In February 2012, 7 year old Brittney Baxter was shopping with her mother in Bremen, Georgia when a stranger attempted to kidnap her. As can be seen from the clip above, an unknown man grabbed Brittney and tried to hastily carry her away from the toy aisle in Walmart. However, this brave little girl successfully kicked and screamed her way out of an abduction. She recollected that the man made attempts to cover her mouth but the struggle proved too much of a risk and he promptly put her down before turning and quickly leaving the store.
Police utilised the footage from the supermarket and car park to track the assailant’s movements and were able to arrest him at his home shortly afterwards. He was identified as 25 year old Thomas Woods, who had recently been released from prison on parole following a conviction of voluntary manslaughter. Although there was clear evidence of him being at the scene, he denied being at Walmart that day. Despite his objections, Woods was ultimately charged with attempted kidnapping.
As the hot spray pounded against her neck and between her shoulder blades, Claire could feel the day’s tensions wash away. Despite the candles in that close room, she felt chilled. Despite the fact that Thomas Baxter would be alright, she felt anxious. The close-to-scalding hot shower helped wash away the insanity of the evening.
She could hear the doorbell when she shut off the water.
Insistent. Annoying. Continuous.
“What in the hell!” Claire wrapped herself in a robe, and grabbed a towel to work the water out of her hair.
The ringing continued.
She stormed down the stairs, knowing full well who would dare show up at this time of night.
She checked the peephole.
His mahogany hair a tumbled mess as if he’d run his hand through the curls a dozen times. His face like granite. His eyes narrowed slits.
For a brief moment she considered not opening the door.
The bell rang again and she jumped.
“Dammit, Claire!” He punctuated his curse by pounding on the barrier.
She slide the chain free, then unlocked the deadbolt.
“What is your problem?” she said as she flung the door wide.
“Are ye mad, woman?” Jamie stepped into her foyer, anger radiating from him. He slammed the door behind him.
“What are you talking about?” The water from her hair was dripping down her neck, snaking it’s way down her spine.
“Why would ye go to Ste. Anne’s? Why would ye no’ stay put!” Jamie jammed his hands into his pockets to keep from throttling her.
“Shauna called me! I went to help. If I hadn’t the boy would have died!” She crossed her arms to keep from throttling him.
“I’m waiting for you to say something. Anything, really, that resembles an apology.” She had to know she was wrong.
“An apology?” She was incredulous. Was he serious? “For what?”
“God, Claire!” he growled, grabbing her shoulders in his large hands. “Ye take it into yer mind to do as ye damn well please. Ye had no business going in there alone!”
“That boy was in danger!” Claire was livid. “I tried to call you. You didn’t answer!” She shoved at his chest, trying to break free from his hold. “I’m a bloody doctor. I’ll go wherever I’m needed!”
When he didn’t release her she looked him square in the eye and spat out the the truth of it. “It’s your fault.”
“My fault?” Jamie’s russet eyebrows rose impossibly high. “How de ye figure that?”
“You kissed me,” Claire said. “And I saw what you’d be walking into.”
Jamie staggered backwards.
Is this it then? Jamie thought. Is this how it will be? Never being able to shield my thoughts? Being with someone who can access a part of me, but that I can never really know in the same way?
Fear forced the next words out of his mouth.
“Ye told me ye didna see…with people ye were…connected to. So what is this, then,” he said, waving his hand between them. “We just get together for the occasional fuck?”
He felt the sting of her hand as it connected with his cheek. She hit him so hard his eyes watered. He breathed through the sharp pain, knowing he deserved it.
“Fuck?” Her voice was shaking.
He looked back to see her eyes dark with anger. And hurt.
“Maybe that’s your style, Detective Sergeant Fraser, just like it was Frank’s. A casual romp with whoever’s handy. Do you like them younger, too?” She wanted her words to hurt.
“But that’s not me. I’m not so shallow. I don’t fuck men I’m not in love with.”
The minute the words were out of her mouth she wanted to snatch them back.
Oh God, Claire Randall, you absolute fool. What have you done?
Jamie’s smile was smug.
“Ye love me.”
“I never said that.” Her voice was haughty. Clipped. Properly British.
“Aye. Ye did.” He took a step towards her. “Ye said you have to be in love before ye share yer body.” She stepped to his left, and he countered, keeping her in front of him. “And ye’ve shared yer body wi’ me plenty of times.”
“I didn’t mean it.” Claire lifted her chin in a show of bravado.
“Didn’t mean the sex? Or the words?” She wanted an interrogation, did she?
“Yer a terrible liar, Dr. Randall. Truly.” Jamie stepped towards her again, backing her up against the stair wall without touching her.
“Just so we’re clear,” Jamie said, tilting his head, lips almost touching hers. “I’m in love wi’ you, too.”
“Tell me everything.” She slowly pulled his belt free from their loops.
He reached for the cloth belt of her robe. “The minute ye mentioned the word origins I realized I was comin’ at the clues the wrong way. Bone. Up near Inverness we say it ‘bane’.”
He worked at the knot until it fell open to reveal her. “And the other words were all synonymous with bane. When I looked at the Parish staff list again it jumped right out at me. Father Bain.”
He leaned down and kissed the juncture of her neck and shoulder.
“How did ye ken what to do?” Jamie slowly pushed the fabric from her shoulders.
Claire worked at the button of his trousers. “I saw what you would be walking into. I could see how crazed a man Father Bain was. And the flash I got showed a boy clearly in respiratory distress.”
Jamie sighed as the sound of his zipper filled the air. He swallowed. Hard.
“I just….knew…what I would need. So I grabbed the supplies from the hospital and headed over there.”
“So, do ye still see us?” Jamie whispered.
“I see quite a bit, actually,” Claire said, and slipped her hand into his pants.
“What do ye see now?”
“Oceans,” she said, looking into the deep blue of his eyes.
“Fires,” she said, running her fingers through his hair.
“Come now, Sorcha,” he whispered. “Ye see nothing?”
“I’m not a Magic 8 Ball, Jamie. It doesn’t work that way.”
The truth was she saw forever. When his lips met hers she saw a lifetime. She saw love and laughter and pain and sorrow.
She saw everything she ever wanted, and more.
But she wouldn’t tell him that.
She was too afraid. It was one thing to admit she loved him, quite another to admit that she saw a future.
Because Claire didn’t get futures. She didn’t get Happily-Ever-Afters.
She got parents who died when she was five. She got an upbringing devoid of friends her own age. She got a husband who was never satisfied with or by her. She got widowhood at a young age.
Hope was not something Claire was used to, not something she trusted.
But she could be somewhat honest.
“I see you and I, Jamie. For right now, I see us.”
She rocked her hips, riding him slowly. Jamie closed his eyes and rested his head back against the headboard. He brought his knees up, felt her lean forward. He flexed his hips, needing to bury himself.
She was fireworks. She went to his head like a strong whisky. She made him feel possessive, and protective. Jealous and proud, all at the same time. He didn’t understand it. Not one bit of it.
But damn if he didn’t like it.
Liked being owned by her.
Even liked the fear that coursed through his veins when he opened the door to the chapel and saw her, syringe in hand.
She made him feel alive, every sense on high alert. She gave him the same rush being a cop did.
As she moved a little faster, and ground herself against him a little harder, he met her stroke for stroke.
And when she shattered around him, he held her firm and drove into her until he lost himself.
“See ye later?” Jamie took a last sip of the coffee she’d made, and set the cup down on her counter. He slipped on his coat.
When he looked up again she was standing there, palm outstretched, arm extended.
His heart stopped.
Then pounded double time.
He looked at her. God, she looked so vulnerable. Emotion swelled, but he controlled it.
He reached out and took what she offered.
So shiny. So new.
He nodded, and reached into his coat pocket. Pulled out his key ring, and slipped hers easily through the metal circlet to nestle next to his.
He couldn’t help the grin that split his face.
“Ye love me.”
“Shut up.” She blushed. “I debated, you know. I’ve never seen your place and here I was getting a key made for you.”
“Och, my place is shit,” Jamie said. “But if it will make ye feel better I’ll get it fumigated and have ye over this weekend.”