The whole Scene:
We sat, hands clasped and pressed together on the bench, unmoving, unspeaking, for what seemed like hours, with the cool rain-breeze whispering our thoughts in the grape leaves above. Water drops scattered over us with the passing of the wind, weeping for loss and separation.“You’re cold,” Jamie murmured at last, and pulled a fold of his cloak around me, bringing with it the warmth of his skin. I came slowly against him under its shelter, shivering more at the startling solidness, the sudden heat of him, than from the cold.I laid my hand on his chest, tentative as though the touch of him might burn me in truth, and so we sat for a good while longer, letting the grape leaves talk for us.“Jamie,” I said softly, at last. “Oh, Jamie. Where were you?”His arm tightened about me, but it was some time before he answered.“I thought ye were dead, mo duinne,” he said, so softly I could hardly hear him above the rustling of the arbor.“I saw ye there—on the ground, at the last. God! Ye were so white, and your skirts all soaked wi’ blood…I tried to go to ye, Claire, so soon as I saw—I ran to ye, but it was then the Guard took me.”He swallowed hard; I could feel the tremor pass down him, through the long curve of his backbone.“I fought them…I fought, and aye I pleaded…but they wouldna stay, and they carried me awa’ wi’ them. And they put me in a cell, and left me there…thinking ye were dead, Claire; knowing that I’d killed you.”The fine tremor went on, and I knew he was weeping, though I could not see his face above me. How long had he sat alone in the dark of the Bastille, alone but for the scent of blood and the empty husk of vengeance?“It’s all right,” I said, and pressed my hand harder against his chest, as though to still the hasty beating of his heart. “Jamie, it’s all right. It…it wasn’t your fault.”“I tried to bash my head against the wall—only to stop thinking,” he said, nearly in a whisper. “So they tied me, hand and foot. And next day, de Rohan found me, and told me that ye lived, though likely not for long.”He was silent then, but I could feel the pain inside him, sharp as crystal spears of ice.“Claire,” he murmured at last. “I am sorry.”I am sorry. The words were those of the note he had left me, before the world shattered. But now I understood them.“I know,” I said. “Jamie, I know. Fergus told me. I know why you went.”He drew a deep, shuddering breath.“Aye, well…” he said, and stopped.I let my hand fall to his thigh; chilled and damp from the rain, his riding breeches were rough under my palm.
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