“When you took me from the witch trial at Cranesmuir--you said then that you would have died with me, you would have gone to the stake with me, had it come to that!"
He grasped my hands, fixing me with a steady blue gaze.
"Aye, I would," he said. "But I wasna carrying your child."
The wind had frozen me; it was the cold that made me shake, I told myself. The cold that took my breath away.
"You can't tell," I said, at last. "It's much too soon to be sure."
He snorted briefly, and a tiny flicker of amusement lit his eyes.
"And me a farmer, too! Sassenach, ye havena been a day late in your courses, in all the time since ye first took me to your bed. Ye havena bled now in forty-six days."
"You bastard!" I said, outraged. "You counted! In the middle of a bloody war, you counted!"
"No!" I hadn't; I had been much too afraid to acknowledge the possibility of the thing I had hoped and prayed for so long, come now so horribly too late.
"Besides," I went on, trying still to deny the possibility, "that doesn't mean anything. Starvation could cause that; it often does."
He lifted one brow, and cupped a broad hand gently beneath my breast.
"Aye, you're thin enough; but scrawny as ye are, your breasts are full--and the nipples of them gone the color of Champagne grapes. You forget," he said, "I've seen ye so before. I have no doubt--and neither have you."
I tried to fight down the waves of nausea--so easily attributable to fright and starvation--but I felt the small heaviness, suddenly burning in my womb. I bit my lip hard, but the sickness washed over me.
Jamie let go of my hands, and stood before me, hands at his sides, stark in silhouette against the fading sky.
"Claire," he said quietly. "Tomorrow I will die. This child...is all that will be left of me--ever. I ask ye, Claire--I beg you--see it safe.”