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Our Family

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22nd April

Jamie’s POV

I’ve been on the island since yesterday. Spoken to the P.I and I have yet to find Laoghaire.

Apparently since she’s been here, she doesn’t seem to stay at the same place for any certain amount of time.

I feel like if I overthink everythin’ too much, I might miss somethin’.

The P.I is goin’ to speak wi’ a crofter who he saw speakin’ to Laoghaire briefly the other day. I said I would go wi’ him, but he told me no. I was annoyed at first, but then I got it. I’m filled wi’ so much hurt and anger toward Laoghaire, lord kens what I would say to this man if he didna tell me what I wanted to hear. What if I blew up and Laoghaire found out I was here and did another runner? I need to be careful here, tread carefully. Try and blend in and no draw too much attention to myself.

That’s why I find myself at the museum at the Lews Castle grounds. Usually I would love this kinda thing, learning about the history of the Scottish Islands, but I canna take anythin’ in.

I make my way over to the little cafe at the other side of the building. It’s Starbucks coffee. Didna think I would get a Starbucks all the way out here on the Outer Hebrides, but there ye go.

I sit down at a wee table in the corner, next to the window. I pull out my phone and call Claire. She doesna answer though. She must be busy at work. I send her a wee text instead just so she kens how things are goin’, well, they dinna really seem to be goin’ anywhere yet, but hopefully we’ll find her soon.

 

Hey Sassenach. Hope you’re doing well today. I just thought I would let ye ken that we still havena managed to speak to Laoghaire yet. The P.I is away speakin’ with a local crofter that was seen speakin’ wi’ the lass a few days ago. Hopefully he can give us some information on where she might be. I’m afraid at the moment, it just feels like a wild goose chase. Anyway, give me a call when ye can, and I’ll give the bairns a ring tonight before their bedtime. I love ye Claire. Hopefully I’ll be home again soon.

 

Just as I’m about to get up and head over to the counter to order another coffee, I catch a glimpse of a long blonde haired lass walking in to the cafe and as soon as I hear her order a caramel latte, I ken it’s Laoghaire. I could never mistake that whinging noise she calls a voice.

When I go to make my way over to her to ask what the hell happened, I’m bein’ pulled back in to the gift shop beside the cafe by the P.I.

“Dinna be so foolish as to approach her out in the open like this. Lord only kens what this lass is capable of. I followed her here from the Croft at Balallan. Apparently that’s where she’s staying twice a week. Sometimes she’s staying in Laxey, and other times in Gravir. I’ve got this Jamie. Go and wait in the back seat of my car. I’ll see if I can get her to the car and then ye can speak to her wi’out everyone listening in.” He whispers in my ear as he hands me his car keys.

I reluctantly nod my head in agreement and slowly, trying to avoid Laoghaire, I slip out the door of the museum and head to the car. The car is parked just along from mine. I slip in to the back seat of the quite old and banged up blue Ford Focus. With the amount of money P.I’s make, I thought he would of been able to afford a newer, more reliable car.

When I asked him about his car yesterday, he told me that it helps him to stay hidden. People tend to take notice of the nice, fancy cars that people with money drive. They dinna take much notice of the wee car sittin’ down the street wi’ a few marks and scratches on it.

 

After about ten minutes, I see the P.I walking out of the museum with Laoghaire following on behind with her coffee order in hand. I try my best to keep hidden in the back, but it’s a small car, and I’m quite a large man.

When Laoghaire jumps in to the front passenger side, she’s so wrapped up in talking about herself, she doesna even register the fact I’m sat behind her.

I dinna ken how he managed to get her to the car, but I’m verra grateful.

“Now, I don’t actually have anythin’ on me at the moment, but if ye could give me an hour, I could get whatever it is ye want and we could meet up for the exchange.” Laoghaire says.

“Nah, yer alright lass. Drugs isna really my thing, ken? I have a friend here that would like to speak wi ye though.” The P.I says as he locks the door so Laoghaire canny get out.

It’s a guid job the car is parked a bit away fae the main entrance. No one will be able to see what’s happenin.

Laoghaire tries to open her door, and when she doesna succeed, she starts kickin’ the door wi’ some force.

“Now Laoghaire, that’s enough!” I shout.

Suddenly realising that there’s someone behind her, she slowly turns to face me.

“Jamie? Oh thank god.! Can he tell this mad man to let me go?”

“No lass. No until ye tell me what exactly happened that night. Why the hell did ye drug me? What could ye of possibly gotten out of doin’ such a thing?” I ask her, unable to mask my anger or frustration.

“It’s no what ye think Jamie. Ye need to believe me.” She pleads.

“Start talkin’ Laoghaire. I need ye to tell me what the hell ye were playin’ at! I canna take this any more. I’m supposed to be gettin’ married. I have been puttin’ Claire and our children through hell since that night. I need to ken what ye thought ye were playin’ at.”

“I promise I’ll tell ye all ye need to ken, but I have somewhere I need to be right now. Can we meet tomorrow? Please Jamie, I give ye my word that I will tell ye all ye want to ken. I just can’t today, I’m sorry.”

“Ye think your word means anythin’ to me lass? Ye DRUGGED me Laoghaire. Acted as if ye didna ken a thing about it and then disappeared after I told ye the police wanted to ask ye some questions. There no police here Laoghaire, it’s just us. Now talk!” I snap at her. I canna help but get more and more angry the longer I’m in the lass’ company. The sooner she talks, the sooner I can leave and move on with my life with my family.

“Jamie, please. I’m beggin’ ye. I really need to be somewhere. If I dinna make it back in time, I’m dead. Jamie, ye dinna understand what we’re dealin’ with here.”

“What do ye mean by “we”?” I ask her suspiciously.

“If ye agree to meet me tomorrow, I swear to ye on my grans life that I’ll tell ye everythin’. What I will say is I dinna mean for ye to get dragged in to this. I was trynna protect ye. It was Dougal they wanted to hurt, but when they saw you and your girlfriend at the restaurant, they started making plans for you too.”

“Who? What are ye gan on about Laoghaire?”

“Look, Dougal got in to some trouble with the Grants. I dinna ken the whole story, but the Grants hired me to get close to him and make him lose everything. Some reason, they wanted to take you down as well, I dinna ken why though Jamie, I swear. Please, just let me go and I’ll speak to ye tomorrow.” She hands a card over to me with her name and number on it. “Text me where your staying and I’ll come and see ye.”

“Fine, but if ye disappear again Laoghaire, I’ll find ye, and I’ll make ye pay. Ye have my word on that.” I tell her sternly.

She lets out a breath and slowly nods her head.

The P.I. Unlocks the car and lets Laoghaire out. As soon as she starts to walk away, I order the P.I to follow her and not let her get the chance to disappear again.

 

Sitting in my hotel room alone, I wait for Claire to call me so I can say goodnight to the bairns. I’ve only been away a couple of days, but I miss them all terribly.

I’ve gotten so used to going to bed with Claire and waking up with her beside me, I dinna like sleeping with out her.

 

After sitting on face time with my family as Claire reads the kids a bed time story, I sit and talk with Fergus for a while. He tells me what all happened in school and how he’s getting on with his school project. I managed to help him out a little last night, but it’s not the same as physically being there and helping the lad. Still, I have to do what I have to do.

I say good night to the lad before he heads up to bed himself. Being older than his sisters, he gets to stay up an hour later.

Then it’s just Claire and I. I had already filled her in on the Laoghaire situation earlier when she called me when she finished work, but it’s still playing on both our minds.

“Who are the Grants, Jamie? If they have issues with Dougal, why come after you?” Claire asks me.

“I’ll no ken until I speak with Laoghaire tomorrow I’m afraid. But, the Grants are a family that have had issues wi’ Dougal and Callum in the past. I dinna ken what actually happened, but I remember when I was a lad, one of the Grants came over to Lallybroch and threatened my mother because she was simply Dougal and Callum’s sister. I can only imagine that’s why they wanted to get to me. I am their nephew after all. What all this has to do with Laoghaire spiking my drink, I dinna ken Sassenach. But I will find out. I promise ye that.”

“Jamie, I just want you to be careful and stay safe. I hate that you are over there and I can’t be with you or do a thing to help.”

“Yer at home taken care of our bairns and making a livin’ Sassenach. I’ll be home soon. I ken it.”

We talk a bit more before I reluctantly have to hang up the phone.

The P.I has been texting me all day and all evening with updates as to what Laoghaire is doing. He’s due to call me anytime now for the latest update.

 

I dinna care what sorta trouble the lass has gotten herself in to. I just pray to god she shows up tomorrow mornin’ as arranged and explains herself fully.

I need to be at home with Claire and the kids.