Claire lay on her side, the bed she’d procured in direct defiance of hospital policy was pushed up as close to Jamie’s as possible.  She watched him sleep. Watched the slow drip of the pain medication as it wound its way through the clear tube into his arm.  She listened to him breathe, shallow inhalations so as not to aggravate his broken ribs. 

Once in a while she would sneak two fingers across the narrow canyon between them to lightly touch the pulse at the base of his neck.  Strong. Steady. 


Reassurances made, she retracted her touch, curled her hand back under her chin, and continued the vigil. 

She lay on her side long into the night.  Watched him until her eyes burned, until she struggled to keep them open. 

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