Denial Recognition Heat Her thoughts of a frantic husband His memory of the warmth of her body On that long, long ride On that dark, wet night Forced back into some strange normality They are separate, yet linked The bindings of twin souls He knows it, and so does she They are children of the stars From now, for all Eternity
I FELL IN LOVE WITH JAMES FRASER through Claire’s eyes; as the main narrator she describes him in such fine detail, I know the essence of the man….through Diana’s descriptive prose and my very keen sense of smell, I too could pick him out of a crowded room of men, simply by his smell……a mixture of coffee, whisky, gunpowder, horses and manure, his sweat…..the deep male smell of him. His long graceful bones, the way his mane of copper russet bronze and auburn hair, lifts in stray wisps about his face, because he is either fiercely animated, or like a lions mane, falling around his shoulders in the frenzied passion of love making. The quirk of his mouth, his wry humour, courage, honour and accomplishments. A unique talent for absorbing both people, learning and languages into his life. A man of big passions, ferocious loyalties and all encompassing generosity.
I FELL IN LOVE WITH JAMIE through Claire’s eyes, until so deeply absorbed in the “more real than life” story, Claire fell away. I was Claire…..living, loving, breathing him in, waiting for him to return from battle, from hunting, from visits with neighbouring Cherokee or working alongside him, and healing him.
AND THEN I FELL IN LOVE AGAIN, through Roger’s eyes. Roger knows Jamie when he arrives at Frasers Ridge….Roger, the “dog with a bone” Historian, has been hearing Claire’s story, researching Jamie’s History…..Culloden, Ardsmuir, Helwater. He has already developed a relationship with Jamie, two hundred years before he meets him (Yes my mind gets tied in knots too)!!! Before Claire leaves Inverness for the second time, Roger finds her fast asleep in the Reverend Wakefield’s Study, clutching the Ardsmuir Prison Records to her breast, her heart….he has a deep affection for Claire, and says to her sleeping figure, and to the long dead Jamie, “I don’t know who you were mate”, he whispered to the unseen Scot, “but you must have been something, to deserve her.”
And then there follows the catastrophic mess, through Lizzie’s mistaking Roger for the monster who has violated Brianna…..we know what follows, and once the two men have come to terms with each other, something beautiful happens.
ROGER AS NARRATOR won me over in a completely new way. He sees Jamie from a very different perspective. There’s understandingly, in the beginning, lingering resentment, but that changes subtly to begin with, as the two men take the measure of each other. I’m often brought to unexpected tears, by Roger’s reference to Jamie as “the big Scot.” Why should that make me cry??? I think it’s the knowledge of how much suffering that big body has gone through….and, for some reason those words are a trigger for tears. Roger refers to Jamie’s “panther like grace”, he wants his approval, and can’t help the jealousy he experiences around Jamie. One vivid description is of Jamie standing back, eyeing Roger dispassionately, as though he were buying a bullock at the saleyards. This comes about when Roger asks him “Teach me to fight.” There’s some brilliantly witty dialogue that follows with Jamie telling Roger he had his first sword at five…..Roger had a toy train with a red engine at the same age. But Roger is equally stubborn, also a man of learning and finally a deal is made. He describes his first experience with “the art of the sword, with Jamie Fraser as his opponent, as like fighting a cloud.” But Jamie develops a strong affection and respect for Roger, and during the Ritualised Ceremony of The Fiery Cross, when Jamie calls out to him, “Come stand by me, Roger Jeremiah, son of my house”, there is a fierce pride and a belonging, a love for his Warrior Father-in-Law.
There is too much to include here. Roger as Narrator, brings James Fraser to life, in vivid detail that naturally is completely different to Claire’s. A man’s observation that also at times is unemotionally clinical in his Historian’s viewpoint of Jamie.
I LOVED JAMIE FRASER EVEN MORE, viewing him through Roger’s descriptive narration.
“Fighting gives y’ a terrible cockstand,” He’d once said when first we wed And now, he clutches me against his young body So full of all the things men feel When going off to war
I open my mouth to his kiss His tongue making love to me Hear the small urgent sounds in his throat Feel his need pressing hard against my belly And in this moment, I could lift his kilt Take him in….hold him, keep him safe From every thing that would take him away from me
But he pulls apart, eyes filled with regret Turns, and at the door, pauses Bows deep, turns again Walks through the door to join his men
And I stand, left bereft Still feeling his need, his heat Now hearing the sickening sounds of war And pray “Dear God above, protect this man I love For I am bound now, heart, soul and body I love hm more than words can say
Ashen faced, laboured breathing I watched him helplessly Beside his bed Saw his vital signs Receding Felt him leaving me watching him Helpless, helplessly And Gathering all the strength I had To offer up to him My mind reached into his Willing, willing him
”Come back my love, come back Stay with me For did you not say You’d never leave me? You would always be here by my side? Don’t go my love, don’t give in” Can barely bear to lay my trembling hands Upon him Afraid he’ll feel my fear So near death, now I hear the steady beating of dark wings Nothing to heal him with now And I the notorious White Lady Useless now, as I stand stricken upon this earth Feeling him….slowly…letting…..go Losing my courage, I am losing everything “Healer, heal thyself” From some place far away these words come to me And a tiny spark of hope and courage
“Jamie, my love, what can I do”? Did I think the words from my mind To his….or perhaps I simply whispered them But he turned his gaze upon me “Claire, I am so very cold…. Touch me.” Then I knew what was needed And tore my shift off hurriedly Lay full length upon his ice cold flesh Reached, reached down to find his heat Held him then, felt the faintest pulse Slowly beating Held him, moved with him My hand, his heart The pulse between us slowly beating My body melting into his One flesh No longer he, nor me One flesh, one huge heart’s pulse Beating, beating His body heat returning That distant inward look receding
He’s turned back from the stars That refuge he was seeking Beneath my body’s heat His great heart beats a steady rhythm Eyes return my gaze I kiss his pale beloved face And death drifts through the open door Leaving us alone once more “Not this time you bastard !!! He’s still mine, dear God Still mine.” And as he succumbs to healing sleep, Arms still wrapped around him, I can finally let go….and weep.”
JAMIE FRASER on the left is full of hope, curiosity, desire, and a firm conviction that Claire will be his. They have just dismounted after that long, wet ride…..”her lovely round arse tucked tight between his thighs.” The warmth of her body still lingers, the smell of her surrounds him….but she is English, a Sassenach, so there is wariness mixed with wanting. She insists on tending his wounds, so he follows her into the Castle, discreetly adjusting his plaid.
JAMIE FRASER on the right is hungry, haggard, full of desperation and despair. Everything he and Claire have worked SO HARD to stop, is coming at them. He is boiling with anger, as minutes before, the Bonnie Prince left him, stating “Today is the day, James.” (Who among us didn’t want to strangle him with our bare hands)? And soon after, at the Standing Stones with Claire; my skin prickles all over as I write the words down, he tells her “My destiny lies on Culloden Moor.” So much grief between them, between us….it flows over. Nothing can contain the loss we feel.
Diana lifts us up, fills us with joy….then plunges us into the abyss. All is lost….or so it seems. Except….it isn’t. I will never tire of this Story……Their Story.
“You’re mine, mo duinne,” he said softly, pressing himself into my depths. “Mine, alone, now and forever. Mine, whether ye will it or no.” I pulled against his grip and sucked in my breath with a faint “ah” as he pressed even deeper. “Aye, I mean to use ye hard, my Sassenach,” he whispered. “I want to own you, to possess you, body and soul.” I struggled slightly and he pressed me down, hammering me, a solid, inexorable pounding that reached my womb with each stroke. “I mean to make ye call me “”Master””, Sassenach” His soft voice was a threat of revenge for the agonies of the last minutes. “I mean to make you mine.”
Outlander The Reckoning Page 444 Diana Gabaldon
Anyone reading this excerpt without knowing the whole story, without having read my other writings, could understandably be appalled….for it is so easy to misinterpret what Diana is offering us, in the above. For what has gone before (in the Book version of the Reckoning), to bring Jamie and Claire to this passionate scene. For my response to those two simple words, “You’re mine.” “YOU’RE MINE.”
I wonder how many other women crave to be claimed in such a way. Claire is Jamie’s equal in all ways, except strength…..there is so much power in those words. He has already vowed he will protect her with his body, so she knows when she is with him, she is safe. But she will never be as physically strong as Jamie….why would she wish to be?
Something happened to us all, men and women during the “sexual revolution,” so much of it good and necessary…..but so….much…..lost. Roles reversed, Men became unsure of their roles within marriage, within the family…..and many woman began to emulate men, losing their vital femininity along the way. Many men were completely emasculated by the sexual politics of the time. From my observations, we haven’t recovered from those years, yet. For a man to say “You’re mine”, could be interpreted as a form of intimidation and abuse in our society.
Yet Claire owns Jamie, equally.
When she playfully says “Yes, Master” he understands her love for him, her need, desire to be possessed completely, and moments later, he whispers to her, “It seems I canna possess your soul, without losing my own.”
Those words have a very strong effect on me….I long to have a man who is strong enough, confident enough of himself to say, “You’re mine.” Otherwise what are we, after all…..anybody’s? To be claimed by someone you love and desire, in this deep visceral way, has tremendous attraction to me.
I WANT SOMEONE SO STRONG IN HIMSELF, TO WANT ME….ONLY ME.
So much lost in the battle for equality….and we will NEVER be equal, because men are by nature, the stronger sex. And when Claire is kidnapped and brutally beaten and raped, Jamie’s words, “KILL THEM ALL.” (my final photo), is his way of showing she is now safe….the slow journey to healing and recovery begins from these words, and leading her around the clearing, showing her, “See, they are ALL dead.”
We need honourable, courteous Gentlemen in our lives, but let’s not kill off the necessary savage that lies at the heart of many men. Soldiers, Hunters, Warriors…..we need that true original part of all men to live again, to own us as we own them, but to give us their protection.
Those blessed words, “You’re mine” pierce me to my core, with longing. “Where are the men of old, did they all fade away as women tore their bras off and burned them. Things had to change, but the pendulum swung too much the other way.”
The Warrior/Hero is what all strong women crave.
Say those words to me. “you’re mine,” and so it will be.
THAT IS THE MOST POWERFUL ATTRACTION OF JAMIE FRASER. HE KNOWS CLAIRE OWNS HIM, AS HE OWNS HER. SHE HAS THE STRENGTH OF THE HEALER, THE WISE WOMAN, LOVING WIFE AND MOTHER…..BUT HE IS A MAN, A WARRIOR…..HER PROTECTOR.
Here is the power and magic of this Story….two equals, who acknowledge both their strengths and their weaknesses…..and support each other.
He stands behind her Guarding her back There’s both softness Strength and a steadfastness In his beautiful face In the way he faces the world Whatever is coming He’ll be ready, he always has been Hasn’t he….
And she, she has that same strength In her femininity Her beautiful face hides her ruthless courage Sharp as a blade when needed For both healing and protection He for her And she for him Mirrors of each other’s iron will And whether in the bedroom Or the battlefield Soulmates still In flesh, in blood, in bone.
Nothing can part these lovers Not even death They are invincible, as one Guarding each other’s back Bringing each other home.
He was rain soaked Blood smeared And wounded When we dismounted….. The chill air came down Engulfing me For we had been riding Through long nights and days I had already become used to the ways Of him His voice, his smell The heat of him…. And lowered my eyes That he might not see My wanting him.
For despite the strangeness Of this time and place I could hardly bear to feel the space That now separated me from him…..
He was rain soaked Blood smeared And wounded….. And I could barely wait To lay my healing hands on him To walk through that grim Castle door And feel once more The heat of him.
Everybody loved him Claire, the heart and soul of him Knew him for who he was Needed to be
A bloody man A warrior born and bred But at home, at rest He was kindness itself Husband, Father, Chieftain Provider, Protector Laird
But to the children Who he sat upon his knee He was simply “Granda” As he told them stories Wiped away their tears As they vied for his attention As they plaited his hair
“Granda” As he lifted one upon his shoulders Held the smallest girl’s hand “Oh aye”, he said To each of them Crowding all around him Handing each a sweet Teaching them to swim To hunt To fish
Then looking up He sees Claire watching From her Surgery window Lovelight in her eyes Her secret smile Feels himself quicken Still burns for her A sudden need….. Returns the smile….with interest
“Oh aye”, he says again “Now off wi’ ye and play Yer Grannie needs me” They turn, running, tumbling, squabbling But he hears nothing But her soft, steady breathing As she reaches up Removes the spectacles from his tousled auburn head Takes him by the hand And leads him to their bed.