A Tale of Love and War

Rose Burton-Hall is the daughter of a rich English army commander. Her life is glittering until world war two hits Britain and her father and brothers are enlisted. While they are fighting Rose's life changes and she finds solace in Jack. Together they embrace the moto carpe diem; seize the day, and embark on a furious but secret love affair with consequences that mean that Rose's life can never return to how it used be.
After nearly four months the story is finally finished! Please bear with me the first few chapters I promise it does get better. Please let me know what you think, I haven't had any feedback and would really appreciate some! :) xxx

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19. Eighteen

 I opened my eyes and found myself lying face down on the grassy verge at the side of the road. My heart was still hammering in my chest as I righted myself and brushed the grass off of my dress. Inside my head I was battling my own thoughts as I tried to deny the pure fact that I was faced with. I was pregnant, I was sure of it yet still in my head I tried to find a way where this did not have to be true. But there was none. This was some kind of twisted divine justice. I had been happy with Jack by deceiving my mother and pretending to be married, here was my punishment. God must really hate me I thought, but that was unfair, I had brought this upon myself. I tried not to cry because I had done this to myself and to cry would be as if I was blaming someone else. I had to carry on as if everything was normal otherwise my mother would be suspicious, and she couldn't know not until it was too late to get one of those back street abortions. Because the one thing I knew was that I wanted this baby, Jack was gone to war and he might never come back, but here I had a part of him inside of me and I wasn't going to let it go.
 I did carry on and it did get better. The sickness stopped after another week and while I did still feel quite ill this was a vast improvement. It was true though that having the baby inside me did bring me out of the depression that I had sunken into since Jack had left.
 I wasn't the only one who had been feeling better either, mother had finally started emerging from her bedroom again and not only that she seemed happy! Smiling and everything! I couldn't believe the change in her, it was literally over night. This was such a relief to see until mother, in her new found enthusiasm for life, decided to bring me to my first party in London on the weekend of my eighteenth birthday. I didn't feel like celebrating at all and dreaded it for weeks but when it came to it I put on the frock that my mother had chosen for me, a pale pink one of course, and allowed myself to be led my mother into the back of the motorcar that would lead my to my first proper party.
What can I say? The ballroom was enormous, the dresses exquisite, the men handsome, as mother kept pointing out, and the atmosphere buzzing. So why didn't I feel excited or even just happy? I knew the answer - because Jack wasn't there. Yet father wasn't there either and mother didn't seem at all phased, a complete contrast to even a few weeks ago. She was in her element finding me young men to dance with and took great delight in telling me all about the enormous fortunes which they were set to inherit. I tried not to grimace too often, not that she would have noticed if I had, she was far to wrapped up in the excitement of the evening. She eventually settled on a blonde soldier called Matthew as what she described in my ear as a "suitable dance partner for an upper-class young lady". Basically I had been eighteen a matter of hours and she was looking for a potential husband for me, because everyone knows that's what dance partner is code for. I gave her a strained smile the back of my mind screaming that Jack would definitely not have been described in this way.
 Unfortunately Matthew seemed to agree with her and asked me to dance numerous times. I obliged to please mother but as he asked me about myself and my life in Cornwall everything I could tell him seemed so trivial it was barely worth repeating so I kept my answers to the bare minimum. Similarly he was reluctant to talk about the war, the only thing which I was interested in hoping for news about Jack. As the music started for the all too energetic jitterbug dance, I retired and headed out of the room, down the corridor and onto the balcony for some air. It was peaceful and calm on the balcony, the night air was cool and refreshing. The gossip in the ballroom all seemed so unimportant out here under the gaze if the stars. I imagined Jack walking out onto the balcony with me, it was just our kind if setting and reminded me of our picnic on the beach. I heard footsteps coming from behind me, disturbing me out of my thoughts, I turned and found myself face-to-face with Matthew. I tried not to groan out loud but it was hard, he just seemed so dull! He joined me at the edge of the balcony and handed me a flute of champagne. I smiled and thanked him, taking a sip as I did. He made some light conversation, I laughed at the right places without my heart really being in it. He didn't seem particularly engaged in the conversation either, almost as distracted as me, but I didn't realise why until he placed a hand round my waist. My heart froze and I tried to slip away from him but he only tightened his grip. Panicking I turned towards the door but it was shut and the curtains were drawn, there was no one to help me.
"Get your hands off me." I hissed with as much force as I could muster. 
"Don't fret darling, I'll be gentle with you." He snarled.
I opened my mouth and screamed as loudly as I could. His hand slammed over my mouth. "Don't you dare try that again!" He glanced over at the door. "No one's coming darling it's just you and me." He breathed into my neck as he skid a hand under my dress. I tried desperately to squirm free.
"Don't pretend to be all innocent darling, I've heard all about you and the farm boy." My jaw dropped.
"H-how do you know?" I stuttered, utterly stunned.
"Your young man mentioned your name in a conversation we had when we were fighting together."
"You know Jack?" I couldn't believe it.
"Oh yes darling, and he's on leave too at the moment, strange that he hasn't come to see you, maybe he's realised what a little whore you truly are." He paused. "What really puzzles me is why you are so happy to open your pretty little legs for him and not me? He is only a farm boy after all."
"I love him." I spat my brain spinning at this nee information. "And you are positively vile." I struggled frantically once more before he pinned me against the railings.
"And there was me going to be gentle, well let's find out how vile I can really be."
I screamed out once more this time calling out Jack's name.
"Scream all you want darling, he can't hear you." He pushing his hand further under my dress and up my thigh.
"Oh can't he?" Came a voice from the doorway, a voice I knew all too well. "Now get off my girl." He said harshly as he approached and landed a flying punch into Matthew's nose. I heard a crunch and a groan and Matthew backed away blood running down his face before he turned and ran back inside.
"Jack!" I gasped through the tears that were flooding down my cheeks and threw myself into his arms. As I breathed in his warm boyish scent it was the first time I had felt safe and truly happy since he had left.
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