ruched waist

Fic: The Night that was Dreamed of.

Latest installment of the Heartlines AU story. The rest can be found here 

Hope you enjoy it and I am happy to take prompts for further chapters of this story.

I listened to Mexico by the Staves on repeat whilst I was writing this so this might be the closest i’m come to writing a song fic since about 2002.

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Originally posted by struruso


Jamie lay on his back. He could see light creeping through the cracks where the breeze from the open window blew the curtains gently. The light was pale and watery, telling him that it was still very early. He turned his head and looked at Claire. He could make out the cascade of her hair as it spilled across the pillow in a riot of curls. She was laid on her side, her back to him, the sheets ruched around her waist. Rolling onto his side he gently drew a finger down her back, her skin was smooth and he traced down the curve of her waist where it met her high round buttock. She stirred slightly under his touch, but did not wake. Jamie could hardly believe she was real. Had he really only met her on Saturday? He felt like he had known her forever. Like she knew everything there was to know about him. He rolled back onto his back thinking about the previous night. He’d been so frightened. When Geneva turned up, yes he’d been angry, but more than that he had been afraid. Afraid that Claire would run, that she would not want to involve herself in such messy complications. And yet she had stayed. And she was still here. Sleeping peacefully in his bed, the soft sounds of her breathing like a balm, soothing his soul with each gently breath.

He had taken her by the hand and led her to his bedroom. He had kissed her in the doorway.

“Are you sure Mo Nighean Donn?” Jamie asked her again “Is this what you truly want?”

Claire had answered him in actions, wrapping her arms around him and pulling him close. She had kissed him long and hard before taking a step backwards into the room, pulling him with her. She had stood in front of him then.

“Take off your clothes. I want to look at you” Her gaze did not leave his as he began by unbuttoning his shirt and dropping it to the ground. He kicked off shoes and socks before slowly moving his hands to the buckle of his belt. She bit her lip slightly and he felt it in his groin. Slowly, he unbuttoned his jeans and slid both them and his boxer shorts down to the ground where he stepped out of them. She moved towards him then, and around him. Using only the very tips of her fingers she ran them along his chest and down to his stomach and then moved around, running them across his hims and very gently skirting his butt. His breath hitched and he felt light headed. She stepped back and met his gaze once more.

“Well, fair’s fair.” He spoke with a slight smile. “Now you take of yours”

With a defiant tilt of her chin she shed the blue dress letting it fall at her feet revealing a navy blue bra and pants. She reached behind her and slowly unhooked the bra, inching the straps down her arms. He held his breath. Running her hands down her own stomach she hooked her thumbs into the waistband of her pants. She paused, looking up at him, eyes slightly cloudy with desire. He swallowed audibly. She inched the pants down and stood up straight in front of him. He reached out to touch her, but found her could not. Claire took another step closer to him and took him by the hand.

“Touch me Jamie.”

She lifted his hand to her breast. The feel of it so full and firm in his hand made him feel as though he had been hit by lightning. He pulled her close and kissed her hard, lifting her as he did so and turning towards the bed. He lay her down on the bed, his weight on top of her, enjoying the feeling of them touching along their entire bodies. Her hands were in his hair as they kissed and she brought one leg up and around him. He shifted slightly so that they were on their sides facing each other. Her ran a hand along the leg that was hooked over him, enjoying the way it broke into goosebumps as his hand moved. He dipped his hand and ran it over her bottom and she gasped slightly and rocked her hips towards him. Her moan was met with a growl from the back of Jamie’s throat as her hips created friction between them. He ran his hand further down, find the hot wetness of her. She gasped again, her head falling back. Shifting slightly he moved his fingers against her, finding the spot that had her panting. She reached towards him but he pushed her back, kissing her and murmuring “Not yet, Mo Nighean Donn, I want to watch you”. She dropped her head back on the bed her hips rising to meet his hands, her breath coming faster. Her fingers gripped his arms as her body began to to tense and she cried out rising up and biting his shoulder as she did so.  She lay panting in his arms and he gently laid her back down, kissing her temple where the sweat ran down her face.

“Jamie” she whispered, her eyes fluttering open though her breath still came in gasps. “Jamie” She said his name again, more urgently this time. She rolled over until she was straddling him. She leaned forward to kiss him, her dark hair coming down around them, shielding them from the world. He ran his hands down her body, wanting to feel and memorise every inch of her. She lifted her hips slightly and slowly sank down on him. She didn’t move for a moment. They both were still, trying to deal with the intensity of the feeling. And then she began to move. She had ridden him slowly at first, with deep, long thrusts. His hands were on her hips and hers against his chest as they moved together. He pulled her down to him for a kiss, tongues dancing in time with their hips. He moved so that she was on her back now and she wrapped both legs around his hips as she arched towards him. Her hips rocked harder against him as their movements sped up, both of them breathing erratically. Jamie was vaguely aware of a stream of gaelic he spoke into her ear, completely unable to stop himself telling her all the things he felt for her. In that moment he had no english with which to tell her those things, only the feel of her beneath, her hands on his back and in his hair, her lips against his neck, the feel of her hair tickling his face as he whispered his secrets into her ear. Their breathing came heavy and their movements more erratic as both neared completion. He gathered her in his arms, pulling her closer, thrusting hard as his orgasm ripped through him. She in turn, clawed at his back and pulled hard at his hair as she cried out his name.

They lay like that for a long time. Arms wrapped around each other, bodies slick with sweat, just breathing each other in. As Jamie’s heart slowed he realised his face was wet not only with sweat but with tears as well. “Claire, oh my Claire” he whispered into her hair. She pulled him nearer and he could feel that her face was wet with tears too. He rolled them both onto their sides and they lay together touching each other gently and looking at each other. He felt a peace in that moment that he had not thought it possible to have, a profound sense of well being and wholeness that he had not felt since he was a child. The feeling of being wholly and unconditionally loved and understood. They had made love several more times, each time as world changing as the last, until at last they had drifted off to sleep, legs entwined, each secure in the knowledge of feelings that could not yet be said out loud.

He turned and stroked her hair. She turned and faced him, not quite emerging from the depths of her slumber. She reached her arms out for him and he moved close to her so that they were resting in each other’s arms. And with that he slowly sank back into sleep, the breeze from the open window dancing across his back.

EPILOGUE


FOUR YEARS LATER

Today is the day I graduate from college. Just like last time, it’s early June. But unlike last time, I don’t feel a single ounce of sadness. I’m sitting in front of the mirror in mine and Jackson’s room in our townhouse that we rent, and he’s getting dressed behind me.

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A/N: This was an anon request where the reader is called away from a fancy event for a case, so she walks onto the jet in a tight, silky dress and the team, particularly Rossi, can’t keep his eyes off her. @coveofmemories

                                                     ——————–

“This better be the biggest emergency in the entire world,” you screamed out as you walked onto the plane. You had been at a charity event for a friend. It had been your first day off in weeks and you had planned on having a couple of drinks tonight. Just as you’d ordered your first mojito, you’d gotten an emergency text from Hotch, saying they needed you on the jet ASAP.

Before you walked onto the plane, you heard Hotch and Rossi say sorry. They wished they didn’t have to, but it truly was an emergency. Two kids had been abducted from their beds in an area that was currently being investigated for harboring a child sex ring. You needed to get there basically yesterday if you wanted any hope of finding them before they disappeared into oblivion. 

As you finally walked onto the plane, doing your best to not trip in your super high, high-heels, all eyes turned to you. The charity event you had been attending was black tie, so you were wearing a tight-fitting, asymmetrical red silk dress. The ruching at your waist made the perfect hourglass figure and the skin-tight fabric left even less to the imagination in terms of the shape of your body. You were proud of yourself and you never had the chance to show off (your job required comfortable clothes), so whenever you had an event like this, you immediately took the opportunity to do something daring.

After a few moments, everyone’s mouths closed. “Yea, I know I look good. Thankfully I have my go-bag on the plane, because otherwise I’d be living in this thing the entire case and that could get uncomfortable quickly.”

Everyone had gone back to what they were doing or saying, except Rossi. Rossi’s mouth had dropped to the ground the moment you’d stepped on the plane and at this point it would take one of those cartoons where you had to pull a tab on the person’s mouth to get him to close it. You’d joined the BAU five years earlier, falling in the middle of the team in terms of age. Rossi, Aaron and Emily were older than you, but Penelope, JJ and Spencer were younger. Rossi was 20 years your senior, but you had always had a thing for him. There was something about his swagger and confidence that drew you to him. 

For years, you’d been hoping he would make a move, but he never had, undoubtedly because he thought the age difference between you was too much. To you though, it was just a number. As long as you were compatible with someone, it didn’t really matter how old you both were.

You decided to push the boundaries with Rossi a little. Even though he and Hotch were technically your superiors, you and David had always had more of a friendly, flirty relationship, rather than a boss and employee one. After the plane had taken off, Rossi had barely composed himself, so you pulled out your phone and started to text him.

Do you like how I like in my dress, David? ;)

You sent the text and proceeded to stare out the window, waiting for a response. A minute later, your phone buzzed. Unlocking it, you saw a very short reply.

Yes. Very, very much so.

Okay, so he hadn’t outright told you that this might be inappropriate. You pushed a little further.

What specifically do you like about my dress?

Again, less than a minute later he returned your message.

The body in it. I don’t know if I’ve ever said it, but you’re absolutely beautiful Y/N. And it just so happens that the woman in the dress happens to be not only beautiful, but intelligent and kind. You are without a doubt the whole package and whoever ends up with you will be the luckiest man in the world.

You recrossed your legs, doing the best you could to control your facial expressions. But you wanted to simultaneously smile and cry. He wanted you: smile. But he didn’t think he could have you: cry.

I agree. Whoever ends up with me will be very lucky ;) What makes you think that couldn’t be you?

As Hotch passed the both of you, he nodded at Dave ever so slightly. He knew. Of course he knew. Hopefully it wouldn’t be an issue.

Why would you want me, Y/N? I’m old. You’re in the prime of your life.

Why did so many people take so much stock in age?

You’re David Rossi. You’re one of the most amazing, sweetest and sexiest men I’ve ever known. If you want me, I’m yours. Age means nothing to me.

You paused a moment before sending, wondering if this was too forward of you. But being on the phone made it slightly less forward, so you pressed send.  Within seconds, he’d sent back his answer, finally looking up to make eye contact.

I want you.

You returned your reply quickly.

Good. Because I want you too. I always have. Once the case is done for the night, should I maybe stop by your hotel room?

Did he really want you?

Yes. Please.

                                                    ——————–

After the case had ended for the night, the profile given out to the local police force, the team decided to return to the hotel for the night. Once everyone had made their way into their own rooms, you peaked out, double-checking before making your way down to David’s room, wearing the least sexy outfit possible: a baggy tank top and sweatpants. Aaron might have known how you felt about each other, but if it was going to go anywhere, you wanted to not do it under the watchful eyes of your friends.

As you knocked on the door, you looked down at your pajamas, wondering if you should’ve tried to put in more effort. When David opened up, he stopped in his tracks. “It really doesn’t matter what you wear,” he said disbelievingly, “You really do always look beautiful.”

You walked into his room, allowing him to gather you to him before closing the door and gently pushing you up against the wall. The tension between your bodies was palpable and you hovered near each other’s lips for a few moments, before pulling his head to yours in a steamy, passionate and long overdue kiss.

2

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@adlerthetattler || continued from (x)

When Will poked his head into the house, he was greeted by the sound of skittering paws and eager barks. “Well…so much for a sneaky entrance,” he muttered, though he was smiling as he bent over and scratched Winston behind the ears. He could hear Lacey calling to him from the living room, so after sweeping a gift box behind his back, he carefully weaved through his pack (but not without a bit of staggering) before coming into the room.

“No nap?” Will echoed. Looking down at Elijah, who was clearly wound up, he chuckled and bent over to press a kiss to the child’s head. The baby squirmed and began beating his toy against the bouncer seat, causing Will to point and say, “See? You treat my affection just like your mom.” With a grin, he came over and kissed Lacey’s cheek. “I see that you’re spit-up free, so that’s a nice change from the usual.”

Draping the gift box over her lap, Will smiled despite the confusion on her face. “What?” he asked. “Am I not allowed to buy my fiancee a gift?”

Lacey appeared skeptical, but as she unearthed the dress from the tissue paper, her expression softened into something he couldn’t quite ascertain. Tensing his hands at his sides, Will watched her with mounting concern. Did she not like it? Was it too much?

“I, uh…it’s a dress,” Will said, instantly feeling stupid for pointing out such an obvious fact. Cringing, he amended with, “When we did our first case together, we had to go undercover to a gala. And at the time, I really did think you were beautiful, but I wasn’t able to enjoy it – or rather, I wouldn’t allow myself to. So this time around, I figured I could make up for that.” He smiled again, expression almost sheepish as he lowered his eyes. “Do you like it? ‘Cause if I pulled the ‘typical man’ card and got something awful, we can always get you something new. I just…I thought maybe you might like to go out someplace nice? Ever since Elijah was born, you haven’t had any time for yourself, or any instance where you could dress up and feel good about yourself. I was hoping that maybe, uh…maybe we could do something together? Beverly’s already agreed to watch Elijah for the evening.”

The baby cooed and Will chuckled, now slipping his hands into his pockets. “See? Even Elijah wants to be apart from us for a bit.”

2

This will forever be the single most perfect corsetting dress. Made by Mikarose and purchased through Pinup Girl Clothing, this light, stretch purple fabric perfectly contours to the shape of a cinched waist. With ruching on bit sides at the waist, it accommodates everything from my natural waist to this little cincher by snowblackcorsets, laced here to about 21" externally. And I know this dress would likely hug something smaller still (though I don’t intend to test its limits), all while still comfortably accommodating my naturally larger hips. Now that I’ve finished declaring my own love for this dress, let me ask, what do you think of it? Do you have a favorite outfit to wear with your corset?

5

I’m accepting my first professional award in California next week (Did you know you can win an Emmy award in graphic design? Neither did I, and neither does anyone else, apparently, but a girl can dream) and so I thought we should take a look at some of Gillian’s red carpet looks from the blitzkrieg of award show appearances between 1996 and 1998.

Look 1: Updo, slip dress, choker, SAG award. A+ all around.

Look 2: The mid-90s were really an optimum time to wear gold satin dresses with structured bodices. Particularly if you had the exceptional foresight to wear such a dress with a pair of tinted, possibly transitional-lens glasses and a full-length purple pansy print sateen blazer coat. Extra points for the appearance of the revolutionary middle hair part.

Look 3: I can’t tell whether Gillian is curtseying graciously to her minions, or merely demonstrating her ability to not trip over her extensive train. Frankly, I don’t care, because this look is flawless.

Look 4: What do we have here? Let’s see…a ruched-bodice empire waist dress (with delicate floral overlay) topped off by a sheer striped prom shawl. Not my favourite ensemble on the list but she’s got a velvet-lace choker so it all comes together in the end.

Look 5: It’s important to understand the importance of minimal accessorizing. Here Gillian has paired some simple drop earrings with David Duchovny. 

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Wantering Editors

Outlander Noir. Chapter 2.


Originally a prompt from @tara-58, here is part 2 (FINALLY! Huzzah!) of Outlander Noir.

Enjoy!

– – —- – – —- – –

Part One.

– – —- – – —- – –

Sitting in absolute silence, Jamie swilled the fine whisky in circles on his lap, the crystal tumbler throwing bursts of rainbow light across the perfectly manicured panel flooring. 

Almost as soon as he’d stepped foot in her apartment her demeanour had changed. Gone was the shy woman who’d answered the door, back was the confident vixen who’d swayed leisurely, in and out of his precinct.  

Her lounge faced out over the dark face of the city, but she had no audience. No apartments sat in front of hers, nothing but the massive expanse of the park. No witnesses, he thought, to whatever she might get up to when the sun set.

“What can I do for you, detective? I was sure I’d answered all of your questions the other day?” She batted her eyelashes as him, striding over to the couch and taking a seat. “Though I’m more than happy to assist in anyway I can.”

“Well, Mrs Randall, I canna see how yer alibi stands up,” he saw a flash of indignation cross her features, but didn’t give her chance to take control, “I understand that ye have witnesses. But why would ye, after all this time, suddenly decide to come back to the city? Where were ye in between times, if no’ wi’ Frank?” His accent was thick, thicker than usual as he watched a range of emotions play out across her face.

Claire uncrossed and recrossed her legs. More of her power moves, he noted. But he wasn’t about to let her get the better of him just yet.

“You’re an inquisitive one, Detective.” She purred, tapping her fingers against her now empty glass. “You should be careful, though, it might get you into…bother.” She winked, a teasing twinkle in her eye.

“Is that a threat, Mistress?” He replied, his hackles raised at the insinuation.

“Of course not, detective. Why would I threaten you? In your line of work, that sort of advice comes as a given, no?”

“Aye, it does. But I dinna need you to remind me of it, ken?” Something about her brought out his accent, his Scots intonations becoming a thick drawl as he fought his corner.

“Certainly. To answer your question,’ she was smart, diverting his attention whilst she collected herself, but it hadn’t gone unnoticed and he filled it away for later as she continued, “I was residing in the country house. Franklin sent for me, and I felt I owed it to him to come, so I did. You know the rest, Mr Fraser.”

“Is that house yer own, mistress?”

“The estate in the country? No, that belongs under the Randall banner. But after our –less than amicable– separation, he felt as if he still owed me something. And he did. So he agreed, in lieu of a messy divorce, that he would allow me to continue living there as I felt necessary.”

“That’s a rather fortune arrangement, wouldn’t you say?” He interjected, keen to understand all facets of her marriage and subsequent lodging ‘needs’. He understood, of course, that if Frank had indeed been unfaithful, the courts would have seen in Claire’s favour. But to give up such a larger manor house? He wasn’t sure she’d have been granted the ancestral home.

“As you say, detective. I was indeed *fortunate*.”

“And, as you said previously, he sent for you hoping you would be amiable? That you might see fit to rekindle the marriage?”

She nodded, toeing off her slippers as she slid back against the cushions, a sly smile pulling at her rouged lips.

“Yes, but I wasn’t about to be brought. I knew he hadn’t changed. So I went to meet my accountant, as I said, and the rest is in your report.” She ran her hand up her side, bringing the silk top up a little as she stretched and lay her arm over her head in a *very* suggestive manner. “Anymore questions, Mr Fraser?”

She’d taken to using his surname only when she was attempting seduction, he thought, his hands curling tightly around his, now empty, tumbler. Restless, and keen to be away, Jamie stood and undid the lone button on the front of his suit jacket. Shrugging it from his shoulders, he removed it completely, the heat of the apartment overwhelming him.

“I take it that’s a no, then. Do feel free to –pop by– anytime, detective.” She almost mewled, her legs parting, her skirt hitching up a tiny amount, enough to reveal the tops of her pantyhoes. “It really is late, after all.”

“Aye.” His mouth was dry, he couldn’t find the words, mesmerised as he was by her supine form.

She closed her eyes, running her free hand along her side as she shifted and writhed atop the leather sofa. “You’ll see yourself out, I suppose.”

She licked her lips, the delicate light pink of her moist tongue contrasting with the obvious faux-red painted across her lips. Her skin shimmered in the dull yellow of the apartment lighting, its harsh translucence making her look (almost) like a work of art.

Rodin, he thought, would have been pleased to have carved such a thing.

“Aye,” he whispered, meaning to say more, to sound less like a fool enamoured with a seductress, but he simply stopped. His hand reached out, gently, to brush away a stray wisp of hair from her forehead.

His touch stirred her, her head falling backwards, seeking the warmth he offered.

Jamie, roused from his previous stupor, jerked his arm away and took a step backwards. He hadn’t even been aware of his move closer, taken as he was by her.

“Don’t stop, James.” She whispered, her tone needy as she spread her legs further apart. The leather creaked beneath her.

“It’s Jamie, actually.” He replied, finally managing a full sentence. “If we’re being less formal about it.”

She smiled, the kind that a spider would (was it able) as it lured the helpless fly into its web. “Jamie, then. Come here.”

He stuttered, his feet aching to slip closer to her, but his brain rebelling. She’s a *suspect*, he argued internally, dinna get caught up in something salacious, Jamie lad. It’ll be the death of ye, and you’ve already come close to it once.

But by the time he was done fighting with himself, he had already knelt by her knees, parting them with his hands, sliding closer and closer. She let her hand fall so that her fingers were able to run along his skull. He shuddered in pleasure, his thighs aching with the pressure of holding him steady.

“That’s it, Jamie, please.” She begged, her bottom sloping down the sofa, the thin cotton of her skirt holding no resistance against the slippery material.

He swallowed, audibly, as it became obvious that she was *bare* underneath.

“Ah, Dhia…” he mumbled, his grasp of the English language completely leaving him as he nuzzled his nose at the apex of her thighs, breathing her in.

“Yes, oh God.”

So taken aback, was he, that he failed to notice her knowledge of the Gaelic language. (Though, later on when he thought back, he would simply pass it off as the Irish in her.) An easy slip to make, *she reasoned*, as his tongue peaked out to taste her.

Slithering his hands under her knees, he held her legs still as he sucked against her damp, salty skin. His tongue delved inside her, his lips brushing along every inch of her as she squirmed and twisted against him, desperate for more.

Just as he thought she was about to lose control, he stopped. Placing one last kiss over her intoxicating skin, he pulled himself up and over her, still fully clad in his dress pants and shirt. His jacket, he noticed, blearily, was swaying, to and fro, on the hook of the door.

With precision and delicacy, she undid the buttons of his trousers, slipped her hand inside and massaged him through his boxer shorts. Now it was his turn to writhe in pleasure, completely at her mercy, though he wasn’t altogether sure she’d ever been at his.

His attention occupied, he’d failed to observe her undoing the buttons of her own shirt. Now she lay before him, breasts uncovered.

*She was something else.*

Leaning forward, compelled to do so by an unknown force, he took one nipple into his mouth and suckled greedily.

Before he’d had chance to even contemplate the next step, Claire had freed him of his trousers and pants; and dragged him, eager and willing, between her thighs. He only needed to thrust once and it would be done.

A small part of him called out, a whisper in the dark, pleading with him to gather his senses and leave.

*She is a SUSPECT* his subconscious tried to reason, all to no avail.

No sooner had he thought it, than he was inside her. Fully sheathed. Ready and willing. She knew it well.

He moved as if called to, his hips rocking against hers, her skirt ruched around her waist, her shirt only covering her arms now as he took her on her sofa.

He bent his forehead to hers, panting and sweating as he pulsed and moaned. In no time his lips found hers, and she melted against him. Her hands, once screwed up in his shirt, now slid down to hold his arse close, her feet coming up to weave between his legs as she bucked against him.

They pushed and pulled, begging the other to fall first, egging each other on as they moved together. Jamie, having not felt this level of intimacy in a while, felt himself nearing the end. His vision blurred, and the muscles in his lower body tensed.

He wanted to bring her to orgasm first, to watch as she shattered beneath him. It wasn’t a game for him, no, something had stirred deep inside him as they’d joined. He kent that she’d felt it as well, but getting her to crack wouldn’t be easy.

Taking a deep breath, he pummelled her, battering his hips against hers in a flurry of activity. WIlling her to come to him by employing violent advances. Their sweat stained skin slapped together, the sound of it surrounding them.

Claire held firm, she could feel the telltale quiver inside her as his groin joined hers in the most delicious way, but she could not, *would not*, fall victim to his charms.

They battled on, each peeling their eyes open now as they both fought to remain lucid.

Jamie’s arms ached madly, and Claire’s fingers were white with the pressure of holding him against her. Both shook unevenly, panting into each other’s mouth as they came as one, both crumbling within seconds of the other.

Jamie felt it first, his balls tightening, his stomach clenching and his cock throbbing as he lost himself. Claire came quickly afterwards, the rush of him inside her almost too much to bear.

They rose together, both enraptured by what had transpired between them. Jamie sat himself beside Claire on the couch as they redressed themselves.

Neither said a word as Jamie stood, paced towards the door and collected his coat. Neither had the capacity for duplicity in that moment, and they eached sense the need for silence.

Carefully, Jamie slipped his card into the breast pocket of Claire’s white fur coat. It had his address and number on it. He would have just handed it to her, but he wasn’t yet sure of her circumstance. Something told him Frank Randall wasn’t the one bankrolling her, and until he knew who, he wasn’t about to invite strangers –or villains– into his home. An amount of discretion was still required, he decided.

He stood holding the knob until he sensed her behind him. Turning, he kissed her gently on the forehead and left. His chest still heaving with exertion as he reached his car.

Driving back into the bowels of the city, he indicated and turned along the narrow streets home. Something about Claire Randall wasn’t all it ought to be.

“Well done, pet.” He cooed, the sweetness of his voice chilling her to the bone. “You *are* a clever one, we have him just where we want him.”

Claire pulled the shirt tightly around herself, the buttons not properly fastened. “I’ve done what you asked, just leave.”

“Oh no, pet. You aren’t done just yet. You know the rules.”

She clenched her fists, her jaw set stubbornly as she raised her head in defiance.

“I wouldn’t, if i were you, Claire.” He announced, breaking her train of thought. She licked her lips, her breathing ragged as she closed and opened her eyes slowly. “You’ll only make it worse.”

“Just…get it over with!” She spat, desperately trying to rein in her temper. She knew, as did he, that it was useless to fight.

“So –eager– pet. I’m glad.” He twisted her hair through his fingers and yanked, as hard as he could, making her eyes tear.

“Now, off with this…’ tugging at her creased shirt with his free hand, he sneered, “and into the bedroom, face down.”

She obeyed, burying the taste of Jamie deep down as she walked, head lowered, into the bedroom and knelt by the bed. Ready for her punishment.

– – —- – –

The door to his office swung open, and he looked up from his open case report, anxious to shoo away any of his deputies.

“Sir, I’m sorry but we’ve had some new information handed to us. I know you didn’t want to be disturbed, but this place has been mentioned before.” The young sergeant handed him the file, a hospital record it looked like.

“Thank you, Gibbs. Dinna worry, I’ll make sure this gets back to the records office as soon as I’ve read through it.”

He waited until the door had closed before he opened the file.

A batch of photographs fell, landing face down in front of him. Fanning his fingers over the collection, he began by turning the closest over. Obviously medical in nature, he revealed them one by one, the scenes becoming more and more grotesque. It was a woman, of that he was sure. Her thin waist was marred with scratches, massive lash marks that had been gouged, angrily, into her pale skin.  

Sirens behind him knocked him from his dark thoughts, and he dropped the photographs on the floor.

Bending over, he gathered them up, removed his hat and mussed his hair up. Whoever had done that to her had really gone to town. Her back was almost completely destroyed. It sparked a memory, back in the early days, himself as a young officer.

He shook himself off, unwilling to bring forth those painful thoughts.

Placing the photographs face down once more, he picked up the document and skimmed through its contents.

“Deep wounds” was written several times, underlined with such passion. It suggested that the doctors hadn’t envisioned a quick recovery for her, *if she were to recover at all*.

He stood, the chair scraping along the cheap linoleum as he moved, a high pitched screech pulling him from the horror at his fingertips. It was almost identical to his own –misfortune–.

The mess that had been made of her back was a calling card, he thought. A message perhaps.

Flicking through the rest of the papers, he searched for the sign-out notes, hoping for a name, or something that would confirm his fears.

At the end, in deep scrawl, three solitary letters.

JWR.

His head spun, who could it be?

Sitting back down, he riffled through the file once more, eager to find anything he’d missed.

Nothing.

Over and over he trawled through the papers, desperate, needing to find anything. The light flickered overhead, the bulb threatening to burst, darkness sporadically encasing him.

There. Right in front of his eyes as the light stilled. Three more letters, written in the doctor’s hand; CEB.

Grabbing the file from his desk, Frank’s file, he scanned the pages until he came across the arrest reports.

He was looking for one particular signature.

Claire hadn’t signed her name in full, as he’d guessed. Instead she had simply written CER, with a small curl on the ‘R’. It was her, she was the mangled back in the photos.

His mind was swirling, dark thoughts creeping in as he marched to his door, threw it open and hollered down the bleak corridor. “Gibbs! Can ye do me a favour?”

The short, scrawny deputy popped his head out from the adjoining office, eyes wide as he saw the feral gaze of his captain. “O-of course sir, what do you need?”

“What area of the city is Hopetown General located in? Ye said I’d mentioned it before, aye?” He’d never heard of the hospital she’d been admitted to, and had assumed that it must be a hidden somewhere downtown, in some of the less desirable areas of the city.

“Hopetown? It’s not in the city, sir. No,” he scratched his head, furrowing his brow as he tried to remember, “It’s out west, in the suburbs, buried in the countryside amongst money. If I remember rightly of course, sir. Close to the Randall house.”

“Thank ye, makes sense actually.” WIthout dismissing Gibbs, he turned around and slammed the door shut once more.

Pacing the length of his office, he kept watch over the city. He was only two floors up, but it still gave him a wee keek over the precinct. Enough height to see the entrance and a couple of streets along. Headlights blasted through the glass, dusk disappearing and making way for night as his mind processed the information before him.

Claire had been beaten, badly. That’s why she had left her top on as they’d made love.

He scoffed. ‘Made love’, he mused, was not what it had been. Screwing, now that was more like it. Fucking, even more so. Tender, it was not. But still, he thought, there had been something more. Something that *was* soft and gentle. Something that she wasn’t willing to exhibit.

He scratched his chin and turned back to his desk, eyeing up the last drag of whisky and the strewn papers across his desk. Who was this mysterious ‘JWR’? And what was his connection to Claire Randall?

EMBROIDERED NEOCLASSICAL COTTON GOWN, 1799 - 1810. Muslin (probably Bengali) having allover sprigged Broderie Anglaise, short sleeve with three pairs of inside ties to adjust a double puff, ruffled edge, back tie at neckline and high waist, ruched band above slightly trained hem with scalloped sawtooth border, cotton bodice lining. Whitaker Auctions