Chapter 1: Dear Ma
Claire Beauchamp is walking through the snow after, the fluffy substance almost reaching her knees as she’s heading to her front door. It’s that time of the year again and besides the snow and coffee, she hates everything that comes with the season. Christmas . Not her best friend. Not since Frank left her and she spends most of her time loathing the twinkle of fairy lights and fake smiles on everyone’s faces. It’s the reason she mostly takes off the whole month so she can spend her time alone, in front of the fireplace with a book in her hands.
She sighs as she finally arrives at her front door, rumbling in her bag for the key. Her cold fingers try to find the object in question when her gaze lingers on something lying in the snow. She squints at the thing lying there, stopping her search for the keys as she walks to her mailbox.
It isn’t unusual that the postman would drop letters on the ground. Claire has been used to it since she moved into the little cottage in the woods. She is grateful for it, as peace and quiet are more than welcome in her life and she thanks the man she inherited from once again. Her Uncle Lamb.
As she arrives at her mailbox she bows down to remove the envelope from the snow and walks back without looking at it, to the door now with more luck finding the key in her purse. She exhales a breath of relief when cold is replaced with warmth and once work clothes are replaced with a comfortable legging and a sweater, she lies down onto the couch. Her gaze is lingering on the letter she found and she rolls her eyes knowing it probably is the bill from the garage as her car had a major meltdown last week.
Wanting to put the heavy feeling you get when you look at a huge number you have to pay behind her, she opens it, realizing that no company logo is printed on the white paper. Handwritten letters glare at her and with confusion she turns the ripped open envelope in her hands, realizing it is addressed to an Ellen Fraser , her neighbour. Well, almost neighbour. Claire knows there’s a cottage further down the path, occupied by the woman, so she’s guessing that this letter must belong to her.
Claire is tempted when she sees two words on top written in perfectly readable letters saying Dear Ma and she can’t control her eyes from reading everything below.
I hope you’re well and this letter arrives at you in time, but since you somehow live in the past and own no phone or whatsoever, I have no other choice than communicating with you the old-fashioned way.
I’m freezing here in Scotland but what’s new? I don’t think Boston’s better.
To come to the point, I will be in Boston from November 30 on, with Jenny and Ian packed in my luggage. Just a wee joke. So we hope you prepare enough of your famous meals we all miss so much. Da misses it too.
I know you don’t like me mentioning him but I think you should give him another chance. He’s suffering. I know you are too, but Christ, why can’t you get a phone and we could talk about this, like normal people? I’ll add my phone number at the bottom in case you do decide to get one to yell at me for mentioning Da.
Take care of yourself and we’ll see you soon,
Your favourite child,
PS: The +44 before the phone number is the country code so you can reach me.
PPS: Please get a phone Ma.
Claire’s smiling softly at the letter, thinking about what she is going to do with it. She has three options, she thinks, one is walking to the cottage hoping the woman wouldn’t watch her drop a ripped open letter into her mailbox, calling or texting the number on the bottom, letting her son know that the letter has been lost, or she throws it away.
Option three seems to be the most comfortable option but Claire is not sure she could live with that thought, even though the family would anyway arrive in… Claire is looking at her calendar and rips open her eyes. Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ. Tomorrow.
She doesn’t see another choice rather than walking to the cottage and drop off the letter. A bit of glue and Ellen Fraser won’t even notice.
Claire puts on her coat and Ugg’s and enters the cold again, filling with dread. She didn’t imagine herself going back out here as all she wanted to do was read a book in front of her fireplace, enjoying her first afternoon of her needed holiday. As she walks, she takes in the sight. Trees covered in snow with every step leaving a mark in the thick snow beneath her. It is so quiet around her, she could hear the snow falling down, closing her eyes for a moment.
“Can I help ye?” A voice suddenly appears and Claire realises she stands in front of the cottage in question. She looks up to meet the grey gaze of who must be Ellen Fraser. Her long red hair slowly turns white from the falling snow, while her arms cross around her small form as she shivers from the cold.
“I’m sorry, I…eh… I got a letter which was addressed to you.” She says, holding up the envelope in question. The woman glares at her and for a moment Claire thinks she has something on her face, when Ellen smiles at her and reaches out for the letter.
“Thank ye.” She says and Claire nods with a sly smile. “Will ye care to join me fer a coffee?” Ellen asks and Claire’s smile fades. She must look surprised as Ellen’s smile only grows. “Dinna be afraid, lass, just to thank ye fer bringing me my mail.”
“I don’t know…”
“I always wondered who lives up in the other cottage, now I ken.” Ellen says and Claire knows she can’t say no so she nods.
There’s something mystical about Ellen Fraser, something warm that makes Claire forget about the cold winter breeze hugging her. She likes to be alone but having the opportunity to talk to someone outside her work fills her with an overwhelming emotion that makes her heart race.
“Have a seat… Oh dear, I havena asked yer name, I’m so sorry.”
“Claire, my name is Claire.” Claire answers as she’s looking around. The cottage is decorated simply, picture frames everywhere and she knows that Ellen Fraser is anything but lonely. A heavy feeling is placed into Claire’s stomach and she brushes away the dread of being alone.
“Have a seat, Claire.” Ellen says after a bit, holding two mugs in her hands with a big smile on her face.
So she follows the woman’s order and sits herself onto the small couch in the centre of the living room, taking her mug thankfully into her hands without knowing that her life is about to change in unexpected ways.
Chapter 2: A Storm Hits
Claire is sipping her second cup of coffee, not realising the winter storm is growing outside. She is lost in the stories of the woman, telling her tales about the Scottish Highlands and fun stories about her children, Jenny and Jamie. Claire listens, with a smile on her face when Ellen starts to speak about the letter in her hands.
“Ye ken, Jamie wants me to get a phone but I dinna even ken how to use it.” She smiles, waving the piece of paper.
“I could show you.” Claire says and the woman’s grey eyes sparkle a bit and Ellen nods thankfully at the offer.
“Well, my children and son in law are comin’ tomorrow, so I dinna think I’ll have to come around to it anyway.” Claire nods and drinks her last sip of coffee before turning her head to the window. It’s dark now, nighttime and the snow keep hitting the ground with a force that already hurts Claire’s skin without even staying beneath it.
“I better be going.” Claire mentions walking towards the door to get her jacket, but Ellen places her soft hand on Claire’s shoulder.
“I dinna think it’s safe for ye to walk home, lass. It’s best ye stay here until the storm eases.”
“But I wouldn’t want to be a bother to you. I’ll be fine.”
“I couldna forgive myself if I let ye. Plus I dinna want ye to freeze to death. Now come. I’ll make some supper and we can talk some more.”
To be honest, Claire doesn’t mind staying with the woman, she quite liked her company. It feels nice to not be alone for once, and a sudden warmth surrounds her heart.
“Let me help you cook, Ellen, it’s been a while since I stood in front of the stove.”
“Oh child, what are ye eatin’ then? And what about yer boyfriend? Or husband? Doesna he cook for ye?”
Claire doesn’t miss the gleam in Ellen Fraser’s eyes at the mention of a man in her life as she stands next to her, cutting vegetables for a nice warm soup. She shakes her head.
“There is no husband, or a boyfriend. It’s just me and mostly a take-out meal.”
“If I kent that, I would’ve brought ye some real food. Ye canna live on that garbage.”
Claire smiles at the motherly advice from the woman and she doesn’t mind at all for being called out on her nutrition, because for once, someone actually cared about it and that makes her feel good.
While the soup is boiling in the pot, Claire sits back on the couch, shortly followed by Ellen who holds a picture frame in her hands. She silently hands it to Claire to look at it.
A tall man stands next to Ellen, his eyes are as blue as the ocean, red curls neatly put together in a tiny ponytail at the nape of his neck. His arm tight around Ellen’s shoulders while his smile shows his perfectly white teeth. Claire doesn’t have to ask who it is, because the resemblance is visible in an instant.
“I ken, I talked about my children to ye fer hours, but I forgot to show ye actual pictures.”
“I assumed the pictures are of your family.” She says, her gaze still lingering on the man next to Ellen.
“Jamie has a heart o’ gold. He doesna want me and his father to be parted. But I canna go back.” She sighs, as she’s handing her back the picture. Her thumb brushing softly over the smiling face of her son. “He’s lonely, ye ken. Laoghaire, his ex-fiancée, left him before the altar just about a year ago. It broke his heart.”
“I’m so sorry to hear that.” Claire says sincerely, and she feels the woman’s heartbreak. “But I know your son will find happiness again, Ellen, those things take time.”
“What about ye, dear? Why do ye no have someone?”
Claire admits the question came rather abruptly and somehow she wonders how this would be any of Ellen’s business, but the woman is looking at her with such innocent eyes, Claire can’t not answer.
“Because the men I meet mostly get bored of me.” Is all she says and Ellen is reaching out a hand to put on Claire’s.
“I dinna think it was love then.”
“For them, no. It wasn’t.”
“One day ye’ll ken why it didna work out wi’ them.” Ellen says before she’s standing up to head into the kitchen.
Supper went by as quickly as the evening and Claire couldn’t stop complimenting Ellen’s cooking. She now knows why her son was eagerly looking forward to his mother’s meals.
Ellen shows Claire to her room and once she’s tucked into the cosy bed, she’s looking outside where the storm is still raging in its glory. Claire grabs her phone and gasps at the battery percentage of ten percent and sighs. Of course, she wouldn’t find any phone charger here but then again, she somehow didn’t mind, and she falls into a calm sleep.
Claire wakes up by loud noises downstairs and she looks around confused until her brain reminds her where she is. She can’t remember the last time sleep has calmed her this much and she stretches her body until her bones crack. Claire gets ready and decides to head downstairs where she suddenly sees not only Ellen on the couch but what must be her family.
“Claire dear! Yer finally awake!”
Finally?! How long has she slept? She takes a quick glimpse at the wall clock that says it’s two in the afternoon. Oh shit.
She walks downstairs with a shy smile on her face as she greets everyone but her gaze lingers on the man on the couch.
His eyes are even bluer now he is in front of her. His hair is now a bit shorter and there’s something in his eyes that she can’t quite figure out.
She walks around and sees the only free spot is next to Jamie and she takes it.
“Let me get ye a coffee!” Ellen says a bit too happy and she furrows her brows.
“So Claire, ye’ve enjoyed our mother’s cottage then?” The woman who introduced herself as Jenny asks, and Claire nods with a smile on her face.
“Yes, I actually found your letter for her.” She shortly looks at Jamie. “So I brought it to her. Then a storm decides to take place and even though I just live in the cottage up there, your mother wouldn’t let me go.”
“She was afraid ye’d freeze to death.” The low voice beside her appears and it sends shivers down her spine. Claire turns around to face Jamie whose gaze now lingers on hers and she nods.
“Here ye go dear!”
“Thank you, Ellen.” Claire says, glad Ellen distracted her from glaring at Jamie.
The afternoon goes by fast and before Claire knows it’s dark outside again, her phone had been dead since last night.
“I’d better be going. Thank you so much for your hospitality, Ellen. It was so nice to meet all of you.” She says, while walking to the door and grabbing her jacket.
“It’s dark outside, dear. Jamie!” She calls her son. “Bring her home, will ye?”
“Aye, o’ course.” Jamie answers in a heartbeat and Claire turns around to hide her blushing.
“That’s really not necessary.”
“Aye it is. Yer phone doesna work either.” Ellen says and Claire knows, she stands no chance against those stubborn Frasers.
“Alright.” She answers, smiling at Jamie. “Thank you again, Ellen.” Claire says and says goodbye to Jenny and Ian who just grin at each other.
Claire walks outside, closely followed by Jamie who now closes the door and as he appears by her side she doesn’t dare to look at him because something about Jamie Fraser makes her knees weak and her heart flutter. Claire doesn’t know if that’s good or bad. But she knows that it’s fucking terrifying.
Chapter 3: Walk With Me
Claire is walking slowly, turning her head to take in the sight of the winter wonderland she and Jamie are surrounded by. They both are quiet, neither of them knowing how to start a conversation, when it is all they want to do. Jamie turns his head first while rubbing his hands together. Whether it’s to warm up his hands or just a movement of anxiety, she doesn’t know.
“So, Claire, ye’re comin’ from England?” He asks, and Claire turns around to face him. She nods, giving him one of her smiles.
“Yes. I inherited the small cottage from my Uncle.” She says, pointing her chin towards the little house that looks so small from their distance. “So after he passed, I decided to have a look at it. Honestly, I did want to sell it at first but once I stood in there, I couldn’t. It just felt cosy and I knew I wanted to live here.”
“And it doesna ever get borin’?” He asks surprised. “It looks verra lonely.”
“Sometimes it is, but I’m used to being lonely.” She says, not being able to hide the sad undertone in her voice. She mentally curses herself for it and hopes Jamie didn’t notice, but of course he did.
“How come?” He asks bluntly, and Claire wishes she would have chosen another answer. But there is no turning back from it.
“Because I don’t have anyone.” She doesn’t know why melancholy takes over the way it does, but somehow Claire feels like she can trust the man next to her. She’s surprised at the fact that talking for once is easy.
Jamie looks like he’s thinking about something, his gaze not on her but on the fluffy snow in front of them. She bows down to get a handful of it and throws it at him, laughing. This was always something Claire was good at. Changing the subject by doing something ridiculous, so she wouldn’t have to get that gaze of pity from others.
“Hey!” Jamie says, his head jolting up. His face is covered with a huge smile that flashes his teeth, when he bows forward to get a handful of snow himself. He shoots and misses, which makes Claire laugh even louder.
“You have to try harder to get me.” Claire sings and runs ahead of him.
Jamie doesn’t have to try hard but runs after her, laughing himself and when he catches up with her in a few strides she’s turning her back towards him to run faster, but Jamie’s arms already come around her waist to pick her up.
“Ye dinna get away from me, Sassenach.” He says and Claire gasps jokingly.
“Now you’re offending me!” She laughs and once her feet hit the ground again, she turns toward him. Claire watches his gaze falter at the mention of offense but she quickly corrects it. “I’m joking. It actually sounds nice when you say it.”
“The name suits ye.”
“Ha Ha.” She grins, walking ahead of him again.
Jamie follows her and soon is next to her, his eyes lingering on her while his lips curl up into a small smile.
“I challenge ye!” He suddenly says, gaining a surprised gaze from Claire but once she sees the joy in his face, she smirks. “To a snowball fight.”
“You like to lose, I see.” Claire says, Jamie shaking his head.
“I wilna lose, Sassenach.”
“What makes you so sure of that?” She asks, turning towards him as she stands in front of her door.
“Because ye havena seen me try.”
Jamie locks his gaze with hers, the blue of his eyes hypnotizing her in a way that makes her forget where she is and she suddenly shakes her head.
“Do you want to come in for a cup of coffee?” She asks as she doesn’t want him to go yet. The night she spent with Ellen Fraser showed her what it feels like to be amongst people that make her feel wanted and somehow she dreads loneliness even more now.
“I’d love to.” Jamie replies and Claire tries to hide the relief without any success and once they step inside, she truly recognizes the difference between her home and Ellen’s.
No picture frames. No Christmas decorations. No table for multiple people. No large couch that would be able to let three people sit on it. Nothing. It’s just her andthe cottage. She feels sudden regret filling her. She shouldn’t have brought him in because now he’d look at her with that gaze of pity Claire dreads so much.
But once her head turns, she finds Jamie smiling at her, not even realising the small details that worried her, and she answers his smile. “Take a seat.” She says and heads into the kitchen to prepare two cups of coffee.
The both of them sit there in silence. It isn’t an awkward silence, it’s more like when you’re sitting with someone and you just enjoy it without any words needed. But Claire finds herself missing his voice that carries through her like a melody, and she looks at him.
“How long will you stay here?” She asks, taking a sip from her coffee.
“Six weeks, we’ll be leavin’ just a week after New Year’s.” He answers. “We are here every second year because we spend the holidays one year wi’ our Da and the next wi’ Ma.”
Claire remembers the letter that mentioned their father, but she doesn’t want to get into it. She waits for Jamie to tell the story at his own pace, so she nods.
“They are goin’ through a divorce. Livin’ separate fer about four years now. My Da has spent way too much time workin’ while my Ma liked to settle. She bought this cottage fer him but Da wanted to stay in Scotland.”
“So she left?” Claire asks in surprise, not believing that Ellen Fraser just leaves her husband like that.
“No. She first asked to go here wi’ him for some holidays and he did, but he always wanted to go back to Scotland.” He takes a sip from his coffee before he continues. “So then, he accepted it and went wi’ her here for about two months.Then decided to go back. They’ve talked about divorce ever since but the both of them never really do anything to actually get one. It’s just the stubbornness in them that doesna want to admit that they love each other to death.”
“But how can they just live like that for four years? I mean, Ellen doesn’t have a phone or anything else to communicate with your father. Did they not speak with each other for all this time.”
“They did. Letters.” He says with a smirk on his face. “They dinna want to tell us but we ken. We see Da tryin’ to send off secret letters to her but they are just too proud to admit it. And Da starts to talk about not bein’ as happy on the estate anymore, so I guess he finally made up his mind.”
“I guess it’s a Fraser thing?” Claire says teasingly and Jamie nods.
It hits Claire then, how she has nothing to talk about. There’s no one she can speak so fond of in her life because everyone left her or is dead and a sudden sadness presses on her chest and she turns around to the lit fireplace and kneels down in front of it to stir the wood as a distraction.
“Are ye alright, Claire?” He asks and the concern in his voice touches her even more and she wants to nod. She wants to tell him that everything is alright and he doesn’t have to worry but she can’t. She shakes her head as tears spill out of her eyes, her gaze still lingering on the fire.
She feels Jamie’s arms come around her and she breaks. Her tears just flow and she leans into his chest as if it’s the only solid rock on a cliff.
“Shh, lass.” He whispers while his hands brush softly through her hair, his fingertips brushing over her scalp as she cries in his arms.
After a bit Claire moves slightly away from him, to look into his eyes. The soft flames of the fire dancing in the calm ocean of his eyes. He's watching her, every line of her face and for one second too long his eyes dance across her lips. Right then and there she could kiss him, she could move a bit forward and her lips would touch his. But with a sudden movement, Jamie helps her up, his smile now awkward and Claire wipes away her tears from her face.
“God, I’m so sorry.” She says, realising everything that just happened.
“No, Sassenach, dinna fash.”
“I do. Please I shouldn’t have…”
“It’s alright. Listen.” He looks around for a piece of paper and a pen and once he finds it, he scribbles something down and holds the paper to Claire. “Here’s my number. If ye need anything, please call or text me, aye?”
She nods. And as quick as he put the distance between them he left even quicker, leaving Claire to think if it once again is her fault that she now stands alone in her cottage.
Chapter 4: Snowball Fight
Claire barely slept last night and when she wakes up she doesn’t really feel any better. All she can think about is Jamie and his gaze before he left. It felt like a slap in her face or more like a cold winter breeze that made her shiver. She’s positive that she will probably not see Jamie Fraser again, unless she calls the number he left.
She’s getting ready for the day, throwing on some black leggings and a fluffy sweater before she heads downstairs to the kitchen to brew her morning coffee. She removes some oven croissants from the package and throws them into the pre-heated oven, when she hears a faint knocking on her front door.
Claire takes her coffee mug into her hands as she walks to open the door. When she looks into the blue eyes of Jamie Fraser all her doubt of last night leaves her, and is replaced with another wave of hope.
“Jamie!” She says a bit too surprised and takes a sip from her coffee to hide the excitement on her face. “What are you doing here?”
“I thought I’ll take ye up on that snowball fight, Sassenach. I could barely close my eyes without thinkin’ o’ taking revenge on ye.” He smirks while saying it, his gaze lingering on her and she giggles awkwardly.
There’s a part in Claire that wishes Jamie wouldn’t have the effect he does on her because if she hates something it’s her way giggling like a high school girl. She’s way past that point in her life.
“Come in. We need some breakfast before.” She says, stepping aside to make him space. “Do you want some coffee?”
“Aye.” He answers, getting rid of his jacket.
He’s wearing a turtleneck sweater that matches his fiery red hair, colour coordinated with his jeans that are darker than the blue of his eyes. Jamie takes off his snow boots and walks into the kitchen to follow her.
“Take a seat.” Claire points towards the tiny table that holds two chairs and removes the finished croissants from the oven before filling another mug with coffee. “Milk or sugar?”
“None, thank ye.” He says and Claire puts the mug in front of him.
They eat their breakfast while talking about the upcoming fight and once Claire got her jacket, gloves and hat ready, she steps into her snow boots and runs outside to get ahead of him. Her hands bury themselves into the fluffy snow as she’s grabbing a bunch of it. She forms a few balls in her hands and puts them beside her so she’s ready for Jamie’s attack.
Jamie quickly follows her and bows down to pick up some snow when Claire already throws frozen balls at him.
“Hey! This isna fair!” He calls and Claire is laughing mischievously.
“Ye wee vixen! I’ll get ye!” He says, laughing and runs closer to her.
Claire takes a few steps back, holding a few snowballs in her hands but Jamie catches up with her trying to grab hold of her which results in her stuffing a snowball underneath both his jacket and jumper..
“Ah, Iffrin!” He curses and Claire bursts out in laughter at Jamie’s face. “Do ye want me to freeze to death, Sassenach?” He asks, with a smirk covering his face. Claire is holding her stomach from laughter which causes Jamie to bow down throw some snow that lands on her upper arm.
“Fair is fair! Be happy I have some respect and dinna throw it inside yer jacket!”
“I respect you.” She says, forming another snowball in her hands while she sniffles from the cold.
“I ken, but it wouldna be kind o’ me to throw snow inside yer garments.”
This makes Claire burst out in laughter and Jamie can’t hold back a laugh himself.
“What?” He asks, grinning, watching Claire laugh some more until she has to catch her breath.
“You talk like you jumped out of the last history novel I read.” She grins throwing another snowball that hits his face.
“Oh God. I’m so sorry.” Claire exclaims as Jamie covers his face and she walks to him but once she arrives he grins at her, rubbing a bunch of snow in her face that makes her scream. “Got ye!” He smirks and Claire is laughing, rubbing the snow from her face.
“You get this back, Fraser!” She says, watching him run away from her. Claire is running after him, knowing he doesn’t run full speed because otherwise she had no chance of catching up.Once she does, she jumps on his back, making him fall over, landing with her on top of him in the soft snow.
Their laughter falters and suddenly the world grows quiet and all they hear is the snow covering the tracks from the snowball fight. Claire’s gaze lingers on Jamie, blue is the only colour she can think about, and Jamie’s gaze is tracing every line on her face. His hands wrapped around her when Claire remembers the day before, and jolts back up on her feet, brushing the moment over with a smile. She reaches out her hand, Jamie takes it and she helps him up, obviously with him assisting her as she wouldn’t have the strength to pull him up all by herself.
“I think I won.” She grins and Jamie holds up his hands in defeat.
“Aye, Sassenach, ye did.” His lips are trembling when Claire remembers the snow she threw inside his shirt.
“God, let’s warm you up.” She says and walks with him back to her cottage.
Once inside, Claire walks up to get her blow dryer from the bathroom and comes back down.
“Give me your shirt.” She orders and Jamie pulls it over his head, making it hard for Claire to not stare at his naked torso that makes him look like a bloody greek god that meets a real life viking. She plugs in the blow dryer and takes his shirt, beginning to hand dry it while her gaze lingers a little too long on his well-built chest.
“Ye dinna have to do that, I could’ve just gone to my Ma’s place.”
“It’s my fault you were freezing so I think it’s fair enough to give you back a dry shirt.”
She licks her lips as she focuses her gaze back on the item in her hand that smells like him. The faintest whiff of after shave clinging to the fabric and she feels the spots that are still warm from his skin.
“What was his name, lass?” He suddenly asks and Claire jolts up from her thoughts and looks at him quizzically.
She doesn’t know what he’s talking about but yet she knows immediately and she finds the small gleam in his eyes that also lingers in hers. Hurt. He’s been there and now Claire remembers the story Ellen told her about him being left at the altar.
“Frank.” Claire eventually says, moving the blow dryer in her hands.
“Ye ken ye can talk about it.”
“I see yer lonely, Claire, I see ye dinna have anything in here that is not you .”
“Why would I talk to you about this?” She asks suddenly, her defences up building a brick wall around her heart.
“Because I dinna want ye to feel lonely.”
“But I do. Your presence doesn’t change that.” She lies, handing him back his dry shirt. Jamie puts it on in one swift motion and looks at Claire.
Claire crosses her arms in front of her chest, looking at him. “Maybe a bit but that doesn’t mean I’m pouring my heart out to you.”
“Ye did yesterday.”
“Can we not?” She asks, wondering how a nice day outside could end like this. “I don’t want to argue with you, and yes, I do enjoy my time with you but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to pour out my heart. That’s not who I am.”
“Alright.” He says respectfully and walks to the wardrobe to put on his jacket and shoes. He turns around to look at Claire. “My Ma misses ye. She asks if ye want to come and pick out a Christmas Tree wi’ us tomorrow.”
Claire checks her schedule, she only has some errands to run in the morning and would be back in time to meet the Frasers.
“I’d love to.” She says and watches Jamie’s lips curl up into a soft smile.
“I’ll see ye tomorrow then, Sassenach.” Jamie replies and leaves Claire with all the butterflies in her stomach alone.
Chapter 5: Oh Christmas Tree
The next morning Claire wakes up with an unfamiliar excitement flowing through her body. A smile covers her face when she remembers that she’ll see Jamie again. It isn’t just Jamie that causes such joy inside of her, she’s also happy to see his family. Claire doesn’t really know what it is to have one. She’s getting dressed comfortably and warm enough for the day before she’s heading downstairs to go run some errands. Once she’s back she’s making some coffee. Not even emptying half her mug, she hears mumbling in front of her door and a loud knock that makes her open the door with a big smile on her face.
“Good morning, come in.” Claire says as she’s stepping aside to let the Fraser family enter her cabin. “I’ll just be a few minutes more.”
“Mornin’ Claire.” Ellen says, looking around the cabin before shooting a knowing glance to Jamie. Ellen Fraser knows how a loving and warming home feels like, Claire’s cottage certainly doesn’t have that feeling. “Are ye ready?”
“Yes!” Claire says, grabbing her jacket while putting on her boots. “Let’s go!”
And in the next few seconds they are all outside, stomping through the thick snow. Claire is looking at the car that disappeared behind them. “Aren’t we heading out by car? I think it’s easier to carry the tree that way.” She asks and the whole family starts to laugh. Not in a mocking way, but Claire feels a little out of place.
“Claire, a leannan .” Ellen smiles. “We’re no gettin’ a tree from a store, we’re goin’ to find one in the woods. I’m also thinkin’ that you and Jamie should head out to find one for yerself. Me, Jenny and Ian will find one fer me.”
Claire watches Jamie glare at his mother and she immediately feels as if he doesn’t want to head out with her alone. “We can also just go altogether.” Claire says as an answer and Ellen shakes her head frantically.
“Nonsense! Ye go wi’ Jamie!” She says again. “Jamie, make sure she’ll get a beautiful one.”
“But I don’t really decorate my cottage.”
“This year ye will.” Ellen says, and Claire knows that Fraser’s are a stubborn lot.
Jamie quietly grabs the axe and the groups split up. Claire and Jamie silently walk next to each other, snow softly falling to the ground when Claire suddenly stops.
“Are ye alright?” Jamie asks and Claire looks at him.
“You could’ve just said if you didn’t want to come with me. I could’ve gone with your sister.” She says, her arms crossing in front of her chest while her gaze lingers on him.
“I want to find a tree wi’ ye, Sassenach.” Jamie says.
“But…” Claire replies, waiting for him to drop the reason for exchanging glances with his mother the way he did.
“My Ma is on some kind of mission.” He eventually says and I’m walking to him, his eyes meeting mine. “She wants me to have a woman in my life again so she is tryin’ too hard to get us to date.”
A sudden warmth fills my heart but I brush it off with an awkward giggle and Jamie joins her with a hearty laugh. They both aren’t talking further about it, neither knowing what to say, so Claire looks at the trees, pretending to have found the one she wants.
“That’s a small one, Sassenach.”
“So? I like small things.”
“Ye do?” He side-eyes her and she’s happy the cold makes her blush because otherwise she’d have turned red from how she chose her words.
“Yes I do!” She says, pretending she didn’t understand his double meaning.
“Then the small one it is.” Jamie says, getting to work and in a few minutes they are walking back to her cabin where the rest of the family is waiting already.
“Where have ye been this long?” Jenny asks and grins at Jamie who just shakes his head. Claire is smiling at all of them asking if they would like to join her for a coffee. Jamie nods first which gives his family the chance to back out. Before Claire knows it, she’s sitting in front of the fireplace with Jamie, sipping a hot coffee, while their body temperatures rise.
“I’m sorry, fer my family.” Jamie apologises, putting away his mug as he watches the flames dancing in the fireplace. “It’s just, my ma is afraid I wilna find another woman again, so she’s tryin’ too hard.”
“At least you have a mom that is trying.” Claire says, taking a sip of coffee while watching the fireplace too. “But you should mention that the idea of dating me seems so terrible to you, then she might stop.” Claire brings the mugs into the kitchen, taking a few deep breaths before she returns back to sit next to Jamie.
“The idea of datin’ ye doesna seem terrible, Claire. I’m just scairt is all.” He admits and Claire looks up at him. His blue eyes turn darker at the mention of being scared and Claire has to try her best not to comfort him by taking his hand in hers. “I dinna want to fall in love again only to end up alone. I dinna think I can bear it.”
“I know. I’m the same.” She admits and he gives her a small smile.
“I dinna ever want ye to think that my distance to ye has anything to do wi’ ye.” Claire looks at him longingly, studying every line on his face and she licks her lips that have gotten dry.
“Alright.” She only says, her gaze turning back to the flames, stoking the wood a bit as to not make the flames die. She knows if she would only look a little longer at him, she’d not be able to resist. She’d not be able to keep her lips to herself as Jamie Fraser works like a magnet on her.
“It’s just, I always look for the mistakes in me first and I did the same in this situation. Men tend to show interest in me only for them to go off and find someone prettier or better.”
Jamie flinches at her words which Claire sees in the corner of her eyes.
“I’m sorry, men have treated ye this way.” He says and something tells Claire that he isn’t finished with his words. “Ye dinna deserve that. Yer a good woman, I ken that, and there is a man out there for ye.”
You. Is all she can think when he says that but she’s watching him stand up as if suddenly something came to his mind and he had to get it done.
“Thank ye, for the coffee, Sassenach.” He only says, grabbing his jacket.
“You’re welcome!” Claire answers, bringing him to the door and before he leaves he wraps her softly into his arms, pressing her against him. She feels his breath on her neck and her arms wrap tighter around his torso. Jamie’s hand suddenly rubs circles onto her back, his nose in her curls and when they part, Jamie glares into Claire’s eyes when suddenly something hits him like a lightning bolt.
“I’ll see ye tomorrow?” He says, putting some distance between them before opening the door.
“Yes, I’ll see you tomorrow.” Claire replies and watches him walk away until he’s out of her sight.
Chapter 6: Stormy Night
A loud thud that is coming from downstairs is waking Claire up in the middle of the night. Her eyes ripped open, she looks around the room as her gaze lingers on the window where she watches the storm rage outside. Another thud downstairs makes her jolt up and she swears there’s someone in her house. With shaky fingers she locks her door and paces up and down, not knowing what to do. She picks up her phone, remembering the phone number she longed to dial for a while now but never found the right time to.
Now is the right time. And without hesitation, her thumb clicks on his name. It beeps three times until he picks up and his sleepy voice makes Claire forget for a moment how terrified she is.
“Sassenach? Are ye alright?” He asks and Claire hears the change in his voice going from sleepy to wide awake. She takes a shuddering breath, closing her eyes as another thud rips her out of her thoughts.
“I think…” She starts, whispering. “There’s someone in my house.” Claire breathes out, her fingers clutching the phone as the wind is howling outside.
“What? Where are ye, lass?” Jamie asks and she hears him tossing away his bedsheets while probably trying to find some clothes.
“I’m locked in my room.” She whispers again, her gaze lingering now on the door waiting for someone to break it in.
“Stay there and dinna move.” Is all he says and for a moment she panics as it sounds like he’s about to hang up on her.
“Please, don’t leave me.” She whimpers, her back now on her bedroom wall as she sinks to the floor, holding onto the phone for dear life.
All she wants is for Jamie to run to her, closing his arms around her and holding her.
“I wilna hang up, but Claire stay where ye are and dinna leave yer room.” A sudden whooshing sound covers Jamie’s voice and Claire stands up to head over to the window. She can barely see the trees in front of her house as thick snowflakes blind her sight. “Be careful.” She whispers without knowing if Jamie can even hear her.
A few minutes pass and Claire still can’t see Jamie. His breathing heavy along with the wind is still howling through the phone. “Jamie?” She whispers when she suddenly sees movement downstairs. The front light illuminates her garden and she sees Jamie’s green jacket. Claire runs to the door, her fingers fumbling with the doorknob when it opens. The footsteps downstairs she hopes to be Jamie’s grow louder and she runs to the railing. “Jamie?!”
“Sassenach!” He exclaims, running upstairs as he still cautiously looks around as to not be surprised by the alleged intruder. “Are ye alright, lass?” He asks as Claire buries her face into his chest, her shuddering breaths shaking her body. “Shh, I’m here. Dinna be afraid.” He mumbles into her hair while his hands brush softly over her back. “It was just the storm, hittin’ things against yer house. Yer safe, Sassenach.” He keeps saying but Claire holds onto him for dear life.
After a moment, Claire’s breath is steady and she pulls herself back to look up at him, her face flushed with fear. Jamie’s hand finds her face and cups her cheeks while his thumb brushes over her blushed skin. Claire’s steady breath struggles to keep its rhythm and her lips part to say something, yet her voice fails her. Jamie’s eyes hover over her and without realising he moves closer, his other hand now on the other side of her face, grabbing her softly and before Claire can take another breath she feels his cold lips on hers. A sudden warmth fills her body and the storm around them is forgotten. Her fingers dig softly into the flesh of his back as his tongue brushes over her inner lip. Once their tongues mingle together, Jamie pushes her back softly until she hits a wall, her hands on the nape of his neck, playing with the tiny curls that linger there.
“Jamie…” She breathes longingly and a sigh of passion escapes her mouth and into his. His hands travel down the side of her body when he suddenly stops. His forehead steady on hers while he’s trying to catch his breath. Claire’s eyes open, she’s searching for his gaze without success.
“Hey, are you okay?” She asks and Jamie takes a step back.
“I’m so sorry Claire. Christ.” He says as if he’s just done something terrible. Claire shakes her head in confusion and walks up to him.
“What are you sorry for?” She asks, her hands grabbing the fabric of his jacket again to pull him closer. His face turns away from her and Claire sees he’s fighting his feelings.
“I shouldna have, I-, I shouldna have just kissed ye like that. I’m sorry Sassenach, I should have asked.”
It was then Claire couldn’t hold back her lips from curling up, a giggle finding its way out of her mouth.
“What’s so funny?” He asks with a look of confusion that only makes Claire burst into laughter. Jamie’s confusion only grows but when he sees her like this, her face filled with joy, no worries in sight and the sound of her laughter filling his ears, he can’t help but join her.
“You don’t have to ask me, Jamie.” Claire says after their laughter eased and silence fills the room again. “You don’t have to ask me at all.” She repeats, whispering the words into the cold air. She steps closer to him, her hands now around his neck again. “You can just do it whenever you want.”
Jamie doesn’t have to be told twice and he takes off his jacket, hanging it over the railing before he wraps his arms around her again, his lips finding hers. Claire hums softly when his tongue mingles with hers, wishing they could stand there forever. Just the two of them, their hearts dancing along with the howling wind outside. Yes, it is scary for both Jamie and Claire but something pulls them towards each other, something stronger than the fear that lingers within them.
“Claire?” He suddenly hums against her lips, his fingers travelling down the line of her spine as his gaze finds hers.
“Hmm?” She asks, still drunk from emotions.
“Please dinna hurt me.” He whispers before stealing another few kisses. Claire shakes her head softly, brushing her nose with his. “I won’t. Just don’t hurt me either.”
Chapter 7: All I Want For Christmas Is You
“I want ye so much, I can scarcely breathe, will ye have me?”
These words are all Claire needs to be sent over the edge. At this point she’d beg him to touch her, she’s burning for him, her skin asking for his while she’s still pressed against the wall. It’s hard for her to breathe and all Claire hears is her beating heart, or is it his? She doesn’t know.
A nod is all she can manage and he heaves her up, her back still pressed against the wall and Claire wraps her legs around him, his hardness pressing against the soft fabric of her pyjamas. Jamie’s shirt is falling to the floor as Claire’s fingernails dig into the skin of his warm chest. Jamie’s lips trail down her throat and the heated air around them fills with their moans and pants.
“Bedroom.” Claire breathes, air caught in her throat and Jamie is carrying her into the pointed direction. Claire feels the soft fabric of her sheets beneath her and Jamie’s heated skin above. His eyes scan her face before his hand comes to cup her cheek and Claire is watching him, her skin flushed.
“What?” She breathes and Jamie licks his lips before pressing them on hers, begging her tongue to mingle with his.
“Yer so beautiful, Claire. I canna believe yer real.”
She giggles at that. Her hands roaming through his red curls and his lips curl up. “You charmer.” She says, pecking his lips with hers before deepening their kiss again. The air is crackling with electricity around them, heat filling the room and before Claire can take another breath, Jamie’s hands move to take off her shirt. She can’t remember ever feeling like this. Her skin prickles beneath every touch of Jamie. She can feel the throbbing between her legs, clenching them together to try and relieve the pressure, feeling own wetness with the longing for him.
Claire’s hands move down to unbuckle his belt and open his jeans. With a single push the fabric rolls from his hips and he gets rid of them, leaving him only in his boxer shorts. Claire’s hand grabs the hardness between Jamie’s legs, his erection pulsing in her hands as she starts to pump him through his underwear. His moan gets muffled by her lips that press on his. With one swift move he pulls her up to get rid of her bra. Claire throws it next to her bed and watches Jamie’s gaze hovering over her naked breasts.
“Christ.” Is all he says before cupping them with his hands, his thumbs brushing over her hard nipples, making her cry out in pleasure. “Aye, Sassenach, scream fer me.” He says against her neck, his voice low, full with need for her. Claire’s hands move down to get rid of the rest of her clothes and Jamie does the same.
They both lay there, naked, Jamie’s pulsing cock waiting to come home. Claire lays back onto the pillows, her hands travelling to her knees. She spreads her legs slowly, Jamie watching every move she makes. His hungry gaze lingering on her hand that’s rubbing small circles over the aching spot between her legs. “I need you here, Jamie.” She moans, and before she can say anything else, Jamie kneels in front of her, his hardness in his hands as he guides himself to the spot Claire is rubbing her fingers over.
“Yer so wet for me, Sassenach.” He mumbles as he rubs his cock over her wet fold, his tip hitting continuously against her clit. Claire cries out as her fingers dig into Jamie’s back.
“I want you inside of me, Jamie.” She moans as she pulls his face down to meet hers, her tongue seeking for his. Jamie’s hand reaches down and in one thrust he brings himself home. He moans as he gets used to the feeling of being inside of her and watches her, crying out in pleasure beneath him. Her hands dig into his bottom as Claire starts to move beneath him.
“Oh god, Claire.” He pants, moving with her. At first the movements are slow, the both of them getting used to each other, but slow turns to fast and the room fills with the sounds of pleasure. With one swift move, Jamie flips them, Claire now mounting him. Her hands press on his chest as she starts to ride him hard.
Claire can’t remember ever feeling like this. She can’t remember feeling this amount of pleasure and joy in this act of love. She can’t remember ever actually getting an orgasm with a man inside of her. But here she is, feeling the build up inside of her, her hands still lingering on Jamie’s chest, losing the rhythm with Jamie’s. “Jamie, I’m…” She says but before she can say another word. Her breath hitches and silence surrounds them as they both relish in the feeling of their orgasms.
Claire’s body sinks onto Jamie’s, the both of them trying to catch their breaths. “Oh god.” Claire breathes out, her fingers playing with the hair on Jamie’s chest. “What on earth did you just do to me, Jamie Fraser?” She tilts her head up to face him, but his eyes are closed, his lips curled up into a smile while his steady breath tells Claire that he already drifted off into sleep.
The next morning arrives and Claire wakes up at first thinking last night was only a dream. But when she sees her clothes next to the bed and lifts her sheets to find herself naked she knows it wasn’t. The sound of the coffee machine makes her smile and she takes Jamie’s shirt from the floor and puts it on. Her wild curls are all over her face so she takes a hair tie to put it up in a bun before heading downstairs.
“Good morning.” She says, walking up to the kitchen island, bowing over to see what he’s been making.
“Good morning, Sassenach.” He answers, coming around to wrap her in his arms before pressing his lips on hers. “How did ye sleep?” He mumbles against her lips, his finger wrapping up a curl that’s gotten loose from her bun.
“Very good. And you?” She asks, her cheeks resting against his chest while she’s listening to his heartbeat.
“Verra good.” He says. “I made us breakfast, well I tried, ye dinna have many options in yer cabinets. But I found some eggs and made us omelettes.”
“Mhm.” She mumbles onto his chest before pressing a kiss on his skin. “I’d rather take a bite out of you.”
“Do ye now?” He asks with a smirk on his face. “Well before ye can do that, Sassenach, I think ye need yer strength.”
“I’m strong enough, lad.” She whispers, wrapping her lips around his before he pulls her up and places her on the kitchen counter. His lips trail down her neck before he spreads her legs and kisses up her inner thigh. She arches her back as her head falls into her neck, her moans filling the kitchen. Jamie’s tongue pleases her in ways she couldn’t ever imagine and before the omelettes are done, she finds her release, her fingers grabbing a bunch of Jamie’s curls.
He stands up to hover above her, pressing his lips on hers. “Christ, Sassenach, the way ye taste makes me forget all about breakfast.”
She giggles when a sudden knock on the front door makes them stare at each other.
“Claire dear, are ye home? I brought ye some breakfast and coffee and I was wondering if ye might be able to tell me where my son is.” She says and Claire looks at Jamie, bursting out in laughter.
“Shite.” He smirks. “Dinna think we’d be caught so soon.” He kisses her softly before she hops down from the counter.
“I’m coming!” Claire says and while she walks to the door she hears Jamie say.
“ I thought ye did already. ”
Chapter 8: Mother Knows Best
Claire opens the door dressed in nothing but Jamie’s shirt, smiling at the woman in front of her. “Good morning, Ellen, come in.” She says, her cheeks flushed at the thought of being caught by Jamie’s mother. It was clear that Ellen wanted them to be together, but to actually face her after just spending the night, made the butterflies in Claire’s stomach awake. “And yes, your son is here.” Claire simply stated, feeling the colour rise in her cheeks.
Ellen only looks at her with wide eyes, when Jamie walks shirtless out of the kitchen, licking his thumb from the grease of the pan before pressing a kiss on to Ellen’s cheek. Claire walks to Jamie, his arms coming around her as they both watch Ellen’s face fall apart in shock and they can’t help but laugh.
“Are ye alright, Ma?” Jamie grins at Ellen who is still gawking at the two of them. She puts the bag of croissants on the table before exhaling a breath, curling up her lips into a tooth flashing smile.
“Finally son! The lord has heard my prayers!” She exclaims and Claire bursts out into more laughter, leaning into Jamie’s arms before Ellen wraps hers around the both of them. “Oh how wonderful!” She says almost bursting out in tears of happiness. Ellen takes a few steps back, wiping her eyes before walking into the kitchen. “Let’s celebrate that wi’ a breakfast, children!”
Once they all are sitting around the table, Jamie barely able to keep his eyes from his Sassenach, Ellen gaping at the both of them, still in disbelief. “How did this happen so fast?” She asks, taking a bite out of her croissant.
“I guess I just couldn’t resist any longer.” Claire says, sticking her fork into a piece of scrambled eggs, side-eying Jamie with a smile on her face. “It’s just time Jamie and I both realise that love doesn’t automatically mean heartbreak.”
“That’s what I’ve been tryin’ to tell him for such a long time.” Ellen says, leaning back into her chair before looking at her son, a silent statement made between the both of them. “I ken it’s scary, when I got together wi’ my children’s father, I thought it would be forever. But life works out in strange, unpredictable ways, and just because I’m alone now, separated from him, doesn’t mean that I regret the years I had with him. Actually I’ve been thinking about them quite a lot.”
“Ye still love, Da. I ken ye both communicate by letter.” Jamie says and Ellen sits up straight at her son’s words.
“I dinna ken yer meaning.” She answers, picking up her mug to take a sip of coffee.
“Let him visit over Christmas, Ellen.” Claire chimes in. “Show him what a life you built here, let him get to spend this time with his family and maybe the spirit of Christmas helps the two of you mend things.”
“Brian wants to live in Scotland, my heart is here.”
“Are you sure about that?” Claire asks, warming her hand on her mug and silence fills the room. “I always thought my heart is here too, alone in a little cottage out in the nowhere. I thought I didn’t need anything else in life except a roof above my head and a coffee in the morning. But sometimes our heart longs for more.”
“Would ye move to Scotland fer my son?” Ellen suddenly asks and Claire’s eyes widen.
“Ma…” Jamie warns, turning his head to Claire. “It is a wee bit early to talk about moving countries for each other, I dinna-“
“Yes I would.” Claire says and the both of them fall silent. Jamie holds Claire’s gaze, silently asking her if she’s serious and she nods in response. “Like I said, what would this house be if I couldn’t be with the person that holds my heart?”
Ellen looks at Claire, longingly, lost in thoughts before she nods. “Lad, I think it’s time ye taught yer Ma how to use a cell phone. We’re going to invite yer father.” She stands up, walking to the door. “I’ll head back to inform Jenny and Ian. Let’s head to the city in a few hours.” Ellen hugs the both of them before disappearing, the door falling shut.
Jamie turns around to Claire, looking at her in disbelief. “Ye’ve done something in a matter of minutes that I’ve tried fer years. How did ye do it?” Jamie stares at Claire who now stands up to do the dishes.
“I just used her own words against her.” Claire answers, scrubbing the plates before feeling Jamie’s arms coming around her waist. His lips pressing on the spot where her shoulders and neck meet.
“How are ye real?” He whispers, his hands travelling up and down the sides of her body, his fingertips grazing up the hem of her shirt. Claire almost let’s the dishes fall when she feels Jamie’s fingers between her legs, rubbing her heated centre, groaning when feels how her wetness presses through her underwear. Claire presses back onto Jamie, feeling his bulge on her arse, before she lets Jamie slip down her panties. She keeps going on with the dishes when she hears his sweatpants drop to the floor, his hand now cupping her breast beneath her shirt while he pants softly into her ears. “I need ye, Sassenach, I need ye now.”
Claire gasps for air, dropping the plate when Jamie pulls up the shirt over her hips, teasing her wet centre with the tip of his cock. He thrusts into her slowly, his hands steady on her thighs as she cries out in pleasure. Jamie is starting to move at a steady pace, thrusting into her over and over again, making her cry out in pleasure. “God, Jamie, harder!” She begs, her hands flat on the kitchen counter, pressing against him to let him sink deeper into her.
Jamie doesn’t have to be told twice and his pace quickens, his thrusts harder while his fingertips dig into the soft skin of her thighs.
“Oh fuck!” He groans, moans growing louder. “I canna hold much longer, Sassenach.” He says in a voice so high pitched, Claire knows he’s close.
“Then don’t.” She cries out, moving along with him before he suddenly stops in his pace and Claire feels his cock twitch inside of her, making her walls clench as she’s coming around him.
Nothing but heavy breathing is filling the room and Claire turns around, Jamie’s cum running down her thighs and she giggles. “Let’s take a shower.” Claire says, before pressing her lips on his. She’s heading to the stairs, her eyes gleaming at Jamie and the both of them head upstairs to take a shower and find each other once again.
Chapter 9: Christmas Angel
The both of them got dressed and Claire is zipping up her winter jacket when Jamie pulls her into his arms, pressing his lips softly on hers. Claire hums into his lips, relishing in the moment, her hands coming up to rest in his neck. “I canna get enough o’ ye, mo nighean donn.” He mumbles and Claire pulls back to look at him.
“English please?” She says, laughing at the strange words escaping from Jamie.
“It is Gaelic, Sassenach, meaning my brown haired lass.”
Her smile fades at the translation of the words and her fingers brush over Jamie’s jawline, feeling the stubble on his chin. Her gaze meets his before she softly presses her lips on his again. “Well then, Gaelic does sound better.” She whispers before pressing another kiss onto his lip.
They head outside, the Fraser family already on their way up to Claire’s cottage when Jenny runs into Claire’s arms, pressing her tight onto her. “Welcome to our family, Claire! Ma told me what ye and my brother are up to.” She grins. “Finally ye took an actual women to yer side, Jamie, not one o’ those strange lassies that only cared fer yer good looks ye inherited from yer sister.” All of them laugh at Jenny’s words and Ian tells Jamie how happy he is for his best friend.
Claire offers to drive and they all sit in her car. Ellen, Jenny and Ian squeezed together in the back while Jamie takes place on the passenger seat, his hand resting on Claire’s thigh as she starts the motor. Claire can feel Jamie’s family staring at Jamie’s hand resting on her and grins and the thought of them being this happy for their son. It’s all Claire ever wanted. Someone being happy to have her in their lives. A family.
“Have you thought about what phone to get, Ellen?” Claire asks suddenly once they arrive on a more civilized road that doesn’t ask that much of focus from the driver.
“I dinna ken.” She says, look into the round. “Mebbe one like Jamie has.”
“Ma, I dinna think ye could handle all o’ that. Ye should go wi’ one like Jenny has, simpler.”
“A phone is a phone. As long I can send those electronic letters to yer Da.”
Everyone bursts into laughter when Ellen calls text messages electronic letters and she’s looking around at her family asking what on earth would be so funny.
Claire finally parks in front of the store when Jenny and Ian offer to go with Ellen. Claire and Jamie look at each other and agree, thankful for the time they get to spend with each other.
“Call me if ye need anything, Janet. We’ll meet back here in an hour.”
And just like that, Jamie and Claire wander off, strolling through the streets of Boston, glaring into different stores when Claire takes Jamie’s hand and pulls him into her favourite garden supply store. The warmth hits their skin in delight and Claire takes a deep breath at the sight of all the beautiful Christmas decorations.
She walks ahead of Jamie, knowing exactly where to go when she stops at an aisle full of Christmas angels, grabbing one specifically into her hands. Her fingers trace the fragile wings, when she takes a shuddering breath. She feels Jamie standing behind her, looking at her.
“My uncle always took me here when I was little and we went to visit him up at the cottage. My parents and I always spent Christmas here. His place is perfect to give a child the best holidays it can wish for. While my parents went secretly away to buy presents he took me here and let me look at the angels. I always picked one and could place it anywhere in the house I wanted.” She swallows hard at the memory. All those Christmas angels are now stored into the attic, never been touched in years and a sudden regret fills Claire’s body.
“When my uncle died a few years ago, he gave this place to me and I have lived there ever since.”
“What about yer parents?” Jamie asks and Claire still holds onto the little angel in her hands.
“They died with him.” She whispers, staring at the wings of the figure in her hands. She hasn’t talked about this to someone since Frank. He never understood her grief. Never listened when she needed to talk about it. She was all alone.
“I’m so sorry, Claire.” Jamie whispers, his arms now coming around her shoulders as his gaze now lingers on the angel too.
“It happened when I was twenty two, they had a car accident during december.” She doesn’t want to go into detail and hopes Jamie won’t ask.
“Take it.” He says softly into her ear, his arms rubbing over her upper arms. Claire looks at the angel, already seeing it standing in the middle of the dining table. Her vision suddenly gets blurry and she can’t stop the onslaught of tears that fall over her cheeks.
“Hey, mo ghraidh, shh.” Jamie says, turning her around to face her before pulling her into his arms. His hand comes around to cup the back of her head while her cheek rests on his chest. “It’s okay, I’m here.” He whispers, pressing his lips onto the crown of her head. “Ye arena alone any more, and ye never will be again. I’ll make sure o’ it.” He keeps mumbling, holding her tighter as she cries.
A bit later, Claire lifts her face before wiping the tears from her cheek. “God, I’m so sorry.” She says and Jamie cups her face, his thumb brushing over her skin.
“Ye need not be sorry fer sharing yer feelings, Sassenach.” He says and her lips curl up into a tiny smile. “Take the angel, let’s decorate yer place.”
“Let’s celebrate Christmas at yer place, mo ghraidh.” Jamie suddenly says, making Claire look at him with wide eyes. “I’ll help ye. My whole family will come, including my father.” He breathes out, his hand still cupping her cheek as she’s breathing in deeply only to exhale a shuddering breath a second later. “We’ll put up yer angels, we’ll make it look as festive as possible. Let’s allow yer family to be wi’ ye during Christmas.” He says. “They may not be on this earth any longer, but they can be wi’ ye in spirit. They are wi’ ye, always. Let’s honor them, Let them be a part o’ it.”
Claire’s lips part at Jamie’s words, her eyes holding his gaze in disbelief. Not once in her life did anyone say something like this to her. She is used to getting the pitiful looks, the hugs, the apologies for having to endure such loss, but not once did someone react like Jamie did.
Her hand comes around his neck, pulling him down into a deep, soft kiss as she’s holding the angel in her hand. More tears roll down her cheek and Jamie’s hand comes around to the back of her head, pressing her closer to him. “Thank you.” She whispers and swears she feels a tear on her cheek that dribbles from his eyes.
Chapter 10: Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire
They all return from their short trip to the city, Claire still in awe of Jamie reacting the way he did to her story. While Ellen is busy arguing with Jenny about something on her phone, Jamie turns around to face his family, all of them still sitting in the car.
“We’ll be celebratin’ Christmas at Claire’s place.” He says and all of their gazes linger on me and I’m nodding.
“I haven’t celebrated in a while and Jamie and I would love to prepare for this year's festivities.” She says and they all break out in huge smiles thanking her before departing to Ellen’s cottage. Jamie, of course, stays with Claire, going inside the house with her.
Once their outdoor clothes are off, Jamie takes Claire to the couch, and pulls her into his arms, his lips pressing against her forehead. “I love ye.” He whispers. “I love ye so much, mo ghraidh.” He repeats and Claire looks up at him, their gazes holding the glimmer of emotion.
“I love you too.” She answers, pulling him in for a kiss. They sit there for a while, Jamie holding his Sassenach close in his arms when Claire suddenly jolts up and turns around to face him.
“Let’s decorate!” She grins, Jamie’s lips curling up. She extends a hand to him and when he takes it, he pulls himself up, making Claire fall back into the couch with him. They both burst out into laughter and giggles and his finger brushes a curl from her face.
“Where do ye want to start?” He asks, his gaze lingering on her face almost like he still can’t believe she’s real and his .
“Well as I do not want to leave this house again, let’s start with what I have in the attic. The tree has to wait.”
He nods in agreement and heads with her up into the attic to grab all the boxes. Once they land on the living room floor with a loud thud, Claire kneels down, opening one of the boxes filled with Christmas lights, little reindeers, and Santas. She remembers exactly where Uncle Lamb and her parents placed each of the figurines and lights and Claire sits down onto the floor. Another box catches her sight and she takes it to her. Before she opens it she takes a deep breath.
“My angels.” She says to Jamie as she opens it and figures in all shapes and sizes look at her. “Let’s start.” Claire adds before standing up.
Jamie starts to decorate while Claire prepares a hot chocolate for them before hovering down in front of the hearth to light the fireplace.
Jamie is almost finished with the lights when Claire starts to decorate the room with little figurines. The blanket for the tree laid out where she plans on putting it once Jamie and her get one.
And once they finish, they stand in the corner looking at their masterpiece. Claire gasps a little at the sight and turns off the light so her living room is only illuminated by the fairy lights and the fire. In silent understanding, Jamie takes Claire’s hand in his and she turns around to face him.
Her hand disappears into his red curls, before she’s pulling him down for a deep kiss. Her lips softly wrapping his into a loving embrace before his tongue slides inside of her mouth to mingle with hers. Jamie’s arms come around Claire’s waist, pulling her closer while they dance slowly towards the fireplace where a blanket is sprawled out on the floor, with some pillows on top of it.
They get down onto the blanket, Claire pulling Jamie on top of her before locking her lips with his once again. Their kisses remain soft and loving, matching with the pace of the crackling fire next to them. Jamie trails kisses down her throat before his hands disappear beneath her shirt, Claire’s skin prickling with every touch of his.
“I love you, Jamie.” She breathes out her eyes closed when he comes up to face her. “I love you.” She repeats before he softly pulls her up to get rid of her sweater.
“And I you.” He breathes out, his calloused fingertips brushing her skin at the hem of her bra until they reach their goal and unhook it. The piece of clothing drops slowly to the floor. Claire inhales a shuddering breath when her hands move to take Jamie’s pullover off.
Claire lays back down onto the warm blanket and fluffy pillows, grabbing Jamie softly by the neck, pulling him on top of her.
They continue their act slowly and passionately until the both of them have no more clothing on their bodies, the fire being only warmth hugging them. Jamie’s hand cups Claire’s breast, his thumb caressing her hard nipple making her moan softly. Jamie’s hardness rubs against her aching spot, making the both of them pant out, wanting more.
“I love ye, mo ghraidh.” He says, his chest heaving up and down as he groans in pleasure.
“I love you.” She replies, the both of them not getting enough of hearing those words.
Jamie’s hand comes down to grab his hard cock, guiding it slowly into her inch by inch, Claire’s gasp filling the room. Jamie groans in pleasure at the feeling and starts to move slowly, relishing in the feeling of being inside of his Sassenach.
Claire’s fingers dig into the flesh of his arse, spreading her legs further before starting to move in rhythm with Jamie.
“God…” She moans as Jamie sucks softly on her nipple, keeping the slow and steady pace.
“I canna get enough o’ ye.” Jamie breathes onto her silky skin as Claire moans louder.
They keep going in their slow and passionate pace, the both of them building up to reach their climaxes while the sound of the crackling flames is joining their song of passion.
Jamie loses track of their rhythm, spilling into her with Claire's name on his lips, only for her to follow him with her fingernails on Jamie’s back.
The both of them are lying next to each other, Claire’s head on Jamie’s chest while his arm is wrapped around her small form. His fingertips brush over the skin on her upper arm, his lips press against her forehead.
“It feels like I’ve known you forever.” She whispers before pressing a kiss onto his chest. She looks up to face Jamie, only to find his blue eyes already scanning her.
“I ken what ye mean.”
“I know it sounds cheesy but I think I know now what people mean when they say they are meant to be together.”
Jamie nods, lost in his thoughts when he brushes a curl behind Claire’s ear.
“Are you okay?” She suddenly asks after a while of silence and he looks at her, holding her gaze before he nods.
“Aye, sorry Sassenach, got lost in my thoughts fer a bit.”
Claire swallows as fear nags at her stomach. Did she say something wrong? Is this going to push him away? No, he just admitted his love for her a numerous amount of times.
“I love ye, Claire.”
Claire shakes her fear off by brushing her lips over Jamie’s and decides to not be concerned until there would actually be a real reason for it.
Chapter 11: The Frasers
The next day Jamie and Claire go out to get some more decorations to fill Claire’s living room with. Once decorated, Claire looks at their masterpiece, smiling in delight as she leans into Jamie.
“It’s perfect.” She says, kissing his cheek before she heads to the kitchen to brew the both of them a cup of coffee. Jamie follows, sitting down at the dining table, tapping nervously onto the wooden surface.
“Jamie?” Claire asks, her significant other still lost in his thoughts. “Jamie!” She says louder, putting the two coffee mugs on the table as Jamie jolts up.
“Aye?” He lifts his gaze to meet Claire’s, wrapping his hands around the steamy mug. “Thank ye, mo ghraidh.”
“What’s wr-” Claire can’t finish her sentence as Jamie’s cell phone chimes and his mother’s number appears on the display.
“Must be Jenny. Dinna think my Ma can manage her phone already.” He chuckles before clicking the green button, putting his mother on speaker. “Ma?”
“Jamie, dear!” She exclaims excitedly, her voice pure delight. “Jenny set up my phone, yer father is comin’ today.”
“Aye.” She says happily. “His flight lands tonight. Will ye drive us to the airport? Claire’s car is rather small.”
Claire smirks at Jamie, taking a sip of her coffee as she watches Jamie talking with his family. What was he thinking about while she was in the kitchen? Is he doubting his love for her? Is he regretting saying that he loves her? Did he want to wait? Claire flinches at her thoughts and doesn’t realise that Jamie already hung up his phone and now stands behind her, his hands on her shoulders while he kisses the crown of her head.
“Are ye alright, mo nighean donn?” He asks and she nods softly before taking another sip of her coffee.
“So your father is on his way.”
“Aye. I dinna think my mother would be so quick wi’ askin’ him but I think ye made a great impression on her wi’ yer wee speech.” He says before grabbing a chair to sit down next to her. “Will ye come wi’ us to the airport?”
“I thought that was already settled.” She says with a smile on her face.
“Of course. But it is still yer own choice.”
Claire kisses him with a smile on her face before the both of them spend the rest of their afternoon in front of the TV watching Christmas movies while eating cookies and drinking coffee when suddenly the movie and cookies were forgotten and all they do is hanging on each other’s lips, making out like some teens at High School.
Jamie presses Claire down on the couch as she grabs him closer by his hair. His kisses travel down her neck making her pant as his hands travel down to her heated center and Jamie curses the pair of jeans blocking his way to feel how wet she is. Claire moans into his ears and she puts a hand on the hard bulge that is clearly visible through his blue jeans when suddenly the front door opens, Ellen, Jenny and Ian all standing with wide eyes in the living room.
“Iffrin!” Jamie curses while Claire is hiding her face in shame, her hands flat on her face. But her lips curl upwards and she can’t stifle the giggle that builds up in her chest.
“Oh God!” Jenny screams, running into the kitchen pulling Ian with her.
“Oh dear Lord.” Ellen says, turning around. “I’m so sorry, I mean we are sorry, we shouldna just have barged in.”
Claire’s laugh echoes through the room as she watches Jamie running upstairs, his hardness still visible from distance. Claire sits up and straightens her sweater before she walks to Ellen. “It’s alright, everything’s covered up.”
“Good!” Jenny says before walking back to her mother and Claire. “I’ve seen enough o’ his bollocks when he was a wee bairn. I dinna need to see more of it.”
“I can hear ye, Janet!” Jamie yells from the bathroom upstairs and comes downstairs a few minutes later, his shirt changed and Claire knew he did that to gain some time to get rid of the problem in his trousers.
Once they are all set they head to the airport, Jamie driving while Claire turns around to face Ellen. “Are you nervous?” She asks, Ellen looking up at her, giving her a faint nod.
“Aye, Brian and I have a lot to talk about. Things that couldna have been said in letters.”
“Everything will be alright.” Claire says and Jenny smiles at her.
“We should all go Ice Skating tomorrow.” Jenny says and everyone agrees with excitement but Ellen only gives a faint nod, scared of maybe having to attend with Brian gone again.
Once they are all standing at the arrivals, Claire is holding Jamie’s hand. She watches his face twitch with excitement knowing his father would come here for Christmas. The moment the door opens and nothing stands between Brian and his family, Jamie’s eyes light up with a sparkle that makes Claire’s heart skip a thousand beats.
Brian Fraser is a delightful man. His face has the same lines as Jamie’s, his eyes as dark and sparkly as Jenny’s and his appearance is a specialty by itself. It feels like a giant gleam of light entered, making this family complete.
Claire is watching the Frasers relishing in Brian’s arrival, Ellen losing a lot of tears while Brian holds her close. It is a silent understanding they share with each other and everyone knows it. Everyone in this room knows that Ellen and Brian Fraser belong together, whether the universe puts up a thousand obstacles for them or none. Their love would always win.
Jamie turns around to look at Claire, his gaze switching from his father to Claire.
“Da, this is Claire, my girlfriend.”
Claire almost cried at that title. He made it official. Maybe her fears were all for nothing and it was entirely something else that bothered him.
She smiles at the man, reaching out a hand for him which he ignores and Brian embraces her with a huge, happy hug.
“It’s so nice to meet ye, Claire! Jenny has told me a lot about ye!” Claire is looking at Jenny over Brian’s shoulder and only gets a smirk from her and once the man takes a few steps back, he nudges Jamie, smiling.
“Finally ye’ve picked a decent lass.”
“Well, thank you.” Claire says, making them all roar with laughter.
They all drive back home Claire suggesting that Jenny and Ian would eat dinner with her and Jamie which they agreed to in a heartbeat. They are all in the same opinion that Ellen and Brian should have their first evening together, alone.
After Jenny, Ian, Jamie and Claire gather around the kitchen table, Jamie drifts off again, making Claire wish she could talk to him about what’s bothering him but she wouldn’t do that in front of his family.
“Claire, do ye have some cards?” Jenny suddenly asks and Claire nods. “Well good, while the men prepare our dinner, we could play together.” She grins and I laugh.
“Sure, Janet.” Jamie scoffs but Ian gives him a glance that tells him she didn’t joke and Jamie rolls his eyes and eventually says. “Sure, Janet!” And now it is Jenny who laughs.
Chapter 12: Ice Skating
The next day arrives quickly and Jamie and Claire are getting ready for Ice Skating with the Frasers.
Claire is looking at herself in the mirror, blowing a frustrated raspberry as she’s trying to tame her curls. “Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ.”
“Are ye alright, Sassenach?” Jamie enters the room, standing behind her before wrapping his arms around her waist.
“I hate my hair! Why can’t I be blessed like your sister and have straight hair!” She sighs. “My life would be so much easier.”
“Dinna say such things.” He says softly, removing the brush from her hands before using it to untangle her hair. Stroke by stroke he goes through every single strain of her hair as he’s watching Claire through the mirror. “Yer hair is sae bonny, Claire, just like ye.” He puts the brush down to turn her around to face him before his lips press softly on hers.
“How could I not love a man who says such things?” Claire whispers on his lips and he smiles as his arms come around her and hold her close.
Everyone is talking about different things on the way to the ice rink and Claire just watches the snowy streets with a smile on her face until they arrive. She remembers the last time she was there. It was the last winter she spent with her Uncle and her parents. They literally had to force her on the ice as Claire isn’t particularly the steadiest on skates. But now, she knew Jamie would be there, holding her, protecting her from falling.
“Are ye all ready?” Jenny says as Jamie parks the car and everyone is howling in approval. Claire gets out first, just to be wrapped in Jamie’s arms again.
“Get a room!” Ian grins at them.
“Dinna say that, Ian, otherwise they’ll actually book one.” Ellen chimes in and Jenny bursts out into laughter.
“It’s like teens in high school these two. It’s almost so cute it’s gross.” Jenny says and Brian looks at his son, smiling softly at the both of them.
“It is rare.” He almost whispers but Ellen looks at him, nudging him softly, giving him a dreamy smile.
“Can we go now?” Jenny asks and everyone nods, following her.
The moment everyone puts on their rented skates, they walk to the rink, Claire grabbing Jamie’s hand. She halts before her skates can touch the ice, Jamie looking at her in amusement.
“Come on, Sassenach. I’ll hold ye.” He says, but Claire only stares down at the hard surface, imagining how it must feel to fall on it. She shudders before looking at him.
“Can I not just get a coffee?” She asks but Jamie only chuckles, holding her hand tightly.
“No, I wilna let go o’ ye, I promise.”
“But what if I crack my head open?”
“I wilna let that happen.” He answers, Claire taking another deep breath as she watches Jenny and Ian chasing each other while Ellen and Brian take it slowly, hand in hand, watching each other.
“Maybe I fall and you can’t prevent it and the-”
Before she can finish, Jamie pulls her on the eyes, a squeal escaping Claire’s body as she’s being pulled into his arms.
“How dare you!” She screams but Jamie only chuckles, holding her tightly. Claire’s wobbly feet glide over the ice while her fingernails dig into the fabric of Jamie’s jacket.
“Everything’s fine, I’m here and I wilna let ye go.” He says calmly and Claire starts to relax, the wind brushing over her, making her cheeks blush. She sniffles from the cold as she tries to let go of Jamie with one hand.
“Promise?” She asks again to receive confirmation of him and he nods.
“Ye can do it.”
She holds Jamie’s hand, their fingers laced together while her other arm is outstretched to keep some balance.
“See, yer doin’ great!” Jamie says as Claire only chuckles nervously.
She keeps on balancing when a sudden blow takes her and she pulls on Jamie, taking him to the ground with her.
“Christ, lass, are ye alright?! I’m so so-”
Claire bursts out in laughter as she watches Jamie who is on top of her. Her arms wrap around his neck to pull him down to her. Their lips meet before someone whistles at them.
“Get a fecking room!” Jenny screams, the rink bursts out in laughter.
“Aye aye, Janet, be quiet.” Jamie calls, standing up before helping Claire back on her skates. “Are ye alright, Sassenach?”
Claire nods before pulling him close to her. “That room doesn’t sound that bad.” She whispers into his ear and Jamie smirks.
“I ken, I canna stop thinking about havin’ ye all to meself.” He whispers back, his forehead touching hers.
Claire’s breath hitches at the mere sight of him when she suddenly hears Jenny next to them.
“Ye both are disgusting.” She grins, pulling Claire with her. “Sorry brother, she’s mine!”
Claire turns around to Jamie, giggling before turning back to Jenny who now brings her around the ring.
“I havena ever seen him like this, Claire.” She says, turning her head to face Claire.
“So in love.”
After a day of laughter and joy, Jamie and Claire are coming home exhausted and drained. All Claire wants is to get her comfy clothes on and cuddle on the couch with Jamie while watching a Christmas movie. As Jamie agrees she walks upstairs to freshen up, wondering where Jamie is before heading back downstairs to see him putting a present under the tree.
“It’s a bit early for that.” She says with a smile on her face, walking to the kitchen to brew some coffee.
“That’s why it’s called an early Christmas present, Sassenach.”
Her eyes gleam when he said that and she grabs the both mugs to the living room as she sits down in front of the tree. Jamie blue eyes scan her as he gives her the present, his lips curling up into an amused smirk.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” She giggles, ripping softly on the paper. Jamie’s teeth sink into his lower lip as he stifles a low chuckle.
Claire turns the gift around and bursts out into laughter at the sight of it. “What on earth is that?!”
“‘Tis a vibrating panty, Sassenach.” He grins, pointing at the package. “I’ll have the remote while yer wearin’ it.” Jamie grabs her softly, pressing his lips to her temple.
Claire laughs out loud. “Never in a million years am I going to wear that.”
She hears Jamie’s chuckle as his eyes darken. “Do ye want to bet, Sassenach?”
Chapter 13: Christmas Dinner
“A bet?” Claire grins and Jamie smirks, taking her hand in his.
“Aye.” He pulls her in for a kiss but Claire pulls her head back.
“Tell me.” She says playfully. “What is it you want to bet on?”
“I bet.” He grins, pecking her lips with his. “That I can build a snowman quicker than you.”
She laughs before standing up, throwing the panty on the couch before heading to the wardrobe. “Alright, if I win, I won’t be wearing it, and if you win, I’ll wear it.”
“To our family dinner tonight.” He says with a low voice that makes Claire lose her smile for a second.
“Are you crazy?!”
“What?” He grins. “Scared to lose, Sassenach?”
The both of them stand in front of the door. “The snowman needs legs, a belly and a head. Ye need to gi’ him arms, a nose and a smile.”
“I know how to make a snowman, I’m not an amateur like you.” She grins and before she can take another breath, Jamie screams GO .
Claire grabs her jacket and boots before pulling her gloves over her hands and laughs as she runs outside before Jamie. She drops with her knees into the snow forming her first part of the snowman. Jamie now drops on the floor next to her, starting with his now.
“I’m ahead of you, Fraser!” She laughs, making Jamie only smile further.
Claire is so distracted by her own snowman that she loses track of Jamie’s and as she stands up to give hers a face Jamie claps in his hands.
“Ye’re fast, Sassenach, but not as fast as me.”
Claire stares with wide eyes at the complete snowman next to Jamie. “How-, how on earth did you do that?”
He shrugs his shoulders with a grin on his face as Claire just shakes her head. “I am not going to wear this out with your family, Jamie!”
“Ye lost, Sassenach, I think ye do.” He walks up to her, wraps her into his arms. “It’ll be fun.” His raspy voice warms her center and she smiles before kissing him. Claire’s arms wrap around his neck, pulling him closer.
“We have to get ready for dinner.” He mumbles onto her lips but Claire opens his jacket, her hands roaming around on the fabric of his shirt. “Sassenach…” He groans, Claire’s hands stroking the bulge that grows in Jamie’s jeans. He moans softly, pulling her face to his as he hungrily wraps his lips around hers. Claire pulls away, walking past him.
“Come, we’re going to be late.” She grins, taking the steps towards the front door.
“Ye wee vixen.” Jamie smirks, only to follow her. “Ye’ll get that back.”
Claire sits next to Jamie on the way to the restaurant, her new panties pressing tightly against her skin. She’s nervous. Really nervous but tries to hide it. Maybe he’s bluffing and will only use his dumb remote at home. Claire takes a seat next to Ellen and once the food arrives they all start to eat.
“Claire dear, can ye mebbe help Brian wi’ Jamie’s Christmas present? He specifically asked for ye.”
“Of course.” Claire smiles at Brian when a sudden vibration between her legs makes her drop the fork. FOR FUCKS SAKE.
“Christ, are ye alright?” Ellen asks, but Claire only shoots a glance at Jamie who casually continues his dinner while talking to Ian. One hand disappearing down the table. She bites her lip as the vibration intensifies and she swears she can see Jamie’s lips twitch in satisfaction. “Yer lookin a wee bit flushed, Claire.”
“I’m alright, don’t worry.” Claire grits her teeth when she picks up her fork again, taking a bite from her potatoes. “When would you like me to help Brian? God!” Claire’s hand slams flat onto the table, her teeth grinding into her lip, now the whole Fraser family’s eyes on her.
“Claire dear, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing, nothing!” She breathes. “I just have to use the restroom.”
Ellen stands up to make space for Claire before she disappears to the restrooms. Jamie stops the vibration to make sure Claire can walk normally, without catching too much attention.
“I’ll go check on her.” Jamie says, following Claire to the restroom.
“Are you fucking mad?!” She hisses, her skin flushed. Jamie clicks a button that makes her almost squirm. Her hand now squeezes his before she crushes her lips on Jamie’s. Jamie presses her on the wall behind, intensifying the vibration and she softly moans into his mouth. And then he hits the stop button.
“Jamie…” She pants, trying to pull him into the cabin.
“Come, Sassenach, we'll have to head back.” He groans. “Even though I’d love to fuck ye against every single wall in here.”
“Please…” She begs but Jamie takes her hand.
“When I have ye, I’ll have ye all to meself.”
“You can’t be fucking serious!” Claire rips her hand from his. “Jamie, I'm so wet.” She whines through her teeth not to make it audible for the whole restaurant. Jamie hisses softly at the mention of her wetness and he kisses her lightly.
“And I’d love to feel it, Christ, or even better, to taste it. But my family is waiting.”
“Fine!” She hisses. “But I’ll make you beg tonight.” Jamie grins and before he knows they both sit back on the table, Jamie fumbling some more with the remote while he watches his Sassenach eating the last course.
The both of them walk inside the cabin, Claire getting rid of the panty, throwing it at him. Jamie groans at the wetness of it. “Christ, it’s soaked.”
Claire rolls her eyes at him, before turning on her heels to the stairs but Jamie grabs her midway, pressing her against the wall, a low growl building in his chest. “I could have ye right here on these very steps, Sassenach.” His lips travel down her throat while his hands roam beneath her dress. Claire’s moans fill the room and before she can take another breath, Jamie’s fingertips are between her folds, groaning at the wetness. “Christ.” He breathes out.
“I wanted to make you beg.” Claire moans. “But just fuck me already.”
Jamie drops his jeans to the ground along with his underwear, before heaving Claire up and in one stroke is filling her, their moans the only thing interrupting the silence around them. Claire’s fingers grab on his hair while Jamie plunges into her over and over again.
“Put me down.” She breathes, Jamie obeying her, his hand cupping her breast through the fabric of her dress, brushing his thumb over the hard nipple. Claire moans before turning around, her hands pressing onto the stairs above her, while her knees come to sit a few steps down. “Fuck me, Jamie.”
“God, Sassenach.” He pants as his fingertips brush along her spine, his tip teasing her entrance before he softly slaps her ass. “Ye dinna need to tell me twice.”
He fills her then, both of them moaning again. Jamie moves fast, his arm coming around her to pinch her nipple making her cry out his name. “Fuck, Jamie!” She keeps crying out, making Jamie quicken his pace. Jamie’s hand travels from her breast down her belly, his cock still plunging into her when his fingers rub her clit in tiny circles. Claire’s breath hitches and Jamie can feel her walls clench around him before he releases himself inside of her.
Claire feels Jamie’s kisses along her spine before his arms come around her, carrying her upstairs into bed. She pulls him down, her lips pressing softly on his before they just look at each other.
“Ye make me beg without realising it, Sassenach.”
“But you didn’t beg.” She whispers onto his lips and Jamie smirks.
“I beg every single day, Sassenach. I’m completely under yer power.” She giggles, brushing a loose curl behind his ear.
“Well then I hope you’re happy to be there.”
“Oh aye, I am.” He smiles and they both make love once more.
Chapter 14: Sawny
The next morning, Claire wakes up first, watching Jamie sleep deeply. The tips of her fingers brush away curls from his face, causing his lips to curl up into a soft smile. She kisses his forehead before tiptoeing downstairs to brew herself a cup of coffee and read the morning paper.
She could get used to this. Simple mornings, reading the paper, knowing the man she loves is asleep upstairs. Claire exhales a content sigh before taking a sip of coffee when her phone lightens up.
Good morning a leannan,
It’s Brian. I’ll need some help with that Christmas present for Jamie. Do you want to come over today?
Claire smiles at the message and her heart warms after she lets google translate tell her what a leannan means.
Good morning Brian,
Of course. I’ll get ready. I’ll come over in about an hour.
Claire finishes her coffee before walking back upstairs to get ready, Jamie still fast asleep. She smiles to herself thinking about the amount of times they made love to each other last night. God, she could do it all over again. There is something about Jamie Fraser that makes Claire crave his touch every second of the day.
Once she’s dressed, she heads to the bed, her lips meeting his before his lashes flutter open and blue eyes meet whisky ones.
“Sassenach?” He mumbles sleepily, his hand trying to find hers. Claire laces her fingers with Jamie’s and kisses her knuckles. “Yer up early.”
“Your father wants me to help him with your Christmas present. I’ll head out in a bit.”
He grunts at that, pulling her back into bed. Claire laughs, her hands disappearing in his messy curls. “I’d rather have ye here wi’ me.” She kisses him deeply, Jamie turns them in one swift motion, pressing her small form back into the mattress.
“Jamie…” She mumbles on his lips, his tongue grazing hers the next second. Claire’s hands rest on his chest, pushing him softly away from her. “I have to go.”
He drops back onto bed next to her, smiling at her. “Aye. But if he gets on yer nerves, ye’ll ken where to find me.” Jamie kisses her with a smirk on his face causing Claire to laugh onto his lips before standing up.
“You know where everything is. I’ll try to be back in time for dinner.” Claire says, before kissing him and leaving the room.
“I love ye!” Jamie calls from upstairs as she opens the door.
“I love you too!” Claire shouts back, her belly warm from the breath of the butterflies in her stomach.
She arrives at the Fraser’s cottage, watching Brian working on something in the garage. His eyes sparkle at the sight of her and he walks up to her, embracing Claire with a huge hug.
“I’m so glad yer here! Do ye want a cup of coffee?” He asks, which Claire can’t deny.
“Where are the other’s?” Claire asks when finding an empty cabin.
“Oh they’re out. Jenny wanted to get some presents.”
She nods with a smile on her face, thankfully accepting the steamy mug before heading back to the garage with Brian.
“So, what do you need my help with?”
“Jamie’s brother Willy passed away when Jamie was no more but a wee lad. They were really close.” He takes a deep breath, still mourning the loss of his son with every beat of his heart.
Claire stares at him, her hand coming up to rest on Brian’s arm. “I didn’t know, I’m so sorry.”
Brian gives Claire a faint smile before walking to a cupboard, getting out a wooden snake. “This is Sawny. Willy made it fer his brother, called it after him.”
“Sawny?” Claire asks, taking the snake into her hand.
“‘Tis how he called Jamie, it is coming from Jamie’s second name, Alexander. Jamie lost the snake when he was only thirteen, a few weeks ago I found it when I roamed through some old boxes.”
“He will love it.” I whisper, handing back the object to Brian.
“But I need yer help. I’m verra bad wi’ colours and the wee thing needs a repaint. I thought ye could do it wi’ me.”
“I’d love to.” Claire answers, clearly touched that Brian asked for her help.
The both of them start, collecting all the colours and as Claire is busy with the black dots for the eyes, Brian looks at her with a gaze so soft, she stops in motion to look at him.
“I’m glad yer here, a leannan. Jamie truly found the right one at last.”
Claire puts down the brush and the snake, turning around to face him.
“I hope I’m the right one.” She admits, a thought that has been roaming around her head ever since she got together with his son.
He chuckles lightly at her words, taking her hands into his. “Ye are. I havena ever seen him like I do now. His eyes hold a simple joy that was missing fer so long. He canna take his eyes off of ye and he would lay the world at yer feet.” He pats Claire’s hand softly before he continues. “Ye see, I once told him that once he meets the right woman, he’ll know. He will feel it wi’ every heartbeat that this is the one he wants to spend the rest of his life with. Yesterday when ye were busy wi’ Jenny on the ice he came to me, and ye ken what he said?”
Claire shakes her head, tears stinging in her eyes as she keeps holding Brian’s gaze.
“He said, Da, it is her.”
Claire loses a few tears, wiping them quickly away. “God, I’m so sorry.” She says but Brian takes back her hands in his.
“I answered him, saying, aye, she is. So Jamie turned to me and said, what do ye think about her?”
Tears are now glistening in Brian’s eyes too as he prepares himself to continue.
“I answered that I may not ken ye that well yet, but it feels like yer were family from the moment I saw ye.”
Claire can’t hold her tears back and they roll down her rosy cheeks.
“Come here, lass.” Brian whispers, pulling her into a hug before she lets out every single emotion that presses on her chest.
This feeling is something she misses so dearly every day.
Knowing someone wants her there, loves her, cares about her.
Something she lost a long time ago when her parents passed along with her uncle.
“Thank you.” She whispers, wiping away her tears while she looks at him. “Thank you for accepting me into this family.”
“Thank ye, a leannan, fer joining.”
Chapter 15: Gingerbread Houses
Claire returns from her afternoon with Brian, her cheeks still red from all the emotion she shared with the father of her boyfriend. She hangs up her jacket, Jamie’s arms coming around her in a soft embrace.
“Hey Sassenach.” Jamie says in a soft voice, his lips pressing against her temple. Claire closes her eyes at the touch, a low hum escaping from her chest. She turns around in Jamie’s arms only to kiss him. Jamie’s eyes still open as he watches his Sassenach thoroughly. “Hey, have ye been crying, mo ghraidh?” He asks worriedly and Claire presses her head against his chest.
“Yes, but don’t worry, it was the good kind of crying.” She answers and Jamie’s hand comes up to cup her cheek.
“Are ye sure?” He asks, his thumb brushing over her flushed skin and she nods before giving him another kiss. “While ye were gone I prepared something.”
Claire looks around finding nothing differently, her head turns back to face Jamie, watching him quizzically. “What is it?”
“Come!” He says, grabbing her hand as he brings her to the kitchen. There are two Gingerbread house kits lying on the kitchen counter, waiting to be opened, surrounded by bowls of icing and other decoration sweets additional to the kits. Claire smiles excitedly.
“I’ve wanted to do this for so long now!” She exclaims, standing in front of one box only to open it the next second. She puts the gingerbread in front of her, spreading the contents of the box in front of her as she watches Jamie do the same.
The both of them are spending the next half hour setting everything up, stealing kisses from each other, Jamie’s hands roaming over her body. They have to remind themselves what they are about to do and Claire giggles when she turns around to the kitchen counter again. She starts to build her house, sticking the foundation of it together with pink icing when Jamie scoops icing on his index finger and smirks at Claire.
“Oh hell no! That belongs on your house!” She says warningly, grabbing a bowl in her defense before running around the kitchen island.
“I ken better places where it belongs, Sassenach.” Jamie answers, his eyes growing dark. Claire scoops some pink icing on her hand, throwing it Jamie’s way, letting it splatter onto his sweater. “Hey!” He yells, doing the same, only for it to land in her curls.
“Not my hair!” She screams but ends up laughing either way when Jamie takes a few steps and wraps her into his arms.
“I got ye now, ye wee vixen!” He chuckles, his lips pressing on hers as he trails icing down her neck with his finger. Claire shudders at the sensation, deepening the kiss, her tongue asking to mingle with his. Jamie’s mouth latches on her neck before he licks away the icing making the sound of Claire’s pants fill the room.
Jamie stands back up to look at her before he picks her up and walks around the island to put her on the counter.
“Jamie, it’s so messy.” She giggles but her gaze keeps lingering on Jamie who watches her with a gleam in his eyes that makes her want to press her thighs together. He pulls out a hair tie to bring the curls on his neck together as Claire’s breath hitches. Jamie’s hands come to pull down her legging along with her underwear, before he takes back the bowl of icing, scooping it again onto his index finger.
He slowly traces his finger down her inner thighs, relishing on the sound of her hitched breaths. Claire’s hands press flatly onto the counter, as she squirms beneath his touch. Jamie replaces his finger with his tongue, teasingly licking up the icing from her thighs as Claire fills the air with soft moans. “Jamie…” She whimpers before he spreads her legs even more.
“I like the taste of the icing, Sassenach, but ye taste even better.” He groans softly, before going down onto his knees before pulling her more to the edge of the counter. His tongue brushes over her wet center making her cry out as he twirls his tongue inside of her. Claire’s hand grabs his head and he plunges two fingers inside of her before his lips wrap around her clit.
“Fuck!” She cries out as her hands come back onto the counter, and she hits the Gingerbread house, making her chuckle and moan at the same time.
“Shh.” Jamie says with a grin on his face. “Ye make the walls crumble wi’ yer wee noises.”
Jamie comes up to kiss her, his face wet from Claire’s arousal and she pulls him closer. “You are crazy, James Fraser.” She moans into his mouth, her legs coming around his waist to pull him closer.
“I’m only crazy because ye make me, mo ghraidh.” He grunts out as Claire’s hand comes around the bulge in his jeans. “God, Claire.” He pants and it is now his hands that are flat on the counter. Claire hops down, standing in front of him while she keeps holding his gaze. Her fingers are unbuckling his jeans before letting it drop along with his underwear.
She presses Jamie against the counter before dropping down on her knees in front of him, curling her delicate fingers around his hard cock. “If you get to taste your favourite, I should get a bite of mine too.” She says before wrapping her lips around his hardness. Jamie groans in pleasure, one hand grabbing her curls that are still full of icing. Claire sucks his whole length while using her hand along with her mouth before her tongue swirls around his tip. “Oh fuck, Claire!” He cries out, a grin spreading on her face.
After a while she comes up to kiss him. “Fuck me in the shower, Jamie.” She whispers onto his lips and without having to be told twice, Jamie heaves her up and walks upstairs, their tongues mingling together. Once they stand in the bathroom the rest of their clothes drop to the floor and the hot water washes away the remnants of the icing. Jamie presses Claire against the cold tiles of the shower before heaving her, and up plunging inside of her at the first possibility. Claire cries out at the sudden surprise of him inside of her and Jamie starts to move faster, his forehead pressing against hers. “Look down!” He pants out. “Look down as I take ye, Sassenach.” He moans as he thrusts hard into her over and over again. Claire’s gaze falls down, watching his length filling her when her breath hitches at the sight, and her walls clench around him as her gaze still lingers on Jamie’s cock inside of her. Jamie halts in motion as his orgasm takes over him, his forehead pressed against Claire’s temple.
“Christ, Sassenach, however are ye mine?”
“I was just asking myself the same.” She whispers before kissing him softly.
Chapter 16: Pasta Al Tonno
A few days pass and Claire finds Jamie more and more lost in his thoughts and each time she tries to speak to him he brushes it off with kisses and cuddles. She doesn’t press further when Jamie tells her he loves her, yet a small part inside of her worries. What if he’s thinking about breaking up with her? What if this is just a simple vacation fling? Yes, she knows that he tells her a numerous amount of times how much he loves her, but still. What if? She can’t help but wonder.
Claire stares ahead of her, watching the fairy lights twinkle on the Christmas tree, when Jamie comes to sit beside her, his gaze hovering over her before he takes her hand into his.
“Are ye alright, mo ghraidh?” He asks softly, his thumb brushing over her knuckles. She turns her head to face him, curling her lips up into a forced smile.
“Yes. Don’t worry about me.”
“I do worry, Sassenach. I can see clear as day that something is botherin’ ye.” His hand comes up to cup her face and Claire closes her eyes at the feeling of his skin touching hers.
“I was just lost in my thoughts, that is all.”
“Please, it’s alright.” She says before she stands up. “I have to get ready, your mother wants to spend the afternoon with me for some tea.” Claire forces a smile on her face and Jamie sighs.
“Promise me, ye’ll talk to me if something is truly bothering ye?” Claire nods before kissing him softly.
“Only if you promise me the same.”
She holds his gaze, his blue eyes washing like waves over her whisky one before he pulls her down into a soft kiss. “Aye.”
The both of them share some more kisses before Claire is heading down to Ellen’s cottage where she once again is greeted with so much love, making her heart flutter and her stomach warm. Claire gets rid of her jacket and Uggs before sitting down at the table with Jamie’s parents.
“Where are Jenny and Ian?” She asks, accepting the cup of tea thankfully.
“Oh they went to a Christmas Market together, it’s good they get to spend some time alone.” She says, sitting down next to her husband who takes a sip of his coffee.
Claire gets lost in her thoughts once again as she watches the teabag swim in her mug.
“Are ye alright, a leannan?” Brian asks and Claire’s face shoots up, her lips curling up into a smile before she nods.
“Ye ken ye can talk to us.” Ellen adds, clearly seeing through Claire’s glassface.
Claire shakes her head softly, warming her hands on the steamy mug before looking at the both of them.
“I think Jamie is hiding something from me.”
Ellen and Brian share a quick glance with each other before turning their heads back to Claire who watches them closely. Do they know? Did he tell them something?
“Why would you think that?” Ellen asks while Brian takes another sip of his steamy drink.
“He’s acting strange. He’s staring at walls tapping his finger nervously onto his leg and when I ask him what’s wrong he brushes it off or says he’s forgotten something here. Maybe he wants to leave me.”
Brian moves his gaze up quickly. “No, he wouldna do that. Remember what I’ve told ye about the day we went ice skating? Jamie loves ye.”
“Then why does it feel like he could slip out of my hands any second? Why does it feel like he’s hiding something? If he wants to leave me he can, but I need to know.” Claire presses her hands tighter around the mug before taking a shuddering breath. The tears burn in the corner of her eyes. “I’m so scared.” She whispers. “I love him more than I’ve ever loved anyone in my life. I know I’ve only just met him but I just know he’s the man I want to spend the rest of my life with and now? Now I wake up every single morning wondering if today is the day he’s going to leave me.” She starts to sob, tears streaming down her cheeks before Ellen comes around the table and wraps her into her arms.
“Shhh.” She whispers, looking at her husband who watches the both of them with deepest sympathy. “Dinna think that way, Claire.” Ellen adds, holding her close in a motherly embrace. “Jamie tells us every single time we see him just how much he loves ye. He hasna ever said anything about leaving ye, dear. And I would scold the boy meself if he would only think such thoughts.”
Claire releases herself out of the embrace to brush her tears away when Brian puts a hand on her arm. “Jamie hasna ever loved someone as much as he loves ye. He’s probably just lost in his thoughts, wonderin’ what he could get ye for Christmas.”
Claire giggles at that, smiling at the two of them before taking a sip of her tea. “Maybe you’re right.” She says. “Maybe I’m just overthinking things because my feelings for him are so overwhelming.”
“I ken when I see love.” Brian says. “And ye both are the definition of it.”
Claire’s lips curl up into a thankful smile. She’s glad she could get her thoughts out on the table, calming her mind a bit. Jamie was probably just stressed because of Christmas coming up. Maybe he’s scared he doesn’t know what to give her. Not that he has to give her something. His heart is all Claire needs.
After spending the afternoon together, Claire comes home, the cottage filled with the smell of freshly made pasta. She puts down her jacket and Uggs before walking inside to see Jamie behind the stove, the table set for two while candles illuminate the room. Jamie stirs some sauce before getting the pan off the stove to walk around the kitchen island. He wraps Claire into a warm embrace before pressing his lips on hers.
Claire’s gaze roams around. “For me?” She asks, knowing the obvious answer already.
“O’ course, Sassenach, fer who else?” His finger brushes a loose curl behind her ear while his eyes scan every line of her face. “I missed ye.”
“I missed you too.” She whispers before wrapping her arms around her neck to pull him down. “So much.” Claire adds and her lips hug his.
“Come.” Jamie says between kisses. “The food is ready.”
“What did you make?” She asks curiously, taking a seat on her usual spot at the dining table.
“ Pasta al Tonno .”
Claire looks up at him as he serves the meal. “My mum used to make this for me.” She whispers, before putting a fork into her mouth. Her eyes close when the taste hits her tongue. “Mhm it tastes just the same.” Claire looks at Jamie with tears in her eyes.
“I found a recipe book and looked through it when I saw a tiny note that says Claire Bear’s favourite I figured I could surprise ye.” He whispers before coming around the table to kiss her.
Claire’s tears spill over her cheeks. “Thank you.” She says. “I don’t know what else to say.” She is speechless from the gesture. Her hands disappear in the red curls of the man she loves.
“I love ye, mo ghraidh.” He whispers.
“I love you too.”
The both of them share a deep kiss before Claire wipes the tears from her face. “Let’s eat, before it gets cold.”
Chapter 17: Christmas Present
Claire wakes up the next day, the rustling of clothes waking her when she sees Jamie getting dressed.
“Sorry Sassenach, I dinna want to wake ye just yet.” He walks up to her, pressing a kiss on her lips. “I wanted to prepare breakfast for ye first. Wake ye wi’ the smell of coffee.” Claire hums on his lips with a smile on her face.
“That sounds lovely.” She breathes out only realising now that they have nothing planned. “Why are you dressed?” She asks, sitting up in bed, covering her naked form with the blanket.
“My parents, Jenny, Ian and I are headin’ out to the city fer the mornin’. But I’ll be back after lunch.” He answers, noticing Claire’s gaze shifting.
“Oh.” She says, trying to hide her disappointment. “Okay.”
“It’s just we’re headin’ out to get presents for ye.” He replies and Claire nods with a smile on her face. She knows she shouldn’t react that way but something on Jamie’s face tells her that there’s more to it than just simple Christmas Shopping. “I wish ye could come, mo ghraidh, but I dinna want to risk ye seein’ it.”
Claire drops herself back into bed before nodding. “It’s alright, Jamie. You go and have fun.” She smiles, pulling him down before kissing him deeply. “I’ll be here waiting for you.”
Claire gets up after Jamie leaves, preparing herself for the day. Her hair is put up into a messy bun and she decides to simply put on leggings and a thick sweater. Perfect for a snowy day inside. She walks downstairs to brew herself a cup of coffee and sits in front of the TV.
She clicks through Netflix, trying to find a movie long enough to silence her thoughts. Claire knows Jamie is just out shopping with his family. But why couldn’t she go? Why couldn’t she just walk along Jenny while Jamie was looking for a present? Something’s off and Claire doesn’t like it.
She stands up to head to the kitchen, opening the cupboard filled with sweets. It doesn’t matter that it’s just ten in the morning, she needs Chocolate to calm her nerves. Her legs take her back to the couch where she starts eating as she watches the movie. It doesn’t help that the guy just broke up with the girl and Claire’s tears spill over her cheeks. She doesn’t know why her emotions act up the way they do. She doesn’t know why she can be crying in one moment, and laughing in the next. She doesn’t know why and she doesn’t like it.
The box of Chocolate suddenly doesn’t look as appealing anymore and Claire puts it aside, exhaling a sigh before crying some more. She must look pathetic. Sitting on the couch, watching a romance movie while crying her eyes out. He’s just Christmas shopping. Alone. With all of his family. It’s okay. A sudden growl in her stomach makes her aware of the nausea and her brows furrow.
“Oh fuck.” She curses, before hurling up to run to the bathroom. Just in time Claire hovers over the toilet bowl to empty her stomach. “Now you look pathetic, Claire.” She mumbles to herself, cleaning herself up before flushing the toilet.
She walks downstairs to grab her phone, texting Jamie.
Claire: I’m not feeling so well. When are you back? :(
It doesn’t take ten seconds for her phone to light up, Jamie calling and she picks up.
“Sassenach, what’s wrong?” He asks worriedly and Claire breaks out in tears again.
“I don’t know.” She sobs. “It’s like my body feels things I don’t want to feel.” She doesn’t know if her words make sense but she just needs to get it off her chest.
“Shh, mo ghraidh, dinna weep lass. I’ll be home soon.”
Home. A little word that can bring so much calmness to her.
“How long?” She asks in a tiny whisper, watching the clock that almost says twelve.
“Jamie, this one! It’s perfect!”
“Oh aye! She will love it.”
“Does it fit?”
“I got to go, Sassenach, give me another hour.” Jamie says.
“Alright. I love you.”
“I love ye too.” He answers and the line goes dead.
Claire stands up to head into the kitchen, cleaning up the dishes to waste some time. She thinks about the Fraser’s in the background, telling Jamie that I will love the item in question and she smiles a little. It eases her mind to hear their enthusiastic voices and she feels guilty for ripping Jamie from them. But she just misses him, and she’s just a little too scared.
The front door suddenly opens and Claire turns around to see Jamie. She runs into his arms, pressing herself tightly against him, breathing in his scent before placing a kiss on his neck.
“I’m here.” He whispers into her curls before taking her face into his hands to place a soft kiss onto her lips. “Are ye feelin’ better?” He asks, watching her with concern.
“Now I am.” She breathes out, deciding not to tell him about the meeting she had with her toilet as not to worry him for nothing. “I just missed you.”
“I missed ye too.”
“Did you find what you were looking for?” Claire asks with a smile on her face and Jamie nods silently. He seems anxious. “I bet I will love it. I heard Jenny scream in the background that I will, and I think she knows my taste by now.” She adds reassuringly and Jamie curls up his lips to give her a faint smile.
“Aye.” He breathes out and walks around her to head to the kitchen. “Do ye want a coffee?” He asks and Claire furrows her brows.
“Jamie, what’s going on?” She crosses her arms in front of her body. “You've been acting strange since last week and I really don’t know what on earth the matter is! Is it me? Did I do something?” She asks in frustration, making Jamie turn to her, shaking his head frantically.
“No! Ye dinna do anything. I’m sorry, Sassenach, truly.”
“Then what is it! Do you want to leave me? Did you realise that this has been a big mistake?”
“Christ, lass, no! I love ye more than anything in this world and nothing that includes ye could ever be a mistake, Claire.”
“Then talk to me!” Claire breathes out, her eyes burning with tears again. “Please.”
Jamie walks up to her, taking her hands in his while holding her gaze.
“I’m just no’ sure yer going to like yer present.” He admits and Claire exhales the air she’s holding. “It isna somethin’ I buy every day and I havena ever really given a gift that much thought. I canna risk ruining that day fer ye. So I’m nervous to give it to ye.” Jamie says carefully as to not give too much away. “Plus, we dinna ken each other fer long, I’m scared I chose the wrong item.”
“Jamie…” She answers, her hand now resting on his cheek as her thumb brushes over the stubbles on his face. “Whatever you give me I will love. You’ve already given me more than enough by just being here, by letting your family celebrate Christmas with me. I know for a fact that when I wrap out the fit you got me, I will love it with every inch of my heart because it’s coming from you.”
Jamie nods silently before curling his lips up into a smile. “Then I’ll take yer word fer it, Sassenach.”
“Yes.” Claire giggles. “And by the way, I still need to buy yours.”
“Ye dinna need to get me anything, as long as yer wi’ me.” He answers before his lips meet hers.
Claire paces up and down, thinking of the mental note she made. She has her list with the Christmas presents she needs to buy today, she has her wallet, and she has her keys. Her mind is racing when she stares at her reflection in the mirror. Her gaze lowering to the ground before she takes a deep breath. Five days until Christmas. Five days until she sits around the table with the family she has grown to love in this short amount of time. Five days.
“Sassenach.” Jamie comes up from behind, wrapping his arms around her before pressing his lips on her temple. “Yer just going Christmas shopping with Jenny, why are ye so nervous?” Claire turns around in Jamie’s arms, giving him a faint smile.
“I’m just hoping to buy the right things.” She answers, kissing him softly.
“Ye ken that ye dinna even need to buy things.”
“We talked about this.” She smiles before pressing her lips onto his one more time.
Jenny is waiting outside by Claire’s car, a huge smile spreading across her face when she sees her.
“There ye are! I’m so excited!” Jenny exclaims, wrapping Claire into a big hug. Claire nods in agreement before stepping inside of the car with her, driving silently to the mall.
“Yer verra quiet Claire, are ye alright?” Jenny asks when Claire pulls the handbrake on the parking spot. She takes a deep breath before turning her face to look at Jenny and nods. Her lips curl up bravely into one of her smiles.
“Yes, I’m alright. Shall we?” She asks and Jenny nods with a frowning expression, knowing that Claire isn’t being completely honest with her.
They walk through the mall, entering different shops, laughing at some items they could give Brian as a joke. Claire is staring at the clothing section before Jenny is brushing her hand over Claire’s upper arm.
“Claire, what’s wrong?”
Claire looks at her with a steady gaze, holding back the burning tears that well up in the corners of her eyes. Jenny grabs her softly to lead her out of the store. “Let’s grab a drink and then we’ll talk, alright?”
Claire looks at Jenny, her tears now rolling down her cheek before she nods. Jenny walks with her to Starbucks, ready to place an order.
“Decaf for me.” Claire whispers and Jenny looks at her before turning to the Barista to order the drinks.
The two women eventually sit down, Jenny holding Claire’s gaze who now breaks out in silent tears again.
“Talk to me. Did my brother hurt ye? Do I have to grab him by his bollocks. Ye ken I used to to that when he was a wee la-”
“I’m pregnant.” Claire whispers, her gaze now lingering on the paper cup in front of her. “I’m pregnant.” She repeats, a wave of relief washing over her to be telling someone. Claire lifts her face to look at Jenny who stares at her.
“I’m goin’ to be an auntie?” She whispers, her eyes sparkling and Claire loses some more tears before she nods.
“Yes but Jamie will hate me.”
“Why on earth would ye think such a thing?! Are ye daft?”
“Jenny, Jamie and I haven’t even been dating for a month and here I am pregnant with his child. We haven’t even figured out our future yet. I don’t know if I’m ready for a baby I’m-”
“Shh, breathe, Claire! Yer panicking.” Jenny puts a hand on Claire’s before looking at her with a smile on her face. “Love doesna ken time and when I look at Jamie and you, I feel like the both o’ ye have been together fer an eternity. Ye just fit. And I ken it’s soon and mebbe ye should have been a wee bit more careful but this child is made wi’ love and that’s what matters. My brother always wanted a family and I ken that this will make him verra happy.”
Claire loses more tears at that and smiles gratefully at Jenny through her tears before she’s taking another deep breath. “I was thinking of surprising him at Christmas with a baby jumper and the positive test I made.”
“Oh aye!” Jamie exclaims excitedly. “Ye have to do this! I want to see his face!”
Claire smiles at Jenny. “Thank you.” She says before wiping away the remnants of her tears on her cheeks.
“Ye want to ken a secret?” Jenny says after a little bit of silence and Claire scoops in her chair, curiosity hitting her. “My brother might have told me that he would love to live here wi’ ye. His work could be easily done from here.”
“He really told you that?” Claire asks in surprise. “I always thought he’d rather live in Scotland.”
“He’s in love wi’ nature. He told me he can see his future there wi’ ye. And I might have teased him a wee bit saying he just wants to live here so no one will hear yer quarreling.”
Claire bursts out in laughter, every single concern disappearing. Hearing that Jamie does see a future like this with her, here, calms her. She would’ve gladly moved to Scotland with him if that’s what he wanted, even though giving up this cottage would’ve felt like a huge loss. Losing Jamie would be much worse. Tears sting in her eyes only at the mere thought of it.
Claire shakes her head and once their laughter eases the both of them stand up.
“God, I'm so excited.” Jenny squeals. “I love baby stores.”
Claire smiles while walking to the shop with Jenny, her gaze roaming around, looking at all the cute things she once will need and a small thought crosses her mind that maybe in a few months, she will walk in here with Jamie, looking for a crib and other things they will need. Jenny walks quickly to the jumper aisle, holding up a beige piece that says Daddy is my hero .
Claire walks up to her, grabbing the small piece of clothing into her hands when she sees it playing out in front of her. Jamie holding his child, cradling its head while whispering smooth words of Gaelic. His eyes can’t stop sparkling with pride and she can’t stop looking at the two most important people in her life.
“Claire?” Jenny rips her out of her thoughts and Claire’s shaking her head, her emotions splayed out on her face.
“How am I going to keep this for myself for another five days.” Claire breathes out and Jenny smiles at her.
“I ken ye want to tell him, but it will be worth it. He wilna suspect something.”
“Aye.” She says. “Now, let’s finish our shopping spree and then grab something to eat. The wee Scot in yer belly has to grow.”
Claire laughs at Jenny’s words when one hand comes around her belly. Her eyes watch her hand stroking the still flat belly. Her wee Scot.
Yes it may be too early to tell, after all it’s a little more than two weeks. But it’s fiction, so let’s go along with it! 💖❄️🎄
Chapter 19: Christmas Market
It’s midnight here! 💖 Also thank you all so much for the wonderful comments on the last chapter 🥺💖
The next day arrives rather quickly.Claire hid the baby jumper inside her closet, making sure it’s in a spot Jamie wouldn’t look. She would be lying if she didn’t think of a thousand scenarios swimming inside her mind, her nerves scaring her.
Claire puts on some comfortable clothes as the Frasers decide to visit a Christmas Market. She puts two hands onto her flat stomach, listening to the shower being turned off by Jamie. She moves away from the mirror and smiles at Jamie who now walks up to her in nothing but a towel wrapped around his torso.
“Hmm.” She breathes out when Jamie kisses her softly. Her delicate fingers brushing the hairs on his chest. “I’m sad we have to leave the house.” She mumbles. “I know some things we could do.”
Jamie deepens the kiss, his hands coming around to cup her face and press her tighter to him. Claire’s fingers travel down to the towel, one finger disappearing behind the fabric making it drop to the floor. “Oops.” She smirks.
“Ye wee vixen.” He growls softly and the moment he wants to press her on the bed his phone rings. “They canna be serious.” He says frustrated, seeing his sister's name on the display. He picks up after releasing a sigh. “Janet, what do ye want?”
Claire’s finger travels down his torso only to go further, stroking his hard cock. She watches him twitch beneath her skin as he tries to focus on his sister talking. Claire smirks when she curls her fingers around his hardness, starting to pump slowly up and down.
“Aye!” He chokes out. “Aye we’ll be there in ten minutes.” He hangs up the phone before releasing the moan that got caught in his chest. “Christ, Sassenach.”
Claire giggles before Jamie wraps her into his arms to flip them, his hands roaming all over her body. “We have to hurry, they’ll be here in ten minutes.”
“Well you certainly are ready.” She whispers on his lips while getting rid of her leggings and underwear. She spreads her legs making space for him. “And so am I.”
They were outside in fifteen minutes, Jamie not being able to get enough of his Sassenach but none of his family said anything and they all headed to the market.
Claire’s eyes lighten up at the sight of the fairy lights and decorations. Her belly is getting warm from the Carolers singing beautiful songs. The smell of gingerbread making her mouth water and her gaze drifts to Jamie, who is joking around with Ian. A sudden wave of emotions hit her and she feels tears burning in her eyes.
Is this her fairytale? Can it be? Can this be the way her life always will be? Good? It can’t be. No life can always be good, can it? There’s always a twist of fate lurking around the corner waiting to attack you in your happiest moments.
Claire exhales a shuddering breath and she feels tears trickle out of her eyes. She turns her head to wipe them away, hoping no one noticed. Her hand comes down to her stomach as she’s taking a few deep breaths, but panic hits her and all the worst case scenarios are back in her head. She’s pregnant. Is that the bad twist of fate? Is that the reason that will destroy all the happiness she’s feeling? Will Jamie run away? Everything Jenny told her gets washed away by the wave of panic and Claire walks away as bile is rising in her throat.
“Claire?” She hears Jamie’s concerned voice, but her legs take her away from the people, trying to find a lonely spot to empty her stomach. She finds a single park bench surrounded by grass, and as the retching starts, she leans over, hoping no one could see it.
Jamie’s hands grab her hair, pulling it back softly while his hand is resting on her back. “Shh, I’m here.” He whispers and she’s taking deep breaths.
“Sister, are ye alright?” Jenny asks in surprise, coming around to look at her. Claire stands back up, her hand coming up to her mouth when she turns around to Jamie. She buries her face into his chest before she breaks out in tears. He pulls her close to her, hushing her with his soft voice that holds concern.
“Mo ghraidh, what’s wrong?” He asks after a while, his family silently watching the scenario.
“I’m okay.” Claire whispers onto the fabric of Jamie’s jacket. “I’m alright.”
“Take her home.” Jenny says.
“No.” Claire exclaims. “This is our day and I’m not going to ruin it for all of you.”
“Ye go home together and Jamie can pick us up at the end of the day.” Jenny suggests and Claire looks at Jamie who nods.
“She’s right, Sassenach. I dinna want ye walkin’ around while yer feeling like this. We’re goin’ home and I’ll prepare a cuppa fer ye. Then we watch some movies and ye can rest.”
Claire sighs, her hand cupping Jamie’s face. “But you were so excited.” She whispers, tears glimmering in her eyes.
“Ye were too, mo ghraidh. But an afternoon wi’ ye in my arms sounds way better.”
“Ugh, get a room!” Jenny says with a grin on her face and Claire can’t hold back the smile that grows on her face.
Jamie and Claire head home, Jamie holding his promise of preparing tea while Claire changes into comfortable clothes. She sits down on the couch accepting the steamy cup of tea thankfully before Jamie sits down next to her.
“What’s on ye mind, Sassenach?” He asks, his hand brushing over her knee while he looks at her. “I can see something is bothering ye.”
“Will you go back to Scotland?” She asks with a choked voice that makes her almost cry again. The silence doesn’t make it better and she doesn’t dare to look at Jamie. His hand comes around to cup her face, turning her head to face him. The smile on his face makes Claire’s heart race and her stomach flutter.
“Do ye want me to go back to Scotland?” He asks softly, causing Claire to immediately shake her head.
“I mean if it’s what you want, of course. I can come with you.” She answers but it’s now Jamie that shakes his head.
“I want to be here wi’ ye, mo ghraidh. This place is a blessing. Nothing but woods around, nature, I can see us livin’ our lives here and one day our bairns will start a snowball fight wi’ us outside.”
Claire jolts up at the mention of kids and takes a sip of the too hot tea and she hisses. “You want to live here?” She asks before he can say anything about her reaction and he nods.
“If ye’ll have me. I can continue my work from here.”
It was just like Jenny said and maybe just maybe she might be right with his reaction to her pregnancy too. A breath of relief escapes her mouth and she looks up to smile at Jamie.
“Of course I’ll have you, Jamie.” She whispers before putting her mug down to grab his face between her hands. “Always.”
Chapter 20: Walk In The Snow
Thank you all for the comments on last chapter 💖❄️🎄
Claire’s eyes rip open and the next second she’s on her feet, running to the bathroom to empty her stomach. The retching wakes up Jamie and the next second he stands beside Claire, holding back the wild curls from her face.
“Thank you.” She whispers, before cleaning herself up and once she puts her toothbrush down, Claire turns around to Jamie.
“Ye should see a doctor, Sassenach, mebbe ye’ve caught a stomach bug.” He takes her hands into his and she shakes her hand.
“It will pass. Maybe I’ve just eaten something wrong.”
“Claire, please.” He pleads and the concern in his eyes alone almost throws Claire over the edge and she has to keep herself back to not blurt her little secret out already.
“If it’s still happening after the holidays, I’ll go to the doctor.”
“It’s fine, Jamie.” She interrupts him, pressing her lips to his. “We can go out for a walk if that calms you. Fresh air will do me good.”
“Aye.” He breathes out, his hand coming to cup her face. “But if ye feel worse, ye tell me, then we dinna wait till after Christmas.”
“I promise.” She answers and the both of them get ready for the day.
After a calm breakfast, Claire eating a fair portion despite puking her guts out mere minutes ago, they get ready to have a walk in the snow. Once they stand outside, Claire breathes in a gulp of the fresh winter air, smiling when fresh snowflakes slowly begin falling. She turns around, reaching out her hand to Jamie who takes it. His warm fingers lace through hers and she leans against his arm before they start walking.
“I’m worried about ye, Sassenach.” Jamie suddenly says, his thumb brushing the smooth skin of her hand.
“I’m already feeling better.” She says, turning her head to face Jamie. “Plus it’s not like I got a fever. I must have really eaten something wrong.”
Jamie exhales a nervous breath and nods silently before turning his face to look at the path ahead of them. The snow is falling harder by the minute and after a while the both of them can barely see their own feet anymore. The wind is howling, muting their voices and Claire is hiding her face in her large scarf that hangs tight around her neck.
“Let’s head back!” She yells, repeating herself when Jamie didn’t hear her.
He nods in agreement, turning around but none of them can see where exactly they are. Jamie swallows hard, pressing Claire against him while he’s trying not to panic.
“Jamie!” She yells. “Where are we?”
“Come.” He only answers and starts to walk straight ahead. The wind keeps howling as the snowflakes hit hard against their faces. Claire is trying to keep a steady breath, inhaling more snow than air. After a while they keep walking, the cottage nowhere in sight. Claire curls her hands around Jamie’s arm.
“Jamie, I’m scared and cold.” She says, being aware of her shivering body. Jamie presses her closer onto him, his usually warm hand now ice cold. He removes a pair of gloves from his pocket, wrapping her hands into them, curling his own around the fabric trying to give her more heat.
“We’re going to be home soon.” He says, looking around to catch a glimpse of anything that could tell him where they are.
“We don’t even know where we are.” Claire says, tears stinging in her eyes.
She knows how long snowstorms can last here and she curses herself for not checking the weather before they left and she knows Jamie is thinking the same. He doesn’t take another step and turns toward Claire, his blue eyes hovering over her before he opens his jacket.
“What on earth are you doing?!” She almost screams. “Get that back on!”
Jamie presses Claire against his warm chest, wrapping the rest of the fabric around her small form. Her shivering body is his only concern at the moment and he knows she’s trying to shiver as little as possible.
“I’ll get us home, mo ghraidh.” He says into her hair.
A little later, the storm calms a tiny bit and Jamie grabs Claire’s gloved hand, as he remembers where they are. “Come, Sassenach. I ken where we are.” He says and Claire looks up, relief washing over her. She walks quicker than before, longing for the warmth of her home. Her and Jamie’s home.
Once the cottage is in sight, Claire almost feels like Christmas came a few days early and she opens the door, throwing her Uggs and jacket to the ground, rubbing her hands together. She walks to the couch where fluffy blankets are waiting for her and Jamie and once she’s sitting beneath one, she makes space for Jamie who sits down next to her. Claire snuggles close to him, glad he’s providing just as much warmth as her blanket.
“Are ye alright, Sassenach?” He asks, his arm around her, his gaze focusing on every line of her face and she nods.
“Yes, just a little frightened.” She answers, her cheek resting on his chest as she snuggles closer to him.
“Are ye warm enough?” He asks, kissing the crown of her head and she nods.
“Aye, dinna worry about me.” He brushes his finger beneath her chin to tilt up her head. “How are ye? I dinna think the walk did ye any good.”
“Jamie, I’m fine.” She breathes out, her hand coming up to brush a fallen curl from his face before her finger traces his jawline. “We’re home now.”
His face comes down and he rests his forehead on hers before pressing his lips on Claire’s. Her arm wraps around his neck, pulling him closer.
“And ye dinna feel sick anymore?” He asks to be sure, concern still as clear as day on his face.
“No I don’t, I’m actually quite hungry.”
A smile forms on Jamie’s face and he sits up to Claire’s disappointment. “Hey, what are you doing?” She asks, pulling him back under the blanket.
“Ye’re hungry, Sassenach, I canna let ye starve.” He murmurs on her lips, their breath mingling together.
“I bet you won’t.” She whispers back, crushing her lips on his. “But maybe for the meal I crave there’s no cooking involved.”
Her eyes darken and so do Jamie’s when Claire pulls him on top of her, pressing her lips on his, letting their tongues dance together as their body heat rises. Breathing changes into panting and before they know, their clothes are lying on the floor, the blanket the only thing covering their bodies.
Jamie’s lips roam around her neck when his lips hover above her ear. “Yer meal’s ready, Sassenach.” He groans, teasing his tip on her entrance.
“Then let’s feast.” She whimpers and in one thrust Jamie fills her.
Chapter 21: Chop Some Wood
“Are you sure that’s enough?” Claire bites on the end of her pen, looking at the list in front of her while Jamie cleans up the dishwasher.
“Alright then breakfast is settled, but I do think we will need more potatoes for dinner.” She says, looking up at Jamie who smiles dreamily at her.
“My family fer sure eats more fer dinner than breakfast.”
“Sassenach, it will be fine. Ye’ll be a wonderful host.” Jamie says, coming around the kitchen island. He turns her chair so she faces him before pressing a kiss on her lips.
“I just don’t want to ruin it by forgetting anything.”
“Trust me, they will be grateful only fer having ye here. They love ye and so do I.” His fingers brush over her cheek.
“Then let’s go shopping.”
They head to the grocery store, Claire focused on the list as she walks through the aisles. Jamie pushes the cart, following her when he stops in front of a spice, grabbing it.
“Tis yer favourite.” He says, holding it up. “And I saw ye have almost finished it.” He adds it to the groceries and Claire smiles at him. It’s a small gesture that means so much to her. The way he pays attention to the smallest things in her life warms Claire’s heart every single day. She walks up to him, kissing him softly before returning to her list.
After two hours, Claire finally agrees on having everything. Once all of the things are stored in the cabins and the fridge, they sit down on the couch, exhaling an exhausted breath. All of a sudden Claire’s gaze lingers beneath the Christmas tree. A box is lying there. Her face turns to Jamie who smirks at her.
“You’re trying to make me curious.” She says, curling up her lips before kneeling down on the floor to eye it suspiciously. “What is it? A book? Hmm, maybe a coffee mug? It could be anything. You wrapped it on purpose in a box like that.”
Jamie grins at her, still sitting on the couch as he watches her. Claire walks upstairs, heading to her room to get the wrapped pregnancy test and jumper. She takes a deep breath and walks downstairs, putting it next to his only to turn around to Jamie and grin. “We’re even.”
“That isna fair, Sassenach.” He says with a grin on his face, kneeling down next to her to eye his present. “I canna wait to open it.”
Me neither was what she wanted to say but she’s only smiling before kissing him.
Claire’s head turns around to the fireplace sighing at the sight of the empty basket for the chopped wood.
“Dinna fash, I’ll go chop some.” He stands up to grab his shoes.
“Wait.” Claire says before standing up. She heads to the little storage room in the kitchen when she hands Jamie a pair of working pants. “They were Uncle Lambs but I figured they would fit you too. Plus, it’s more comfortable anyway and protects your own clothes.”
“Thank ye, Sassenach.” He says and puts them on before pulling the suspender over his long-sleeve shirt. He turns around to put on his boots and Claire swallows hard watching how nicely the pants hug his ass. She leans against the kitchen counter while biting her lip.
She smiles at him when he comes back up and one kiss later, Jamie’s outside, ready to chop some wood. Claire is heading to the window, watching his muscle flex when he brings the axe down on the wood with a grunt. She bites her lip again, taking in his form as he chops some more. Her lips part and she doesn’t realise that her breath hitches. Fucking pregnancy hormones. Her thighs press together at the sight of Jamie throwing the wood into the basket, his ass stretching the fabric. Fuck. She needs him now.
Jamie picks up the basket to head inside, Claire already waiting at the door, her face flushed from the heat of the moment, and hormones.
“Sassenach are ye-” He can’t continue as Claire throws herself on him, crushing her lips on his making Jamie drop the basket to the floor. His strong arms come around her small form, picking her up in one slow motion. He takes a few steps pressing her against the wall. His lips travel down her throat while her moans fill the silent room. Claire’s hands throw the suspenders over his shoulders, letting them hang on the side of Jamie’s legs. Jamie’s hand comes to cup a breast beneath Claire’s sweater, his thumb brushing over the hard nipple.
She cries out, arching her back against the wall. “I want ye, mo ghraidh.” He pants. “All of ye.”
“Then have me.” She breathes out, putting her feet back on the ground.
Before they know it, their clothes are spread on the floor, Jamie carrying Claire to the couch, putting her on the soft fabric, surrounded by blankets and pillows. His lips travel over every single spot of her naked body, his hand cupping her breast again before bringing his lips around one of her nipples. He softly sucks letting Claire cry out in pleasure. Her hands come down to knead his arse, pressing him against her and once she feels his hard cock twitching against her wet center she moans his name.
“Christ, yer so wet fer me.” Jamie whispers against the skin where her shoulders and neck meet. Claire arches her back while spreading her legs further. Jamie reaches down to guide himself to her entrance, slowly entering his tip while he watches her with dark eyes. Claire moans, arching her back more, silently begging him to fill her.
Jamie pushes himself further inside of her until he completely fills her. They both groan in pleasure before Jamie starts to move at a faster pace. The room is filled with pants and moans, calling each other’s names over and over again. Jamie plunges inside of her again and again, Claire digging her nails into the skin on his back.
“Fuck, Jamie.” She moans, moving along with Jamie, her hands travelling down to his ass, plunging him harder inside of her.
“Oh Christ!” He grunts, digging his fingertips into the fabric of the pillow Claire’s head is on when his breath hitches and he suddenly falls out of rhythm, spilling himself into her. Claire is following shortly after while rubbing her clit, Jamie’s name escaping her lips all over again.
Jamie drops himself softly onto her, his lips covering Claire’s face with tiny kisses.
“Where did that come from, Sassenach?” He mumbles, his lips curling up.
“Well you do quite look dashing in those pants.” She points to the fabric on the floor and Jamie chuckles.
“I think I should chop more wood then if ye like them so much.” He grins, pressing his lips against hers.
“Oh, I’d like that for sure.” She answers before rolling on top of Jamie. “But for now I’d rather have you here next to me. The wood can wait.”
“Aye.” He breathes out as Claire’s lips travel down his neck to his torso and further down. And once her tongue flicks over his cock he looks at her, panting. “Aye, the wood can wait fer sure.”
Chapter 22: Christmas Eve
The next morning Claire wakes up with a joy she hasn’t felt in a long time. It’s Christmas Eve. The first Christmas Eve in a while she is going to spend with people she loves. The first Christmas Eve in a while she won’t be spending alone sitting on the couch watching movies while drinking tea and talking with ghosts. She plants what must be a hundred kisses onto Jamie’s face, asking him to wake up but all she gets is a sleepy groan in response.
“Wake up wake up wake up!” She says, kneeling up on the bed. “It’s Christmas Eve!”
“I havena seen anyone bein’ this excited about Christmas Eve, Sassenach.” He mumbles with a smile on his face. “Usually it’s Christmas Day everyone’s so excited about.”
She chuckles as she watches Jamie waking up before she stands up to put on comfortable clothes. The Frasers decided as Claire is hosting Christmas they would take over Christmas Eve. Jamie is sitting up in bed, a hand brushing through his hair when he picks up his phone, staring at the screen as he seems to get lost in his thoughts. Claire watches him through the mirror, her smile fading before she turns around to look at him.
“Is everything alright?” She asks, ripping Jamie out of his thoughts. He puts away his phone before walking up to her to wrap her in his arms.
“Aye.” He humbles, pressing his lips on her temple before getting ready himself.
Claire watches his phone lying on the bed and for a second she wonders what he has seen that upsets him but she knows that once he’s ready, he’ll talk about it. Even if it means that she has to wait to find out.
Claire and Jamie head to the Frasers and once everyone welcomes each other, Claire puts their Secret Santa gifts beneath the tree. She smiles and relishes in the beauty of the tree, excitement stirring in her belly at the sight of presents. Claire doesn’t care if there are gifts or not, but she can’t help but be joyful about knowing that this year she won’t be alone.
Ellen calls everyone around the table and Claire takes a seat next to Jamie, breathing in the scent of a freshly cooked dinner. “It smells delicious!”
“Thank ye, dear!” Ellen says with a smile before she fills Claire’s plate.
“It’s best wi’ some whisky, a leannan.” Brian says, standing up to get the bottle. “Do ye want some?”
“Oh no, thank you.” She says nervously, looking at Jenny who now switches her gaze from Claire to her father.
“I’ll take some, Da!” She eventually says, Jamie and Ian holding up their glasses as well.
The dinner went by quickly and before Claire knows, she’s holding her belly, not able to eat a bite more when Ellen stands up, holding up her glass of wine.
“I’d like to say a few words before we head to the tree and exchange our gifts.”
Everyone sits up straight, eyes focused on Ellen Fraser.
“This is the first Christmas in a while we spend together at one table. Yer Da and I would like to share some things.” She starts, clearing her throat. “Yer father and I leave Lallybroch to ye Jenny and Ian. Brian decided to move here wi’ me. He can handle the business from here wi’ yer help, Ian.” Everyone smiles, happy for the both of them. “I also want to thank Claire, fer being here wi’ us and making our son the happiest we’ve ever seen him.”
Claire looks up at the woman in front of her, tears already stinging in the corners of her eyes. “This Christmas wouldna be the same without ye, Claire. So I’m glad my letter got lost in the snow. I’m glad my children decided to come visit me because without ye, Brian wouldna be here. Without ye I wouldna have this.” She waves a hand at the table, Claire’s tears rolling down her cheek. Jamie’s hand comes to rest on Claire’s knee, his thumb brushing over the fabric of her leggings.
“Thank ye Claire, fer not only being a girlfriend to my son but also being a daughter to us.”
“And sister.” Jenny chimes in, holding up her glass.
“Slainte!” Everyone exclaims and Claire stands up to hug Ellen tightly. Jamie brings up his hand to his face, his fingertips softly brushing over his eyes.
“Are ye crying brother?” Jenny teases him, but her smile is soft. “Come here.” She adds, opening her arms for him before pressing him close to her.
Claire is moving from Ellen to Brian before wiping away her tears. She looks around the room, taking in every single one of the people she loves.
“I want to thank you all for having me. For accepting me into this family without a second thought. To have a family again after so long having no one. It means more to me than I can say.” Jamie comes next to her, pulling her softly into his arms. Claire turns around to face Jamie, taking his hands into hers. “I want to thank you, Jamie, for loving me the way you do. For giving me the feeling that I can do anything I want. I want to thank you for giving me this family and for giving me your heart. I love you.”
Jamie pulls her close, tears swimming in his blue eyes, his fingers coming up to cup her face. “I love ye, mo ghraidh.” He whispers before pressing his lips on hers.
“Let’s exchange presents!” Brian says after a bit and Claire wipes away the remnants of her tears before walking into the living room, sitting down on the couch next to Jamie.
Claire is allowed to go up first, taking her present back to her spot before softly ripping on the paper. She smiles brightly at the fluffy sweater, looking into the round to guess from who it was. “Brian?” She asks but he’s shaking her head, Claire’s eyes roam around. “Ian?” He nods with a smile on his face and Claire walks up to him to pull him into a thankful embrace.
Ian stands up next to get his present, laughing when he wraps out a pack of underwear. “Jenny.” She laughs immediately, nodding.
“All o’ his have holes in ‘em. This was the best chance I had.” She says and everyone joins her laughter. Jenny goes up next, grabbing her present. She looks thankfully at the book she got, wanting to read this one for ages. “Ma?” Ellen shakes her head, Jenny looking around. “Jamie?” He’s shaking his head. “Da?” Brian nods before his daughter hugs him tight.
Brian stands up to get his present, wrapping out a picture frame that holds an old family picture. He’s staring at it with an emotional smile spreading across his face before he looks into the round, sniffling. “Jamie?” And he nods.
“Brought it back from Lallybroch. When I pulled yer name I thought it would be a great gift.” Brian stands up to hug his son, pulling him close before Jamie grabs his present.
He rips the paper, a bottle of his favourite whisky in. “It’s from ye Ma.” He smirks and Ellen laughs, nodding.
Ellen stands up to grab her present, grinning at Claire who is the only one left. Claire chuckles as she watches Ellen unwrapping the gift, when she gasps. “Ye didna!” She exclaims, standing up squealing. “How?” She asks as tears shimmer in her eyes.
“I did some research after you told me, and I actually found it.”
Ellen shakes her head, tears now rolling down her cheeks while everyone from the family asks Ellen what she got. She holds out a shirt, wiping away her tears. “I told Claire that when I met Brian I wore this one shirt, I loved it so much.”
“Ye wore it whenever ye could.” He whispers, brushing over the fabric.
Everyone looked at Claire, wondering how she possibly could find it when she shrugs her shoulders. “I’m just good at finding things.” She giggles. “Just like the letter I found in the snow.”
And they all meet each other in a big embrace.
Chapter 23: Holly Jolly Christmas
Claire wakes up on Christmas morning, Jamie’s face above her as he’s looking at her, his lips curling up once he realises she’s awake.
“Good morning, Sassenach.” He says softly, coming down to meet her lips with his. She smiles into the kiss, wrapping her arms around his neck to pull him closer. She begs his tongue to dance with hers while her hands disappear into his red curls.
Jamie’s mouth meets her throat, sucking softly at her milky skin before his hands work their way down the sides of her body. Claire is grateful for them both being naked already when all of a sudden nausea hits her. “Jamie…” His lips move back up, his hands come up to cup her breast when she abruptly pushes him away, and stand up with a jolt, running fast to the bathroom to empty her stomach.
Jamie puts on his pants, walking quickly after her to hold back her hair before releasing a concerned sigh. “Sassenach…”
“No. It’s Christmas Day Jamie. Trust me, I’ll be fine.”
“Yer health is more important than a holiday.”
She almost scoffs but remembers that he doesn’t know the real reason behind her morning sickness yet. But he will. Soon . Claire shakes her head before freshening up, and decides to get dressed to prepare the breakfast for the Frasers. Jamie follows right after her, deciding now to put up another argument as after all he knows he will lose it anyway.
They start preparing everything, Jamie’s gaze lingering on the presents beneath the tree as he sets the table.
“Curious?” Claire asks, ripping Jamie out of his thoughts and he nods with an anxious smile on his face before chuckling softly, leaving Claire suspicious.
After the preparations are finished, Claire watches Jamie as he keeps staring at the tree. Does he suspect something? Does he know? Did Jenny slip up and tell him? If he knows, why doesn’t he say anything? Claire is taking a deep breath before walking to Jamie who is finishing the table’s center piece. She wraps her arms around him, kissing him softly. “Merry Christmas.”
“Merry Christmas, Sassenach.”
A few minutes later the doorbell rings and the house is being filled with voices and laughter. The Frasers enter with bags of presents that are being put underneath the tree before everyone is taking their seats on the set table as breakfast is getting served.
After Claire asks a hundred times if everything is alright, Ellen puts a hand on her arm, nodding. “Everything is perfect, dear, sit down and eat wi’ us.”
Claire nods with a smile on her face and joins them, piling up food onto her plate as Jamie stares ahead of him. Jenny nudges him softly before smiling at him. Claire tries to ignore it and focuses on the delicious food in front of her and before she can think of another thought, she starts to eat.
After finishing breakfast, Claire prepares hot chocolate for everyone, serving it to the family with Jamie’s help. They sit around the tree, their hands hugging their mugs while Claire only stares at her present that hides the pregnancy test and jumper. She exhales a shuddering breath before standing up. “Excuse me.” She says, putting down her mug to run upstairs to the bathroom.
Claire paces up and down, her hand across her mouth as she mumbles to herself when a knock makes her jolt up.
“It’s me.” Jenny says and Claire heads to open the door, closing it immediately behind Jenny. “What’s wrong wi’ ye?” She asks, looking at Claire with a gaze of concern.
Claire only continues to walk up and down, fear clearly written onto her face as her hands come around her flat stomach. “How on earth can I give him that present, Jenny? It was a stupid idea, I should have just told him while we were alone! He’s going to hate me!” Claire exclaims, walking up and down again as panic eats her up alive. “What if he opens it and walks out? What if he yells at me for not telling him sooner? What if he’s-”
“Claire!” Jenny says, walking up to her to make her stop pacing around. “Look at me.” She asks but Claire is still busy with talking about the what ifs. “Look at me!” Jenny tries again louder and Claire turns her head to face her. “Jamie will do no’ such thing.”
“How are you so sure?”
“I just ken it. That man loves ye, he will do anything to make ye happy!”
“I know but what if he’s not happy ?” Claire asks herself again, brushing a hand through her hair. “He has just met me four weeks ago and now I’m bearing his child. How can I be sure that he wants that? How can I be sure that he just won’t leave, I mean I wouldn’t blame him because we haven’t been together for long. God…”
“These are yer hormones talking, sister. Ye truly dinna ken how much the man loves ye do ye?”
Claire looks up at Jenny, crossing her arms in front of her body before releasing another breath that builds up in her chest. “I’m just scared that I’m robbing his life. I’m scared that he will regret being with me. I’m scared that he wants to do so many more things before raising kids.”
“Listen to me, Claire.” Jenny says, taking Claire’s hand into hers as she meets her gaze. “That man down there would give up anything to make ye happy and I ken ye’d do the same fer him. But that man down there has also suffered a great deal to get what he wants. Jamie is the perfect man fer a family, it’s all he ever wanted.”
“Stop doubting yerself, Claire. Ye will make Jamie the happiest man alive today and vice versa.”
“Are you sure?” Claire whispers, insecurity slowly fading from her mind and Jenny nods.
“Aye, I am. Now let’s go back downstairs, sip our hot chocolate while we’re unwrapping presents. We’ll wait fer yours till last.”
Claire is taking a deep breath before standing in front of the bathroom mirror. She watches every line on her face, begging for the panic in her eyes to ease. Her hands come down on her stomach, her thumb brushing over the fabric of her shirt. “Let’s surprise your father.” She whispers, looking at Jenny through the reflection. “Let’s go.”
They head back downstairs, Claire sitting down next to Jamie, leaning into his arms. “Are ye alright, Sassenach?” He asks. “Have ye been throwing up again?” Claire turns around her head to face him, softly shaking her head.
“No, I’m alright.” She answers, pressing her lips against his, and taking his hand.
Her gaze moves back to the gifts underneath the tree. Jamie would open hers soon. He would know that she’s pregnant and everything will change. Claire tries to trust in Jenny’s words as much as she can but fear creeps up from every single corner of her mind. She sofly squeezes Jamie’s hand, bringing his knuckles to her lips, kissing every single one softly before looking into the round.
“Let’s open presents.”
Chapter 24: Merry Christmas
As it is midnight here, I decided to post the chapter already 💖
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Claire grabs a small present, checking the name tag before handing it to Ellen. The woman looks at her with curious eyes before ripping the paper softly. A tartan scarf in Fraser colours appears, making Ellen smile with pride. She wraps it around her neck, hugging Claire thankfully for the wonderful present. Ellen gets to her knees, handing a box to Claire.
“That’s quite big.” Claire chuckles, putting the mug on the coffee table before she rips the paper. Her eyes sparkle when she sees the new coffee machine. “Ellen! Thank you so much!” She exclaims before wrapping the woman into a huge hug.
“Me next!” Jenny says, grabbing a present for Ian, handing it to him. He’s ripping the paper, joy spreading across his face at the sight of the hiking shoes. He kisses Jenny softly before handing her his gift and once the paper rips Jenny gasps. “You got me the special edition of my favourite book! Ian! I love you!” She squeals before pressing her lips onto his, everyone around the chuckling.
Claire moves to hand her next gift to Jenny, a beautiful dress Jenny really wanted when they went out shopping and Jenny gasps again, thanking Claire with a big hug.
It was Brian that now got a tiny present, handing it to Jamie and the room went silent. Claire puts a hand on Jamie’s leg, watching him ripping the paper that reveals the wooden snake.
“Sawny?” He whispers, his voice breaking before he looks up at his father. “Where… How?” He chokes out, tears swimming in his eyes as he glares at the wooden snake.
“I found it while going through some boxes. Ye must have lost it there. Claire helped me repaint it.” Brian said and Jamie hugs Brian tightly, wiping his eyes to prevent tears from falling.
“Thank ye, Da.” He whispers, before paying attention to the wooden snake again.
Jenny hands the next present to Claire and she rips it open. “Oh my god. These are the shoes I wanted!” She says, trying them on immediately. “Thank you!”
All of them continue to give each other presents. Claire received botany books, a huge coffee mug, some books and before they can blink, Jamie and Claire’s presents are the only ones left beneath the tree.
Jamie stares at his present before taking it into his hands, a nervous breath escaping his chest. Jenny nudges him softly before he asks Claire to stand up. She gets to her feet curiously glaring at the present in Jamie’s hands. He hands it to her, sweat prickling on his forehead as she slowly rips the paper. Claire opens the box to find another box inside of it. She grabs the tiny box between her fingers, unwrapping it. A sudden realisation hits her and she stares at Jamie who watches her anxiously.
“Open it.” He breathes out and Claire opens it to reveal a diamond ring. A faint gasp escaped her lips as Jamie slowly lowered himself down to one knee, his blue eyes holding her gaze.
“Claire…” He starts, taking her hand in his. “When I first saw ye, I felt my heart beating again fer the first time in a while. I’ve forgotten the feeling of being alive around someone until you came along. Ye’ve put me back together without even knowing, and I’ll forever be grateful fer it. I ken we dinne ken each other fer long but I feel like I’ve known ye my entire life. I want to spend the rest o’ my life wi’ ye by my side, so I’ll ask ye, will ye marry me?”
The question lingers in the room, everyone silent around them as Claire stares from Jamie to the ring and then back to Jamie, processing everything he just said. Tears linger in her eyes waiting to be spilled and then she nods faintly.
“Aye?” He whispers, not sure if his eyes are betraying him or not and Claire nods again.
“Yes.” She breathes out. “Of course I’ll marry you.” Tears roll down the side of her eyes while Jamie stands up to remove the ring from the box. He grabs Claire’s hand softly, kissing every single knuckle before brushing the ring over her finger. His thumb grazes the silver ring before he cups her face, pulling her in for a soft kiss. Everyone around them starts to clap, Jenny squealing from happiness and Claire bursts out into laughter.
“Do ye like the ring?” Jenny asks impatiently.
“I love it!”
“I told ye she would.” She says to Jamie and Claire turns back to him as it hits her.
“That’s why you were so nervous all the time!”
“Aye.” He admits, scratching the back of his head while he smiles. “I dinna ken if ye’d say yes with us not being together fer so long.” He takes Claire’s hands into his again. “But I figured that I ken I want to be wi’ ye. I want to spend my life wi’ ye. I want to be yer husband. I want ye to have my name.”
“And I will have your name, Jamie.” She whispers, kissing him softly.
All of a sudden the room grows quiet and Claire turns her face to the last present beneath the tree. She looks to Jenny, who nods at her and she releases her hands from Jamie’s. It shouldn’t be that hard now. He just proposed to her. He wants her in his life forever.
Claire grabs the small box and hands it to Jamie, both sitting down again. Jenny grabs Ian’s hand excitedly.
“Do ye ken what it is, Janet?” Jamie asks and Jenny only grins.
The whole family scoops closer, watching Jamie’s every move as he slowly rips away the paper. Claire’s breathing hitches as he removes the lid of the box and the thin paper appears.
“I love you.” She whispers before he lifts the paper.
“I love ye too, mo ghraidh.” Jamie answers and grabs the small jumper, the pregnancy test wrapped in it. He curls his fingers around it, staring at the word Pregnant before holding out the baby jumper in front of him. He gasps as he stares at the jumper, tears shooting into his eyes when Ellen suddenly screams of joy.
“Ye’re pregnant?” Jamie whispers, his voice high pitched from the emotions coursing through him. and Claire gives him a nod.
Jamie’s eyes go back to the piece of clothing and the test. “Ye’re pregnant.” He whispers and Ellen already hugs Brian when Jamie’s sobs fill the room. He presses the small jumper to his face, his chest shaking from the sobs that carry through him. Claire’s arms come around him, pressing him close to her while he cries. “Ye’re giving me the greatest gift, Claire.” He cries, pressing her against him and Claire can’t help but lose a few more tears. Jamie’s hand comes to rest on her stomach, his tear stained cheeks now being dried by her hands. “Merry Christmas, wee one.” Jamie whispers before he presses his lips on Claire’s. “God, I love ye.” He breathes out, repeating the words all over again.
“We’re going to be grandparents!” Ellen says full of joy, standing up to embrace Claire and then Jamie. The whole family is embracing each other, Claire looking at Jenny. “I told ye so.” She says and Jamie is looking at her. “She thought ye wouldna be happy.”
Jamie pulls Claire into his arms. “No happy?”
“Maybe you would have thought it was too early.” She says, shrugging her shoulders.
“Nothing wi’ ye can come too early.”
“Except you.” Ian chimes in and grins at Jamie.
Claire burst into laughter, having everyone join her. Jamie smirks at her before wrapping Claire in his arms again, his lips pressing onto the top of her head. “I canna wait to spend my future wi’ ye mo ghraidh.” His hands come to rest on her stomach. “I canna wait to meet our child and I canna wait to marry ye, Sassenach.”
“Thank ye, a leannan.” Brian adds to Jamie’s words, his hand coming to rest on Claire’s and so does Ellen’s.
Claire looks around, smiling with joy as tears shoot into her eyes. Tears of happiness. Tears of joy and she looks outside the window. Her lips curl up as she silently thanks the universe for finding that letter in the snow.
A huge thank you to all of you lovely and wonderful readers. I hope you are enjoying the holidays & I am wishing you all wonderful and lovely times! Also to everyone who can’t be with their loved ones this year, I am sending you all lots of love and strength! My thoughts are with all of you. Without any more words I am wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 💖🎄❄️