He wasn't very surprised when he awoke to find the bed empty beside him. Claire had a tendency to wake at dawn to harvest particular herbs that were, according her her, best plucked before the sun hits them. Summer was just around the corner, so her shelves were fully stocked for the year, springtime being the primary harvesting season.
Seeing no use in remaining in bed for a moment longer, Jamie rose and poured himself a cup of tea from the kettle, which was being kept warm by the fire. The mornings were no longer brisk, but Claire had brewed enough for the two of them. He dressed, pulling on his freshly laundered breeches, which had been taken down from the line and folded neatly at the end of the bed. Claire was quite productive this morning. Grabbing a couple sticks of jerky from the cupboard, Jamie headed outside.
He found her knee deep in the stream pulling fistfuls of water weeds from the rocky bottom. Her basket on the riverbank was filled to the brim with all sorts of green things. Jamie could hardly distinguish them from each other, but Claire had a keen eye for even just the most minute differences. She was always trying to tell Jamie about the more useful herbs-how to identify them, when to harvest them, how to apply them- but he found he just hadn't the mind for it. Her retention of such details was admirable.
Jamie watched his wife for a couple of minutes, admiring all parts if her as she pulled her skirts up and bent forwards to retrieve more bounty. "Mornin' Sassenach," He finally said with a chuckle.
Claire jumped in surprise. "Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ!" she exclaimed, turning around to glare at her snickering husband. "Enjoying the show?"
"Aye, verra much. Dinna let me distract ye," Jamie said with a wink.
Claire rolled her eyes playfully. "Very cheeky today, aren't we?" She waded out of the stream and deposited the damp weeds into her basket.
"I could say the same for you, Sassenach," Jamie replied, followed immediately by a playful slap on the chest from his wife. She began to walk away, but Jamie touched her arm lightly. Claire turned and looked at him, a small smile playing on her lips. Jamie pulled her into him and they kissed slowly. His hands wandered down her back, eventually cupping her bottom through her skirts. "Ye've done so much this mornin', Sassenach. I reckon you'll be needin' a break," Jamie said, his lips brushing over Claire's as he spoke.
"Mm," Claire hummed, kissing him again, "I suppose I am feeling a bit tired."
Jamie stooped down, wrapping one arm behind her knees, and picked her up. She squeaked in surprise at the sudden movement and kissed his neck as he carried her to a nearby patch of grass.
"Oh, you look so lovely in the grass Sassenach," Jamie said, tucking a stray curl behind her ear. "Remember when I would take ye in the heather? Back in Scotland?"
"Clear as day," Claire said, curling a finger around Jamie's chin and pulling him on top of her into a kiss.
"I would kiss every inch of ye," he said, pulling his lips away from her mouth and bringing them up to her forehead, her nose, her cheeks and ears, and then down to her neck and collarbone. His hands found their way underneath her skirts and he ran them over the smooth skin of her thighs. Kissing her again, he brought his hand up higher, feeling the warm moisture between her legs.
Claire hummed into the kiss, encouraging him. Jamie responded, rubbing her in a circular motion that caused her to groan in pleasure. He too was aroused, but his own needs weren't important right now. He broke the kiss with a smile and began a trail of kissed from her jaw to her naval. She giggled as her flipped her skirts up, purposefully throwing them over her head playfully.
Jamie moved his tongue over Claire in slow circles, pausing only to insert two fingers into her and massage where he knew she would feel the most pleasure. Her back arched and he could feel the familiar twitches that indicated her approaching climax.
"Jamie," she moaned. He began the gradual quickening of pace, careful not to go too quickly and break his rhythm. Her breath hitched and she tensed, moaning as her muscles pulsed against Jamie's fingers. The pulsation slowed after a few seconds and Claire's breathing returned to normal. He brought her skirts back down over her legs, kissing her gently on the mouth. Her cheeks were rosy and a satisfied grin appeared on her face.
"Feeling more relaxed now, Sassenach?"
"Oh, wonderfully," Claire said, sitting up. Jamie helped her to to her feet and handed her the basket. He gave her his elbow and they took their time walking back to the cabin. "Jamie?" she whispered.
"Yes, Sassenach?" He replied, peering over to look at her face. He could see the turmoil in her mind. "What is it?"
"Do you still feel the same way about me as you did when we fell in love?" Their romp in the grass must have brought back the same memories for Claire as it had for Jamie.
"No, I don't," Jamie said. He could feel Claire tense and he stopped walking, placing a hand on her cheek to face him. "We have changed in so many ways, Claire. But so has our love. If I loved ye the same way I did thirty years ago, then the woman I loved would not be the same one who stands before me now."
She stared at him for a moment, temporarily lost in his loving gaze. There was a noise from the direction of the cabin and Claire turned her head, the endearing look wiped instantly from her face and the momentary spell broken. Jamie turned too and saw in the distance that John had awakened and left the shelter.
"Then what is he still doing here?"