I left the house and made my way to my BMW. I climbed into the driver's seat and I began the journey to the office. I’m meeting my godfather and best friend, Murtagh, for a business meeting regarding our importation of Scottish whiskey.
I found myself thinking of Claire while I drove; her beautiful bouncy curls, those bonny whiskey eyes that make me feel drunk, a good heart and an intriguing personality, and the captivating smile she always held. She’s completely mesmerising; she’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. I always find myself wanting to know more about her, everything about her. I’ve never felt this drawn to anyone like this before, not in the short amount of time I’ve known her. Christ, it was only the second day but I’ve already found myself wanting to be in her company, wanting to be in her presence, always.
She’s a closed book and I want to read every chapter. But like a cold bucket of water on my thoughts I remembered what she had said that morning about having to leave to go on a date with her husband.
I hate that I’m saddened by it; but there’s not a lot I can do because she is only Fergus’ nanny after all. It’s not as if anything could or would happen between us, no matter how much I longed for it. But it does no harm to look, right?
I pulled up to the office and made my way inside. As I entered the room I saw Murtagh was ready and waiting for me.
“Ah, mo caraid! Yer finally here.” Murtagh said, holding his hand out to shake.
“A Dhia, sorry I’m a wee bit late. I had to get my boy settled with the nanny.” I said taking a seat in the office chair next to Murtagh.
“Oh aye? How’s that goin’ is she good wi’ him?”
“Murtagh, she’s incredible. She’s caring, she’s funny, she’s smart, she’s beautiful…” I said, feeling heat creep into my cheeks as I thought about her.
“Christ...ye wee dolt; yer no crushing on yer wee sitter are ye?” Murtagh raised a questionable brow.
“What? No! I have just picked up on a few of her qualities. Tis’ good is it no’? She’s good for Fergus.” I said though I wasn’t sure who I was trying to convince more but it certainly wasn’t convincing Murtagh by any means.
“Aye. Just be careful lad, ye dinna wanna get yer’self caught up…” Murtagh stated, patting my shoulder reassuringly.
“I ken. It’s no’ gon’ happen anyway. She’s marrit.” I said, shaking my head.
“Marrit? And yer swooning? Jamie, boy...take it from yer ol’ godfather..yer walkin’ in a dangerous territory. Keep yer wits about ye and be sensible.” I nodded my head at that. Murtagh was always good at giving me the best advice.
“Aye, Bodach. Dinna fash about me. This doesna go any further. Claire and I are and will remain friends.” I said, seeming to try and reassure both parties, both Murtagh and myself.
“Let’s get on wi’ this wee paperwork, Aye? Ye ken what yer auntie Jo is like. She’ll tan my arse if I’m no’ back before dinner.”
We both laughed knowing exactly what Jocasta is like.
I followed Jamie through to the living room and made myself comfortable on the sofa as Jamie sat beside me and passed me the cup.
“How’s he been for ye? He’s no’ given ye any cheek has he?” Jamie said as he softly chuckled and I in turn.
“Not at all. He’s a credit to you.”
“Aye. He’s a good lad, for all he’s been through. He came to me when he had just turned 5. He’s gonna be 8 in a few months.” Jamie smiled with pride.
“How did you come to be his adopted father?” I questioned as I took a sip from my drink.
“Weel that’s a story. My sister, Jenny, worked at a foster home in scotland. She’s verra attached to kids, ye ken? She’s got 3 of her own. She cared for Fergus a whole year before I took him. He took to her instantly and she connected wi’ him. She’d come home crying because she badly wanted to help him, so I made the decision to apply for adoption. It was a long road but we got there. It was the best decision of my life. He’s my son.” Jamie’s eyes filled with tears and I felt my heart swell.
I gently placed my hand on his knee and gave it a gentle squeeze. “You did the right thing. He’s a lovely boy. He’s lucky to have you.” My voice was soft as I looked in his eyes.
“Och, nay, I’m the lucky one, Sassenach.” He nodded and swiped away a single tear.
“Enough about me aye, what about ye?” Jamie queried, waiting for an answer.
“Well what about me?” I chuckled.
“What’s yer history?”
“Rather boring really. I met my husband at college 15 years ago, he was 20 and I was 18. He studied history and I was majoring in nursing. We married 5 years later and I started my career. It was good, I loved being a nurse but recently Frank and I….well, Frank didn’t feel I was home enough so I gave it up and now I’m here.” I shrugged.
“Yer no’ boring sassenach. I read in yer rèsumè that ye were a paediatric nurse, aye?” Jamie looked at me with concentration written on his face. He was immersed in every word.
“Yes I was. I love it. I love children and it was my dream job. I was sad to leave the hospital but, nonetheless I am still working with children doing my nannying.” I said drinking the remainder of my tea.
“Maybe one day ye’ll return to it.” Jamie offered a warm smile.
We chatted a little more about our pasts. Jamie told me he lost both of his parents when he was a young boy and it changed his life forever.
I knew exactly how he felt since I had lost my parents myself. We talked of our families and growing up in England and Scotland.
“What brought ye to Boston?” Jamie asked.
“Frank.” I said, clearing my throat. “He was offered a position at Harvard and there wasn’t a cat in hell's chance he was missing that opportunity. He would’ve gone with or without me.”
“So ye just up and left, leaving ye life behind?” Jamie asked in a state of disbelief.
“Yes. Something like that I suppose.” I said with a twinge of disappointment lingering in my tone.
“Christ, Claire. That’s no’ fair.” Jamie shook his head.
“Well he is my husband and I am his wife. I had to support him.” I said a bit too firmly.
“I’m sorry, I dinna mean any offence Claire.” He said knitting his brows together.
“None taken.” I said, waving off his comment with my hand.
“I really must get going…” I said placing my cup down on the coffee table.
“Aye, dinna want to keep him waiting.”
“Good night then, Jamie..” I said, making my way to the front door.
“Good night, Sassenach. I’ll see ye tomorrow? I have to leave at 8.” Jamie said, following and opening the door for me.
“I’ll be here at seven.” I smiled and gave him a small wave before exiting and clicking my car keys to unlock it.
“Frank, are you back darling?” I called, chucking my handbag onto the couch and shrugging off my coat.
There was no response from Frank. I walked into the kitchen to make myself a drink before bed and he was standing leaning against the kitchen counter with a whiskey in hand.
“There you are. Why are you in here?” I laughed and walked over to him placing my hands on his shoulders. He shrugged me off and my brow creased with confusion.
Frank scoffed and rolled his eyes. “Seriously Claire?” He shook his head. “You really are clueless..”
“Tell me what’s wrong.” I said placing my palm flat on his chest and he placed his hand over mine and removed it harshly, dropping it at my side.
“You stood me up. You're my wife, do you realise how humiliating that was?” He took a sip from his whiskey and curled his lip.
“I told you I had to stay late, I’m sorry.”
“No Claire. You are thinking of yourself, again.” He slammed his glass down in the sink and walked past me and bumped my shoulder with his own, making me stumble back slightly.
I followed him through the living room into our bedroom.
“Frank...don’t be unreasonable. I have to work too darling. I’m sure your boss didn’t mind me not being there this one time.” I said, trying to reassure him as we started to get changed for bed.
“It’s not good enough. You said you would be there.” He spat out and sat down on his side of the bed to remove his trousers.
I climbed into the bed and crawled my way over to him, wrapping my arms around his neck from behind and resting my chin on his head.
“Let me make it up to you.” I whispered in his ear.
“Hmmm...how?” He lent into my chest.
“Well…” I pressed my lips to his neck and his eyes fluttered shut.
“Lay down and I’ll show you.”
“Good morning, Sassenach. Would ye like a cup of tea?” Jamie’s smiley face greeted me and I nodded following him into the kitchen. I threw myself down in a dining chair while Jamie boiled the kettle.
“Ye look worn out, rough night?” Jamie teased.
“Something like that..” I mumbled. Jamie’s head snapped in my direction and I realised then he was just joking. I felt the colour rushing to my cheeks realizing he caught on to what I meant.
“What I mean is, uhm, Frank was upset about me missing the meal.” I said and cleared my throat.
He nodded at me and wetted his lips to talk. “Aye, well I’m sorry if I got ye into trouble.” He walked over to me and placed the steaming hot mug in front of me.
“No you didn’t. I told you I was flexible!” I felt flushed again.
“What I mean by flexible is, my working hours I will work when you need me to. I didn’t mean I was flexible in my body…okay I’ll just shut up now.” I was sure I was positively glowing all shades of pink and red.
Jamie laughed at me and shook his head.
“Tis’ alright sassenach, it was funny.”
Fergus came bouncing into the kitchen and made his way to the bread bin, taking out the loaf and placing two slices into the toaster. He hadn't realised that I was there until he spun around to speak to Jamie and I caught his eye.
“Claire-Bear! Good morning!” He rushed over to me and nearly knocked me off my chair wrapping his arms around my neck and squeezing me. “Hello to you too, Soldier.” I chuckled and prodded him in the ribs.
“Let go of Claire laddo, yer toast is burnin’' Jamie scolded.
“Ahhh...Cra— I mean, oops. Want some toast bear?” Fergus said, studying the half-burnt toast.
“I don’t think so. Not if that’s how you make it. Here let me.” I said making my way over and replacing the toast with fresh slices.
“Fergus I need ye to do yer homework as soon as ye get home please. Yer auntie and uncle are coming for dinner.” Jamie said, taking a banana from the fruit bowl and having a bite.
“Uncle Murtagh and Auntie Jo?” Fergus said giddy.
“And cousin Merida, Finn and Archie??” He got even more excited and Jamie nodded.
“That reminds me I need to run to the store and get the supplies. I’ll have to do it on my way home and push dinner back so I’ll have time to cook it.” Fergus looked up at me and I looked at Fergus.
“I can go for you if you like? Fergus and I could make a start on it so it’s ready for when you get back.” I suggested.
“Och, I couldna have ye do that, Claire. Yer my nanny no’ housemaid.” He laughed.
“Well why not? I could go after I drop Fergus off at school, it’s no bother really.”
“If you really dinna mind? I’d be truly grateful.” Jamie stood up and made his way to the sink, rinsing out his empty cup.
“Yes, of course. Just text me the list.” I said smiling.
“Would ye maybe wanna stay too? I ken Murtagh would love to meet ye, and he loves Fergus just as much as I do.” Jamie said with a look of hope.
“Please Claire-bear!!” Fergus said, jumping up and down and holding my hand.
“Well alright. I suppose so.” I said as I grinned.
“Great. I’ll text ye. I have to go now.” Jamie said, grabbing his keys. “Be good for Claire.” He ruffled Fergus locks and he scoffed at him before turning to leave.
“Have a good day!” I chirped.
Without warning, Jamie leaned over and pressed a wet kiss to my cheek and lingered for a second as I felt my heart stop in my chest.
Why is he so close to me, and why am I relishing in it?
His lips brushed my ear and he whispered, “I’ll see ye tonight.” He turned away from me and left.
I could only stare at the closed door as I stood in the kitchen, frozen, cradling my wet cheek.