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“Like A Catamount”

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[Excerpt from GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE. Copyright © 2019 Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.]

Puma_face-webSometime later, we lay curled together, naked in the cool night, happy in the warmth of each other’s body. The moon was coming down in the west, a sliver of silver that let the stars shine bright. The pale canvas rustled and murmured overhead, the scents of fir and oak and cypress surrounded us, and a random firefly, distracted from its business by a passing wind-current, landed on the pillow by my head and sat for a moment, its abdomen pulsing with a regular, cool green light.

“Oidche mhath, a charaidh,” Jamie said to it. It waved its antennae in an amiable fashion and sailed off, circling down toward the distant flicker of its comrades on the ground.

“I wish we could keep our bedroom like this,” I said wistfully, watching its tail-light disappear into the darkness below. “It’s so lovely, being part of the night.”

“Nay so much when it rains.” Jamie lifted his chin toward our canvas ceiling. “Dinna fash, though; I’ll have a solid roof on before snow flies.”

“I suppose you’re right,” I said, and laughed. “Do you remember our first cabin, when it rained and the roof leaked? You insisted on going up to fix it, in the pouring rain—and stark naked.”

“Well, and whose fault was that?” he inquired, though without rancor. “Ye wouldna let me go up in my shirt; what choice did I have?”

“You being you, none at all.” I rolled over and kissed him.

“You taste like apple pie. Is there any left?”

“No. I’ll go down and fetch ye a bite, though.”

I stopped him with a hand on his arm.

“No, don’t. I’m not really hungry and I’d rather just stay like this. Mm?”


He rolled toward me, then scooted down the bed and lifted himself between my thighs.

“What are you doing?” I demanded, as he settled comfortably into position.

“I should think that was obvious, Sassenach.”

“But you’ve just been eating apple pie!”

“It wasna that filling.”

“That… wasn’t quite what I meant… ” His thumbs were thoughtfully stroking the tops of my thighs and his warm breath was stirring the hairs on my body in a very disturbing way.

“If ye’re afraid of crumbs, Sassenach, dinna fash—I’ll pick them off after I’ve finished. Is it baboons ye said that do that? Or was it fleas?”

“I don’t have fleas,” was all I could manage in the way of a witty riposte, but he laughed, settled his shoulders and set to work.

“I like it when ye scream, Sassenach,” he murmured a little later, pausing for breath.

“There are children downstairs!” I hissed, fingers buried in his hair.

“Well, try to sound like a catamount, then…”

[end section]

Return to my official webpage for GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE for links to information and more Daily LInes (excerpts).

I first posted this excerpt (Daily Lines) on my official Facebook page on March 6, 2019.

This text is copyright © 2019 by Diana Gabaldon. All Rights Reserved. You may share the link to this excerpt, but please do not copy and paste the entire text and post it elsewhere.Thank you.


Image credit: Bas Lammers (photographer), Wikimedia Commons License.

Image Caption: Incredibly beautiful face of an American cougar (Puma concolor) taken in the Belgrade zoo. Also known as “mountain lions,” “panthers” and “catamounts” in different regions of North and South America, their native range. Cougars are the largest of the smaller cat species (including your house cat), and belong to the subfamily Felinae even though their physical characteristics are similar to those of the bigger cats of the subfamily Pantherinae (such as African lions and Asian tigers). More about cougars from the San Diego Zoo.

This BEES excerpt was last updated on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. (PT) by Diana’s Webmistress.