Jamie turned his head to
kiss the spot on the underside of Claire’s jaw that never failed to make her
She settled closer to him,
shifting her legs to be more comfortable in his lap, watching their wee lassies
peacefully dream in the sunshine nearby. They had quickly tired themselves out,
darting after dragonflies and chasing each other in the tall grass just outside
Jamie’s cave. It was pleasantly warm for Beltane – perfect for an impromptu
birthday celebration, complete with bannocks and honey from Mrs. Crook’s
Claire turned her face to
nuzzle her nose with Jamie’s, smiling at the stickiness of his cheeks – the legacy
of honey-smeared kisses from their messy daughters. So thrilled to see their
beloved Da after a four-week separation, he had allowed them to tackle him to
the floor of the cave, giggling the whole time.
“I’m sae happy right now,
Claire,” he breathed into her ear, twining their fingers together atop her
thigh. “I – I *crave* all three of ye. So much.”
They both hated how
necessary it was for him to live apart. Redcoat patrols were still common,
though not as much as in the immediate aftermath of Culloden three years
before. That the Lallybroch had so far been relatively untouched by the
violence and starvation sweeping through the Highlands was due in no small part
to Brian and Ellen’s fortitude, and Claire and Jenny’s frugality, and Ian’s
painstakingly built alliances with the remnants of neighboring clans. Together they
would do – and were doing – everything they could to ensure their beloved
estate would not only survive, but thrive in the years to come.
Jamie so wished to play a
more active role in the running of the estate, taking his rightful place at
Brian’s side. There still was a price on his head – though Brian had been quietly
advancing his son’s cause with any sympathetic English ear he could find. After
all, Jamie was still an outlaw – one of many Jacobite officers who had never
been found following Culloden – and his case was not unique.
But still, they waited for a
resolution. And so, Jamie lived in the cave during warmer months and in the
cellar at the main house during the winter. Which meant that it had been more
than a month since he and Claire had last enjoyed long, lazy hours of
lovemaking, safe beneath the quilt in the Laird’s bedroom.
“We’re here today – right now,
my love,” she whispered against his lips. “We think of you always. Surely you
“I do.” He sighed, kissing
her forehead – then adjusted the flower crown that Faith had woven (with his
help) to sit deeper in Claire’s curls. “So much fuss for my birthday. Mam and
Da never marked the day with anything particular.”
“Well - *we* will. We must
give as much joy to the girls as we can find – God knows there are enough
terrible things in this world to take that joy from them.”
Jamie sighed and dropped a
kiss on Claire’s shoulder. “I canna argue wi’ ye. And I’m verra grateful. Ye have
taken so much of the burden wi’ raising them – ”
“Shh. You know I’m happy to.
It’s no burden – well, when they’re *behaving,* anyway.”
“Mmm. Well then.” He brought
his forehead to hers, and for a long time they just breathed each other in.
Peace, sanctuary, amid so much anguish.
“Now I must think of how I’ll
give ye a proper birthday this year,” he finally murmured, thumb tracing the
outlines of her iron ring. “Fortunately I’ve got more than five months to plan.”
She pulled back – suddenly sporting
a dazzling smile. He raised one eyebrow, questioning.
“It may be a bit difficult,”
she teased, bringing their joined hands to rest on her belly.
He stared at her – blinked –
and whooped, startling a confused Faith and Brianna into wakefulness. But then
he gathered them – and Claire – into his arms, holding them so tightly that
they stopped squirming.
Tears streamed from his eyes
– so blue – as they locked on Claire’s.
It’s my mum’s birthday tomorrow! My mum is such a queen and has brought me up on her own since I was 1! She took me to meet Tyler, and even wore a onesie. She puts up with my fangirling on a day to day basis, and she is so supportive of my page.
So as a big birthday surprise can you guys please help me get this post as many notes as possible, so in the morning my I can show my mum the power of Team Internet as a way of wishing her Happy Birthday? xxxxx
I would love to see Jamie compile a photo album for Claire with photos the children, vacations, birthdays, Christmases, their many houses, their wedding, etc.
Jamie had spent months creating the photo album for her birthday, and now the day had finally arrived.
The wee Fraser’s had helped a small bit, but being so little it hadn’t held their attention for very long.
Jamie awoke with the dawn and carefully got out of bed so as not to wake his wife. He felt as if God himself had lead them to each other, she was everything. He would spend everyday of his life showing her just how much she meant to him, and this was one way he knew how. He couldn’t wait to see her face when she opened it.
It was a Saturday and neither Faith nor Brianna enjoyed being awake so early. However, Jamie knew that having all three of them there when Claire opened their gift, would be well worth it.
“Da, why do we have to up again?” A tired Faith inquired as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes.
“Because, a leannan, it’s yer mam’s birthday. We should all be there to give her our gift, aye?”
Faith gave a wee pout but nodded her head in agreement.
“Go get yer sister up for me?”
With a smile and a pat on the head Faith was off.
“Bree! Wake up it’s mam’s birthday!”
A small thud and a flurry of red and brown curls came out of their bedroom and nearly ran into their Da making breakfast.
“Hush! We don’t want to wake yer mam just yet!” Jamie whispered as he looked both girls in the eyes.
Both heads bobbed in silent agreement and slowly walked to the table and sat as their Da finished making them breakfast.
The girls nearly inhaled their food in anticipation to wish their mam a happy birthday.
Jamie carried the breakfast tray, on it, black coffee in her favorite I love my mom! mug, along with a plate of scrambled eggs and sausage.
With his hands full, Jamie let the eldest of his daughters carry the scrapbook to their bedroom. Brianna, however, did not agree with this decision and the two were fighting on who would carry all the way down the hall.
Both girls sprinted to the bed and jumped on either side of their mam.
No matter how many times Jamie asked them to be quiet, it was of no use.
Hooded amber eyes sparkled in the dim light of the morning, and pink lips curled into a smile as her daughters and husband came into sight.
“Happy birthday, mam!” Both girls shouted simultaneously.
Jamie smiled as he gingerly set the tray on the bedside table and kissing her forehead with a hushed happy birthday in the clouds of her hair.
He sat beside her and gathered Claire into his arms as the girls presented the gift to their mother.
“What’s this?” Claire smiled as she gingerly accepted the square bundle.
“Open it!” Brianna bounced excitedly as Faith watched her mother’s face in anticipation.
A quick glance and a smile to Jamie, she unwrapped the gift her husband had worked so hard on.
To my beloved wife, Claire Elizabeth Fraser, I give you this book of memories of all the years so far, and may we enjoy many more together
“Jamie…” She hadn’t even opened the book yet and already her heart swelled with joy.
“Hush, a nighean. Open it.” He whispered to her and took her right hand in his.
Every moment of her life, from birth, to the present day was there, captured in small photographs.
There was Claire as a wee babe, swaddled in a pink hospital blanket just a few hours after she was born. Underneath the picture was Jamie’s delicate scrawl, noting the date, and every bit of info that was taken at birth.
There were pictures of wee Claire with her mother and father.
Later on with her and her Uncle Lamb.
All through her schooling years.
Her and Jamie’s first date.
Jamie, Claire and Murtaugh in dimly lit bar, giddy with drink.
A clipping out of a newspaper that announced their engagement.
The wedding itself.
The picture Claire took of Jamie when she told him she was pregnant for the first time.
The look of sheer joy on their faces when Faith was finally strong enough to come home.
Their first house.
Claire graduating from her residency.
Faith’s first steps, first words, all of the family portraits.
The picture of the three of them together that announced that Claire was with child again.
Every single joyful moment was in that book, not one forgotten.
Claire couldn’t even stop the tears from spilling over if she tried. “Jamie… I- I don’t know what to say.”
“Ye dinna need to say anything.” He smiled squeezing her hand. “There’s more.”
She let out a small laugh, “How could their possibly be more?” She whispered as she turned the page.
My beloved Claire,
Words cannot begin to describe my love for you and everything you’ve given to me. I knew I loved you the day I laid eyes on you, and never did I think I would be so lucky to call you mine. You’re the most amazing woman i’ve ever met, your strength, your beauty, everything about you mo nighean donn. Never did I think that a woman like you could love a man like me. I love you more each and every day, I thank God every waking moment for giving you to me and our children. They’re the spitting image of you, Claire. My life is perfect because of you. Happy birthday, Sassenach.
By now the tears were flowing freely down her cheeks, she turned to face Jamie and could do nothing but smile.
Taking his face into her hands, she kissed him tenderly for a long while, her tears mingling with the tears he had begun to shed.
“God, I love you.” She whispered before placing her lips on his once more.