War of the Roses

She had stopped. It had been a particularly hard day but she could not bear to distance herself from the long rows of potted plants that lined the old home that called her a maid. How many days had she worked there at the home of Lord and Lady Thyrall? She had lost count. Her parents had died near the beginning of the war. Both prominent surgeons in the British military. Her grandmother ceased existence nearly a decade later, leaving her alone.

Her grandmother had not left her with much. An old house, and a few pieces of priceless artifact but it hadn't been enough to pay the collectors when they came to the door, not even three weeks after her grandmother's passing. Homeless and alone, she packed the few articles of clothing she had and left for the countryside. Away from the looming tolls of city life.

It wasn't long before she found work in the service as a maid. The first family were rather decent. An aging lord and lady that required the basic duties associated with her newfound profession. She had done a fairly good job. The old lord and lady had treated her with a reasonable amount of respect. Treating her to the few luxuries that their class could afford without spoiling her too much.

It had been within a year of employment that both the lord and lady had gracefully passed into death. They had left her a few shillings on top of the wages that were due. Though it hadn't amounted to much. Even the simplest flat in the meager areas around the English countryside were out of her price range.

Lord and Lady Thyrall were her seventh employers. They were a formidable couple. Both in their early thirties. Lord Thyrall was an important businessman with connections to many of the most prominent people in the kingdom including the King. It had assisted in the luxuries that the young couple was able to afford. Four cars parked in the garage, numerous maids, servants, drivers and a few other properties scattered across the English countryside. It had all been a bit too much for her when she had first arrived. She had never seen an estate of this capacity before.

Her previous employers though rich had barely lavished themselves with the luxuries that the Thyralls had indulged in. It was vulgar to talk about their family capital. Though she assumed that many of their family fortunes over the years and scandals had diminished to the point that they simply survived on the stake of their bloodlines and little investments that they managed to make before the money thinned out too much.

The Thyralls were not blue bloods. Friends of his majesty, King George. Lord Thyrall exclaimed one night, drunken from the scotch he frequently indulged in when the day's business was wretched and poor. He was granted his title from the King. Lady Thyrall, didn't do much around the household anymore. Her second pregnancy had drawn much energy from her that required bedrest unless she felt the urge to head out with her husband to one of the many theatre products that they were constantly invited too.

The young master was a fair child. A beautiful boy with deep blue eyes that haunted the soul. His parents had little time for him. Mostly it was his nanny that cared for him. Held him to her breast when the tickle of a nightmare spurred him from his unpleasant dreams. Lord Thyrall showed some pride in the boy's academic and athletic achievements but failed to notice the boy otherwise.

"Nanny, can you help me with this assignment. It is biology assignment." Oliver stated, while she watched him. Tucking his sheets down over him. His parents rarely acknowledged him. He was not a man yet with no wealth to them yet. She had overheard them arranging a meeting between Oliver and the daughter of a rich nobleman's daughter a week before. An experiment Lord Thyrall has called it. Her skin crawled at the words.

"Biology? I never knew you were interested in biology." She gasped at the boy that was on his way to become a handsome young man.

"I want to be a doctor when I grow up. They look particularly frightening. They were coughing and looked rather ill. Father and mother would never approved though." Oliver sighed. "Father expects me to marry the Gulliver lass, and follow him into the business."

"What is your assignment? Perhaps, we can work on it tomorrow, permitting that your mother is feeling well enough to allow me to take you out tomorrow to the market place." She smiled.

"I feel mother wouldn't feel too bad about sending me out for the day. Just tell her it is for school work. Neither one of them care much about me do they, Miss Winry?" He sighed.

Winry frowned. It was not a lie. Lord and Lady Thyrall barely acknowledged their own son, let alone noticed the resentment that their own child felt toward them. Lord Thyrall was rarely at peace with anyone on the estate except for his wife and the numerous women that warmed his bed since his wife had found herself pregnant.

"You're parents are just……………..peculiar, Oliver. What do you say that we take the new car out, and we head out to the countryside? I hear there is a group of gypsies traveling around the countryside."

"My father would never approve of that, Miss Winry. He would dread the very thought of his own son spending the day at a carnival hosted by gypsies." Oliver stated. "I think I would rather enjoy a day out in the village countryside. Just think of the reaction father and mother would have if they found out."

Winry laughed. The boy smiled warmly. It had been the first time since she had arrived that he had truly smiled at her. He was always friendly with her, though she often suspected that she was his only friend. The other lads at his school were rather proper and followed the rules of order. Oliver had never met the rules and found them rather dull.

The headmaster had informed Winry of this, as Oliver's parents had neglected the meeting citing an important ball that they were required to attend. Oliver was a quiet boy, though he had been made a member of all the teams on the local field. Football, rugby, cricket. His headmaster had bolstered with pride of Oliver's several athletic skills. Though, he had admonished the boys lack of socialism amongst the other boys.

As he pressed his arms around her slight figure. She smiled. She had promised herself that night after the meeting with Oliver's headmaster that she would help him, break the chains that his parents bound him too. Help him make a few friends, even if it meant breaking a few rules.

"Go to bed. We will have to leave early if we are going to take a car from the garage." Winry smiled as she extinguished the torch in his room and watched as Oliver's faded into the darkness.

TBC