regular whoring

Before The Gathering

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 naturedly

“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 clouds above. 

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. 

“Midden gowk.”

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 earshot. 

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 himself. 

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.  

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DAY 17 - INTRODUCTION

- 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!

quote submitted by our lovely admin  aensaevherne

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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.