Disclaimer: I do not own anything Peaky Blinder related, that belongs to the series creator Steven Knight.
Chapter Fifteen: Spanish Flu.
"Daddy," Kathleen squealed in excitement rushing towards the front door, a smile set upon her face as her father stepped inside from the cold; he banged his boots on the floor to shake off the snow that he had carried inside. It was freezing out and it was nice to be home after a long day at work, he was glad to be home and he could already smell the dinner that Rosemary had prepared. Thomas did his best to be home in time to eat with his wife and daughter, it was something that mattered to him especially since he was often up and out of the house before they were awake.
"How's my little princess?" Thomas asked picking up his daughter and carrying her towards the kitchen; he smiled listening to her as she recounted her day with her mother. Rosemary greeted Thomas with a smile, she was surprised that he made it home on time nearly every night that week; she was sure that his work would have kept him busy. No matter what Thomas had going on in his life, he always tried to be home for five o'clock just in time for her to be putting dinner on the table.
"Go and wash your hands," Thomas said setting Kathleen down on the floor before she scampered off to do as she was told; he smiled watching her disappear before he moved to greet his wife. Kissing Rosemary, Thomas smiled wrapping his arms around her waist; he held her for a moment knowing that Kathleen would be back any second demanding his attention. Swatting Thomas away from her, Rosemary offered him a smile back before she moved to finish platting up while Thomas took his seat at the table.
"How was work?" Rosemary asked curiously, he had been working hard recently and she knew he spent most days preparing the horse that he had brought for the coming races. Things were still not picking back up at the store and Rosemary found herself spending more time at home than anything else; she loved spending time with Kathleen but being stuck home all day was driving her insane.
"Work was work," Thomas replied simply, he wasn't in the mood to discuss work and he preferred not to do so when he was at home especially with Kathleen around; he wanted her to stay innocent to what he did. An annoyed look flittered across Rosemary's face at his response but she didn't reply as Kathleen skipped back into the room; she shot her husband a look hoping that he understood that this wasn't over.
Once everyone was seated at the table, Thomas couldn't help but smile at the fact that he was able to sit with his family and eat dinner; it was something he had never thought possible while away at war. A part of him had feared that he would never return from the nightmare that he had left behind in the trenches in France.
Kathleen didn't seem to notice the look that her mother was offering her father as she started to talk more about what she had done today; a smile on her face as she spoke. Listening to his daughter talk, Thomas was happy to ignore the looks of annoyance that Rosemary offered him; he wanted her to focus less on what he was doing out of the home and more on raising their daughter and looking after their home.
He was sure that his plans for the future would change things for them and she wouldn't have to continue working at the failing store; things weren't picking up even as they got closer to Christmas which was usually a busy time for them. Thomas doubted that work would pick up anytime soon and he was sure that his plan would mean that Rosemary would never have to work again.
"Martha's caught that influenza that's going around," Rosemary murmured thinking of her sister-in-law; her heart went out to the younger woman and her young children who had been affected by the sickness that was going around. It seemed to have come back with the soldiers that had returned from war and now was making its way around Small Heath; it was the last thing that they needed after losing so many good men.
Thomas nodded his head, John had mentioned it during their meeting and he was hopeful that the sickness wouldn't affect his family further. He knew his brother was struggling with the four children that he had with his wife; he was surprised that John and Martha had managed to create so many in such a short time. The couple had been together for seven years and they adored their four children; James, Steven, Margaret, and Katherine were everything to their parents and kept them busy.
"Let's hope that she recovers," Thomas replied simply, he didn't know how his brother would cope if he lost his wife; he could barely control his children when Martha went shopping. Rosemary was silent as she brushed her hair, she stared at Thomas in her mirror wondering what was going on inside that head of his. He had been quiet during dinner and more so once Kathleen had gone to bed, she knew that he had a lot on his mind and she wished that she could ease his mind in some way.
"Tommy, is everything alright?" Rosemary asked setting down her hair brush, she turned around to look at him and waited for a moment before she stood from her dressing table and walked over to him. It was no secret that he had been planning things without his brothers and Rosemary doubted that his actions would remain unnoticed especially since he was consulting with Arthur. Arthur had been the head of the family since their father had walked out on them, he had been running the family business as the leader for years now and Rosemary doubted he would be pleased that Thomas was doing things without his knowledge.
"You know that you can share anything with me," Rosemary assured him, she would never judge, and she had vowed before God that she would be with him for better or for worse and she was determined to keep that vow. There was no reason that he should suffer in silence and Rosemary knew that whatever he had planned wasn't going to remain unnoticed for long.
"There's nothing to share," Thomas said looking up at her, his blue eyes searched her face and he knew that it was for her own good that she remained unaware of what he was really doing. There was no telling how this was going to work out, he didn't want to put her or Kathleen in anymore danger than needed; he was sure that this would all work out like he had planned. A frown formed on Rosemary's face at his words, she wasn't stupid, and she didn't like to be treated as such; she wasn't going to let this go no matter how much he wished she would.
"Trust me Rosie… everything will work out just fine," Thomas attempted to assure her, he rubbed his hands up and down her arms knowing that she would just have to trust him on this. Ducking down to kiss his wife, Thomas was eager to distract her even for a little while; he didn't want to fight when he had to be up early the next morning.
Pulling his wife close, Thomas could only imagine what she would say if she knew what else he had planned; he doubted that she would approve especially with the trouble that it could cause. At last while he was at home with his family, Thomas could be sure that he was making the right decision that would provide for them much better than he could before.
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