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“Open yer mouth.” I ordered with what I thought
might be a commanding voice, holding a spoon in front of her stubbornly closed
lips. “This jelly actually looks delicious. Ye need yer strength.”
“Yuck.” Claire showed me her tongue in
distaste. “Why don’t you eat it,
then? I’ve been eating that yellow blob for the last three weeks!”
“Sometimes it’s red.” I pointed patiently. “I
ken ye’re tired of being here, mo nighean
donn – I have spent enough time in hospitals to last me a lifetime, I assure ye – but ye’re scrawny as a bird fallen
from its nest. They won’t let ye leave unless ye put on some weight.”
“Fine.” She replied in a mordant tone,
clutching the spoon away from me. “But I can feed myself – I’ve been shot, not
taken back in time to when I was two years old.”
“Then stop acting like a wicked bairn.” I
offered her a playful nose scrunch. “How is yer pain?”
“About as good as it was two minutes ago, the
last time you asked.” Claire swallowed a spoonful of the hospital’s dessert,
grimacing. “Are you sure you haven’t been a nurse in a past life? You seem to
like prodding and ordering way too much.”
“I’m sure whatever I was, ye were always the
one in charge, lass.” I kissed her forehead – marvelling with the freshness of
her skin, after so many days of burning fever. On top of her surgery, from
which she was slowly recovering, Claire had developed an infection of her
suture – which finally had started to heal properly, after days of intravenous
antibiotics. Her usually calm and centred temper had suffered with prolonged
seclusion and constant fear of a relapse – and undoubtedly she found my
constant attentions profoundly tiresome, if amusing and heartening.
“How is my favourite patient?” Denzel asked,
entering the room and greeting us with a warm smile. He looked tired, wearing
his crumpled scrubs, his surgical cap slightly hanging from a pocket. “I hear
half of the nurses in the department are handing in their notices, unless I
“Hardly.” Claire smiled, neatly folding a
corner of her sheet after pushing away the lunch tray. She still looked quite
pale, with deep dark smudges under her eyes, but her orbs had regained their
usual sharpness and liveliness. “But I’ll let you get away with it if you let
me leave this damned place.”
“I’ll have to check your dressings.” Denny
squeezed my shoulder in a companion manner, before stepping in to expose her
abdomen, still covered with fluffy white bandages. “Your labs are back though –
your infection parameters are finally down, so you might be in for some good
After some clicking of his tongue – and a heated
debate between the two doctors, from which I only understood about half the strange
words – it was settled that Claire was allowed to leave the next day, as long
as she accepted to come in every two days to check and redress the wound.
“And you have to build up some body again.”
Denzel alerted, ignoring her disarming glances with a professional face. “The
infection took almost all of your muscle. You need to eat a bit more if you
want to heal nicely.”
“Fine!” She conceded, mocking exasperation. “Get
me a cheeseburger, then!”
“Take care, Claire.” Denny winked and brushed
her hair with a kind hand. “I’ll see you tomorrow morning before you leave.”
“Will ye go home, do ye think?” I asked slowly,
as she adjusted her pillow to settle in for the afternoon, after Denzel’s departure.
“Where else would I go?” Claire gave me a
questioning look, softly squeezing my hand.
“Well,” I started, caressing her knuckles with
my thumb. “I was thinking ye could come to my place – just while ye heal.” I
added hurriedly, trying not to sound desperate and possessive. “My mind wouldna
be at ease if ye were alone in her house, almost empty as it is, with no one to
look after ye.”
“If you’re sure.” She raised a brow and smiled.
“I can be quite the handful.”
“I am.” I breathed out, trying to control the
emotions that seemed to ran so close to the surface, exposed and rampant, after
her injury. “Bad things seem to happen when we’re apart. I want ye close to me –
I want to care for ye, mo ghraidh.”
“It’s settled, then.” Claire grabbed by hand
and pulled me in for a rewarding kiss. “You’ll be my private nurse.”
She had protested, assuring me she was quite capable of climbing up the stairs
to my apartment – but I saw the effort everything required of her, even
standing or laughing too hard – and carried her in my arms, only letting go
when I laid her down on my bed.
After helping her change into some comfortable pyjamas,
I contentedly sat by the bedroom window, grading some tests from my students,
while she took a nap. Once in a while I stopped, my eyes drifting to her,
reassuring myself she dreamt within my reach.
I cooked us a simple dinner – roasted chicken
with basil and tomatoes, aromatic and homely – and helped her to lay down
again, determined to find a place in the sofa or on the floor, where I could
sleep close to her without disturbing her.
“Will you sleep next to me?” She asked softly,
her brown curls and hawk eyes almost the only visible thing inside the cocoon
of quilts I had made around her. “I’d sleep better with you beside me.”
“Aye.” I replied in a husky voice, easing
myself under the covers next to her with gentleness, trying not to disturb her
with my movements – the idea of causing her any pain made my stomach churn.
I placed an arm around her, reassuring her of
my presence – mindful not to put too much pressure over her or to touch her
scar. For a time we laid silent, aware of each other’s presence, discovering
the intimacy of a bed shared in darkness.
We had been so once before – but at that time
she had been devastated, wrecked like a ship after an unforgiving storm, and I
had offered her security, a presence of someone who loved her without any
demands. I remembered how I had stayed awake, memorizing her until I could
recreate her in my heart - believing I’d never see her again, much less hold
her in my arms. I wondered if she too recalled that night, when I had offered
her the knowledge of my feelings, in the hope that she could use them to heal –
and she had.
she wasn’t sleeping – I’d spent every day and night for the last weeks watching
her sleep, until I knew the cadence of her breathing, the comes and goings of
her dreams, like a second nature of my own.
She trashed about a little, fidgeting with
bedclothes and adjusting her body on the mattress – always laying on her left
side, wishing to avoid the tenderness of her upper right quadrant – slowly searching
for the contact of my body behind hers, sheltering her like a cloak, two halves
finally falling into place.
I waited for her to speak, painfully aware of
the desires of my body, feeling her soft arse wedged between my thighs – yet completely
restrained by the will of the woman who ruled me.
A hand came up in the darkness and she placed
it gently on my hip.
“I want you.” Claire whispered, almost sobbing.
“I need you, Jamie.”
“Are ye sure?” I asked in a husky voice, my fingertips
brushing her face, tracing her lips to find truth in her words in the absence
of sight. “I dinna want to hurt ye. I’d die if I hurt ye, mo nighean donn.”
“You could never hurt me.” She replied softly,
caressing the length of my thigh. “I can’t breathe while we’re apart. I must
have you – please, Jamie.”
I didn’t try to dissuade her again, even afraid
as I was that it was too soon, too hazardous. I knew all too well the hunger
that moved her towards me, starved for life when death had come so close, when
it seemed that each moment could be the last. We had lost and found each other
in the past, time and again – it seemed that while we were one flesh, one body, parting us would be
impossible. While we were in each other, life – and death – was an
afterthought, a remote threat, to which we were immune while moving as one.
I moved impossibly slowly, wishing to give her
enough space to retrocede at any time, baring us of as many clothes as possible.
I kissed the back of her neck, delighted in the small shivers of her skin next
to mine, the testament of her arousal in her hardened nipples. I caressed her
body with a worshiping hand, taking time at each new discovery that made her
moan and hiss in pleasure.
When I thought her ready – desperately pressing
herself against me while clawing at my hair – I held her thigh with a light
hand and raised her, slightly folding my legs, so I could enter her. I rocked
calmly with her body nestled against mine, letting her command the pace while I
carried all the weight of her movements.
“I love you”. She whispered – moaned - tilting her head to kiss my
lips. “Jamie.” I felt the moistness
of her cheeks mixed with mine, tears of a joy long forsaken, exploding between
us with enough force to leave us gasping, deeply moved.
It didn’t take long – I knew she was still
weak, stubborn and lustful as she might have been. When I felt her tire in my
arms, my hand came around her hips to delicately touch her in time with our
movements, smiling as she cried out my name.
Afterwards, I held her against me, my hand
brushing the dressing on her belly to make sure everything was in place –
feeling the comforting thump of our hearts beating together, close enough to be
inside the same chest.
“I was right.” She murmured on the verge of
sleep, surrendering to my keeping once more. “Nothing hurts when you love me.”
Character A is a member of royalty that was just unsuccessfully assassinated, again. Waking up in the hospital, Character A is informed that they almost died, and for their own safety, the public has been informed that Character A is dead. Now living under a new identity, Character A is being moved away from their life of royalty and into the mundane life of a regular person.
Summary - David Nolan is out to protect his family, in any way that he can. He enlists the help of Emma Swan and Killian Jones to help uncover the crime boss currently living in his sleepy town of Storybrooke, ME. Two stubborn and damaged souls now have to come together as partners to solve a murder and maybe even save each other in the process.
(image credit goes to the amazing @lala-mora (please don’t repost or copy; give credit where credit is due)
This chapter is dedicated to @optomisticgirl and her amazing support as I struggled to write this beast. She helped with a tricky plot point. I hope I did it justice and THANK YOU!
Chapter Twenty Two - David Nolan
David squints into the distance as he trundles down the road to Graham’s cottage - well, his and Mary Margaret’s cottage now - carefully maneuvering his borrowed truck through the snow. He hunches over the steering wheel, leaning forward to swipe at the frosty buildup on the glass, but nothing happens. Grumbling about the inadequate defroster, he brings his gloved hand to his mouth. Biting down on the tip of one of the fingers, he frees his hand and goes back to scratching at the frost with his fingernails. Removing enough of the ice to see through, he shoves his hand back into the glove then hunches over the steering wheel again, holding it in a death grip.
He can barely see, the latticed branches of the trees above him keeping out much of the predawn light. The truck’s headlights pick up the drifting snow and winter shadow a few feet in front of him, but beyond that is a hazy void. He’s anxious to retrieve Emma and get to the station where Edward Teach is waiting for them, but he forces himself to go slow, knowing that one wrong move could end with him crashed into a tree. The town’s plow trucks are serious business and it’s only because he’d grown up on a farm that he feels confidant driving this beast in the first place.
Erwin had dragged Levi to his suit fitting. They were in Oxford Circus anyway “It won’t take long” Erwin assured. Levi hated, hated! Saville Row. It was too posh and stuffy filled with the rich bastards who had so much money they could buy whatever they want. Levi curses at himself because, well, he and Erwin are those people now. He remembers when he was little his mum saved up money for months in order to buy him new school shoes. Most of his clothes were from charity shops, so getting brand new shoes was amazing. But now, he sits with his Louis vuitton and tom ford shopping bags not even thinking about the money.