Archives for the Date August 5th, 2021 2021-08-05 21:30:46



When he woke the next morning in Amsterdam, his feeling of utter contentment quickly gave way to dread as his hand eagerly searched the space in the bed beside him only to find it empty. Immediately, his eyes snapped opened and he looked around the room for her, for his Claire.

His heart sank at the sight.

The twin bed that she had slept in for the night prior to the one they shared was made, her suitcase gone from its spot by the door. He stumbled as he got out of bed, his limbs not quite awake yet as he burst through the bathroom door and he noticed that her things were gone. It was as if she’d never been there.

If not for the taste of her still on his lips, he’d have wondered if he’d dreamt the whole thing.

He spun around the room in a flurry, unsure of what he was looking for or what he planned on doing once he found it.

Then his eyes fell on the slip of paper that sat on the windowsill, the sun casting its rays down on her pen strokes.

I can’t bring myself to wake you. I have to catch my flight. I’ll let you know when I land in Boston.

Jamie’s heart clenched in his chest and he used the palm of his hand to rub at his sternum without thought. He knew that she was gone. He cursed himself for being such a deep sleeper, wished that he’d had the awareness to know that she had been moving around the room silently, packing her things to leave. But in the afterglow of their love making, having released tension and anticipation that had been building inside of him for years, sleep had taken him down and down until he was oblivious to the world. The last thing he remembered was the ghost of her fingertips on his cheekbone and his jaw as he whispered to her once in his mother tongue, the language of his heart that he knew she didn’t understand but hoped that she could feel the meaning of, before falling into a deep sleep.

“Mo ghaol ort, mo Sorcha.”

He had to find her, had to make her understand that he loved her and had loved her since the moment he saw her. Scrambling into the same clothes from the day before, he tore out of the hotel, not caring that they’d charge him for another night when he would inevitably miss check-out. He rushed to the train station and bought a direct ticket to Schiphol, his shaking fingers calling her repeatedly and his heart falling every time it went to her voicemail.

He left his third message, laying his heart out for her to hear, “Claire, please just answer the phone. Talk to me. I winna ask ye to do anything ye dinna want to do but I have to say it, Claire. And I refuse to say it on your bloody voicemail so answer yer phone, tell me where ye are. I’m on my way to the airport. I’m coming to find you.”

Once he arrived, he pushed his way past the crowds of holiday goers, businessmen in their suits and parents trying to corral their children into order. Suddenly thankful for the view that his height gifted him, he searched frantically for any sign of her. He’d found her flight on the departures board and raced to the terminal, praying to God that something had delayed her and she hadn’t had time to make it through security yet. The panic bubbled in his chest as he began to breathe heavily, black dots appearing in his vision. It took everything in him not to simply start shouting her name in the hope that it would bring her to him.

A furious hysteria was beginning to claw its way into his nervous system, controlling the frantic jerks of his long limbs that felt too heavy for him to carry. He dialled her number again and was astonished when she answered.

“Jamie,” she whispered and he felt his heart shatter at the pain in her voice. “Oh, my Jamie.”

Keep reading 2021-08-05 21:30:15



“Uncle Jamie, mam says ye’ve tae come doon i’ stair!”

Jamie Fraser gave himself a final once over in the mirror, making sure that he hadn’t missed any areas when he’d shaved and that his hair was swept back without it looking too done. The shirt that Jenny had ironed for him, despite his insistence that he would manage just fine, was properly tucked into his jeans, the cuffs of which had been neatly tucked into his beaten-up pair of brown Doc Marten boots that had seen the better part of a few years.

“Nae bad, Fraser, nae bad,” he muttered to himself as he pulled his favourite leather jacket from his bed and opened his bedroom door to find his niece hopping excitedly from one foot to the other.

“Ye’ve nae to mess this up, ken?” Maggie said sternly, her little hands planted on her hips. With a sudden shriek of delight, Jamie pulled her into the air by her arms and plonked her on top of his shoulders.

“Yer like yer mother’s wee parrot, d’ye ken that?” He laughed as he descended the stairs at Lallybroch, setting Maggie back onto her feet as the girl scowled at him.

“Am no’, am like my da,” she huffed, furthering the likeness between her and the woman that gave birth to her.

Jamie smiled down at her, ruffling her dark hair in his hand, “Aye, ye are the both of them. Equal parts Fraser and Murray.”

It was then that he caught sight of Jenny in the doorway, her face full of palpable excitement that nearly made Jamie roll his eyes. Not for the first time, he wondered if she was maybe too invested in this whole thing. It was just one date after all.

“Jamie, ye mind Mary, aye?” She gestured to the woman stood in at the door, wringing her scarf in her hands as though she was as nervous as Jamie was himself.

Keep reading 2021-08-05 21:30:03



“Mind ye’ve got that meeting this afternoon?” Ian reminded him for the thousandth time as they all sat at the breakfast table and Jamie fought the urge not to roll his eyes, already mildly annoyed at the fact that his bowl of porridge wasn’t quite right. He should’ve made it himself without backing down when Jenny had insisted on doing it for him, that way it would’ve been thick enough to plaster a wall with, just how he liked it. But his sister would never surrender the spurtle, working it through the oats and milk until they became creamy and setting a large bowl of sugar on the table, much to Jamie’s distaste. Thick enough to clart a wall and with enough salt to make your eyes water, that was exactly how he’d had it since he was a bairn, their mother taking hers in the same way. Only Jenny and their father had preferred that their breakfast be covered in sugar and the sweetness of the Scottish strawberries that grew wild on Lallybroch estate.

“Aye, I ken fine well enough,” Jamie grunted without turning his eyes towards Ian who was trying to encourage a spoonful into Wee Ian’s mouth. “Whit was the name of the estate again?”

“’Tis the only estate in Tomich but did I no’ tell ye? He’s changed the meeting to the golf club.”

It had been his idea to begin with but now Jamie was uncertain about how their drunken plan was taking shape. After one too many whiskies of a night, he and Ian had been sprawled in front of the fire as they chastised the blend that they were imbibing, arrogantly announcing that the two of them could do much better. Jamie hadn’t thought anything of it as he’d stumbled to his bed and let sleep take him but a few days later he found himself mending a fence post in the back field as Ian continued his musing about Broch Mordha putting its stamp on the world as a new destination for a premier whisky distillery and the two of them, its innovative creators.

Jamie grunted as he rose to his feet and deposited his bowl into the deep sink, letting the tap run to soak the dish and refusing to turn his body to take in the picture perfect family scene that was sat at the kitchen table.

“Mr Dunsany—“

“He’s a Lord, is he no’?”

“Is there a reason yer being a particularly crabbit arse this morning, brother?” Jenny’s voice was dripping with irritation, not wanting her nice family breakfast to be ruined by the interminable grey cloud that had been brewing over Jamie’s head for the past few weeks.

“Jen, leave him be.”

“I will not. He’s been a moanin’ greetin’ face since he came back from that bloody reunion and ’tis hell time he snapped out of it,” she said a little louder to ensure that Jamie heard the emphasis that she placed on the insult as it flew from her mouth.

This caused him to turn on his heel and level his sister with a careful eye.

“I’m sorry, Janet, but sometimes I think ye forget that there is a world outside of Lallybroch. Life can be a damn sight more complicated than poppin’ out weans and tending tae chickens, ye ken.”

If her temper didn’t hit the roof, her eyebrows certainly made a good go of it. Silently, her fingers curled tightly around the spoon, stilling herself against the pull of Wee Ian’s chubby little hand that was fisted in the material of her shirt, demanding attention.

“I ken that fine well, James. But ye canna jus’ come home every time ye see her and sulk like a wee bairn that doesna get what he wants. Grow up a wee bit, aye?”

At the end of her parting shot, Jamie felt the anger licking at the sides of his throat. The rage that he’d been directing towards himself was now begging to be let loose on someone else, someone that would bite back and Christ, Jenny would do just that. It had been this way since he’d come home, the frustration melting into a sullenness that had punctured the idyllic bubble that the family lived in at Lallybroch. In his worst thoughts, he resented both his sister and his best friend and the happiness that they shared. Jamie loved them to their bones, of course he did, but after leaving Oxford with yet another memory of how he’d let Claire slip through his fingers, the last thing he wanted to see was the very evident love between Jenny and Ian and their three children.

And so he found himself, in a suit that was a bit tight across his shoulders but he’d purchased anyway in a department store on the Inverness High Street, shaking hands with Lord William Dunsany in the bar of a golf club that he’d never seen fit to frequent himself. Jamie tried his hardest not to let the glances from the club members get to him as they walked around the lounge with an understated belonging the he’d never feel himself. He made sure that he gave a strong handshake, looking the shorter man straight in the eye and made the informed decision to swap from his usual Scots to his best Received Pronunciation, assuming that Lord Dunsany was one of those people who claimed to be a ’Scotchman’ but was as English as they come with the age old story of inheriting Scottish land as a birthright. Jamie had realised, however, that the man certainly knew his whisky and would make a not-half-bad business partner with himself and Ian if he managed to convince him to part with some cash.

Jamie was fuzzy on the details of how’d they’d come to the agreement but two hours and four whiskies later, he found himself once more shaking hands with Dunsany. The Lord would foot the seed money in exchange for a fairly sizeable but not unfair amount of the business and as a personal favour, Jamie would escort his eldest daughter around Edinburgh the following evening.

“She’s up here with me to get away from some nonsense that’s gone on at home but she’s been cooped up in her hotel for days while her mother tries to organise a townhouse for her. I just want her to get out and see the city. Who better to show her around than a native?”

Keep reading 2021-08-05 21:28:44


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