Disclaimer: I do not own anything Peaky Blinder related, that belongs to the series creator Steven Knight.
Chapter One: Not a Gentleman.
"You have a gentleman caller," Mary Green teased walking past her friend as she finished hemming the dress that she was working on; it needed to be done by the end of the day since Mrs Smith would be collecting it early tomorrow. The day was ending and the girls at the store were starting to finish the last of the orders that needed to be done for the next day.
The small shop had been started by Mary's mother and had passed to her when she had died, there was enough work from the local area that meant that Mary had been able to offer out jobs to those she trusted. Rosemary Parker couldn't contain her smile, she hadn't been expecting him to call on her while she was at work and it had been a few days since she had last seen him.
"I wouldn't call him a gentleman," Lily Anderson scoffed shaking her head, she had no idea what Rosemary was thinking with courting a man like that but it was only going to end in tears. The last thing that Lily wanted to see was her friend get hurt, she was the oldest of the group and she was determined to make sure that they all kept out of trouble. Rosemary held back a roll of her eyes as she tried to finish off her work, she was almost done and she would be done for the day after this.
"Neither would I," Katherine Phillips teased with a wink to Rosemary, she found it sweet that they had been together so long and it truly wasn't fair to judge someone just on rumours. If they were to believe every rumour that they heard then no one would talk to each other and she was sure that she wouldn't have some of the best friends in the world to work with. Lily huffed before turning on her heel and walking away to finish off the dress that she was working on; she had expressed her concern before now and no one listened to her.
"Go. I can finish this off for you... have fun with Mr Shelby," Katherine insisted moving to take Rosemary's position, she didn't have anything better to do and she would happily finish off the dress for her friend. If she had a man like that waiting for her then she wouldn't want to be waiting around to go and see him; Katherine had ditched out enough in the past and someone else was always covering for her now it was her turn to return the favour.
Rosemary opened her mouth to protest before Katherine gave her a little push, she was nearly done and there wasn't much that needed doing to the dress; it wasn't like she hadn't covered for Katherine in the past. Removing her apron, Rosemary made her way to the small room where they housed their things during work; she had a small hanger with her name on that held her coat during work hours.
Taking down her coat, Rosemary hung up her apron before thinking about how glad she was that she had a bit more freedom now that she had this job. Rosemary liked the freedom that it gave her and she was glad of the break that it gave her from listening to her mother talk about all her friends' daughters that were married and having babies right now.
Pulling on her coat, Rosemary waved goodbye to her friends as she stepped out of the small corner shop where they worked from. The chilly evening air greeted her and Rosemary buttoned up her coat to keep warm as her brown eyes swept over the street before they landed on the man that was waiting for her. Rosemary had no idea what Thomas Shelby saw in her, she was sure that he could have any girl from the neighbourhood on his arm yet for some reason he had picked her.
"You know if my father finds out..." Rosemary started to remind him, she didn't need another lecture about their relationship. Robert Parker didn't like any of the Shelby clan and the fact that Thomas Shelby had taken an interest in his eldest daughter didn't sit right with him; he had hoped that she would follow her younger sister in choosing a good husband.
A smile formed on Thomas's face and he turned to fully look at Rosemary, he hadn't seen her in a couple of days and he was more than happy to come and surprise her like this. It wasn't like Thomas really cared what Robert thought of him, the man was all talk and no action; he wasn't a problem that Thomas saw himself having to deal with anytime soon.
Thomas didn't care much for anyone else's thoughts on his relationship, he liked Rosemary and after what had happened with his father he had never wanted to settle down. However, if he ever did make that step then Thomas could only ever see himself doing so with someone like her and it made him even more determined to ignore what people had to say. Those around them had no idea and Thomas preferred to keep them guessing, he knew what they said about him and his family; it wasn't pretty and he didn't care for the rumours but it meant that most left him and his family alone.
"How's Finn?" Rosemary asked softly, she had been helping Thomas's five-year-old brother learn to read when she had the chance and it had been a few weeks since she had last visited the Shelby home. With neither of Thomas's parents around anymore, raising the little boy had fallen to the older two Shelby brothers and their aunt which wasn't an easy task. Arthur Shelby Senior had walked out on the family when Finn was just a baby, around the same time that Louise Shelby had passed away.
"He asks when you're coming to visit nearly every day," Thomas replied with a smile, he was surprised with how taken Finn was with her and he was glad that his youngest brother seemed to be getting better with his reading and writing. The youngest Shelby hated sitting still for long periods of time and none of them had managed to teach him anything; he only seemed to sit still when Rosemary sat with him and helped him with his education.
Rosemary smiled, she liked spending time with Finn and she was glad to help in any way that she could with getting him to sit still to learn; she had done the same with her younger sisters when her parents had been too busy to teach them. The last thing that she wanted was for anyone to fall behind when learning the basics was so important, in a few years he would be out of school and would have to find some way of supporting himself when he was older.
"I'll visit when I can," Rosemary assured, she hadn't been able to visit much with work picking up and her parents had made it clear that they didn't approve of her time being spent with the Shelby family. It wasn't easy and she often wished that they would be more understanding that the things that they heard on the streets weren't completely true about the Shelby's. Her parents should know better than most that there wasn't always a lot of truth in the whispers that they heard; they had been subject to one or two rumours themselves.
"I am sure he'll be thrilled with that," Thomas mused, he would be questioned about his visit to see Rosemary as soon as he stepped through the door. His aunt had become quite fond of the blonde that had captured his attention dispute her reservations at the start of his relationship with her; she had been worried that he might come to regret his decision to court her.
"Perhaps I could visit after church on Sunday," Rosemary suggested thoughtfully, she had the day off and she was sure that she could manage to come and visit without attracting too much attention from her parents. Thomas smiled, he liked the idea of spending more time with her even if he did have to share her attention with his brother.
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