sorted piles of clothes and tossed them back into her overflowing basket. He turned to carry it out the window and she
“Come on, Sassenach. Make
sure the front door is locked. Since
it’s only us who share this escape, we can trust yer window to stay
unlatched.” Checking the door, and
grabbing her key, she shut the window after her, and followed him down the
short flight that separated them.
Stepping into the warmth of his home Claire asked, “Jamie? “What’s “Sassenach”?”
Jamie set the basket down, and closed the window. “It means English woman. Well, someone who isna from here, who isna
He turned to see her standing with hands on hips, a somewhat
stubborn look on her face. Her freshly
washed hair framed her face in a riot of curls.
Those whisky coloured eyes washed over him. She smelled sweet and clean.
He’d never seen a woman more beautiful. In that moment, she was all the folklore, all
the legends, and all the superstitions of his culture wrapped into one. He was completely under her spell. “My father used to tell us the legend of the
woman who was stolen by the fairy folk, who traveled through the stones from
faraway lands. They’re rare. Unique.
Claire shivered at his voice.
It was low and soft, mesmerizing, vibrating with emotion. And his sky blue eyes pierced through her as
he spoke, almost at a whisper. “A Sassenach is spritely. And spirited.”
Claire had never felt such a pull of attraction. God, was he handsome. And that mop of red
hair was dark auburn, and thick with golds.
But it was more than his looks that called to her. It was his soul. The
soul of him that set her nerves buzzing.
He licked his lips. Claire’s breath shuddered. He gave her that half smile again and said
She shook her head. “Did
you just say “with ears like the wings of an elf”?”
“Elves don’t have wings!” she admonished.
“Scottish ones do.”
And she lunged at him, only to be caught in a bear hug. She fake struggled, and he fake pretended she
hurt him, and it was really only a way to flirt and touch and they both knew
it. So when she wrapped her arms around
his middle and laid her head on his chest, he very naturally brushed his lips
across her forehead and hugged her back.
And when they parted, it felt like they’d hugged a million times before.
The moment was broken, but not forgotten.
Jamie set to work on his designs while Claire started her
laundry. They made pasta for lunch in an
effort to get some weight back on Claire, and Claire ate two bowls. Jamie took a phone call and when he was
finished he noticed Claire had fallen asleep.
Good. Lord knows she needs the rest. He took
his spare blanket and covered her on the sofa.
By the time she woke up in the late afternoon her last load was in
the washer, Jamie was making pizza, and had pulled out the bottle of red wine
he’d taken from the tasting. And Claire
was pleasantly surprised to see that a gentle snow had started falling. They ate together, lights out, on the leather
sofa that Jamie dragged over in front of the window that led to the fire
With only the street lamps to cast a soft glow into the flat, they
talked quietly of their childhoods, and shared stories of how their parents had
passed. Jamie was surprised to hear of
Claire’s travels with her Uncle Lamb, the archeologist. And Claire was surprised to hear of Jamie
losing his brother, Willie. He even
showed her the little wooden snake with “Sawny” etched on the back that Willie
made him. She smiled at the nickname.
Eventually the black iron of the fire escape turned into an ever
changing white sculpture. And just as
slowly, they moved towards each other.
Her feet in his lap first, his hand across the back of the sofa, her
sitting up to place a head on his shoulder, him stretching a leg so that
eventually she was sitting between his legs, her back to his front.
When she half turned to smile at something he said, the kiss that
followed seemed as natural as breathing.