Claire Beauchamp unhinged the old, tattered wooden shutters to the bedroom window and flung them open, seeking relief from the mid-summer heat She let out a sigh as a light breeze cooled her dampened skin. While gazing up at the moonlight, she absently twirled a loose strand of hair between her long slender fingers She felt the need to go for a walk into the night. She silently made her way downstairs, careful not to wake Francois as she slipped out the door into the thick summer air.
Claire knew this path by heart, as she had carved it with her own two feet. She walked it often when she felt restless and needed to calm her soul. Bunching up her shift in her hands so it hung just above her calves, careful to not get the delicate lace trim dirty, she walked barefoot enjoying the feeling of the cool earth beneath her feet. Francois had noticed the hem of her shift had dirt on it once, and gave her a tongue lashing about how proper ladies do not go frolicking about at night, let alone in nothing but her shift.
Nature had always called Claire. As a young child she would spend her entire day in the fields collecting different varieties of flowers and foliage, pressing them between paper so that she could keep them forever. Claire smiled to herself as she stood at the edge of the secret lavender field she had discovered on one of her walks, humming as she gently untied her braid and let her long mass of dark curls flow freely down her back, stepping into the calm of the lavender-scented misty night.
Claire lifted her face to the sky as a light rain began to dance on her face. She should run home, she knew if caught she would surely get another lashing if Francois awoke to discover her gone, but she simply did not care. Instead, she put her arms out to her side, and laughed as she spun in circles letting the joy overtake her.
James Fraser had roamed this earth empty and alone for centuries looking for a place to settle and call home, but was never able to find it. He remained in Scotland for a while, watching silently from afar over several generations of Frasers, until the last of the clan was forced off Fraser lands, and Lallybroch lay in ruins.
Gone. They were all gone. Everything he had once held so dear, had one by one left this earth, leaving a void in his soul, that would never heal.
Over time, he had learned to survive on animal blood rather than humans, as he had no desire to take a life for sport. He did not ask for this curse, it was forced upon him, one he had contemplated ending numerous times over the centuries. James Fraser still considered himself a man of honor. A man of integrity. A man who would never force this eternal existence onto his worst enemy.
Feeling an uneasy restlessness, he wandered through the forest looking for something. What exactly that something was he was unsure of, but it pulled at him. The faint smell of lavender wafted through the rain as he continued to walk through the forest. He was almost positive he could hear the faint sound of a woman's laughter off in the distance, and walked towards it.
There, in the middle of a lavender field, was the most enchanting sight he had ever had the pleasure of seeing. A woman. A woman dancing alone, in the rain filled with laughter and joy. Her sheer wet shift clung to her body like a second skin exposing the sleek long lines and curves of her body. He knew he should give her privacy, turn around and leave, but he stood there rooted in place, unable to look away.
Claire stopped spinning and looked around, unable to shake the feeling of someone was watching her. Fearful that Francois had followed her, she slowly looked around, and what she saw stopped her in her tracks. They were not Francois’ cold brown eyes, but a set of deep, intense eyes the color of the sky staring at her so intently, she lost her breath. She stood motionless as she watched the stranger in the distance walking towards her.
He was tall, very tall, his wet hair plastered to his head, a sharp jaw, and a smile that made her weak. “Good evening to you, mistress, are you lost?” Claire had lost her ability to speak and gazed up at the man in front of her with her mouth slightly open. “Are you unwell mistress? Do ye require help?”
“Yes. No. I mean, I’m not lost nor am I unwell,” she sputtered out quickly “I am terribly sorry, I did not realize I was on your land, I’ll leave at once.” Claire spun around on her heels, and felt his large warm hand on her arm stopping her. “Tis not my land, mistress, but even if it was, I would not ask ye to leave. Ye are a bonnie sight spinning around in wee circles in the rain.” Claire could feel herself blushing, confused about the way this man was affecting her. “Well, ah, thank you Mister...” She trailed off, realizing she did know his name.
“Fraser. James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser. But ye can call me Jamie. If it pleases you.”
“Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp.”
“Lovely to meet your acquaintance, mistress.” He gave her a slight bow, his vivid blue eyes still holding her gaze.
“Cl-Claire is fine.“
Realizing that she was standing in front of him in nothing but her rain-soaked shift, she quickly folded her arms across her chest to cover herself shivering. “Allow me, Claire.” Jamie took a few steps closer and wrapped his kilt around her, engulfing her in a sense of warmth and safety unlike anything she had ever known.
He knew he should see her home. Just walk away, and never see her again. But, the thought of never seeing her again tore at his soul. She glanced up at him with wide, innocent amber eyes, and everything inside him shifted. “Would you care to sit with me awhile and finish drying off? I promise I willna bite”
“Oh,” she replied quietly. “Francois would be livid if I ruined another shift.” Jamie stood quiet for a second before sitting on the ground and spreading out a piece of tartan for her. “You can sit here if it pleases you, Claire. That way you won’t be soiling yer shift.“ He watched the conflict in her eyes before she softly sat down next to him. Needing her close, he carefully wrapped the free end of his tartan around her shoulders. “So this Francois Husband of yours?”
“Yes, he is,” she flatly stated.
Jamie instantly picked up on the animosity of her tone “Is he no good to you, Claire?” He sat there watching her as she looked down at her clenched hands, afraid of what she was going to say. Tenderly, he brushed a stray wet hair off her cheek. “Does he hit you, Claire?” He waited as calmly as he could for her to answer him.
“No, she whispered. “But he says such vile and cruel things to me, that some days I want nothing more than to run away.” Saying nothing Jamie gently pulled Claire closer to his side, giving her the time she needed to continue. “You see, I was but 14 when I married Francois. His family owned the room my family stayed in, and they were unable to pay the rents. Francois’ father made a deal with my father. If I married his son, they could stay there rent-free for the rest of their days.” Claiire looked up at him with tears in his eyes.“I didn’t want to marry him. I was merely a child being forced to marry a man 15 years older than myself. My father said I had no choice, that it would be my fault if we all ended up on the streets.” Jamie wrapped his arms around her and began gently rocking her, wanting to take every ounce of unhappiness she has had in her life and replace it with love and happiness. “I had no choice, Jamie. I could not let my parents be thrown out into the streets.”
“Shhhhh, mo cridhe, I know.” Sobs shook through her body as he rocked her until the sobs slowly faded and eventually stopped. They sat there together in the quiet, as she clung to him, occasionally letting out a shuddering breath. Jamie could feel the tension slowly leave her body as he gently stroked his hand down her hair and over back. Unable to help himself, he planted a soft kiss on the top of her head.
“I’m-I’m sorry Jamie. I didn't mean to-”
“Shhhhh, you have nothing to apologize for, lass. You were just a child, forced into a terrible situation. What kind of man would- Weel, nevermind, I know what kind of man would, and I dinna think I care verra much for this Francois fellow.”
Claire let out a small laugh, “Neither do I.”
“Weel, that’s two of us then. Although I’m sure we can find more people to add to that list. So, tell me Sassenach. How old are ye anyway?
“Och, I’m a young lad of 325.”
She looked at him a second and threw her head back laughing. “Well, you certainly look well for being 325.”
“Well, immortality will do that for a lad, ye ken?” he said with a broad smile. Claire playfully nudged his stomach with her elbow. “Quite the witty one are you?” she laughed.
He knew the minute she saw them. The minute that beautiful smile disappeared. “You’re-You’re not joking are you?”
“No, Sassenach, I’m not.” Fear gripped his heart as he waited for her to flee. Here it comes Fraser.
Claire thought Jamie was trying to cheer her up by trying to lighten the mood, until she saw them. Those two unmistakably canine teeth that were far larger than any other teeth she has ever seen on a person. She sat there for a minute watching his face. “Say something Claire.”
“You’re- Are you-?“ Why was she not able to form a cohesive thought around this man? Was he a man? “Aye, Sassenach, I am. I will not hurt ye. You are safe with me.“ She knew she was. She had never felt so safe and protected.
“If you were going to eat me, you would have already done so by now. Can I see them?“ She moved in closer to him for a better look as he opened his mouth. You have lost your mind, Beauchamp. She should be running away, instead she was moving in for a closer look at his fangs. What was this pull he had on her? “C-Can I touch them?”
“Aye, ye can.“ He replied, sounding as surprised as she was. Without thinking, she climbed into his lap, with her knees astride him, and raised her finger to his mouth. She gingerly touched a fang with the tip of her finger. “It feels like a tooth.”As she did the same to the other fang. Curious, she ran the pad of her fingertip along the point of his fang, jerking her finger back as she felt a sharp stick. “Ow!” She looked down and saw a drop of blood on her fingertip. Eyes still on Jamie she instinctively brought her finger to her mouth, but was stopped by Jamie. She gasped as he took her finger and sucked it into his mouth and his eyes turned a dark cobalt blue. Her breath became shorter, and her body felt like it was on fire. “Jamie,’’ she panted.
“I would verra much like to kiss you, Claire. May I?”
“Yes. Yes Jamie, you may kiss me.”
His hands were on her face crushing his mouth to hers. At first she was shocked and motionless, but quickly gave into him. The feel of his mouth against hers, the feel of his tongue pushing inside of her mouth. Burying her hands into his hair, Claire opened for him, moaning into his mouth. This was so unlady like, so undignified. But, she wanted more, needed more, feeling him against her core.
The kiss ended just as quickly as it had started. “I’m sorry Claire. I did not mean to take your mouth without care. I-”
“Kiss me again Jamie. Please.”
And he did, he kissed her with such tenderness she thought she would melt. His hands wandered over her back and gripped her hips, pulling her into him. She moaned at the feel of his fangs scraping down her neck to her collarbone. She needed him closer, needed to feel his skin against hers. She yanked his shirt up over his head, and marveled at the sight before her. He was perfectly sculpted and beautiful. She ran her hands slowly up over his chest and down his arms. “You’re so beautiful,” she whispered. His moan vibrated his body as she kissed his shoulder. His hands slid up her sides, and cupped her breast, pressing his thumbs against her taut nipples through her shift.
“Can I see you Claire?” His voice was dark and husky. She could only nod. She watched the pleasure on his face, as he untied her shift and slid it over her shoulders exposing her bare breast to him. Feeling bold, she lifted his hands back to her bare breast, moaning as he pushed up against her. She watched as he lowered his head taking her nipple into his mouth, sucking it gently like he was savoring her. Needing more, she pressed his head into her breast. “More Jamie.”
“Let me love you Claire, let me show you.” He flipped her over, and gently laid her upon his tartan.
Jamie was sure she had never been shown tenderness, and he fully intended on showing her. He carefully removed her shift and placed it to the side, so it would not get dirty. She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. A mix of wanton innocence and desire flickered in those amber eyes. He kissed his way down her body feeling her skin vibrate beneath him. Settling himself between her legs, he kissed his way up her thighs. The smell of her arousal made his cock ache.
“Have you ever been kissed here, Claire?” he asked before he feathered a kiss over her center. Her hips jerked in reaction. He slowly licked up her center, spreading her with his tongue. “Tell me Claire. Am I the first man to taste you?” She answered by crying out and pulling his head deeper into her. He moaned as she started to rock against his face. Her wee noises had turned into uncontrollable moans. He felt her legs tighten around his head and her heels dig into his back as she screamed his name at the height of her pleasure. He ghosted her center with light kisses until her heavy breathing calmed.
“I-I didn’t know. I didn’t know that a woman could- Does it happen every time,” she asked breathlessly.
“Only if she has a verra good lover.”
Claire was certain of two things. She has never known pleasure like this, and if Jamie asked her to run away with him into the night, she would do so without hesitation. She watched him through hooded eyes as he climbed slowly up her body and met his lips with hers. He rocked his hips against her slick center. She gasped as he slid slowly inside of her, never taking his eyes off her. He stilled, giving her body a moment to adjust to his size. “Did I hurt ye Claire?” She responded by moving her hips beneath him. Jamie moved slowly, like he was savoring every second with her, and never wanted it to end. “Claire. Sorcha. Mo Anam Cara.” He slid his hands up her arms linking their hands together up over her head. She could feel the sensation building again in her body as he slowly took her, filling her so completely. He moved faster and harder inside her. Claire screamed out as the next wave of pleasure took over her body, exploding with color behind her eyes. She could feel him pulsing inside of her, as she held him close. She hummed contentedly to herself as she ran her fingers through his thick copper mop of curls as she softly kissed his temple.
She let out a squeal as he rolled over onto his back, taking her with him, before settling her over him. She lay there with him, in comfortable silence, listening to the sounds of the crickets chirping as he stroked his fingers over her neck, shoulders, and back.
“Jamie? What will happen to you when the sun comes up?”
“A wee curious one are ye now? So many questions.”
She sat up and straddled his hips, playfully slapping his chest. “James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser, you tell me this instant!” He caught her hands with his and sat up wrapping his arms around her so her arms were pinned behind her. She nuzzled her face into the side of his neck, playfully nipping at him, and pressing herself against his growing hardness. “Tell me.”
“Weel, my skin will burn and blister with the fury of a million suns. Tis no pretty.” Claire jerked against him, as he started to kneed her backside in his hands moving her against him.
“We can’t have that, now can we? How much time before the sun comes up?”
“Enough time for this.” They moaned together as he gently lowered Claire onto him.
They lay entangled with each other, as Claire started to drift off in the safety of Jamie’s arms. “Claire. Mo cridhe, we must go. The sun will rise soon.” Claire moaned in protest of having to leave his arms. “I dinna wish to leave you either, but I must. Come, I will see you home safe.”
They walked silently hand in hand through the forest, savoring the last few minutes they had together. “What does Sorcha mean?”
“Tis but your name in Gaelic. Sorcha. It means light. “
“As are you, Sassenach.” Claire looked up at him and wrinkled her nose. “What does that mean?”
“It simply means an Englishman, or an outlander at worst.”
“Says the Sassenach to the Sassenach. What else did you say? Oh! Mo cridhe and mo cara?”
“That’s for another time, Sassenach.” He stopped and pulled her into his arms. “We’re here Claire”. Claire felt a lump forming in the throat, she did not want to leave him. “Don’t—”
“Shhhh mo cridhe, I must. Will you come to me tomorrow night then?”
“Yes, I will.”
He smiled and kissed her long and slow. “Till tomorrow then.”
Jamie watched from afar making sure she was in her house safely, aching to be the one holding her tonight. He smiled to himself as she glanced over her shoulder, smiling into the woods before disappearing into the house.
“Home,” he whispered to himself. Claire was his home now. She just didn’t know it yet.