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Missing J/C Scenes - Season 5

Chapter Text

"You need my help.”

“I always have…and I always will.”

Jamie tilted his glass to his wife and she mimicked his motion before they both drank generous gulps of whiskey. Claire set her glass down and turned her face towards the fire, her mind obviously still thinking about the possibility of another battle in their future.

Jamie sat silently, his eyes glued to her face. The direction she looked meant that the flames from the fire were projecting rays of light onto her face. They danced across her glowing skin and burned brightly in her already fiery eyes. His eyes played their own dance as they skipped across her features. He had long ago memorized every part of her face. Each line and each freckle, every subtle way the bones beneath her skin formed the shape of her cheeks, forehead, and chin. Jamie had the images so properly ingrained in his very soul that when he was away from her, he could close his eyes and imagine every singular cell that made her glorious face. But no matter how much comfort that brought him on the road, it never came close to the experience of seeing her in front of him.

“I missed you as well, Sassenach.” Jamie said, echoing her earlier sentiments.

She turned to face him and the flames and shadows danced again, illuminating her smile that she now directed at him. They simultaneously reached across the table to grasp hands again. He continued to stare at the lights on her face. His gaze grew more intense and Claire noticed.

She chuckled lightly, “What?”

Jamie simply smiled, his eyes not losing their intensity. Then he smirked.

“I missed ya verra much, Sassenach.” He repeated, this time with a different inflection in his voice that Claire understood very well.

She gave him a smirk of her own in return and replied, “And what exactly is it that you missed about me?” She gave him a coy smile and released his hand in order to sit back in her chair, fully prepared to hear his response.

He responded to her question with a sly grin of his own and was about to speak when they heard a loud banging coming from outside. They both turned and Jamie went to the window and looked out.

“Och, the shutter on the window downstairs has come half off.” He turned to look back at her, briefly deciding whether or not this particular task could wait. They heard it bang again.

Decision made. Jamie walked back over to Claire and pulled her to her feet in front of him.

“I best go down and take it the rest of the way off or else it’ll be hollering all night.” Claire nodded in understanding as Jamie grabbed her hands and held them to his chest. A silent promise that he would not forget that there was still a reunion to be had. He pulled her tight against his chest, their hands stuck between them. Jamie kissed her lips chastely but with feeling behind it.

When he spoke again, it was with their lips still touching and his voice was thick with gravel, “When I return, Sassenach, I want you to be in our bed…”, he rubbed his nose against hers and then pulled back just enough so that her eyes could land on his, “…naked.”

Her breath hitched the tiniest amount and she raised an eyebrow.

Jamie added, “So that I can show you just how much I missed ya.”

He didn’t wait for her response as he let go of her hands and backed away until he reached the door and slipped out. Claire stood still for a moment, finding that she was suddenly out of breath. Her heart was beating quickly at the anticipation she felt in his promised words. She finally turned, checked the logs in the fire, and then made her way over to their bed.

I’m not the obedient type, no, she thought to herself, but when he looks at me the way he was by the fire and when he says things to me in that voice…Christ, I would do just about anything he asked. After stopping briefly to think about how she was perfectly fine with that realization, she removed her shawl and shift and crawled onto the bed.

Claire found herself feeling oddly self-conscious. Not about her body...she knew Jamie loved her no matter how much her body had changed over the years. She realized it was because she never just sat around being naked. She would bath, or she and Jamie would sleep naked sometimes. She was just starting to get cold when she heard steps and was relieved she would not have to sit there alone much longer.

Jamie stepped in, slightly out of breath, clearly from accomplishing his task as quickly as he could. Claire was sitting up against the headboard, her knees drawn up and her hands clasped around the front of her legs. She had let her hair down the rest of the way and it formed a large, curly, halo around her head and cascaded down over her shoulders. He had practically run up the stairs to their room and now he found he could barely move. He took one slow step and then another. Claire sat in silence and watched him, watching her.

She was trembling slightly, partly from the chill and partly because it was her body’s reaction to his intense gaze. He had almost reached the bed before he finally spoke, “Now, Sassenach, where were we?”

He sat down on the bed right in front of her knees. She raised her eyes to the ceiling in pretend thought before looking back at him.

“I believe you were about to list all the things you missed about me in great detail.” Her voice dripped with honey and her eyes flashed with a combination of amusement and desire.

He smiled at her, “Aye. If you say so, mo nighean donn.” He placed a hand around one of her calves so that he gripped the back of her leg and the top of his hand was barely touching the spot behind her knees. He looked at her, still with her legs pulled up to her chest and her hands now placed on the tops of her knees.

“Should I go through my list from top to bottom,” his eyes looked up at her massive curls and then traced her body down to her feet as he spoke, “or…from bottom,” his hand slid down her calf and onto her toes, “…to top?” Once again, he let his eyes roam slowly over every inch of her curled up body until they rested on her eyes.

Claire felt her breath stop in her throat. She swallowed. Her voice was low as she replied, “Whichever way you want, Colonel.”

His hand that was resting on her foot grabbed both of her ankles together. As he rose from the bed, he pulled her legs until she was no longer sitting up but was now laying down, her naked body stretching the full length of the bed. He climbed on top of her, his hands planted on either side of her head.

“Weel, if I told ye everything I miss about ye when I’m gone, then we might never leave this bed.” Jamie spoke, his eyes on hers.

She leaned up to get her face closer to his and whispered, “I wouldn’t object to that.” She curled her arms around his shoulders and back, trying to bring his body down on to hers.

Jamie closed his eyes, “Christ, your voice.”

She stopped her movements. That was not what she had been expecting to hear him say next. His eyes remained closed as he continued, “I miss your voice when I’m away from you. But I can hear it sometimes, in my head.”

He opened his eyes again slowly and found hers. “When I need comfort, I can hear ye saying that it will be alright. Your voice is tender and full of love when you say that.” Claire squeezed his body with her hands as a means to comfort him without speaking.

Jamie continued, “When I’m doing something I know you wouldna approve of, I hear your stern and serious voice sayin’ my name in warning,” He chuckled and she did too, despite her eyes also starting to feel wet with upcoming tears.

“And then, sometimes, in the middle of the night, in my dreams, I hear your voice as it sounds now.”

His eyes had changed and were darker now as they looked into hers intensely.

He leaned down and said the next line an inch from her face, “It’s low, deep in your throat…” He traced a finger down her throat as he continued, “…dripping with desire, begging me to give you what you want.”

Claire’s eyes had also deepened in color and were flashing at him. The exact voice he had just described croaked out, “Do I need to beg you now?”

She tightened her hold on him, bringing his chest finally down onto hers. He was still fully clothed and the friction of his vest and shirt against her bare chest caused her to moan. She lifted a hand to his cheek and went in to kiss him but he spoke again.

“Your touch, Sassenach…Lord, I miss your touch when we are parted.” She responded by bringing her second hand up to cup his other cheek as well.

A little breathless she said, “Jamie, I don’t think I can make it through this list.”

“Yer the one who said you wanted it in great detail…” Jamie said, raising his eyebrows at her.

She met him with a genuine smile and responded with a childish, “I lied.”

Jamie chuckled briefly and kissed her nose, “Dinna fash, I’ll make the rest of the list quickly.”

He kissed her nose again, “Yer wee nose.” He continued laying kisses across her face and listing each part that he had missed.

“Yer forehead…your chin…your cheeks pink from the cold…your eyelashes wit’ wee bits of snow on them…”

Eventually, there was only one place on her face left that he had not kissed.

He stared at her lips and ran a gentle finger along the top lip and then tugged on her bottom lip until it plopped out of his fingers and back against her mouth.
“Lord, the dreams I have had about these lips…” He cut himself off by crushing their mouths together. They both moaned lightly upon impact. They opened up for each other and let their tongues explore for a while. As he leaned back and began to release her mouth, he skillfully and quickly gave the tip of her tongue one tiny flick with his own. “Mmmm, yer tongue.”

“I’m quite partial to what yours can do as well.” She said with a glint in her eye and a raise of her hips to get her meaning across. The message was very clear to Jamie.

“Aye, not yet, Sassenach.” He smiled at her disappointed grumble. “There’s still yer whole middle to speak of. Aye, there are some good parts there that I canna miss.”
He punctuated his point by moving his lips to her neck and starting a line of kisses. Much like on her face, he trailed her body with his lips, teeth, and tongue, all the while narrating his very important list.

“This spot at the end of yer collarbone that always makes yer skin ripple…yer chest, with breasts made just for my hands and nipples that stand for me when I arrive…” He proved his point by tracing a finger around her breast and watching the nipple harden. He kissed it gently, gave it a flick of his tongue, and continued.

“Och, and underneath your ivory smooth skin lies yer heart, Sassenach.” He placed a hand over her chest where he could feel the organ’s hastening beat. Claire placed her hand over his.

“You don’t have to miss my heart, Jamie. It goes with you, whenever you leave.” She said tenderly and truthfully.

“Aye, as mine stays with you,” he responded. “But I always need to feel it inside of ye. To know that it’s still there…that you are still here with me.”

Claire felt the heart in question pull in her chest at his words. They had both been through their fair share of near-death experiences. What was worse though, was the experience of the other nearly dying. But tonight was not a time for talk of death. They had been here before.

“I will be here, every time you return.” She said, mostly as a comfort. There was no way either of them could make promises like that.

Jamie turned his hand underneath hers and linked their fingers together. He brought them to his lips. It was his way of ending the sad talk of separation.
He continued down her body, leaving kisses and whispers of love over each part of her.

“Your stomach with skin like silk…your navel…inside…your womb…which held both of our girls…” He kissed her reverently underneath her bellybutton, his hands on either side of his mouth.

He skipped over her pelvic region and dropped his hands to her knees. His hands traced each leg up and down, massaging gently. Claire let out a big sigh, her body melting into the mattress below with his tender caresses. After giving proper attention to her legs, he grabbed her ankles again and gently pushed them apart. Claire, feeling playful, clasped her knees together as strongly as she could, keeping her legs firmly together. She smiled widely at him when he looked up at her.

“Ye wee little devil.” He growled, quickly ripped off his clothes until his chest was bare and only his pants remained, and grasped her legs in his strong hands. She giggled, knowing fully well that there was nothing that could stop Jamie from getting between her legs if he wanted.

He pushed apart her legs, devastatingly slowly, as he spoke, “Being that yer a doctor, Sassenach…you should know better than trying to deny a starving man his meal.”

He had her legs wide open and stared at her, wet and ready and beautiful. Claire was taking deep breaths, equally as hungry for him. But when he looked up into her eyes and very purposefully licked his lips generously, she lost her breath.

He nuzzled his face into the inside of her thigh, “Ah, I miss these strong thighs…the way they wrap around my head…” He continued to nuzzle, kiss, and lick them generously until Claire began to squirm.

Jamie smiled to himself at his wife’s impatience. He gave a thigh one more good suckle and then turned to face her fully once again. He breathed her in slowly and deeply. Jamie pushed his face into her close enough that the tip of his nose and his lips touched her just barely.

He whispered into her, “Christ…and this.” He let his lips run along her folds as he spoke. Claire was almost shaking as she felt his breath on her and the faintest whisper of his lips as they ran all along her.

“If I was a writer, I would write sonnets about this and only this. Or a painter, this would be my subject.” Jamie continued to caress her so gently, barely allowing his lips to touch her more than a tiny bit.

Claire grabbed his hair and raised his head enough to force him to look at her. He did, and his heart squeezed at the image of her before him. Her chest and neck were flushed the most delicate pink. Her eyes were hooded and dark and her lips were still slightly plump from his kisses.

“Jamie—” she began in a broken voice. She took another breath to collect the energy she needed before continuing, “If you don’t give me what I want right bloody now, James Fraser, I will —”

“Aye, I missed the ravenous beast part of you too, Sassenach.” Jamie interrupted her. He gave her a cheeky smile, attempted a wink, and then ducked his head back down to her center before she could respond.

He dove in tongue first. After the first taste, he lost all desire to tease her anymore. Jamie was starving for his wife’s taste and began to lap at her excitedly.

Claire immediately dropped her head back onto the pillow and let out a long, satisfied, sigh. Her hands released his hair and she grabbed onto the sheets on either side of her hips.

His arms wrapped around her thighs and pressed down on her stomach to prepare her for his next mission. He directed his tongue’s attention to her bundle of nerves and began to circle it. Just as he knew she would, she lifted her hips in reflex but his hands held in her place.

As her body was forced to stay still by his strong hands, she let out a long, shaky, breath and gripped the sheets even harder. He began alternating his attack on her clit, changing from circles to flicking, then sucking it into his mouth, then ending with a fast round of figure eights across it. He continued this pattern over and over again as Claire’s pleasure built higher and higher. She arched her back and her legs tightened as spasms of pleasure shot through her body.

Just as her body got used to his pattern, he lowered his face and stuck his tongue as far into her as he could. Claire gasped loudly and pressed a foot into his back, desperately wanting him as close to her as possible. He wriggled his tongue around inside of her, going first back and forth and then up and down. He swirled it around and moaned deeply against her.

When she felt the vibrations from his moan, her whole body shuddered and she let out another gasping moan. He could feel her climax building and knew it was almost there. He knew just how to heighten her peak and so to prepare her, he moved his hands from her stomach and found hers where they clutched the sheets.
Forcing them to release their grip, he grasped them into his own, and intertwined their fingers so she could now grip his hands instead.

Once she had a good hold of him, he brought his tongue back out of her and right back onto her nub of pleasure. He sucked it eagerly into his mouth and flicked his tongue over it. Immediately after, Claire rocketed into her peak, gasping loudly and moaning in ecstasy.

Their hands both turned white as they held on to each other. Claire’s back arched wildly and her head dug deeply into the pillow as her legs shook uncontrollably.

Jamie used his tongue to gently soothe her as she began to come down. He licked her up and down very gently and then when her back finally came back down onto the bed and he felt her thighs began to shake less, he finished by just laying his tongue over her clit to soothe it.

Claire, still gripping Jamie’s hands, tried to catch her breath as her chest still moved up and down. Jamie placed one, two, three tiny kisses onto her lower lips before finally resting a cheek against her inner thigh and looking up at her.

They both simply stayed in their positions for a few minutes as Claire’s body continued to have small aftershocks and she let out one shaky breath after another.

Finally, her grip on his hands began to loosen and her thighs began to fall off his shoulders as her body went limp. He gave her thigh one final peck and then he crawled up her body.

He gave her sternum a kiss and then hovered above her face, waiting for her to open her eyes. She did.

“Now that, mo nighean donn, might be the sight I’ve missed the most.” He smiled sweetly at her. She began to feel her limbs again and she brought a slightly shaking hand up to his cheek.

“Damn, I love you.” She smiled at him deeply, her eyes showing oceans of emotion beneath them. She pushed her hand further back until her fingertips rested in the hair on the back of his neck.

He grinned and kissed her lips, “And I love you.”

He grabbed her thigh and rolled so that they were both on their sides facing each other and placed her leg so that it rested across his hip. She tucked her face into his chest, feeling sated and happy. He ran a hand down the length of her body.

“You know, Sassenach, I didn’t even get to half of the things on my wee list.”

Claire chortled into his chest. “I don’t know if I can handle anymore right now.” She lifted her head to look at him, “Can we give it, say, 20 minutes?” She smiled at him.

He smiled back, “10.”

“Fifteen.” She smiled up at him, reached her hands around and pushed his breeks down just enough so that she could place both hands firmly on his buttocks. Then she put her face back into his chest to get some rest before round two.

Chapter Text

He had fallen asleep while reading. Again.

John Grey opened his eyes and saw the book resting in his lap, still open to the page he was on. He had taken to reading books from Jamie’s library whenever he visited Fraser’s Ridge. Most nights when he stayed, Jamie and him would try to find time at night to have a drink in the library and at the end of the evening, he would pick a book to read in his room before going to sleep.

Last night while they visited, John had noticed this book out on one of the tables, which usually meant that Jamie had been looking at it recently.

After a few rounds of chess, Claire had come into the room and announced she was going upstairs. She came to stand by Jamie’s chair and placed a hand on his shoulder as she inquired to John as to whether he wanted anything before she retired. He assured her that he had everything he needed.

“As the first to test out the newly completed guest room upstairs, I am honored. I feel confident it will be a most comfortable night, indeed.” He told her and she nodded and smiled at him in response. She squeezed Jamie’s shoulder and he looked up at her as she now directed her attention to him.

“Since we will all be on the second floor tonight, I think we will be warm enough with just the fires in our rooms. Will you be sure to put this one out before you come to bed?” She nodded towards the hearth next to them.

Jamie reached for her hand on his shoulder, “Dinna fash, mo nighean donn, I will take care of it.”

They exchanged a look that implied they were sharing a common thought. John, of course, did not understand the meaning behind it and felt momentarily that they had forgotten he was there. To be honest, he was quite used to feeling left out when Jamie and Claire were in a room together.

Jamie brought her knuckles to his lips for a chaste kiss. She smiled lovingly at him and looked relieved as if the kiss was actually some kind of hidden promise he was making her. When he released her hand, she let her knuckles graze briefly across his cheek before turning to John again.

John had been watching their hands intently and jerked his eyes up awkwardly when he realized that Claire had turned back to him.

“Goodnight.”

John stood and bowed quickly, “Madam Fraser.”

Jamie stood as well as Claire turned her back to them and walked out.  

John sat down and looked over to see Jamie remain standing and watching Claire’s retreating form until she had gone out of sight after the first few steps on the stairs. John cleared his throat to remind Jamie that it was his turn to move in their game.

Jamie straightened his shoulders, sat down, and shook his head slightly to re-focus his attention. As a semi-regular visitor of Fraser’s Ridge, John had many times been a witness to Jamie’s frequent spouts of distraction whenever Claire was around.

If John and Jamie were on the porch, Jamie was almost always clocking Claire’s whereabouts with his eyes. Whether she was in the garden or doing laundry, if Claire was anywhere within Jamie’s peripherals, he was watching her.

Once, they had been having a discussion in his office when Jamie cocked his head to the side as if he had heard something. Before John could ask, Jamie had smiled, stood up, and gone into the hall. Claire had arrived back home from a day of collecting herbs in the woods. Jamie had heard her voice before she even made it to the front steps. Apparently, Jamie Fraser had some kind of sixth sense when it came to his wife. John had watched as Jamie reached up to pick a twig from her hair, gathered her into his arms, and kissed her deeply, almost knocking the basket out of her hands. She smiled comfortably at him in a way that made John assume this was the normal greeting she received when having been away all day.

Yes, John had witnessed these moments many a time, but he still felt that low sense of jealousy deep in his core every time.

With Jamie and John both now focused back on their game  they were soon finished. John grabbed the book from the table while Jamie stayed to smother the fire.

Hours later and now awake, John looked again at the book in question. This particular book was in Latin, which John could not read. This detail did not matter, in fact, because the real reason John picked up books from Jamie’s library was actually because he had found that Jamie liked to write in his books.

John, always wanting to feel closer to Jamie, found great enjoyment in seeing his friend’s notations in the margins. Most of the time, they were just short thoughts which didn’t make sense to John if the book was not in a language he understood. Nevertheless, he felt closer to his friend after seeing a book through his eyes.

John stared down at the page which only had two markings on it. The first marking was simply one of the Latin words circled and in the margin Jamie had written, “femur”. Presumably, it was a translation that Jamie had felt the need to note. The second marking was a sentence at the bottom of the second page that was underlined. In the margin, Jamie had written, “Ask Claire”. (This was a note that came up at least twice in every book John had seen so far.)

The sentence in question continued to the next page so John turned the page to see if there were any more notes. In the top margin was a note written in Claire’s handwriting. It was a quick explanation of something to do with muscles in the leg. In such a small space, Claire had condensed the explanation into short phrases that didn’t make sense to John.

Again, this was something that John had seen several times: a notation from Claire that was always short and never seemed to make any logical sense but obviously Claire and Jamie had a shorthand with each other that she was able to write the least amount possible and knew Jamie would understand.

Clearly, it was some kind of medical book and John wondered if Jamie was reading it in order to better understand what Claire does or if Claire had gotten the book and Jamie was translating it for her.

He suddenly remembered a time not too long ago when he had been staying at the ridge and couldn’t sleep due to a massive headache and had found his way down to Claire’s surgery to see if he could find something to relieve the pressure in his head. While downstairs, he heard voices and peeked into a doorway to see Claire curled up in Jamie’s lap. Her eyes were closed peacefully and her head was tucked intimately into his neck with a hand running patterns on his chest. Jamie had one arm around the back of her neck and his fingers were playing with the ends of her hair. The other hand held a book that Jamie was reading aloud to Claire.

Thinking back on it now, John thought about how he had stood there listening to Jamie’s rough voice and imagined what it would be like to hear that voice read to him as he drifted into sleep.

John yawned and closed the book and set it aside. He stood up from the chair to tend to the fire in his room before settling to properly go to bed. Just as he was about to take off his pants, he heard a noise that sounded like it was coming from outside. He turned to his open window and walked over to it. He looked down at the ground surrounding the house and couldn’t see anything. He was just about to walk away when he heard voices.

Sticking his head out the window, he turned his ear to the sound. He distinctly heard a deep and low voice: Jamie. Turning now so that his face was towards the sound, he saw the window open that was attached to Jamie and Claire’s room. Guess I’m not the only one still awake, he thought to himself.

Just then, Claire appeared in the window. Actually, her body appeared and was plopped down onto the ledge of the open window.

John saw two things at once: he saw Jamie’s arms wrapped around her back and he saw Jamie’s face plastered against Claire’s. Before he had much time to process this sight, Jamie’s face broke free and John watched as his head lowered down his wife’s body.

The next thing he knew, John was seeing Jamie’s red hair between Claire’s legs. Claire had both of her hands gripping the window ledge below her as John saw Jamie grab a creamy white thigh in one large hand and prop it up. John couldn’t quite see that far into the window, but he assumed her leg was now on top of Jamie’s shoulder.

John watched as Claire looked down at the top of Jamie’s head and sighed. He saw Jamie’s face move across the inside of her thigh and judging from the second, much louder, sigh that Claire let out, he was kissing the skin there.

He watched intently as Jamie’s fingers gripped her thigh and then grazed upwards to move her shift up higher so he could get his face closer to her center. As soon as Jamie’s face disappeared underneath the fabric, Claire tilted her head back and let out a deep sigh.

John was absolutely frozen. On some level, he knew he was intruding on something clearly not meant to be seen by him. However, he was completely transfixed.

Claire leaned back slightly into the open air and as her breathing increased, her back beginning to arch. John wondered if she was scared to fall which then led John to think about how often Claire and Jamie engaged in such risky activities. Did they not fear that someone would see or hear them out in the open like that? Immediately after this question, John realized the answer was that they probably did know that was a possibility. They just didn’t care.

John could not see much of Jamie save for the top of his head and his hand which was wrapped tightly and reached around almost her entire thigh. John allowed himself to wonder for a moment what that large hand would feel like on his thigh.

The hand in question moved up and down, caressing her skin. His hand then grasped her hip bone and if John had been able to look at anything else, he would have seen Claire’s lips part and her hands tighten their hold on the ledge. He didn’t have to look at her, though, to hear the long moan she let out.

John nearly lost his breath when Jamie followed her moan with a sound of his own. Nuzzled deep between her thighs, Jamie seemed to groan into her but the sound was low and muffled. John might have even thought he imagined it except for the fact that Claire shuddered deeply at the same time he heard it. John felt himself shudder just thinking about how Jamie’s moan had probably vibrated through Claire’s entire body.

She was sighing with almost every breath now, with small moans intermixed every few moments. Her back was continuing to arch but she was struggling to move much due to being in such a precarious position.

“Jamie—” she said breathily while her body reacted naturally by trying to roll her hips. She clearly had to force herself to stay still for fear of falling backwards into nothingness.

John was surprised and not surprised to see that Jamie seemed to understand exactly what Claire was saying she needed. He immediately stood up and wrapped one arm around her back to hold her between the shoulder blades. The other hand went to replace his mouth between her legs.

“There, mo ghraidh.” Jamie said into her neck. Claire was able to release her hold on the ledge beneath her and moved her arms out beside her to grip the edges of windowsill next to her. This new position allowed her to roll her hips against Jamie’s hand.

Finally able to move as her body wanted, Claire let out a long and satisfied moan. Jamie suckled at her neck, going from one spot on the far side of her neck and moving to suck on the column at the center of her throat. She leaned her head back to give him more room and he began to suck on the exposed skin greedily.

John was leaning so far out of the window that he, too, might be in danger of falling but he didn’t even notice. As he watched Jamie’s lips and tongue eagerly lap at his wife’s neck, John felt himself swallow a lump in his throat imagining those lips doing the same to him.

A small part of his brain recognized that if Claire suddenly decided to turn her head, she would see him hanging out of his window watching them. He tried to connect with that thought and convince himself to go back inside. He might have done it, too, if it weren’t for what happened next.

Halting the suckling for a second, Jamie lowered his head as far as he could into the top of her shift, pushing the fabric out of the way to get his mouth into her cleavage. John watched as Jamie’s tongue poked out of his mouth and he pressed it right in the valley between her breasts. He then dragged his tongue in a tortuously slow line all the way from between her breasts, up her sternum, between her collar bones, into the little dip at the bottom of her throat, and then all the way up her throat until he reached the bottom of her chin.

Claire, for her part, lifted her chin to help him create the longest line possible and when he reached the end, she smiled with all of her teeth and choked out a laugh. She bit her bottom lip and moaned deeply a moment later when Jamie dipped back down and repeated the line using the scruff on his jawbone. He finished his teasing with another kiss on her neck and she smiled again.

Just watching that, John practically moaned.

Jamie released her neck and Claire lowered her head so their lips could meet. The two of them once again knowing exactly what the other wanted. Their lips seemed to align perfectly and they both moaned into the kiss. They held the kiss for so long that John actually began to wonder if they would pass out from lack of oxygen. When they did finally release each other’s mouths, they both were panting loudly.

Claire moved her hips in a quick and hard motion, seemingly growing impatient with whatever Jamie was doing, or not doing, between her legs.

“Please.” She said into his mouth.

He kissed her again and replied, “How many do ye want, Sassenach?”

Without pause, Claire looked him directly in the eyes, “Three.”

John had the briefest of seconds to be confused and then he saw Jamie smirk at her and make a thrusting motion with his hand between her legs. The result of this maneuver made Claire cry out and slam her eyes shut. Jamie, pleased with her reaction, smiled against her open mouth and began giving light thrusts with his arm.

Ah…of course…three fingers…John realized to himself, feeling foolish and slightly embarrassed at his small moment of confusion. He blamed the absurdity of what he was currently witnessing for his brief ignorance. He felt a blush creep into his face at the realization that he now knew exactly what Jamie’s hand was doing.

Claire was still panting against Jamie as they tried unsuccessfully to continue to kiss each other. Neither of them had enough air in their lungs to accomplish this task. Moments later, after another large back arch from Claire, Jamie let out of groan of his own.

He growled against her mouth, “Christ, Claire.” He had to pause his thought as he let out a deep breath.

There weren’t many times that John would hear Jamie call his wife by her name. Most of the time, he called her Sassenach. From his understanding, Sassenach was a rude way of calling someone an outsider. At least, that’s how it came across every time he heard someone use it. That is, everyone except Jamie. When Jamie called Claire by the name Sassenach, it was different. Maybe it was the way he said it, usually looking at her with oceans of love beneath his stare and a tiny lift of one side of his mouth into a smile. Maybe it was the sweet tone of his voice when he said it that made it seem more like a declaration of love than a taunt. Maybe it was, like so many other things, simply something that was understood between the two of them and nobody else.

If he didn’t call her Sassenach, he called her any number of affectionate Gaelic phrases. John had looked some of them up one time and found mostly variations of things like, “my love” and “my heart” and “my own”. What John wouldn't give to hear Jamie call him something with that level of affection in it.

The few times John had heard Jamie say “Claire” was when he was introducing her to someone or when he was referring to his wife while in conversation with someone else. I guess he could now add “while in the throes of passion” to that mental list.

“I canna hardly breathe with how good ye feel around my hand.” Jamie gasped against her lips. He proved his point by taking several shaky breaths as Claire continued to grind against his hand, letting out loud sighs of her own.

“I keep thinking about how good ye felt against my mouth…how ye always taste like heaven, mo nighean donn. Lord, I want to open my mouth wide and let myself drown in ye. Plant myself between your legs and bury my face in your silk and never come up for air again.”  

Wide eyed, John stood and listened as Jamie poured these erotic declarations into Claire’s smile. He felt his own breathing speed up as Jamie continued, “Aye, and how good I know you feel around my cock.”

Claire’s eyes snapped open and fixed pointedly onto Jamie’s and when she responded, John just about fell out of the window. 

“Then why don’t you stop thinking about it and get inside me?”

If John was not in such close proximity to them, he would have gasped out loud. He did tighten his own grip on the edge of the window and found that his palms were sweating.

Jamie moaned his approval of her words before he roughly shoved his lips against hers to kiss her fiercely. He released her between the legs and she let out a deep sigh. He brought her body to a more upright position again so she could keep herself steady while he quickly undid his breeks and pushed them down just enough to free himself.

John, too far gone to stop watching now, leaned as far forward as he dared as he shamelessly tried to catch a glimpse between Jamie’s legs but Claire’s body was blocking most of it. John wished briefly that he could see through walls.

After only a moment, Jamie was apparently ready, and grabbed Claire again. She wrapped both legs around his waist and guided his hips between her legs. Jamie wrapped one arm around her back and the other disappeared between them as he lined himself up.

John held his breath and waited.

And waited.

Realizing that Jamie was pausing, he looked up to see if something in their faces could explain the hesitation. Jamie was not looking down at what he was doing but was looking instead at Claire’s face. Her eyes were closed tightly and her lips were parted just a bit. Her cheeks all the way down to her chest were flushed with pink. Her arms, still out to her side as she held on to the sides of the windowpanes, were shaking slightly in anticipation. She opened her eyes, perhaps also wondering why he was pausing.

John’s heart pulled painfully as he thought that Jamie seemed to be waiting because he wanted to look into her eyes when he entered her.

His theory proved correct when Jamie caught her eyes on his and then flexed his hips forward. He must have been right at her entrance because the second his hips moved forward, Claire gasped. As Jamie completed his thrust all the way, they both moaned as if they had gotten into a hot bath after a long day. John was surprised to see that both of their eyes stayed open.

Jamie was looking at her so passionately that it occurred to John that they were literally holding each other’s eyes open with just their intensity. The absolute fire behind Jamie's eyes as he stared at Claire took John's breath away.

After he was in all the way, Jamie and Claire spent a moment just breathing with each other, eyes still locked furiously together.

“Let go, Sassenach.” Jamie said so quietly that John almost wasn’t sure if that’s actually what had been said.

In the next moment though, Claire continued to look at Jamie and after seeming to make a decision, she released one hand from the windowsill beside her and grasped the collar on Jamie’s shirt. Jamie tightened his hold around her torso and that seemed to give her the confidence to let go with her other hand as well. Now both of her fists were gripping tightly to Jamie’s shirt.

Jamie, his eyes never leaving hers, leaned forward and tipped her back a few inches. She let out a small gasp and gripped his shirt even tighter. He paused. She closed her eyes briefly and then opened them again. As soon as they met with Jamie’s, she nodded.

Understanding this nod, Jamie pressed on and leaned against her again until she was hanging very dangerously far back. She released a deep breath.

John was taken aback. The level of trust they shared, the silent communication he had just witnessed…all of it was making John feel a mixture of emotions from jealousy to embarrassment to sadness. He knew now he was seeing a connection between two people that most would never experience in their lifetime. He certainly had never gotten to this point with anyone. John was not able to dwell on this point for too long before Jamie reared back and thrust into Claire.

In this new and slightly alarming position, Claire cried out as their bodies moved together over nothing but air. Jamie began to moan as he developed a rhythm and began thrusting into her at a steady pace. Focused aggressively on making sure she felt safe and secure, he held her so tightly that there would be bruises in the morning.

John couldn’t decide where to look. His eyes darted back and forth between Claire and Jamie’s faces. Jamie’s face was harder to see as he kept pressing his face in her neck and chest. Claire had closed her eyes again and was moaning now on every thrust.

Jamie lifted his head again and John switched his gaze to watch as Jamie bit his bottom lip and grunted several times in a row. He couldn’t be sure from such a distance but it looked as though Jamie’s forehead was damp from exertion. John felt his whole body flush at the sight of Jamie like this.

Their bodies were acting in complete tandem all the way from the roll of their hips into each other to the way her arching back fit perfectly into his chest whenever they met in the middle. Claire opened her eyes and tugged on Jamie’s shirt until he lifted his head level with hers again.

She brought their faces together and their lips fell fluidly into a long-practiced dance. Her grip on his collar never wavered and their kisses grew more fierce. Even at the distance he was, he saw Jamie’s tongue snake out and plunge deep into her mouth. John had always fantasized that Jamie was good with his tongue and after everything he had seen tonight, he was confident that those assumptions had been correct. Even now, Claire moaned at whatever he was doing with his tongue in her mouth.

John concluded that she indeed had liked it because a second later, her tongue was slipping into his mouth and the moan that rose up from deep in Jamie’s throat suggested that he, too, enjoyed it.

Shortly after, they both had to release the other’s lips because they were panting too much to stay connected. Claire’s moans were getting louder and after one well-placed thrust, she yelled out, “Oh fuck, Jamie!”

John was not sure what “fuck” meant but he could gather enough from the situation to get the gist of its meaning.

Jamie, with no free hands, pushed his mouth as close to hers as he could, “Quiet, Sassenach,” he grunted into her mouth, “Remember we are not alone here tonight.”

John stiffened, worried that this reminder of him would make them look around. Luckily, it didn’t seem to affect them much at all.

Claire, to her credit, did press her lips together tightly and the next few thrusts John could see her neck muscles straining as she tried to contain her vocal pleasure. After only a few silent thrusts, she moaned again. While it was a quieter moan than before, John knew that even if he had not been at the window watching, he definitely would have woken up by now and heard them.

In fact, they were both panting very heavily and crying out on every other thrust.

Jamie looked at Claire right as she opened her eyes to look pleadingly at him. Apparently, Jamie knew that this look meant that she was close to the end, and he smiled at her.

“Aye, just a bit more,” he said against her mouth. “Do that thing I like, Sassenach.” She returned his grin with a mischievous one of her own and now they both smiled against each other’s lips.

What thing does he like?! John questioned. His heart started racing at the thought of finding out something that Jamie liked in bed. A moment later and he had his answer.

Claire tilted her face up into his neck and John saw her mouth open wide against his skin, her teeth bared, and then she bit down into the skin with force. At the same time, she did something with her lower body because her legs squeezed Jamie tightly and her hips pumped up in to his aggressively. Those two events combined, and John watched as Jamie’s face broke into a huge smile as he laughed and cried out loudly, “Oh God!”

She smiled into his neck and then lifted her face to be level with his again. He opened his eyes to look at her as his thrusts started turning more sporadic. She lifted a hand to cover his mouth, “Shhhh…remember we are not alone tonight.” She repeated his warning back to him with a sparkle in her eyes and a giant smirk on her face.

His eyes darkened and he opened his mouth and took three of her fingers in between his lips, leaving just her pinky and her thumb resting on either side of his mouth. First, he sucked on them harshly and then he bit down on them. She gasped as she watched him.

John gasped almost as loudly.

The two of them were now barreling to climax together. Their bodies were pressed tightly, not an inch of space between them anywhere. Even their foreheads stayed pressed together, breathing in each other’s air like oxygen.

Just as they both cried out and Jamie’s hips paused in his deepest thrust, John felt all of the breath leave his body. John watched as Claire and Jamie’s faces were taken over by looks of pure ecstasy and they continued to breathe out moans even as Jamie grunted out his last couple of thrusts, milking himself into her. Jamie’s mouth had gone slack and so Claire’s fingers were now just resting on his tongue as his mouth hung open. Claire’s chest pumped up and down as she continued to try and fill her lungs.

John noticed that they were both shaking quite noticeably. He thought briefly that they were cold but then he realized that it was warm outside. The more the shaking continued, the more he realized that their aftershocks were both so intense that they were still spasming long after their climaxes had peaked.

Another pang of hurt gripped John's chest as the thought occurred to him that he would never be able to give Jamie the amount of pleasure that he so obviously had just gotten from Claire. 

At last, Jamie brought Claire back into an upright seated position. Her fingers wandered out of his mouth and into the hair on the back of his neck. John had always wanted to feel the curls that were in that spot.

Jamie, in turn, pressed their foreheads together again and placed a gentle hand on her cheek. He traced her jawbone with a finger as they both continued to breathe heavily.

They looked upsettingly intimate, John felt. In fact, out of everything he had seen tonight, he almost felt the most uncomfortable witnessing this moment.

They continued to caress each other’s faces and nuzzle their noses together, refusing to look away from each other’s eyes. Jamie looked at her as if she was the only thing he ever wanted to look at for the rest of his life. Again, John felt a sad pull in his chest. They stayed that way for so long that John almost began to finally tear himself away from the window. But after a few minutes, their breath had finally returned to normal.

Jamie ran a finger along her lips and then bent his head to kiss them. She responded and opened her mouth to him. They kissed deeply, but slowly. After breaking apart again, Jamie dipped to leave small pecks on her neck and sternum. Claire let out a long sigh of content, a small and sated smile on her lips.

The next thing John knew, Jamie had grabbed the edge of her shift and pulled it off her shoulders until her arms were free and the shift rested on her hips. John saw the fastest glimpse of her breasts before Jamie wrapped his arms around her back and pressed her body to his. He shoved one hand underneath her ass and stood up. Her legs still wrapped tightly around his hips and her arms now following suit around his neck, he turned and John watched as his hand began to roam the span of her naked back as he walked them away from the window and back into their room.

For a moment, John stood there, motionless. So many things went through his mind but mostly he just stood there in utter disbelief at what he had just seen. He had spent a lot of time around Claire and Jamie and it was never easy to see them being domestic and so clearly still in love with each other even after all this time.

He had, on several occasions, caught them in the middle of passionate kisses or saw them from afar, wrapped up in each other’s arms. He had seen them sneaking away to their bedroom or the woods when they thought no one was looking. Christ, he had even heard them making love before. He, on one end of the house, hearing distant but also distinct sounds of moaning and a bed squeaking. But this, to actually see it, was a whole different experience.

It wasn’t just those moments that hurt, though. He found himself feeling pangs of sadness at even the small things that they shared together.

Jamie, on his way to the still, crossing the span of the entire front yard just to give her a quick peck in the garden before going back on his way.

They would hold hands as they went to the clothesline to make doing laundry seem like a romantic walk in the fresh air.

She would bring herbs into his office so that she could pull apart stems or crush leaves in a bowl while he would look over the numbers of the ridge. They wouldn’t even talk much, they just seemed to need to be near each other.

John didn’t know if it had to do with the fact that they had been separated for so long or what. All he did know was that he had never seen any other couple in his life that came anywhere close to what they had together. He had accepted long ago that he would never have these kinds of things with Jamie, and was content to be his friend. But it didn't make it any less painful to see how happy he was with someone else.

He didn’t have much longer to ponder because he was suddenly taken out of his thoughts by a manly grunt followed by a Scottish curse and then the sound of giggling. It took John only a moment to realize that they were evidently going for round two in bed this time.

It was then that John realized his own excitement. He looked down at the very obvious bulge in his pants and took a deep breath before retreating from the window at last. He felt that he had heard and seen enough already tonight so he closed the window, got into bed, and blew out the candle on his bedside table. Of course, John should have known that closing the window would do no good. This house was nice but no amount of wall could mask the sounds coming from the master bedroom. At one point, it sounded like something had been knocked over and broken but mostly he just heard very loud grunts in Jamie’s deep cadence and slightly higher pitched but just as deep moans coming from Claire.

John spent the next hour listening to their moaning, shushing, laughing, and what sounded like a bedpost against a wall, while trying to ignore his own raging boner. Eventually, he couldn’t be strong anymore and finished himself off to what he tried to imagine as only Jamie’s sounds. Feeling embarrassed after, he finally drifted to sleep, a pillow over his head and ears. 


The next morning, John went for an early walk, hoping to avoid being invited to breakfast with the happy couple. After last night, he was still feeling quite awkward and didn’t feel ready to face them yet. Unfortunately, fate had other plans.

Arriving back from his walk, he entered the house and found himself just outside of Claire’s surgery. He could hear the conversation going on inside.

He was pleased to hear that Claire was trying out the new lenses that he had brought for her microscope. He even considered entering the room knowing that they would have a neutral and scientific topic they could discuss. But then he heard Jamie’s voice and his mind immediately took him back to hearing that voice discussing some very not neutral topics last night.

My Lord…did she just say male reproductive cells? And Jamie—seed…Claire was looking at seed in her microscope??? John’s ears perked up, immediately intrigued.

“Who’s are they?” He heard Jamie ask, sounding off-put and nervous.

Claire laughed, “Well, yours of course! Who else would they be?”

John felt his cheeks blush thinking about Jamie’s seed.

Sounding dubious, John heard Jamie ask exactly what he had been thinking, “How did you get them?”

John could practically hear the smirk in her voice as she replied, “I woke up in custody of them this morning.”

John felt his face go from blushing red to stark white. He heard them continue their conversation but he didn’t hear what they were saying. He was too busy thinking about how Claire had apparently woken up this morning and…he couldn’t even finish the thought. Picturing Claire doing that was not something he was in a hurry to imagine.

Just then, he realized that they were both quiet now. John chanced a peek around the corner of the doorway and saw them wrapped in each other’s arms. Claire had her head pressed to Jamie’s chest and he was resting his chin on the top of her head. They were swaying together as they stood.

It took only a moment for John to recognize that he wouldn’t be able to walk by the large doorway without them noticing. He took a deep breath and walked backwards halfway down the hall. Then, he began walking towards the surgery again, stamping his feet heavily on the floor in the hopes that they would hear him coming.

Arriving at the entrance and stating loudly, “Good morning!” John walked in just a step to see Claire and Jamie still wrapped around each other but were now facing the door. They released each other’s bodies with their arms but they stood only an inch apart.

They seemed only mildly frustrated to be interrupted but they still smiled at him and greeted him warmly.

“I trust that you slept well?” Jamie asked politely, as one would typically do with a houseguest.

John cleared his throat and looked around the room awkwardly, anywhere but at Jamie and Claire. “Um…yes, quite. Very well.”

A moment of awkward silence followed until Claire broke in, “The new lenses are lovely, John. Thank you for bringing them for me.”

He did his best to smile normally at her, “Oh! I am pleased to hear it. I am always happy to assist your research in any way I can.”

A moment after he spoke, John felt color rise to his cheeks when he realized what he had implied. But then he remembered that Claire and Jamie didn’t know that he knew what her current “experiment” was.

“Oh, would you like to see for yourself?” She offered, pointing a finger to the microscope and quirking an eyebrow up.

“No!” Jamie practically yelled, looking like he might get sick at the thought. Claire looked at him, amused more than anything and John wondered if Claire had only offered in order to gain entertainment while teasing Jamie.

Jamie continued, more quietly but not any less awkwardly, “Uh…I was hoping John would assist me in the library with some of the new books he brought with him.”

John was happy to jump in and accept that offer rather than spend another moment in this conversation.

Claire chuckled to herself, not embarrassed in the least. As Jamie walked over to join John, he turned back suddenly to Claire.

“Sassenach…could ye maybe…” He struggled to find the words and glanced briefly at John before looking back at her. “Just—take good care of yer wee experiment, would ye?”

Claire smiled sweetly back at him as she lifted her cup of tea to her mouth, “Of course, darling. I always do, don’t I?”

They shared a look of amusement, grinning sheepishly at each other, and John was actually quite disturbed that, for once, he knew exactly what they were thinking.

Chapter Text

“Welcome home, soldier.”

Jamie leaned in to give his wife another kiss, then they both turned to watch their new pet lap eagerly from a plate of milk. Jamie wrapped his arms around Claire’s waist and pulled her body so that her back rested against his chest as they observed Adso in contented silence.

As Claire’s back came into contact with her husband’s broad chest, she relaxed completely and leaned her head back against him, letting out a satisfied sigh. She felt Jamie’s face draw close to her head and then heard him inhale deeply, his nose pressed into her hair. She closed her eyes to savor the moment of having him home. Her hands rested on his arms and she squeezed him tightly to make her happiness at being in his arms again known. He tightened his hold on her in agreement.

Jamie leaned down and placed his lips affectionately where Claire’s neck met her shoulder. She smiled and hummed in delight.

“You said something happened in Hillsborough?” Claire asked, just now remembering what Jamie said when they first came onto the porch. She felt Jamie tense and he moved his lips and face away from her neck.

She turned in his arms to face him, placing her palms on his chest. She saw in his face that whatever had happened, it was not good news. She rubbed her hands up and down in a gesture meant to comfort. A gesture to say, whatever it is, you can tell me.

“Not here.” Jamie answered her unspoken words with a quick glance around.

Claire looked behind him at the many occupants of Fraser’s Ridge who were currently peppered throughout the yard doing chores. She nodded in understanding. Whatever was bothering Jamie, he didn’t want to discuss it where the possibility of being overheard was present.

She returned her gaze to him, “Just give me a minute to check on them in the garden.” She moved to back away from his arms. She meant to go and make sure those who were helping her in the garden were settled in their tasks and then she would be free to go somewhere private with Jamie. But he held her in place.

“Dinna fash. You see to your chores and I’ll go see to mine. I’ll hold till tonight.”

She raised an eyebrow at him but saw in his face that he meant it. “Alright.” She replied, placing a hand on his cheek. She gave him a peck on his lips and he responded with another. Then they released and Claire picked up Adso, deposited him in the house along with the now-empty plate, brushed off her skirt and made her way back down into the garden as Jamie headed towards the barn.

After checking to see that his horse had been unsaddled, fed, watered, and tied up, Jamie checked briefly on the other horses. He appreciated all the hard work the people of the ridge did, but their efforts in his absence now left Jamie with nothing to do in the stables. Not even a bale of hay to bring down from the loft. He wandered to the fields to see to the crops but everything was in perfect condition. Even the meat pantry was stocked thanks to Josiah being home after having his surgery. Finally, Jamie settled down in his office to update the ledgers, one of the only things that was his responsibility alone. However, he found that he could not concentrate, his mind still on what happened with Knox in Hillsborough.

Claire was wrist deep in soil, her hands working to make sure the seeds were the correct distance apart in the ground. She had done two rows so far and still had one more to go. Eyes on her work, suddenly the sun disappeared behind her and she could no longer see what she was doing. Rain, again? She thought to herself as she looked up to eye the dark rain cloud.

Instead of a cloud, though, she looked up to see her very large husband standing in the way.

“Can I...help ye, Sassenach?”

She stood to face him, “Nothing for you to do?” She gave him a teasing smile. He frowned at the implication that he was feeling useless, no matter how true it was in that moment.

“Aye, there is.” He said with gusto, but she was not convinced. He continued anyway, “But I’d rather be wi’ you if you dinna mind.”

She smiled up at him. On one hand, she was slightly concerned. Of course, they liked to spend as much time together as they could, but Jamie had never offered to tend the garden with her. On the other hand, her heart warmed knowing that even though they couldn’t talk about what was bothering him, she could still give him comfort just by being close.

“I don’t mind.” Her grin grew even bigger. She would always be glad for an opportunity to be able to tell Jamie what to do. She explained what she was doing in the rows and then instructed him to go to the rows she had already planted seeds in and cover the seeds with little pockets of soil.

“I usually do about a handful…” She looked down at her husband’s very large hands, “…perhaps you should do about half a handful of soil.”

Jamie replied to her teasing smile, “Aye, Sassenach, I’ve got hands the size of a raving beast, I know.”

“Oh, I’m certainly not complaining.” Her grin grew when she responded and he gave her his signature two-eyed wink.

She then showed him how to pack the soil in the ground over the seeds and after watching him do a few, she moved back to her own spot and continued with her task.

Jamie, feeling grateful to finally have a task, worked hard and very quickly caught up to his wife. He now sat on the opposite side of the row as her. He watched her diligently as her hands worked seamlessly placing the seeds and spreading the soil. He was feeling lighter just being near her.

“I could watch ye work wi’ yer wee herbs all day, Sassenach.”

She looked up from her work and over at him. She laughed, “Yes, you clearly do a much better job of watching than helping.” She reached an arm across and fixed the spot Jamie had just done and spread the soil out more evenly. He smiled playfully at her and as soon as she was done fixing his work, he reached across and messed up her pile of dirt.

“You bastard.” Claire said, but laughed heartily. Jamie laughed in return. She reached down to try and fix it again but the next thing she knew, Jamie had tossed a whole handful of dirt onto the ground where she was trying to work. She gasped in mock anger and took a handful of the new pile and threw it back over to Jamie’s side.

Jamie’s return toss landed half on the ground and half in her lap.

“Jamie! You’re getting me all dirty.” She tried to brush the soil from the folds of her skirt.

He launched himself across the planting row and pushed her down flat into the ground. She let out a small shout in surprise.

“Aye, but that’s how I like ye, mo nighean donn.”

Claire scoffed, “What? Dirty?”

Jamie nodded emphatically, “Och, aye. Verra dirty.” He smiled wickedly at her.

She laughed, despite his very ridiculous, and very public, behavior. “Well, you can do the washing then.”

He continued to grin down at her, “Tis worth it.” They both laughed as he helped her sit up and they turned back to the planting.

Hours later, after the rows were planted, dinner was served, and everyone had gone back to their own cabins for the night, Jamie and Claire were finally able to be alone.

Claire had just rid herself of all but her shift and was sitting at her vanity. She pulled one clip from her hair before Jamie came up behind her and touched her hands to stop them in their task. Their eyes met in the mirror and he moved his hands to the next clip in her hair.

She put her hands down into her lap to allow Jamie’s to take up the job of releasing her hair. He worked gently and slowly. He would pull one pin free and then move the newly released chunk of hair until it rested gracefully on her neck. With each pin and each new group of hair freed, he would run his fingers from where it attached to her scalp all the way down to the end. As he undid the very last pin, he set it down with the others on the table in front of her and then used both of his hands to caress her curls. He delicately dug the tips of his fingers through the curly nest until they reached her scalp. He massaged her head gently for a few minutes and then glided his fingers away from her skull and through her hair. As he got to the end of her mane, he gripped the ends between his fingers, feeling the texture of her curls and pulling on them just to watch them spring back into shape.

Claire watched him through the mirror, closing her eyes when she felt a shiver run down her spine at his touch.

Continuing to spread her curls out, Jamie spoke, “I canna tell ye how often I see ye out there working and all I want to do is take your hair down and caress your curls in my hands for hours.”

He placed his strong hands on both of her shoulders and bent down to kiss the top of her head. He lingered for a moment and she stayed quiet, waiting for him to talk when he was ready. After taking a deep breath, he spoke.

“Knox is dead.” He finally said, his lips still in her hair, but after speaking he raised his head enough to meet her eyes in the mirror.

Claire’s eyes widened but she remained silent, sensing that Jamie still had more to say.

“I killed him.” Jamie said matter-of-factly. He let go of her shoulders and stepped away so he could sit on the edge of the bed. Claire turned in her seat until she faced him.

“Go on.”

He took another deep breath and then let it out. “He got a copy of the prison roll from Ardsmuir.” Jamie said, looking down at the ground.

“I went to see him, and it was delivered to him while I was there.”

Claire reached out to place a hand on his knee as he continued, “He was going to send it to the governor. I knew he would find my name on that list. I told him so.”

Jamie took another deep breath before speaking again, “He did see. And then he saw Murtagh’s surname. I had to tell him everything. He called me a traitor, was about to call for my arrest—I had to stop him.” Jamie shook his head at the memory.

Claire could see the turmoil in Jamie’s face. She tried to comfort him, “It seems you didn’t have any other choice.”

“I killed him and fled like a coward.” Jamie said bitterly. Claire’s heart ached to see him like this.

“You did what you had to do.” Claire reasoned. Jamie nodded once, “Aye, and I would do it again if needed…but it doesna make me feel any better to know that.”

“Come here.” She called to him and stood up so he could sit in the seat she had just vacated. She turned him to face the mirror and stood behind him as he had stood behind her only moments ago.

She kissed the top of his head as he had done hers. Then she carefully untied the ribbon in his ponytail and set it down next to her clips. She spread his hair out so it fell across his shoulders.

Claire reached over his shoulder and grabbed the hairbrush from the table. She grabbed a small section of his hair and began to gently run the brush through it.

Starting at the bottom, she worked the brush steadily through the tangles in his hair until the whole handful of hair was smooth. She picked up the next section of his red locks and began the process again. Jamie let out a breath and closed his eyes.

As Claire made her way slowly across his head, Jamie felt his body relax more and more. Each muscle, from his shoulders down to his legs, began to loosen one at a time. By the time she had finished combing through his hair, Jamie’s body was finally calm.

Claire set the brush back down and then ran her fingers through her husband’s long tendrils. Similar to how he had done for her, she began by massaging his scalp with her delicate fingers. Jamie allowed his head to press back into her hands. She rubbed the tips of her fingers back and forth and then in tiny circles all around his head. Jamie let out a soft moan from the back of his throat.

After a few blissful minutes, Jamie opened his eyes again just as Claire reached forward to grab the ribbon and place his hair back into its ponytail. She knew that Jamie got too hot with his hair down in his sleep. She tied it expertly fast and then she bent forward, letting her hands run from his shoulders all the way down his chest. They reached his belly and then she ran them back up his chest and clasped them together, arms around his neck from behind. She pushed her face into the side of his, nuzzling gently.

“How do ye always know what to do to bring me back to myself?” Jamie said quietly, enjoying the attentions she was giving him. He reached up and placed his hands on top of hers where they were resting in the center of his sternum.

She smiled into his neck as her nose pressed into his skin, “Hmmm.” She hummed into him before continuing, “And that wasn’t even the start of what I had planned…”

He ran his hands up and down her arms that still rested across his chest, “Oh, aye?” They met each other’s eyes in the mirror.

Keeping his eyes on hers, she moved to grip his earlobe between her teeth. She bit him gently before releasing the lobe while sucking on it softly, and then whispered, “Get on the bed.”

Jamie felt himself take in a sharp breath but he wasted no time in getting up and over to the bed. He laid back with his head propped up against the pillow and raised his arm to rest one hand behind his head.

Claire watched him get settled and then walked to stand next to the bed. Knowing he was watching her every move, she grabbed the hem of her shift and lifted it up her body and over her head. Jamie watched every inch of skin that was revealed until her head disappeared and then her mess of curls popped back out from underneath the fabric. She dropped the shift onto the floor next to her and then slowly took the last step to the bed.

He watched her with a smile that grew when she knelt on the bed and pulled herself up until she straddled his hips. He moved his hand out from behind his head, preparing himself to grab onto her body but she simply hovered over his hips, not fully sitting down on him. He tried to pump his hips up into hers but she moved further off of him when he tried.

Trying a different strategy, he moved a hand to try and push down on her hip but she grabbed his hand with both of hers. She brought the hand to her mouth and kissed each of his fingertips gently.

“Just relax, darling.” She said as she kissed his palm next.

Claire’s words and tone of voice worked instantly to soothe Jamie’s urgency. This was her plan, he realized. She wanted to help him release all of the tension he was holding in his mind…and body. He relaxed more as she then moved to place his thumb in her mouth. She sucked on it affectionately and then did the same to each of his fingers until his chest began to flush with the heat building in his body.

Moving to finally lower her hips down onto his fully, she took his hand from her mouth and placed it flat on her sternum. Claire then led his hand to feel her entire body, starting between her breasts and going all the way down until she put it to rest on her hip.

Jamie was still wearing his shirt and pants so when Claire's hips connected with his fully, there was a delicious and painful barrier between them. She didn’t seem to care as she then lowered the top half of her body onto his chest until they were face to face. She placed a hand on either of his cheeks and kissed him fiercely.

Diving straight in, she opened her mouth and immediately starting using her tongue to poke his lips for entrance. He granted her request immediately and they were soon engaged in a deep battle of tongues and lips. His hands ran up to caress her sides and he couldn’t resist allowing them to roam the entirety of her bare back.

Their kiss was escalating rapidly and Jamie could feel the weight of her breasts pushing into his chest and it physically pained him to not be able to feel her completely through his shirt. He knew that if he pushed his hips up into hers that she wouldn’t be able to resist sitting back up to grind into his hips in return. This would then enable him to remove his shirt. So...that’s what he did.

Using a perfectly placed thrust to give her maximum friction, he pushed his hips up into hers and she moaned into his mouth. Just as predicted, she could not handle just that one moment of brief and delicious friction, so she sat up to push her hips down and around on top of him.

Jesus Lord, help me, Jamie thought to himself as he momentarily got lost in watching his wife writhe on top of him. He watched the perfect lines of her body roll around as she sought more and more pleasure from the friction that his core was providing.

Remembering the task at hand, he reached down to grab the bottom of his shirt only to realize that Claire’s hands were currently fisting the fabric as she grinded back and forth.

Jamie, feeling all of the tension in his lower extremity as she mercilessly ground into him with her head tossed back, choked out, “Claire, I need to feel ye. Now.”

Coming out of her current state of bliss, Claire looked down at his face to see that he was, in fact, very desperate. She slowed her movements until her rotations were almost painfully slow. She watched him grunt and bite into his bottom lip as she herself gasped at the sensation. Then she halted her motions entirely.

She released her fists from his shirt but used her hands instead to push the shirt gently up until his entire chest was exposed. With the fabric now scrunched up by his neck, she very slowly lowered her body onto his again. Making sure to go as slow as possible, she lowered herself enough so that just the tops of her breasts touched him.

Despite his obvious frustration, she remained at that height and then dragged the tops of her breasts up and down across his body. He allowed her a brief moment of fun but then could not take the teasing anymore and used his hands to pull her down flush against him.

Their mouths met and their lips and tongues picked back up where they left off before. She continued to roll her body into his and soon they were both breathing too hard to continue kissing. She moved her lips across his chin and then down his neck. She stopped quickly to suckle on his collarbone and then continued downward.

Her journey stopped momentarily again when she reached his nipple. She flicked it once with her tongue and then began to drop open-mouthed kisses down his stomach. Scooting her body down until she could reach his lower half, she took some of the skin on his belly into her teeth and bit down on it hard, making it very clear what she planned to do to him next. She soothed the bite with a long lick of her tongue and then continued down his body until she reached the top of his pants. With his eagerness to help, they pushed the fabric down his legs.

His eyes were still closed from the biting sensations as she gave the very tip of him a delicate kiss. Jamie felt her breath on him as she moved her head down to the base of his cock. The next thing he felt was the tip of her tongue connect with the very bottom of the underside of his member and then shivered as it traced a line all the way to the top. He let out a long and shaky breath.

Next, the only thing he felt was her fingers running up to his hip bones and then down and across his thighs.

“Jamie…” Claire began but Jamie could only breathe in response.  

“Jamie,” She said again, her voice dripping with sweetness, “I want you to watch me take you.”

He felt her words as puffs of breath on his cock. It took him a moment to even process what she said but when he did, he opened his eyes to look down his body at her. Her eyes were hooded and dark, her curls were mussed from his hands. She looked like a wild temptress and Jamie could feel his chest constrict at the sight of her. But the sight he encountered next made him lose his breath entirely.

Connecting with his eyes, she opened her mouth and wrapped her lips around the head of his penis. At the first moment of contact, Jamie’s eyes snapped shut as he moaned in pleasure.

As soon as his eyes closed, she left her mouth where it was but dug her nails into his legs to remind him that he was supposed to be watching. He got the message and forced his eyes back open.

Satisfied with his eyes on hers again, she loosened her hold on his thighs and then lowered her lips to take him in more. Every inch she took of him in her mouth, Jamie’s eyes threatened to close again but he kept them open in order to watch his cock disappear between his wife’s lips.

Their eyes stayed locked on each other the whole time but when she finally had him all in her mouth, she closed her eyes and moaned around him to vocalize her pleasure. Her moan vibrated around his cock which made his eyes snap closed and moan in response.

She took a few breaths in and out through her nose and then gave him one long suck just to revel in how his cock felt all the way in her mouth. Jamie quickly removed his shirt the rest of the way off and then moved one of his hands to lock into her curls and the other went to rest on her shoulder.  

Moving her head up and down now, she moved one hand from his hip and down underneath to play with his balls. She continued her movements like that until Jamie let out a cry of pleasure. Then she raised her head up until just the head of his cock remained in her mouth. She ran her tongue around the tip in circles and felt Jamie’s hand tighten in her hair as he grunted.

Her hair had fallen madly in all directions and some of it fell over the top of her head so that when Jamie looked down, all he could see was her dark curls. He took his hand off her shoulder and used it to push her hair back just in time to see her take him all the way back into her mouth once again.

They both moaned at how his cock felt as it filled her mouth completely and she began to suck greedily on him. With Claire bobbing up and down now, Jamie felt his pleasure rocketing through his body.

“Ach, Sassenach.” He managed to breath out before demanding, “Get up so I can finish inside ye.”

Instead of doing that, Claire did the opposite. She dug her nails into his thighs tighter and sucked even harder. Jamie groaned in response, quickly losing control.

“Claire, I mean it. I canna last.” He gripped her hair as tight as he dared, not wanting to hurt her. But she seemed to not be listening, or simply did not care.

Her up and down pace only got faster and while she had been laying flat on her stomach, she now moved up onto all fours, with her hands still clutching his thighs.

Feeling her shifting, Jamie looked down at her and when he saw her ass suddenly up in the air, he lost all control and cried out as his climax hit him full force.

“O dhia!” He called out and his hips pumped up aggressively into her mouth as he reached his peak.

She didn’t seem to mind the sporadic movements of his hips as she gripped him as tight as she could and locked her lips around him as his seed shot up into her mouth at an alarming speed. She swallowed it all eagerly and waited for the second load which came almost immediately after the first. Claire felt it go down her throat and then did her best to continue sucking him through his post-climax spasms as smaller amounts of seed continued to release into her mouth.

Finally, she removed her lips from around him and spent a few moments licking him completely clean. Jamie, still breathing heavily, released his grasp on her hair as well. After making sure she had gotten it all, she gave the tip a gentle kiss as it finally softened and fell back down between his legs.

Claire made her way back up his body, leaving soft kisses on her way. She let her body rest on top of his and placed her ear to listen to his heart as it worked his way back into regular rhythm. He placed a hand on her back to hold her close.

“Feeling better, yet?” She said flirtatiously as she snuggled her face into his neck.

Jamie breathed out a laugh, “Aye, I should say so.”

“Thank you for my gift.” Claire said as her hand drew patterns across his large chest, occasionally playing with the hairs there.

“Och, it was my pleasure, Sassenach.” Jamie smiled devilishly but Claire laughed at his reply.

She smiled as she hid her blush in his neck, “I was talking about the cat.”

“Oh so now yer saying that a wee cheetie is better than me giving myself to you?” Jamie asked in mock innocence.

She chuckled, “Oh so that was all for me, was it?”

He widened his eyes as he looked down at her, “Aye. I was minding my own business when you decided ye just had to have my cock in yer mouth.”

She laughed out loud and slapped his chest playfully.

Jamie chuckled along with her and kissed her forehead before tucking her head back into his neck. He felt miles better after expressing his discomforts to his wife and she felt better just knowing that he felt better, and they both drifted into a most satisfying night of sleep.

Chapter Text

“Happy… Birthday… to youuu…”

Jamie bit his lip as his wife began to ride his cock. He let his hands run over her smooth back and he opened his eyes to look up at her. He let out a deep breath at the vision he saw…

Claire: her hair falling down around her face, her brow creased in concentration, her sweet pink lips parted just a bit, and her chest hovering above his just enough so that her nipples tickled the hair on his chest.

A deep breath escaped his lips as she lifted herself almost all the way off of him and then pushed back down again. As she worked on establishing a painfully slow rhythm, he gripped her tightly and raised his back to pull himself closer into her so he could kiss her. She met his lips eagerly and they kissed as their hips pushed into each other.

Claire could tell that Jamie was getting more desperate for a faster pace and before he could gain too much control, she pressed her hands to his shoulders and pushed her weight into him until he lay flat on his back again. Being on top gave her enough leverage to set the pace and she kept it slow and steady.

Her hands on his chest, she ground her hips in a figure eight motion in a long drawn out manner. Jamie stifled a moan and tried to thrust up into her to increase the speed. She moved up into the air to keep his hips from properly connecting with hers and repeated her tortuously slow figure-eight.

Jamie’s hips flopped back down and he groaned, “Are ye tryin’ to kill me, woman?” She giggled and bit her bottom lip as she repeated her motion once again even more slowly.

“Torturing a man on today of all days, Sassenach…” He gasped out as she gave a particularly deep grind.

She halted her movements and tilted her head to look up, as if in thought, “Well I was thinking about it, yes.” She smiled as she looked back down at him, “But then again, I guess we are celebrating your birthday…” She leaned her upper body down to rest against his chest until her lips brushed his.

“Colonel’s choice?” She raised a flirtatious eyebrow before kissing him solidly on the mouth. He hummed in obvious agreement.

She sat back up again, “Well then, how would you like me, darling?” She fluttered her eyelashes a few times in a gesture that was anything but innocent since she also rotated her hips into him at the same time.

“Ach,” Jamie groaned and pushed himself up into her with as much force as he could. “Part of me doesna want to let ye off me for a second…” He punctuated his point by grabbing her hips and thrusting into her again. She moaned in response.

“But…I think I’d like to get a better view of that sweet, round, arse of yours.” Jamie reached around her hips to slip under her shift that was pooled at her waist. He grasped her by the two cheeks in which he was just referring. He lifted up until she rose off of him enough that his cock slipped out from inside her.

She smiled, not at all surprised at his choice, and rolled off of him with ease. After pushing her shift down from her waist until it was completely off, she positioned her body up on all fours with Jamie directly behind her.

She looked over her shoulder at him with big innocent eyes and asked, “How’s the view now?” She shook her ass playfully in his direction. He gave her a look that could only be described as a lion closing in on his prey after days without a meal.

Claire had a brief moment to laugh before Jamie was upon her. He grasped her ass with both hands, his fingers spread across her entire backside. He squeezed her buttocks enthusiastically, digging his fingers into the flesh and spreading her open. Jamie leaned down and bit into her left ass cheek and she squealed in delight. Jamie then turned and did the same thing into her right side, biting a little more firmly. Claire moaned from the back of her throat that time. Then, he took a moment to lick a line from where the bottom of her ass connected to her thigh all the way up to her lower back before beginning to fondle the area with his hands again.

She sighed as he continued to caress her soft buttocks with a combination of rough and gentle squeezes. A light breeze made its way through the tent and she felt a soft rush of air blow against every part of her. She shivered and leaned further backwards into Jamie’s roaming hands.

“Jamie…” She rocked her hips back to show that she was desperate for more.

He gave her instant relief by pushing up against her until his cock rubbed against her opening. Jamie took his time in allowing that part of him to graze across her back and forth as he allowed his hands to finish their exploration of her ass. She let out a small noise that was a cross between a moan and a whimper.

Jamie closed his eyes for a second to savor the sound she made before lining himself up and then sliding half of his length into her easily.

Claire let out a large breath while Jamie groaned as he pushed forward until he was all the way inside of her. He gripped her hip bones tightly. He knew that this position filled Claire so deeply that he waited a moment to make sure she had enough time to adjust to him properly.

“You ready, mo nighean donn?” He asked after spending his short break staring at the place where his cock disappeared below her ass.

God, yes.” She had barely finished answering him before he pulled out of her completely and then drove back into her. Claire cried out and gripped the sheets into her fists.

Jamie instantly began a harsh rhythm of thrusting and gripped her hips tighter to keep her body from falling from the aggressive assault that his hips were inflicting upon her. Her mouth was closed and she hummed in the back of her throat as her head fell forward towards the ground.

After a round of intensely deep thrusts, Jamie slowed his pace just enough to loosen his grip on her. He let one hand wander up her spine until it reached her neck. Jamie allowed his grip to find the spot where her neck met her shoulder and held onto her there.

With his new point of leverage, he began to push into her with renewed speed while she moaned at how far his cock was reaching inside of her. The sounds of their bodies slapping together made Claire groan.

Meanwhile, he was barely maintaining his breath as he focused on how soft and smooth she felt around his lower extremity. He grunted in time with five sharp thrusts in a row. By the third thrust, Claire had joined him in moaning out loud.

He moved his hand from its spot on her shoulder and pushed it into her hair. He grabbed a hold of her curls and pulled back on them until she raised her head from where it was hanging between her arms.

The sharp tug of her hair at her scalp instantly sent Claire into a climax that surprised her in its rapidness and she gasped several breaths. She felt her arms and legs trembling as the sparks of pleasure shot through her body in all directions.

Jamie could have happily died right there as he felt her orgasm clenching her internal muscles around his cock. But he also saw how hard her body was shaking and knew that she wouldn’t be able to stay up on all fours much longer. He had learned from experience that if her peak was intense enough, her muscles became practically useless.

In the span of what felt like a single second, he pulled out of her completely, pushed her over on to her back, spread her legs and entered her once again. Claire, still in her climax, groaned deeply at how this new angle extended her pleasure and she wrapped both arms around Jamie’s neck.

Jamie was now chasing his own release and he grabbed the underside of one knee and bent her leg up until it was even in line with her breast. She gasped at the painfully delicious stretch and wrapped her other leg around his calf. Jamie grunted twice as they both adjusted to the new position.

Claire’s own release had only just begun to subside when he gave a particularly deep thrust that set off another round of electric currents through her body. She could barely feel the straining muscles in her thigh that he held up as the new shocks of pleasure overtook her body so closely after her first climax had ended. She was panting to try and find breath and clawing at his shoulders and back with her nails.

Jamie repeated the exact thrust three times in a row, grunting with the strain of it, and Claire’s second climax hit its peak and one of her nails dug a little too sharply into his bicep and he yelled out. Claire put the hand around the back of his neck and brought his face down to hers so she could apologize by kissing him. They kissed hotly for a few moments before releasing to try and suck air into their lungs.

She shuddered softly into his mouth as her peak once again began to decline. Her muscles inside trembled around Jamie’s cock and he shuddered in response, breaking his steady rhythm. He looked down to see Claire’s mouth frozen open as she continued to shudder softly underneath him. She looked so beautiful that Jamie stopped his thrusts completely, once again depriving himself of finishing, so that he could reach a hand to her face. He ran his fingers gently across the side of her face, starting at her temple and slowly gliding down her cheek and finally resting on her lips. He pressed his first three fingers against her lips, light as a feather. He could feel her breath coming out of her mouth and it tickled his palm.

Jamie allowed his fingers to move down to her chin and then to linger down the front of her neck. Claire’s aftershocks were almost done but she continued to use her leg around his hip to press him into her, not wanting to release him.

He paused, feeling her insides as they continued to tremble. His eyes closed sharply at the sensation and all he wanted to do was start slamming into her aggressively but he wanted to give her a moment of rest after two orgasms. Jamie took several deep breaths in order to calm himself down. He finally released her leg and it automatically wrapped itself around his hip weightlessly. She sighed at the release of tension in those muscles.

After a few moments of quiet, Jamie looked down to meet Claire’s eyes in question. She met his gaze and nodded to indicate that he could begin again.

Despite her assurance, Jamie began very slowly, knowing that her muscles would be extra sensitive after so much stimulation. As he established a very gradual pace, he moved a thumb down between them to rub her gently where she gets the most pleasure. Claire’s light moan accompanied a small smile at the satisfying feeling.

He knew he was well on his way to his peak but he preferred to climax with Claire so he added more pressure with his thumb and bent his head down to lock his lips around one of Claire’s nipples. Every one of her nerves was heightened exponentially from already experiencing two orgasms, and as soon as Jamie was done sucking generously on one nipple, he moved to the other and bit down…hard. She cried out as she once again began to feel the warmth spreading from between her legs and up her abdomen.

“Ahh….yes, yes, yes.” She chanted in a small whisper to herself as she placed a hand on his backside to lead him into her, to show him that he could pick up his pace again.

He immediately began to push in and out at a faster rate. They were both gone to the point where they were rapidly on their way to trying to climax together, at last.  

“Uh…Colonel?”

Jamie and Claire both tensed immediately, eyes frantically widening as a voice called from just outside the front of the tent.

“Jamie…?” Roger called out nervously. His tone was almost always nervous when speaking to his father-in-law. “Ah, you, uh—you told me to find you when the rest of the men arrived.”

Claire looked to see Jamie looking down at her intensely. His eyes held desperation behind them as he stared down at her, pleading. She knew. Jamie had held off for far too long already, there was no way he could stop now without seriously painful consequences.

Jamie grunted, “Aye, alright!” He pressed his face down into Claire’s, both of them holding tightly to each other in frustration. There was a pause and Jamie thrust into Claire again, thinking that Roger had left.

“Okay…uh, well…do you want me to gather everyone so you can address the troops?”

Jamie exhaled a noise somewhere between a moan and a sigh. He sucked in a large breath while deep in Claire’s neck before raising his head again.

He managed to bring himself to just using short, small thrusts. This enabled him to continue while being reeled in enough to maintain some level of decorum in his voice.

“Later, Roger Mac!” He called out as normally as he could muster.

Unlike Jamie, Claire’s pleasure was intensifying with his shorter thrusts and she tightened her legs around his waist and moaned.

Jamie looked down at her, “Quiet, Sassenach!”

Roger’s voice came through the tent again, “What was that?”

Jamie grunted again at the feeling of Claire’s impending climax and called back more aggressively, “I said, ‘Later, Roger Mac!’”

He, himself, was about to hit the point of no return, especially with Claire rolling her body up into his as her pleasure increased. She was biting her bottom lip and her eyes were shut tightly.

Once again, Roger’s voice cut through the thin fabric of their shelter, “You mean you’ll address the men later or you and I will talk later?”

Jamie’s entire body was tense to the point of exploding. He looked down at Claire who opened her eyes and could tell he was thinking he would have to stop and go speak with Roger, otherwise he would not go away.

Claire absolutely did not approve of this plan. She shook her head emphatically and reached a hand straight up and gripped Jamie’s throat threateningly. Her eyes blazed as she whispered, “Don’t you dare even think about stopping now, James Fraser…or I will kill you.”

She closed her hand tightly around his neck just to emphasize how serious she was. Jamie’s groan echoed in the back of his throat as his body reacted naturally to her possessiveness by rearing back and slamming himself back into her completely.

Claire couldn’t help but let a groan escape her lips and tried to silence it in Jamie’s shoulder but then she got an idea. Jamie needed to get his well-deserved release and she needed to get Roger to leave, even if it meant revealing what they were doing.

She pulled her head back again but still kept her vice grip around the front of Jamie’s neck.

“Roger,” Claire’s voice rang out, dripping with venom.

“Oh, uh, good morning Claire—" Roger started to address her but stopped mid-sentence when Claire moaned deeply.

She could see and feel Jamie’s entire body flexing and tensing so tightly that she thought he might actually hurt himself.

Go away, Roger! Now!” She called to Roger and then she rolled her hips up into Jamie to encourage him to thrust deeper and he did. She moaned even louder to hammer the point into Roger’s head and Jamie gave a strangled grunt with Claire’s hand still wrapped tightly around his neck.  

Noises that sounded a lot like stuttering came from outside the tent before they heard Roger squeak, “OH God—Uh, I’m…I’m sorry.” He sputtered nonsensically and then there was silence outside the tent once again as Roger was surely running away as fast as he possibly could.

Sure that they were alone again, Claire released Jamie’s throat and he pounded fiercely into her three times before crying out and releasing himself into her in powerful spurts. As a result, his pubic bone brushed against Claire’s and her peak hit for the third time. Her body was so overstimulated that all she could do was drop her hands and dig the heels of her palms in the ground on either side of her as her hips pumped up into his on their own. She pressed her head back into the pillow and gasped desperately for breath.

Lost in his own long-awaited climax, Jamie’s hips ground into hers sporadically and one of his arms lost its balance so he pressed his face into her neck as he let out an extended groan.

Both of their bodies shook as sparks of pleasure rippled through them from head to toe. Claire’s thighs had been overtaken by spasms to the point where they were locked tightly around Jamie, keeping him in place. But after a moment, her peak had subsided enough that her muscles unclenched and her entire body fell limp with Jamie’s cock slipping out of her.

He took a few more deep breaths and then collapsed just far enough to the side so that he wouldn’t completely crush her with his weight. He could feel Claire’s wilted body still rippling with spasms as she continuously took air into her lungs. Her breaths were shaky and different parts of her kept tensing aggressively when pleasure would hit that spot.

He understood how much of a pounding her body had just undertaken and was honestly surprised she wasn’t completely passed out. Jamie looked down to see another spasm involuntarily force her thighs together and she whimpered, overwhelmed at the intensity.

Feeling boneless himself, he rallied his remaining energy to lay a hand on her stomach. He gently rubbed her skin in continuous circles as he worked his hand down her body. Her legs allowed him just enough room to squeeze his hand down her mound and in between her legs. He cupped her as gently as possible and simply rested his fingers on her most sensitive spots. Jamie moved his hand up and down very slowly to give her the relief she needed so desperately.

She hummed in utter delight and rolled her hips one final time before finally being able to take a deep breath and relax once again as Jamie’s soft attentions released the last of the trembles from her center. Her body halted all movements as the last spasm rippled away and the only thing left moving was her chest rising and falling.

Jamie moved his hand to rest across her body and he leaned in to kiss the tip of her nose before allowing his face to fall into the curve of her neck. They both lay still, simply breathing each other in and letting their bodies rest.

Still breathless, Claire croaked, “Jesus H. Christ, Jamie…” He tightened his hold around her body, pulling himself in closer to her.

“I thought we were supposed to be celebrating your birthday.” She said in amusement.

He chuckled lightly into her neck, “Trust me, mo ghraidh, seeing you get so much pleasure is a gift for me as much as for you.”

He stuck the tip of his tongue out to taste a drip of sweat that was running down her neck.

She smiled, her heart filling with affection for this man. Claire turned her body so they were now face to face. She lifted a hand to his cheek and grazed his stubble, “Every time I think I cannot possibly love you more than I do, you say something like that." She gave him a sweet kiss. "Happy Birthday.” She gave him another kiss and then smiled.

He looked at her with hooded eyes, “Mmmm. And I still love you more every day, mo nighean donn.” He gave her fingers a peck as they continued their exploration across his face.

Claire watched her fingers as they caressed him and Jamie watched Claire. After a moment, she looked up to meet his eyes again.

“Are you scared?” She whispered so quietly that her voice could have been mistaken for the wind.

“For myself, ye mean? Or for Murtagh?” He whispered back to her. Her eyes answered him: both.

He nodded slightly, “Aye. I am.” He rested his own hand on her cheek as he let out a sigh.

Claire’s hand, done exploring his face, now floated down to rest on his chest. “You probably need to go and talk to the men…” she said with more than a hint of disappointment in her voice.

Jamie paused for the briefest of seconds to consider her words and then he threw his heavy thigh over hers, essentially locking their bodies together.

Pulling her into his chest, he spoke decidedly, “Aye. They can wait longer still. I dinna want to leave ye just yet.”

She wrapped her arms under his and let them rest on his shoulder blades as she pressed her face into his chest. She laid a single kiss there before closing her eyes to savor being in his arms.

They listened to the sounds in the distance, evidence of the men that had just arrived. Later, they would have to get up and get back to work and it would be days before Roger could look either of them in the eye. But for now, they sighed at being safe in each other’s arms.

 

Chapter Text

Claire was expecting that Jamie would need some time to himself. She, herself, had been standing above Murtagh’s lifeless body for at least half an hour. Her hand rested against his temple, his cheek, and finally his chest while she allowed tears to fall continuously down her face. Murtagh had been a friend-a very good friend-to her and losing him felt like losing a small part of her heart. Even so, she knew that Jamie would be even more destroyed by this loss.

Finally able to pull herself away, unable to look at his pale face any longer, Claire stepped outside of the medical tent. She searched briefly for any sign of Jamie. Presumably, he had gone off somewhere to be alone, but if he was still nearby, she wanted to make sure she was there for him to come to if he needed. She didn’t spot him but did see a flash of red hair coming through the camp towards her.

“I can’t find Roger!” Bree said as she rushed up to Claire. The fear flashed in her eyes and Claire instantly put this new problem to the front of her mind. She nodded and gave Bree’s arm a squeeze and then they were off to look for Roger.


That night in their tent, Claire and Jamie were quiet as they did their separate nightly routines. Claire brushed through her hair, sighing at the exhaustion she felt after tending to Roger for the better part of the night. Jamie moved slowly, putting away his dirk and removing his clothes, equally as tired from the days’ many emotional events.

Finally, they both climbed into their makeshift bed. Jamie left the top half of his body uncovered, far too hot to be under the bedclothes.

He lay on his back and she rolled onto her side to face him. Claire placed a hand on his chest and looked to him with questioning eyes. This was the first time they had been alone since Murtagh’s death and she wanted to give Jamie the reigns on how he wanted to process it.

Jamie stayed silent for a long time-just breathing deeply and staring at the ceiling of the tent. She ran her fingers through the tiny hairs of his chest, hoping to offer some kind of comfort. She knew he would talk when he was ready.

But he didn’t talk. He rolled over on to his side, facing away from her. Claire felt a sharp sting in the deep corners of her chest and her stomach pulled tightly into itself. Her husband never pulled away from her. This was bad.

Her hand that was previously on his chest had slid when he rolled so that it was now resting against his side. Feeling confused and hurt, she began to pull it away.

To her surprise, he grabbed the hand before it could leave his body and he brought it around and pressed it into the skin above his heart. He held it firmly in place with his own hand on top of hers and she sighed in relief. He may have pulled away from her but he was acknowledging that he did still need her.

Claire scooted her body forward until she could press into his back. She placed a single kiss in between his shoulder blades and then closed her eyes. She felt equal parts grateful that he was allowing her so close and worried that he was so distant. Claire drifted to sleep hoping that things would be better tomorrow.

In the morning, however, she woke to find him on his back staring at the ceiling again. One look at the lines under his eyes and she knew he had not slept at all.

She placed a hand to his cheek but he shifted to sit up, “There’s work to be done.” He said without feeling.

“Jamie…” Claire began, concern and worry evident in the cadence of her voice but he continued to get up and start getting ready for the day.

“The sooner we can leave, the sooner we can return to the ridge.” He said with a finality to his words. Claire sat silently while he quickly dressed and left the tent. He never left her in the morning without a kiss to her forehead, or nose, or lips. Today, he barely looked back at her as he left.

She tried not to take his distance personally. She knew that he was in an unimaginable amount of pain and wanted to support his grief, no matter how he chose to express it. But she had not been expecting this. She expected him to pull her in closer, not push her away. This reaction worried her.

After a moment, she pulled herself up as well. Perhaps Jamie had a point. As soon as they finished what needed to be done, they could go back home. Jamie probably knew he couldn’t afford to fall apart right now. The men needed him. Brianna needed him while Roger was in such a precarious state. Hell, I need him, too, Claire thought to herself, allowing a brief moment to feel sorry for herself.

She almost teared up but thinking of Roger reminded her that people needed her as well. She got dressed and went on her way.

Once again, she barely saw Jamie throughout the day. Brief sightings of him showed that he was intent on focusing only on the work to be done. While getting water, Claire saw him with a group of men down the river, watering the horses. He didn’t see her but she watched him for a while and he seemed stiff but normal. Later in the day, she saw him helping to load Murtagh’s covered body into a wagon to be taken back with them to the ridge. She saw him linger by the wagon for ten minutes before straightening his shoulders and returning to work.

The men gathered around lunchtime and Claire watched them coming in, casually searching the groups for Jamie. She didn’t think he would want to be in the group with everyone else and when she didn’t see his red hair, she went back to helping serve lunch and then to go check on Roger.

A little while later, Jamie slid into Bree and Roger’s tent where Claire was currently sitting with Bree while Roger slept. He stayed close to the entrance of the tent, only looking over at them briefly before standing awkwardly by the door.

Claire gave Bree’s arm a small squeeze and then got up to go over to Jamie. Unsure what mood he was in, she laid her hand gently on his arm.

“How is he?” Jamie asked quickly, clearly feeling it was only proper to ask about the injured person in the room before talking about yourself.

Claire looked over her shoulder to Roger’s sleeping form, “Alright…he’s alive.” She said without thinking and then realized that she had just pointed out the fact that while one person in their life was alive, there was another person that was not.

She looked back to him sharply, not sure what his reaction would be. The tiny muscles in his face twitched briefly before he took a deep breath and nodded quickly. Then he was quiet again.

“Have you eaten?” Claire asked and he shook his head.

“Come on, you need to eat.” She tugged on his arm to try and get him to leave the tent with her but instead he wrapped his arms around her waist and pushed his face into her neck quite suddenly. He didn’t say or do anything, just breathed her scent into his lungs and Claire wrapped her arms gently around his back.

Claire looked over to where Bree was sitting by Roger’s cot and made eye contact with her daughter. Claire used one finger to point outside and tilted her head in a gesture to let Bree know that she was going to go with Jamie. A look of sad understanding crossed Bree’s face as she saw her mother holding her father and she nodded.

Kissing his hairline, Claire whispered gently to Jamie, “Let’s go.” He allowed her to break their hug and take him by the hand and out of the tent.

They walked hand in hand towards the main campsite where some of the women were serving out food to the men. As they approached, Jamie’s footsteps fell heavy and he slowed almost to a stop. Claire turned to him.

“I dinna think…I canna…” Claire could see Jamie looking at the crowd of people gathered around and understood.

She squeezed his hand and nodded, “We could…” She jutted her chin in the direction of the opening in the woods that led down to the river. He nodded in agreement of her unfinished suggestion and brought her hand to his mouth to kiss her knuckles in thanks before releasing her hand to make his way into the woods. Claire watched him walk away for a moment before turning back to the main campfire.

She grabbed a cloth and filled it with some bannocks, cheese, and dried meat before making her way in the direction Jamie had gone. She found him sitting on a rock by the water.

Claire handed him the food, watching his face carefully, but she didn’t speak.

“Thank ye, Sassenach.” He took the food from her gratefully. “I just—” He tried to speak but couldn’t find the words and waved his hand haphazardly in the direction of the camp.

She gave him a small smile, “I know.”

They sat on the rock and Claire gave Jamie a more thorough update on Roger’s condition and he spoke briefly about the things still needed to be done around camp before they could go home.

Finishing his food, he said, “We’ll leave in the morning if ye think Roger Mac will be well enough.”

Claire nodded, “Yes, I think so.” He nodded in response and then got up to make his way back.


When he finally came to her that night, she had fallen asleep trying to wait up for him. She woke to a gentle fluttering on her face.

Bloody flies, she thought to herself. However, when she opened her eyes, she saw Jamie’s bright blue ones staring back at her. He was touching the tips of his fingers to her face so lightly that it almost tickled.

“I’m sorry, Sassenach.” He said, looking at her with concern in his eyes.

It was then that Claire realized her face was slightly damp from dried tears. She had cried herself to sleep and it was obvious that Jamie could tell. He stroked her face, running his fingers along the tear-streaked lines that were faded but still present on her cheeks.

“Sorry for what?” She asked, her voice low and crackled with sleep.

He breathed in and then said, “I’ve been so busy with my own grief, I didna even think o’ yers.”

To emphasize his remorse, he stretched his fingers out and put his hand so that it cupped her face more fully. He continued to look at her with sorrow behind his eyes.

She reached up to place a hand on top of his that framed her face with care, “It’s alright, Jamie.” He started to open his mouth to argue but she moved her hand and placed it half over his mouth and half on his cheek, “No, really. I understand.”

He sighed and then spoke, her fingers still over his lips, “I shoulda come to ye, mo chridhe. We could have shared our grief. I was being selfish—”

“Shhhh.” She pressed her fingers into his lips with more force and shook her head. Despite the reassurance in her eyes, Jamie shook his head as well.

“No, Sassenach.” He spoke with such vigor that Claire allowed her fingers to move from in front of his mouth and rest her hand all the way on his cheek. Encouraging him to go on but also reminding him that she was there.

“With everything that followed…getting away from Tyron…what happened to Roger Mac…I feel like I’ve barely had a moment to think about it. Much less had time to speak wit’ you about it.”

She nodded in agreement, “I know. It’s been a crazy couple of days.” She stroked her thumb along his slightly overgrown stubble, evidence of how busy the days had been.

“I feel like…it hadna really hit me before but...he is gone. He is gone, Claire.” Jamie’s voice cracked on her name and his tone grew more intense as he spoke that by the time he was done, he was practically shaking.

Claire’s eyes widened with worry as she watched him become more and more upset. She felt herself beginning to feel emotional as well. There were no proper words to comfort him so she went with the truth because that was what she had always promised to give him.

“Yes,” she said, her voice cracking just the same as his, “he is gone.”

“He promised. He PROMISED he wouldna leave me, mo nighean donn…he…he promised.” Jamie began speaking with the same intensity as before but by the time he made it to the end of the sentence, his voice croaked out the words in a strained whisper and then he was overtaken by a heart-wrenching sob.

He burst into tears and Claire felt her heart breaking for him. He curled his shoulders inward as tears fell freely down his face nonstop. His forehead was wrinkled in anguish and his eyes were shut tightly as if he could keep reality out of his head as long as he couldn’t see it.

She grabbed a hold of the other side of his face and momentarily felt utterly helpless as she watched her husband’s precious face be taken over with unmitigated pain.

Claire let the moment linger for a second before pushing her face closer to his and began showering him with kisses. She placed a kiss on both cheeks and then his nose. One on each of his closed eyelids and one on each eyebrow. She couldn’t quite reach his forehead from where she was so she pressed one as high up on his nose as possible, right in between his eyebrows. Claire made her way back down his face with more kisses to his cheeks as he continued to cry.

Jamie had been having involuntary convulses as each sob worked its way up his body but they were now starting to slowly cease even as the tears still ran hotly down his face.

As his sobs calmed, she continued her caresses as they seemed to be working. She kissed his chin and then all the way up his jawbone until she was able to give him a kiss to the bottom of his ear. She repeated this line of kisses back down to his chin and then started to make her way up the other side. Claire felt him breathe in a long shaky breath trying to relax as more tears still made their way down his face.

She pulled back to look at his face for a moment before moving back in to stick out her tongue and very softly catch new tears as they rolled down his cheek. Jamie sniffled as his body finally seemed to relax all the way.

Claire continued her work by placing even more kisses on various parts of his face.

“It’s alright…it’s okay…I know…I know.” She spoke to him after each kiss, repeating different phrases of comfort.

Placing a kiss to the corner of his mouth, she tasted the salt from a tear that had been caught in his lips there. She opened her mouth the tiniest bit and placed another kiss in the same spot.

Jamie’s lips responded to hers automatically, pursing up just a bit when he felt her lips on his mouth. She placed another kiss on the opposite corner of his mouth and he wet his lips.

Wetting his lips was an instinctual response for him but she took it as a green light for more so her next kiss she aligned her lips directly with his and pressed into him hard. He met her with the same intensity, pushing their lips together as tightly as he could.

Immediately, Claire felt herself being rolled onto her back and she felt the familiar weight of Jamie’s body leaning into hers from above. He was pressing into her with such urgency that she wrapped her arms around his shoulders and kissed him back with the same passion.

Everything became more intense as they realized how much they both needed this. They needed to drown their grief in each other’s mouths. They needed to press their sadness into each other’s bodies. So that is exactly what they did.

Jamie’s tongue pushed against her lips, desperately seeking entrance to her warm and comforting mouth. She eagerly granted his request and soon they were using their tongues to try and get impossibly closer to one another. Jamie’s tongue stretched so far into her, she swore she could feel it wiggling in the very back of her mouth as it explored. She was losing her breath from the intensity he was pouring into her but ignored it and used her tongue to massage his in a comforting gesture. It seemed to work because his tongue calmed its ministrations and pulled back to focus on battling with hers more gently now.

They both moaned into each other as the kiss grew deeper and deeper. At the same time, they released each other, took a large breath in, tilted their heads the opposite directions, and then locked their lips once again. Tongues meeting instantly this time, Claire caught a hold of Jamie’s tongue with her teeth and bit down on it gently and he moaned. Not satisfied with that response, she captured it once again and bit down more harshly this time. He grunted and tried to tug his tongue out of her teeth’s grip but she only held it tighter.

Indulging herself a moment longer, she then released his tongue only to lock her lips around it and immediately began to suck on it generously. Jamie literally purred in response and Claire felt an intense heat pool in her lower belly at the sound. Hearing that rare sound from him made her smile and release his tongue. Free at last, his tongue once again began probing around the inside of her mouth. He ran his tongue across hers before pushing it up to flick against the roof of her mouth. She surprised them both by giggling in response and then it was his turn to smile.

While their tongues continued to explore, their hands were doing the same to the outside of their bodies. Jamie’s hands had begun on her waist and were soon running up and down her sides and squeezing her every few seconds. As for Claire, while one hand pulled his face closer to hers on his cheek, the other hand was planted firmly in the hair above the back of his neck.

Jamie broke their kiss to take a much-needed breath but kept his mouth close to Claire’s. She let out a breath that could also have been described as a whimper at the loss of his lips. They locked eyes and Claire could see that while no tears were falling anymore, his eyes still glistened with moisture as if there could be another flow of emotions any moment.

She grabbed his head and pulled him back down to her and kissed him with fervor. She did her best to pour all of her own strength into Jamie’s mouth in the hopes that it would fill him and make him feel whole again.

He met her with equal ferocity and practically gulped the breath from her body into his own lungs. He recognized what she was trying to do and he accepted her offering with great willingness. Jamie reached a hand up into her curls and grasped her tightly. With a high level of desperation, he pulled her towards him even though their faces couldn’t possibly get any closer than they already were.

Claire shifted her hips underneath his, one of the many things she did when she wanted to give him the message that she was ready for the next step.

Jamie, however, seemed to ignore her wiggling hips and simply continued to kiss her with passion. They broke apart to breath again, but Jamie immediately pressed their lips back together after Claire had barely taken a breath. It seemed that Jamie was actually getting his breath from Claire but she didn’t seem to mind. She knew what it was like to physically need Jamie in order to breathe.

He clung to her neck and took her bottom lip between his own and sucked long and hard. Claire wanted to let him nibble on her plump bottom lip for as long as he wanted but she did open her mouth so she could fill her lungs properly for the first time since they began. He did, in fact, take his time in alternating between biting and sucking on it.

After Claire had sucked in enough breath that she no longer felt light-headed, she closed her mouth so that their lips would be connected fully again. To repay him for all of his nibbles, she bit down onto his lip in revenge. He groaned and finally released her lips from their imprisonment between his own.

Jamie placed a few kisses on her neck before pushing his face further down her body. He seemed to forget she was wearing a shift because instead of his mouth meeting her flesh like he wanted, his mouth settled onto fabric. Upset at this discovery, he quickly reached both hands to the neckline and pulled it down so harshly that it ripped open. At the sound of the fabric ripping and the feeling of Jamie’s aggressive desperation for her, Claire felt a sharp pulse in between her legs followed by a deep heat that spread up into her belly.

Pleased with how this strategy made his destination arrive so much faster, he immediately set his mouth to hover above one of her nipples. He watched as it rose and pebbled beneath his breath and he traced a circle around it with his tongue to watch it harden to a perfectly pointed peak. Claire let out a sigh as he finally closed his lips on to the nipple in question and began to suck and nibble on it, just as he did with her lip only moments ago. Claire quickly removed her arms from what was left of the shift and placed a hand on the top of his head to hold him there. Then she used her other hand to trace the muscles on his bicep as it bulged while it held his body above hers. Jamie’s hands began different paths as well. One hand squeezed underneath her back to push her torso up until her breast was pressed into his face even more. His other hand untangled itself from her curls and found a new home squeezing her other breast.

One of Jamie’s bites on her nipple was a little harsher than the others and Claire gasped at the surprising force and felt the breath rush from her. His mouth left her nipple with one more flick of the tongue and started to make its way across her chest and she prepared to feel his lips close around her other breast.

Instead, he lifted his head quite suddenly and stared down at her. He watched her chest, flushed with pink heat, rise and fall rapidly as she tried to normalize her breathing. He looked up and saw that her eyes were locked with his, dark and full of desire. Her lips were full and plumped from his aggressive attentions earlier. They looked wet and delicious and begging to be kissed again, so he did.

Jamie leaned down and this time he gave her a gentle kiss. Locking their lips together softly, he pressed into her mouth and kissed her with as much feeling as he could. She grabbed him by both of his cheeks and pulled him into her, savoring the taste of him. Things slowed down immensely after that.

He used gentle hands to run down her body and pushed the rest of her shift off of her hips where it had settled. He moved to bring the fabric all the way down her legs and then threw it behind him. She pulled her knees up to help him remove the shift and after it was gone, she spread her legs.

“Come here, soldier.” She whispered as she reached a hand out to him to welcome him into her open legs. He responded by grabbing her hand and locking their fingers together and shuffling up to line himself up between her thighs. Pressing their combined hands to his chest, he remained on his knees as he used his free hand to pull up on her hip and he slowly pushed in to her.

They both closed their eyes and sighed simultaneously as his length stretched and filled her. She squeezed his hand tightly as he continued pushing in until he was completely inside of her. Once he was in all the way, she sighed again at how the feeling of taking him all in made her entire being feel full. Her heart and soul never felt as complete as they did when he was inside her. Thinking about this made a tear fall from the corner of her eye.

Jamie always liked to watch Claire’s face when he entered her because he always felt a swell of pride and joy when seeing exactly how he makes her feel. Because of this habit, he saw the tear escape from her eye and he released her hip and leaned his body over hers so he could get closer to her face.

“Mo nighean donn…?” He whispered in concern. Their hands were still connected and now they lay nestled between their chests. His other hand was holding him up next to her head. With both of his hands busy, he nuzzled her nose with his own as he questioned her.

She gave him a closed-lip smile to say that she was okay and squeezed his hand again. Seeing that his eyes still held some worry for her, she kissed the tip of his nose in reassurance and said, “Don’t stop.”

Feeling more convinced now, Jamie kissed her nose in return and then began to move his hips again. He started with slow thrusts, wanting to feel every inch of his cock leave her body and then feel every inch as her heat pulled him in again. They both moaned deeply.

Mmmmm.” Claire let out a groan combined with a whimper and Jamie felt the noise she made go straight to his cock. He looked down and saw her smile in pleasure and he almost came right then. He released her hand so he could brace himself on both sides of her head but leaned down to kiss her in replacement. When they made love, Jamie liked to connect with Claire in as many ways as possible. It wasn’t just enough to be inside of her, he wanted to be completely overtaken by her. And to have her completely overtaken with him.

They kissed for a brief time but both of them needed air too much as Jamie continued to push in and out of her at a more steady pace. Both of his hands were still on the ground on either side of her face and so he used that leverage to grind his hips into hers in between every thrust.

When Claire began to meet his hips with some grinding of her own, Jamie moaned from deep within his chest.

“Christ…” He grunted as he tried to keep his pace. As much as his lower half was begging to just start rapidly pounding into her, he wanted to take his time. The noises she began making did not help him in accomplishing this goal.

“Do ye recall…” He pushed into her with slightly more force and they both moaned out loud. “Ach…when ye tried to tell me...” Another thrust, followed by more groans. “…that ye dinna make noises?”

Jamie insisted on teasing her about her noises and as much as she wanted to prove him wrong, he chose that exact moment to place his thrust right fucking there and instead of coming up with a witty retort, she cried out with a ridiculously loud sound that was somewhere between a growl and a moan.

He gave an absolutely devilish grin of victory and Claire should have been embarrassed at how quickly he was able to prove his point, but she honestly could barely breath at that point, let alone think.

Feeling high on the success of his conquest, Jamie continued to grin largely, “Och. That noise goes straight to my cock, mo nighean donn.” He reared back and used his hips to push back into her in the same way, hoping to replicate the sound she had just made.

She didn’t make the exact same noise but she did give a high-pitched moan and dug her nails into his shoulder blades.

“Oh god…” Claire practically whimpered and she opened her eyes to look up at him. He met her eyes and they immediately reached for each other’s lips and kissed sloppily while maintaining their eye contact. She released his lips and pulled him toward her so that she could suck on his neck. Jamie gasped and his thrusting stopped momentarily as his eyes closed at the feeling of her lips on his neck.

She hiked one of her legs over his hip to help him begin his thrusts again. On his next thrust, Claire felt him go deep and she opened her mouth to let out a gasping moan and her head fell back down on to the pillow. Jamie felt it too and he sighed at the relief he felt of being in her. He pressed their bodies closely together and the feeling of her skin on his overwhelmed him briefly. He wished for the millionth time of his life that he could get even further inside of her.

If it were possible, he would press closer and closer into her body until he simply dissolved into her skin. He would gladly become a part of her if it meant that her body would surround his completely and absolutely. She would cover him like a blanket and he would, finally, feel completely safe and completely alive.

The thought of how making love to her was the only time Jamie felt truly alive made Jamie’s heart flood with emotion. Then, his godfather’s face flashed before his eyes. Murtagh. A face that would never be alive again.

Claire felt Jamie’s arms stiffen and she opened her eyes to look up at him. To her horror, she saw tears spilling rapidly down his cheeks even as he gasped.

He let out several deep breaths as his climax approached and he felt far too many things at once. Pain, pleasure, sadness, anguish, love. He could feel the tears streaming down his face and he opened his eyes to see Claire’s hands reaching out to his cheeks. She brought his head down to her chest and he allowed his forehead to settle onto her sternum.

She held the back of his head with both hands as he continued to thrust into her sporadically. His mind had basically gone blank at the onslaught of emotions and just began to release everything at once. She could feel her chest growing damp as he cried relentlessly while pressed against her skin. His body was working of its own accord as his hips continued to thrust into her seeking release.

Claire had began to feel a similar experience as her mind heard his cries and she felt her own heart pulling in her chest as tears sprang into her eyes. Just as Jamie did, Claire’s body continued to accept Jamie’s cock as it repeatedly left and entered her. Somehow, while both of their minds were now filling with grief, their bodies were still working in tandem to find relief in each other.

Jamie continued to cry into the skin just above her breasts and he forced his hands underneath her back so that his arms wrapped all the way around her. His weight was now completely on her but he knew she didn’t care at that moment. Just as he settled completely against her, his climax hit and his cock released into her hotly as a sob burst from his chest.

Claire’s orgasm came immediately after and she shivered all over as her climax rippled through her. This, combined with the feeling of Jamie’s sharps breaths against her chest, caused her to gasp and she tightened her grip on Jamie. She pulled her leg to join the other around Jamie’s waist so that she could hold him to her body in every way possible while her inner walls continued to milk his cock desperately. They were now wrapped around each other completely and they both cried at how they were so connected, so safe, and yet so heartbroken at the same time.

Jamie’s body, heart, and soul were rushing through all levels of emotion and he let Claire bring him in close to her as his body expelled his emotions out with endless tears. They both were breathing heavily as a result of their emotional climaxes and slowly their bodies stopped gyrating against each other and began to lay still.

As their bodies relaxed in to each other more and more, their breaths also worked to calm themselves down. Jamie still had tears falling but he was not shaking from their intensity anymore.

Claire ran her hands through his hair soothingly even as her own tears fell. She felt short of breath after climaxing, crying, and from Jamie’s tight grip around her torso. But she would lay there forever if it meant Jamie felt safe.

Slowly, they were both completely still and their breathing was almost normal again. Jamie turned his face to lay his cheek against her chest and she continued to caress his head and hair. After many long moments of silence, Jamie spoke.

“I could feel my heart breaking at losing him…” Jamie said quietly, his lips against her warm skin. “And then I looked down and saw you, Sassenach, and I felt my heart putting itself back together again.”

Claire’s chest filled with warmth at her husband’s honest words and she felt two stray tears fall. She grabbed his head to make him look up at her.

His eyes were red and puffy, but full of genuine love and she used her thumbs to wipe the tears from his cheeks and under his eyes. "You fix my broken heart, too, Jamie. You are the only thing that ever has."

She didn't often say such things like he did and he smiled before turning his head to kiss her palm and then breathed in deeply with his nose nuzzling against the inside of her hand.

He looked so childlike in that moment that Claire was overcome with a need to protect him, to comfort him. She reached to pull his head back onto her chest as she once again began to stroke his hair lovingly.

Jamie scooted so that his weight was no longer completely on her but wrapped his arms around her again as he relaxed into her touch. They laid there for a long time, just breathing and feeling grateful to be alive and with each other.

They were both quiet for so long that Claire thought Jamie had fallen asleep but then she felt him breathe in an extra long breath and knew he was awake and thinking.

“Do ye recall the day we met, Sassenach?”

“Of course.”

“Twas Murtagh that first brought you into my life, ye ken.”

“I remember.”

Jamie sighed then, not sure what to say next. He was feeling more ready to talk about his godfather but he wasn’t sure he had the strength to do it. Luckily, Claire understood this and picked up the conversation.

“He showed up out of nowhere and brought me to that cabin…brought me to you.” She almost teared up at the thought. Of course, she remembered the events of that day but it never occurred to her before now that Murtagh, of all people, had been the one to bring her and Jamie together.

She smiled knowingly to herself, “He rescued me from Randall long before you did, didn’t he?” She teased him.

Jamie chuckled, “Aye. I suppose yer right about that.” He tightened his arms around her just enough that she knew he was thinking about the time he had to come to Fort William and found her with Randall about to assault her. She wrapped an arm around his shoulder in response and continued her caresses in his hair with her other hand.

“I never thought when I met him that day, that he would end up being such an important part of my life…” She said, thinking out loud. “Well, I guess I never thought you would either.”

This thought used to make her sad, to imagine that they had never met, never been forced to marry, never fell in love. But tonight, with all the other sadness she felt, it mostly just amused her.

“Aye. I ken that's how you felt, but I knew from the moment I saw ye that my life wouldna be the same after.”

She laughed, “So you have said.”

“So I mean, mo ghraidh.” He answered immediately and her heart clutched itself again.

“He really was there for so much of our story. He saw us meet...he was there when we got married.”

Jamie grunted at that, “Aye, and he basically told me I was a fool if I didna agree to do it.” She chuckled and he added, “He knew I was in love with ye.”

She smiled before continuing, “I’m glad you took his advice.”

Jamie smiled as well, “Och, weel, it didna take much convincing.” They both laughed breathily, but Claire’s laugh soon turned more boisterous as she thought of something and Jamie cocked his head at her in question.

After calming her laughter enough to speak she added, “Not all of his advice was good though…if you remember, he did tell you to be as fast as possible when making love.” She laughed again and Jamie joined her.

“Aye, he did. Tis a good thing I had you to teach me the proper way.” He gave her a cheeky grin and reached his head up to start nibbling on her collarbone. She gave a satisfied sigh at the tickling sensation.

After allowing Jamie a couple of minutes to take his time with her collarbones, she continued her stories, “It was just him and me on the road for all those weeks we spent looking for you up and down the countryside.” Jamie gave a Scottish noise of agreement while he continued to lick the lines of her body from the dip at the bottom of her neck out towards her scapula.

She sighed at the feeling and then added, “I think that’s when he finally realized that I loved you, too.” Jamie stopped his ministrations on her skin.

“Oh, you love me, Sassenach?” He tilted his head towards hers as he gave her his goofiest smile. She smirked at his playfulness and momentarily stopped stroking his hair so that she could give him a loving slap on the head.

“Shhh, I’m telling a story, darling.” She said in jest. He grinned back at her and then laid his head back down again so she could continue.

Resuming her loving touches on his scalp and head, she spoke again, “After we found out you were in Wentworth…” She gulped at the memory of how scared she had been.

She cleared her throat and began again, “After we found out you were in Wentworth, I went in to try and get a visitation with you.”

Jamie, of course, had been told this whole story after he had healed, but he listened contently to the sound of her voice and the sweet touch of her fingers in his hair.

“He was the one who caught me as I came out of the building and fell to the ground…carried me back to the horses, gave me some water, told me that it would be okay, even though I’m sure he didn’t believe that at the time.” Claire let out an emotional breath. She hadn’t realized how much she had needed to talk about Murtagh with someone. Judging by Jamie’s slowing heartbeat, he was getting just as much out of hearing about it as Claire was by telling it.

“You know, he caught me again only days later…” She said, just remembering this moment. “I fainted…when I found out that you…well…it was when we were at the abbey. Of course, I was pregnant but I wasn’t sure yet. But he caught me then, too. Helped me when I felt like I was losing you.” Her grip around his shoulders tightened and he kissed her skin that was just beside his mouth.

“He was there in France…our ever-present confidante.” She smiled at the memory of Murtagh finding out that Claire was a time traveler. “He never once questioned me or doubted me…doubted us. He was always there. Even after Faith…” Claire’s voice caught again in her throat and Jamie lifted his head from her chest.

He scooted and readjusted until his face was now nestled in her neck and his hand lay across her chest, resting against her heart. She was able to breath again, with Jamie now giving her strength.

“We learned, then, that we need to carry our grief together, Sassenach.” Jamie whispered into her neck. “I made that mistake again, here, with Murtagh.”

Claire shh’d him again, shaking her head. “We cannot control how we grieve, Jamie. I was ready to talk about him. You take all the time you need.”

He sighed in relief and placed a kiss to her skin.

“Thank ye, Sassenach.”


A few nights later, after they had arrived back on the ridge and after Murtagh had been properly buried, Jamie asked Claire again about grief.

He knew the answer would be no, but he asked if there was a cure for grief where she had come from.

She told him that time was the only cure for grief and he held her tightly against him again. He led her to their bed after that and laid her down. He clasped her hands in his and then spent the next few hours recalling as many stories as he could think of between him and his godfather. Some of the stories Claire had heard before, but most she hadn’t.

They laughed, they cried, but mostly Claire just listened as Jamie poured out his love for his godfather, his protector. She listened to him until the sun began to rise over the fields outside. He apologized for the time-consuming stories, but she simply held him tighter and asked if he had any more. They stayed just like that until they heard the animals of the ridge crowing for their breakfast.

Jamie thanked his wife for her patience and understanding by rolling on top of her, spreading her legs, and making love to her as slowly and as sweetly as possible as the sun continued to rise. When he looked down and saw the rose-colored sun beams streaking across her face and chest, his heart swelled and he knew that things would be okay as long as he had her.

 

 

Chapter Text

Claire and Bree sat in the living room of the big house, in front of a toasty fire. Claire sat on the couch and Bree in one of the big chairs across from her mending a shirt.

“So, how are you feeling?” Claire’s voice held forced nonchalance as her eyes flicked quickly over to Bree.

Bree put the same amount of casualness in her response that she had heard in her mother’s question, “I’m fine…those herbs you gave me last week have really helped my headaches.”

“I meant how are you feeling about the wedding?” Claire opted for more straightforwardness this time around, which her daughter met with a knowing smile.

“I knew what you meant.” They exchanged a pair of smiles and Bree added, “I’m good.” She made sure to lock eyes with her mother so that she would know she was telling the truth.

“Good.” Claire answered. A moment passed before she spoke again, “I just want to be sure that you are happy.”

Bree set down the shirt she was working on to look at her mother properly. Claire met her stare with one of her own. Bree was ready to be on the defense…it was no secret that her mother-and especially her father- had some doubts about Roger. But when she looked at her mother, she saw nothing but genuine love and care in her eyes.

She sighed, “Mom…I have seen a marriage out of obligation.” She fixed her mother with a pointed stare. “…and I have seen one out of love. I know which of the two I want. And I believe that is what I will have with Roger.”

Claire looked taken aback for a moment. Her daughter has always been clever and observant. But she had never considered that Bree would ever sit down and consider her mother’s marriages with such a critical eye.

Bree could see that her mother was too surprised by her comment to reply so she spoke again, “I love Daddy, you know that. As a kid I thought you were the best parents in the world. But…” Bree blinked and licked her lips briefly before continuing, “I came here and saw a completely different kind of marriage. A happier one. Seeing you with Da, I feel like I’ve finally seen what true love looks like.”

Claire felt her chest fill with warmth and she smiled at her daughter. “Well, you know, Jamie and I’s marriage actually did start as strictly an obligation…the love part did not come until later.” She raised an eyebrow and chuckled, amused by the turn of events that transpired so many years ago.

“Maybe fer you, Sassenach.”

Bree and Claire turned to see Jamie standing in the doorway, smiling and holding Jemmy in his arms.

Bree cocked her head to the side, “What do you mean? Are you saying you didn’t marry Mama out of obligation?”

Jamie’s smile only grew larger and he stepped into the room and looked over at his wife. “I suppose part of it was, aye.” He nodded and sat down next to Claire on the couch with Jemmy bouncing on his leg as he continued to speak, “I meant the love part. That was always there for me.”

He leaned over and planted a fast kiss on her lips that ended with an over-exaggerated smacking sound. She laughed and responded, “Ah yes, your father has been quite adamant over the years about how he supposedly loved me from one of the very first days we ever knew each other.” She rolled her eyes playfully at him.

“And I meant it every time I’ve said it, Sassenach.” He leaned in closer to her again, preparing to shower her with more embarrassing kisses but was interrupted.

“Aaaahhhhhh…” Jemmy babbled a collection of sounds that, in his mind, correlated to the smiling and kind woman in front of him and he reached his chubby hands in her direction as he leaned forward in Jamie’s arms.

They all laughed and Claire reached to pull him into her arms, “Hallo, my darling.” She smiled and pressed her nose to Jemmy’s. He laughed and wiggled his butt, content in the arms of his granny. Claire grabbed his fits and was shaking them back and forth and making different smiling faces at him as he continued to coo and babble at her.

“Are ye all ready for tomorrow, then?” Jamie asked his daughter. In response, Bree turned to her mother and they shared a laugh.

“That’s what we were talking about before you walked in.” Bree smiled again, this time at Jamie. “Seeing you and mama has taught me what true love looks like and that’s what I have with Roger.” She finished with a look to her father, who she knew needed more convincing of Roger’s place in their family.

He gave her a smile and lifted to place an arm around Claire’s shoulder. “As long as you are happy, a leannan.”

“I told mama I want a marriage of love, not of obligation.” Bree said.

Claire responded, “I did remind our daughter that technically our marriage began as one of obligation.” She gave her husband a smirk.

He responded with a smirk of his own, “Aye, that may be true, but I dinna recall ye complaining much about it later that night, Sassenach. Especially when I--” He leaned towards her with an evil grin but was interrupted.

“Jamie!” Claire exclaimed at the same time that Bree stood up from her chair.

“And that’s enough parent/child bonding time for me.” She made a face of disgust and grabbed Jemmy from Claire to start making her way out of the room.

Claire cooed after Jemmy, “Goodnight, my love!”

As soon as Bree had exited the room, Claire slapped Jamie on the arm. “You dirty man.” She shook her head at her husband’s laugh.

He used the arm that was around her shoulder to pull her in closer to him, “I may be at that, but I am no’ sorry. For now I have ye all to myself, mo ghraidh.” He nuzzled his face into hers as she laughed.

“Not exactly the most appropriate time to talk about the details of our wedding night, I’m afraid.” She pretended to be scolding him but the tone in her voice didn’t hold merit as she was giggling at the way Jamie’s stubble was tickling her skin.

He continued to run his lips across her neck, “Mmmm. How about now? Can I talk about it now?” Claire didn’t answer but sighed as he planted an open-mouthed kiss to her pulse point.

Taking her sigh as a yes, he continued, “I could talk about how bonny you looked, standing in yer shift, as I reached in to grab your breast…” He reached a hand down to caress her chest over the top of her clothes. “I could talk about how anything I could have dreamt wilna have prepared me for how it felt to finally be inside ye.”

He whispered that last line and her breath caught in her throat but then he grabbed her harshly and pulled her up onto his lap so that she straddled him on the couch. To emphasize his point, he pushed his hips up into hers before nuzzling back into her neck again.

“When I woke and saw ye bathed in the firelight, wi’ your curls around ye like a halo…” He ran his fingers up into her hair, now able to caress her without any nervousness like he had that night. “Giving you my mother’s pearls wasna planned, ye ken…I just knew in that moment that I had to see you in them, right then and there.”

Claire had her hands on his shoulders and continued to sigh in satisfaction as Jamie spoke his words into the skin of her neck. “Really?” She whispered, surprised at this new information. She had assumed at the time that his plan had always been to give the pearls to whomever he married.

“Aye…I knew I was right when I saw them against your skin.” He moved his head down just enough to kiss along her collarbone and sternum.

After a moment of lingering kisses, Jamie continued, “When you had me, there, in front of the fire…and I looked into yer eyes as you did mine, I wondered if you would ever love me the way that I loved you so deeply.”

This confession brought Claire back to the moment and she reached her hands up to rest on either side of Jamie’s face. She leaned back to detach his lips from her skin so that they could make eye contact. Her eyebrows pinched slightly together in concern.

“Jamie…”

“Ach, mo ghraidh, it’s alright. I know that ye didna feel the same at the time, I only was a young lad dreaming.”

“I…” Claire stumbled to find her words for a moment, then licked her lips, and finally continued. “Jamie, I loved you.”

“I mean it, Claire. It’s alright. We didna start off in the same place but we both ended up here together and that is all that matt—” Jamie started to refute her but she interrupted him.

She grasped his face tighter to hers and repeated, “No, Jamie, I loved you. Right there, in the very moment you are talking about. I loved you. God, did I love you.” One of her hands caressed his face as her eyes looked lovingly into his, imagining that exact moment so many years ago.

Jamie’s eyebrows did their own confused dance now as his hands subconsciously gripped her waist tighter with emotion, “But…ye didna say until…?”

She nodded, “No…no I didn’t say. How could I possibly? I don’t think I even knew it myself. All I knew was that when you looked at me like that…I felt something that I had never felt before.” She used one finger to trace the line of his cheekbone and then down across his jawbone.

“I didn’t realize it until much later but…when I look back, that is definitely the moment I fell in love with you, James Fraser.” Her voice faded to a whisper as she ended her confession just a breath away from his lips. When she finished, they both leaned in.

As soon as their lips made contact, their bodies instinctually pressed closer. Their hands held tighter with their grips and their cores pushed harder into each other.

Even through her layers of skirts, she could feel her husband’s erection in his pants, throbbing against her own core. Things were clearly heating up very quickly, but she wanted to take it slow.

As she pulled back, Jamie’s lips tried to follow hers but then she spoke, “You should tell that young lad that his dream came true…”

He was still in a daze from their kisses and his lips were pouting adorably at no longer being connected with hers. “What lad? What dream?” He asked confusingly.

She smiled at him before responding, “You…your dream. That I would love you as you love me.”

He smiled in recognition, “Och, well, that is simply no’ true, Sassenach.”

Now it was her turn to look confused, “What do you mean? Of course it is!”

He shook his head and ran his hands up and down her sides, “Nay. You canna possibly love me more than I love you. That would be a lie.”

She rolled her eyes but smiled widely in her reply, “Well…I said the same. Not more.” She teased back at him before leaning in for another kiss.

Just as she got to his lips, he muttered, “Good. As long as we agree that I love you more.”

She laughed into his lips and retorted, “No, you do not.” She grinned as she quickly pushed her lips into his to cover any reply he might try and give. Luckily, he surrendered into their kiss as soon as she pushed her tongue into his mouth.

Moving her hands to the back of his neck, she pressed his face even closer as their tongues now met and explored around each other’s mouths. They both moaned into each other’s mouths and their bodies began to heat up.

Jamie slid his hands down and wrestled with her many skirts until he could push his hands underneath them and onto her legs. His hands met the fabric of her thigh-high socks and he grabbed each leg where they were bent at the knees. Gripping each leg with his large hands, he pulled on them to bring her even closer into him until her hips were completely flush with his own.

They both groaned when their cores now connected more directly with each other. After accomplishing that task, he ran his hands up her legs until they finally found the bare skin at the top of her thighs. He squeezed her creamy thighs as he continued to kiss her deeply and her hips rolled into him in response.

His hands continued their journey until they grabbed her ass and firmly pressed her hips into his, stilling her rolling motions.

She put one hand back on his cheek but wrapped her other arm around his neck to rest on the shoulder opposite as she released his lips and then tilted her head the opposite direction before resuming their heated kiss as well as they each moaned into each other's mouths.

Oh my god.

They broke apart with a loud smacking sound and looked towards the door. Brianna stood frozen and white as could be, her eyes glued to where Jamie’s arm disappeared under Claire’s skirt.

Within seconds, she turned back around and ran from the room while calling back, “I forgot the shirt I was mending but never mind, I seriously do not need it!” Her voice got further away as she rushed out of the room and down the hall.

A single second passed. Then another. Then, Jamie and Claire burst into laughter. Claire ducked her head sheepishly into Jamie’s chest as he chuckled.

“Jesus H. Christ…poor Brianna…” Claire laughed into Jamie’s shirt.

He responded and she felt his own chuckle in the chest she rested on, “Poor Brianna? Poor me…I just want some time alone with my wife.”

Jamie emphasized his point by squeezing the hands that still rested on her ass. “Let’s go upstairs, aye?”

She let out a sigh before lifting her head from his chest and sitting up straight once again. She rested a hand on his face again.

“I’m sorry, darling, but I think it’s going to have to wait. I have got a million things to do before the morning…” She could feel him pulling her closer in protest and she leaned in to speak with her lips just barely touching his, “…and I do believe that if I go upstairs with you right now, I will not get out of bed again until morning.”

He smiled into her lips, “Aye, that sounds like a braw plan, Sassenach.”

She laughed in response and gave him a quick peck, “Mmm. Tomorrow.” She extricated herself from him as she rose from his lap and off the couch.

“No, mo ghraidh. We are watching the bairn tomorrow.” He reminded her while giving her an absolutely adorable look of desperation and raising his eyebrow.

She smiled down at him and sighed again, “That’s right…well.” She gave him a resolute look, “Well, you will survive two nights without it.” She turned and began to walk out of the room with an air of finality.

Jamie pouted as she left and muttered to himself in frustration, “I will no.”


After the ceremony, Claire stood by the big house, away from the crowd. She was waiting for the happy couple but they continued to get stopped by people as they made their way up.

Jamie came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her tiny waist, resting his chin on her shoulder. She grinned from ear to ear and wrapped her own arms into his and leaned back into her husband’s chest.

He took a deep breath in her hair and let out a quiet sound of appreciation for how she felt in his arms.

“It was lovely, Jamie.” Claire gushed, emotional from the ceremony. He kissed her neck in reply.

“Not as nice as ours, of course.” She added, half joking, and squeezing his arms. Jamie responded by widening his hands so that his fingers could touch as much of her torso as possible at once. At his lack of verbal response, Claire added, “What? Can’t remember that long ago?”

She laughed and he laughed as well before adding, “Ours may no have had as much planning behind it, but it was the most beautiful day o’ my life, mo nighean donn. I wilna forget a moment of it, ever.”

She smiled, “Neither will I…we were so young. So scared of the future.” Claire mused as she looked off into the sky, reminiscing.

“I remember.” He said, pulling her in tighter to him, “You were shaking like a leaf and your voice could hardly be heard during the vows.” He laughed before adding, “Of course, that might have had more to do with the fact that you dinna actually mean the words you were saying.”

He laughed again but Claire frowned and turned in his arms to face him. “I have thought a lot about how if I could live one day of my life over again…I would go back to that day and marry you all over again. With all of my heart this time.” She gripped his vest tightly in her fists.

He smiled at her and they leaned in and kissed with a fierce passion as his arms wrapped around her back while hers continued to grip the fabric at his chest.

“I thought the bride and groom were supposed to be the ones who can’t keep their hands off of each other?” A voice said from behind them and they broke apart to see Bree and Roger standing there.

Claire and Jamie laughed good naturedly and Claire rushed forward to hug the newlyweds.

Later that night, the two grandparents looked down at the sleeping Jemmy in his crib and Claire wrapped her arms around Jamie’s waist. She kissed him briefly on the lips and then laid her head onto his chest as they both sighed in content.

They stood there for awhile, both of them just soaking up the fact that they were together, and happy, and had their family with them.

Minutes passed before Claire whispered so as to not wake the baby, “I used to dream about the two of us, looking down at a tiny baby in a crib…” Jamie held her tighter but didn’t respond because he could sense that she had more to say.

“And, I love this little boy so much, Jamie, but—” She paused before continuing, “—sometimes I can’t help but think about how if things had been different, we would have watched our own child sleeping like this.”

“I ken, Sassenach.” Jamie said simply. He didn’t need to say it for Claire to know that he felt the exact same way. They absolutely loved being grandparents, but there would always be a lifetime of what ifs behind them.

He kissed the crown of her head and found her hand to intertwine with his own and brought their joined hands to his chest.

They continued to watch Jemmy in silence for awhile before Jamie spoke so quietly that Claire almost didn’t hear him, “What other things did ye dream for us?”

Claire’s breath caught in her throat at the sadness in Jamie’s voice. She thought for a moment before taking a deep breath and answering him.

“Well, lots of things, I suppose.” She shrugged like it was no big deal but Jamie and her both knew how deep this conversation went inside of each of them.

“I dreamed about us living at Lallybroch, having a herd of stubborn little red-headed miscreants,” they both laughed at that, “all the things we both dreamed of before I left.”

“And after ye left?” He asked, rubbing her arm.

She raised one eyebrow at this but answered, “I told you I dreamed about you while I was in Boston.”

“Aye, ye did. But only about how ye dreamt of me taking ye…” He moved a hand down lower on her body to grip onto her hip bone suggestively. “Is that all you dreamt of me, Sassenach? My cock?” He smirked at his own sarcasm.

Claire huffed and rolled her eyes, equally amused by his joke, as she turned to face him. She grabbed onto his neck with both of her hands and smiled up at him, “No, of course not.”

He smiled down at her as she continued, “Oddly, I dreamed a lot about you and I living together in that time. I guess, that was my mind’s way of combining reality and fantasy…” She scrunched her face as she described her own confusing thoughts.

“I dreamt that we went to the cinema, or of the two of us walking Bree in the park by our house, dancing in the living room to records…” Claire listed off a few things that came to her mind.

Jamie hummed as he swayed them back and forth as they stood. He frowned slightly, “I ken you have said the dancing in yer time is different but…how do you dance in yer own living room? Is it no too small a space?”

Before she could answer, Jemmy let out a small cry and they both looked back down into the bassinet as Jamie realized they had slowly gone from whispering to normal conversation and evidently, woken the small child.

Claire realized the same, “Come here…I’ll show you.” she whispered and went to go back inside their room, pulling Jamie by their connected hands.

Once inside and a safe distance from the slumbering baby, Claire stood in front of Jamie.

“Dancing does not always have to involve a sword or jumping…” She teased as she began to explain. Claire pulled his arm to place it around her waist while she placed her own hand around his neck.

With their other hands still clasped together in between them, Claire scooted a little closer to him. “You stand like this, and you just sort of…sway back and forth.”

She tried to start swaying but Jamie immediately started moving his feet as if they were going to walk across the room.

“No, you don’t have to move your feet, they can stay still. It's just like what we were doing a moment ago, where our bodies stayed in the same place but…” She used her hand to push his shoulder towards her, “…our chests come together and we just, move back and forth.”

Jamie, still slightly confused, was stiff for a moment. Claire pressed her chest into his and looked up at him and she tightened her hold on his hand and moved their bodies from side to side. After a few moments of this, Jamie began to relax.

“This is a verra simple dance, Sassenach.”

She smiled up at him in and hummed in agreement.

He frowned slightly, “Did you dance like this often, then?”

She shook her head as she recalled, “No, hardly ever.”

“Aye, that’s good.” Jamie nodded and she looked at him in question. “I dinna want anyone else to hold you close like this.”

She laughed breathily and stuck her head under his chin to rest against his sternum. He gently set his chin on her head as they continued to sway peacefully. Every few moments, they could hear the music still being played out in the yard. It was more upbeat than what the pace they were dancing but they didn’t mind.

They heard another cry coming from Jemmy’s bed and Claire whispered while not moving, “If we are quiet, he will go back to sleep in a moment.”

As she predicted, Jemmy let out a few more coos and then fell silent once again. Claire and Jamie continued to hold each other and move back and forth, both sighing in content every now and then.

“Sassenach?” Jamie said quietly after awhile.

“Hmm?” She responded with a noise that indicted she was far too happy with her current position to form proper words.

“Ye said, before, that you would marry me again…if ye could.” He said.

She kept her head resting on his chest but peeked one eye open, “I did.”

He licked his lips, “What if—what if we said that today we got married again?” She lifted her head so that they could lock eyes.

“What?”

“Not to anyone else, I mean. Just to ourselves. For you and I to imagine that we did it all over again, after everything that’s happened. We did it, for us this time.”

Her face flushed with emotion momentarily before she chuckled, “Is this your way of saying you want to have another wedding night?” They both laughed at her joke but then Jamie’s eyes grew serious and his hands moved to grip her tightly around the waist with her palms now resting against his chest.

“I would marry ye as many times as ye wanted, Sassenach. I would marry ye every day for the rest of my life.” His eyes were as blue as could be and full of such raw honesty and genuine love for the woman in front of him. Claire was surprised at just how quickly this man could make her melt inside, even after all this time.

Her emotions completely took over then and she grabbed his face and leaned up to kiss him. Her lips grasped his bottom one and sucked on it seductively before releasing it as slowly as possible, tugging it as they pulled apart.

After, Claire looked into his eyes with her own hooded ones. Jamie knew exactly what that kind of kiss and look meant. His wife wanted him and she wanted him now.

She raised one eyebrow in question and he looked at her with eyes that said, dear god yes, but his voice said, “The bairn…?”

She kissed him again, more forcefully. And then she began pushing him backwards towards the bed, kissing him between her words of reply, “It’s fine…but we need…to be very…very…quiet.”

“Are you talking about me or you, Sassenach?” He grinned into their kiss and the next thing he knew, he was falling backwards onto the bed with Claire on top of him.

A perfectly timed cry from Jemmy made them take pause and they both detached their lips and looked over to where the bassinet sat outside the door.

Claire smiled, turned her attention back to Jamie, and whispered against his lips, “Obviously, I am talking about you. You’re the loud one.” They both immediately burst into a fit of laughter at that which was then followed by an even louder cooing sound from Jemmy.

Hearing this, they both tried to suppress their laughing by nuzzling into each other’s necks and shaking with the effort of trying to control their giggling. After a moment, Claire felt Jamie’s legs kicking awkwardly beneath her and she lifted her head to look at him in confusion.

“What on earth on you doing?” She said as she tried to look down towards their feet.

“I’m trying to get these damn boots off, Sassenach…” He grunted with the struggle as his legs continued to jerk beneath hers. “But…I canna…”

“Here.” Claire said as she climbed off of him and settled down on the floor level with his feet. She grabbed a boot in her hands and began yanking it aggressively. Laughing at her desperation, Jamie did his best to pull off his shirt while she worked diligently on her task.

At last, the boot slipped off and fell to the floor with a thunk and Jemmy began to cry. Once again, Claire and Jamie’s heads whipped around to the sound but thankfully, he moved on quickly to cooing instead of crying and Claire looked back over to Jamie.

“Shh..” She said with a smirk. He nodded as she turned her attention now to the other boot. They tried to work more quietly on this one but at the final tug, Claire gave a short grunt with the effort and when she began to climb back on top of him, Jamie smiled at her playfully.

“Which one of us is the loud one, you say?” He quickly removed his pants and laughed even as he reached for her body as he laid back once again, this time his head on the pillow and his feet at the foot of the bed.

She pulled back from their kiss in mock objection and replied, “Well, you are the one who keeps talking…”

“That may be true, mo nighean donn…” He ran his stubble across her chin, “But it wilna be my talking that makes you cry out later…” Jamie grinned evilly at her and reached both hands down to grab her ass tightly.

She raised both eyebrows at him flirtatiously as she allowed his fondling hands to push her hips into his. That first little taste of friction on their lower halves and they both immediately needed more.

Claire sat up and they simultaneously reached for the hem of her shift and removed it from her body, leaving her in just her stockings. Jamie grabbed a hold of her thighs and made the moves to begin removing her socks but she shook her head.

“No, I can’t wait any longer.” She ignored his hands trying to pull her stockings down and scooted so that she now straddled him directly above his cock. With no other preamble, she grabbed him, lined up, and sank down on him completely.

Jamie grunted and Claire let out a sharp breath from her nose. She smiled down at him.

“I do.” Claire said breathily, still looking at him.

Jamie’s hands had gone to her hips the second she pulled him inside of her and he was too busy trying to pump up into her that he had almost no comprehension of what she said. He didn’t respond and instead he tightened his grip on her waist and twisted her hips so they rotated on top of him.

His head was tilted up off the pillow and his eyes were locked on the spot where they were joined and when he didn’t respond to her, Claire leaned her upper body down across his chest to force him to make eye contact with her.

“I said, ‘I do.’”, she said with her eyes shooting fire into his.

“You do wha?” Jamie managed to croak out, half mumbling and half still gasping at the feeling his lower extremity was currently experiencing.

Keeping their eyes locked together, she whispered, “I do…take thee,” She rubbed her chin against his, “James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser…” Claire smiled sweetly at him and then rubbed their noses together, “to be my wedded husband.”

The moment Jamie realized what she was doing, his heart skipped so many beats that he thought it would never start back up again. He stared up at her flawless face in complete awe as she continued to speak.

“To have and to hold,” She sat up and took his hand in hers, kissing his knuckles. She lifted her hips until half of his cock slipped out of her and then sat back down again, momentarily distracting Jamie from the moment.

Keeping their hands entangled, she held them to her chest, “for richer or for poorer”. Once again, she lifted off of him before settling back down and grinding her hips against his this time. He groaned and their hands tightened in their grips on each other.

“In sickness and in health…”

Jamie made a Scottish noise resembling a scoff and added, “Aye, and we have had plenty o’ both…”

Claire hummed in agreement as she rotated her hips once again. Jemmy made another cry and they paused in their movements but continued to look into each other’s eyes. After a moment, he was quiet again.

However, instead of returning her hips to their previous movement, Claire stayed still as she stared down into Jamie’s hooded eyes.

“As long as we both shall live.” Her eyes filled with emotion and Jamie almost teared up just seeing that she was. Her voice crackled slightly as she tried to finish her thoughts, “And I—Jamie, I…”

She wanted to say that she meant it this time. That her vows were true and honest and that she felt them deep into her very soul. But she didn’t need to say it. Jamie knew.

He shook his head to say that she didn’t need to try and finish saying it. He brought their hands down to his own body and touched his lips to her hand. She followed the path of their hands and rested her forehead on his.

Jamie leaned up to put his lips on hers but the second they made contact, she pulled back.

She sniffled, then smiled, “We are not at that part in the ceremony yet, soldier.” She smirked at him and then sat up again.

“I believe it is your turn.” She smiled slyly and then adjusted her hips, getting comfortable which caused Jamie to moan out loud as his mind suddenly remembered that his cock was still buried in her warm folds.

“Ye know, Sassenach, I dinna recall our last wedding being such a challenge fer ma poor cock…” He struggled to speak as he simultaneously tried to bring her hips up and down on him once again.

“I’m waiting…” Claire whispered in a singsong voice but as soon as she replied, Jamie answered by flipping them quickly so that he was now on top.

After appeasing his body by finally thrusting into her fully once, then twice, he kissed her nose. She moaned at how he felt inside her.

“I…James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser…take thee, Claire Elizabeth Sassenach Fraser…” He emphasized his additions to her name and she giggled into his mouth that hovered just above hers.

“Is that my full name, then?” She joked and smiled at him.

He smiled in response, “Quiet, mo ghraidh, it’s still my turn.” She smiled but allowed him to continue as she stroked his back lovingly with her hands.

Jamie moved in and out of her a few more times before continuing, “to be my wife.”

Both of his hands had been resting on either side of her head but at the word, ‘wife’, he lifted one hand to stroke her face in a tender gesture.

“To have and to hold…” He thrust into her again and they both moaned.

“For richer or for poorer…” Another thrust that was followed by two more moans and a soft cry of question from Jemmy.

A brief pause before Jamie thrust again as he whispered even quieter now, “In sickness and in health.”

“As long as we both shall live.” He looked lovingly into her eyes, “And then some.”

They both held each other tightly as they looked emotionally at each other. Jamie nudged her nose with his, “May I kiss the bride, then?”

She smiled in girlish excitement at Jamie calling her his bride and laid a hand on his cheek, “You better.”

He pushed down into her lips and kissed her with a feverish passion which she happily returned. Her hands went back and forth from his chest to his face as he started to thrust into her with more speed now.

They continued to lock lips even as his thrusts began to get more intense. Just as they both started moaning at the feeling, they were reminded of their grandchild who, once again, heard noises and was now making his presence known.

Jamie and Claire broke apart even as Jamie’s hips thrust again of their own accord.

“Shhh…” Claire whispered as she put a hand up to Jamie’s mouth. He gasped at how she felt around his cock but tried his best to quiet his sounds of pleasure. He licked the tips of a few of her fingers as they rested across his lips.

Claire felt a heat pooling in her lower belly when he did because he kept eye contact with her as he did so. It didn’t help that he followed that motion with a thrust that tilted up at the end and hit her right where she needed it the most.

She gasped herself and brought a hand under Jamie’s arm to wrap around the back of his shoulder and bring his lips back down to hers. Breathing harshly into each other’s mouths now, they continued to pump into each other.

Soon enough, they both could sense the other one's impending climax. For Jamie, he could feel Claire’s internal muscles gripping his cock rhythmically and tightly. As well as her stomach beginning to arch into his with more power at every thrust. Claire, on the other hand, could feel Jamie’s strong thighs starting to tense against hers and his hips were beginning to move more sporadically.

They did their best to keep their mouths connected but it was difficult as they both breathed in more shallowly. Jamie reached back and grabbed her hand from its spot on his back and brought it in between their chests. She flipped her hand so they were now palm to palm and Jamie began his final few thrusts.

Using their joined hands as leverage, Jamie reared back and then thrust into her harshly. That thrust began their journeys to their peaks as immediately after, they both held each other even tighter and their bodies began to tremble against each other.

Claire felt the hot wave begin in her core and with Jamie’s powerful thrust, it began to spread into her legs and up through her chest. As for Jamie, he felt her inner walls begin to contract on his cock and his head was instantly clouded over with pleasure as he began to pump his hips into her quickly.

His cock shot spurts of himself deep into her core as he gave his final thrusts and Claire felt his whole body tense and that was the moment that finally took her over the edge as well. Unable to kiss fully, the lips of their open mouths touched just barely and Claire’s breath shuddered into his mouth as her peak hit.

Feeling her orgasm as it shook her inside, took Jamie’s breath away as well. They both breathily shook in each other’s arms for another few minutes as Jamie left sweet kisses all over her face. One on her hairline, one on each of her temples, one on each eyelid, her nose, her chin, her jaw. They both sighed in content.

Several more minutes passed and Jamie continued to lay on top of her, wanting to relish the feeling of being inside her for as long as possible. Eventually, he grew soft enough that he finally slipped out and Claire let out a small sigh at the loss of him in her body. Jamie rolled off of her and onto his side.

Claire let out of puff of breath, “I thought I might pass out from loss of oxygen under there.” She playfully poked his side.

Jamie gathered her in both arms and tangled their naked legs together tightly as he grinned into her neck, “Och—we canna have that. My wife for all of ten minutes and already about to die on her wedding night.”

They both chuckled heartily. “So, does this make me your third wife?” She mused.

He laughed in his throat and nuzzled deeper into her neck and gave an open-mouthed kiss to the skin there.

“Aye, and me your third husband.” He retorted.

She laughed when she realized he was right and smiled as she kissed his hair and used her hand on the back of his head to keep him tucked closely into her. “Third, and last, darling.”

“Aye.” He mumbled in agreement as she scooted onto her side so that her back now rested against Jamie’s chest.

Jamie pulled her body flush into his and kissed the back of her shoulder before sliding a hand down her hip and then forcefully pushing her thighs apart. Claire, knowing what Jamie wanted, acquiesced his hand’s insistent movements and parted her legs enough for him to slide his hand in between them even further.

He spread his fingers and wide palm to rest warmly on the inside of her bottom thigh and then his hand ceased to move.

Claire then dropped her top leg back down to trap his hand between her thighs where it had obviously wanted to settle for the night.

With Jamie now comfortable, they both closed their eyes and soon fell asleep, completely entangled and recognizing that in a short few hours, Jemmy would wake again and cry out for them.

 

Chapter Text

Jamie watched with a look of confusion as Roger carefully made his way through the field to a collection of yellow daisies. His confusion increased as Roger knelt and began to pick some of the flowers off of the stems. After a moment, Jamie could feel the horses getting restless and he turned his attention to them, muttering reassuring phrases into their ears and patting their heads.

“I dinna ken what the lad is doing but he better be done soon.” Jamie whispered to himself as he checked the harnesses on the horses just to have something to do. This hunting trip was supposed to be a simple two-day affair with a handful of the ridge’s best hunters. When they got out there, though, the game was scarce and the two-day trip had turned into a week before they had gathered a sufficient amount of meat. Now that they were only a few hours from the ridge, Roger had decided to hold up the whole group by traipsing through a field. A moment later he heard Roger’s footsteps returning to the path.

Jamie turned to see Roger with a handful of daises, among other miscellaneous flowers. He lifted an eyebrow at his son-in-law.

Roger smiled sheepishly and held up the flowers, “For Brianna…we’ve been gone longer than we thought we would and I expect she will not be too pleased about it.”

Jamie gave a tight-lipped nod to convey his understanding, but the truth was, Jamie did not understand. Why would you give your lass a handful of field weeds? He knew that his wife would also not be pleased with being left to handle the ridge for so many more days than expected but he did not understand what flowers were supposed to do to remedy that.

He pondered this as they finished the last leg of their journey home. Soon enough, they were riding over the last hill and the big house came into view. As he always did at this very spot, Jamie paused briefly and exhaled. Roger and the other men continued down towards the stables as Jamie took a long breath and sent a short prayer up to the sky to thank god for his home, his land, and his family being safe and sound.

Awhile later, Jamie emerged from the stables, wiping sweat from his forehead as he made his way to the house in search of Claire. He caught sight of Roger and watched as he held the flowers behind his back and gave Bree a peck on the lips. She leaned back from him and gave Roger a look that Jamie could tell, even from his distance, that said she was not happy to have been left alone with the baby for five days longer than she was supposed to.  

Roger quickly produced the small bouquet from behind his back and held it out to Brianna who instantly smiled and grabbed it. She inhaled the flowers, said something to Roger, and then leaned up to grab the back of his neck to give him a proper welcome home kiss.

Jamie lifted an amused eyebrow and then turned his head back to the big house and saw Claire walking down the front steps on her way to greet him. He quickly looked around, his head whipping back and forth comically. A few yards away, he spotted a nice looking patch of weeds and practically pounced on them. He used his large hand to grab a fistful and, while being careful not to crush any of the tops, yanked them up out of the ground forcefully. Jamie took only a moment to admire his quick but decent result and then hurried back to find Claire. He rushed to meet her halfway between the stables and the house, putting his arm behind his back.

She smiled at him and as they got close enough to hear each other she called out, “I certainly hope you came back with something good after being gone so long!” She turned her head to look towards the meat shed, where the men were currently unloading the haul from the hunt.

“Aye,” Jamie said as he approached her, “Brought something just fer ye, as well.”

“For me?” She asked curiously as they took the last few steps to reach each other. Claire laughed and tried to look around his back. “It’s not another cat, is it?”

Using a grand sweeping gesture with his arm, he presented his little bouquet of weeds to Claire.

Claire’s smile instantly paused and her mouth opened slightly, her face showing nothing but pure shock. Jamie waited for her to say something and he looked anxiously back and forth between the greens in his hands and her eyes. After a moment, she was still looking at his gift with astonishment and Jamie’s eyebrows began to furl with worry.

“I…I saw Roger Mac in the field gathering flowers for Bree and she seemed happy when he handed them to her and I just—I thought mebbe you would like some too…I admit I didna understand the gesture but I…” Jamie rambled nonsensically for a moment and then he took a step closer to her.

His eyebrows were lifted and his eyes showed a range of emotions including concern, remorse, and disappointment. “I…I’m sorry, Sassenach…are they—not the right kind?”

A single second passed and the next thing Jamie knew, Claire had hurled her arms around his neck and pulled him into her. She pressed her lips onto his and kissed him so deeply that Jamie stumbled slightly on his feet. In the excitement, Jamie dropped the bouquet and his hands came to rest on her waist automatically.

They kissed for a long moment and then shared several loving pecks and Jamie could feel Claire’s smile on his. After finally breaking apart, Claire looked down and saw his hands now only held her waist. She looked around the ground frantically before spotting the tiny posy. She leaned down and reached a hand out to grab it. Unexpectedly, she paused with her hand hovering over the stems like she was afraid to touch it. After a moment of thought, she took a small piece of fabric out of the pocket in her skirt and wrapped it around the stems and picked it up.

She brought it up to her chest and hugged it tightly to her with both hands. Claire looked up at Jamie and he saw that her eyes were slightly misted. She shook her head again briefly before finally speaking.

“Jamie…they’re wonderful.” She reached a hand to stroke his cheek affectionately. “Thank you.”

With her approval finally, Jamie smiled from ear to ear, giddy at his job well done.

She gave him one last peck on the lips before interlocking her arm through his and turning to walk back towards the house. On the way to the door, Claire showed the posy to three separate people and Jamie felt himself blushing at how excited she was over the handful of stems. Once inside, Claire announced that she needed to go help Mrs. Bug prepare dinner.

Before separating, Claire pulled him back to her by his arm and kissed him again. “Thank you, Jamie. I really do love them.”

Jamie nodded, accepting the fact that he would never understand why some weeds could make a woman so happy, “I’m glad to hear it, Sassenach.”

She glanced quickly around them before leaning in to place her lips directly in his ear, “And I will show you just how much I love them later on tonight.”

“Oh?” Jamie smirked down at her, raising an eyebrow.

She giggled lowly, “Mmhmm…I missed you, soldier.”

“And I, you, mo nighean donn.” He kissed her lips with feeling before breaking them apart so she could turn her attention to dinner.

They were having a fancier dinner tonight, as they often did after a hunt. The large table was set in the big house and Mrs. Bug spent most of the afternoon preparing the feast.

Jamie walked in and stopped abruptly when he saw a small vase in the center of the table with the tiny bouquet that he had given Claire sticking out of the top. Compared to the rest of the plants and centerpieces, it looked quite ridiculous and a little sad.

Claire came in behind him and rested a hand on his back in question when she found him standing in the middle of the room. He turned and gave her an amused look.

“Why did ye put that wee little posy I gave ye on the table like that?”

She removed her hand from his back and placed it on her hip, “That is exactly why…because you gave it to me.”

“It’s just some weeds, Sassenach…it doesna belong on the dinner table.”

“I don’t care.” Claire said with an air of finality as she brushed past him to continue preparing the table. Jamie might have considered arguing his point again but then the kids – with their kids – came bustling into the room so he decided to leave it be and sit down.

After a prayer was said, led by Jamie, everyone began to dig into the meal and Bree looked up at the small vase in amusement.

“Mama?”

Claire, her fork halfway to her mouth, “Yes, darling?”

“Why is there a handful of poison ivy in a vase on the dinner table?” 

Claire and Jamie’s eyes instantly locked on to each other, Jamie looking confused and Claire looking guilty.

Jamie looked abruptly at Bree, “What did ye just say?”

Bree, looking even more confused now, turned to her father and pointed at the vase, “The leaves on the stem in that vase…they’re poisonous.”

Jamie whipped his head back to Claire, “Sassenach! Why did ye no tell me that?!”

Claire straightened her back and answered confidently, “When my husband gives me one posy of flowers in almost 30 years of being married, I am going to keep it…no matter if it is poisonous or not!"

Jamie scoffed but before he could say anything, Bree turned to him, smiling, “Awww, Da…you gave Mama a bouquet? That’s so sweet.”

He opened his mouth to say something, but was cut off by Claire answering for him, “Yes, it was very sweet. And now they are going to sit on that table where I can see them every single day until they die.”

“Sassenach.” Jamie said, clearly embarrassed at his wife’s insistence on displaying his mistake so prominently.

“Why exactly did you give her weeds, milord?” Fergus asked curiously.

“I saw Roger Mac give them to Bree so I just…”

Bree faced Fergus and Marsali, “It’s sort of a tradition I learned in Boston…”

Roger nodded in agreement, “Aye. You bring home a bouquet of flowers for your wife. It just…shows her you were thinking of her, I guess.”

“So what does it mean if ye give her poisonous flowers, then?” Marsali chimed in.

 “I didna mean to give her poisonous ones!” Jamie was growing frustrated and wanted more than anything for the conversation to simply be over.

“Pass the butter, please, dear!” Claire said loudly to Marsali, thus declaring to the whole table that the discussion was over.

The rest of the meal went by as normally as any other day, with most of the table's occupants quickly forgetting about it.


Later that night, Claire leaned against the doorway of Jamie’s study and watched as he bent closely over a paper, scribbling furiously.

“Careful, darling.” She mused and he raised his head to look at her in question. “You’ll strain your eyes.” She clarified.

He chuckled at the familiarity of this warning from his wife, “Weel, I canna find my spectacles, Sassenach. So I’m afraid straining will have to do fer now.”

It was then that he noticed she was twirling something around her fingers and smiling at him. The object in question flickered silver in the light: his glasses.

Jamie looked back up at her face and sighed. How did his wife seem to know everything, all of the time? She smiled at him and gave a small laugh before walking over to where he sat. She sashayed around the desk and stopped in front of his chair, looking down at him lovingly.

He turned to face her and tilted his head up to meet her eyes. Claire leaned down and ever-so-gently placed his glasses on his face before allowing one of her hands to stroke his cheek delicately. Then, she leaned down further and placed both hands on his thighs and pushed her face so that it was perfectly level with his. “Better?”

“Aye.” He smirked at her as his eyes roamed across the stunning features of her face. He leaned closer and was about to press his lips to hers when she giggled unexpectedly. He raised an eyebrow at her.

“You look like Santa Claus…” She said with the giggle still in her voice.

Jamie frowned in confusion, “That wee auld man wi’ a round belly that flies around and leaves presents for bairns on Yuletide in yer time?” Clearly, Jamie remembered the stories Claire had told him about Bree’s childhood and their Christmas traditions.

“Well, I guess not exactly like Santa…you are definitely more fit in the belly region,” She gave his taut stomach a poke, “…and you don’t have a white beard.”

“No’ yet.” Jamie joked.

Claire smirked and reached a hand to stroke the small amount of white hairs that resided just above his ear, “Hmmm. I think I will quite enjoy you with a white beard.”

Jamie grabbed her waist and brought her to sit down on his lap. Claire resisted the urge to make another joke about Santa and laps. Instead, she moved her hands to begin stroking the scruff on his chin.

“Oh, so this Santa was a handsome man, then?”

Claire giggled again, amused at the implication that people would use the words "Santa" and "handsome" in the same sentence.

“I suppose no…not really.” She laughed and then grabbed his face with both hands, her eyes shining brightly, “But you as Santa…”

She reached a single finger to touch the rim of his glasses and bring them down until they rested on just the very tip of his nose. “Mmm. There.” She smiled mischievously at him.

“You as Santa…sitting at your desk…writing your list of who has been naughty and nice.” Claire continued smiling as she continued to get lost in amusement at her Santa metaphor.

Jamie leaned in while using his hands on her back to bring her closer to him, “And which are you, then, Sassenach?”

As their lips came close enough to just barely touch, Claire smiled wickedly against his lips, “You tell me.”

She took that exact moment to decide to grind her hips into his and he groaned before looking back up at her.

“If yer asking whether you are naughty or nice, Sassenach, I’d have to say in this moment…definitely naughty.” He laughed as he brought his hands down her sides to land on her hip bones.

She rubbed her chin against his, “Well then,” she began as she moved her arms around his neck, “Are you going to be on the nice list and finish your work here…” She stuck her tongue out and used the tip of it to lightly lick his earlobe as she leaned in to whisper in his ear, “…or do you want to join me in being naughty?” She finished by giving his earlobe a gentle bite.

Jamie felt heat ignite between his thighs and his grip on her hips tightened. He didn’t need to answer with words. With the lust now spreading through his body, he stood and quickly deposited Claire on to the edge of his desk.

She let out first a small breath of surprise, followed by a laugh of victory. He used his strong hands to push apart her thighs and stood between them, towering over her as he took off his glasses and set them aside.

Claire’s hands had fallen on to the edge of the desk when she first landed but now she moved them up his arms, squeezing the muscles until they came to rest on his shoulders. She looked up at him and bit her lip as his own hands grabbed the outsides of her thighs and pulled her to the very edge of the desk so that their hips connected.

As soon as their cores bumped into each other, things began to move very quickly. Jamie immediately began to fumble around her skirts to move them out of the way and Claire began planting open-mouthed kisses to his neck and jaw.

Even with his desperate fumbling, Jamie quickly managed to push down his breeks and push her skirts out of the way and in a matter of a few seconds, had lined himself up between her thighs. Barely did a breath pass between them before he pushed into her. They both cried out in simultaneous relief and pleasure at being connected.

Jamie gave her zero time to adjust to him and quickly began a steady rhythm of thrusting in and out of her. Her body had been just ready enough that his intrusion gave the most delicious stretch and she moaned at the feeling.

He grunted as he continued to push into her, already feeling shocks in his body as his pleasure hurdled towards completion. Jamie gripped her thighs tighter and pressed his forehead to hers as he gasped.

Claire reached her hands around and grabbed a hold of his buttocks, pushing him in to her more deeply. Soon, though, the weight of Jamie’s body pushing harshly into hers was too much and she had to move a hand to lay on the desk behind her, propping herself up.

Jamie was at the perfect height to lock his lips onto her sternum and collarbone and that’s exactly what he did. As his hips doubled the speed of their thrusts, he suckled generously on the skin around her collarbone, making her gasp. Her hips began to meet his with the same urgency and speed and they both took turns crying out and moaning.

“Ach…I canna hold it much longer, mo ghraidh…” He spoke into her skin as his breath tumbled out of him to the same sporadic rhythm of his hips. He knew she wasn’t quite at the end yet but he also knew that he couldn’t stop himself now that he was so close.

With one hand still planted behind her, she moved her other hand from his arse to the back of his neck and tangled her fingers into his hair. She pressed their noses together lovingly and smiled at him, “It’s alright. I want to feel you finish inside me.”

Her words were all it took. Jamie groaned at the sweetness in her voice that didn’t match the seductive words she said. He thrust deeply into her once, twice, three times before pausing inside of her completely. He shook and gasped out loud as his pleasure overtook him. Jamie felt himself release deep inside of her as he tried desperately to catch his breath.

Claire held him tightly as she felt his muscles contracting and she shivered at the way his gasps of air tickled her chest. She could feel her internal muscles pumping as much out of him as she could and she felt heat rushing through her lower body and up into her torso. She moaned as he continued to empty himself into her.

Finally spent, Jamie tucked his face into the curve of her neck and rested his hands on either side of her thighs on the desk. He spent a few moments just trying to catch his breath before realizing that he could still feel Claire’s inner walls constricting and releasing, desperately trying to hold on to his quickly softening cock.

Jamie quickly slipped out of her and she whimpered. He dropped to his knees in front of her, ducked under her skirts, and immediately latched on to her clit with his lips. He sucked on it harshly and felt the sharp scrape of her fingernails lodging into his scalp soon after. He barely noticed the pain. What he did notice, was the trembling of her lower lips against his chin and he quickly brought his hand up to push a couple of fingers in to replace his cock inside of her wet heat.

She let out a sigh from deep within her throat and moaned as he began to use his tongue to flick across her bundle of nerves.

He was completely lost in her. His nose inhaled deeply to not only keep breath in his lungs but also because her scent was the breath to his lungs. His tongue lapped generously to try and collect as much of her precious nectar as he possibly could. Jamie’s mind was in a foggy haze of her. A few moments later, though, he felt her stiffen beneath his mouth and around his fingers. He forced his mind to clear enough so that he could open his eyes but then realized he couldn't look up at her since he was still buried under her skirts.

Knock, knock.

There was someone at the door. That was why she had stiffened. He wondered briefly how long they had been knocking for he had no way of knowing how long he had been between her legs. Time ceased to exist when he was allowing himself to be consumed by her.

Spending only a second to ponder this, he quickly grabbed a tighter hold on the outside of her thighs and pressed his face back in to her. His mouth rapidly found her clit and he once again began to suckle on it. His fingers had never left her, but they picked up their pace now, curling and stroking her inside at the exact pace he knew she liked.

Claire, having felt Jamie pausing at the knocking and then ignoring it, let her hand fall from his curls and mirrored the other one, resting flat on the desk behind her. Her head involuntarily leaned back as her chest arched up in to the air as Jamie’s tongue and fingers hit all of the right places. She was breathing heavily and she couldn’t be sure, but she thought she was moaning as well. Through her pleasure-filled mind, she vaguely heard footsteps retreating from outside of the study.

This had happened before. She didn’t know why exactly, but for some reason, people always felt the need to speak to one of them whenever Jamie happened to be doing this particular act. Without fail, though, every time, Jamie refused to even acknowledge anything that threatened to interrupt him. Throughout their years together, Claire had never found a single thing that would stop Jamie once he had gotten a taste of her.

Any thoughts of who the owner of the knocking could have been left her mind when Jamie began a round of fast figure eights across her clit with his tongue. She gasped and her hands groped for anything on the desk to grab. Faintly, she heard things crashing to the ground in her frantic movements, but she didn’t care.

Giving up, she allowed her back to fall flat onto the desk and reached her hands above her head to grip the opposite edge of the desk from where Jamie was currently nestled between her legs.

She began a series of very loud gasping moans as her climax flooded throughout her body. It started in her core as Jamie’s mouth and fingers worked in perfect tandem and then it spread to her thighs, which clenched in response. The electricity shot all the way down her legs and one leg bent at the knee to allow her foot to press into the back of Jamie’s shoulder blades. She felt herself flooding Jamie’s face and he drank from her eagerly, making his own groans of appreciation.

At his groan, the currents of pleasure moved up her belly and into her chest. She struggled to catch her breath as her orgasm overtook her completely and her fingers gripped the edge of the desk so harshly she could feel the wood digging into her palms hard enough to leave marks. Her hips pumped up and down, riding Jamie’s mouth relentlessly as her body did everything it could to get him closer to her.

Jamie continued to lap at her, having withdrawn his fingers once her climax had hit its peak. He couldn’t possibly allow any of her to escape, so his tongue worked quickly to lick her juices. After awhile, her sweet nectar was almost gone and his tongue dipped as far into her as possible to get more. He felt completely insatiable. He moaned, getting frustrated when he couldn’t get his tongue any further, knowing that more of her juice was there but he couldn’t get to it.

Jamie felt her hand make its way through the bottom of her skirts and onto his forehead. She pushed at his face gently to pry him away from her center. He gave one final lick of her before reluctantly raising his head and pushing her skirts back down over her so he could see her.

She was now propped up on her elbows and looking down her body at him. She was still breathing heavily and her eyes were hooded. Their eyes met and she caressed his temple with her hand which then slid into his hair as she tenderly massaged his scalp.

Jamie’s body was now finally realizing that he had not breathed properly in a long time and he lifted his body enough to kiss her lower belly over the fabric of her skirt and then dropped his forehead to rest there while he caught his breath. Her hands held his head to her stomach lovingly as they both laid there, breathing air back into their lungs.

After a few minutes, Jamie lifted himself to his feet and reached out for her hands. She complied and gave her hands to him and he lifted her up to her feet as well. Her legs felt a bit like Jell-O, but she leaned on Jamie for a few moments until they felt strong enough to hold her upright again. They both adjusted their clothes to lay flat once again and Jamie grabbed her cheek with his hand and kissed her affectionately.

He grabbed her hand and turned to walk them out of his study so they could go up to bed. At the door, he paused momentarily to bring her knuckles to his mouth to kiss. She smiled at him in response and then he opened the door. They entered the hallway and Jamie began to lead them to the staircase.

“Oh! My flowers!” She let go of his hand and practically skipped in to the dining room. She emerged shortly after with the vase of poison ivy in her hands. Jamie rolled his eyes.

“Sassenach…what’re ye doing?”

“I’m going to put them on my beside table so they are the first thing I see when I wake up.” She smiled at him.

He sighed. He wanted to make another snarky comment but thought better of it. “I guess I shouldna say anything about it…since ye thanked me for them so nicely…” He smirked at her and held out his hand for her take again.

She took his hand and grinned back at him, “Oh. Well, I think that was a little more for me than you back there…perhaps I shall thank you properly when we get upstairs.”

Jamie raised his eyebrows in delighted surprise. “Aye? Then I suppose I should give ye poisonous weeds more often, Sassenach, if this is how the night will turn out for me.”

He allowed her to go in front of him on the stairs and grabbed her arse from behind. She squealed in delight and ran up the stairs with Jamie right on her heels.

Chapter Text

Jamie’s leg was still on the mend. It was healed enough that he could walk short distances but Claire would not yet approve of him going back to his usual chores around the land. It bothered him the most in the mornings and Claire made him stay in bed until lunch time every day and in the afternoon, she would finally agree to let him get out of bed and in to the chair by the window. It infuriated him.

It was during his 5th morning of this that he sat in bed peering bitterly at the trees and the blue sky outside of the window. He was sitting up with a book in his hands but he could not concentrate on anything but how he wanted to be outside. Claire came in halfway through the morning to check on him, as she always did.

Just as she always did that, Jamie always spent the entire time she was in the room trying to convince her to let him out.

“Please, mo ghraidh, my leg feels just fine.”

“Yes, you’ve said that three times already.” She answered, barely paying his pleas any attention.

“Aye, and I meant it!” Jamie said frustratedly, “Sassenach. You haveta let me out of here. I am going to go mad in this room.”

Claire pulled the bandages back up over his wound and pulled his pant leg down over it and looked up at him. “You already have gone mad if you think for a second that I’m going to let you go back to work.”

“Tis been almost a week, Sassenach! I took less time to heal when Laoghaire shot me with a gun!”

Claire gave him a stern look before replying, “I was not a fan of it then, either, but you also did not have an entire ridge to run back then.”

“Exactly! I have an entire ridge to run, Claire!”

“The ridge is doing just fine and there are plenty of people to help get everything done. Your only concern needs to be the daily exercises that I’ve taught you to do and to rest.”

Jamie, growing more frustrated, frowned and slammed his book down on the table next to him, “I have been resting for a week, Sassenach! I cannae just sit around here all day!”

Claire, unfazed by Jamie’s little outburst, continued with a straight face, “You can sit here all day and you will.” Jamie opened his mouth to speak again but Claire raised her voice just slightly and continued on, “Until I am sure that your leg is completely free from infection and ready for manual labor, you will continue to rest!”

“Dammit, Claire!” Jamie was shouting now, “I cannae! I am losing my mind in this room! I have suffered far worse than this leg and I am telling you that I am ready!”

“Well, I am not!” Claire yelled back in response, her voice cracking with emotion, surprising them both.

Jamie’s frown disappeared and was instantly replaced with a look of shock. His mouth lay open as he saw that tears had formed in the corners of Claire’s eyes.

“I am not ready.” She said again, her voice clearer this time.

She sniffed but her tears began to fall anyway as she spoke, “Five days ago, I held your cold body in my arms and I…” She broke off as a quiet sob rose in her throat. Jamie reached for her and she grabbed onto his arms with her hands. “And I laid my body on yours and I had to feel you dying, Jamie. I had to lay there and feel your heartbeat slow down against my skin. Do you have any idea what that was like?”

She was crying openly now and her grip on his arms was so tight that it would have been painful if Jamie had been able to pay attention to anything other than the look of pure desperation on her face. He pulled her arms towards him so that he could pull her body into his and he wrapped his arms around her and she buried her face in his chest.

He stroked her hair, “Christ…Claire, I—I’m sorry.”

Her fists gripped the shirt at his chest as her sobs began to slow down and he held her to him tightly. He continued to stroke her head and whisper comforting Gaelic phrases until she wasn’t crying anymore. She sniffled one last time and he kissed the top of her head before she lifted it from his chest to look up at him.

His heart nearly broke to see her eyes red and puffy from emotion. He leaned forward to press his lips to her forehead. With his lips still touching her skin, he whispered, “I am here. I am alive.”

He grabbed her hand and pulled it into the opening in his shirt. He grazed her hand across his bare chest until it rested above his heart and he pressed her palm to the skin there so she could feel his heart beating strongly in his chest.

She sighed and let her hand linger there, the feeling of his heart thumping relaxing her once again. Jamie’s mouth was still on her forehead but he nudged her face gently with his nose so that she would look up at him again. After their eyes met, Jamie spoke again.

“Perhaps I can spend one more day sitting in here…” He offered with a smile. Her heart swelled with affection for this man and his willingness to do anything for her. An idea came to her mind and she smiled back at him.

“Stay here until lunchtime and then I will be back with a surprise for you.”

His eyebrows crinkled in confusion, but she did not elaborate. She simply kissed him squarely on the lips and then practically skipped out of the room. Jamie stared after her for several minutes trying to make sense of what had just happened.

He spent the rest of the morning mindlessly flipping the pages of his book but mostly trying to figure out what kind of surprise his wife was going to bring him.

A surprise, indeed, when lunchtime rolled around and Ian, Roger Mac, Fergus, and Josiah strolled into his bedroom.

“Ready, then, uncle?” Ian asked as they entered.

“Ready? For what?” Jamie questioned. The four men ignored him and they got to work finding and lacing up Jamie’s boots and giving him his jacket to put on. As Jamie shoved his arms through the sleeves, he spoke again, getting frustrated, “What’s going on, aye?!”

“C’mon! The faster you get yourself to the stairs, Milord, the faster we can help ye get down them.” Fergus said.

Jamie, still confused but intrigued by the prospect of getting out of the room, practically jumped out of his chair.

He made his way to the stairs and the men got on either side of him, ready to hold on to him as he descended the stairs. He tried to shrug them off.

“I dinna need help, I’ve taken them a few times and I’m fine.” Jamie said but the men did not back down.

Jamie looked at Roger and sighed, “Claire?” Roger nodded to confirm that they were being so careful of him on orders from Claire.

Ian spoke up, “Auntie Claire made us swear that we wouldna let ye fall or even stumble.”

Jamie held back a sigh of frustration and replied, “Well, I willna fall, just let go of me, aye?”

He again tried to shrug their arms off of him but they did not release him, just looked at each other. Jamie rolled his eyes and looked at them again in question.

None of the men would say anything, they just kept looking back and forth at each other. Jamie figured Josiah was probably the weakest link and he gave the boy a fixed stare.

Josiah finally spoke quietly, “Mistress Claire said that you would insist on taking the stairs alone and that we were to ignore your request.”

Jamie let out a loud sigh at his wife’s knowledge of him and Josiah continued, “And she would be very angry if she found out we didn’t follow her orders.”

Jamie looked around at all of them, “And do ye no’ think that possibly this is making ME angry?”

Again, none of them answered. “Are ye more scared of my wife than me?”

“Yes.” They all answered immediately with different levels of volume. Jamie looked at them for another moment and then frowned bitterly.

 “Fine,” he said finally and he began to step down the stairs and allowed the men to hold his arms as he descended.     

When they reached the bottom floor, they let Jamie walk on his own for a while but he didn’t protest when they got outside and they reached again to help him down the stairs.

A wagon attached to two horses sat in front of the house and Jamie looked around curiously. He had no idea what was going on and was even more confused as the men helped him up on to the seat of the wagon. He again looked around for Claire, assuming that she was joining him, but instead Roger and Ian climbed onto the seat next to him and Fergus and Josiah scrambled into the bed of the wagon and off they went.

“Where are we going?” Jamie asked.

“We cannae tell ye, Uncle! Tis a surprise from Auntie Claire.” Ian answered with conviction.

“Christ.” He said as he rolled his eyes and crossed his arms.

Josiah spoke up from the back of the wagon, “I can tell you that it involves two of your favorite things!”

Jamie, even more confused now, looked around as they rode trying to see some kind of clue as to what was happening. Eventually he gave up trying to get answers from them and just sat and waited.

An hour or so later, they were riding along the path near his favorite spot on the ridge. It was a large cliffside that he and Claire had stood upon on their first visit to the ridge. Ian slowed the wagon and came to a stop. They all piled out, the men once again insisting on helping Jamie down. After looking around for a moment, Jamie turned back to look at them. Roger handed him a basket from the wagon and Jamie peeked inside to see a large tartan and a pile of food.

Raising an eyebrow, he looked up to Josiah, “One of my two favorite things, I suspect?” He questioned, referring to the food in his hands. Josiah nodded enthusiastically.

“And what’s the other? The horses? I didna even get to ride them.” Jamie said frustratingly.

Fergus spoke now, “No, milord…the other thing you like to ride.” Josiah, Fergus, and Ian all laughed and Roger turned a deep shade of red.

Jamie looked confused and opened his mouth to ask a question but was interrupted when he heard something emerging from the trees behind him. He turned to see Claire making her way towards them. He turned back to the boys and saw Josiah punching Fergus on the arm as they laughed even harder now. He rolled his eyes yet again and then turned his attention back to Claire.

She approached them and turned to Roger, “Did he give you much trouble?”

“I’m standing right here, Sassenach!”

“He acted like a petulant child, milady!” Fergus answered for Roger. Jamie turned to look threateningly at Fergus.

Claire replied, “Well, I expected nothing less.” She walked over and put a hand on Jamie’s bicep, “Come on, you.”

“Do ye need us to help you get him to the surprise?” Ian asked and Claire looked up at Jamie, the frustrations of his whole morning still written on his face.

“No, I think he’s had quite enough for the day. Thank you, gentlemen.” She nodded at them and they nodded back in response. They began to pile back into the wagon as Claire let her hand on his arm graze down until she could lock their fingers together. She pulled him towards the woods away from the wagon.

They walked together towards the cliffside. As they got to the edge, they stood side by side holding hands and looking out across the wide expanse of land. After a while, Jamie spoke.

“Is the surprise, then?”

She squeezed his hand, “No…come with me.” She turned away from the cliffside and led him just inside of the tree line where a few hundred yards away there was a small opening in the trees where nice soft grass lay.

When they got to the opening in the trees, Jamie saw a blanket spread out and the beginnings of a shelter against the trees on one side.

“Are you up for a little picnic and camping?” She asked him, smiling. His eyes lit up and he looked down at her in disbelief.

“Truly? The whole afternoon and the whole night, Sassenach?”

She laughed at his child-like excitement, “Yes, darling, all night.”

He immediately scooped her into his arms and lifted her into the air, squeezing her tightly.

“Jamie! Your leg!”

He set her down but did not stop smiling widely, “My leg has never felt better, mo ghraidh!”

She couldn’t help but smile at his happiness, “Alright, let’s get this picnic started, shall we?”

Jamie bent down and kissed her lips with a fierce passion which she responded to immediately. She opened her lips for him and he pushed his tongue forward to start flicking gently against hers. They both sighed softly before releasing and Claire reached for the basket and put it on the ground to start unloading it.

“Oh!” She called out in surprise and Jamie looked over in concern to see Adso hop skillfully from the basket and onto the blanket below.

“What in the devil?” He walked over to pick the cat up and scratch behind his ears.

Claire, still surprised, “He must have jumped in when Mrs. Bug was packing the food and then took a little ride.” She, too, reached out to stroke the cat’s soft fur.

Adso meowed into Claire’s hand and pushed his face towards her until finally Jamie relented and allowed Claire to take the small cat from his hands and cuddle him against her own chest. Adso purred and nuzzled closely into her neck and she giggled.

Jamie frowned at the cat’s movements, “Paws to yerself, ye wee scoundrel.”

In response, Adso meowed again and his tongue peeked out to give Claire’s neck a lick. Jamie’s mouth fell open as Claire laughed even harder.

“Little devil! What did I just say?” He stuck his face closer to the cat’s as he spoke to it, “That’s my neck to lick, no yers!” Claire laughed again but Jamie grabbed the cat from her arms and set him down decidedly on the ground.

Still giggling, Claire wrapped her arms around Jamie’s waist, “Jealous, darling?”

Jamie still frowned comically, and Claire smiled at his adorably sulky expression. He wrapped his arms around her as well before pulling her body in close to his.

My neck.” He leaned in and pressed an open-mouthed kiss to neck in which he was referring.

She sighed but still smiled, “Oh, your neck, is it?” He hummed in response, placing another kiss. “That’s odd because I thought it was attached to my body…” She continued to tease him even as her hand came up to grip the back of his head, holding his mouth to the skin of her neck.

“Nay, Sassenach, that’s mine, too.”

“Oh, is it?” She asked, her voice sounding slightly breathless as Jamie continued to nuzzle into her neck and kiss it. He ran his large hands up and down as much of her body as he could and mumbled, “Mine.” Then he stuck out his tongue, much like Adso, and licked her gently, right in front of where her earlobe met her jaw.

She let out a sweet sigh before finally pulling at his hair, “Well, whoever’s body it is, it wants lunch now.” She waited for him to place a few final kisses to her neck before he finally and reluctantly released her and they both sat down on the blanket.

Adso was sniffing curiously at the food but eventually roamed to the other side of the blanket and laid down to take a nap in the sun. He faced away from the couple, still a little annoyed at being removed from his comfortable spot in Claire’s arms moments ago.

Jamie and Claire spent the next block of time unpacking everything and digging into the food. He chewed on some bread before looking over at her, “Thank ye, Sassenach. I cannae tell you how good it feels to be outside.”

“I’m just glad you didn’t kill anybody on your way here.” She teased him, smiling.

“Aye, was it really necessary to send four grown men to help me, Sassenach?”

“It absolutely was, you stubborn Scot.” She teased again, this time leaning forward and giving his chin a quick kiss.

He made a Scottish noise that was a cross between a sound of agreement and a sound of frustration.

“They were planning to go for a hunt anyway so I just asked them to drop you off here with me on their way. They’ll pick us back up tomorrow after they are done.”

“They are hunting?” Jamie asked with disappointment and jealousy in his voice. It was no secret that Jamie enjoyed those trips with the men and he had been eager to get back out there since the snake incident.

Claire smirked at his childish expression, “Oh and here I was thinking that a nice picnic with your wife would be a good outing for you, but if you’d rather be hunting with the men…” She sat up and threw a leg over his, straddling his lap, “Then by all means, go ahead and go.” She lowered her weight on to his body until their hips connected.

Jamie’s hand still held his bread and he had been about to take a bite when Claire spoke and now his hand held his bite of food right in front of his open mouth.

She fluttered her eyelids at him, “Well? What’s it gonna be, soldier? Picnic?” She leaned forward and took a bite out of the bread in his hand, keeping eye contact with him. “Or hunting?” She asked, her mouth full as she leaned back, chewing the bread, her eyes twinkling with mischief.

Jamie groaned involuntarily and leaned forward to try and connect his lips with hers. She playfully leaned back so that her face was out of his reach. He gave her a look of warning before leaning in again.

She skillfully reached beside her and grabbed a piece of cheese from the blanket and quickly stuffed it into his mouth as soon as he almost made contact with her lips. Jamie sputtered in disbelief and she let out an evil laugh. He started to chew and soon was laughing just as hard.

Then, he reached for a handful of cheese himself. He pushed it towards her face quickly, as if to repeat the same action that she had done to him. He simply teased, though, and then held it gently in front of her mouth as a peace offering. She leaned forward, took a small bite, and then grabbed the rest of the cheese with her hand and offered the next bite to him. Jamie ate it out of her hand, nipping the tip of her finger with his teeth as he did.

They spent the next half hour with Claire remaining on Jamie’s lap as they fed each other while stealing kisses in between bites of food. Jamie had just popped a grape in Claire’s mouth and was re-adjusting his legs beneath her when her eyes went wide, “Your leg! Christ, I forgot!”

She immediately slung her leg back over his to sit on her own next to him again. She bent forward, as if making a move to look at the leg in question but Jamie’s hand pressed against her shoulder.

“Feels just bonny, Sassenach.” She lifted an eyebrow and he added, “I swear to ye.”

She let it go for the moment but looked off into the trees, clearly still thinking about it.

Jamie reached out a hand and put a finger under her chin to turn his face back to his, “I am sorry, mo chridhe, fer not thinking of how hard this has been fer you.” She did turn to look at him and he moved his hand to her cheek.

She felt a tear escape from her eye and Jamie used his thumb to wipe it away. She closed her eyes briefly and brought her hand up to rest on top of his. She took a shaky breath before answering him, “I really thought that I was going to lose you that night.” She opened her eyes to meet with his again.

Their faces drew closer to each other on instinct until their foreheads touched. She moved her hand from on top of his to rest now on his cheek instead. She rubbed her fingers against the slight stubble on his jaw.

He kissed her nose and whispered, “I willna leave ye, Claire.”

“You better not.” She replied before adding her second hand to the other side of his face and pulling him in for a deep kiss. He responded by eagerly wrapping his hands around her waist and trying to pull her back on to his lap.

“Mmmm, no, Jamie, your leg.” She resisted his grabbing.

He made a sound of frustration but relented his pulling in favor of pushing her down on to her back and trying to roll on top of her instead. But she pushed against him still, breaking off their kiss.

“Stop! No putting weight on it!”

“Lord, Sassenach! I cannae be on the bottom and I cannae be on top? How am I to make love to my wife, aye?!” He sat back up and huffed out an irritated breath.

She sat back up as well and bit her lip in thought, “Well, I’m sorry, darling. But I don’t want you to risk hurting those muscles before they have healed properly.” She stroked a loving hand up and down his arm.

His tension loosened just slightly but he still sighed again and turned to her, “It’s been almost a week, Sassenach, I miss ye.”

She leaned in until her lips brushed against his cheek as she whispered, “I’m right here.”

“I ken…I just—I miss yer touch, mo nighean donn.” He grabbed her hand gently and placed it against his face, pressing his nose into her palm. “Fer on a week now, I’ve had the memory of yer hand caressing me, bringing me back.” He kissed her delicate wrist and goosebumps rippled up her arm.

Jamie kissed her wrist once again before bringing his lips back into her palm. Claire closed her eyes and smiled to herself as the stubble on his jaw tickled the sensitive skin of her palm. Continuing his journey of kisses, he moved his lips to kiss the pads of her fingertips. After he kissed the tip of her pointer finger, she pressed the finger into his lips until they parted for her. She used the finger to gently trace his bottom lip until his tongue poked out to lick it.

“I never did thank ye for it, Sassenach.” He said so quietly that his voice almost got lost in the breeze.

“Thank me for what?” She asked, her eyes meeting his as her fingers moved to trace his cheekbone.

He leaned into her touch, “For using yer touch to save me, mo ghraidh.”

“I honestly wasn’t thinking anything but how to keep you alive. I would have done anything I could think of to keep you with me.” She said honestly.

“As I would fer you.” He used a hand to trace the features of her face. Features that he had traced a thousand times before, so many times that he knew every line, every bone, every dip and curve of her face. But after losing her for so long, there was now an innate impulse within him to touch her as much as he could, just in case it was the last time.

“You have a gift, Sassenach. The power to heal with yer hands. And I know you willna agree but it is magical. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. You use your abilities to help everyone, even when they dinna believe ye. And I—I am so proud to call you my wife.”

Unexpectedly, her cheeks blushed a soft pink color and the breath rushed from her lungs in a moment of overwhelming emotion at the unwavering support Jamie gave her. Several tears found their way from her eyes down her cheeks. Jamie frowned in confusion but before he could ask any questions, Claire grabbed his collar and pulled him to her.

He gave her a long and deep kiss before pulling back again, “I was meant to be thanking ye, Sassenach.”

“I thought you just did?” She asked, still half dazed from their kiss.

“No, I mean to be thanking ye, properly.” He gave her a look that sent an electric current straight through Claire’s body and into her core.

Despite the need rising within her, she shook her head at him, “But your—”

“My leg willna need to be bothered for what I have in mind fer ye.” He laid back until he was stretched out fully on the blanket.

When he tried to pull her on top of him, she resisted. “I don’t want my weight on your legs, Jamie.” She said in a warning tone.

He smiled and shook his head, “I don’t want you down on my legs, mo nighean donn.” Her brows creased in confusion until he spoke again, “I want you on my mouth.”

Again, a white-hot heat rocketed through Claire’s body and settled once more in between her legs and she could practically feel herself grow deliciously wet. His eyes burned with fire and she gulped at the look of sheer passion on his face.

Without another word, he pulled on her again and this time she allowed him to pull her up until she straddled his chest. He began flipping through the fabric of her skirts until he found the hem. He pulled up and flung the skirts over his head before settling his hands back on hips.

With his head now buried beneath her dress, he pulled on her hips and his voice broke through the fabrics, “Scoot up, Sassenach, I need ye.”

Even as muffled as his voice was, Claire could hear how desperate he sounded and she shimmied her legs up his body until she felt the short, coarse, hairs on his chin rub against her and she gasped.

With one final push forward, Jamie’s mouth connected with her core and she sighed as he gave her a gentle kiss. Almost immediately, he opened his mouth for more. He groaned as he opened his mouth wide and began to devour her.

His hands tightened around her thighs and hips as he tried to get her as close to his face as possible. She resisted at first, afraid he would suffocate. But then he growled at her resistance and dug his fingers into her thighs so harshly that they both knew there would be bruises the next day. She gave up and allowed him to pull her down until she was sitting on his face completely.

Jamie enthusiastically began to lap at her, making noises that made Claire blush even though they had done this many times before. He squeezed her thighs so tightly that it began to hurt and she might have noticed the pain if Jamie’s tongue was not currently making its way inside of her.

She cried out when he stuck his tongue as far in as he could and then wiggled it around aggressively. He was overwhelmed at being so surrounded by her that he moaned deeply in pleasure which made Claire moan in response and lose her balance. She fell slightly backwards and landed her hand on his chest behind her, effectively forcing Jamie’s tongue out of her.

Jamie practically whined in disapproval at the loss of her and reached an arm out from under her skirts and wrapped it around her hips to pull her forward and back on top of him. They both sighed when Jamie’s mouth resumed its previous ministrations. Claire began to writhe against his face, seeking to get more friction against her clit.

He felt this and immediately retreated his tongue and placed his entire mouth around her bundle of nerves and sucked harshly on it. She cried out and once again, almost toppled over. The times they had done this position before, they were in a bed and Claire had held on to the headboard. Without a headboard though, Claire was struggling to stay upright. Jamie sensed her problem and tightened his arm around her hips. Then he brought his other arm out from the folds in her skirts and reached for her.

Colliding with her arm, he ran his hand down hers until their fingers found each other and interlocked. He released the grip from her hip and repeated the hand-holding with their other hands. He leaned his hands back until they were on either side of his head and Claire could lean forward onto his strong hands to keep her balance. She gripped his hands tightly as she began to roll her hips above him even more.

Now that she was secure in her position, he doubled the efforts of his mouth on her. He alternated between sucking her nub in his mouth and using his tongue to flick it rapidly. Claire’s climax was building quickly and she began to gasp as she breathed in and out.

After building his speed slowly, Jamie randomly and suddenly released her clit from his mouth and then bit down on it ever-so-gently. Claire exploded instantly.

She moaned loudly and threw her head back as she felt herself releasing juices onto Jamie’s face. He licked generously at her, trying to get as much of her into his mouth as possible. She trembled violently and shook on top of him as he lapped at her. Her breath continued to alternate between gasps and moans as she reached her peak and slowly began to descend.

He let go of her hands and grabbed her thighs again, pressing her close into his face to make sure he could lick up as much of her precious juices as possible. Her hands fell into the grass above his head and she leaned forward, too overwhelmed to stay upright on her own. He continued to lick her eagerly even as she began to stop trembling beneath him.

Using the flat of his tongue, he moaned as he licked and licked at her everywhere. Once he had cleaned most of her, he pushed his tongue inside her entrance, trying to get more of her sweet honey.

She shivered and breathlessly called out to him, “Jamie—it’s too much—I can’t,” She was trying to say she couldn’t handle it anymore. Sensitive from her climax, Jamie’s tongue was still pressing on every nerve.

He moaned lowly, desperately, “Just a little more, Sassenach, please.” He continued to lap at her fiercely, his tight grip on her thighs not subsiding.

The urgency in his voice and the way his fingers dug in to her so possessively, Claire’s throat constricted tightly as emotion rose up from her chest. She took several deep breaths as she allowed Jamie to take everything he needed from her body. So recently, she had almost lost him forever, and if he wanted to take everything that was within her, every single morsel of her body, she would give it to him. Happily.

Finally, he slowed his tongue and he loosened the grip of his fingers on her skin. He paused, no longer licking at her, but simply inhaled with his eyes closed.

“Claire…” He said, emotion making his voice sound hoarse.

She moved slightly, testing to see if he would allow her to withdraw from him. He did.

Claire scooted down his body until she could plop down next to him. She wrapped an arm around him and he turned so they lay face to face. She met his eyes with concern in her own and he shook his head slightly before burying his face in her neck.

“I just—I cannae believe I almost chose to die instead of being here wi’ you.”

Her throat once again threatened to close on her, but she swallowed thickly as she curled her hand into his hair and pressed his face into her neck even closer.

“You’re here now, with me.”

“Aye.” He whispered, his lips pressed to her skin. He sighed and his breath pulsed warmly against her neck as she wrapped a leg around his hips to bring their bodies even closer together.

“This does not hurt your leg does it?” She questioned and he immediately grunted, “Dinna even think of moving, mo nighean donn.” He tightened his grip around her to accent his point.  

Just then, Adso appeared by their heads, using his paws to make a place for himself against the crown of Claire’s head. He purred as he settled in against her hair and she smiled. Jamie looked up to see the cat before placing his face back into Claire.

“I thought at first that was me making those wee noises.” Jamie joked, referring to Adso’s gentle purring.

“I think it’s safe to say that we all have made quite a few noises out here this afternoon…” Claire laughed as Jamie chuckled into her neck. He wrapped his hand around to her back and forced its way under her skirts to grab a firm hold of her arse.

With his hand on his favorite thing, he settled against her more firmly and began to breath deeper. She relaxed as well and soon they were both asleep, the afternoon sun casting a warm glow on them both.

Chapter Text

Jamie made his way slowly up the stairs. He was exhausted. He turned the handle on their bedroom door quietly as to not wake Claire, who had gone up hours ago. Originally, he meant to follow her immediately but he got caught up in the books in his office and the next thing he knew, it was well past midnight.

He crept into the room gently but instead of finding a dark room with a bundle hidden under the covers, he found the room flickering with light from a candle and Claire seated at her vanity.

“You’re awake.” Jamie said, whispering, thought he didn’t know why.

“Couldn’t sleep.” She answered simply. She caught his eyes in the mirror that she faced, but only briefly before looking down to her hands in her lap.

He didn’t say anything more, what could he say? She had not slept much at all since returning home. He didn’t bother her about it because he knew from experience that sleep would only come accompanied by nightmares—at least for a while. Jamie remembered spending the dark hours of the night and early morning just staring at the wall because that was less painful than succumbing to sleep and reliving that terrible night. He knew the same was happening for her now, and he would happily sit up all night with her if she needed him to.

She had not asked him to, not yet. But that didn’t matter, Jamie would wait as long as she needed to be ready.

He whispered to her a lot lately. Almost anything he said to her has been said in a soft whisper. Perhaps it was just his mind’s automatic response. Maybe his mind thought for him to whisper softly, so as to not alarm or frighten to fragile woman in front of him.

It wasn’t his fault. Of course he wanted to be cautious around her. She had done the same when the roles were reversed so many years ago. Their circumstances were completely different but they did share the same desire to protect each other afterwards. The need to embrace Jamie and hold him tightly had been so strong that when Jamie refused her touch, it had been almost unbearable. For days she wanted nothing but to simply touch him again without him flinching. And now here they were, and Claire realized that he was now in that position with her.

She met his eyes for a moment and almost spoke before she realized she still did not have the words for how she felt and so she lowered her eyes once again. Every time she wanted to tell Jamie what she was thinking, words would not come. Her brain felt muddled and full.

This afternoon, “I love you” had come out of her mouth and she felt relieved that at least she had finally found the most important thing to say. But it wasn’t enough, and she knew that.

She turned to look over her shoulder. He was turned away from her and facing their dressing cabinet, naked. He had shed the clothes from his very long day and the muscles in his back looked tense as he rifled through the drawer to find a clean shirt to sleep in.

Her eyes ran across the stripes of scars that lined his back horizontally from top to bottom. They had both been through so much. And here they were—still together after everything.

Claire rose quietly from her seat.

Her touch was so light that he first mistook it for the wind. Her hand pressed into his back, her fingertips just barely brushing his skin. He has spent every day since bringing her home desperate for her touch, for the reassurance that she was not afraid of him, afraid of touch. The fact that she was making the first step was so relieving that Jamie almost shivered at her touch. Worried that his shiver would been mistaken for flinching, he instead tensed his body in order to not allow it to ripple.

Claire had felt it tighten though, and her hand paused. Jamie inhaled, now afraid that his effort to remain still would been mistaken for uncomfortableness. The idea that he would ever not want Claire’s touch was absurd, but now he wondered just how much Claire’s mind was tainted by the events that happened to her.

But then he felt it. Light as a feather, her other hand joined her first on his back. Her fingertips landed on his shoulder blades and she ran them gently and painfully slowly down his back. He closed his eyes.

She could feel every line of his scars as she brushed across his back with her hands. If you gave her a piece of paper, she could have drawn every scar and every line exactly as they appeared on his back, that is how familiar this back was to her. That fact was what enabled her to take another step.

She got to the bottom of his back and lifted her hands off him before replacing them on his shoulder blades at the top of his back. This time, she placed her hands flat, allowing the whole of her hand to make contact with his skin now. She repeated her previous trail, letting her palm and fingers graze across the entirety of his back.

Claire moved at an agonizingly slow pace, but it was the pace she needed. She wanted to go slow enough that her hands would send the message to her brain, “This is Jamie’s back, you know this back. It is a part of Jamie’s body. Jamie’s body that has protected you always. You are safe with this body.”

Her breath came out in a very long string as she allowed her brain to accept this information and really listen to it. Finally, she felt ready for more.

He stayed as still as he possibly could, allowing Claire as much time as she needed to get comfortable with him. Jamie closed his eyes and focused on breathing in and out and trying not to move.

Then, he felt her hands, slowly, delicately, cautiously, nervously, make their way around his sides. Her small hands felt their way across his ribs and he held his breath. As her hands made their way to the front of his body, inch by inch, more of her began to make contact as well.

Her hands allowed first her wrists, then her forearms, and finally both of her arms were wrapped around him completely. Her hands, still shaking ever-so-slightly came up to rest on his pectorals.

Jamie stayed frozen as a statue, still holding his breath. He felt Claire’s hands as they started out tense and then slowly, they relaxed against his skin. Her arms did the same soon after.

Moments passed and he suddenly felt her breath on his back, her mouth was merely an inch from his skin now. She took a small step and placed her forehead into the dip between his shoulder blades. She released a larger breath and it dusted his skin and he involuntarily tensed again.

Not wanting Claire to misinterpret his body’s reaction, he slowly lifted one of his hands and placed it lightly on top of one of hers. He made sure to move slowly but with purpose. He didn’t want to take any steps that she was not comfortable with but he also wanted her to know that he was there and that he supported her.

To his immense relief, her hand relaxed under his touch and she let out another breath and buried her face further into his back.

She breathed him in. His scent was so classically Jamie that it instantly helped to soothe her nerves. Any negative thoughts that had been occupying her mind were soon replaced with nothing but Jamie as his hand pressed into hers lovingly.

Claire forced her face to make as much contact with his skin as possible, the heat radiating off of him in a way so familiar that she inhaled deeply in order to make this moment resonate in her mind. She took deep breaths, letting her body feel his and letting her mind remind itself of who this body belonged to. Again, sending messages to her brain, “You are safe with this body. This body will not hurt you.”

She continued to breath in and out slowly until finally, she whispered against his skin.

“W—would you hold me, Jamie? Please?”

His heart rioted in his chest as her question reached his ears. Her voice was quiet and nervous and he wanted nothing more than to turn around and grip her tightly to his chest. But no, he needed to continue and do things only at the pace she wanted.

Slowly, he took one small step at a time, turning in a circle until he faced her. Still moving slowly, he raised a hand to place on her cheek but then rested it on her hair instead.

“Always, mo nighean donn.” He gently, gently, pressed her head into his chest and waited until she wrapped her arms around him before then wrapping his around her.

All he wanted to do was squeeze her to him, after days of thinking she could have been dead and then relieved when he found her and then—it was too much. She had been through too much and he had not been able to stop it. All he wanted to do was wrap his large hands around her tiny frame and envelope her forever so that she would never have to leave his arms.

But he couldn’t. This was not about what he wanted. This was about Claire and the pace she needed was the pace he would go. He held her as tightly as he dared and almost sobbed when she he felt her nose touch his collarbone. It pressed ever so gently against that spot before she let herself fall deeper into his embrace. Her nose touched his skin just barely as it trailed away from his collarbone and finally settled in the crease of his neck.

She pressed her nose into his neck, wrapping her arms around his back. She could feel that he was holding back but she didn’t mind it. Two days ago it might have annoyed her that he was being “too” gentle with her. But now, in this moment, she recognized that he wanted her to have the power in this situation and she appreciated that.

At the same time, she still needed to feel his powerful arms holding her tight. To embrace her and make her feel protected. He couldn’t protect her from the things inside her mind, but he could protect her from everything else. And she needed to feel protected.

Claire tightened her arms around him and pressed her face more harshly into him, encouraging him to tighten his grip as well. Obviously, he felt her nuzzling and understood what she needed. He gripped her tighter and pressed a chaste kiss to the crown of her head.

“I need you to hold me.” She said, her voice muffled from where it was buried in his neck.

“I am holding you, Sassenach. I’m right here.” He tightened his grip again.

She shook her head and spoke into his neck, “No, I mean…I need…more.” She couldn’t finish her thought, she was suddenly too desperate to find words. She pressed herself into him fully, her fingertips digging into his back. After finally being in his arms again, she suddenly could think of nothing but getting closer, closer, closer into him. She needed his body to be wrapped around hers in every way.

She clung to him, her hands groping him desperately as she did everything she could to meld their two bodies together. She said she needed more, and he knew exactly how he could give her that.

He allowed her to continue clinging to him as he clung to her in return and he began walking her backwards towards the bed. When they got there, he held her away from him enough to see her face.

“Can I take this off?” He motioned to her shift, “Or do you want to do it?”

The look of loving concern on his face mixed with the affection and genuine curiosity in his voice almost made Claire lose her emotions. But she shook her head quickly.

“Together, I think.” She said quietly, nerves approaching the surface once again. She just wanted to be back in his arms again. That was the most she had felt relaxed since being taken.

They reached together and grasped the hem of her shift and lifted it off her body. As soon as it left her body, she reached around him and pulled herself back into his arms. She sighed deeply as she felt them connect skin to skin.

She registered that he was laying them down but tried not to think of anything but how strong his body was and how protected she felt wrapped up inside of it.

Both of them were on their sides with Claire doing her best to tuck herself into him. He wrapped his arms around her tightly and now that they were skin to skin, she could feel her whole body releasing tension.

She breathed deeply and pressed a hand to his chest while tucking her head under his chin. She pushed her legs into his desperately, trying to entangle their lower limbs together. She wanted to feel completely encased by his body so she stuck her leg in between his, encouraging him to mimic his arms with his legs around her.

He instantly complied and threw his large thigh over her hip, trapping her body into his.

A flash of darkness flooded her mind. She saw the outline of the trees as she laid on the ground, looking up at the night sky. She felt a heavy weight on her hips, a stranger, his legs were heavy and…no. No, she was with Jamie, not in the woods. She was safe, she was with Jamie. But the weight, it was still there, she could feel it on her. Her mind knew where she was but the weight against her felt too real.

“Wait, no, stop.” She opened her eyes and pushed his chest away with the hand that had been resting on it. “Your leg…take it off me, please, Jamie.” Her voice cracked on his name and her breathing had gone from calm to sporadic in a single moment.

He slung his leg off her so fast that the bedframe shook slightly.

“I—I’m sorry, Claire…I thought…you…I’m sorry.” He sputtered, his face searching hers with fear in his eyes.

Her eyes closed again as she breathed in and out slowly to gain her peaceful rhythm again. She shook her head, “No…no, it’s not your-- you didn’t do anything.”

She sent more messages to her brain, “The weight is gone, there’s nothing but air, feel the air on your leg, there is nothing there. Nothing there but Jamie. And Jamie’s body is safe. You are safe.”

She took a few more breaths, their legs were no longer touching and he had removed his arms from her when she got scared. He lay there as still as he could.

“What do ye need, Sassenach?”

“I don’t know…I thought I needed your legs to wrap around me but no, no, I can’t…” She rambled for a moment, emotion clouding her voice. “I don’t know.” She repeated, growing frustrated.

He could practically feel his heart breaking as he watched her. His mo nighean donn, his Sorcha, was distraught and he didn’t know how to help her. He watched her try to figure out what she needed, he waited patiently, trying not to make any sudden movements.

Her hands fell to her face, covering herself as she did her best to conceal how frustrated she was. He knew she was trying to be tough, she had said herself that worse things had happened to her. She didn’t want this attack to get the better of her. He knew from experience that that was easier said than done.

“Maybe…if we put your legs on top, mo nighean donn?” He spoke to her gently, his voice laced with affection and love. He moved slowly, reaching his arms out for her.

She kept her face covered but did not pull away when he touched her. He pulled her back into him again, this time reaching down and lifting each of her legs up so that they laid on top of his.

“Is…is this alright?” He asked, looking down at the hands covering her face.

She lowered her hands and placed them slowly back on his chest.

“I think so.” She couldn’t meet his eyes yet, embarrassed, so she stared at the place where her hands touched his chest.

“Are my arms okay to hold you?” He asked.

She felt the slight breeze from the open window across her bare legs and reminded herself that there was no one on top of her. At Jamie’s question, she focused her attention to his arms to see if they felt scary or safe. Jamie’s arms are safe. You are safe.

“Yes.” She said, allowing her face to press into his chest once again as her breathing returned to normal.

She felt his arms fold her into him a little closer before fanning out his fingers to press into her protectively. She sighed.

They lay that way for a long time and finally Claire fell into a calm and dreamless sleep for the first time since she was abducted.

His left arm was completely numb. It was nestled under her shoulders and he stretched it out behind her head, flexing his fingers before placing his hand back on her shoulder.

His other arm was draped loosely over her waist and he moved it to gently push a curl out of her sleeping face and tucked it behind her ear. He watched as her eyes moved slightly under her closed lids as she began to stir from sleep.

Just then, a crack of thunder boomed outside and her eyes flew open as her body tensed and she gasped slightly. Her eyes, full of fear, looked around in sleepy question until they landed on his face. She instantly relaxed in his arms again.

She sighed and when she spoke, her voice croaked with the remnants of leftover emotion, “How long was I asleep?”

“I dinna ken, I fell asleep too. Sun’ll be up soon, though.”

She looked up at him with a thoughtfulness etched into her eyes that made Jamie take pause. He wanted to know what she was thinking but thought it best to wait for her to be ready to tell him.

“I thought it was the sun coming up…that night.” She spoke, her voice soft and quiet. It sounded rough from sleep and she cleared her throat and licked her dry lips before continuing.

“When you came to me, I saw light along the tree line in the distance and I—I thought the sun was coming up, that it was morning. I spent so long that night waiting and waiting and wishing that morning would come. I thought, I thought during the day that I would feel safe again but…it was a foolish thought.”

Jamie tightened his hand that held her shoulder, “It is not foolish.”

He spoke with care in his voice but Claire knew he also spoke from experience and that made his words feel even more genuine.

“When I realized that the light I saw was actually from the firing of guns…I knew. I knew you had come for me and I—I did not believe it, that you had actually found me.”

“I will always find you, mo nighean donn. I willna have stopped looking until I had. I mean it, I would have--”

“I know.” She interrupted him before he could get too worked up again and pressed a hand gently to his face.

“That was the only thing that kept me alive while I laid on that forest floor. I thought constantly of you and how you were going to find me. I had to believe that.”

His throat constricted tightly as he listened to her and he became overwhelmed with how much he was hurting just thinking about how much she had been hurting. He couldn’t even bear to think of what would have happened if he had not found her when he did.

She spoke again, her voice bringing him away from his own thoughts, “I spent most of that night somewhere else.”

He frowned in confusion before she continued, shaking her head slightly, “I can’t explain it but…it was like I could close my eyes and pretend I was somewhere else.”

Jamie sighed as his brows uncurled, he understood what she meant now.

“I kept imagining you and me…far away. Marsali and Fergus were there. Ian. Jocasta. Murtagh.” Both of their hearts clenched in memory of their dear friend. “You wrapped me in your plaid, held me. I think my mind just wanted to imagine that I was safe, even though I wasn’t.”

He tightened his arms around her to give her a silent reminder that she was safe now.

She didn’t want to tell him every little detail. It wasn’t important. He knew enough. There was no reason to go into detail about it. It was over now. It would live in her head and Jamie, out of anyone, understood exactly what had happened.

“Anytime I got the chance, I tried to escape. I got loose from the man holding me on that first day, I ran into the woods. I didn’t have any idea how I would survive in the woods trying to make it back home, but I ran anyway. He caught up to me and then…well…”

Without even realizing it, her hand fluttered to the healing cut above her breast. She saw Jamie inhale deeply, anger building inside of him. She stopped tracing the wound on her chest and returned her hand to lay assuredly on his chest. He calmed his breath with effort, allowing her to continue.

“I tried to convince the men to let me go, anytime I caught one of them alone. None of them would. I didn’t care what would happen to me if I got caught, I refused to give up. Every moment I got, I mustered the small amount of strength I could find and I would kick them, spit on them, struggle at every possible moment to make it as hard for them as possible.”

Her voice was lined with a fierce determination that was so unequivocally her that Jamie felt a swell of pride rise in his chest.

The amount of emotional exertion to tell him all of this was taking its toll on her, he could see that. She sighed and laid her head back down again onto him, needing to take a break from talking.

He rubbed her shoulder with his fingers and slid his other arm down her side to hold her hip protectively. His fingers pressed into her skin to say, Rest now, I understand.

She sighed into him and one of her hands came to rest on the inside of his arm in thanks.

“Christ…yer a brave wee thing.”

“Am I?” She asked quietly, her face still against his chest, her hand curled under her chin.

He wondered how she could even ask that, “Aye.” He said, still bewildered at what she had told him. Kicking and spitting on her abductors? That was his brave girl. The same brave girl he had fallen in love with so many years ago. The one he vowed to protect always. And now she had been hurt.

He nudged the top of her forehead until she looked up at him, “How do you feel?”

How do I feel? She wondered briefly to herself. She realized the answer was simple.

“Safe.” She responded, looking into his eyes so that he would know she meant it.

They held each other’s gaze, oceans of understanding bristling between their eyes. Thousands of things that could be said out loud but didn’t need to be.

He kissed her forehead and she pressed her face back into him while laying her hand flat against his chest. His heartbeat had always been able to steady her and she took full advantage of that now. He tightened his hold on her and she allowed him to do so as she, herself, nuzzled deeper into him. She sighed in content.

It was only then that she realized it was still storming outside. The thunder outside had taken up residence in the thumping of her heart until now. While wrapped safely in Jamie’s arms, the sound of the rolling clouds released from her chest and from her mind and she relaxed as they continued again up in the sky, far away from her.

He wanted to tell her something. He opened his mouth and then closed it again. He wanted to say what he was thinking but he didn’t want to disturb her now that she was finally relaxing against him and her mind seemed to be more clear. He opened his mouth again but closed it, his chest rising as he prepared to take a breath to speak but then releasing his breath as he decided against it.

She must have felt him hesitating because she used one hand to squeeze his forearm gently in reassurance. He let out a breath again and finally spoke what was on his mind.

“It’s just that…I ken how I felt and I dinna want you to think that…well, what I mean is…” She removed her head from its spot on his chest and looked him in the eyes in question.

Her eyes gave him the strength he needed and he sighed before finally speaking his thoughts without stumbling, “I dinna want ye to think that this changes anything between us, Sassenach. Nothing ever could.”

Again, Jamie’s thoughts traveled back all those years and he recalled sitting in the abbey and thinking that Claire would never want to have him again after what happened. He hoped and prayed that Claire would not have to endure the same unbearable thoughts.

Her eyes softened from questioning to care when Jamie finally spoke his concerns. She knew exactly what he meant because she had been the one beside him all those years ago when those thoughts had plagued his mind. She smiled softly, just the very corners of her mouth curling.

“I never thought that. Not even for a moment.” She raised a hand and placed it lovingly on his cheek, the stubble on his jaw as familiar as her hand that stroked it.

The relief in his eyes was evident and he sighed at her touch, his face automatically pushing into her hand on reflex. She realized that while obviously she had undergone a lot recently, Jamie had also been through a lot. She remembered exactly how it felt to spend every moment of every day searching for him, wondering if he was alive or dead. And then, of course, the absolute horror of finding out exactly what he had been subjected to.

Jamie had been feeling all of those same things and while she was still nervous, she wanted to show him that they really would be okay.

“Touch me, Jamie.”

At her touch on his cheek, he had closed his eyes. However, when she spoke those three words, his eyes snapped open to search hers.

He expected her to look unsure, a layer of uncertainty in her eyes, but she didn’t. In fact, she looked solid, her voice was steady as a rock and her eyes seemed deeply set in their sockets.

“Claire…we dinna have to…” He whispered to her. And he meant it, he would wait forever if she needed him to.

She shook her head, “I know we don’t have to. But I want to. I—I need to.” Her voice was still unwavering but her eyes did flicker slightly this time.

“Are ye sure you’re ready?”

Her reply came quietly but still had the level of conviction to convince him, “I don’t know. But I want to try.”

He met her eyes again, searching every corner of them for any uncertainty. But they gazed back at him with confidence. His wife was nothing if not determined.

“How do you—I mean, how do ye think would be best for you?”

She took a deep breath and let her other hand join the first on his face, cupping his cheeks in her hands as she responded, “Just kiss me.”

He didn’t need to be told twice. He leaned in and pressed his lips to hers.

The instant his lips touched hers, she felt a full-body kind of relief. He wanted to take things slow, she figured he would, and so he kept his lips pressed tightly together against hers. She knew that he would let her be in charge of the pace, and she appreciated that.

She felt his lips hesitate against hers, testing to see if she was still okay after that initial touch. She answered his mouth’s silent question by opening her lips under his, encouraging him to do the same.

He followed her lead and opened his mouth but once again waited until she reached her tongue out to his before escalating the kiss again. Their tongues met and massaged each other in the practiced way that they had for years. She pressed her fingertips into his cheeks, pulling his face closer to hers.

After they had to break apart to breathe, Jamie began to leave kisses on her jaw and neck. She sighed as the familiar feeling of his stubble on her skin made tingles rush through her, just like it always had. Things were going to be okay.

He could feel the goosebumps on her ripple under his lips and he saw the skin on her neck beginning to flush—both signs of her body that Jamie was very familiar seeing when she was getting turned on. He continued his line of kisses across her neck and then began to move down, heading to his favorite spot: her collarbone.

He nibbled on it gently and then licked a line across the full length of it, getting turned on himself at the taste of his wife on his tongue. He felt her hands curl into the hair at his neck and her nails scraped his scalp as she sighed deeply at his kisses. Encouraged, he moved his kisses further down her body.

He stopped. The large healing slice above her breast stared at him menacingly. He felt his heart clench aggressively as emotion rose quickly to the surface of his mind. How could someone even think about carving into her perfect skin? He felt anger bubbling at the image of some bastard putting a blade into his wife, his beautiful wife, his whole heart and soul.

He didn’t realize he was crying until her finger came up to his face and touched a tear just under his eye.

“It’s alright.” She whispered to him as she wiped another tear from his cheek.

He breathed out deeply, “I should be the one saying that to you, Sassenach. I’m sorry, I just—it fills my heart with anger.”

She reached a hand around his side and settled it firmly on his back, her fingertips pressing into the faded scars there. “I know the feeling.” She answered, looking at him earnestly.

He was taken aback for a moment. She made a good point. She has had to make her peace with many scars that had been inflicted on him. The faded lines a constant reminder of what her husband had been subjected to. And she had never once taken pause. She had touched them, kissed them, embraced them. Now it was his turn.

She grabbed his hand and pressed it gently to her scar. He lifted a finger and traced the line of the scar gently, glancing up at her face to make sure it wasn’t causing her any pain. Her gaze was solid against his. He leaned forward and pressed his lips to the partially healed cut. He left multiple kisses on it, pressing his lips reverently to the line, marking it with his love and affection. After giving the cut ample attention, he moved to the other side of her chest, leaving kisses there, too. He moved back up to her neck and sucked gently.

She could feel heat pulsing through her as Jamie’s kisses grew more intense. He was sucking now on the skin below her ear. Her breath came in short bursts as she gripped him to her desperately.

Her need for him grew unexpectedly fast and she moaned gently as his hands began to caress her skin. She opened her eyes, “Jamie.”

He stopped immediately, drawing his face out from her neck and looking into her eyes with concern.

She kissed the worry from his lips and spoke into his mouth, “I need you.”

He kissed her back but kept his eyes trained on hers to make sure there was no hesitation from her. She kissed him back, her eyes locking with his in reassurance.

“I need my husband to make love to me.” She spoke in a hushed tone that was emotional but firm. He paused for a moment and she could see the recognition in what she was saying she needed register in his mind. He understood.

He kissed her again and she met his lips with desperate passion. He met her with the same and things heated up instantly.

Their arms tightened around each other as their lips opened wide, exploring each other fervently. Jamie rolled her onto her back and placed one hand next to her head and one hand went down to spread her legs. An image once again flashed into Claire’s mind as soon as Jamie’s weight was on top of her.

A weight pressed into her hips, a hand grabbing at her thighs, the tree line against the sky the only thing she could look at.

 “Wait.” She broke away from their kiss and pushed his chest until he rose off her a few inches. He was already breathing heavily but he looked down at her again in question. Worry once again etching his features.

“That’s not working…I’m—I’m sorry.” She mumbled in frustration, her eyes looking apologetically up at Jamie.

He softened his gaze, “It’s alright, Sassenach.” He grabbed her hand that was trying to hide her face again. He kissed her knuckles and brought their connected hands to his chest. “It willna be easy right away. We can take as much time as you need to figure out what is best for ye, mo ghraidh. I will try anything you need me to.”

She felt her eyes water and her chin quiver and thought briefly that she was going to cry at her husband’s words.

She gripped their hands tighter together and her voice cracked with emotion as she responded to him, “I never knew it was possible to love someone this much until I met you, Jamie.”

His eyes shone with genuine affection as he looked down at her and whispered, “Mo nighean donn, there are not words in any language, in any century, to truly define how much I love you.”

She felt tears rushing to the surface once again but she held them back and smiled up at him even as she sniffled, “Well then, I guess you’ll just have to show me.”

He smiled back at her, “Tell me how and I will.”

She bit her lip, thinking while looking down at their bodies. What they had just tried clearly didn’t work for her. She needed to feel more in control.

“I think, I should be on top?”

He nodded, “Aye, sure, Sassenach. We can try that.” He rolled off her and reached his arms out for her to grab so she could hoist herself on to him. She settled over his body, one leg on each side of his hips.

He looked up at her in question.

She paused a moment, taking in the new position. No flashbacks came and so she nodded at him, smiling hopefully.

He let out a small breath of relief. For the moment, things were going okay. He was terrified of doing something wrong, but he didn’t want Claire to think he was scared to touch her. He knew what it felt like to have someone scared of your touch. He didn’t want that for her.

“Come here.” He reached for her and she lowered her head to his and they locked lips once again. They kissed intensely, her hips automatically beginning to grind against his.

He responded in kind, pressing his fingertips into the back of her shoulders to keep her close to him. They were both moving with purpose, their bodies clearly ready to be joined together where they belonged. He moved a hand down in between them and grabbed himself, lining up and looking up to ask her eyes with his if she was ready.

Her eyes met his but she grabbed the wrist that held his cock to keep him from entering her just yet.

“Jamie—I should tell you…there’s, well there was a lot of…bruising.” She flushed, embarrassed. “I might be sore at first…I just didn’t want you to worry if I react…well, it’s not you.”

His anger flashed under his skin again thinking about how they hurt her, his precious Sassenach. “I dinna want to hurt you, Claire.” He started to retreat.

“No, that’s why I’m telling you now. I’m a little sore, but it’ll be okay after a moment.”

He looked at her, still feeling unsure, but Claire held his wrist to keep his cock firmly where it was beneath her and lowered down slowly until the tip pressed against her opening. She took a deep breath.

Jamie was still worried that she wasn’t ready and when he opened his mouth to say so, she locked her eyes onto his and spoke in a quiet whisper, “Just look at me, please, I want to see your eyes.”

That silenced him and he made sure to keep his eyes open and locked on hers as she finally lowered herself down on to him.

Every inch of him that entered her felt huge and warm and familiar and uncomfortable and incredible and emotional and stabilizing. She sighed deeply to cover any sounds of painful stretching that was going on inside of her. She didn’t want to worry Jamie.

His eyes blazed up into hers and her heart swelled at her love for him. A moment later and he was all the way in. She reached her hands down to grip his sides, keeping eye contact with him. He stayed as still as he possibly could but she could feel his cock twitching inside of her, itching to move. She breathed for a minute, making sure her mind was continuing to speak to her body, reminding herself who she was with and where she was.

She nodded down at him and he gave her a single nod back in answer. He reached up to hold onto her hips, preparing to lift her up off him so they could start establishing a rhythm.

When his hands landed on her hips and he gripped her, one of his hands landed right on a large bruise and she winced painfully as his large hand pressed on it powerfully.

He immediately released his hold on her and began to sit up, worried and not knowing what happened. She shook her head and grabbed his hands, placing them back on her hips but a little higher up. She nodded down at him again.

Jamie hesitated for another moment before holding tightly to her again. They worked together to lift her up and his cock slid halfway out of her and she felt a ping of loss.

It was a temporarily loss, though, as moments later, she sat back down on him and sighed in pleasure at the feeling of his cock inside of her. Deciding to take advantage of this moment of pleasure, she began to move up and down on him at a fast pace, her hands gripping his body beneath her as she started pumping her hips against his.

He let out a breath of surprise but immediately met her at the pace she was trying to maintain, groaning at how soft she felt around and on top of him.

Claire felt nothing but pleasure and the familiar rushes of heat that her husband had always sent through her when they made love. Her mind and body knew exactly where they were and she moved passionately on top of his cock, enjoying how he felt. They both were lost in the moment, only focusing on getting to that point of final pleasure.

Moving quickly, she pumped up and down on him and ran her hands up and down his chest, feeling every familiar curve of his muscles and coarse chest hairs. She leaned forward so that her clit would now rub against his pubic bone at every thrust. They both breathed out quickly and sporadically, gasping in pleasure and attempting to exchange kisses whenever they could find each other’s lips.

For a brief second, Claire’s mind thought of the other night in the woods. Refusing to ruin their progress, she found Jamie’s lips with hers and spoke into them, “Talk to me, Jamie. Talk to me only how you would talk to me.”

“Och, mo ghraidh, you feel like heaven.” He sputtered out, his hips pumping up into hers wildly.

The second his highlander lilt reached her ears, she relaxed into the moment again. She panted into his mouth, “More.” She rubbed her bundle of nerves against him roughly as his cock continued to slam up deeply into her.

He grunted and hit her with a more powerful thrust that had him hitting her deeper inside, “Sassenach…”

“Yes…” She gasped against his lips. He wasn’t sure if she was responding to him saying her name or to his deeper thrust so he continued with both.

“Mo nighean donn…mother of my children…owner of my heart…master of my soul…” They both panted desperately as strings of heat began to shoot through them both.

Claire moaned as she felt her climax beginning and Jamie gasped a few more phrases out as his hit at the same time, “Blood of my blood and bone of my bone.”

They both cried out as they ascended into oblivion together. They crushed their bodies together as sparks of pleasure rushed through them. Claire’s whole body shook and she watched as Jamie’s eyes closed and his stomach muscles tensed under her hands. She moved her eyes from his closed lids to her own hands that rested against him.

She ran her hands up to his chest as she breathed deeply. While looking at her hands, she saw drops of water falling onto his chest and realized she was crying. Jamie must have felt it because he opened his eyes and as soon as he saw her face, he moved his hands from her waist to cup her face. He sat up so their foreheads almost touched, he eyes full of concern and his cock slipping out of her.

“Are you hurt? Did I hurt ye? Was it too much? Sassenach, I—” He desperately kissed her face all over, trying to pick up every tear with his lips. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, what can I do?”

“Shhhhh, Jamie, it’s alright.” She placed her hands on his face, mirroring what his hands were doing on hers. She waited until he looked at her before continuing, “Darling, I’m crying because I’m relieved.”

He gave her a look of confusion so dramatic that it was almost childlike. She smiled lovingly at him before continuing.

“I know that we still have a long road ahead of us and more potentially bad memories for me that we will have to move past but…I know now that we can and we will. Together. There’s no one else in the world that would be able to help me through this but you. And I’m so grateful to have you.” She let the tears flow freely now as she looked at Jamie as she caressed his stubble.

He brought a hand around to the back of her head, pulling her face into his neck and chest. He leaned back to allow her to lay completely on top of him, her face nuzzling into the place where his neck and shoulder met. “You will always have me, mo nighean donn.”

She sighed deeply, her whole body and mind relaxing against him and savoring how it felt to be in his arms. Safe.

Chapter Text

Jamie would not stop moving. Could not stop moving. He paced the hallways of the big house, going in one room, only to turn right back around and leave it. He packed horses, then unpacked them, then packed them again. He felt mad, wild, crazed. The only thought in his mind was the same one over and over, Must find Sorcha.

“Uncle?”

Jamie turned to see Young Ian watching him from the doorway. Ian’s eyes were fixed on Jamie’s hands. Jamie followed his gaze down to his own hands to see that he was holding one of Claire’s knives from her surgery. He looked back up to Ian, understanding now why the young man looked so concerned.

“I…I want to bring anything your auntie might even think about wanting…if she’s…” He swallowed thickly, “If she’s hurt…she might want…” He looked down at the knife and felt sick.

Ian took a few steps into the surgery, “Aye, I know ye do, Uncle. But ye’ve already packed a good dozen of her little knives.”

Jamie looked slightly taken aback by this information but nodded at his nephew and placed the knife back onto the counter, exactly where he found it. He touched the handle briefly, thinking about how the last fingertips to have gripped this exact tool were hers.

“Is there anything I can do for ye?” Ian asked thoughtfully. Jamie shook his head but then spoke as he thought harder.

“Are all the men here?”

“Nae yet…about 10 or so I’d say still on their way.”

Jamie practically shouted in response, “What’s taking sae long?! Ifrinn. I wanted to leave last night!”

Ian spoke calmly, he knew his uncle was desperate to start the search, “You know its best to wait for as many men as possible. Not just for the group going but for the group staying behind.”

Jamie let out a frustrated sigh and began to pace again as Ian continued, “Ye ken it will do no good to find Auntie and bring her back to a house that has been attacked because there were not enough men here to protect it.”

Ian jumped as Jamie slammed his fist down onto the table, “I DINNA CARE ABOUT THE HOUSE, THEY CAN DO WHAT THEY WANT WITH IT, I DINNA NEED IT! I NEED CLAIRE!”

Her name came out in a sob as Jamie began to hyperventilate. He leaned against the counter in her surgery, his fingers digging into the table as he tried to calm down.

Ian hurried over, placing a gentle hand on Jamie’s shoulder. Jamie instantly regretted yelling at him. He sighed as Ian spoke once more.

“We all care about Auntie Claire and we all want to get her back. But you know how much she loves this house, her surgery. She wouldna want anything to happen to it. Especially if she knew that Bree was here.”

At the mention of his daughter, Jamie realized Ian was right. As much as he had wanted to jump on a horse and gallop away into the night last night when he found out she had been taken, he knew he couldn’t. He had to make sure that Brianna would be safe at the house. He was desperate to go after Claire, even suggesting to Ian that the two of them ride ahead in the middle of the night. Ian reasoned with him, saying that the Browns took her to send a message. They most likely would not kill her. Jamie knew he was right but it pained him to even breathe without Claire, he needed to find her before something bad happened. He sighed and resigned himself to another night of waiting.

“Aye, yer right, lad. I just dinna ken how I am supposed to stand around when I know she’s out there and needs me…if she’s scared or hurt or…” He couldn’t even finish that thought.

Ian nodded, “I ken.”

Later that night, Jamie lay in their bed. Unable to sleep, his mind raced with any and all possibilities about what was happening to his wife. Somewhere around midnight, he curled up onto his side and pulled her pillow into his chest. Closing his eyes, he inhaled her scent deeply and squeezed, imagining that it was her body wrapped up in his arms.

He began to drift, thinking of a recent night they had shared together…

He made his way up the stairs and into their bedroom. Claire stood by the dresser, her back to him as she kicked off her shoes while rummaging through a drawer, probably looking for a clean shift. She wore just one skirt but she was wearing a full corset, whalebones and all. They had been to Wilmington that day. Most of the time, she never worried about what she wore. She had stopped wearing corsets and the like as soon as they started making a home on the ridge. Even in town, when some people gave her dirty looks and whispered behind her back, she continued to leave corsets out of her wardrobe.

Today, however, they had gone to a matinee of a play, at the request of the governor and his wife to accompany them. As much as Claire resisted, she knew she couldn’t get away with wearing just a simple dress as she was want to do.

She complained about it most of the way home and Jamie had practically had to hold her hands to keep her from ripping the stomacher out on their ride home.

Now, her hands reached excitedly to the strings at the front of her chest, eager to release her torso from its confines.

He stepped forward and wrapped his arms around her middle from behind, placing gentle hands on top of hers, halting her movements. He pushed her hands away and she let him take over.

He leaned his head forward to rest his chin on her shoulder so he could look down to see what he was doing. Using dexterous fingers, he worked to undo the laces of her corset. She sighed as each lace came undone, giving her more and more space to breathe. At last, every lace was loosened and he helped her remove the stomacher and pull the corset off and drop it to the floor.

Now dressed only in her shift, she leaned back into Jamie’s chest as she breathed in deeply. He used his large hands to cup her sides while his fingers spread around to the front of her ribcage. He began massaging the area gently, allowed his fingers to soothe her torso after being squished all day. She sighed deeply and leaned her head back, pushing her body closer into the front of his. He leaned his head down and pressed his lips to the skin connecting her neck and shoulder.

He peppered kisses there, sometimes letting his tongue out for a taste, all while continuing to massage her ribs and stomach. She stretched her head to give him access to more of her neck and he thanked her by placing more open-mouthed kisses to her skin.

She closed her eyes and hummed in content and his lips felt the vibrations of her hums from inside of her neck. He took a little nibble of the skin there, hoping to illicit another hum from that same spot. He heard her breath catch slightly and she placed her hands on his arms that were still caressing her softly.

“Let your hair down, Sassenach.” He commanded into her neck as his hands began to roam up and down her sides.

She raised her hands up and released the clips from her hair, letting her wild curls fall messily onto her shoulders. Jamie, still with his face buried in her neck, soon found his head enveloped by her curls as they fell around him. He inhaled deeply, knowing the smell of her luscious hair would send a chill through him. His hands gripped her body just a little tighter as he nuzzled his face back and forth in her neck, letting her curls fall further into his face.

She chuckled, “Can you breathe under there, soldier?” She quipped about her wild head of curls.

He spoke, one of her curls falling into his mouth as he did, “Aye,” He bit down on the wandering curl before opening his mouth to let it fall out, “Tis’ the only time I’ve been able to breathe properly all day, mo ghraidh.”     

She laughed and placed her hands around her ribs, “Me too.”

He resumed his gentle massages over her stomach and under her breasts, “I dinna wish ye to be in pain, Sassenach.” He pulled his head out from underneath the curtain of her curls and smoothed them down with one hand.

He kissed her cheek and turned her to face him chest to chest now.

“As a young lad in love with ye, the thought of you wandering about town without proper dress would have made me furious.”

She raised an eyebrow as he continued, “The thought of some other man seeing ye like that, the way only a husband should see his wife, it would have driven me mad with jealousy.”

She let out an amused breath and placed a hand on his shoulder as his hands ran up and down her sides.

“But now, as an auld man in love with ye—”

She smiled up at him, letting her other hand come up to his opposite shoulder as her first hand floated up to caress his cheek.

“Well, it stills makes me mad as a beast to see another man look at ye, but it’s alright, because I know dressing this way pains you so.”

She chuckled at his sweetness, “Even after all this time? Jamie, I couldn’t possibly be more yours, you know that.”

“I ken, mo nighean donn, but I dinna ken if THEY know that.” He furled his brows at the thought of some random man even thinking of Claire.

“If a man even breathes in the direction of your arse, Claire, I’ve got half a mind to grab you right then in the middle of the street and bend you over just to show him who that arse belongs to.”

She laughed from her belly as Jamie’s hands slid around to grab her by the body part in question.

“Is that so?” She laughed at him and he nodded as he gave a grunt in affirmation, his hands fondling her buttocks eagerly.

Her eyes sparkled with mischief as she looked up at him through her lashes, “Well, perhaps we should explore that idea the next time we are in town…”

He groaned at that as she smirked at him devilishly. They both leaned forward to meet their lips.

Their kisses soon became heated and they both pushed their hips into the other as their hands pulled their heads closer.

She pulled him with her as she walked backwards towards the bed. Just as he was about to push her down and climb on top of her, she released his lips and spoke breathily.

“I’ve got a bread in the oven downstairs…” He kissed her again, barely even registering that she was speaking. She broke apart and tried again, “Jamie…I need to go take it out before we…”

Jamie groaned. His wife had explained to him this ridiculous bread process. He understood why she was so obsessed with it. He even accepted the fact that several nights he would wake up to an empty bed as she had taken to baking bread at all hours of the day. But if this bread was going to get in the way of this…he wasn’t too sure how much he could get behind this idea.

He lifted himself back away from her as she fixed him with a look to say, “I’m sorry.”

“I’ll be quick, hold that thought.” She kissed his lips and reached for her shawl to wrap around herself.

“Nae, Sassenach, I’ll go.” He knew that if she went to take the bread out herself, she would distract herself in her research. No, he needed to do it so he could get it done as fast as possible and get back up here.

He pushed her back to sit on the bed, kissed her forehead, “Dinna move.” And raced out of the room, not even shutting the door all the way.

Faster than he has ever moved, Jamie accomplished his wife’s task and raced back up the stairs. He stepped into the room to see Claire sitting up towards the headboard now, and his eyes followed her delicate hands as she slowly pushed her stocking down, down, down her silk leg. His eyes glazed over as every inch of her precious skin was revealed and he swallowed a gulp.

She had not heard his return and jumped slightly as she heard, “Do that again.”

Her hands paused, her stocking around her ankle, and she looked over at him. He was standing in the doorway, his chest rising and falling as his eyes stared darkly at her. She smirked at him, enjoying the affect she was clearly having on him. She milked it, not moving her hands as she continued to stare at him, widening her eyes innocently.

“What?”

He was not having it. He took a step towards her, “You know perfectly well what I said.” She raised an eyebrow, preparing to answer him with a sarcastic remark. He spoke again before she could respond.

“Do. That. Again.” He took another step towards her, “Only much slower, Sassenach.” He took another two steps and was now only a foot from where she sat on the bed.

She gulped. His voice was serious, his eyes throwing flames at hers. She thought briefly about teasing him some more but then thought better of it. She gripped her stocking once again and began to pull it back up her leg. Jamie’s eyes never left her hands as she pulled the silk fabric back up over her calf, knee, and finally up her thigh. Once at the top, she paused and pressed the top of the stocking to smooth it over the skin of her thigh.

Jamie immediately missed her leg once it was covered again. He breathed deeply, staring at the tiny strip of thigh he could see over the top of her stocking.

“Again.”

His voice was a coarse whisper that sent chills down her spine. She didn’t move her hands and waited for his eyes to look into hers again.

She locked him with a stare to match his and said, “Do it yourself.”

A moment passed. Then he was on the bed, his hands gripping her ankles, roughly spreading her legs so that he could kneel in between them as he pulled on her until she was laying flat on her back. Her breath caught but she pulled her bottom lip in between her teeth in excitement.

“What did you just say to me?” His voice was rough, desperate, and it sent a wave of heat directly in between her legs.

She refused to back down this time, “You heard me. If you want my stocking off, you’ll have to do it yourself, darling.”

He was over this game of cat and mouse, “Make me.”

He gripped her ankles tighter in his hand, tight enough to leave marks. She squirmed underneath him, trying to move her ankles from his grip. Then, she stopped writhing and became still. She smiled at him and he looked confusedly down at her.

She knew how to win this game. She shifted her hips on the bed and used her hands to grab the bottom of her shift. At the same time as she lifted the fabric up and over her hips, she spread the part of her legs that she could still control: her thighs.

Jamie now found himself in direct view of the apex of her thighs. With her shift up around her waist and her legs spread, he looked down to see her glistening and very ready for him. He spent about 4 seconds before releasing her ankles and scooting down to go from his knees onto his belly to get a closer look.   

She smirked down at him, knowing she had won. He looked up at her and growled. He tilted his head, grabbed the top of her stocking with his teeth, and locked eyes with her.

Claire let out a breathy sigh as Jamie began to drag the stocking down, his teeth grazing against the sensitive skin of her thigh as he did. Both of their eyes darkened several shades as he slowly dragged the silken fabric all the way down to her ankle. He pulled it off of her foot and, letting go of the fabric, he moved to hold her foot in his hand as he proceeded to take several bites of her foot and toes. Her toes wiggled as he bit into the arch of her foot and then dragged his tongue from the arch all the way up to flick across the tops of her toes. She giggled deliciously and Jamie felt his cock get impossibly hard.

Quickly, he reached over and grabbed her other leg and pulled it towards him. He sat back up onto his knees once again and now with both of her feet pressing into his chest. He removed the stocking from her other leg and ran his hands up and down her smooth legs.

With both of her feet pressing into his chest, she squirmed her hips, needing more. With a simple move, she scooted one of her feet up until she could hook her leg around the back of his neck and pull his head down towards her.  

As soon as he realized what she was doing, he smirked. She returned the look and promptly hooked the other leg around the back of his head as well and pulled harder. To her immense relief, he allowed her to pull his head down in between her legs. He dove his face into her and began to lick her with great enthusiasm.

Having been granted her wish, she rested her head back onto the pillow, letting one hand grab the headboard behind her and the other to rest in the curls on his head. However, he didn’t stay there long. After his initial taste of her, he pulled back and reached his hands up behind him to separate her legs from around his neck. Using considerable force, he thrust her legs apart and pushed them down onto the bed, her knees bent and her feet flat on the bedspread.

She writhed underneath him, annoyed at this break in her pleasure. With a speed that seemed practically unnatural, Jamie was soon burying his cock into her.

At the surprise, but very welcome, intrusion, she cried out a deep groan from within her throat. Her eyes had slammed shut and she now reached out blindly for his body. Gripping him by the shoulders, she pulled him down on top of her until his chest collided with hers.

It was at that exact moment that they both realized her shift was still on and covering the top half of her body. He paused his movements and reached a hand to her shift to start working on removing it.

Breathily, she stopped him, “No, I’ll do it…just don’t stop, for the love of god, don’t stop.” The words came out fast and dripping with desperation, but Jamie obeyed them. He placed his hands back on either side of her body and began to thrust in and out of her with precision.

With shaking hands, she worked to undo the ties at the front of her shift and soon found the strings in a knot. She pulled and yanked but nothing worked. Growing frustrated, she grabbed the shoulders of the shift and pulled on them aggressively until she heard several seams ripping. She pulled on it until it ripped just enough so that she could shove the front of her shift down and expose her breasts.

Jamie immediately latched onto a nipple, sucking on it eagerly. That was all she needed to come apart and she cried out as her legs and arms locked around his body tightly as her inner muscles spasmed around his cock. Almost right after, he fell apart, his teeth scraping the nipple in his mouth as his body stiffened on top of her. The teeth on her nipple caused a second round of heat to follow the first inside of her. They both clung to each other, riding out their waves of pleasure.

He did his best to collapse beside her, leaving only one of his legs on top of her body as they both tried to catch their breath. She turned her head to look at him and he leaned forward to kiss her sweetly.

Their lips parted but their faces remained almost touching each other. Her hand reached up to stroke his jaw and he placed a hand on her sternum, letting his thumb draw lazy circles on her skin. They weren’t ready to sleep, but they didn’t need to speak, either. They said all they needed to say with their eyes and their hands as they lay in bliss.

A long while later, she turned and snuggled backwards to fit her back against his front. One of his hands landed on her side and she grabbed it and pulled it to wrap around her front and placed it to rest lovingly on her breast.

They both relaxed deeply into the touch, her hand resting on top of his. He scooted forward just enough to dip his nose into the back of her neck, letting her curls once again tickle and comfort him.

Jamie woke, his face pushed deep into the pillow in his arms. The pillow was wet and he realized he had been crying in his sleep.

He wept at the thought that he could lose her again, this time forever. He didn’t sleep anymore at all. So, he would continue to pace. And pack. And repack while he waited.

As dusk approached, Jamie finally got the word he was waiting for. All the men had arrived. He sprang into his clothes and marched outside.

Most of the men were huddled in groups next to their horses. Some had guns, some had axes or whatever weapons they could find. Jamie called them to gather around to hear the plan.

He spoke firmly and quickly. Wanting to make sure everyone understood their part but also wanted to get the hell on the horses and go.

Fergus and Ian stood to the left of Jamie, each of them were in charge of certain things and Jamie would point to them while he explained the many parts of the rescue. As soon as he was done, Jamie began to make his way to quadruple-checking the things on his horse.

Fergus and Ian stood by one cluster of men, one of which was very vocally expressing his confusion.

The man was dressed like most of the other men from the ridge, but his hair was light brown with patches of bald across the head. He spoke rudely, “I dinna understand why we are all acting like we are going to war. All of this, over a silly little Sassenach?”

Fergus and Ian both took a step forward, their mouths opening with words of menace about to spill out when someone roared through the crowd, “WHAT DID YE SAY?”

They looked to the right to see Jamie burst through the crowd of men, his face screaming of murder. With one hand on his dirk, the other came to grasp the man by the collar of his shirt.

Ian and Fergus both expected Jamie to continue to roar with anger. They expected his voice to rise in intensity but what happened instead was almost more terrifying.

Jamie gripped the man’s collar and stood chest to chest with him. Jamie was about a foot taller and so he looked down directly into his eyes and said calmly, “I said…what did ye say?”

The man visibly gulped in his throat, his eyes now wide with fear as he saw flames flashing in Jamie’s eyes. “I…..uh, I just dinna understand….why…”

The man was flustered but Jamie refused to back down. He stared at him, daring him to continue, “It’s just that…ye said ye’d light the cross when it was time to go to war…”

“Aye. I did.” Jamie answered immediately.

“Well…I mean…is this really cause for a war?” The man naively thought that Jamie was overreacting and that perhaps he could talk some sense into him.

Jamie kept his grip on the man’s collar and pulled him until his back was pressed up against the side of the house. Jamie made sure they were nose to nose again before practically spitting his words onto the man, “They’ve kidnapped my wife. And for that, they must die.”

Coming from anyone else, those words might have sounded farcical. But James Fraser, he meant it. And everyone present could tell.

“Alright, alright!” The man held up his hands but Jamie didn’t loosen his grip. “I didna kidnap your wife, lad.”

“Aye, but you did insult her in my presence, which is almost as grave a mistake, ya ken?” Jamie’s eyes were lit with passion and the man gasped before looking around at the men crowded around them for help.

“C’mon…he’s not gonna kill me for insulting his wife, is he?” He pleaded with the other men desperately.

More than a few of the men in the crowd laughed at this. Ian chimed in, “You clearly have never met my uncle, have you?”

Ian and Fergus scoffed along with the other men. Everyone in that crowd thought to themselves that if Jamie Fraser killed that man for speaking ill of the Lady of the Ridge, no one there would be surprised.