He wanted one more day. One more day where they could just be home together . No concerns from the hospital, Frank, or the department. He just wanted to hold her in his arms for as long as possible and help to forget all that's happened. He knew of course she wouldn’t, neither of them would, but he’d sure as hell give it his best effort.
But time was dwindling.
Jamie glanced over to the couch to see that Claire was already beginning to doze off.
Tomorrow. This can wait till tomorrow.
Jamie sent a quick response to Duncan telling him that he’ll get back to him in a day or two. Claire needed time to settle. He knew Frank wasn’t getting out anytime soon, and that was enough. Claire’s healing was more important to him than the legal matters right now.
“Here ye go sweetheart. Take your time drinking it.” Jamie said as he placed her tea on the tea table, and pushed the table closer to Claire.
“Thank you.” She whispered.
Jamie settled on the other side of the couch and put Claire’s feet in this lap. He was nervous to look at her, knowing that she’d see that he was keeping something from her. As if she read his mind, she nudged his belly with her foot. “What're you thinking about over there?”
“Hmm? Och, nothing. Just tired. How’re you feeling, mo chridhe?” He said almost too matter of factly.
“Don’t try and change the subject.” Claire snickered with another foot nudge. “Tell me what’s on your mind.”
“Sassenach, tis nothing.” He hated keeping this from her, but he knew it would be better to wait. Strapping on an endearing smile, he wrapped his hands about her feet and rubbed them tenderly. “Sassenach, ye ken I’d do absolutely anything for ye, nae matter the cost?” His eyes softened a bit, as if trying to urge her to comprehend where he was really coming from.
“Jamie, of course I do. I’ve never had to question that. Where is this coming from?” She tried to sit up a bit, causing her to wince. Jamie’s eyes went wide with concern. “I’m okay. Really Jamie, what’s going on.”
Seven minutes. That’s about how long he could keep this from her. It was truly a valiant effort.
“Tis just… I got word from Duncan. He says although the footage is enough to keep Frank in holding, tis likely he wilna go down without a fight. Ye, we are going to have to press charges and more than likely testify when the time comes. I wasna going to tell ye til tomorrow so ye can rest but…” He couldn’t meet her eye, instead he continued grappling her feet.
A few moments passed. “Typical Frank trying to find a way out. That’s to be expected.”
“Claire I canna imagine how difficult this must be for ye, but if ye have to testify in order to get this bastard put away — god I dinna want ye to have to relive it again.” He couldn’t suppress the tears from pooling in his eyes simply at the thought of Claire enduring anymore suffering.
“I know. I know. I wish I didn’t have to either. But, if I must, then I will. I want him out of our lives Jamie, forever.” As exhausted as she was physically, and mentally no doubt, Jamie could still sense that determined fire.
“I will be with you throughout mo nighean donn, always.” He answered nodding.
Some time passed along with several episodes of Friends reruns with Claire having fallen asleep hours ago. Jamie was still awake, and anxious nonetheless. Not because of Frank, but he was just scared to fall asleep if something were to happen with Claire. He knew it was rather daft. She was right here at home with him, but he couldn’t help it.
Not minding the TV in the background, he couldn’t look away from her. She looked so peaceful sleeping. Such a rare beauty, his beauty.
Every now and again, Jamie would suddenly get taken aback by just how much he loved this woman. It utterly consumed him to the point where sometimes it was almost too much to bear and his emotions would get the best of him.
Simply staring at her sleeping form, not even noticing her marks he could feel the well in his chest.
Needing more of a connection he whispered; “God shield my beloved, my white dove. Preserve her from violence and from harm. In this place and every place. On this night and every night.” Wiping a loose tear he continued, “I love ye Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp. I love ye more than my own life. I will gladly spend the rest of my days making sure ye ken it.”
At this declaration she began to stir. Once again she whimpered while she adjusted her position and as slight of a movement it was, it still pained Jamie to know she even had the slightest amount of discomfort.
Claire’s eyes fluttered open a few moments later, and she quickly formed a slight smile. Jamie smiled back, and reached over, placing a kiss on her outstretched fingers. “What was that you were saying?”
“Och, nothing. Doesna translate o’er well. How’s your pain? One to ten?”
“Hmm maybe a six.”
Sassenach I ken that means it's a seven or an eight.
He didn’t say this outloud of course, he admired her pride too much.
My strong lass.
“Do ye want one of yer wee pills anyway? Might make that six a bit more manageable?” Jamie asked, knowing she’d refuse.
“No no, I’m okay. There is something I would like though…” She said earnestly.
“Aye? And what would that be mo chridhe?”
Sliding her foot up at down his chest, she adoringly said, “I would just love to have a bath, but I think I may need help with the washing” she finished off with a pout.
“Is that so, Sassenach?” Jamie said getting off the couch. “I’ll get that started for ye straight away then.” He declared, but not before leaving her with a deep, lingering kiss. “Dinna move Sassenach.”
Jamie went to the bathroom to draw Claire her bath. He placed a set of towels on the countertop, and added that special scented bubble bath he knows she likes. He patted back down to the sitting room to see Claire adoringly waiting for him. “Ready mo chridhe?”
“Oh yessss.” She announced putting her arms up. Jamie bent down to pick her up, careful not to jostle her ribs as much as possible. She gently wrapped her arms around his neck and put her head on his shoulder. It didn’t take long before she started pressing light kisses to Jamie’s neck.
“Sassenach, I ken what yer trying to do. As much as I’d love to, you ken we can’t” He postulated. “Doctor’s orders.”
“But I’m a doctor, and I say we can.” She declared between more kissing.
When they reached the bathroom, Jamie gently placed Claire on the toilet, and crouched between her knees. “Sassenach, ye ken that I would love to have ye more than anything, but we can’t. Ye got to do some more healing. I’ll not be the reason that yer in more pain for a longer amount of time. We can bide for now, aye?”
With an adorable eye roll, she responded with a very endearing, “Aye.”
“Now, arms up.” Jamie demanded. Claire slowly raised her arms while Jamie stripped her of her shirt. He then placed her arms around his neck for support, stood her up, and freed her from her leggings one leg at a time. She squealed just a bit when her bottom sat back on the cold seat of the toilet.
With one last check of the temperature, Jamie again picked up Claire and placed her in the tub. She slowly leaned back with a moan that went straight to Jamie’s cock.
Christ ye vixen, I ken exactly what yer doing.
With Claire watching his every move, Jamie soaped up the loofah and began tenderly scrubbing her arms. He then moved to her chest while avoiding her eyes, and went about his duty.
Claire then dropped an arm into the water and splashed water all over Jamie’s shirt. “Oh Jamie, I am so sorry. I’m just so clumsy.” Jamie glared at her, but they both knew he wouldn’t keep a straight face.
“Jamie, your shirt is just soaked. You’ll have to take it off.” She said seductively.
As much as he wanted to resist her and his urges his shirt really was drenched. “Fine. But that’s all yer getting out of me.” He peeled off his shirt, and tossed it into the pile where Claire’s clothes were.
“Much better.” Claire said kissing his shoulder. “I’ll behave, I promise.”
Jamie went on scrubbing Claire’s front and gently nudged her to lean forward. He couldn’t help his quick intake of breath. He hadn’t noticed with the bubbles and the water level, and frankly he wasn’t really looking to try and avoid the tension, but her sides and her back were covered with deep, dark multicolored bruises.
He desperately tried to choke down the lump in his throat, but it was too late. She noticed.
“Hey.. hey, Jamie it’s okay. It doesn’t hurt too bad.” She reached up placing a hand on his cheek, caressing him with her thumb. “I’m okay. We’re okay.”
Sniffing and clearing his throat, “I ken. Tis just seeing ye with these marks, it tears my heart mo chridhe.”
“I know Darling. But it’s over now.”
He nodded, unable to say anything else. He again, nudged her forward, and placed a hand on her breast while she leaned against him. Not in a sexual or seductive way, he simply just wanted to feel her while he finished bathing her. Claire knew his intention.
When he was done, he placed an array of kisses all over back, covering every inch of her bruises. He made his way up to her neck, around her jaw, and then finally to her lips. He kissed her for a long time, his tongue easily mingling with hers. There was no rush or sense of demand. They were just here, in the moment, taking each other in.
Minutes later, they pulled apart, foreheads leaning on one another. “Can we go to bed?” Claire whispered.
“I feel ye should eat something first, mo chridhe.” Jamie said kissing her forehead and reaching for the towels.
“No, no. I just— I just want to go to bed and have you hold me.”
“Aye, Sassenach. Lets go to bed.” Jamie reached down, wrapped Claire in a towel and took her into his arms. He then walked her down the hallway, to their bedroom and placed her on the bed.
He gently dried her off, and placed her atop the duvet. “I’ll just go lock up, okay?”
Just a few moments later, Jamie came back with a soft smile as he leaned against the door frame. Claire was sprawled on the bed, looking utterly content.
“Yer so beautiful, Claire.” Jamie said walking over to her. “So beautiful, mo ghaol.”
“How can I not love a man who says such things.” She expressed, urging him to come to bed.
Jamie quickly took off his sweats, and climbed into the bed, getting them both under the duvet. Both naked, craving as much skin to skin, Jamie pulled her to him, and hitched her legs over his, as she curled into his chest. With an arm around her shoulders and the other across her body holding her arse to keep her close, he caressed her with his fingers. “Christ, yer a brave wee thing.”
A moment passed.
Jamie slightly leaned back in order to look her in the eyes. “How do ye feel?”
She splayed a hand over his chest, giving him half a smile.
Jamie smiled back, and brought her even closer. Kissing her forehead, breathing her in, and thanking the Lord for this precious gift, they both drifted off together into a blissful sleep.