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False Alarm: October 9, 2021

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“Ifrinn!” Jamie swore as his phone fell to the floor, the alarm still blaring. He reached down, groping blindly before finally retrieving it and sliding his finger across the screen to silence the noisy beast. 

Shifting on the bed, Claire reached out and ran her fingers through his curls then traced his jawline, gently scraping a nail over his scruff and noticing the pleasantly raspy sound it made. She was wrapped around a long body pillow that cradled her sizable belly, making it possible to sleep at least a few hours every night. Less than one month away from her due date now, Dr. Rawlings had assured her that the baby was healthy and growing well, and even a bit larger than average. Given Jamie’s size, that news didn’t surprise her in the least, but no matter how welcome the unexpected pregnancy had been, she had finally reached the point that Jenny had warned her about. She simply wanted the baby out.

“Can’t you set that thing to play something a little more soothing in the morning?” she mumbled. 

He leaned over the pillow, and planted a gentle kiss on her temple. “If I did that, I’d never get out of bed.” 

As Jamie stood up and shuffled around the bed toward the bathroom, Claire peeked at him through her lashes, noticing the way the muscles of his thigh moved with every step. Her gaze drifted a bit higher to his cock, standing at attention as it did every morning, and a delicious smile bloomed across her lips. Even though she could hear the food service people beginning to putter around in the public area of the president’s house on the floor below them, she knew they had a little bit of time. And Dr. Rawlings did tell her that not only was sex not harmful, it could actually be helpful. Nothing like lots of good orgasms to prime the uterus for labor. And heaven knows, she wouldn’t object if the baby arrived a little on the early side. The nursery was ready, and the doctor had told them that she was beyond the point of life-threatening complications from premature birth, and only about a week away from being considered full term. So yes…a little uterus-priming was absolutely in order this morning. 

Sitting up, Claire swung her legs over the edge of the bed and paused for a moment to get her bearings. Her blood pressure tended to be low, and it wasn’t unusual for her to feel a bit dizzy in the mornings before her body caught up with what her mind wanted it to do. After getting her bearings, she stroked her belly then stood up and padded into the bathroom where Jamie stood brushing his teeth, his cock now at half-mast. 

She sidled up behind him, positioning herself a bit sideways so that her belly wasn’t in the way, then snaked her arm around his waist and began to glide her fingers across his taut abdomen, gradually working her way lower as she went. 

“Care for some company in the shower?” 

“Always,” he replied as he slipped his toothbrush back in its holder. His eyes caught hers in the mirror, and a lopsided smile spread across his lips. “Is the wee one awake?” He turned around and pressed his palm to Claire’s sizable bump. 

“I don’t think so.” 

“Hmmm…” Jamie murmured, “we’ll see about that.” He stepped into the shower then turned on the water, adjusting the temperature as Claire brushed her teeth. A minute later, she stepped in after pulling her curls into a messy bun on top of her head in hopes of keeping them from getting completely soaked as Jamie quickly rinsed the shampoo from his own hair before stepping out of the spray so Claire could position herself under the warm water. 

Jamie quickly pumped some shower gel into his hands, then set to work on Claire’s breasts, sliding his fingers gently over her nipples, causing Claire to gasp slightly. 

“Is this okay?” 

“Yes,” she nodded, “they’re sensitive, but in a good way…not like the first trimester.”

His hands continued their task until the gel was rinsed off, after which he leaned over and took one in his mouth, flicking his tongue over the peak. As was often the case lately, Claire’s thoughts drifted to what it would be like after the baby was born. Would she still enjoy his mouth there, or would she be so sore from breastfeeding that she wouldn’t want him anywhere near her? And what if she leaked milk? How would he react? 

As though reading her mind, he spoke. “ Christ …I swear they get more beautiful by the day. I canna wait to taste ye when they’re full of milk, if that’s okay. I willna take from the bairn…just a wee taste, maybe when you’re overfull.” 

He pressed a kiss to her breastbone before pulling back to look her over, his eyes hazy with lust. “Ye ken that yer arse is still a favorite, but seeing yer whole body now? Yer round belly, and these gorgeous breasts? God , I can barely keep my hands off of ye in public. Ye’re so lush and full.” He turned his attention to her other breast, still gently kneading the first in his hand. Claire could feel his once again stiff cock brush against her thigh as it bobbed gently in the steamy air. 

“How can I not love a man who says such things?” Claire sighed contentedly, stroking his biceps. “I feel like I’m as big as a whale.” 

Pressing kisses on her collarbone, Jamie slipped his hand between her legs. “Sexiest. Whale. Ever…” 

Claire mewled as his knowing fingers began to stroke her exactly the way she liked best. Her desire and sensation had been heightened ever since she had gotten beyond the first trimester, and she knew it wouldn’t take long to find her release. 

“I want you,” she purred, turning away from him and maneuvering herself, arse out, braced against the shower wall. Claire had reached the point in her pregnancy where only a few positions still worked well, but she didn’t mind. Doing it “like horses,” as Jamie said, was one of her favorites, pregnant or not. Her belly hung below her like a piece of ripe fruit from a tree, heavy and ready to drop at any moment. 

She closed her eyes and felt him positioning himself at her entrance, the blunt tip of him nestled gently in her folds. A heartbeat later, he slid home, slow and easy, filling her completely. Her jaw dropped, and a moan escaped unbidden from her lips. He began a steady rhythm before reaching around with both hands to squeeze both nipples gently, rolling them between his fingers. The first wave of her orgasm hit her almost immediately, causing her to spasm around him as she cried out his name. 

“I’ve got ye,” Jamie breathed in her ear, his voice gravelly with lust, as he wrapped a strong arm underneath her belly, steadying her. 

“Don’t stop—” 

Picking up his pace, he pistoned into her faster now, blocking most of the shower spray with his body as he held onto her hips, guiding the motion. Claire arched her back, pressing onto him, forcing him even deeper. A guttural cry escaped his lips, and she slipped a hand down between her legs to stroke herself in rapid circles, chasing a second climax. 

“Oh God…Jamie,” she gasped as her body shuddered and waves of ecstasy spread from her core. She felt her uterus contract as it always did nowadays when she came. Prime the uterus indeed. She smiled to herself as the sensation faded. Jamie’s rhythm had become more ragged, and seconds later, he tipped over the edge himself with a string of Gaelic. He leaned over, pressing his chest into her back and wrapping his arms gently around her belly as he pulled her into a gentle embrace. 

“I love you.” 

“I love you too,” Claire answered. “Ooh!”

“What? Did I hurt ye? Are ye okay?” He immediately pulled back, standing up and helping Claire turn around to face him, a panicked look spreading over his features.. 

“I’m fine,” she reassured him. “Your wee bairn just kicked me in the bladder. He’s definitely awake now.” 

“Or she…” 



*****

 

 

Two hours later, Jamie and Claire were out on the front lawn of the president’s house, greeting the various visitors—students, faculty, administrators and alumni along with an assorted crew of plus-ones—as they gathered for the Homecoming parade that would wend its way past the house to the football stadium in the next half hour. Tables and chairs were scattered around, populated by people sipping hot cider or cold beer, with many noshing on grilled bratwurst from the campus food service tent that had been set up in the driveway. 

Jamie excused himself from a particularly talkative alum, then strode over to get a mug of cider. As he sipped the sweet amber liquid, he glanced across the lawn to where Claire was talking to some biology students. She was dressed in jeans and a black sweater stretched over her baby bump, her hair loose. Christ , he was the luckiest man on the face of the earth. 

His mind wandered to a year ago. They had been at the Abernathy’s house for a potluck, and watched the football game together. She’d just had that run-in with Dougal, standing up to him and putting him in his place, fierce in her determination to do the right thing for an injured player. He’d realized it then, just how much he loved her, and the memory of it, vivid in his mind, made his heart beat faster in his chest. Almost as though she could feel his eyes on her, she looked up at him, catching his eye, and smiled. 

After the parade, the crowd slowly meandered its way to the stadium, and Jamie headed for the President’s box with Claire in tow. The box was exactly that: a rectangular metal box of a room, perched at the top of the stands right on the fifty yard line at the center of the stadium where it offered the best view of the game. It gave its occupants protection from the rain and wind, and had enough space for about a dozen people to sit comfortably and watch the proceedings. 

Last year, Colum was here, along with the Camerons and a few other personal friends. Jamie smiled to himself. The Camerons were here again, a constant at Leoch no matter who resided in the president’s house. It wasn’t wise to antagonize Jocasta, and he knew that a little extra attention went a long way to keeping the most powerful member of the Board of Trustees happy. He cast a glance at Claire, noting that she seemed a little distracted before she turned to him and flashed a quick smile. 

Jamie was caught up in the game, watching not only the players but also Dougal on the sidelines, barking orders and pacing back and forth like a caged lion. Shortly before halftime, the opposing team had an injury on the field, stopping play for several minutes before the player hobbled off the field to the polite applause from both sides.

During the lull, he realized that Claire wasn’t sitting next to him anymore, but had apparently stepped out of the box, most likely on her way to the bathroom. He decided to take a break himself, realizing that he wouldn’t mind a breath of fresh air before the halftime show began. Opening the door, he stepped out onto the platform at the back of the stadium and saw Claire standing there, leaning against the box, cradling her belly in her hands. 

“Are ye alright?” 

She looked up, a pained expression on her face. “Honestly, I’m not sure.”

“What’s wrong?” 

“I’m having contractions. I’ve been having them off and on since the game began. They’re noticeable, but not too bad. I think I just need some fresh air.” 

Christ. 

Ordinarily, James Fraser, Ph.D. was well in control of his emotions—calm, cool and collected, his face a tabula rasa as he faced any number of on-the-job crises. But nothing he had faced in his career had prepared him for the sight of his wife wincing as she cradled her very pregnant belly. 

Was it time? It was still several weeks early, but the doctor had told them the baby was large. Maybe the doctor had miscalculated the due date? He looked up at her again. Claire had always been terrible at hiding her true feelings, and even though she was attempting to put on a brave face, he could tell that she was worried. 

He couldn’t blame her; he’d watched several birth videos in preparation for what was to come, and the thought of her being in so much pain made him wish he could bear it for her. It also made him feel a tiny bit guilty. If it weren’t for him, she wouldn’t be in her condition at all. She needed to get to a hospital. Now. That much was obvious. An idea popped into his head, and he stepped close to her, taking her gently by the shoulders and planting a quick kiss on her forehead. 

“Stay here. I’ll be right back.” 

She nodded, and he took off at a dash, taking the bleacher stairs two at a time, ignoring the confused stares of the onlookers. When he reached the field, he took off toward the end zone, where an ambulance sat, ready to carry off any seriously injured players at a moment’s notice. The EMTs were standing nearby, munching on nachos that someone had brought from the concession stand when Jamie came to a screeching halt in front of them. 

“How can we help you, sir?”  One of them glanced at him from head to toe after setting the nachos down on the passenger’s seat through the open window of the ambulance. 

“I need ye both, with yer stretcher! My wife’s gone into labor and she needs to get to the hospital!” 

“Sir, we can call for someone to see your wife.” It seemed to Jamie as though they addressed him as they would a five year old. “But we can’t leave. We are legally obligated to stay here in case there’s an emergency during the game.”

“It may have escaped yer attention,” Jamie replied, struggling to keep his voice calm, “but half time just began. Ye have twenty minutes where the only people on the field will be the bands. And I dinna think playing a tuba is hazardous enough to warrant ye standing by! Ye can take her in and call for backup to be here before the second half begins.” 

The EMT sighed loudly, actually rolling his eyes, before he spoke. “Sir…I said I would call—” 

With jaw clenched, and his hands balled into fists at his side, Jamie took a deep breath before beginning to speak, his voice like ice. 

“Ye might no’ realize who I am. I am the president of this college, Dr. James Fraser, and I am telling ye that my wife needs help now! No’ in twenty minutes. Ye will call for another ambulance to come to replace ye, and then take yer gurney up to the president’s box, or ye can be absolutely certain that I will see yer company’s contract for working Leoch games is canceled, and that yer supervisors know exactly why it was canceled.” Something in him finally snapped as his voice rose to a shout, “Grab the stretcher, and get yer lazy arses up to the president’s box Now!

As he spoke, the EMTs eyes grew wide, and they immediately responded with a “yes, sir” as they moved to collect their equipment. Jamie took off, headed back around the field and up the bleacher steps (again, taking two at a time), single-minded in his need to get back to Claire. He saw her, once again, standing outside the box, now accompanied by Jocasta. Claire smiled at him as he moved to sweep her into a breathless embrace. 

“The paramedics are on their way. Everything is going to be fi—”

She pressed a hand to his chest, interrupting him. “I don’t think that’s necessary. I haven’t had any more contractions. I think it might be some Braxton-Hicks.” 

“But we canna be sure. We need to get ye to a hospital. If anything happened to the bairn or you, I’d never forgive myself.” He nuzzled into her hair, his arms holding her tight.

“Jamie,” Jocasta interrupted, “Perhaps Claire is right. I had several false alarms before Phaedre was born. It’s entirely normal, and if the contractions have passed, maybe you can just give her doctor a call. I’ve been out here with her the whole time you were gone, and she’s fine.” 

Ordinarily, Jamie handled Jocasta Cameron with kid gloves. He needed the support of his wealthiest and most powerful board member, but this was one time when he wasn’t willing to capitulate to her whims. And he wasn’t willing to take any chances. 

“I willna take any chances with Claire or our—”

He was interrupted by the EMTs who were awkwardly wrestling their gurney up the bleacher steps nearly at a run, and finally reaching the top, breathless. They turned to Claire after glancing toward Jamie who acknowledged their change of heart from earlier with a curt nod. 

“Ma’am, we’re going to take you in to get checked out. Hop up here, and let’s get going and take your vitals.” 

Claire turned to Jamie, her eyes wide. “You got me an ambulance?” 

Suddenly sheepish, he nodded before explaining, “It’s the quickest way. And the safest. They can keep an eye on ye the whole time on the way just in case…” 

Jamie watched as Claire glanced at Jocasta, who shrugged her shoulders, smiling. “You’d best humor him, Claire. You know he won’t let up until you do.” 

“Oh, for God’s sake…fine.” 

Rolling her eyes, she climbed up onto the gurney as the EMTs busied themselves strapping her down and attaching a blood pressure cuff to her arm before carrying her down to the waiting ambulance as the crowd of onlookers murmured their concern amongst themselves as she passed.

Three hours later, they were walking back through the door to the president’s house, with Claire as pregnant as she was when she walked out that morning. 

“I’m sorry,” Jamie said as he waved to the Uber driver pulling out of the driveway. “Ye just looked like ye were hurting. I canna stand to see ye in pain.” 

She toed off her shoes, kicking them next to the coat rack before turning to face him. Reaching up, she cradled his face in her hands and tilted it down so they were eye to eye. 

“You listen to me, James Fraser…there will be quite a lot of physical pain between now and when this baby arrives. I can’t have you panicking every time I feel a twinge. And I can’t have you completely falling apart when I actually do go into labor!” 

Suddenly feeling embarrassed, Jamie felt himself blush. “Aye.”

“You have to trust me. And you have to hold it together.”

“Aye.” 

She continued, snaking her arms around his neck. “That poor EMT looked at you like he feared for his life.” 

Jamie chuckled as a smile slowly spread over his face. “I sort of threatened him. Said I’d revoke his company’s contract and have him fired.” 

A laugh burst out of Claire, her eyes wide. “All because I had a contraction or two.” 

“Aye.” 

“You are a ridiculous human being.” 

“Aye,” he replied, beaming, “but I’m your ridiculous human being, and ye love me.” 

“I do.”  

That evening, the President and First Lady of Leoch College walked into the Homecoming dance to a round of applause. Claire walked over to where the band was playing and borrowed a microphone, explained to the eager crowd that “Dr. Jamie” had gotten a little over-excited at the game and reassured them that both she and the baby were fine. 

They danced all the slow dances, and Claire even treated herself to a sip of champagne. During the faster songs, Jamie worked the crowd, shaking hands and greeting the many campus guests as Claire held court at their table, her legs propped up, answering questions and accepting congratulations as people wandered over to satisfy their curiosity about what happened that afternoon. 

Finally, exhausted, they made their way back home and curled up, spoon-style in bed, Jamie’s hands resting on Claire’s belly. He sighed, burrowing his nose into her curls before brushing them to the side and pressing gentle kisses onto the back of her neck. 

“I really am sorry for this afternoon,” he murmured. “I have a wee bit of a blind spot for you and the bairn. When it comes to the both of ye, I’m a bit daft, ye ken.”

Claire chuckled. “Oh, I ken , alright…I seem to recall an accidental marriage proposal.” 

“Ye’re never going to let me live that down, are ye?” 

“Never.”