I am happy, Jamie thought, for the first time in years, I am well and truly happy. Jamie’s eyes were still shut, having just roused from a deep sleep. I haven’t slept that deeply in months either, was Jamie’s second thought. Months, years, of living rough and on the run had made him a light sleeper, ready to respond to any unforeseen attack. Even now, his dirk lay wedged between the bed and wall above his head so to be close at hand. Claire had not seen him put it there, and for that he was glad. Jamie did not like to think about Claire being put in danger due to her proximity to him.
Claire, Jamie thought, a smile appearing on his face, his eyes wearily drifting open. He knew she was there, in the bed, with him. The sun had not yet risen, however it was later than the usual hour he typically rose to tend the horses. Today, Murtagh could handle it on his own, he had told Jamie as much.
“Much better to enjoy yourself while ye can.” Murtagh had told Jamie after the wedding, smiling knowingly, as they stood outside the tavern where the wedding feast was taking place. Jamie looked nervously to the upstairs tavern window, to the room he and Claire would share to consummate this marriage. Only after THAT, would Claire be safe from Randall permanently. It would be easy enough to tell Dougal it was done and no one would be the wiser, regardless of Dougal’s threats. But, to be honest, Jamie wanted Claire. He wanted this to be true marriage. We couldn’t say if he loved Claire, but he cared for her and she was lovely, brave, strong and kind. She was a woman, not a lass, and Jamie was coming to understand the different very quickly because of Claire.
The room was filled with a cool stillness, the window being left open to let in the night air and to keep the room for getting too stuffy from the rising heat from the enormous tavern hearth below. Jamie’s brow furrowed as he looked at the window, he did not remember it being open last night as they finally laid down to sleep. He blanched for a moment considering the sounds that may have drifted beyond if it had indeed been open throughout the night.
Jamie’s mind drifted back to that moment.
Jamie felt the bed dip slightly, his mind and body lax with oblivion and sleepiness. He remembered opening his eyes only slightly and watching Claire walk softly across the room, toward the window, her translucent nakedness casting an ethereal glow in the night against the dying fire. The room was warm, maybe the rising heat from the room below or maybe just from their recent exertions, perhaps it was both. Regardless, the room was warmer than to be truly comfortable. Jamie watched with appreciation as Claire carefully opened the inside shutters, then pushed the glass casement window out to let the night air in. Jamie felt the cool breeze drift in almost immediately and his eyes drifted shut in contentment.
Now said open shuttered window was allowing the first pink rays of morning from the still unseen sun drift across the planks of the floor and across the foot of the bed. The dawn of a new day…a new life. Jamie looked to the object that had created that life for him. They both lay on their sides, laying like spoons nestled together, their legs intertwined; Jamie’s left arm lying straight out under the pillow where Claire’s head and shoulder lay across. Jamie’s right arm was draped loosely around Claire’s abdomen, his fingers lightly brushing her navel. Jamie glanced down at the warm nest of their bodies, surprised to see that his plaid had found its way onto the bed and was arranged across their lower bodies, his feet stuck far outside the length of fabric, while Claire’s toes just barely peeked out. It is a wonderfully blissful feeling to hold her my arms, Jamie thought, his right arm gently pulling Claire closer to him. She did not rouse, which made Jamie smile slightly.
Jamie had witnessed Claire’s restlessness and inability to secure sleep, especially at night, while they traveled on the road. It could not be easy for a woman to travel among a group of hard-edged highlanders, especially an English one. Her insomnia was yet another thing they shared in common. They would often catch each other’s gazes across the fire, as the others slept, with Jamie typically nodding faintly before breaking the gaze and turning away politely. How many times he wanted to go to her and just talk, anything to dispel the monotony and boredom of a night without real rest, Jamie thought as he held his sleeping wife in the early morning glow of their first night together. His wife. Claire. Fraser. Jamie thought about those words again. They perplexed him, furrowing his brow with concern. They held such hope and anxiety for him. Hope of a new beginning and fear of losing that new beginning.
Jamie held Claire close along the length of his body. He could feel her chest rise and fall in serene sleep. Her right hand was absently flung out next to his left hand on the bed, her left hand tucked next to her body. Jamie remembered as Claire returned to the bed after opening the window, his plaid obviously tucked in her arms, how she had nestled back up against his warmth, her right hand threading softly with his left one on the bed. Then he heard her sigh. For Jamie, it seemed that Claire had finally let go of a long held breath, deep inside her. He recognized the ease in her shoulders and neck as she drifted off into the world of dreams. Dreams he hoped held visions of him and their future together.
Jamie delicately brushed his lips across the place where Claire’s neck and shoulder met. He needed to, wanted to, take her sweet body again, but he did not think it right in the early morning hours, when Claire was so clearly in need of rest. Besides, had they not loved each other enough late into the night? Jamie thought. His mind told him aye, yet his body told him no. Still, Jamie’s mind drifted back to more moments, and as he held Claire in his arms, his eyes drifted shut as he reminisced the most miraculous night of his young life.
Jamie stood before Claire as he helped with her undergarments. His offer of assistance was done for mostly practical reasons, but he also secretly wanted to gaze upon Claire. The garments were a bit confusing at first, but Claire was kind and patient, smiling sweetly over her shoulder at him, while he fumbled a bit. He could feel her tremble a bit now and again. Was she cold or was it some other emotion that Claire shivered slightly as he removed the sheer ribbon from her neck? This corset is maddening, Jamie thought. He may never get to the end of the ties that held the offensive thing in place, shielding Claire from his unrestrained gaze. The effect the undergarment created on Claire’s silhouette was breathtaking, but its operation was vexing to Jamie. Finally it fell into the heap of cloth at their feet, next to the large bed.
Claire turned slowly and silently in her semitransparent shift toward him, her stocking feet toe to toe with Jamie’s own still booted ones. Jamie hesitated as he tried gauged his approach to Claire. He was unsure exactly how and where to touch first. He wanted all of her, now. He tried to control the slight trembling of his hand as he reached for her. They were allowed to do this. They had to do this. Jamie’s heart leapt with joy and trepidation, beating in increasing cadence. Claire was not unaware of this deed, Jamie reminded himself, but he wanted it to be pleasant and enjoyable, for them both. The advice from Murtagh rang in his ears. Most women don’t enjoy it. These words made Jamie anxious to think Claire might shrink away from his touch, like a skittish foal. Jamie reached tentatively towards Claire, barely brushing his fingertips against her soft skin. Jamie felt Claire’s soft intake of breath, or was it his own breath he felt, as he touched her, just above the neckline of her shift. Jamie could see very clearly through the material of the cloth; the tightened peaks of Claire’s breasts, her breathing pushing them against the delicate fabric even more. Jamie paused at the neckline of the shift, he caught Claire’s beautiful eyes as she looked up at him with such trust and honesty. Jamie thought his heart was breaking at Claire’s trusting, but clearly uncertain, gaze. She is verra brave to look so at me, Jamie thought.
Jamie’s right hand moved to the opening in the front of Claire’s shift. He had to touch her, he promised himself he would be gentle with her. He had seen men not be gentle when bedding women before, but that had been essentially rape. He did not want to think he would be like that with his Claire. She was his, body and soul in the eyes of the church, and he was bound to honor this gift from God.
As he slowly cupped Claire’s breast lightly in his palm, Jamie felt a sudden rush course through his body. She did not shrink away from his touch. He had been bold to touch her so, but she did not seem to dislike it. Jamie took a half step forward, encouraged by her apparent acceptance of his touch, easing closer to his new wife. Jamie’s pulse jumped as he felt Claire reach up and stroke his chest tentatively at the opening of his shirt. Jamie’s heart leapt at the contact. How he wanted her, but he must not rush things. Jamie’s patience and experience with training horses was coming in handy at the moment. He wanted to kiss her again. The kiss in the kirk had given him hope. It wasn’t the chaste kiss he had expected. But a kiss filled with a longing and passion he had not expected from Claire given the circumstances.
Jamie’s right hand stroked and fondled the breast it held lightly. It felt as warm and soft as he imagined it would. Aye, he had imagined touching Claire Beauchamp. He would not deny it to himself that he had wanted her from almost the beginning, but now was to not the time to declare himself. This was a marriage of convenience and necessity, and tonight was meant to guarantee Claire’s safety. Jamie felt Claire’s gentle caress on the upper part of his still covered chest. She seems curious, Jamie thought, like a horse cautiously getting to know someone new. Suddenly, Claire spoke, breaking Jamie’s intense concentration.
“My turn.” Claire whispered breathlessly. Not looking up, Claire quickly began to work the belt that held Jamie’s kilt tightly to his hips. If she expected the kilt to fall when it was removed, she would be disappointed, Jamie thought ruefully. However, the feeling of her hands just an inch or two above his cock, made Jamie hold his breath. Claire flung the belt away carelessly, and Jamie could no longer withhold himself. He kissed Claire fiercely, devouring her mouth with his own, his tongue probing the sweet depths of Claire’s mouth as their breaths mingled. Ah, God, she tastes sweet, Jamie thought. Jamie was happy to feel and hear Claire’s surprise but clearly she was not revolted by his adoration.
Jamie thought awkwardly about his attempt to consummate the marriage with Claire by taking her from behind, which made Jamie smile as he remembered. Even then she had not shrunk from him in disgust at his inexperience and misunderstanding.
Instead, Claire had, quite generously, turned to him and without speaking, had drawn him down onto the bed and on top of her, silently helping him gain the right position to do what needed to be done. That first moment when he entered Claire’s body was shocking to Jamie. No one had ever really explained what it was or how it would feel. His body seemed unable function properly for a moment, his breath caught, a moan escaping his lips. Jamie did not know where to place himself, but soon he was moving instinctually. As he moved, he realized being inside a woman was much different than the limited self-abuse he occasionally engaged in. The church told him it was a sin, but was it not a greater sin to engage in carnal relations before marriage, Jamie often thought. This was different, he could feel Claire’s body responding to his movements. He could feel the quivering and heat of her all around his cock, gripping him, holding him, and almost drawing him deeper inside as he moved. When he touched himself before, his release took great concentration and a bit of time. But he was not long inside Claire’s body when he felt the tightening of his loins and the sudden rush of his body’s release.
His first time had been miraculous, but clearly his experience and Claire’s had been completely different, Jamie soon realized in the aftermath. Jamie recognized they had done what need to be done, and he speculated what happens next. Could they do it again? Would they? How soon? Did Claire even want to? Jamie had thought Claire might have enjoyed it, and she did said say she had, but as the night wore on, Jamie doubted Claire’s statement. Was it even right of him to want her again? All of these things rumbled through Jamie’s mind throughout the night, but his lust simmered and he genuinely enjoyed just talking with Claire.
Jamie looked over his shoulder, the sun just below the horizon, its light drawing him from his musings. He did not want the day to begin yet. He wanted to stay in this place, forget the world. His mind again drifted to another moment of their night together. The memory of which was doing nothing to assuage his growing passion this morning. But his mind wandered back…
Jamie watched with fascination and exultation as Claire’s delicate hand stroked his arm as they sat on the chaise near the hearth. The hour was late, and they had talked for quite a while. Jamie had finally willed his unruly body into submission, believing once was enough for tonight. Perhaps in a day or so, they could come together again, Jamie concluded. But as he watched Claire’s hand on his arm, and peered at Claire’s expression, Jamie suddenly realized that perhaps Claire was willing. His breath had caught as he stood before her, removing his shirt as her request. Jamie understood the look in Claire’s eyes as she looked at him. No man could misinterpret a woman’s look of desire, especially Claire’s. Jamie almost wanted to laugh out loud at the notion that Dougal and Colum thought Claire a spy. She could hide nothing, her face told all what she was feeling. And you didn’t need to be her lover to know that. Was he her lover? What did that mean? Was it possible to be a woman’s husband and not be her lover? He would ask Claire these questions so see if she knew, but right now, he waited, watched, and listened as Claire walked slowly around him. Jamie jerked somewhat at Claire’s light touch on his body. Jamie could feel her hot gaze upon him, sense her building desire. Soon Claire was standing before him again, her shift drifting softly to the ground at her feet. Her gaze never wavered from his. A brave lass, indeed, Jamie thought again. While they had been friends in a way before all this, they were essentially virtual strangers. Jamie would have understood any apprehension she may have displayed, but she had shone very little. In the beginning it seemed more a case of nervousness than real fear. Instead there was a boldness in Claire’s gaze, in the way Claire moved her body, all of which Jamie found incredibly alluring.
Jamie watched as Claire moved closer to him, his eyes taking in the opal-essence of Claire’s flawless skin. How he wanted to touch all of her with his hands. He wanted to taste her, touch her skin with his lips and tongue. Claire reached out slowly and took his hand, now it was Jamie’s turn to be nervous. The interplay to this moment was altogether different than the first time, Jamie thought. There was an intensity and gravity that pulled them together. Claire raised Jamie’s hand and placed it amorously onto her breast. Jamie felt such as surge of possessiveness in this moment, he seemed to growl out the softly spoken words into Claire’s mouth.
“And not one’s that’s mine.” Jamie felt a rush come over his body as Claire wrapped her arms around his shoulders and head, pulling him closer in response to his kiss. Jamie wrapped his arms around Claire’s body in kind. Their mouths mated, giving and taking. Jamie wanted Claire badly. He boldly moved his hands downward, moving across her backside, bending slightly to grasp the backs of her thighs and lifting and carrying her effortlessly toward the bed. Jamie exulted in the feeling of Claire’s long legs wrapping themselves tightly around his hips, seeking purchase, as he walked carefully to the bed. Jamie sat for a moment and reveled in Claire’s lusty response. My God, Jamie thought, as he touched Claire, and she touched him back. If I were to die this night I would be happily go having known such a feeling, Jamie prayed as the inferno of desire built within him.
Jamie turned and laid Claire back amongst the fur blankets and pillows, rising above her, bracing himself on his arms. They may be in a room above a tavern, but it was the most extraordinary place. Jamie pressed himself into Claire’s slick opening. The first time her sheath had not been as easily breached, but this time her body seemed to welcome him more readily. Jamie, having little technique, surged powerfully again and again, the tightness of Claire’s body compelling him to move harder and faster. Their lips met over and over, Claire was responding to Jamie’s thrusts with pleasant moans and sighs that excited Jamie as he moved within her. She had not responded this way before, but there had been little time and only half as much interplay beforehand. Jamie could feel the inter walls of Claire’s slick sheath quivering and pulsing again, but this time it was more intense, stronger. Jamie could feel them tighten and release his cock as he moved. Jamie groaned, but it went unheard as Claire suddenly arched up, gripping Jamie passionately as she cried out. Jamie was suddenly disrupted from his uninhibited efforts to find his own release, thinking he had done something terrible to Claire.
“I’m sorry! I didna mean to hurt ye!” Jamie declared as he stroked Claire as her mind and body rejoiced at the libidinous pleasure Jamie had delivered with his body.
“You didn’t hurt me.” Claire whispered as Jamie felt her hand drift over his cheek, neck and down his shoulder in reassurance.
“You sure?” Jamie whispered, his heart still racing and a bit unconvinced, cupping Claire’s cheek tenderly.
“Oh, yes.” Claire spoke gently and wondrously to Jamie, a satisfy smile drifting across her face and a liquid heat filling her eyes.
Jamie felt Claire’s body quiver again around his cock again, which had gone a bit flaccid in his concern that he had inadvertently hurt his beautiful wife. Jamie smiled widely in realization of what had happened. Only a short while ago, he had the same look.
“I..I didna know a woman could…” Jamie spoke a bit curiously, Claire reaching up and kissing him passionately. “Does it happen every time?”
To Jamie’s surprise, Claire was able to roll them over so she was on top, kissing him hungrily. Claire seemed to be filled with desire and impatience. Jamie was almost intimidated by her uninhibited reaction.
“You’re just so small. I didna want to hurt ye.” Jamie whispered as he matched Claire’s unadulterated passion, deciding that if anyone was going to be hurt it was probably going to him. Jamie delighted as Claire demonstrated the idea of pain verses pleasure, and how the two can sometimes go hand in hand. Jamie held his breath as Claire moved down his body, nipping and kissing him in places he never thought a woman’s mouth would ever be. Jamie almost lurched up from the bed as Claire’s hand wrapped itself around his cock, touching him. Jamie felt his passion grow, the same tightening he felt the first time he lay with Claire, but this time her mouth was wrapped around his cock. She moved in the same motion as he would have if he was inside her, but he did not need to move at all. However, he found that his hips jerked a few times and his thighs started to tremble in response to Claire’s administrations. The tightening increased and he feared he would not be able to control himself. But this did not seem to bother Claire, in fact as she felt his loins tighten she seemed to double her efforts. The backs of Jamie’s heels pressed deeply into the bed, searching for leverage, his left hand clutching Claire’s lower back. Quite suddenly, Jamie felt the most incredible feeling of release and fulfillment that he cried out openly in response, his neck and back arching as well. At that moment if he need to move he doubted he could. A fine time for an ambush to happen, Jamie thought ruefully for a split second.
His second time was definitely more interesting and powerful than the first. Jamie lay there motionless as Claire eased up his body to look at him. Jamie seeing the self-satisfied smile on his wife’s face, he clutched the back of her head, threading his hands in her soft curls at the nape, in silent adoration. What had he done in life to deserve such a woman?
What he had he done indeed, Jamie thought, as edge of the sun just started to peek over the horizon? It would not be long before they would be disturbed from their marital bed and on the road again. Back to reality. He wondered if Claire would be uncomfortable riding today, given their multiple carnal encounters over the course of the night. He had heard the bawdy comments made by men that occasionally women had discomfort after a night of debauchery. But had what they done last night constituted such? Jamie had no frame of reference, but it concern him that Claire may be troubled by the after effects of his amorous attentions.
Jamie thought of the moment when they came together on the chaise before the hearth, his gift of his mother’s pearls hanging beautifully across Claire’s body. Jamie remembered the languid way their bodies had joined and how they held each other’s bodies. But it was the look in Claire’s eyes that had touched Jamie as he made love to her. There was a tenderness and caring; as if a bond was being formed between them, a bond he hoped would never be severed.
Not long after they had gained each other’s passionate release upon the chaise, Jamie lay next to Claire on the bed, he looking to the post at the head of the bed, the string of pearls carefully hung there. Jamie remembered they had been tenderly hung there by Claire as they had retired to the bed for the evening.
“Leave them on.” Jamie asked as he laid upon the bed, leaning back on his forearm, watching as Claire removed the string of pearls and hung them on the bedpost nearby.
“I don’t want them to get damaged while sleeping.” Claire stated as she hung the pearls carefully, gazing at them thoughtfully.
“Ye think we shall be sleeping do ye?” Jamie asked with a half-smile and a winkle in his eye, his gaze traveling his naked wife’s exquisite body appreciatively.
“Well I hope so. I don’t want to be falling off my horse tomorrow in exhaustion.” Claire stated lightheartedly as she crawled across the bed toward Jamie. Jamie smiled, kissing Claire enthusiastically, as his hand cupped her chin. He could feel a shiver run along her body as they kissed.
“Aye, well, if ye fear falling from your horse tomorrow, perhaps it would be best if ye road in my arms.” Jamie watched as Claire bit her lower lip playfully, considering the possibilities of riding along cradled in her new husband’s strong arms. Jamie smile changed from light-hearted to lustful as he watched Claire’s hand toy with the bit of dark hair in the middle of his chest.
“Sounds lovely.” Claire declared, her eyes meeting Jamie’s. His hand came up to still her roving one, pressing it hard over his heart. There were no words that need to be spoken. You are my heart. Their lips met, sealing Jamie’s unspoken declaration.
“Sleep now.” Jamie spoke softly, curling on his side, his arm up inviting Claire to join him. Claire turned to fit her body into his, spoon fashion. Jamie smoothed Claire’s curls away from his face softly, pulling her to fit closer to his body. Claire could feel Jamie’s desire pressed against her backside, but he made no move to act on it. Slowly, the lethargy of sexual gratification took hold of them both and they slept.
In the growing rays of the early morning sun, Jamie held his wife. The rays of the sun crept up the bed, across the Fraser plaid, up across their intertwined bodies, onto Claire’s sleeping visage. Jamie thought he had never seen anything so beautiful as Claire in the early morning light after a night of making love to each other. Her curls wild and askew, her lips puffy and red from too many passionate kisses, her neck and breasts reddened by his ever constant rough facial hair. It was this moment, Jamie wanted to be seared into his memory, and if he was ever away from Claire, no matter how long, he would always remember this moment.
Jamie lightly brushed a few curls away from Claire’s face, waking her gently. Jamie watched humorously as she winced at the growing sun’s brightness ruefully, pulling the plaid further up her body and rolling towards Jamie’s chest, burrowing her face in his shoulder.
“Not yet. Tell the sun to go away.” Claire mumbled into Jamie’s shoulder, muffling the sound. Jamie rubbed his large hand in circles on Claire’s back comfortingly, kissing the top of her head.
“Alas even I do not have such power to command the sun, mo nighean donn. Besides ye need to rouse yourself to break your fast. Ye hardly ate anything but whiskey yesterday.” Jamie comment was greeted with a mumbled grumble and derision about whiskey and it being his fault. Jamie laughed heartedly, pulling Claire to his chest lovingly.
“Aye, lass. It tis my fault. And it always will be.”