Jamie wasn’t to get out of bed for any reason.
As I moved around our small cabin, I could feel him watching me, still nude and fixing a plate of breakfast for us to share; bread and butter, smoked fish, and tea. The tea made it back to bed first, my cup held by Jamie as I went back for the food. Carefully, I sat the plate between us, though I took up residence at the foot of the bed so that we could better see one another while we ate.
“If ye wanted to roam about naked on days other than my birthday, I’d no’ mind it one bit,” he quipped as I handed him a piece of buttered bread.
“You’re ridiculous. As if I’m not naked enough most of the time.” I took a bite of fish, eyes narrowing at my husband. “You’d have me without a stitch of clothing for the rest of my life if you had it your way.”
“And?” he asked with a scoff, reaching for the tea. “It’s no’ as if they stay on long when we’re alone anyway.”
“And we have a nephew who only knocks half of the time during the day.” Still, Jamie wasn’t far off. More often than not, saying goodnight to Ian after supper was our cue to remove everything and climb into bed together. Even if it was still early, it was as if the separation between us had finally reached an unbearable point. Most often our activities were physical, but some evenings we simply held one another while we read or shared our days if we’d been apart. It was my favorite part of every night we spent together.
“Then I suppose it would be a good thing I asked him to go meet wi’ Fergus in Wilmington today. No risk of that.” When he looked at me, Jamie attempted a wink that was entirely unsuccessful, making me laugh.
“You sneak. What did you tell him?”
“That I wanted to be alone wi’ my wife on my birthday and if he wouldna mind, to please go visit wi’ Fergus and Marsali and bring any news back to the Ridge.”
My laughter increased though I felt myself beginning to blush. “You didn’t say that to him,” I accused, only to watch him shrug his shoulders and eat a forkful of fish.
“Ye’ll never ken. But ‘tis true he’ll no’ return until tomorrow, and I have some particular ideas on how to spend the day.”
His words alone made warmth flood my belly, and I worked to finish eating quickly. “Before we get to all of that, I have a present for you.”
Immediately, Jamie softened. He always went out of his way to find things for me, yet seemed surprised when I did the same for him. He never thought he needed any sort of gift, but apparently, I needed the things he brought back from town.
“When did ye have time to do that?” he asked, and I raised my chin with a bit of smugness.
“You’ll never know.”
Jamie tossed a piece of bread at me. “Ye wee brat.” We laughed together, finishing our breakfast as I tried to imagine the look on his face when he saw his gift.
In truth, I’d had a birth to attend to weeks ago; twins, and I thought I would be gone much longer than it had taken the mother to labor and deliver. Finding myself left with a day before Jamie would expect me, I’d ridden into town to do some shopping with my earned money. After purchasing a few seeds and bottles of things for my medicine box, I was contently window shopping when I’d seen what would become his birthday gift.
Inside the shop I’d asked how much before delightedly spending the rest of the money I’d earned and then some.
Finished with our meal, I left the tea and took the plate to be washed later. Kneeling in front of the trunk next to our writing desk, I lifted out the top layer of quilts and pulled out a large parcel wrapped in paper tied with twine. “We may have to go into Wilmington for alterations, but I think it should be close,” I told him as I walked back to bed. He was sitting on the edge, curious, and held out his arms to receive the package.
Before doing anything, he leaned over to kiss me when I sat beside him. “Thank ye, Sassenach.” Then, he untied the twine with patient precision, pulling back the layers before revealing a leather coat, long, and made to be durable to withstand the elements. Holding it out in front of him, he made an impressed sound in the back of his throat, then looked at me. “How in God’s name did ye manage to get your hands on something like this?” he asked, standing to appreciate it better.
“I saw it in a window. It reminded me of your father’s.” Jamie’s gaze met mine, and I smiled softly. “I wanted you to have it. You need it anyway, the fur is already too warm.”
Jamie made another soft noise in the back of his throat, looking back down at the coat. “This must have cost ye…”
“It doesn’t matter what it cost. I get paid quite well doctoring and bringing life into the world, thank you very much,” I quipped before telling him the real story. “I’ve been saving to buy something for you for a while, I just didn’t know what it would be.” I watched as he ran a finger over the stitching. “Do you remember the twins, last month?”
“Aye…” he looked at me suspiciously. “Were there no twins?”
“Oh, there were. But they decided to come peacefully and easily.” I recounted the tale of finding and then purchasing his present before gesturing toward him. “Try it on.”
Shrugging on the coat, he tugged at it and stood up taller. “A wee bit stiff, but that will loosen, wi’ time. Dinna think it needs to be altered at all, mo nighen donn, it fits well. How does it look?”
Watching him, I realized I wholly and thoroughly miscalculated how I would feel about my husband wearing nothing save for a leather coat.
I was sure I tried to say something. In fact, I knew I wanted to say it looks like it was made for you, but instead, I was on my feet with my mouth pressing to his in a searing kiss. I took him by surprise but he wasted no time responding, hands moving to my hips. When we parted, he stayed close, lips brushing mine.
“That good, Sassenach?”
I was flushed and pushed my hands under the coat, moving up and down his chest slowly. “Don’t sound so smug,” I mumbled before kissing him again, parting my lips and inviting his tongue to meet mine. Slowly, Jamie backed me up the short distance it took for my legs to hit the edge of the bed and I sat abruptly.
“I suppose I should leave it on, then,” he mused, eyes darker now that he knew what I wanted.
“It’s your birthday, I’m supposed to be spoiling you with whatever you’d like,” I protested as his hand moved between my thighs.
“This is what I’d like. Christ, ye should have seen your face. I’ll wear this coat the rest of my life,” he declared with enthusiasm.
I nearly laughed, but it turned into a groan as his fingers deftly worked to ready me and I rolled my hips up into his touch. “I very much like the coat on you,” I managed to gasp before his mouth crushed mine. Moving his hand away, Jamie leaned over my body, the edges of the coat dragging along my skin as we kissed. Guiding himself into me, my head tipped back on a whimper, exposing my throat, knowing he’d be unable to resist.
Within moments, his lips were on my neck and my hands moved under the coat to his sides, clinging to him as he moved his hips at a pace that would leave a pleasant ache. I watched as he moved and the leather moved with him, unsure why this, of all things, was undoing me. The lines of his abdominal muscles and the way the coat fell just past the solidness of powerful thighs was an image I hoped stayed seared in my memory. My climax was swift, the sound of his name on my lips seeming loud in the stillness of the cabin. When Jamie came, he did so with his face buried against my neck, his breath hot on my skin as he groaned a string of words in Gàidhlig.
When we were both breathing normally and trading soft nuzzles and kisses, I felt him chuckle softly.
“Didna ken ye enjoyed leather, Sassenach,” he teased lightly, but he did stand for a moment to remove the coat, holding it out and eyeing it again before reverently draping it over his chair.
“I didn’t either, but it was seeing you. You are much more fit than any man I’ve ever seen in their late forties.”
“I have to be, ye keep me busy enough,” he teased over his shoulder. On his way back to bed, Jamie dipped two cloths into our water basin so that we could unfussily clean ourselves and resume our morning of staying wrapped up together.
He pulled me close again once he was in bed beside me, and I let my thumb stroke the scruff on his chin. “You really do like it?”
Kissing the tip of my nose, then nuzzling, he nodded. “I truly do. No’ too heavy at all, but it will do well against the rain and sun. Thank ye, Sassenach.” He kissed me again, one hand pushing curls behind my ear. “‘Tis one of my favorite gifts ye’ve given me.”
Satisfied, my lips traveled a path along his shoulder. “Happy birthday, Jamie.” One of the few in over twenty years of marriage we’d been able to spend together.
Once more, he thanked me softly before pulling back to look at me. His finger slowly traced the curve of my breast as he hummed in thought. “How will ye top it next year?”
I thought about it, then offered a sly grin as one leg draped over his hip.
“I’ll wear the leather.”
Our laughter mingled and once he’d recovered, he laid his head on the pillow next to mine.
“Ye ken I love ye verra much?” he asked, his thumb stroking the apple of my cheek.
I turned my head to kiss his palm, a smile curving against his skin. “I know,” I promised, letting him tug the quilt up around our bodies.
“You know it, too?”
My eyes were closed and I felt him press a kiss to my chest, accompanied by a drop of moisture on my skin. I didn’t call the lone tear out, but instead tightened my hold on him. Nuzzling my temple, his words settled over my heart in reassurance.
“Aye, Sassenach. I ken it.”