And I'm thinking 'bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe just the touch of a hand
Oh me I fall in love with you every single day
And I just wanna tell you I am
One year later...
The church was awash with June flowers. White lilies and roses jostled with yellow freesias and blue delphiniums together with yards and yards of trailing ivy.
From his vantage point, Jamie looked around the church. The pews were filled nicely. Some faces he recognised and plenty he had never seen before in his life. Still, that was always the way with weddings -- different groups of families and friends coming together for this special occasion.
The organ started the opening bars of ‘Trumpet Voluntary’. John, standing next to Jamie, turned to look at the bride.
“She looks beautiful… and so happy.”
Jamie turned around and watched for a moment before commenting. “Aye she does… but no’ as beautiful as ma Sassenach here.”
He grabbed Claire’s hand and kissed the diamond solitaire ring on her finger.
“That was a lovely wedding service. Douglas looked like he couldn’t believe his luck… he couldn’t stop grinning. Mind you, Anna does look… well, she always looks beautiful… but somehow today, she looks even more so… absolutely radiant.”
Claire sat down next to Jamie and placed her drink on the table in front of her.
“There’s no one looking more radiant then ye, ma love.”
Claire snorted. “That’s not radiance. What you’re seeing is the film of sweat brought about by prolonged nausea and regular puking. Not even the ginger ale seems to be helping.” She eyed her drink with distaste.
Jamie surreptitiously tried to move his whisky onto a side table. “I’m sorry about that. I ken it’s all ma fault, but it’ll be worth it in six months or so, aye?”
“Of course it will. But it’s not an easy job growing a human, you know.”
Jamie placed a hand on Claire’s barely visible bump. “I ken. So now we’ve passed the twelve weeks, when shall we start tae tell people?”
“Soon, Jamie, soon. I just like it as our precious little secret for the moment.”
“Aye… not planned, but treasured.”
John and Joe wandered over to join them. Jamie quickly moved his hand to rest on Claire's arm. Pulling up two chairs, they sat closely together, John’s arm casually resting along the back of Joe’s chair.
“So Miss Beauchamp, all ready for the big move?” Joe asked.
“We've done most of the packing now…”
“Using ‘we’ verra loosely there, aren’t ye, Sassenach?” Jamie interjected. “What Claire means is that she supervises, while I do all the lifting.”
Claire ignored him and carried on talking to John and Joe. “Removal men are coming on Wednesday.”
“So this is really it? Your big move.”
“It worked for a while, Jamie splitting his week between Lallybroch and here, but things change. Raigmore Hospital in Inverness may not be as big or leading edge as Glasgow, but there’s a lot happening in their cardiology department, so…”
“And it was thanks tae ma godfather, Murtagh, that I could do that. He helped out so much every week. But I think Jocasta’ll be happy with him at home all the time.”
Claire took a sip of her ginger ale. “And Uncle Lamb’s taking my move better than I thought. Turns out university living suits him. The pull of the library at all hours is just too great. He might even be persuaded to sell the house.”
“I must say, it has worked out rather well. With Anna and Douglas in the flat, it was handy for Mary to buy yours.” John took a sip of his drink. “Are you not drinking, Claire?”
“Er, no,” Claire answered hastily. “I decided to drive. Which you would know if you hadn’t been spending all your spare time at Joe’s place.”
John smiled at Joe. “I have been a bit MIA, I must admit. Anyway, has Anna’s wedding given you ideas? When are you going to start planning yours? All the best venues will be taken, if you’re thinking of this year.”
“It’ll probably be next year now. So much on this year… what with the move, selling my flat, new job…”
“What?” Jamie and Claire spoke together, staring at Joe.
“Come on, Claire. I see you at work, remember? Been slightly green in the morning recently, plus no drinking, no lifting, no wedding planning. So, tell me I’m wrong?”
“Nah, Joe, ye’re no’ wrong. Jes’ twelve weeks now. Wee bit of a surprise, but our little treasure.” Jamie took out his wallet and passed the scan photo to John and Joe. “There ye are. Our wee Dalhousie Beauchamp Fraser.”
“If you think I’m calling any child of mine Dalhousie, you've got another thing coming, James Fraser.”
“Aye, Sassenach, anything you say.”