Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Summer Rain, Apr 2, 2016.

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  1. Character

    Name: Rosalie (Rose) Thomas (Dubois)
    Age: 23
    Appearance: shoulder-length dark curly hair, round face with light freckles. About 5'3" and 130lbs (sans baby)
    Family: Her late husband, James, and unborn baby - she is the only child to Mary and Albert Dubois.
    Personality: Rose is kind, timid, and friendly. She has a fiercely caring heart that sometimes gets her into trouble. She stays close to those she loves and tends to be overly emotional, especially in the throws of the Second World War.

    Heat. Rosalie had never felt heat like this before; it wrapped around her like a hot blanket, threatening to draw the very life from her. The smoke burned her eyes and when she inhaled, it burned her lungs, too. She coughed and tried to cover her mouth, but she was too crushed for her hand to make it to her mouth. The church had been packed just fifteen minutes ago with the women, children, and babies of Oradour-sur-Glane, and now they were screaming. Fourty-five minutes before that their sons and husbands had been ripped from their very hands. Rose could still see the dark, unforgiving eyes of the man that had ripped her James from her. “Don’t kill her, she’s with a baby!” James had cried out. The soldier had put his gun to his head and murmured something in German. Rose didn’t know German, but James did, and from his expression she knew the soldier’s words hadn’t been pleasant. James had given her one last longing glance, the kind he had given her on their first date and wedding day, before he had disappeared with the rest of them.

    James. God, he had been so happy when they had found out they were pregnant! He has always wanted to be a father. And when the war had broken out, he had taught her self defense. Even how to shoot a gun. James had taught her a will to live even if he wasn’t there to protect her.

    It was that thought that brought tears to her eyes. Whether James was alive or dead – and something deep in the pit of Rose’s stomach told her it was the ladder – she knew he wouldn’t want her to go down without a fight. It was with that sentiment that Rose, five month pregnant belly protruding awkwardly in front of her, pushed through the barrage of screaming women and children. One lady was clutching an wailing infant against her breast, and Rose bought back the tears. They all had no chance.

    She had managed to scramble towards one of the broken church windows, the glass shattered from the intrusion, and pull herself onto the sill. Rose had tried to peek around the edge of it, the heat licking at her heels, but a young boy had shoved them both through before she could have a second thought. The young woman screamed as they both went tumbling into the thick brush outside. Gunshots rang out, and when Rose opened her eyes, realizing that she was alive, she found the limp and bloodied body of the boy across her lap. His eyes were closed and there was a nasty, perfect little bullet hole in his forehead. A perfect hit. She wanted to vomit and scream and cry, but she could still hear the Germans mumbling nearby. Asking in broken English and German, asking if she was dead, too. She was too thick into the brush for them to find her, and she curled into herself. She could still feel the heat from the fire on the interior, and the wails of the diminishing numbers inside made her chest tighten. Rose pressed her fingers against her belly. Two lives. Maybe that’s all that would ever remain of Oradour-sur-Glane. She knew James would be proud of her, but the mere thought of her husband made her heart clench. Something told her she’d never see him again.
  2. How many years had he been away from home? Jack couldn't quite recall because all of his days seemed to run together now. The young American looked to the notches on the chest at the foot of his bed and shook his head. There were too many to count now.

    Jack lived in a small apartment above an old bakery that had gone out of business. It wasn't much but he did not have much. So it was perfect. It was all one room, the kitchen in one corner, a door leading into a bathroom in another. There was a pseudo bedroom of sorts in an alcove that was hidden by a curtain someone had sold him at a market one day. It kept out the sun from the large window overlooking the street below, but let in the natural light of smaller window above the bed. Currently, a pretty blonde woman was curled up underneath his white covers, her bright green eyes closed as she snoozed softly. She was nude and the outline of her slender body could be seen under the duvet. Closing the curtain quietly he left her to sleep.

    It was a sunny morning and the temperature was nice, the birds were singing in the trees and from the tops of the buildings. With his wallet in hand and a pack of cigarettes in the other, he plucked a cigarette out and lit it. The wallet disappeared into his pocket and away he went, down the stairs and out into the early morning streets. He took a drag from the cigarette as he walked along, noticing men on their way to work and women toting their children with them this way and that. There was life everywhere and he was just happy to be an observer.

    There was a store just down the road that also served as a cafe. He would get his morning coffee and crepes if he was lucky. Jack knew the store owners by first name now because he went in a few times a week if money wasn't tight. They were nice, generous folks who spoke some English because the wife was from the USA. It was nice to have another person who knew English around. There were some but many had broken English and didn't seem to be able to keep up a conversation.

    There wasn't much need for conversation when it was all physical...

    Jack took a deep breath as he kept going, taking another drag. He really needed to quit but everyone in France seemed to smoke so he felt obligated to. Turning a corner he saw the cafe coming up. He could smell it from there and his stomach rumbled hungrily. Breakfast awaited him.
  3. A few days later, the German regime moved from the area, allowing the dozen or so lone survivors to identify their loved ones and give them a proper burial. Word had reached the rest of France of the tragedy, but it did not appear that they cared; war, bloodshed and death was all around them. It was just another six hundred or so people, and at the time, they did not seem to matter. So the men of the village began to bury their loved ones and salvage what they could. Of course, that did not involve much. Rosalie heard a few of them sobbing over their lost wives, mothers, and children, and her heart broke. Somewhere in there her own family was, but she did not have the stomach nor the desire to search them out. Rose knew that they were dead; she had not seen them walking, and knew that the odds were all against them. Her mother, father, brothers, and most of all her husband. The people she had loved the most... all ripped from her very fingers.

    And so without even acknowledging the other survivors, most of which were men who had been away at the time, Rosalie began to walk. Her lungs were burning from the poison of the smoke, making the trek to the nearest larger town quite the task. She coughed and sputtered, and was horrified to find that black phlegm came out.
    Pressing her tiny hands against her belly, Rose knew that this was no good for her baby. She could only pray that he or she was strong and would be able to take the turmoil with its dear mother. She could not lose her child, too. Her precious baby was all she had left in this world.

    It was a good two hour walk towards the next town, and when Rose finally arrived, she felt about ready to collapse.
    Not knowing where else to go, she stumbled onto the front steps of a nearby cafe. She coughed again and the black phlegm covered her fingertips. Due to the mid-afternoon hour, somewhere awkwardly between breakfast and lunch, it was quiet. Upon seeing her stumble, an older man in a baseball cap with the French flag came running. Seeing her blackened clothing and slightly oversized belly, he scooped her up.

    "Aidez-moi! Elle est d'Oradour. Elle est blessée. Ellie, venez vite. Allons-lui un peu d'eau et un endroit pour s'asseoir," he murmured, pushing past his tiny wife and pulling out a chair for her. Help! She is from Oradour. She is hurt. Ellie, come quick. Let's get her some water and somewhere to sit. The older woman gave her a cup of water and after looking into it, Rose burst out into tears. She had nothing, now...
  4. Jack walked into the tiny cafe, listening to the bustling that was happening around him. The daughter of the couple who owned the shop was behind the counter, writing down an order on a pad of paper with a pen in hand. There was a vein straining on her forehead Jack noticed as he approached, pulling his wallet from his pocket. "Bonjour Monsieur, one moment sil vous plait?" Jack nodded, putting out the cigarette on an ashtray near the counter. He knew that Ellie disliked when he smoked in the shop. "Okay, Genevieve." He sighed and leaned against the counter, his fingers tapping the counter.

    Genevieve continued to scribble something onto the notepad. Jack wasn't very adept at reading French, he barely knew enough to speak it. Genevieve's mixture of french and english made him smile whenever they spoke. He was smiling now but it quickly faded when he saw the vein in her forehead again. It was like a signal of stress.

    She tucked the note into her apron pocket and turned her attention back to Jack. A small smile graced her lips. Such a pretty girl. Jack smiled back but it was hesitant. "A coffee and blueberry crepe please." Genevieve nodded and looked over her shoulder at the door that lead to the kitchen. Her parents were tending to a young woman who had apparently come from the massacred city. "Eet will be just a moment, Monsieur." She promised, holding up a finger as she disappeared into the back room. Jack could hear talking in the kitchen in hushed tones but ignored it and went to sit at one of the small tables in front of the front window.

    The local paper was on it. Even though he wasn't very good at reading french he did his best to decode what was being said. He had heard there had been a massacre and it boiled his blood. He had not been called into action because it had been batted away without another thought. Soon there was a coffee placed in front of him along with the crepe he ordered, perfectly cooked. "Je vous remercie." He grinned. Genevieve nodded her head before flitting back to the kitchen. Jack began to dig into his food, enjoying the sweetness of the crepe.
  5. Ellie has saw the girl's expanded abdomen and immediately promised the young woman, who was now sobbing something about her husband and the smell of burning flesh, that she would be well cared for her. After the birth of her doting daughter, Genevieve, she had suffered two miscarriages. After that she and her husband had determined that God didn't want them to grace them with anymore children, and Genevieve had been a blessing to them. But now seeing the young woman, barely bigger than a minute, so pregnant and so very distressed made her heart ache. No way all that stress was good for her baby.

    Eventually the young woman had been able to calm down, hastily apologizing for falling into their arms so abruptly. Genevieve, a sweet looking girl perhaps a few years Rose's senior, smiled and patted her knee. She explained that Rose would be safe here with her family if she needed somewhere to go. Rosalie couldn't help but notice that the family spoke in an odd combination of English and French - probably a result of serving so many English and American soldiers in their cafe. The town seemed safe, but the military presence was large. Rose had seen the helmeted men walking through the streets when she had fallen into the small town.

    After seeing the terrible looking sludge coming from the woman's lungs, Rosalie was put into a room upstairs. In another time and place she would have rejected the offer, but she was exhausted and fearful for her baby. If anything, she vowed to protect the little being instead of her. Without it, she might have just let herself burn. What will was there to live if she had nothing to live for?

    ~ ~ ~
    Another week had passed since the massacre, and Oradour-sur-Glane sat empty, the putrid scent of burnt and rotting flesh the only reminder of what was once. Rose had heard a few soldiers come into the cafe one morning and chat about how they had had to put the bodies into a mass grave. The young had had to turn her back at their words, knowing her precious family had been amongst them. If James had been alive he would have found her by now. But there was no sign of him. No sign of anyone. As far as Rose could tell, she was the only woman to have survived.

    A clinking of the door caught Rosalie's attention and she turned to face the cash register, dark lashes curtaining her eyes. Lord knew how fearful she was every time that door opened; that a German would walk through and shoot the place up. The Allied presence was stronger here than it was in Oradour, but it still didn't comfort Rose.

    She took an order from a man who came in often - he ordered the same thing every time, a blueberry crepe and a coffee. They were pricey considering the rationing of milk and flour, but he bought it anyways. Though Rose mainly stared at his chest as he ordered, she knew him, and had the amount rung through before he even said it.
    "It'll be a few minutes," she murmured, French accent thick. Ellie stood off to the side, smiling. Soon that girl would have her life together. Each day her head got a little higher, even if she barely looked anyone in the eyes these days. Lord knew the pain people would see there. Still, Ellie knew that having a place to stay and a quiet little job, though just to cover her living with them, would do her well.​
  6. There was a new girl working at Ellie's cafe. Jack had seen her working twice now and each time she had not made any eye contact with him. It was no matter though. He did notice that she was an extremely beautiful girl but her stomach protruded meaning that she was with child. Knowing that he knew she must be married and therefore there was no chance for him. Not that he wanted that... Did he? Not really. He had Hannah, the nude blonde who often inhabited his bed, and that was fine with him.

    As he would eat he would watch the woman working. If he wasn't trying to read the paper he was watching her move about the cafe, helping customers and taking care of simple things. She seemed to be here and then there and then in the back then back to the front. She was so pretty... Jack had to leave. Bringing his plate back to the counter he left it there, thanking Ellie who gave him a nod as he left.

    Hannah was at his apartment when he returned wearing just one of his shirts as she relaxed in a black armchair. Her blonde hair fell long and curly down her back and a pair of bright red lips opened up in a smile when she saw Jack. "Bonjour." She stood and dropped the book she had been reading to the floor. Her feet padded across the floor and his eyes fell to her long slender legs, towards the curve of her hips, up to her full breasts, graceful neck and stopped to meet her eyes. Hannah was stunningly beautiful and he often wondered how she had ended up with him. She approached him and threw her arms around his neck, pulling him into a tight hug. "Good morning," Jack murmured, patting her back gently until she unwrapped herself from him.

    "You deed not bring me une caffe?" She asked, her light brow cocking. Jack shook his head. "I didn't know you wanted one." He chuckled and leaned against the counter. Hannah sighed dramatically and moved back across the room to her spot with the book. Jack watched her and moved across the room, taking her hand and pulling her off the chair. He caught her plump lips in a kiss, his hands moving down to ride the shirt up some so he could feel her bare hips.

    Hannah chuckled throatily and winked at him wiggling away as she disappeared around the curtain to where his bed was. Jack followed behind her because that was how he drowned his problems. Sex.
    A few days later it was raining as Jack made his way to the local library for the afternoon. There was a loud clap of thunder and soon the rain really started coming down. Not having any protection from it he darted into his favorite cafe and shook his hair out. "Dammit." He swore under his breath, looking out the door behind him. The rain continued to come down and he would be there for awhile. Jack walked to the counter and noticed there was a sweet roll left in the display case. That would do for a nice snack. ​
    • Love Love x 1
  7. When Jack would enter the cafe, the young woman he had been watching would be crouched behind the back counter, shaking like a leaf. Ellie and John, her husband, had left her alone on the rainy day knowing that it wouldn't be very busy. People tended to hide in their homes on days like these. Genevieve was somewhere off with one of her beaus, and until the thunder had penetrated the silence of the town, Rose had been doing just fine. She had managed to wipe off all the empty tables and even throw a new, fresh batch of cinnamon rolls into the oven. Their aroma filled the entire cafe now. It was familiar to her; before the war when groceries and love had been plentiful, she was always cooking something in her new oven, a wedding gift from James. He knew how much she loved to bake.

    Hearing the clap of the front door, Rose's heart had been beating madly against the wall of her chest. Her fingertips gripped the edge of the wooden counter, her body so shaken that her knuckles were growing white.
    When she looked up at the solid chest she knew she well, stretching that Allied uniform taut with the underlying muscles, her eyes widened.

    "Get behind the counter!" she whispered hastily.
    When the man just stood there, Rose ducked back down underneath. Another clap of thunder sounded and she jumped. Clearly she feared that it wasn't just thunder out there - that someone was coming for her. She was the last one left, and thought no German soldier would know that, her anxieties still clutched at her.

    "They are out there," Rose told him, her eyes teeming with tears as she peered back over. "I swear that's gunfire. They-they, they're coming. I'm s-sure of it!" She noticed that the soldier wore no gun and she sighed. The rain pelted another sound out there, a sign of spring. If the Germans would ever lay off, maybe she could plant some tulips outside the cafe, bringing life back to this little town.
  8. It was a very odd sight, seeing the small woman cowering under the counter because of the thunder outside. Jack looked over his shoulder at the rain streaking down the front window. There was no one that he could see. Jack looked back out the window and then back down underneath the counter. He moved to a small door and swung it open so that he could join her. Keeping a distance he crouched down and eyed her, his gaze rather intense. "And who is out there, madam?" He asked curiously.

    Obviously she was afraid of something. It must not be the thunder or she would have told him that it was the thunder. Maybe the thunder brought up bad memories. There were certain sounds, smells, and sights that would make him act the same way if he came across them. Thankfully he had come a long way since that and hadn't been in combat in quite some time. The town was safe.

    Jack got a chance to finally see her eyes when she looked at him. There was something... Something almost hypnotic about locking eyes with her. He had never seen them until this moment. He had been about to say something but the speech that was ready to leave had left and he was left in an awkward silence filled with the pittering pattering of the raindrops. Jack wanted to reach forward and take her hand but again, she was pregnant which meant that there was a husband in the picture. "Do you live far from here? We can close down the cafe and I can take you home to your husband." He suggested, leaning his side against the wall.
  9. The same noises had vibrated the entire town when the Germans had raided, pulling men and women from their homes and separating them. She and James had just been making breakfast, complete with her famous cinnamon rolls, when they had come knocking. James hadn't even been able to stow her away in a cupboard like he had taught her before they had knocked down the entire door. Then those terrible, awful booms had filled the air and James had been taken from her. If Rose had been in the right mind at the time and realized that it was likely the last time she would see James, she would have fought harder. Another boom, and he had been killed. Rose hadn't seen the gunshot in her husband but when you loved someone so thoroughly, you could simply sense when they were no longer with you.

    When the soldier had crossed the counterspace and crouched down beside her he had seemed large than life - probably a good foot taller than her and perhaps twice as wide at the shoulders. His presence filled the space but not with fear. He was trying to comfort her, soothe her. He seemed unphased by the booming outside, a noise that Rose was convinced was gunshots. Or bombs. Either was equally terrifying and she knew that the Germans were merciless in using them.

    As he went on to ask where she lived and about her husband, Rosalie's saucers for eyes grew even wider. The booms had stopped outside but her heart was aching for a different reason now.
    Big, hot tears filled her eyes and she whimpered, "m-my husband? H-he-he-he-...." Suddenly she was sobbing once more, mumbling almost incoherently about how he had been ripped from her. The smell of burning flesh... the heat against her body as she tried to escape. Rose's shoulders shook as the grief consumed her. How many little babies like hers had perished that night? How many sons and daughters, mothers, husbands, sisters and brothers? And why had God decided to spare her life, when it seemed all she could live as now was the shell of a woman?
  10. Jack sighed when she began to cry. He hated when women cried because it reminded him of his mother back home and it made his heart twist. Reaching out for her he placed his hand on her shoulder and gripped it gently. He gave it a firm squeeze, letting her know that he was there for her in that moment of need. Jack's eyes fell to her belly and his brows rose once again.

    The young woman was pregnant and her husband was... Well, he wondered if her husband had been a French soldier. Maybe he had been killed and she had been told not long ago. The wounds still seemed fresh in her psyche. Jack couldn't be sure but that would be his first guess, her husband had passed away.

    As they crouched there together, a small silence overtook them and he listened outside. The room had become lighter meaning the dark clouds had passed and the sun was working its way out from between the grey mass. The rain was just a small patter against the roof and the window now and there hadn't been a flash of lightning or a crack of thunder in minutes. Jack had taken his hand off of her shoulder and he stood from his spot, brushing off a bit of dust from the knees of his uniform. Reaching down he offered her a warm hand, helping her up with a concerned look.

    "I am sorry to hear about your husband. From the way you reacted to that storm you must have been through a lot." Jack murmured as he moved around to the other side of the counter. He pointed to the last sweet roll. "I'll pay for one of those and be on my way, Mrs.-" He stopped when he realized he didn't know her name.
  11. His hand against her shoulder seemed to burn a hole through the fabric of her dress. Not in a bad way. His touch reminded me of the way that James had touched her when they had first met. He had been a kind, tall man with a dashing smile. He had asked her to dance at some silly little get together and she supposed that the rest had been history. The thought of him clenched at Rose's heart, but she allowed the soldier to help her from the floor, still a bit shaky. Rose noticed that it was beginning to brighten outside - either a sign that the storm was passing, or the Germans had moved on, if their had been any in the first place.

    Rose merely nodded when he commented that she had been through a lot. Though he was a soldier who had probably seen enough turmoil in his lifetime, he seemed to be able to hold it together well.

    "Rose," she murmured simply, "just... just Rose." As a widow, she didn't like to utter her husband's last name but also didn't want to disrespect his grave by referring to herself by her maiden name, either. So Rose was just fine for now.

    Carefully she extracted the roll from the case and placed it in a baggy. When she turned to hand it to him, his hand brushed hers, sending a volt of electricity up her entire arm. Rose retracted hastily and stared at him with wide eyes.

    Before he could leave, she told him quietly, "thank you. For-for... comforting me. You're right, I have b-been through a lot. Some say it gets easier every day but quite frankly, it does not."
    Her eyes narrowed a bit as she craned her neck to look at him, "you are from America, yeah? I cannot tell the accent. But it is not surely not German or British. You came all the way... here?"
  12. Rose. There were roses growing outside of his apartment in a small garden behind the building that he tended to during the warmer months. "That is a lovely name, Rose. I'm Jack. Pleasure to meet you" He told her with the ghosts of a smile threatening to turn the corners of his mouth up. "And you are welcome. I'm glad that I found you. No one should suffer fear in silence." He commented as he looked at the sweet roll, bringing it up to his mouth to take a bite. Still tasted fresh.

    "I am an American soldier. I grew up in Pennsylvania and was deployed to France. I'm not really sure how I ended up here but there are a few others like me around. We work some with the French troops, and the British when they decide to pay a visit." He sighed as he explained the situation. He ran a hand through his hair and noticed that it was getting a bit long on top and would need a trim soon. Hannah was good with a scissors, she could cut it for him.

    Jack paid for the roll, giving an extra tip with a nod. "Ellie and John are good people. I'm glad they're the ones that found you." He murmured and turned. "Have a lovely day, Mademoiselle Rose." He called over his shoulder as he walked out into the wet but sunny streets, making his way to the library.
  13. His voice was like molten chocolate and if Rose hadn't been so broken at the time, and maybe a bit younger, she would have loved to swim in it. She knew how much French women loved soldiers, especially foreign ones, and imagined that Jack had enough ladies lined up at his doorstep. For the first time in a long time, she smiled softly. Like a man as kind and handsome as him would choose a pregnant lady over all the others. Lord knew there were many beautiful, flexible girls around this town for him to take a gander at. And as a widow Rose wasn't on the market and didn't plan to be, so she wasn't even sure why she was thinking about this. The young woman just watched as he turned with a powerful swing of his hips and existed the cafe. Jack.

    ~ ~ ~
    "Genevieve, I'm too fat for this!" she cried. Since the massacre at Oradour she had been wearing Genevieve's clothing. Back before Rose had been pregnant they might have been pregnant but now the young woman was practically busting at the seams. Ellie had been kind enough to take out a few of the dresses to better accommodate her belly, but now that Genevieve was trying to cart her out to one of the local dances, a tribute to the men that served their town, she was trying to dress her up in clothing that barely fit.

    "You look tres belle," Genevieve grinned. A little more raunchy and sexual than Rose was, at least at night and away from her parents, Genevieve was practically beaming. It had been almost two months since the massacre at Oradour and though Genevieve knew that it would take years - even decades - for Rose to recover, she still wanted the girl to have some fun.
    After fixing the young woman's hair and giving her a bit of faint red lipstick to put on, Genevieve linked her arm through Rose's and carted her off to the nearby hall. It was packed to the brim already with Allied soldiers, clad handsomely in their uniforms, and a plethora of women begging for their attention. Rose immediately shrank into Genevieve's side.

    "Let's go inside!" Genevieve grinned, "it's a celebration, honey!" Only Rose didn't feel like celebrating. Men were already looking at her next to Genevieve, regarding her belly and then hastily looking away. Not that Rose was looking for a suitor at this point, and her pregnant abdomen was a clear indication that she had been taken. Men often flirted her from the other side of the counter at the cafe, only to blush and grow flustered when she'd turn and they'd see she was with child.

    Somehow Genevieve found a gaggle of men and women she knew, and though Rose was prone to stay at her side, they were in the middle of all the people and it suffocated her. What if they set this place on fire, too? The mere thought had her leaving Genevieve's side and stepping out into the cool night air. The sun was just beginning to set, casting a beautiful glow over the city. Maybe for one night they'd all be safe.
    Rose sat down on the back steps of the hall and put her face into her knees, trying to breathe. How had she thought a crowded room of people wouldn't bring back all those terrible memories? They were laughing now, but Rose could still hear the screams. Babies wailing. Women sobbing. Rose took a few deep breaths.​
  14. Hannah stood in front of Jack, fixing his uniform so that there were no wrinkles she could catch with her bright cat-like eyes. "Tres beau." She whispered in his ear as they gazed into the mirror. "Thank you." Jack replied softly as he glanced at her. She wore a red dress that showed off each and every curve and dipped to show off her impressive cleavage. Hannah caught him looking and waggled a finger at him with a small smirk. "Later." She whispered and reached for his hand, leading him out of the building and into the town towards the dance hall.

    Jack wasn't so sure about all of this but they said he did not have to stay long. Hannah had begged him to go and he had eventually said yes because he did not want to hear her whining about it any longer. If she wanted she could stay longer, he really didn't care what she did. He brushed most things off.

    With a drink in hand he looked around the crowded hall at all of the men in uniform and the gaggles of women all vying for a spot on one of their arms. He wasn't sure how that made him feel but he did know that it was amusing to watch. He finished off his champagne and glanced around, noticing Hannah was off dancing with someone else. No matter, he wasn't really in the mood to dance. His eyes scanned the room again, looking for a familiar face when it just so happened one came up next to him with a bright smile.


    Jack had to admit that he fully appreciated the way her dress hugged her body. She always seemed to conservative at work but here she was... Something else for sure. Genevieve had a bit of color in her cheeks from the drink and she stood rather close to him, her body almost folding and fitting against his side. It seemed as though he wanted her to wrap an arm around her waist which he eventually did because, why the hell not. "Have you seen Rose? I brought her with me tonight." Genevieve asked, her hot breath washing over his ear. He had to lean in to her in order to hear over the din of voices.

    "You brought a pregnant woman to a dance hall." He stated flatly, looking down into her eyes with an inquisitive look. "Well, yes." She replied with a flip of her hair, a slender arm wrapping around his waist. Jack wanted to move away from her but he did not, deciding that it would be better if he made sure the both of them got home that evening. "Let's go look for her, shall we?" Jack asked. Genevieve nodded her head and walked with him, arm still around his waist.

    Jack looked high and low for Rose and began to worry when they couldn't find her. It wasn't until he saw the back door that he realized they hadn't checked their yet. Curiously he opened the back door and noticed her on the steps. "Good evening." He smiled politely and took a seat next to her on the steps, pulling out a cigarette and a box of matches from his pocket. He lit the match, used it to light his cigarette and then took a puff. "How are you?" He asked curiously.
  15. Rose hadn't belonged her; not only because she had been terrified of the large, packed room, but because she wasn't like the rest of those ladies. Even before she had been married and gotten pregnant she hadn't been nearly as sexual or enticing as most other women. She doubted most of those ladies had been like that either before the war had started - but when the roof over your head was threatened weekly and there was barely enough food to go around some months, Rose supposed that sex was one of the few things that people around here had. Not to mention every where she looked there were young, handsome, and randy young men just waiting for a little lady to fall in their laps. Rose didn't exactly condone the frivolousness that people her age seemed to regard love making with, but she figured with their lives hanging in the balance, they wanted to make the most of what time they had. Not to mention carnal desires probably shielded their minds from past, terrible memories.

    Rosalie nearly jumped when the back door creaked up. She turned and was surprised to see a familiar face. Jack looked more slick than usual, his uniform fresh and his hair appearing to be freshly cut. Though a widow, Rose was still a woman and couldn't help but regard his handsomeness. As he sat down beside her, his warmth seemed to wrap around her like a blanket. A different kind of warmth than in the hall, or worse yet, in the church at Oradour. She wanted to curl herself into him but merely wrapped her arms around her expanded waistline.

    Before she had escaped outside, Rose hadn't failed to see the woman on Jack's arm. Blonde and curvaceous, she was just the kind of women that soldiers seemed to ogle over. The way she had practically pressed her breasts against his sides indicated she was more than just a friend. Rose had merely frowned at that and looked away.

    "Fine," she murmured. Her small hand found her waistline, rubbing it soothingly. Now that she was six and a bit months pregnant, the baby within was beginning to kick.
    She peered at Jack through her hair, "shouldn't you be inside dancing? Genevieve said this was a dance to show respect to people like you." Now it just seemed like a way for women to get into their beds. And though Rose was no woman to judge, she had found it a little bit off-putting.

    Taking a deep breath, she stared out in the now starry sky. "I used to be like the ladies inside there, you know. I was only nineteen when I married my husband, and thought I wasn't nearly as well... outgoing... as those ladies, I still liked to have fun. I loved to dance around with boys older than me. That's how I met James." She sniffled a bit. "And not that I want them to, no man looks at me twice now. Not once they see my stomach, anyways."
  16. Jack listened curiously to Rose as he smoked his cigarette on the steps. He felt like a child again on the stoop in front of his mother's home in Philadelphia. The man upstairs would give the boys living there cigarettes as payment for doing work around the building. Jack had never swept so much in his life... The thought almost had him smiling. Almost.

    What admitting she did do was interesting, in a way. "Well, you don't have to be like the women in there if you don't want to. A child... A child is one of the greatest things that can happen to you, Rose. Not that I would really know because I have none, so if you would like you can ignore me when I speak of this-" He chuckled and blew a smoke ring up into the air. "You are a beautiful woman, Rose. Once that child is born there will be men lining up down the street at your door just for a chance to take you to supper." Jack promised her as he glanced into her eyes. "I plan on walking you and Genevieve home tonight. My assumption is that the poor girl won't be able to walk straight when she's done in there." Jack sighed and tapped the end of his cigarette onto the ground.

    "I don't know if I have ever heard you say his name." Jack spoke after a comfortable silence. "It's James, you said? A strapping name... I'm sure that child will be just as beautiful as the two of you must have been as a couple." He wanted to reach for her hand but he did not, instead he rested it on the step between them, feeling the solid wood there. "Do you think it will be a boy or a girl?"
  17. Rose merely shrunk into herself where Jack complimented her. She doubted his words; a baby was more of a burden than pregnancy was, and no man would want to raise a babe that he didn't sire. Rose didn't blame them - and though she fretted to Jack about not being noticed, quite frankly she didn't want to be. Her heart had already been broken once; the last thing she needed was to be broken again, too, especially with a newborn in her arms.

    When he mentioned James her heart clenched a bit. She hadn't even divulged the name of her late husband to Ellie and John, and hearing Jack say it brought tears to her eyes. She knew that she was probably the only person grieving for her husband now; his parents had been killed in a bombing back when the war had first started, and after all, Rose had been all he had. Aside from her brothers and parents, he had been all she had, too. Now all of them were buried in some mass grave outside of Oradour. Part of her had wanted to return, only to collect the small memories of him that might be left in their home, but the thought scared her. Oradour was likely occupied by Germans now, and their home had probably been destroyed. All the little quilts she had made for the baby, her husband's wood cravings... gone.

    Pulling herself from the memories, Rose looked at Jack. When their eyes met she found herself swimming in bottomless oceans for eyes. She blinked a few times before realizing he had asked her a question. "A boy, I think. But even if they do not admit it, every woman does pine for a girl." Rose stroked her stomach, clad in a floral pink dress. "I fear that if I give birth to a boy, he'll be sent away to fight. Just like you were. I can only imagine what that may have done to your mother and father."

    Before she could continue the door to the hall creaked out again. A blonde women poked her head out, and her red lips widened when she saw that Jack was there. She barely regarded Rose as she crouched and wrapped her arms around Jack from the back. She kissed and sucked his neck with a loud giggle. "Come on, my soldier. I want you," she giggled. Rose could almost smell the alcohol on her breath from here. The blonde woman went on to talk about boring the party was and how she was wanted to go home, stressing the word.
    Slowly Rose stood up from the steps. "Thank you for the offer to take us home," Rose murmured to Jack. The woman was still whispering little nothings into his ear, "I can get Genevieve home, though. Sometimes I think she puts on an act when she is drunk, and she is not as inebriated as you might think. I know you must have other things to tend to." With that she slipped back into the dance hall, a different heat wrapping around her.
  18. With another long sigh Jack stood from his space on the stairs with Hannah on his arm, leading her home. When annoyed the sex wasn't that good and it truly wasn't that evening. It was more of a chore for Jack than anything and when it was all over he left her in his bed and went out for a walk in civilian clothes during the early hours of the morning.

    Eventually the sun began to rise and the town began to wake up. Windows were thrown open to greet the warmth of the yellow orb high in the sky and men and women alike were letting dogs out into the yards to run and play. Jack leaned down to scratch behind the ears of a terrier before he continued on with his walk, tired but still awake and aware of all things going on around him. He ended up on a familiar path to his favorite place, his little cafe. Ellie was washing the tables on the sidewalk and bid him a gentle good morning. Stepping inside Jack noticed that Genevieve was nowhere to be seen. She was probably sleeping off the drink from the night before.

    A tea sounded good that morning. Tea and a scone. Ellie made wonderful lemon scones and his eyes lit up when he noticed that they were stocked in the display case. He rung a small bell signaling a customer was there and waited patiently for whomever was going to approach from the kitchen. Truly it was a bit of a toss up.
  19. When the bell rang, John, not usually one for the store front, came out from the back. His frown soon dissipated though when he saw Jack, congratulating him on his service as most had been doing lately. After the massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane the Allied presence had been strong in the town, and because of that, the civilians were truly grateful. John had a certain light in his eyes when he looked out the front window at his wife tending to their guests and the tables on the sidewalk. They had opened the cafe just after their daughter had been born, and when the Second World War had hit, John had been fearful his little business would suffer. Now his wife was happily bustling about the front, and his heart felt significantly lighter. As long as they had men like Jack around he knew they would be safe here.

    "You have not been deployed yet?" he asked, "you've been 'ere for quite some time, son. I am surprised they haven't sent you into Germany. Not that that isn't a blessing." His face dropped a bit, "one of my regular's boys got sent there. No word from him in over six months. His ma holds up but his father knows better." Closing his eyes, John recalled the first World War. The underlying issues had differed but the outcome was the same - blood, death, carnage.

    Opening his eyes, John forced a smile. "My girls had a lot of fun at the dance last night. Gen could not stop gaggling about how handsome you looked in a pressed uniform. Rose had a grand time, too, which surprised me. Met a sweet man there. I hope he is good to her."

    As if on cue, Rose entered the front of the cafe, wearing a wider smile than they had seen on her. Beside her was a lanky dark-haired man. He wore civilian clothing but had the air of a soldier. His hand pressed against Rose's back as he ushered her inside.

    "I see her like a daughter," John said quietly, glancing at Rose as she spoke to the man and then back at Jack, "shame her dear husband was taken in the massacre. She does not speak often of it, but I think she is the only one who escaped that church in Oradour. My Ellie said something about her climbing through a window, though we may never know the whole story." Rose's giggle tinkled through the room, making John's eyes brighten. "That baby's all she had when she left but at least she's got us now."
  20. Jack almost mentioned he was surprised that Gen hadn't tried to bring him home that night... But he thought better of it. His eyes flitted to where Rose was with the man and he cocked a brow. Jack wondered what was so special about this one. She had barely spoken to Jack the first few times they had met and now she was all of a sudden in the arms of a man? Hmm. He could ponder that later.

    "I am glad that you were the ones who found her, John. It could have ended much worse for her if someone else had." Jack admitted and looked at the scone again. "I'll have a cup of tea please. And one of Ellie's lemon scones. That woman must have some kind of intuition because she knows how much I love them." He smiled and turned his head to wave at Ellie through the window. She was still cleaning the tables thoroughly. It made him smile.

    John passed the scone and the warm cup of tea over to Jack with a smile. "No charge today." Jack insisted that he pay but John shook his head. "No, on us." He replied. Jack nodded, glancing over at Rose. "Good morning." He wished her before going to take an open seat at his favorite table. The paper was already there and Jack was determined to continue learning his French by doing his best to read it. It was this way he could keep up with everything happening in not only the town but the surrounding areas. The mention of going to Germany sent chills down his spine. There had been whisperings of what was happening there and although he wanted to help... Jack knew just how dangerous it was. Eventually he would be called there and he would save as many lives as possible.

    But for now he would sit and wait, enjoying the spring days that would eventually turn into summer days, long and hot. He added some sugar to the cup and took a sip. The tea was invigorating and he barely remembered the fact that he had been up all night wandering. Breaking off a chunk of svone he dipped it into the drink and began to munch on it happily.
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