Author's note: This was a requested fic, written for a friend as her Christmas present from me. Fluffy, semi-smutty Andre/Claire was what she asked for, and here's the final product. Anyway, please review, even if to criticize it.
Disclaimer: Look, I don't own anyone, ok? Michael Crichton does, Paramount made the movie, I make no claim on anything except plot. Please don't sue me. Savvy?
WALK IN THE WOODS
Winter would soon be on them, the ground and trees covered in white snow. Claire hoped that this winter the snow would not turn crimson as it had almost every single winter she remembered. The war was not over yet, but still. France had won a great victory that night at La Roque, and the battles had been fewer as of late.
Arnaut had been taking English forces by storm, the enemy army left struggling to find a new leader to raise in Oliver's stead. Claire new they would. They always did. Many lords elected to come and lead the English armies had died upon French soil, and still another always came, the war proved unwilling to end, why should Lord Oliver be any different?
But for now, France was winning, and their future seemed brighter. French forces were growing, English dwindling. Oliver was dead and Arnaut was gaining power and respect. And Claire had Andre now.
Andre. Just the thought of the Scotsman that had saved her life made her heart pound and her body grow warm and flushed. He was, unique, she supposed was the word. Ahead of his time, that was for certain. He respected her more than any other, even her brother. He treated her as his equal and his friend, not just his betrothed, and it flattered her. He was also wise, with much knowledge of warfare, as well as quickly becoming as skilled as any French or English knight in swordplay.
Claire sighed, thinking of the day they had met. She had fallen for him then. Any women would be hard pressed not to. He was charming and kind and just. She smiled as she remembered their conversation in the river. He had made no sense at all, and yet, she now knew what he had wanted to know. If she were in love.
Love? There was no time for love she had always thought. Andre had proved her wrong. She was quite thankful he had.
"What are you thinking of?" came the familiar Scottish brogue of Andre Marek. Strong arms wrapped around her from behind, and Claire closed her eyes, letting him hold her.
"You were, actually," she said, blushing slightly at her confession. "And the approaching winter," she added. "How we might actually see white instead of red after the snowfall."
Andre nodded against her head. "Yes, it does seem like we have a good chance of that now. Your brother was worried about you, we could not find you in the castle," Andre told her. "We should return so Arnaut does not worry himself anymore."
Claire stepped away from Andre, breaking his hold as she turned to face him. "And what of you? Did you not worry for your future wife when she was no where to be found?" she asked him, raising an eyebrow at him.
Andre smiled, a, impish gleam in his eyes, making her blush slightly. "Of course I did, Lady Claire," he told her as he came up to her again. "But I knew you were most likely out here, you seem to enjoy coming to this area."
Claire nodded. "Yes. I remember when Arnaut and I would play out here as children, when the war was at a standstill or far away." She sighed and smiled up at Andre. "Almost all of my memories that were untainted by this war came from this part of the wood." She paused, staring up at Andre, seeing the adoring look in his eyes; she knew her own held the same expression. "Of course, now we can make more memories untainted by bloodshed, can't we?"
Andre leaned down till his lips were almost touching hers. "Yes, Milady, yes we can, and will," he promised before finally claiming her mouth with his. He wrapped his arms around her, holding her to him in such an intimate way it made Claire moan loudly.
She had never felt this before, this pleasure and longing. Yes, she had wanted Andre, had sometimes let herself wonder about her wedding night, but she had no experience of course, and now, Andre was making her feel such passion. She let her own hands wander between them, up his chest to his neck, moving to grip his shoulders.
They shouldn't be doing this, not yet. She knew it. He knew it. But it was so good, so wonderful. They didn't want to stop, they wanted to go further, to complete what they were doing. They could not though, and they knew it. But they just wanted a few more minutes of the ecstasy flooding their senses.
Andre's hands moved to grip her waist tightly, his fingers massaging her gently, making her knees go week. His mouth trailed down her neck, sucking and biting softly, making her eyes widen in surprise and pleasure. His body was warm and firm against hers as she leaned into him. His hands moved up, and to her front, until they were squeezing her breasts through her clothing, making her gasp and stare at him in surprise.
"Forgive me, Claire," he apologized softly, his eyes downcast. "I should not have done that, should not be so blatant with my affection. Not until we are wed. Forgive me," he whispered, still not meeting her eyes as his hands dropped back to his sides.
"Andre," Claire said gently as she stood on the tips of her toes so she could give him a soft, quick kiss. "Andre, there is nothing to forgive. I myself want to continue this, I want this so strongly." She blushed, feeling herself grow warm and the yearning hit her full force as Andre stared at her with the same desire and the hope for forgiveness. "Andre, I know we cannot complete this." She stood on her toes again, whispering in his ear, "Take this as far as we can go."
Her words elicited a groan from her betroth red, and suddenly he held her tightly again, moving so that he had her pinned between himself and a tree, his hands holding her hips to his as his mouth tried to devour her, though Claire returned the passion.
"Yes," she moaned, her hands running through Andre's dark hair, down his back, then up again until her fingers were gripping his arms for support. She whimpered as she felt his fingers return to her breasts, the heat of him seeping through the fabric of her dress.
"Claire," he whispered, his breath warm against her skin as he teasingly pecked her neck and face. He kissed her mouth again, his tongue stroking hers, making her tremble as he moved his hands down, rubbing her stomach, his fingers firm and gentle and taunting as they wandered so close to forbidden territory. "We have to stop, he panted, though he made no move to. "I, we cannot continue or we will not stop until it is too late."
He pulled away with a groan, Claire nodding though she was left cold and wanting. She tried to calm down her breathing, listening to the pounding of her heart as she watched Andre try to gain control as well. It was all she could do not to throw propriety to the wind and make him finish what they had started.
But they could not. They would be wed within the week, she supposed that was close enough. They could wait two more days. As long as they never were left alone for more than a moment. If they were, they would never last.
"Escort me back to the fort?" she asked when they were calm and collected yet again. She smiled at him mischievously. "I promise to behave."
Andre laughed, reaching out and taking her hand in his. "You had better, Milady," he said warningly. "I would hate to report your wanton behavior to your brother." He winked at her as he led her back, grinning when she playfully slapped his shoulder.
"And what of your behavior, Sir Andre?" she asked smugly. "What of your groping and feeling around my person? You were just as much a guilty party as I," she stated, her tone just as warning as his had been.
Andre sighed and his shoulders sagged in mock defeat. "Yes, I suppose I was. Well, Milady, how can I keep you from giving away my secret?" he asked her, feigning desperation.
She pretended to ponder over his words for a few minutes, until the castle Arnaut had claimed as the current fortress for their armies now was in sight. "Well, in two days time, we shall be wed. Promise you will finish what we started in the woods, and I shall keep you secret even after my dying breath."
Andre pulled her near and kissed her quickly. "Whatever my lady commands of me, but I must say this is something I will be happy to fulfill," he whispered huskily.