Lost in Time
Annnnnd we’re shifting back to Jamie and the little ones this week. If I didn’t mention before, I will be updating on Sundays. Let me know whatcha think. I’m a little rusty writing wise!
“Daddy, will you tell us a story?”
“Ah, a story? Ah, well, let’s see…”
“Daddy, do you know where Mama is?”
“I dinna ken lassie, but I swear I will find her.”
“Do you pwomise?”
Jamie looked down to see the bright blue eyes of his daughter, shining with innocence and trust. He saw his own reflection in her glass eyes and knew in that moment that he could never lie to her.
So, he answered strongly, “Aye, I do.” He reached down and brushed a curl from her warm forehead, she ran hot like he did. “I love you, a chuisle. Do ye know that?”
Ellena smiled and turned her attention back to her wooden pony that Jamie had carved for her. “Yes, I wove you too, Daddy.”
The trust that she had in him both made his heart swell so much that he thought it must burst out of his chest and also terrified him to the core of his bones.
He needed a way to never break that trust, which meant finding Claire and finding Claire fast.
Ah dhia, women. Where could ye be?
Jenny and Ian had sent word to Inverness and all other local villages to see if anyone had seen her. Jamie himself having been occupied by his newly restored son and daughter.
He had been itching with the temptation to go out and find her himself, but the thought of leaving the twins so soon after he had just found him physically made him hurt. Just the thought of it.
They slept on either side of Jamie, cuddled close on the large bed. Jamie, consequently, hadn’t gotten much sleep in the last week, but he had never been so happy to be tired. Most of the night, he kept a candle burring and simply traced their features, marveling of the merging of his and Claire’s flesh.
Ellena had faint freckles scattered across her cheeks as Claire had during the summer months. He remembered her face in the sunshine in Paris as they laid in the grass together and how he would trace the small dots with his fingers, connecting them like constellations.
Brian had the small cow lick that Jamie had. He remembered Jenny and his Mam trying to get the stubborn patch of hair to lie neatly on his head when he would pose for his mother’s paintings. He had felt it himself as he smoothed his own hair back. He remembered the slimy feeling of fat and grease as he tried to get the hair to stay down for his wedding, wanting to look the best for his bride.
The hours went by like minutes. The nights turned to mornings and then the world started up again and Jamie got to see the children that he had made.
The twins fought and yelled and cried and smiled. They loved one another something fierce. Jenny had walked by them and smiled, glancing at Jamie before continuing on with her daily chores. Jenny shared his joy at the fruition of his flesh and the security of his bloodline through Claire.
But his palms sweat and his heart raced when they told him about the war-torn home they had left. Claire had felt this time would be safer for their family, but how could it be? Jamie didn’t want to ask toddlers about war and resolved to wait, but a few days after they had appeared, he realized he couldn’t.
Ian and wee Jamie had been moving crates in the front yard that they had built together. Jamie and Jenny had simply been marveling at the twins while they played.
But a sudden crash from a fallen crate outside had resulted in something Jamie found frightening.
Immediately, Brian shot up and grabbed Ellena’s hand before scurrying under the the table and covering their heads with their hands. The loud crash must have reminded them of something from their own time. It has taken Jamie and Jenny almost an hour to convince them to come out and that they were safe.
And still, they clung to Jamie the rest of the day, burring their faces into his chest and weeping with fright.
So, as Jamie sat, watching Brian play with his toy, he had to ask.
“Brian, you said that there was a war? That’s why your mam brought ye here, brought ye through the stones?”
He didn’t want to push his son into reliving bad memories, but he needed to know. He needed to have a clue of what their past was like. His son didn’t spare him a glance as he was too busy racing his horse across the floor as he answered.
“Yes. Lots of bombs and scary things.”
Jamir crossed himself briefly and said a quiet thanks to God that his children had survived such horror. He didn’t know what a bomb was exactly other than what Claire had told him before. He assumed they made a sound similar to the one the crate made when it fell by the twin’s reaction.
“That’s how our first Daddy went bye-bye.”
Jamie looked back down at Brian sharply. First daddy? Frank. Poor devil.
“Frank, ye mean, Brian?”
Brian made a sound of agreement, making his horse gallop and stride across the floor. Jamie didn’t want to push him any more today and decided to drop the topic and let his son be a child, not having to relive terrible memories.
He sighed and leaned over to pluck Brian’s tiny form from the floor, so soft and small, he held him close to his chest, against his heart.
“Ye ken that you’re safe now, son? You and your sister. I wilna ever let anything happen to either or ye while there is breath in my body.”
Brian’s eyes –so like his own– gazed at his for a moment, thinking.
“I ken,” Brian giggled, pleased at his mimicking of Jamie’s accent.
Jamie laughed himself as the squirming toddler, his red curls tickling his nose as he bounced against him in amusement.
Leaning his head down, Jamie kissed his forehead and squeezed him tight, breathing in the scent of honey and dirt. His son.
Laughter from outside caught his attention and he saw Ellena chasing her cousins in the yard, flying through the garden as the sun shown down on them. The sun reflected all the shades of brown in her curls, dancing around her as she ran and laughed.
Tears glistened in his eyes as he watched and held his son, knowing this was all he had ever wanted in his life.
But the missing part of him still ached like a bruise that wouldn’t heal. He needed to find Claire and he needed to find her soon.