“Rosa Parks didn’t stand up because she was tired/her feet hurt” is one of the most outrageous lies we tell children in the guise of history and it is so harmful. It takes this brave, courageous and intentional act of civil disobedience and makes it passive and unwitting. Rosa Parks knew she would be arrested that day and she made a choice to do so. She was already heavily involved in the Civil Rights movement when it happened. She saw the opportunity and took it because she knew she could turn it into a moment that would change history. She wanted to change the law and she got arrested so she could do so. It was not an accident and telling Black children otherwise teaches them that history just happened to them instead of telling them about a woman who put her life on the line to change an unjust law. It sanitizes her, turning her into a little old lady (she was 42) who was just tired after a long day of work makes her more palatable to white people and that is a disservice to her memory and her movement.
Got any feedback/advice/links for someone who wants to make lengthy, relatively action-less dialogues between characters more than just “‘Loren ipsum,’ he said.” “'Ipsum lorem’, she replied.” for forty paragraphs?
No problem! I love dialogue, so I’m happy to be of assistance in this department.
Here are my personal rules of thumb:
1. Allow the dialogue to show the character’s personality.
If you really think about your conversations, it can be telling exactly how much of someone’s personality can shine through when they speak.
Allow your character’s persona, values, and disposition to spill over when they speak, and it will make for a significantly more interesting read for you and your reader.
For example: let’s take a look at a mundane exchange, and see how it can be spruced up by injecting it with a good dose of personality.
“How was your day, by the way?” asked Oscar, pouring himself a drink.
“Not too bad,” replied Byron. “Cloudy, but warm. Not too many people.”
“How was your day, by the way?” asked Oscar, pouring himself a drink.
“Ugh. Not too bad,” groaned Byron, draping himself on the couch. “Warm, but dreary. Gray clouds as far as the eye could see. Not anyone worth mentioning out this time of year.” A pause. “Well, except me, of course.”
“Hmmph,” said Oscar, glancing over his shoulder. “If it were me, I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Isn’t that better? Already, the audience will feel as though they’ve gotten to know these characters.
This works for longer dialogue, too: allow the character’s personal beliefs, life philosophy, and generally disposition to dictate how they talk, and your readers will thank you.
Of course, this example is also good for giving the reader a general sense of what the characters’ relationship is like. Which brings me to my next point:
2. Allow the dialogue to show the character’s relationship.
Everyone is a slightly different person depending on who they’re around. Dynamic is an important thing to master, and when you nail it between two characters, sparks can fly.
Work out which character assumes more of the Straight Man role, and which is quicker to go for lowbrow humor. Think of who’s the more analytical of the two and who’s the more impulse driven. Who would be the “bad cop” if the situation called for it.
Then, allow for this to show in your dialogue, and it will immediately become infinitely more entertaining.
“Alright,” said Fogg, examining the map before him. “Thus far, we’ve worked out how we’re going to get in through the ventilation system, and meet up in the office above the volt. Then, we’re cleared to start drilling.”
Passepartout grinned. “That’s what she said.”
“Oh, for the love of God – REALLY, Jean. Really!? We are PLANNING a goddamn bank robbery!”
Some more questions about dynamic to ask yourself before writing dialogue:
Who is more likely to talk and who is more likely to listen?
Who would talk with their mouth full of food and who would politely wait to swallow?
Is their relationship fraternal/sororal? If so, who would be the “little sibling?”
Is one of them a bit of a mother/father figure to the other?
Who more frequently gets irritated with who?
Who has the more understated sense of humor? Who’s a bit more juvenile?
Who’s better educated? Does it show when they speak?
Who’s a bit more pretentious/full of themselves?
Who interrupts more?
Who swears more?
This can also be a valuable tool to cluing your reader in on who the characters are as people:
3. Think about what this dialogue can tell the reader.
It’s better to fill the reader in more gradually than to waist your valuable first chapter on needless exposition, and dialogue is a great way to do it.
Think about what your characters are saying, and think about ways in which you can “sneak in” details about their past, their families, and where they came from into the discussion.
For example, you could say:
Tuckerfield was a happy-go-lucky Southern guy with domineering parents,
and bore everyone to death.
Or you could have him say:
“Sheesh. All this sneakin’ around in the woods late at night reminds me of being back in Kansas. Good times, man, good times.” There was a pause, before he added, “‘Course, it wasn’t nearly so fun when I came home late for curfew and had to sleep on the front step, but y’know. Life happens.”
Isn’t that much better than the omnipresent monotone?
Dialogue is also a great way to fill in potential plot holes early on, by having your characters talk them out and explain them.
Moreover, dialogue can also be used to foreshadow, offer relevant hints about the climax, or provide information necessary for the resolution.
So use it wisely!
4. Sprinkle in mini-actions throughout.
Even in actionless dialogue, no one actually does nothing. In my case, for example, I stim a lot. I play with my hair. I play with eating utensils. It’s probably very annoying for those around me, but you get the point.
Less fidget-y folks might not do this as much, but they rarely sit totally still during conversations, either. So occasionally add in these mini-actions, and it will make your characters feel a bit less like disembodied voices or floating heads.
Jo leaned back in her chair rolling her stiff neck from sitting still for so long. “…So the way I see it,” she continued. “Even if Pheris Beuller’s Day Off didn’t take place in Cameron’s imagination, Pheris was clearly a sociopath whose behavior shouldn’t be glamorized.”
“Ha. As if.” Avery paused to sip her root beer. “Pheris,” she began, raising an index finger. “Was clearly emblematic of counterculturist movements such as the Beat Generation, and his disregard for the capitalistic dogmas imposed upon younger generations is something to be admired.”
“For Christ’s sake, will you two lighten up?” scoffed Leo, counting out bills for the pizza. “We were talking about which movie we wanted to watch tonight. Jesus.”
5. Remember how people actually speak.
In real life conversations, people don’t speak in paragraphs. Alright, some people might, and this can actually be interesting as the personality aspect of a certain type of character.
But generally speaking, people don’t speak in paragraphs, or as though they’re writing thought-out prose or letters.
In real conversations, people stutter. They laugh at their own jokes, repeat words or phrases, and lose their train of thought.
Naturally, you don’t have to illustrate in your writing exactly how chaotic and mundane human speech can be, as writing would be pretty boring in general if it was strictly limited to miming reality. But it’s good to keep in mind that your characters are talking, not writing in purple prose.
“When I was a young boy, my mother and I had a most tumultuous relationship,” said Marcus. “She saw me as a hallmark of her past failures, and took every opportunity to remind me as such.”
“My mom, when I was kid, we had what you’d call a sort of tumultuous relationship,” said Marcus. “Nothing I ever did was right for her. She, uh – I think she saw me as sort of a hallmark of her past failures. Took every opportunity to remind me of that.”
Which of these is more organic, more easy to visualize, and more telling of character? Unless the point of this dialogue is to illustrate that Marcus is a gentleman crook of some kind with pristine speaking mannerisms, I’m going to say the latter.
Best of luck, I hope this helps, and happy writing! <3
aries: passionate. she was intense and unforgiving in the way that she loved. she never let anything get in the way of what she wanted, she saw an opportunity and took it. she was independent, but when she loved, she loved hard. taurus: strong. she needed no one and she made that clear. she didn’t let anything distract her from her goal and she worked hard to get where she wanted to be. she was tense but a free spirit. gemini: blunt. he made his attempts and wants clear, and didn’t beat around the bush. he was an open book, and even when he tried to hide things you could see right through him. cancer: sensitive. she took everything very personally and she made no attempt to have a harder shell. she loved deeply and widely and had a big heart. libra: wild. she had a huge heart and loved everyone as much as she could. she took every opportunity to be spontaneous as she could, and she never took no for an answer. virgo: light-heartded. she never took anything too seriously. she did her best to cheer up anyone who had pain in their hearts, and chased butterflies and picked flowers. she lived a happy life. leo: inspiring. he spoke so wisely and knew so much more than i did. he seemed so much older, not in how he acted but the way that he thought. he spoke so peacefully, like he knew exactly what his place in the world was. scorpio: fearless. he was strong and had a powerful, demanding voice. he got what he wanted without hurting a fly. he was confident and lived off adrenaline like it was coffee. saggitarius: entertaining. in the best possible way, he loved attention. he did his best to entertain his friends and loved making people laugh. he easily caught my attention constantly. capricorn: independent. he needed no one and nothing. he was fun to talk to and knew what he wanted in life. he didn’t need or ask for validation from anyone, and i would be surprised if he ever does. aquarius: deep. in the most serious way, he loved so deep, laughed so hard, and did everything more intense than anyone i’ve ever met. he had such deep thoughts and hopes and dreams. pisces: optimistic. she saw the best in everyone. she had hopes and dreams that were unrealistic, but she ignored anyone who told her she couldn’t make it. she loved the world, and saw nothing but the positive.
Why does he look so damn hot in this gif? Like he’s getting head?
Summary- The reader is a hunter who’s had a crush on Theo for a while and takes him to her place to torture him with pleasure.
Idk if that make sense but I just got the idea from the gif lol.
In honor of teen wolf sunday.
Warning- Daddykink!Theo Sub!Theo(Begin half) Sub!Reader, Dom!Theo., Blowjobs, chocking, bitting, unprotected sex. That’s all I could think of
Theo pulled on the zip ties groaning at the tightness around his wrist. He had been captured by an unknown hunter, Theo was in his truck hesitant on calling Scott from what he had discovered when he was at the clinic a spider that disappeared into thin air. When he was in his truck a flashlight came into his view, he thought it was the sheriffs department but it turned out to be a hunter by it’s lonesome who shot a dart into neck knocking him out.
@permanentcross I told you it was coming soon, hopefully this will make a good little miniseries
“Bet yah taste sweet,” He purred in her ear before cleaning off one of his fingers and letting out a groan of his own. “Oh yah do love, best thing ‘ve ever tasted. Even better than those drinks yah make me. Although, guess it should be huh, after all it’s the nectar o’ the goddess. Why don’ yah go head and taste it.”
He held his other finger to her lips and Y/N seized the opportunity she saw. Her lips closed around his finger and she sucked firmly, running her tongue around it as she rocked her head back and forth slightly. Harry knew that if he fucked her right now that he was going to climax way too quickly, he had to prep her more, needed to get her all ready for his cock and build up her orgasm.
“Want to truly taste yah love. Got to taste the nectar o’ the goddess from the source.”
Y/N is a bartender who makes all sorts of drinks for Harry, but Harry’s favorite drink is Y/N’s juices
Or why the Avengers’ relationship to Tony was unhealthy at best, Steve isn’t fit to be a leader, and why I’m Team Iron Man to the end.
WHY TONY’S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE AVENGERS IS UNHEALTHY AT BEST
Tony’s relationship with the Avengers has always made me uncomfortable. For the longest time, I couldn’t put my finger on why exactly, but I’ll try to organize my thoughts in this series.
This post was getting far too long, so I decided to cut it into parts, one per Avenger.
Let’s talk about Wanda.
Wanda, who chooses to join a known terrorist organization to get revenge over Tony in the stupidest plot ever, because, come on. If your parents are killed in a car accident, you’re not going to go kill the car manufacturer in revenge. It’s absurd. It’s insane. It makes no sense whatsoever.
But she makes that choice. God only knows how many people she killed during her and Pietro’s time with HYDRA, but she obviously doesn’t give a damn. In fact, her revenge against Tony doesn’t seem to include actually causing him physical harm, but rather…killing as many innocent people over the world as she can? Otherwise, she could have, you know. Killed him at the beginning of Age of Ultron. Instead, she triggered the creation of Ultron, mentally raped and tortured people who’d already been through a shit-ton of trauma, and let loose a creature known to be uncontrollable and highly destructive on hapless civilians.
And she does. not. care.
Then, she realizes all of a sudden that, wait! Ultron wants to destroy the world I happen to be a part of. Does that mean I’ll die, too? It must! Nope, that won’t do. Let’s switch sides.
Then Clint goes and makes her an Avenger, without any consideration for Natasha, his friend and teammate, who had to relive her blood-drenched past, or Bruce, his teammate and friend, whom Wanda forced to massacre innocent civilians, or Tony, his teammate and supposed friend, who went through a hellish vision. Clint, who has experienced mind-control and its consequences before, just welcomes a proven disloyal, murderous witch into the team all on his own. As if all was forgiven and the lives she’d taken didn’t matter. As if the harm she caused wasn’t a problem and should be forgotten just because she suddenly saw the light and really is “just a kid.”
But she didn’t.
First, she doesn’t give a crap about the lives lost. She doesn’t give a crap about who lives or dies, and about what she did/caused.
Second, she’s not a freaking kid. She’s a grown-ass woman of 26, only a few years younger than Steve, and if she’s old enough to drink, fuck and kill, then she’s damn well old enough to take responsibility for the blood she shed. Willingly.
Third, how come Tony has to take responsibility, get reamed out by everyone and still not be forgiven, and atone over and over again for his mistakes (which afterward get used against him on a regular basis by his supposed team), even though he actually tries to get better and fix things, when Wanda, who doesn’t give a shit, gets a free pass? The double-standards when it comes to that are mind-blowing.
The same thing actually happens after Lagos. Wanda fucks up. And yeah, she was trying to help this time, I won’t deny it. But she did, and people died. And instead of benching her for more training (because while I believe that “lack of control” excuse if absolute bullshit after the mastery of her powers she displayed in Age of Ultron), which should have been Steve’s reaction as “team leader,” Steve gently sits her down and explains that she should forget about those people because “you can’t save everybody.” That the leader of the world’s leading defending force shows such disregard about human life is kinda daunting, don’t you think?
I can guarantee that, had Tony made such a costly mistake, he’d have been benched faster than you can say “hypocrite.”
On to that wonderfully childish “he locked me into my room” affair.
Tony tries to protect Wanda by keeping her in. Granted, he could have explained it better. Except here’s the deal: Tony has a lot on his plate. On top of this Accords mess, he’s still got a company to his name, which means the livelihoods of thousands of people all over the world to worry about, the Avengers’ gear, PR, and battles to deal with, his Iron Man duties, etc. etc. No doubt both the Lagos incident and Steve’s mess in Bulgaria are running him ragged trying to do damage control not only with Ross, but also with, probably, the press and maybe even the UN. Furthermore, he’s already been physically hurt.
He simply doesn’t have the time to sit down with Wanda, take her hand, and then explain everything that’s going down, especially given that she’s hostile towards him to begin with, and would probably not listen anyway.
Vision did try to explain. And she was fine with staying where she was until Clint popped up with his carefully not considered consequences.
Then you’ll never make me believe that dropping 20+ cars on top of a man—a man in armor, sure, but that doesn’t make it any better, the average weight of a car being 1.5 ton—the way she did wasn’t done with the intention to cause severe physical harm, if not outright death. To me, she saw the opportunity to hurt the man she considered responsible for everything wrong in this world, and took it with relish.
So here’s the thing.
Wanda can judge and hate Tony all she wants. But that doesn’t change the fact that were it not for him, she wouldn’t be in America. She wouldn’t have anything to eat, or to wear, or anywhere to sleep. She wouldn’t have a visa (which must have been freaking hard to obtain given that she was a criminal), or shiny toys, or a room bigger than the average family home to be locked in in the first place.
And it doesn’t change the fact that she has no right to that judgement and hatred while she conveniently refuses to acknowledge that, unlike Tony, who had no idea what was going on, shewillingly caused harm to innocent people.
Angelica waited for him to reply. There was no answer.
The treasurer’s office was in total darkness, with the curtains drawn. It smelled of ink and dust, and the atmosphere was very heavy. Two stacks of papers guarded the figure of Alexander who, holding the quill, as usual, was writing. Angelica wondered how the hell he saw where or what he was doing, but he was just doing it. Non-stop.
- Alexander, do not ignore me! What the hell is wrong with you? - she asked again.
Seeing him so focused, so absorbed, one could almost feel the weight of the obligations he wanted to fulfill, heavy as chains. The quill continued to move when Alexander spoke, without turning.
- I thought I had made it clear, I will not go upstate - said annoyed - I have a so much work to do. If Eliza and you can not understand I-
- The only one here who can not understand it is YOU! - remarking the ‘you’, Angelica released the knob and walked behind the desk, looking at Alexander straight, the furniture between them. Alexander did not let go of the quill but he was more self-conscious and avoided the intense look with which Angelica seemed to attack him.
- Listen to me Hamilton and listen to me well - Angelica snatched the quill from his hand to make him look her in the eye. It worked.
- I’m tired of a stupid puddle of water separating me from my home here; tired of planning and planning the perfect vacation with Eliza so that now you throw it all overland; tired of having to wait weeks to hear from you; tired of having to imagine your face, and when finally I have you in front of me, after traveling 5,500 kilometres… you deny my request? - she took a deep breath and pointed him with the quill - Oh, Alexander, this is falling very low…
- Angelica, I’m sorry - he spat - I understand that this bothers you, but it’s my job that is at stake! I’ve fought hard for this, I can not afford to throw it all away now-
Angelica banged on the table. Alexander was startled.
- And in what the hell is good for you? To unveil you? To overwhelm you, get away from your family, not be able to enjoy your own children? - more than angry, Angelica seemed on the verge of despair.
Alexander’s eyes widened. Then he looked at the ground, guilty. He rubbed his face with both hands. There were too many fronts open at the same time, he was overwhelmed, could not think clearly. Finally, Angelica saw a fracture in his chains, an opportunity. She relaxed his tone and slowly, left the quill on the table.
- You have written so much that you could fill the entire Congress - she said, almost whispering, with a touch of admiration - I do not think they care that you take a break, and resume your duties in a while … or at least, that you divide them enough to be able to allow you a vacation …
Alexander looked at both hands conscientiously. Closing his fists, he looked up to reconnect his pupils with her sister-in-law’s. They maintained the connection, a chill ran down her back.
- Eliza … she has been preparing this vacation for months, it really makes her very happy - she took a deep breath - and personally, I didn’t lie when I said I would miss your face.
Alexander got up, catching up with her. The desk separated them physically, but for them, it no longer existed. He took a strong breath, squeezing his eyes, and when he opened them, they had the look of a prisoner who was crying out for help to get out of his own prison. Luckily, Angelica had the key he needed.
- Alexander, let’s enjoy these three months…
Taking a Break AU: the beginning (2/3)
Summer of 1791, New York City. Elizabeth Schuyler’s vacations are in several danger due to the fact her beloved husband Alexander Hamilton refuses to go to the family vacation in any way. Luckily, her sister Angelica may take a different way in this AU and, perhaps, change some things…
Phew! Finally, the second part is ready! I’m so sorry for have it this late, better late than never? *runs* I had a great time doing these gifs, I hope they see okay! Also, forgive my English grammar please, I’m not native and I SUCK AT WRITING if there are some important errors please tell me WOW, what will Alexander answer? HOW TO SAY NO TO THIS HA HA
“you tried to murder everyone i care about. you killed children. because of you, my brother is dead.”
“and you killed my mother. you took my brother. you took my father. the second you fell into the world, the wheels were in motion. my mother looked into your head and saw opportunity. she saw a chance she had been looking for forever. if you hadn’t - if you had never - ” he stumbles, the words coming faster than he can stop them. then he grits his teeth, clamping down on anything more damning.
another breath of silence. “i don’t want to know what would have been.”
Imagine where the reader gets thrown in Arkham when Jerome is killed,since she was crying over his dead body and Jim saw this as an opportunity to arrest her.So when Jerome returns he goes to save her,finding her completely insane from being tortured
“No. Jerome please don’t leave me! No!” I sob over his body as blood pokes from his mouth and neck.
I’m numb to anything around me I don’t even notice Jim Gordon placing handcuffs on me and my hands behind my back. “(Y/n) (l/n) you’re under arrest.” I sob harder as they place me into the car and drive me to the station.
I don’t stop crying there. I never stopped. Not even they threw me in Arkham, strapped my to the bed, injected me with drugs, or fried my brains. I never stopped till one day where the screams turned into laughter.
I went from crying to laughing. Making a joke out of my pain. It’s an addiction I can’t stop. Laughter is…my escape. Laughter is my freedom.
I sit in my cell reading a book and sipping my coffee when a nurse comes in with a needle. “That time again? Oh alright then! Go ahead! Stickme baby!” I cackle and jump off the bed next to her holding out my arm.
She flinches as I get closer. “Ah you’re new! Well WELCOME! My name is (y/n)! Say…would you do me a favor?” She’s so taken over by fear she can’t move. “Awww honey! No need to be scared! What do you say you get me out of here and we can go shopping, get our nails done, maybe go get some sweets! Oh doesn’t that sound fun?!” I reach for the needle and snatch it from here quickly stabbing it into her neck.
She falls to the ground and I run out of the cell. I laugh as guards left and right race to get me. “YOU CAN’T CATCH ME!” I yell laughing. I turn the corner and see a door with a silver handle. “Oh shiny!” I grasp the handle hoping it would open the door but it doesn’t budge.
I turn around to see the guards with annoyed looks. I sigh and hold my wrists out. “Off to treatment we go.” They take me to the shock room where they strap me down and fry my brains, but honestly it makes me feel warm and fuzzy.
I cackle as my hairs stand up. “Come on Doc oh hit me one more time!” He rolls his eyes and turns the electricity up. “Crazy bitch.”
I was placed in solitary confinement, but I didn’t mind. They gave me paper and markers to keep my occupied, but as I was coloring a picture of a flower gunshots are heard and screams fill the air.
I shoot the guards as they run up to me. I hit one in the face with the butt of the gun and look down at him laughing. “Where is she?”
Move shots and screams continue through the entire asylum. I don’t think too much of it until I hear a laugh. A adorable laugh that I know matches a even more adorable smile.
I stand up and go to the door and look out the window seeing a smoked up hallway. The laugh gets closer and loud footsteps a sound. I start bouncing on the padded floor in excitement.
I’ve heard rumors about it. Villains being reborn, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I see a flash of red hair and bang on the door
He turns to look at me and smiles. He motions for me to back up and I do as told moving away from the door.
In seconds it’s blown open and I’m in his arms. I look up to see his face is lined in staples and he’s got a permanent smile scared into his skin.
He moves my hair out of the way and looks at the scars on my body. “Oh doll what have they done to you?” I giggle and kiss him. “Nothing I couldn’t handle J. I’m free. Now let’s get out of here.”
We run down the hallways free, laughing, and shooting anything in sight. It’s good to be free.
His fingers tapped restlessly on his thigh. Stay cool, Sorcha.
He had names for her in his head. Names he couldn’t say out loud.
Her name, Sorcha in Gaelic, for one. The other to do with her dark curls.
Right now she was a witness in the Judge’s Hearing, being cross examined, and was doing very well.
“Dr. Randall, how did you come to be in my client’s bistro, then?”
“I accompanied Detective Sergeant Fraser because the toxicology report came back citing Conium Maculatum as the poison which caused the first victim’s death, and he asked me if the second death was similar. It was not, so I researched which poison it could be. We went back to the bistro together in case the plant was somehow on display, and I could identify it because I’m well versed in Medical Botany.”
“Please tell us the plants you did see, Dr. Randall,” the Judge interjected.
“Well, I saw Belladonna, and Poppies from which you get opium, Foxglove, Yellow Jasmine. Oh, and Sweet Pea vines.”
The Judge nodded to indicate he was finished with his question.
“My client mentioned you came back again. Alone.”
Claire said nothing.
“Sorry. I was waiting for a question.”
Jamie shook his head and smiled at her impertinence.
The Barrister asked the question again, impatience in his tone. “Why did you go back to the bistro alone, Dr. Randall? And the bruises on your neck?”
Jamie sat up straighter. Come on, mo neighean donn.
Claire looked from the Barrister, to the Judge, then back to the Barrister. “I went back to the bistro to try to find a different plant. Convallaria majalis. I thought these poisonous leaves might be among the greens one could choose for their salad. I was incorrect. They were blended into the salad dressings. I realized that when Ms. Duncan asked me whether or not “he” liked lemon.” Claire paused, and looked at the Judge again. “But I never had bruises on my neck.”
Geillis Duncan sat up in her chair, palms flat on the table. Her green eyes were blazing at Claire. The Barrister flicked a hand in her direction, silently instructing her to calm down.
“You had on a scarf, Dr. Randall. My client said you were trying to cover up the bruises on your neck. Bruises from an abusive relationship.”
“I wore a scarf that day, but for no other reason than it looked good with my sweater.” Claire hit the perfect tone of dismissive professionalism.
The Crown Prosecutor jumped in. “Your Honour, is Counsel admitting his client is guilty here? That she willfully poisoned two men because she deemed them to be abusive?”
“No, I’m simply trying to ascertain if Dr. Randall presented herself falsely so as to entrap my client.” The Defense realized immediately what he’d done. Stupid mistake.
Claire did not dare to look at Jamie. She kept her eyes trained on the Judge.
“My Chambers, both of you. You are finished, Dr. Randall.”
Geillis stared at Claire.
Claire gathered her things.
Jamie stared at Claire. My God, she was cool. Calm. Collected. He wondered briefly if she knew the outcome, and that’s why she was so steady.
It was over in minutes.
Jamie caught up with Claire waiting in the foyer for the pelting rain outside to die down. He told her Geillis took a plea bargain. She admitted to having been abused, and neglected by her alcoholic husband. Geillis Duncan decided to ‘help’ other women in the same predicament. What they couldn’t get her to admit was how her own husband died. Apparently, Geillis said he was allergic to almonds.
Claire knew better.
It was dark, and fresh after the rain storm.
He opened her car door, and offered a hand to help her out in front of her town home. Two pints, and a celebration whisky later, she wasn’t too worse for wear. Her tawny eyes were slightly unfocused, but still bright with satisfaction over her performance at the Hearing. She smiled up at him, and took his hand. He tugged a little as she got to her feet, and she playfully leaned against his shoulder.
Jamie saw his opportunity and took it.
He hooked a finger under her chin, and lifted it. Pressed his lips to hers. Not too hard. Not too urgent. Just a kiss. A beginning. A start.
Claire was startled. Her eyes were wide open as she watched Jamie close his. He broke the kiss, and without opening his eyes, found her lips again. He did not pressure her. It seemed just the softness of their mouths was enough.
She let her eyes drift shut. Grabbed the lapels of his jacket. Stepped towards him, and felt his arms come around her. Gently. Easily.
He tasted like whisky. Like the whisky they had in the pub. Without meaning to her tongue traced the seam of his lips tasting it. He smiled into the kiss and opened his mouth. The tip of his tongue touched hers. She shuddered as he sucked her tongue a little deeper into his mouth.
When the kiss ended he didn’t let go. Instead he leaned back against his car, spread his legs, and brought her to stand between them. Still gripping his lapels, she felt like a teenager at the end of a date. She could feel him hard against her belly.
“Jamie…” How to explain?
“It was time, no? I mean, our fourth date an’ all.”
“What?” Claire was confused. Her brain, fuzzy.
“Wot?” Jamie mimicked. “Aye. Fourth.”
“We’ve not been on a date, ever!” Claire placed her palms flat on Jamie’s chest, and tried to push away. He ran his hands slowly down her backside. Pressed her slightly forward. Against his desire.
“The first date we had pizza…”
“That wasn’t a date! It was after work!”
Jamie grinned at her outrage.
“Aye, it was. I paid, ken? That made it a date. The second time ye paid for me. Falafals, yeah?”
“That was work!”
“Nay, it wasna!” Jamie teased, “It was strictly talk of yer life and mine. No work talk until we’d finished.” Her loved the way her brow furrowed in thought.
Claire shook her head. She was having trouble coming up with a suitable argument. Jamie snuck in for another quick kiss.
He continued. “Then, to cover our arses I told Chief Inspector we were on a date to the bistro, so that makes three, and finally, tonight at the pub.”
Claire laughed, truly amused. “None of those were dates, Fraser. You are making up this complete fantasy.” She poked his chest.
Jamie hugged her a little tighter. She had to step a little closer. “Maybe. Maybe I wanted them to be dates, Claire.” He pushed a tendril behind her ear. “Listen, Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall of Oxfordshire, England. Daughter of Julia and Henry Beauchamp. Raised by Quentin Lambert Beauchamp. Birthdate, October 20.”
Claire gasped. “You’ve investigated me!” She tried to push away. The feeling of being controlled began to rise up inside her. Began to sober her.
Jamie held fast. Stayed calm. Voice measured. Even.
“I did. Not sorry for it, either. Ye fascinate me, Claire. And since gettin’ ye to talk about yerself is like interviewing a hostile witness, I was desperate. Top of yer class in medical school. Ye were one of the best surgeons in Boston.”
“Ye ken what else I found out?” He stood up now, so as to be closer still. “That I’m falling in love with ye, Claire.”
She froze. No. This cannot be.
She closed her eyes. Placed a hand over his heart.
Not one tiny vision.
Damn it all to hell. No, no, no, no, NO.
“You don’t know me, Jamie. You don’t know what I’m capable of.” Claire started to shake. She had to tell him.
He closed his hand over hers as it lay on his chest. “What do ye see, Claire?” he asked softly.
“Nothing,” she whispered. “That happens, when….when I….” God, Beauchamp, out with it. “When I’m too close…emotionally….to someone.”
Jamie’s heart leapt. Dare he hope?
“Is that what happened with Frank, then? Is that why ye blame yerself? Ye never saw his accident?”
Claire swallowed hard. Took a deep breath. Tried to focus on his face. The accident swam in front of her eyes again. Suddenly, she was back there.
She took a step away from him.
“I did see, Jamie. When he brushed past me after our argument I saw it all. The black ice. The tree. The twisted car. All of it.”
She stepped back again. And again.
His hands dropped from her hips. She was free from his touch.
“And I didn’t do a damn thing to stop him. I saw it. And I didn’t say a word.”