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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27. The end of the road

Except it wasn't just a knock, it was a pounding, a thumping, like someone had taken a sledgehammer to it. I heard footsteps hammering past my door. I poked my head out to see my brothers sprinting across the landing and down the stairs. Everything seemed to be spinning. What was happening? My brain didn't seem to be able to understand. Downstairs someone had opened the door and a man's voice demanded to see Father.
"H-he's not here." I heard Mother stammer.
"Don't lie to us!" shouted another voice, "We know he's here."
A shot was fired into the ceiling as the floor below me shook and a hole by the staircase was formed as the wood split with the force of the bullet. Mother screams.
I tiptoe over to the hole and crouch to look through it. My mother is holding a crumpled piece of paper. I recognise it immediately from the months she spent shut up in her room reading it over and over again.
"Do you she this?" she shrieks. "His letter, the last letter I ever received from my husband. Now let me grieve in peace."
"There's no point in lying to us Lady! We know you're hiding him here and when we're through with him that might well be the last letter you ever received from him."
Mother shrieks and throws herself to the ground. "Please show us mercy." she wails at the soldier's feet.
Behind her my brothers emerge from the kitchen each holding a rifle. I want to scream, to run in and save them somehow, but I cannot tear myself away from the little hole in the floorboards. It was my father that came up behind me and pulled me away, pulled me away from where my eyes were fled to the scene below me. My eldest brother James lying on the ground the blood streaming from his arm onto the red-stained carpet, my mother screaming as she tried to stem the flow of blood with her skirt. My father pulled me away, he put his hands on my shoulders and told me this:
"Run Rose, get away from here as far away as you can. And don't let them catch you."
 And then he left me, stood in the middle of the landing while he walked calmly towards the stairs.
"I love you." I whispered and just before his face descended out or sight he mimed blowing me a kiss, just like he always used to before he left for work in the morning when I was little.
 When he disappeared from sight I was broken out of my trance. I slipped into my bedroom, grabbed my bag from the wardrobe and heaved the huge sash window open. Carefully I climbed out onto the small vine that tangled it's way up the back of our house since the gardeners had left. I launched myself to the ground, straightened up and made my way through the masses of vegetation towards the gate. I could smell smoke and looked up. The top floor of the house was on fire! How? Everyone was downstairs. The answer came to me: Father. He kept all of his documents and letters from the war stored in the loft, he wouldn't want anyone to read them so he had set fire to the whole thing.
The flames licked out from under the roof tiles and smoke poured from the windows as I reached the front of the house  And then I heard it, a noise that will haunt me for the rest of my life: that one gun shot, my Father's cry of pain and my mother's screaming.
Amongst it all I heard in my mind my Father's last words to me again: "Run Rose, get away from here as far away as you can. And don't let them catch you."
And I ran.
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