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Kendra and Jamie Talk

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kendrafortune [A collaboration between the players of Kendra Fortune and Jamie MacTavish. This happens a few days after "Kendra's Darkest Day"]

When Kendra wrote to Jamie to ask if they could talk, she had hoped for a warmer response than she had received, but she was not surprised by it. It was never going to be an easy conversation to have. She knew her behaviour with Jamie had been inadvisable from the very start, just as she knew that he had not always treated her with the respect one would usually reserve for a lady. But she had never minded, until Miriam had suggested it was not right.

They met in the parlour, which was a bad start. Kendra had hoped they would meet alone. The parlour was no place for a conversation of this nature. He did not smile when he saw her, and she could tell from the dark circles around his eyes that he had not slept well.
"How are ye?" he asked coolly.
"I am... not at my best," she replied. "But I expect I brought that on myself."
He still did not smile. "Aye, ye did," he said grimly. "What I dinna understand is why."
"I hope I can explain that to you now," she said. "Although I do not know where to begin."
"Kendra... I... I dinna ken if I can do this now," Jamie said, shaking his head. "It is still too soon."
He walked out. Kendra's eyes widened.
"Jamie!" she cried. "Please! Wait!"

She followed him out of the back door, just in time to witness him cry out in frustration and punch the wall.
"You will hurt your hand," she said. Jamie held it to his chest.
"I have already hurt my hand, Kendra."
She shook her head. "Then you need to stop punching walls."
He looked down at his bruised knuckles. "Do I?" he murmured.
She raised her eyebrows. "Well. Yes."
He avoided looking at her. "I am sure I will consider your request," he said coldly, rubbing his hand gingerly.
She sighed deeply. "Did you /want/ to talk or would you prefer to continue self-harming against Mrs Hatch's brickwork?"
Finally he looked at her. "We can talk," he said grudgingly.
"I am sorry that I ended it by letter," she said. "It was cowardly of me and you deserved better. And I am also sorry that I said what I did the other day. I said it to be cruel, and it was not true."
Jamie nodded slightly. "Aye, it was cowardly. But I still dinna quite understand why ye did it."
She sighed. "It is hard to explain. It was something Miriam said."
"Miriam? What does she have to do with it?" Jamie frowned.
"She made it abundantly clear she thinks my behaviour has been inappropriate. And she implied that you should take more care over my reputation - as a friend, even if not as... anything more."

He nodded again. "Aye," he said quietly. "She is right. I have been careless. I should have realised. But it doesna mean I didna care for ye."
Kendra looked down at the ground. "Sometimes I wonder if I am an embarrassment."
"Ye're not an embarrassment!" Jamie said, looking away again. "I..." He hesitated, and Kendra interrupted.
"Clara told your parents all about Travis, but your mother had no idea who I was!"
Jamie grimaced. "And how exactly was I meant to tell my parents about the woman I am intimate with? I did tell them who ye were after my mother met ye." Finally, he looked at her. "Kendra, I was proud to stand by your side. A beautiful, confident and /strong/ young woman."
She looked away. "I do not feel so very strong right now."
"I disagree. Ye are strong because ye are weathering this. And ye will see the end of this as ye have done your whole life."
She smiled faintly. "Yes, I might."
"No, ye will," Jamie said firmly.
She looked up at him directly. "My sister is dying, and I have thrown away the one good thing in my life. I cannot be so certain."
"Dying?" Jamie said, shocked. "What?"
"She has consumption. The doctor told me and yesterday I had to give her the news. She bore it with her usual fortitude, of course. I wish I had half her strength."
"I am so sorry," Jamie said quietly. "How long have ye known?"
"The doctor told me the day we met in the parlour."
Jamie sighed. "The day we argued?"
"But I think I have known for a long time, if I am honest."
"You didna have to bear that alone, Kendra. I was here for ye."
"I had already ended it with you, Jamie. I could hardly come crawling back to cry on your shoulder about Clarissa. That would hardly be fair."
"But it was clear something was wrong when ye ended it. I could still have been a friend, if nothing else." He offered her a faint smile.

Kendra sighed. "I was so happy at the last ball. How could I let it all change so fast?"
"So was I," Jamie said. "I have happy memories of that estate. Despite the mud."
"I went for a walk the other day. Everywhere I went around Tyrehampton I had memories with you. Mud. Hydrangeas." Her lips quirked into the faintest smile.
"No doubt ye saw a frog too?" he asked.
"I was on my guard," Kendra smiled.
Jamie laughed lightly. "Good. They’re sneaky buggers."
She looked at him, and the words came out of their own volition. "I miss you, Jamie."
"I miss ye too," Jamie replied, so quietly she could barely hear.
"I am such a fool. Why can I not control myself? Why must I drink so much?"
Jamie shrugged uncertainly. "That I canna answer, Kendra. Perhaps it is time for a change?"
She looked at him. "I have not touched a drop of alcohol since the day I danced on the table."
"That is verra good," Jamie said, surprised. "I am proud of ye."
She looked up at him, unsure now what to do.
"I said I would answer any questions you had," she said uncertainly. "Is there anything you want to ask me?"
"Aye," Jamie said slowly. "Ye said ye lied about loving me. Was that true?"
"No," she admitted. "I said it to hurt you, to draw a line under everything and put an end to it. I did not want you to try and change my mind. It was cruel, and I am sorry. I did love you. I still do."
He looked at her with a faint smile. "I still love ye too, despite everything."
“Really?” she asked. “I do not know how you can.”
“I didna want to, I’ll admit. But somewhere, deep down, I did.” He said, smiling at her awkwardly.
"Where does this leave us then?" she asked quietly.
Jamie sighed. "Not back where we were, Kendra."
"No, of course not," she murmured. He smiled at her gently.
"But not far away."
She smiled up at him hopefully. "Could I have a hug?" she asked.
He wrapped her in his arms. "Aye," he said. "I think I can do that."
Posted 1 week ago

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