“Do you, ever, hear yourself?” His tone was sharp and it cut through the meeting that was being held in his office. “Do you? When you open your fucking mouth, do you ever FUCKING HEAR WHAT YOU’RE SAYING?” His voice rising with each word he spoke, punctuating the word by bringing his hand down on the table you were all sat around.
Thomas had been in a particularly foul mood this afternoon and had decided that unleashing it on you was his best option. Typically you would give him whatever he was giving you with the same vitriol he was using. And yet today, you were having none of it. Your day had been bad already, with having to run around the whole of London getting documents signed and then traveling back to Birmingham central and registering them at whatever offices they belonged in. You had dealt with the sneers, upturned noses, not so subtle glares and even less subtle comments about you being a woman in a position of power. At Shelby Company Limited, no less. Unfortunately you had to be polite and smile, holding your quick tongue between your teeth. These things were important and you were responsible for closing these deals. Having done your job you returned to the office and joined for the end of week meeting. It was Friday and you were ready to go for a drink. And then John had kicked off with Tommy, somehow dragging you into it.
You purse your lips quietly, leaning back in your chair and resting your elbows on its arms. Your fingertips pressed together forming a steeple of sorts in front of you as you held the Tommy’s stare for a moment before closing your eyes. The rest of the family looking back and forth between the two of you as if it were a tennis match, waiting to see which of you would say something first. They were betting on you, you were known for not backing down from anything. Even Thomas and his moods were no match for yours. It came as a shock to them when you stood and placed the numbers in front of Tommy, keeping your silence. You gathered your things, not once sparing him or any one else a glance. You walked to the door, picking your coat off the rack.
It was Thomas who spoke first, his tone the same as before. “Where the fuck do you think you’re going?”
You said nothing, sliding the coat over your blush colored dress, shaking your hair out from under the collar, placing the matching cream suede hat on your head. You turned your head only to look at Ada.
“I’m going for a drink, Ada. It’s Friday and I’m ready for one. Are you coming?” Your voice was calm, welcoming. No trace of venom or malice could be found in it or your expression. One eyebrow poised, waiting for her response.
“She’s not fucking going because the meeting isn’t FUCKING OVER!” Tommy’s voice was raised again and you didn’t bat an eye or flinch when he threw a glass tumbler at the wall next to you. It shattered on impact, sending shards all around you. Some landed on your coat, others in your hair and on your hat. You pulled your gloves on, brushing the glass away with ease- as if this was a common occurrence.
“I’ll be at the Bimini, Ada.” You smiled at her opening the door and closing it slowly behind you, walking through the office and out into the street.
You found your way to the Bimini, pushing past the idiots surrounding the door and placing your things on a table before walking to the bar. Ordering a whiskey straight, the bartender denied you until he turned and saw who you were. He quickly stammered an apology, sliding a bottle and glass your way. The room was bright, the gilded molding and royal blue on the walls making you feel regal. You sat at your table, downing the whiskey by yourself until some souls plucked the courage to approach you.
They made you laugh, telling you far fetched tales for an hour before Ada came in. Shock evident on her face, she made her way to you and sat. You asked the men to go get you another bottle and another glass and they tripped over each other to be the first to get it.
“You know he’s mad at you. Kicking off with him in front of everyone, walking out, ignoring him. And now you’re entertaining yourself with strange men?” Her eyebrows were raised and she looked entertained by the argument the two of you had before you left, if not mildly annoyed.
“I can take care of myself, Ada” you groaned, rolling your eyes at her and taking the bottles and glasses from the men. All four of them had returned with a glass and bottle, and you both had to stifle your laughter. After a few minutes of sweet talking they walked off only with the two of you promising to return soon.
“I’m not saying you can’t y/n. I’m just.. suggesting that-“
“Suggesting I go back and grovel to a man who told me I couldn’t leave my own fucking house? Told me I couldn’t fucking visit me mum? Fuckin tell me I couldn’t fuckin walk to the fucking bathroom without someone fuckin with me? SEE MY OWN FUCKIN-“ you stopped yourself, closing your eyes and downing your whole glass at once, filling it to the brim and downing it once more.
The rest of the night continued in the same vein, Ada and you drinking quickly only to forget what you were talking about and being over taken with giggles. Around 2 you walked home together, stopping first at Ada’s to drop her off. You made your way back to your house, stumbling against a wall and giggling, attempting to light a cigarette clumsily. You had almost finished the last of your whiskey as you tried to unlock the front door. You were mental. Drunk. Blacked out. Gone. Leaning against the door frame you struggled with the lock. Or was it the key? Is this a key? What is it? You giggled to yourself as you found the proper key, unlocking the door and pushing at it as you drank the last of the whiskey. The door opened unexpectedly and you stumbled through it, holding the door frame and giggling.
He stared down at you, a heavy sigh falling from his lips and watching you. His mood had since turned, he knew he wasn’t being fair to you earlier. He knew his temper had bested him. And he also knew that you looked absolutely adorable hanging off of the doorframe. Your hat had slipped to one side and you were pathetically trying to tug it back into place. His large hands slide under your coat, steadying you and guiding you to him. He took your hat and coat, placed them on the hook and smiled down at you. You were trying to light the same cigarette but for the life of you, your thumb would not cooperate. You hadn’t noticed his help until he lit it for you, and then you pouted.
“ ‘can take care ‘f myself” you hiccuped, scrunching your nose and tilting your head to look at him.
“I know darling.. I know” he mumbled to you, brushing the hair out of your face, his thumb resting on your cheekbone, his palm on your cheek. You turned into his hand, kissing the palm of it.
“ I c’n kick yer ass” you replied and hiccuped twice in a row, leaning against him. “ ‘N I c’n take care of meself” you repeated, poking his chest to try and let him know you were serious.
He chuckled, listening to you repeat it as he helped you up the stairs and out of your clothes. You sat on the bed in front of him, naked as you pulled one of his work shirts on, smiling to yourself. A cigarette sat between your lips as you pulled the pins slowly from your hair, tossing them on the night stand. He took the cigarette from you and you exhaled, shaking your curls out and rubbing your head. He stubbed out the cigarette and undressed in front of you, pulling you to the edge of the bed. Your arms looped around his neck, he places your legs around his hips and you press slow kisses along his jaw, humming softly as he lays you down in this position, you moving to the exposed side of his jaw. You press a kiss to his full lips, resting your forehead on his and holding his face in your hands. You kissed him one more time, gently and lovingly.
“I can take care of m’self” you mumbled drunkenly, closing your eyes. His hands traveled your back slowly, caressing every inch he could reach, settling for one arm wrapped around your shoulders and the other rubbing the bottom of your thigh.
“I know love” he said into your hair, closing his eyes.
It wasn’t the fear of you not being able to take care of yourself that had made him lash out. It was the fear that he couldn’t take care of you.