In 1969 Boston, Brianna receives an early-morning phone call from Roger Wakefield who says he will be attending a conference in Boston and asks if she wants to see him. She says she does and they're a little awkward with each other until Bree realizes that Roger is the only person in the world who understands how she feels about her parents living in the past. She tells him she was dreaming of her father Jamie Fraser, and that they were hiking together in the woods, and she could smell the pine trees. Roger tells her that if she comes to Scotland, he'll take her Munro bagging, which means climbing any peak in the Highlands over 3,000 feet high.
She guesses he's currently in Scotland because his accent thickens when he's there. He laughs and when she apologizes for not writing he tells her they can talk about it when he's there and tells her that he's glad she said yes to his visit. After he hangs up, she thinks that she should have written, and had, but because everything was still raw and Roger was a part of that, she avoided him like a hurt animal. She knew her mother was gone, but it was different than when Frank Randall had died. Roger had helped her grieve her mother and asked her to stay, but there were things she needed to do first, to finish school and to rebuild her shattered life. If they were to have a relationship, it had to be something they choose, not because of shared events.
Nervous to see Roger, Brianna brings along a friend with her to pick him up at the airport. Her friend asks if her and Roger have had sex yet and when Bree says no, asks whether they will during this trip. Roger shows up, and her friend says he looks like a pirate and Bree agrees to herself that he does indeed look good. Bree thinks she shouldn't have let him come, but when he sees her and smiles, she rushes toward him for a big hug and kiss. Roger has his guitar and bodhran with him, and he tells them that while his airfare is paid for by the conference, his expenses are not so he'll sing at a local Celtic festival up in the mountains at the end of the week. When Bree drops Roger off at his hotel, her friend tells her that if she doesn't sleep with him, she's crazy.
On the way to the festival, Brianna and Roger play a word game called the Minister's Cat as a way to get to know each other. Roger tells Bree she's wonderful for driving him a hundred and fifty miles, and she says that's not far. Her father always said that the difference between an American, and an Englishman is that an Englishman thinks a hundred miles is a long way and an American thinks a hundred years is a long time. He asks if she's an American, and she says she supposes she is. The mood turns serious, and she says that his presence reminds her of her parents and the loss. She says she didn't know if he was interested in, and he says he definitely is. He gives her a kiss to prove it.
After Roger changes into his Highland dress, Brianna thinks he's gorgeous and says her mother was right when she said men in kilts were irresistible. At the mention of her mother, she bravely tries to turn the conversation and Roger apologizes for bringing her here. She says it's okay; it's just so Scottish, but she's glad to be there. He reminds her that she's Scots also. Brianna asks why he's chosen the name MacKenzie and is wearing the MacKenzie badge with the clan motto. He says it's his father's name and the name he was christened with.
She asks if he has a girlfriend back home, and he says nothing serious and she tells him the same. Before he goes off to perform, he gives her an envelope full of photographs. She doesn't look at them right away, rather watches Roger sing for a while, shivering at the song about the Battle of Prestonpans knowing that her parents were there, and it was her father who led the charge and not Prince Charlie. Finally, she opens the envelope and finds black-and-white photographs of her Frank and Claire looking young and happy, including photos of their wedding. Brianna reflects that Claire married Frank at age eighteen and how could anyone be so sure about anything at that age.
They spend the rest of the afternoon wandering about the festival, watching the events. Roger says he'll stay with her during the calling of the clans, but he'll have to leave her for a short bit to do something. She asks what the calling of the clans is, and he says she'll have to see. They watch as a man carrying a torch appears followed by a piper and Brianna sees behind them a long line of men in Highland finery. When the pipes stop, the man shouts the name of his clan among whoops and cheers. The shouting clan names continue until they get to the MacKenzies, Roger bellows Tulach Ard causing Bree to jump. He explains it's the war cry of the MacKenzies. He tells her that the Frasers' cry is Caisteal Dhuni.
After the festival, Brianna invites Roger to watch the first moon landing at Dr. Joe Abernathy who Bree calls Uncle Joe. The doctor asks Bree if Roger is the boyfriend, and she introduces him as Roger Wakefield. He tells Roger to call him Joe and asks Bree to fix the television, so they can watch the landing. Brianna pulls out her Swiss army knife. Dr. Abernathy gives Roger some scotch and said Claire had given him the bottle, and they both toast her. Dr. Abernathy then gives Roger the third degree asking what his intentions are. Roger says strictly honorable. Dr. Joe gives Roger his seal of approval. They watch the moon landing together and among the cheers, Brianna turns and gives Roger a big kiss.
In December, 1969, Brianna visits Roger in Inverness for Christmas. He gives her an autographed set of Frank Randall's books. He tells her that Fiona Graham and her fiancé Ernie Buchan are buying the manse because it has the room for kids. Bree says she's putting the house Claire left her up for sale. He asks if she wants children, and they both admit they do. Then he kisses her, but they're interrupted by the mailman with a letter for Bree. It's a notification from the library at her university that an item she requested was not available for interlibrary loan, but could be viewed in the private collection of the Stuart papers in Edinburgh. Roger says she should have told him she was looking for her parents, that he could have helped. She says it doesn't feel right to look for Jamie when Frank was her father.
Roger tells her he used to make up stories about his own father to make him real even though it got him in trouble. Then the Reverend Reginald Wakefield began to tell him the true stories of his father, and that made him real. Brianna says she wants to find out if they're all right. The two grow closer.
Roger accompanies Brianna to midnight mass even though he was raised by a Protestant minister and he's uneasy being in a Catholic church. Many of the neighbor women immediately speculate about their relationship. After the service, as they walk back to the manse, Roger tells her that he loves her and asks her to marry him. She says she wants him too, but doesn't want to marry him. They argue. She tells him, if she makes a vow to marry him, she'll mean it forever. She says she loves him, but because of what happened with her mother, she has to be absolutely sure, and it's at least a year before they can be together, so she just thinks it's best to wait. He tells her that he will wait for her, but he'll have all of her or none of her, that he'll have her as his wife or not at all. He gives her a bracelet with the words Je t'aime.
When she finds the notice of her parents' death in 1776, Brianna sends Roger a box of her belongings and then travels into the past. In 1769, Scotland, Brianna travels to Lallybroch wearing men's clothing. She encounters her cousin Young Jamie, and she introduces herself as Brianna Fraser, daughter of Jamie Fraser. He's surprised, but recognizes her resemblance to his uncle. Young Jamie welcomes her to Lallybroch, and Brianna is pleased to discover that not only has she come searching for her father, but she seems to have found a whole slew of relatives.
Jenny Murray immediately recognizes Brianna as Jamie's daughter, but before she can welcome her niece, they're interrupted by an indignant Laoghaire MacKenzie who came there when she heard there was a rider resembling Jamie Fraser was sighted in the district. Laoghaire asks who Brianna is, and she proudly proclaims herself Jamie's daughter. Laoghaire asks who Bree's mother is and Bree says his wife, and Laoghaire asks which wife.
Amid the turmoil, Young Jamie leads a shocked Brianna to the parlor where she meets her uncle Ian Murray who welcomes her. Laoghaire accuses Brianna of showing up to get the money Jamie owes her and demands to know who her mother is. Brianna stands up towering over most of the men and all the women and coolly reaches into her pocket and produces her mother's pearl necklace and proclaims her mother is Claire. Jenny assures Brianna her mother is safe, and with her father and Bree is relieved. Laoghaire tries to claim the pearls, but Brianna snaps them up. Laoghaire claims Claire is a witch, that she bewitched Jamie from the day she came to Castle Leoch and made Laoghaire invisible. She warns the Murrays about bringing a witch's child into their home.
Brianna declares Laoghaire's words hogwash and calls her a murderess and tells them about how Laoghaire tried to kill Claire by telling her Geillis Duncan was sick, knowing they were going to arrest Geillis and if Claire was there, they'd take her as well. Laoghaire's brother takes her away, but before they leave, she tells Bree her father is a liar and a whoremaster, a cheat and a pander. When they leave, she collapses, realizing that her father never stopped loving her mother. Ian confirms that Jamie never did and neither did the rest of the family.
Brianna is astounded to find the Murray family overjoyed to see her. Ian explains that they never thought Jamie would have children of his own. She realizes they love him and were happy for him. She asks where he and her mother are and Jenny offers to show Bree the last letter they received from him. As they walk through the hall, Brianna first looks at the painting of a young Jamie with his older brother William and then is shocked to see Ellen's portrait. Jenny says that's why she knew who Brianna was right away. Brianna thinks that two hundred years from now, she will stand in the National Gallery of London and look at the same portrait. Jenny tells her that it is a self-portrait, and Bree realizes where she got her talent for art.
Jenny tells Brianna her parents are in the Colony of North Carolina, not near any town, but Jamie writes every day and then will send it when he or Young Ian make the trip to Cross Creek. Brianna reads the letter, and Jenny remarks that they live in a savage place. Brianna assures Jenny that she will go there as soon as she can. She shows Brianna an Indian-made pouch he sent her and asks Brianna to stay for a few days and exclaims that Bree is so much like her brother.
Ian gives Brianna a tour of the farm, showing off his wife's prized sheep and potato fields. He tells her that it was Claire's idea to plant them, and it kept them from starving more than once. He says it was also Claire's urging to eat leafy green vegetables that he still has most of his teeth. He tells her that Jenny is worried Brianna might blame him for Laoghaire as it was her who insisted he marry her. Ian points out the cave Jamie lived in after Culloden, and she climbs the hill to it. She realizes that Jamie must have found an enduring strength while spending seven years in the cave.
Ian asks her when she sees Jamie to ask him what he wants done with Lallybroch now that he has an heir. She assures him that her father won't want that, and he seems surprised she knows Jamie so well without having met him, and he says Claire knows Jamie even though she is a Sassenach. She asks him if it was true Jenny saw Claire's "fetch" at Jamie's wedding to Laoghaire and Ian confirms she did, but by then it was too late to stop the match. He tells Brianna that Jamie was very heartsick when he came back from England, and all Jenny wanted to do was give him some comfort. Ian tells her that Jamie had left Laoghaire long before Claire returned.
Young Jamie escorts Brianna to Inverness and insists she purchases the services of an indentured servant. Brianna insists she doesn't need a bodyguard. A man approaches Brianna and asks her to buy his daughter's contract. She tells him she is going to the Colonies. She takes one look at Lizzie and agrees. The two take passage to America aboard the Phillip Alonzo bound for Charleston.
As Brianna and Lizzie travel from Charleston to Wilmington in North Carolina, Lizzie contracts malaria. Brianna grows eager to find Claire for Lizzie's sake, but she does what she can for the girl. When an apothecary attempts to bleed the girl, Brianna throws him out. After her fever breaks, Lizzie tells Brianna she learned from someone that Jamie Fraser was in Cross Creek to give testimony in a friend's trial and will be there for another week. Brianna wonders how soon they can get to Cross Creek. She's in the Blue Bull tavern asking about passage when Roger suddenly appears causing her to scream.
Angry at having chased her across time and half the world, Roger grabs her and drags her outside. Brianna is upset that he's there because she was counting on him being in the future so she can return. They fight, and she admits she loves him. Roger says they'll figure out a way to get home. She says she sorry, she never meant for him to follow her, but she's very glad he's there. She tells him about finding the death notice for her parents in 1776. He's still angry with her, mostly because he was afraid he had lost her to someone else, and if he were a man of this time and condoned wife beating, he'd take a strap to her.
They find a quiet shed and Roger tells her about handfasting, an old Highland custom where people in remote areas would pledge to be together for a year and a day and at the end of that time, if they were still sure, they would find a minister to make it legal, or they would part. Brianna says she doesn't want anything temporary, and neither does he, but there are no close ministers. They perform a short ceremony pledging to each other and then make love.
In the morning, they talk about getting back to their time and Roger tells her his theory of being able to steer to when you want to go by using gemstones. Brianna asks where they can find one, and he tells her he knows where he might get one, but he must leave for New Bern at once. He wants her to stay there, but she says she must find her mother for Lizzie's sake. Then Bree realizes that Roger didn't go to Lallybroch, instead he knew that she would be taking passage to America. She realizes that he had seen the death notice and didn't tell her about it. They argue again and Brianna storms off telling Roger to go back to Scotland alone for all she cares.
Lizzie's fever returns and when Brianna goes downstairs to the tavern to fetch hot tea, she spies a familiar gold ring lying in the middle of a card table. She asks the man where he got it, and he says he's too busy playing cards, but she agrees to go to his ship, the Gloriana, the next day.
During the boat journey up the Cape Fear River, Lizzie takes sick again. They finally arrive in Cross Creek, and the boatman carries Lizzie to his sister's home. After eating, Brianna asks to borrow a mule and despite her tiredness, she heads into town, hoping to find Jamie Fraser. She comes to a tavern and stops for a drink, and the bartender asks her if she's come for the trial. She asks who's on trial and is told Fergus Fraser for assaulting an officer of the crown, but he'll be acquitted as Jamie Fraser's come down the mountain for him. He tells her Jamie is just outside, and she goes running.
She finds him relieving himself against a tree and tells him she is his daughter. His first impression is that she's huge. He says in his mind, she was a child, not a woman grown. He tells her that Claire will be so happy to see her, and Brianna breaks down in tears. He comforts her and calls her darling and his blessing in Gaelic and then gives her first lesson in the language. She's not sure what to call him as Frank was Daddy and Father seemed too formal. He tells her to call him Da. Jamie gathers up Brianna and Lizzie and takes them to River Run, his Aunt Jocasta's plantation, but exhausted, she quickly falls asleep.
Brianna accompanies Jamie and Marsali to the courthouse where Fergus is being tried. She catches sight of a Redcoat and realizes the man is Jamie's enemy. While he is giving testimony, Brianna can't get enough of looking at her father, and how much he stands out from the other men. After Fergus is acquitted, Jamie tells Brianna that Sergeant Murchinson is always causing him trouble, and this latest round was intended to keep him and Fergus away from their harvest. He asks Ian Fraser Murray to go with Fergus and Marsali in the wagon and that he and Brianna will ride ahead. Claire is over joyed.
One early morning in September 1769, Jamie takes Brianna hunting in the mountains. She asks what they're hunting, and he tells her bees. They finally find a hive in late afternoon. While they wait for dark when all the bees are in their hive, he teaches her to load and fire his musket, complimenting her on her aim. She tells him that her father took her target shooting and taught her to shoot with pistol, rifle and shotgun. She tells him about the Apollo moon landing, and he comments the moon sounds a lot like Scotland.
Jamie puts out the word about Roger Wakefield yet when there's still no sign of him by mid-October, Brianna grows more and more worried. At Lizzie's request, Brianna asks her father to keep a look out for Joseph Wemyss. While helping Jamie and Marsali at the whisky clearing, young Germain Fraser chokes on a button and Brianna saves him with the Heimlich maneuver endearing Bree to Marsali. No one knows whose button it is and Jamie asks around. Brianna objects to giving the Native Americans alcohol. Jamie says he's yet to see a bottle jump from the table to a man's lips all on its own.
While gathering plants in the woods with Claire, Brianna admits to her mother that she is two months pregnant. Claire tells her that she must go through the stones before the baby is born. Brianna says that when Claire had returned, she had Frank to go back. With Roger lost somewhere in the past, she has no one to go home to. Claire tells her about the Geillis Duncan's passage on Hispaniola, which is a lot closer than Scotland. Claire asks why Brianna didn't take any precautions, and Bree says she wasn't planning on having sex in the past.
Brianna tells her mother that she believes the baby isn't Roger's and then tells her about being raped by Stephen Bonnet and how the pirate paid her with her mother's ring. Claire asks when it happened, and Brianna says two days after she slept with Roger, and she's sure it isn't his because they practiced coitus interruptus. Claire says the people who rely on that method of birth control are called parents.
Claire agrees with Brianna about not telling Jamie about Stephen Bonnet, knowing he would go after the pirate. Jamie returns home that night with banged up hands and Brianna worries about telling him, but he's already guessed. He asks if Lizzie was right in that it was rape and she confirms it. He tells her he'll see her safely married with a good father for the baby, and she says she only wants Roger who won't want her. He assures her that if Roger is a good man, it won't matter to him. He comforts her and sings her a lullaby he said he would have sung to her as a babe. She asks him to sing it and then tells him he can't sing.
Brianna joins her father in the stables after Claire goes off to attend a birth. Jamie is also attending to a cow in labor. When she notices the sow and her piglets, a pregnant mare and a nursing cow, she remarks the stable looks like a maternity ward and explains to Jamie that means a special area in the hospital to protect newborns from germs. Jamie remarks Claire had told him germs were nasty things, and she agrees. Brianna grows pensive, thinking about how Claire had told her that childbirth in the 18th century was the most dangerous thing a woman could do. Jamie guesses what Brianna is thinking about and assures her Claire will not let any harm come to her.
Brianna asks about the laboring cow, and he says it's her first calf and that she was a little too young to breed. She wanders over to the sow and is comforted by her strong motherhood. Jamie says she's had four litters so far and not one piglet lost. He asks if he should walk her to the house, and she says she'll stay with him for a while. He gives her a cup of cider, and she says she needs to ask him if he killed Jack Randall. He's cautious, wanting to know how she knows that name, and she tells him before Claire left she told her about him and about what happened to him in Wentworth Prison.
She's ashamed that she asked, but she tells him that she wants to kill the man who raped her and needs to know if it would help. If killing one's rapist will help with the pain. She gets angry when he seems more amused than dismayed by her question. He asks what good will killing the man do, it won't erase the child inside her or bring back her virginity. She says Claire told her he had tried to kill Jack Randall in Paris so what good did he think would happen then? He answers he meant to take back his manhood and honor and she says what about her honor? She demands he answer her question, and he admits he doesn't remember if he killed Jack Randall or not. He only knows that when he came to after the battle on Culloden, Jack Randall was dead and his corpse was on top of him.
Brianna asks if he's all right, after what Randall did to him. Jamie says few die from it, not him and not her. Brianna points out that she very may well die of it in six months' time. He's rattled by that, but assures her she'll be fine. She insists she's going to die and there's nothing he or her mother can do to stop it, especially without a hospital and medicines, that if something goes wrong all Claire can do is save the baby. She tells him it was all her fault and he says it wasn't. Brianna thinks that if she kills Bonnet, then maybe she can forget about what he did to her. He says she'll never forget.
He tells her that he will find her a husband and once the baby is born, she won't have time to worry about it. She asks what he meant about a husband, and he says if she won't tell him the name of the man who did this to her, then he'll have to find another man who will take her. She asks if he thinks she would marry her rapist, and he says he thinks that maybe she didn't tell the whole truth, that she wouldn't be the first young woman to cry rape after making a mistake. She grows angry as he continues on until finally she swings at him. He easily blocks her and she struggles, and he blocks her every time, until finally she ends up on her knees with her arm twisted behind her and him pressing on top of her so she is unable to break free.
She begs him to stop, and he tells her he could break her neck and kill her, and he could do whatever he wanted to and asks if she could stop him. Finally, she admits she couldn't, and he lets her go. She damns him and is so mad she could kill him, and he calmly says she can't. She realizes that he did that to make a point, that there was no way she could have fought off Bonnet, and it wasn't her fault. She says he just could have told her, but he said a demonstration was more effective. She asks why didn't he fight against Jack Randall, and he said because he had given his word for her mother's life and never regretted it. She asks if it's true she'll never forget, and he says it is, but after a time it won't matter anymore.
Jamie tells her she is very strong, and she says he just proved she was not, and he says that's not what he means. He tells her how when his mother died, ten-year-old Jenny took up her mother's responsibilities the day after the funeral. He says he knows how strong women are, and she's strong enough for what must be done. As he goes to the cow and prepares his dirk just in case he has to slaughter her, she realizes that both of her parents are alike in that they can mingle compassion with sheer ruthlessness. She realizes that Jamie would be as ruthless with himself as anyone and wouldn't hesitate to do the same to her were it necessary. She takes comfort that he'll always be there fighting for her.
Claire, after a huge argument with Jamie, offers to perform an abortion for Brianna if she wants it. Brianna says she wondered if her mother could do it and asks her if Claire had ever considered aborting her. Claire says never, and Brianna reminds her Claire told her she hated her before she was born. Claire says it was a terrible time; they were starving and the world was coming to an end, and it seemed they had no hope. She says she loved her father, and it wasn't rape. Brianna says Claire pointed out the baby might be Roger's. She says the baby is not an "it" and it might sound strange, but she had a sharp pain that woke her up in the middle of the night a few days after. Very quick, like someone had stabbed her with a hatpin, but deep inside her. Claire says that was implantation, when the zygote attaches to the womb. Brianna says that in that second, she knew she wasn't alone in this world, and she said, "oh, it's you."
Brianna decides against an abortion, and Claire is very relieved. She tells Brianna she loves her very much and Brianna says she's always known that, from the beginning.
One day with still no word about Roger Wakefield, Brianna walks in on Ian and her mother discussing how it was Uncle Jamie's idea to have Ian propose marriage to his cousin. She rushes to find her father and demands to know why he put Ian up to such a thing. They get into a great fight, him saying he's thought of every eligible bachelor in the county before settling on Ian and is furious that Brianna would rather shame herself by bearing a child without a husband. He tells her if she won't have Ian, then choose someone herself. She says if she can't have Roger, she'll have no one. She calls her father a bastard, and he says she's the one with a fatherless child in her belly and that the people will call her a whore to her face. The fight continues until the two storm off.
During dinner, the two ignore each other and after Brianna noisily works the spinning wheel to annoy Jamie, who goes outside with Claire. When he returns he apologizes to his daughter and says he was wrong. She says it's all right and apologizes in return. She says she knows he meant well, but she has to wait for Roger. Jamie points out he might have met with an accident or something and Bree insists if he were dead, she'd know. Jamie says he's had word out all over the Cape Fear valley as far as New Bern and Edenton and even into Virginia and Charleston.
Jamie gets the idea to draw up a broadsheet, and he'll take it immediately to Wilmington to be printed and that Ian and the boys will distribute it up and down the coast from Charleston to Jamestown. He asks her for a description of Roger and when she tells him, Ian looks up surprised. Claire suggests Brianna draw Roger, and she does. Ian looks like a pig on a spit over a fire and Jamie has the same expression. Ian asks Brianna if the man in the sketch is Roger Wakefield. Brianna wants to know what's wrong with him. Jamie asks if Roger has another name, and Brianna tells him Roger was adopted and MacKenzie is his original family name.
Jamie admits that Lizzie had told him and Ian that a man named MacKenzie was asking for Brianna, and that she had seen him before and was the man who had gotten her with child. Ian and Lizzie had summoned Jamie and Ian, and he had waited until MacKenzie came asking for her. Brianna demands to know what they did with him. Claire asks Jamie if they killed him, and he says they gave him to the Iroquois Indians.
Ian tries to comfort his cousin, saying they didn't kill Roger, although they did mean to, and he'd even had his pistol pressed against his head, but didn't pull the trigger because he felt it was Jamie's right to kill him. Claire tells Ian that Brianna doesn't need to hear this, and she insists she does; she wants to know everything. She asks her father why, and he said he meant to kill him, but stopped Ian because it seemed too easy a death. He walked away to think about what to do, that it seemed better Roger was conscious when they killed him, but he was afraid he'd start talking again, and Jamie couldn't bear to hear what he had to say again. Brianna asks what he said, and Ian calmly tells her that Roger claimed she invited him to her bed and wanted him to take her virginity.
When Brianna admits she did, Ian is shocked, and she slaps him across the face. He asks how she could be a whore like that, and she demands to know what right he has to call her a whore. She punches him in the stomach, and Jamie stops her from hitting him again by holding her and keeping her from moving. He tells her that he didn't want to believe what Roger was saying, that he only said it to save his own life, but if it was true, he would not have the man's death on his conscience so that's why he gave him to the Indians. He said he did regret not killing Roger when she told him she had been raped and now his heart is breaking to find out not only did his daughter wantonly sleep with a man for lust, but cry rape and lie about it. Bree's too angry to speak so Claire pulls her gold wedding ring from her pocket and tosses it on the table.
Ian recognizes the ring right away as the one Steven Bonnet stole. Jamie asks Claire where she got it, and Brianna tells him she gave it to her mother. She tells him she got it from Stephen Bonnet when he raped her. Jamie roars in agony, and Brianna damns her father and says she's sorry she ever saw him.
That night, Jamie and Ian disappear and Claire comforts her daughter. Brianna refuses to speak to her father when he returns. Jamie brings her to River Run and insists they stay there while they search for Roger. Bree wants to go with them, but he refuses and even Claire insists. With Brianna already four months pregnant and no idea how long they might be gone, she has to remain behind. Before they leave, Jamie tells his daughter that he will bring Roger home to her, or he won't return himself. She refuses to say anything to him. Brianna begs her mother to bring back Roger. Claire assures her daughter that Jamie will make sure Roger comes home. Claire is loath to leave her, but Brianna tells her that she is the only one who can bring him back.
After living in her parents' cabin, Brianna finds life at River Run to be luxurious. Jocasta is delighted to have her niece there and gives Brianna her art equipment that she could not use since becoming blind. By March, Brianna has settled into her routine. She enjoys her aunt Jocasta's company, but doesn't care for Jocasta's servant Ulysses who she feels tells Jocasta everything. However, to Brianna's dismay, her aunt constantly invites a steady stream of guests, mostly single men, to visit the plantation. It's Jocasta's servant Phaedre who tells Brianna that Jocasta intends to leave the plantation to her and had the lawyer Forbes change her will. She says Jocasta will leave some money to Jamie and some personal things to friends, but everything else, including the plantation, timber works, sawmill, is hers.
Phaedre tells Brianna that Jocasta doesn't know Roger Wakefield, so in her mind it's better to pick a suitable husband for Bree, one who will run the plantation and business so it will thrive long after she is gone. Brianna says she doesn't want anything from Jocasta, but Phaedre points out that it doesn't matter what Bree wants, it's what Jocasta wants.
One evening, Brianna is looking a drawing of Roger and other drawings of her family she's made in her loneliness, when Ulysses comes into the room to light the candelabra. She tells him she doesn't need any more light, but he says that Miss Jo will be down soon, and the light helps her navigate through the room. She watches as he gets everything in the room just right and Brianna wonders what it must be like to live a life dedicated only for the entertainment of one autocratic woman. If Jocasta had her way, then Brianna would own him. Impulsively, she asks if wishes he were free and he tells her he was born free, but his father died and his mother was forced to sell herself to pay for an apprenticeship for him. When she died, the carpenter claimed he was the child of a slave and sold Ulysses to a schoolmaster who educated him. When he died, Hector Cameron bought him and immediately recognized his talents.
One day, Phaedre tells Brianna that the guests for that night include a real lord. Phaedre insists that Brianna wear a corset to hide her pregnancy and Brianna points out that the whole county knows she's pregnant and Phaedre says people knowing is not the same as her flaunting it at dinner. Brianna finally submits to the maid's dressing and asks who the lord is. Phaedre tells her it is Lord John Grey of Mount Josiah plantation in Virginia, a friend of Brianna's father. It is the last that worries Bree.
The dinner party that night was larger than Jocasta's usual crowd and Brianna proudly shows off "Osbert" and enjoys the reactions from the guests. Lawyer Forbes asks Brianna her opinion about which of four jewels he's considering purchasing she likes the best. She knows he would present her choice to her on the spot as a public proposal of marriage, so she deflects to Mrs. Alderdyce's opinion. She realizes the stones are a guarantor of their passage back through the stones and considers for a moment luring Mr. Forbes by accepting his proposal and then stealing them and running into the hills until they could leave. Then she decides not to and tells Mr. Forbes that she has no particular taste for gems, that her tastes run simple. Lord John arrives just in time for dinner and shall be Brianna's partner for dinner.
Brianna had heard stories of Lord John from her mother and was expecting someone tall and imposing; however, he stood a half foot shorter than her and with fair skin and large, beautiful eyes. He turns his considerable charm on her, admiring two of her paintings and telling amusing tales of his travels and news of Virginia's politics. After listening to Mr. Forbes' sister regale her with her brother's importance, Bree simply wishes they would all leave her alone and why couldn't Aunt Jocasta wait a few months, but realizes that as Scots, kind but practical and certain in their conviction it was better she marries before the birth of the baby. Bree feels herself lost in a sea of uncertainty, not knowing if Roger was alive, and if he was would he desert her or stand by her even though he hated her. With those tumultuous thoughts running through her head, she faints at the dinner table.
After, alone in the parlor, she stubbornly thinks that they were all coming back safe, and she would hold on to that belief. Lord John visits for a few moments to pay his regards as he's leaving for Wilmington in the morning. He tells her that Jamie had written to him three months ago requesting his assistance in finding out if Roger Wakefield had been taken by a press gang and be serving on one of His Majesty's ships. Bree realizes the lengths her father went for her.
Brianna tells Lord John what happened and where her parents and Ian have gone. He realizes she would have gone with them, but was unable to due to her pregnancy. She asks if he's familiar with the Scottish custom of handfasting and if it is legal in the colonies. He admits he doesn't know, but if a man and woman live together for some time, they are considered married by common law and handfasting would fall within that class. She says she's obviously not living with Roger and while she believes herself married, Aunt Jocasta doesn't, nor does she believe Roger is coming back and wants to handpick a husband for her and that Lord John is the latest candidate.
Lord John is amused and says he wondered about the odd collection at the dinner party, especially the attention Mr. Alderdyce was paying to her. Brianna snorts and says it won't do him any good as she's sure his mother won't have her precious son married to the whore of Babylon, especially after her bold display of her pregnancy at dinner. Lord John laughs and says her plan might have backfired because he is sure the look in Mrs. Alderdyce's eye was granny lust. He implies that Mr. Alderdyce, at age forty and unmarried and could have had any single young girl in the county, is not overly fond of women. She breaks down at the hopelessness of her situation, and he comforts her and tells her he will remain at River Run to see if they can find some solution to her predicament.
One rainy night, Brianna wakes up needing to use the commode and then dons her cloak to carry the chamber pot outside. Despite the rainy gusts, Brianna enjoys the weather, feeling a sort of kinship with her parents who must be enduring even harsher weather in the mountains. She spies a light through the storm and sees Lord John leaving the slave quarters and going to the kitchen. Realizing she might get locked out, she rushes in behind him to his surprise. As she settles back into bed, she reflects that while Lord John always treats her with attention and respect, often with amusement and admiration, there was always something missing and that was his attraction to her as an attractive female. She realizes that Lord John is homosexual and wonders for a moment if her father knows, but dismisses the notion after his experience in Wentworth Prison Jamie couldn't hold a man with that preference with such warm regard.
Three days later, Brianna confronts Lord John in the library and asks him if he wishes to join her on a walk. Despite the cold weather and a warm fire and brandy in the library, Lord John gallantly agrees. After exchanging pleasantries and small talk, Brianna finally comes to her point: she wants Lord John to marry her. Lord John seems amused as she says she doesn't want his money and will sign a paper saying thus, but she can help him at his farm in Virginia and keep his accounts and care for his son. Lord John wonders that he should live to hear an offer like that and asks her if she's out of her mind. She says it's a reasonable suggestion, and he says he heard pregnant women can get hysterical. She plays her trump card and says if he does not, she will expose him as a pederast.
Lord John tells her he is half-tempted to accept her absurd offer, that it would please her aunt, outrage her mother and teach Brianna to play with fire. She tells him she assumed that his former marriage was just a formal arrangement like she is suggesting and that if she had known he did enjoy sleeping with women, she would not have suggested it, that if he did want to sleep with her, she can't marry him, that it wouldn't be right because of Roger. She begins to cry again, and he makes her sit down and explain what she intended with her actions. She explains her thinking, and Lord John says the main reason he can't marry her is because Jamie Fraser would kill him upon discovering his daughter was serving as consort and brood mare for a degenerate sodomite. She says she would never tell Jamie, and John says he already knows.
Brianna asks him what he meant by playing with fire, and since she was open with him, he tells her that she looks very much like her father and that he harbors feelings of affection for him, and here she comes offering her body and a promise of a child mixing his blood with Jamie's all because her honor will not let her wed a man she loves or love a man she wed. He says the angels themselves would weep and he is no angel. Brianna tells her Claire thinks he is a good man, and he's surprised and says he doesn't understand why she regards him with suspicion. Bree tells him she thinks it’s because her mother thinks Lord John would hurt Jamie. Lord John tells him about how they met in Ardsmuir Prison when Jamie was a Jacobite prisoner and how he spoke for the other men, and they became friends and then were not friends when Jamie took blame for another man's crime, and Lord John was forced to have him flogged as punishment. Lord John tells her that he cannot agree to her proposal and will not marry her, but he does put a ring on her finger and escorts her back to the house, so they can announce their engagement.
In April, Brianna hears from Lord John that Stephen Bonnet has been captured and then rushes to her side as it seems she might faint. She demands to know more about Bonnet, and he tells her that he was taken in Cross Creek and charged with numerous crimes and condemned to hang next week in Wilmington. She thanks him for the news and asks if Bonnet is still in Cross Creek, and John confirms he is and then is stunned when she demands to see him before they transport him. He refuses to take her, and she says if he does not she will tell her aunt and everyone in the county that Stephen Bonnet fathered her child. He shocked she would cause such a scandal. She says she has nothing to lose.
Brianna shows him a letter Jamie wrote her, saying that he might not see her again, and that she once asked if it was right to kill in revenge. He says that it is not for the sake of her soul, and she must find the grace of forgiveness. He writes that Bonnet will not escape vengeance and carries with him the seed of his own destruction, that if Bonnet does not die by Jamie's hand, he will be another, but it must not be hers. Brianna tells John she never said good-bye to her father and must find a way to forgive Bonnet. John agrees to help her.
Lord John takes her to the garrison headquarters where they are holding Bonnet in the cellar of the warehouse. John bribes the soldier on duty to admit them. Brianna says she will speak with Bonnet alone, and since they are holding him in chains, John agrees. The soldier is named Hodgepile, who Brianna had heard had been asking about her father's whiskey operation back on Fraser's Ridge. John leads her down the stairs into the dank cellar, and to the cell where Bonnet is and taking the lantern with her, closes the door behind her.
Bonnet remembers her, but not her name, and she tells him she is Brianna Fraser and her parents are Claire and Jamie Fraser, who had saved his life before he robbed them. He shows no remorse and tells Brianna if she expects to get back the jewels, she's too late. He sold one to buy a ship and the other two were stolen from him, and Bree realizes it must have been Roger who'd taken them. Bonnet says there was a ring too, but she got that back and Brianna points out she paid for it. He asks what she wants from him, and she says nothing and tells him the baby is his and that it might make dying easier if he knows there's something of him left, and she's done with him. As she turns to leave, Sergeant Murchinson, Jamie's enemy is there to help Bonnet escape.
She finds Lord John has been attacked by Murchinson and Brianna believes he's dead. The sergeant tries to shoot her, but lacking room in the narrow corridor, moves to strike her with the butt of his rifle. She plucks it from his hands and swings it again and again at his head until she is stopped by Bonnet. She comes out of her haze to find him urging her out of the dungeon, that the warehouse has been set to explode. She demands to know what's going on, and he tells her that he and the sergeant were partners in smuggling, that he brought in the goods, and Murchinson gave them the King's stamp. He urges her to leave, but she points out that Murchinson is still alive. Bonnet kills him and runs out of the corridor. Brianna checks on Lord John and finds him barely alive. Brianna thinks that far down in the dungeon, they'll be safe and most of the explosion will go outward.
Bonnet returns and tells her they must leave, that the roof will burn through and collapse on top of them. She refuses to leave John behind and forces him to help her. Bonnet carries John over his shoulder as he leads her from the dungeon. Bonnet urges her to hurry as the corridor begins to fill with smoke. He leads her outside to the river and lays John on the bank with the flames from the warehouse behind them lighting the area. He tells her he has a ship waiting for him and asks if it's true the babe is his. She nods and he gives her something for the child and asks her to take care of him. Still holding the musket, she aims it at his departing back and then lets him go. She looks at her hand and finds a black diamond gleaming in her palm.
Back at River Run, Brianna rails at a recovering Lord John at her aunt's stubbornness in insisting that she will leave River Run and its slaves to her. John advises her to do nothing, that it's apparent her aunt is not likely to die anytime soon and should she find herself the unwilling recipient of slaves, then she'll simply sell them to him, and he'll take them to Virginia where manumission is possible, then she'll give him back his money and be totally destitute, which appears to be her goal, second only to preventing any possible happiness by marrying the man she loves. Bree says she promised she'd speak with Roger before making any decisions, but she believes that he won't or can't love a child who might not be his and asks John if he could care for a child not his. John points out that he could for the sake of its parent and thought he had been doing that for a while now. She hopes it wasn't only for her father's sake, and he admits it's not.
Lord John asks her why she is so convinced a man can't love a child not his own. He tells her that his son is actually the son of his late wife's sister yet he could not be closer to him if they had blood between them. She tells him growing up, she didn't know Jamie Fraser was her father, that she thought Frank Randall was her father and didn't find out he wasn't until he died. When she did find out and saw her parents together, she saw the way Claire looks at Jamie and realized she never looked at Frank like that. John asks her if she knows how rare such love and passion is, and she says she had it for a little while with Roger.
Later, Brianna tells Lord John that two riders were seen heading toward River Run and one appears to be Jamie Fraser, and they must not have found Roger. She teases John that he'll have to marry her now. He tells her that Mr. MacKenzie might be behind her parents with her cousin Ian. He asks her to forgive Jamie, no matter what has happened, for her sake as well as his. Brianna says she already has and goes to tell him so. Brianna reconciles with her father and returns Lord John's engagement ring.
Brianna goes into labor and Claire tells her it's like baseball, long stretches of boredom with short intense periods of activity. Brianna says at least at baseball games you get to drink beer and eat hot dogs during the boring parts. Jamie offers to fetch ale and what is a hot dog. Claire explains that alcohol is not good for the baby, and a hot dog is like a sausage on roll, but Bree doesn't want any. Jamie is uneasy with Brianna's condition and goes to leave, but she demands he stay. She says he promised it would be okay, and as long as he's there, she won't die. Her mother assures her daughter she won't die. With her parents with her, Brianna delivers a healthy baby boy.
Despite Jocasta's protests, the Fraser family head back to Fraser's Ridge to wait for Roger's return or not, and they part company with Lord John on the road. Before he leaves, Lord John kisses Brianna and the baby and hugs both Jamie and Claire and entreats her to take care of them all. She assures him that she will. Back at the Ridge, Brianna refuses to give the baby a name until Roger returns prompting his grandparents to call him various pet names in English and Gaelic.
One day, Jamie and Brianna are sitting at the table working on house building plans, when a man appears at the door. Jamie's grabs for his pistols until he realizes the man is Roger. The baby is startled at the noise, and Brianna picks him up barely recognizing Roger in his wild and filthy state, resembling his MacKenzie Viking ancestors more than ever. Roger asks Jamie as his closest kinsman to cut him so he can swear an oath in their shared blood. He dips his finger in his blood and smears it across the baby's forehead and swears that they are the same blood, and he claims him as his son before all men from this day forward.
Roger asks Brianna what she's named him, and she says she hasn't yet. He tells Brianna that the boy is his son and asks if she is his wife. Brianna says she doesn't know, and Jamie asks if it's true they are handfast. She says they were and Roger insists they still are. Jamie declares to his daughter that if they're handfast then this man is her husband and she his wife. She asks Roger if he knows what happened, and he apologizes for leaving her before he saw her safe. She says it doesn't matter anymore, but wants to know why he came back. Did he come back because he wanted to, or that he thought he should? She has seen a marriage made from obligation and one made from love, and that's the one she wants. Jamie asks when were they handfast and says that they will live together as man and wife until the year and a day is up, but if Roger touches her without her wanting to, then he'll cut out his heart. The two get into a physical argument, and Claire tells Bree not to worry about it, it's just testosterone poisoning and the men will work it out.
Life settles into an uneasy routine with Brianna and Roger not knowing how to act around each other. Claire asks Brianna to assist her in treating Roger's infected foot, and she's appalled to find out her mother is using maggots to debride the dead tissue. Roger asks what's to keep them from eating his entire leg and Claire cheerfully tells them that they only eat dead flesh and will soon fly off when they develop into flies. Roger throws up in Bree's lap, leading Claire to believe they're getting to know each other again.
Roger recovers in the surgery of the new house while Brianna stays at the cabin. She brings him food every day and one day comes without the baby, so they are able to talk without interruptions, but they continue to dance around until Claire tells Roger that Bree is probably scared of him resuming his marital rights after losing her virginity to him and then being raped. She and Jamie arrange for them to have a bit of privacy at the cabin while they visit with Fergus and Marsali.
Roger comes to the cabin that night, and Brianna is startled to see him. She tells him to go back to bed, and he asks where, here or back up the ridge. He tells her that he couldn't go back to the future without her or the baby. They agree not to blame each other for what happened. He tells her that Frank loved her knowing she was another man's child, and Jamie loved her enough to give up her mother so that Brianna may live so why does she think any less of him for he loves her just as much.
Inside the cabin, Roger watches Brianna as she breastfeeds the baby. She's embarrassed at first, but then encourages him to look. Wanting to be fair, he strips off his own clothing. She sees the marks on the back, and he tells her the Indians made them, but it doesn't matter now. He tells her he knows she's afraid, but he wants her, and she says she wants him too. When the baby falls asleep, she hands him to Roger, and he knows that he can love the boy for his own sake and hopes he was the father. They put the baby to bed in his cradle. She asks him what he holds holy, and he says her and the baby and them as a family.
In August, Duncan Innes comes to the Ridge with an invitation from Jocasta to the Gathering at Mount Helicon and says there will be a priest there and might baptize the baby. Duncan also asks Jamie's permission to marry his aunt as he is her nearest kinsman. Jamie agrees they will go to the Gathering and witness their wedding. The entire family, including Fergus and Marsali and Lizzie, travel to the Gathering. Brianna discusses names with Marsali, saying she wants one of his names to be John, but maybe not the first if it would confuse him with Uncle Ian or Young Ian. Then Brianna suggests Jeremiah and Claire says she likes it and says if it sounds too formal, they can call him Jemmy.
At the gathering, Roger borrows a guitar and Brianna, smugly proud, watches as he performs. Jamie asks Claire if Roger is any good and Claire answers he's very good. One day, a Highland regiment rides into the Gathering and Brianna asks Claire if they're friend or foe. Claire doesn't know, but tells Brianna to be prepared to take the baby up to the hills. Roger and then Jamie show up to protect their women as do the other Scots among the people. The men are led by Archie Hayes, who introduces himself to Jamie who knew his father, the man Jamie had buried in Charleston, one of Jamie's men from Ardsmuir Prison.
Brianna and Roger decide to remain together, and they prepare for a joint wedding with Jocasta and Duncan. Jocasta gives Brianna a new dress to be married in and Roger is so nervous he nearly cuts his throat shaving, and Jamie has to lend him a coat. Roger has to speak to the priest to ask he marry them since he's not Catholic, and the priest agrees as long as Roger agrees to let the child be baptized Catholic. Finally, they marry.