The room seemed to tense up as they slowly filing into the bar
as if they owned the place, Blinders seemed to flood in until Tommy came into
sight, swaggering over to your boss who motioned for the group around him to
back away a little.
Everyone waited as spoke before your boss angrily stood and
pulled a gun which seemed to be a signal to Arthur who yelled at more men to
come into the bar. For the next few minutes the bar exploded in fists and
furious yells, tables splintering, glass shattering around you.
You successfully defended yourself and fought your way to
your boss who let you and another of his workers pull him out the back of the
So, I met Tom Hardy today and had a casual conversation and stroked his dog Woody. I wasn’t star struck because all I have thought about is meeting Cillian Murphy which did not happen. I’m being ungrateful I know. Tom was total babetown USA though, it was nice being called ‘sweetheart’ from his sweet mouth.
John, Ada and Charlie had been friends since before they could remember. As children they ran amok on the streets of Birmingham, playing, fighting and laughing. Sometimes even Tommy and Arthur would play with them, she liked those days. Tommy was her favourite of the two, he was quiet and never spoke more than necessary but he’d whisper things in her ear that would make her laugh so hard her sides ached. Mostly though, it was just the three of them. When she was young she thought they’d never grow up, that thy’d stay John, Ada and Charlie forever. It was a fantasy though and somewhere in her heart, even back then she knew that.
You sat with the Shelby’s in the backroom, laughing and
drinking, sharing a shy smile with Michael every now and then. As the evening
went on the Shelby’s slowly filed out until it was just you, Michael and
“Right, I better get home, stay out of trouble you two.”
Arthur muttered, leaving you looking at your hands when Michael’s eyes fell on
“So…” Michael muttered, milling when you looked up at him.
“It’s ridiculous.” Ada sighed as she walked up and down in
front of Tommy’s desk and ranted at her brother. “I don’t mind that my best
friend like my brother, it’s the fact that they won’t admit that they like each
other so I’m stuck in the middle of this doe eyed love sick… whatever… and it
is getting on my nerves.”
As soon as you stepped out of Thomas’ car and made your way to your apartment, Thomas kept waiting for you outside. The way your hair shone in the moonlight and the way you turned around to smile at Thomas, made him swoon. His thoughts were interrupted when Arthur snapped him back to reality. “You fuckin’ idiot of a brother! You should’ve kissed her!” Arthur shouted almost enough for you to hear.
His fingers wrapped aggressively around the neck of the wine bottle and his lips connected back to the bottle. “Damn, I would already have her in bed with me right now. She would be beggin’ for the big man.” Arthur mimicked his brother’s moans. John let out a woman moan from his lips as they both laughed it off. “Oh, Tommy…” John moaned. “Right there!” They began laughing their asses off but Thomas kept looking at your door as it closed slowly; your figure disappearing as the door closed completely.
“Arthur, but unlike you and John, I can keep my big man in my pants longer than you two can.” Arthur and John continued laughing from their brother’s response and from the fact that they were drunk. They leant on each other and sipped on their booze while they turned their heads to throw up.
“Let’s get you home.” Thomas put the key in the ignition and drove them home.
Thomas plopped down on his bed with a sigh. The mattress squeaked at his weight and it cradled him for a bit. It had been a hard day for him. He had to deal with a lot of problems and his the major one was Ada, Thomas’ sister. She was secretly Freddie Thorne, who was a communist. But nothing got past Thomas Shelby. Freddie and Thomas were best friends when they were younger. But as they grew up they had different opinions which set them apart. Ada and Freddie often met under a bridge to avoid being detected, knowing that the Shelby boys will likely hurt or kill Freddie for messing with their sister.
As his head hit the soft cold pillow, he closed his eyes and threw his forearm over his eyes. A smile crept on his lips when he went back in time and remember his first encounter with you. It was special, it felt special to both of you. The way your cheeks blushed when Thomas’ crystal blue eyes met yours, the way his name rolled off your tongue and the way your body bent down to get the bottle of champagne. Dirty images started appearing in front of Thomas’ eyes.
You left a mark on him, not a visible one but there was a hint of you. Thomas reached out fo his inhaler and took a deep breath in, fogging his mind from the day he had and to help him forget all about the war. The war left him scarred. Every night the nightmares from the war came rushing back to him. He couldn’t have a decent sleep since he returned from war. Thomas closed his eyes as tried to drain the memories away but he kept you on his mind.
You were already at the tavern. The sun was still asleep when you arrived. You began cleaning the unwashed dishes from the night before that Grace hadn’t done. The door of the tavern squeaked as it opened. You turned around and saw Thomas walking in towards you. Arthur and John reluctantly followed behind, rubbing their eyes from the sleepiness. The bags under their eyes were swollen and had a bit of a purple shade, their skin was paler and their clothes were a mess.
Arthur spotted a chair and sat on it. He rested his arms on the table and put his head on his forearms. He let out a groan. “Bloody sun isn’t out, why should I be?” He said in a hoarse voice. John and Thomas sat in front of you and gave you a sincere smile. “Good morning Maria.” Thomas said with a sweet tone and a smile.
“Good morning Thomas.” You smiled back and put the glass back on the shelf. You looked over Thomas’ shoulder when you heard Arthur snoring. John, who was right in front of you, tried his best to stay awake.
“Do you want some coffee?” You asked as you put down the cloth that you were wiping the counter with. With a smile sent from Thomas, you poured some coffee in a cup and gave it to him. Thomas took his time to swallow the coffee. “You’re not used to coffee or I’m not good at making coffee?”
“No, it’s just I don’t drink coffee in the morning. Never really.” You couldn’t help but smile as he chugged it all down. “You want another one?” Thomas shoved the small cup in front of you with another smile. “Please? It’s bloody good.” The tavern’s door drew open and Grace came in. “Good morning Maria…Good morning Thomas.” You felt a jolt of jealousy, jolting through your body.
Grace headed in the back room. “Maria, I was wondering if you would like to go out tonight.” Your eyes widened and you felt your cheeks go red. “Thomas I-we barely know each other.”
“That’s why we should go out tonight…to get to know each other better. I’ll pick you up at 7 o'clock.” Thomas got to his feet and dragged his brothers out of the tavern, turning his head to give you one last sweet smile.
You wanted to jump off the bar and scream your heart out in excitement. You were going on a date with Thomas fuckin’ Shelby!
He slammed his fist against Charlie’s front door. It’s warped hinges screeched as it flew open, smashing into the wall with an audible crack. The front room had been tossed, chairs and tables lay broken on their side and the floor was littered with glass, plaster and Maryanne’s cheap china. He moved much more quietly now, the immediate panic had given way to common sense. He saw the deep gashes in the wood. He knew what they meant. He’d made those gashes before.
The only noise in the room came from his feet on the floor. Maryanne’s house always smelt funny. Charlie said it was from smoking opium, she said she couldn’t even smell it anymore. He hoped she wasn’t here, that she didn’t have to see her house destroyed.
He could kill Maryanne. Things like this always happened because of her. She’d do dealings with anyone, just for smack. Rumour had it she even fucked Billy Kimber for half a dime bag. He could’t understand how Charlie loved a woman who had destroyed her life. Ma or no the woman stole and lied and cheated. She fucked with the wrong people at the wrong time. And Charlie always paid for it, in one way or another.
John Shelby’s worried voice called into the devastated room. He could feel something bad as soon as he stepped into the place but the feeling became stronger and stronger the further in he stepped. It made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end and his hand twitched and he longed for the safety of his piece.
He paused for a second in the middle of the room. He could leave, go back, get the boys. He could let Tommy and Arthur sort it. That was the smart thing to do, sensible. But John Shelby had never been one to weigh risks and he sure as fuck wasn’t going to start now.
He went to Charlie’s room first and he hated the way his hand shook as he grasped the doors brass knob. The door open gently and as soon as he stepped into the room he let out a sigh of relief. Of course her room had been destroyed too. The drawers from her simple brown dresser had been tipped out and left on the floor, her bedsheets had been torn off the bed and the mattress had a huge gash in it. Fuck, they’d even torn her stuffed bear apart. He shuffled through the stuff on her floor, only blushing slightly when he came to a pair of simple black knickers. A big black heap caught his eye and pulled it from the floor. It was a disheveled coat, well made from the feel of it but soft and slightly weathered. It was a mens coat and John came to the conclusion that it belonged one of the asshole that trashed everything. He didn’t know why he decided to grab it, he just did. My one of those fuckers mother had stitched their name into it or something. Anyway, he thought absentmindedly, he could give it to Tommy as a replacement. His brother had left his at a girls house.
John came to Maryanne’s room next. The bad feeling in the air intensified and he stalled a little before finally approaching the door. It had been left ajar and John took that as sign enough to enter. He doubted Maryanne would be there, she was never there.
She was though and for once in his life he wished she was in some opium den in China town or out fucking some filthy prick in one of the backstreets of Small Heath.
The woman was almost unrecognisable. She was…there weren’t even words to describe. It was a massacre, brutal and unforgiving. There was no mercy in her death, just violence. He swallowed the bile that rose in his throat and looked away in some mix of respect and revulsion.
When he looked back he fixed his eyes on the sweet faced girl lying next to the mangled corpse. She was so still. Too fucking still. There was blood everywhere, a pool of the thick crimson liquid on the floor. Her eyes were closed and she had blood smeared all across her chest and hands. All he could think was please, please, please breath. He was frozen, the world was slow.
Please, please, please.
Charlie sucked in a shallow breath and he breathed with her. Something clicked inside him and he unfroze, he slid down beside her. Ignoring the blood that splashed up the legs of his pants. It would all be ok, as long as that blood wasn’t hers. He couldn’t see any outward sign of injury. He told himself what happened. That some guys came in knocked Charlie out, searched the house, killed her Ma. She saw none of it. She was ok, just got bumped in the head.
He wanted to shake her until she woke up. Just to assure himself that she was alive, that she was really there. It would fuck her up too much and she was the only thing in his life that wasn’t fucked up. Scooping her up in his arms he was shocked by how light she was.
Carrying her to the door of 6 Watery Lane was an interesting exercise. People gasped and whispered. He might be a Blinder, might be feared and respected but Charlie was loved. He wanted to scream at them, tell them that he’d never hurt her, not her but instead he kept his head bent over her fragile body in his arms.
He bashed one hand against the door holding Charlie to his chest with the other. “Pol” he yelled into the hard wood. “Open up.”
The door swung open and Polly stood on the threshold with a mad look in her eye.
It was only when she saw Charlie in his arms that she stepped back, her hand on her heart.
“Get her in the house John.” She said, quiet. Even Polly was quiet and that woman was always in control.
He moved passed her, into the house.
“Someone broke in, killed ‘er Ma an went through the house.” He said, as if that helped anything. Polly adjusted quickly because next thing he knew she was barking orders. He’d never been more grateful.
“Take her up stairs clean her up, then get Tommy and Arthur. I’ll clean er up.”
He left the jacket on the kitchen table before he carried Charlie up the stairs and placed her down on her bed. He smoothed her blood slicked hair off her forehead and placed a gentle kiss on her soft skin.