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


15. With a ring on my finger

We stepped off the train onto the platform, the smokey air filled my lungs and I choked for a moment as I tried to adjust to my surroundings. The sun was beaming down on the city making everything sparkle under it's gaze, I supposed that this was what people referred to as the bright lights of the city. The streets were lined with people coming and going, children screaming and chasing each other through the crowds while anxious parents strained to keep watch over them. The air was dense and thick to breathe,  the train and the motorcars coughed up grey smoke as if imitating the line of old men with pipes across the road. Each side of the street was lined with six storey buildings so tall that you felt like they could be shaking hands with the clouds or sharing a joke with the birds. Everywhere was so full of people I felt surrounded by bodies, I supposed that this was what it must be like to be a bee, constantly being swallowed up by it's swarm. I was scared I would get lost and clung to Jack's arm.
"Don't worry," he reassured me, "just don't let go of me." And he started to wade his way through the crowd, an arm around my waist to guide me with him. I gazed around as we pushed through, there were men playing cards in the middle of the street, maids in black uniforms carrying babies at the same time as the shopping, an old woman sitting in a rocking chair on the street corner doing her knitting. How I wished that I could know what their lives were like, they seemed like a whole different species to me. I had been to London of course to Father's associates dinner parties, but these were in posh houses on the suburbs not in the heart of this bustling city. I felt overwhelmed, Jack however took it in his stride.
 He led me down street after street occasionally asking for directions and even more occasionally getting a very rude answer, one old man ignored the question completely and instead asked him "How much for that pretty girl on your arm?" to which I was horrified and Jack threatened the man with the policeman stood watchfully across the road if he dared say another word. After that I clung even tighter to his arm and buried my head in his shoulder as we continued down the street. Eventually we reached an enormous marble white building with beautiful stone pillars, smartly dressed footmen waiting under a large sign with black curly writing that read The Duchess' Palace.
 Gripping Jack's hand tightly I let him lead me inside to the reception desk where a beautiful blonde woman with a small nose and piercing blue eyes sat smiling at us.
"Can I help?" she asked as we approached, which is one of those questions which I always found rather odd as a child; I mean you wouldn't be going to reception if you didn't want her to help.
"A room for two please." Jack smiled and as she gave us a suspicious look he added "We're on our honeymoon." I lifted my ringed hand to rest on the desk so that she could see it.
 We appeared to have eased her mind as she replied; "Of course sir, our honeymoon suite is available if you wish it?"
"That would be lovely." He hugged my waist and handed the woman a wad of cash. Guilt crept up inside me; I could have paid for this, mother would have given me any amount I wanted if I told her it was for a new dress. I had told Jack this several times however he seemed offended by the offer and insisted on paying every last penny himself.
 She handed us a small gold key with a tiny number one carved onto it and told us to take the elevator as high as we could go. Jack had never been in an elevator before and found the thing fascinating to the point that we visited a number of different floors before we finally made it to the top. We stepped out onto a cream carpeted hallway with a large wood door with a big golden knocker. Tentatively Jack slipped the key into the lock and turned the handle, the door swung open to reveal the most enormous bedroom I had ever seen in my life. In the centre of the room there was a huge four poster bed with gold silk drapes hanging from them and a thick gold duvet surrounded by a mountain of white and gold embroidered cushions. Either side of the bed were old mahogany chests of drawers which reminded me of treasure chest with their gold handles. Around the room scented candles were lit and dozens of white roses blossomed in multiple glass vases. The huge sash windows gave a view across the whole of London, I felt I might be sitting on the moon we were so high up. The cream carpet was sprinkles in white rose petals and bottles of champagne and glasses rested of every available surface from the dressing tables to the edge of the free standing china bath with gold feet in the en suite. I squeezed Jack's hand and smile up at him, it felt like paradise.
 A while later we were sitting on the bed propped up against cushions sipping champagne, it was hard to believe that this was actually real! I put my champagne down on the side and snuggled closer into Jack's chest, breathing in his scent and soaking up the heat radiating from him. His followed suite and slipped an arm around my shoulders drawing me still closer to him. We stayed there a minute letting the heat between us build before I felt want overpowering me and I tilted my head up to look and Jack and drew his lips down onto mine. We let the kiss last, building in intensity until I had to breathe. I caressed his cheek and ran my finger softly over his lips memorising the shape and texture, I moved on to his hair, locking my fingers in it and pulling him on top of me. We matched perfectly, our bodies fitting as if we were moulded into one. I loved him so much at that moment that I thought my heart would burst, it was amazing to think that he felt the same as me. His skin on mine without fabric to hold us apart was divine, the caress of his gentle fingers running all over me sent shivers down my spine. I wanted him in a way that unnerved me slightly - not at all proper my mother would say, but I loved Jack and I wanted all of him, I needed all of him and he gave himself to me and I to him unconditionally, in what I would always refer to as our wedding night.
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