I turned on the pallet and positioned myself onto my side. The opportunity to watch Jamie sleep came rarely, so when it did I held on to the moments.
I counted his low and shallow breath for what could have been minutes or hours. After decades of dreaming and longing- to have his real, large, warm and solid body merely inches away, was something.
I took my hand and traced the edges of the deep V of his shirt.
“Like what ye see, Sassenach?” His voice was soft with sleep.
“Mmmm.” I breathed and scooted myself closer to him. “You’re so beautiful.”
“I’m an auld man. My body has the scars, as does my soul. I dinna think ye can call me beautiful Sassenach.” His fingers traced my cheek. “But I can say it of you, Claire. Body and soul.”
I looked up and pushed the hair out of his face, scanning his blue eyes for a hint of what might be going in that head of his. A vast ocean his eyes normally were, but I was finding none of that tonight.Taking my best guess, I pressed a kiss to his chest, right over his heart.
“You are a good man you know,” I trailed kisses up his neck and the base of his jaw. “Actually, you’re the best man I know, in both centuries I’ve lived.”
“Ye’re just saying that to try and make me feel better.”
I kissed the tip of his nose and aligned myself so I was stretched out on top of him.
“I say it,” I put my hands on either side of his face so we were just inches apart, “Because it is true. Do you not think so?”
“I shouldna think so,” His arms wrapped around my waist, “But Christ, loving you- maybe that is what has made me a decent man.”
Smiling over him, I kissed him soft and slow- full of warmth and love- my actions saying the words I could not find.
“She does too,” I broke our lips apart and nuzzled our noses together, “She thinks you are a good man Jamie. I told you, she says things in anger she doesn’t mean.”
“Hush,” My hand covered his mouth and I could feel his facial muscles trying to smile. “She’s half of me and half of you. She’s the best of you. Anger, red hair, and stubbornness and all.”
Jamie tried to bite my hand and I moved it off his mouth, watching a smile form on his face. “Deep down, she knows. It might not make you feel better now, but you can trust me. I love you both.”
“I have done a very many things in my life, Sassenach.” He pulled himself up and rolled us over so he was over me. “But choosing you.” A tear rolled down his face. “Loving you…”
“Blood of my blood and bone of my bone.”
“As long as we both shall live.” I felt the pang in my chest as I remembered the last time we had said the words to each other. “Of course… It’s the last thing we said before you sent us back. I said those words a thousand times to Brianna, while I would watch her sleep.”
“I meant it, Claire. Then. Now. Forever.”
“For the lass too, she’s our blood, she’s our heart. I will do whatever I need to return him to her.” Another tear rolled down his face. “Even if it means selling my soul. You are here.”
“I am.” It was my turn to feel the tears prick behind my eyes.
“Ye’ll rescue me, ye always do.”
His hands reached for the hem of my shift and I thrusted my hips up in response, surrendering myself to him in every way.
“We rescue each other.” I breathed.
And we would, we always would.