Claire is exhausted and in her bed after a day of healing. She ponders Colum's condition: Toulouse-Lautrec syndrome (not that Toulouse-Lautrec has even been born yet).
That night, Claire enjoys some potent Rhenish wine and listens to the castle bard.
She finds herself squeezed between Jamie and Laoghaire. The former translates the Gaelic to Claire, while the latter stares jealous daggers in her direction.
One of the legends the bard sings of is about a woman trapped in a fairy circle who disappeared for two hundred years. Ring a bell a bit?
Jamie escorts Claire back to her bedroom and takes his shirt off. No, we haven't gotten to the steamy parts yet—he wants Claire to check his injuries.
She decides he's healing fine and falls asleep alone.
The next day, Claire treats patients all morning and then decides to explore the castle.
It's easy to get lost: "Bits and pieces had been added here and there over the years, until it was difficult to say whether there ever had been a plan originally" (8.106). It's like the Boston of castles.
Claire stumbles upon Jamie and Laoghaire making out in an alcove; Jamie notices Claire watching him, but he doesn't stop.
At dinner, Alec the stable hand suggests that Jamie doesn't need a girl like Laoghaire… he needs a woman like Claire. We think if the man had more than one eye, he'd wink at her.