When I woke, the shadows of dusk were gathering on the veranda outside the open French doors of my bedroom, and Jamie lay naked beside me, hands folded on his belly, breathing deep and slow.
He felt me stir, and opened his eyes. He smiled sleepily and reaching up a hand, pulled me down to his mouth. He had had a bath, too; he smelled of soap and cedar needles. I kissed him at length, slowly and thoroughly, running my tongue across the wide curve of his lip, finding his tongue with mine in a soft, dark joust of greeting and invitation.
I broke loose, finally, and came up for air. The room was filled with a wavering green light, reflections from the lagoon outside, as though the room itself were underwater. The air was at once warm and fresh, smelling of sea and rain, with tiny currents of breeze that caressed the skin.
“Ye smell sweet, Sassenach,” he murmured, voice husky with sleep. He smiled, reaching up to twine his fingers into my hair. “Come here to me, curly-wig.”
Freed from pins and freshly washed, my hair was clouding over my shoulders in a perfect explosion of Medusa-like curls. I reached up to smooth it back, but he tugged gently, bending me forward so the veil of brown and gold and silver fell loose over his face.
I kissed him, half-smothered in clouds of hair, and lowered myself to lie on top of him, letting the fullness of my breasts squash gently against his chest. He moved slightly, rubbing, and sighed with pleasure.
His hands cupped my buttocks, trying to move me upward enough to enter me.
“Not bloody yet,” I whispered. I pressed my hips down, rolling them, enjoying the feel of the silky stiffness trapped beneath my belly. He made a small breathless sound.
“We haven’t had room or time to make love properly in months,” I told him. “So we’re taking our time about it now, right?”
“Ye take me at something of a disadvantage, Sassenach,” he murmured into my hair. He squirmed under me, pressing upward urgently. “Ye dinna think we could take our time next time?”
“No, we couldn’t,” I said firmly. “Now. Slow. Don’t move.”
He made a sort of rumbling noise in his throat, but sighed and relaxed, letting his hands fall away to the sides. I squirmed lower on his body, making him inhale sharply, and set my mouth on his nipple.
I ran my tongue delicately round the tiny nub, making it stand up stiff, enjoying the coarse feel of the curly auburn hairs that surrounded it. I felt him tense under me, and put my hands on his upper arms to hold him still while I went on with it, biting gently, sucking and flicking with my tongue.
A few minutes later, I raised my head, brushed my hair back with one hand, and asked, “What’s that you’re saying?”
He opened one eye.
“The rosary,” he informed me. “It’s the only way I’m going to stand it.” He closed his eyes and resumed murmuring in Latin. “Ave Maria, gratia plena…”
I snorted and went to work on the other one.
“You’re losing your place,” I said, next time I came up for air. “You’ve said the Lord’s Prayer three times in a row.”
“I’m surprised to hear I’m still makin’ any sense at all.” His eyes were closed, and a dew of moisture gleamed on his cheekbones. He moved his hips with increasing restiveness. “Now?”
“Not yet.” I dipped my head lower and seized by impulse, went Pffft! into his navel. He convulsed, and taken by surprise, emitted a noise that could only be described as a giggle.
“Don’t do that!” he said.
“Will if I want to,” I said, and did it again. “You sound just like Bree,” I told him. “I used to do that to her when she was a baby; she loved it.”
“Well, I’m no a wee bairn, if ye hadna noticed the difference,” he said a little testily. “If ye must do that, at least try it a bit lower, aye?”
“You don’t have any hair at all at the tops of your thighs,” I said, admiring the smooth white skin there. “Why is that, do you think?”
“The cow licked it all off last time she milked me,” he said between his teeth. “For God’s sake, Sassenach!”
I laughed, and returned to my work. At last I stopped and raised myself on my elbows.
“I think you’ve had enough,” I said, brushing hair out of my eyes. “You haven’t said anything but ‘Jesus Christ’ over and over again for the last few minutes.”
Given the cue, he surged upward, and flipped me onto my back, pinning me with the solid weight of his body.
“You’re going to live to regret this, Sassenach,” he said with a grim satisfaction.
I grinned at him, unrepentant.
He looked down at me, eyes narrowed. “Take my time, was it? You’ll beg for it, before I’ve done wi’ ye.”
I tugged experimentally at my wrists, held tight in his grasp, and wriggled slightly under him with anticipation.
“Ooh, mercy,” I said. “You beast.”
He snorted briefly, and bent his head to the curve of my breast, white as pearl in the dim green water-light.
I closed my eyes and lay back against the pillows.
“Pater noster, qui es in coelis…” I whispered.
We were very late to supper.
—Voyager, Ch. 57