Title: Charlotte's Tumbling Time Travel: In Your Hair
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters from Outlander. I'm only borrowing them for the story.
Author Notes: Hello again all! Thank you for reading and reviewing my last story "Acceptance". I hope you'll like this one. I expect it to be approximately three or four chapters long and I'm definitely going to need reviews to keep me going. Even though I really love writing these stories encouragement is always needed :)
Warnings: Please note that spanking of a minor will occur in this story.
A cold draft made Lottie shiver where she stood in the big castle hall, surrounded by awkward silence. The loud sheer in Jamie and Claire's honor had just died down and everyone was now looking up at Collum and his wife Letitia who had just entered, waiting for Collum's approval and congratulations to the newly wedded couple.
"He doesn't seem to be very happy about your marriage, does he?" Lottie whispered to Jamie, whom she was standing right next to, shifting from foot to foot.
She realized too late that her intended whisper had been a little too loud, and received an admonishing glare from Jamie. She chose to back up a few steps so she was behind his broad back and didn't have to suffer Collum's icy stare. She wasn't sure if he had heard her comment or not but she didn't care much for the man's stare anyway. Jamie clearly didn't want to confirm that she was right, but she didn't really need him to either. She could easily feel the chilly atmosphere in the great hall. She heard Collum finally give his congratulations, but it didn't change the atmosphere much. There was still tension in the air. Collum didn't approve one little bit, Lottie knew that. That didn't exactly make her think warmer thoughts of him. She had never really liked Collum Mackenzie. He had never trusted her since she came to the castle, and the feeling was mutual. Collum was the kind of man who did whatever suited his needs. She disliked him and she also couldn't help but be a little afraid of him.
Lottie felt a sudden need to leave the hall and be by herself for a while. She sought Claire's eyes and got a discreet nod of approval and then slipped quietly out a side door. As soon as she was outside she inhaled the cool evening air. She stood up on the wall, looking down at the herb garden below. A spring breeze caught her checkered skirts and they swiveled about her legs where she stood rigid as a pole with her red hair blowing in the wind, as she watched dusk arrive.
She wasn't very glad to be back at Leoch again after her trip with Claire, Jamie and Dougal and his men. Being at the castle made her feel confined and she had liked life on the road better. An overwhelming happiness filled her though over Jamie and Claire's marriage and their love for each other. She hoped Claire would now stay in the 18th century instead of travelling back through the stones to her other husband Frank. Not only for Jamie's sake, but also for her own selfish reasons. She didn't know how she would handle Claire leaving. It wouldn't just mean that she would be alone in the 18th century, it would also mean having to carry the burden of the secret of where she had come from alone.
She hated not being able to tell Jamie. She looked up to him more than anyone alive, and that meant she definitely wanted to share her secret with him. But she couldn't, she knew that. And Claire often reminded her of it too. She wondered though, would her own relationship with Jamie change now that they were back at Leoch? On the road he had agreed to be responsible for Lottie, since he had argued for her to be allowed to come on the road with them instead of being sent back. Would Jamie step down now that there was no imminent danger around? The castle was the most protected place in Scotland after all, and not nearly as dangerous as being on the road was. Perhaps he would now choose to become just a face that passed her in the castle hallway from time to time.
"Why the hell not? Everyone else leaves. Why shouldn't he too?" she asked herself and slammed a fist against the stone wall. Her father had left. He had died and left her all alone in the world two years ago. Claire had tried to leave while on the trip, and Lottie had done her best to assist her. She hadn't wanted to, but since it had been Claire's wish to leave then, she had done it for her sake. It hadn't turned out good for either of them though. Claire had been captured by British soldiers, taken to Captain Jonathan Randall, rescued by Jamie, ended up in a fight with Jamie as far Lottie had understood things, and finally been punished by him for going against his orders. Lottie had ended up punished too. It hadn't been pleasant. Claire had ended up staying though and didn't seem too unhappy about it either. Probably because she loved Jamie. Lottie just hoped the feeling of not wanting to leave lasted forever for Claire this time.
Wrapping her plaid tighter around her shoulders against the cold she decided that it was time to head back inside. She turned around to leave, only to see Laoghaire exiting through the same door she had come through.
"Oh, great," she mumbled sourly.
Lottie was surprised to see the older girl out there. She would have thought she'd be inside enjoying the festivities that her grandmother Mrs. Fitz had arranged. Before Lottie left with Jamie, Claire, Dougal and their travelling party Laoghaire had been trying very hard to get under Lottie's good graces. Lottie's guess was that the reason for Laoghaire being so pleasant to her was that she viewed Lottie as a way to get closer to Jamie, who was an obsession of Laoghaire's. Lottie had never liked Laoghaire though and had done her best to avoid her, without being too obvious about her dislike for the older girl. She had just wanted to stay away from conflict and trouble. But now trouble seemed to have found her once again. She wasn't good at hiding her dislike for people.
"Lottie," Laoghaire greeted her, like she had been searching for her for some time. "There ye are."
Lottie clamped her lips together and tried not to make a grimace at the sight of her.
"Yeah, here I am. Hello, Laoghaire. And goodbye, Laoghaire. I have to go," she said, and pretended like she was in a big hurry to something important and urgent.
Laoghaire's eyebrows shot up in surprise.
"Ye're goin? I havena even had a chance to ask ye how the trip was since your return. And I also really need someone to talk to about...well, I suppose ye can guess," she said with a sad expression. "Where are ye rushing off to?"
It was indeed true that Lottie could guess what it was Laoghaire wanted to talk to her about. Only, she wasn't interested in swapping stories with the girl. She knew she didn't have a direct reason to dislike Laoghaire. She had never really done anything to Lottie. But Lottie didn't trust her. There was something selfish and almost cunning about her.
"I have to help Claire collect some herbs in the morning, so I really need to retire early" she answered shortly and tried to slip past Laoghaire.
"Ye mean to say you're still socializing with that woman? After what she has done?"
Laoghaire's utterance made Lottie stop dead in her tracks and just stare at the blond girl.
"What?" she finally got out with a shake of her head.
"I heard you got real acquainted with that abominable woman on your trip together,"Laoghaire continued. "I had hoped it was a mere rumor though. But I'm sad to hear that Jamie isn't the only one she has gotten her evil clutches on."
Lottie felt her mouth drop open, but quickly closed it. She should know better than to let an enemy see her surprise that clearly, she reprimanded herself. And she was pretty sure that Laoghaire had just turned into an enemy of hers.
"Ye heard me. Claire Beauchamp is a despicable woman. A man stealing witch," Laoghaire spat out as she walked closer to Lottie. "And I cannot understand why you'd like to be friends with someone like that. It is beyond my understanding." Sadness suddenly replaced loathe in her eyes. "You are the only one who knew about my deep feelings for him," she said with a sob and a tremble of her lower lip. "How could ye do this?"
Lottie didn't care for Laoghaire's silly and stupid dislike for Claire, or her feelings for Jamie either for that matter. She fixed the blond girl with a stare made of stone and crossed her arms over her chest.
"You'd do well to mind your own business, Laoghaire Mackenzie. And Claire's name isn't Beauchamp, it's Fraser now. You know that so you'd better start calling her that from now on."
Laoghaire looked like someone had just spat in her face, but she quickly recovered. She put her right hand on her hip and her eyes resembled a cat's eyes.
"I counted on ye to help me get him back from under that witch's spell and now I don't know who to turn to for help. But I will have Jamie back though. You'll see. He will be with me in the end."
Lottie grabbed Laoghaire tightly by the upper arm as she turned to leave. Her strong fingers dug into her flesh and Laoghaire first gave a gasp in surprise and then a small whimper of pain accompanied by a distressed look.
"I promise you that if you try to hurt Jamie or Claire in anyway I will make you regret it," Lottie said menacingly in a low voice with her eyes locked on Laoghaire's. "I keep my promises, just so you know."
She let go of Laoghaire who staggered back a step in chock. Lottie seized the moment to walk away and soon heard the heavy door slamming shut behind her back as she re entered the hall.
To be continued