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The Substitute
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by Denise Grover Swank (Goodreads Author)
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After the Winter
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by Mark R. Healy (Goodreads Author)
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Diana Gabaldon
“When the day shall come that we do part," he said softly, and turned to look at me, "if my last words are not 'I love you'-ye'll ken it was because I didna have time.”
Diana Gabaldon

Diana Gabaldon
“I swore an oath before the altar of God to protect this woman. And if you're tellin' me that ye consider your own authority to be greater than that of the Almighty, then I must inform ye that I'm not of that opinion, myself.”
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

Diana Gabaldon
“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!"

"Didn't you?"

"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.”
Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber

Diana Gabaldon
“Your face is my heart Sassenach, and the love of you is my soul”
Diana Gabaldon, Drums of Autumn

Diana Gabaldon
“Jaime," I said softly, "are you happy about it? About the baby?" Outlawed in Scotland, barred from his own home, and with only vague prospects in France, he could pardonably have been less than enthused about acquiring an additional obligation.

He was silent for a moment, only hugging me harder, then sighed briefly before answering.

"Aye, Sassenach," His hand stayed downward, gently rubbing my belly. "I'm happy. And proud as a stallion. But I am most awfully afraid too."

"About the birth? I'll be all right." I could hardly blame him for apprehension; his own mother had died in childbirth, and birth and its complications were the leading cause of death for women in these times. Still, I knew a thing or two myself, and I had no intention whatever of exposing myself to what passed for medical care here.

"Aye, that--and everything," he said softly. "I want to protect ye like a cloak and shield you and the child wi' my body." His voice was soft and husky, with a slight catch in it. "I would do anything for ye...and yet...there's nothing I can do. It doesna matter how strong I am, or how willing; I canna go with you where ye must go...nor even help ye at all. And to think of the things that might happen, and me helpless to stop them...aye, I'm afraid, Sassenach.

"And yet"--he turned me toward him, hand closing gently over one breast--"yet when I think of you wi' my child at your breast...then I feel as though I've gone hollow as a soap bubble, and perhaps I shall burst with joy.”
Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber

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