Archives for the Date April 7th, 2020

crossstitchworld:Made for a friend but an important reminder for…

crossstitchworld:Made for a friend but an important reminder for all :) by Lalaya16

Photo

Photo

beifongkendo:A poem and a sunrise, surimono print from ca. 1800 (artist unknown).

beifongkendo:A poem and a sunrise, surimono print from ca. 1800 (artist unknown).

violentwavesofemotion: Etty Hillesum, fom a diary entry…

violentwavesofemotion:

Etty Hillesum, fom a diary entry featured in An Interrupted Life: the Diaries, 1941-1943 and Letters from Westerbork

laythornmuse:Old as TimePart 2Fergus returned to her with the water basin and some hearty broth for…

laythornmuse:

Old as Time

Part 2

Fergus returned to her with the water basin and some hearty broth for her Uncle. Within the hour, she had her uncle washed, fed and tucked into his bed, leaving her to wonder about the kind young man and his wayward master.

When he returned next, he brought a bowl of broth for her as well. “Thank you Fergus. This is very kind.”

“Of course, mon Cheri. Milord has stated you are to have whatever aid you need and whatever we can provide.”

Claire bite her cheek as she gave Fergus a tight smile. “How…thoughtful of him.” Claire took a few sips of her soup before her stomach turned with nerves. “Is he…fair, your milord?”

Fergus looked up, a small smile on his face. “Oh. Very much so milady. His family took me in when I was a small boy.”

“There’s more who live here?” She asked.

Fergus’s face darkened. “No. Not anymore. Forgive me. I’ve said too much.”

Claire nodded as Fergus stood and tidied their bowls and supplies. “Your uncle will undoubtly sleep the night, but I will sit with him as you attend to milord.”

Claire clenched her teeth, and took a deep breath. “Thank you Fergus.”

***

Standing outside his room, Claire steeled herself as she lifted her hand to knock. Her fist connected with the door, and she heard a rough command snapped at the door. To her surprise, the room was not a bedroom, but a study, with a grand fireplace and a solid wood desk and chair. There were two armchairs by the hearth, both with luxuriously stuffed pillows and delicately carved legs and feet set atop a soft plush carpet. The comforts and atmosphere of this room stood apart from the estate’s general state of neglect, and as Claire stared at the books and well kept ledgers, Claire began to wonder why.

A cough turned her attention to the half naked man who stood behind the desk. Yes, certainly a man, Claire thought as her cheeks pinked in embarrassment. He was freshly washed, and stood in only a pair of breaks as he ran a drying cloth through his hair. His damp chest gleamed in the fire’s light, illuminating his cut figure powerful arms. He was younger than she thought, she realized, perhaps not much older than Fergus. Certainly still a man of vitality and youth.

Though, even now after his wash, his beard remained untrimmed, and Claire felt stricken by how much it obscured his face.

“Plait my hair, Sassenach.”

His order shook her from her stance, and she moved towards where he sat on a footstool.

“Do you have a strap sir?”

“Here.” His fingers brushed hers as the leather band passed between them and she nearly gasped at he electric bolt it caused. Squaring her jaw and mentally shaking herself for her foolishness, she lifted the brush from his desk and began gently running it through his red mane.

“Would you like it tied up or….oh.”

As she parted his curtain of hair, she saw the deep channel of scars buried in his back. Carefully, she lifted his hair, gathered and bound it as he instructed before picking up his discarded towel and drying his shoulders.

“How did it happen?” She asked.

She felt him shift on the stool, and for a moment thought he would ignore her.

“I grew up in Scotland and had an unfortunate encounter with an English officer.”

“One man did this?”

“One dead man, aye.”

She wasn’t sure what made her say it, given their terse exchanges, but her mouth moved before she could stop herself. “I’m sorry for it.”

He stood abruptly, a small cough escaping his throat as he moved from her to the arm chair and pulled a clean shirt over his head. He took a seat in the chair to the far right, picking up along wood rod and a small carving knife. Slowly, he began to turn his knife into the wood with smooth strokes. Carving, Claire realized.

“Sit.” He stated, though she noticed there was less bite to his command now. She moved to stand before him and motioned to the seat across from him. When he replied with a grunt, she took the seat, and let herself settle into the cushions. About an hour into their silence, Claire took perhaps her first full breath of the day. Whatever she expected from this evening, it certainly wasn’t a quiet meditation by the fire. Whether this was part of his plan to relax her or not, she was grateful for the stillness, interrupted only by his soft knife scrapes. She only hoped it would fortify her for whatever came next.

“Your tongue is awfully still for a lass.”

“Would you prefer it wasn’t?”

“Nay. You merely surprise me.”

A long stretch of silence stretched between them before he spoke again. “The house is at your disposal while you’re here. Fergus will help you obtain whatever you need. You are not allowed upstairs.”

“Why not?”

She felt him bristle. “Because I forbid it.” He stood from his chair and pulled her up by her elbow in one fluid stroke. “Understood?”

“Ye-yes,” Claire replied, berating herself for the tremor in her voice.

“Good evening to ye.” He held open the door to the study and waited for her to walk across to her room. She shut the door behind her, and finally allowed herself to fall to pieces on her bed as the snow deafened the night to her cries.

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