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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7. Work

He was the epitome of handsome: dark hair with a slight curl that flopped across his forehead looking effortlessly flawless, dark smouldering eyes that locked my gaze and well-built shoulders and general physique clearly used to the manual labour of the farm. Is it really surprising that I found myself unable to do anything other than attempt to shut my dropped jaw and make my mouth form some sort of coherent sentence?
"...hello....I'm um Rose... I um was told to um muck out the stables?" I blushed furiously at my horrific attempt to introduce myself.
"Hi" he grinned lopsidedly displaying a set of perfect white teeth, "You don't really look like a farm girl but sure, here you go." He handed me a bucket and a rake and I stood there for a second completely unsure of what I was supposed to do. Seeing the way the boy smiled at my blank expression I pulled my self together and entered one of the stalls. I wrinkled up my nose at the smell, but determined not to embarrass myself any further I tried to push the rake through the straw. It got stuck immediately and refused to budge. Behind me I heard the boy chuckle quietly, I pretended not to hear and tugged at the rake a bit harder, still nothing. Eventually I gave the rake an enormous pull and it came free sending me toppling to the ground.
"Ow" I groaned, my back hurt most probably I'd bruised it. I struggled to my feet and stood cringing under his gaze.
"Here," he said and handed me a basket, "go round to the back of the barn to the chicken pens and collect the eggs, I'll do this."
"Thanks." I muttered, utterly humiliated.
I trudged round to the barn to collect the eggs, I found that this job was much easier to my relief. And half an hour later all the eggs were in my overflowing basket. I brought them back to the stables where I found the boy still mucking out the last stall. He'd left his shirt by the door so I could see the muscles in his tanned arms and shoulders working the rake. I coughed quietly to let him know that I was there. He looked up and grinned at me.
"Managed it then." He teased.
"Just about." I smiled back, deciding that joining in would be less humiliating than trying to regain any sort of digity.
"Here, you can throw some fresh straw down." As he handed me a sack of straw his skin brushed against mine making my heart flutter. He pulled his shirt back on as we walked into the crisp morning air, I was careful to look away. Spring was blossoming you could tell and it was fairly warm which relieved me as I hadn't brought a jacket. I followed him into the farmhouse kitchen where we put the eggs into the fridge, which was already quite full of them, ready for market day in the town. We ate a small lunch in the kitchen when Mr Downs came back, I was a volunteer for the war effort so I was given lunch rather than a wage but I didn't want money so I was happy. It was surprisingly pleasant considering Mr Downs' scepticism at my offer of help, thankfully Jack, I now knew his name, didn't mention the fiasco with the rake.
 I spent the rest of the day being shown around the farm by Jack. He was easy to talk to and I felt very relaxed in his company despite my usual awkwardness when meeting new people. It was getting dark when I realised that it must be getting late.
"I really ought to go, Mother will worry." I smiled at him in the fading light.
"Sure." He said so carefree and casually, part of me had hoped he might beg me to stay longer, but I realised just how ridiculous that fantasy was now. He walked me to the end of the drive and smiled at me. But this wasn't one of his usual smiles, a casual I'm-so-handsome smile, but one that, as he looked into my eyes, was conveyed in the intensity of those dark brown eyes rather than the shape of his lips. For a spilt second he glanced at my lips and I thought he was going to kiss me, but the moment passed and instead he said goodnight rather softly and turned back, leaving me to wonder quite what had just passed between us as I made my way home.  
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