“For where all love is, the speaking is unnecessary”
“Don't be afraid. There's the two of us now.”
“Ye are Blood of my Blood, and Bone of my Bone,
I give ye my Body, that we Two might be One.
I give ye my Spirit, 'til our Life shall be Done.”
“I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have.”
“Oh, aye, Sassenach. I am your master . . . and you're mine. Seems I canna possess your soul without losing my own.”
“Because I wanted you." He turned from the window to face me. "More than I ever wanted anything in my life," he added softly.
I continued staring at him, dumbstruck. Whatever I had been expecting, it wasn't this. Seeing my openmouthed expression, he continued lightly. "When I asked my da how ye knew which was the right woman, he told me when the time came, I'd have no doubt. And I didn't. When I woke in the dark under that tree on the road to Leoch, with you sitting on my chest, cursing me for bleeding to death, I said to myself, 'Jamie Fraser, for all ye canna see what she looks like, and for all she weighs as much as a good draft horse, this is the woman'"
I started toward him, and he backed away, talking rapidly. "I said to myself, 'She's mended ye twice in as many hours, me lad; life amongst the MacKenzies being what it is, it might be as well to wed a woman as can stanch a wound and set broken bones.' And I said to myself, 'Jamie, lad, if her touch feels so bonny on your collarbone, imagine what it might feel like lower down...'"
He dodged around a chair. "Of course, I thought it might ha' just been the effects of spending four months in a monastery, without benefit of female companionship, but then that ride through the dark together"--he paused to sigh theatrically, neatly evading my grab at his sleeve--"with that lovely broad arse wedged between my thighs"--he ducked a blow aimed at his left ear and sidestepped, getting a low table between us--"and that rock-solid head thumping me in the chest"--a small metal ornament bounced off his own head and went clanging to the floor--"I said to myself..."
He was laughing so hard at this point that he had to gasp for breath between phrases. "Jamie...I said...for all she's a Sassenach bitch...with a tongue like an adder's ...with a bum like that...what does it matter if she's a f-face like a sh-sh-eep?"
I tripped him neatly and landed on his stomach with both knees as he hit the floor with a crash that shook the house.
"You mean to tell me that you married me out of love?" I demanded. He raised his eyebrows, struggling to draw in breath.
"Have I not...just been...saying so?”
“I had one last try.
"Does it bother you that I'm not a virgin?" He hesitated a moment before answering.
"Well, no," he said slowly, "so long as it doesna bother you that I am." He grinned at my drop-jawed expression, and backed toward the door.
"Reckon one of us should know what they're doing," he said. The door closed softly behind him; clearly the courtship was over.”
“Ye werena the first lass I kissed," he said softly. "But I swear you'll be the last.”
“There are things that I canna tell you, at least not yet. And I'll ask nothing of ye that ye canna give me. But what I would ask of ye---when you do tell me something, let it be the truth. And I'll promise ye the same. We have nothing now between us, save---respect, perhaps. And I think that respect has maybe room for secrets, but not for lies. Do ye agree?”
“You're tearin' my guts out, Claire.”
“Where did you learn to kiss like that?” I said, a little breathless. He grinned and pulled me close again.
“I said I was a virgin, not a monk,” he said, kissing me again. “If I find I need guidance, I’ll ask.”
“Does it ever stop? The wanting you?" "Even when I've just left ye. I want you so much my chest feels tight and my fingers ache with wanting to touch ye again.”
“Murtagh was right about women. Sassenach, I risked my life for ye, committing theft, arson, assault, and murder into the bargain. In return for which ye call me names, insult my manhood, kick me in the ballocks and claw my face. Then I beat you half to death and tell ye all the most humiliating things have ever happened to me, and ye say ye love me." He laid his head on his knees and laughed some more. Finally he rose and held out a hand to me, wiping his eyes with the other.
"You're no verra sensible, Sassenach, but I like ye fine. Let's go.”
“You are safe," he said firmly. "You have my name and my family, my clan, and if necessary, the protection of my body as well. The man willna lay hands on ye again, while I live.”
“And I mean to hear ye groan like that again. And to moan and sob, even though you dinna wish to, for ye canna help it. I mean to make you sigh as though your heart would break, and scream with the wanting, and at last to cry out in my arms, and I shall know that I've served ye well.”
“When I asked my da how ye knew which was the right woman, he told me when the time came, I'd have no doubt. And I didn't. When I woke in the dark under that tree on the road to Leoch, with you sitting on my chest, cursing me for bleeding to death, I said to myself 'Jamie Fraser, for all ye canna see what she looks like, and for all she weights as much as a good draft horse, this is the woman.”
“I swore an oath before the altar of God to protect this woman. And if you're tellin' me that ye consider your own authority to be greater than that of the Almighty, then I must inform ye that I'm not of that opinion, myself.”
“A hedgehog? And just how does a hedgehog make love?" he demanded.
No, I thought. I won't. I will not. But I did. "Very carefully," I replied, giggling helplessly. So now we know just how old that one is, I thought. ”
“I was crying for joy, my Sassenach,' he said softly. He reached out slowly and took my face between his hands. "And thanking God that I have two hands. That I have two hands to hold you with. To serve you with, to love you with. Thanking God that I am a whole man still, because of you.”
“I wept bitterly, surrendering momentarily to my fear and heartbroken confusion, but slowly I began to quiet a bit, as Jamie stroked my neck and back, offering me the comfort of his broad, warm chest. My sobs lessened and I began to calm myself, leaning tiredly into the curve of his shoulder. No wonder he was so good with horses, I thought blearily, feeling his fingers rubbing gently behind my ears, listening to the soothing, incomprehensible speech. If I were a horse, I'd let him ride me anywhere.”
“Sometimes our best action result in things that are most regrettable.”
“And if your life is a suitable exchange for my honor, why is my honor not a suitable exchange for your life?”
“But just then, for that fraction of time, it seems as though all things are possible. You can look across the limitations of your own life, and see that they are really nothing. In that moment when time stops, it is as though you know you could undertake any venture, complete it and come back to yourself, to find the world unchanged, and everything just as you left it a moment before. And it's as though knowing that everything is possible, suddenly nothing is necessary.”
“Why, what's the matter wi' the poor child?" she demanded of Jamie. "Has she had an accident o' some sort?"
"No, it's only she's married me," he said, "though if ye care to call it an accident, ye may.”
“I meant it, Claire,' he said quietly. 'My life is yours. And it's yours to decide what we shall do, where we go next. To France, to Italy, even back to Scotland. My heart has been yours since first I saw ye, and you've held my soul and body between your two hands here, and kept them safe. We shall go as ye say.”
“Not for the first time, I reflected that intimacy and romance are not synonymous.”
“I dinna know what's a sadist. And if I forgive you for this afternoon, I reckon you'll forgive me, too, as soon as ye can sit down again."
"As for my pleasure..." His lip twitched. "I said I would have to punish you. I did not say I wasna going to enjoy it." He crooked a finger at me.
“I want to hold you hard to me and kiss you, and never let you go. I want to take you to my bed and use you like a whore, 'til I forget that I exist. And I want to put my head in your lap and weep like a child."
The mouth turned up at one corner, and a blue eye opened slitwise.
"Unfortunately," he said, "I can't do any but the last of those without fainting or being sick again.”
“All right you bloody Scottish bastard, lets see how stubborn you really are.”
“No wonder he was so good with horses, I thought blearily, feeling his fingers rubbing gently behind my ears, listening to the soothing, incomprehensible speech. If I were a horse, I’d let him ride me anywhere.”
“Billy stretched and yawned, his withered neck taut again for a few seconds. "I can feel the season changing," he said. "Drawing in. This weather change coming means the end of hot weather. Time I got out to Gaze Island and worked on me poor old father's grave. Put it off last year and the year before." Some sadness straining the words. Billy seemed stored in an envelope; the flap sometimes lifted, his flattened self sliding onto the table.”
“According to the National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, more than 8 percent of Savannah’s adults were “known alcoholics,”
“The classics tell us that, in relationships, the one between teacher and student comes second only to the one between parent and child.”
“All it comes down to is this: I feel like shit but look great.”
“... That no single, individual moment is in and of itself unendurable.”
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