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Salvation for the Sinner

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“Well, I’ve done what I can for that eye,” Claire noted as she moved his head into, then out of the fire light, “but something else is troubling you.” She observed, looking at his face with a frown of concern. 

“W—why would ye say that, lass?” He tried to disengage himself from her hands and subtly shift his weight away from her body heat,, almost impossible for a large man perched on a stool to do without being obvious about it. 

“You just did it again,” she pointed out, “You must be in quite a bit of discomfort if you can’t even sit still.” Jamie made a choking sound of horror as she slid between his slightly splayed knees. He’d only drawn her closer in his effort to create some distance between them. 

“Stop trying to be so bloody heroic, tell me where it hurts.” She lay a hand on his shoulder. Jamie breathed out heavily but remained silent, willing this torture to end. 

When he’d taken the hit for Laoghaire MacKenzie, he’d only meant to goad the MacKenzie a bit and try and relieve his own sense of guilt. Strong willed ladies who spent their lives under the firm thumbs of their masculine elders often had a rough go of it. He meant to set an example of  chivalry for his uncles and the other clansmen having a great admiration himself for independent-minded women. Being back in Scotland again reminded him painfully of his sister and he seized on the first opportunity that presented itself to offer protection to the first damsel that he perceived in distress. He’d, as usual, not bothered thinking through the consequences and regretted his rashness when it became clear the girl had read more into his action than he intended. In fact, he admitted to himself, he’d really just been focused on assuaging his guilt over Janet’s fate and naught a bit over the lass whose punishment had been spared.

To compound his foolishness, he was beginning to suspect he might just have done it as an excuse for Claire to touch him again. The “discomfort” he was feeling was all contained under his kilt and if she continued to stand that close and touch him that way, his problem would become embarrassingly clear. Her hand ran experimentally along his shoulder. 

“Is your arm still giving you trouble?” She wondered as her knee accidentally grazed his inner thigh. He caught a whiff of the mint and honey and ...the tantalizingly Claire scent that had settled over him when they’d been forced into riding together from Cock Nammond Rock that first night.

“Nah,” he answered honestly trying to find a way to move his legs to the side, the name of the wee hill reenforcing his current predicament. 

“Stop wiggling.” Claire admonished and continued to search forth source of his injury.

As her hand kneaded and patted and pressed along his shoulders, back and chest, he realized his mistake. A simple yes would have ended things immediately and he could have made his rise to leave without any further awkwardness or trouble. Instead he was trying  to hunch his legs, his arms, or hips in a vain attempt to preserve his modesty and her sensibilities. 

With every caress of her fingertips along the worn linen of his shirt, he grew more lightheaded. Well, no wonder, all the blood in his body had flown southward. He was painfully, urgently hard. Three-- ah  Dhia! make that four times-- she had accidentally rubbed against his erection which had only grown since this foolishness began. Her hand was skimming low along his hip, graceful, long fingers, he could feel pressing against the soft, worn wool of his plaid. 

“Sassenach,” he rasped as his hand seized her wrist, squirming like a guilty schoolboy. 

“Oh? Ticklish are we?” Claire laughed and wriggled free from his hold. He could see where this was going. 

“Of course not. Only wee bairns are ticklish.” He told her firmly. 

“Liar,” she chided setting out to prove him wrong. 

Her hands and fingers flickered and fluttered as she teased vulnerable nerve endings.  She found a couple good ones causing him to involuntarily cry out in squeals of outraged giggles. The sound so improbable coming from him that she couldn’t help laughing to hear it. Embarrassed, he chuckled, too. She was being annoying and aggressive and alarmingly adorable all at the same time. 

His better judgment slipped as his competitive instincts kicked in and he returned the favor to the sound of shrieks and whoops. Her skirt became entangled between them, rising with her thrashing and twisting but she hadn’t noticed. As she spun away from him, he got a hand under her arm and he contracted his fingers. He’d never seen anyone laugh so hard that no sound escaped, toward the end, her body spasmed and her knees buckled. Claire ended up solidly in his lap, skirts askew, body still shaking from laughter, as she finally found her voice.  The sound subsided into giggles and then faded entirely as her imperiled condition became clear. Before she’d even stopped squirming, Jamie got a solid hold on both of her hands and pressed them firmly behind her back.  

“Do ye yield, woman?” his voice sounded strained.  

No longer wheezing through huffs and puffs of mirth, both of their chests were heaving with effort. He was aware of the lovely firm buttocks under his hands, the way her high, firm bosom was pressed against his chest. Claire moved her thighs experimentally, suddenly aware that  her underskirt was the only layer of clothing between his kilt and her body. 

Instead of answering his question, Claire asked one of her own, “is this what has been troubling you?”   

Her lips were a lovely shade of pink, slightly parted and he wanted to kiss her more than he ever wanted to do anything in his life. Jamie’s eyes skittered away, unable to look at her, and his face flushed with shame. 

“I beg yer pardon, mistress. It is unforgivable to disgrace you in this foul manner.” He said sincerely but he didn’t move her off his lap.  

“You know, the...uh the Rising... just happens sometimes, regardless, whether you want it to or not.” She told him, trying to find a way through this awkwardness. 

He shot her a look and mmphmed. “Well, maybe so and maybe no, Sassenach, but it wouldna be so rebellious if ye’d stop petting it, aye?” 

“Pe--petting? Me?” She said incredulously, her hips shifting inconveniently. He groaned. “I am sure you pet it enough for both of us, Mr. McTavish!” Claire’s face grew hot as she realized what she’d said. 

Jamie pressed his hands down on her bum, moving her closer to him, shuddering. Christ! He could feel the heat of her betwixt her legs. He grew harder, his worn kilt leaving little to the imagination pinned and stretched between their legs. Claire focused on his face, longing to run her fingers through the soft brush of his whiskers, trace her finger along his full bottom lip. What kind of kisser would he be? Slow and sensual or rough and quick? She was transfixed by his mouth, watching as his tongue skittered out. She rocked against him, unable to stop herself. 

“I...I canna do that,” Jamie told her, releasing her arms so his hands could splay on her backside. His palms gripping her firmly. 

“Is your arm still hurting that much?” She wondered. He choked on his inhale. 

Claire’s legs opened a little wider and she draped her arms over his shoulders clutching for balance. She squiggled, bringing herself even closer to him and a new wave of sensation brought his balls tight against his body.

“I meant tis a sin, self...abuse.” He groaned. 

“What? Self-abuse?” She said surprised. Jamie thought she was asking what the term meant. 

“Petting it.” He clarified because he absolutely could not say masturbate out loud. “Mortal sin.” 

He looked like such an earnest boy scout, despite the fact that they were grinding against one another with abandon, that she bit her lip to stop from laughing. She pressed closer, leaned her mouth against his ear, feeling the damp hair near his temple. 

“So you’ve never beat the bishop?” She whispered.  “Not even once?” She rocked her hips back and forth, teasing him just to hear him gasp and groan. 

“I’m no’ a saint, Sassenach,” Jamie confessed and proved it by thrusting in answer.

“Neither am I,” She revealed, answering his shudder with a shiver of her own. 

Jamie pulled his head back and stared at her, astonished.  Despite the fact that she’d been eagerly -- if not immodestly-- humping against him, she’d still managed to shock him. 

“A woman can...can...like a man?”  Jamie’s twenty odd years on the farm hadn’t prepared him for this concept at all. 

“Not….exactly.” Claire panted out. “But something like. What do you think about when you uhmm, pet it?” Jamie was now red in the face and she stopped moving all together. He whimpered. “You want more?” 

“I shouldn’t,” he told her but the tone carried a marked lack of conviction.  

“Well, I do.” She admitted bluntly. “Otherwise, I’ll be restless all night,” she said, “aching and wanting so bad I’ll never get to sleep.” She sighed. “Go, then, if you feel you must. Shame really, seeing as fornication and self-abuse are both sins while this,” Claire stroked her damp center against him once again, “is neither. Just a man and a woman helping each other avoid both. We aren’t even naked.” She observed, though the barriers between them were thin, they were real. “When you lay your head on your pallet, remember to say a prayer for me, for I’ll be finger deep in sin tonight.” 

Jamie shuddered, stiffening up at her naughty confession. “Please, Sassenach,” he groaned, uncertain even as he said it what he was begging for.

“I know, Jamie. Its not something I want on my conscience, either. Especially knowing we could have spared ourselves the stain of such wickedness.” Claire heaved a great breath, coming to rest chest to chest and rubbing lightly.  

Ah Dhia .” He grunted out, his hands clenching her thighs in an unmistakable urgency that made her heart speed double time. She sat up higher. 

“Start talking,” she advised with a shake of her hips.