Chapter 3

Julia was sitting in the study looking through some colour samples when a strong scent of cooking caught her attention. She got up and walked through to the kitchen to find Dolly by the stove.

"Dolly. What are you doing".

She turned around to face Julia with a smile on her face and noticed the strange look on Julia's.

"Well what does it look like I'm doing Julia. I'm cooking".

"Yes but it's 10am. Isn't it a little early".

"Well I just felt like it okay". Dolly replied.

Julia could see that there was still something troubling her. It wasn't just Dolly but now Mike was acting strange too. All the secret discussions they were having that suddenly stopped when either Julia, Connie or Gloria walked into the room. Julia walked over to Dolly and decided enough was enough. She took the wooden spoon from Dolly's hand and forced Dolly to look at her.

"Julia. What the hell are you doing".

"I want to know what's going on".

The look of worry on Dolly's face didn't go unnoticed by Julia.

"There's nothing going on love. Everything's fine".

"Dolly stop. Just stop it. Connie said she had heard you being sick alot lately. Mike's acting weird and so are you. You don't look alright".

"Julia...".

"Listen. We. All of us have been through a hell of alot. We got away with The Mail Train Robbery. Ester shot you and you nearly died because of her. Thanks to Mike we're now free and by some very strange twist of fate you and Mike fell in love. We're your friends. We love you. Now I know you don't like to share your problems but whatever is going on with you. I want you to know that we're here for you Dolly. Please tell me what's going on with you".

For a long time Dolly was never sure who she could trust. It was true that when Dolly was first released from prison and Ester, Connie, Gloria and Julia were waiting to accept her into their group that they had only ever been after the diamonds that she had hidden but after the diamonds had turned out to be fake the girls still stayed. The only betrayal had been Ester who had never trusted Dolly and ultimately shot her believing that Dolly was making deals with the police which had turned out to be untrue. The damage however had already been done. Dolly had been shot. The girls arrested. Julia was right when she said that thanks to Mike they were free. Free and rich because nobody had ever traced the Mail Train money. Dolly knew now that she could trust them but she was still scared of their reaction.

"I'm sorry Julia. You're right. I shouldn't be keeping secrets from you. From any of you. We're a team. We're family and I guess that it's only right that you should know what's going on with me".

"So. Are you going to tell me then". Julia asked.

"I'm pregnant love".

Julia wasn't sure at first if she had heard Dolly correctly but she could see by the look on Dolly's face that she was being sincere. Dolly took a seat infront of Julia suddenly feeling a little dizzy from the heat.

"Say something Julia. I get worried by silence".

"Sorry. I'm just. I mean wow. Are you happy".

"I am. Happy and scared".

"Scared why. Is something wrong". Julia asked. Suddenly concerned.

"No love. The Doc says the baby's fine".

"You don't agree".

"I've had 3 previous miscarriages in my life Julia. I'm older now which means greater risk. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried".

"Does Mike know how your feeling".

"He says I need to stop worrying so much and just enjoy the experience".

"Well he's right. Stressing about it won't help you or the baby".

"I love this baby so much already Julia. I'm not a hard a bitch as people seem to paint me as".

"You've carried that persona all your life because of who Harry was. It will always follow you. Just so long as the closest people in your life know what you're really like".

"You all know I'm not really like that. Don't you love".

"Ofcourse we do. You don't have to worry about any of this because we will all be here for you whenever you need us. Let us take hold of all the stress for you. Okay".

Dolly looked at Julia with the start of tears in her eyes. Seeing Dolly cry was new to Julia but she embraced it. Dolly let herself be taken in Julia's arms and held for a few moments before sitting back.

"Thank you Julia. I mean that".

"Would you do me a favour".

"Ofcousre. Anything".

"Would you make sure that Connie and Gloria are both present tonight for dinner. Mike and I will tell them tonight".

"I'll do that and I'll act suprised too".

"Thanks love. I think I'll go lie down for a bit".

"Go ahead. I'll finish up here for you".

Dolly gave Julia another hug and made her way upstairs for a lie down.

To Be Continued...