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I'll Always Rescue You

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I knew this was a bad idea.

Take a sea plane, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.

Well, they were wrong.

Falling off a cliff probably would have been more entertaining.

In truth, it started out alright…

 

 

“Welcome, Dr Beauchamp!” The small captain greeted me. “Captain Yi Tien Cho, at your service.”

Captain Cho had come highly recommended by my last hostess on Narudhoo, and many others before her, so I took a chance.

I had been travelling around the lesser known islands of the Maldives for a few months now, offering medical care to those otherwise unable to afford it. My Uncle Lamb had sadly passed away the previous year and I – being his only living relative – had received a few properties along with a substantial sum of money. 

I no longer found the joy I once had working day and night in the sterile halls of the ER, it all seemed to remind me of the night Lamb died. I had been examining another patient, two beds over, when my best, and only, friend Geillis came rushing over to inform me the man that had just been brought in was my uncle.

He had been on his way to the pub when a drunk driver had ran a red light and straight into the driver’s side. 

I had tried to go help, or to at least hold his hand. But I was dragged back by a nearby nurse as they wheeled him down the corridor for surgery. His bloodied hand grabbed hold of mine as he passed, and I managed to slap on a smile for his sake.

It was the last time I saw him conscious.

The next, lying still in a hospital bed, hooked up to various wires and tubes. He already looked as if he were dead, the only evidence to the contrary was the steady beating of the machine by his side. Confirming his heart was still going, but his brain was not.

I sat at his side for hours, just holding his limp hand in mine; wishing he had just stayed in the house that night, thinking of all the things we still had to do together and the people that would miss him. But mostly, the fact I was now completely and utterly alone in the world.

Eventually, the doctor came around and asked me off my plans.

Lamb had told me many times he did not want to be kept on life support if there was no chance of him waking, which there wasn’t, so I obeyed his wishes.

It wasn’t long before the rhythmic beating of the heart rate monitor faded to a flatline. He was gone.

Geillis took me home that night and I haven’t set foot in the hospital since. I sent my resignation by e-mail and took the next flight out.

I dearly missed Lamb, but I know in my heart he’s in a better place now, with my parents. I too was now in a better place, tending to the less fortunate. It wasn’t the same as in London; run off my feet, forgetting my patients name the second I left them and certainly not enough time to form friendships with any of them. But here it was different; I did have the chance to get to know my patients and had formed lifelong friendships with many of them, but more importantly I had the chance to stick around to see them heal. 

I had met some pretty amazing people in the last 8 months, and seen many amazing things. Yet, I knew I must return home to the life I left behind, no matter how lonely it is.

So that’s the reason I’m about to board a sea plane back to Malé.

“Pleasure to meet you, Captain Cho, I’ve heard great things from many.” I said with a smile. He had begun walking away from the small plane on the water and up the wooden walkway to meet me. The plane was no bigger than a bus, with only a few windows down each side and a wing on either end. It was pretty much a miniature version of a normal plane – aside from the fact it had two floats to keep it above water instead of wheels.

“Ah, I’m glad to hear so, got to keep a good name to attract the pretty ladies such as yourself.” He expressed, bending down to kiss my hand.

“Captain, you do flatter me.” I responded. “So, is she ready to go then?”

“Yes, the checks have been finished, all we need to do is get your luggage put on and we can set off.”

“Well, that could take a while, I do have a lot of stuff.” I answered, I had many suitcases with me, most filled with medical supplies and whatnot – apparently operating a pop up hospital took up a lot of room.

“Never fear, my dear, we have plenty of room for it. You are my only passenger for this flight, so the luggage area is completely empty for the moment.” Captain Cho said as he made a move for a dark blue suitcase.

“Glad to hear it. Shall we?” I asked. We quickly developed a system of getting the bags onto the plane; I would roll them along the wooden walkway, and he would carry them into their spot on the plane. We made conversation between us as we worked and I ended up learning a lot more than I originally did about planes. You know what they say, every day’s a school day.

Before long we had everything in place and ready to take to the sky.


Captain Cho gave me a brief safety presentation, in case of an emergency, once on the plane and directed me to a seat near the front.

“I feel as if I’m on my very own private jet here, all I need is a bottle of champagne and I’ll be set.” I laughed. The plane did have a surprisingly modern interior considering it was a seaplane.

“Ah, I may be able to remedy that.” He said as he nodded to a fridge at the back of the plane. “Go take a look.”

“Alright.” I answered as I got up and walked to the small fridge. Upon opening it I was greeted by a bottle of Canti prosecco.

“Didn’t peg you for a Canti man, Captain Cho.” I shouted from the back.

“And you would be correct, my dear. I don’t touch the stuff, but I have found many of my passengers enjoy a drink from time to time.” He replied.

“Well, it appears you are correct.” I said as I popped open the bottle.

“Glad to be so, Dr Beauchamp. Now, if you wouldn’t mind taking a seat, we shall be off.” He said with a small smile.

“Of course.” I answered as I moved towards the seat closest to the front.

A minute later I heard the rumbling off the engine as Captain Cho got the plane in position, a bit further away from shore, to take off. It was fairly quick and before I knew it we had took to the skies.

We went nowhere near as high as a normal plane would go, which gave me a rare opportunity to see the beauty of the islands we passed. I had appreciated the magnificence of the golden beaches from below, yet from above it was almost a completely different world.

Little islands rise from the dark blue water like droplets of turquoise pearls, in all different shapes and sizes. Hundreds, if not thousands of them, scattered as far as the eye can see.

I’ll miss all these little islands when I return home, I had travelled to so many of them these past months. Seen things the dark and gloomy streets of London couldn’t hold a candle to.

The only downside to these gorgeous islands is I don’t have my best friend, Geillis.

I had asked her many times to come with me; to get out of the hospital, live a little, see the world. Yet she refused me time and time again, claiming she’d miss the hustle and bustle of city life. I had my suspicions there may be another reason for her not wanting to join me, but I know she’ll tell me when she’s ready to.

Maybe I can convince her to come with me on my next trip.

“What do you think of the views? Ever seen anything like it?” Captain Cho inquired.

“No, I was just thinking that actually. Not a chance of seeing this where I’m from.” I replied.

“Well, you must take advantage of it while you can. Come sit up front for a bit.”

“Are you sure? I won’t be a distraction to you?” I asked.

“No, don’t worry, we’re just gliding for the moment anyway.” He waved me over.

“If you insist, Captain.” I made my way over and sat in the seat beside him but didn’t strap myself in, I wouldn’t be sitting there for long anyway.

“How long have you been in the flying business, Captain?” I questioned, taking a sip from the prosecco.

“Oh, a good 20 years now, started out flying based in Wuhan, which was fulfilling enough, but came to visit an old friend here and ended up meeting the love of my life. Bought this one and have been out here ever since.” He responded. “What about you, Dr Beauchamp, what’s your story?”

“Sadly not as exciting as yours; I was born and raised in London, went to medical school and then worked my way up the ranks at St Marys Hospital to become a trauma surgeon.” I revealed.

“London’s a way away from the Maldives, how did you end up here?” He asked, stretching an arm out over the scenery, I noticed it had started to rain and the wind seemed to be picking up as well.

“My Uncle sadly passed away last year, and I decided I needed to get out of London for a while. I knew there were people here in need of medical care, so I packed my life up and made my way over.” I recounted.

“I’m sorry to hear about your uncle, but it was kind of you to devote your time to help others.” He smiled to me. “What takes you back to London? A Mr Beauchamp waiting for you on the other end?

“No, I haven’t found the one just yet. But once I do, I’ll be back with him to meet yours.” I proclaimed.

“Well, I’d happily welcome you back to our islands, but I’m afraid you won’t be able to meet my wife. She left this earth two years past.” He told me softly.

“My condolences, Captain Cho. I’m sure she must have been a kind lady if you loved her.” I said sorrowfully.

“Yes, she was.” He replied. 

“What was her name?” I asked while looking out the window, the weather was definitely getting worse now; thundering clouds could be seen above us, raindrops the size of golf balls were dropping on the window and the plane was even starting to rattle about a bit.

“Margaret.” 

“A lovely name for a lovely wo-” I started, but was cut off as the plane lurched downwards causing me to go upwards, hitting my head off of the roof of the plane since I wasn’t strapped in. “Fuck!”

An alarm started ringing in the background, and I looked down to see there was pieces of glass, from the now smashed prosecco glass, sticking out of my leg.

“Dr Beauchamp! Can you hear me?” I could dimly hear Captain Cho shouting from beside me. “Put your seatbelt on!”

I attempted to twist my right arm up to grab it, but was met with a shooting pain across my shoulder when I tried. I made a second attempt with my left and successfully managed to pull it down far enough to secure it in place.

“Wha-, what happened?” I asked incoherently, my head was beginning to throb and I could hear the blood pounding in my ears.

“It seems the weather has taken a turn for the worse, I’ll have to try put her down!” He shouted to me.

We were virtually being thrown about in the air now, as if big hands were just shaking our small plane around. The water below didn’t look much better as we approached, the wind had gotten to it too. The once still blue waters were now filled with choppy and unruly waves. It certainly didn’t seem a great place to land a plane.

As if reading my mind, Captain Cho said: “I doubt it’ll be an easy landing, try make your way to the back of the plane, it’s safer there.”

“Alright.” I replied. I did as told and unbuckled myself with shaky hands to get myself to the back end of the plane. The pain in my shoulder only worsened as I limped to the back, but I eventually made it and buckled my seatbelt.

I looked out my window to the right to see we were rapidly approaching the afore mentioned waves and blanched. I glanced down at my leg to assess the damage, thankfully none of the shards had come loose, as they were stopping the blood from flowing out, but I tore off a piece of fabric from the curtains and wrapped it around the top of my thigh just in case.

Remembering the safety instruction from earlier, I placed my hands flat on the seat in front of me and put my head on top of those and prayed for a safe landing.

Initially, the plane glided just on top of the waves and I thought everything was going to be fine. I was wrong.

As Captain Cho tried to lower the plane further, something must of jutted out of the water as the plane began spinning round to the left. I brought my hands up to my head and tried to make myself as small as I could in my seat to avoid further damage.

I sat there for what felt like hours, just praying for the damn plane to stop spinning – it wasn’t exactly helping my head. 

I lifted my head to see everything in the cabin was getting thrown about by the motion; safety brochures, stray papers and even a random pair of shoes. I stuck my head out into the isle and shouted on Captain Cho over the noise of the chaos.

“Captain Cho! Are you hurt?” I screamed and received no answer. “Captain Cho? Can you hear me?”

All of a sudden there was a noise behind me and I turned round to see the door holding in my luggage opened. A big, black suitcase came hurtling towards me before I had time to pull my head back in. 

I just squeezed my eyes shut and hoped for a quick death.

 


I woke sometime later to find I hadn’t died.

I looked around to see I was still in the flying death-trap, that had thankfully came to a halt, but there was now water leaking in from the front of the plane.

I attempted to get out of my seat, but was stopped in place by the forgotten pain in my arm – which was now back with a vengeance. “Bloody hell.”

I managed to pry myself out of my seat and stumbled towards the cockpit. “Captain Cho? Are you alright?” I asked before finding out the reason he hadn’t been answering. He was dead.

“Oh my God! Oh my God!” There was a long piece of driftwood sticking out of his chest and continued towards and through the window. The piece of wood, that must have been what had caused us to start spinning earlier, now provided another problem. It had smashed the window and was letting in a considerable amount of water.

I stretched out my left arm to his neck to check if he was definitely dead, he was. At least he’s with Margaret now, I thought.

“Right, what to do now?” I thought aloud. I lifted my uninjured arm to my head to feel a new gash had appeared on my forehead, the suitcase, and around the middle of my scalp I found the wound I had received earlier. I continued the search down to my right shoulder, definitely dislocated, but there wasn’t too much I could for that at the moment. I tightened the tourniquet I had earlier secured on my leg to ensure it wouldn’t come off if I moved around too much.

“Okay, okay… lifejackets!” I realised. I quickly located them near the back of the plane and carefully manoeuvred it over my injured shoulder. The cabin was slowly starting to fill up with more water now, up to my ankles at some parts of the plane.

The pain in my head had only worsened as I moved and I could feel blood slowly trickling down my face, but I done my best to ignore it.

I reached the door of the plane only to realise I had no idea how to open it, so I turned around and began the search for a safety leaflet.

“Aha! Found you.” I exclaimed with my first smile since the crash.

The water was now up around my knees and I needed to get out fast. I studied the card and tried to copy the steps on the door in front of me, I must have been doing something right because I pulled on a lever and the door pushed open slightly.

I forced it open as much as possible, the push of the incoming water making it difficult to push open the entire way, and jumped/walked out of the fast sinking plane. Leaving Captain Cho behind.

The storm had now subsided to just a bit of rain and the occasional gust of wind, so I was definitely safer in the water than back in the plane.

The water wasn’t as cold as I initially thought it would be, but it wasn’t exactly warm either. I quickly evaluated my surroundings, and I noticed an island far off in the distance.

I tried to start swimming towards the dot in the horizon, but between the life jacket and my shoulder, all I looked to be doing was wildly waving my good arm around in the water. 

Having no other options, I began to shout.

“Help! Somebody help!” I screamed, to no avail. 

“Anyone, please! Help!” I cried. There was no-one coming. I screamed for nearly half an hour before my voice gave out.

The throbbing in my head could no longer be ignored and my eyesight had developed dark spots around the edges.

And for the second time that day, I let my eyes shut.

 


But, the same as before, they opened again.

I felt strong hands lifting me from the water. At first I believed it to be the arms of angels, coming to take me up to heaven and away from the horrid events of the afternoon. But then I heard someone shout; “She’s alive!”

So much for heaven, I thought.

“Can ye hear me, lass? Are ye hurt?” The strange voice asked, making my ears to ring more than before. Someone gave me a brief shake to the shoulders, causing me to cry out in pain.

My eyes fluttered open to see the face of a man, a mere few inches from my own, staring at me intently.

“S-stop. Scr-reaming.” I managed to cough out. My eyes began to adjust and I was unsure if I was actually right in my earlier prediction. The man looked like a God. Locks of fiery auburn hair were flapping rather wildly around the most beautifully sculpted face I had ever seen.

“Sorry.” He whispered. “Can ye tell me where it hurts? Yer shoulder’s no’ looking the best.” His observation was probably quite accurate, but I couldn’t raise my head enough to check for myself.

“Everywhere.” I croaked out. 

“Disloc-cated shoulder. P-probably conussssed.” I slurred my words, it was an effort to even keep my eyes open, never mind talking. 

“Aye, wouldna take a genius tae figure that oot.” He replied. “Can ye tell me yer name?”

“Claire.” I answered.

“Nice tae meet ye, Claire. I’m Jamie, James Fraser.” He said, giving my left hand a small squeeze.

“Where… are we?” I asked. I was lying on something comfortable, a couch maybe? But I could still see the blue sky above us, apparently the storm had stopped while I was out.

“Yer on our boat, we saw yer plane come down an’ thought tae come help.” He replied. “We’ll take ye back to Velaa tae get ye seen to, alright?”

“Okay.” I said, closing my eyes yet again.

“I’ll keep ye safe, rest a bit.”

I gave him a small “mmhm.” To let him know I heard him and then proceeded to do as he said.

I knew I should at least try to stay awake since I was likely concussed, but I let myself drift off to the land of dreams. Truly believing that he would keep me safe.

 

 

Chapter Text

I woke up in a strange place.

I was propped up on white cushions in a huge bed that I didn’t recognise. The room had large glass windows all around it, with large brown curtains covering a large portion of them at the moment, making the room rather dark.

There was still some light coming in through the large patio doors straight in front of me, but it was a dim light, not the light of the blazing sun, but not yet moonlight either. A dusky orange, not unlike the sunsets I had been seeing the past few months.

I looked to my left to discover a rather large sleeping man I did not recognise in a brown chair next to the bed. I vaguely recognised his face, but I couldn’t place him.

He had somewhat long fiery ginger hair, tucked behind his ears, and was wearing a plain blue open shirt over a white tank top. I looked further down to see a pair of black denim shorts covering the top half of his legs and a pair of Nike sliders on his feet.

I attempted to push myself up a bit further, but as I went to move my right arm, I noticed it was in a sling. I had a faint headache and noticed I felt a bit dizzy as well, as if the room was spinning but my head had yet to notice. It was a weird sensation.

Under the sling I had on a loose fitting grey cotton t-shirt with a small logo over my right breast that I couldn’t quite make out. I lifted up the covers a bit with my left hand to reveal a pair of black floaty shorts that stopped just above a bandage covering most of my thigh.

What the fuck happened?

A rustling noise came from my right, alerting me the unknown man was waking up.

“Who the hell are you? Where am I?” I asked and found my voice was a bit raspy. 

“Ah, yer awake. Finally.” The man replied in Scottish accent, not what I was expecting. His eyes were the loveliest shade of blue, rivalling the clear water I could see just outside the room. “How ye feeling, lass?”

“Can you please tell me what the fuck is going on?” I demanded.

The man sat up a bit in the chair. “What do ye remember?” He asked.

“I-I don’t know. I was going home, got on a plane to Malé.” I replied a bit shakily. “C-captain Cho’s plane, where is he?”

“Right, yer plane hit some bad weather an’ went down a mile or so away fae here. We saw it happening, so went out on the boat tae see if we could help.” He answered sorrowfully. “Ye were unconscious when we arrived an’ the plane had already sunk, so we pulled ye out the water an’ brought ye wi’ us. The captain’s body was pulled out ae the wreck late last night, I’m sorry.”

“I c-can’t remember it. Why don’t I remember?” I asked, trying to swallow the lump in my throat. I probably had some kind of head injury from the apparent crash, but I couldn’t seem to form any rational thoughts to diagnose it.

“Concussion, lass. Ye told me so yerself yesterday, but my sister took a wee look at ye an’ confirmed the same. She said ye might experience a bit a memory loss, but it’ll come back tae ye soon. She’s a doctor, which I’m assuming you are as well?” He said with a small smile.

“Yes, trauma.” I replied. “Sorry, I didn’t catch your name.”

“James Fraser, but you can call me Jamie.” The no longer mystery man told me.

“Claire Beauchamp, lovely to meet you.” I introduced myself as I tried to sit up and stick out my right arm to shake his, forgetting my injury, but was met with a stabbing pain in my shoulder, causing me to cry out.

“Easy, lass.” He jumped into action, gently placing me back against the pillows. “Dislocated, as I imagine yer wondering. Ye had it set last night, but it’ll still be givin’ ye a bit ae bother I expect?”

“Yes, seems so. Was your sister responsible for that aswell?” I asked, settling myself back in.

“No, that would be my brother, Willie. He’s an orthopaedic surgeon.” He told me, walking round to a table at the other end of the room and picked up a tablet.

“Oh, is it a family business then? Did you have a hand in stitching me up aswell?” I enquired. My headache was beginning to worsen as I fully woke up so I closed my eyes and shimmied down the bed a bit.

“Nah, blood makes me a wee bit squeamish, truth be told.” He chuckled. 

“Ye feeling alright, Claire? Ye look a bit flushed.” Making his way back over and placing a large, cool hand on my forehead.

“Head’s acting up, feeling a little dizzy, but it’s normal with a concussion.” I assured him.

“Ye’ve a wee bit ae a temperature, I’ll get ye some water an’ get my sister tae come round an’ see ye.” He replied with a slightly concerned look on his face.

“Jamie, really it’s fine.” But my protests fell on deaf ears. He had already left.

I realised after he left I still had no idea where I actually was, that was the one question I hadn’t gotten answered, and quite an important one. Not that I didn’t trust Jamie, but I had only just met him, I would be an idiot if I wasn’t the slightest bit concerned.

That brought me to another thought, Geillis. 

Jamie had mentioned the crash was yesterday, so I should of gotten home by now, or at least contacted her to tell her where I was. We usually phoned around 9 o’clock my time when she got in from work, or if one of us was busy we would just send a brief text. I had done neither. I didn’t even have my phone anymore, I had left it in the plane. And since Jamie had only just found out who I was, he wouldn’t of been able to contact anyone about me.

Oh my god! What if she’s reported me as a missing person. Would she even notice I was missing in the first place? Sometimes I didn’t get the best reception out here but we did always check in at least once a day.

Or what if something terrible has happened to her as well and I wasn’t there to help her. She could be lying dead in a ditch somewhere and I would have no clue. She might of tried to phone me to help her but I wouldn’t of answered. Maybe a fish would answer.

Geillis and I only have each other, no-one would notice she wasn’t there if I didn’t and vice-versa. She didn’t keep in contact with her family anymore, they’re all horrible people, I doubt they would even try help her if they knew something horrible had in fact happened to her.

What would I do if Geillis died? She’s the only person I have now, I’d be completely alone in this world if she was gone. I can’t lose another person. I’d go crazy and end up adopting a load of cats.

Not that there’s anything wrong with cats, they’re just not Geillis.

I miss her already.

“Claire! What’s wrong?” Jamie’s voice brought me from my thoughts and I realised there were now tears falling down my cheecks. He was now sitting beside me, on the free portion of the bed, with a comforting hand rubbing my left arm.

“I-I, Geil-lis.” I sobbed, trying to get enough air in my lungs to get the words out. “s-s-he might be d-dead and I-wouldn’t-even-know-cause-I-don’t-have-my-phone.” The last part coming out all in one breath, making it pretty much unintelligible. My hands were now clutching on to the duvet with all my strength and I couldn’t get my crying under control.

“C’mere, lass.” He settled himself onto the pillows beside me and gently pulled me down to him so he could wrap an arm around my back. “Take a deep breath in through yer nose for me, four seconds if ye can.”

I placed my head on his chest, tears dripping down onto his shirt, and took a deep shuddering breath in, trying to concentrate on the beating of his heart beneath my cheek. I, surprisingly, didn’t feel uncomfortable cuddled up to a man I had just met and relaxed into him.

“And slowly as ye can, out through yer mouth, another four.” He instructed me calmly. I done as he said and let the air in my lungs shakily, yet slowly, out. Jamie had started to run a hand up and down my back in time with my breathing, which actually seemed to be helping.

“There we go, and try again.” He continued

I recognised the deep breathing exercise from something I had learned in school and wondered where he would of learned it.

He continued to instruct me through my breathing, keeping his hand moving on my back, until I had calmed down a bit and lay still against him.

“Feeling better?” He asked.

I nodded, still lying against him. He made a great cushion.

“Now, do ye want tae tell me what’s got ye worked up?” He asked softly, looking down at me.

I nodded my head again. “I realised I haven’t spoken to my friend Geillis since the day before I got on the plane, and something could of happened to her and no one would know.” I responded, trying to keep myself calm.

“Ahh, the lovely Geillis. Dinna fash, she knows what happened an’ she’s on her way here, I’d imagine she’ll get here afore ye even wake tomorrow.” He said, which caused me to look up at him.

“What? How did she even find out? And how do you know she’s coming here? Also, where the hell is here?” I enquired. They couldn’t of found her name on my phone, I doubt they’d even be able to find the phone itself.

“She had apparently been tracking yer plane on an app on her phone, and when she saw it hadna landed, she got suspicious an’ phoned the airport on Malé an’ they informed her ae the crash.” He started explaining. “I ken she’s comin’ here cause I phoned the airport after we found ye to see if anyone had called about ye, an’ they put me in touch wi’ Geillis. Ye’ve got a good pal in that one, threatened to kill me a fair few times on the call.”

“That definitely sounds like her.” I laughed.

“Aye, well, I told her we had the facilities to care for ye here an’ got her on a company jet to come out here. And yer last question of ‘where the hell is here’, the answer is Velaa, still in the Maldives.” He continued.

“You have a company jet?” I asked, sitting back up on my own now, I had never met anyone who had control over a company jet before.

“Aye, we have a few.” He answered casually, as if it was the most normal thing in the world.

“And what company would that be? If you don’t mind me asking.” I enquired. 

“F10 Hotels.” He replied. I had stayed in an F10 hotel before with my Uncle Lamb, he had took Geillis and I to one in the Canary Islands for my 21st birthday. The one we went to done crepes in the morning to die for.

“Really? I’ve visited the one in Gran Canaria before, done the best crepes I’ve ever tasted. Would kill for one of them right now.” I stated, only now realising I was actually rather hungry.

“Well, I might be able tae fix that.” He said with a smile, holding up the tablet he had picked up earlier. “I ordered ye some hot chocolate before, but I’m sure I could add tae the order. What do ye take on it?”

How did he know I would want hot chocolate?

“Is this an F10 resort?” I asked, I knew there was one in the Maldives somewhere, I just hadn’t made the connection that it was Velaa.

“Aye, one ae the best in my opinion.” He answered. “So are ye still wanting one?”

“Crepes are a bit of a weird request for-” I stopped realising I had no idea what time it was and looked outside. “-any time after dinner.” I guessed.

“Maybe, but everyone knows what happened, so I’m sure it’ll be fine.” He said as he tapped away at the iPad. “Plus, once they notice it’s fae my iPad they’ll be jumpin’ through hoops tae get it done.” He chuckled.

“Someone’s a bit cocky, must be a very valued employee.” I said, raising my eyebrows.

“Something like that.” He agreed. “Ye still havena told me what yer wanting, lass.”

 “Oh, I’ll have Nutella, strawberries and Oreo’s if you have any.”

“Aye, no problem. Want any ice cream wi’ it?” He asked.

“Yes, it’ll hopefully help the headache a bit. Chocolate, please.” I answered. 

“Geillis warned me ye’d probably be wantin’ a load ae chocolate the now, got the place stocked, dinna fash.” He laughed. That explains why he ordered the hot chocolate, I was thinking he might be a mind reader or something of the like.

“She knows me better than I know myself sometimes.” I proclaimed. There really is no-one left in this world who knows me quite like she does.

“It’s always good tae have someone like that in yer life. Ye looking forward tae seein’ her?” He asked.

“Very much looking forward to it, I haven’t seen her in nearly eight months now.” I replied.

“Eight months? How come ye havena seen her?” He enquired. 

“I’ve been over here, travelling around the islands and giving the less fortunate medical care.” I said. I was surprised how comfortable I was telling him about my life. I had never even been on a date with anyone I felt this relaxed with.

“That’s very kind of ye.” He replied. “Have ye not got a special someone waitin’ for ye back home?”

“Nope, just Geillis.” I said with a small smile. “What are you doing over here then? Quite far from home by the sound of it.”

“My family an’ I come an’ stay here every summer. Been comin’ for as long as I can remember.” He stated. I shifted a bit further down in the bed, trying to get comfy, which my shoulder wasn’t helping much. I couldn’t put a lot of pressure on my right side without bringing the stabbing pain back and my headache had gotten worse again.

“Sounds nice.” I answered.

Jamie seemed to sense my discomfort and moved off the bed. “Never did give ye that water did I?” He said, walking towards a small table in the corner he had placed a jug of ice water and poured it into a glass sitting next to it then brought it over to me.

“Thank you.” I replied as I brought it up to my mouth with my left hand. 

“Food should be here in the next ten or so minutes, my sister Jenny as well, can I get ye anything else the now?” He enquired, sitting back down in the chair next to the bed.

“No, you’ve done enough already. I’ll need to tell your manager how great you are at your job.” I joked.

“Aye, I’ll be sure to tell him when I see him.” He laughed, almost awkwardly.

I smiled back at him in return. I was about to open my mouth to talk again but was cut off by the arrival of a small women, carrying a large bag coming down the path.

“Hi, Claire. I doubt ye’ll remember me, we spoke briefly before ye were out again, I’m Jenny, Jamie’s sister.” The woman greeted me, nodding towards her brother. I never would of suspected her and Jamie were siblings by looking at them, they were polar opposites; he was tall, while she was small; he had auburn hair and she jet black. But I did notice they had the same bright blue eyes.

“Hi, thanks so much for all you’ve done, I really appreciate it.” I said with a smile.

“Aye, nae problem, you’d do the same in my position.” She said as she walked round and sat her bag on the bedside table. “I hear you’re a doctor then, what hospital?”

“St Mary’s in London.” I answered. “Yourself?”

“I’m not currently working, but it was The Royal in Glasgow.” She replied while pulling a stethoscope out of her bag. “Can ye sit forward a wee bit for me?”

I did as she said and dragged myself up from the pillows, with a bit of assistance from Jenny, as she pulled up my t-shirt at the back and then placed the cold stethoscope at different areas, listening to me breath.

She continued pulling different pieces of equipment from the bag and conducted all manner of both physical and cognitive tests. 

“Can ye remember any of the accident?” She asked, shining a light into my right eye.

“I remember getting on the plane and speaking briefly with the Captain, but after that it’s quite fuzzy.” I answered.

“It should hopefully start comin’ back tae ye in the next couple days, as ye know.” She stated. “Any nausea, headaches, dizziness or clumsiness?”

“Thankfully no nausea, I have a pounding headache that won’t subside, slight dizziness and I haven’t gotten up yet so I’m unsure about the clumsiness.” I answered her questioning. “Now that I think about it I should probably go to the bathroom, so we can find out the last one just now.”

“I’ll help ye up, lass.” Jamie jumped up with his hands outstretched. 

I chucked the cover off my lower half to reveal my bandaged up leg and manoeuvred them both over the side of the bed. Jamie took my left hand in his and brought his other round to hold my waist, listening to a warning from Jenny to avoid my shoulder.

“Ready?” He asked and I nodded in answer. “Right, one, two and three.” He applied a little pressure to my back to push me off the bed. I planted my feet on the ground and put most of my weight on Jamie until I felt I could manage it myself.

“What way is the bathroom?” I questioned, realising I hadn’t actually seen anywhere in this place apart from the room I was currently occupying.

“Through the door in the kitchen an’ over to the wee hut at the back.” Jamie replied as he sat back on the chair.

I slowly walked around the bed and went out the door. I walked in to an open plan kitchen with a small island in the middle of the room, to my left there was a windowed corridor leading to an area with a large corner sofa. The place was a lot bigger than I had imagined.

Everything was decorated in neutral colours; browns, beiges and golds made up most of the rooms, with splashes of both dark blue and a dusky violet dotted about the place.

I spotted the door next to a fridge on the back wall and walked towards it. Upon opening it I was greeted with a stoned walkway with shallow water on either end and a hut, similar to the design of the rest of the house, at the end.

I made my way over to the outhouse and opened the solid wood door. The room had a triangular shaped bathtub that fitted perfectly into the back right hand corner of the room, with a glass pane shower on the same wall at the bath right next to me.

I walked over to the toilet, sat down and looked about the room. From my walk through the house I noticed the place had an expensive feel to it, getting a look at the bathtub solidified that – no one I knew had a tub that size.

I went about my business with relative ease, despite the ever pounding headache. I had a slight problem when it came to wiping but I quickly figured it out, then flushed the toilet and washed my hands. The hand soap was in a glass bottle and had the name Diptyque on it, even sounds fancy.

I peered into the mirror above the sink to get a look at myself for the first time. I had a large white plaster covering most of the left side of my forehead and the end of my eyebrow, with a sizeable purple bruise sprouting from the edges of the plaster. There were a few cuts and scrapes on the other side of my face but no of them were too bad. Safe to say I had definitely looked better.

Making my way back to the house with relative ease, I started to wonder a few things about Jamie’s family. 

They had been the only people I had come into contact with on the island so far which I found slightly strange, they were on holiday, why wouldn’t someone who actually worked on the island come speak to me? And no one had come asking about payment for my stay here and the medical care I must of received. Just by looking around the place I realised it would be quite a hefty price to stay here.

And Jamie had just easily had Geillis brought out on one of the company planes. Who has the influence to just get some unknown person on a flight because they happened to have their injured friend with them. Now I had properly thought about it, none of it made sense.

I walked back into the bedroom to Jamie and Jenny having a conversation with each other. 

“Ah, yer back, was about tae come back sure ye hadna gotten lost on the way there.” Jamie joked, lifting back the covers for me.

“It would be no surprise if I had, this place is a good size.” I marvelled as I got myself settled in bed. “Speaking of that, could you put me in touch with someone I can speak to about paying for my stay?”

“Dinna fash yerself about that, Claire, we’ll take care ae it.” Jenny answered.

“No, your family have done enough to help me already, I can’t let you do that.” I protested. Why would a random family be offering to put me up in an expensive Maldives resort? My brain hurt and it wasn’t from the concussion.

“Claire, it was lyin’ here empty before ye got here, an’ it woulda continued tae do so for the rest ae summer. It’s no bother tae us, honestly.” Jenny replied. 

“Why would it be empty for the rest of summer?” I questioned confusedly. She was not making one bit of sense now and I was beginning to feel a bit weary.

“Cause it’s just us on the island for the summer.” She answered me, looking at me as if she expected I already knew the answer, and then something on her face changed and she turned to Jamie. “Did ye no’ tell her, ye dolt?”

“Well, no. No’ yet.” He responded rather sheepishly.

“Told me what?” I asked, raising my voice slightly.

Jenny whipped back round to me at this. “My apologies, Claire. Seems my idiot of a brother has neglected tae inform ye ae a few things.” She said while shooting him the evil eyes. “Our family are the founders and owners of F10, the island gets closed every summer for our annual holiday, so really it’s not a bother for us tae cover yer bill whilst ye get better.”

My jaw dropped open. “I’m sorry, you what?” I asked, dumbfounded. Surely they didn’t own the whole company. That would make them… billionaires.

She brought a hand up next to my left ear and clicked her fingers a few times. “Is yer hearing alright? I said we own the place.” 

“No, no I can hear you fine. I just can’t believe you guys own F10.” I proclaimed. “Your resorts are beautiful.”

“Glad to hear ye like them.” Jamie put in and I smiled back at him.

“Right, yer concussion seems to be progressing nicely, ye do have a bit of a temperature, but it’s nothing concerning. I’ll have Willie come take a look at yer shoulder tomorrow when he gets back.” Jenny stated as she started to pack up her bag.

“Do you have anything I can take for my headache with you?” I asked. “My heads pounding.”

“I’ll leave ye with some paracetamol, but ye canna take it until ye get some food in ye. Do ye want anything ordered?” She asked me, digging a box of paracetamol out of the bag and placing it on the bedside table.

“Already got it covered, Jen. It should be here the now.” Jamie said, holding up the tablet.

“Right, I’ll be off then. See ye both tomorrow.” She proclaimed as she walked towards the door.

“Aye, catch ye after.” Jamie replied. We sat in silence for a few moments after she left before I spoke up.

“So, you own the place then?” Bringing the subject back up.

He looked up at me and slowly nodded his head with a small smile. “Aye, sorry I hadna told ye yet, I just…” He took a brief pause. “I dinna ken, I just didna.” He finally got out, looking as if he was getting a bit flustered about it.

“It’s alright, I was just wondering.” I assured him. “Most men would jump at the chance to tell someone they owned a successful business, but they usually turn out to be arseholes anyway.” Thinking of the many arseholes I had went on dates with, who informed me of this before I could even order a drink.

“Aye, well, I like tae think I’m nothin’ like those men.” He frowned. I hoped I hadn’t offended him, I really didn’t mean it that way.

“I’d like to hope so.” I smiled at him.

We made idle conversation for the next couple minutes and then a man came round holding a tray with two crepes, two tubs of ice cream and a steaming mug of hot chocolate.

“What did you get on yours?” I asked. Attempting and failing, since I could only use my left hand, to cut my crepe into smaller pieces to make it easier to eat.

“Just went for the same as you, good choice ye made.” He replied, shovelling the crepe into his mouth.

I gave up on the crepe for now and moved to the tub of ice cream instead. I let it sit on the top of my mouth whilst it melted and it seemed to be doing a good job of numbing my head. I placed the plate with my food on my lap, closed my eyes and let my head fall back on the pillows.

“Ye not eatin’ yer crepe?” Jamie questioned from my bedside.

“I’ll, uh, go back to it in a minute.” I answered him. 

“Ye canna cut it up can ye?” I cracked an eye open to see him eyeing me with something akin to pity.

“No.” I sighed. “Stupid, fucking shoulder doesn’t work.” Opening my eyes fully now to see him putting his own plate down and holding his hands out to me.

“Hand it over, lass.”

“No, thank you, I’ll manage it.” I retorted “I’m not a child, I should be able to cut up my own food.”

“Claire.” He exhaled as he got up from the chair. “I havena known ye long, but I can already tell yer quite independent. Nevertheless, ye are injured an’ yer gonna need help from time tae time, so hand the plate over.”

“Fine.” I huffed, handing the plate over. Jamie took it giving me a sly smile. “You don’t have to be so smug about it.”

“Dinna ken what yer talkin’ about, sassenach.” He replied sarcastically as he cut the crepe up into small pieces.

“What did you call me?” I asked, confused.

“Oh, sorry, it’s just a wee nickname I was callin’ ye in my head while ye were sleepin’. Just a Scots word for an English person, I dinna mean any offence by it.” He assured me.

“Sassenach, I like it.” I replied. “How long have you been sitting with me anyway?” I questioned. It was a bit strange that an owner of a place like this would come and watch over a sleeping woman, surely he had better things to be doing.

“Well I sat wi’ ye through the night at the wee infirmary on the island, and then since we got ye settled in here this mornin’ I’ve been poppin’ in an’ out every half hour or so tae check ye were looking alright.” He informed me. “Then at dinner Jen told me ye’d likely be wakin’ soon, so I thought tae come keep ye company til ye did. Didna want ye wakin’ up in a strange place by yersel’.” 

He handed my plate back with the, now cut up, crepe on it.

“Thank you for doing that, but did you not have other things to be doing during the day? Running a company maybe?” I asked.

“None of it was as important as makin’ sure the lass I saved was alright.” He answered somewhat jokingly, but I could see it a bit of seriousness in his eyes. “And, I’m not actually runnin’ the company at the moment, I give it up every year for June through August.” 

“Really? What for?” I questioned, shoving a large piece of the crepe into my mouth, which was just as good if - not better - than the one I’d had in Gran Canaria all those years ago. I wasn’t aware someone could just give up their company for a few months, especially not the busiest months of the year for the hotel business.

“Tae come out here wi’ my family, I told ye this earlier. Perhaps ye’ve took a harder hit tae the heed than we thought.” He teased me.

“No, I remember now, it just slipped my brain for a moment there.” I answered confidently.

“Aye, alright, whatever you say.” He answered smugly and I had the urge to pick up one of the oreos and launch it at his beautifully shaped head.

The man did have good bone structure, to be fair to him. High cheekbones like that of a Viking and a jawline that looked sharp enough to cut straight through glass. Honestly he looked as if he had just stepped out of Michelangelo’s studio.

We continued talk back and forth for nearly half an hour, just telling each other about our every day lives and the things we did for fun.

Some of the time it actually seemed as if Jamie was flirting with me, but I couldn’t be sure, and I might of flirted back a little bit. Nothing wrong with a bit of harmless flirting, not as if he’d be desperate to keep in touch with someone like me once I was recovered anyway, so I’d enjoy it while it lasted.

I didn’t finish the whole crepe as between that and the hot chocolate I knew I would likely end up with my head in the toilet if I consumed any more. It did calm me down though, as I knew it would, and made me feel a bit better about everything that had happened in the last two days.

Before long I was becoming a little sleepy again, which Jamie must of noticed, as he took my plate from my lap and sat it next to his on the discarded tray the food had been brought round on.

“Are ye still wantin’ something fir yer head?” He queried, holding up the small packet that had been left on my bedside earlier.

“Yes, that would be great.” I said drowsily. My headache still had not subsided in the time I had been up, only gotten worse if anything.

“Water?” He offered me.

“Mhmm.” I nodded as he popped one of the tablets out of the foil and handed it to me along with the now hot glass of water since it had been sitting out for a while.

“Thanks.” I mumbled before I put the tablet in my mouth and washed it down with the water.

Jamie took the glass from me once I was done and sat it back down of the bedside table. “Right, I’ll let ye get tae sleep the now, I’ll be just over there, alright?” He said while pointing out the window, behind the chair he had been sitting on, over to a room I recognised as the living room I saw earlier. “I’ll sleep in there tonight and ye can call out if ye need anything, okay?”

I probably should of tried to make a protest and tell him to go home to his own place for the night, but I would feel better knowing he was still nearby. So I didn’t. “Okay. Goodnight, Jamie.” I said closing my eyes and settling myself a bit further underneath the covers.

“Goodnight, lass. Sweet dreams.” He whispered, pressing a light kiss the right side of my forehead, to avoid the wound on the left.

I fell asleep long before he had left my room and drifted off to the sound of him locking up for the night.

………………………………………………..

This is the place Claire is staying, there’s a few changes to the furniture, but mainly the same.

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Sometime during the night I woke up again to find I felt slightly better than I had when I went to sleep. The pounding in my head had lessened significantly to just a dull ache near the front and I no longer felt as dizzy when I moved.

The room was now almost completely dark expect for the glow of a few tall tiki lights I could see just outside my room, a few on each end of a small pathway down to white sand beach.

I looked to the left, out of the window Jamie had pointed to before he left, and I saw him sprawled out on the couch. He was sleeping on his back with his left arm hanging off the side of the sofa and a brown fluffy blanket draped over his lower half, he must of took his shirt of at some point as he now only had a white tank top on. 

The room was feeling quite stuffy so I pulled the duvet off of me and sat it to the side, giving me a chance to get a better look at my leg. From just above my right knee to the top of my thigh there was a clean white bandage, I ran my hand along it and could feel the ridges of a few square plasters dotted about.

I was going to try and unwrap the bandage covering my leg to see exactly where the plasters where, but realised that Jenny hadn’t left anything for me to wrap it up again with if I ended up ripping it, so decided against it.

I sat in bed for another few minutes, trying to think of something to do to pass the time as I wouldn't be able to get back to sleep at the moment, but came up short. There was a tv in the room, but I had no idea where the remote was and I didn’t want to wake Jamie with the noise either. I usually scrolled through Instagram or twitter for a while if I woke up at night, but I didn’t have my phone anymore so that was out of the question as well. Hopefully Geillis will bring one with her for me.

I’ve never really been one of those people who enjoy just sitting in a room with nothing to do, so I didn’t. I swung my legs over the side of the bed, slowly stood up and walked towards the patio doors just in front of the bed.

I went to push down the handle to open the door but when I pushed it didn’t budge, it must be locked. 

I checked everywhere in the room; bedside tables, the drawers on the far end and even under the pillows, but I couldn’t find them anywhere. That’s when it occurred to me that Jamie probably had them. Great.

Quietly creeping out of the room I made my way down the hall to the living room where Jamie was sleeping. I surveyed the room for the keys from the entryway so I wouldn’t make too much noise and spotted them on the coffee table in front of him.

As silently as humanly possible I snuck into the room and over to the coffee table to get the keys. It was a small keychain with 4 or 5 keys on it that, unfortunately for me, made a rather loud rattling noise when I picked them up. Jamie’s left hand moved slightly but he thankfully didn’t look as if he had woken up.

Backing out of the room I tiptoed back to mine and went to the door again. The first three attempts at unlocking the door didn’t work, but when I stuck the fourth key in it clicked into place allowing me to turn it and open the door.

I was immediately hit with a cooling breeze of midnight air when I stepped out which done wonders in cooling me down a bit. I followed the tiki torches I saw earlier, past the pool and through some trees to be meet with soft sand under my feet when I stepped off the small wooden pathway.

I stood there for a few moments, just silently breathing in the fresh sea air and listening to the sounds of the calm waves crashing against the shore. Spotting two wooden recliner chairs with cream cushions on both and a closed parasol between them a bit further down the beach, I walked over to them and carefully sat down. I was considering lying all the way back on them, but thought better of it because of my stupid shoulder, so I just sat upright with my feet swishing back and forth through the sand, relishing the feeling of the sand between my toes.

I had a feeling the afore mentioned stupid shoulder would be causing me quite a few problems in the coming days. It just so happened to be on the arm I done everything with, which was quite annoying. I wouldn’t be able to snuggle up in bed on that side, which I usually done, I wouldn’t be able to even wash myself normally, I’d probably have to enlist Geillis for help. And, most importantly, I can’t even hug Geillis properly when I see her again, it will just be a weird side hug which isn't what I need after eight months away from her.

Looking out onto the Indian Ocean, I tried to imagine myself out there, floating around aimlessly, just hoping and praying for someone to come help, it made me shiver just thinking about it.

That’s when I realised it probably wasn’t the best idea to go out in shorts and a t-shirt in the middle of the night, there was a good chance I could catch a cold if I stayed out too long. But I wasn’t feeling at all tired and I wasn’t ready to go back yet, the room was probably still too warm anyway.

I looked up at the sky to see it was blazing with stars tonight. Thousands of them, twinkling away like little pulses of light against the black of the night. It was beautiful. Something I sadly never saw back home in dreary old London, there was always too much light coming from the busy city for the stars to become visible.

I remembered when Geillis and I had went to went up to Scotland one weekend for a work conference, that we had turned into a girls trip instead, we drove a bit out of Edinburgh to a quiet part of the country without many lights from buildings and sat and watched the stars for hours. We didn’t actually know the names of any of the constellations we were seeing so just started to name them after different Grey's Anatomy characters. 

Eventually we ran out of characters and headed back to our hotel for the night, but that was one of my favourite memories with her and would remember it for as long as I lived.

Suddenly, I felt a blanket being softly draped over my shoulders and I jumped slightly before turning round to see Jamie behind me.

“Sorry, ‘tis only me.” He held his hands up in surrender.

“It’s alright, I just didn’t know you had woken up, I tried to be quiet.” I said softly. 

“Ach it’s fine, ye barely made a noise but I’m a light sleeper, had already heard ye afore ye even made it down the hall.” He said as he sat down on the recliner opposite me.

“Why did you pretend to be asleep?” I questioned him, I definitely would of noticed if his eyes were open, so he must of faked it till I left.

“Well, it was obvious that ye were tryin’ no’ tae wake me when ye came in, so I thought I would give ye a bit a privacy.” He answered, settling himself back on the recliner. He had procured a black hoodie sometime since we woke and now wore it with the hood up over his head.

“Why have you come out now then?” I enquired.

“I was watchin’ ye from the house an’ ye looked as if ye were shivering an’ I didna want ye catchin’ a chill out here, so I brought ye that.” He nodded to the blanket. “Why ye awake anyway? Thought ye’d be out ‘til noon, ye were shattered when I left ye.”

“The room got really warm during the night and woke me up, I had nothing else to do to pass the time so I came out here. It’s very calming.” I stated. It was in fact calming, there was just something about the air that just seemed to settle me, almost magical.

“I’ll turn the AC on when we get back then.” He proclaimed. “But yer right about this place havin’ a calmin’ effect, I’ve been sayin’ that fir years now, even put it on the website.”

“I keep forgetting you own this place. Must be nice to just be able to come here whenever you want.” I said looking over to him, he looked like something out of a magazine. The moonlight was reflecting perfectly on his face, the light highlighting the highest point of his cheekbones and forehead, but not touching his jawline or the hollow of his cheekbones, making him appear more chiselled than he already was.

“Unfortunately, I can only get out here this time ae year. I’m quite busy the rest, this is the only time I can take off.” He said with a hint of remorse evident in his voice, then looked up at me. “Same wi’ my son, canna just take a holiday in the middle ae the school year.”

He has a son? Is Jamie married? I found myself oddly disheartened at the idea of him being in a relationship.

“I didn’t know you had a son, how old is he?” I said, trying not to give away my disappointment.

“He’ll be 10 in a few weeks, the last weekend in July.” He announced with a small smile on his face. He looked so genuinely happy to just be talking about his son, he must be a great kid.

I grabbed on both ends of the blanket and pulled it tighter around me. “What’s his name? I’d love to meet him if you’re okay with that.” 

“Fergus.” He beamed. “I’ll bring him round tomorrow if yer still feeling up for it.” 

“Perfect. Does his mother accompany you on these trips?” I attempted to casually slip in the question. 

Jamie swung his feet off the seat and planted them on the ground, the same way I was sitting, and his smile faded. “He, uh, doesna have a mother.” He mumbled. “Or well, I suppose he does, but she’s no’ in either of our lives.” 

He didn’t meet my eyes as he spoke and I felt bad for even asking about the mother. I got the feeling it wasn’t something he wanted to share just now so I didn’t push him to.

“Well, I look forward to meeting him, I’m sure he’s a sweet boy if he’s anything like his father.” I remarked.

At this he looked straight into my eyes. “Aye, that he is.”

Then I came to a realisation. If Jamie was with me for the night, that meant he had left his son somewhere.

“Wait, if you’re here with me, where is he?” I asked as my eyebrows knotted together.

“He’s stayin’ wi’ Jenny’s family, we end up at theirs most night’s anyway so his room will still be made up.” He responded.

“I feel terrible taking you away from him, will he not be missing you?” I questioned. I certainly would.

A grin appeared on his face. “The wee dafty’s probably no’ even noticed I’m no’ there, he’ll be havin’ too much fun wi’ his cousins to miss me.” He laughed, nudging some sand over my foot with his.

“Well, as long as he doesn’t hate me for stealing you for the night, I’d hate to get in his bad books before I’ve even met him.” I said with a smirk.

“Even if ye are, I doubt it’ll be for long.” He smiled up to me. 

Was that a compliment?

I looked out over the calm water, with the moon light reflecting on the water, highlighting the curve of the waves. The water closest to the shore was a crystal clear blue, making it almost translucent, while the water a bit further out, closer to some huts I could see in the distance, was a captivating deep blue colour.

I began to wonder how long I would actually be staying in this paradise for. Jamie mentioned it was a family holiday, so I wouldn’t want to intrude and end up over staying my welcome, they’re not my family.

But he did have Geillis brought all the way out here for me, so I doubt he’ll be kicking us out for at least a few days, there wouldn’t really of been much point in getting her over here just to do that.

Speaking of going home, I’m really not looking forward to getting on another plane any time soon after what had happened on my last flight, don’t particularly want my plane to go down and to end up on another rich guy’s island, not matter how pretty he is.

He is actually very pretty, it’s not usually a word I would use to describe a guy, but it’s the only thing that comes to mind when I look at him, especially when he’s smiling. God does this man have a great smile, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, which is strange for me, I’m not usually one of those people that gets like that, particularly around men.

And his arse, just wow, it’s so round, like a peach, makes me want to squeeze it.

No, I’m not doing this. I can’t be thinking about the man that has been kind enough to bring me in like a piece of meat, or a peach. No. 

I felt my cheeks going a bit red and looked up at Jamie to see he thankfully was still looking down and hadn’t saw.

“Enjoying yourself there?” I chuckled when I realised he had now completely buried both my feet in the sand.

He moved his eyes back up to me and smiled. “Aye, sorry, just somethin’ a dae wi’ the wee man when we’re down here.”

“No, it’s alright. Do you want to go for a walk?” I asked him, I still wasn’t that tired and I thought a walk might do it.

“Aye, ye wilna get too tired?” He said even though he was already up and holding his hand out to me.

“Well, that’s the point of it actually.” I stated. “I’ve never been the best sleeper so I’d like to tire myself out before we go back.” I took his hand and stood, shaking the sand off of my feet.

We were standing so close together our noses were nearly touching, or well my nose and his chest, and I could feel the heat radiating off of him. He brought his hands down to where I was clutching onto the two ends of the blanket with my left hand and pulled it a bit tighter around me.

“Thank you.” I whispered to him, his lips parted slightly and I was desperate to just lean up and place mine on his.

He slowly nodded to me, his piercing blue eyes staring intently into mine the whole time. “C’mon.”

He stretched his arm out behind him, in the direction I was assuming we would be walking in, and waited for me to walk ahead of him. Oldest trick in the book, Fraser.

“So where did ye grow up, Claire?” He said walking along beside me.

“Oxford until I was 10 and then moved to London, been there ever since.” I replied. I still remember the day I had to pack up my room and leave our house, tears streaming down my face as I said goodbye to the only home I had ever known. 

I still wished now that Uncle Lamb had just moved to Oxford with me, he hadn’t even left the place that long ago so it wouldn’t of been a huge change. I would never complain about the way Lamb raised me, it wasn’t something he signed up for and he still did a great job of it, but if we had just stayed in our peaceful little town in Oxford, quite a few bad things wouldn’t of ended up happening.

“What about you? It’s very obviously somewhere in the highlands, but where?” He had more of a dignified tilt to his words than would be found in anywhere surrounding Glasgow, but not quite as posh as some bits of Edinburgh. It was a more traditional accent, not unlike the stereotypical Scottish accents found in films.

“Expert on Scottish accents now are ye?” He enquired, laughing a bit.

“Not exactly an expert, but I’ve had to travel there for work quite a bit, so I’ve became familiar with the different accents.”

“Hmm, well, ye’d be right enough wi’ the highlands.” He answered. “I grew up on our families estate just outside Inverness, when we weren’t travelling.”

“Did you travel a lot as a child?” I asked, must have been great to just be able to go wherever he wanted whenever he wanted when he was growing up.

“Aye, a fair amount, although it was usually for some event or another my parents had to attend and they didn’t want to leave us behind. ‘Twas always a good laugh on the trips though, Willie, Jenny and I would play hide an’ seek around the hotels for hours.” He laughed while looking off over the water, as if he was remembering it. “First tae get caught had tae jump in the pool wi’ all their clothes still on, which was fine in summer, but became a bit of a harsher punishment in the winter.”

“I can just imagine a small you, standing chittering by the pool.” I chimed in. “It sounds fun, I never really had anyone to do that with as a child.”

“No siblings?” I shook my head in answer to this. “Cousins?” I repeated the action. “Surely you had friends to play with.”

“I didn’t make very many friends when I was younger and I didn’t meet Geillis until high school, so we were a tad old for a game of hide and seek at that age.” I told him a bit sadly as we walked. He was on the side of my working hand and every now and then our hands would brush against each other, sending shockwaves up my spine every time.

“Auch, yer never too old for hide an’ seek.” He reasoned. “I play it wi’ Fergus an Jenny’s wains all the time.”

“Yes, but that’s a bit different than just adults playing it, your not playing it for your own enjoyment, it’s for the kids, it’s a kid’s game.” I replied.

“I’ll let ye into a wee secret, Sassenach.” He stopped next to me and leaned over to my ear, with a hand on my forearm. He just stood there for a few moments, breathing into my ear, causing the fine hairs on my neck to stand up as his breath drafted over them.

“Ye can never be too old for kids game’s, lass.” He finally spoke, his voice low, but could be clearly heard over the quietness of the night.

“Whatever you say.” I whispered to him, my eyes were now locked onto his lips, and for the second time that night, I was desperate to kiss him. To just feel his perfect lips crash against mine and stay there until there was no air left in my body.

But, I didn’t.

I backed up a bit and he actually looked a bit disappointed. Did he want me to kiss him?

“Right.” He awkwardly took his hand from my arm and walked away a bit, I definitely couldn’t kiss him now. “We’d best be getting’ ye back then, don’t want ye over exerting yerself do we?”

“I’m not going to ‘over exert’ myself from a small walk.” I huffed as I reluctantly followed him. “I don’t need to be holed up under the covers for the next few weeks, going for walks will probably be somewhat beneficial.”

“Maybe, but I dinna ken if yer just sayin’ that so I’ll let ye out of the house, or if it’s actually truthful.” He answered, trying to read my face for the answer. But I just gave him a sly smile in return.

“Would I ever lie to you?” I teased him.

He looked me over for a few seconds as we walked before answering. “Honestly, I wouldna put it past ye if it meant ye got yer way.”

“I can’t imagine you would actually stay in bed if you were told to either, would you?” I asked him, he didn’t seem the type to just sit about and listen to other people order him about if he could do something about it. A man after my own heart.

“Perhaps, but I’m no’ the one injured for the moment, so let’s be getting’ back, aye?” He said. “An’ I’m a bit weary myself.” Suddenly stretching his arms above his head and opening his mouth wide, putting on the fakest yawn I had ever seen. “Best be getting’ me back to bed soon.”

I huffed in response, but I would probably be tired again by the time we reached the house anyway, so technically I was getting my own way

“So, I suppose that means yer comin’ wi’ me.” 

 

Chapter Text


We walked back along the beach together in a comfortable silence, just enjoying the peaceful feeling surrounding us. I managed to get back to sleep fairly easily when I got back to the house, so the walk was a good idea.

I wasn’t sure if Jamie was actually sleeping again before I did, his performance earlier proved he was rather good at pretending to do be asleep, but when I looked over through the window I could see him lying in a similar manner to earlier with a smile on his face.

I got myself as comfortable as possible and drifted off to sleep, thinking of a certain red-headed Scot.

 

“OH MY GODDD!” 

My eyes instantly opened and I shot up in bed, already knowing who it must be. 

Stood at the now open patio doors with a gigantic grin on her face, was the one and only Geillis.

“Geillis!” I screamed to her, freeing myself from the covers and clambering out of bed. 

She ran over to me and crushed me to her with an arm around my left shoulder. I reciprocated the hug and squeezed her to me with all my might. We clicked into place for the first time in 8 months and I was back where I belonged.

“I missed you so much.” I half sobbed into her shoulder.

“I missed you a million times more, hen.” She squeezed me harder, which was annoyingly starting to hurt my shoulder.

Someone cleared their throat from just outside the room and I looked up to see a tall man with black hair standing next to Jamie. “Watch the shoulder, Geillis.” He said. “Went tae a bit ae trouble to fix it, aye?”

She gave me a quick squeeze and pulled away from me before turning to the man. “You try no’ seeing yer best pal for months an’ no’ even being allowed tae give them a proper hiya.” She scowled at him, but I could see a smile on her face. She seemed quite familiar with him.

“So I’m guessing you’re the one to thank for this then?” I pointed to the arm in the sling.

“Aye, that would be me.” He confirmed. “How’s it feeling anyway? I’ll come back round later fir a good look after ye’ve caught up wi’ Geilie.” I gave him a strange look when he said this, Geillis usually hated it when anyone bar me called her that. 

Everyone else in the room seemed to pick up on the name as well and there was an awkward silence for a few seconds. What the fuck is going on?

I looked over to Geillis and she appeared to be trying to hold in a smile but wasn’t doing a very good job of it.

“Uh, it doesn’t really feel like anything, to be honest, unless I move it too much, then it hurts like the devil.” I replied a bit awkwardly.

He nodded and opened his mouth as if to say something but Geillis cut him off before he could get it out.

“Right, you two-” She paused to look at Jamie and Willie. “-piss aff the now, ye can come back in an hour or so, I’ll phone if we’re needin’ anythin’.”  

“Aye, alright.” Jamie answered her with as much confusion evident on his face as mine. “I’m starvin’, Jenny’s?” He asked Willie.

“Solid plan.” He replied quickly, already making his way back out of the room, but he stopped just outside the patio doors and gave Geillis a wink.

Do they like each other? How did they even know each other? They must’ve only met when Geillis came to the island, which I’m assuming must’ve been in the last hour or so.

Then I remembered Jamie had mentioned Willie wasn’t on the island yesterday. Maybe he went to bring Geillis over from the airport and they got together. It wouldn’t be unlike Geillis to do something like this to be perfectly honest, she once had 4 different boys stay over in the space of a week. I haven’t even reached that number in all my life never mind in 7 days.

Not that I’m judging her, we all live our lives in different ways, but that life is just not for me

“Buffet breakfast is startin’ in an hour roun’ at the main restruant if ye’s are wantin’ tae join us.” Jamie announced from the door. “Or ye can just order somethin’ if ye aren’t feelin’ up tae it.”

I looked at Geillis and raised my eyebrows for conformation she wanted to go and she nodded. “Yes, that would be great, we’ll be there.”

He walked over to the drawers and pulled out an A4 laminated piece of paper and handed it to Geillis. “Wee map ae the place so ye ken how tae get about, it can get a bit confusing sometimes.”

“Aye, smashin’.” Geillis replied. “See ye after.” She ushered him out the room and he gave me a small wave as he walked away down the path.

She shut the doors and plopped herself down on the other end of my bed then gestured for me to get back in. I got in and pulled the covers up over my legs, to keep them warm, and just stared at her.

“Whit ye lookin’ at me like that fir?” She demanded. 

“Hmm? Oh, sorry, I must of zoned out.” I lied, if she wasn’t going to tell me straight out what was going on I wasn’t going to force her to do it. 

I was actually a bit surprised that she would do something with Willie, I had came to the conclusion that she had a thing going with someone else back home, but just didn’t want to tell me about it.

She usually told me every little detail about her sex life, unprovoked I might add, but when it came to relationships she was a closed book. And since I hadn’t heard any sexy stories for a long time, I just assumed she was dating someone again, but I must be wrong if she’s had sex with Willie, she would never cheat on anyone.

This led to even more questions, if she isn’t dating anyone, then why haven’t I heard any sex stories the whole time I’ve been away. Does she have a new best friend to tell these things to? 

I quicky got that thought out of my head before I could think too much on it, bad idea.

“So, how was the flight?” I asked. She must of loved flying private, it’ll probably be the only thing she talks about for days.

“Aye, it was good.” She replied casually. It was ‘good’? Who the fuck is sitting in front of me? It’s definitely not Geillis.

“Geillis, are you alright?”

She looked up at me. “What? Aye, I’m fine, why wouldn’t I be?”

“Well for starters, I haven’t heard about your sex life for months, but you haven’t told me about any relationship. Willie called you ‘Geilie’ and you actually seemed happy about it, so I’m guessing you’ve already slept with him, but it still doesn’t explain why you're letting him call you Geilie” I explained.

“Claire-” Geillis cut in.

I held my palm up to her. “No, you can talk when I’m finished.” I continued. “You didn’t seem excited in the slightest about the fact you were literally flown over here on a private jet and are now on a private fucking island in the Maldives.” I waved my hand around the room. “You haven’t made even one comment about how hot Jamie is. So I’ll ask again, are you alright?”

She just stared at me, her mouth opened a few times but then closed straight after, making her look a bit like a fish. Why won’t she just tell me?

Then a thought occurred to me and I froze.

“Are you dying?” I asked. 

Oh God, please don’t let her die, you’ve already took everyone I’ve ever loved, not her too.

Geillis jumped into action at this and reached across to take my left hand. “No! I’m no’ dying, ye eejit.”

“Then what is going on?” I pleaded. “And don’t say nothing.”

“I got together with Willie.” She blurted out, squeezing her eyes shut.

“Yes, well, I’d already guessed that but-” I started.

“9 months ago, we’ve been together for 9 months.” She got out.

I started to chuckle a bit, they couldn’t of been together for that long, they just met.

But I stopped laughing when I looked at her face, she was being completely serious.

“You’re not joking?” I asked.

She shook her head, with a glimmer in her eye.

“Geillis! Why didn’t you tell me?” I wasn’t annoyed at her at all, just confused.

“I dinna ken, it’s just…” She stopped a moment, as if to gather her thoughts. “I really liked him an’ I didna want tae admit it an’ then by the time I was ready tae tell ye, ye were already oot here. So I thought I’d just wait ‘til ye were home, but then ye never came home, so I didna do it.” 

I sat for a second, just to take everything in before I spoke again. “I can’t believe it, Geillis Duncan has been in a relationship for 9 months.” I smiled. “How did you meet him?”

“That’s some story.” She laughed, moving up the bed to sit right next to me. “I was at some fancy restaurant waitin’ on some guy I’d met on Tinder, but he never showed up.”

“Arsehole.” I put in.

“Aye, I ken. Anyway, Willie was at a table near mine, he’d just wrapped up a meetin’ an’ he’d noticed I’d been sittin’ mysel’ the whole time. We talked a bit over the two tables afore he came over to mine and we got to know each other a bit better, we went back to mine and I’m assuming ye can guess what happened there.”

I nodded.

“He stayed over an’ he didna’ even leave before I woke up in the mornin’. We made pancakes together then went out for a wee walk in the afternoon, an’ the rest is history.” Her smile only got bigger as she told me her story and I genuinely had never seen her happier.

“Awwww, never expected you to be the one for a cute love story.” I nudged my elbow into her side. “Willie and Geillis, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G.”

“Auch, shut it you.” She scoffed. “Anymare ae yer cheek an’ I’ll be dislocatin’ yer other shoulder fir ye.”

I’d missed that all the months I’d been away from her; just laughing with her or her threatening to break some part of my anatomy every time I attempted to mock her. 

Just her in general, you never realise how much you need someone as a constant in your life until you don’t have them anymore. I honestly don’t think I could take another day away from her now, I’d miss her too much.

I turned my head to face Geillis and noticed she was studying me with a teasing look in her eye.

“What?” I enquired.

“I’ve only jus’ realised what ye said about a certain red head that saved ye, something about how ‘hot’ he is.” She chided.

I felt my cheeks flame up a bit and attempted to plaster an innocent expression on my face. “I don’t think I said that.” I lied.

“Oh, no, no, no you definitely did.” She declared. “Nabbed yerself yer own billionaire Fraser have ye?”

“I haven’t ‘nabbed’ anyone, we’re just friends.” I defended myself. I don’t really know if Jamie and I are friends, we’d flirted a bit back and forth the night before, but that was just a bit of flirting. I don’t really know what we are to be honest.

“Aye, I’ve heard that one before.” She teased. “I probably woulda telt ye the same thing mysel’ if ye found out about Willie before ye left, but I’ll let ye live in denial if that’s what yer wantin’.”

I narrowed my eyes at her before lying my head back on the pillows.

“How ye feelin’ anyway?” She asked, turning onto her side to face me.

“Shit.” I replied honestly. “I already know I’m going to hate lying around with nothing to do, you’re going to need to keep me entertained.”

“Aye, don’t worry I will.” She replied. “But seriously, are ye okay? I dinna just mean yer injury’s, I mean you.” She planted a finger on my chest. “Ye took off just a couple days after Lamb, an’ ye weren’t exactly in the best place those days.”

She was right. I barely even left my room in the days before I’d left London, just sat and silently cried for Lamb. That was until I decided to come here, then I just concentrated on that and pushed everything else out of my mind. Got a flight out the day of Lamb’s funeral and haven’t looked back since.

“I’m fine.” I replied. “I’ll always miss Lamb but I know he wouldn’t want me sitting around crying for him forever, so I didn’t.”

“Ye may be right, but that doesna mean ye canna do it, or at least talk about it.” She continued seriously.

“Geilie.” I huffed. “I haven’t seen you in months, I do not want this to be the first thing we talk about.”

She shook her head. “I dinna mean me, no’ that ye canna talk tae me about this if ye want, yer therapist sent a letter tae the flat last month, yearly notice. Care tae explain?”

Fuck. I’d told her I was still keeping in touch with Dr Abernathy.

“Not really, no.” I answered, looking down at the mattress.

“I willna push it the now, as yer meant tae be on a mental rest, but we’ll be talkin’ about this later, aye?” She asked, trying to catch my eye.

“Aye.” I replied shortly.

I know I really should have been keeping up my sessions with Dr Abernathy, but I don’t see the point in talking about something if I have it under control. Which I definitely do.

“So, how are things actually going with Willie?” I questioned. “9 months is a long time to be with someone, anything exciting going on?”

She paused a second at the question then answered me. “Actually, he asked me to move in wi’ him last month, but I havena decided if I will yet.”

“Bloody hell! I’ve only just found out about this and you’re already moving in together, this is amazing.” I smiled. “Next thing I know you’ll be getting married.”

“Wow, slow down tiger, I said I havena decided if I’m movin' in wi’ him or no’.” She repeated.

“Why not? If it’s anything like this place it’s probably massive, which is rare in London.” I speculated. Geillis and I have a decent sized place, two bedrooms, one bathroom, and a decent sized living room and kitchen. But Willie’s place is probably a penthouse three times the size of our apartment, Geillis would love it.

“See that’s the thing.” She started. “It’s no' in London, it’s in Edinburgh.”

Edinburgh? That would mean she’d be in another country.

Without me.

“Oh, right.” I chocked out. “That’s great, you’ll get to go home.” 

I knew Geillis had never really felt a strong connection to Scotland, as she didn’t exactly have the best experience growing up there. But I knew she secretly longed to go back there, who wouldn’t? It’s beautiful.

“It wilna  really be home without you though, will it?” She reasoned. “We’ve been by each other’s side for 12 years, I canna just pack up an' leave ye behind.”

“Geillis, you wouldn’t just be leaving me behind.” I tried to convince her. “We could still see each other from time to time, I’m in Scotland quite a bit for work anyway, as you know. Or you could get the train down to London for the weekend, you’ll probably want to get away from Willie sometimes anyway.”

The though of Geillis leaving me honestly terrified me. Who would I walk to work with? Or eat ice cream on the couch and watch crappy television with ‘til three in the morning? Who would I go out to dinner with when I got good news?

No one. I’d be completely alone in this world; no parents, no uncles, no best friend.

No boyfriend. Not anymore at least.

But that doesn’t matter. I want Geillis to be happy, and if this is what’s going to make her happy in life, then I’ll be making sure she does it.

“Aye, I can see that happenin' pretty fast.” She laughed. “I’ve just seen him for the first time in a month an’ he’s already doin’ my box in, dinna ken if I’ll cope bein’ wi’ him 24/7.”

Before I probably would of said that about her myself if she had came and told me she was moving in with someone else. Yet, I don’t fully believe what she’s saying to me.

“Seriously though, Geillis. If this is what you want, I’ll support you.” I told her. She’d been there for me in my darkest moments, so I’d be there for her in her brightest ones.

She flopped her head back against the pillows and let out a sigh. “I honestly have nae idea what I want. I love London, I do, an’ I’ve never had any thought of leavin’ before, but…” 

She stopped speaking and I turned to her waiting for her to give me an answer, yet it never came.

“But?” I asked.

“I love Willie too, I’d do almost anythin’ for him.” She finally replied. “But I dinna ken if I love him enough to leave you.”

I felt my eyes began to water as she said the last bit. I obviously know Geillis loves me, but we rarely speak of such affection to each other, and to hear it actually made my heart hurt at the thought of not having her with me.

“I don’t actually think I’ve ever heard you admit you love anyone but me.” I said as I wiped my eyes. “Who is this person? Might be moving in with her boyfriend whom she loves, this isn’t the girl I left in London.”

“Uhh, I know.” She groaned. “I’ve become a sappy mess wi’out ye, that bastard’s turned me all soft.”

I reached over and took her hand in mine. “Well, whatever you decide to do, we’ll make it work. I promise.”

“Fuckin’ hell hen, yer talkin’ as if I’m knocked up, nae movin’ out.” She replied.

“Oh God, can you imagine?” I asked. Thankfully Geillis was always careful with protection so that had never been a problem with her exciting sex life.

“Absolutely not.” She declared.

We spent the next half an hour talking about everything we hadn’t had a chance to talk about on the phone. From the new neighbours down the hall to the latest drama in the hospital, which there happened to be a lot of – it was like a bloody episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

I shared with her the stories of my medical journey’s over here and I thought I might actually have a chance about possibly convincing her to join me if I ever decided to do this again. If she was considering a move to Edinburgh, then maybe she did want a change from London. Maybe one day.

I asked about getting a phone and she mentioned that Willie had gotten a hold of a spare iPhone 11 in the main office and would drop it down to me later. But she also declared it was only to be used for essential purposes since I wasn't meant to be on electronics much. Fucking concussion.

I found myself actually looking forward to seeing Jamie again, secretly hoping that I’d bump into him at breakfast.

Even if I don’t see him there, I’ll probably see him at some point. He told me last night he’d introduce me to his son if I wanted to, which I did, so I imagine he’ll pop round soon enough.

He hadn’t mentioned a special someone in his life last night and I kind of hoped he didn’t have anyone.

If he does have a girlfriend, then there’s nothing I can do about it, it’s his life. But if he doesn’t…

No, I cant. He probably doesn’t like me. I’m just some strange girl he happened to pick up in the middle of the ocean, that doesn’t mean he’s attracted to me. He just done what any decent human would do for another, he saved me.

Sometime later Geillis and I ended up bundled under the covers, debating over whether we should get up and go to breakfast or just order room service and eat it in bed.

We still hadn’t decided when we heard voice’s coming back up the path, Willie and Jamie’s voices to be precise.

Geillis pulled the cover over us a bit higher and winked to me before closing her eyes. It took me a second to realise she was pretending to be sleeping, but once I did, I quickly followed suit. 

I heard the door getting pushed opened as I closed my eyes, followed by two sets of footsteps against the hardwood flooring.

“Are they sleepin’?” I heard Jamie ask as he approached the bed. His breath lightly grazed my forehead when he bent over to get a better look at us and it took all I had in me not to shiver at the feeling.

“Aye, I think so.” Willie whispered as he planted a seemingly sloppy kiss on Geillis’ forehead.

“Canna believe ye never telt me ye had a burd all these months, explains all the trips tae London though.” Jamie murmured as he moved to his usual perch on the seat next to my bed.

“Apologies, brother.” Willie whispered again and I heard his footsteps moving away from Geillis’ end of the bed and over to where Jamie was. “But Claire didna ken about us, an’ I didna want the press findin’ out about us an’ then it getting’ back tae her before Geillis had the chance to tell her.”

I hadn’t even thought about the press, Geillis was dating a semi-famous person now, there’s a very good chance she could end up with news articles about her. Which she’d probably love, to be honest.

“So I thought it would be best tae keep it a secret from everyone.” He finished.

“Fair enough.” Jamie said quietly. “Should we wake them?”

“Nah, gi’ them another few minutes.” He answered softly. “I ken Geillis will be needin’ it after last night.”

Jamie laughed softly from behind me and I cautiously cracked open an eye to see Geillis with a small grin on her face.

“So what about you an’ Claire, anything goin’ on there?” Willie asked and I froze, closing my eye again.

Jamie leapt up out of the chair and pulled the duvet up and gently draped it over the side of my head, covering my ear, before he began walking away. “Shut it, she might hear ye, ye eejit.” I heard him whisper shout as Willie followed him out.

They both walked outside the room and I heard the door close before I opened both my eyes this time.

Geillis opened hers at the same time as mine and her mouth opened slightly.

Had Jamie mentioned something to Willie? Did he like me?

Oh God, I sound like a teenager again.

I tried to listen into the conversation I assumed they were having outside, but I could only hear mumbles.

“What the fuck is that about?” Geillis whispered urgently.

I shook my head slightly. “I don’t bloody well know.” I replied.

“Did h-” She started, but the door slowly clicked open again and we both squeezed our eyes shut again, feigning sleep.

Maybe something could happen between Jamie and I.

Chapter Text

Fuck, what do we do now.

I’m a terrible liar, they’ll be able to see straight through me. Everyone I’ve ever known has always picked up on the fact that everything I think appears on my face. My ‘glass face’ as Geillis likes to call it.

Willie and Jamie had come back into the room and were now having a conversation about some kind of boat they were planning on buying for the island. 

Thankfully, they hadn’t thought to ‘wake’ us yet. We still had the covers pulled right up to our heads and I was facing away from both of the men so they couldn’t get a good look at my face. Thank God.

There wouldn’t be anything really wrong with us revealing we aren’t actually sleeping if they hadn’t said anything, but Willie’s comment and Jamie’s reaction would make it a bit awkward. Geillis seemed to be having the same thoughts as me as she hadn’t attempted to fake wake up yet. 

I could feel Geillis shifting around under the covers beside me, likely becoming impatient at having to sit silently for more than a minute. 

Geillis is the type of person who prefers to be out a run for 6am rather than lazing around in bed ‘til noon doing nothing. Unlike me, who very much enjoys her beauty sleep.

She would probably give up the sleeping act if she kept up her fidgeting, the covers were beginning to rustle quite a bit now. 

I would also need to move about a bit soon, the angle I was lying at meant the wound on the left side of my head was pushed right up against the pillow, which was causing more than a bit of discomfort now.

I heard Willie’s shoes against the floor again, as he announced he was going to wake Geillis.

But before the footsteps had ceased, I heard Geillis groan and the mattress shifted slightly as she sat up.

“Shite.” She started. “Did we fall asleep?” 

“Aye, seems so.” Willie answered her. 

“What time we on?” She asked as I heard her placing her feet on the floor and getting fully out of the bed now.

I shifted around on the pillow, slightly moving my face a bit to the right so the pressure was off of the left side, making it more bearable.

“Comin’ up for nine now.” I heard Willie say. “We’re headin’ round to breakfast the now an’ thought we’d come an’ make sure ye’s were still comin’, good thing we did it seems.” 

“Aye, we’ll be there, jus’ need tae wake her up first. I’d advise ye make yersel’ scarce, she’s a right moany get when she wakes up.” She told them. 

Can’t say she’s wrong, waking up has never been my strong suit.

“Right, get ye round there then?” Willie asked.

“Mhhmm” She replied as she kissed him.

Willie and Jamie murmured a quick goodbye before I heard their footsteps trailing off down the path.

“They’re gone.” Geillis announced.

I opened my eyes and cautiously sat up, looking out over the path to be sure they were away.

“Well, that could’ve been awkward.” I said, shimmying up from under the covers.

“Aye, awkward right enough.” She sat back down on the bed beside me. “So, your Jamie seemed to be awful concerned aboot no’ lettin’ ye hear the answer tae that question, didn’t he?”

She was right to be fair to her, he had walked out of the room before even answering him – and I’m not even sure if he did actually answer him.

I slowly nodded my head. “Yip.” I stated, before turning my head to face her and pointing a finger in her direction. “And don’t bother asking me what that means, because I don’t know either.”

She held up her hands, palms facing to me, in surrender. “Right, right. I willna, but it did seem a bit suspicious, no?”

“Maybe a little.” I replied, smiling.

I wasn’t sure if him not wanting me to hear thing was a good thing or a bad thing. It’s more likely the latter, but a girl can hope.

Geillis and I sat for another few minutes before deciding to get out of the bed and attempt to manoeuvre me into some decent clothes.

Geillis was already dressed for the day in a blue milkmaid dress that stopped just under mid thing, which she had paired with a pair of platform white wedges, that I was almost positive belonged to me at some point.

She wheeled in a large purple suitcase, that I hadn’t noticed was sitting outside, full with clothes I had left back home. 

Thankfully I hadn’t brought much of my clothes with me when I came here, it was just the essentials, so Geillis had brought pretty much every remaining item in my wardrobe with her.

We made our way through the suitcase, trying to find something suitable. She pulled a lacy blue lingerie set out that she had deemed absolutely essential to pack, Geillis had the firm belief that if you had a good set on, you’d have a good day.

We eventually settled on a dark blue, strappy, midi-dress with a split from hem to mid-thigh on the left side, so my bandages were still covered on the right. Geillis laid it out on the bed and said she’d give it a quick iron, as there were a few creases from travel, while I went for a shower.

Showering didn’t really go amazingly.

My right arm was completely motionless, so that wasn’t much help, and I couldn’t get my right leg wet without disturbing the bandages. So I ended up half in half out the shower, not really getting a great wash on my right side. 

I eyed up the bath in the corner of the room and decided I’d try have a soak in there later tonight.

I was going to put on the blue lingerie set that had been thrown at me earlier, but then remembered it wasn’t exactly the comfiest to wear.

Geillis came in as I was finishing up, with the dress we had picked out earlier and helped me into it. The dress thankfully wasn’t skin-tight, so I managed to slide it over my injured areas with ease and had it on fairly quickly.

Geillis handed me a pair of sunglasses and a large, black sun hat – insisting I keep both items on at all times – before we locked up and headed out.

The golf buggy that Geillis had come round in earlier was still sitting on a narrow road around the back of the hut, so we got into it and followed the signs for the restaurant.

The island was well signed, every split in the road had a signpost with several bits of wood poking out in different directions with places around the island written on them. Near the bottom, there was a post labelled ‘Main Restaurant’ which pointed down the road of the right, so we followed it.

On our way round the island I spotted a large building that seemed to be a hotel, a golf course, and stables. I wasn’t really expecting to see the last one, to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t aware horse riding was a popular activity in Maldives resorts.

Geillis seemed quite capable behind the wheel of the buggy and before long we were pulling up to the restaurant.

There was a small car park at the front with a few golf buggy’s, similar to ours, filing up the spaces.

We were greeted at the entrance by a short women, who walked us over to our table.

The restaurant was entirely outside apart from a kitchen I could make out through tinted windows to the right. There were many tables dotted around the restaurant, with a wooden lattice canopy covering the entire seating area.

I spotted Jamie sitting across from Willie at a long table with a few other adults and a swarm of kids sitting at a table beside that.

Jamie noticed us first and tapped Willie’s head with a nod to us. He turned round with a beaming smile to us and both him and Jamie stood up.

“Ah, ye made it then.” Willie exclaimed while walking towards us.

“Wouldna miss it, love.” Geillis gave him a chaste kiss on the cheek. 

“Nice tae see ye up, Claire.” Jamie nodded to me. He had on a tight fitting Under Armour top, in a colour similar to my dress, that left little to the imagination. 

“Nice to be up.” I replied. A few of the other people at the table had now turned round to get a look at us and I noticed Jenny was among then, sitting next to a large man with dirty blonde hair, who was smiling at us.

“Come, we’ll introduce the both of ye tae everyone.” Willie stated, as he took Geillis’ hand and began walking over to the table.

Jamie and I followed behind and I could feel his eyes burning into me from the side. I worried that he could somehow tell I was actually awake earlier and was going to say something, but when I looked at him he just gave me a smile.

 Geillis sat down in an empty seat next to Willie and I sat across from her, in the seat next to Jamie.

“Everyone, this is Claire Beauchamp, the women who’s plane unfortunately went down as I’m sure you’ve all heard.” Jamie told the table. I got a few sympathetic smiles from around me, and I caught a few people staring at the sling. 

“Lovely to meet you all.” I greeted the group. “Thank you all so much for your hospitality, it’s very much appreciated, and I promise to be out of your hair as soon as I can.”

I felt Jamie stiffen slightly beside me and an older women, with hair the same fiery orange as Jamie’s spoke up. “Och, dinna be daft, dear.” She smiled at me. “Yer welcome as long as ye need, plus we love hosting guests anyway, don’t we?”

“Aye, right on, ma’.” Wille responded. He cleared his throat briefly before speaking again. “And, I’m sure ye’ve all heard by now that I’ve went an’ fell in love, so I’d like to introduce you to the most extraordinary woman I’ve ever met, Geillis Duncan.”

Even though he was talking to the rest of the table, his eyes were locked with Geillis’ the entire time, both staring intently into each other’s eyes with the sweetest smiles I had ever seen.

It warmed me to the bone to see Geillis this way with someone, this was never something she had ever experienced, and it looked good on her. I remembered the feeling of loving someone like that all too well, and silently prayed that she would have him forever.

A chorus of ‘awww’ travelled round the area, Willie leaned over a kissed the tip of Geillis’ nose before they pulled away from each other.

“Okay, so to my right we have Jenny Murray, Jamie and I’s sister, and her husband Ian Murray.” Geillis and I both gave them a smile, which they both reciprocated with a small wave. “Next to them we have our Godfather, Murtagh Fitzgibbons – who also responds to ‘old coot’.”

A few snickers came from around the table, but none from the supposed ‘old coot’ himself. “Oi, I’ve been tellin’ ye fir years tae stop callin’ me that, ye wee bugger.” He cocked his head round and pointed an angry finger in his direction, Willie just laughed and I felt Jamie chuckling slightly from beside me. He looked between Geillis and I and the anger left his eyes. “Nice tae meet ye, lasses.”

“Across them ye have the creators of the best wains on earth, our parents Brian and Ellen Fraser.” Jamie took over the introductions at this point and nodded to the women who spoke earlier and an older man with jet black hair who looked a lot like Willie. 

Geillis greeted them and before I had a chance to say anything, another man spoke up who was sitting right next to Jamie, and I honestly felt as if I was looking at twins. “Leavin’ the best fir last are ye?” Jamie’s doppelganger asked smugly.

He had the exact same hair, same bone structure, same crooked smile, but his eyes were not as catlike as Jamie’s, the man’s were more rounded, like a circle.

“Another sibling?” I nudged Jamie.

“Aye, wee Rabbie, the youngest of the lot. Still in uni, aren’t ye?” He asked him with a teasing glint in his eyes.

“Last year, mind you.” Rabbie snapped. “Claire, is it?” He reached over Jamie and stuck his arm out in my direction with a lopsided grin.

“Um, yes.” I stopped myself before I reached my hand out to shake his, finally adjusting to the sling. “Lovely to meet you.” I awkwardly nodded at him.

“Put yer hand away, ye eejit. She canna shake it.” Jamie jumped in, firmly pushing away Rabbie’s hand.

He muttered a quick ‘oh’ before he settled back into his seat and was blocked out of view by Jamie’s wide shoulders as he rested his arms on the table. 

“So Geillis, is our Willie treatin’ ye well?” Brian asked her. “If he’s no’, ye’ve only tae say the word an’ we’ll sort him out fir ye.”

 She chuckled before answering. “Yer son’s been the perfect gentleman, Mr Fraser. And don’t worry, if he’s no, I’ll be givin’ ye a hand in sortin’ him out.”

The table all laughed and Willie playfully swatted Geillis on the arm. 

“Call me Brian, lass. You too, Claire.” He told us. “No need for formalities here, aye?”

We both nodded to him and then questions began piling in for Willie and Geillis; How did ye meet? When did he tell ye he loves ye? Are ye gonna move in together?

I sat quietly listening to the answers to all the questions I had already asked her just an hour ago, and just watching how in love they looked. 

I came to the realisation while watching them, that I wanted them to live together and for Geillis to have a happy life with him. I could just be the fun wine aunt their kids came to when they needed a place to stay for the night when they grew up, or if they needed someone to talk to that wouldn’t berate them for their actions.

She’d probably kill me if she could hear my thoughts right now, kids have never really been in the picture for her. Always saying that she would be the fun wine aunt to my kids when the time came, but it was looking more and more likely that the time never would come for me.

I haven’t been on a date in 3 years now. Either no one took much of an interest in me, or if they did, I would end up having to stay late at the hospital and miss the date altogether. So it wasn’t from lack of trying on my part, it just never seemed to work out for me. 

I used to hope that the right man would just pop out one day, and we’d fall madly in love with each other. But over time the dream has faded and I realised the reality of the situation. I had my chance, I didn’t take it, and I’ll never have it again.

But back to Geillis. I could live with it. I’d probably still see her all the time anyway, as I told her, I was always in Scotland for conferences, and she would probably end up down in London from time to time. If not for her job, then maybe for me.

I could feel Jamie eyeing me once again and quickly turned my head to meet his gaze. 

I forgot about the large hat I was still wearing, to keep the sun away, and I accidentally hit him with the front of it. “Shit, sorry. I forgot about this stupid thing.” I pointed to the hat.

“Ach, it’s nae bother, just wasna expectin’ ye tae turn round sae fast.” He answered. “Ye were away wi’ the fairies there, what were ye thinkin’ of?”

“Nothing exciting.” I assured him. “Just life in general.”

“Aye? I’m sure ye’ve got quite the exciting life, Sassenach.” He regarded me with curiosity.

I laughed softly. “I definitely wouldn’t describe my life as ‘exciting’, it’s just the usual life of a doctor; working long hours, no time for fun or a social life I’m afraid.” I told him. 

The most exciting part of my life most of the time was probably Geillis and I’s daily lunches. No matter what we were doing, we always made time to sit down for lunch and a chat. Whether it was in the break room, cafeteria, or the little café a few minutes away from the hospital that we absolutely loved. We always done it. It was a good way to break up the day a bit and keep ourselves going, through whatever was going on in our lives at the time.

“Well, ye came over here by yerself, that seems pretty exciting to me.” He reasoned, angling his body so he was facing more towards me than the rest of the table. “Definitely not just the usual life of a doctor, what prompted that?”

I wasn’t too sure how to answer this question. ‘The only relative I had left died and I couldn’t take it without him’ sounded a bit too grim, I had only just met the man for Christ’s sake. 

I didn’t really want to get into the details around a group of people either. If Dr Abernathy were here, he’d probably be encouraging me to answer honestly, open up to someone. But I couldn’t do it.

“Just wanted a change of scenery.” I lied, looking down at my lap. “London becomes a bit drab after a while.”

He nodded. “Aye, I’d have tae agree wi’ ye there. I’ve never been overly fond of the place myself, too many grey walls and tall buildings for my likin’.”  He told me truthfully. “Only ever stayed there for work or a layover for a flight, but it didna really leave me longin’ tae return.”

“I can understand that, it’s not exactly the homeliest place to live, but it does the job.” I replied. “Where do you call home anyway?”

“Edinburgh, most of the time. I own an estate not too far from the city, but far enough away that we still get the illusion of being out in the countryside.” He revealed.

“Is it just you that lives there, or is it a family house?” I enquired.

“Just me an’ Fergus for the most part, sometimes we get a family member at the door, wantin’ a place tae lay their heads for a few nights, but no one else lives wi’ us permanently.” He told me, then cocked his head over to the table with many kids sitting around it. “Speakin’ ae Fergus, let me introduce ye.” He left the table and walked off in the direction of his son.

“Alright.” I fixed my dress and took off my sunglasses for a moment. I would probably look a bit scary to a 9 year old, bruises all over and the dark hat and ominous sunglasses definitely wouldn’t help. 

Jamie was walking back to the table, with a lanky little boy bouncing along next to him. The boy stopped just before me and stared directly at me.

He didn’t look exactly like Jamie did. The boy had dark brown curly locks that bobbed on his head when he walked, the cutest little smile that I could see a hint of Jamie in, and his eyes had a completely different shape to Jamie’s but the same light blue shone out within them.

“Fergus, this is Miss Claire Beauchamp.” He spoke to his son, before turning to me with a beaming smile across his face. “Claire, this is my wee lad, Fergus Fraser.”

“I’m no’ wee, Da.” He turned to face his father, with a look of outrage at being called ‘wee’.

Jamie just stared back at him and reminded him of his manners. “Is that how ye greet someone, Fergus?”

Fergus shook his head, causing his curls to fly wildly about his face, and turned to me. “It is verra nice to meet ye, Miss Beauchamp. You have pretty eyes.” He said seriously.

A smile broke out on my face and I raised an arm to pat his arm. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Fergus. Please, call me Claire, if your father doesn’t mind?” I asked with a glance to Jamie.

“Fine by me.” He nodded. 

“What’s wrong wi’ your arm?” Fergus questioned, staring inquisitively at my cast.

“I was in an accident and it got hurt.” I explained to him. “But, your father came to my rescue and your aunt Jenny and uncle Willie fixed it up for me.”

“Da saved ye?” He asked, intrigued.

“Yes, he came out on his boat and brought me to safety.” I looked up at Jamie and locked eyes with him. “Saved my life he did, your father’s a very brave man.”

He stood up straight and I saw pride beaming through his blue eyes. “Aye, I ken, he always knows what to do whenever I need help wi’ something.” He leaned forward and cupped a hand round my left ear before whispering into it. “He’s my hero.” Fergus admitted.

“Mine too.” I whispered back, completely truthful.

The smile still hadn’t left Jamie’s face since he had walked over with Fergus, only grew in size if that were possible.

“Right, away back tae yer table then.” He patted him on his back. “Give me a shout if ye need anythin’, aye?”

“Aye.” Fergus called back as he ran towards the table filled with kids.

Jamie returned to his seat next to me and fiddled with his hands in his lap.

“Sweet boy you have there.” I told him and he looked up and nodded. “Seems to adore you.”

“Aye, and I him.” He answered solemnly.

Jamie and I re-joined the conversation at the table, which was currently on the last summer the Fraser family had spent here.

I heard stories of the famous Fraser Olympics held on the island every year. Any child over the age of 5 was permitted to compete and the tradition had ran for 24 years now. The games were reportedly coming up again in the next few weeks with the main activities for the children including a sack race, bean bag toss, egg and spoon race and a gruelling 200m sprint across the beach.

The adult version was a little harder including all variety of strenuous activities. There were variations of the kid’s games like shotput and balancing a book on your head while running 100m, but the main event was the Fraser’s take on a triathlon.

200m swim in either the pool or - weather depending - out and back to a floating platform placed in the water, especially for the occasion.

Run round one half of the island on foot until you reached the stables.

Saddle up a horse, mount it, and take off along the edge of the water, riding round the other half of the island.

This should then lead back to the starting point for the swimming, and the first one to run up and kiss the judge on the cheek was declared winner of the round.

There was a whole points system explained to me as well, but most of it went straight over my head when they started to argue with each other about the points awarded last year.

Every year it was a different winner, no one had ever won it two years in a row, and it always came as a surprise to the rest of the family who would actually win the games. 

Last year it was Jamie who had bested everyone and was awarded with the golden plaque, which had the names and dates of every winner in the past years.

Since this year was to be the 25th anniversary, the plaque only had one place left on it, and whoever won this year, got to keep it. A new plaque would be made for the next year, but whoever won this year got to keep this with them for life.

This made the family all that more determined to win, and get the bragging rights for life.

I was sad to realise that I probably wouldn’t still be here for the games, so would never actually get to witness the win, but hopefully Geillis would fill me in after.

I wasn’t sure if she had plans to stay with Willie for the summer, now that the rest of his family knew about the two of them, but I imagined she’d at least be staying for a while.

The argument about the points eventually died down and everyone put in their breakfast orders.

I was going to order a crepe, but then remembered my predicament trying to cut it up last night, and went for a bowl of fruit instead.

There wasn’t really much more conversation over breakfast, the group of children were becoming quite irritable and Jenny and Ian had to take them home straight after they had finished their breakfast. 

Fergus also joined them, pleading with Jamie that he wanted to spend the day with his cousins.

Jamie allowed it and promised to peek in on him at lunch.

Brian, Ellen and Murtagh left not long after, they were going to meet up with Murtagh’s wife and Ellen’s sister, Jocasta, for a day out on the yacht.

Rabbie snuck off with a waitress at the restaurant, without anyone noticing, and soon it was just Geillis, Jamie, Willie and I left.

“So, any plans for the day?” I asked the group. We had moved down to some rattan couches on a patio with a fire pit that wasn’t currently on.

“Takin’ care ae you.” Geillis quickly replied. “Speakin’ ae that, get yer shades back on or I’ll drag ye back tae the room the now.”

Knowing she would follow through on her threat if I didn’t comply, I slipped the discarded sunglasses back over my eyes.

“Happy?” I asked her.

“Very.” She replied, cuddling up to Willie.

“You do realise that I don’t need you to take care of me every single second of the day, I want you to go out and enjoy yourself.” I raised my eyebrows at her and Willie.

“I’ll be enjoyin’ myself right enough.” She replied, giggling. “But that’ll be later, when yer tucked up in yer bed.”

“Geillis, seriously, I’m fine spending the day by myself.” I told her. “If I really need you, I’ll phone you.” I patted the phone that had been given to me earlier.

“No, I’ll maybe leave ye an hour or so, but I’m certainly no’ leavin’ ye yerself all day. Something could happen tae ye an’ no one would realise.” She reasoned.

She did present a fair point, I did still have a concussion, but I wasn’t experiencing as intense symptoms as yesterday. A natural sleep seemed to do wonders.

I was about to open my mouth to tell her I felt better when Jamie began talking.

“I’d be fine sitting wi’ ye fir the day, not got anythin’ else to do anyway.” He offered.

“Jamie, I can’t ask you to do that.” I replied. “Your on holiday, I’m sure you want to relax a bit.”

Willie chuckled at this. “Him? Relax? Don’t think I’ve ever seen him relaxed in all my life.”

Jamie shot him a look before turning to Geillis. “Seriously though, I’d be happy to relieve ye of yer duties fir the day, I’ll even text wi’ an hourly update if ye wish.” He told her.

“Well, if yer sure yer alright wi’ it, I wouldna mind a bit of time wi’ this one.” She nudged Willie. “Claire?”

“I don’t want to be a bother, really I’m fine with my own company for the day if you don’t want to.” I looked at him.

“Claire, I wouldna have offered if I didna want to do it.” He informed me. “I want to.”

I stared into his sky blue eyes for a moment, trying to decide if he was being genuine or not. Upon evaluation, I found no evidence of lying and nodded my head to him in agreement.

He gave me a lopsided grin. “I’m sure we’ll have a great day together, Sassenach.”