Jamie drags Claire up early one morning for a hike nearby Lallybroch (for exercise, he says!) Claire is half asleep but begrudging goes along. Turns out Jamie prepared a romantic surprise! 😊🌄🌈
A Different Path
It was a big step in their relationship, bringing Claire to Lallybroch. She had thought that they would spend the weekend visiting places significant to Jamie’s childhood before spending the remainder of the day in bed. And yet here he was, arisen before the sun had even made the slightest appearance in the sky.
“Jamie, it’s isn’t even 6 AM.” She groaned, rolling over so that her back was turned to him.
“Aye, I know. But this is something I used to do every morning, and now ye’re comin’ with me.”
“I am not.” She said, covering her head with a pillow.
“Sassenach,” his tone a warning. “If ye don’t get up by yourself, I will drag ye from this bed and dress you myself. Do you want me to do that?”
She peered at him over her shoulder, her eyes narrowed.
“Fine.” She said crossly, throwing the covers off of herself and leaving the comfort of their bed.
Jamie smirked, watching her step towards the dresser to retrieve some fresh clothes. She was completely naked, and even though the room was pitch black, he could still see every inch of her.
“There. I’m dressed.”
“So ye are.” Jamie smiled before giving her a peck on the lips and, taking her hand, lead her outside.
“Are you at least going to tell me where we’re going at bloody five o'clock in the morning?” She called from behind him, his stride much larger than hers.
In the faint gray light, she could see the outline of his smile as he peered over his shoulder at her. Damn him.
“And where’s the fun in that?” He said as they came to a hill at the edge of woods.
Jamie started up the hill, the incline and rough footing making no difference to him. Adversely, Claire was already out of breath long before the halfway mark.
Out of breath as she watched her footing as she marched over the rocky terrain, she shouted ahead, “Jamie! Slow down!”
The sun was just over the horizon now, painting the sky in various shades of orange and blue.
“We’re almost there!” Jamie shouted back, not slowing down in the slightest.
They walked until they came to a small clearing, where the light came through the trees in such a way that made it look like something from a fairy-tale. There was a tartan blanket laid out in the center of the clearing, along with a picnic basket and a bottle of champagne.
Jamie finally came to a stop, for which Claire was grateful, but in no way did she expect to see this.
“Jamie what-” Her voice was softer now, her tone holding nothing but affection.
“Shhh. Come.” He smiled and took her hand, leading her to the spread.
In the basket there were various kinds of cheese, along with an assortment of fruits and a few bagels with the option of cream cheese to go with it. He pulled two glasses, which Claire noted were in exceptional condition, from the basket and handed her one once she was sitting.
Her eyes never left his face as he poured the champagne, still trying to wrap her mind around what was happening. His blue eyes sparkled in the light of the dawn, the sun highlighting his hair so that she could see every shade of copper, cinnamon and auburn.
God, how did I get so lucky? She thought, eating the food he prepared as the sun silently rose above the trees.
“Okay, you were right.” Claire admitted as they laid together in the grass, fingers intertwined.
“About?” He played dumb, but she could hear the smirk in his voice.
“About coming here.” She said, rolling onto her side to face him. He lifted a hand to caress her cheek, one finger running down the line of her jaw before coming to rest under her chin, lifting her face towards his.
She melted into him as he kissed her, the world around her disappearing until it was just the two of them. He pulled away and looked deep into her eyes before speaking.
“One more thing.” He said, reaching into his pocket.
She laughed, sitting up. “There’s more?”
Then he was facing her again, a small, black velvet box in his hand. He opened the lid and inside there was a silver ring, with tiny thistles carved into the band, entwining with one another.
“Claire, I’ve wanted to do this since the first moment I saw ye…” He paused. “Do ye remember when I told you that I used to hike this trail every morning?”
Her eyes were glassy with tears, emotion taking hold of her. All she could do was nod her head.
“I took this same path every day, just like I did with everything else. The scenery was the same and my feelings never changed, like I was stuck on an endless loop that was destined to be that way.” A faint smile made its way onto his face as he continued. “But one day, I took a different path, did something different. And that same day, when I wasn’t paying attention, I ran into someone. Quite literally; my shirt’s still stained with coffee.”
Claire laughed a little, remembering the day.
“That person was you, Sassenach. That was the day it all changed–the day when my future became clear.” Jamie swallowed, doing his best not to shed a tear. He took her left hand in his, his thumb caressing her knuckles.
“My future is you, Claire. And if there’s one without you in it, I don’t want to live it. You are the love of my life, mo cridhe, and I want to walk the rest of this path with you.” He swallowed again, quickly glancing down at their joined hands before meeting her eyes once more.
“Will you marry me?”