Jamie woke happier than he’d been in years, cradling Claire’s warm body against his own. What had happened the night before was more than sex, more than two bodies coming together. It felt as if his soul and hers had intertwined so fully that he could not tell his from hers.
She rolled over, facing him, and her eyes opened slowly. She had the most beautiful eyes, deep and full of intelligence he’d never seen in another person.
“Since you made dinner,” she said softly. “Does that mean I’m responsible for breakfast?”
He shrugged, letting his hands slide down to rest on her rump.
“Aye, if ye like. Or ye could let me cook for ye.”
“That’s probably for the best,” she said, kissing him gently. “I’m not much of a cook,” she whispered in his ear.
Not ready to emerge from their dreamy state, he spent a few minutes touching and kissing her. Just a stroke here, a wee nip there, and he had her as aroused as she had been the night before.
“You know,” she said breathlessly as he suckled one breast. “I could get used to this.”
He pulled his head up briefly to look her in the eye.
“Oh? Ye could get used to me making love to ye every chance I get?”
She grinned lazily and giggled.
“Well, yes, that too. But I could get used to waking up beside you every morning.”
“Mmm,” he said, nuzzling her neck. “Canna say I would mind that either. I dinna want to ever let ye go.”
Claire pushed him onto his back and swung a leg over him.
“It’s strange,” she said, settling into position. “I can’t seem to get enough of you either.”
Hands on her hips, he let his head drop into his pillow while Claire had her way with him. She rode him for all she was worth, fingers digging into the top of his shoulders as she churned. It wasn’t long before she shuddered and shook with pleasure, letting out soft squeaks. Keeping up her steady rocking, she brought on his conclusion as well before she sighed and slid off.
They lay together, legs tangled around each other and Claire’s elegant fingers playing with his hair. He didn’t keep it very long, only long enough to style if he felt like it. It must look a mess after last night.
“You are quite a good lover,” she said with a wicked grin.
“And you,” he growled. “Have the finest arse I’ve ever seen. Or fondled.”
She giggled again, fingers still twirling in his hair.
“It’s such a magnificent shade,” she said quietly. “Or range of shades I suppose.”
If he could only stay like this forever, tangled up with her, he could die a happy man.
“It turns red-gold when the sun hits it just right,” she continued. “And it’s such a deep rusty color on the very bottom.”
He kissed her again, thrilled at the way she noticed the little things about him.
“I’ve a proposition for ye, Sassenach,” he said a moment later.
“What would ye say to coming out to my stables one of these days and lettin’ me teach ye to ride?”
Her heartbeat picked up its pace and she sighed.
“Well… You said you had a good one?”
“Oh aye. And I’ll be the one teachin’ ye. I willna leave that to someone else.”
She considered it for a minute.
“Hmm… I suppose I can manage that. But you’ll have to let me teach you something in return.”
In Shifted, the premise is simple - what if Claire had gotten pregnant with
Brianna a month or two earlier in the story, and she and Jamie had
re-evaluated their priorities and decided that the cause was lost, and
they were able to slip away from the army and quietly return to
revived almost immediately, though – grateful that Jamie had been too focused
on breaking her fall to punch Roger Wakefield in the mouth.
all right – I just need some air,” she gasped, bracing her arms against Jamie’s
ye sure, Sassenach?” He gripped her tightly. “Can ye please get her some
water?” he asked the lady of the house. Terribly perplexed by the exchange, she
quickly scurried out of the room.
me that stool, lad,” he addressed the stranger. Startled back into the moment,
Roger Wakefield dragged the stool closer to Claire. Jamie eased her down onto
it, gripping her shoulders tightly.
Jamie looked the man straight in the eye. “Just who in hell are ye?”
James Fraser – the Jacobite,” Roger said softly. “I’ve seen your pardon.”
brows knit. “I am. But what do ye mean, ye’ve seen the pardon? There are only
two copies I know of, and I’ve got one of them.” One of Claire’s hands pressed
on top of his, and he gripped her fingers gently. Strength.
so much to tell. But perhaps not here?” Roger nodded at the woman, who had
returned with a horn cup full of water. Claire thanked the woman and sipped the
water slowly, thoughtfully.
We live up at the main house – can ye ride a horse?”
snorted. “Of course I can ride a horse. Do ye mean for me to come with ye,
nodded. “Aye, I dinna want her riding on her own just now. Let’s go.”
set down the now-empty cup and took Jamie’s hand, rising to her feet. She
regarded Roger from this closer angle. His clothes were worn, but had obviously
belonged to someone else, as they were slightly too large. His hands were soft
– not the hands of one accustomed to doing manual labor. Clearly he hadn’t been
in this time for very long.
long have you been here, Roger?” she asked softly.
smiled ruefully. “Three months, give or take. I don’t know how you’ve been able
to manage almost twenty years.”
turned to her husband and met his eyes squarely. “This is how.”
rode quickly, silently, back to Lallybroch. Claire sat wedged in front of Fraser,
Roger trotting alongside. All three silently processed what had happened and
prepared for what was to come.
caught snatches of the Gaidhlig spoken
between the Frasers – his low, sonorous tones, her halting, accented ones. He
still hadn’t adjusted to the form of the language spoken in this area, in this
time – so different from what he’d studied at Oxford – but it had been enough
to get by.
Do you truly know him?
Yes, myself and my first husband
met him when we visited Inverness. Right before I travelled.
Why do you think he’s here?
I do not know. I am fearful.
You have no need to fear, my
heart. You know I will take care of it. And take care of you.
hadn’t really known what to expect if – or when – he found Claire. He knew she
had married Fraser, and become a healer of some renown in the area. She was
still a remarkably beautiful woman – her face was nearly identical to the
photograph he’d seen in the Reverend’s study, taken just days before her
had no idea what to expect with Fraser. It was one thing to find the deed of
sassine, the pardon, the ledgers from Broch Tuarach with Fraser’s name. He had
assembled a mental picture of what the man must look like – but it certainly
paled in comparison to the reality. Fraser was literally larger-than-life –
part warrior, part laird, part farmer, part politician.
based on what he’d observed in their short time together, a completely devoted
and protective husband. Claire couldn’t have been clearer that he was the
reason she had stayed, and that he had been her strength during her time here.
And it also couldn’t have been clearer that she was Fraser’s source of strength
must be a singular man to have captured the love of that remarkable woman.
drew his horse up short as they crested a hill, now in sight of the house. He
turned to Roger. “This is our home,” he said slowly, deliberately. “This is my
family’s land. You are a guest here. Dinna forget that, Mr. Wakefield.”
swallowed. “I won’t.”
wasn’t menace that underlay Jamie’s words. It wasn’t a clear threat, either –
but a warning. Cross a line, say too much, upset Claire – Jamie would harm him.
Or kill him, if necessary.
kicked his horse to follow Fraser’s. He doubted Frank Randall would have made a
similar comment – or had ever possessed a similar depth of feeling for Claire.
“Me?” The boy’s eyes went round with astonishment.
“You, man.” Jamie took the paper from me, folded it, then knelt and tucked it inside Fergus’s shirt.
“This must reach my sister—Madame Murray—without fail. It is worth more than my life, man—or yours.”
Practically breathless with the enormity of the responsibility entrusted to him, Fergus stood up straight, hands clasped over his middle.
“I will not fail you, milord!”
A faint smile crossed Jamie’s lips, and he rested a hand briefly on the smooth cap of Fergus’s hair.
“I know that, man, and I am grateful,” he said. He twisted the ring off his left hand; the cabochon ruby that had belonged to his father. “Here,” he said, handing it to Fergus. “Go to the stables, and show this to the old man ye’ll see there. Tell him I said you are to take Donas. Take the horse, and ride for Lallybroch. Stop for nothing, except as you must, to sleep, and when ye do sleep, hide yourself well.”
Fergus was speechless with alarmed excitement, but Murtagh frowned dubiously at him.
“D’ye think the bairn can manage yon wicked beast?” he said.
“Aye, he can,” Jamie said firmly. Overcome, Fergus stuttered, then sank to his knees and kissed Jamie’s hand fervently. Springing to his feet, he darted away in the direction of the stables, his slight figure disappearing in the mist.
I wonder if this is the scene??? Would have been quite easy to get hit in the nose with a piece of splintery wood as they carefully acted out this important scene!
“Hold on!” Jamie said. He reached me with two strokes, and ducking under the piece of wood I held, dived down. I felt a tugging at my leg, a sharp pain, and then the dragging tension eased. Jamie’s head popped up again, across the spar. He grasped my wrists and hung there, gulping air, as the rolling swell carried us, up and down. I couldn’t see the ship anywhere; had it sunk? A wave broke over my head, and Jamie disappeared temporarily. I shook my head, blinking, and he was there again. He smiled at me, a savage grin of effort, and his grip on my wrists tightened harder. “Hold on!” he rasped again, and I did. The wood was harsh and splintery under my hands, but I clung for all I was worth. We drifted, half-blinded by spray, spinning like a bit of flotsam, so that sometimes I saw the distant shore, sometimes nothing but the open sea from which we had come. And when the waves washed over us, I saw nothing but water.