It doesna happen often, but sometimes, the summer in Edinburgh swelters.
I’m sitting in my desk chair in my office tugging on the collar of my dress shirt, wishing for some sort of air flow, feeling sweat pool at the base of my neck, my lower back. The heat is making it nearly impossible to focus on the artwork I’m supposed to be reviewing for the upcoming ad campaign for my Uncle Jared’s liquor business, where I’ve worked since my graduation from university. It allows me to combine several things for which I have a natural aptitude: figures, languages, sales, and alcohol (and for me, like most Scots, this generally means whisky). Working for family allows for a certain comfort and ease- even though much is still expected of me, at the end of the day we have to love each other even if everything goes to shite. My life was steady and satisfying and full, full of family and friends and yes, even the occasional woman. I was never flippant with women (my parents would have been horrified if I’d been disrespectful or cavalier, even in casual dating), but none of them ever seemed to fit, never gave me any great desire to go beyond the surface.
I smile and shake my head at myself. Quite without meaning to do so, I have allowed my thoughts to arrive at their most frequent landing spot.
When I met Claire, I suddenly realized just how many things in my steady, satisfying, full life were, in fact, rather flat and dull. Or maybe they just seemed to be, like a world of grayscale in contrast to the vibrant technicolor of her presence. It quickly became apparent to me that I could never go back, the idea of facing a world devoid of her smile, her wit, her laughter caused a heaviness in my chest, like I’d run for miles at altitude and my lungs simply couldn’t expand enough to sustain me.
And all of that was before we’d ever had sex.
I often question how I got so damn lucky. I am not sure how I got the most gorgeous, sensual, creative, stimulating, mind-blowing woman in the world into my bed once, let alone getting her to commit to a lifetime of it. Maybe I’m a better salesman than I thought. In the beginning, a lot of my friends laughed and told me to enjoy it while it lasted, that these things always cool off eventually, that things would change once we were married.
They were right in that- things did change. They got even better.
Every aspect of our life is supported and strengthened by the vows we made to each other when we wed, including our sex life. Loving Claire, honoring her, cherishing her, seeing to her needs above my own, are not just lovely romantic ideas. They are, if you will, my mission statement as her husband. And I take my mission verra seriously.
It must be some combination of the direction of my thoughts and the heat, but I am suddenly itching for her. After a quick Google search on my phone, I send Claire a text with the name and address of the newest Edinburgh nightclub. It is time for the next round of our wee game.
The nightclub I’ve chosen for tonight is not the kind of place I would have picked even as a single lad. I prefer my drinking spots to have a little less polish, a little less noise, a little less flash. But, with the music pulsing and the lights keeping time, the atmosphere seems to suit my mood for the game tonight. As I sit at the bar nursing my whisky, I think about the fact that there is something uniquely arousing about the times when I initiate the game. Being the pursued instead of the pursuer, surprisingly, gives me a sense of power. She gets to make the move, but I get to decide whether to accept it (which I suppose is ridiculous in the end because I would never refuse her anything, especially not when her ultimate goal is to get me into bed, or wherever else we wind up).
I left work early after I sent the text (sure I will have to put in some hours over the weekend to make up for it, but the cost is well worth the reward) so I could shower and change shirts. It probably didn’t wind up making that much of a difference as it was still hot as hell outside when I took the cab to the nightclub, but hopefully she will still appreciate the effort. Even though I’ve been home, I look, intentionally, like I just left the office. My suit is a deep charcoal grey bordering on black, set off by a crisp white dress shirt and a grey and black silk tie. I went for the unexpected choice of brown shoes, but they’re shiny and clean (as my father would have insisted upon) and I think give me a slightly trendier vibe for the city’s latest hot spot. At Claire’s suggestion, and because in summer we could go slightly more relaxed in the office, I had allowed my red hair to grow out somewhat and had also grown facial hair. I was tempted to get rid of it all given the heat, but Claire told me that I resembled “a sexy pirate” and that she liked the feel of it against her skin. I was enjoying taking advantage of that fact in all sorts of ways at every opportunity- anything that puts that look in her eye more often (the one that says she’s thinking about me in the same way I’m usually thinking about her) is more than worth any amount of discomfort. Plus, my hair is finally long enough that I can pull it off my neck, which I’ve done tonight.
Not surprisingly, the place is packed on a Friday night in summer, which means that even with the air conditioning (which seems to be using most of the city’s power grid), the press of bodies makes it swelter. Some of the patrons are seeking relief in the outdoor seating, but the temperature has not dropped significantly even though the sun is close to setting. I removed my suit jacket almost immediately when I arrived and now my shirt sleeves are rolled up to my elbows, my top button on my shirt is undone, and my tie is loose. The whisky is a fine blend, which it should be for the astronomical amount they charge at such places to drink it. Unfortunately, the itch that started when I was still at work this afternoon has only intensified, and I scan the crowd impatiently once again to make sure I haven’t missed Claire’s arrival.
When she walks in, I realize that missing her arrival would have been impossible.
It feels like I am in a scene from a movie as everything in the club seems to have simultaneously frozen in place and faded to a blur. I can no longer hear the music and I can no longer make out the faces of any of the other people in the crowd. The single light that remains in my vision is her (fitting since she is Sorcha in Gaelic, not only “Claire” but “light”) and she is nearly blinding. I am vaguely aware of the fact that my lower jaw is somewhere on the floor of the bar and I imagine many of the other men here are having the same issue.
I am unsure if what she is wearing can accurately be called a dress given how little of her it covers (is this where the term “little black dress” comes from?), but that and her black high heels make her legs look like they go on for miles. Her normally creamy-white skin is slightly sun-kissed, as even the most powerful sunscreen cannot completely protect her from the amount of time she spends outdoors at her nursery and flower shop in summer. The glorified shirt she’s wearing hugs her curves and has cut-outs at her shoulders that show off more of her delicious skin, skin that I cannot wait to touch. Even though she’s straightened her hair, the heat has some of her natural curls fighting their way back to life- I can see them bounce as she walks my way. The woman does not need a single bit of makeup, but she’s performed some sort of magic with her eyes tonight that has made them smoky and sultry, made their golden amber color even more striking. Her lips look nearly bare. There are times, like now, when the English language seems wholly inadequate to describe her. Alluring? Gorgeous? Seductive? These words seem not only weak, but almost cheap in comparison to the astonishing artistry of her form. So, I mutter under my breath the only words that will suffice, the ones that came forth uncontrolled the first time I made love to her- brisidh mo chridhe- my heart will burst.
My pants are too tight, my breath is shallow, and I still haven’t found my lower jaw, and that’s just from watching her walk towards the bar. And the itch that began earlier in the day has kicked up to a full burn I can feel dancing across my skin more insistently with every step she takes my direction. I wonder sometimes why I torture myself with this game when the only thing I can think about is having her alone and naked next to me. But I remember that tonight she is the predator, and I am the prey. And, I think with a smirk, she can make a meal out of me and I will thank her for it.
She squeezes next to me to stand at the bar and then slides her eyes over to where I’m sitting. Her gaze was not locked on me the way mine was on her while she crossed the room, but I can tell that she is already affected by my appearance. Being alert to signs of her arousal is, after all, a favorite pastime of mine. “What are we drinking tonight?” she asks in that slightly posh Sassenach accent of hers that still hasn’t changed much even after living in Edinburgh all this time. It makes my cock twitch. “We? Are ye planning on joining me then, lass?” I ask her in response. She smiles, a smile full of feminine power with a hint of devilish attitude in it, and I am lost, as I have been since the first time we met. It’s a good thing there are no real losers in this game of ours, as she would win every time. “I don’t feel like drinking alone tonight,” she says, then holds out her hand for mine and adds, “I’m Claire Beauchamp.” I turn her hand over and bring it up to my lips- I know I’m probably cheating somehow but I cannot help myself. I’ve been dying to get my lips somewhere on her skin ever since she walked in. It won’t satisfy me for long, but it will do for now. I lift my lips and look back at her, taking an extra breath before I respond so I can breathe in her intoxicating organic scent. “Jamie Fraser. And this is a fairly decent ten-year-old single malt whisky.”
“Or it was,” she says with another smile as she looks at my nearly empty glass, then signals the bartender for a round for the two of us. And since we are supposed to be strangers, I release her hand, even though I have no wish to do so. When the bartender returns, I ask, “So what are we drinking to tonight, lass?” She sighs, rolls her eyes heavenward, and says, “To the approaching end of the busy season for weddings. It cannot come soon enough. Cheers.” She raises her glass to mine, and I tap hers and say, “Sláinte. Weddings, ye say?”
“Yes, I own a nursery and flower shop, so we also do wedding flowers. My best friend Geillis actually runs that side of the business and thank God because if I had to do it alone, I think I would have gone raving mad by now.”
“Too many bridezillas?” She throws back her head and laughs and I am reminded why making her laugh is one of my top goals in life. Every time she laughs for me, I feel ten feet tall. After a few minutes of drinking and chatting, her eagle eyes (which never miss a thing) spot an opening materializing on one of the flat cushioned benches that surround the room. “Quick!” she says, grabbing my arm. “Go get that spot, Fraser! I will be right behind you with the drinks.” She guesses correctly that I can get across the crowded room faster than she can, my stride being both longer and unhindered by high heels. This also gives me the added benefit of getting to watch her walk across the room again. Even while holding two whisky glasses and weaving around the throng of patrons in the bar, she moves in a way that makes my mouth water. “Success!” she exclaims as she reaches me. “And I didn’t spill a drop,” she says with a raised eyebrow, her voice full of meaning. When she hands me my drink, she runs her finger up the back of my hand and says, “I was hoping we could get a spot with more privacy, but this will do for now.” I take a gulp of my drink to soothe my mouth and throat, which have gone completely dry, and only succeed in making myself cough. Verra smooth, Fraser, I think to myself wryly, but I’ve made her laugh again, so it doesn’t sting as much.
Now Claire can hold her liquor well enough to make a grown man weep, but she seems determined to get a bit squiffy tonight, and I am delighted. When she’s intoxicated, she always takes less care for me than usual; abandoned and oblivious to all but her own pleasure, she will rake me, bite me- and beg me to serve her so, as well. I love the feeling of power in it, the tantalizing choice between joining her at once in animal lust, or of holding myself- for a time- in check, so as to drive her at my whim. It suits the game perfectly. As we pass the time talking and drinking, playing at getting to know each other, our bodies naturally get closer together, heat be damned. Our hands especially always seem to touch and tangle like our bodies long to do, and the world narrows to only the two of us, just as it always has. When she comes back from a trip to the loo, she accidentally (on purpose?) loses her footing slightly and leans into me for stability. One of her legs winds up between mine, her arm is around my shoulders, and my face is directly at eye level with her chest. My hand comes around her back immediately to steady her and now we are twined around each other, my other hand itching to slide up her thigh and finally find out what is happening underneath that nothing of a dress. Then, with a small sigh that I can barely hear, she leans her head gently against the top of mine, just resting there.
How does this woman manage to harden me and melt me all at the same time?
She pulls back just far enough to meet my gaze and says, “Walk with me?” And while part of me (you can guess which part) is screaming to simply bend her over this bench and the rest of the bar patrons be damned, I nod mutely in agreement and follow her out into the still sweltering night. I don’t know if she has any destination in mind, but it doesn’t matter overmuch. We both seem to want to thumb our noses at the heat- she keeps leaning into my side and I have my arm around her shoulders with my fingers dancing all over the bare skin there, revealed by the opening in her dress. She is telling me a story about her workday when she suddenly lets out a loud moan of desire that stops us both in our tracks. “What?” I ask in a voice that sounds like a frog croaking. Her wee noises are very distinctive and familiar to me and my response is as immediate as Pavlov’s dog. I look up at her pointing finger and realize we have wandered our way to Ross Fountain, with Edinburgh Castle standing guard from above. “Wouldn’t that feel amazing right now?” she asks, slightly breathless, and before I know what is happening, she leans on my arm so she can reach down and remove her shoes. “Come on, Fraser,” she says as she grabs my hand and pulls me towards the fountain.
She lets go of my hand when we reach the edge of the water, leaving her shoes behind and stepping in gently. “Oh, bloody hell, that feels good,” she moans again, and I swear she is trying to kill me. She kicks up some drops with one foot and giggles as she keeps walking through the shallow water. As she reaches the second level of the fountain, she turns and looks back over her shoulder at me and my bones turn to wax. “Aren’t you . . . coming?” she asks with a smirky grin (has she picked that up from me?) and I suddenly cannot get my socks and shoes off fast enough. I roll the cuffs of my pants up and wade into the fountain myself. She wasn’t kidding- the water isn’t cold, but it is cooler than the air outside and it is incredibly soothing on my tired feet. My feet, however, are the only part of my body feeling soothed as she continues to draw me toward her with the power of her gaze alone. She doesn’t quite let me reach her before she climbs up into the second tier of the fountain, letting the water falling from above cascade over her body as if she’s just stepped into the shower. Shrieking and laughing and moaning all at once, she is almost immediately drenched and now, impossibly, her dress is clinging even more tightly to her curves.
I’m drowning in her.
I walk to the edge of the second level, mesmerized, and she moves towards me as I move towards her. She puts one foot up on the edge from above (a tease like almost nothing else I’ve experienced tonight), leans forward, grabs my tie, and pulls me in until our lips meet. Her mouth on mine is hungry and demanding and she has clearly reached the end of her tether just as I have reached the end of mine. I break away (hearing her growl of frustration sends a bolt of heat straight to my groin) just so I can vault over the edge to her level and she is on me again in seconds, threading her fingers into my hair, breaking it free from its binding, and jumping up to wrap her legs around my waist. I keep walking, wading through the water until her body is between me and the center of the fountain, all the while plunging my tongue repeatedly into her mouth. I’m now almost completely drenched myself and I couldn’t care less because she is grinding her center so hard against my cock, I’m already seeing stars. She breaks away from my mouth and now I’m the one growling, but she nibbles her way along my jaw and then pulls my earlobe into her mouth before whispering, her hot breath making me shudder, “I want you inside me. I want you to fuck me right here. Now.”
Some tiny, still-coherent part of my brain takes a moment to register where we are. I take a quick look around, not seeing anyone but knowing that we are completely exposed. Yet, being surrounded as we are by the curtain of water cascading from the top of the fountain feels almost primitive, like we are the first man and woman in our very own Garden of Eden. Then I look back at her as she unhooks her legs and slides down my body and I know that my godfather Murtagh (Sergeant of Police Scotland) could show up with his entire unit right now and it wouldn’t stop me. So, I give her a smirk of my own and say, “No, mo nighean donn. I want to watch you first.” And with no further preamble I finally slide my hand up the forever expanse of her leg, discover that she is indeed bare underneath her dress, and plunge my fingers into her soaking core.
“Christ, Claire,” I breathe as I feel her clench around me. My fingers are already drenched from her, and it is gratifying to know that she has been burning like I have. Her eyes have blown wide and I can tell she is trying not to be too loud. She bites down on her lower lip, but I can still hear the little whimpers and moans she’s making as I pump my fingers and grind my palm on her clit. I want to drive her mad, the same way she’s been driving me mad all night, the way she’s been slowly driving me mad from the moment I met her. There’s a part of me that needs to know that she is as desperate for me as I have always been desperate for her. That’s why I love watching her- to see her pleasure dance across the features of her beloved face, to feel the clutch of her hands, the dig of her fingernails, her halting breath that ripples over my skin. I have never experienced anything as magnetically beautiful as watching my wife coming undone under my hands. Her hips have found a rhythm with my fingers and I can tell that she’s close- she’s not saying anything, but her moans have grown louder and more urgent. Our lips are touching but we aren’t kissing, just sharing breath as I curl my fingers just so and drive her up and over the edge. This time, her climax is accompanied by a slightly breathless moan and gasp and I love that her noises can still surprise me. When she comes undone, I smile against her mouth, holding her up with my arm still wrapped firmly around her back. And as she comes down, she melts into my mouth and we kiss long and unhurried.
I wonder if perhaps she is spent or if she has forgotten her original request, but then she reaches down and palms me through my pants, her eyes snapping back into focus as she says, “This would be a horrible thing to waste, don’t you think, Mr. Fraser?” And as if I weren’t already on the verge of exploding, she somehow manages to send me even further towards the brink. I am momentarily bereft as she pushes me back a bit. But then she turns around, looks back over her shoulder again, and thrusts her lovely round arse (my unrivalled favorite part of her body) in my direction, shaking it a bit from side to side for good measure. I need no further invitation. With what must be record speed I free myself from my pants and boxer briefs, lift her dress in the back, and I slide home as she gasps and then chuckles. She has all the power and knows it. And she has me exactly where she wants me.
Now, I want to pause. I want to savor. I want to take a moment to rejoice in the fact that I am where I have wanted to be since I started thinking of her in my office this afternoon. But she is done with waiting and honestly, so am I, so she fucks back on me as she braces her arms on the base of the fountain in front of her and I drive into her hard, my hands coming up to palm her breasts roughly. I can feel the pebbles of her nipples through her dress, but I am frustrated that the fabric is between me and the skin I crave. Claire is also apparently done trying to be quiet (it never lasts long) and I am slightly concerned we are going to attract the attention of anyone who happens to be wandering within the confines of Princes Street Gardens. I can even hear her over the noise of the fountain, which considering we are standing in the middle of it is quite impressive. As she turns to look over her shoulder and smile at me, I bring my hand up to her mouth to help muffle her noises. Undaunted, she seizes the opportunity to bite down on my fingers and this time I am the one crying out, mostly in pain, but it also adds an edge to my pleasure that has my vision going black. The hand that is not currently being devoured by her travels up to thread into her still-damp hair and give it a little yank- we both like a little pain with our pleasure and she groans and tightens even further around my thrusting cock. Now, her ear is next to my mouth and I growl, “Is this what ye were after, lass? Is this what ye came looking for at the club tonight?”
“You,” she breathes, her eyes managing to spear mine even in our current position. “I was looking for you.”
That’s it. My control is gone.
I go a wee bit mad, pounding into her hard and fast while I reach down and arrow my fingers around her clit. She is nearly doing standing push-ups on the fountain, pumping her arms, and pushing herself back in rhythm with me. “Oh God, Jamie, harder, Jamie please, don’t stop, oh God I’m-“ and I feel her start to shudder as she grips the edge of the fountain, her knuckles turning white. I can’t hold back any longer and as soon as I feel her start to climax, I grab her hips for purchase and my whole body jerks as I spill myself inside her and shout my release to the sultry summer sky above us. I slow down my thrusts but don’t stop completely as she rides out her own wave, taking the opportunity to nibble on her ear and whisper my want and desire for her. When her tremors finally calm, I can feel that her arms are about to give out, so I wrap mine around her middle to keep her upright. I pull out of her and she whimpers a little and my protective instincts take over. I let her lean against me as I lead her out of the fountain and once we are back on solid ground she burrows into my side as I put my shoes back on. Then I gather her up into my arms and carry her to the edge of the gardens, her head resting on my shoulder. She is completely languid and loose now, and even though the heat is still oppressive I’ve stopped noticing it as much as I focus on getting her home.
It doesn’t take long for the cab to arrive as I called for it on our way out of the gardens. I am aware as we get in that I will be giving the driver an extra tip given our soaking wet condition. With my arm around her, I place a soft kiss on the top of her head and whisper, “Rest now, mo ghràidh. I’m here.” And without raising her head, she murmurs in reply, “An geam seachad, Fraser- did I get that right? And I think you lost.” It certainly doesna feel that way to me, I think to myself as I chuckle, simultaneously amused at her cheek and full of pride at how good she’s getting at Gaelic.
I practically pour her into bed when we get home. But later, when the light is beginning to change, signaling the approach of a new day, she turns to me and we love slowly and thoroughly. I finally get to savor- not a speck of her skin is denied me now and we can both touch and taste and stroke each other to a dream-like finish. My overwhelming emotion in moments like this is gratitude. I am grateful that our “search” for each other within the confines of the game is just that- a game. I don’t have to go to pubs or nightclubs to try to find some small slice of fulfillment, some tiny burst of feeling that only lasts until the sun rises. I don’t have to simply be satisfied with my life on the surface of things- I have a satisfaction that goes all the way down to the very marrow of my bones, and it has everything to do with the woman who has fallen back into slumber beside me. Our search is over. That is, of course, until the next time one of us sends a text with a name and address where the next round of our little game will take place.