This is a continuation of the loosely linking mini-series which began with ‘Mi Amore’ which is a collection of ‘lost moments’ told from Jamie’s perspective and encompass a few of the pieces that we don’t see in the books as the story is narrated by Claire. This one was inspired by @lynnialljohnson who tagged me in a list of Scottish insults. Some I have known since the playground and some were new to me and I have used two of them here! :-) Thank you for reading xxx
“The Sassenach is a beauty and no mistake but she is queer
too so I wouldna risk it.”
Rupert nodded sagely and Murtagh raised an eyebrow at Jamie
over his cup, urging him to stillness. Jamie nodded almost imperceptibly in
response. They were sat outside the stables, killing time before the summoning
began. The atmosphere was heavy with expectation of entertainment and the
uncomfortable thrill of justice delivered and Jamie felt it prickling him as
surely as he knew the others felt it.
“Not that she’d let ye even if ye did want to.”
Angus nudged his friend in the ribs and Rupert grinned good
“True. I dinna reckon she’d ken what to do wi’ me after a
lifetime o’ wee English fops. She needs a poor, flimsy wee laddie to practice
on … like our Jamie!”
Jamie laughed and ignored the taunt. The Mackenzie men were
restless and looking for a tussle, nothing brutal nor serious but a decent role
in the dirt and few punches exchanged would be perfect entertainment for them.
“I dinna think Mistress Beauchamp wants any more attention
than she already has. Canna say I blame her either.”
Murtagh grunted, spitting on the ground beside his boot and
narrowly missing Rupert’s cup, which was snatched up in protective haste. It was Jamie’s turn to raise a cautionary eyebrow to his
Godfather and Murtagh shrugged, turning his attention back to the dirk laid
across his knees, gleaming in the weak sunlight that filtered through the grey
Jamie knew his godfather felt cooped up and restless at Leoch but
there was no sense in getting into a fight with the Mackenzie men over a jibe.
“Some reckon she must be a whore for the king. She couldna
be a regular whore wi’ a face like that, nor an arse like she has either.”
Rupert mused and Jamie took a long, but carefully silent
breath in through his nose.
“She could be a whore for a Duke I suppose … maybe a high
ranking officer. I mean, she’s got a foul mouth on her so not likely to be the
king and her hair is no exactly a joy to behold…”
Angus chimed in, holding his hands a distance from his head
to convey the size of the halo Claire’s hair made when left to its own devices.
Jamie adored her hair; to him it was like a bramble patch made of silk, a wild
and untameable riot of browns and golds, fragrant with the scent of her herbs
and flowers. He would have done just about anything to lay beside her in bed,
not even touching her skin, just letting his fingers twine through that hair.
But he did not say anything to Angus, it would do nothing except draw attention
to himself and Claire both and Murtagh’s thinly veiled warning was right: the
lass would not want any further attention from these men.
“Do ye think … I mean … is the hair down south likely to
match the hair that is north?”
Rupert asked and Jamie closed his eyes, praying for tolerance
and also for forgiveness as his silence felt like a betrayal with every word
the damn fools spoke about her. He wished they would stop, move on to a new subject
and leave Claire be but to try and steer them would only make them more
determined. Jamie prayed for strength to endure it.
“I dinna ken. If it does it’s like that a man would need a
wee candle to light the way, ken what I mean?”
Angus slapped his thigh and laughed loudly but Jamie could
not force himself to laugh along. He wouldn’t have liked it had they been
talking about any lass at all but the fact that they were speaking of Claire …
she was not his to protect but it felt like … it felt like they were speaking
of his wife! Aye! That was how keenly he felt it. It was as though their
disrespect of her was a direct disrespect of him too and Jamie felt their words
branding his skin leaving hot tendrils of shame and anger in their wake. His
ears were ringing and his blood felt too thick in his veins as he struggled
with his temper.
“Dougal will likely be able to tell ye soon, he’s an eye on
her and no mistake. O’ course Himself isna keen on it and that’s holdin’ him at
bay but it willna hold him forever.”
“Keep an eye on her then … see if she’s walking wi’ an extra
roll to her hips and tongue panting out … ah! Bastard!”
Angus’ hand flew to his jaw and all four men were on their
feet in seconds. Jamie clenched and unclenched his fist.
He had lashed out
without thinking and caught Angus awkwardly across the jaw-bone and his
knuckles were already swelling. The two Mackenzie’s looked at one another and
then at the two Fraser’s and the air crackled with tension. Jamie held his
tongue knowing that if he spoke he would not be able to stop the torrent of
fury that had welled up inside him.
“Ach! Ye had it coming. Dinna be a baby about it.”
Murtagh sniffed dismissively. His words broke the atmosphere
and the glint of his polished dirk, held lightly in his hand sealed it.
Angus glared at Jamie as he massaged his jaw but made no
move to retaliate and after a moment longer of dark looks between them, when it
became apparent that Jamie would not follow up the insult, the Mackenzie’s
began to move away.
“I ought give ye the same treatment, ken?”
Murtagh murmured when he was sure the men were out of
Jamie gave him a small lopsided grin and rubbed his bruised hand
absent-mindedly against the wool of his kilt.
“It was the right thing to do, if they think they can speak
of Mistress Beauchamp however they like, they will soon think they can treat
her however they like.”
“Aye, true but ye need to think o’ your own skin too laddie.
Ye are scarcely safer here than she is.”
“I have you Murtagh.
I’m as safe as I could be.”
Murtagh made a distinctly Scottish noise at the back of his
throat but Jamie could tell he was pleased with the compliment and smiled to
As for Claire, he thought, she had him although she did not know it;
and he would protect her to his last breath.
Jamie walked into the great hall spoiling for a fight and
unsure of how to rid himself of the guilt he felt for not speaking up for
Claire or acting sooner. He took his seat, trying to steady himself with deep
breaths until he saw Mrs Fitz’s granddaughter being hauled past him to face
Himself and the gathered community.
She wasna Claire but she was a young lass in
need of rescue and before he could think more about it, Jamie stood up.
- Vernon Roche! Special Forces Commander for the last four years; servant of the Temerian King. Responsible for the pacification of the Mahakaman foothills. Hunter of Elves, murderer of women and children!
- Iorveth! A regular son of a whore!
Roche: That’s… Iorveth:Vernon Roche! Special Forces Commander for the last four years. Servant of the Temerian king. Responsible for the pacification of the Mahakaman foothills. Hunter of elves, murderer of women and children. Twice decorated for valor on the field of battle… Roche: Iorveth - a regular son of a whore.