The whole Scene from The Fiery Cross
“I’m cold,” he said softly. “I’m verra cold.”
I pressed my fingers lightly just under his breastbone, seeking the big abdominal pulse. His heartbeat was rapid, shallower than it should have been. He wasn’t feverish. He didn’t just feel cold, he was cold to the touch, his skin chilled and his fingers icy. I found that very alarming.
No longer shy, I cuddled close against him, my breasts squashing softly against his back, cheek resting on his shoulder blade. I concentrated as hard as I could on generating body heat, trying to radiate warmth through my skin and into his. So often he had enfolded me in the curve of his body, sheltering me, giving me the warmth of his big body. I wished passionately that I were larger, and could do the same for him now; as it was, I could do no more than cling to him like a small, fierce mustard plaster, and hope I had the same effect.
Very gently, I found the hem of his shirt and pulled it up, then cupped my hands to fit the rounds of his buttocks. They tightened slightly in surprise, then relaxed.
It occurred to me to wonder just why I felt I must lay hands on him, but I didn’t trouble my mind with it; I had had the feeling many times before, and had long since given up worrying that it wasn’t scientific.
I could feel the faintly pebbled texture of the rash upon his skin, and the thought came unbidden of the lamia. A creature smooth and cool to the touch, a shape-shifter, passionately venomous, its nature infectious. A swift bite and the snake’s poison spreading, slowing his heart, chilling his warm blood; I could imagine tiny scales rising under his skin in the dark.
I forcibly repressed the thought, but not the shudder that went with it.
“Claire,” he said softly. “Touch me.”
I couldn’t hear his heartbeat. I could hear mine; a thick, muffled sound in the ear pressed to the pillow.
I slid my hand over the slope of his belly, and more slowly down, fingers parting the coarse curly tangle, dipping low to cup the rounded shapes of him. What heat he had was here.
I stroked him with a thumb and felt him stir. The breath went out of him in a long sigh, and his body seemed to grow heavier, sinking into the mattress as he relaxed. His flesh was like candle wax in my hand, smooth and silky as it warmed.
I felt very odd; no longer frightened, but with all my senses at once preternaturally acute and yet … peaceful. I was no longer conscious of any sounds save Jamie’s breathing and the beating of his heart; the darkness was filled with them. I had no conscious thought, but seemed to act purely by instinct, reaching down and under, seeking the heart of his heat in the center of his being.
Then I was moving—or we were moving together. One hand reached down between us, up between his legs, my fingertips on the spot just behind his testicles. My other hand reached over, around, moving with the same rhythm that flexed my thighs and lifted my hips, thrusting against him from behind.
I could have done it forever, and felt that perhaps I did. I had no sense of time passing, only of a dreamy peace, and that slow, steady rhythm as we moved together in the dark. Somewhere, sometime, I felt a steady pulsing, first in the one hand, then in both. It melded with the beat of his heart.
He sighed, long and deep, and I felt the air rush from my own lungs. We lay silent and passed gently into unconsciousness, together.
All rights for the Picture from Outlander go to the rightful owner Starz/Sony
Quote and Excerpt by Diana Gabaldon from “The Fiery Cross”
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