Check yes or no: part two. A do over because of formatting
Check yes or no: part two IN ITS ENTIRETY, sorry for this who couldn’t see it all before.
Hello all, to those who still care and/or remember this little story of mine. For those of you who do not have memories akin to an elephant’s, you can fine part one HERE. I warn you now this chapter is a bit of a filler chapter, and probably could be better. However, I do have Part three (psst, this is no longer a three part story!) itching to get out and posted. So, hopefully it will be written by tomorrow as i’m off with nothing to do.
To the anons who long ago sent me messages to be about this story, don’t worry I have never forgotten, the answers are coming.
to @takemeawaytocamelot If I know my time zones like I think I do, it should still be Memorial Day for you, and well, you know the old saying: Christmas Day/Memorial Day, potato/mango (haha). I am so sorry I inadvertently lied to you about this story, but I never forgot about it. I hope you like it.
God, she had missed him. She had tried to tell herself it wouldn’t be that bad, they would call and write, or they would see each other on holidays. But about thirty seconds after walking away from him, she burst in tears. Years, they had been apart for years. A significant percentage of her life. But it didn’t matter anymore; he was finally coming home.
Waiting in the main area of the train station, Claire couldn’t stand still. She continually ran a hand through her hair as she checked the arrivals board, not becoming even remotely calm until she saw him. Taking a deep breath of relief, she watched as he walked off the escalator. He stood tall compared to the hunched weary looking travelers around him. She noticed he still had the old baseball hat she had given before he left. It was currently blocking her from his line of sight. She couldn’t contain herself anymore, her hand shot into the air and she yelled his name, “Frank, over here!”
Looking up to find her, he smiled and everything else she had been feeling seemed to fade away. The drive home was anything but quiet. They spoke of everything and nothing, trying their best to update each other on the last several years. Claire told him of her adventures globetrotting with Lamb and her excitement to be finishing out schooling before university in a real school, lockers and All! Frank in turn told her of finishing his university studies and looking forward, much like her, to working with Lamb again in a real school, students and All!
They were so caught up in conversation, that neither noticed the passing countryside that they had previously been so excited to explore. Neither had spent much time in France before, but were pleased when Lamb had been offered a permanent professor position, with Frank as his assistant. While still quite active, the years were beginning to catch up with him, so it would be good for him to have a more stable life.
Pulling the car in front of the house, Claire gathered their things and made her way up the stairs but before opening the door she was stopped. Frank held her hand, an odd look on his face, “Claire, um, before we go in. I should probably…”
He was cut off when Lamb pulled open the door and welcomed him back from his trip. He ushered him in through the house, conversation on the stairs momentarily forgotten, to what could assumed to be the office.
“That girl, how could you even, how do you deal with…ugh, she’s just terrible Jamie”
“Hello to you too, Janet.” Jamie said, trying as hard as he might not to laugh, as he opened the door for her.
“What did she do now to have displeased you so?”
“That girl canna have more that three functioning brain cells, it’s not possible. How she manages not to get lost on her way from her closet to the bed each day I’ll never know.”
He couldn’t stop himself this time and burst out laughing at the image. Jenny just continued on, pausing only long enough to glare at him. “Oh sure, laugh about it. YOU didn’t have to sit in a car all day with her,and you didn’t have to listen to her as she tittered back and forth between dresses! I mean really, how can you stand it? What do you two possibly do together? It canna be her skills as a conversationalist!”
Stopping then, she caught her breath and finally noticed his smirk, which turned into a full blown smile as he doubled over laughing.
Huffing at him, she began to rummage through her bags. “Never mind! I don’t want to know!”
“I’m sorry you had such a bad time with Annalise, but she’s really not that bad. Maybe while you’re here you’ll get to know her a bit better. But, it is so good to see you, ye’ve been missed. I know Ian hasn’t been able to stop talking about your visit.”
Jenny snorted looking at him in disbelief, “Not that bad, huh?” The smile she saw made her own turn up into the real smile he hadn’t seen in so long. He had been away from home for a few years now with little more than short school break visits to tide him over and it was never enough. Jamie couldn’t wait for this last year to be done with so he could make his way back.
When he had been accepted here, he hadn’t thought it would be as bad as it was, he had been so excited and so wrong. Tonight, he thought he’d be able to get a bit of home back. Tonight was the welcome back ball and with Ian and Jenny with him, they would bring a little of the highlands to France.
Claire was putting on the final touches to her outfit for the night. She had spent the majority of the day on the phone with Gilli making sure that what she had put together would work as well as she was told it would. Pouring over her jewelry box for the millionth time, she contemplated once more just calling it all off, pulling on jeans and going to a movie. But, she had purchased her dress and shoes with Gillis a month or so before on her last visit to Scotland with Lamb. It seemed an awful waste of what she was assured many times wasn’t too much and would get the attention of every man there. The deep red, she had to admit, did contrast nicely on her pale skin and dark hair, but she was still nervous.
Making a splash was all well and good, but doing so at a new school was something entirely different. She did her best not to think too much on those thoughts and the ever persistent voice in her mind saying, “Just be careful.” The sound of Frank coming in downstairs pulled her out of her thoughts. She looked into her jewelry again, selected ruby and gold earrings her mother had left for her, slipped her shoes on, and walked out of her room, deciding it was now or never.
“Hello Frank, you look very handsome. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in a tuxedo.”
She always thought that saying that someone was breathtaking was always a bit of an exaggeration, but Frank seemed to have lost his looking up at her, coming down off the stairs. She had never felt more powerful and sure than she did in that moment.
Coming up to him, he had finally gathered himself enough to tell her how beautiful she was. From his words and Lamb’s photo happy tendencies, she blushed a very close second to color she wore. She finally relaxed a bit as they drove to the venue. They stayed quiet through most of the ride, but she knew that she was ready. These types of events, while uncommon in her life, were not completely foreign to her. She had, in the past, accompanied her uncle to various faculty events and research galas. She knew that, if nothing else, tonight she could mingle and get to know her new classmates in a more relaxed setting.
Walking up the main staircase, Claire could hear the chatter of people and the beat of the music. She paused a moment before walking in, closed her eyes, and took a deep breath.
“Are you sure you’re alright? We don’t have to go in you know. We can go somewhere, anywhere else; if you’d like.”
She looked between him and the doors for a moment, squared her shoulders and turning the knob saying “No. It takes a lot to surprise me anymore, Frank. I don’t expect anything in there to change that. Let’s go.”
Spinning around the floor, Jamie tried his best to take in his surroundings. He hadn’t really gotten the chance to talk to anyone, or even get something to drink. Upon entering, Annalise had drug him on to the floor and only briefly seen fit to let him rest. He didn’t mind too much really. Though, Jenny’s rant from earlier came back to him, as Annalise had also been talking for the better part of an hour, about what, he had no idea. But, overall he was having a very nice time.
Jenny was beaming and Ian’s smile hadn’t slipped once, he never was able to take his eyes off of her. Annalise looked lovely too, she wore a fitted peach colored gown and since picking her up that evening, he, too, found himself staring at her when she looked away. Suddenly, something felt different, and he couldn’t place it. He tried to get her attention, though there wasn’t much hope of that while she kept talking. He brushed it off, determined not let his thoughts go past the two of them dancing.
Suddenly, the song came to an end, switching to something much louder and more upbeat, he was ushered off the floor towards the refreshment. She had pulled him down a bit so he could hear her over the music.
“I am going to run to the ladies, would you mind grabbing me a drink?”
He nodded and pushed his way gently through those standing around talking. Placing his request, he finally got his chance to look around, and to see who had shown up with who. While not much of a gossip, he found it was better to at least know the goings on as it made his life altogether easier.
He hadn’t paid much mind to those immediately around him, only registering bodies moving in and out of the area. As his drinks were handed to him though, he saw a flash of red come up to the drinks area and directly into his arm.
“Oh! I’m so sorry… erm, excusez-moi.”
It was quick, but he had caught it. English. Good French, from what he could hear, but definitely English. He turned to pick up a few napkins and decided to stick to English as well in response.
He chuckled cleaning off his kilt, “Nae, it’s no bother. Really, worse has be spilt on me before.” He look over his shoulder then and his heart stopped.