I continued staring at him, dumbstruck. Whatever I had been expecting,
it wasn’t this. Seeing my openmouthed expression, he continued lightly.
“When I asked my da how ye knew which was the right woman, he told me
when the time came, I’d have no doubt. And I didn’t. When I woke in the
dark under that tree on the road to Leoch, with you sitting on my chest,
cursing me for bleeding to death, I said to myself, ‘Jamie Fraser, for
all ye canna see what she looks like, and for all she weighs as much as a
good draft horse, this is the woman’”
I started toward him, and
he backed away, talking rapidly. “I said to myself, 'She’s mended ye
twice in as many hours, me lad; life amongst the MacKenzies being what
it is, it might be as well to wed a woman as can stanch a wound and set
broken bones.’ And I said to myself, 'Jamie, lad, if her touch feels so
bonny on your collarbone, imagine what it might feel like lower
He dodged around a chair. “Of course, I thought it
might ha’ just been the effects of spending four months in a monastery,
without benefit of female companionship, but then that ride through the
he paused to sigh theatrically, neatly evading my grab
at his sleeve
“with that lovely broad arse wedged between my
he ducked a blow aimed at his left ear and sidestepped, getting
a low table between us
“and that rock-solid head thumping me in the
― a small metal ornament bounced off his own head and went
clanging to the floor
― “I said to myself…”
He was laughing so
hard at this point that he had to gasp for breath between phrases.
“Jamie…I said…for all she’s a Sassenach bitch…with a tongue like
an adder’s …with a bum like that…what does it matter if she’s a
f-face like a sh-sh-eep?”
I tripped him neatly and landed on his stomach with both knees as he hit the floor with a crash that shook the house.
“You mean to tell me that you married me out of love?” I demanded. He raised his eyebrows, struggling to draw in breath.