A long time later, he spoke.
“all right. tell me now.”
i told him. told him everything, haltingly but coherently. i felt numb from exhaustion, but content, like a rabbit that has outrun a fox, and found temporary shelter under a log. it isn’t sanctuary, but at least it is respite. and i told him about frank.
“frank,” he said softly. “then he isna dead, after all.”
“he isn’t born.” i felt another small wave of hysteria break against my ribs, but managed to keep myself under control. “neither am i.”
he stroked and patted me back into silence, making his small murmuring gaelic sounds.
“when i took ye from randall at fort william,” he said suddenly, “you were trying to get back. back to the stones. and ... frank. that’s why ye left the grove.”
“and i beat you for it.” his voice was soft with regret.
“you couldn’t know. i couldn’t tell you.” i was beginning to feel very drowsy indeed. “no, i dinna suppose ye could.” he pulled the plaid closer around me, tucking it gently around my shoulders. “do ye sleep now, mo duinne. no one shall harm ye; i’m here.”
i burrowed into the warm curve of his shoulder, letting my tired mind fall through the layers of oblivion. i forced myself to the surface long enough to ask, “do you really believe me, jamie?”
he sighed, and smiled ruefully down at me.
“aye, i believe ye, sassenach. but it would ha’ been a good deal easier if you’d only been a witch.”
outlander, chapter 25
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