But we are here, all of us. And we're here because i love you, more than the life that was mine. Because i believed you loved me the same way...Will you tell me that's not true? No, he said after a moment, so softly i could barely hear him. His hand tightened harder on mine. No, i willna tell ye that. Not ever, claire.
I wasn't used to living crowded cheek by jowl with numbers of other people, as was customary here. People ate, slept, and frequently copulated, crammed into tiny, stifling cottages, lit and warmed by smoky peat fires. The only thing they didn't do together was bathe - largely because they didn't bathe.
I have no objection to well-written romance, but i'd read enough of it to know that that's not what i had written. I also knew that if it was sold as romance i'd never be reviewed by the 'new york times' or any other literarily respectable newspaper - which is basically true, although the 'washington post' did get round to me eventually.
I had kissed my share of men, particularly during the war years, when flirtation and instant romance were the light-minded companions of death and uncertainty. Jamie, thought, was something different. His extreme gentleness was in no way tentative; rather it was a promise of power known and held in leash; a challenge and a provocation the more remarkable for its lack of demand. I am yours, it said. And if you will have me, then.
Lying on the floor, with the carved panels of the ceiling flickering dimly above, i found myself thinking that i had always heretofore assumed that the tendency of eighteenth-century ladies to swoon was due to tight stays; now i rather thought it might be due to the idiocy of eighteenth-century men.
Aye, well, he'll be wed a long time," he said callously. "do him no harm to keep his breeches on for one night. And they do say that abstinence makes the heart grow firmer, no?" "absence," i said, dodging the spoon for a moment. "and fonder. If anything's growing firmer from abstinence, it wouldn't be his heart.