I was at Leoch with Gillian, Gail, Joe, Louise, and Annalise having a few drinks, after we all made sure our patients were set for the night; which had become our new typical Friday night.
Leoch was a restaurant bar that was within walking distance of the hospital and all of our apartments so it was very convenient. It was Highland themed and I was pretty sure it was owned by Scots. Just as we were watching the town drunk Laoghaire get kicked out for the umpteenth time, my phone vibrated.
Frank: Hey darling, I have a new client that wants to take us to dinner tomorrow night, are you free?
Me: Yes, that sounds that great.
Frank: Great! Are you coming over tonight?
Me: Yes, I'll be there around 10 pm.
I looked up to find Gillian staring at me smiling,” Are you texting Frank ?”, she said teasingly. She removed her arm from around Louise, who was engaged in her own conversation and moved in closer to me.
“Yes I am, if it's any of your business.”
“I’m just happy to see ye wi’ someone who loves ye, it’s been so long since I’ve seen ye this smitten”, she said genuinely.
Gillian has been my best friend for over ten years. We have been through so much together. I sat next to her when she told her parents she was a lesbian, she stood next to me at my Uncle Lamb’s funeral and helped me clean out his house. She was the only family I had left, chosen, or no. Potentially adding Frank to that family was a big deal and I was happy that I had her approval.
“How long have you two been together?” I could see her staring at me while I counted the months.
“It's been about a year and a half.”
Frank is a historian at the university, but many people tend to find him and ask for help tracing their ancestry, which he takes on outside of his lessons. He often worked with his colleague Reginald Wakefield, who was also a professor at the university. I loved listening to him regurgitate information about his ancestors. He seemed to be at his happiest when he was sharing his knowledge.
“How’s the sex?”, she said raising her eyebrows.
“Why do you ask me things like that”, I said blushing slightly. I never ask how the sex is with her and Louise, but maybe that was because they were two of my best friends, even though they both were open books.
“Come on Claire, ye’ve got to give me something!” she pleaded.
“Well, I – I’m not talking about this right now at a restaurant,” I said, checking to make sure that no one else was listening. “ If you want to know you come over one night with wine, and we can talk about it.”
Surprisingly, she agreed.
That night, I went to Frank’s. I assumed he was already in bed so I let myself in. As not to wake him, I tried to get into bed very gently, but as soon as I lifted the covers he rolled over.
“Mmmm”, he groaned as I snuggled closer to him.
“Hi darling, did you have fun?”, he asked half asleep. His eyes weren’t even open.
“Yes, now go back to sleep”, I said as he kissed my shoulder. I felt bad that I woke him, but he’s woken me many times in the middle of the night for less important matters. I smiled to myself.
The next night Frank and I were walking to the restaurant and he began telling me about his client. He told me that his name was Jamie Fraser, a true Scot. His family was from the Highlands, which was why Jamie came to him, to find some of the missing people that died at Culloden and to finish a family tree he was working on for his son.
While in thought, Frank said we were here and I stopped in my tracks.
“This is it?”, I asked rather confusedly, “This is Leoch, I come here every week!”
Frank looked at me, matching my confused look, he said,” Well this is it. I didn’t realize they were the same, well maybe you’ve met Jamie then. He’s great, you’re going to love him!”
We went in and immediately I heard “Claire! Where’s the normal crew?”
“Hey, Murtagh! This is Frank.” They exchanged pleasantries and we were then joined by a broad-shouldered redhead with a thick Scottish accent.
He grabbed Murtagh's shoulder, “I hope he hasn’t been giving ye any issues,”, he smirked.
“This is my girlfriend, Claire,” Frank said that I reached out to grab his large rough, calloused hand and I immediately knew that he was more than just a restaurant owner. His inviting blue eyes were like a lazy river that I wanted to get lost in. They are crisp and gleamed like the sun reflecting off the ocean. After what seemed like a lifetime we let go of each other; I was praying that no one could tell that I was blushing. I don’t know what it was but no one has ever looked at me like that; like he recognized my soul.
We finally made it to our table and there was already wine and bread waiting for us on the table. Once the wine started flowing, we all relaxed a bit.
“So Frank, have ye always wanted to be a historian?” The braw
“Actually, no. I wanted to be a pilot for a while. I’ve always had a love of history, though, and I guess I was more passionate about it. It’s especially interesting because I was able to trace my family back so far and I would like to help others do that. There is something so intriguing about the way we are all connected in one form or another.”
He then bragged that I was a surgical intern at the local hospital and said that I would make medical history one day.
Finally, I interjected, “So Jamie, what are you doing so far from home?”
“Ah, I moved here about 10 years ago, when I found out I had a son,” he scratched the back of his head somewhat embarrassed. “I dated his mother fer two years and when we broke up she was pregnant and dinna tell me. I dinna normally tell people this, ye ken. I found out about a year later from her sister that I had a son named Willie — she named him after my brother.”
I wanted to know why the sister told him and not his ex, but I decided not to pry. I stretched my legs out a bit and accidentally brushed his shin; and he quickly flashed me with an alluring glance.
“What is Willie interested in?”, I asked, clearing my throat nervously.
“Well right now, he’s verra interested in history. I went to see Frank to get help on the family tree I’m helping Willie with... He also loves to read.”
“So does Claire; darling, you have to show him the little bookstore you go to.”
“Yeah, they have a great selection of books, and the owner Mrs. Graham is the sweetest woman. I’m off tomorrow if that works for you. ”
“It’s a da--a plan.”
Laughing, Frank excused himself and went to the restroom.
Not knowing what to say, Jamie and I looked up at the same time. Once again we looked at each other like we’d known each other for our entire lives like our souls recognized each other. I smiled sheepishly, still not breaking eye contact, and he returned it was a smirk that formed at the corner of his mouth.
In a hushed tone, I asked, “ What are you doing?”
“What do ye mean, lass? I’m no’ doin’ anything.”
Frank cleared his throat as he came back from the restroom.
“What are we talking about?”, he said as he placed a hand on my back.
Jamie and I looked at each other.
Somehow he managed, “Uh, I was just asking Claire how a Sassenach like her ended up here.”
Sassenach, I didn’t know what it meant but I liked the way it sounded when he said it.
After a few wine and laughter-filled hours, we said our goodbyes to Jamie, and Frank and I walked back to my place since it was closer. I noticed on the way back that Frank was a bit more handsy than usual. When we got back to my apartment he placed his hands on my waist, pulling my back against his chest. Breathing in my scent, he kissed my neck and lazily let his tongue trail down to my shoulder. I let out a sigh as a chill went down my spine. That night we made love, but it was different. He was more possessive than he normally was. He tried to become one with me, to obtain my soul, but my mind kept going to the lazy blue rivers that kept staring back at me. I kept thinking about the way his soul seemed to recognize mine. As soon as he finished, Frank quickly rolled off of me and drifted to sleep and I just lied awake my mind racing. I kept thinking of Jamie, the warmth of hands, and the coy look that he kept giving me.
I loved Frank and he has been so good to me but- I stopped myself. I remember when Frank and I went on holiday to the highlands and I wanted him to put his book down, so I started jumping on the bed to distract him. He soon joined me and it led to the first of many sexual escapades in Scotland. I smiled to myself – I can’t let a stranger ruin my relationship. So I grabbed Frank's hand and pushed myself closer to him. If I could get as close to Frank as possible and go to sleep maybe Jamie couldn't exist there.
I dreamt of Jamie.