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The five a.m. deluge pounds relentlessly onto the Royal Infirmary grounds. By some miracle, Jamie and I are leaving an overnight shift…together, two hours early. An entire weekend off; no call to respond to (thank you, Gillian), nothing expected from either of us. 

Despite being awake since four p.m. the previous day, I feel oddly buoyant and free clasping Jamie’s large hand with mine (I love how it completely encompasses my own). I can't wait to fall into bed with him in a post-breakfast coma. Sleep. Bliss. I’d grown used to the weight of my six-foot-four Scot curled around me and I’d tossed and turned this week without him, sleeping fitfully at best. 

“Jesus,” he said as we surveyed the sheets of rain pelting sideways, violently, misting our faces from underneath the awning, “let’s wait a minute, a nighean. Left my feckin’ umbrella in the car.” 

“That helps,” I deadpanned.

“Ok, ye wee sass!” He peeked into my work bag overflowing with everything but said object and raised his brows. “Where’s yours?” 

“Um, same.” 

Throwing his head back in laughter—delirious laughter, amusement heightened by lack of sleep, he wraps his arms around me, squeezing me around the middle and planting a loud, wet kiss on my neck. 

It’s gross. I love it. 

My own arms wind around his waist in squeezy reciprocation as I lift my chin and purse my lips at him, in both request and invitation. Hazelnut coffee creamer lingers on his breath when I suck his bottom lip between my own, pulling away as he leans into me. I reach up to slide his black-rimmed glasses back from their fallen spot to the bridge of his nose. 

I love glasses now. I have a glasses fetish. Or maybe it’s just a Jamie Fraser fetish. 

We linger a while on a stone bench, the clunky toe of my work clogs tapping against Jamie’s trainers, waiting for the showers to slack off, but it’s obvious they’ve set in for the morning. 

“Should we just make a go for it?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~

We run, shrieking through puddles and laughing like idiots, thoroughly drenched from head to toe. 

“Oh, my god,” I wheezed, plopping down into the passenger seat, catching my breath, “I love you.” I lift the heavy, soaked mop of hair off my neck, water trickling off the hem of my scrub pants onto the floorboard. 

I love you. 

Oh.

I did, for some time now, but I hadn’t meant to just blurt it out, in a fit of laughter, no less. But my impulsivity did nothing to lessen the sincerity of it. Why hide from him? 

Because I knew if I said it once, I’d never stop. 

“Yeah?”

“Yes,” I grabbed his hand, threading my fingers through his. “I love you, Jamie. I am so in love with you.”

My words don’t falter, my voice doesn’t shake. I love you. It’s raining. My name is Claire. It was simple.  

“Good,” he grinned at me (the soft, lopsided half-grin that made my stomach flip), reaching for my hand and brushing his lips across my knuckles, his breath whispering against skin, “S’good. Because I love ye, too.” 

The stupid console between us prevented a smooth transition into his lap, but we managed, and as I settled across his hips, I desperately wished to be naked, wrapped up in sheets with him. The sheets in his bed that smelled like him, like us, as I’d frequented them so often. But the ten minute trek to his flat was ten minutes more than I could stand. 

He peeled away a strand of hair that stuck to my face and brushed it behind my ear with exquisite tenderness. 

“The first time I saw you, Claire, I didna stand a chance, wanted ye right then,” he huffed and squeezed my waist, “What is it that makes every man ye meet want to take off his pants within five minutes of meetin’ ye?” 

Snorting as I snaked a hand through his locks, now a rain darkened auburn, I kissed him lazily. His lips opened under mine, just grazing, not yet consuming; reigning himself in before the dam would break. 

“Likewise,” I whispered, fingertips dipping into the nape of his neck. He hummed against my lips, mouth curving upwards. 

He wasn’t finished. So I waited as he stroked the jutting edges where my clavicle met my sternal notch, back and forth, back and forth. Jamie, he took his time, a wordsmith with his feelings; a quality I envied about him. And they were always worth the wait. 

“But I loved ye, that first night you stayed over wi’ nothing but your work clothes. Seeing you in my shirt, and my shorts swallowing ye,” his Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed and furrowed his brows, lost in his thoughts, “you laughed, but I’d never seen anything more beautiful. It was right, Claire. I knew you belonged wi’ me.” 

Fuck. I could no longer blame the rain for the moisture springing up beneath my lashes. 

His fingers slid under the hem of my top, the fabric peeling from my skin and my head ducking ever so slightly as he pulled it up and over me. A fat raindrop rolled down the side of my neck and Jamie followed it with his mouth, lapping at my damp skin until he reached my nipple, taut and hard through the thin material encasing my breasts. 

Freeing the clasp at my back and tossing my bra into the now empty seat next to us, I moaned unabashedly from the back of my throat at the sharp contrast of his warm touch on my chilled, now bare skin. I arched into him involuntarily, my skin itching for him everywhere. 

I writhed, wanting him above me, free of his clothes, but tugging on his hair to gain his attention only spurred him on further. He loved this. One large hand palmed a breast, gentle kneading turning increasingly rough, the other under the attention of his eager mouth. No one would ever accuse Jamie Fraser of lacking an appreciation for female anatomy. 

Or one female in particular. 

“Jamie,” I breathed, my voice husky and low. He released my breast, the skin wet and glistening from his attention. He gazed up at me through hooded eyes, pupils blown, his breathing heavy. I thought I might die. 

“I need you to make love to me.” 

His eyes shifted to the backseat, brows raising in question at me over the logistics. How do you propose we get there? 

The car park was fairly dark and empty, shift change wouldn’t be happening for at least another hour yet. Clutching my half-drying shirt to my chest, I leapt out of the car and drove into the backseat Mission Impossible style, Jamie left guffawing in the driver’s seat

His laughter died abruptly, sobering as we locked eyes in the rearview mirror. I wondered what sort of picture I made—hair curling madly as it began to dry, bare shoulders peeking over the scrub top I still clutched haphazardly over my chest. 

The look he was giving me. Hung the moon seemed an appropriate description. And I didn’t have to guess. 

“Scandalous, Dr. Beauchamp.” His tone was thick with poorly controlled want, a promise of what was to come, and the cardiac muscle in my chest pumped double-time. 

“Get back here, Fraser.” 

The door clicked and shut, leaving me in silence for a beat as he circled the car and climbed in next to me. Without a word, he grasped my cheeks with both hands and kissed me like a man starved. Suspended in a haze of lips and stroking tongues, the scent of Jamie’s skin, a musky duo of his cologne and the sweat from his pores, accentuated by the rain, assaulted my senses. I would never get enough of him. We kissed wildly, for what might have been minutes or hours, I couldn’t say; like we’d been apart for twenty years. 

Cupping the back of my skull, his hungry mouth wandered, sucking on my chin and my neck; painting marks on his path, no doubt. 
 
Once we’d divested each other of the remaining pieces of clothing, my back reclining against the seat, Jamie stroked down the inside of my thigh, brushing a finger through my folds as I simultaneously reached for him, palming him straining against my hand. 

He pushed into me in a single thrust; the welcome intrusion forcing the breath from my lungs. I heard my name and a variation of Gaelic endearments (my love, my heart, my darling, perfect) in shaky syllables muttered in my ear as he adjusted his angle and slid deeper inside me, burying his face in my neck. Obsessively wrapping myself around him, craving him as closely as possibly, but unable to ignore the pressing need to move, I arched my hips up, purposely clenching myself around his cock. 

“God, Claire,” he grunted through his teeth, gripping my hip, “Do that again and this wilna last long.”

And it didn’t. Both of us were so heavily drunk on each, bodies already wound so tightly, it didn’t take long to snap. My legs shook around his hips and I came hard, shoving his hand away from the apex where he disappeared into me. 

It was so much

My high pitched gasp trailed into whimpers as the aftershocks of my orgasm seemed to go on forever. 

The soft slap of skin meeting skin slowed as Jamie's warbled cry of my name echoed so loudly, for a moment my rational mind hoped no one was close by, envisioning a call from hospital administration after that complaint. 

Deflated and collapsed against me, his face resting against my chest, the pads of my fingers caressing his skull, I wondered if it were possible to quite literally drown in affection for another human being. 

Jamie began to shift, one knee on the floor, the other near my hip, and it only then dawned on me what a bizarre, contorted position we were lying in. How had we managed to be successful at any of this? I giggled, applying gentle pressure to his shoulder. The smile he unleashed across his flushed face as he hovered still above me—

Love. 

Love. 

Love. 

So much love. 

~~~~~~~~~

“That oversized mug ye like is in the dishwasher,” he called out from the bedroom, “will ye make me a cup, too?” 

“‘Course,” I answered, puttering around on sock covered toes in his kitchen. As I flipped the switch on his Keurig, a black and white strip of photos on the fridge caught my eye. We’d attended a co-worker’s wedding the weekend before and had taken a string of cheesy photos in a rented photo booth. The first shot was truly candid as there was no countdown or warning proceeding the initial click and flash. 

Jamie stared blankly ahead, waiting for instructions, but me? I was looking at him. 

I knew I loved him, but to be able to observe it etched so blatantly across my face, with my own eyes, was almost startling; a rare gift that had been handed to me. 

Jamie shuffled into the kitchen, running a hand through his towel dried hair, hoodie in the opposite hand. Sliding up behind me, his slipped the hoodie over my head, helping me pull my arms through the long sleeves that covered my hands. 

“Figured ye’d be asking for it anyway.” 

A smile dimpled my chin, because he was right. Every time I stayed over, I’d claim his old Paris university hoodie. It was worn and lived in, washed to perfect softness. The best kind. 

I pushed one of the two steaming cups towards him. “Here. It’s decaf.”

“Thank ye, mo ghraidh.”  He smiled at me, rubbing his eyes like a child, and rested his head on my shoulder, leaning heavily on me. “I’d make you breakfast, but I dinna think I can stand much longer.” 

Slipping my hands underneath his shirt, I rubbed his back, tracing the ridges and valleys over the map of scars on his skin. “It’s all right, let’s just order.” 

We were asleep before we could even decide; delivery app still open, my phone sliding out of my hand onto the wood floor and Jamie’s soft snoring in my ear.