Sheltered by our small cabin from the gusts of wind that blew across the open lands that served as our current encampment, I huddled beneath the threadbare blankets and sought the sleep that so slyly evaded me. First it was concerns about the men in the immediate sense; Angus’ trench foot and how the rations were doing, how much longer before we would join with the larger army. Then it was concern in a greater sense, the overwhelming fear of what was to come.
Jamie’s promise to me that afternoon and the silent strength he offered me even from afar had comforted me considerably, and I found myself bolstered by a new sense of resolve. I had been helpless, on that long night in the French countryside, alone with Max Lucas’ weakening cries for his mother. But I was not helpless now, nor would I stand for becoming so by wasting away into my memories of the future. I knew what was to happen, that fateful day on Culloden Moor: death, by the thousands, and the extinction of the highland culture. I had come to know a handful of the men who were to be among those thousands, the women and children who would mourn their loss. I had come to love the MacKenzie tartan just as dearly as they, and it felt like nothing less than my responsibility to fight for it with all I had.
Still, I couldn’t be completely without fear. I knew the ugly thing that loomed before us intimately where they did not, and I knew that it was awful. On D-Day, I had thought to myself that the most horrendous experience of my life was now behind me, that nothing else could possibly compare. And perhaps that would have been true had I stayed in the 1940’s, but seemingly by divine intervention I had found myself here. The reward was well worth it, but the cost was not cheap, and the knowledge I held—blessing or curse, I never quite knew—weighed heavily on me.
Rolling toward Jamie’s side of the cot, I sighed and curled in on myself. He was with Dougal and the men, I was sure, making plans and ensuring the camp was secure after the previous night’s transgression. Where he needed to be. Selfishly, though, I wanted him here. I wanted his arms around me, his furnace-like heat seeping into my bones to ward off any chill, the soft Gaelic murmurings that could see me to sleep after even the most abysmal of days. I wanted his body pressed against mine, his touch obliterating everything outside of our small room, just for the night.
From across the camp a grunt of pain cut through the otherwise silent night, followed shortly by another. Though I was exhausted in every way, I perked up, my head lifting from the pillow to listen in. It didn’t sound like an invasion attempt, as that would likely have inspired more of a fracas, but it was clear someone was injured. For all I knew it could be one of our men. With a huff of annoyance—if Rupert or someone of the likes had drunkenly twisted an ankle I’d kill them myself—I rolled onto my back and stared at the ceiling for a moment before I threw the covers back, not altogether of my own will, and got myself up.
Certain that, after at least an hour of tossing and turning, my hair must look like quite the nest, I tied it hastily back and then I was off across the camp. As I made my way cautiously through the darkness, I could hear Jamie and Muragh in turn, their voices dark and tight, interspersed with an unmistakable English accent. I was struck by how very young the voice sounded—it couldn’t have belonged to someone much older than seventeen. A boy, then, but in a time like this that was no better or worse than a grown man. They were capable of just as much treachery.
I jumped when an outright howl erupted from within the alcove several yards ahead, but had the good sense to stay quiet despite my surprise. As much as I despised the redcoats, I still didn’t care to hear anyone in pain like that. I hastened my steps, treading quietly as I could as I approached the mouth of the alcove, slowing along the mossy stone wall when finally I could make out most of what they were saying.
“I’m afraid I’m no’ prepared tae kill ye just yet,” Jamie burred, a wry smile audible in his voice. Likely only to me, I thought with a small flutter.
His dirk scraped on the scabbard, a tinny sound, as he pulled it out.
“Who do ye march with? I want their number...and direction of travel.”
“There’s nothing you can do that will make me talk,” the boy said, the fear in his voice barely concealed.
I rounded the corner to find two of Jamie’s men restraining the boy, Murtagh and a few others looking on as Jamie lifted the dirk to his cheek. With an Englishman in the camp, holding potentially vital information, everyone was on edge, their attention totally focused on him. As such, my presence went unnoticed as the knife’s edge crept closer and closer to his pale skin.
Even as I watched the boy tremble, it occurred to me that perhaps the misplaced invincibility and righteousness of youth may render this particular tactic futile. I had known many a young soldier—too young, much like the one before me now—whose principles were such that they would much rather have suffered, or even died, as opposed to revealing information to the enemy. However, with a damsel in distress hanging in the balance, I imagined a certain sort of male may be slightly more willing to make concessions.
“Scottish barbarian!” I cried, perhaps before I was entirely ready to follow through with the situation this would land me in. All eyes in the small stone enclosure whipped in my direction as I burst forth from my place behind the ivy, and I could only hope that they’d understand what I was doing with enough haste to believably play along.
“Leave him alone you—you sadist,” I stuttered, pleased at the reaction it invoked from the lad. I could see out of the corner of my eye his jaw gone slack, wide eyes studying me as I planted myself a few feet back from the group. My attention was fixed on Jamie, though, carefully watching his face as he puzzled through what exactly I was doing and willing him to catch on.
“I resisted your advances earlier,” I continued, glancing down for a moment and hoping it would look like shame as I took a dramatic breath. “But if you let the boy go free, then I will surrender myself to you, you pig.”
“Pig,” Jamie considered, sounding slightly flustered. He turned his attention back to the captive and returned his dirk to its resting place as he advanced on me. My jaw set tight, I shot a pleading look to the young Englishman, praying that this one had a chivalrous streak.
“Ye may be indifferent tae yer own welfare, but perhaps ye have some concern for this English lady’s honor!”
I cried out dramatically as Jamie wrapped his arms around me and pulled me roughly against him, growling as one hand snaked up to grope at my breast over the bodice.
“Let her go!” the boy shouted, reddening with anger as Jamie hauled my wriggling, gasping form across the stone floor.
“I could,” Jamie retorted above the noise as he restrained me with one arm around my shoulders, “or I could ravish her, huh? Right before yer eyes.”
With his free hand, he grasped at the thick fabric of my skirts and began hauling them up, searching for whatever entrance he could find. I shrieked when I felt the chill of the night air hit my bare thigh, grunted as I bucked back against him to no avail. He held me there as I squirmed and cried out, his large, warm hand roughly grabbing at my thigh. As my skirt fell, mostly concealing his actions, his fingers brushed against my bare center and I gasped not at all out of fear or annoyance, silently cursing my own carelessness in letting the façade slip.
I was only a touch ashamed to admit to myself that I was finding enjoyment in the way my husband was manhandling me as I struggled against his brutal grasp, and found my mind momentarily slipping back to another night, in another tiny highland town, when he’d taken his belt to me. I hadn’t been even a touch aroused then. On the contrary, I was flaming mad. But this, somehow, was different. It was a game of sorts, and I a willing participant.
When Jamie twisted me around to face him, spitting out something about giving me to his men and locking his hands tight behind my back as I struggled, I realized I’d been so lost in my own strange reaction to this turn of events that I hadn’t been paying much attention at all to what was happening outside of my own body. When I tuned back in, between my gasps and breathy cries, I could have sworn I heard Murtagh chuckle.
Once again I tried to wrench myself from my husband’s grasp, inadvertently giving him a perfect opportunity to attack as I threw my head back. With one arm wrapped around the entirety of my torso, holding my arms down, he descended on the flesh I had just served to him on a silver platter, his teeth all too real against my neck.
I wished, badly, that the situation were different, that I was free to allow myself to be overwhelmed by the pleasure of his unusually rough ministrations. By this point I was fairly certain I’d let him do anything he desired to me, if the growing tingle deep in my belly said anything about my current state. In keeping with the scene, though, I braced myself on his shoulders and kneed him in the groin. I had thought I was being perfectly gentle, but his pained grimace and the grit of his teeth as he grunted out, “Sassenach,” suggested I may have gotten carried away.
I tried slapping at his arms and chest but he caught me by the wrists, grunting as he forced me back toward the large, thick tree that sprung up from the center of the room. I was panting now, fighting against his hold on me the whole way and making sure I schooled my facial expression in a believably displeased manner. As Jamie pressed me back against the tree, though, I found his hardness twitching insistently against my thigh. So, he was enjoying this just as much as I was, I thought to myself, willing my glass face not to betray just how pleased I was. I’d have to store that information away for future use.
The boy shouted out just as Jamie began to tug at my bodice—he wouldn’t, would he? I had to admit I wasn’t entirely sure. He stopped immediately, tearing his gaze away from my heaving chest with what I noticed was measurable effort.
“Release the lady, and I will tell you whatever you wish,” he cried, tugging against the men who held him.
“Good,” Jamie growled with the slightest of smirks as he beckoned for someone to come hold me. He looked at me for a moment, pupils blown wide with lust, a devilish look overtaking him before he kissed me. It was a challenge, I knew—he could do whatever he pleased, knowing that I had to resist in order to keep up the charade. I gave in, for a split second, relishing in the familiar taste of his lips, unyielding and slightly chapped against my own, then forced myself to throw my head back, shooting him a warning look as he gave me over to two of his men.
As promised, the boy offered up information about the number of men, the weapons they bore, and the fact that they were marching to join General Cope’s army. He initially skipped over their present location, and visibly hesitated when Jamie questioned him on the matter. Hoping to be of some assistance, I grunted dramatically and tried to pull away from the men who held me by the arms. That was all it took for the poor thing to volunteer the fact that they were camped only three miles away.
When Jamie returned to our cabin over an hour later, his face was smeared with black paint, a wild look about him as he lingered near the door.
“The Scottish barbarian has returned,” I teased, my voice husky and honeyed as I turned from the window to face him. I’d seen myself off after he submitted himself to a lashing for allowing a redcoat into camp, hoping with each passing minute that he’d return in time—and in the mood—to see to the throbbing ache between my legs. As much as I may have wanted to, I forced myself not to attend to it, knowing that it would be sated much more effectively by the man who now stood before me.
“Aye,” he answered simply, fixing me with a slightly odd look.
“To take his spoils, perhaps?” I suggested, giving him a slightly nervous, wide eyed gaze like I had in the alcove earlier that night and thrusting my chest subtly forward. His eyes dropped to my nipples, pressing wantonly against the simple linen shift I donned.
He was silent for a moment, narrowed blue eyes dragging back up to meet mine, as if pondering whether I really wanted to continue our little game. I did, very much, but what I really wanted was for him to make me put up a fight. There had been something incredibly erotic about straining against his rough and careless grasp, knowing full well that he could overpower me however he pleased. I wanted him to do it again, in the relative privacy of our small tent, pin me down and take me hard as if I really were some poor English lass who’d found herself surrounded by, well, a camp full of so-called Scottish barbarians.
“Aye, tae take my spoils,” he said finally, a wicked quirk to his lips as he fiddled with his belt buckle and whipped it out of the loops on his kilt. The snap of the leather made me shiver but I tried to conceal it, cowering slightly in the corner as he approached me.
“Take off yer shift, lass,” he growled, letting his kilt drop to reveal the stiffening outline of his cock through his sark.
I shook my head, brows knit together, and crossed my arms over my torso.
“No?” Jamie asked, chuckling darkly as he took a step toward me. “D’ye think it wise then, Sassenach, tae deny me what I’m owed? Or have ye forgotten what a brute I am?”
The way he spat out Sassenach, completely devoid of the usual soft affection, made me tingle, blood rushing to my center as he came to stand before me.
“Get away from me, you beast!” I hissed, reaching out to push at his chest. He was quicker than I, though, and caught me by the wrists before I could make contact, pulling me in so I could feel him pressing hard and insistent against my belly. I thrashed but he held fast, maneuvering me til my back hit the log wall of the cabin none too gently. He forced his firm thigh between my legs, making me gasp as he lifted me up til my tiptoes were barely brushing the ground. With all my weight bearing down on that one spot, it took everything in me not to grind against him.
“Fight all ye want, ye sweet wee thing,” he teased, his pupils blown wide as he smirked in the face of my glare. When his lips descended toward mine I whipped my head in the other direction, cheek pressed against the wood. In a split second, he had both my wrists in one hand, stretched up above my head as he grabbed me by the jaw with the other and forced me to look at him.
“I’ll take ye by force if I must,” he hummed, his fingers forcing my lips into a pout as he kissed me. He was rough and dangerous, almost unhinged as he forced his tongue into my mouth. I cried out at the invasion and bit down, panting as he jerked away.
“A naughty lass, then?” he growled, slapping lightly at my cheek. I gasped, the slightest whine escaping my lips when he wound up and did it again, slightly harder this time. On their own accord, my hips jerked against his leg, grinding shakily even as I tried to stop myself.
“Ye like that, do ye, Sassenach? Like bein’ manhandled by a Scot?”
“No, in fact, I don’t,” I replied primly, though the arousal in my voice was only barely concealed.
“No?” Jamie echoed with a doubtful quirk of his brow, pressing his thigh harder against my core. “Yer body betrays ye then, lass. I can feel how wet ye are, the way yer grindin’ yer greedy wee cunt on me like a common whore. And yer nipples, Christ,” he breathed, pinching one roughly through my shift. “So ye can tell me ye dinna want it all ye like, but I ken yer lyin’. Yer desperate for it.”
“I am not!” I cried, trying to twist myself out of his rough grasp. At that, he suddenly removed his leg and released my arms, letting me thud unceremoniously to the ground. Caught by surprise and mourning the loss of that contact, Jamie took advantage of the moment to tear at the front of my shift, leaving it tattered and hanging off my shoulders.
Panting, I scrambled to cover my breasts, glowering at Jamie as he chuckled.
“Christ, ye like puttin’ up a fight, don’t ye?” he teased darkly, taking me again by the wrists and prying my hands from my chest. I grunted and struggled but he won out, licking his lips as he looked down at my now bare breasts.
“Just as bonnie as I imagined, that soft, milky English skin,” he hummed, leaning down to draw the flat of his tongue over my left nipple. I moaned, pressing my chest out toward his teasing mouth as it hovered barely an inch away from where I wanted it. “Oh lass, make that noise again.”
He looked up at me, eyes almost black with lust, but I pressed my lips together and shook my head, thrashing against his grasp. He pinned them to the wall once more, smirking downright evilly as he descended on my breast. Wasting no time, he took my nipple between his lips and sucked hard, flicking his tongue over the sensitive nub and making me squirm. It didn’t take long before I was moaning and whining freely, completely powerless to stop myself as he switched from side to side, biting and suckling until I was pressing my thighs together in an attempt to find some relief for the throbbing ache that had overtaken me. As soon as he realized what I was doing he stopped, ripping the shift from my shoulders and tossing it on the floor somewhere. I was far too dazed with arousal to notice where.
“Ye sound sae lovely when I play wi’ yer breasts,” he growled, twisting them between thumb and forefinger when it appeared I wouldn’t put up a fight with my hands freed. “Imagine how feckin’ good ye’ll sound when I fill ye wi’ my Scottish cock.”
“Never!” I cried, tearing myself from his grasp and attempting to dart around him. He caught me around the waist, hauling me off the ground kicking and screaming and tossing me onto the bed. I bounced on the mattress, taking a moment to find my bearings before I scrambled back against the headboard. In that stretch of time, Jamie had pulled his sark over his head, revealing his thick, weeping cock, straining against his stomach. God, he was fucking delicious. I couldn’t wait to feel the stretch of him inside me, pounding home until I was shaking and sobbing, but somehow I knew it would be that much more enjoyable if I made him pin me down, “force” me to take him.
He stood at the edge of the bed, looking not unlike a predator about to pounce as I curled in on myself, tucking my knees up against my chest. The mattress sagged as he crawled toward me, his imposing form making me tremble as he drew closer.
“Come, be a good lass for me,” he cooed, reaching out and drawing a fingertip from my ankle to my knee. He grunted when I landed a kick at his shoulder, reeling back and holding it for a moment before he turned his attention back to me, looking positively feral.
Like a lightning strike, he grabbed me by the ankles and pulled me roughly onto my back, wrenching my legs apart and holding them there even as I kicked and struggled. His eyes, fixed on my glistening core spread before him, were as palpable as if he were touching me, making the ache almost unbearable.
Don’t beg, don’t beg, I repeated in my mind, though I thought perhaps I’d never been so desperate in my life.
“Christ lass, sae feckin’ wet for me. How badly do ye want it?” he teased, taking me by the waist and pulling me closer.
“Fuck you,” I spat, thrashing against his grasp as his fingers dug into my skin.
“Och, I’ll be doin’ the feckin’ tonight, sweet thing,” he purred, fisting his cock and stroking as he held me in place with a large hand splayed over my belly. Somehow, I managed to flip over onto my front, grinning secretly when I realized that it would only spur Jamie on to use me harder.
He groaned, adjusting to the turn of events almost immediately. Kneeling behind me, he took me by the hips and pulled me up onto my knees, making me squeak when he smacked me on the arse with the flat of his hand.
“Ye want it like this, do ye?” he snarled in my ear, his cock wedging between my buttocks as he draped himself over me. “Bent over and feckin’ yerself back on me like a whore?”
I said nothing—although Jamie calling me a whore again made me unfathomably wet—but couldn’t keep myself from rubbing myself over his throbbing length, surprised by how pleasurable it felt there. Hmm, perhaps that was another little something to tuck away for future exploration.
I sobbed as he buried himself inside me in one rough thrust, elbows collapsing so that my cheek was pressed into the mattress. I made no attempt to right myself, only grasped desperately at the sheets as he took me at a punishing pace. Having been given no time to adjust to his impressive girth, I was balancing on the knife’s edge of pleasure and pain, rendered almost delirious as he used me so aggressively.
“Sweet—English cunt—sae tight,” Jamie grunted, his thighs slapping against me as I flared my hips out, taking him as deeply as I could.
“I’m—not a whore!” I gritted out, between moans and gasps unlike I’d ever heard from my own lips.
“Och, I think ye are,” he replied, and I could hear the smirk in his voice. “Gettin’ bent over and taken like this, and by a Scotsman no less? Cryin’ out like ye’ve never felt sae good in yer life? Perhaps I’ll keep ye around, tae pleasure me as I see fit. I bet ye’d look sae bonnie with my cock fillin’ her pretty mouth.”
I could say nothing, rendered completely incoherent by absolutely filthy things he was saying to me. I was close already, shaking and whining, my knuckles bright white as I fisted and tugged at the sheets beneath me. Jamie was too, I could feel it in the twitching of his cock and the impossible force of his thrusts, driving my whole body into the bed each time.
Stars burst behind my eyelids as he reached around and rubbed roughly at my clit, only growing more insistent as I tried to squirm away from the overstimulation.
“Nae, lass,” he tutted, circling my clit with practiced fingers, “dinna fight it. Show me what a prim English lady sounds like coming on Scottish cock. I ken how badly ye need it, how much ye like bein’ used by such a brute. Ye dinna have tae pretend.”
When I remained just at the cliff’s edge, not yet overtaken by pleasure, he wound up with his other hand and slapped my arse, much harder than before. That did it for me, and I hurtled into bright white space, sobbing as my whole body went tense, my innermost muscles clenching around his cock until he had no choice but to let go as well, grabbing my buttocks roughly as he spilled himself into me in hot, spurting ropes. We remained like that for a long moment, panting harshly and still joined as he softened inside of me, his thumbs gently stroking my hips.
When finally he did slip out of me, he rolled onto his back in an instant, pulling me into his arms and holding me fiercely. He buried his lips in my hair, nuzzling and pressing soft kisses as I fought to catch my breath. Neither of us spoke, far too overcome by what had just happened to even begin to process it. I was still tingling, certain I’d never been so aroused in all my life. After a while, when I thought I might be able to move again, I lifted my head just enough to press my lips to his, kissing him rather chastely, over and over.
“And where were you with your war paint?” I asked softly, yawning as I forced myself up out of his arms to wet a cloth and wipe his face clean.
“Commando raid,” he replied, propping himself up on an arm and watching as I moved, shamelessly naked, through the small cabin. “Commando...is that the right word?”
“Yes,” I replied with a tired chuckle, wringing out the excess water from the cloth over the tin basin before returning to his side. “You went to the British camp? Did you go by yourself?”
“No, couldn’t leave my men out of all the fun, could I?” he replied with a rakish smile as I wiped at the soot. He went on to explain that they’d taken the cotter pins from their canons and burned the wheels, eyes dancing with mirth all the while.
“Our success tonight was because of your selflessness, Claire.”
“I’d wager it wasn’t entirely selfless,” I replied, tossing the cloth back into the basin and leaning back against his chest. “I certainly got what I wanted out of the deal.”
Jamie chuckled, his fingertips brushing the bottom of my breast as he held me to him.
“Ye should get dressed,” he murmured somewhat cautiously, knowing full well what kind of mood that particular sentiment would put me in. “The British camp will be waking soon.”