“I have seen her. Walking across the courtyard from her first class this morning, her expression thoughtful, her book bag casually thrown over her shoulder. I had seen photographs, of course; I knew she wore clunky glasses and her hair in a youthful dreadlock style, that her clothes would be dynamic and colorful. I knew she would be 1.63 meters tall, that she would weigh 50kg, that she was coming away from a neurobiology class; I knew what to expect…But I was not prepared for her insouciant manner, the way she squinted and smiled up at the gathering rainclouds, aware of the gray weather in a way that the other students missed, immersed in their phones or conversations. I did not think she would kick at a pile of leaves. She walks loosely, comfortable in her skin, her face as open and expressive as Ms Hendrix’s is closed.” - from the diary of Dr. Delphine Cormier.
“As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.” ~Ben Hogan
Happy birthday, Sam @pixandum!! I wish you a golf course surrounded by forests, waterfalls and a beautiful river!! Also, lots of love, peace and joy, today and always, my friend!! (Yes, this is in Idaho, only a couple of hours away! ;)) *HUGS* ~Angie ♡♡
Notes: Hey guys, another cast crossover for you! I recently watched Riverdale and my crush on Cole came back in full force, yeah, he was my first crush ever when i was only 8 years old. So i decided to write this, i hope you like it!
Summary: The reader is feeling a bit sad from having her boyfriend and her dad away.
‘Hey bae, I won’t be able to go to your house this weekend. It’s Camila’s birthday….’
You read your boyfriend’s message with a sigh. You wouldn’t be able to see each other. Again. You were so tired of all of this, you missed him, you missed your dad, you missed your friends and you had to be alone just because of their stupid career. Okay, maybe you were overreacting, but you were angry! It Was hard to live surrounded by actors and famous people, when you just wanted to be a photographer with a normal life.
"(Y/N)! The pizza is here!“ You heard your mom screaming from the kitchen in the first floor of the house and you rolled your eyes.
"Coming!” You shouted back, leaving your phone behind, you really weren’t in the mood to talk to Cole right now. You got out of the stairs seeing your little brothers running around with dinosaurs toys in their hands.
"(Y/N)! (Y/N)! Come play with us!“ Tom, the middle child, cried stopping in front of you and you bend down to be on his level.
"Maybe later okay? I will help mommy with the table.” You said and he slowly nodded. “Now give me a kiss.” You demanded and he denied making you push him and place a wet kiss on his cheek.
"Eww, gross.“ Tom said running the back of his hand over the place you’d kissed before running back to Shep to continue the game. Kids.
"Hey darling, when is Cole arriving?” Your mom, who was worth mentioning was Genevieve Padalecki, said when you entered the kitchen, stopping doing what she was doing to listen to your answer.
"He is not coming mom.“ You said twisting your lip, putting two colorful plates to your brothers in front of the places they usually sat.
"What! Why?” She asked surprised and you just shrugged. This situation was starting to get usual, unfortunately. “Oh (Y/N)… God knows how much I know what you’re going through.” Your mom said and you knew exactly what she was talking about.
Genevieve Padalecki was married to your father, Jared Padalecki, the great Sam Winchester from Supernatural. They had you accidentally in the beginning of their relationship and when you were 14, Tom was born and a year after this, they had Shep. When it was just you, both of them could work out having a child and continuing their career as actors, but after your brothers, things started to get harder; so hard that your mother had to stop working in order to take care of you. Supernatural was shot in Vancouver so your father had to travel a lot, and for you, it seemed like he was never home. Jared stood his family up numerous times because of a convention, last minute interviews or something unexpected in the set. You understood and you knew it wasn’t his fault but…. It didn’t make it less painful.
You started to date Cole Sprouse, the famous twin from Suit Life of Zack and Cody, a relatively old Disney series. You two met when you went to New York to do a photograph course. You recognized him from the television and he recognized your last name, but this never interfered in your relationship or in the way you saw each other. And although your relationship with him was everything you ever dreamed of, he was an actor too and at this moment he was working on a new series, Riverdale. Surprisingly, Cole’s series were filmed in Vancouver too, the same place Supernatural was. He and you father could see each other more often than you could see them both. Wonderful. It fucking hurt. You were tired of the people you loved living away, you were tired of the people you loved standing you up, so fucking tired.
"I… I don’t really want to talk about it now.“ You said softly to your mom and she gave you a sympathetic look, kissing your temple.
"Whenever you’re ready honey… do you want to eat in your room?” Genevieve asked and you nodded. She put a slice of pizza in a plate and gave it to you, who quietly took it with a 'thank you’. She really was the best mom in the world.
Entering your room you saw your phone lighting up in your bed with messages of Cole.
'I would ask you to come, but you said you were so busy with your college things.'
The first message after you ignored his text about not being able to see you this weekend. Yes, he may be 24 years old, but you were only 19 and still in photography college.
'Hey don’t be mad at me.’
’(Y/N), talk to me, please, I’m starting to get worried. I thought you would understand, she is one of my best friends.'
You and Camila, the one who played Veronica in Riverdale, actually were really good friends, but she was a really good friend of Cole too, and she was a sweetheart but…
You were interrupted by your thoughts when your phone rang in your hands, scaring you a little. The name Cole was shinning in the screen.
"Hey" You answered with a sigh, you were still mad, but he didn’t deserve to be ignored.
"Hey babe.“ Cole started. "Is everything okay? You ignored my texts.” He stated in a worried voice.
"Hm… Yeah.“ You lied. "I was having dinner, sorry."
”(Y/N) I know when you’re lying to me.“ He said firmly. Cole, just like his twin brother, Dylan, was a clown 24 hours a day, he was the most funny guy in the world and there were only two things that got him in a serious mode. Photography and you.
"I’m…” You said trying to keep up with your lie that everything was okay but you knew that he wouldn’t believe you. “I’m not okay."
"You want to tell me why?” He said sounding calm, but the truth was he was preoccupied with you.
"I miss you, I miss dad….“ You admitted falling on your back in you bed. "It has been a while since we saw each other and now you’re not coming anymore."
"I miss you too princess.” Cole said. “But… We will be together soon. I promise."
"Hmm…” You said not really buying it, always the same empty promises, you were used to it. “I have to go, still got some pictures to print for my essay.”
"Dark times.“ He said referring to when he was still in college making you laugh a little. "Good luck. I love you”
"Thanks.“ You said with a tired sigh. "I love you too.” And with that, you hung off the phone and started to eat and do your job.
At the end of the night, you were so tired that you didn’t even had time to think about how much you missed the men in your life before you fell asleep.
What the fuck.
This was your first thought when you woke up with a big heavy something jumping on top of you.
"Dad!“ You cried when you realized who it was messing with you, he started to tickle you. "Dad stop!” You cried again laughing and trying to push him. You started a little war when he finally stopped because you both were laughing so much. You may be 19 years old, but you sure acted like a child sometimes.
"Okay, okay, I give up!“ Jared said laughing, laying down again in your bed when sat and looked at him.
"Why didn’t you tell me you were going to come?” You said with a smile and he smiled too, pulling you to his chest.
"It was a surprise!“ He said caressing your back with his hand. "I was actually going to arrive later but a little bird told me that… You’re a little sad.” He carefully said, afraid that you would immediately shut him down, but you sighed. “You want to tell me what’s bothering you?"
"It’s just the distance… You and Cole filming away, I don’t know what happened but it got me a bit down these days.” You admitted to your dad, you always had a really open relationship with your parents.
"I’m sorry sweetheart.“ Jared said feeling guilt wash all over his body.
"It isn’t your fault dad” You said with a sad smile looking up at him but before you could say anything else, your bedroom door opened and Tom and Shep entered running and jumped in your bed.
"Heey buddies.“ Jared said laughing trying to hold them so they wouldn’t fall.
"Tom!” You said laughing too when he stepped on your belo.
"Mommy said lunch was ready!“ Shep said after you all calmed down a little.
"Wait, lunch?” You asked confused.
"What time do you think it is, young lady?“ Your father said getting up from your bed with Shep on his shoulders, making the little one laugh.
"It’s almost one in the afternoon, c'mon.”
You got up with Tom on your back because he insisted to, otherwise you wouldn’t have carried him, he was starting to get too big, grabbed your phone and followed your dad.
"Hey you all, morning sleeping beauty.“ Genevieve said kissing you cheek, when you all got to the table in the yard that you usually had lunch. She gave Jared a chaste kiss and like it was tradition, you and your brothers made sick noises, making your parents roll their eyes.
"Something wrong in there?” Gen asked when she saw you looking with a strange face to your phone, there were a few missed calls from Cole.
"Uhm, it’s Cole, excuse me.“ You said getting out of the table going inside of the house to call him. It ringed a few times before he answered.
”(Y/N), finally!“ He said like he was relieved.
"Hey, I just woke up.” You explained. “My dad got here this morning! I wasn’t expecting him at all and….” Suddenly something clicked in your head making you frown.
“Wait… Did you know?”
"Yep.“ Cole answered laughing, of course he knew. "Feeling better now?” He asked referring to the way you were yesterday and you rolled your eyes trying to hide a little smile.
"Yeah I’m feeling better.“ You said. "Still missing you though.” You said hearing the doorbell of your house.
"It must be uncle Jensen (Y/N)! Can you open it?“ Jared shouted from the yard and you nodded.
"Me too, the people around here miss you, you know?” Cole said and you smiled thinking about their co-workers, they were a family even with just one season in their backs, it was beautiful.
"Give me a minute.“ You said to Cole in the phone and went to the door, opened it expecting to see Jensen, Danneel, JJ and the twins, their children, but instead it was…
"Cole!” You cried when you finally realized who was in front of you. You jumped in his arms still not really believing it, and he dropped his bag on the floor, wrapping his arms strongly around you and letting a relieved sigh escape from his lips.
“I missed you. So fucking much.” He said in your ear still hugging you.
"Oh my god… You’re really here.“ You said smiling touching his face and he laughed nodding.
"I am full of surprises.” He said with a smart smile making fun pushing your neck with his hand to kiss you, but you were interrupted when someone cleared it throat behind you.
"Hey there love birds.“ Jared said with a small smile leaning in the door looking at you two.
"Hey Jared.” Cole said with a smile and you took one second to realize. Your dad wasn’t surprised to see Cole in his door when it was supposed to be Jensen, his best friend, that only could mean that….
"You two planned this!“ You said surprised and they looked at each other and laughed like they were saying 'mission accomplished’.
"It took you long enough, (Y/N)” Jared said opening space for you and Cole to enter the house.
"Shut up dad.“ You said rolling your eyes feeling Cole’s arm in your shoulder.
"We will go upstairs to put Cole’s luggage in my room."
"In the guest room.” Your dad corrected.
"Yeah sure.“ You answered ironically, your father wasn’t exactly the jealous type or the overprotective type. Sometimes he tried to be, but he would give up minutes after. Because you always had an open relationship with him and Gen, they trusted you 100% and they understood what it was like to be your age. Your uncle Jensen was more overprotective with you than your own father.
You closed your bedroom door behind you and smiled at your boyfriend who dropped his bag beside your bed.
"I still can’t believe you’re here.” You said and Cole smiled pressing your body against the wall with his own, he put his hands in both sides of your face, caressing your cheek with his thumb.
"I love you.“ He said giving you a chaste kiss. "So…” He continued starting to kiss your jaw making you shiver. “Fucking.” Another kiss. “Much.” He finished sucking at your pulse and you let a soft moan escape from your mouth.
"Wait.“ You said and he stopped kissing your neck to look into your eyes, you took advantage of the moment to put your hand on his brunette hair. "What about Cam’s birthday? You…"
"It just next week, I needed a excuse to let you think that I wasn’t coming.” He explained with a smart smile and you rolled your eyes not being able to hide the small smile on your lips.
"I hate you, you know that?“ You said messing with him because he left you suffering thinking you wouldn’t see him for another couple of weeks.
"Hm, no, you don’t.” He said finally kissing you in the lips, deepening the kiss and firmly evolving your waist with his arms.
"(Y/N)! Cole! Lunch!“ You heard your father yelling from the yard making you and Cole laugh at interruption.
"We’ll continue this later, bae.” He said giving you one last chaste kiss and holding your hand, you got down the stairs.
"Hey Gen.“ Cole said hugging your mom, all of your family loved Cole, he was just as funny as Jared and a gentleman with everyone. Even with some wrong habits of him, like smoking, they were all supportive of your relationship.
"Cole!” Tom and Shep screamed when they saw the brunette, running and jumping in his lap.
"Hey buddies, I missed you guys.“ Cole said and he started talking and messing with them.
"Liked the surprise?” Your father asked putting his hands on your shoulders and you put yours in his. “It was my idea”
"I loved it.“ You said honestly looking at the scene. "I… Was needing this.”
"I know.“ Jared simply said, one day he was talking to his wife and Gen mentioned that you were stressed with college, and she noticed that you were feeling a little bit sad. Jared immediately knew what to do. After all, you were a daddy’s girl. Even though he was in the middle of filming of the next season of Supernatural, family was his priority. Always. He was afraid that some of his kids would develop depression, it was a hereditary disease and he would never forgive himself it that happened, he didn’t want any of the three to feel what he felt one day, so he would do anything in his power to avoid this.
"Okay, let’s eat.” Your mother said. You were telling the truth when you said you were needing that, your family reunited and Cole by your side. You were together for six months now but it felt like it was a lot more, in the second you saw him in that class of photography in New York, you knew he was the one, as cliche as it seemed. Your whole life was a little bit cliche, after all.
The lunch took all the afternoon, with lots of jokes, stories, laughs and teases, apparently your parents thought it was funny to make sick noises when you and Cole kissed, because you and your brothers did it all the time with them.
"Finally alone.“ Cole said falling on your bed, putting his tongue out like he was tired and you smiled laying next to him. Your parents and your brothers went to Jensen’s to say hi and you and Cole decided to come back to your room.
"So you planned all of this with my dad?” You asked staring at his freckles.
"Yeah, he called me and asked if we could go out some day and I started to freak out because nothing good could come out of a serious talk with my girl’s dad.“ He explained making you laugh. "But I went and he said he wanted to do something special for you and here we are.”
"Come on! My dad is a teddy bear, why would you ever be afraid of someone like him?“ You cried and Cole drew an ironic sigh.
"Yeah, a teddy bear that is twice my size and kills people on TV.” Cole said. “And I’m tall!” He exclaimed and you laughed more. “Oh do you think that’s funny hun? I will show you what’s funny.” He said climbing on top of you starting to tickle you and breathe on your neck, he knew that your neck was your soft spot.
"Cole stop!“ You said almost without air from laughing.
"Say 'Cole is the best badass boyfriend in the whole world’ and I will stop”
"Co-Cole is the best girly boyfriend in the world.“ You said messing with him and he tickled you harder.
"You’re gonna pay for this, (Y/N) Padalecki.” He warned, after some seconds he finally stopped but didn’t change his position. “God I missed this.” He breathed out looking at you with heart eyes.
"Just kiss me already.“ You said and he rolled his eyes.
"Miss 'I know how to break the vibe’” Cole said joking and you pulled him by the neck and pressed your lips to his.
"Yep, this is better.“ You said breaking the kiss and now it was his turn to be impatient.
"Shut up and let me kiss you, woman.” Cole said and you two continued the make out session. And let me just say, it went on for a few hours…
Can I have an imagine where the reader has toured with Ethan and Grayson for a while and all the fans know her as part of the crew. But in recent videos and and photos fans spot Grayson staring at y/n and becoming really close and they all start talking about it which makes Grayson talk about the crush he’s developed on y/n and then telling her.
HOPE YOU LIKE IT! XX Sorry it’s up so late ):
The screams of thousands of fans filled your ears as you stood in front of tje large crowd. You held your camera up to your eye as the boys stood next to the silver ball and DJ Khalid.
The job as their photographer was was fairly easy due to how photogenic they both were. The hard part was when you found a good shot of them but they decide to move before you even take the picture. It’s a guessing game with these two. Are they going to move before you take the picture or will you actually get the shot? You never know the outcome but you have a lot of funny pictures you sometimes send them as memes. That of course sometimes annoys them but you love it.
You’ve known the boys for ages now, probably around seven years. The three of you met in Jersey when you had just first moved in into the neighborhood. The two boys and Cameron walked over to the house to greet you when you were about to leave to walk your dog. Grayson started sneezing non-stop as he stood near the dog. When you asked him if he was okay he just awkwardly laughed and said yes. His sister then went on to explain to you that he was highly allergic to dogs which is the reason as to why they can only have pet birds in the house.
The four of you hit it off from the start but you would always have a stronger bond with the boys considering how close in age you were to the two of them. You three would do everything together and when they started embarking on social media you were there to support them every step of the way. They would ask you to help them film or to take a picture of them. That was when you spark in photography started. When the boys asked you to be their official photographer you of course said yes.
Now here the three of you where in NYC Times Square at the relaunch of TRL. Both the boys were host of the show and you were doing what you love most; photography.
You snapped pictures of the happy smiles both the boys had as the ball officially dropped. Ethan and Grayson counted down loudly with the timer and the moment it hit zero they started clapping along with the crowd. You took pictures of every moment and loved how happy they looked on camera and off. Their happiness radiated off of them and that made you happy.
The boys finished their surprise appearance and the three of you were escorted back into the building. The building halls were quiet as everyone was outside or in the opposite side of where you were. You could still hear the screaming fans and the DJ playing music. The boys were walking in-front of you while talking to their manager. You trailed behind them inspecting the large building that you would be going back and forth in for a while.
“Hey Y/N, can you take a picture of us in this hanging chair thing?” Ethan asked while pointing at the wall with three round clear plastic chairs that were hanging up in the air.
“Yeah, of course.” You smiled while walking over and standing in front of them. The boys dashed to sit in the chair. Ethan beat Grayson, who pouted knowing he would have to sit on the floor.
“Gray can you please put your hands over his legs. You look awkward when your arms under them,” you laughed softly at the boys position.
“Like this?” Gray asked as he did as told.
“Yes, perfect,” you mumbled while closing an eye and looking out through your camera lens. Snapping three pictures of the boys in different poses you lowered the camera and inspected the pictures.
“Can I see?” Grayson asked causing you to look up. You face felt really hot as you noticed how close he was too you.
Nodding your head you gave him your camera and took a step back from him. Ethan stared at the two of you for a second wondering why you got to flustered over Grayson standing close to you. It wasn’t the first time he’s seen that happen. Shrugging it off Ethan walked over to the three of you and looked down at the picture Grayson was inspecting.
“These are so good Y/N. I’m so happy we got you to be our photographer before someone else came in and took you away from us,” Ethan complimented you making you smile.
“Aww thanks E,” you giggled feeling happy that the boys appreciated your work.
“Yeah these are really good,” Grayson smiled while handing the camera back to you.
“Thanks Gray,” you smiled while taking the camera from his hands. Your fingers grazed gently against his making your entire body fill with goosebumps and your face to heat up into a crimson shade.
You turned around and started walking out towards the exit door not wanting for either of the boys to notice your blushing face. As you did so the boys walked a few feet behind you whispering to one another.
“Do you like her?” Grayson asked his twin brother with a sense of urgency.
“Yeah, she’s a really good friend.” Ethan responded not getting as to why Grayson was suddenly asking him this.
“No as in do you like her as more than a friend?” Grayson asked with a raised eyebrow as his face grew a pink from how irritated he was growing with his brother.
“What no! I wouldn’t do that to you bro. You’ve liked her since we were ten. I mean yeah at some point I had a thing for her but not anymore.” Ethan shrugged. Grayson took a quick glance at you hoping that you couldn’t hear them whispering behind your back.
You were too busy trying to close your camera bag to listen in on the two boys whispering to one another behind you. In all honestly you have learned to not listen in to their conversations since you two were 10 after the boobs incident.
“Hey Y/N, are you going back to Jersey with us?” Grayson asked as the two boys walked closer to you.
“Yeah, I have my cousin’s wedding to attend remember? I’m one of her many bridesmaids and you two promised to go with me.” You answered while looking back at the boys with a raised eyebrow hoping that they didn’t back out.
“Oh yeah, don’t worry we will still be gracing the wedding with our amazing presence,” Ethan smiled making you laugh.
“Oh I’m sure they will,” you smiled.
The conversation was cut short as the loud screams of the fans filled your ears. Turning around you looked out the glass doors and saw fans circling the entire sidewalk. Thankfully they were being held back by metal barricades and security were standing on every corner possible. Despite going on tour with the boys and always being surrounded by a group of fans when you were with them. You weren’t used to the large crowds. One time as you walked by a girl tried to rip your camera off your shoulder. That resulted in your have a large bruise going across your chest and shoulder.
Grayson came over and had to rip the girl off of your bag because she was so keen on getting the pictures on the camera. Since that day the boys grew more protective on you when you walked out in large crowds. The boys would either make you stand in the middle of them or they would take you to the car and come back to meet the fans who waited for them.
“Here let me,” Grayson mumbled while walking in front of you and holding the door open for you to walk through. Thanking him you walked outside and let the cool New York air fan you body.
Almost six months ago, I learned that you survived Culloden.
You made history, my darling! Q.E.D.
As many nights as I’ve lain awake in those months cursing myself for not having looked sooner, I know I shall thank God every day of my life for the series of events that led me at last to the right pages, to you. When I fully realized what it meant— that you had been spared the death you faced so bravely that April morning, the death that has haunted my thoughts and my nightmares for so long— It was like a wound, the oldest and deepest scar ripped back open, inch by inch. I was completely laid bare from it, from the storm of emotions warring within me: such joy, such anguish for the lost time (how many more years could we have had, Jamie, had I looked?), such fear—and then joy again, because the years of grief could now be ended, and *against all reason!* I could see you again.
Likewise will I thank God every day for the small voice in my head that nudged me at the very last moment to go first to Lallybroch, rather than to your shop in Edinburgh. Please thank Jenny for me. She explained everything.
It is for the best, that it happened this way; easier, I think, for all concerned. Perversely, despite the shock, I find myself smiling in this moment: for we promised there would be no lies between us, remember? It is a promise I make to you again, today. You can know, then, with absolute certainty, that it can be no lie when I tell you that I am glad— glad and on-my-knees grateful to Heaven—that you have found true happiness.
After all the pain and the loss, the war and the hunger and the suffering you’ve endured, to know that you have a wife with whom you’ve found something new and wonderful; that you have had the joy of holding your own children in your arms, to have seen them be born and grow? It is a balm, Jamie, a comfort to know that despite all the cruelty fate has dealt you—dealt us— you have been blessed with such great and abundant joy. Never would I wish anything less for you, just as I know you would not for me.
It is my deepest prayer that as you read these words, you will know the truth of them, will be able to feel my heart through the page, and KNOW that from its very depths, I wish you every happiness with your wife and your daughters.
And yet I couldn’t leave, couldn’t go back from whence I came, without telling you about another little girl, who was born the 23rd of November the year of Culloden.
I hope the contents of the brown packet, here enclosed, tell you more than any words could about your daughter—our daughter—Brianna Ellen.
Jamie was shaking—no, he was
Every breath wrenched through him, agonizing, and the tears were falling, blurring his vision. He had to sit back on his haunches to keep them from dropping onto the page and blurring her precious words.
His hands were quaking with
Jesus, GOD in
He COULD NOT think
Thoughts, words, they were—
They failed him, simply abandoned him as he shook on the study rug. Only his body seemed to know the way, for he was snatching for the parcel, tearing at the string binding the paper. There was an oily, unidentifiable wrapping within, then a layer of soft flannel, and then
The sound that escaped him—He didn’t even know there existed such a sound within him. It was terrible and beautiful at once, and though it was in no language, what he felt, his lips over and over formed a word, the only word he could muster: “No….NO….”
For as though a great knife had cut through those terrible, looming stones on the accursed hill, Jamie held his infant daughter, newly-born, sleeping there in the palms of his hands. The portrait—picture?—painting?—was all in shades of grey, and yet somehow lifelike as a true bairn in miniature before him, like peering through a spyglass straight into that distant life.
He had not a single thought to spare for how, or by what means…
He could only trace the bitty wee fists curled on the blanket, the sweet wisps of hair on the tiny skull.
“Oh, mo chridhe…”
He couldn’t look away, could not even blink, though tears were coursing downward.
God, the child —this very child —
—delivered safely into the world and into the arms of her mother—her mother.…
The babe had lived—LIVED.
The pad of his thumb caught slightly as he caressed her cheek, and the portrait slid upward just enough to reveal — “Ohh…Jesus…”
She was grown to a toddling child, eating a cake that was smeared all about her face. And damn him if he didn’t LAUGH amidst the weeping to see just how pleased with herself she looked for it, a cuddly toy raised in triumph like a sword, four wee teeth visible as she giggled out a victory cry.
There she was again, older, standing in a great snowfall, naught but wee cheeks and grinning eyes visible under the great padded suit she wore against the cold.
Older, still. Three? Four? Sitting proper-like in a pretty frock with her hair combed smooth.
Such a sweet face—
Older, still, standing with a wee box in her hand beside a giant something with wheels, proud and eager, eyes bright.
And then he was gasping as the spyglass world ignited into blazing, brilliant colors. He saw his daughter’s hair, red and victorious and shining against the black coat of the huge dog she hugged tight; saw the pink flush of her cheeks, spread down her neck as it always did his, when he was happy and exuberant.
On and on flashed the paintings, these captured momentsof his daughter’s life.
Going fishing and doing a damn fine job of it.
Playing uproariously in the sea-surf, splashing and laughing with complete abandon.
Absolutely lovely as as she grew out of girlhood, and God, how vividly he could see Claire in her, as she did—in the lines of her, the way she held her mouth, tilted her head—that broad, clear brow that begged to be kissed, reverently—
Laughing, carefree, safe.
Braw and strong as she chopped wood. Good lass!
Gazing softly out a window, seeming not even to notice her image being captured.
until he was gasping and looking at the last portrait, of an achingly beautiful young woman sitting on a rock before a fire, making camp for the night, perhaps. Her face was cast in the same golds and red as her hair; the dreams of her heart seeming to dance across her eyes—as they always did her mother’s. His daughter…grown.
The paintings were strewn all around him on the carpet, a tableau of her; her life. On his knees he bowed over them, overwhelmed and shuddering with great sobs as he looked, and looked, and looked.
She would be—
…..she was well.
The child HAD been safe.
It hadn’t been for naught.
He fell, then, and sheltered her like a cloak, keeping his child, his daughter, safe and shielded from the world for just one moment; safe…his….
It was only sudden, ripping, screaming panic that yanked him out of the quiet calm, searching wildly, fumbling with desperate hands—
But relief tore from his throat just as suddenly as he found a second page:
Not everything can be captured in a photograph, of course (that’s what they’re called. Did I ever tell you about them?), and there’s so much I long to tell you about this wonderful person.
Will you believe she’s been taller than me since the age of thirteen? She carries it like a queen, though, like I imagine your mother did. She doesn’t slouch or try to hide. Not Bree.
Oh, yes: most people call her Bree, for short.
She bites her nails, when she’s thinking hard. I don’t even think she notices when she’s doing it.
She’s absolutely brilliant, Jamie, studying at one of the top universities in the world to be a historian. You would be so very proud of her.
She’s not perfect, of course. Perhaps her biggest flaw as half-Scottish is that she HATES whisky, haha. I’ll do my best to win her over, though, don’t you worry.
She’s a spectacular artist, another way in which she takes after her grandmother. She captures you, completely.
That statement, actually, is true in more ways than one. Our Brianna is captivating, in every way.
She’s an absolute wonder with maths and figures
—as natural to her as breathing, it seems, just like they are for you.
She smiles in her sleep, just like her father.
She’s so like you, Jamie, it breaks my heart.
After Frank died—But Lord, I haven’t said anything of him.
It was two years ago. He had a good, full life, and he loved Bree more than anything in the world. He could have been cruel, could have taken out his anger upon the child, the very breathing manifestation of the ways in which I’d betrayed him—but he didn’t. From the moment he first held her, Frank loved her as his own, and while things between he and I were tenuous, to say the least, I will always love him for the father he was to her, for the sacrifices he made for her. I hope that is a comfort to you, and not a blow.
After he was gone, after giving her time to grieve, it felt important that Bree should know about you, about the stones. It took—well, it frankly took a bloody lot of luck and a jolly good miracle to get her to believe, *but she does.* She loved Frank with all her heart, but she knows now that Jamie Fraser was her father. IS her father.
You should know that she was instrumental in finding you. She persisted when I would have faltered under the doubts and the fears. As ecstatic and overjoyed as I was at the news that you were alive, I was so afraid Jamie, for you, for me, for Bree.
Even though I know she, too, was plagued with fears, she remained strong; and she kept ME strong. Even at the very stones, when I was so wracked with guilt over leaving her forever that I would have stayed, for her sake, she was there to strengthen me, to tell me not to look back. She said that she was giving me back to you, and that if I didn’t go, *she* would. ‘Someone has to find him and tell him I was born,’ she said, and she meant it.
THAT is the kind of person your daughter is growing to be, Jamie: determined, and brilliant, and selfless for the sake of those she loves; *and that includes you.* She asked me to give you a kiss, just from her. I’ve left it here, on the page, for you to keep, always.
Brianna has been the greatest joy of my life since we parted, a joy that would have been richer only if I had been granted the grace to raise her with you at my side. Thank you for her. THANK YOU for making me go on, for her sake. Despite everything, it has been a good life. Even in those long years of grief, I had the joy of seeing you every day, of seeing your spirit, there in the child of our love. And I’m so very grateful.
I’ll keep telling her about you. There wasn’t enough time, before I left. She’ll be able hear everything, now. I promise.
Jamie shook his head hard, fast, feeling for a third page that wasn’t there. “No…”
Be happy, Jamie Fraser, and LIVE.
“No,” he moaned. his eyes clinging to the fleeting words, even as he begged them not to stop. “Claire…”
“Mo nighean donn, don’t
Those next seconds were everlasting, each terrible, catastrophic truth echoing in his soul like the toll of a great bell, over and over.
She had been here
Claire had been here
She was sitting at the bottom of the staircase, crying hard into Ian’s shoulder. When the study door crashed open, her head shot up and she jumped to her feet, her face pure terror. “Jamie, mo ch—”
“When?” He snarled it, and Jenny convulsed with a deep sob like a swallowed scream, and covered her face with her hands.
Jamie was thundering toward her, a veil of red over his vision as he demanded, “WHEN?”
Ian—in a shockingly deft and smooth movement given the leg—shot to his feet, shielding Jenny from Jamie’s rage with his body.
In all truth, the rational parts of Jamie’s mind were glad for Ian’s presence, for that was the only thing keeping the blood rage from taking control, from taking revenge. “WHEN was she here, woman?” he bellowed over Ian’s shoulder, “How fucking long did ye see fit to keep—”
Ian shoved him, eyes blazing. “You’ll NOT talk that way to—”
“Mor—ning—”Jenny sobbed, her voice a strangled whisper, “—gone before—Jamie! Oh, Jamie, I ken I’ll—never for—give mys—for—”
“HOW MANY MONTHS?” he roared, overtaken by despair, overtaken by rage, becoming a nameless beast under it. “HOW MANY YEARS, JENNY?”
“This morning—” she wailed, “To—TO—DAY—”
And then a great wave, tall as a mountain, rose up within Jamie, blasting out everything within him in a single cataclysmic moment of clarity.
T O D A Y
Then she was—
She could be no more than—
He vaulted up the stairs four at a time, paying no heed to Janet and Wee Ian and the others who were gathered at the top of the staircase, wide-eyed and pale and gaping.
Less than a minute later, he thundered back down past them all, breeks only half-laced under his boots, traveling bag on his back.
“No,” Jenny moaned, grasping at his sleeve as he passed and trying to hold him back. “Jamie, ye canna—Ye CANNA catch her, she's—GONE—she’s—”
He shook her off, hard enough to knock her off-balance, and ran to the kitchen, shoving what food he could lay his hands on into his sack and moving straight to the door, so crazed with determination he could barely see what it was he took. Food didn’t matter. Fatigue, already tugging at him, didn’t matter. Claire was—
“Jamie, she’s nearly a day ahead—” Jenny caught the handle just as he did, eyes absolutely wild. “Ye dinna even ken where she’s bound or—”
He spared his sister one look, and let all the hate and contempt, the rage and the betrayal show there as he growled, “I ken precisely where she’s bound.”
Summary: The reader hooks up with a guy she meets at a bar one night after she gets to the town where her childhood friend Jess is getting married in a few days time, leading to some unintended consequences…