The dawning light coming in through the window would strike Claire’s hair each morning and for a few minutes Jamie would simply lie there and look at it, watch that light play with it. She had wondered jokingly once or twice if it would grow back straighter than before and she’d laughed at his disappointed faces such a thought inspired. It hadn’t been a full two inches long before the curls started making their presence known so that Claire had cursed the way that two inches seemed like only one and then that four seemed like two and a half.
“It feels like it’s taking twice as long,” she complained, pulling a curl straight and seeing the way it almost reached her shoulder before letting it go and watching it spring back tight to her head.
He reached out now to touch one of the curling tendrils that he felt he could see growing and crawling its way across Claire’s pillow. He was convinced her hair was softer than before as he wrapped the silky strands twice around his finger and stroked it with his thumb. It seemed to be lighter too, the highlights brighter, the white strands no longer standing alone but gathering new friends around them and broadening their streaks.
Claire shifted but his finger was caught in the tight curl of her hair, pulling enough for her to reach up and find his hand. She turned back toward him, her hand still on his and one eye open a crack while the other remained squeezed shut.
He smiled at her as he disentangled himself and brushed more curls back from her forehead before leaning down to kiss the crease between her eyes.
“Good morning,” he whispered.
“Is it?” she asked doubtfully, easing the second eye open and blinking the sleep from her eyes.
Jamie bent to press a second kiss to her lips.
“Mmm,” Claire hummed. “I suppose I’ll take your word for it then.”
She pushed herself up so that she was sitting and yawned as she reached both hands up into her hair and brushed it quickly with her fingers. Jamie propped himself up a bit better and reached over to help massaging her scalp in the process.
“If ye can reach yer things on the table I’ll brush it for ye,” he offered.
“It’s not long enough for that,” Claire said with a light laugh but reached over and secured the brush for him anyway.
“Ye might want to fetch yer mirror as well then because ye’re wrong. It’s long enough now to tuck behind yer ear,” he pointed out, pulling a curl and tucking it into place in demonstration. “Did ye no say that was how long it must be to be called… what was it? A Robert?”
She laughed, leaning back and resting her head on his shoulder so she could look up at him. “A bob. And no, I think it needs to be a little longer before it can be a proper bob. Right now I think it’s closest to resembling a sheep’s fleece, though it traps rather than repels water. And still a long way from the flowing burn you used to think it.” There was a note of sadness underpinning the self-deprecation.
“No a burn just now, no,” he agreed, setting the brush aside and twining his fingers in her hair to see where it sprouted from between his fingers. “It’s… the bark of a tree after a storm. Dark where the water soaked deep; lighter where it’s had time to dry; wi’ little white threads fine and silvery as a spider’s web woven between the branches.”
Claire shook with quiet laughter. “It sounds like you’re saying I have cobwebs in my hair.”
“Aye,” Jamie chuckled. “Cobwebs… but no spiders.”
“Oh, well. So long as there are no spiders.”
He pulled her against him and lay back on the pillows, bringing her down with him. Her hair cushioned her head against his chest.
“Come. It’s early yet. We can rest a bit longer,” he told her.
She turned to curl around him, pressing her body along the length of his as his hand trailed up her back so he could play with her hair some more.
“Hmm… I’m all for staying in bed a bit longer… but since we’re already awake…” she teased, her fingers playing with the hair of his chest before drifting to explore a new trail leading lower, down under the sheets and causing his grip on her hair to tighten reflexively.