|Disclaimer:No rights infringement intended
Title: Sharpe's Pirate
Written by: Dusty
Rated: R? XXX? NC-17?
Disclaimer: I only own the characters you don't know from books or tv. No offense is meant to Sharpe, his body, or the existing canon. I'm not making any ca$h off this, so... yeah.
Plot: As if I'd tell you. You have to read it.
Warnings: If you don't like sappy stories, maybe you should turn back now. Aye?
Also: I hope I got any misspells, grammatical errors, etc. I did my best with Sharpie's language.
Chappie 1 (part1)
She assessed herself in the mirror. A white shirt with lacing at the neck, in authentic pirate fashion. Black trousers that were probably a little tighter than she'd like them. She grabbed for the crotch to tug it down again. Borrowed black riding boots, because her tennis shoes 'just won't do'. Wide black belt with big silver buckle, she had a toy flintlock pistol stuffed in the belt. Red bandana over her blonde hair, pulled down to her eyebrows. An eye patch she'd flipped up so she could see.
"Are you sure I look ok?" Quinn asked.
"You look great," Fran said and smiled. "One more thing." She disappeared from the room. Quinn turned back to the mirror and grabbed for the crotch again.
"Here," Fran said as she reentered the room a couple of minutes later, her pirate wench costume swayed as she walked. "It's not a cutlass, but it's a sword." Fran also brought two knives for herself.
"That's a real sword," Quinn said as she took it, weighing it in her hands. "I can't take this. What if I break it, or loose it?"
"Eh, so you'll owe my dad two hundred pounds," Fran said and grinned.
"Do you know how much that is in American money?" Quinn asked and rolled her eyes. She strapped the sword on and withdrew it from the scabbard. She shivered at the sound. She looked at the long silver blade. "Very nice." It was etched with fancy scrollwork, the finger guard a vine of leaves, the handle covered in black leather, a smooth knob at the pommel.
"Yeah," Fran said. "Just don't get into any trouble... and don't take it out at the party."
"Yeah," Quinn said and nodded. "This could get dangerous."
"Dangerous?" Fran asked.
"Arrrr," Quinn growled, skewing up her face and flipping down the eye patch. "Death ter any man wot lays a hand on ye, me bonny lassie."
Fran erupted in giggles as she left the room. "Come on Cap'n Quinn."
"Why be they always cap'ns?" Quinn growled and followed. "They can't ALL be ownin' ships... I mean--arrrrrr... who would be crewin'?"
"Maybe they take turns?" Fran said. "When they aren't wenching."
"Arrrr... wenches," she said and smirked. "A most pleasin' distract-shn."
"They're waiting," Fran said as they went downstairs. Fran's fiance, Mike, and his friend Adam were waiting. Mike was a vampire and Adam a zombie.
Mike whistled as Fran came down the stairs. She flung herself into his arms. Quinn avoided looking at Adam, it wasn't even a date. So what was the use in even talking to him? He was too young for Quinn anyway.
The drive to the party wasn't too long. It was a 'fancy dress party' for Halloween. Quinn had been informed it would be outside among some standing stones. A local anomaly. They piled out of the car, Quinn disentangling herself and the sword from the vehicle. She did a faceplant in the grass as she tripped on a rock.
"Crap... I mean... Arrrr and blast!" Quinn exclaimed as she pushed herself up to stand.
Mike and Adam had already gone ahead. They'd disappeared in the darkness on the path that lead through a copse of trees. It seemed the older that guys got, the more inconsiderate they became, and the less chance you could train them properly.
"Scurvy dogs," Quinn exclaimed, keeping in character. If she didn't, she might get angry. Fran giggled and they followed the guys. "Wot do ye sees in 'im, lassie."
"Hmmm," Fran said and smiled.
"Arrrr, never ye mind," Quinn growled. "I best be not knowin' 'bout that!"
They stopped talking when they got to the clearing. Mike and Adam had stopped walking. The four observed the party for a moment before the guys walked ahead. It looked like a fun time, the partygoers voices carried away on the late October breeze.
"Come on Cap'n Quinn," Fran said. "I'll introduce you around to my friends."
"Arrr," Quinn said and flipped the eye patch down again. It would be easier meeting new people as a pirate than as boring Quinn Mercer anyway.
It was late in the evening, the full moon was moving low in the sky. Quinn hadn't met anyone interesting enough to talk to, or they didn't want to talk to her, prefering their friends to the American stranger. The party had turned into a drinking and dancing fest anyway. But what did she expect? Trivial Pursuit? Twister? Spin the bottle? Tea and crumpets? She chuckled and walked around the stones, looking for a quiet place to sit and be alone.
Quinn was developing one of her famous migraines again. She sighed. It was just getting worse. Quinn would have sworn her head was humming now too. She leaned against one of the stones and closed her eyes. She sighed and then screamed, or thought she did.
She tried to open her eyes, but she couldn't. She tried to move, but couldn't do that either. Nothing. All was nothing, and all was pain. Quinn thought her head would explode, then it was over and she opened her eyes.
Sitting up, she looked around. Everything was quiet. Not a sound to be heard. She pushed herself to stand and brushed the dirt and grass off the tight pants. She made a go for the crotch again and tugged it down. Still dizzy from the 'episode', she swayed and caught herself on the stone. She jumped back as she got a slight shock.
Chapter 1 part 2
"Guys?" she called, half panicked. Her voice echoed off the stones. "Guys? Where'd you go?" She walked around the stones, but no one was around. No evidence of a party either. Quinn stepped back from the stone. No, this was not the same stone. She gasped and looked around. This was not the same place, not at all. There were more stones, many more than the ones in the little village. There was no longer a circle of stones, there were lines. Many lines, it looked like a cemetery, but Quinn knew that could not be. The stones were too irregular...
"Fran? Mike?" she called. "Hello?" She sighed maybe they played a trick. 'Knocked me out and carried me off to some other place?' she asked herself. "Yes, that must be it." She headed away from the stones, careful not to touch any.
It would soon be dark. Quinn paused. It had been after midnight and the moon was full. But there was no moon. "Ah, you've been knocked out for a whole day, Mercer," she said to herself as she cut through the rows of small stones, they were about waist high.
Finally she got to the road. She looked both ways but didn't step onto it. There was a horse and rider coming. She intended to watch them pass and then she'd take the road. The rider stopped his horse level with her and looked at her.
The man dismounted the horse and spoke to her in French. "Qui jtes-vous et pourquoi jtes-vous sur cette route?" 'Who are you and why are you on this road?' He slowly withdrew his sword from his saddle when she didn't say anything. His blonde hair glinted in the rays of the setting sun, his strong jaw was set, his eyes narrowed.
Quinn stood still, he was playing, right? He pressed the sword tip to Quinn's throat. He licked his lips.
"Qui jtes-vous?" he asked again and frowned taking in her costume. He shuddered, looking at the eye patch, he wondered if it was missing or just blind like Frederickson's eye.
"Mon nom est Quinn," she said, barely a whisper, recalling her college French classes.
"Arm yourself, Mister Quinn, I'll not kill an unarmed man," he continued in French. He pressed the tip of the sword a little harder, drawing blood.
Quinn gulped, causing the sword to go in a little further. She slowly took the sword from the scabbard, her hands shaking, and she stepped back. She held the sword up, and stood at an angle to him, like she'd seen in the old black and white movies.
The man hit her sword hard. Quinn gasped, her hand stung. He wasn't playing, or if he was, he played a little too hard. He swung again and hit her sword once again. Then, quick as a flash, she felt pain in her upper arm. She looked at it, the shirt sleeve was gaping open and she was bleeding from a long cut.
She dropped the sword. "Why'd you do that?" she squeaked in English, forgetting about French. She turned her arm so she could see it. She didn't want to touch it, she turned her face away.
The man blinked and then frowned. "Forgive me, lass," he said as he stepped forward and took the toy pistol from her belt. He examined it and threw it in the grass.
"Why?" she asked, tears filling her eyes. She pulled off the bandana and held it to her arm. The eyepatch went flying to land in the dirt near her feet.
"And yeh have both eyes still," he said as he grabbed her hair and tilted her face up to him. His breath caressed her skin.
"Yes, I have both my eyes," she said and wiggled away from him. "You haven't answered my question." She bent and picked up her sword. He stepped back, thinking she'd want another go. She sheathed it and grabbed the eyepatch. She stood and looked at him. She sighed and walked passed him.
He caught her by the arm, she winced and her knees buckled from the pain. He pulled her to him, holding her up. His hand covering the gash, making it throb, making it bleed. His hand was covered in her blood.
"Let me go," she said and wiggled in his arms.
He moaned, he liked how that felt. "No, lass," he said. "You're my prisoner now."
"I'm what?" she asked her whole body going rigid. He was insane.
"You're my prisoner," he said softly. He liked the way it sounded. "Yer armed... and yeh have no business on this road so late."
"I'm lost," she protested, hated to admit it.
"How are yeh lost?" he asked and frowned. "Where did yeh come from?"
"I think some friends played a trick on me," she said. "I woke up by the stones. I'm lost." Her eyes prickled and a big tear rolled down her cheek.
"Then we'll just have t' find yeh a way home," he said softly, he still held her to him, he licked his lips, the tip of his pink tongue darted between his lips. "Where were yeh before yer friends played this trick?"
"At Duloe," she said.
The man frowned. "And where would that be?" he asked.
"In Cornwall," Quinn said. His arms tightened a little at her words, squeezing her harder to him. Quinn gasped.
"Seems to be some trick yer friends played on yeh, lass," he said. "Yer in Brittany."
"I... what?" she asked. Quinn felt like she would faint. Her head swam. The strange, handsome man kissed her, stealing what was left of her breath. She fainted.
Chapter 2 (part1)
Quinn woke to the feeling of something moving on her stomach. She waited for a moment. She knew it was him. His arm across her stomach, holding her to his chest.
"Wh-what's going on?" Quinn asked, everything was moving, jostling. She thought she was going to be sick.
"I have business in Carnac," the wonderful whisper floated to her ear. "Yeh'll come with me till we can figure out where yer friends are. Is no' much further."
She turned so she could see him. His face was close, it was a handsome face. Strong jaw and chin, perfect lips. His nose was... big, but it suited his face in a most delightful way. Quinn wouldn't have minded kissing the tip. She shook herself and looked down.
"How long have I been out?" she asked and looked back up at him.
"No' verreh long," he said. His fingers slowly moved on her stomach.
"Why do you ride a horse?" she asked softly, she turned a little so she could see him. The bandana was tied around her arm, the wound throbbed.
"Because it woul' take t' long to walk from Normandy," he said and smirked a little.
"Oh," she said and turned back. 'Must be one of those 'green' wierdos,' she thought.
"Yeh shoul' rest," he said softly in her ear. His hand slid up, brushing her breast as he pushed her back to lean against him. "We'll be there soon."
Quinn woke with a start. She opened her eyes and looked around. She frowned, the room was unfamiliar. It was very rustic looking. The bed wasn't the softest she'd ever felt, but it wasn't rock hard either. The sheets were a little scratchy under her fingers. A carved wooden wardrobe stood in the corner of the room. A table with a ceramic bowl and pitcher next to it. The window was open, the white curtain fluttered in the breeze. It was cool.
A woman came into the room with a tray. "You are awake," she said in French, she smiled.
She set the tray down on a chair. "How are you feeling?" she asked. "I patched up your arm as best I could. Your husband told me it was an accident. I'm no nurse, you should get to a real surgeon as soon as you can."
"Oh," Quinn said and nodded. 'Husband'?
"How are you feeling?" she asked again.
"I'm fine," Quinn replied. "A little sore, but fine."
"Ah," the woman said and blushed a little.
Quinn gasped. "No, not like that," she said. "My head and arm hurts, and I'm not used to the horse, that's all." She chuckled a little.
"Oh, well..." the woman said. "He's just concerned for you, that's all."
Quinn gasped again and flung herself back into the pillows. 'The woman must be insane,' Quinn thought.
"He does care for you," the woman said. "He carried you up here even though my grandson offered to do it."
Quinn found her necklace and pulled it up, it held her mother's wedding ring set and a diamond studded cross, also her mother's. She sighed and bit her lip as she ran her fingers over the rings.
"You should be wearing those on your finger," the woman said. "With a man like Richard Sharpe as your husband, you should be proud." She chuckled softly. "He asked that I bring dinner up to you, we have already eaten downstairs. He thought you would wake and join us, but..." She smiled and shrugged.
x Quinn dropped the rings on her chest and pushed up to look at the food. "Thank you," she said and eyed the food on the chair. "Where is he?"
"He's outside... business with my son and grandson," the woman said and sighed. She smiled and shook her head. She wiped her hands on her apron and bustled from the room.
Of course he wouldn't just leave her. Not with her being his prisoner. She sighed and sat up, her legs hanging off the side of the bed. She picked up the bowl of soup and took the first bite. It wasn't bad.
Chapter 2 (part 2)
A few minutes later the man came back in to the room. "You're awake," he said and smiled a little lopsided smile. Quinn eyed him as he took a seat in an empty chair. He leaned forward and rested his arms on his thighs, he worried his fingers together, picking at something that wasn't there.
He watched her, his lips twitched. He didn't know what he would do with her. He knew she wasn't a threat, but he didn't know why she was dressed as she was, with a sword that she didn't know how to use. The whole issue of Cornwall puzzled him. He frowned a little.
"She thinks we're married," Quinn said between bites of the wonderful chicken soup and bread. She wasn't sure how she was managing to stay so calm. She knew something was wrong. Something other than her no longer being in England. But she couldn't put her finger on just what it was.
"Aye," he said and nodded, he stood up and sat on the bed next to her. "I didn't tell her otherwise. She thinks yer Lucille."
"Lucille?" Quinn asked. Was that his traveling companion, business partner? She looked at him, his blonde hair had fallen forward.
"My wife," he said softly and sighed. She looked at him, his rugged face was quite charming.
"Why didn't she come with you?" she asked softly and pushed a lock of hair behind his ear.
"She died," he said softly. "The fever took her, some months ago."
"Oh, I'm sorry," Quinn said softly. He looked sad now, she cupped his cheek.
Nothing else was said for a while, Quinn's fingers slid from his cheek and she went back to her dinner. She ate and thought, taking in her surroundings. She had a feeling she wasn't in the twenty-first century anymore. 'Was it those damned stones?' she asked herself. That seemed to be the only sensible solution. She knew she wasn't dreaming, she was in too much pain for a dream. Her head swam again.
The man let the silence settle for a few moments as he watched her eat and think, an array of emotions passed over her face. He bit his lip and waited, he could see the wheels turning.
"Tell me, lass," he said softly, looking at her. "Who are yeh?"
She looked up at him, not expecting to meet his gaze. The most beautiful green eyes she had ever seen.
"Quinn Mercer," she said softly and swallowed hard.
"And why were yeh dressed like that?" he asked. "Yeh can't even use th' sword."
"I was at a 'fancy dress party'," she said, using Fran's words. Fran. She gasped a little. Fran would be frantic with worry.
"Yeh always dress like a seafarin' scoundrel for parties?" he asked, amused. He actually smiled, forgetting about the previous conversation.
"No," Quinn said, but offered nothing more, she remembered she was supposed to be mad at him, not falling in love with him because he was sad over his wife's passing. The man frowned and chewed his lip. He watched her a moment more.
"If I had known yeh were a lass, I wouln't have attacked yeh like I done," he said softly and swallowed hard, his adam's apple bobbed in his throat. He reached and cupped her cheek, he bit his lip.
"I... I know," she said looked down, she went back to her soup.
He cleared his throat. "How's yer arm?" he asked and moved to touch it, he hesitated when Quinn moved away. He sighed and moved closer. Again, she moved over until she was pressed against the headboard. "Stop movin' away."
"Why should I?" she asked, looking at him. Her breath caught in her throat.
"Because I said so," he said and moved closer, his thigh pressed against hers through the blanket.
"Because I'm your prisoner," she said.
"Yer no my prisoner," he replied softly and sighed.
"I... what?" she asked. "But you said..."
"Aye, I know what I said," he said and nodded his head once. He licked his lips, the pink tip darted out from his lips. Quinn wanted it, she wanted to feel it.
"Wh-what changed your mind?" Quinn asked.
He frowned. "I've decided yer no' a threat," he said. He took her moment of shock to examine her arm. He lifted the sleeve and pulled the white bandage away.
"I feel a stipulation," Quinn said, gathering her wits even with him so close. Under other circumstances, Quinn might have had the courage to kiss him.
"Aye," he said, pulling the bandage back up. "I'm takin' yeh with me."
"Taking me where?" she asked, nervous again. He smoothed down her sleeve, his fingers brushing her bare skin.
"Home with me," he said softly. "We'll pass a hospital on the way, they can fix yeh oop properly." He moved in closer. "When I see yeh've been taken care of, yeh can go home."
"Can't I see a doctor here?" Quinn asked, she wasn't sure she should go with him, no matter how attractive she found him. No matter how much her brain screamed, 'Yes, go for it! It's only for a couple of days.' She never could do that, not even with men not half as intimidating or gorgeous.
"It's only a village we're in," he said. "I wouldn't trust their doctor with a dyin' mongrel." Richard took the bowl of soup and put it on the chair.
"I don't even know your name," Quinn said. She'd heard the old woman say it, but she wanted him to tell her.
"Richard Sharpe," he said softly, his breath warmed her skin he was so close. She could almost taste him. His fingers were under her chin, tilting her face up to him. "Don't be afraid of me, lass," he whispered. The kiss was soft at first. Quinn's hand slid up his chest to his neck. Richard took that as approval and deepened the kiss.
Quinn moaned in reply to his kiss. His tongue delved into her mouth, searching for her tongue. It found hers, they stroked and danced. Sharpe moaned and pressed her back to the headboard. His lips left hers and went to her neck where he inhaled deeply and moaned again. His hand was on her waist, his fingers moved on the white shirt, feeling her underneath.
Ordinarily Quinn would have shoved him away long before this, but she couldn't bring herself to do it. Richard seemed very unsure of himself. Almost as if he expected her to push him away. As if it had happened before, and Quinn's heart melted thinking of him rejected like that. It made her want him more.
"Are you trying to sweet talk me?" Quinn asked, barely above a whisper.
"Aye, is it workin'?" he asked.
"Yes," she said.
Chapter 3 (part 1)
Richard moved from the bed, he went to the door and locked it. Quinn gasped, it seemed final now. He came back to the bed and pulled down the blanket that had been covering her. Quinn hadn't realized that her boots and trousers had been removed and she was left in her white shirt. She blushed and pulled the shirt down. He slid his hand up her thigh and moved the shirt up. "Don't hide from me, lassie, we'll both soon be naked," he whispered and sat on the bed again and proceeded to take off his boots.
He unlaced each boot, then pulled each one off. He looked over at Quinn. "Yer quiet," he said and cupped her cheek. Quinn closed her eyes and smiled a little. He kissed her softly. "If yeh don't want to, now's the time to say so." He waited a moment, hovering near her lips. When she didn't say anything, he went back to undressing.
Quinn was silent as she watched him undress, his hands shook slightly. She bit her lip and watched a moment before she stood in front of him.
Her hands slid over his stomach, going under his suspenders, she slid her hands up and moved the suspenders over his shoulders. She went to the buttons of his trousers. He watched her and bit his lip. He ran his hands over her hair, tucking a stray lock behind her ear. His trousers fell around his ankles. Richard moaned as her hands skimmed over his skin. He gasped and stepped from the offending garment. Quinn's hands went to the buttons of his shirt unbuttoning each one slowly, revealing his chest and stomach inch by inch. Soon his shirt was off too and he was naked. She ran her hands over him, Richard gasped and closed his eyes.
Then it was Richard's turn. He lifted her shirt from her and Quinn stood in bra and panties. He looked at her and frowned a little. His fingers went under the elastic band of her bra and he pulled it slightly. Quinn giggled and pulled away. Richard pulled her back to him and kissed her deeply. Quinn ditched her bra, letting it fall with the rest of their clothes. He slid his hands down her back and into her panties, pushing them down. He moaned again, feeling her flesh against his. He pressed into her and Quinn gasped.
She was on the bed with him on top of her. He kissed her deeply as he moved between her thighs, she wrapped one leg around him. His hips moved into her and he slid in easily.
Quinn gasped as he began to move, thrusting into her. She held onto him and met him with each thrust, her legs holding onto him tightly, pressing him into her further. She arched into him and gasped. His lips were at her neck, teasing her, his hand in her hair. He seemed to be everywhere.
She moaned and arched into him as he brought her pleasure. Her walls pulsed around him and she gasped. His hips moved more quickly as he sought his own release. He grunted loudly as he bucked into her, the bed shook and hit the wall. He burst in her violently, filling her. Quinn gasped and writhed under him, wanting more she moved her hips, milking him until there was nothing left.
He collapsed on her when it was over. His breath caressed her neck, his hand in her hair. Quinn turned her face to him and looked at him. His eyes were closed and he had a smile on his face. She kissed him deeply, he replied and pushed up onto his elbows and they continued to kiss until they worked themselves up again and Richard moved his hips into her.
Quinn groaned and pulled Richard down to her, she held him tightly as he moved. She met each thrust of his hips with a thrust of her own.
A while later Quinn pushed off of him and lay beside him on the bed. Richard turned onto his side and pulled the blanket up, he draped his arm over her. "How's yer arm?" he asked softly.
"Hurts," she said.
He raised up onto his elbow, his fingers caressed her arm as he raised the bandage and looked at the wound. "Fookin' ell," he said under his breath and sighed. "Maybe we shoulna done wot we done," he said softly. It was bleeding again. "We need to get yeh to a surgeon."
"Yes," Quinn said and bit her lip. "I'd like to... go back to the place you found me."
"Wot for?" he said. "Did yeh forget somethin'?"
"N-no," she said softly and lay on her back. Richard took that opportunity to kiss her exposed breast.
"Why then?" he asked against her skin. Her hand went to his hair absently.
"I'd like to go home," she said. "I don't belong here."
"Yeh joost got here, how'dya know you don't belong here?" he asked softly, hurt. "It's not good with me?" He lowered himself and rested his cheek on her breast and looked up at her.
She gasped and looked down at him. "That's not what I meant," she said and cupped his cheek and played with his hair. "I mean... this..." she sighed. "This time... I don't belong here... now." She bit her lip. "I don't know how to say it... It has to do with magic or druids or maybe evil, I don't know."
"I don't know wot you're goin' on about, either," Richard said.
"The stones... they've got some kind of magic in them," she said.
"Aye?" he said. "There's always stories about things goin' on." He moved from her breast and lay beside her again, his arm over her.
"Are there really, or are you just trying to make me feel not so crazy?" she asked and rolled onto her side again.
"Aye, there are," he said. "Must stay away from the brownies, elves, and redcaps."
Quinn giggled and buried her face in his chest. "But what about the stones?" she asked and looked up at him.
"I don't know much about 'em," he said and stroked her hair. "But if you truly believe somethin' bad's happened to yeh, I believe you. I can see it in your face." He pulled her from his chest and looked at her. "We'll go back before we head off to the hospital. We'll go firs' thing in the mornin'. How do yeh feel about sleepin' out of doors?"
"I've done it before," she said, her thumb brushed over his lips. She'd been camping a few times, not that it was anything she ever wanted to do again, but she'd lived through the ordeal.
Quinn knew that the further she got away from those stones, the less her chance of getting back home. She didn't know how the stones had done it, but it was something she'd have to find out for herself.
Chapter 3 (part 2)
"I guess mebe we can't blame your friends for playin' a trick on yeh, then?" he asked and lay on his back. He pulled Quinn to him, she rested her cheek on his chest. Her fingers played with the light dusting of hair.
"No, I guess we can't," she said and sighed. It would be easier if she could. She'd give almost anything for this to be a big prank on her, for Richard to be someone Fran hired to ride up on a horse and tell her she was in Brittany and not in Cornwall.
"Bugger me, I think I'm enjoyin' this too much," he said softly and kissed her forehead.
Quinn wanted to ask him if he did things like this a lot. But she couldn't. She had a feeling she already knew the truth. He was too good at this to not have had much more than his fair share of women.
She looked up at him. "What if I can't go back?" she asked softly.
He smoothed her hair absently. "Then yeh'll come with me t' Normandy," he said softly and licked his lips. "We'll figure somethin' out. Aye?"
"Aye," she replied and sighed.
Richard had taken care of his business with the family early that morning. Quinn thought maybe she knew what the business was. There was a cow tied to the saddle and walking behind them slowly. She mooed every once in a while and wanted to stop to munch grass.
Quinn rode behind Richard on the horse, her arm around his stomach this time, she grinned and bit her lip. She rested her cheek on his back.
"We're here," Richard said and patted her thigh behind him. He liked the way she pressed into him. He liked the way she had curled up to him as she slept last night. He especially liked the way she took care of his morning 'inconvenience'. He ducked his head and grinned, recalling it.
Quinn dismounted first, then Richard. He tied the horse to a tree branch and pulled Quinn's sword from the saddle. He buckled it on her, his hands encircled her waist for a moment before he let her go again.
She bit her lip and watched him a moment. She cupped his cheek and kissed him softly. His arms went around her and he hugged her tightly. He nuzzled her neck for a moment then they let each other go.
Richard didn't follow her to the stones. He was hesitant. If they had sucked her in, could they do the same to him? Where would they put him?
Quinn found the toy flintlock pistol and put it in her belt. "Is there anythin' I can say to make yeh stay?" Richard asked just as she got to the first waist-high stone in the field, not far from the road.
"Oh!" she exclaimed, surprised. Quinn turned to look at him. She hadn't been expecting him to WANT her to stay. She thought he would be glad to be rid of her so he could go on with his life and seduce more unsuspecting women.
He licked his lips and crossed the road to where she stood. He pulled her to him and hugged her tightly again, he buried his face in her neck and inhaled. "I don't want yeh t' leave," he confessed. His hand was in her hair.
"Why not?" she asked, her hand stroked his hair, the fingers of her other hand where on his throat.
"It's silleh," he said softly and kissed her.
"What's silly, tell me?" she asked.
He set her away from him and sighed. "I want more time with yeh," he said.
Quinn sighed a little too. At least there were no declarations of undying love, or 'you belong to me' kind of drivel.
"Seems everytime... well... they keep leavin' on me," he said softly.
"What do you to do them?" she asked, a little scared for her morals now.
"Nothin'," he said, he seemed a little hurt. "They just... come and go." He shrugged and looked at her. "I thought... Lucille would stay, but she left me in a different way. I thought maybe yeh'd stay longer than a night an' a mornin'."
Quinn pulled him down to her and kissed him deeply. She sighed against his lips when it was over. "I have to go," she said softly. "I'd take you with me, but you don't belong in my time any more than I belong in yours."
"Aye," he said, resigning himself to the fact she was just another notch in his belt and not anything even nearing permanant in his life. "Then you should go." He pushed her from him and nodded, encouraging her to go.
Quinn looked back at Richard, he was looking at the ground, not at her. Her heart sank. She knew he only wanted more sex, nothing nearing a real relationship. That's just how men were, she didn't fault him for it.
She sighed and continued on. The stone field was large and it was a ways to the larger stones. She alternately walked and looked back at Richard. She knew she was only making it hard on herself.
She touched the first large stone. Then another. Another after that until she thought she had touched all of the larger stones. There was nothing, not a hum or a buzz to be felt.
Quinn sighed, she knew she was still there, in Brittany. The stones hadn't changed to the round formation. There was no searing pain, no migraine. She didn't feel like she was ripped in half. She sighed and leaned against one, she closed her eyes and waited.
After a while Quinn was positive that it wasn't going to work. Not even if she stayed all day and into tomorrow. She sighed and pushed away from the stone. She walked through the rows of stones and looked to the road. No Richard Sharpe was standing and waiting for her.
She called his name, hoping he would hear. It had only been a few minutes, he couldn't be far.
"Richard!" she yelled. She had to find him, he was the only person she knew. "Richard!"
Quinn had a moment of panic. What if he had galloped away on his horse? What if? She hurried on. Something caught her eye near the trees.
Chapter 4 (part 1)
Richard had left the stones. He untied the horse and walked down the road, rather than ride. He'd settled himself at the base of a tree for a while so he could think. He didn't want to pass anyone on the road just now.
He leaned against the tree, his knees bent, arms crossed over his knees. His forehead rested on his arms. He sniffled and moaned, chiding himself for being so daft over her.
'Fookin' ell! Yeh just met her,' he thought to himself. 'Don't be daft, yer gettin' too old for this.'
It was in the middle of his ramblings to himself when he heard his name float on the breeze. He looked up, but there was nothing. He went back to wallowing, head down again. He sniffled. The cow mooed.
Quinn bit her lip. She saw the cow first, grazing on the side of the road, then his horse, tied up to another tree. Richard sat in the tall grass under another tree. Even from that distance, Quinn could tell he really was sad, he hadn't just said what he did when he thought she was leaving. She used the cuff of her shirt to wipe away the tears that were falling.
Silently she closed the distance to Richard and knelt beside him and stroked his hair. He made a sound deep in his chest but he didn't look up.
He thought he was dreaming when arms slid around him. He felt the soft kiss to the top of his head and the soft sigh that stirred his hair.
Richard let the dream tilt his head back and kiss his forehead. He sighed. The dream wiped away his tears with soft fingers. It seduced his mouth and he opened his eyes. He pulled away, shocked.
Quinn sat back and bit her lip. "I thought maybe you'd be happy to see me," she said and batted away more tears.
"I--I," he stuttered. "Bugger me! I thought yeh'd gone." He reached up and cupped her cheek and smiled.
"It didn't work," she said, tears filling her eyes again. Those tears fell on Richard's thumb.
"Don't cry," he said softly and gathered her into his arms, he straightened out his legs and she moved over them. He pulled her to him and kissed her softly.
"What do I do now?" she asked and buried her face in his neck. He rubbed her back.
"First we have t' get you t' th' surgeon," he said. "As quickly as we can."
"And after that?" she asked.
"I'm no' sure," he said. "You'll come with me. I'll no' see you stayin' in a strange place with nowt but yerself."
More tears fell and Richard did the best he could to dry them. He'd never been very good at comforting women. The only way he knew was something they didn't have time for now. So he held her and stroked her hair until she calmed down. He didn't know what hurt worse, the thought of her leaving, or her staying in a time she wasn't familiar with.
Eventually they pulled themselves away from the trees and the stones. Richard unbuckled her sword and attached it to the saddle with his sword and rifle. He turned back to her and kissed her softly.
"Everythin' will be fine," he assured her. "Do yeh troost meh?"
Quinn bit her lip. "I think I have to," she said.
"Aye, yeh do," he said. His hands slid from her cheeks down to her shoulders.
Richard helped her up on the horse and he got on infront of her. She held onto him, her hand on his stomach. She rested her cheek on his back again. Richard ducked his head and grinned again as he urged the horse forward.
They stopped in a village and had lunch in an inn. It was too early to stop for the day so they went on.
When it got dark, they stopped and made camp under cover of trees. They didn't bother with a fire. They'd gotten food from the woman and ate it cold before they bedded down for the night.
Richard checked Quinn's arm again, peeling the bandage off and pouring some of his brandy on it. Quinn sucked in a breath and he wrapped her up again.
He didn't like the way it looked, but there wasn't anything he could do. He'd let the surgeon do his work on her. But it didn't look too serious to him, he'd seen worse wounds and men come out fine. He'd had worse wounds himself.
"When do you think we'll get there?" she asked from their 'bed', a blanket laid in the grass. He pulled his worn leather duster over them and another blanket over that. The horse was let to graze, his saddle under the tree nearby. The cow was grazing nearby too.
"Tomorrah mornin', mebe later," he said and snuggled in to her. He pushed her hair back behind her ear and kissed her softly.
chapter 4 (part 2)
It was late morning when they arrived at the hospital, Richard had asked directions and they were led from the main road they had come to the town on. The hospital was a big beautiful white stone building with many large windows. It was in the heart of the town. Quinn guessed they would call it a 'city', though there weren't nearly as many people around as she was used to.
They dismounted and Richard tied up the horse to a black iron post at the front of the building. He took his pack with him with all their valuables, swords and rifle.
The two were met by a nun. Quinn blinked. The whole hospital was full of nuns. She was dying to ask why, but she held her tongue and let Richard do all of the talking.
"She needs some patching up," Richard said in French and pushed up Quinn's sleeve as he spoke.
"Sit here on the table," the doctor told Quinn. She did as she was told and winced. The doctor unwrapped her arm. "Oh, I see." He mumbled to himself as he set to work. He got a variety of bottles, jars, a needle and tough looking thread.
Richard stood by Quinn's knee, his hand on her thigh. The doctor swabbed the gash down with alcohol, Quinn gasped and clenched her teeth.
"Drink this," the doctor said, holding a bottle infront of her.
Quinn eyed it suspiciously. "What is it?" she asked.
"It's whiskey, drink it," the doctor said.
"No, I'll pass," she said.
"Drink it," Richard said and took the bottle from the doctor.
"No, I don't want to," she said.
"Bugger! Yeh'll drink it, or yeh'll pass out from the pain," he said and held the back of Quinn's head and held the bottle her lips. She spluttered but drank some, as much as she could. It seemed most of it wound up on the front of her shirt.
The doctor began to work. Quinn yelped with the first stitch, and only moaned with the others, ready for the pain each time. Her head swam and she leaned into Richard and grabbed his jacket as the doctor worked. The whiskey wasn't working fast enough. She drooled a little on his worn brown jacket. Richard smoothed her hair and pulled it away from her neck. He wiped the beads of sweat from her forehead and rubbed her back.
The doctor wrapped her arm up with fresh bandages and pulled her sleeve down. "All finished," he said.
"Merci," Quinn said hoarsely and swayed, ready to faint again. She smiled shakily and bit her lip. Her arm throbbed worse than it had since Richard had sliced her. But now her head hurt too.
Richard helped her from the table, she panted and clung to him with her good arm. He led her from the room and down the wide corridor and out onto the street. He walked her away from the horse.
"Where are we going?" she slurred and looked back at Richard's horse.
"To visit some shops," he said.
"For why?" she asked and swayed.
"Yeh need clothes," he said and caught her before she could fall. "Or yeh will soon."
"Eh, I s'pose I do," she slurred and smiled. "Yew don't think ta dresh me like a lay-dee do yew?"
"Yeh can wear whatever yeh'd like," he said.
"I like yew more n' more each min't, Rich'rd Sharpe," Quinn slurred and smiled. Richard chuckled and grinned, noticing she was getting worse and worse by the minute.
They went into the first shop. Richard purchased some shirts for her, men's shirts that would be functional. He had to hold her up as he picked things out. Trousers were next, he held up a pair to her waist and bit his lip. Proper underwear, and long underwear since it was getting cold. He also bought her a coat.
"Can yeh sew?" he asked.
"Maybe, I think," Quinn said and smiled, her head lolled to the side. "Why?"
"Should I purchase some fabric for sewin'?" he asked. "I'm sure Lucille has some..." he bit his lip. "I'm sure there's some that Lucille--"
Quinn put her finger over Richard's lips rather sloppily, she missed the first time and giggled. "I know what yew are tryin' to say," she said slowly. "Maybe... buy some new. I wouldn't want to use her things... Without asking first."
Richard nodded. "Aye," he said softly. Quinn cupped his cheek. He covered her hand with his and brought it to his lips, he kissed her palm. Quinn giggled and pulled Richard to her. She kissed him deeply.
Chapter 5 (part 1)
After they finished kissing and shopping, Richard purchased a loaf of bread, cheese and some fruit. They found room for everything attached to the saddle. Richard helped her onto the horse again and he mounted in front of her. Slowly the four of them headed out of the city. Man, woman, horse and the cow taking up the rear as she mooed.
"How much longer?" Quinn asked over his shoulder after it got so boring she couldn't take it any more. Her head cleared from the alcohol. She didn't want to know what kind of a fool she made of herself.
"Tomorrah mornin'," he said and turned to look at her. She quickly kissed his cheek. "If we don't stop anymore today, then we can make it well after dark."
"I'm anxious to see where you live," Quinn confessed.
Richard chuckled. "I'm anxious for yeh to see it too," he said. "And for me to climb into me own bed."
Quinn giggled and tightened her grip around his stomach. She felt it rumble under her hand. "Hungry?" she asked and patted it.
Richard nodded. "Aye," he said. "Yeh want to stop and eat?"
"No, keep going," she said and fiddled behind her for the sack of food. She found the bread and cheese. She tore off a chunk of bread and passed him a piece. Her hand slid around his waist, looking for the knife she knew him to carry. He chuckled and squirmed under her fingers.
Quinn cut off some cheese and wrapped the rest in the cloth and returned it to the sack. She picked off a small chunk and fed it to Richard. His lips brushed her fingers as he took it. He ducked his head, Quinn knew that meant he was grinning about something. She chuckled and kissed his shoulder.
Richard had been right. It was late when they arrived at his home. She hadn't expected such a charming place. Richard gave her the key and told her to go inside while he put the cow in the shed for the night.
Quinn crossed the dusty yard and went inside. She didn't know how to light the lantern or candles. They didn't have matches, but she did find a little box with a flint on the fireplace mantle. She sat in the dark at the table and waited for Richard to come in.
It was a few minutes before he came in. He closed the door and sighed. He paused, seeing Quinn at the table.
"Yer sittin' in the dark," he said softly and put the bundles of packages on the end of the table. He held his hand out to her. She took it and stood.
"I couldn't light the lantern," she said softly and bit her lip.
"I'll show yeh tomorrah," he said. He led her through the kitchen to a narrow hallway. He opened a door and led her inside.
Richard fumbled in the dark and lit a fire in the fireplace, then he lit a candle from that. Quinn watched as he worked. He stood and put the candle by the bed, illuminating it a little. Quinn shivered.
'This is his bed,' she thought and bit her lip. "Did... you and Lucille..." she asked and fumbled around with her words. "What I mean is..."
"Not here, no," he said softly. "I... moved from that room after she got the fever. I haven't been in it since." She cupped his cheek. Her hand slid to his neck and she pulled him to her and kissed him. His arms slid around her and he held onto her tightly.
When the kiss broke, they were both panting heavily. Richard chuckled softly, their noses brushed and Quinn quickly kissed the tip of his. She grinned and bit her lip, he kissed her softly. "We shoul' get readeh for bed," he said against her lips.
"Aye," Quinn said softly and they let each other go.
Quinn sat on the bed and took off her boots, Richard did the same. Quinn moved infront of him and pushed his suspenders off his shoulders. He stood and chuckled, he cupped her cheek and kissed her softly again.
"I know it's verreh selfish of meh, but I'm glad yeh din't leave," he said.
Quinn didn't say anything. She wasn't sure how she felt about her present situation. Richard sighed and pulled away, his hand slid from her cheek.
He stepped away and started to unbutton his white shirt. "Aye, I know," he said. "Ye don't have t' tell me."
Quinn sighed. "I think I do," she said softly and watched him. His hands stilled on the second button. "I like you, I like you a lot. But I miss my home."
"And yer stuck here with me," he said bitterly.
"I'm stuck here," she said softly. "But I'm with you. I'm not stuck with you. I could leave..." She sighed and stepped closer to him, she stood on tiptoe and kissed him softly, he didn't respond.
"Then mebe yeh should," he said softly.
Quinn sighed again. She shouldn't have said anything. "I don't want to leave you," she said and bit her lip. Her hands on his chest slid to the buttons of his shirt and she picked up where he left off.
"Why? Because yeh feel indebted to me?" he asked and looked at her as she unbuttoned his shirt for him.
"No," she said, her voice cracked on the single word, her fingers moved down on the buttons.
"Bugger it. Why then?" he asked, he took her hands, stilling them in his grasp.
"Because... I said it before. I like you, very much, I don't want to leave you," she said, she could feel her eyes start to sting. She focused on his buttons. Richard cupped her cheeks and pulled her to him. Quinn didn't add that she felt safe and comfortable with him. Maybe too comfortable.
"That's all I wanted t' hear, lassie," he said softly as he wrapped his arms around her, holding her close. His lips were against her forehead as he spoke. "I wouln't expect yeh t' luv meh."
Chapter 5 (part 2)
Quinn gasped at his words. She looked at him, his lips were parted. She moved closer and hesitated. She kissed him softly. "Maybe someday," she whispered and kissed him again, deeper. She knew she shouldn't fall in love with him, it would break her heart to leave him if she ever got the chance to go home.
Her hands went to the buttons of his trousers. Richard pushed them down this time as Quinn pushed his shirt from his shoulders. She ran her hands over him and he stepped closer. It was cold in the room and he shivered. She kissed his chest and worked up to his throat. She could feel his pulse racing under her lips. Her lips moved from his throat to his jaw and then his lips.
Richard's hands were under her shirt as they kissed. He fought with the clasp of the strange garment, he ran his hands over her newly freed breasts. Her nipples pebbled under his fingers and Richard moaned softly.
Quinn fought with her shirt and parted from his lips only long enough to get the shirt off. Her bra came off too with Richard's urging. His hands went to her trousers. He hesitated on the button. Quinn pulled from his lips and watched him as he looked down at her trousers and bit his lip.
"I did this afore," he said softly, his green gaze flicked up to her face. "But I don't know wot it is."
"It's a zipper," she said softly. "And it hasn't been invented yet, I don't think." She kissed him softly. Quinn figured she was now in the early eighteen hundreds, if the fashions of the ladies at the inn and in the hospital were any indication.
Quinn bit her lip as Richard pulled the tab down releasing her from the trousers. His hands were inside the trousers, pushing them and her panties down, caressing her naked flesh. She sighed and bit her lip, her hips moved into him, feeling his hard length brush her. Quinn kissed him and worked the trousers down and stepped from them.
She led Richard to the bed where she pushed him down on it. He sat and Quinn moved onto his lap. Her mouth found his neck, her arms wrapped around him. She slid her hands over his back, she felt the ridges and gasped. Quinn moved up on her knees to look at his back. Richard bit his lip and hung his head as he held onto her, his hands moved up the backs of her thighs. His cheek pressed to her side as she looked at his back.
"What happened?" she asked as she traced one of the long scars that ran across his skin.
She sat back down on his lap and looked at him. "What happened to your back?" she asked softly, her fingers traced his jaw as he kissed her shoulder.
"I were flogged," he said softly, his breath brushing her skin. Quinn winced, her hand came up to his hair and she rubbed the back of his neck and shoulders.
"Why?" she asked and bit her lip.
"I were in the army an' accused of stealin'," he said softly against her shoulder.
"'Accused'," she said, picking up on the single word. "But you didn't do it."
"Aye," he said. "How do yeh know?"
"If you had done it, you would have said you stole something and got caught," she said. "And... I think you're a good man, Richard."
"How d' yeh figure that?" he asked and looked at her now.
"You could have killed me and taken my valuables," she said as she took off her rings. "Or raped me then killed me and taken my valuables. But... you haven't been anything but honorable." She bit her lip and placed the rings on the night table beside the candle.
Richard chuckled. "A shinin' example, I am," he said and gave her a glorious smile. Quinn's stomach flipped. She leaned in and kissed him, softly at first, then deeper and Richard responded. She moved on him, brushing him. Richard moaned and held her by the waist and guided her onto him. Quinn gasped and nuzzled his neck as she slid on his hard length. Richard moaned, his hand slid to her hair. She arched into him, pressing her breasts to him.
He groaned, his hands at her back and he held her to him tightly. He moved his hips under her as she moved on him. His teeth teased her shoulder and neck. Her hands were in his hair and on his back, she raked her nails over his shoulders and Richard shivered.
He lay back on the bed, his feet still on the floor. He raised his hips into her, his hands on her hips holding her, Quinn gasped and moaned. She leaned down to him and kissed him deeply and she continued to move and rock on his length. She saw stars as she pulsed around him. Richard came too, shooting deep, filling her until it soaked them both.
Quinn collapsed on him, breathless. Richard rubbed her back while they came down.
Eventually they managed to get under the blanket. Richard blew out the candle. Quinn snuggled into him under the blanket. He stroked her hair and held her to him.
"Thank you," Quinn said softly, her breath brushed his throat.
"For wot?" he asked just as softly and kissed her forehead.
"For everything," she said.
"Everythin'?" he asked and smirked.
"Yeah," she said. "Good night, Richard."
"G'night, luv," he replied and was soon asleep. Quinn listened to him sleep for a few minutes, then she too was asleep.
Chapter 6 (part 1)
Quinn woke groggy that morning. It hadn't been too long that she'd slept, the light streamed in through the window. Richard was not in the bed with her. She groaned and got up, she had to pee badly.
She saw that Richard had brought in her newly purchased clothes. She went to them and dressed quickly so she could go outside. She didn't bother buttoning the pants. She dashed to the kitchen in the middle of the house. Richard was at the table, going over some papers. He looked up at her and smiled.
"Where's... umm..." she shifted. "Outhouse... privy... where?" She was unfamiliar with their habits. Some homes didn't have an outhouse and they went in chamber pots and just tossed it in the bushes, others had outhouses.
Richard smirked and rose from what he was doing. He led her to the backdoor and pointed. "Over there," he said. She dashed away. "I hope yeh make it in time!" he called after her and chuckled. He closed the door, it was getting cold.
Outhouses were not a place to linger and muse about the upcoming day. She did her business and left quickly, wrinkling her nose. Richard was watching her from the window as she washed her hands from a bucket. She would never get used to this.
She shivered and hurried back to the house. Richard hugged her and rubbed her arms. "It's gettin' cold," he said. "Probably have an early snow this year."
She put her hand on his chest and looked out the window to the trees. "Do you have much to do to prepare for winter?" she asked softly.
"Aye," he said.
"Do you have people to help?"
"No, joost me," he said and sighed.
"I'll help, if I can," Quinn said and rubbed his back.
"Aye, woul' yeh?" he asked.
"Yes," she said and nodded.
"I wouldn' expect yeh to," he said.
"But I'll do it anyway," she said and kissed his chin. Richard's stomach rumbled. Quinn rubbed it. "Hungry?"
"Aye," he said.
"Is it time for breakfast or lunch?" she asked.
"I'd say more leanin' to loonch," he said and chuckled. "Yeh slep' a long time."
"Jet lag," she said and rested her cheek on his shoulder.
"Bugger me! And wot's it?" he asked and rubbed her back.
"It's..." she bit her lip and decided on the easiest answer without going into what a 'jet' is. "When I left the other stones, it was after midnight, but when I popped up at the place you found me, it was early evening. So, I really should have gone to bed last night when the sun set and not hours later."
"Aye," he said. Quinn knew he probably didn't grasp that, not without a graph chart and number line.
Quinn had her first farm duty. Making lunch. It wasn't too difficult cooking on the potbelly stove. The rest of the kitchen was quite well-equipped with the latest in modern technologies, such that they were.
She called Richard in to lunch. He had gone to tend some animal or hoe something. Quinn just had instructions to call him when the food was ready. She wondered if it was always this way on a farm, the man going off and leaving the woman. Even though he was still there, he wasn't there.
Richard inhaled his food. Quinn watched as he ate. He didn't say anything, he concentrated on eating. He did make some sounds that Quinn had only heard from him during sex. She bit her lip.
When he was done, he put down his fork and sighed. He wiped his mouth and looked at Quinn. "It was a wonderful meal," he said. "I'd almos' gotten used t' eatin' bread and cheese."
"I'm glad you enjoyed it," she said and smiled. "Any requests for dinner?"
He smiled and bit his lip. He remembered when Lucille had asked a similar question. He bit his lip. "I'll bring somethin' in for yeh to cook," he said.
"All right," she said.
Chapter 6 (part 2)
"I should go, there's more work," he said and pushed up from the table. Quinn stood too. He headed for the door.
"Richard," she called after him, he was at the door, his hand on the knob. He turned and Quinn was right there kissing him. He was shocked, but not so shocked he didn't respond.
"Bugger," he said softly against her lips. It was less of an exclamation and more a plea. "I have work."
"I know," Quinn said softly. "I... just wanted to kiss you. I got lonely while you were gone."
Richard groaned and looked outside, then at her. He kissed her softly. "I'll be back in a couple of hours," he said. "Then we can have some fun."
"Fun?" she asked and smiled.
"Aye," he said and grinned.
"In that case, maybe you should go," Quinn said wickedly. Richard chuckled and kissed her again before he left.
Quinn sighed and leaned against the door. She bit her lip and moved away. She busied herself with thoughts of Richard and with exploring the kitchen.
Someone had the forethought to write down recipes and had shoved them in a drawer for safekeeping. Quinn took out the papers and moved to the table to look at them. Some of them were exact recipes, but most were just methods of doing things.
There was a lot about canning and pickling. Quinn thought that was probably a good idea, she recalled hearing that the purpose of canning was to have something to eat during winter when everything was frozen. She wondered if Richard was growing anything, and how much land he had. Maybe tomorrow she could explore outside too.
Quinn was proud of her first loaf of bread. It was quite an accomplishment since she had to bake it in the brick oven next to the fireplace, rather than her gas range at home. She pulled it out just as Richard was coming in the house, it was after the two hours he had told her.
"Sorreh I'm late," he said and put a bundle on the kitchen counter near the sink. "I brought somethin' for dinner, alreadeh cleaned." Before she could say anything, Richard disappeared down the hall, he reappeared a few moments later with a blanket. He put it on the table.
"What is it?" she asked and nodded to the bundle he'd put by the sink.
"A rabbit," he said. Quinn wrinkled her nose. "Yeh don't like rabbit?"
"I've... never had rabbit," she said. "I've had snake and alligator, but that's about as 'exotic' as I get."
"Wot do yeh usualleh eat, besides snake and alligator?" he asked softly, moving closer.
"Beef, fish, chicken, turkey," she said and shrugged.
"I'll have to go fishin'," he said and smiled.
"I made a loaf of bread," Quinn said, glad they were talking about food.
"Mmm," Richard said and smelled. "Is that for dinner?"
"Yes, along with... rabbit," she said. "I could make a stew or roast it if you'd like."
"A good stew would be nice," he said. "I'll show yeh the root cellar."
"I found some recipes for canning and pickling," she said.
"Aye?" he asked. Quinn nodded and showed him the papers on the table. Richard looked them over and smiled, he chuckled a little.
"Should I be canning or pickling anything?" she asked as he looked over the pages.
"Aye, I suppose yeh should," he said.
"Can you show me what I should can or pickle?" she asked. "Maybe tomorrow morning?"
"Aye, I'll do that," he said and nodded. He put the papers down and stepped closer to her. He put his hands on her shoulders and bit his lip. It seemed to Richard that Quinn had fallen into being a housewife without so much as a complaint.
"What is it?" she asked softly.
Richard looked at her for a few moments, studying her face. "Nothin'," he said softly. "Tis nothin'." He sighed and pulled her to him. Her arms slid around him easily. He kissed her softly.
"What about that fun you said we would have?" Quinn whispered against his lips.
"Aye," he said. "We're havin' it..."
Quinn giggled against his lips and he kissed her more deeply, which quieted her giggles. He nuzzled her neck, placing light kisses there. Quinn's hands were in his hair, she bit her lip and then moaned. Richard chuckled and pressed her back into the table, his hand on her back, pressing her to him. He grinned, his tongue darted from his mouth and Quinn brought him back down for another kiss.
"Mmmf, bugger me," he said as he dragged his mouth from hers. Quinn moaned in protest. "Let's go for a walk."
She gasped. "What? Why?" she asked, surprised he would cut her off just when things were looking up. Richard grinned and bit his lip. He took her hand and grabbed the blanket. He dragged her from the table and halfway to the backdoor before he turned and kissed her again.
"Troost meh," he said softly.
"All right," she said and let him lead her outside. It wasn't as cold now as it had been that morning.
Chapter 7 (part 1)
Richard led her away from the house. Out passed the fenced yard, and the row of fruit trees, heavy with fruit. Quinn tried to identify them as they walked, she had a feeling she would be canning and making jams in the next day or two. Apple and pear for sure, she'd seen a recipe for apple butter and she wondered if Richard liked it. She thought maybe she saw a couple of cherry trees and another type that was dormant for autumn.
They left the path and stepped onto the grass. It was very quiet. Quinn didn't think she could ever get used to how quiet the world was, no passing cars from the interstate highway. No hum of far off machinery, no clouds of smog lingering. She inhaled deeply and turned back to look at the house but couldn't see it for the trees in the way.
"Is all this yours?" she asked.
"Aye," he said. "It were Lucille's..."
"Oh," she said and put her arm around his waist as they looked at the row of trees between them and the house.
"If it weren't for her, I'd have no place to live," he said. He took the blanket and opened it and laid it in the grass. He sat on it, facing away from the house.
"I'm sure that's not true," she said and joined him.
"Aye, it is," he said.
"What did you do before you married her?" Quinn asked and rubbed his arm.
"I were a soldier," he said and sighed.
"Oh, yes," she said and bit her lip. "Who were you fighting?"
Richard looked at her, then he blinked, rememberin' she wouln't know about any o' it. He still found it hard to believe her story, but she didn't really fit in with anyone he ever knew. No' even LeRoy an' he was one daft bugger. A rich bugger, bu' a daft one.
"The French," he said. "Boney."
"Napoleon?" she asked and looked at him. He nodded. "Sacri bleu!"
"Yeh've heard of him?" he asked and smiled a little at her outburst.
"Oh yes," Quinn said. "Waterloo. Elba... Wait... Waterloo happened, right?"
"Oh, aye," he said and nodded.
Quinn sighed. Richard looked at her, then away. He chewed his lip.
"Is something wrong?" she asked and rubbed his arm again.
"No," he said then sighed. "Aye... Boney escaped once..."
"He'll die there, I forgot where they took him after Waterloo," Quinn said. "There's nothing after the battle of Waterloo." Quinn sighed. "This doesn't seem to be very fun." She looked at Richard and bit her lip.
"Aye, it's not," he said. Quinn lay back on the blanket and looked up at the sky, her hands under her head. Richard watched her, he ran his hand over her thigh and down to her hip. He skimmed over and up to her stomach, he went under her shirt, touching bare flesh.
"Mmm, getting better," she said and looked at him. Richard chuckled and lay beside her, his whole arm under her shirt.
"Yer no wearin' that think today?" he asked, his fingers felt bare breast.
"No, I didn't think I needed to," she said. "It's called a 'bra' or 'brassiere' if you're French and happen to come along in a hundred years, give or take." As she spoke, Richard sat up again and withdrew his hand. He unbuttoned her shirt. He pulled the fabric aside so she was exposed, he smiled and ran his hand over her. Quinn shivered and watched him.
Richard lowered himself to her and kissed each breast, teasing them. Quinn's hand went to his hair. He kissed up to her collarbone and then up the side of her neck. He paused there, nuzzling her, he moaned. His whiskers tickled her skin.
Quinn's hands went to Richard's buttons and soon his shirt was off, she ran her hands over his skin. He lowered himself to her again, pressing flesh to flesh. He kissed her again. Quinn wrapped her arms around him and moved under him, Richard moaned and chuckled.
"Yeh want more?" he asked in her ear.
Chapter 7 (part 2)
"Aye," she said and giggled. Quinn really didn't know what had come over her in the past couple of days, she would never have done something like this in her own time. But with Richard, it seemed like the natural thing to do.
Soon their clothes were off and Richard was ontop of her again. She wrapped her leg around him, Richard moaned and lowered himself to her. Quinn gasped and bit his shoulder when he slid into her and began pumping his hips. She met him with each thrust.
"Will it always be like this?" she gasped.
"Bugger, I hope so," he gritted out between his teeth as he pounded into her with short thrusts. Quinn gasped with each one, her nails raked over his back. Her eyes rolled back, Richard kissed her exposed throat, nipping with his teeth.
Quinn gasped and shuddered. She spasmed under him, her walls gripped his rigid length. Richard moaned as Quinn climaxed around him. He bucked into her as he came, spilling into her. He moaned and kissed her deeply and collapsed on top of her.
A few moments later he rolled from her, Quinn rolled onto her side and draped her arm over his chest. He wrapped the blanket over them.
"That was fun," Quinn said and kissed his shoulder. She traced the scar on his arm.
"Aye, it were verreh fun," he said and kissed her forehead.
When Quinn woke she thought there was another hour of light left and it was getting colder. She shivered under the blanket. She watched Richard sleep for a couple of minutes. Quinn smiled and bit her lip. She traced his jaw, he smiled in his sleep.
"Richard," she said softly. He didn't stir. "Richard, it's getting late and I have a rabbit to cook."
"Bugger off," he mumbled and waved his hand in the air.
"I will not 'bugger off'," Quinn said and ran her hand up his side softly. Richard squirmed and smiled, but didn't wake. Quinn smirked and slid her hand to his ass, she rubbed it. Richard grinned and mumbled. Quinn giggled and slowly slid her hand to the front of him, she touched him lightly first, then wrapped her fingers around him.
"Now, lassie," he said and opened his eyes. Quinn buried her face in his chest and giggled. "That's no way t' treat a sleepin' man."
"I would say it is," she said, her hand still on him. She looked up at him and bit her lip. He kissed her quickly. "It's getting late and dinner isn't even on to cook yet."
"Aye," he said. "We can have more fun while it cooks?"
"If you're good," Quinn said.
"When have I been bad?" he asked and smirked. Quinn grinned and kissed him again, her hand slid from him, he moaned and pressed his hips to her.
"You're being bad now," she said softly.
"Aye," he said.
Quinn giggled and kissed him. She pulled away and looked at him. "I love you, Richard Sharpe," she said softly and kissed him again and then pushed away from him. She grabbed for her clothes. Richard did the same. Their dressing was peppered with kisses. So was their walk back to the house. He couldn't stop looking at her.
Making stew from a whole rabbit was a daunting task for Quinn, but she managed to get everything into the kettle and over the fire in the fireplace to cook.
Richard was true to his word and they had more fun while the stew cooked.
The next day started early. Quinn had alerted Richard that she'd like to start canning and doing what she could with what he had. Richard thought it a great idea.
Quinn was pulling up baskets of vegetables while Richard tended to the animals. He joined her when he was done. They stopped during mid-afternoon, leaving time for Quinn to start canning before she made dinner.
She hadn't realized how daunting it must have been for Richard last week, to think about winter coming up and not having anyone to help. It occured to Quinn that this was why she had been sent. But then she shook herself and laughed a litle for thinking it.
'You weren't sent to him,' she said to herself. 'It just happened. Pure coincidence. Nothing more.'
The kitchen counter was full of jars, she was almost done. The apple butter was the only thing left to can, but it wasn't done yet. She had dinner cooking and Richard was still outside, putting up the animals for the night.
Richard was quiet the next night during dinner. Quinn thought he had a lot on his mind, he kept looking at her. He would start to speak, then clamp his mouth shut again and go back to eating.
Quinn couldn't take it any longer. "Just say it," she said and put her fork down.
"Say wot?" he asked and looked at her.
"You look like you have a whole novel to say to me, but you say nothing," she said. "Is it so terrible what you have to say?" The last was asked softly and she bit her lip.
"Aye, it migh' be," he said. "I've... two people I'd like yeh to meet."
"Um, ok," Quinn said.
"Tonight," he said. "We'll go after dinner."
"Go?" she asked and tilted her head.
"Aye, they're down t' road," he said and nodded.
"Ok," she said.
Chapter 8 (part 1)
Richard held the lantern as he and Quinn walked down the road. He said it wasn't far, only a few minutes. He lied, they'd been walking for half an hour at least. He squeezed her hand sensing that she was getting upset.
"Is no' much further," he said. "I'm used to walkin' it, I don't think about it anymore."
"Why didn't we take the horse?" she asked.
"I thought we could do for a nice walk," he said and they turned off the road and down a narrow path. There was a welcoming glow in the windows.
He stopped her before they got to the door. "Wotever happens, I hope yeh'll no' be mad at me," he said and kissed her softly.
"Why would I be mad?" she asked softly.
"Yeh'll see," was all he said as he led her to the door. He knocked and they waited. An older woman answered, her face lit up and ushered them in.
"Richard, you are back," the woman said in French.
"I have been back for a couple of days," Richard replied in French. "We were working."
The woman nodded and smiled. "Who is this?" she asked and looked at Quinn.
"Quinn," he said. "She has been helping me." He smiled and put his arm around Quinn's waist, claiming Quinn as more than just a worker in his actions. The woman nodded, knowing.
"I will be right back," the woman said and disappeared. A few moments later a dark haired child dashed from the room the woman had gone to. He gasped and ran right for Richard.
"Papa," he exclaimed and latched onto Richard's leg. Quinn blinked. Richard picked up the boy, he had straight black hair. The woman came from the room carrying another child, it was sleeping. Quinn blinked again and took in the scene.
Richard looked at Quinn and smiled a little, he bit his lip. The woman didn't know what to do with the sleeping child. Quinn bit her lip and took it. She smiled, a boy and a girl. The little girl couldn't be more than a year old and the boy was a little more than two years.
"Two, so young," Quinn mused.
"Patrick," he said and patted the boy on the back. "Dominique." He nodded to the girl, her cheek on Quinn's shoulder.
"They're... beautiful," Quinn said softly. She didn't know what to do next. Dominique stirred in her arms and began to cry. Quinn bit her lip. "She's a little stinky," Quinn said in English to Richard.
Richard smiled a little and nodded.
"She needs her diaper changed," Quinn said in French to the woman.
"She was already changed today," the woman said.
Quinn gasped. "How many times a day do you change her?" she asked.
"Once a day," the woman said and waved her hand dismisively.
Quinn gasped again, horrified. "She needs to be changed," Quinn said. "Where are the clean diapers?"
The woman looked at Richard. "Where are the diapers?" Richard asked her. The woman led the way to the room. Quinn followed her, Richard followed Quinn. Patrick didn't seem concerned and was sucking his thumb.
Quinn lay the baby on the bed. The woman left, a little disturbed. Quinn closed the door and looked at Richard. "How long have you left your babies with her?" she asked conversationally, even though she was about to kill someone.
"I visit ev-reh few days," Richard said.
"Every few days? You mean... you don't keep them with you?" she asked.
"I canno' keep them," he said. "There's nowt to watch them while I work." He stepped closer to her. Patrick watched them as he sucked his thumb.
Quinn sighed. "You won't be leaving them here tonight," she said. "Gather their things."
"No," Richard said. "I canno' ask this of yeh." He was closer now and speaking softly.
"You're not asking me," she said. "I'm telling you. As long as I'm here... We'll watch them, together."
Richard liked the sound of her words, but it scared him too. "Quinn," he said softly and kissed her. "Are yeh sure?"
Chapter 8 (part 2)
"Yes," she said.
Richard nodded. "It will be nice t' have them in the 'ouse again," he said and let Quinn clean up Dominique. He set Patrick down and the two picked up the clothes and diapers. There were a few toys scattered around too.
Quinn gulped, she'd only changed diapers a handful of times, and those were always disposable. This was cloth and Lord only knew what kind of fasteners were used. She lifted up the baby's dress to see. There were no fasteners, they were tied on. She sighed and cleaned up the baby, it was messy and the diaper was horrible.
When she was done, she bundled Dominique up. She was ready to go.
"I think maybe Patrick has a stinky too," Quinn hinted. Richard nodded.
"Aye," he said and lifted Pat onto the bed. Richard looked down at the child and bit his lip.
Quinn giggled and pushed him over. She bent and cleaned Patrick up too. Richard watched, fascinated. Quinn wrapped up the dirty diapers.
"No help for it," she said and shoved them in the basket with everything else and pulled a small blanket over it all. She sighed.
Richard put Patrick's shoes and jacket on him. Patrick clapped and squealed. They left the room, Quinn washed her hands. Then the group left the house, much to the woman's surprise.
Richard caught up with Quinn. He was trying to balance the basket of items, Patrick and the lantern. "Let Patrick walk," Quinn said.
"I canno' do that," Richard said. "Tis too far."
"He'll tire himself out and he'll be ready for bed when we get to the house," Quinn said.
"Aye," Richard said and set Patrick down. Patrick ran ahead and waited for them. When they got to him, he ran ahead again, making it a game.
Ten minutes later and Patrick grabbed onto Richard's leg and didn't let go. Richard looked to Quinn and bit his lip.
She urged him to put the basket down, Quinn laid Dominique in the basket and picked it up. Richard smiled and picked Patrick up and they all continued down the road.
By the time they arrived at the farmhouse, Patrick was asleep. Quinn let Richard lead the way to the room designated for them.
A while later Quinn yawned as she lay on the bed, waiting for Richard. He soon joined her and kissed her cheek.
"Why didn't you tell me you have children?" she asked softly, her hand on his cheek.
"I wos afraid yeh'd be oopset," he said softly.
"Why?" she asked. "How could I be upset?" She bit her lip. "You had a life before I came along a few days ago. I'm not going to be mad about it."
He pulled her to him and kissed her deeply. Quinn moaned and put her leg over him, Richard moaned and moved closer to her.
"Yeh think we'll wake th' children?" he asked softly.
"Not a chance," Quinn said just as softly. Richard smiled his lopsided smile at her and kissed her again. He rolled and pressed her into the mattress. She giggled when he nuzzled her neck.
They made quiet love that night. Quinn knew that her time with Richard was changed now because of the children. She knew it would be hard, but she couldn't leave them where they'd been and she resigned herself to the extra work.
Quinn woke to a baby crying. Someone was banging on a door somewhere in the house. Richard rose from the bed. Quinn got an eyeful of Richard's backside as he put his trousers on. She bit her lip and watched him leave the room. She pulled his pillow over her head.
A few moments later Richard came into the room with a squawking Dominique. "Quinn, luv," he said and sat on the bed. He pulled the pillow off of Quinn's head. "Quinn, luv," he said again.
"She probably needs changing again," she said and sat up. "What do you feed her?"
"Joos' milk," he said. "Got a goat..."
"Can you get some of that milk?" Quinn asked.
"Aye," Richard said and laid Dominique on the bed. He left the room.
Quinn sighed and got a fresh diaper and changed Dominque. She put her back in her crib and tucked her doll into her side and pulled the blanket up. All the dirty diapers went to soak until Quinn could wash them. She knew she'd have to make more, after canning was over.
She also knew it was time to start Dominique eating some real food. She looked too small and didn't weigh nearly enough to be a year or more old.
Canning had been over for some time, Quinn was relieved she didn't blow the whole house to pieces. Richard had harvested everything from the fields. Everything was tucked up nicely for winter and everyone was settled in, prepared for the worst.
"We din't have a summer this year," Richard said as they stood at the window and watched the snow come down. "It were cold all summer, thought we'd freeze our arses off." He wrapped his arms around her and rested his chin on her shoulder. It was nice and warm inside, the fire was blazing.
Richard knew he'd have to shovel a path to the outhouse and shed in a while, before it got too thick. But he stayed with Quinn, kissing her neck while he could.
"I'm enjoyin' yeh too much, luv," he said softly against her skin. "I'll have t' go out in it soon."
"I'll warm you up when you come back in," she said and turned in his arms. Patrick had tired himself out, he was napping. Dominique was content to suck on her doll's feet all day, between eating and pooping.
"I look forward to you warming me up all winter," Richard said and grinned. Quinn kissed the tip of his nose and Richard chuckled softly.
"When will winter be over?" Quinn asked one night after they'd turned in for the evening.
"Soon," he said softly and kissed her neck.
"Is it always this hard?" she asked.
"Aye," he said and rubbed against her.
"Something else is hard too," Quinn said and giggled. She pulled the blanket over their heads, Richard chuckled and moved against her.
Her hand slid down and caressed him. Richard moaned as she wrapped her fingers around him. He gasped as she stroked him. He kissed her neck and closed his eyes.
Quinn moved her leg over him and rolled ontop of him, forcing him onto his back. She kissed him and slid onto him quickly. Richard gasped against her lips, it was so quick, he wasn't expecting it.
She moved on him, raising up and pushing back down. His hands roamed over her back while she worked him. He raised his hips into her, holding her to him.
Richard moaned and rolled them over so he was ontop. He pushed into her, thrusting wildly, needing her. His mouth on hers, his tongue diving in deep, tasting her as he took her. She wrapped her legs around him and pulled him in closer, taking all of him. Richard moaned and thrust harder and panted. He was breathless when Quinn climaxed around him. He shot into her violently, filling her.
He collapsed ontop of her, his breath brushed her skin. Her hand brushed his hair and she tucked a stray lock behind his ear. He looked up at her. "I'll never get tired o' this," he said softly. He moved up and kissed her softly.
"Me either," she said and cupped his cheek. He rolled from her and she curled into his side. She kissed his jaw and they settled back down, soon falling asleep.
Spring came and everything thawed. Quinn was outside with Patrick and Dominque. They were playing in the grass. A man with a cart rolled slowly by on the road. He stared at Quinn as he passed. Quinn shivered and collected the babies and went into the house. She pulled the curtains and sighed.
She watched at the window. The man came back the other way a moment later. He passed again, then was gone. Quinn shivered and set Dominique down in her playpen.
Quinn started dinner, she forgot about the man with the cart, never telling Richard about it.
Chapter 10 (part 1)
"Who is she?" Quinn asked one day in early April, looking out of the front windows at the woman in the yard.
"Gitan," Richard said. "A gypsy."
"What does she want?" she asked softly, mesmerized by the scraggy old woman. She wore colorful but tattered clothes. Her grey hair was pulled back into a long braid that was wound around into a large knot at the base of her neck. She stood in the yard looking in at Quinn.
"Probably wants t' sell us something, or wants a handout," Richard said. "Come away." He pulled her by the shoulders, but Quinn wouldn't move.
"No," Quinn said. "I should speak to her."
"No, come away, luv," he said. It was the only order he ever gave Quinn. She broke from him and went outside. Richard knew this wouldn't do well.
"Fookin' 'ell," he muttered and followed after her.
The gypsy woman stood still as Quinn approached. Her eyes wide, she watched. "Daughter," the gypsy said in French. "I have waited long."
Quinn frowned. "Why have you waited?" she asked and looked back at Richard as he put his hands on her shoulders.
"Waited for you to come," the gypsy said. Quinn tilted her head, wanting to hear more. "You brought this man peace, but it will soon be time for you to leave."
"Leave?" Quinn asked. She was horrifed and eager to know at the same time. Richard squeezed her shoulders.
"You must go out the same way you came in," the gypsy woman said. "Only on the half year will the stones allow."
"Stones? You know about the stones?" Quinn asked.
"Yes," the woman said. "Stones helped you find what you were looking for. Stones take you back. Only the purest stones you wear are the key."
Quinn frowned, the woman's gaze lingered at her neck. Quinn covered the cross and rings the old woman was looking at.
"You are in danger," the gypsy woman issued the warning. "You must not stay. He will go away, you must leave. It will happen again."
"What will happen again?" Quinn asked.
"You will see," she said. She turned and left. Quinn was too stunned to say anything more.
"Wot did she mean?" Richard asked from behind her. "Only on the 'alf year?"
Quinn turned, Richard was rubbing the back of his neck. She wrapped her arms around him. "She said I have to leave," Quinn said softly.
"Aye, I heard," he said.
"Oh, Richard," she said. "When I'm not looking at you, I think I want to leave. But I look at you and I know I never want to go."
"Aye, I don' wan' yeh t' go either," he said softly and rubbed her back.
"You're leaving?" Quinn asked and cupped his cheek.
"No," Richard said. "I'm no' leavin'." He shook his head. "But wot did she mean 'alf year'?"
"I'm not sure," Quinn said and bit her lip. She looked down the road, but the gypsy woman had disappeared.
Quinn was enjoying one of those rare lazy times. She'd just hung the wash, the children were napping. It would be another hour before Richard came in wanting something to eat.
She took out a piece of paper and pencil from the drawer and was working on some calculations. She'd just figured out when 'half year' was. May first, May Day.
There was a knock on the front door. Quinn frowned and went to answer it.
Richard came in from working to find the kitchen empty. He went through the house looking for Quinn. He began panicking when he couldn't find her. He ran his hand over his hair, she was gone. He ran outside and knocked on the outhouse door, perhaps she was in there. Nothing.
"Quinn!" he yelled. "Quinn!"
Quinn found herself bound hand and foot in a cart. A gag over her mouth. She struggled and twisted, but her arms were bound behind her and she couldn't free herself. A foot came down on her chest, the man grinned wickedly down at her.
The man dropped to his knees. His hands were on the buttons of her shirt. "This would be easier if you were dressed like a lady," he said in French. "But not nearly as exciting."
His hands groped her breasts, mashing them. She gasped through the gag. The man grinned and kissed her through the gag. He ground his hips into her. Quinn could feel his excitement. She closed her eyes and turned her face. He grabbed her chin and forced her back to him and he moved the gag enough to kiss her, his tongue invaded her mouth. She bit down.
The man sat back as he yelped, blood seeped from between his lips. Quinn spit out his blood, she gagged and shuddered. He slapped her hard across the face then pulled the gag back into place.
He took out a knife and trailed it down her breast and stomach. Then down further until he reached her ankles. He cut the ties that bound her ankles together. He chuckled softly to himself as he moved back up, going for her trousers.
Chapter 10 (part 2)
Quinn got her knee between herself and the man. She pushed hard and knocked him back. He growled and came at her again, her bare foot caught him in the stomach and knocked him from the wagon. He landed in the dirt. It was a moment before the man sat up and came up to the cart again.
He jumped in and turned, keeping clear of her feet. He was back down on her, his hands at her trousers again. She rolled and fought with him, getting her knee between them again. His hands were on her knee and he pushed it away, he pulled her trousers down and shoved her onto her side. He was behind her, she raised up to see. She squirmed seeing him release himself from his trousers, he was already hard. Quinn moved away, but he caught her and held her.
It was rough and painful. Quinn didn't move, his knife was in his hand, near her throat, threatening her. She feared for her life. She understood the gypsy woman's warning that she was in danger.
The man rolled her onto her back and pulled up the gag again, the knife pressed to her throat. He pressed her into the hard floor of the cart and kissed her again, the knife making a cut in her skin. Quinn was too stunned to do anything.
He moved the knife from her neck and trailed it down between her breasts, his lips followed the blood trail. Quinn lay there blinking away the tears. She moved under him and he moaned. She got her knee between them again just as the cart hit a bump in the road. Quinn shoved the man with her knee, he fell from the cart and hit a rock.
Quinn sat up and looked, he didn't move and she thought she saw blood his blood pooling under his head. He'd left his knife in the cart, Quinn took it up with her fingers. She jumped from the cart, her trousers fell to her knees. She slowly cut through the ties with the knife.
She hurt, she ached. She sank to her knees in the middle of the road and cried. She pulled the gag away and threw it at the man.
Richard ran to the front door and spotted drag marks. "Quinn," he whispered, horrified. He followed the drag marks until they disappeared. There were cart wheels that left. "Fookin' 'ell!" Richard exclaimed and ran back to the stable where he saddled his horse. He took off down the road at full gallop. There was nothing for miles. The road curved and he thought he saw a cart. He galloped ahead. The cart disappeared around another curve.
There was a spot up ahead on the road. It got bigger as he went further. It was two spots, both laying in the road. Richard frowned seeing the first one, the man had to be dead, there was too much blood. Blood under his head and on his lips. Richard's own blood ran cold seeing the man's state of undress, his trousers down to his knees, his cock exposed.
Richard came up to the other figure and he moaned. He dismounted and knelt beside her. "Quinn," he said softly.
"No!" she said and curled up tighter.
"Quinn, it's me," he said softly. "It's Richard."
"Richard?" she asked and looked up at him.
He didn't have to ask what happened to her. He knew. Her trousers were down around her knees too. He cried out when he rolled her onto her back, she was bloody from throat to stomach, a long thin line.
"Quinn," he said softly and gathered her into his arms. "Wot did he do t' yeh?" He buried his nose in her hair and held her for a long time. Quinn was silent.
He took her home and lay her on the bed. He cleaned her up, running a cloth over her wounds with a shaky hand. She wouln't let him touch her other than that. There was an understanding that they wouldn't talk about it. Things were different.
Richard received a note one day in late April. He sat at the table and sighed.
"What's wrong?" Quinn asked softly. She touched his shoulder, the first contact the two had since he'd cleaned her up after she'd been taken.
"Wellington," Richard said.
Quinn frowned, her hand slid up his shoulder to his neck. "He was your General?" she asked, recalling one of their conversations about his past.
"Aye," Richard said.
"'He will go away, you must leave'" Quinn quoted the gypsy woman.
Richard looked up at her and frowned. "Wot did yeh say?" he asked.
"The gypsy woman," Quinn said. "She said that you would go away, so I must leave too."
"Yeh'll no' go with meh," he said, he'd forgotten all about the gypsy woman's visit.
"I don't think she meant that," she said. "She meant that I would go back through the stones." She cupped his cheek.
"Quinn, no, yeh canno' leave me," he said and took her wrist, holding her hand to his cheek, he would get what contact from her that he could. He kissed her palm.
"I don't think I can stay, Richard," she said. "I'm not strong enough to be here with you gone."
"Yeh are," he said. "I know yeh are. Look wot yeh did t' tha' man in the road."
"I dont' think I could do it again," she said softly. Tears filled her eyes. She hadn't meant to kill him, just make him stop touching her.
Richard stood and pulled her to him. He kissed her, she didn't pull away from him. Her hand slid to his hair. He scooped her up and carried her down the hall to the bedroom. He closed the door quietly, then set Quinn down.
Her hands were on the buttons of his shirt, she pushed his suspenders off. His trousers undone. He did the same for her until they were both naked, hands memorizing each other.
They were on the bed, Richard on top. Quinn had a moment of panic, she looked up at him with wide eyes, then he kissed her softly. Tears filled her eyes again and her hand was in his hair. He moved between her thighs.
Quinn moaned as he slid into her. She wrapped her legs around his waist. His lips kissed her throat on that spot the knife had cut her. He licked it, it felt good. She moved under him, taking all of him. Richard moaned and thrust harder.
"Yeh'll let me know if I hurt yeh?" he asked softly.
"You can never hurt me," Quinn whispered.
"Aye?" he asked and smiled the most charming smile. Quinn nodded and pulled him down to kiss her.
"Richard, don't," she said, but tears filled her own eyes. "If-if you... come back from this thing Wellington wants," she gasped and realized what she'd said. "And... and you want me to come back... you leave me a note." They stood on the road in front of the stones at Carnac.
"How?" he asked.
"Write it on a piece of paper," she said. "I want you to date it, so I'll know when to come."
"How'll yeh know tha'?" he asked.
"I've got it figured out," she said and smiled a little. "I came back onehundred ninety years. If I find a note dated eighteen-twenty, I'll come in twothousand-ten."
"Twothousand-ten?" he asked, he'd never bothered to ask her when she came from. He smiled a little now.
"So you write it when you get back," she said. "I'll get it immediately. But... put it at Duloe in Cornwall, because that's where I'll be."
"How will yeh get it?" he asked softly and kissed her.
"Bury it," she said and took the little notepad Richard always carried in his pocket. "There's a stone that's round and comes to a point." She drew as she spoke. "Bury the note at the base of that one."
"Aye," he said and nodded.
"It might look different," she said. "Fran said the circle wasn't discovered until eighteen-oh-one, and there was a hedge in the middle. I don't know what that means..."
"Aye, a stone fence mebe," he said and sniffled but kissed her again.
"Maybe... maybe you should put the note in something, like a box or a bottle so it doesn't get wet," she said.
"Aye, I will," he said and kissed her softly again.
"If you don't write me, I'll think you didn't come back," she said and her chin quivered. "So... write even if you don't want me to come back. Ok? Even if you meet someone else."
"Aye," he said and nodded and kissed her forehead.
Quinn pulled him down to her and kissed him deeply. She sucked on his lips and teased them so he wouldn't forget her. Richard was breathless when the kiss ended.
"I left my rings," Quinn said softly.
"Did yeh?" he asked softly. "Nowt to be done now."
"No," she said. "If you need to, you sell them."
"I won't," he said.
"You will," she said. "They don't mean anything, I bought them because I liked them. So you sell them. They'll do you more good than they'll do for me."
"Aye, if it comes to tha' I will," he said.
"Good boy," she said and patted his cheek. He kissed her again.
"Always remember one thing, Richard," she said.
"Aye? Wot's that?" he asked.
"Remember... remember that I love you," she said and stepped away.
Richard pulled her back to him. "Do yeh reall-eh, lass?" he asked. "Do yeh?"
"Yes," she said. "I always have, from the very first..." She cupped his cheek and bit her lip. "It's time," she said and turned. She ran from him. It was all Richard could do to stand and watch. It was a long time before Richard left the spot, sure that she had gone this time.
It was a long walk to Fran's house. Her car was in the drive so Quinn went up and knocked on the door. She waited.
"Quinn!" Fran exclaimed. "What happened to you?"
Quinn started to speak but was cut off. "We looked for you everywhere after the party. But you left early. Where you mad at me?" Fran dragged Quinn inside as she spoke.
"If I told you what happened, you would never believe me," Quinn said.
"Try me," she said and smiled.
Quinn sighed. "Those stones... they're magic," she said.
"Really?" Fran asked.
Quinn nodded. "They sent me back in time," she said. "To Brittany. The Carnac stones... Can I borrow a shovel?"