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Choking on Sapphires

Chapter Text

Song: Thieves & Kings by The Peach Kings - All dialogue in italics is spoken in French.

 cosmain

Preface

You knew Tommy Shelby through his wife Grace. You had gone to the same girl’s school together growing up. Your noble British father knew hers and thus you remained friends after school. You’d both grown up using your sweet exteriors to conceal your inner devious selves who were superb at playing young and dumb to get out of trouble. 

Only as companions during school, your summers were spent with your mothers family in France. This was where you grew up amongst the outskirts of the Milieau and the consequences of their crimes. You were still raised and groomed to be a hopefully rich and powerful man’s wife, with your etiquette dinners and polite conversation skills. But you preferred to spend your free time in the stables, or fencing with your brothers. Late at night when you preferred to sneak around your families estate, you would find yourself in the kitchen with your cousins and the rest of the workers in your home. They were far more interesting and alive than any other group of people you’d ever met, and they had the best, although most times, inappropriate stories. 

After Grace’s sudden death, at the party you were all attending, you stayed to help with arrangements and however you could. You had stayed in the house for a short time after, until others received word of her death. You spent time with the Shelby ladies who always felt distant but were kind to you, nonetheless. The brother’s somber mood made for poor conversation between them and everyone who spoke to them so you didn’t take it personally. 

It wasn’t until you were woken up by an intruder one night that you earned the Shelby’s trust. You hear breaking glass, voices, thuds. You grab a gun you kept in your mattress and sneak out of your room. You’d done plenty of small crimes over the years, you loved the thrill. But you’d never had to kill someone before. You run to Charlie’s room as you’ve been looking after him and have grown so fond of the child. You knew Thomas wouldn’t survive it if he lost him too. You knew losing Grace, Tommy and Charlie would break you. 

You’re found by an askew crib, your hands a bloody mess, leaning against the wall by the window breathing heavily. One body shot in the head on the floor, the other, head wedged between the bloody, partially open window frame. 
You remember coming to, out of your blackout and seeing John and Arthur, guns up, stalking into the room, eyes wide, hair a mess from sleep. They slowly run their eyes over the scene, Arthur reaching out to shush the crying baby. You rest your hands on the crib, nodding down to Charlie. John leans in towards you slowly.

“They were after Charlie.” you huff out. Your let out a ragged breath, you groan and pick up your gun. You noisily gulp and clear your throat, standing up straight, composing yourself. You weren’t going to let this beat you. You couldn’t because then they won, and that wasn’t an option you were interested in exploring. They took Grace, tried to take her child and tried to kill you. You’d moved onto a new stage of grief, vengeance. You straighten your robe, it’s already splattered with blood anyway. Your breathing slows and you say quietly, “Fucking. Italians.” you spit out. John nods, grabbing you by the shoulder, giving it a small shake to make sure you’re not hurt. 

“Fucking Italians.” Arthur murmurs, handing the baby to a maid.

“Draw me a very, very hot bath please, would you Mary?” you give her a small nod and sad smile. John let’s out a small amused noise at your casual response.
Arthur is pacing, fuming, his hands in his hair. John diverts his attention to him, you lean on the rail of the crib with most of your weight, now exhausted. They talk but you don’t listen, your ears are ringing a bit now. You feel an arm around your shoulders.

“You did good, sweetheart.” Arthur says gruffly, not sure how to comfort you. You nod and thank him, patting his hand with yours. He puts a man outside your door every night until you leave. You feel much more accepted by the Shelby’s by the morning you leave. Even earning a private thank you from Tommy personally. 

Chapter 1


You find yourself making a handful of trips back from your home near Paris as uses for your particular sets of skills are to be had with the Peaky Blinders. You’d spoken on all holidays over the telephone and visited on a few. You speak to Polly most frequently, mostly of Charlie as you sent all the children gifts often when you traveled. 


For the first time, you initiate the call to Tommy in the wake of your fast decision to move to London. You make your way out to his country home. You explain to Tommy of your intentions of starting new for yourself. You have a different last name to hide your nobility connections and forged paperwork and records to weave together a fake past. You tell him about your legal business plans, your honey, and your berries. You whisper to him about your illegal business, mostly art theft, some jewels and a touch of persuading others to do your bidding because of your connections and violence. The latter he was a skill he was well acquainted with. He welcomes you with a closed mouth smile.

They help you acquaint yourself better to the people of London. You’d been keeping yourself busy with your business for so long since moving a night out, even as a possible but unlikely accomplish was welcome. Going out with the brothers meant no men would mess with you without your distinct permission and that was a welcome relief. Well, no men except the brothers and you could handle them, even drunk, you had before.

The room spins just slightly as you do with John Shelby on the dance floor. You found him the most fun to dance with even if you did feel like you were teasing the boy far too often when you did. But he was just a wild as you for the urge to indulge in the taboo others turned their nose up at. The Shelby’s were your type of family, reminding you of your mothers family you missed in France. They were dark cousin souls to your own twisted one and you’d kill for them at this point. Well, actually you had on many occasions now.
The golden walls of the large ballroom blur with the sparkle and dazzle of the clothes of the other women dancing quickly around you. Smiles were on everyone’s faces, including yours. You only drink wine as the boys hit back their whiskey. You’ve managed to avoid trouble so far, having danced with John and now retired to what was formerly Arthurs seat, next to Tommy. He’s leaned away from you, speaking quietly to another man. His body language doesn’t read as tense so you relax and take a moment to scan the room, sipping from your glass of red wine. Your friend and business assistant Claire, who you had brought with you tonight despite her clear distaste of spending a night with the Shelby’s, sits in a pulled up chair behind you, her body turned towards yours, that was facing out from the long table.

“Your rest isn’t an indication of it nearing the time for us to leave, is it?” she whispers flatly.

“No. I’ll know when to leave, I am not getting involved in a fight tonight, Claire, it is not my intention.” you hiss at her in a hushed tone.

“For once.” she scoffs, turning away from you.

You roll your eyes and take out your long cigarette holder, clasping the case shut. Before you can light it yourself, Tommy has a match ready, using it to light his own after. You give him a polite nod.

“Enjoying yourself Gen?” he asks, you see the faint smile in his eyes as he takes a drag from his cigarette.

“Yes. I did terribly need to get out. I’ve been far too uptight as of late.” you almost groan, leaning back in your seat.

“I couldn’t help but notice you’ve stayed with your wine all night,” he says quietly, leaning his head towards you to speak more privately. “No whiskey, no snow.” he says slowly, insinuating something. You swat his chest lightly with your hand with a scoff.

“Jesus, Thomas, no. Ridiculous!” you laugh, turning your head from him. “I don’t drink heavily anymore when business may be afoot and I haven’t touched snow since Paris. ” you give him a stern nod. “No other reasons,” you say low, looking up over your brow at him.  He nods and his mouth purses slightly, convinced by your answer. “Not that it would be any of your business.” you say snarkily, crossing your legs.

“No, not my business. Just a natural curiosity to ask that leads me to trouble.” he subtly smirks looking down at your amused but scolding face. You shrug your shoulders and pat his knee, agreeing with his conclusion. “Although the thought of the poor boy unlucky enough to knock you up.” he shakes his head and tsks. You can’t help but chuckle at the thought as well.

“Poor boy indeed.” you nod in agreement, your face returning to its blank expression with inquisitive eyes.

“Coming in on the left. I don’t believe you’ve met him before, have you?” You subtly turn your brown eyes across the floor of moving bodies, to the doorway of the large room. A broad-shouldered man with a tall hat stands in the middle of the archway, his brow furrowed, mouth pressed tightly under his beard. You see the attractive glint of rings across his fingers. His hands rested atop of his cane, centered in between his legs. “Alfie Solomons,” Tommy informs, leaning back into his seat. “You’ve heard plenty of stories about him, I’m sure of it.” he takes another drag of his cigarette.

“I certainly have.” you say slowly, correcting your posture. Your eyes narrow as you watch him. His voice is loud, you can almost make out his words across the room as he grabs a man’s shoulder in greeting. You’ve heard a few stories about Alfie Solomons from the boys. Although on good terms now, and as much of friends as you could be in their line of work, you knew he and Tommy had a history together. You’d never been involved in these particular business matters but you were certainly very interested in meeting this man.

“Alfie Solomons.” Claire whispers to you when she turns and see’s you starring across the room intently, having not heard Tommy’s words to you in the noise of the room. “Leader of the Jewish Gang in Camden Town, known for his temper and his talking,” she adds. You nod and give her a sound of acknowledgment. “And friends with your Shelby’s, so play nice,” she adds with more lightness to her voice. You give a subtle smile. “Because he’s coming over.” she adds, leaning back away from you. You turn back in his direction, his swaying gate capturing your attention. You sit demurely with your hands in your lap as he greets Tommy loudly and forcefully. He tips his hat to Arthur and John as bumble back to the table, mumbling amongst themselves.

“Do I know this one, Tommy, eh? You with him?” he asks, motioning his cane to you. You look up to meet his gaze, your face neutral but confident.

“No, she is not. This one is no man’s.” he says, you can feel the underlying jab at you in his voice. He leaves your introduction up to you, it’s like he knows you.

“No man’s like them?” he asks, head and hand motioning to two women making out on the bench against the wall behind you. He sits down hard in the chair across from you.

The girls notice you turn your full body in your chair to them, just feet away, they dart their eyes around nervously, you give them a warm smile. “Not quite like them, no.” you say with a small sly smile, sipping your wine as your elbow rests on the table in front of you. Tommy’s shoulder shakes just once with a chuckle at your response.

“How about now?” Alfie’s eyebrows raise and he motions again as you hear the deep grunt of Arthur being pulled back towards the two girls. They’re already kissing him and his arms around them both as you turn. You grin and shake your head, turning back to your previous position.

You give him a short but genuine laugh as you look down at the table to show consideration playing across your face. “More like them now, yes.” you give a small nod and smile as his lips pull back to give you a grin.

“Well then.” he taps his can on the floor. “That’s cleared up now, yeah?” he gives his head a quick nod. “Besides that very interesting bit of information, I don’t know much about you miss.” he leans forward on his cane slightly.  "And I know everyone, so who does that make you?“ he implores, moving his elbows to the table. You mirror his posture and his eyes glance over you.

"If you know everyone, but not me, that would make me nobody would it not?” your face is neutral.

“What that clearly ain’t true, is it? Yer sittin’ right next to Tommy fuckin’ Shelby, that makes you someone, dunnit?” he says gruffly “They wouldn’t of let you in here if you were no one.” he says obviously.

“Genevieve Durand.” you hold out your hand to his already reaching one. “I’m the owner of Abeille Company just outside London.” you introduce yourself giving him a polite nod as he slowly brushes his lips across the back of your hand. You very subtly raise an eyebrow at his whiskers lingering on your skin.

“Owner, eh? Right.” he asks, his interest peaked, his amusement clear. “I’ve heard of yer company Mrs. Durand.”

“Miss Durand.” you immediately and clearly correct him. He’s surprised by your frankness to interrupt him.

“Good to know.” he says, his tongue clicking behind his teeth. “Alfie Solomons.” he introduces himself, “Aerated Bread Company.”

“Bread and rum, runs a bakery. Call the rum bread, just trust me.” Claire whispers to you in French.

“My friend Claire has heard of your company, Mr. Solomons.”

“And I of yours.” he says with a shake of his head. “Would you like to try some of my bread, Miss Durand?” he asks, his charisma coming out a bit more, or at least that’s what you thought it was. He wasn’t the easiest to read, moving rapidly through facial expressions.

“Why not?” you say with a shrug, looking over to an amused and silent Tommy. He holds his arm up to make the order.

“A glass for each the ladies, yeah? Good lad.” he says not looking to the waiter.

“No thank you. I do not drink when I am working.” Claire corrects in English.

“Right then.” he nods, taking it for himself. “Bread, yeah?” he asks you, leaning forward, motioning his head and hand to the bottles that have been set on the table.

“White and brown bread.” you say with a subtle smile in your eyes. You enjoyed the energy he was putting off. You didn’t feel threatened by him, but you did certainly feel captivated.

“Smart girl.” he says as he pours the clear in your glass. It’s smoother and lighter than you expect. You use the opportunity to lick your lips while you consider your response. “Hows it please you miss? C'mon, let’s hear it.” he asks with no real concern behind it, motioning with his hand for you to respond. You glance over at Tommy again, giving a tiny shrug and mirroring Alfie’s hand motion.

You nod. “Reminds me of summer,” you answer almost wistfully. He turns his head at your unusual response. “It really isn’t bad at all, actually.” you give him a small flash of a smile. You motion with your hand, “And this one?” you inquire, picking up the brown.

“Yeah.” he nods. “Summer eh? Right.” he draws out the last word in a gritty voice, looking down his nose at you as you taste this one.  You set it back down and look at him indifferently.  "Hows it? You got any poetry about this one?“ he says leaning in closer, you feel like he’s testing your personal space.

"No,” you say, looking down your nose at the glass. “I ask your apologies Mr. Solomons but that one is fucking awful.” you give him a small sly smile and he laughs. His head going back, loud and booming, his hand gives a casual pat to your response on your hand while he laughs. He quickly retreats it. Tommy shakes his head, even letting out a small chuckle at your response.

“Lookit the mouth on this one.” he hums in amusement, his eyes narrowing at you again after he shoots a playful glance at Tommy. “You said you knew who I was. You’d think a slight thing such as yourself wouldn’t talk to a man like me like that.” he tests you, invading your personal space. Unbothered you give him a casual glance, looking over his rugged face as he huffs out his nostrils at you in a twitch.

“Manquer?” Claire asks.  You give her no response because you feel he means you no immediate harm.

“I believe you were the one that asked what I thought about them.” you respond, your chin lowering, looking up at him through your lashes to show your unphased nature of his intrusion.

“Ay I did.” he nods, waiting you out.

“You seem like the type of man who would appreciate the truth over a lie.” you say dignified.

“You been lying to other types of men then eh?” his lips read as friendly as his nose twitches.

“Just the ones that can’t handle the truth.” you say confidently. He gives a low hum, nodding his head and shaking his finger at you, like he was scolding you but he changes the conversation.

“That brown stuff is awful stuff anyway, innit?” he says, sliding the glass down the table without looking where it was going. “It’s not for a lady now is it?” he explains, his hands moving while he speaks, his rings glinting in the light of the room. A tall dark haired young man comes up to him to take his attention from you.

You turn to Claire, who is almost perched on the back of your chair. “I like this one.” you whisper to her in French, your face close to hers.

“Really?” she asks, already annoyed by this fondness.

“Oui.” you say with a mischievous smile she narrows her eyes at.

and why?” she says with her disapproval heavy in her voice.

I think he may be useful.” you give a small shrug with the shoulder she was closet to.

Is that all?” she asks sarcastically. She could tell you were enjoying the conversation because she’d seen a small flash of teeth in your smile.

I like the power coming off of him. He’s a smooth talker despite the accent,” you smirk at her, your faces close as he continues to speak away from you. “He’s into rum. Alcohol always moves. I have honey, he makes bread. Who knows what could happen.” you say, hopeful at the chance of another business opportunity.

And no other reasons?” she mumbles, rolling her eyes subtly.

Other reasons, oui. None of which you should concern yourself with.” you dismiss her words with a wave of your hand.

You think this one is handsome don’t you?” her voice lilts. You stop and consider it.

“Oui.” you coo playfully, he turns back to you and you move your shoulder back towards the table.

He takes your hand unexpectedly. You give him a look that isn’t entirely welcome to the nerve of him to suddenly touch you. “I’m afraid there’s business to attend to, Miss Durand. Ya understand.” he nods, a slightly apologetic tone to his rough voice. “Another time, yeah?” his brow is furrowed and his mouth pulled tight as he raises and kisses your hand before gently laying it back on top of your forearm.

“Another time.” you give him a polite node and a sweet smile to remember you by.

“Tommy.” he huffs out low, giving him a tip of his hat as he walks away.

“Looks like that’s your cue to leave, sweetheart.” Tommy pats your back as he raises from his chair. You follow his lead, he helps you put on your coat, you gather your purse in your hands. “Unless you want to stay and get into some trouble.” he adds playfully, both joking and not.

“No, she does not.” Claire interjects, grabbing your forearm and dragging you away, towards the exit.

“Goodbye boys!” you shout to them, blowing kisses just as a gunshot rings out across the room. You post up against the surge of people stampeding out of the club. You hear a deep voice shout over the cleared room, you see Alfie, cane fisted in his hand, someone already at his feet. Your eyebrow raises with the side of your mouth involuntarily at the display. You’re knocked side to side as the rest of the people clear. You’re in the lobby with a few workers, they’re huddled behind statues and columns, but you’re in the middle of the grand entryway, unphased by the violence unfolding in front of your eyes. 

“Oh no you don’t!” you hear Claire groans loudly as she wraps her arms around your waist and moves your forcefully out of the building, you watch the leader of the Jewish Gangs snarl and strike as she spins you around and shoves you into your car. 

“It was just about to get good.” you pout, fixing your askew dress. Claire glares at you, telling your driver to head home.

Chapter Text

Ollie stands in the doorway of Alfie's office, he's grumbling to himself, flipping the pages of 3 open books on his desk, his small golden glasses on their chain around his neck are perched on the end of his nose as his lips pursed together tightly. His finger taps hard against the same space in one of the books.

"Ollie?" he asks lightly.

"Yes, Mr. Solomons?" he asks in his usual vaguely hesitant tone to the singular calling of his name from his employer.

"Do you remember a night a few months back with a Miss Genevieve Durand?" he asks, his tone even, his finger taps the book again. He removes his glasses and motions for the tall young man to come closer.

 

"The lady with Tommy Shelby?" he asks for clarification, his face wincing as he leans forward to see where Alfie's finger is tapping.

"That would be correct, Ollie." he says, his voice darkening slightly, not unnoticed by Ollie's trained ears. "If you recall her by name now, why would you not tell me we've been doing business with her." he looks over at Ollie, his eyes wider than they had been just seconds before. Alfie's face is drawn, his eye staring intently at the boy leaning over his desk with him.

"Since it was all business from upstairs..." Alfie's eyes narrow slightly at him. "I don't usually bother you with that business, sir. I didn't know it was important, my apologies." he ducks his head slightly, turning his eyes from his and back to the big, swooping, feminine signature on the bottom of the contract Alfie had been looking at. Alfie takes one of the books into his hands and holds it as if to recite from it.

"Now Ollie..." his voice not immediately threatening, but not welcoming either. He replaces the glasses on his nose while he speaks, leaning the book towards the other man. "You see these names on this page, yeah?" he waits for Ollie to nod in response. "So, right, you can see 'em so is there anything that stands out on this page, here?" his lips are tight, face agitated but patient.

"Her signature, Mr. Solomons?" he asks quietly, unsure.

"Smart boy, there, yeah." he wiggles his finger at him. "You know why it's different though, boy?" Ollie's brow furrows, he shakes his head subtly. "Well that's because it's the only woman's signature in here, right?" his head tilts as he drops the book back onto the desk with a thud. "All these owners names on here, all men." Alfie crosses his arms across his chest, standing up straight but still looking at the open book. "Now let me ask you Ollie." he turns his broad form towards the lanky young man. "Do you own a business?"

"No, sir." he answered confused.

"Right, and are you a woman, Ollie?" he asks, his nose wrinkling with his expression of annoyance.

"Uh-" Ollie stutters, "No. No sir." his brows are uneven as his confusion is now worn on his face.

"Now, as an oppressed people, even without the added oppression of being a woman, you can understand how hard it would be to achieve such a thing, yeah?" his shoulders shrug slightly. "Now imagine being a woman, and running your own business. Not your husbands business, not your brothers, your fathers, just you. Just her. All on her lonesome." he puts his hand on Ollie's shoulder as he nods in agreement.

"Now, don't you think that I would want to speak to the only woman business owner, a member of another oppressed group who has shown themselves to be so resilient? That I've ever been in business with for, how long now...?" his mouth frowns as he leans back over the desk, looking with his finger guiding the way to the dates in the columns of the books. "For almost two fucking months now?" his head turns to Ollie but his hands remain on the desk.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Solomons for not realizing it's importance." he averts his eyes and stands back up straight.

"Right." he sucks his teeth at him, staring him down very predatorily, hoping he doesn't have to shout what he wants him to do at him.

"I'll set up an appointment with her as soon as possible." he nods and steps backward to leave the room, turning and crossing the threshold with a sense of relief.

"Be sure to be apologetic! What for how long it's taken you to invite her." Alfie adds, shutting the book and holding up the contract with your sweeping signature.

"Yes, sir." he calls back, heading towards where he kept Mr. Solomons schedule book.

"Genevieve Durand. Right." he says slowly and quietly, holding the edge of his glasses as he looks over the previously hidden piece of paper with the information from the research he'd had some of his men do on you.
-------------------
Your heels clack against the wood of the stairs as you walk underground into the sepia-toned expanse of Alfie Solomons Bakery. Your cool toned greys and blues you wore in your coat, skirt, blouse, and hat didn't melt with the warm surroundings you found yourself drawn into. Ollie, who you recall being with Mr. Solomons the night you'd met him, very gingerly checks you for weapons, being entirely too apologetic and dainty about it as he missed everything you'd been carrying. One of the few perks being a woman had in these business instances had to be how very few people suspected you to be carrying weapons.
You clasped your gloved hands together in front of you as you stride behind Ollie down a dusty concrete floor, surrounded by tall stacks of barrels that smelled loudly of Rum. The sounds of muffled men's voices and wooden bangs and screeches littered the air. As you start to undo the buttons of your long coat you hear his voice loud and booming, same as it was the last time you heard it, echoing over the open warehouses blank brick walls as you moved closer to him.
He shoos away the man with the clipboard speaking to him, dismissing him entirely before turning his full body and attention to you. "MISS DURAND!" he shouts, his arms rising above his head and clasping together in front of him with a loud clap. He steps under an overhanging lamp, illuminating him in an intimidating silhouette. Ollie steps to the side as you find yourself practically nose to chest with him before he stops his swaying gate.

"Mr. Solomons." you say in a calm, clear tone, a small smile and nod accompany your gaze up at him. He leans in to press his cheek to yours, your right then your left. He's warm and smells like rum with the faint lingering of cigars.

"Come in, come in," he says, gesturing with his hands to the half glass door of his office. You walk into the large space, your eyes scanning the dimly lit furniture. His hand hovers over your back but does not touch as he moves in behind you. "Sit, please." he moves the chair back from his desk for you. You're pleased with his manners thus far. Pulling your gloves off, your eyes watch him move around his desk to his chair seated directly across from yours.

"Thank you for meeting with me Miss Durand, I heard you've been expanding on a new Apiary, I know that must take up a lot of your time right now." You unpin your hat as he speaks, letting the freed pieces of your curled hair fall around your face, you check to make sure the rest of your updo was holding up as nicely. You don't smile with your lips but your eyes give away the impression he's already made by showing he knows what you do and also knowing about your businesses recent developments.

"Well, with Spring coming in soon I've been more concerned with avoiding chilled broods and readying the soil for my plants, but yes, I've got my people working on another bee yard." you take off your jacket as you speak, laying it over the arm of the chair next to you. "Your reputation precedes you, Mr. Solomons, I see you've done your research on me." you now give him a slight smile as you lean back into your chair, crossing your legs at the knee.

"Miss Durand, may I call you Genevieve?" he asks with an open hand and a furrowed brow.

"May I call you Alfie?" you retort, your head tilting slightly. A small flash of something runs across only his eyes.

"Yes. Yes you may." he nods, his lips puckering slightly with words.

"Then you may call me Genevieve." you say with a shrug of your shoulder.

"Right then, Genevieve. I make it a point to know who I go into business with, yeah?"

"A good practice. I do the same." your face is neutral, your eyes slowly glide over the contents of the room within your view.

"Oh you do, do you?" he asks low, slightly scolding but still playful. "What'd you get on me then?" he says with a grin.

"I did hear you had some trouble with your bookies last Derby." you hold back a smirk as his hands come together in front of him, his weight on his elbows.

"That so?" his eyes narrow and his mouth closes in a straight line. You could swear the hint of being impressed sat in his glare. "What does a beekeeper know about the races?" he says with a small huff of a laugh.

"You calling me a beekeeper is like me calling you a baker. It's true, but it's not the whole truth now, is it?" you let the smirk find your lips as you lean forward, your weight now on one elbow.

"Is it not?" he asks, his head shaking with his words, his tone stubborn. You narrow your eyes slightly at him, you put your tongue to the back of your teeth as you open your mouth to show your impatience.

"Did you invite me here to talk business, Mr. Solomons?" you say with an audible sigh to your voice.

"I may have had many motives in inviting you here today. That would be among them, yeah." he nods.

"Then talk business," you state, leaning forward just slightly. Your eyelashes fluttering with emphasis to your words as your mouth pursed slightly. He sits back in his chair, his hands folded across his stomach.

His face isn't threatening exactly but it also isn't as friendly as it had been.

"What business ya talkin'?" he says, his brow lowering and his chin moving to his chest.

"A new opportunity to build our working relationship. One that doesn't involve Abeille Company."

"This isn't the type of business I'd be writing down in that book with your name in it now, is it?" he says flatly, leaning back onto the desk with his elbows.

"I wouldn't suggest that approach, no." you lift the corner of your mouth slightly as you tilt your head to the side.

"Right." he says, sucking his teeth, his eyes darting around the room before returning to you. You're as still as you were before his eyes had left you. "What is it you think I can do for you?" his voice is softer now, his face still hard.

"I need two men to help me in 3 weeks time. I need them to have the ability to take direction, be quiet and possibly use guns, with accuracy, with the intent to kill. I would greatly prefer brains over brawn in these men as well. " you state confidently. "Those that would normally help me with this aren't available to work within my time frame and I had hoped that you would be able to work within them, unlike they were." you state the last part with less harshness, as this information was purely to build trust with him as it wasn't something that was absolutely essential to be shared. Even if it was an attempt to appeal to his ego.

"Eh. You don't need me for something like this, now, yeah? I'm sure your friend Tommy can fix this for you. Go ask him." he taps the desktop with his finger to emphasize his words.

"I didn't ask him for help though did I?" you state flatly. "I asked you." you shift your weight slightly in your seat. "I may be godmother to the man's son but that doesn't mean I am in any way obliged to work with or for him. " you sit up straight.

"No. No, you are not, are you? Right. You're very much out there working for yourself, aren't you?" he nods thoughtfully. You wait him out, your face neutral. "I admire that there. I do." he nods more enthusiastically. "It's part of what made me invite you today, truth be told. I've never worked with a woman who came by her own business on her own. Not her husbands, fathers, or her brothers." he pauses, his tongue peaks out of his mouth to wet his tongue for split second. "But hers." he looks at you as if he's pondering something about your character. "And now," he lets out a quick laugh. "Now you come here and I find out this pretty face is into the same bad, bad things I am. That's interesting now, innit?"

"Not the way you saw your afternoon going?" you ask, your tone was playful but your face remained stoic.

"No it's bloody not." he grins, shaking his head. You sit in the silence for a few moments."Alright now, Genevieve. I can get you these men you want. But I will need to know what they're for." he says slowly, his hand out with his palm up to show his point.

"That's fair for a first transaction." you nod. You lean your forearms onto his desk to get closer to him, your butt still in your seat. "Like you, I have other more, questionable means of income. My personal favorite and the one in question, is theft. In this instance, precisely jewels." you speak softly but clearly, his eyes are darting over your face as you speak to him.

"And in other instances?" he grins, his fingertips tapping together.

"Because you are in fact, doing me a favor with your help, I'll confide in you that art theft was my first love."

"Oh you're far gone, aren't ya?" he laughs and your face shifts to amused. "Speaking of the work like it's a woman. Or-in your case a man." his nose scrunches and he speaks with his hands as he stumbles over his words.

"You could just say lover." you interject smugly.

"Well, LOVER, alright, yeah? Speaking of the work like a lover. You're in deeper than I thought, Genevieve." he tsks you and you barely hold back an eye roll.

"I am comfortably in deep but that's none of your concern, Alfie." you give him a warm smile with the mention of his name moving smoothly out from between your lips.

"If we're in business, I believe it is now my concern." his fingers link together under his chin, as the low almost growl to his voice fades from his slow-paced words. His eyes bore into you.

"Perhaps time will reveal my depth to you if this negotiation goes well." you look down and you straighten your back, drumming your fingers on your forearm.

"Ah, we negotiating now, are we?" his tone shows his immediate interested response to the word.

"The cut for the help of your men." you state clearly, sticking to business. Your face is neutral, your eyes more serious.

"Right so, two men, one night?" he asks, putting on his glasses and reaching for a pen.

"One night." you nod, watching his handwriting appear across the sepia-toned paper, matching in tone to the rest of his bakery. "I will supply the guns, brief them beforehand and take them to and from the site. They'll be returned to the original place of pick up after it's complete." your head moves to and fro subtly as you list out your plans. "I will handle the rest and have your cut, in cash within 3 days time." He makes a low grunt of noise, nodding, his bottom lip tucked up under his mustache in thought.

"And what's this percentage now?" he asks, looking up from the paper into your eyes. You look up and away for a moment, playing that you were considering the amount even though it had all been decided in your head long before you came here, you were prepared to be generous seeing as you needed to build trust in this relationship. You look back with certainty into his gaze. "I think 75." his looks to the paper and starts moving the pen. You knew he was pushy, but you found it endearing, being drawn to his certainty.

"75?" you scoff slowly. "I know you want to show your dominance Mr. Solomons but I assure you it is not needed." he looks up, his eyes narrowed at you, you still hold your ground against his flaring nostrils.

"It's you, my services, man 1 and man 2, yeah?" he nods. "That makes you one part of four."

"That is an offensive underselling of the value of my time, skills and labor Mr. Solomons. I had hoped for better from a man like you. Inviting me here was a promising gesture but if you insist on wasting my time you should be sure I can and will withdraw the offer entirely and do the job by myself out of spite." Your teeth almost bite at the last word, your face pushing back assertively against his huffing one.
He chin pushes into his chest again, eye not leaving yours. He swallows noticeably and smacks his lips, his eyes still baring down on you from under his furrowed brow. "Right." is all he says, slowly.

"Since this is our first venture together and I can empathize with your need for proper compensation for taking a calculated chance on working with someone new," you pause, your head tilting to the side. "40%." you state, your finger lightly tapping the wooden desk in front of you.

"Forty?" he considers, the word full of gravel as it crawled out of his throat.

"For what precious things I'll be getting my hands on 40 is generous." your tone is solid.

"Since you are coming to me with such a generous attitude," he pauses, rubbing his chin as he speaks. "In the name of the," he waves his hand in a lazy circle as he considers his words, "generosity and all that," he pauses, his lips disappearing under his mustache again his brow furrowing in unison. "I can agree to 40." his pen starts moving again.

"A 40% cut for the two men. Who better not be duds, Alfie." a small grin on your lips,

"No, no, not duds for you now. You're my business partner, yeah? We can't go fuckin' each other over now can we?" he grins and you return the same expression while forgetting yourself for a moment.

"No we cannot." you pull back the grin as quickly as it appeared, you stand and he follows your lead. "Well negotiated, Mr. Solomons." you raise your hand and spit in it, holding it out to him. The look on his face makes you feel a lot of things.

"Lookit you." he lets out a low chuckle. He spits in his hand and shakes yours. You roll your eyes at his words, holding his hand firmly. "Well negotiated, Miss Durand."
You pull your hands apart and you bend to grab your coat, pulling out a medium sized glass bottle out of the deep side pocket. You set it on his desk. The warm colored liquid and spices swirling underneath the red ribbon you'd tied around the neck of the bottle. "In case this did go well, I brought you this." you nod and hold your hand out to the bottle, as he reaches for it. "I used your rum in this batch of apple cider." you hold your hands together in front of you after you slip your coat back on.

"You coming in on my bread game as well, yeah?" he says playfully, holding the bottle up the light.

"Absolutely not." you shake your head. "I have apples in my personal garden, which is where that lovely boy came from." you motion to the bottle with a nod of your head. "I had the idea to use your rum in this batch. Along with my honey and my garden's spices." he looks over at you, the bottle still held up in the air. "A gesture to both of us working together for a common goal and coming together beautifully." you give him a kind smile. "If I do say so myself." you give a slight shrug and take your gloves from your other pocket.

"Well that is yet to be determined, innit?" his voice softer than the words he says.

"I was referring to the cider, Alfie but if you must show your uncertainty, I suppose that it is still founded within reason." you give a small huff of a laugh as you button your coat. "For the time being." your face falls back into your fox-like focused expression.

"Keep giving me reasons to be more certain and I'm sure we'll work as well together as this cider, Genevieve." You give him a smirk as you press down the sides of your coat.

"I will continue to do so." you give a slight bow with your head and shoulders. "I'm afraid those Apiary's do need my attention today, Alfie." he follows behind you as you step away from the front of his desk towards the door. "So I'll take my leave and within three days, 3 weeks from now, I'll be in to see you again."

"Well you know where to find me now, don't you Miss Durand?" he says, opening the door for you. Your name back to being business in his mouth as the barrier between the private sanctuary of his office and the world was broken.

"I always knew where to find you, Mr. Solomons." you say softly, looking up at him through your lashes as your push your hat pin into your hair. "I just had to wait for you to invite me, didn't I?" you give him a sly smile and nod. "I hope our next meeting will be as fruitful as this one." he kisses the back of your hand, his eyes not leaving yours. "Good day, Mr. Solomons." you show your teeth just slightly in a smile.

"See you soon, Genevieve." he almost sighs as you turn away from him, your heels clicking on the hard stone floor. Ollie meets you as you head back towards the light of the street.

Chapter Text

"I won't be long, Tommy, calm down." Alfie groans as he sits next to the pale, dark clothed man with the agitated face next to him.

"What is it, Alfie? I'm very busy today." Tommy puts his pocket watch back into his coat. Alfie goes right into his line of questioning.

"Genevieve and I have gone into business together, yeah?" Tommy's eyes slide over to the other man, looking him over as this is new information for him. "As it were, it would seem I do not know as much about Miss Durand as I would prefer to. I know you two are close in your own way." he says, his voice gravelly and slow.

"I don't know what business you're doing Alfie, but Gen is a professional when it comes to her money so I have no doubt your venture will be successful. Is that all?" Alfie's face twitches, he looks out and away from Tommy, his mouth open as he considers the statement and noisily exhales.

"What the little minx's deal? Yeah?" his clasped hands around the end of his cane, settled between his outward facing knees. It rises and falls with a snap as he punctuates the emotion behind his question. It almost draws a smile on Tommy's face. "She looks like an angel and talks like the devil, right?" he shakes his head, his brow up and his lips pursed. "I've not known many women like this one before. Let alone, going into possibly," he drags the last word out with a hint of hesitation." questionable activities of an illegal nature with them." he hums at the end of that statement, one hand raised and moving as he spoke.

"I would be willing to put money down that you've never known a woman like her before, Alfie." Tommy looks away from Alfie's face that was screwing up at his words.

"Like that. What the fuck is that supposed to mean?" he huffs out of his nostrils.

"If you're wondering if you can trust her..." Tommy returns to the other man's gaze and speaks more intently and quietly. "She's my boy's godmother if that answers your question."

"How'd she pull that? Gaining a Shelby's trust? Something elusive to so many such as myself from time to time."

"Only on by own fault, Alfie." Tommy shakes his head subtly, his eyebrows raised just slightly.

"That's true." his lips pucker out and he nods.

"She killed two Italians that were sent after Charlie shortly after Grace passed." Tommys neck tightens at the last words.

"She fuckin' what?" he says in disbelief, leaning forward to make Tommy look at him to see if he was lying.

"You heard me." Tommy says, his hands moving from his lap slightly to how his exasperation.

"That little, doe-eyed creature killed two men? Two fully grown, adult men, now? No short or little ones?" his words are more rushed in his surprise.

"Shot one in the head and smashed another's head in with the window frame until he was dead." Tommy states flatly, his lips pressed together as his eyes narrow at Alfie and his insistent nature on this information.

Alfie's chin pushes back into his chest. He sputters, his lips twitching quickly with his facial hair. He looks away and holds his arms up to no one in particular. "Well fuck me." he declares softly as his arms go back down to this cane. His back resting against the bench once again. "So she's not only smart as a fuckin' whip," his head shakes with empahsis and he pauses.

"She's lethal." Tommy nods. "I trust her but if you want to keep your tongue so you can continue to spin your pretty words I wouldn't cross her." he says seriously.

"So she's working with theft and murder, right. Busy girl." he grunts.

"Among other things." his voice infers enough to other sets of skills and Alfie's mind is reaching to consider all of them.

"Fuckin'-" he lets out a frustrated sound. "Among other things?" his voice is much more high pitched. "Fuckin' hell Tommy," he says with a scold to his voice for no reason in particular. "I ain't gonna regret lettin' this little fuckin' honey bee into my business, am I?" he says quietly, his bottom lip disappearing into his mustache as he contemplates how he feels about his decisions thus far.

"That would be entirely up to you, wouldn't it, Alfie?" Tommy replies with a corner of his mouth drawn back, his tone completely serious.
------------------------------------------
The job goes so well you find yourself suspicious afterward at the ease of it. The men he sent he must've put the fear into because they barely even spoke and did exactly as instructed. It had only been two days since the job but you find yourself with the money and in Camden after being driven around for meetings all day.

You arrive unannounced, planning to drop the money and leave. You go to his bakery first, seeing if you sight any familiar faces to inquire as to where he is. You didn't think it wise to prance yourself down into the warehouse without warning. You see the same smiling girl you always do when you come in and you ask her where you could find Mr. Solomons, that you didn't have an appointment but did have business to discuss. She disappears after taking your name and Ollie appears behind her when she returns. You thank her and move in the direction Ollie motions to with his hand.

"He's is in a right mood today, Miss Durand. I know he'll want to be seeing you but," he shrugs and looks in the direction of the quickly growing louder shouting you hear at the end of the hallway. "He's having himself a moment with the bakers," he says with a frown, his face soft. "One of the poor new lads mistook the salt for the sugar," he says shaking his head with a sigh as he moves towards an open door near him in the hall. "He won't shout at you, now, so you can go in and save those boys a lashing if you'd like or you can wait if that's more your style." You give him a small smile and nod.

"Thank you Ollie." and with your polite response, he disappears behind the door. You stand up tall to look through the circular window in the swinging door that leads to the room full of ovens and pans and currently, also full of men of various ages looking like they were about to piss themselves. Alfie is shouting at them. His cane hitting the hard floor to punctuate his words. He raises it to poke chests and hit countertops. You find yourself chewing the inside of your cheek at the display of authority. Not wanting to undermine him, you choose to wait. Hearing every curse-laden rant he went on, smirking to yourself as your arms cross under your chest and you lean against the hallway wall. He slams the door, huffing mad. He doesn't notice you so you speak.
"Mr. Solomons?" you call out to him, uncrossing your arms. He freezes for just a second.

"What do ya fuckin' want now?" he spits before he's fully turned around. His arms go limp from their tense position and fall to his sides as your eyes meet. You keep the smirk on your face at his words, tilting your head slightly. "Oh c'mon now." he shakes his head and shuffles towards you, taking both your hands into his. "I didn't know you were here, Miss Durand." he sighs and shakes your gathered hands in his. "I didn't mean that for you, I am sorry, yeah?" You decide from the dejected look on his face that he is regretful so you give him a warm smile.

"I heard what you said to those poor boys in there, I think in comparison I got away with the better deal of the two." you take one of your hands from his, to pat atop his own.

"You heard all that shoutin' too?" his face winces slightly.

"Them boys are making my blood boil today. Fuckin' rocks in their heads." he shakes his head again, looking up at the ceiling.

"I empathize, Mr. Solomons. A few curses and shouted heated words aren't anything to scare me." you pat his hand again before withdrawing them both to clasp in front of you. "I'm sure I've said worse about less myself." you look off the side and retreat your warm smile, back to your usual neutral but serious expression.

"Either way, I don't want you thinkin' I'd address you in such a way under normal circumstances." he rubs the back of his neck and his arm lands at his side with a thud.
"I didn't." you shake your head. "If I had I wouldn't be here now, would I?" you lean forward just slightly, compelled to ease his doubt.

"No I don't believe you would." he moves to the same door Ollie exited through earlier. "I was just about to have some tea, would you like to join me? We can talk about what's brought you to me today."

"Tea?" your surprise comes out in your voice to his invitation to spend his free time with you."That sounds lovely." you accept with a nod, following him down the stairs, through hallways to find yourself back in the warehouse and sitting at the table in the back of his office with the intoxicating smells of bread and tea.

You sit down after taking off your coat, you'd forgone a hat and gloves for the change to warmer weather. The smell of the food hits your empty stomach and your hand goes to it. He sits at the table after you, hitting his seat with a small groan. His thick fingers look strange around the small china teapot. You try to switch from business to pleasure, not wanting to let a more personal and less professional chance for building trust to pass you by unseized.

"I have been driving and in meetings all day today," you say, you let your agitation from hunger show slightly. "I haven't eaten a thing since breakfast this morning." you move your head slightly as you speak, his eyes stay focused on pouring you both tea. "So thank you for inviting me to join you." you say, not sure if felt too heavy-handed after it came out of your mouth.

"Thank you for so graciously accepting," he states with sincerity, sliding a blue and white cup towards you. You take two sugars and take the moments of gently stirring the liquid to take in the room from this new angle. Your eyes move across the numerous large leather books on the shelves.

"I had intended on only dropping off your money and leaving." you take a sip, your elbows resting on the top of the table. "I know I came unannounced, so I didn't want to take up much of your time."

"Why not?" he asks, you're surprised by the response. Your eyelashes flutter slightly to hold your face still as you consider how his posture mirrors your own.

"I know I'm very busy and I assumed the same of you." you say softly, trying to read if he was testing you or not. He usually was in some way. The way his brows sit in an almost relaxed expression make your muscles untense slightly, hoping he was just politely having tea with an acquaintance.

"That's very considerate of you, innit?" he nods, sitting the seemingly miniature against his hand, cup on the table. "And a day early, no less." he says, his inflection impressed.

"If there's one thing I don't fuck around on it's money." you let out a small chuckle. "I take my deadlines seriously." you give him a small smile, reaching into the pocket of your coat with the large rolls of bills. You sit it within his reach, out to the side of you both to avoid the food set up. "That would be for you, Mr. Solomons." you grin from behind your cup as he takes it and looks at it closely, his brows up, he brings his glasses up and onto his nose. "It's all there, the amount relayed to you earlier. Count it if you wish." you motion with your hand to show it would not offend you in the slightest.

"No, that's all right, mate." he says gruffly, putting it into his pocket. You're very surprised by this but now he's leaning forward, his chin on his clasped hands, his eyes staring into you. You lower your cup and post up to meet him.

"I appreciate your trust. I hope you also found that I compensated your men on a job, very well done, I might add." you move your chin as you speak to show your enthusiasm fr their performance.

"Yeah, they told me." he says slowly, his eyes narrowing just slightly.

"It went so well in fact that I started to think you'd somehow set me up and I'd find all my money and jewels to be missing if I so much as blinked." you give him a smirk and he returns it.

"No, no fucking around when it comes to you Miss Durand." you think you might've heard a hint of newly earned respect in his tone for you. "I hope my men did behave themselves." he moves his arms and sits back to sip his tea again as you pick which bread you're going to attempt to eat politely and not shove directly into your face like you truly wanted to do.

"They were gentlemen, yes." you grin as you find a pastry and squeeze it slightly with your fingers before you eat it. "Whatever you said or did to them before they came to me, you should continue to do because they shut up and did what I said." you shrug your shoulders with a half smile. "Two traits I don't find often enough in men." you give him a bigger grin, showing your teeth with a soft laugh before you take a large bite of the pastry.

He lets out a low chuckle at your warmer and sociable nature compared to your last interaction. "I find that to be true as well." he says with a lightness to his tone. You look at him with a cocked head and closed mouth smile, chewing your food, after he grins and looks away from you, you roll your eyes and shake your head. "But I am very happy to hear they met your, "he groans the last word," understandably high standards." he nods, his lips pursed together as he follows your lead and starts picking apart a roll.

"If I don't demand the best from people I'm settling for less than I deserve." you nod, taking a sip of your tea. His eyes slowly move across your face again, his eyes narrowing with a subtle nod in agreement. "However, I will never again have to settle with pastries because this is fuckin' brilliant, Alfie." you say, taking another bite. Your praise catches him by surprise and you get to hear another laugh of his caused by your actions.

"I reckon I won't ever get tired of hearing that." he says with a grin.

"Truth be told I have a bit of a sweet tooth." you nod, taking the last bite. Your fingers wiggle above the plate of fruit-filled baked goods.

"That right?" he says, you can tell he's stored this bit of information for later by the way he rubs his hands together.

"It is." you nod, looking at the plate and figuring out which you wanted next. "Look at these hotsy-totsy round ones." you giggle, he's watching you over clasped hands again."Probably best I had only tried your bread before." you chew and swallow again. "Or I'd have to drive all the way into town every day to get these little buggers." you pop the last bit into your mouth and return your gaze to his.

"I'll have 'em brought to ya then." your chin pushes back into your neck slightly at his suggestion. His tone wasn't teasing, his face was settled into a pleasant expression as he watched you enjoying yourself. You believed him to find your behavior endearing.

"Don't tease me, Alfie." you shake your head with a quiet huff of a laugh.

"I wouldn't tease ya now, yeah?" he says as if it were obvious, shaking his head back at you.

"I couldn't possibly," you say with a high pitched inflection. "My weakness happens to be something that you are plentiful in so don't exploit me, please." you say playfully but it was honest. He lets out a short laugh at your words.

"However...If I send 'em to ya, you'll never have to come get 'em, will ya?" his head nods. "and I'll only get ya in here to see me on business." he sits back in his chair, his hands outstretched as if presenting the idea before the set linked together on his stomach.

"Is that an official redaction of your previous offer?" you hold back and smile, settling back in your chair. If you kept eating sweets on an empty stomach you might get sick and you didn't want to chance that. You hold a roll between your fingers, picking bites off with your fingers gingerly. He grins at you but his eyes are mischievous.

"Afraid so. That's officially off the table now, innit?" he nods, looking around the room. "I don't know if you happened to see the amount of cash you handed me but if tea with you leads to more of those then I have to keep ya comin' to see me, don't I?" his face is still friendly but the smile has disappeared from it.

"Then I am regretful to inform you that I have no upcoming jobs planned right now." you subtly pout as if you're sad to give him the news. "Springs coming and I have lots of work to do with Abeille Company to keep me more than busy for awhile." your eyes widen to emphasize the amount of work that went into your legal business.

"May I ask what you've got going on with Abeille? Ya got a little farm with ya bees and what not?" he speaks with his hands, his voice seems genuinely curious.

"I wouldn't personally call it little." you shrug slightly with a mild smirk. "But I have my honey bees and I prefer to personally tend to them. I also have my berries, they don't take as much of my time because I have more people I pay to handle the stages of their care. It's the business aspect of the farming and gathering that takes the most time."

"And you like being around those buzzy bastards?" he says, his eyes focused on yours.

"I do." you give him a soft smile. "Mostly because they make me money, let's be honest." you let out a small huff of a laugh. His closed mouth smile that you assume he doesn't realize you notice tells you he agrees with the sentiment. "I find the sounds of them when they're happy to be relaxing."

"Bees can be happy?" he asks, tyring not to sound condescending.

"Of course they can. They sing, they dance, they remember people, they're fascinating." you say with genuine fondness for your workers. "My berries and garden wouldn't be nearly what they are without them either. They're the real stars of the company."

"Thus the name of your company." he says narrowing his eyes at you.

"Oui." you cheekily respond.

"If you like them so much, why, might I ask, do you partake in the business activities outside of Abeille?" he leans on the table, his voice is low and paced.

"Personal question, that." you hold your face to be more reserved.

"I wanna know what brought a sharp business minded person such as yourself to want to be in this sort of life." his voice is cool and collected. Sure he could use any and all information you choose to give him against you.

However, you found no malice in his voice. Although you found it hard to believe that someone like Alfie Solomons was taking time to get to know you without a reason. You take a deep breath and choose your words.

"I found myself to have a natural inclination to find trouble and yet always find my way out of it since I was a little girl." you return your gaze to his. "The money is a grand side affect of this natural inclination now." you let out a sigh. "But I also happen to be just..." you scrunch your nose just slightly to emphasize your upcoming words. "Very, very good at it. " your voice swings low, the grin and narrowing of your eyes in combination with the delivery of your confession brings a shift of energy between the two of you for a moment.

"That's what my men said too." he states with his voice dropping to match your own.

"Are you inclined to believe the same?" you ask with a tilt of your head, meeting his eyes without hesitation. His nose twitches at your question.

"From the retelling of what happened and seeing the fruits of your labor, now settled in my left pocket, I believe I am indeed inclined to agree, yeah." he speaks more slowly when he divulged bits of information about you, to you.

"The approval of Alfie Solomons." you grin. "Well that's something to write home about now, isn't it?" you're only slightly teasing him. In all honesty, you were thrilled to hear he'd reached this conclusion. You knew it was only a matter of time but you truly hadn't expected him to be so intelligent as to so quickly recognize your value and skill. You hoped his trust wasn't too far behind.

Ollie enters the office. "Your last appointment for the day has arrived, Mr. Solomons." you say softly with a polite nod.

"Alright. Let 'em sit, I'll be out in a minute," he says with a much more gruff tone that he'd used for the entirety of your conversation. "Well that's me then, yeah?" he says as he finishes his tea. Ollie leaves as quickly as he appeared.

"I'll take my cue then as well." you give him a warm smile, standing and putting your coat back on as his mustache twitches, you're assuming it's doing this at the thought of his next meeting.

"Yeah, right. Time to end this little tea party, innit?" he says with a groan as he stands to see you out.

"You make a much better party host than I anticipated. I dare to say I enjoyed it." you compliment him, standing tall as he approached you.

"Well thank you for making it so, yeah?" he leans down to give you a soft kiss from his lips to both your cheeks.

"Don't let your busy bee's keep you from coming to see me now." the way the corner of your mouth pulled back at his words wasn't entirly voluntary as he hovered over you, so close you felt the heat radiated from him.

"If they make a fuss at my absense then I'll tell them the orders are from Alfie Solomons and I'm sure they'll understand." you joke, your smiling showing teeth as you turn to head towards the door. You stop and quickly spin around as your hand reached for the knob. You saunter over to his desk that he's already tossed a heavy book upon. His eyes move slowly to yours, he's unsure of your motives for your behavior. "I forgot one small thing." you say reaching into your pockets.

"Oh yeah? What's that now?" he says, his hand resting on his desk as his full attention was on you. Just how you preferred it.

"In the thick of the robbery, since it went so smoothly, I happened upon something that caught my attention," you say enthusiastically, retrieving the large gold ring from your coat, holding it between your fingers. You half smile and hold the ring out towards him. "I have to say it reminded me distinctly of you at that moment and I knew I had to take it for myself," you explain. He takes the ring in his fingers, looking it over closely. His eyes smoothly move and focus back on you. "Consider it a little something extra from me personally. A thank you for your help, something celebratory if you will."

"Does who you stole the jewels for know you kept this?" he calculatedly responds, rubbing his beard with the hand not holding the ring. His fingers twist the ring back and forth between themselves.

You give him a devious smile."Just don't get used to me leaving you with parting gifts, now, yeah?" you smirk and turn away from him, making a smooth exit.

Chapter Text

"I wonder what she's gonna do this time," John mutters from the far end of the table, picking at his nails, huffing out a laugh. "Oh, I bet she's wearin' red today, brothers." he says, laughing to himself.

"Oh, come on now, John, don't start." Arthur scolds his younger brother, turning his head to him but not his eyes. Arthur was blankly staring into the grain of the table.

"I'm sure it'll be a red dress day from speaking with her on the telephone." Tommy chimes in, glaring at them both as he walks back and forth across the floor of the Garrison.

"And how are you still livin'? You of all of us should hope she's not in red today. You're the one that got all balled up and conned her into this mess." John retorts.

"I did not con her and since you can not strangle anyone through the telephone, I am still alive and I still have to deal with this, so shut up and let me handle it." he answers, his voice low.

"She's gonna be so fuckin' mad." Arthur mumbles, not so much in retort but he felt bad for you. "I'd put my money on red today." As much as he did enjoy your lethal escapades together, when it was just one of you angry without the other, there was no fun to be had by either of you.

"What'd you do to her, Thomas?" Alfie shouts as he comes up the back hallway into the bar.

"It's not so much me as Sabini." Tommy says, shaking the hand holding a cigarette towards Alfie.

"What a twist of the truth that is." Arthur replies, nervous in anticipation of your iminent arrival.

"What is it you've lured me into today, Tommy?" Alfie's tone is scolding, pulling up a chair to the far side of a long table sat in the middle of a cleared Garrison.

"Alfie. I've invited you as a mediator of sorts. I figured she might be more inclined to behave herself if you're here. A living witness as to what happens to us here today. I believe you are the only among us to have not wronged her in some way."

"Yet." Arthur says in a vaguely intimidating way. Alfie narrows his eyes in question at the man ignoring his presence otherwise across the room.

Tommy stops to stand in the space between the two chairs to his left next to his brothers and Alfie. "I went through with an alternative plan from what I had discussed with her previously." his fingertips rest on the top of the table, his head up as he speaks with no enthusiasm.

"No, she fuckin' told you this would happen if you let the Italians in on it. Her words exactly." Arthur interupts, his voice much less somber than it was.

"I remember her words, Arthur." Tommy says with a sigh, closing his eyes for a moment. He takes a deep breath and goes back to explaining the situation, his words directed at only Alfie. "I lied to her and said I wouldn't ask for the Italians help to scope out a place for her that she's had her eye on robbing. But, it was in their territory and I didn't want to deal with them being fuckin' pricks about it. It was a very ambitious job. Even for her." he takes a moment to push back feeling bad about what he'd done. "The fuckin' Italians get spooked and kill every guard on duty. Now the place is sealed tighter than a tomb and there is no way in for the foreseeable future." the last part comes out faster than the rest.

"And?" Alfie demands, being able to tell he isn't getting the full extent to the cause of your anger.

"And they stole things while they were in there that they are refusing to hand over." his head dips as he adds the last words, laced with annoyance.

"Ah. There is it is, now, see?" Alfie nods, "Just tell the truth Tommy, that's all ya gotta do." he shakes his head and tsks him. He motions with his hand at Tommy and looking at the two other Shelby's at the other end of his side of the table in solidarity at being disappointed with him. "They got something she had her eye on, didn't they?" his voice dips low with a tone of knowing, directed by to Tommy.

"Yes." he says flatly, refusing to look at him.

"Oh, I do imagine she will be quiet upset by that now, yeah?" he can't help the grin that spreads across his face, fully at the expense of Tommy.

"One of those fuckin' eggs she goes on about." Arthur mumbles, his elbows resting on the table in front of him, watching the door.

"Fuckin' Faberge?" Alfies voice goes higher pitched. "Where in hell was she trying to break in to?" his voice grows louder. Tommy ignores his question.

"Have you ever seen Gen angry, Alfie?" Tommy asks, turning his head to him.

"No I have not had, what sounds like, the distinct pleasure to witness this event." his hands clasp over the handle of his cane.

"Well, you're fuckin' about to." John grumbles, chewing his toothpick as he sits straight up in his chair, adjusting his jacket. Alfie's head quickly swivels towards the door.

"Best shut your mouths, all of ya." Arthur says as he stands from his chair to greet you as your silhouette appears in the frosted glass of the door, pausing before reaching for the handle. They all see and share a glance as they can see the red of your dress through the foggy surface.

You walk through the door to see the four men, all looking at you in a different way. You were angry. You were seething. Did you want to scream and say things Tommy would deflect until he was alone with his thoughts in his drunken mind, alone in the middle of the night, turning his blue eyes red? Yes. But were you? No. You had been lied to. That very specifically stung. It hurt so deeply you were numbed to it. Thomas should thank his lucky stars for that. Your planning of the job that you'd been working on for quite some time was now voided out. You would get over that eventually. You were not weeping for the loss of life of the guards. They knew what they were signing up for. Were you mad that things you craved to be your own were now in the hands of those you considered your enemies? Yes. You weren't sure how long it would take to get over that aspect. But in the meantime you tried to appear more like an abyss, calm with the threat of danger lying just under the surface instead of roaring in like a typhoon.

"This place finally looks worthy of me visiting it." you say, pulling off your gloves with your teeth, referring to the new golden interior of the bar. You hadn't been here in ages and under different circumstances, you'd be much more complimentary of the updates.

"It'll never be worthy of you, sweetheart." Arthur's gruff tone did disarm you if only for a few milliseconds. He approaches you with opens arms, waiting for you to reciprocate.

"My peach." you say, patting his cheek and wrapping your arms around his neck in a hug. He tightly embraces you, shaking your body just slightly in a show of enthusiasm at your words of praise. You place a kiss on his cheek and he moves to the back of the chair he was sitting in. You look down your nose at John who was still gnawing his toothpick as his fingers wrapped around the end of it.

"Well, c'mon then, up with you." you pleasantly command as he takes out his toothpick and grins. You wrap your arms around him as well, kissing his cheek the same as Arthur, "It feels as if it has been many moons since I've seen you."

"It's felt even longer to me." he says with a cheeky grin as he pulls away from you.

You smirk, tapping his nose with your finger, "Charmers, the lot of you." you tutt, as he sits down.

Tommy doesn't open his arms as he knows what the response to be. "No point in letting you in close when I know you at the very least have a knife on you."

"I'd call you a smart boy if your actions didn't speak exactly the opposite of you." you hiss, shaking your head. Your eyes look to Alfie, who you are surprised to see here. You stand closer to Tommy, glaring up at him. "But you're smart enough to bring someone not a brother here today so I don't slap the piss out of you for lying to me." you hiss quietly. "Your's will be coming Shelby." you say before moving your attention to your unexpected guest. "What brings you all the way out here, Alfie?" you inquire, your tone now welcoming. He stands as you get closer.

"It seems as though you do. Since our Tommy here has gone and fucked up everything for you, hasn't he?" he kisses your hand instead of your cheeks. He's cautious of you. Good. He should be today. "I almost wept at the news of him ruining your plans to get your hands on Feberege, I did." he says, slightly pouting in his almost sincere words. He holds your hands in his. "I am truly, very sorry for your loss." You sigh as you hold eye contact with him.

"So am I." your eyelashes flutter and you turn your head. Alfie is familiar with the longing look he finds in your eyes as you think of your prize. "Beautiful she was." You clear your throat after you pause for a few seconds. You move to sit in the closest chair. Tommy sits to your left. You wait in silence.
-----------
Sabini sits across from Tommy, another vaguely recognizable man to his right, and from the looks of him, a much lower ranking man to his left. This man is seated across from you.

You let Tommy speak first, you knew how this worked. Your hands are in your lap, your back straight and your eyes full of the fury of a woman scorned.

"Who's she?" Sabini asks Tommy, his gloved hand motioning to you.

"The party in question that has been wrong by the consequences of your men's actions." Tommy states plainly, you can tell by the stiffness in his shoulders he wasn't happy with how this was going already. Neither were you.

"Address your questions of me, to me, Mr. Sabini." you say low and even. Sabini rolls his eyes and looks over at you.

"Who are you?" he asks you with a condescending tone.

"Genevieve Durand." you state, your face hard and serious.
The man across from you makes a scoffing noise. Your eyes slide to him, your brows lowering in the process.

"YOU'RE Durand?" he asks, his tone in disbelief.

You tilt your head at him in response.

"Durand is a fuckin' woman? You had us taking orders from her? " he asks, shaking his head towards Sabini, looking back to another man standing behind them.

Sabini ignores him. "And what the fuck are you doing here Alfie?" he holds his arm out towards the man who sits a few feet to your right.

"Moral support." he says cleverly.

"You know her?" he moves his hand to you.

"Yes. I know Miss Durand." he says, the use of your name telling you he realized the dehumanization you were currently feeling in droves.

"If you continue speaking as if I'm not here there is going to be a problem." you state in a calm tone, your eyes moving to Sabini. He looks down his nose at you.

"Miss Durand has suffered a loss at your hand due to my poor choice in help with this job." Tommy cuts in before Sabini opens his mouth.

"Poor choice." Sabini spits out, resting and arm on the table. "You're lucky it was us who went in there, little thing like her tried to get into that fortress she'd have her neck snapped before she could raise her dress to hop the fence." he says incredulously to Tommy alone.

You see Arthur shift in his seat at his words. Your eyes shut in an attempt to not reach for your knife, although your fingers were subconsciously working your dress up your leg instinctually from your anger. Alfie sees your hands moving unnoticed to the other side of the table. He doesn't know if he could be more interested in where this was going if he tried.

"Tommy?" you say clearly and sweetly. His eyes are unsure but steady as they turn to you. "What's my favorite thing in the world?" you ask, your head turning towards him. He gives you a subtle smile. Sabini still wears the same daft look on his face.

"Your money." he confidently responds, looking back over to Sabini.

"Oui." you nod angrily, looking to Sabini yourself. "My money. You're fucking with my money." you shout the next words, your chin rising in anger. "Personne ne baise avec mon argent!" you say with a fire burning inside your gut.

"Nobody's fucking with your money, sweetheart." Sabini says in a loud and whiney voice.

"Her money?" the man in front of you scoffs yet again after you speak. Your eyes are wide open this time as you stare into him. You don't even blink. "Just like a woman to speak for what her husbands earned." he says condescendingly.

"It is my fucking money. Mine alone. I insist you speak to me with more respect or else I'll be forced to do something like, call you a fucking goombah." you spit venomously at him. Your fingers slip into the holes of the custom made knife and it's holster on your thigh.

"Now you gonna let her talk to us like that?" he motions his hand to Tommy.

"She is inclined to speak however and to whoever she wants." Tommy clarifies even though you don't need him to.

"Your boy should shut his fucking mouth before something bad happens." you say slowly. Your words are directed at Sabini but your eyes bore into the man across from you.

"Arnold, let's try and be respectful, shall we?" Sabini says in an entirely fake and unconvincing voice.

"I'm not gonna be respectful to a woman who speaks to me like that. Should've known she didn't have a husband, who could put up with this?" he retorts, leaning forward on the table towards you in a, to him, macho move. This would prove to be a mistake on his behalf.

"Were you in charge on the night in question?" you ask him. Your tone impressively steady.

"Yeah, I was, what's it to ya?" he asks, his nose scrunching up at you as he spoke.

"You've taken things from me. I should take things from you now." you hiss, your eyes moving across his face.

"I got nothing whats yours sweetheart." he says cockily, his head shaking as he spoke.

You reach out like a flash, grabbing his tie and bouncing his head off the table. Your brass knuckle handled knife stabbing his tie into the table. Your hand remains on the handle, you lean in to speak to the man, ignoring the gun pulled on you from Sabini's back up. Sabini has pushed his chair away. "Where is my FUCKING EGG!" you shout.

"The fuck you doing?" he shouts, the fear in his voice makes goosebumps break out over your skin in pleasure.

"I know what was in that fucking house and I know the Faberge egg is no longer in the house so WHERE THE FUCK IS IT?" you shout your last words again.

"Listen you fucking crazy-" he's starting to blubber.

"CHOOSE YOUR NEXT WORDS VERY CAREFULLY!" your eyes wide, your brows high, your voice loud and booming so close to his face, your knee already on the edge of the table, ready to pounce. "Or they will be your last." you add, your crazed state of mind evident in the varying inflections of the few words, all punctuated with a villainous laugh.

"You gonna let her get away with acting like a fucking lunatic like this?" he looks desperately at the other men in the room both on his side and not. No one speaks against you. You see the hope fade from his face as the fear for his life rise. You let out a low, deep growl of a laugh.

"You should be fucking locked away, you fucking-" you feel it's time to end your suffering at the hand of the words of this man. You end the suffering for anyone who had ever had to hear a word uttered from his disgusting mouth.

You move so quickly in your rage. You yank the knife from the table, holding it as you project yourself across the table. You grab his shoulders, taking both him and the chair down with you as you land on top of him with your knees on his chest. You've pushed off the table hard enough to have moved you both a few feet back from where his chair had been. You hear his cries of pain and your teeth just grit tighter. No one in the room moves but you. Shock, excitement and confusion surge through the air. You punch him in the jaw repeatedly. You keep hitting him until he has few teeth left to defend himself with. After finding him weakened enough, his face now less recognizable. You shove your hands into his mouth, your nails digging into his tongue. The way his eyes go wide, his pupils blown out as he looks up at you, it all just adds to the moment.
Killing was almost always personal in some way to you. You never killed without a reason. The blood from his rapid pulse makes him bleed in gushing waves as your knife cuts into the thick attached part of his tongue in the back of his mouth. You feel the blood hit your face and chest. He gurgles, chokes and cries beneath you, he faded and bled out surprisingly fast. You start to fade out of your animalistic mindset and gulp and wet your lips.

"You fucking animal!" Sabini shouts. You're sure he thinks whatever he is saying is very important but you block him out. Your ears ring slightly as if a bomb had gone off. You look at your chest and hands, lips frowning at the blood across your face and arms. You stand and move one leg so you're not straddling the man any longer. You turn to Sabini, your knife still in your hand.

"You took something from me so I took something from you. As far as I'm concerned, we're even. For now." you state calmly, your blood splattered body a strange juxtaposition with your words.

"You're fucking insane!" he shouts, his arms up in the air.

"Suck the entirety of my fucking cock, Sabini." you say, wiping the bloody blade off on his jacket as he looks as if he might gag. You hike up your dress and slide the knife back into its place on your thigh. You drop your dress and head towards the bar as Sabini and his men scoop up the body and leave hastily.

You hop up onto the bar to sit. Arthur is the first to rise from his seat. He lights a cigarette and hands it to you.

"It's like you know me, Arthur." you give him a tired smile.

"I do, luv." he says, his hand patting your knee. He'd seen your rage before. He'd helped you work out your rage on deserving people over the years. Truly another soul who had the ability to embrace that darkness that bubbled up like bile in your throats. Arthur moves to behind the bar but you've already leaned back and grabbed a bottle of whiskey, opening it and taking a drink from the bottle.

You take a sharp inhale and see John, his chair turned around, his legs spread out, hands in his lap, grinning at you. John had also seen your rage. It entertained him to no end. It surprised him still at times but that was part of the enjoyment for him.

"Fuckin' Italians." he says with his voice threatening to turn into a laugh as he reaches out to grab one of the glasses Arthur's put on the bar.

You see Arthur raise his hand and you three clink the bottles together lightly mumblin' "Fuckin' Italians." as you always did after fighting a member of said group. The first words either John or Arthur really remembered from you had turned into an inside joke amongst you three over the years. Tommy rolls his eyes at the display.

He was up and looking at the damage to the floor. "I'll pay for the floor, Tommy, that one's on me." you say, nodding to him as his eyes meet yours, he mirrors your gesture.

Your inense eyes move across the bar, landing on Alfie. In the midst of this, your brain called out, 'Poor, sweet Alfie' even though you knew this not to be the truth. You were hoping the brutal approach you'd heard of him taking would keep him from cutting all ties with a woman like you after witnessing that. Now that he'd seen what you do. But as you take a damp towel from Arthurs' hand from behind you, your eyes still locked on Alfie, you don't see any hint of running from him. If anything, he seemed even further planted as you looked at each other.

"I'm afraid I've failed entirely at behaving myself and for that I apologize for what you've seen me do here today." you say, your voice breathier than you intended. You were still a bit unexpectedly winded. You wipe your hands with the towel.

"What on earth for?" he says softly with an offense to your apology, approaching you. Your eyebrows raise as he shows no hesitation in moving right up next to you at the bar, sitting by your legs, looking up at you. Your eyes are back to their dark, doe-eyed selves as you blink down at him. "That was fucking brilliant." he grins. He took in your disheveled appearance. Some of your hair had fallen, the dark waves framing your collar bones with the curved neckline of your dress. The blood against your pale skin, dotting you like constellations in the night sky. "A woman telling a man to suck the entirety of her fucking cock, " he says with emphasis on your words being your own, "is something that I have not seen before." he nods, his brows knitted together at you in thought.

"No one ever expects the ugly words to come from such a pretty face now do they, Genny?" Arthur teases, referring to your usage of crass words in anger. "The woman's an artist." You can't help but smile at his words in combination with how Alfie was now looking at you. His eyes didn't leave you.

You don't hide your reaction to his words. "That she is." he says in an oddly proud tone, his head nodding. His voice slower and lower the more his eyes narrowed at you. "An artist who works in the mediums of sword and word with brutality and finesse?" he points a finger at you, his other hand still perched atop his cane. His eyes flick over to Tommy and back to you. "That's a rare skill set, innit? And from a woman who looks like a work of art herself?" you subtly reciprocate the enthusiastic expression he gives you.

"Always good to meet fans of my work." you say full of yourself. You grin down at him, your eyelids lowered just slightly, not hiding your still large pupils. He lets out a loud laugh, tapping his cane against the floor with his pleased face focused on yours.

Chapter Text

You’re having a late afternoon tea again with Alfie. You’re wearing a much more casual dress, the tight bodice and light weight fabric across your chest and shoulders, breezy layers made up the skirt. You’d had to start switching over your closet for the rising heat of the season. You sat in the chair with one of your legs underneath you, your elbow rests on the table, your chin in your hand. You felt an air of ease between the both of you now. The first initial “feeling each other out” stages of building relationships like these now passing without significant trauma. At this point it was going on weeks since you’d last spoken.

 

“I was surprised to see this meeting was for pleasure and not business with the short notice you gave.” Alfie has a slight grin on his face, fingers delicately touching china.

 

“You told me not to let my bee’s keep me from seeing you and I found myself being supremely aggitated with how much my bees needed me this morning and your words just floated to the surface of my mind.” you move your other hand as you speak, leaning towards the basket of bread. This time there’s more of the pretty little decorated round fruit filled doughnuts you’d praised so much last time. You don’t hesitate to take one between your fingers. “A hive was knocked over and I did not want to deal with it,” you shake your head taking a quick bite that your barely even chew. “Then I remembered I am the boss and I have people to handle these sorts of things so I don’t have to anymore.” you shrug slightly, finishing off the puff. You take a sip of tea with your free hand. “Those are new aren’t they?” you motion with one finger to the basket.

 

“You weren’t lying when you said you liked these, were ya?” he gives you a pleasant look with his eyebrow raised. His shoulders were much more relaxed than the last time you were here.

 

“Not in the slightest.” you admit, your voice lowering and shaking your head, your eyes swinging back to another pastry. “Told you.” you say motioning towards him with a puff in your hand. “Sweet tooth.” you say and take a bite. He takes the same sort of roll as last time and begins to pull it apart.

 

There’s a knock at the door and he shouts for them to come in. You sit up straight as the two men walk towards Alfie, clearly workers as they wore the same apron, with the same black and white smudges across them. One was older and bald, the younger of the two shorter with green eyes. You were thinking of how they resembled emeralds when the light hit them as you kept noticing a nervous tick already in the time he walked from the doorway and stood a few feet from you.

 

Alfie pulls out his glasses, you sip your tea and watch the other man, waiting to leave with the other over the rim of your cup. Something was off about this kid. Alfie is discussing what seems to be rather mundane numbers with ingredients you recognized. The boys eyes glance over you and as he sees you studying him and he gets anxious. His fingers pick in the pocket of his apron. He leans forward just slightly, biting the inside of his lip. He’s staring at one space, you’re assuming to keep his eyes from darting everywhere. His eyes roll up and he lets out a very subtle heavier breath than usual, he’s acting like a bored child now, impatient. You keep looking at him, sipping your tea, your back against the chair, elbows perched out, both hands raising your tea to your lips. You see him tense and hesitate when Alfie spoke to him, then he nodded too many times.

Something didn’t seem right. This didn’t seem like any first job jitters to you. You watch him leave, after he shuts the door behind them, not looking up to either of you before he pulls it to. You cast your glance downward, slowly moving it back to your cup, taking another sip, in thought about the kid.

 

“What was all that about?” he asks, moving papers into a pile and off the table.

 

“I wasn’t listening, sorry, what?” you say, snapping out of your focus and returning your eyes to his.

 

“You were shooting daggers at Abe.” he says without any judgment to it, just a statement of fact.

 

“Is that the young ones name?” you ask, sitting your elbow back on the table, trying to relax your shoulders that had tensed.

 

“Yeah, it is.” he says, his expression still neutral. “What’d he do to you?” he says with not enough humor in his voice to warrant it being a joke with certainty.

 

“He was a bit too fidgety for my liking.” you reply without inflection, sipping your tea.

 

“Fidgety?” he says, motioning for you to explain, his chin going down into his chest slightly as he listened.

 

“His body language was twitchy and it didn’t seem like innocent anxious energy.” your eyes move towards the direction of the door.

 

“Do you usually read people like this?” he asks, swirling the liquid in his cup.

 

“I suppose it’s a bit second nature at this point but yes, I do.” you nod slightly, looking back down at the table.

 

“So what is that women’s intuition going on about?” he asks, his fingers laced together in front of him.

 

“I don’t trust him.” you look over to Alfie, your eyes clear and calm, your words certain. The corner of his mouth pulls back just slightly at your words.

 

“Strong statement to make for not even speaking to the boy.”

“I didn’t have to.” you say casually but he gets the intensity behind your words.

“Right.” he says, his mouth pulling back into a half smile for just a few seconds. "And what brought you to this conclusion?“ he says, his head shaking just slightly. You sigh and purse your lips at his approach to questioning you.

 

"Too many twitches.” you count a one on your hand, “And once he realized you were just talking about bread ingredients he immediately became disinterested and wanted to leave.” you hold up a second finger. “So he had no use for this information and that seems strange, seeing as that’s related to his job.” you say rising a third finger before retracting them all and picking up another puff in your mildly aggitated explanation. He narrows his eyes, his fingers now messing and twisting his beard in thought, not responding to you. You continue after a roll of your eyes at how he was choosing to pull information from you. “Chances are he’s been paid or pursueded to come in here and gather information and repeat it back to someone.” he nods in response this time.

 

“And what would you reccomend, Genevieve, in a situation such as this?” he asks, tone still fairly smug.

 

“I’d recommend you not hire him in the first place.” you state, your mouth pursing with attitude, knocking back on his taking attitude. “That’s what I’d do.” you finish off a piece of pastry with a pop to punctuate the level of retaliation you were presenting at his round about line of questioning.

 

“Oh.” he nods his head in amusement. “Well.” he says, a grin blooming across his face. “Well we can’t all be blessed with the intuition of a woman, now can we?” he says, his tone not nearly as stinging as you anticipated.

 

“No we cannot.” you say, giving him a small smile to show your acceptance of his back handed compliment and change in tone.

 

“What if I told you, you were right?” he ticks his head to the side, one hand in his beard, the other’s finger taps the tabletop between the two of you.

 

“I wouldn’t be surprised.” another grin comes across his face.“But I’m intrigued so continue, please.” you give a sly closed mouth smile. You can see he holds back an eye roll at you and you feel the slight urge to laugh but it doesn’t travel further than your thoughts.

 

“He was hired in for being the son of a friend of a someone’s fuckin’ uncle, i dunno.” he shrugs. “As it were a small favor for someone to hire the boy on, right?” he looks to you for a response and you give him a neutral nod. “I’ve been feeding him wrong information to see where it all goes.” he says with his hands motioning to a presentation of his plan.

 

“And have you found out where the leak flows out to?” you ask with a lowered chin, showing his words interest.

 

“I have, yeah.” he nods, his words a touch higher than usual.

“Just waiting to fuck them up with the wrong address on the right night?” you grin, taking a sip of tea and setting it back on the table.

 

“I like how your brain works, Genevieve, I do, yeah?” he wags a finger at you, other hand stroking his beard. You let out a small huff of a laugh. You shrug in faux hesitancy of accepting the compliment.

 

“It’s a good brain.” you nod and a small laugh escapes.

 

“I have a proposition for you, Miss Durand.” he begins, leaning forward, hands and elbows on the table, clasped together. You mirror his motions and give him a close mouthed smile as his eyes narrow with mischief at you. “Are you open to using that brain of yours, to help me make a few judgments on some powerful people that I might be interested in doing some business with?” his tone is charming and his face is surprisingly warm for business negotiations.

 

“I just might be tempted to do that, Mr. Solomons.” you nod, your eyes playful but your face straight. This felt like a real opportunity to be the neck that turns the head. Being a bird in his ear, him seeking your personal opinion on things that would affect his business, you were certainly intrigued with the possibilities.

 

“May I tempt you then, to use your brain for my own personal gain with an invitation to an Art Charity’s Ball?” he speaks purposely and with his hands. His chin moves as he clearly speaks.

 

“When is this Ball?” you ask, the corner of your mouth pulling back more than you meant it to, your dimple starting to appear at the resistance you put up to hide the smile.

 

His chin bobs back in surprise at your response but his face stays pleasant and still. “2 weeks from now. It’s in London, yeah?"

 

Your eyes move from side to side as you look at the table for a moment in thought. You had nothing on your schedule, so a night out didn’t sound bad at all really. "What’s the dress?” you ask, a smile showing your teeth now growing.

 

“Oh these people get all sorts of tarted up, don’t they?” he grins. “Very fancy, ball gowns and jewels and all that.” he says animatedly speaking in a gruff voice. Now knowing you had the chance to dress up, well the choice was already made before he finished that sentence, wasn’t it?

 

“Consider me tempted.” you say warmly.

 

“Ah, it’s always the jewels that get you, isn’t it, Genevieve?” he laughs, his shoulders moving as his hands push on the table to straighten his back in his chair.

 

“Normally I would agree with that sentiment but don’t sell yourself short on your own company, Aflie.” you pause for just a second, just long enough to shake your head once. “A night out with you in combination with art and the smell of money in the air was enough to tempt me without the addition of gowns and jewels.” the smile starts with closed lips and shifts into something that makes an audible sound.

 

For a small moment you left Alfie Solomons without a clever retort to your kind words.

---------------------------------------

((SPOKEN IN FRENCH))

“I find myself being very drawn to blue this evening for some reason.” you say in the middle of your closet, your fingers in your mouth, your hair up and tied to set into curls to wear down later.

 

“This is for the art school charity ball, correct?” she says, smoothing her hands over the blue ball gown’s length.

 

“Oui. Lots of money in the same room as me tonight. I have to look like money to attract it.” you say, your rounded hip jutted out, your breasts weighing heavily on one forearm underneath them, the other your thumb nail between your teeth.

 

“You’ll be there will Mr. Solomons, seems you’ve attracted money already. Perhaps those midnight romps in the garden are paying off.” she smirks at your mystic habits.

 

“Perhaps. But I’m talking bigger money than Alfie,” you say picking up a purple gown. “I’m talking potential buyers.” you say, your eyebrow raising, swinging with your hand on the skirt of the dress.

 

“Good to know you are keeping your mind on business tonight.” Claire says with a nod, pulling open drawers of your best jewels.

 

“My mind is almost always on business nowadays, you know this.” you lay the dress back onto the fainting couch against the wall.

 

“Oui, however, Mr. Solomons is the first man you’ve agreed to go out with since we’ve moved here. I know you’re aware of how long that’s been, thus you should see the importance of this decision.” she says, hanging up dresses she knew you weren’t going to wear.

 

Your silence speaks more than your words do. You sigh and run your fingers over the white diamond and sapphire necklace. You hold hanging diamond earrings up to your ears, a different one on each side to pick from.

“Don’t think I’ve forgotten you called this one handsome.” she says almost under her breath.

 

“I know you don’t ever forget anything, Claire. You don’t have to constantly remind me.” you say annoyed, plopping the earrings down into the ornate velvet box. Your eyes rolling to the ceiling, your hands resting on the edge of the white with gold filigree chest of drawers. “If you think me as stupid as to not realize this than I don’t know what to tell you.” you mumble.

 

“Don’t play the victim, it doesn’t look good on you.” she more so instructs than replies.

 

“I’m not.” you snap. “Just let me try to enjoy getting ready? Leave all this heavy conversation for later and let me be a girl getting ready for date for a moment?” you angrily tug on the navy dress.

 

“Is this a date?” she asks with a suggestive tone, helping you into the dress. You look at yourself in the large gold framed mirror.

 

“He has asked me out but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a "date” in the traditional sense.“ you explain with a roll of your eyes at the logistics of it. ”The lines get fuzzy when business is involved.“ you say with a sigh, trying to concentrate on your choice of dress.

 

”I personally like this dress the best.“ she turns and holds out the large matching blue sapphire necklace and smaller diamond earrings. You smile warmly at her with your eyes a bit sad, but relieved that she’s dropping her interrogation.

 

"I think this is the one as well.” you put on the earrings and she places the necklace around your neck as you clasp it, she goes to get a large sapphire ring

.
“I suppose a fake wedding ring won’t be necessary tonight?” she smirks, putting the ring on your other finger. You narrow your eyes at her.

 

“Hush.” you say with a small huff of a laugh and a weak smile. “You’re starting to sound like my father with this dating and rings nonsense.” you wag your finger at her as she holds her hands up in surrender, going to grab the matching embroidered and sparkling shoes she knew you’d want to wear.

Chapter Text

You stand on the stairs of the grand room, a few steps up to have a viewpoint advantage, leaning on the huge marble columns with matching decorative banisters. The stairs lead up to a grand bar, spanning the expanse of the width of the staircase, impressively carved from stone. You were correct in your assumption the place would smell like money. The inside of the grand London hotel, surrounded by the lit monstrous stone exterior, was warm with the heat of the bodies within it. The heat from the day still lingering in the air within the stone walls. Everything was covered in filigree, velvet, and elaborate embroidery. You looked around, seeing the grand paintings moved out onto massive easels and podiums, littered across the grand room each with its own clusters of people dressed in some of their best. You floated with the tide of moving bodies around the paintings, speaking to the students and artists of the pieces, they were much more interesting than most of the dinosaurs in the room. They were here to show off their money and pretend to be deep intellectuals. You hear their musing through their cloud of intoxication this early in the evening already with their elementary understanding of color theory. You'd bought a lovely painting of cherry blossoms from a sweet young girl that had made you ache for Paris this time of year.

You'd done a general sweep of the place, having gotten there a bit early purposely to do such a thing. You'd not been in this building before and you liked to know your entry and exit options if you were to be confined for the evening. You'd been approached by older gentlemen, as you almost always were at these sorts of events. A woman alone at such things was a beacon, telling them you were single or a whore and it didn't matter which. You'd politely ducked away and hidden to avoid their advances before returning to a high spot to watch for the arrival of Mr. Solomons. Your arms are crossed under your chest, hip jutted out on the stairs, your eyes continuously scanning the large room.

He sees you before you see him, as you'd had to make a circle around the staircase to avoid another man. You've perched again on the bottom of the stairs, peering far out to see him coming in, you weren't looking among the faces already in the crowd and noticing your attention was elsewhere, he gets to take a long look at you uninterrupted.

You didn't compare to anyone else in the entire room. Your dark blue floor-length gown shimmered in the light. He thought the sequins made the curves of your body reflect like the moon off the sea at night. The low V neckline mirrored in cut by the back, showed your pale skin, glowing from the oils you use, your arms exposed. The night chill hits your bare skin and you shiver, pulling tighter against you the long black fur scarf you're wearing draped down your back and across your forearms. The sun falling and the rise of the night makes the dimmed light of the room reflective off your large sapphire and diamond necklace. Your teardrop shaped diamond earrings, to match the shape of the stones on your necklace, are nestled into your dark curled hair, falling down the center of your back and framing your face.
You're the only woman in the room in your age group without the short haircut that was popular among your peers. You'd always found great pride and pleasure in your femininity and chose not to change what you already liked about yourself and your style as the trends changed, merely adopting the bits you liked as you knew they'd be out by next season anyway. Your eyes lined with makeup, big and dark connect with his as he gets closer. Your red lips smile in acknowledgment as you slink down the few stairs the floor to greet him.

His hat immediately created an intimidating silhouette as his large shoulders made people part to let him through. His cane was just as elevated as his choice in jewelry. His rings, bracelets, necklaces, and cufflinks all attracted your eyes like a magpie. You see the ring you gave him, the solid square shape of it easily recognizable to you. You choose not to mention it, but it does look as attractive on him as you thought it would. His top button on his shirt, undone in what you felt was a rebellious gesture to the black tie code of dress. His layers of necklaces settled in his chest hair just visible at the base of the hollow of his throat. Without his usual large coat you'd seen him in, covering his form, you got the see the breadth of him, impressive as he gets close enough for the deep hue of your dress to darken his blue eyes.

"Mr. Solomons." you say with a playful, welcoming tone, holding out your hand.

"Miss Durand." he says with the same underplayed excitement in his voice, his noticeably just groomed beard presses with his lips against your hand. "I don't think you're supposed to try 'n upstage the art, Genevieve but here you are." he grins and you roll your eyes but a laugh bubbles out of you from between smiling lips. You move in closer to him to speak more privately.

"You and your canny words, Alfie." you taunt with a warm soft tone, resting your fingers on the smooth fabric of his suit jacket for a fleeting moment. "I have to say that you look both powerful and expensive tonight," you say with a raised eyebrow, shrugging your shoulders to fluff up the fur around your shoulders in a playful gesture, swatting the end of the fur at his jacket. A reserved, closed mouth smile with big bright eyes and raised brows greet you as you pester him. "If there are two aesthetics I enjoy more I'm afraid I have not learned of them yet." you grin, your nose scrunching up with it to show your sincerity but also put him at ease with your affection. He tips his hat at you in acknowledgment. He looks around the room behind you as his tongue rolls across his teeth, as he lets out a low rolling laugh. His eyes return to you, the corners crinkled in a genuine smile down at you.

"I would say the very same of you tonight." he leans in slightly, his eyes away from yours.

"You like it, Alfie? I got it from Paris." you say, opening the length of fur in your arms to show him the full front of the gown. You give a slight back and forth with your shoulders as you watch him suppress that masculine, predatory look that sat behind his eyes.

"The blue. It suits you, dunnit?" his lower lip partially reveals his bottom row of teeth as he drags out his last words as if he were still considering his opinion. His expression shifts into a much lighter message, he moves his hands with is words. "You look like a million pounds, ya do." his fingers run over his trimmed beard as he nods, enjoying the invitation to look at you although he's quick to not overstay his welcome as he changes the subject. "I hope you've not been waiting too long on me." he says, leaning away, his eyes still on the necklace before he breaks the connection to gaze over the crowd as he stands back up straight. His face falls into that raised brow visual stalking expression when he was surveying a space.

"I haven't." you shake your head, "I've bought one painting and three gentlemen have approached me since I've been here so I suppose I've not been here that long." you say with a low chuckle.

"Only three? With you looking like that I'm surprised to see you not turning down proposals at this point in the evening." his straightens his posture, his voice a bit gruffer and teasing, inflecting in a sarcastic way as his ringed fingers hold the lapel of his coat.

"The night is still very young though, isn't it?" you kid, your chin moving as you speak.

"It is young, Genevieve, but let's not keep ya out too late now. Shall we try to enjoy ourselves before we shake these drunken, pompous wigs for their secrets?" he holds his arm out to you and you happily accept it, locking your eyes with his as you hide the girlish, dimpled smirk that threatened to stay on your face. You were entirely too excited to be out tonight back into the plush, lavish lifestyle people who attended these things lived. You had this entertaining gentleman on your arm for the night, talking of art and your fondness of it. You shared laughs that traveled all the way up to your eyes, even if you didn't look into each others during these moments because you were trying to repress your laughter and not build and continue it. Which only made you both want to not only laugh more but louder against the expected politeness from you at these sorts of events.

You picked a more secluded spot to sit together towards the back of the crowd for a presentation from one of the schools the funds benefits. Your legs are crossed towards him at the knee, your elbow on the arm of your red velvet and gold chair, your arms touching from his placement on his chair arm, next to yours, not feeling awkward now due to being on it on all night up to this point in the evening.
You sit alone at a table together, close but not too close. You speak in a soft voice, talking about how you couldn't believe how one of the young artists had used a technique you'd never heard of to compose his landscapes, but you see that he's fallen still, his head cheated forward but his attention not in that same direction. Upon closer inspection you see him chewing his cheek, his eyes in full focus on the sapphires around your neck.

"Here," you mumble, moving your arms up to unclasp the heavy necklace."Would you like to see it?" you mock rhetorically, presenting it to him in your hands.

"Yes, please." his words polite but his voice dark, taking it delicately into one hand, pulling a loupe out from his coat and you want to laugh at the fact that he just happened to have the magnifying eyepiece in his pocket if you hadn't found it so endearing in it's own obsessive way.

"You've been eyeballing it all evening, just don't drool on it, please." you instruct, rubbing the place where the stones sat on your skin.

"She's beautiful," he says quietly but enthusiastically. "I didn't think it could look more so, anywhere but around your neck but I find myself disagreeing upon this closer inspection." he says, almost mumbling to himself. If you weren't leaning so close you might've missed a few words. He was clearly having a moment with this piece and you didn't blame him in the least. It was one of your favorites.

"Very complimentary of you," you say with sarcasm. "I spent a long time looking for such clarity in gems in such a grand necklace." you express fondly, seeing the teardrop-shaped gems slip over his fingers like stone tears as he fusses with it.

"Time well spent." he says in a groan of jealousy, placing the eyepiece back into his pocket and so effortlessly moving, placing the piece back around your neck and clasping it for you. In the moments his fingers manipulated the clasp, his arms steady on your shoulders, you can't help but notice how he doesn't smell of rum tonight but of something even more masculine.

"Wonderful taste in jewels tonight, Genevieve." he says in a polite toned, gruff voice. He's quiet for a moment, his hand hovers over yours, he taps your finger that wears the simple but sizeable sapphire ring. "This one here would assure a body sank right to the bottom of the canal, yeah?" You let out a low huff of a laugh.

"Yes and she's a personal favorite of mine so don't suggest she'd be on any sort of hand that would let itself end up in the bottom of the canal." you hold it out, your arm outstretched, shifting your hand to see the facets shine, admiring the ring.

"I'd never suggest such a thing about her. Merely an observation." he grins and sits back in his chair. "Now, I'll let ya when someone of interest comes in, yeah?" he says softly, his head tilting towards yours for the duration of his words. He looks around the room, his brow furrowed. You nod in response, glancing over at him in acknowledgment.

"I've only recognized one person here tonight." you whisper.

"You rubbin' with some big shoulders if you're friendly with these types."

"The woman in the mauve dress, red hair." you point with your foot, hidden from view from everyone but him. "I met her groundskeeper at a farmers market and ended up helping her produce business with some of my bees." you explain.

"It's funny how those bees have been takin' you all sorts of places, innit? Those bees become more and more interesting everytime you talk about 'em" he looks over the couple you're referring to.

"That's because they are interesting, Alfie." you say obviously. The corner of his mouth hidden from you pulls back at your no-nonsense tone with him. He continues looking around the room, his hand rubbing his beard, he was in thought. He's pulled out of it as he feels the soft skin your hand against his cheek as you whisper into his ear. "Do you know the man with the lavender tie? With the salt and pepper hair?" you try to say as quietly as you can while still being heard. He swallows and clears his throat, shifting in his seat and subtlely motioning in the direction of the man. You see you'd made him react from your touch. Although it had been subconscious at the time, you now feel the tiny thrill of the acknowledgment from him, although unintentionally so, that your touch could affect him. The troublemaker inside you delights. You hurried to shut her up.

"I've done business with him before, yeah." his voice gravely, his mouth frowning slightly.

"That did not end well, I will assume." you say smugly. Alfie side eyes you, his lips pursed. "Although I couldn't tell which of you tried to turn on the other because I can see he has some dark tendencies."

"You can see darkness in people, can ya?" he says quietly, his voice with less teasing than you'd expect to come from him.

"When someone wears it so proudly, yes." you could've gone over how you could tell he was a powerful man who did bad things by his body language and those around him. Although there was something about his hooded almost white blue eyes that had made your insides twitch with a warning when they'd glanced over yours.

"And what about the drunken Lord near the front in the blue and gold?"

"I would suggest he learn how to hide how he's fucking his wife's..." you tilt your head and narrow your eyes. "Cousin? Sister? Hmm." you hum to yourself in thought. He chuckles and pats your arm, telling you without words that you were correct.

"Some of these poor women," you sigh, shaking your head. "I wonder how many know they're husbands prefer their nights within the secrecy of horse stalls with stable boys to their own feather beds with their affection starved wives." you pout your lips as you shrug your shoulders. The genuine enough hurt in your voice strikes him as you hadn't been one to show much sympathy to these other people so far tonight.

"You are impressive, Genevieve, ya know that?" Alfie lets out a small amused sound, he knocks your arm with his elbow. You look at him with wide-eyed innocence and a soft face, one it might bother him to scold publicly. He looks down at you in a mischievous way. "Now there's no way you can know those sorts of things, now, can ya?" he says with a touch of grit and taunt. "Even if your tales are very entertaining, yeah? Ya somehow manage to be poignant yet funny." his words complimenting you but sounding scolding.

 

"A woman knows things, Mr. Solomons." you deepen your voice, your eyes still matched with his. "You'd be smart to place a little more faith in my words." you retort, your inflection up at the end, a playful warning.

"Well I did invite you here tonight to do exactly that now, didn't I?" he says, thinking he's made your criticism look incorrect.

"Yes and I wasn't implying you weren't smart." you say, another casual and obvious statement from you as your lips warp into a quirky smile, showing your hand and letting him know you did not misspeak. The speaker rises to the podium and begins. As names are called, he whispers in your ear bits of information about them and what he'd like to know about them.

You switched into work mode, your face back to a stoic neutral pose as you walk on his arm across a ballroom after the presentation. You mostly smiled politely and nodded, as the majority of questions were addressed to Alfie, but you watched and listened, people showing you their true intentions. You were given the distinct advantage of being the only sober two in all the conversations you had. You've been giving Alfie his money's worth work wise as this continued for what felt like hours. Having to giggle and touch your chest in flattery every time a wife interrogated you after being shooed away to let the boys talk, suggesting how you and Alfie looked so complimentary to each other. You hadn't appreciated the beauty and the beast reference one gentleman made but you weren't really in the position to retort.

"Not that I'm not enjoying your company, Mr. Solomons. But I'm finding myself tired at this point in the night already due to the combination of sobriety and these people's painful personalities." you rub two fingers on one of your temples, and he pats your forearm. "After tonight I am reminded why I left Paris and the people in it." you roll your eyes before you wiggle and stretch your face to invigorate yourself.

"If I could find the man I wanted you to meet, as he's alluded us since the presentation, we could end this night before we both go cross-eyed from having to interact with these bloated fucks, yeah?" he motions with his hand, not lowering his voice and you lower your head to hide your face against his jacket arm, not touching it but grazing it as you hid a laugh at his words. He sees your shoulders shake and he pretends he doesn't know that the memory how your upper lip raises to show your front two teeth when he makes you unexpectedly laugh with his crass words would be making its way into his thoughts later.

"I find relief in knowing you are as miserable as I am." you whisper in a reassuring tone. "Who are we looking for? If I know what I'm looking for I can find him." you suggest politely.

"'Ol lavender tie." he says low, voice groaning a bit as his neck stretched to look past the room you were in and into another. Your nose scrunches at the news.

"The one I didn't like. Wonderful." you say sarcastically.

"Well it's never all fun and games, is it?" he says obviously. You purse your lips together and scan the room as he plants you both by the bar. Eventually, the man comes to you.
The closer he gets the more uneasy you get. You try to charge yourself up to protect yourself against how this guy tried to throw his bad energy around. You could tell immediately these two men were only being civilized because they were in public.

The man manages to disrespect you with a look without even opening his mouth. You know Alfie feels your body stiffen against him in your attempt to ground yourself and work through this without emotion.

You're telling the man partial and incorrect information of your farm at his adamant request.

"And you feel safe out there? Little sweet thing like you all alone out there in the wilderness?" he lights a cigarette as he speaks.

"I've been given no reason to feel unsafe so far. I do take precautions, of course, living with the woods creatures so closely with civilization, I must." you state, your face purely informative in expression.

"Oh, there are animals in the city that you have to protect yourself against too, darling." he exhales smoke towards the two of you, glancing between the two of you before settling on you again.

"Yeah, I seem to have introduced her to one." Alfie snarks, his back straight, shoulder and feet planted wide, chin up in defiance. You quickly interject.

"Men musn't lower themselves to act like unevolved beasts, mustn't they?" you state with more insistence, looking to Alfie out of the corner of your eye before returning them to the other man, who was returning Alfie's glare, while his fingers fuss over the box of matches in his hand.

"That's where you're wrong, honey, some men MUST." he says, looking you over predatorily before snarling his lips while he brought the cigarette up to them while doing everything but snorting and stomping his feet to try and assert his rather pitiful need to show dominance with fire in his eyes.
----------
You're waiting for your car, you pull your fur piece over your shoulders as the wet night air hits your bare skin. It wasn't just the dropping temperature that was making you feel chilled and unusually jittery. Alfie is looking at his pocket watch, he mumbles something about it being late, you only half listen as you're distracted by the man with the eerie eyes.

"Alfie..." you say softly as your car pulls up and he moves you towards it with his arm hovering over your back. He opens your door for you and you turn to him. The surprise in his face isn't hidden, even on the dimly lit sidewalk as you take one of his hands into yours. "This will sound very cheeky of me and it isn't meant to be," you say with your eyebrows raised. "But if you find yourself in need of a place that no one would look for you, I offer you space at my home to ride out the storm I feel coming for you." you insist, even using a weaker tone to see if you could appeal to his masculine energy.

"Genevieve." he says with a sigh, his head lowering, his eyes disappearing under the shadow of his hat brim.

"I know you think my concern to be based in exaggeration but I do feel like that man intends to do you grievous harm." you say, leaning in, looking up at him, he raises his other hand to cover yours, now rested against his chest.

"It's part of the job, you know this now, right?" he tries to comfort you with a dismissal. "Your kind but displaced worry is appreciated but not necessary." he says with a slightly scolding tone. He uses your grip on his hand to turn you to the car, you hesitantly get in with a heavy sigh you know he hears.

"I told you to put faith in my words, Alfie." you say, your eyes wide, your face serious. The moon hits your eyes, there was no doubt to the truth of your words to be seen in them. He wishes he didn't find your insistent nature on your correctness to be such an endearing trait at this moment. You, armed with nothing but a gut feeling, telling him he was wrong so certainly.

"And I do, Genevieve, I do, yeah?" he says in a hushed voice. "But I can take care of myself and your work is over here. Go home, forget about me as you should until you find a purpose for me again." he gives you a charming smile, under normal circumstances, it would ease your nerves as was the intention of the gesture. "Goodnight, Miss Durand." he says definitively, letting you know the conversation was over.

Your face frowns and you look at him seriously. "Let Claire know which flowers I should send to your funeral, Mr. Solomons." you say, feeling the lack of a personable nature in the use of your last names from him. You shut the door and turn your face to the front windshield, not looking back to him before your driver pulls away. He stands there, his head shuddering back and forth his eyes blinking quickly at your words. As usual, he finds himself affected by your parting words.
-----
Alfie groans and lets his body sink into the large back seat of his car. His sciatica thankful for the end of the night, but not so much the rest of him. He's looking out the window, the way the streetlights reflect through the glass remind him of how your gemstones would catch the light whenever he'd look away from you, always shining in his peripheral vision. His mind was turning your words over and over in his head, his hand gripped the handle of his cane and he sighs loudly.

"Ishmael? Take me to the warehouse instead of the house for the night, yeah?"

"Of course." he responds with a subtle shrug.

He resituates himself in the seat, brow drawn down tightly, lips pushed in together tightly. He found himself wishing your words hadn't been proven true and trustworthy up to this juncture. He found himself hoping you were wrong, but his own intuition was telling him you weren't.

Chapter Text

You sit perched in the middle of your sunlight flooded painting room. Your red silk robe barely tied around your waist, the only thing protecting your naked skin from the colder air of the room.

"Still sitting in the sun like a cat I see?" Agatha, your head maid, who had worked in your family's summer home in France since you were a child enters the room.

"Yes. I find myself to be so disconsolate today, Aggie." you sigh. Your hand pushes the brush into a mixed pile of paint on your palette.

"And what's the cause of this, dear?" she pats your back as she crosses the room.

"I am inclined to say I do not know but I feel that isn't exactly true." you sigh, feeling entirely too clouded, your eyes wide with annoyance at your worry for your possibly prophetic dreams.

"Another vision then?" she says this like she already knows the answer.

"Oui." you nod and groan, looking out the window dramatically, feeling sorry for yourself for a moment.
"Was this one you sought out or one that came to you?" she grabs a teacup off the low table in front of your fainting couch.

You let out a heavy sigh. "A man at the ball I feel means to harm Mr. Solomons and I do not know if he takes my advice as seriously as I feel he should."

"Much like a man." Aggie says with a chuckle, you frown, your eyes following her round form around the room as she stacked teacups up on top of the other as they'd accumulated over the past few days.

"Yes." you sigh again. "I suppose I was incorrect to expect more from a man like him. Blame that one on my mother." you pout, plopping your brush into a paint covered teacup with murky water in it.
Aggie nods, holding your chin. "That is your mother's voice you hear in your head on that account dear. Listen to her." she releases your chin with a nod. "No matter the religion, they are still only men, aren't they?" she says with a smile and a shrug.

"Are we finally back to complaining about men instead of sitting around like we're back in the war? Worrying, staring out the windows all day waiting for something bad to happen?" she says exasperated, nodding to Agatha as she rolls her eyes at your moping.

"I won't apologize for being concerned over clear visions of death surrounding someone that I care about." you say flatly, straightening your back and narrowing your eyes at her.

"Oh, do we CARE about him now? I shall write that down in the diary." she says with a shake of her head.

"Now Claire, she may be a killer, but she is not a monster." Agatha says in a teasing tone. "She can't help if she was born under a sun and moon full of emotion." she adds factually as she heads out of the room.

"Aggie empathizes." you say your voice and face full of attitude. "And Besides! Apart from my boys, he's the only man to not be disrespectful to me based on my being a woman in this business since I've moved here." you state, your muscles tensing in frustration.
"So yes, I do care if he lives or dies." he say loudly, your arms slapping your bare thighs to punctuate your point. "I'd like it if you didn't act like I've got some fucking schoolgirl crush." you cross your arms and pout menacingly.

"No need to raise your voice, Gen." she says scoldingly, patronizing you as she's rolling her eyes.

"If you would stop trying to make my emotions not valid they wouldn't be forced to overcompensate and overflow in these sorts of ways!" you shout your arms falling to your sides. "I also can't help how the full moon is fucking with my emotions and giving me these damned dreams that make me feel like a mad woman." you rush out, groaning in annoyance. "I find myself consumed by frustration at this entire situation." you say quietly, the anger starting to be replaced by melancholy.

"You're consumed by frustration because you've stopped all your vices for it since moving here." Claire state obviously in her frustration at you self-pity, turning to leave the room, giving you an observation she knew you needed to be reminded of. "In the past if you acted like this I'd tell you to go get fucked, but mean it literally." This is the longest she'd seen you go without sex in the over a decade of years she'd known you. You hadn't done much drinking or partying since you'd moved. You stuck to wine in liquors usual place. Business meetings got you out of the house instead of all-nighters in clubs in the city. She knew you were trying to calm your life down a bit from your wilder days in Berlin and Paris but she also knew those parts of you ran so deep that you pretending like they didn't exist was just going to backfire and she didn't want to be around when you burned the estate to the ground in a fit of frustration.

"Oh, fuck off." you groan loudly after her, you hear her laughing as she heads down the hallway, knowing she's right. You slouch and your anger fades quickly as look over to the nude male statue in the corner of the room, opposite the female one, the corner of your mouth pulled back as your eyes look it up and down. "UGH!" you groan loudly as you take a paint-splattered sheet off a chair and throw it over the statue.
----------------
It'd been a week since the ball and you hadn't heard anything. You'd sent Joseph to town for your favorite little pastries so he could give you any news he heard. You heard nothing for days. You assumed this was both a good and bad thing. No news was not bad news, after all. But it was the good news you were after.

"Genevieve." Claire says already annoyed with your low mood today. "No man is worth this worry. Should I just call him to end this suffering you're putting us all through along with you?" she walks next to you, perched in a random room in the guest wing, sitting on a tufted velvet cushion on a bench that sat beneath a large window, looking out onto the forest and hills.
You turn your head to her, you move your eyes up slowly and she exhales noisily at your tired face. "Hmmm?" you ask quietly, your face fallen completely.

"Have you even slept?" Claire asked, moving her hands to your shoulders.

"No. I tried and the dreams became more and more disturbing." your voice is soft and flat. "I don't want to deal with them anymore." you mumble. You do as Claire physically directs, moving you out of the room towards your own.

"You are going to go take one of your little night vials and you're going to sleep this off." she says slowly, hoisting you around to move quicker.

"No, Claire." you whine, your feet dragging, your brow furrowed.

"Then what do you want to do, huh? Do you want to never sleep again? Is that your plan?" she says exasperatedly. It'd been a week of this moody blues funk you'd fell into out of nowhere. "Because it's a shit plan," she says obviously, grabbing your arm and you move reluctantly but willingly. You groan as she shoves you into your room. "You're good to no one without your rest." she says, her voice less harsh.

"Don't treat me like a child. You don't know what they're like, Claire, I don't want to be stuck in those dreams." you say loudly, your hands falling to your sides heavily, your shoulders slumping.

"Then stop your crying and fix this problem or I will have Aggie hold you down and give you something to make you sleep." you says, fixing her shirt hastily.

You glare at her and plop onto the bed. "I'm not crying. Which is honestly surprising at what hour of consciousness I am on at this point." you let out a yawn as you sink into the bed.

She scolds, pulling the curtains of the canopy down and around your bed. "Like a little bird." Claire tsks, "Put the sheet over your gilded cage and you'll shut up." she says in a more playful and less hateful way as you frown as the last light from the daylit room disappears. You cuddle into your breast and chirp in the comfort or the bed and fall asleep.

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You awake and it's dark. Your eyes snap open. You had exhausted yourself and your sleep had shown you dreams of him but with nothing bad attached. Just him, floating about in dark water alone. You groan and stretch, rolling about the bed. You peak your head out of the curtains before pulling one to the side and tieing it back.

The full moon's light comes in from your window, the curtains not being touched since you fell asleep. You stand in the middle of the towering window, letting the moonlight seep into your pores, you let out a long sigh and move to an armoire in your room. You open it to find your oils. You change your silk robe for one more substantial. You pile things into your pockets, your robe untied, your maribou tipped, soft-soled shoes carry you, almost mindlessly through the rows of raspberries, your labyrinth to get to your sanctuary in the middle.

"I saw her going into the garden, practically naked with a bottle of rum in her hand, ma'am." the newest maid softly says, reporting to Claire that you'd woken up.

"I expected as much." Claire says, chewing on her thumbnail, her feet kicked up on the dining room table as she reads by the fire.

"This isn't concerning at all?" the young maid says, uncertainty in her voice and Claire lets out a loud laugh and pats the girl's arm to comfort her.

"None of us have anything to fear from Genevieve, dear. She may have habits you've been raised to be frightened by but her heart is always in the right place." she grins, it'd been awhile since you'd hired any new house workers and she'd forgotten how eccentric you appear to others who didn't know you as well. "Speak to her at the next kitchen meeting, you'll find her very warm to you, I'm certain."

"She has been, very much so. I'm afraid I'll be full of stupid questions until I can accustom myself with the home and those who live in it. But may I inquire as to what she's doing out there in the rows?" she says meekly, not wanting to step out of her bounds.

"Going out to her secret garden to do some of her grandmother's old world medicine to get rid of those dreams she finds herself imprisoned by, I imagine." she says casually, her eye returning back to her book.

"And this is good?" the girl responds with wide eager eyes.

"Yes, dear, it means she's finally stopped letting it happen to her and is now getting back her control of the situation." she nods, chewing her bottom lip, relieved you were finally snapping out of it and getting back to being the reasonable, logical, power source she preferred you as.
You were out in the outskirts of your rows of berries, among the iris's in your spherical space of hanging flowers and willows, your stone bench and small viewing pool the only other pieces taking up the space besides you. You drink a good few big swigs of his rum, connecting yourself to him.

"You better be worth all this fucking trouble, Solomons." you grumble quietly, sighing with a furrowed brow at how you'd gotten yourself into this mess, now to try to get yourself, and him, out of it. You light your candle and begin what Claire had assumed, but you try to focus specifically on protecting Alfie as you begin to rub the oils into your skin and try to center your mind.

Chapter Text

You sleep through the day and find yourself pulled rather quickly from it as a crack of lightning and the rumble of thunder hit your ears.

You emerge from your canopy bed, walking to the window, pulling back the curtain to place your hand on the glass, feeling the vibrations from the storm that had rolled in. You recall it being clear when you went to bed, you bit your lip hoping this wasn't a bad omen.

You see a car coming up the drive, your narrow your brow at it, tilting your head. Your eyes move to squint at the clock by your bed. It was in the middle of the night, why was your car being driven, there wasn't anything to be tested or fixed on it that you were aware of. And why do it in the middle of a storm? You stretch, your face staying inquisitive as you take off your robe and run your fingers over the soft fabrics of your nightgowns, picking one and sliding it over your otherwise naked body.

"Your man has returned to you from the war, Miss." she announces as she peaks into your dark bedroom.

"What?" you croak, sleep still in your voice.

"Mr. Solomons, dear," she says as if that should be obvious. "He's at the front gate, I sent a car out to get him, his broke down on the way here to you." she says, handing you a hairbrush off your vanity. "Clean up now, let me fetch you a robe. At least you've put some clothes on." she grumbles, shifting around your room. You brush your hair, looking at yourself.

"I dreamed he was in the ocean." you muse, standing in front of the large gilded mirror.

"Yeah? I figured with as much as you seem to be connected to this one, you could feel him so close." she says almost under her breath while her head is in an armoire.

"You're acting like my Ida and her tales of soul mates." you sigh with a roll of your eyes, setting down the brush. "Has my mother also been sending you those heavy-handed letters about trying to marry me off again?" you're awake now, speaking more articulately.

"You found him when you weren't looking for anyone, dear." she says like she knows something you don't. She's sounding like a stereotypical grandmother with her ominous statements.

"A man is the last thing I need, Aggie." you say with a certainty that makes Agatha sad. "You sound like a book of fairy tales." you dismiss her words with a flick of your wrist.

"Maybe so but I know no one more whimsical than you." she reminds you. "I'm looking forward to meeting this Mr. Solomons. See who has managed to take up favor in your dreams." she says teasing in her voice, she throws you a long robe and you pull it over you, slipping your slippers on, glancing out at the blurred lights of the scurrying cars down the long drive to the main house through the heavy rain pouring down the panes.

"It does not favor when I have them because of his destructive decisions," you say, running your fingers through your hair, fluffing it and throwing it over one shoulder. "Neither is it favor when they steal my sleep from me and I have never met a man worth losing sleep over."

"And yet you've gone days without this week, haven't you?" she says, herding you out of the room and down the hall. You groan in response and shake your head, these old women and their insistence on men, it was something you'd heard from them as far back as you could remember and their insistence only grew louder the older you became.

You're pulled out of your grumpy thoughts and back to the news you'd received. Alfie was not only alive, he was here and you felt at ease for the first time in the long week past as you see your large front door come into view as you round the corner. You see the car pulling up the long drive, the sound of the rain against the glass drowning out the engine for the most part. A crack of thunder and lightning hit as the car pulls up to the entryway. You frown once again, hoping this wasn't a bad sign. When you make out the shape of his hat through the fogged glass you let out a breath you didn't know you'd been holding.

"Not dead, I see." Claire chimes rather cheerfully at this news, as you look over your shoulder at her.

"You didn't invite him did you?" you ask her, still uncertain of why he was at your house unannounced in the middle of the night.

"No." Claire says slowly. "I thought you might have." she says, her voice and face softening, realizing none of you knew why he was here.

You stand behind the door as you usually do when you know someones coming as you want to know what they say when you're not around. "Hope you like wet dog." she mumbles as she peeks out, as he's walking up the stairs. You shush her and motion with her to get on with it with your hand.

"Good evening, Mr. Solomons." she says smoothly.

"Better now than it has been," his voice is low and raspy. You can feel the exhaustion coming off of him through the door. You sigh at the sound of his voice, if you had to be proven incorrect in your visions you suppose it was alright as long as a life was spared. You hear him move up the steps. "I found myself thinkin', what are the chances of there being two Genevieve Durands when I saw this place. But here's you, right?" he gruffs.

"Genevieve was asleep, I've sent someone after her, she'll be down any moment." she says, giving you your open window.

"She wouldn't be the type to always be in a bad mood right after they wake up, would she?" he asks, only half joking. Claire actually smiles a bit at his question.

"She is not usually, no. But she'll be relieved to see you so I doubt you have anything to fear." she taunts you just feet away, you stomp your foot and point your finger at her to stop. "I hear her coming down the steps now, just a moment." she says cooly, leaving the door just slightly cracked. You give her a smack to the breast and she smacks you back on the butt as you turn to the door before she heads out to alert the staff of his arrival.

You tighten your robe and pull your hair all over to one side, wet your lips and slide your fingers over the edge of the large, heavy door.

You hold your face in a polite and reserved pose. "Mr. Solomons." you say softly, looking him over. He was absolutely soaked. At some point having taken off his hat, his face and hair were also wet, just like the rest of him. Mud covered his shoes and the bottom of his cane and trousers, smudges of dirt, grass and soot all over him.

"Miss Durand." he says in an exhale as he sees you. Lit by the sconces by the door, the low light lit your feminine features like a dream. The softness of your appearance makes his body, soaked and chilled to the bone feel warmth for a moment as he finds your eyes kinder than he deserves them to be from how he reacted to your words during your last encounter.

When you see him wince, his weight on his cane more prominently than you'd noticed before, your heart twinges. "Get in here, Alfie." you say in a gruff command, cutting the formality of the encounter. You pull back the door and take his arm and bring him in, soaking your robe and gown. He's taken off guard by your attentiveness and decides he's too tired to act like he doesn't appreciate what you're doing for him. You shut the door behind him with an echoing clang. "Fire in the blue room, Aggie!" you shout towards the left side of the hall. "Would you like a bath too?" you ask sweetly, helping him with his incredibly heavy, sopping, long coat you give to one of the men who work in the house.

"Uh. Yes. Please." he mumbles out. His eyes are wide at your hospitality and personal attentiveness as he nods in response. Your hands are already tugging away his suit jacket, also totally soaked. "Bath in the room as well, please, Aggie! Thank you!" you shout, your head facing over your shoulder as place your fingers so delicately around the brim of his hat.

"Done, dear!" he hears the faint shout of an older woman down the hall.

"May I take your hat off, Alfie?" he nods again, his blue eyes watching your fingers move quickly, so many of his discomforts being immediately seen and fixed as soon as he stepped through the threshold. "Bring him clothes and wash those," you command to people around you, one of them holds a men's velvet robe out to you and you take it, holding it out for Alfie. "Shoes next." you motion with your fingers on your outstretched hand for him to hand them to you. He does as commanded and you hand them off again. A pair of slippers already somehow sitting at his feet, he slides them on. "I assume you also need someone to retrieve your car and things?" you say matter of factly.

"It's about 4 miles down the road coming from London," he says, getting his bearings a bit and settling into the fast pace you'd set.

"You heard him Joseph." you look and nod over the man that drove him in. "I'll have your things put in your room, your car put in the garage and seen to as well." you nod and lay the collar of the robe around him down flat across his chest.

"That's all very kind of you Genevieve." he says quite softly. "What with me showing up unannounced in the middle of the night like some poor pup." you chuckle at his way of apologizing.

"It seems as if you've had a bad week as well." you state in your ominous way.

"I'd say you got no idea, yeah, but you fuckin' might with how you can see the future and all."

"So I was right." you can't help but grin and he grumbles, crossing his arms, shrugging his shoulders to warm up.

"Yeah." he nods, lips pursed.

"We'll get the feeling back into your toes and then we'll have some tea and you can tell me the details of my correctness. That alright?" you ask, hands clasped together in front of you.

He nods with a furrowed brow and you take his arm in yours to walk him to his room in the guest wing. "More than alright, that is." he says, looking up and around as you walk.

"You've got a room in the guest wing, and there's a bell if you need anything. I have breakfast and dinner in the dining room and tea in the drawing room. There is also the study where I take it sometimes and you'll meet me in one after you get yourself back into sorts." you tease him, scrunching your nose at him in hopes he wasn't in too much trouble, it had to be something big for him to actually take you up on your offer, you thought. You bring him to his door. Steam coming from the bathroom, a tea tray on the bench at the bottom of the bed, clothes laid neatly on the bed.

"You run a very tight ship, Genevieve." he says low, impressed, eyes scanning the room.

"You are too kind for noticing." you smile sweetly at him, sending him into the room with a pat. You turn smoothly with a nod.

"Just ask anyone you see if you have any questions!" you shout halfway down the hall.
You pop into the kitchen before heading to the study. "Victor?" you call out, hearing the sounds of your midnight snack being made.

"Already got the order in on your late tea, Miss Genevieve." he says warmly with a nod.

"I assumed as much, thank you. I actually wanted to ask about something else. I'd like to make the house Kosher while Mr. Solomons is with us, please. Would we be able to do breakfast by those guidelines in the morning?"

"I'm sure we have enough to do that, yeah. I'll tell the maids and make up a list and have Claire give it to you before lunch tomorrow. That alright?"

"Wonderful Victor, thank you." you lower your hands in thanks and the round man stomps in his usual way back to start on a menu.
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His hair is wet and slicked back as he walks slowly, cane in hand to sit on the other end of the couch you were perched on.

"Took a near-death experience to get you over for tea?" you tease, sitting sideways, your legs crossed under you as you face him.
You switch your tone to something more comforting as his slow movements tell you plenty without him having to speak. "I know you're tired, I won't keep you long. I'd just like to know what brought you here tonight." you ask politely.

"I am fuckin' beat." he says with a low laugh at how it was all hitting him at once now that he'd experienced all this comfort piled on him at once. "That's fair. As long as you tell me how on earth it is you have an estate like this in the morning." he says, a nonthreatening smile on his face.

You nod. He lays back with a groan and sips his tea.

"I did some diggin'. Found out lavender tie, or Cyrus Horne, was, in fact, looking to have me fuckin' murdered." he says, shaking his head. "I stayed at work all week, fucked my back up sleeping on the settee, right?" he grumbles. "I wanna go home, ya know, but I decide against it,right? Couldn't get your voice outta me head with those firm words of warning."

"That's reassuring." you joke, laughing softly into your cup.

"For you, maybe." he says with playfulness in his voice. "Found out my house had been blown the fuck up this afternoon." he says with a much more mild dislike of this fact than you expected.

"Blown up?" your eyes go wide. You understood why your dreams had felt so urgent.

"Blew it right the fuck up! Whole thing! Just...fire, everywhere, all of it." he says, growing angry.

"I'm sorry, Alfie." you say sincerely.

"As long as it weren't you who burned it to the ground you got no need to apologize to me." he expresses fondly. "Because of you I am here in one piece, although that's an arguable opinion, innit?" he sidetracks himself in a mumble for a moment, reflecting on how bad he feels. "Instead of being blow up and into fuckin' ash, mate." he turns his eyes to yours for the first time in the conversation.

"You're welcome." you grin smugly.

"Yes, thank you, Genevieve, yeah? You fuckin' puzzle of a person." he expresses his confusion as he tried to get a grasp on you. He was relieved at still being in your good graces after how he'd ignored your words the last time he'd seen you.

You laugh, your whole face moving with it as you consider his words. "Never been called a puzzle before." you say as your laugh fades and a natural silence falls over the room. "I know you're tired and to a much less extent, so am I." you yawn as if on cue. "So let's call it a night and you can thank me for not lecturing you about how I was right by joining me for breakfast in the morning, where I'll answer your questions. That agreeable?" you say with a more reserved face, letting him know he wasn't completely off the hook, but you didn't plan on making his life any harder either.

"More than." he says, his voice full of relief as you set your cup down on the tray and move to the door way.

"Goodnight, Alfie." you say sleepily, your face turning to him, still on the seat.

"It is, now."he says with a nod, looking into the fire. "Goodnight Genevieve." he says with a relaxed expression as you disappear down the hall.

Chapter Text

You put clothes on for breakfast in your own home for the first time in a long while. He's back in his loose white shirt, you see his braces hanging over his dark trousers, his wide shoulders set squared with his elbows on the table as you see him from behind as you descend the stairs and trot into the dining room. You sit down straight across from him. You greet him through the hands that move around you, handing you a much bigger than usual breakfast.

"Were you able to get some sleep?" you break the silence with, he doesn't look like he's gotten much.

"That bed is a fuckin' dream, mate." he says with an enthusiastic inflection.

"Good." you chirp, popping a piece of fruit into your mouth. You tap on your hard-boiled egg as you wonder where to begin. He breaks the thought with the solution to your problem.

"So what have you being lying to me about?" he says with a smirk, working his utensils on his plate, not looking up at you.

"Not as many things as you're assuming." you let out a chuckle at his lack of subtly. "Mainly from a lack of telling you anything distinctly personal about myself." You sip your tea. "Well then," you say taking a deep breath.
"I'll start with the biggest lie."

"Please, do." he interjects. You can't help but be entertained by the look on his tired face, the excitement of learning secrets in his eyes.

"My last name isn't Durand." you say with a sigh."I'm The Lady Genevieve Greene." you say with a hint of reluctance, your face set for whatever reaction came your way. He stops chewing, sets his fork down and calmly pushes his plate away from him. His elbows rest on the table and he looks directly into your eyes like you were the only thing in the world at that moment.

"A Lady?" he says quietly, his tone was suppressing his interest. His hand over his mouth, picking his beard. You nod and take another drink.

"My father is a British nobleman, my mother, born French." you pause and chew the inside of your cheek.

"That explains that funny little accent." he says with the realization in his voice, his head nodding slowly.

"Excuse you?" you say, a hesitant smile on your face.

"You have that littl' french twist to ya words." he's rubbing his chin, piecing together everything he's learned about you, you can tell.

"Always the observant one." you taunt back in a low voice, not knowing if you felt insulted or not.

"How do you know Tommy Shelby?" he asks, fingers fully dug into his beard as his mind frolics in new information.

"I went to the same school as his wife, Grace. Our fathers knew each other, we were friends." You decide to continue when he doesn't interrupt you further. "I spent my summers in France, I attended a girls school in the south here where I met Grace and spent the holidays up north with father's family." you stop and consider his expression.

"Well that answer was far less climactic than I imagined it to be, yeah?" he huffs out a laugh. "How'd you get into theivin' if it weren't Tommy who done it?" he narrows his eyes at you.

"That's a personal question, not something I may or may not have lied about." you frown at him just slightly. He holds up his hands up in surrender for a moment. Since he doesn't press you further, you give the information freely. "I got into small crime for the thrill as a teenager and it built from there." you offer as an answer. "Then I decided to move to London from Paris and try to start my own legitimate business and build my own wealth, apart from my family's so I could support myself and the lifestyle I prefer without their money's involvement in my more frivolous expenses." you stop to take a drink.

"Ah, distancing yourself from the title in the name of independence, eh? That's why you changed your name then." he says his mouth drawn down into a thoughtful and impressed pose, his hand returning to the tabletop, it was more of a rhetorical statement you believed, so you nod in response.

"And in confidence, I tell you that if my stone hearted father had his way my last name wouldn't be Greene in fact." you frown, your brow slouching over your eyes in thought. "But if I may be so bold as to say I am my mothers favorite and therefore I'm still entertained to be part of the lot of them." you shrug, taking a drink.

"An old rich nobleman's daughter who won't conform to what daddy says, eh?" he elaborates in his own way to your former statement, his tone amused. "But yer ya mum's favorite for the same reasons you're his least, right?"

You let out a small chuckle and a grin is already on his lips when you look back up from the table at him. "Tale as old as time." you say in a playfully annoyed way.

"So you have brothers and sisters then?" he asks, you're surprised this is the direction he was choosing to explore. "Nieces, nephews and the like?" he looks up at you, finding your face to have fallen slightly, his brow twitches at the realization he's opened his big mouth far too wide on the subject for you.

"Yes." you answer with a small half smile on your face, not reaching your eyes.

"The name Genny Greene makes you sound like some girl I used to know from the schoolyard, dunnit?" he blurts out with a teasing tone. You don't know if he senses your sadness at the thought of your family or if he felt he needed the attention pulled back to him momentarily.

"Genny?" you stick your tongue out in disgust. "You sound like a Shelby, Alfie. Please don't, I have enough Shelby's in my life." your statement becomes littered with laughter as it carries on. "I have nothing against sounding like a schoolyard friend but if you must shorten my name, please take the most direct route and call me Gen, please." you say shaking your head, entertained but a slight scold to your tone.

"I think I prefer The Lady Genny, yeah?" he sounds almost proud of himself, his lips set in a pose of consideration. You narrow your eyes at him, a less friendly smirk on your face.

"Just because you know my real name now doesn't mean you get to call me by my title in public unless I instruct you to, Mr. Solomons." you use his name to let him know you're serious but your slouched shoulders tell him you aren't angry at his poking.

"Back to formalities so quickly Gen?" he hums in amusement at you. 'You should know I wouldn't call ya that where others could hear." he grumbles in defense of himself.

"When I said I had nothing against sounding like a schoolyard friend I didn't mean I was inviting you to take the piss out of me and pull my figurative pigtails, Aflie." you switch back to his first name to give him less to pick at you about. You grin but pick at your plate with a fork, not looking at him. He laughs out loud at your response, bringing his own plate back in front of him while his shoulders shake.

"Well certainly won't now that I know you're a Lady," he smirks at you, mocking in his voice. The title was a formality he found to be so humorous due to your lack of Ladylike behavior in so many situations thus far. "Not now that I know you can send me to the guillotine with a nod of your noble chin, yeah?" he keeps his eyes on your face, you hold back a laugh, your tongue pushed against your teeth as your lips pull back and you chew to keep yourself from giving the reaction he sought. He's relieved when you roll your eyes and direct them at his.

"Oh, fuck off, Alfie." you chide with an animated shake of your head. He claps his hands together once, his head thrown back for just a moment in a shouted singular note of amusement at your crass words. You're both inclined to laugh as your faces level to meet each other in a pleasant exchange, sharing a glance into the others crinkled eyes before going back to your breakfast.
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You'd had meetings set up for the upcoming week to try to get your busy to get your mind off the dreams but since that situation remedied itself, you found yourself just plain old busy. Maybe getting your head back into work was what you needed.

You would have short breakfasts with Mr. Solomons and no dinners that week. He woke up early and went to bed late. You'd seen him come stalking in, heading to his room as you sat on a chair in the study at the end of the hallway, returning your eyes to your reading or drawing until they burned and you went to bed. You knew Alfie was a busy man but with the hours he kept, it made you feel lazy. When you saw him at breakfast, he was always there before you, sometimes finished before you even drew yourself to the table. You had painful small talk only once, as you both spoke to your seconds, finalizing plans for the day. You'd both realized neither wanted small talk, there was no point, so you would greet each other, give very curt briefings of what was keeping you both so busy and part with pleasantries. You were thankful he was a quiet, low maintenance guest. The maids all wide-eyed at having a man in the house, especially the young ones. You couldn't blame them, after all.

You'd come home later than him for once, a particularly grating day of contract negotiations, meetings for both Abeille and otherwise, your mind needed to lose some of its tension. Aggie tells you he's using your usual cozy space of the guest study for his work and you get out of your stuffy dress and into something soft. Another maid meets you in the hall on the way to the study with a glass of wine. She smiles and says Aggie wanted you to have it as you looked like you needed it.

You peak into the room, the fire going on the left wall, the desk sitting at the far end of the rectangular space in front of a heavily curtained window. He has his little half glasses on his nose. His hands, still decorated in rings at this late hour, hold papers and he busies himself with a pen to another sheet.

You move into the doorway. Only his eyes move to look at you at first, then he looks back down to finish his thought onto the paper. "Right," he says a reboot to his system, blinking his eyes and stretching out his arms. "I'll have my mess cleaned up before I head to bed." he says, motioning to the desk, stacks of paper and books on it.

"No, don't worry about it," you say dismissing his words with a swipe of your hand. "Would you like to just use this as your own personal study while you're here?" you suggest, sitting on the edge of the couch, facing the desk, not that far from where you sat.

"I wouldn't want to impose."

"You're aware you're already living in my house, correct?" you joke, a tired smile on your face. "You see how many fucking rooms there are, Alfie, don't be ridiculous." you say in a lower register, moving your glass as you speak. He gives you a small amused smile, nods, and hums in agreement with your words.

"In that case, I'd like four rooms," he says, nodding his head to you. You hold in a laugh poorly at his animated head shaking at his own words. You keep your face straight, your eyes giving you away and try to scold him with a look. "Right. No fun, you are. Just this and the bedroom, yeah?" he says with fake exasperation, you're too tired to care about your reaction and you let yourself laugh at him, looking back into his mischievous, for a moment, gaze. You sigh and run your hand through your hair, resting both your hands on the edge of the couch.

"There's one catch to this room though," you say, your pointed foot tracing the flowers on the carpet. His eyebrows raise at you, a smug look on his face. "This room happens to be the one I like the best for my reading at night." you shrug as in, what could you do about it. "So if you don't mind me planting myself by the fire with my head buried in a book on occasion, the room is yours," you say, your hand motioning to the space.

"Seeing as I've already set my papers here I suppose I'll just have to get over it, won't I?" he says while looking down at the desk, shaking his head even though the way he held his mouth told you he was being cheeky.

"That's a relief." you nod."Because it is my house and I would sit in here regardless of your answer." he head tilts just slightly at your words. " But I am glad you're proving cooperative." your face ran from straight to playfully over the course of your words, him watching you speak all of them. You start to walk towards the doorway, your body moving slowly from overuse, you lean on the doorway with your hip and shoulder. You lead with one of your true intentions on speaking with him this evening. "I periodically throw small parties for my staff. There's a big menu, music and everyone's invited. Just little thank you's from time to time and on holidays and special occasions and the like." you pause your wandering eyes back on him, he looks slightly confused as to what you're getting at.
"It would seem the large portion of my house staff, who happen to be Jewish have used your arrival here as a means to get me to throw some of these said parties for Shabbat. And even though they already do get the day off, they did bring up a good point about how I should make sure my guest feels entirely welcome, as per my role of Lady of the house and I happen to agree with that." you give a small half shrug in consideration. "So, would you happen to be able to join us for dinner tomorrow night?" you clasp your hands together in front of you, your fingertips fussing with each other.

"Would you like me to?" his brow lowers just momentarily when he asks your opinion. His eyes are much more awake than yours, not moving away from you as you feel he senses a weight to your question.

"Of course I would," you state plainly with an air of ease, showing him there was no loaded double meaning to your words. "Having dinner with me," you hold your hand to your chest. "The woman who practically saved your life if you recall, would be a nice way to start thanking me for that wouldn't it?" you smile, his lips return the gesture. You watch him as those direct words of affirmation reach his ears, even laced with your teasing tone. "I assumed that you wouldn't be working come sundown tomorrow." your face is pleasant and only hinted with sarcasm. "But being as this is the longest we've spoken since your arrival, I didn't know if you'd be able to write me down in the diary on such short notice." your face is friendly to him but still full of attitude.

"I've written you in every time you've asked so far, haven't I?" he answers you with an unexpected, disarmingly charming smile that affects you far too much in your sleepy state.

"Shall I order the Challah then?" you retort back your chin raising in minor defiance to his taunting words, crossing your arms under your chest, your mouth open in an easy-going smile.

"Don't be ridiculous. I'll bring it myself." he says with a definitive nod as you narrow your eyes at him, open smile still on your face.

"So cooperative." you almost coo at him with a biting grin. You start chuckling to yourself as you start the long walk back to your room.

Chapter Text

He was asked to lead the blessings by the staff and carried out the ritual. He was flocked to by everyone but you basically. You sat back, feet up on the end of the dining room table, sipping the wine in your hand. You glance over at him to watch him charm the pants off the maids as you chuckle at the sight unfolding before your eyes.

You know that he’s aware he’s charming, but you wonder if he’s meaning to make the young dears sigh as he also touches shoulders and swats his hands at the men he’s speaking with. You’ll give him the benefit of the doubt after you see him so smoothly and passively reject one of the girls advances as her hand moves to touch his chest. You laugh into your glass at the pouting face of the poor thing.

You find yourself in the kitchen after dinner, sitting on a countertop while people move around and drink wine and converse. You feel like you’re transported back to some of your fondest childhood memories. Except you sat on a potato sack back then, women didn’t sit on the countertops, you were told. Alfie has a glass of wine in his hand from dinner and so do you. He’s up against one of the pale tiled walls, talking loudly with his hands and rolling out entertaining stories all the kitchen boys are just dying to hear. It takes you back home to France for a moment, you stare into your wine glass, watching it swirl and dance, sticking to the edges of the glass and running down again in a daze, stuck in your memories for a nice warm moment, nights spent in a room not that different from the one you’re currently in come back to you vividly. You could see the smokey room and hear your uncles and cousins shouting at one another. All arguments ended in the oldest always putting the youngest in a headlock and then they’d all start laughing again. Your Uncle pointing his finger at you with a wink as he catches you holding a bottle of rum, laughing loudly he takes it from you as he pulls you into his arms. “Peu lis!” he’d shout at you in an affectionate scold, his eyes sparkling with love and amusement. You can still feel the scratch of his coat under your hands.The boom of his voice as he laughed and cursed while he retold stories of your mischief and it made you feel loved to be spoken of so endearingly. He always knew how to make you feel special when he saw your pre-determined life was starting to steal your smile from your face. No other male figure had done that for you growing up, certainly not your own father.Least of all him. Only those extended family members of your mothers. Your heart started to ache.

“Genevieve?” Alfie’s low voice rips you from your time travel and your eyes flutter up to his, sitting under a raised brow, a slight look of concern on his face for you. “You alright?” he says lightheartedly, he flinches to reach out to touch you but hesitates and decides against it.

You clear your throat and blink and wiggle your face around for a moment before nodding. “Yes, I’m fine.” you take a deep breath. “Deja vu of sorts.” you sigh, “Got lost in my memories there for a moment, didn’t I?” you give him a half smile, your eyes back to being set in reality.

“Well that’s fine from time to time, innit?” he says with a gruff tone that holds no judgement.

You nod, your eyes moving about the room, there were fewer people around than the last time you looked. “Must be the wine.” you say scrunching your nose, making an excuse for your daydream.

“You do look a little flushed, if you don’t mind me saying.” he nods his head to let you know he doesn’t mean anything by it, making sure you didn’t take offense.

“It’s fine, Alfie.” you say with a quiet chuckle, smiling and sliding off the counter. “Come, let’s get some air. Not going to get better sitting in the scullery.” you say, motioning for him to follow you.

You’ve set your hand on the stone railing across your back patio, overlooking your garden. The moon is high and the sky is black against her. Small lights peppered across the lush ground of your garden give off the only light in the dense flora that carries back and fades as you reach the far end of the garden, your bees, and berries lying beyond that.

“I’ve not had the opportunity to tell you how lovely your home is, Gen.” he says politely, his eyes focused, looking out into the garden.

“Thank you. I’m quite fond of it myself.” you say back in the same tone, as your eyes wander. You sigh contently, moving towards the stairs. Feeling encapsulated in the bubble of your very aesthetically pleasing garden, flowers in clusters all along the right, a trail to a small secluded lily pod off the path, closer to the line of the woods, a small pond. To the left your personal garden of herbs, vegetables, and fruit. Farther back still on the left is the barn looking building which functions both as a garage and also a home to the horses you keep to help on the farm.

You turn your top half back towards him, he’s already looking your way as you meet his eyes with yours. “Would you like a walk through the garden, Alfie? Seeing as you live here and all now I should show you around, shouldn’t I?”

“In the middle of the night?” he asks, his eyes moving up to the moon and back to you.

“Yes. Why not? It’s even more beautiful in the night. Are you frightened of the dark or something?” you give him a playful grin and a small laugh that shakes your shoulders just slightly. He purses his lips and lowers his brow at you.

“Scared of not being able to see a fuckin’ thing and wastin’ my time.” he says with a light-hearted mocking tone.

You walk down the stairs with a shrug to the stone path laid into the ground around the small fountain. “I don’t know…That sounds like something someone who’s afraid of the dark would say.” you snicker childishly and lower your head as you see him shake his.

“You serious?” he says, motioning with his hand to the air to emphasize his question.

“Yes! Well,” you say with a small shrug, "about showing you around, not so much the fear of the dark stuff.“ you call out, your shoulders slumping slightly and your expression is set in an easy going and teasing smile. "There are lights all over. C'mon, let me show you the garden.” you hold out your arms as he gives in and walks down the stairs.

Without the need for coats, you’re both dressed down, him in his white shirt that’s partially untucked over his trousers, braces still hanging by his hips, the wind rustles the excess fabric of his shirt. You’re in a navy sleeveless dress, the sheer fabric worn over a matching slip lets the cool breeze hit your skin and you welcome the sensation.

He mostly listens, although never short on words when asked for an opinion. You’ve shown and explained the sectors of the garden, told him what lands were around you and how far yours went. You, as usual, end up speaking of your flowers and garden like an old lover. He would always get oddly still when you’d start waxing poetic. He even stopped walking as you lilted on lavender at one juncture, watching you as you moved across the path, cooing about the lavender in the fields from your childhood and how currently, it’s oils made you want to sleep when added your bath at night. The moon reflective off his eyes as they moved with you, his mouth set into a pleasant expression. When you met his gaze there would always be a smile waiting beneath his shifting mustache, but you didn’t know if it stayed the whole time you spoke.
—————————————————
“WHAT THE FUCK YA DOIN’?” you hear him shout as you unfocus your eyes and turn your torso to the sound of his voice. Your feet are still firmly planted shoulder-width apart, taking aim at the statue on the other side of the pond. He sees you standing in an authoritative pose with a gun in your hands. The dress you wore made you look as if you were displaced in time. The Lady Genevieve Greene of some time long ago, much resembling the lavender of the fields near your family’s home in France you’d told him about the night before as it moved with the gentle morning breeze. The laced edges of the neckline of the dress worn down on your arms with bare shoulders, the sheer violet fabric billowing out before being edged again with tiny white ribbon. The dress was cut in an empire waist, cinching just below the swell of your chest, covering the slip of matching color you wore underneath. The dress swung about your ankles, moving as your hips did, reminding him of a Bellflower. A white apron with big pockets was tied around your waist, a ribbon was loosely holding back your thick dark hair in a bow at the base of your neck.

“Target practice.” you say obviously, your fingers wrapped around the pistol in your hands.

“You could fuckin’ warn a man, ya know!” he says, shaking his cane in your direction as he trots down the small downward slope that conceals the pond from your garden.

“I’m used to living alone. I’ll be more considerate next time.” you say with an apologetic tone, turning back to the statue.

“Why are you shootin’ at a statue anyway?” his tone is still slightly annoyed and his voice higher pitched in his animated words and hand movements.

“Because I fucking hate it.” you state matter-of-factly. He laughs at your response and squints his eyes to look at it from a few feet behind you. "Also because I need the practice.“ you let out a sigh and place the gun back into the pocket of your apron. "I’ve been using knives so much recently that I don’t want to get rusty.” you explain turning to him, wringing your hands.

“Why do you have this statue if you hate it so much?” he says, he continues around the pond since you’ve stopped shooting.

“Don’t bother with it Alfie,” you say in a groan, following behind him on the dirt path surrounded by dark green grass on either side. One side rolling up and into a tree line, the other side sloping down and into the water. You begrudgingly start to explain. “I had a statue commissioned in Paris before I moved here and I paid for it and it was shipped without me seeing it and I just,” you let out another sigh and put your hands on your hips as you stop behind him, both looking up that the statue. “It makes me look like a fucking horse or something, I dunno.” you start to mumble, your face frowning.

“That’s supposed to be you?” he asks, his finger pointing at the statue.
You move to stand next to the statue and pose in it’s likeness, one hand on your hip, the other up and bent behind your head. “You don’t see the resemblance?” you ask while making a contorted face and pushing the front of your nose up with the hand that had been on your hip. You roll your eyes and purse your lips in an exaggerated way to show your distaste for it. He lets out a low laugh and shakes his head at you.

“No, I ‘spose not. I mean I only know what you’re face looks like, right? So I can’t very well speak as to the accuracy of the rest of it now, can I? ” he smirks and shrugs and doesn’t look at you, his eyes remain mischievious and focused on the nude statue.

“Alfie.” you scold in a laugh and reach out the playfully smack his arm but he leans out the way easily as you’re pawing very slowly at him. “You cheeky boy,” you say with a very amused scoff, it coming out higher pitched that you intended. You cross your arms over your chest, shaking your finger at him. “Don’t you worry yourself with those resemblances,” you say while walking past him. He can’t help but let out another small chuckle before turning to follow you, being relieved he had found that you could, in fact, take a joke at your own expense. “What are your plans for the rest of your morning since it seems my practice roused you early?” you ask, not looking back at him, you could hear him walking behind you, the pattern of his steps and barely noticing his cane hitting the ground. Did he even need that thing?

“Well, since you decided to go shoot yourself so early in the day I hadn’t had time to consider yet.” he says, his voice back to it’s even and gruff sound.

You let a huff of a laugh out at his choice of words. “You have a spare moment to give me now?” you ask, now stopping and waiting for him as you stand in the fork in the path.

“What d'ya need me for, eh?” he asks with no hesitation.

“I don’t require anything but your company,” you say your shoulder slightly rising with a polite smile. “I was wondering if you’d like to take that tour now. Know what’s in the house, see where what I sell you comes from.” you state, your hands clasped together at the end of your fully extended arms.

“Well I did start my day off earlier than intended, dinnit I?” he asks rhetorically. “And I would like to meet these bees of yours. What with the way you talk about 'em an all.”

“House first. Then breakfast and to the Apiary before swinging back around and I’ll let you go.” you suggest, turning to move towards the house he motions with his hand for you to continue on your way as he falls in behind you.

You take him into the house through a less obvious backdoor into the cellar and up and into the kitchen leading into the main hall. You skip the guest wing and the dining room as he’s already familiar. The ballroom at the side of the house opposite the dining room, separated by a large entryway and lobby into the house, the embossed with white and gold designs on the ceiling starting to twinkle in the early morning light that came in through the large window above the front door and the window in the top of the domed ceiling over the entryway. You show him your wing. You elect not to show him your bedrooms, didn’t want him getting too friendly too soon or being given the impression that was what this was about. You lead him through your study that serves as an office when needed. You lead him up the metal spiral staircase tucked away behind a large bookshelf that leads to the second floor of your wing. You do a casual peek at your leisure room, some dance, some singing, and music when the mood struck you.

You come to your studio. You’re excited and he can read it in your body language, but not much on your face. But as you finally turn to open the door, exposing the large space, large windows with heavy velvet curtains pulled back to let the light in. A circular raised platform in the middle where your stool and an easel, currently holding your work in progress sit. Workbenches across the wall, a desk, fainting couch and room divider placed around the other side of the room. The wooden floor was covered with various colored ornate rugs, with furniture upholstered in various jewel tones. Canvas and tarps propped up against walls, in the far corners of the room, a male and female set of statues stand in recessed sections of the wall.

You stand by the door as he walks into the room, his eyes wide as he studies the currently mostly dark background covered canvas in the room, it was large and called all the attention to itself.

“You painted these?” he asks, his chin pushing into his neck, eyebrows furrowed with curiosity as his hand slices through the air, directing your attention to contents of the room.

“One of my hobbies.” you nod proudly.

“Why steal 'em at all if you can just paint them yourself?’ he asks in an amused tone, shrugging his shoulders in a huff.

"Not as much fun to have an imitation of the real thing is it?” you answer his seemingly rhetorical question as he comes back to you, not wanting to pry too much into a room of such personal significance to you. He didn’t want to show his greed for information about you. He lived in the house now so surely he could find the time to have a look at what was covered from sight in this room.

“S'pose you’re right on that, yeah?” he nods with an agreeable face as his hand comes out to show you to lead once again.

Your main discussion over breakfast was your personal garden. Telling him about what was used from it in the meal and what you would be having coming up with the seasons changing. He finds himself not holding his tension in his shoulders for the first time all week. Your voice is soft when you’re at home he finds. It’s been speaking about things you loved in a sweet tone that had lulled him the entire morning.

Now he’s listening to you greet your hives, you spill compliments to them in French, the way you have such a calmness to your actions in the midst of the seeming chaos of movement and noise make a heavy sigh build in his chest. You were a bit hypnotizing, he’d thought when he would watch the way your eyes would go intensely focused and almost command things from their target. They were currently showing the fast way you took in information from sight alone. You’re speaking softly to the man in the full netted suit. Your face lights up as you point to another hat and shuffle your way excitedly towards him.

“Don’t be shy, Solomons, come introduce yourself.” you grin, placing a hat and net on his head. He adjusts it as he follows you towards the source of the buzzing down the path between the numerous short stacks of hives.

“Telly has found a virgin queen and I can’t have you miss this.” He laughs silently behind you at your enthusiasm as your hand is firmly wrapped around his, tugging him along despite his lack of defiance.

“Virgin queen? Didn’t know bees cared about such things.” he kids. You snort in response.

“Means she’s new.” he sees your shoulders moving as you quietly chuckle at him. “She’s piping and I want you to see what I meant when I said they sing.”

“I remember you saying that, yeah.” he nods, eyes wide and now very aware of the buzzing around the opened hive you were approaching.
You keep hold of his hand even though you’ve stopped. You don’t even notice in your excitement as it feels natural to do such a thing.

He gives a polite nod of acknowledgment to Telly. “There’s the little lady.” you coo, touching the bees so delicately with one bare finger, moving them just slightly. He’d never seen someone do such a thing. Who sticks their fingers into a mass of bees? Especially in the fearless, tender way you did. The difference in the queen and the others was so slight that he wouldn’t have noticed if he’d been given hours to look at the vibrating and constantly shifting mass of tiny bodies. He sees first hand now that you really do know what you’re talking about with the buzzy buggers. “Look at her go, now she’s singing.” He can hear the sound. But the pride on your face is what he’s really interested in. He hears the intervals of melodic buzzing. Piiiiiiiip - pip-pip-pip. “Her little wings rub together to make the sound. Much like a cricket,” you explain softly, looking up at him for a moment while you speak. “Can you hear her?” you ask, still doe-eyed at the bee.

“She’s got a lovely voice, Genevieve.” he grins as you meet him with a pure, closed mouth smile.

You stand and clasp your hands together, sighing. “I’ll get out of your hair, Tel. I know you’ll be as busy as they are with new queens.” you eyebrows raise and the man nods back at you with a kind expression. “Don’t want to scare off Mr. Solomons now do we?” you smirk as you turn to walk out of the fenced area. Once you’re at the gate, you take his hat off of him, hanging it on the fence post. “If you’re around them enough and they get used to you, you won’t have to wear the hat anymore.” you explain, turning back to walk down the path to the house.

“Genny and her bees.” he hums in amusement. “I’m surprised you allow other queens to share your space.” he jokes.

“Well I’m a very gracious ruler, aren’t I?” you laugh with a swivel of your chin in jest.

“Very gracious indeed, Genny bee.” he says with a nod and a mischievous grin. You felt like you’d be hearing that nickname again from him whether you acknowledged it or not. You let him have his fun.
—————
You are in your study, looking over blueprints for a proposed job. It was late but you weren’t going to bed. If you tried you would lie in bed and be thinking about doing this so it was useless. The house has been quiet for some time now. You’re in the middle of solving the maze of hallways when you hear a noise shift outside your door and in your focused state you instinctively reach for your gun under your desk and pull it and hold it to the door before you look up to see who is on the other end of your aim. You hear a shuffling noise followed by a clearing of a throat as he rounds the doorframe and into view.

The look he gives you is not immediately of worry as you’re used to and the almost offended but still amused look on his face makes you roll your eyes before lowering your gun and laying it on the far side away from him on your desk.

“Lovely to see you as well Genevieve, yeah?” he says in a mocking tone as he holds out his arms and walks towards your desk.

You tilt your head but hold out your hand for him to not come closer and he gives you a puzzled expression. “I was focused and forgot you lived here for a moment. The maids know not to bother me in here.” you shrug implying he already knew the rest of how that story played out.

“Right.” he says, nodding, chin down, looking at your hand, still unsure of the gestures motive.

“Before you get any closer to this desk I’m going to need a very honest answer to a very serious question.” your face loses the amusement at him it held just moments before, now reserved.

“Then a very honest answer you will receive.” he nods, moving his hand for you to continue, welcoming the question.

“Are we at a place in our professional and personal relationship where I can allow you to see or know things that are not involved in your personal business affairs and not have to worry about you selling or giving, by any other means, my information to anyone, ever?” you rest your hands back on top of each other, your forearms on your desk.

He nods with a thoughtful face at you, impressed by the many situations your words covered. “You are aware there is a man that is out to kill me, correct?” you push your chin out in reaction to the strange answer.

“Yes, I know that.” you narrow your eyes and shake your head in a desire of a more thorough elaboration.

“And you’re still letting me stay here in your home, innit ya?” he says, motioning towards the chair in front of your desk. You frown and motion back for him to sit.

“Yeah, I leveled up my security, so? What are you on about?” you command of him, your shoulders slumping.

“I’m a guest in your house, having been personally invited by you, right?” he points his finger at you as his words pass to emphasize it’s importance to you specifically. “With this invitation, you knew you were possibly putting yourself in harm’s way on my behalf. I don’t know what awful things you’ve heard others say of me and the way I handle my business, but I would like to assure you that I can recognize a debt when I see one and it seems that I am now the one in debt to you, aren’t I?” his hands clasped together as he finished speaking, resting on his stomach as he leans back in the plush chair.

Your lips pout as you look away from him to your desk in thought. He was right, it had not occurred to you that he would think about the situation in this way but you were oddly relieved at his mature admission.

“So just so ya know…ya know.” he nods animatedly at you. “With me being here, yeah? You don’t have to worry about what I see in this house. Ya just don’t, Genevieve. I may be a fuckin’ piece of work but I’m not gonna fuck ya over, not when you’ve done nothin’ but right by me since I met ya, yeah?”

You watch him as he speaks. You’re surprised that you feel like he’s telling the truth. Your previous life experience wants you to reject the notion. “And for my own piece of mind,” he says, his hands touching his chest, his tone lighter, “Ya don’t have any plans on servin’ me up with an apple in me mouth, d'ya?” his eyes blink slowly at you.

“I have no current plans for that, no.” you can’t help but grin in response.

“Then I’ll keep behavin’ myself and you keep not killin’ me in my sleep and we’ll be good as gold, mate.” he gives you a flash of a charming smile with a gruff chuckle, full of amusement.

“Then that’s the plan.” you meet his smile with one of yours you found disarming in hopes to incite the same feeling in him as he was trying to draw from you with his. “Your cooperation as always is very much appreciated and does not go unnoticed.” you say with a warm smile and polite nod of punctuation.

“You’re very kind, Genevieve, yeah?” he leans forward with his elbows on his knees, “You know that? Not something I expected from ya with the stories I 'eard about ya.” his grin returns in full but his eyes are less sentimental.

“Well luckily for me, you just agreed to not tell anyone my secrets so that will just have to stay between you and I, won’t it?” you look back down and speak with raised brows and a smug expression, moving your hands across the papers on your desk to smooth them.

His gaze drops after you share a look of agreement. His head tilting and his shoulders relaxed. He clears his throat to speak, “Now it’s my back that ’s got me up at this late hour.” He shifts his weight, now on one arm, resting on the chair. “May I ask what’s got you awake or have I gone and interrupted you?” he asks politely.

“No, your intrusion is welcome, Alfie.” You reply, your lips pursed and as you went ahead and stacked the papers neatly to look over later. “It’s a job I’m thinking about taking. Trying to get a good study of it before I accept or decline. Nothing that interesting to be honest.” you half smile, stretching in your large chair, rolling your neck. “I don’t need to chance my eyes staying foggy from reading in the low light for this long anyway.” you yawn, rubbing your eyes. “Might need to get glasses like yours if I keep up these late hours.”

“Oh, you takin’ a piss outta my glasses now?” his lip shoots up in a reactionary grin.

“Never.” you laugh, shaking your head. “It allows you to wear glasses that also function as jewelry,” you state in an obvious but enthusiastic way. “I wouldn’t know what hell to give you about them. Seeing as I’m fond of them myself.” you shrug and roll up the papers as you speak, your mood back to friendly with ease. “Who has picked on you for your glasses, Alfie?” you say, lowering your head to tease him just slightly. “You’re defensive of them. Do I need to go give some rude men a talking to?” you offer with a grin, shutting the papers inside your desk.

“More like rude women if I’m being honest, mate.” he says, shaking his head with a small laugh, his hand moving out in the presentation of the joking statement.

“Girls been making fun of your glasses?” you say in a genuinely surprised, higher pitched voice, your elbows are on your desk, your hand to your chest in tandem with your statement.

He nods with his mouth open, brow furrowed as if he’s trying to think of where to begin with his thoughts.

“How very rude,” you say with a nod of your head to interrupt his thoughts. “Making fun of a man’s glasses.” you tsk, shaking your head dramatically, seeing his grin slowly build as you carried on your animated task of cheering him up from the idea. “All terrible I’m sure. Self-loathing, projecting, feral mannered tarts.” you continue your insults until you begin to laugh at your over the top delivery.

“Not nothin’ like you, are they Gen?” his voice is lower than you anticipated but the praise immediately goes to your head and projects itself onto your face loudly.

“I’ve yet to meet a woman that is.” you flash a beaming, pride-filled smile at the statement. A laugh that sounds ill-intentioned bubbles out through your shapely lips.

Chapter Text

You had thankfully taken up camp at the far end of the dining room table before dinner to organize some of your loose sketches. You were having Aggie take them back to your studio when he walks in the room. Your eyes that had been on her as she left in the direction he was entering, shift to him immediately and follow him, wide at the sight, as he sits at his usual seat at the far end of the table. You blink slowly at him, taking in this boyishly handsome man that sat down to have dinner with you.

“Alfie?” you call out with enthusiasm, you back straightening as he puts his glasses on. “What did you do?” you inquire, shaking your head, your brows high, eyes not hiding their underlying enthusiasm at the sight of him.

“What? It’s almost summer, yeah? I like to go into the season with a good cut and shave.” he doesn’t pay you much mind as he looks at the papers his second is laying on the corner of the table before he leaves for the day.

Claire walks in to find you, lip bitten in thought, staring at him and wondering how he’d hidden lips so full. His face does the same mannerisms as it always has, but your eyes see every tiny nuance now. Every fold around his mouth, wrinkle in the corner of his eye. He’d bared his face and therefore to a small extent his thoughts with this clean-shaven face.

(In French) “Did you know about this?” you ask, snapping your stare back to the table.

“I did not.” she says with amusement in her voice.

“Look at him,” you say, holding your hands in front of your face as your arms rest on the tabletop. “To have the beautiful young man underneath the handsome older one.” you roll your eyes, sitting back in your chair in contemplation of him. You never look at him directly, speaking to Claire over a sheet of jotted thoughts you’d had while drawing today as if it held any real importance. “How is an unsexed woman supposed to go without wanting to smash a face so pretty to pieces with her pelvis?” you shake your head and shake the piece of paper as if you’re angry at it. You look over to him, he’s watching you with interest in his eyes, you shrug and make a face to signify you weren’t mad over anything important.

“Tell us how you really feel.” Claire says sarcastically, managing to even chew smugly. You sit and look at his reflection in the mirror on the wall, avoid him directly.

“You remember that young lord that lived north of Paris?” you ask, chewing.

“The one with the zoo?” you say, looking back over to Claire who nods. “He reminds me of him in this form.” you shake your fork in her direction.

“How could I forget? The noises you two made rivaled that of the ones in the cages.” she rolls her eyes again, this time accompanied by her head as she rolled her head about her shoulders, stretching out the tension building there.

“A face like that makes me miss the days when I would take those angel face’s and be the woman who made them men.” you sigh and shrug remembering fondly of your escapades for a fleeting moment. You see Claire subtly looking at Alfie her lips pursed together, she overlooks your inappropriate dinner table conversation as she’s become to expect it.

“I would have never guessed that lay beneath all that hair. You don’t even notice the spots with a set of lips like that do you?” she looks over at you and you raise your eyebrows in agreement, nodding your head. You smile at her speaking loosely instead of professionally. “The irony is not lost on me that a man like him would have such an angelic face as it helps to deceive you from the devil within.” she states matter of factly. You roll your eyes and now you try to ignore her words, trying to give no power to whatever negativity she was projecting outwardly tonight.

“I think my brother Michael had the same spots when he was little. Grandmother gave him one of her tonics and it cleared up…” you chew slowly, your brow furrowed in thought. “I wonder if it’s in any of her old books.” you trail off, looking in the direction of your bedroom.

“Creating potions to cure what ails him now too? What don’t you offer to rub it in for him with your tits if you’re going to all that trouble. A waste of your time and energy, that is.” she almost grinds out between her tight lips, holding a visible tension there. Her hand going up into the air but the rest of her body stayed stationary as rolled her eyes at how you were going out of your way to help this man.

You stop chewing and your brow drops as you wait for Claire to look over at you. “Are you quite finished?” you ask, you expression pulling rank on her. She lets out a heavy sigh and grabs a newspaper. “What has your knickers in a knot? Because my kindness isn’t where you should be directing your anger.” you warn her, cutting the meat on your plate aggressively in your annoyance.

“Men.” she answers, spitting out the word, tossing the paper onto the table. “Excuse me.” she says sarcastically, leaving her chair pushed out from the table and disappearing down the hall.

“Anything I should know about?” he asks, chewing slowly, face straight.

“Non.” you say with a sigh. “She’s apparently had a bad day is all.” you shrug and go back to your food.
————————-
It’s late, you’re in your usual home uniform of a nightgown and robe and slippers, the upgrade from naked you’d usually be wearing this time of year. You’ve got your tea, the fire gently undulating, the only source of light in the room except for the lamp you’ve placed in the floor under the curtains by the window behind the desk. You’re working on capturing the heavy black velvet curtains and how the light illuminates them from beneath. You hear Aggie’s entirely too adoring voice greet Alfie as he comes in. You hear him making his way down the hall. He nods as he sees you, half turned on the sofa to face him.

“‘Ello, Gen.” he calls out to you with a croak, continuing onto his room.

“Goodnight, Alfie.” you say in a humorous exhale at his endearing casual tone and greeting as it seemed he was in fact leaving.

“Nah, not yet. I’ll be in there to join ya in a minute, yeah?” you hear him explain as his hand moves as he speaks, despite his back being towards you. You think he mumbles something about work before he disappears into his room.

You work until his appearance interrupts the light behind the desk, his arms dumping books on the desk. “Am I interrupting your artistic process?” he says only half serious, taking his braces off his shoulders.

“Yes but I won’t hold it against you.” you set the bound papers onto the seat cushion, moving to place the lamp back on the desk. “Just studying light.” you say, dismissing it and giving him a polite smile as you move back to your previous spot on the couch.

“Ya any good or do you just enjoy the hobby?” he says, rearranging the books on the surface they rest on.

You let out a huff of a laugh. “Being good at art is purely personal opinion.” you say, picking up the realism you’d been trying to create in charcoal.

He settles with a grunt in response to your answer accompanied by a solid nod, his lips pouted in agreement. His elbows stick out as he lands with a croak of agitation from the chair. You stand next to him, he raises his chin towards you, leaning in as you do, offering what you’d worked on tonight for his inspection on the desk.

“Give it to me straight, Solomons.” you chuckle, standing and looming over the drawing.

He picks it up and holds it, studying it in the light of the lamp that had rested on the floor.

“Anything you can’t do Genevieve?” he asks quietly, thoughtfully, his eyes focused and moving across the work. You bite your lip and look up in consideration.

“I can’t whistle.” you offer up with a shrug. His eyes shut as he shakes his head with a huff of a laugh and raises them back up to your amused face.

“You can’t whistle?” he asks surprised, you shake your head. “Well, go on, lemme see how bad it is.” you furrow your brow and purse your lips playfully at him.

When he doesn’t break his expression, you sigh but give an amused smile and oblige him. You wet your lips and try. You pucker up, doing nothing much but blowing out air and sputtering. You take another breath, looking down your nose at his held back laughter and blow out raspberries, especially as he shrugs and makes a disappointed expression causing you to laugh as you continue trying and it only gets worse. You eventually can’t hold your mouth in the correct form and start laughing at yourself. Your eyes squeeze shut and your hand is placed on your chest as your shoulders slump and you angle yourself away from him so you aren’t laughing directly into his face.

He’s relieved when you close your eyes because then he can let loose the smile that your adorably endearing behavior is causing. Who else got to see this side of you, he wondered.

“I’m shit at it Alfie.” you let out a small snort and take an exaggerated deep breath. He’s back to his high brows and sucked in lips to keep from teasing you. “Ya feel like a big man? Making a woman look so foolish?” you say with a laugh.

“Now, now, luv, come 'ere,” he shakes his head with a sincere grin at your antics and takes your hands into his, making you look at him. “You gotta put your tongue over your teeth,” he demonstrates, “Like 'is.” you try to mimic him and it’s hard because your lips keep threatening to smile. You try again and after much more encouraging expressions from him you manage to squeak out a weak but audible whistle. In your expectancy to not whistle, you jerk your hands out of his, balling into fists and shooting towards your chest in surprise. Your face gives away your shock at your own actions.

“Lookit you go!” he laughs, his shoulders still shaking as he leans back into the chair.

“Didn’t expect to ever remedy that.” you say with a head tilt and grin, your face thoughtful.

“Well ya dinnit 'ave me teachin’ ya now did ya?” he chuckles, handing you your drawing back. “Certainly don’t need no one teachin’ ya anyfing about drawin’, do ya?” he says with a much less flashy smile, the sparkle of a compliment in his eyes.

“Thank you on both accounts, Alfie.” you rest your hand on his shoulder, rubbing it slightly in a thankful gesture that you follow through with without even thinking about it. “You mind if I stay in here with you?” you ask, your voice rising in pitch slightly as you head back to the couch. “I have other sketches to work on.” you add as you stand by the spot of your previous perch.

“Don’t be ridiculous. I’ve got contracts to evaluate, sketch away, dear, by all means.” he says, not looking up at you but motioning for you to continue and sit.

You’re settled back in, your back against the arm of the couch as you hold your paper in your lap, knees bent and facing the desk again. You hear the sharp satisfying drag of the paper flipping to a new page. You look over him for a moment, considering his warm demeanor and angel face. You think of how much you’ll miss this boyish charm that was born from a boyish face when it inevitably became covered with hair again. You bite your lip and grin, starting with a few shaping strokes on the page, beginning to draw him as he was. You didn’t want to forget it after he was gone.
—————————————————-
You’re on your way back from the kitchen, the light in the hallway catches your attention, you take another bite of the bread and jam in your hand that had called you to the kitchen at this late hour. You don’t immediately assume he’s in the room, as it was late or rather early for even you to be up wandering around. You appear in the doorway, with no announcement of your presence, muscle memory ready to switch off a lamp and go back to bed. But he’s at the desk in the study in his pajamas, hair a mess, glasses on his nose as his fingers poke away at a typewriter.

“Working on Shabbat?” you say with a tsk, entering the room just slightly.

His eyes roll up to you, his demeanor stiffens. “Ain’t work.” he grumbles, finishing his thought and then turning his attention to you.

“So you’re just writing? For the pure enjoyment of it?” you ask, coming closer now, arms across your chest, feeling like you’d intruded but he wasn’t telling you to leave so you implore into what he’s doing. “I hadn’t the faintest idea you were also an artist.”

“Nah, no artist.” he shakes his head, not meeting your eyes. “Merely a compulsory hobby.” he says with a groan.

“If you create, you are an artist, Alfie. Plain and simple.” you state, taking another bite of bread. “Have you been writing long?” you inquire with a sweet inflection to your words.

He sighs and you feel the weight of it’s meaning. He’s hesitating. He looks up at you, his brow still heavy over his eyes, but they were fixed on yours as you blink slowly, his eyes losing his tension as you don’t interrupt his thoughts and stay silent. His eyes flutter ever so slightly before he decides to speak. “I woke up from a dream and came in ‘ere so not long. Helps to empty the thoughts out like ‘is.” he says, his shoulders slumped, back leaning in the chair, his hand rubs his sleep fussed hair.

“Inspiration visit you in your dreams?” you ask warmly. You stand next to the desk, not coming to his side so you can’t see what he’s working on out of respect for his privacy.

“Yes but not in a way that grants that lovely tone you’re using.” he says, looking away and to the paper he’d been projecting onto.

“Ah, those fits of inspiration.” you say with wide eyes and a reluctant smile that tells him you’ve spent many sleepless nights much the same way he had. Just from different sorts of demons and paint instead of words. “I did however mean with my question as to how long you’d been writing, to be directed at its entire duration, not just this nights.” you say with a smile that just enough teasing to make him give you a small pleasant smile as you directed yours at him.

“Ah.” he says obviously with a nod. Smile fading fast. “Well,” he starts, that hesitancy gripping at his words. Part of him wanted to share and part of him wanted to hide and keep the words in his head and not let them leave through his mouth. But the kind and never judgemental mind behind your eyes was showing through, asking him politely to tell the truth. “They’ve been going on for a little while now."he says, the words being drawn out slightly as he beat back that voice in his head telling him to not be vulnerable, hushing its insistence that it equated to weakness. But you were proof that wasn’t true. Your truths had made him want to follow your lead and try to find it within himself to not hate the bits of him that had grown from the war. He wasn’t in denial of them, used them to his advantage for years now, but the hardness it had instilled at his core was something he wasn’t sure was any longer reachable. But something about you made him want to try.

"Now? Did these floods of creativity start recently?” you ask, head tilted to its side, you have no ulterior motive other than curiosity and care as you speak to him.

“No, they started after I came back from the war.” he says in a more clear voice, you’re pleasantly surprised at the shift in his voice.

“Oh,” a smile on your face that to his surprise isn’t pitying. “Sounds much like my brother.” you say with a terribly sad huff of a laugh, not masking anything to his observant eyes.

“He in the war as well? Never heard you speak of 'im.” you can tell he’s interested with his choice of words.

“Yes, he was. He was different afterward as well. But everyone was in some way or another.” you give a distant gaze and a shrug. “Especially after you men came home. Seems the ones who kept the war where it died fared better than the ones that brought it home with them in their heads.” your eyes are far away in your memories, he’s guessing.

“I’ve witnessed much the same.” he nods, narrowed eyes, holding only curiosity watching over you as the vulnerability he had felt from sharing something personal is met with yours.

You give a sharp glance away from him, swallowing and taking a deep breath before the emotion took your face over. “I have learned that expressing oneself in imaginative ways, such as with art, is a healthier way for us to work through things on a deeper level than we can with less introspective outlets.” you add, your face looking more rosy as you rubbed your nose. “Like with your writing. My painting. George’s theatre.” you say, rubbing your hands on your hands on your knees before stretching your back.

“Theatre?” he says, sides of his mouth pulled down in a surprised expression of interest.

“Yeah.” you say with a smile that’s genuine again. “After he healed from his injuries, he found he had a taste for it and created a stage name and threw himself into that world for a bit.” you look back over to meet his eyes, eyes no longer holding the threat of tears.

“Was he any good?” he asks with a cheeky grin. You grin and give him a soft laugh, shaking your head and moving away from the desk.

“Didn’t matter if he was any good at it. He loved it.” you give a half smile and shrug, walking to the door, your hand touching the pieces of furniture as it passed them.

“What was his stage name?” he asks, calling out in a warm voice as you neared the door.

“I can’t tell you that.” you say as your shoulders shake with a laugh, turning to face him.

“Why not?” he says with a playful offense.

“Because it’s a secret.” you say obviously, your head and voice dropping low. “Shouldn’t have even told you of it at all.” you say with an uncomfortable smile, looking away with a silent 'oops’ escaping your mouth, quickly followed by another small huff and a tired smile. “Hope you’re good at keeping others secrets as well.” you laugh at yourself, sighing and putting your hands on your hips.

“I can keep secrets given the right reasons.” he nods and shrugs in his defense.

“The reasoning of, because I said so.” you say with an attitude-filled nod of your head.

“Eh.” he says with a shrug, indicating this wasn’t a good enough reason.

“Because I said so and I will also kill you if do. That work well enough?” you ask with a raised eyebrow.

“Better.” he says with a chuckle and a laugh, pushing his glasses back up his nose.“Self-preservation is a good angle to approach when threatening someone to keep secrets.” he nods, approving of your methods.

“Speaking to me as if I’m not a peer of yours in such skills.” you say with a singular loud scoff, shaking your head, rolling your eyes and turning from him with your brand of playful dramatics. “Save your lessons for someone who needs it, professor.” you say in a humorously exasperated fashion that makes him laugh as you parade out the room. “I’m going to bed, Mr. Solomons.” you state in the same tone.

“Goodnight my most apt pupil.” he calls after you, hands back to his papers on his desk.

“Shove it up your arse.” you say in a snort of a laugher that he quickly imitates. Your sighs that follow after your laughter whisper their way to his ears from the long echoing halls, making him stare out the doorway even after you’ve gone, his mind no more calm than it had been when he’d been lost in it before you entered the room and now his thoughts to settle in for the night.

Chapter Text

You dream of the sea again. This time he isn't in it. You panic because it feels like he should be. You feel like you're reaching as far as you can to search for him and as the waves pick up, a storm on the horizon moves in, killing the blue sky and turning it purple. When the lightning spreads out across the sky with a crack you wake up. These are dreams similar to the ones you had when he had his house blown up last time. So this time you know something has to be wrong. You have Claire check all your security, again. She knows there's no point in fighting you on it, she does as you command. You're met with an early morning light greeting you as you walk to the window. You sigh heavily and know you won't stay sane if you don't do something. So as you had from time to time on matters like these, you call Polly. You explain the dreams and the changes, she tells you all you need to hear in her omniscient way.

"If the night chooses to whisper something to you, dear, never ignore it. It doesn't speak to everyone and it never speaks without purpose." she pauses, sensing your hesitancy. "Do you care if the man lives or dies?" she asks plainly.

"Yes." you say without hesitation or added motive.

"Then go to him." he says sternly.

You have Joseph fetch the car and you make yourself decent. You put a pistol into your deep coat pocket and wait anxiously as your car carries you to the warehouse. You stand in the center of two massive brick buildings, hidden from the street. You gnaw at your lip and press your back against a blank spot of wall. You felt that sickening feeling in your gut. You shut your eyes and breathe, trying to take in everything around you for a moment. You know he's supposed to be here but you don't know if he is. This is where your mind told you to go and so you followed, continuing acting on Polly's advice.

The man wouldn't have stuck out to you with his hands in his pockets, hat over his eyes, shuffling with his head down towards the double doors. But his coat was far too expensive, one pocket sagging lower than the other. His shoes barely dirty. You knew he didn't belong here. And once he shifted his shoulder, his hand moving in his pocket, you felt like a hound picking up a scent.

He moves into the warehouse, you follow, dashing across the large space between the buildings. You slide in through the crack of the doors before they close again with the men entering and exiting. The hard look on your face kept the men from addressing you as you tiptoed to see what direction the man went in. You see Ollie at the end of a row and run to him, asking him if he's seen anyone who matches the description. As you're clarifying if Alfie was in a meeting or expecting anyone, the man walks past you, you're hidden between a row of barrels. You freeze and whisper to Ollie that this was the guy in question.

You peek around the corner, your hand on your gun in your pocket, much like the man you were following. You hear Alfie's voice but you don't see him yet. The man hesitates at the end of the row and looks around, you hurriedly move out of his line of sight to hide again, the gun outside of your pocket by your side. You move quickly around a grouping of barrels and exhale heavily with relief as the man comes into sight again. He cocks it, you can hear the snap like a radar blip in the white noise of the room. You hear Alfie's voice drawing closer.

It's now just you and the man that you can see, so you draw your gun and aim. Alfie's holding his glasses in one hand, papers in another, in a seemingly important conversation with the large bald man you'd seen multiple times now. He doesn't even think to look up as he rounds the corner, and why would he in his own bakery? The man takes a deep breath, and so do you. You see the glint of the shine off his pistol, knowing now you have full reason to move on him. You creep out from behind the barrels to get a clear and clean shot. As his gun reaches the level of his chest, gripped tight in hand, you shoot him in the back of the head. Your aim pointed up towards the ceiling so if the bullet did exit, it wouldn't blow his warehouse to hell by hitting some barrel. Deny the rums existence all you like, that bread will still blow if you light it on fire.

Alfie draws his gun and points it at you since you are the one who fired and the only one standing in his field of vision currently. He stomps closer to you, eyes lit with misdirected fire.

"WHAT THE FUCK YA THINK YA DOIN'?" he shouts, one hand out in exasperation, the other still point the gun at you. "Fuckin' shootin' in here? You gone fuckin' mad?" he asks, his eyes wide and his mouth open from shouting.

You hadn't even notice Ollie come up behind you and you jump at the sound of his voice, lowering your hands. "That man was going to shoot you. I saw it." he says with no surprise but loudly. Alfie switches his sight back to you.

"Fuckin' 'ell..." he groans. "In my own fuckin' shop." he spits out angrily.

You put the gun back in your pocket and stare blankly at Alfie to let him take stock of the situation. He follows you with his gun, you believe unintentionally as you approach the body. You remove the man's hat and grab him by the hair and show his face to Alfie. He's let the gun lay heavy in his hand by his side.

"You recognize him?" you ask, going through his pockets as you roll him over.

"Can't say I do." he shakes his head, his brow furrowed, eyes worried. You find only a piece of paper with a time and address on it. You hand it over to Alfie as you step over the body.

"He has grass on his shoes. He came from outside the city. We can assume who reached out to hire him." you say quietly, leaning into him to speak.

"Excuse us Adam." he says to the man who had been walking with him, dismissing him. "Ollie get him out of here." he says, his eyes darting about. You didn't think he was in shock, certainly not the first time a gun was pulled on him, certainly not the last. "And you," he points his finger just inches from your face. "You come wif me." he mumbles, walking to his office.

You walk in silence, he's rubbing his beard so you know he's thinking. He sits at his desk, you sit in the chair in front of it without command.

"How'd you know about this?" he says with his focused eyes half hidden under an aggressive brow.

"I had a dream." you say reluctantly but honestly, your jaw tightening in hesitation to share. His face switches from aggressive to something more curious as his chin pushes up in your direction in question. "Sometimes I have dreams that seem to act as a precursor to something big occurring. Doesn't have to be something bad, like this. It can be something good as well." you shrug, sidetracking yourself subconsciously and pulling yourself back on track. "I had one of these about you." you state matter of factly, meeting his gaze again. "I had a certain feeling that something bad was going to happen to you. Much like I did when Horne attacked your house." you explain softly, you clasp your hands together in your lap so you don't fidget your fingers.

"You had a dream like this when he attacked my house?" he asks, the aggression now completely gone from his face.

"Yes." you nod slowly. "I didn't know you like I do now so I felt I couldn't assert myself into the situation directly." you elaborate, slowly and articulately to make yourself sound more certain and less like you were trying to sell him something. You were used to people, especially men, historically not taking any mention of dreams seriously.

"And you had these dreams again? Did they tell ya where to go?" his voice has that trace of uncertainty still holding on, waiting to hear the right thing to believe you completely.

"No. It'd be a lot easier if they worked that way." you let out a soft huff of a laugh and tuck your hair behind your ear. "They're more symbolic. I knew you were supposed to be here today, because you told me," you state obviously, trying to add to the credibility of your actions. "So I came here to find you."

"And how'd you know who to shoot?"

"That certain feeling again. I think most call it a gut feeling." you say with a frowning micro expression, hoping he would accept the honest answer. "I saw his coat was too nice, too new to be a usual worker. I followed him in and asked Ollie if you had any appointments coming in, he said no. The man passed again and I could see he had a gun so I followed him." you end with a sigh and meet his eyes again, your shoulders slumping.

"Fuck me." he gruffs out quietly, hands resting together in a fidgeting bundle in front of his mouth. "You're tellin' the truth." he states as if he's annoyed by the fact. "I can feel a lie and you ain't lyin', mate." he says with an unreadable expression.

"Of course I'm not." you say with a hint of offense. "Why would I tell you this if it wasn't true? It's not like it sounds credible. If I were lying, I would've come up with a much better answer wouldn't I?" you say, pursing your lips, your brows dropping down, your eyes wide but in honesty and not manipulation.

"Do you find yourself having to save others like this often?" he says, his voice hitting you with relief.

"No." you shake your head, expressing your own disbelief. "You've been keeping me very busy." you say with a soft grin, trying to not give a reason to lose his calm demeanor. He nods, in acknowledgment, his face now set in a thoughtful expression, his eyes polite but distracted."I'll have to insist you start paying me for this kind of work if you keep this up." you lean your head towards him. You're sure to meet his eyes with a kind smile as his attitude filled face shoots its eyes at you.

"I might as fuckin' well, right?" he finally breaks with a laugh, shaking his head, closing his eyes for a few heavy seconds. He sighs and his fingers tap the desk for a few seconds in thought, gathering himself.

"You should check the handwriting." you exhale, your adrenaline fading. Motioning to the piece of paper you'd handed him. "Or I can do it for you? I've done it before, that is." one side of your mouth draws back showing you understand the weight of your suggestion. " If you don't mind me seeing your books." you drop your voice for the last bit. You move your chin down to show him that you understood if he did not. His brow furrows just slightly, his eyes looking at you from under them as you see him hold his tension in his lips. He raises from his chair.

"It's very important to have trust in partnerships like ours, innit?" he speaks slowly and deliberately as he moves across the room, going to retrieve the book of signatures. "So this is trust, Genevieve, yeah?" His eyes stay on you as he speaks and walks back to his desk. You nod clearly and calmly at his statement in understanding.

"I appreciate your placement of it in me. I'm relieved to hear of its existence." you say with a bow of your head, taking the book from his hand before he sits back down in his chair.

"With me you're two for two on those dreams of yours and those are very good odds, aren't they?" he shakes his finger at you. "I'm gonna keep betting on ya if ya helpin' me not get fuckin' murdered, yeah? he reaches the piece of paper under investigation to you and you gingerly take it.

"Why would I allow someone to get rid of you, Alfie? What would I fill my days with if someone succeeded in killing you? I'd be lost." you let the huge grin show through on your whole face, your head down, chest bouncing slightly with a low chuckle. Holding the slip in one hand, your finger already scanning the first page. He trusts you and he isn't even entirely sure why at
moments like these, but here he was, compelled as usual. It wasn't the first time he'd heard of a woman having prophetic dreams, he just hadn't thought he'd ever come across one who would have them about him. You'd saved his life twice now and with asking nothing of any consequence back from him. This is really what lead him to believe you despite the interference of reason. He blinks slowly at you, his head slightly tilted in curiosity at your abilities in combination with that devastating smile.

Chapter Text

"I'd say Linda sends her apologies for not makin' it out 'ere but you'd know I'd be lyin' but, Tommy did say to send his. I don't know whether the boys comin' or goin' anymore. Flyin' off by the seat of his pants at all hours." gruffs Arthur, leaning forward as Polly chuckles, watching Charlie who is in front of the fireplace, occupied with toy horses around him.

"He flies around by the front of them as well." Polly adds in, her expression equally annoyed and exhausted by the fact she states.

You're in the nursery you'd had set up in the upstairs guest wing for the Shelby children when they came to visit. You'd spent hours with the four of them, Arthur had been able to talk Linda into letting him bring the baby. Linda wasn't particularly fond of you, seeing as she saw you as a godless, murderous, vain, harlot and all. You were indifferent to Linda. She made Arthur happy and that's all that really mattered. And now all that mattered was little baby Billy who was currently swaddled and gurgling in your arms.

"I'm going to go down and have tea put in our rooms for after we put these little ones to bed." Polly states, looking over to Arthur who gives her a nod.

"Lovely idea." you coo, looking down at the baby you were bouncing in your arms.

Arthur clears his throat after Polly's footsteps fade down the hall. "So..." he says, his hands into his pockets, swaying up onto his toes and back onto his heels with a nod. "I 'eard Solomons is living with ya. I ain't seen him while we been here though." his eyes move around the room but don't look at you. You smirk over at him, your finger being demanded by Billy's tiny hand.

"He is. Out working I assume." you say dismissively, "I'm sure you heard his place was bombed." you give a small shrug. "I happened to be around when he was threatened and offered him a place here if my predictions of harm coming to him were true." he looks over at you, his lips pursed under his mustache.

"So you're not...ya know." he motions forward with his hand and you quietly laugh.

"Arthur." you shoot him an innocent smile. "The poor man's house blew up and I'm not heartless. And besides you and yours, he's the only man in our sort of business to show me any sort of respect since I've been here." you shake your head animatedly. "I'd dare to call him a friend at this point." you nod, looking back down at the baby as you speak. "He's been a gentleman if that's what you're wondering. He has in all our endeavors thus far." you explain in a warm tone.

"Ay, I was wonderin'." he nods looking at the floor. "Ain't the best blood between me 'n 'im ya know," he says with a small frown. "Don't want him to try 'n fuck ya over like he'd done us." he nods and walks closer, placing his hand on your arm. "I can't help but worry about ya here all alone, sweetheart. And with a man like that in that house." he says with an animated widening of his eyes and a huff of breath to punctuate his distaste.

"As always you're a very sweet peach dear, but I'm anything but alone here." you kiss his cheek and the baby goos, hands hitting your chest. "I don't feel he means me any harm. You know if I even had a fleeting thought that he might I wouldn't let him stay." you smile sweetly at him.

"I know, Genny, I know. Don't stop me mind from racin' at the thought though." he groans as Polly enters the room. She set the tray on a table, moving towards Charlie.

"Let's get this one to bed. Arthur, Billy's hungry, look at the way he's beating away on mother Greene's breast." she chuckles. "Go feed him and put him down, Papa." he lights up at the word. You hand him the baby.
"You put him down and then go put yourself down, new father. You're going to get your sleep tonight so I'll watch the baby. " you explain.

"Oh bless ya, Genny." he says shaking his head. "I'd kill a 100 men for this little man but his cryin' does make me wanna add myself to that count after a few nights of it stealin' our sleep." he says with a sigh. "Damn those powerful lungs you have Billy boy!" he cheers, holding the baby under its arms as he walks out of the room.

As you settle and change Charlie, you and Polly speak quietly to each other.

"Is Mr. Solomons behaving himself?" she asks with a suspicious inflection.

"He is." you nod with a small smile.

"I had heard stories of a charming, well endowed, dark-haired woman he was seen with at a fancy party downtown." she lets out a small laugh.

"They'll remember your breasts but they won't remember your name, will they?" you kid.

"Comes as no surprise." she agrees with a shake of her head.

"He invited me to help him feel out some potential business partners. That Cyrus Horne was at the party and we spoke with him. He has a lot of devil in him, doesn't he?"

"You would be correct in your intuition on Horne. His violence is well documented. Especially towards women." her tone drops in lightness as her eyes give you a warning.

"I felt as much after only speaking with him briefly. I hope Mr. Solomons is the man he thinks he is and can fix the situation he's gotten himself into." you sigh at the thought. "I certainly don't want to have to keep saving him...not for free anyway." you say with a smirk.

Polly smiles at your outlook. "For both your sake's I hope so as well. Men and their messes, us with the dust pan behind them." she grumbles, hands on her hips. "Speaking of men's messes? How are your dreams lately?" her voice sounding comforting as she made her inquiry.

"They come and go. They change and they somehow stay the same. Dark sea, big storm, him in the water." you shrug. "They haven't kept me from sleep as persistently as they had been." you shrug, your tone implying you were, for the moment, content to exist in limbo.

"And for you I know that's what really counts isn't it?" she says with a small smirk, tucking in Charlie.

"It certainly counts for a lot." you say with wide eyes, smoothing out Charlie's hair.

"Well the consistency leads one to think that it does hold importance. However, if it's not evolving I suppose that signifies some sort of stability." she says almost as if it's a question.

"The dream I had spoken to you about on the phone carried me straight to him, as a matter of fact. Saved his bloody life right from under his nose." you say with a sigh. "You could infer as much seeing as you hadn't heard word he was dead." you give a playful shrug, stating the obvious.

"Yes I would've heard by now." she agrees, speaking quietly. "But historically your dreams haven't been of others, correct?" she asks, moving her hand to her chin in a thoughtful pose.

"They've been mostly omens for myself, yes." you nod, crossing your arms and watching the boy snuggle into the pillows.

"And now the night has decided to tie you and Solomons together." he say in a gritty way, his eyes narrowing. "And for a reason we cannot ascertain. Interesting, that." she says, her head tilting towards you.

"That's one word for it." you grumble.

"You might not be Gypsy, girl, but you are something, aren't you?" she says with a thoughtful nod.

"Something perhaps, yes." you nod and raise your brows, speaking in a defeated tone. "I only wish I knew what that something was. I long to understand my own head better." your voice is laced with sadness she understands.

She smiles down at you, placing her hand on your arm. "As long as the things we don't understand are working in our favor, best not to question them too much." she says with a chuckle that moves her shoulders.

"Best not." you agree with an unsure smile.
-------
With everyone in bed, you've been called to the babies room. You've been singing to him and he's quieter now. Just intervals of his vocalized distaste if you changed keys in your singing. You guess Linda must sing to him like this. You've lost count of what round of singing "The Boy I Love Is Up In The Gallery" you're on as you bounce him, his head on your chest.

As soon as Alfie walks past the bottom of the stairs he hears your singing, acknowledging the sounds with a grunt as he squints his eyes in its direction. He goes to his room and leaves his outer layers behind as he makes his way up the stairs. He moves slowly as he nears the door to the room at the source of the sound he's drawn towards.

He sees you, silhouetted against a large window. You turn to face his direction but you don't notice he's there. His eyes blink slowly at the sight, more affected by it than he had expected. There's a baby in your arms that you've snuggled to your chest and his mind thinks much like the instinctual infant on your chest as he grunts when he notices your chest in the dress you're wearing. He has the thought to be jealous of the baby as it snoozes away with small gurgles in between lines of the song, rubbing its face back and forth between your ample bosom as if to mock him. They're framed with importance in the long flowing, almost sheer gown, backlit by moonlight he can see the most accurate representation of your feminine shape he's been able to see so far, black against the ambient lights of the garden radiating up from the ground, a halo of light colored fabric around your body giving you an angelic glowing appearance. He moves his body into the doorway and catches your attention. You smile sweetly at him, continuing singing with a wink as you move to put the baby back into its crib. You're bent over the edge of the crib and he can't help but be frustrated with himself. This wasn't a welcome addition to his usual frustrations. You stop at the last line of the song, and walk towards him slowly. He watches you with tired eyes that eventually meet your own as you move closer and place your hand on his chest to move him out of the doorway. He'd not even thought to move away from you. In the back of his brain something sparks that he knew was just an evolutionary reaction to a man seeing a woman in such a situation, but how his mouth went dry as the thought crept further into the front of his mind, he pushed the thought back that it might be something more.

"That weren't there when I left this mornin'." he jokes with you, finger pointed and grin worn.

"It's Arthur's son, Billy." you grin and swat his finger away, moving past him to walk down the hall, he follows without a second thought. "He and Polly came by today. They're in bed. I offered to attend to the baby so he could get some sleep." you nod with tired eyes.

"Very kind of you, Genevieve." he nods, his lips pursed.

"If I were a new father I know I'd need the sleep. I'm just being considerate to my dear friend."

"Dear friend, eh?" he emphasizes the added descriptor of your relationship with the oldest Shelby. "I did suspect you and Arthur were close. What with the huggin' and kissin' and what not." his tone states this factually but the way his nose twitched as he says it makes your eyes narrow, watching his face.

"We're very close. Very similarly dual natured." you say thoughtfully, slowly as you descend the stairs. "And I hug and kiss all my friends, Alfie. I am French, after all." you kid with a grin as he's following you to your room and you're not even sure if he realizes where he's following you.

You stop and face him at the bottom of the small set of half circle stone stairs that lead up the large door leading to your wing of the house.

"You are, yeah." he looks over your face as you stand, one hand on your hip.

"You consider us friends, Alfie?" you ask. You were genuinely curious where you stood with the man. He gives you a closed mouth smile first, looking down at you.

His head leans back slightly, eyes looking at the ceiling showing consideration and as you stoically wait for a response. He keeps his chin up and looks down at you with eyes alone. "For what short time we've known each other, yeah? You and I have been through a bit of seriousness, 'aven't we?" he nods, his eyes narrowing. "Yeah." he nods, dragging out the word ina gravely noise, his face leaning back down towards yours. "I say we're friends Genevieve."

"I was hoping you'd say that." you give him a sweet smile. "You've seen my personal sketches, on that alone by my rules we have to be good friends." you explain in a warm sweeping movement, your hands holding the long, voluminous fabric of your robe.

"You snuck in "good" onto that title friend, but I still cannot say I disagree with ya." his head shakes down at you.

"Then shall I start treating you as I do all my good friends?" you ask, looking up through your lashes just slightly. "If I touch you with a greeting or a goodbye, you're not going to try and snap my wrists out of instinct are you?" the teasing tone in your voice very evident.

"Ridiculous. Now that I know you're really just a hard candy coating covering up a soft middle I won't be on edge around ya, will I?" he leans in with his own mocking tone and you narrow your eyes at him with a grin.

"Then I'll say goodnight to you as I do to good friends," you say with a nod, moving to wrap your arms around his body. His arms hesitate to embrace you back, his eyes dropping to you in unison with your cheeks arrival upon his chest. "Hugs don't work one way." you state. His chest bobs your head as he chuckles at you, you feel him ease and his big arms send heat through your robe. "Much better." you say, patting his back with one hand and pulling away. He expects this to be the end but your hands take his jaw between them, planting a kiss with your lips solidly on either cheek. You release him and turn your cheek to him and tap it with one finger, your face expectant in the return of the gesture from him. "Kisses don't work one way either." your words start off coy then you laugh softly as he smirks at you. You feel his barely-there beard against your skin, he even gives you a smooch of a noise that makes your nose scrunch at the silliness of the gesture. Your other hand lands on his arm. "Goodnight, Alfie." you say softly, your thumb rubbing almost unnoticeably back and forth against his cheek before you pull away to raise your robe with both hands before ascending the stairs. He pulls the door back once you open it.

"Goodnight, sweetheart." you peek your head back out of the door as he starts to close it.

"You call all your good friends sweetheart?" you ask with a playful raised brow.

"Just the pretty ones." one of your preferred incarnations of his cheeky grin is looking down at you. You scoff loudly but in stride at his impish words, taking the door into your own hands.

"Go to sleep, Solomons." you laugh as you clang the door shut. He stands by the door, listening to your laugh as it fades behind your bedroom door.

Chapter Text

He's reading a newspaper as you grace the dining room with your presence. You walk into the morning light flooded room cheerfully, your heels echoing on the stone floor.

"Good morning Alfie." he hears you chirp, before he can turn his head to greet you he feels your hand slide across his upper back, your hip rests against his shoulder, you're smiling down at him, your face painted and your hair styled.

"It is." he says in a voice still gruff from sleep with a lazy smile.

"You sound like you slept hard." you state as you give his back a short back and forth with your hand before sliding hip first into the seat to his right, you share a corner of the table.

"I 'spose I did, yeah." he nods, taking another bite.

"Since we're breaking in formalities while we're home, hope you don't mind if I sit closer," you say in a tone that warrants a response. "Feels strange to speak when so far away sometimes." you add as an explanation of your actions.

"Don't be ridiculous, Gen." he motions with a fork in hand as his eyes stay on the paper. "Your house, luv. Do anything your little heart desires." he takes a bite off his fork then shakes it at you.

"I know it's my house," you state obviously with a slight snort that makes the corner of his mouth pull back at its rare appearances. "But friendships aren't just about what one of the people involved want, are they?" you say in your corrective but sweet way.

"They are not." he nods, he looks you over, dressed in a sheer white blouse, a matching silk slip shirt underneath. Your hair in defined waves that were gathered at the nape of your neck. Your black skirt hugging you exactly as it should, hitting your waist and reaching just past your knees. He sees your black leather heels crossed over each other on your dainty feet. "You look very sharp this morning, ya workin' today too?" he asks as you as he watches you sucking the cream off a spoon mindlessly as you mix your berries around in the bowl.

Your eyes swing over to his as you nod, spoon still in your mouth as you move saucers around. "Thank you," you say sweetly with a nod. "I work every weekday Alfie, you're just out of the house. " you say with a smug expression. "But yes, Joseph is loading up the truck, I'm doing personal deliveries today." you elaborate as you pop a raspberry into your mouth.

"How much extra to get those personal deliveries?" he asks suggestively and raises his eyebrows. You shake the spoon at him, laughing before you take a sip of tea.

"I'll walk it up from the rows for you myself and you can take it to work, free of charge." you offer, grin still in place as you chew.

"Now that doesn't sound as good for me. Pass." he frowns in faux disgust.

"I'm making personal deliveries to those whose places I intend to buy." his head turns back to you with interest.

"Getting into real estate, eh?" he says, his voice sounding impressed.

"Gotten into real estate." you say with an amused hum while you chew. "I've got the money to front it all so I've been pursuing it more actively as of late." you elaborate, continuing to eat politely as you spoke. "I knew I couldn't come in as an outsider and have anyone let me buy their places without much fuss, so I've been buttering up all the business owners. Particularly those without a bit older, without children so I can be the sweetheart who swoops in and offers to take it off their hands." you wink at him, your fork punctuating your statement. "I'd like to buy up a little shops and houses and the like, nothing too big, ya know? Too much hassle, big is. Once I get it set up it'll be profit and perks. I'll have the businesses stay running. Fix it up, charge an admittedly higher but still humane price and have all the eyes and ears of the people that live there. I have no intentions to be some sort of slum lord or something soul-sucking such as that." your eyes move back to his subtle slack-jawed expression, his face listening, chin pushed out towards you with interest. You blink at him over the edge of your teacup. "As you know, buying real estate is a good way to hide and move money." you lean in just slightly, he can see the excitement in your eyes at your plans, enjoying the light-hearted tone to your voice as you moved and discussed your plans with him openly.

"You have admirably big aspirations," he says quietly, mouth thoughtfully posed before he sips from his teacup. "You been thinkin' 'bout this for some time, yeah?" he inquires.

"I have. I was thinking about this on the journey here from Paris," you say with a huff and raised eyebrows, feeling the weight of the length of time that you'd been here. "It's not the only plan I came back here with but, it is one that I knew would take longer to achieve. But that makes it almost more appealing to me somehow."

"You like a challenge." he states, nodding as a sneaky grin falls across your face.

"I do." you bite your lip and wrinkle your nose with the same expression in place. "Big results require big ambitions."

"You like to do most things big don't ya, sweetheart?" he chuckles out with a teasing tone.

"I'm known to be a bit much for the more pedestrian sort, yes." you make a pleased hum at yourself. "That does help sort out all those not worthy of having around." your voice inflects as it departs it's wisdom. "And as it goes, do what you want and you attract what you need." you say with a flick of your fork, moving your focus back to your food.

"Beautifully said." he nods, moving back to his plate as well. You smile in acknowledgment of his praise. "Since you seem to be feeling so ambitious, would I be able to peak your interest with a job that I happen to need someone with your expertise with Miss?" he says his tone is trying to persuade you and it's working.

"I'm listening." you say, not looking up from your plate.

"There is a man whose house I need help breaking into." he plainly states.

"I need to keep it secret and silent. Break in, get paperwork from his office and get out." he offers with his palm upwards after he finishes speaking.

You chew and narrow your eyes thoughtfully. "So this is for money and not out of the goodness of my heart, correct?" you smirk. "Last time I helped you for free it didn't end so well for either of us." you remind him, smirk staying on your lips.

"Of course I'll pay ya, silly woman. This is an Alfie Solomons to Genevieve Greene professional transaction, yeah? Not Alfie 'n Genny's night out." he clarifies with a shake of his head. "I need a little sneak of a thief who can get in the house and let me in, then get us both out just the same." his voice is back to informational for a moment. "And from what Tommy Shelby's told me of your work, you're my first choice for the job."

"Flattery will get you everywhere, Solomons." you smile and sigh, your elbows resting on the table top. "May I ask why I'm breaking into this man's house?" your voice inflects upward with curiosity, your chin resting in your hand as you lean in.

"This man thinks he can break a contract, threaten me, attempt to fuck me over and sell me out to the police, yeah? The bastard didn't know I 'ave 'em on my payroll now. This fucker's cost me a lot of money and time. So I plan to blackmail him since he's a public figure and I can't shoot him in his fuckin' smug face." he grits out, his tone casual but with fierce delivery.

"I do love some good old-fashioned blackmail." you coo, your pinky of the hand your face rested in between your teeth in a show of enthusiasm. You promptly sit up and retract your hand, brushing the loose pieces of your hair off your shoulders. "I'm always down for ruining a man's life. All you had to say was that he tried to fuck with you." you let out a charming devilish chuckle. "One thing you should know about me, if you couldn't infer already..." you roll your eyes at yourself, an amused smile on your lips aiding in your confident delivery, "...is that when people think they can fuck with my friends, as we are." you say with a dip of your chin. "I prefer to personally ensure that those people know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they absolutely cannot and will not ever let a passing thought occur to them, even involuntarily so, that they could entertain the idea of ever trying to fuck with my friends or myself ever again." the words roll so appetizingly out of your mouth at him, your annunciation and pacing reminding him of poetry in your show of passion. By the time you're finished speaking your eyes have narrowed and your voice lowered to display the underlying seriousness of your words.

"I bloody love it when you talk like that." his head shakes back and forth slowly as that charming, cake eater grin rests on his handsome face.
You respond with an entertained smile, rolling your eyes and scoffing at his words. "Oh go on, Solomons." you let out a small chuckle, not deflecting the praise. "You certainly listened when I said flattery works, didn't you?" you tease, your head tilted in his direction.

"I listen to everything ya say, luv. I can't say I have ever met a woman who can speak of doin' such dark things in a way that, when spoken directly at a man like myself, yeah? That would excite ones mind to the point of physical arousal." he says with a humor-filled warm tone, his eyes widen with the words and end with an enthusiastic nod of punctuation.

"Sounds like you've not been talking to the right women." you grin at him, popping a raspberry off your fingertip into your mouth as he stands to put on his jacket, as Ollie has appeared in the doorway.

"Apparently not, eh?" he smirks down at you with narrowed eyes. "Perhaps I should seek out a woman with such skills as these," he says, his chin high as if he's searching for something in the distance, trying to sell his joke. "You know any of those types?" he teases, face set in a comedic expression of interest, his head tilted to the side as he walks backward out of the room.

"None that would put up with the likes of you." your tone is mouthy but your smile reads as warm as you put your feet up on the table and cross your arms as you lean back into the high backed chair. You see Ollie smile subtly at your response.

"That hurts now, Genevieve. Yeah?" he touches his chest, he turns and you can see his profile, as he takes his cane from it's home next to the entrance of the dining room. "Now Ollie, do you know how a man is supposed to carry on after a woman says things that crush his spirits in such a way?" he holds his cane high in his exaggerated pain.

"Go to work, Alfie." you huff out in amusement at his antics before he drops the fake forlorn face and tips his hat with his grin that's hard to read as cheeky or charming.

"As the Lady orders, eh?" You hear him laugh after he's out of sight when he hears you let out a 'ugh' noise at his words.
------------------------------------------------------
You've crawled up a ledge and let yourself into the house from a second story window, finding like most other second floor windows in homes you'd come across in this line of work, it wasn't locked. Finding the house empty, as you expected it to be, you strike a match to hold in the window as signal by the front door after you unlock the back one and wait for Alfie to come in to meet you. You've found the office and you're standing and taking in the room with your hands on your hips as he walks in behind you. You don't speak, he moves quickly to a safe, opening it and not finding what he needs, he curses. He turns with an annoyed face, brow furrowed and glancing around the room. You walk to the sitting side of the desk, a few feet from the wall safe behind it he's standing in front of.

You pull the handles on the desk with your gloved hands. You pull out a pin from your hair and show it to him before you kneel down and pick the locks one by one, three in total as he rummages through the contents of the drawers. He picks pieces from each of them, sorting through them with a very focused face.

He shuts the drawers, making sure they've locked back and shakes the stack of papers at you, planning on following out behind you. You give him a nod and grin that confuses him without context. You pull a flask out of your cleavage and his head shakes fast, not speaking but showing his puzzled words through an expression.

You shoot him a confident glance and pick up a pillow on the couch. You very slowly pour the contents of the flask into the fabric of the pillow, slowly moving it across one bottom and it's sides. You bring the pillow to your nose and nod, setting it back on the couch and putting the flask back into your cleavage.

His nostrils are flared, arms above his head in a nonverbal shout as you pass him with a roll of your eyes and motion for him to follow you with your hand. You lock the door behind him, making your way out the same way you'd come in.

You plop down into the back seat next to him in the car as you meet back up a few roads away.

"What the fuck was that all about?" he's asking in a hushed tone before you've even closed the door.

You roll your eyes over to him, sitting sideways in the seat, to face him. "It's a signature of mine." you smirk and shrug a shoulder, entirely too relaxed for the tone he'd just thrown at you. "That was your rum in the flask." you explain as you take it out of your top again and take a drink as the car starts to pull out of its spot, you lean in closer to speak to him. Your faces intermittently lit by the rouge lights outside on the street. "By the time someone comes home, it will no longer be wet, but what it will do is give off the distinct smell of your rum everytime it's touched or moved for quite some time." his eyes narrow with a peaked interest in your clever move. "So anytime that pillow gets touseled about in the slightest, it'll give off that warm spice you've got going on and he'll be reminded of you. Thus," you motion out with your hand. "After you're done ruining this fucker he'll only have time to sit his sad arse on that seat and be constantly reminded of you, for some reason he can't understand, and he can lament in how he shouldn't have fucked with Alfie Solomons." you sit back slightly, your chin nodding and lip pouting in support of your statement.

Your eyes have been met by his for the entirety of your explanation as his face had slowly changed from possible anger to a face that's lips that almost stuttered at your story, moving away and back to with a fondness you were happy to find.

"I've done it with perfume and ex's before. Really fucks 'em up." you let out a girlish giggle as you let your body rest against the seat of the car.

"Ya fuckin' clever little minx, yeah?" he nods at you, his hand reaching out and giving your knee a supportive rub before returning to his own. "That brain of yours, Genevieve." he sucks his teeth at you, finger extended to tap once on your forehead. "Delightfully diabolical, 'at is." he praises. ina groan that makes you feel almost bashful at the words tone. He gives you a wink and wag of his finger as you turn to look out the window with a cocky smile from praise, as you make the long drive back home.

Chapter Text

You are once again spending your Friday night in the study with Alfie. This was becoming a reoccurring theme. He's sunk back into the couch in front of the fire. His glasses sit on his nose, it buried in a book. His feet covered in slippers and crossed at his ankles, the grey fabric matching the pajamas he was wearing, all covered in patterned light silk robe you'd talked him into trying on and he'd actually loved it. He hadn't admitted it but you'd seen him in the kitchen in the middle of the night wearing it and seemingly nothing else. Once you'd seen this you knew your theory about it feeling good with his sensitive skin was indeed correct. Aggie had pulled you out of bed to see him, and although you hadn't been opposed to getting to see him in such a way, you found her matchmaker tactics a bit heavy handed even if they were well-intentioned.

You're sitting incorrectly in a chair, sweet sucked in your mouth, a common approach to lounging in your home. At first it had caught Alfie off guard, catching you upside down and sideways in chairs reading. He'd even come across you perched on table tops and laying on stair banisters in the sun much like a cat on occasion. Currently, you're sitting with your knees bent, legs hanging over the back of the chair, your back in the seat. You've been staring at the ceiling for a bit, just letting your mind wander where it wanted.

You were contemplating Alfie Solomons currently, as you found yourself doing far too often lately. Watching his nostrils flare and nose twitch over his fluffy mustache. You contemplated the charming glasses that sat atop his nose. His heavy, focused brow atop piercing eyes, even without the powerful look behind them, the blue enough to stand on its own and still affect a woman without the addition of intent behind them. You smile at his dark hair, currently lax and messy, longer bits falling about his forehead and ears. He was in such a state, as he'd had a bath after dinner and was now in full recline for the long haul into the night with the lovely plans of doing nothing in particular. His gingery beard, in a mix match to his dark hair reminds you of a Calico cat and makes you hum quietly in amusement. His rough hands with scaled knuckles hold an old book, you think you recognize the language to be Russian. He clears his throat, completely unaware of your study of him. You find yourself jealous you can't read Russian. You knew a handful of swears and basic directions from your childhood nurse, Ida but you only had very limited knowledge past that. You chew the inside of your cheek and consider learning Russian. You shift your weight in the chair, contemplating how intelligent he is. And not in the obnoxious academia way that you were too well acquainted with. He wasn't simply informed, he was clever. Your favorite expression of this being his quick and funny wit. Your mind then reminds you of how much he made you laugh, causing your nose to wrinkle subtly in consideration of how much you enjoyed his company. You switch back to considering the breadth of his knowledge before you take too many steps down that road of thought. Surely there were things for you to learn from this brain.

"Alfie?" you call out inquisitively.

"Hmm?" he says with a grunt, eyes not leaving his book.

"How well versed are you in Faberge?" you ask while you swivel yourself around, legs now over the side of the chair, your back against the opposite arm. His eyes look up from his book and over at you.

"Quite a bit, sweetheart. What d'ya want to know?" he removes his glasses and closes his book.

"Oh, nothing in particular," you shake your head. "I was just thinking about them." you say biting your lip. "Have you ever come across one?"

"I 'ave." he nods, bottom lip jutted out just slightly.

"Which?" you pry enthusiastically.

"Lillies of the Valley and a few of the Russian ones, but I didn't get as good of a look at 'em as I did the Lillies." he says with a fond, nostalgic tone.

"Mmmm." you hum contently at the thought. "I've heard it's breathtaking, covered in pearls with shimmering pinks and greens." you hand emphasizes the description and lands on your chest.

"Stunning, it was." he nods. "What about you?"

"I've seen five different eggs." He blinks at you, very surprised. "I had friends with exceptionally rich fathers growing up." you explain with a chuckle and a wave of your hand. "One was a Kelch, and the others from the Imperial collection." he nods in thought, his eyes looking down to the ground. "Seeing as my encounters outnumber yours, might I interest you in adding another egg to the list of those you've seen?" you grin sheepishly.

"Is this your way of asking me about a job?" he says, a singular brow raised in a scolding expression.

"No. I have one." you savor the look on his face as it shifts quickly before your eyes.

"Ya fuckin' what?!" he shouts, his brow shooting up in his excitement that was masked by a mean tone. "In the fuckin' house?" he says just as loudly, cutting you off and your smile grows wider as you see that familiar enthusiasm.

"Yes." you nod and give him an obvious expression. "Where else would I keep them?" you say in a playfully condescending way.

"Why'd you never mention this before?" his eyes blink rapidly at you, he leans forward in the seat, his tone stung slightly with offense.

"I didn't know if I could trust you now, did I?" you say, turning to sit in the chair normally. "I couldn't have you going and stealing my favorite things because then I'd have to kill you and that would be a great big fucking mess to deal with." you chuckle as you stand from the chair. "Besides, it's in my bedroom and I'm not about to go invite a known criminal to come in and get his hands all over my precious things as soon as he walks in the door." You smirk at him, making your way across the room, being entirely cheeky with the double meaning of your words.

"Well no one can say you aren't smart, Genevieve." he says with a chuckle, eyes watching you as he sits up in the chair.

"A man has to earn these sorts of things from me." you state, your hands on your hips. "I suppose you've earned it, Solomons." you say in a playful tone as he stands from the couch.

He's standing in the doorway of your massive bedroom. You've disappeared into a doorway to change out of the dress you'd been wearing, Informing him to stay as if he were a pet. He takes in the room, finding himself almost intimidated, highly intrigued and slightly aroused. Everything felt plush and luxurious as soon as you walked in, the thick rug beneath his feet, the velvet fabric hanging from the bed and walls, the pale grey paint covered in pictures. Paintings of all sizes in bold, elaborate gold frames in a well-spaced collage across the room. Among the squared paintings hung portraits of you and of others he didn't recognize, depictions of gods and goddesses, and acts of biblical brutality. The huge canopy bed, draped in black velvet curtains sits in a circular space, huge tufted with gold buttons headboard sitting very close to the solid wall that sat between two huge windows. The curtains matched those of the canopy, everything else in the room in gold and rich jewel tones. A black based, but brightly patterned rug covers most of the floor, the wood beneath it stained almost as dark. The furniture all a matched set, a beige-white and gold filigree exterior, a similar look you had in many rooms of the house.

He walks to a bookcase, books in many different languages, some very old and well read, some new with uncracked spines in rows. The ones he could understand the writing on shown a similar theme among all the books...sex. This made him give a cheeky glance that wasn't meant to be seen in the direction you've walked. A large painting hung above the bed which now held his attention. He didn't recognize the artist, but it was a nude woman, slightly reclined with a huge black snake twisting up her body, it's head resting on her shoulder, a subtle smile on both their faces. He could imagine the things he didn't know about you, the bits of you that caused you to chose this specific painting to hang in such importance. He imagined and he yearned to know with more certainty, feeling his interest peaked. He hadn't expected this in your bedroom, but as his eyes search for something to give him further insight into your mind you call out in a lilted voice for him.

He walks through the threshold, through a tiled and marble bathroom, through a less obvious doorway which led him into a huge closet.
"Ya dead posh, innit ya?" he says, his mouth slightly open. Taking in the multiple rows of clothes with a wide grin at your possessions.

He follows you further into a different chamber of the closet, a fitting room with raised center and huge mirrors, and drawers and drawers of glass lidded boxes containing jewels. A top a pedestal, covered in a large bell jar with a gold handle and rim, sits the Danish Palaces egg. The pink egg, lined in gold and diamonds sits in its holder, it's keepsake stretched out, a series of panels matching the egg with different landscapes inside sits alongside it.

You sit with legs crossed at the knee, leaning back on your hands on a big, round, tufted and fringed mauve ottoman. "The bell is very heavy dear, be careful, I know you're in a hurry to get your hands all over her." you tease, watching him gently set his cane onto the seat next to you and inspects the egg.

"Hello." he drags out the word in a groan, in a voice so low it makes you smirk at its implications. The tone being warranted to be said between thighs instead of to an object. He picks up the egg with two hands, approaching it with a face that saw nothing else in the world at that moment. You watch him with a smile and a tilted head, your foot bobbing up and down as his brow weighs heavy over his eyes. "Did ya steal it?" he asks, no hesitation or judgment in his voice.

He looks over his shoulder at you as you let out a loud laugh at his straightforward question. "I did not actually. I bought it as a birthday present to myself."

"When's ya birthday?" he asks, his face scrunched up and almost looking your way, not willing to look away from the egg.

"August." you answer, surprised he cared to ask such a thing.

"You would buy yourself a birthday present." a subtle smile comes across his lips, his face moving back to the egg.

"Well, I would know better than anyone else as to what to get myself for my own birthday, wouldn't I?" you ask, no tone of offense to his critical retort.

"If Faberge is what you demand for your birthday, you're pricing out most of the men in London there, princess." he muses, humor in his voice but not so much his face.

"Good," you say with a low chuckle. "And I am not a princess. I don't demand Faberge for my birthday." you roll your eyes and purse your lips at him, holding your chin up.

"Getting a Faberge egg on your birthday though, yeah? Sure sounds like a princess to me, mate." he grins.

"More like a Queen," you say with a weak, smug expression. "I worked my ass off for the paydays that purchased that." you point aggressively at the egg. He turns his face to you as you start to walk towards him. "I wanted this bought legally and with own money I earned so it couldn't ever be taken from me." you reach out with a type of sadness he's only seen before briefly as you spoke of your family. He hands the egg over to you. You sigh heavily and inspect it. "I understand why you'd call me a princess." you glance up at him, a small chuckle escaping you, a fleeting smile passes across your face. "And I am a bit, but I'm self-aware enough to know that." you shrug slightly. "But then there's the woman who had to go through the mistakes and work her ass off to get this." you sigh and hand the egg back to him. "I suppose I'm as much of one as I am the other." your head tilts to the side, your eyes are gazing far away to something intangible. "But I would rather you refer to me as a woman than princess out of the two." you look at him with much more humor at yourself than he anticipates when he looks up from the egg.

He doesn't respond for a heavy minute but looks at you very seriously, you let out a relieved sigh as you study his face. "I weren't implyin' you dinnit deserve it." he says quietly, his face leaning in closer to yours.

"I know that,"you give him a small smile. "I'm just a bit sensitive about money sometimes." you scrunch your nose in an apologetic look. "Didn't mean to come at you so heavy with the feelings." you take an animated deep breath and let out a slightly nervous chuckle and move over a set of drawers.

"If there's anything to feel strongly about," he says, sitting the egg back on the pedastool "I believe money would be near the very top of that list." he holds your hand and pats it with his own. You nod and look at him from under your lashes. His eyes searching yours for a sign he could make the sadness receed in them. "You've managed to buy one for yourself though, eh?" he adds. "I dont know no princesses that can say that." he suggests with a shrug of his shoulders.

Now it's your turn to pause. You look up at and can't help but smile at the genuine look in his eyes. You push up to your tip toes and plant a single kiss on his face, directly by his mouth. He's very surprised by this as he stiffens as you move away.

"What's 'at for?" he asks, his voice inflected with amusement at you.

"You're very sweet when you want to be. You know that?" you ask, your eyes wide at the question. You slip your hand from his, turning to place them on the drawers in front of you.

"I don't recall bein' referred to as sweet before." he says, only his eyes moving over you.

"Perhaps it's not everyone's kind of sweetness." you shrug. "I'm sure you've been told you're good with words before." you state matter of factly. "Same horse, different color." you add before you turn to face him. "Now you can understand my actions that day at The Garrison a bit better."

"Oh I understood that as soon as I found out Tommy proper fucked ya on that." he nods enthusiastically.

"I've not been able to find out who bought that egg." you say quietly, as his eyes slide back over to you after being distracted by the contents of the room. "You wouldn't have happened to have heard anything, would you?" you ask. He makes a low humming noise at your request.
"Might have." he shrugs. "Might not've." he grins. "If you can tell me how you knew about that egg being there then maybe I can entertain a bit of tit for tat."

You snort at his choice of words."I bet you could." your tone scolding your face on the verge of laughing. "I know the owner. I've been in the house before." you say obviously, your arms crossing across your chest. "But I couldn't get to the floor with the safe as a guest."

"How you know 'im?" he asks, his eyes narrowing.

"Someone that seemed to take a liking to me after I had to distract him for a job once." you explain. "Sometimes I keep in touch if their particular sets of skills might serve me in the future." you explain, calmly.

"Oh, is that what ya doin' with me then?" he teases, giving you a boyish smile.

"I'm not visiting your home, I invited you to live in mine." you state with importance. "Hardly the same thing, dear." you say with a huff of a laugh, tilting your head with a smile as your eyes scold him for the suggestion.

"You might got a point there." he says quietly, sheepish smile as he looks around the room again. "I don't know who bought the egg but I could give you a short list of who it might be if it's in London." he offers, his hands out. "The Italians tend to sale things quickly and therefore a local buyer is usually behind the purchase." he further explains, offering you actual helpful information. Not exactly as advertised but you had agreed to the terms.

"Thank you for saving me the trouble of having to flirt my way for information through the jewelry quarter." you say with a lighthearted laugh. "What do I have to do to get some names from you Solomons?" you ask playfully, leaning back against the set of drawers.

"I can't go giving you the names of all my best buyers now, can I?" a grin, predatory but charming still, appears and is directed forcefully at you.
"I know you're not that thick," you snort at the suggestion of you trying to sneak information out of him. " and I know nothing is free so that's why I asked what I need to do so I can find this person and this egg." your voice is softer in volume but sharper in tone.

"I ain't promisin' nothin'." he shakes his finger at you and your confident grin makes him let out a low groan of a noise at your cheeky stare. "But I will ask about eggs if the opportunity arises." he says hesitantly, narrowing his eyes to make it seem like he wasn't giving in.

"You are going about paying me back for saving you in such a lovely way, Alfie. I told you you were a sweetie." you say with a cocky grin, your hand trailing across his chest as you move to the other side of the room.

"I think you and I have a different understanding of the word, sweet." he says in a low tone.

"Doubtful." you say in a mysterious little laugh. "If there is one thing we do speak the same language on its jewels, isn't it?" you say with a near lilt in your voice, pulling open a drawer. He wants to ask you what you mean but his eyes and body are currently being ripped towards the diamond and sapphire necklace he's now looking at.

"Hell." he hoarsely whispers out. "You like sapphires, eh?" A very long chain, consisting of diamonds, and a large, flat backed sapphire oval sits suspended.

"I look good in blue, what can I say?" you say oozing with certainty."I've not found an occasion to wear her out yet though." you say as he looks over to you for permission to touch it. You nod with an obvious expression and watch his eyes reflect back the shine of the stones. "Wearing it starkers around the house just doesn't give one the same excitement as wearing it out where others can envy it." you muse for a moment, you speak almost as if you're thinking out loud and he lays the piece back on its velvet cushion. "Would you like to see something besides Sapphires?" you grin with a dramatic flutter of your long lashes up at him.

"There's more?" he asks almost exasperated.

"Oh my god, yes, Alfie." you let out a cackle, one hand to your chest. "You see all these drawers on this side of the room?" you ask, hunching over slightly and running your hands across the top of the one you were standing in front of. "All pieces. Necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, did I mention necklaces because I am quite fond of those." you sigh contently, beaming up at him.

"You just keep these all in your closet?" he asks, slightly concerned.

"Well you didn't walk through a normal door to get into this room did you?" you say with a head tilt and a grin. "This room is it's own safe of sorts. Can't just leave these things lying about, ya know." you smile sweetly, twisting your shoulders.

"What's the percentage of purchased and stolen on these?" he smirks and you meet him with your own.

"Does it matter?" you ask cheekily, your shoulder moving up to your chin in exaggeration. You both shake your heads no and share a scrunched expression that turns into a shared laugh as you hold out your hands for him to explore the contents of the shelves.

Chapter Text

He thought you'd been acting suspiciously since you'd asked him for information on the egg. He had considered he was being a bit paranoid but you being so sure about your own intuition made him try to listen to his own a bit more closely. Although it was also telling him to trust you, and that was conflicting. Ollie certainly seemed to trust you, but what did Ollie know.

So here he was, watching you shimmy up a column and across a ledge on a building. He's mesmerized at how you do this and still yet in a dress. Given you'd apparently customized a skirt to be hitched up with loops that fastened together to hold it up and out of the way, while your limbs kept stretching farther than he thought they would, it was all impressive. He sees what his men had told him about her first job with him was correct. He hoped your avoidance of specifics on where you were supposed to be tonight was just business and not personal. Signs were pointing to the former currently but he still found his mouth set in a frown of worry as he watching you move up to the roof and out of sight.

He had walked down a few alleys, you'd been out of sight too long and he went to look for you. The longer he went without hearing or seeing you the more his suspicion turned to worry. He wasn't too concerned about trouble himself with the gun in the back of pants and the large rings on his fingers that would assist already lethal fists.

You're sitting under the edge of the half wall on the roof of the building. You hear the step-step-click of Alfie in the alley below you. You thought you'd seen a car like his earlier but there was no way to be able to know for certain. You had no clue why he would be here tonight. You look at your wristwatch and groan because there are only a few minutes before a guard will be up to check the roof. You begrudgingly throw your leg over the wall and make your way down the side of the building. He's standing in the middle of the space, his head tilted at you.

"What are you doing here?" you angrily whisper, approaching him with quick steps, head first.

"I could ask you the same thing." he says as if he's annoyed that he's there, his voice not quite like yours.

"For fuck's sake." you breathe out, rolling your eyes at his answer of a question. You don't know if he heard you but it wasn't really said for him. "I don't have time for this, Alfie." you hiss at him, pushing him against a wall, out of the middle of the lane, where anyone could see him clearly, and therefore also you. "Keep your voice down," you say, leaning close to his face to let him know you're serious as he opens his mouth to speak again. "I'm working! Why are you HERE?" you squeak at him. Trying to control the volume of your voice, nervously glancing back up at the roof. The guard would be up soon and now you had this pompous ass to deal with. The road was too far away to make it before the guard came now. You couldn't run through the alley's because you'd be heard with how quiet this part of town was at this time of night. You consider your options as he speaks.

"Working for who?" he whispers back as you take your hands off him from pushing him into the shadows.

"Wh-huh?" you ask, turning your head back to him. "That's information that's on a need to know basis."

"And I need to know." he says shaking his head.

"Dammit, Alfie." you sigh, your shoulders slumping. "It doesn't involve you. I don't even know how you knew I'd be here, that was also supposed to be privileged information." your voice threatens to rise in noise as you find yourself supremely frustrated by the way Alfie was trying to throw his weight around metaphorically on you with this curiosity about your own personal business.

"You know I can find out anything, Gen," he says in a power move, you purse your lips at him. "You ask me about my buyers and then you avoid me? Is that not suspicious?" he says in an angry whisper.

"Because there's no other possible reason besides the one that involves you that could've had me distracted? God, you're ridiculous sometimes," you say exaggerating an eye roll, moving your head with it, you put your hand on your face. You're taken out of your anger and back into panic as you see your watch and realize there is around one minute left before the guard circles around. "I do not have time for this right now, Alfie." you bite your lip in thought for a moment, your eyes darting around the space. You couldn't run, you'd be heard and thus, chased. You couldn't hide, so your mind rolled through your options while you multitasked with having to carry on this conversation. "I have no intentions on fucking you over and if you don't trust me by now then I don't think you ever will." you pour out as a plan of action comes to you. It wasn't ideal but, it'd probably work.

He opens his mouth to speak and you put your hand over it.

"Shit." you say fast and your face screws up, you look at him and realizing what you had to do. "Listen very closely to me right now." you remove your hand and it goes up to start undoing the braid in your hair, you keep your hands fast and busy as you speak. "There's a guard that's going to come onto the roof and check the alleys in..." you check your watch. "Fifty-five seconds." His eyebrows raise, his arm twitches to think to pull the gun. "No, we can't shoot him. So we have one option left now thanks to you." you angrily sigh at him. You unsnap the buttons on your skirt loops that had been holding it up and close to you. His eyes go from possible violence to complete confusion. Your fingers furiously work as you speak. "So now..." you move to pop the buttons on the front of his shirt, moving your hands under the shoulders of his jacket, pushing it down his arms slightly. His mouth is opening and closing like a fish in his lack of ability to express his confusion in the moment. "We've got to convince this guy we're just a man and woman out here looking for some privacy..." you fluff your hair and tug at the neckline of your dress to make yourself look more disheveled. You knock his cane out of his hand and grab one of his wrists. "Looking for a good snog turned to something more so he doesn't interrupt us. Alright?" His eyes blink and you wish you could freeze his face in this moment because his shock is all of his own doing for not trusting you and reacting brashly to his own emotions. You hitch your leg over his hip, placing his hand in yours onto your ass. "He'll leave eventually if he believes us." you whisper as you lean in closer to him."Mind the snubnose in my tits, if you don't mind."add quietly. You're paused with your mouth inches from his, head tilted to kiss him, you look up into his wide bright eyes as they can't move away from yours. Your hands run up his chest. "Do you understand?" you ask again, pushing him with your palms, looking for confirmation. He nods even though he gulps noisily, as the breath from a noisy exhale hits your face.

"Yeah." he nods, his chin pushing back into his neck slightly as he looks away from your eyes and up to the roof. "C'mon. Get on wif it." he says, clearing his throat as if now he's waiting on you.

You shut your eyes before you can roll them from his tone as you connect your lips to his. At first you're met with hesitancy and mostly mustache with the hint of his plush bottom lip. You're moving your lips slowly across his lower one, you slowly bite it, tugging at it slowly as you suck it into your mouth, your hands move up his chest and neck slowly into his hair and it's as if a switch is flipped. You can feel his body rev up under your hands. Once his lips push against yours, you're taken off guard by how soft they are when working as pair. One of his hands, moves up into your hair and the other, still where you'd placed it pulls you against him. This earns a small 'oof' that turns into an encouraging mewl as you feel his nails scraping against your scalp and his head pushes back against yours. The kiss turns from entry level to advanced as he opens his mouth against yours and you're thankful because you need to go bigger to sell this to the guard. As soon as your tongue touches his he groans and you gladly reciprocate the sound. His arm wraps around your lower back, you feel the pressure from his individual fingertips pressed into your ribs as he squeezes you against him. You move one arm down his chest and around to his back, feeling the muscles move underneath your hands and you can't help but be taken out of the urgency of the situation as you feel him flex to grab ahold of you and flip you to be against the wall. The surprise of the moment elicits and a muffled squeal from you and you feel his lips smile against yours in a paused moment, hearing how fast and heavy you were both breathing. He sucked your bottom lip into his mouth and continued his luscious assault upon your tongue with his. His enthusiasm draws another moan from your throat as your fingers dig into his shoulder and the other grips in his hair at the back of his head. You're surprised and delighted by the literal growl this causes from him as you let out a low, feminine, naughty laugh as he pulls back and shakes his head at you. You feel his fist gripping your hair but yours is much longer and there's less control from his end, but it does yank your head back and his kisses start to wander from your lips. Now it's your turn to make your version of a growl for him as his lips move down your jaw. This you didn't expect but as you sneak to glance at the guard watching you you're hit with a thrill of adrenaline, reminded that you were doing this for business and not pleasure. As his breath hits your ear your heavy breathing causes you let out a moan to the still night air. "Still there?" he whispers, his lips kissing the shell of your ear.

You let yourself giggle like a school girl getting whispered sweet nothings in her ear before you let out a breathy and very audible "Yes" that moans out close to his ear as you move your head to nuzzle into him slightly. You feel him nod and continue with what you're sure will be a favorite story to tell after the fact.

His lips stay on your ear for a few more wet rounds of nibbling on your lobe and you bite your lip and your hips instinctually roll against his. This could not go unnoticed, as he groans directly against your ear and you encourage him with a similar sound of your own. He buries his busied lips and tongue in the curve of your neck, brushing your hair back far too tenderly to match the tone of everything else happening to you. You feel his hand move under your skirt, as he wraps your still hitched leg around him even closer, his rough palms gliding over your upper thigh, setting your center directly on top of his. Your fingernails rake through his hair and you hear the muffled moans slip past his tongue that's massaging into the muscles on your neck. You're still panting as his hips start to move and you are caught off guard but are thrilled at his dedication. Letting your head tilt back and more sweet sounding desperate breaths and moans come tumbling out of your mouth as you look to see the guard still there. He moves his other hand to your face, kissing you deeply with a moan escaping pink, kiss-swollen lips before impact. The glimpse in his eyes, half-lidded and focused on your mouth entirely before they shut, show you blown out pupils that you assume would mirror your own at being handled in such a way. You feel his hand grasping your thigh to hold you against the wall. His hips roll again and that's when you feel him. You let out an entirely too genuine moan into his mouth at the feeling of him hard up against you.

"Still there?" he whispers, pulling away from you just enough to tug at your bottom lip with his teeth.

You're looking into each other's eyes this time as you nod at him with a pitiful 'Mmm Hmm' of a sound. He lets go of your lip and moves to groan into your partially exposed chest his face burying itself there. You move your fingers to card through his hair as he kisses his way across your chest, you bite your lip to keep from laughing from the surprisingly soft tickle of his beard against your sensitive skin. His hips push against you in a solid movement that drags him across your most sensitive parts and your face focuses, your brows knitted together, your bottom lip tightly between your teeth, you don't hold back on the noises and you're more than thankful for the actual stimulation even though it'll be mostly felt later when you recall it instead of now. He moves his hips on occasion as if he's really fucking into you as his hand's grip on your naked thigh runs hotter and tighter. You're starting to get annoyed at the guard not leaving because you're enjoying yourself too much and how much longer must you endure this before you have to ache all the way home. As if he feels you were less enthusiastic, he returns his mouth to yours and thoroughly distracts you with a heated kiss. You grunt at the impact but quickly lose yourself again in the chorus of moans you're both willingly releasing into each other's mouths. By the time he's through with this round of working moans out of you by means of your lips, he once again moves towards your neck. This gives you the chance to look up and see the guard has left. You let out a noisy exhale as Alfie sucks on your shoulder.

"Alfie." you moan out, still caught up in what he was doing to you, trying to get his attention.

"Fuck." you hear groaned in a deep voice into your neck, his mouth moving up to your ear. You can hear the small moans with every breath and press of his mouth against the skin behind your ear. You grit your teeth and make yourself stop.

"Ah-Alfie." you call out again, your hands moving to his shoulders, you blink your eyes fast to steady yourself mentally. His hips press up against you steadily.

"You stop that right now, Genevieve." you hear him growl into your ear and you literally feel yourself get wet and gasp from those words breathed into your ear in their harsh tone of warning. You let out one final shudder, it waves it's way across your body before you speak again.

"He's gone, Aflie. He's gone." you pant out, rolling your eyes at how hard it was to get out the words. He leaves his parted lips on the shell of your ear for a moment with no movement. You feel the hand on your thigh start to ease it's grip almost immediately. You're both still pressed together, your chests heaving against the other.

"Right." you hear him say into your ear with what you thought was the tone of hesitation. He lets your leg fall and holds your hips as he moves away from you to make sure you're steady before he lets go. You give him a nod, already moving to straighten your dress and look busy while he tried to hide the physical proof of how much he'd enjoyed that little romp as well. Once you're back to being yourselves, in the cold light of the moon, you're thankful things don't feel that different. Just a buzzing in the air around the two of you left.

"Not half bad, Solomons." you say in a deep tone as you let out a quiet laugh, your tongue peeking out from your teeth just slightly in jest.

He's fixing his shirt as your eyes roll up to his. "Not half bad, Greene." he grins but doesn't keep eye contact long, clearing his throat and shoving his hands into his pockets. You succeeded in not looking in that direction.

"Come, we have to get out of here before another one comes around. Don't wanna have to do that again do we?" you let yourself have one more chuckle before running your hands through your hair and letting out a thought filled sigh. He doesn't respond but has a focused brow as he looks down the alleyway, his feet starting to carry him in the same direction. "No, no." you whisper, reaching out and taking his hand in yours without even thinking about it. "You can't go that way, they'll see you." you shake your head at him as his eyes go to your hand. "Can't help but get yourself into trouble can you?" you say in a certain but not demeaning tone. You tug on his hand slightly as he starts to move towards you. "Follow me." you whisper with a duck of your head towards him. You pull your hand which was laced into his loosely, you're distinctly aware of the tension you sense in his fingers as you feel them hard and almost gripping against your own as you let them go.

Chapter Text

"Alfie?" you call out, walking down the hall towards his study.

"In 'ere!" he calls out and you move through the doorway."I know that tone, what do you want, Genny?" he says, his eyes moved up to meet you as you stepped closer, his head still down.

You give a small pout in defeat, shrugging and sitting on the desk, facing him on his side just to his right. "Do you like the opera, Alfie?" you ask, your face towards him, your eyes on the window behind him.

"Is this a loaded question?" he asks bluntly, looking at you over his glasses.

"There's one this weekend I want to see and I don't have any friends here who like the opera and I don't want to go alone." you explain, your posture slumped.

"And?" he says, holding his ear closer to you waiting for where he came into this plan.

"And if you like the opera I was hoping you would go with me." you state plainly.

"Is this how you ask men out on dates?" he teases you with a glance.

"If I were asking you out on a date, believe me, you'd know Solomons," you say patronizingly. "I said friends, didn't I?"

"Oh? We still friends?" he chides, his eyes looking to your crossed arms and legs, referring to your closed off body language.

"Don't be daft, we've BEEN friends." you smack the back of your hand against his arm. "It's Saturday night in London," you say with a sigh.
"Romeo et Juliette. I can get us a box if you want to go." you state with upturned palms.

"Oh, you payin', eh? You are taking this girl out for a nice night innit ya?" he says with a chuckle.

"If you could stop giving me shit and give me an answer that would be much appreciated." you lightly scold, crossing your arms back and groaning. "Otherwise I'll have to take Claire and she's miserable company since she hates these sorts of things." you shake your head in defeat.

"Eh," he says scrunching up his face and humming. "I've not been to the opera in ages," he says, narrowing his eyes at you as if he's still considering his words. "Of course I'll go with ya," he says very obviously. "I'll get the tickets, you just get dressed up and we'll be good as gold, yeah?" he says, holding his glasses in his hand, moving them in your direction. His eyebrows are up and his face holds a warm glance laced with condescendence that expressed itself in his tone. "Can't have ya goin' 'n gettin' cross on me now, luv.?" he says patting your hand that rests on the desk.

"Like pulling teeth with you," you say, you lean down over him, your hands on his shoulders. "Thank you, you complete ninny." you say warmly as you kiss the top of his head. You make your way around the desk.

"Why don't you use this as an excuse to wear that long sapphire necklace you've been keepin' locked up, eh?" he suggests, as soon as he'd placed in back into the drawer he instantly regretted not having you try it on first.

"Would that be a bit much?" you ask, your voice aloof, turning to face him.

"Did I hear Genevieve Greene ask if something would be "a bit much'?" he says with a scoff. "And here I was, thinking I was gonna show you off at my club but clearly you aren't the woman I thought you were." he says with a shrug an exaggerated frown.

"When did you get a club, Alfie?" you say approaching the desk with quick steps, your hands now resting on top of it.

"Had it awhile, Gen, I've just kept my involvement quiet because I thought it best for keeping the place the same." he says in a lower voice.

You stand looking over his head, in thought for a moment. "Do I get to drink for free if I show up with the boss?" you say with a cheeky grin.

"You show up with me you can do whatever the fuck ya want, luv." he says with a rumbling chuckle as he looks up at you over his glasses.
-----------------------------
The door to your bedroom is open and so is the door to your wing. You hear Alfie calling for you from the front lobby, barking rushed commands at you. You're not actually running behind but he seems to just enjoy giving you a hard time. He's looking out of the window by the door.

Claire brings out your fur shawl to Alfie before she heads out for the night herself. He throws it over his shoulder to hold it. "You are taking her to see Romeo and Juliet?" she says with a smirk, her hands on her waist.

"More like I was guilt tripped and I'm making the best of it." he says with a slow laugh.

"She doesn't leave one with much of a choice when it comes to what she wants, does she?" she says with the tone of teasing in her voice. "Don't let her drink too much before she watches the show." she suggests, moving towards the door and pulling on a hat.

"Why?" he asks, his head tilting back to show his concern.

"Gen connects with art in an emotional way," she says quietly. "She's more inclined to believe in romance when it's in the form of art as opposed to real life." she shakes her head, it leans against the edge of the opened door with a sigh. "So her emotional connection to romance performances, particularly tragic ones, will break her heart." she smiles warmly as she speaks, leaning away from the door. "So if she's drunk she might turn into a melancholy mess on you." she laughs.

"Thanks for the warnin'." he says, thankful Claire seemed to be warming up to him.

"Well as we both know she's a handful. I don't want her to make a fool of herself because I'll have to deal with the consequences," she admits with a grin. "She looks like some sort of fallen angel tonight, Mr. Solomons." she pauses, giving him a mischievous grin. "If you aren't careful, you'll be the one getting your heart broken tonight instead." the same grin still in place upon her face as she gives him a nod and she heads out the door.

He clears his throat, being left alone in the room. His brow furrows in thought at Claire's words. His eyes wander the room, he knew you'd look beautiful, you always did. Perhaps she was just trying to mess with his head, she seemed like the type. He was also surprised to hear of your view on romance, his lip juts out slightly at the passing thought. He knew you loved art but didn't know that in all your hopelessly romantic words you'd spilled about things you loved, that that's where the feelings stopped. He thought you seemed like the physical embodiment of romantic notions, soft and surprising, mysterious with an underlying threat of pain. He wonders who hurt you in such a way and if it was repairable. He corrects his posture and moves the lace curtain away from the window to look out at the setting sun.

"Genevieve, what am I supposed to tell the boys when they ask why I'm late? Sorry, the Lady was takin' her sweet time gettin' ready 'an I had to wait for her. They can't know I'm waitin' 'round on you, Gen, don't make me look bad darlin'." he's lamenting out the window, seemingly just to hear himself speak and you're standing in the lobby and he's not even noticed you've arrived.

You're pulling on the black opera length gloves onto your arms as he looks over to you.

"Fuckin' 'ell." he groans softly, his eyebrows shooting up slowly as his bottom lip hangs slack, exposing his bottom row of teeth. Claire was right to have warned him.

"You told me to dress up," you say in defense of his out of character silence. "So I did." you say, holding your arms out. You're wearing a black, floor-length gown. The top is made of layers of stretching fabric, gathered at the waist, the bottom blooms out just slightly over the swell of your hips in more black layers of chiffon and tulle panels, giving a peak of your legs if you dared to do such a thing. The diamond linked chain ran down the center of your chest, the sapphire pendant hitting just between your breasts. The dress was low cut to perfectly outline the necklace, the lowest point directly below the pendant, the sides cut close so you weren't entirely falling out of your dress. Aggie had deemed showing the inner lines of your breasts too much. Claire had surprisingly approved. On anyone else, the dress wouldn't have looked so suggestive, but because of the size of your chest, these cuts always came across as more scandalous. But you only had to consider your own opinion and you looked stunning and felt generous to the eyes of public tonight.

His head is shaking back and forth as he walks towards you. "I can't take you to the club lookin' like this now can I?" he says, his arm extending out towards you. "You show up lookin' like this and make every other woman feel inferior and they won't come back after taking a hit to their self-esteem like that, yeah?" he teases, standing with outstretched arms in adoration. You pat his cheek, covered in the beard you'd missed, thickened out again and plush under your gloved fingers. "O that I were a glove upon that hand." he coos at you, his hand moving to cover yours on his face.

"Ay me, Alfie." your upper lip shows your front teeth, your tongue peeking out just slightly after you rolled out the words in a deep tone. Your voice is scolding but completely overshadowed in an absolutely feminine display of amusement, including you touching your hair as you spoke. "You can stop using that mouth in such a way right now." you say in a sound that could almost be described as a giggle.

"Nah," he says in a gruff sound, shaking his head down at you. He could tell his words had caught you off guard. He drops his hand from yours to move across your hip to the small of your back as he leans in and kisses your cheek. In the close moments, the heat of him willing your eyes to close, you note how divine he smells. "You look absolutely stunning, sweetheart." he purrs in a way that gives you goosebumps as he pulls away.

"So nice of you to notice," you graciously accept his praise. You reach up to smooth out the collar on his jacket. "You look terribly handsome, don't you?" He gets a good look at you up close, your face surrounded by long hanging pieces of hair, the top half pulled away from your face. Your lashes are long and dark but your lids otherwise bare. A strong brow sets your face with an equally severe dark red lip. "I know to lose your wardrobe had to be difficult but I am loving these new suits," you say, dusting off the sleeve of his black jacket. Your hand trails down his arm to his hand where you inspect his rings. "Still have the one I got you, I see," you smirk.
"Of course I do, you have exceptional taste, Gen." he speaks softly at you, voice praising you as you work his fingers with yours, his hand looking huge between yours. He's amused by your focused eyes and the ease with which you touched your bare skin to his.

"I love this one. Is it obsidian?" you ask, you twist a ring on his finger, a huge black stone set in gold.

"It is." he nods proudly at you, he had been so relieved to find that you weren't just blessed with good taste in jewels but also had a substantial knowledge of them.

"I love Obsidian," you whisper, letting his hand go, your fingers start to dig through your purse.

"Forged from the fires of hell much like yourself, eh?" he playfully suggests. You let out a hum of agreement, fluffing the fur around your shoulders. You look up and nod with a cheeky smile he's relieved to see holds no sadness at his suggestion. "Especially in this tonight, luv." his voice is low and suggestive and you love his gravel tone when he sees you like this. "If I may ask, what does a succubus do with a man's soul after she takes it?" he lets out a big laugh as you playfully shove his shoulder.

You take out a sweet and pop it into your mouth. "I use them to become increasingly powerful," you say slowly, your voice deep and rich. "So I can bewitch more and more powerful men each time, taking down each empire as I travel through time," you say with an animated shake of your head, your arms out and moving dramatically. You say it as if it were obvious, as you walk towards the door. "That old chestnut." You offer him a candy and he gives you a judgemental look but takes it and pops it into his mouth.

"You ever thought of writin' instead of paintin'?" he inquires, watching your lips pucker as you suck on the candy in thought as he pulls back the door, you feel the heat of his hand on your back as you take your time in your heels down the stone steps to the waiting car. His hand holding your elbow out of courtesy as your hold up your long dress.

"I have. But I much prefer to paint. Writing uses up too much of my brain and painting helps me relax. Well," you huff out a laugh as you walk. "When it's going well it does." you say with a smirk.

"So your hobbies purposes are to relax?" he asks, you give a casual nod.

"In our line of work I find it critical to have hobbies that can level me out. Without my outlets I can be pushed to behave much like a little girl in a tiara," you say with an amused hum of a laugh at your example. "I'm an adorable pout but don't get near me because I don't know what I want but I do know I love to scream and cry for ANY reason." you laugh at your self-deprecating humor.

"Little girl in a tiara." he shakes his head with a mischievous grin. "Would you hit me if I said that was a perfect description of your tantrums."

You give his arm a light smack. "Is takin' the piss out of me your hobby?" you ask loudly, your eyes rolling as you adjust your dress.

"You said it not me, dinnit ya sweetheart?" his appearance is entirely smug and it doesn't seem to fade for the duration of the car ride.
-----------
From the moment he takes your hand to help you out of the car, you don't go without feeling the heat of it on you until you've slid into a booth. He moves you with the gentle suggestion of his hand against your back. It wouldn't have felt so important if your back hadn't been exposed from the cut of your dress. Everyone knows him. Everyone greets him with respect filled nods and he hands out his thanks for coming to them all. When asked who you are, he lets you answer. The only thing he speaks on behalf of you on is saying you were both old friends when asked how you knew each other. You share a glance and the sentiment behind the words as he waits for you to settle into your seat when a man comes up behind him.
"You have a moment, Mr. Solomons?"

"No. I don't." he says, only giving the man a glance. You don't hide the smirk on your face from the pleasing feeling of being held in importance.

"It's important business, sir." the man says quietly but with a pleading tone.

"So's this, yeah?" he says, finally turning to him. He sighs after the shorter man just continues to insist. He groans and turns to lean into you, still seated on the edge of the seat of the curved booth. "I'm going to go tell these boys to fuck off, right luv?" he grumbles, his hand resting on your shoulder for a moment. "I'll be right back. Don't go nowhere now." he says with a wink, adjusting his jacket but the collar. He disappears into a hallway and you wait.
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He isn't gone long, enough time for you to be brought a drink and have a man who is of no interest to you sit on the other side of the booth. Alfie comes swaying out of the room, clearly miffed as his lip has disappeared under his mustache.

He can tell you're not enjoying yourself as he stomps towards you, his stance wide as he glares down at the man speaking to you. "Excuse you?" he says, that power you remember from the first night you met him hitting you like waves on the shore. You smile up at him first, then shift your eyes to the man who has just stopped speaking to you. "Ya wanna tell me why ya in my club, sittin' in my booth talkin' to my friends, mate?" he asks, shifting his weight on his feet.

"I'm sorry Mr. Solomons, I didn't know." he says, with no real respect behind the words, shooting you a dirty glance before slinking away.

"Right." he groans out, his eyes watching the man as he moves away. "He weren't bothering you was he?" he asks, a finger pointed in his direction, a single eyebrow raised.

"No." you say dismissing the idea with a swipe of your hand.

"Good," he says with a nod, moving towards you. "Scoot on in now." he says, shooing you farther into the booth and you do as requested.

"Don't want you having to deal with other men when ya out with me. Least I can do to let ya enjoy yerself. Ya deal with that enough wif work." he grumbles out.

"You're being sweet again Alfie, watch yourself." you say in a low warning tone, but delivered with a warm smile.

"Shall I ruin the illusion?" he gives an entirely naughty look before glancing around the room and leaning back in towards you. "Your tits tonight, woman, holy hell." your mouth opens in a fully playful scoff and your eyes narrow at him. "You sure you didn't need Claire here tonight to wrangle in that crackin' set?" you kick him under the table.

"Alright. Not so sweet now." you say with a dismissive look, rolling your eyes, still laughing.

"Because I'd be more than willing to help ya out wif that if ya-" you reach down to grab his hand, bending his fingers back towards his arm with a smile and he grunts and frowns at you. "Some fun you are." he says in that gritty tone, now being delivered with a pout.

You look down at his hand before it retreats. You see the roughed up knuckles that weren't there when you left home. You shoot him a knowing glance and he realizes what you've deciphered. "Guess it was urgent business." you infer with a quiet voice.

"It weren't nothin'." he says ending the line of discussion with a more somber look.

You don't even want to pry, you just enjoy the thought of his ability to go from punishing someone just a few rooms away and back to you with his usual charm so smoothly.

"What made you want to buy a club?" you inquire, sipping your drink after a few moments of silence.

"Well, it's money innit?" he says with a half smile.

"You didn't strike me as the type to want a club, but I've been wrong before." you say with a slight shrug.

"It's got its perks. Buying one that's already successful, 'ats how ya do it, yeah? Mix some high end, some low end. Get ya booze 'an music 'n everyone's drunk on the idea of possibility and danger and my product. Makes for willing pockets." he nods. "What about you? You'd be a good owner, floatin' about 'an gettin' all the attention." he gives you one of those more charming smiles he used to disarm you when he would push your buttons with his words.

"I thought about it but it's not for me." you dismiss with a crinkle of your nose. "I'd like to own an art gallery though." you say with little hesitation, he can tell you've thought about this before.

"Ah well that would suit you better wouldn't it?" he nods in agreement.

"Better for hiding money, one would assume," you say casually. "When I'm asked how I make so much money, I can say you can't price art, the viewer is called to pay what the art demands," you say with dramatic flair as if you're delivering the line to this imaginary inquisitor. "Set the price to what you need it to be in the books." you shrug and give a definitive sweep of your hand.

"You always been so good at talkin' your way out of situations?" he says with a teasing tone.

"Does it matter?" you ask, a smile to match his tone. "Have you always been so good at spinning those pretty words, Solomons?" you retort.

"Yes. I have." he says with that charming delivery that makes you want to believe anything he says. You hope he found your charm as disarming as you did his from time to time.
----------------------------------
You settle into your box overlooking the stage. The seats were great, it wasn't where you'd sat the last time you'd been here but you think you'd prefer it over it anyway. You're snuggled into the plush velvet, benched, curtained box. High half walls form a barrier between you and the other audience members. You're mostly hidden as you both sink into the surprisingly cozy space. As you pop another sweet and take out your theater binoculars, you take in the grand three-tiered room. Everything washed in a warm tone from the lights reflections of the gold columns and filigree.

"Have you been here before?" he asks, his knees resting on his elbows, eyes moving over the crowd below.

"I've been here twice previously. My Freddie has come to visit me since I've moved and he's taken me out."

"And who is this Freddie and why is he yours?" he prys, his delivery remaining casual.

"Freddie Weber is a designer and dear friend of mine from Germany."

"How you know him?"

"He's from Berlin and that's where we met when I lived there."

"Lived in Berlin, did ya now?"

"Yeah, before Paris. When I was still very green and pushing myself entirely too far in my pursuit of life's pleasures in my expression of rebelliousness." you hum in amusement at the thought of who you were then. So much could change in such few years. You were at the point in your life now where you were hoping the few years wouldn't bring as much change. You were now seeking out stability for the first time in your life and you still had mixed feelings about your mature approach to the future. "Freddie was around for this wild period and being the indulgent one himself, and that, in addition to fashion and being attracted to men in common we became fast friends." You knew the real answer he was looking for was whether you were sleeping with Freddie. And the question to anyone who knew the man would elicit a booming laugh.

"So even wilder than you are now?" he teases, side-eyeing you with a smug half-smile.

"Alfie, darling, I am a nun compared to who I used to be." you say with an overly charming, rolling, laugh, your hand on his knee out of habitual charm. You continue laughing at yourself, both your hands back in your own lap as the house lights lower.

He leans in closer to you, whispering. "I'll be askin' you about them wild days later. Ya not off the hook after sayin' all that." You smile but don't look away from the stage, patting his knee.

"Only if I get some of your wild stories." you hold out your free hand, the other holding the binoculars, to him to shake and he lets out a chuckle at you and shakes. "Now shush, you'll make me miss it." you whisper. He retracts his chin at your bossy tendencies as he lets a hint of a smirk stay on his face as he side-eyes you. As the curtain rises it illuminates your face with the swell of the violins. It holds no tension, set so delicately indifferently with your eyes shining and giving away your emotions. At some point, something on the stage pulls his eyes from you. His attention is drawn back to you acts later when you lower your binoculars. He wasn't sure if your lip was trembling or if you were reciting all the words as they were said, but your face was wet with tears regardless. He doesn't even try to stop the small smile that appears on his face watching you giving yourself over to these feelings. It didn't seem like something you did very often, showing your true emotions on your face in such a raw way. He felt as if he was seeing something he shouldn't, and that made it that much harder to look away. As the final scenes play out, on occasion you'd gulp and let out a tiny little, broken gasp as more tears fell.

He offers you his handkerchief, not saying a word and you let out a tiny huff of a laugh. He knows it's meant for him from the fleeting smile the passes your lips as you take it from him, and with your other hand, take his and pull it towards you. He moves closer, taking his hand away and you let out a grunt, turning to face him to see where he'd went. His hand rests behind you on the seat, he offers you his other hand and you look at it quickly and take it as you dab your face with the other. Both your hands hold his, clasped in your lap, as you watch the stage intensely, your brows and eyes in constant minuscule movements. You let out a ragged sigh at the deaths, while he's watching the stage from behind your head, over your shoulder. He turns to see you one last time as your fingers squeeze into his hand. He knew your nails would leave small red half-crescent moons on his skin but he couldn't bring himself to care. Your lashes flutter, dark and wet over slightly flushed cheeks, gleaming with still wet trails of tears. The emotion from your heavy exhales as you look up for a moment, closing your eyes before returning them to the stage with a shaky inhale.

You catch him looking at you, turning to face him as he pulls his hand from the grip you still held on it. You expect him to make fun of you. That was the reaction you were accustomed to at this point. But instead, the house lights still low, the stage still covered, he reaches out and wipes away your tears. One side with his thumb, the other the back of his hand.

"I know. It's devastatin' innit, luv?" he says in such a sweet and gentle way it makes your eyelashes flutter in surprise. You nod and swallow. You could swoon at the words in your state, but a sigh escapes instead. You couldn't help but have a fleeting notion that he wasn't talking about the play.

You turn back and blot your face again as the lights come up. He loses the company of the weeping angel he'd grown so hypnotized by as you clear your throat and he watches that heartbreak fade away from your eyes.

Chapter Text

He hears raised voices outside of his room, waking him from sleep. He pulls on a shirt and pants, slippers scooted on as he shuffles quickly out of his bedroom towards the sound.

He see's you, being walked down the hall, a maid on each arm holding you. His eyes dart around, taking in the scene. One maid is crying by the front door, your car still open and running visible through the wide open door as he hurries towards you.

Aggie's leading the way, door open to your wing, barking orders at the younger maids.

"Gen, what's happened?" he calls out as he gets within arms reach of you, he mumbles an excuse to the maid on one of your arms as he pushes her away to replace her. The weight being taken off your beaten up body was immediate and earned a groan of relief from you. You stop and he moves to hold you up by your ribs and you gasp and let out a shrill whine at the touch and he holds you as you choose to lean into him instead.

"Get me to my bed." you whisper out with shallow breaths.

"I'm gonna scoop ya up, luv. It'll hurt just a moment, yeah?" he says as he's bending you carry you under your knees and back and sit you slowly on your bed. "Can ya tell me what happened?" he requests politely, masking his desperation for information. A swarm of maids, warm cloth's and bandages in hand push him away and he bumps against your vanity.

"Two men attacked me." you say after shushing the maids and parting them with a shaky arm, motioning for him to come closer. He can hear you wheeze as he stands directly behind a maid taking off your dress.

"Weren't Jacks with you?" he asks, an anger burning at the thought he hadn't done his job.

"He was." you emphasize the latter word, groaned through clenched teeth.

"Where was he during this then?" he says in a rushed voice.

"Well you don't see him here with me so what do you think happened?" you state in an obvious tone, letting out a small sigh.

He answers you with silence. Realizing this meant he was dead.

"I managed to get him in the car. They shot him in the head. It's a bloody mess." you say as your voice inflects and squeaks, pausing for moans and groans as you're left in your underwear as the damage to your body is unveiled. You can see the red and purple marks blotched across your thighs, you know it's worse on your torso and you don't even want to look. You continue the painful task of breathing. It wasn't just your ribs that burned, your lip that felt very split stung with every movement, you were assuming the hit to your face would be translating into a black eye after the amount of time that had passed. He's made his face stone, keeping it focused on yours, you can feel the anger coming off of him. It's not meant for you.

"You moved that big boy all by yourself?" he asks, his brow furrowed.

"I'm stronger than I look." your voice strained and heard through clenched teeth as your body is examined by multiple sets of hands to assess your injuries.

"I'd be inclined to fuckin' agree," he says in astonishment. You let out a helpless yelp that makes his chest ache. "Don't think about what they're doing and it won't hurt so bad. Look at me, Gen." he holds your hand. "Tell me what happened." his eyes are calm as they look into yours with intent.

"They shot Jacks after he drew on them. Only one had a gun, I knocked it away and went hit for hit," you explain, crying out again, your face tense, eyes shut, breathing through your flared nostrils. "Got me down and kicked the absolute shit out of me." your voice is higher pitched in your anger. "I got my knife and got them," you groan, teeth together "le connard." you growl out in anger born from the pain you found yourself in.

"They're dead?" he asks, his hand rubbing yours.

"Ils sont morts?" you mock him in misdirected anger. "Quelle question stupide!" you groan out. "Of course they're dead!" you shout out in frustration, grinding your teeth. His face, full of pity frowns down at you. "Their papers are in the car somewhere, I took what they had on 'em. Didn't take the time to look at who it was."

"I'll get 'em, Gen, don't even worry about that right now." he says quietly, his tone set to not upset you.

You nod and exhale with a whine. "I have to get this fuckin muck from the canal off me," you say in angry growl. "If I'm not fuckin' dying can I just have a bath and sleep this off? I just want to get this horse shit over with," you say, pulling your hand from his, pushing maids away. "This is going to hurt like a mother fucker tomorrow." you say already exasperated, your lip snarled in annoyance.

"Your ribs are bruised something awful, child. Those boots got you most everywhere, but nothing seems irreparable. Your cuts are all superficial, this is going to hurt like hell for a little bit but you'll be fine if you rest." Aggie says with the hesitancy of delivering the news to you.

"Just get out then." you groan."I need a bath and some tea after and to fucking sleep then you call a doctor for tomorrow. In that order." you look up at the maids still not moving. "What are you waiting for? Fucking GO!" you shout, your bloody and busted hands in fists.

"You know I ain't being cheeky when I ask if you need me to help you, right?" he asks, having backed away just slightly as everyone left the room but Aggie, coming from the bathroom after drawing your bath.

"Some fucked fever dream dalmatian I've let myself get turned into." he can tell you're only mad at yourself right now, your eyes looking over your arms and legs. The body language you'd been holding strong for the view of everyone else had gone. You were now slumped, eyes barely open as you spoke in hushed words.

"I know Aggie can get you up but that don't mean she should, yeah?" he asks, moving back closer to you.

"I'm entirely too exhausted to act like I don't need the help." you admit with words even though your body language had already admitted defeat, You look up at him, resembling a sad stray kitten. "Now that everyone else is out of earshot." you let a small grin come across your face as you move your weight to your feet and one of his hands moves to your back.

"You sure, sweetheart?" Aggie asks, pushing your hair off your face.

"We're both adults Aggie. I'm not the first woman he's seen naked before, I'm sure he'll behave himself." you huff out in teasing of her concerns. "I went and pushed myself too damn hard with draggin' Jacks and drivin' to get here and I can barely fucking function." you confess with closed eyes.
"My heads full of angry marbles. My ribs feel like boa constrictors trying to kill me." you groan out weakly, letting yourself feel some pity for the situation you found yourself in. "I need someone strong to move me about and our Alfie here just so happens to be just that." you say your head tilting up at him. "What ya say?" you ask humorously with tired eyes.

"Oh you know I've been dying to get ya naked, haven't I Genny?" he jokes with you, moving to pick you up as you move your arm over his shoulders.
You let out a very loud cry of pain and small gasps as you plead with him.

"For fuck's sake don't make me laugh Alfie you absolute wanker!" you squeak out, tensing in his arms.

"I'm sorry, luv. You're proper banged up aren't ya?" he says, showing his distaste for the fact in his voice.

You nod and moan when you exhale. "Near fucking pulverized."

Aggie clasps her hands together in front of her as she watches him carry you, already forgetting she was in the room. She sighs with optimism and hesitancy to your willingness for nudity around the man, but since your childhood, you'd never found nudity to be an issue for you, and you certainly weren't the bashful type.

You're naked and you've gotten your feet in the tub, which is half the battle. He's holding your upper arms, you have your head against his chest, your hands loosely gripping his shirt at his sides.

"Ya got it?" he asks after your loud noises of pleasure and protest were sobbed against his chest at the feeling of the hot water against your battered body.

"No." you whisper, shaking your head without lifting it up. "My legs are cramping, can you lower me in?" you ask your voice raspy and strained, your head pulling back but not looking at him, your eyes bloodshot and hidden behind mascara smudged lids. Your split lip was pouted out against clenched teeth as your brow knitted in pain. Your hands settled on his chest for support.

"'Course." he says softly, taking your elbow to move to the end of the bath and letting your hands on the lip of the tub, his arms, rocks under yours as he took in all your noises of pain as his face, pressed against the side of your head. He shushed and praised you gently as you sobbed and moaned, getting caught in the cycle of pain and trying to recover from it. As he finally feels your body lessen it's tensioning as his forearms rest in the water, now being held against yours, your hands on his wrists squeezing as the pain came and went as you moved. In the few moments he allows himself to close his eyes while you breathe in gasps, the only noise in the room, he can't help but want to hear these sorts of sounds coming from you in a different set of circumstances. He pushes back the thought, a moment of weakness that had snuck up on him from the heightened emotions of the night. He returns to the task at hand. You'd helped him so much, he knew he was in no position to deny you if you asked for his help. He hadn't found being in your debt to be a bad thing thus far.

"Let me lean my head back on the tub for a bit," you instruct as he slowly pulls away. "Thank you." you whisper. Your wet, trembling hands rubbing your face.

"Think nothin' of it," he says, his hands in his pockets as he stands over the tub. "You need me to stay in here?" he asks, his finger pointing the floor. "Or you want me to wait while you-?" he drags out the word, his thumb pointing to your bedroom.

"Just get a chair from my room," you say, your shoulders rolling. "I'll need help with my hair." you say, your wet lashes fluttering as the color came back to your face slowly.

He does as you suggest and settles as you rest. He can't see under the water from where he sat. Although you were curled up in a way that wouldn't have allowed him to see much if he had been willing to be the type of man to try such a thing in this situation. The type of man who wasn't already overstimulated by the visual of you running your hands slowly down your neck, a quiet moan of discomfort escaping from your parted lips as your head tilted back on the lip of the tub. But what man wouldn't be, he thought. The contented sinking into fantasy wasn't even entertained as an option as your fingertips, now showing their paint that was hidden under the muck and real blood, cascading in light sweeping motions across your neck, checking the demented sunset of bruises that were concentrated in a ring at the base of your throat, moving delicately down, exploring the mixture of violent colors that were appearing on your skins surface.

"You find yourself getting hurt like this often?" he asks, voice not holding any judgment.

"No, I do not. Which makes it that much worse. Both in body and mind." you say with a sigh, picking underneath your fingernails.

You both turn to the doorway as you hear your bedroom door open and the quick-hitting sound of feet moving across the floor in your direction. Claire stands in a full glamourous dress, eyes wide and breathing fast.

"They told me you were hurt." she says, looking over to Alfie and back to you over and over again.

"I am but don't worry, Alfie is being a good boy and helping me move since I find myself not being able to do it on my own. Not what with the boots I've taken tonight." he gives a polite nod to Claire, his arms crossed, elbows on his knees. "I'll be in the bed for a few days at least but I'll be fine." you explain with a lazy half smile.

"So you are..." her hand, open and moving back and forth at the two of you. "You're okay here then? You need anything?" she asks in a rushed voice, Alfie had never seen Claire's face to be so expressive as her worry was worn so clearly.

"Cancel the appoints for next week. Adjust our security accordingly for a hit attempt, check that none of the new hires are the problem, get the papers out of the car. Make sure anything that needs to be done for Jacks is done because he's dead." you instruct calmly. Alfie blinks slowly as you list off the things to be done so articulately, your eyes shut but moving underneath the lids as your thoughts rushed to cover all your bases.

"Okay." she nods, processing the information. "I can do that." Just let me know what else you need tomorrow, alright?" she asks, only looking at you.

"I'm fine, go on." you shoo her away, turning your head to Alfie after you hear the click of your door close. "Help me with my hair?" you ask with a slow, lazy blink.

He can't help but admire your level-headed reaction to this situation. He could see why you were so good at your job if this is how you handled a death of an employee from an assassination attempt on you. He couldn't help but be hit with the fact as to how lucky he was to have someone like you on his side, both professionally and personally. You'd handled the events of the evening better than the men he'd seen go through the same. With you laying so completely at ease around him alone and so unabashedly naked, he can't help but be enchanted by the calm and confidence that you emit.

You slink beneath the water, mess of hair and all, as he pulls the chair across the tiled floor, sitting behind your head. You emerge and his hands are waiting on the lip of the tub for your return.

He reaches over and grabs your bottle of shampoo after you gesture in its direction. You make a disgusted sound as you pick chunks of dirt from hair and toss them towards the other end of the bathtub.

His fingers dive in, sudsy and busy as they move around your hairline and you see the water start to get murkier. You let out a moan that isn't from pain, your head lolling on your shoulders as you hear him let out a chuckle at you. "C'est mieux que le sexe." you mumble, your lips making bubbles in the water before letting your head fall back at his hand's suggestion, pushing your forehead back. "Yes mains sont magiques." you praise.

"Good?" he asks, his voice full of amusement, you assumed his face was full of the same but you kept your eyes closed as he washed out your hair. You wished you found yourself in this position when you weren't made entirely of bruises and tenderness, letting yourself enjoy the feeling, you felt like you'd earned it.

"Oui." you say with a soft smile. He's sucking his teeth at you, shaking his head at how at ease you seemed to be. Not quite knowing how to feel about it.

"That's got ya finished, luv." he swipes stray bubbles away from your face.

You sit back up slowly, hands gripping the edge of the tub. "Let's get this over with." you groan, bracing yourself to be lifted again.

"Rise out of the muck little lotus, c'mon now." he says with a grunt as he hoists you up too quickly for your delicately balanced inner ear.

"Hold me close a moment." you whisper with eyes shut.

"I think it's hardly the time sweetheart." he teases, holding steadily for you as your head spun.

"You're lucky I'm incapacitated you cheeky fucker." you scold, nose scrunched slightly.

You weigh against his chest, his other arm grabbing a towel and wrapping you up carefully after your head stops spinning. "Put your weight on this chair while I go fetch your gown now, yeah?" he moves the chair to your hand and he moves so smoothly, laying it on the back of the chair, removing the towel and squeezing your hair, letting the gown fall over you, moving your hair for you again.

"Hand me the hair ribbon." your voice comes in sighs from your exhaustion, knowing you still had to get to and in bed. He pulls a black textured ribbon off the sink and hands it to you. "Wouldn't happen to know how to braid hair, would you?" you ask slowly, a smirk on your face as he holds a hand to your shoulder and stomach to keep you from falling as you separated your hair to braid it.

"'Fraid not sweetheart. Sisters never taught me that one." he says with a warm smile that makes you slowly blink, taking pleasure in anything that came your way as you couldn't remember the last time you'd been in so much pain.

"No matter." you yawn cautiously as you braid your hair into two sections. You wince and moan, small shallow breaths as you raise your arms to twist the strands back and wrap them in ribbon securing them back. You exhale noisily and slowly as you lower your arms.

"Carry ya to bed?" he asks, looking down at you, his face has fallen again, but his eyes still looked at you with fondness despite their pity you didn't want.

You begin to raise your arms towards him and give him a nod as your eyes are closed before your face even lands against him.

He lays you on the bed, his frown changes to a subtle smile as your pained moans turn to happy mewls as you let yourself settle into the pillows he'd just fluffed.

"Never had anything so soft hurt so much." you say in a whisper, your face relaxing.

"It alright?" his voice a bit louder, more insistent.

"Oh, yes I'll be fine. I'm only whingin'." you dismiss with a scrunch of your nose.

"You sure? You took on two men trying to kill you tonight, sweetie. You watched your man get shot and all that on top of being badly hurt yourself. 'At's a lot on anyone, 'at is." he speaks slowly, thoughtfully.

"I'll recover. Not the first or last time I'll lose a man and have someone try to kill me." you say light-heartedly, taking a slow breath, your eyes fluttering shut gently for a moment.

"Ya sure? Ya ain't gotta put the big face on for me, do ya now?" he says gently rubbing your hand.

"I'm more worried about the physical pain right now. The rest will come with time." you reply softly, with a less enthusiastic smile but he knew it was genuine.

"Well that's a right smart way to deal with it, innit it?" he praises, giving your hand a small squeeze before he retreats. "I'll have 'em send in yer tea, luv." his voice hushed and warm.

"Nah, I'm fuckin' knackered." you say with a shake of your head.

"Have it your way." you says with a pleasant inflection, he moves to stand up straight and begin to leave. Your hands grab his fingers, slumping him slightly as you pull him towards you.

"Thank you." you say with a small hesitant smile.

"What was I gonna do, not help you?" he says with a grin, his chin extended at you, moving back and forth. "Don't act dull." he suggests, pointing his free hand at you.

"Look, I have no issue admitting when I'm hurt and I am very hurt right now. So I'll need your assistance from time to time over the next few days. Not to the degree of tonight but-" you pause with a frown. "Consider it a preemptive thanks because once I'm able to move around on my own I'll be back to being an annoyance instead of burden and you will be so sick of me by that point that you won't be within earshot for me to thank you." you grin, squeezing his fingers.

"Eh, we both know that ain't true," his voice is warm and his face is kind and it makes your chest ache with the invisible weight you feel from it. "You gone and taken care of me so it's my turn now innit? Gotta look out for each other now, don't we?" he says in a warm tone that makes your worry about asking him for help falter. "So whatever you need you just let me know, yeah?" he gives your thigh a gentle pat.

You grunt in response.

"You want me to bring ya those little round pastries of mine ya like, eh? That cheer ya up?"

"Now you're spoiling me." you give him a smile that fades into a bitten lip fast as you almost laugh at his words.

"Eh." he says, shrugging and moving his head. "You're a good girl Gen, you deserve to get spoiled from time to time, yeah?" he says with another kind smile, making you pout slightly. He waits for a response from you that doesn't come. "I didn't hear a no on those pastries." a charming grin shoots across his face.

"Of course I want 'em, ya silly bastard!" you exclaim in a playful snarl.

"Oi! There she is." he says with enthusiasm, brushing back hair from your face. "I think ya gonna be just fine, Genny bee." he moves to switch off your lamp. "You get your sleep. Ya little bell is by the bed there, yeah?" he grabs your foot, covered by your blanket, shaking it just slightly on his way out of the room. "I'll see ya in the morning, won't I?" he muses, padding towards the door and shutting off the light.

"Fanks." you grumble out as the darkness makes your eyes suddenly incredibly heavy.

Chapter Text

 

cos19

 

 

Your yawn and very noisy stretch are interrupted by a newspaper hitting you as it's tossed onto the table in front of you.

"You see this?" Alfie asks with a strange urgency, sitting in the chair next to you, tapping one pointed finger, large bauble atop it at an article you were already familiar with in the Business and Agricultural section of the paper.

You settle your hands back in your lap, nodding at him slowly with sleepy eyes. "Mmm Hmm." you say with a bird-like melodic delivery, an indifferent pleasant expression on your face. The medicine you'd been given by the doctor had left you sleeping your life away like a cat Much like an actual kitten, lying about and looking fuzzy and soft just the same with your unkempt hair.

"How long have you known?" he exclaims, his hand motioning at you with an attitude.

"I had assumed as much after I persuaded my biggest competitor to sell me their business." you look over at him, shoulders slumped and face slightly dazed from sleep and medication.

"This isn't something you'd think to share?" his chin drops, inquiring with words and the look in his eyes.

You shrug, your mouth in a thoughtful pouted pose. "I suppose...since I did the work it didn't feel like a big deal. My day to day hasn't changed drastically since so it's easy to fall back and forget such things when you're under the influence of heavy medication," you say with a slight shake of your head in elaboration. "Didn't want to go braggin' anyway. I saw the article came out but I've been down so I haven't been up for celebrating in my usual manner." you explain, face back to warm and easy going as it swings back his way.

"Number one producer and seller in all of fuckin' London is something you can brag about dear. Especially to me. I mean I'm fuckin' impressed." he says enthusiastically, his hands moving at you in praise. As he speaks, a smile slowly grows across your face.

"You are?" your face shifts into a bashful smile he's not seen before. The reactionary and less thoughtful Gen was becoming something he's very aware that he'll miss once you healed up and you weren't a kitten version of your usual jungle cat form.

"Of course I am! Aren't you?" he almost shouts, a warm smile on his face, eyes wide and brows raised at you as his faces leaned closer to yours with an expression of genuine care for your thoughts on the subject.

You look down as a smile hits your lips. It spreads and you look back over, biting your lip before admitting with a drawn-out "Yeah."

"'Course you are. You should be." he holds your chin gently as he speaks purposely at you. He retreats his hand, "Shame you're hurt." he says, chewing the inside of his cheek for a moment in thought before his eyes return to you. Still sitting, slouched and soft in your big chair. "This calls for a celebration." he says with his grumpy thinking face. "Can't smoke cigars what with your ribs 'n all. Don't want ya accidentally coughin' and breakin' in half, do we?" he muses, his hand patting yours.

"If I'm still on top once I'm healed, perhaps?" you suggest with a slow chuckle, your eyes blinking slowly as the sweet smile of your pride lingered on your lips.

"I'll figure somefin' out." he nods, looking around the room.

"You don't have to-" you say, your nose scrunched at his fussing.

"I know I don't gotta but I wanna Gen, so I'm gonna, yeah?" he says definitively with a playful nod and expression.

"Sounds like you." you say with an almost dumb laugh that moves your chest when you raise your shoulders to accompany a teasing, cheesy smile.
-----------------------------
Alfie has been gone for over a week. Thankfully for both of you, he returns in time for Shabbat dinner and you get to spend the entire evening catching up. He sat bottles of wine down on the dinner table when he'd rolled in to join everyone. He'd managed to bring you a bouquet of lavender.

"Lad at the counter thought I was mad for ordering nothing but lavender." he explains, shaking his head as the familiar brown paper crinkles under your hands and the smell hits your nose and you let out a small moan at the olfactory triggered memories. "But you talk about that French lavender from ya home being so much better than ours here and well, I just had to bring you home some, dinnit I?"

You kiss his cheek and he seems thoroughly pleased with himself from the grin he's directing at you. "Thank you, Alfie." you go back to a pleasant closed mouth smile. "They're perfect, ya big sweetie." you softly sigh as you hold the bouquet like a baby.

You saw him tucked away with Aggie in the scullery, giving her a bottle of some alcohol she couldn't find around here and a small book. She practically swooned and kissed his cheek, patting his face and you knew you wouldn't hear the end of what a wonderful husband and provider Alfie would make for at least the next week.

Now you're sitting on his bed in his room, discussing the pleasure side of his trip, as he seems like he felt a bit chatty about it. Maybe it was the wine and tiredness. He's asked you if you'd had the meals he'd had on his trip before, if you'd seen a particular type of flower he'd seen because they were "bloody everywhere" as he exclaimed. As you yawn, he clasps his hands together and turns to a trunk and brings out a box.

"I got ya somefing." he announces, his head dipping as he approached you to sit next to you on the bed.

You don't respond, you just face him with a very endearing smile.

"I happened to be in a jewelry shop, yeah?" he side-eyes you with a cheeky grin as he sees you bite the bait he's set with vigor. "I know you weren't up for celebratin' but I saw this and knew it were put in my path so it'd find it's way to you, right?" he beams at you, the charm coming from his genuine enthusiasm instead of wolfish smiles.

You just can suppress your excitement and it doesn't go unnoticed by him. You place the box in your lap and bite your lip in anticipation as you lift the lid of the soft black silk covered box. Inside sits a necklace. A delicate gold linked chain, holding a gemstone encrusted bee. "Holy hell." you say breathlessly, your mouth open and your hand to your chest, not being capable of hiding the lust in your wide eyes. The yellow gold stripes were covered in circular topaz, the black portions made the same shapes in onyx each colored part separated with tiny pearls, it's eyes of black opals that made you swallow noisily. The entire body delicately laid in gold wiring underneath diamond covered wings. "Are you fucking kidding me?" you inquire with an open mouth, not looking at him.

"I saw it and I knew it was meant to be yours. The timing couldn't of better, yeah?" he pulls the lid back so he can see the piece more clearly. "Couldn't leave without it, could I?" his face beaming down at you, still wide-eyed over the gift.

"This is..." you sigh out in a huff. "It's perfect." you place the pendant in your palm and whine at the heaviness of it. How expensive was this thing? Did he steal it? Did it matter? "It's more than a necklace, it's a work of art." you practically moan. "I know gifts can act as proposals in your religion," you dip your voice and layer it in tease as you smile suggestively at him. "Are you trying to seduce me with this, Alfie?" you purr, lifting your eyes to his, a devastatingly charming smile on your face.

"'Course not, Genevieve." he says with an exaggerated head shake and frowns with an animated insistence. "The thought has not crossed my mind," he says with a dismissive hand gesture that moves to his chin, drawing your attention to his now mischievous grin. "Not no more than five, ten times." he adds in a smug tone.

Your expression shifts to match his mischievousness. "Clever, cheeky, charmer, you." you say scrunching your nose at him in a laugh. "I thought the number of times would be much higher, honestly." you tease, looking back at the bee, distraction appears in your eyes again quickly.

"I've wondered what this looks like on you for a week now, c'mon." he says with a chuckle, taking it from you and standing. You move to the mirror on a vanity in his room. He stands out of frame after clasping the necklace shut for you, his arms across his chest, one hand rubbing his beard. "I'm so good at what I do I amaze even meself." he says with a nod of pride.

"It's bloody brilliant." you say, your posture correct, your fingers delicately dragging across your chest and shoulders as you look at the piece.

"It was made for you, wasn't it, sweetheart?" he asks rhetorically.

"I have to plan an outfit around this." you state with laid-back enthusiasm, holding up parts of your hair, already planning hairstyles. "Fuck me, now I have to go to these posh business events and show it off, don't I?" you say it like it's a bad thing but you have a cheeky smile on your face. "I have a portrait painting coming up soon I might just wear this." you say, leaning back, impressed by your own idea. "Ohhh." you express your enjoyment of the idea. "That would look so good in my office." you state with hunger in your words. You swing your face towards Alfie, who is biting the tip of his thumb at you. "Chime in anytime, Solomons." you laugh and rest your hands on your waist in a pose.

"I'm happy that you're happy with it Genevieve." he says with a dashing expression. "You look a proper titled Lady now, don't ya? Well suited since ya runnin' London and all now, eh?" he gives you a wink, his hands rubbing your arms as his face nears your shoulder. You roll your eyes at the playful suggestion. "It couldn't look better on anyone else, luv. Now you look like the posh business woman you are." he voice border lining sweet and predatory, his taller form framing yours in the mirror as you bask in the high of gifts, attention and the way he was taking in the sight of you. The look in his eyes holds the same fondness that yours did for the image reflected in the mirror. Your gazes meet abruptly, causing an unexpected connection in the tension filled moments. Neither of you prove brave enough to hold the stare for very long.

Chapter Text

cos20

 

 

 

 

You had been invited out tonight for a hit on a club. When Alfie had asked you who you'd suggest hiring to help fight your way in, you could tell by the way his lip disappeared under his mustache when you said your Arthur and the Shelby's were your go to's, that he wasn't exactly sold on the idea himself. But after telling him no one fought with you better, he reluctantly trusted your choice. You were to be handsomely compensated for your skills which would be out in full form tonight. You'd been excited and nervous as the date approached for the job, but now that you were walking in through the back entrance of the club as it was closing, to sneak the door keys and bring them back and wait in the car for your targets to arrive, you felt back in your element.

The director of this group of painfully mediocre wannabes just so happened to be the man who had tried to fuck Alfie over that you had helped steal the blackmail for. Now you found yourself in a position of immunity from the blackmail working like a dream. He can't report the hit, Alfie gets the last word. Everyone who mattered was happy. Alfie still having bones left to pick with this man and since you were involved already, he brought you in as your addition would make the night go much more smoothly, he suggested. He was taking part in this fight, as it felt it was personal at this point. Saying that he needed the opportunity to blow off some steam as well, like old times.

You're slinking across the street in your long, off the shoulder dress. Hidden split up each thigh for ease of movement hugged your curves in thin, soft red fabric to accommodate the summer's heat. Your makeup, the usual dark eye, and red lip, your hair pulled back at the nape of your neck so it wouldn't interfere with your sight or movement. You were very much dressed to kill.

Tommy and Alfie are sitting in the second row of the benched back seats of the large Rolls Royce watching you walk away in the direction of the club.

Alfie's nose twitches, readjusting his grip on his cane. Tommy had lost count of how many times he'd done this. Solomons was moving enough to almost be deemed twitchy. Tommy looks back over to the newspaper he's been skimming while they wait for your return.

"Do you not trust her to do her job?" Tommy asks in his even, cool tone.

"Eh?" Alfie gruffs, looking over at Tommy with a furrowed brow. "I wouldn't've hired her if I dinnit." he says obviously, one hand moving off his cane to express himself.

"Then can you stop fidgeting?" Tommy hides a small half smile with a slight tilt of his head as Alfie leans away from him in a pout. "You've worked with her on jobs before, haven't you? Or are you always this nervous when it comes to her?" he doesn't hide the smirk on his face from his words.

"I 'ave but none this dangerous." he states, thumbing his nose.

"From that statement I take it you've not seen Gen fight before have you?" his eyebrow rising in interest.

"I saw 'er at The Garrison." he offers.

"No that wasn't a fight." Tommy shakes his head. "I mean in the sort of spot you'll find yourselves in tonight." he clarifies, slowly turning his head towards Alfie who's enjoyed the subtle puzzlement on his friends face.

"No." he says, his hand punctuating his sentence with a wag. "But I did see her come home after getting the shit beat out of her by two men a few weeks back." he says with a bad attitude. "So forgive me if I'm hesitant to let her loose on her own."

"Is she your's to let loose now?" he says with implication.

"Don't be fuckin' daft Tommy." he growls. "But I'm the one hirin' her ain't I? She wouldn't be back out doing this so soon if I hadn't asked her to." he elaborates.

"Gen knows her limits, she wouldn't take a job if she thought she couldn't deliver."

"I'd be inclined to believe that." he solemnly nods.

"How's living with her going?" he breaks the silence growing in the car.

"Well you know." he pauses for a moment, "Place is fuckin' huge, innit? She's lovely. Good girl, very hospitable." he says with a firm nod of his head, still looking out the window in the direction you should appear.

"She is." he nods, looking back to his paper.

"She's never boring is she?" he says in a tone that tells Tommy he's become well acquainted with your big personality.

"Not in the years I've known her," he says with a small smile. "I heard you took her out to the Opera?" his voice full of suggestion

"She asked me to," he says with a hint of defensiveness. "What was I gonna do? Say no?" he lets out a gruff laugh.

"So you weren't taking her out?" his question inflects with interest at the end.

"No, mate. Weren't nothin' like 'at." he shakes his head as the words groan out.

"Nothing like that?" he insists.

"If there is from her end, I'm not aware of it." he plainly states, motioning out with his hand. "That is if she is in fact as affectionate with her good friends as she says she is." he pauses, places his hand on the other man's knee, leaning towards him with a look that is supposed to signify he's being impressive, "Which apparently we are now. Just so ya know, mate." He nods as if in sympathy towards Tommy's defeat. "So she has said to me, yeah?" he returns back to his normal sitting position.

"Good friends, eh?" he says with a subdued expression of amusement that would have been visible if it hadn't been dark outside.

"But she ain't like 'at wif you? Is she?" he says, his finger pointing out at Tommy, side-eyeing him.

"She has never been," he says, his face back to indifferent. "She is that way with Arthur and John. Arthur specifically."

"Why not you?" wondering if he'd done something to make her not want to be as close to him.

Tommy swallows before he speaks. "I've always assumed it's because she was a friend of Grace's." he says, the usual micro-lilt of her name as he forces it out of his mouth.

"Ah." he nods in agreement. "Now that would make sense, yeah." he ponders it a moment before quickly moving back to his questions. "Her and Arthur seem strangely close what with how she talks about 'im, what's the story wif 'at 'n all?"

"They're not fucking if that's what you're asking." he says with a bit of a tired drag to the words.

"That's not what I said, Tommy." he says a bit with the hint of offense.

"No but it's what you meant, wasn't it?" he says knowingly. Alfie gives him a strong side eye after turning his head from his direction. After a few moments of Alfie's silent treatment, he continues, "I believe they talk about art mostly. They're both very good to have on your side in a fight and they're both also very emotional. Seems that makes a friendship these days." he says with a short sigh.

"Well that checks out, dunnit?" he mumbles, still looking out the window.

"Seein' as he's married 'n she's watchin' the kid 'n all." he clarifies to himself mostly. "She didn't seem like the type of woman who'd do that sorta fing." he says more quietly, his eyes narrowing in consideration.

"She isn't." he agrees flatly. "She's a good woman, Alfie." he adds with more sincerity, nodding his head as he looks over his paper.

"It's hard to believe she's as good as she is, Tommy." he admits, his voice not showy, his hands not moving. "Hard to believe there are any women left like 'at all."

Tommy's eyes slowly look up and forward, taking in his words and what they told him about how he felt. "It is very hard to believe." he quietly agrees. They both sat in silence with heavy thoughts about the women on their minds.
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Tommy leaves the car, going to a street over to wait for John and Arthurs signal that all the men had all arrived. You're turned around in your seat, on your knees. Your forearms crossed on the back of the seat, facing Alfie.

"What's wrong with you tonight?" you ask, your eyes narrowing as he keeps his eyes on Tommy leaving. "You've been acting odd." you pry with a tilted head.

He turns his eyes your way for a moment, before moving them back out the window. "What are you on about?" he huffs out.

"I know you Alfie, I can tell when something's off." you hum at him, resting your chin on your arms. "What is it about me that's throwing you off tonight? Let's fix it before we get in there bc I don't want it distracting me." you insist with a nod of your head.

"Well you were beat all to hell not that long ago, weren't ya?" he bites a little too harshly at you, looking back at you. You give him an attitude-filled glare.

"So you think I shouldn't be doing this." you say with a slow nod, pursing your lips in disappointment. You sit back up, lifting your chin from your arms.

"Don't be puttin' words in me mouth." he says, shaking his finger at you. "That's not what I said now, was it?" he lets his shoulders fall as they'd tensed while he spoke.

"Fear born from worry, then?" your expression softens as you stop your attempt to turn away from him. Your eyes aren't defensive when he meets them again.

"Now I just told ya not to do that, dinnit I?" he looks back out the window. No longer revving up, his face was set in an angry sort of pout.

"I'm a big girl, I can handle it, Alfie. Don't worry about me. Worry about yourself." you say poking him in the chest, limp-wristed and playful. "Look on the bright side." you offer which a much more subdued and charming expression, "This is the only time you'll ever be nervous for me before a fight because once you see me in there, you'll apologize for having doubted me." you give a challenging grin.

"Now there. That." he points at you. "That's the woman I hired for this tonight. You. Now?" he taps your nose and you can't help but roll your eyes at him. "You. Stay." you commands gruffly and you smile at his playfulness.

"You'll get your money's worth out of me tonight, Solomons, don't worry." you say with a cutesy wink, throwing your head back in a laugh as you turned around in the seat. His eyes give a very slow blink your direction, his head shaking back and forth with a deadpan face at you before you've even turned.
--------------------------------------------
The signals are cleared. Everything is in place. Now it's on you to make the first move. Arthur and John are clearing the front guards and the lobby. Alfie clears out the guard in the back. Tommy is the controller, watching outside and making sure no one leaves or enters during the fight. You'd snuck in from the roof. You take a very deep breath, feeling it move through every part of you. You initiate the distraction.

Your heels clack loudly in the most empty club. A large room with hanging chandeliers, huge columns separated a dance floor with an ornately designed ceiling above it. The boys, numbering around fifteen to twenty, all greased up are spread out around a few pushed together tables in the dance floor. Some notice you slink across the landing before your heel hits the stone of the first step, but after that, all eyes were on you. They don't speak for a few steps, you're prim and posh and have all things you hold in your charming arsenal of distraction at full volume. The hit of your metal tipped heels echoes across the cavernous room as they move slowly across the floor to the men. You hear the murmurs begin.

"I think you're in the wrong place, lady." one of them says, this is the one that's just put the target on his head. Lucky boy.

"Quite the contrary," your voice is smooth and velvety, your face set like you know a secret no one else does. "I believe I'm exactly in the right place." you-you laugh, moving one shoulder with the sound, one hand to your chest. The mood shifts slightly in the room. Bait set.

"Oh are ya sweetheart?" he chimes in. You stand between them, still turned away from the back exit.

"You're here aren't you?" you say with a wink as you put your hands on your hips. He gives you a dumb laugh in retort.

"Oh you here for me, doll?" he asks, leaning back in his seat.

"I greeted her first, she's mine." the original speaker almost growls at you, his hand rubbing up and down the back of your thigh.

"Oh I'm here for all of you, handsome." you give a cheeky grin, jutting your hip out in his direction. "Me and my friends were sent here to entertain you boys tonight." you say, putting your shawl around his shoulders. "But I happen to be the first to get here and I'm not one to keep a party from starting."

"That right? he says, looking you over and licking his lips.

"Something about a celebration I'm told? A little something," you shimmy your chest at him with the word, "for a job well done?" you say with warm praise.

"Told ya he wouldn't be mad." the second speaker adds in a defensive tone.

"Guess so." the boy with his hands on your thighs says. "What are you planning on entertaining us with tonight, luv?" his fingers grip into the soft flesh under your ass.

"I'm known for my dances." you purr at him.

"You reckon I could get the first one of those?" he suggests, leaning closer and smelling you.

"Thought you'd never ask." you whisper leaning in close, your prominent breasts in his face. "Turn this seat," you say with a kitten like delivery. He raises himself and does as you command. "Now, sit back." you bat your lashes, your hand pushing him back into the chair.

You loom over him like a vulture, taking a moment to look for the men you'd come with tonight. You see Arthur and stretch, letting him know you've seen him. You don't see Alfie yet so, you continue. "You'll all get your chance tonight to dance," you announce to the group, you move back to the boy in the chair. "and I never disappoint." you coo as you push his knees together, standing on either side of them. "But it is much better one on one. Don't you think?" you tilt your head and ask almost innocently.

"Anyfing you say, darlin'." he says in a chuckle, hands already on your hips. You sink down on him, hands rising above you in and inhale, grinding against him on the exhale. You hitch up your dress, sliding your knife into your hand as you raise it. You look up to Arthur as you lean in close to the boy's ears. He gives a nod and raises a gun from his hiding spot. That was your signal that you were clear and lucky for you, these boys were unarmed. You assume their egos became quickly out of check when free alcohol was involved, and in their pissing contests, they would threaten each other with their guns and that character head boss of theirs couldn't have word getting out about things like that. So he made them start leaving their guns at the door, assuring they wouldn't use them on each other. Guess he didn't think that plan through.

You hold his face in one hand, running your hand over his neck and jaw and pushing his head back when you made your rounds of doing this, his eyes were closed, his life is literally in your hand and you felt the rush of knowing you were about to spill the first blood of the night.
You take his chin into your hand and kiss him. He was terrible at it to no surprise, but not surprising in the least is that he's easily distracted.
You stand over the boy, your hand holds his head up, looking like any other part of the dance. You hear the footsteps behind you. You tighten your grip on your largest brass knuckle knife. You didn't want to use guns tonight, but you did have yours to intimidate. You didn't need the attention on the place until you wanted it that way. Alfie had his brass knuckles, along with his hands, adorning crowns and his biggest rings, fists backed by strong arms and broad shoulders all powered by a sinister mind. The boys both had their fists and experience. Arthur liked to use the environment instead of planned weapon if he wasn't using guns. He was currently holding a broken bottle. Typical Arthur. John preferred bare knuckles, as he was a powerhouse tank that knew how to take a man off his feet in an endless number of ways.

 

You move your hand now holding your knife to your chest, acting as if you're going to grope yourself and move your occupied hand up his chest quickly. You retrieve your snubnose from your chest and hold the gun to the head of the man next to you as you slice the throat of the man under you. The blood flows down his chest as his hands reach up to his throat, you don't look away from the man in your crosshairs, and you rise off the dying man. The group is wide-eyed in their naivety and still, despite the whispers and curses you hear.

Alfie takes your right. Arthur circles to your left, John finishes the shifting square you've created. The orders were to keep it as quiet as possible and kill all the members of his wannabe gang. That's it. You had intentions on getting messy tonight. Thus the red dress. You needed desperately to work out your tension and that was your intention. Take out as many as possible. The room is quiet except for the gurgling and sputtering of the man who had fallen out of his chair and was now face down on the ground. His wet hands slapping against the intricately tiled mosaic floor as the blood spread out along the cracks mimicking their natural movement in the body like it was flowing through a different set of veins now.

"'Fraid you've made some very poor decisions that's led ya here tonight, boys." Alfie nods as his booming voice echoes around the room. "The worst bein' the decision to work for your bastard of an employer and that decision will be the fuckin' end of ya tonight." he states with a strong nod. "So say your fuckin' prayers to who the fuck ever and let's this get this over with, shall we?" he says with a charming grin, adjusting his grip slowly on the dusters in his hands.

They stay still, some standing in defiance but carrying those actions no further. These men really were pathetic.

"Are you just going to sit there like a bunch of fucking pigs waiting for slaughter or are ya gonna fucking fight?" you shout loudly, taking a few steps back, your arms out at your side in exaggeration.

You hear Arthur curse with impatience and the broken glass hits the mans face as his friend jumped to his defense and it went from there. You and Alfie picked them off from behind. You struck, stabbed and hit at temples, throats, noses and groins. Each leaving you with more and more blood on your person. The way these boys loomed over you in your fighting stance led to attack from above, making any throat slice, if deep enough, spurt out another gush of blood, dripping down your dress after soaking the upper half of your body, before you could get out of range.

They begin to notice you're picking them off and they start to move in numbers towards you and Alfie. Then it became a true brawl. You have your knife, it and the combination of the knuckle dusters were enough to temporarily disarm most in just a few well-placed hits. You see the lack of form these fellows have, lumbering and easily distracted. Your speed and knife to their panic, swinging chairs, and broken bottles wasn't the fairest fight to them but it allowed you to enjoy yourself. The more you take down, the more they seem to want to be the one to take you down.

You hear things crashing around the room, but you can't pay much attention as they start to swarm and you have to switch gears. You go low, taking their feet out from under them in kicks and hits, your legs striking high at chins and guts as your skirt flies out in a pleasing floral, fluid visual amongst the dark moving forms of men on the floor around you.

By the end you're underneath the last man who happened to be rather large, giving you a bit a fight to finish. You've got the knife pushed through the top layers of his body where his neck used to be, now just a deformed mess from the struggle as you shout in frustration and effort to shove him off of you. He'd had his hands around your throat, you'd matched this with the knife across his and a thumb in his eye. Once you see your boys standing and watching you, each look a bit predatory in its own unique way, you let your shoulders slump as you move to all fours to standing, in realization it was over. Arthur looks like the runner-up in being covered with the most blood, behind you who was literally sopping with it. You rise, moving your dress as it makes heavy wet squishing sounds as you do so.

As you stand and look down as you notice none of their eyes were meeting yours, you see the fabric of the dress really wasn't made to have gotten wet as it is leaving nothing to the imagination. Your nipples being hard from the blood coursing fast through your veins are painfully visible as they do look hard enough to cut with the way the fabric sucked to your skin as you moved. Your arms especially, caked in fresh and clotted blood are the same color as your already red, blood-soaked dress giving the illusion of not wearing anything at all, really. You let out a grunt of frustration as you fling the gore from your hands and move towards them slowly, especially thankful now for the previously concealed slits in the thighs of your dress as without them, walking would have been really damn difficult. The moisture in the fabric making it so heavy.

"You could've stepped in at any time on that last one ya wankers. Ruined my bloody dress." you grumble, you are met with silence. "I'm gonna start fuckin' charging all of you if you don't stop fuckin' gawkin' like some schoolboys." you bark at them, making them stand at attention. They were all wound up from their violence and you weren't actually mad. You were just annoyed at the shift in the mood around you like this, being bothered more by how it bothered others rather than the nudity itself. "Jesus Christ boys, pull yourselves together." you say in a higher pitched voice, pulling the off the shoulder dress up as it was starting to shift.

You looked like a statue carved from red marble by the most gifted artist known to man, he thought. Although this statue of a goddess was real and moving and breathing heavily, perfect proportions shown in their rhythmic movement that could steal your words from your mouth and make it go dry. He was still grunting and heaving, his fists just starting to remember how to unclench, wanting to act on the thoughts that formed in his mind at the sight of you that matched his animalistic current appearance. Your scolding tone snaps him out of his hungry gaze as he clears his throat and puts the brass he wore in his pockets, moving towards you.

"C'mon, boys," he groans, taking off his coat and wrapping it around your shoulders, his hands resting on your shoulders. "She'll make us pay for the gift of sight if we keep using it to look at her." he says with a chuckle, having taken out a lighter and cigarette as he spoke, he hands it off to you. You look him over, as he helps you, hair damp from sweat, just the least bit of blood on his white shirt. His hair flopped about before he wiped it back with this hand, you always found it charmingly boyish when you caught the rare chance to see it in its natural state.

You slide your arms into the oversized coat and accept it, lighting it between your fingers with narrowed eyes. Thinking this gesture felt like an odd sort of power move from him, although his eyes were passive as they turned from you. You couldn't help but notice Arthurs displeasure at Alfie being the one to do your post-fight aftercare he'd been used to handling.

You regroup swiftly, the brothers gone, leaving you and Alfie to depart together.

"You mind if I take a bottle, boss?" you say, hoisting up your dress as you walk towards the bar.

"You got all the liquor in the world at home, luv." he says, moving his hands back and forth, dismissing the idea but your back is already towards him.

"I know but I want it for the drive home. I prefer my hard liquor to be earned after a job nowadays." you say with a laugh, leaning over the bar and grabbing a bottle of whiskey and walking towards the back door. "That got us?"

"That's got you, you sneak on to the car and I'll be out after I sort this out." he says, shooing you off with his hand.

"Yes, sir." you say with faux enthusiasm, hoisting up your dress in your arms to make it easier to get to the car.

Once you settle in with a swig and your cig, letting out a loud, pleasurable exhale of a job well done, you wait for Alfie. As you sit in the dark, having spent all your energy inside, and having still been so close to recovering from your last fight, you found yourself absolutely exhausted.

You rouse as he slides into the car with a grunt. You yawn as he settles.
"Good?" you ask with a stretch.

"Should be, yeah." he says with a nod as the car starts.

"That went pretty well I think." you say optimistically, settling your back against the seat, and into the coziness of his coat. Drinking from the bottle, looking miniature in the oversized coat and sleeves that hid your hands as they grasped at the bottle.

"Yeah it did." he says with an enthusiastic nod.

You nod in agreement, taking your shoes off and pulling your legs underneath you and your turn to face him, the side of your face on the back of the seat. "Alfie?" you ask, in that tone you know he recognizes.

"Yeah, luv?" he says with a half smile, voice holding amusement for your call of his name, reminding him of a cat meowing for treats.

"I'm completely fucking knackered." you admit with a lazy smile, your eyelids resting lower than usual.

He laughs at you. "Ya sleepy there little one?" he teases.

"Yeah, little ones sleepy." you say with a slow lazy chuckle, your head leaning back on the seat, you rest the bottle in the floor.

"Well ya earned your rest after that in there tonight," he says supportively.
"I believe my personal apology is in order after that wonderful show you put on. I shouldn't have questioned your judgment on the matter." he expresses genuinely, you feel him moving, speaking with his hands despite your eyes being closed. "Since ya keep goin' on and bein' right even with the odds stacked against ya." he says, not hiding that tone of being impressed and confounded at your behavior. "You'd think I'd learn." he tsks himself playfully.

"Now's not the time for praising pillow talk, Solomons, I'm tired." you smile, your eyes staying closed with your tilted back head, a smug grin on your face.
--
You wait until you're out of the city and away from the lights. "Safe to unbutton this coat now?" you ask, breaking the quiet of the cabin of the car.

"Yeah, take it off if ya want, we won't run into no trouble now." he says in a tone that tells you not to be silly, do what you want. You run with this unverified permission.

You unbutton all the buttons on the long jacket, feeling better as the air hits you, cooling you immediately. You fan it a few times until you shiver, scooting closer to him and putting your head on his shoulder.

"What's this now?" he says in a laugh. "Never had a business partner do this after a job." he teases.

"Well the jobs over." you state in a bratty tone. "And I'm very tired and it's a long drive." you explain in a small voice, invading his personal space.

"You're right. Jobs over, innit?" he says readjusting how he sits to accommodate you.

"You know if my doing this truly bothers you I'll stop. Just tell me." you say almost short with him. You were genuinely fighting to keep your eyes open.

"Go to sleep." he whispers in a gruff tone you reply with a short laugh and you curl up in the seat.

Chapter Text

 

 

He's standing in a side room of the bakery, bottom lip thrust under his mustache, staring at the door to the main warehouse. He's alone before everyone arrives. He's called you, his men have been instructed and now he waits in the quiet hum and ambient noise of the dusty sepia-toned room. He's focused, feet firmly planted, eyes half hidden under a heavy bro. His hand twitched about his pocket watch, anxious for the time to pass so his plans would be complete.

The brother of the smart-mouthed, recently tongueless Italian man you'd murdered at The Garrison had somehow found his way to him. He'd gone into the meeting with the expectation of it being some sort of con but it never came to pass. Therefore, he seized the opportunity to con them instead.

This man wanted you dead for family, the small group of men he ran with wanted you dead because they were paid to. He tells him he was behind the failed hit on you. Alfie nods slowly as the news hits his ears, the devilish smile that came across his face would've made a man with any intelligence flinch and run. But this one, blinded by his own stupidity and revenge wouldn't see Alfie coming until the bullet from the pistol in the drawer was already embedded into his skull. He accepts their proposal, spit in hand, calm distant eyes sending the men away without a suspicion in the world as to his deceit.

So he'd invited you to the warehouse for the evening, sighting he had something he couldn't bring home with him that he wanted to show you, he'd promised it would be a big surprise. He certainly was a man of his word. Even if he had twisted them to suit his needs in this instance. You believe him, and of course, you do. You trust him.

In following through with this plan, he felt a certain line crossed within himself. He was killing more Italians, that would miff Sabini, he was deceiving you by not telling you about the plan, but he needed you to not know so the men tailing you to the bakery would believe the sudden and swift arrest of you from your car was genuine. He had them do it in a location that would allow the men to not be able to reach the warehouse before Alfie would have all the other men killed before they arrived at the same fate. He has a duplicate car pull up slightly ahead of schedule and as the men on the roof steady to aim to take you out as you enter the bakery, Alfie has his men with their own guns in the shadows finish all but one for him.

So here he sits. In the muggy warehouse, staring at the metal double doors waiting, willing his needed outcome to come forth through that door. The man who hired him sits across from him in his office, he turns his face to the other side to the phone on his desk in anticipation, ringed fingers fidgeting in his beard, eyes alert and roaming. It rings, he excuses himself with a nod, putting his feet up on his desk, fingers on his free hand twisting the chain on his glasses as he nods and grunts into the receiver.

You're in custody. You're fine but you're furious. He can hear you screaming in the background, the muffled sounds of a door thudding rhythmically, he's sure you're vicious little feet are beating against it in a rage only a scorned woman knows, your hands in cuffs, the pretty dress you'd worn all askew. He informs them in his few, shadow-like words to give you the letter he'd written and make you as comfortable as possible. He hangs up the phone with a nod, hand moving smoothly to his desk drawer as the man looks down the long corridor outside of his office.

Alfie turns to see what he'd needed to carry through on the action he'd just started. Olli comes in, bringing in rum that had been promised earlier with the group's arrival.

"That the call for the kill?" the man asks, looking out towards Ollie as he walks down the long corridor.

"Preemptively, yeah, mate." he responds with a series of nods, pulling the pistol from his drawer and shooting the man in the head, point blank before he even knew what had hit him.

"Well." he sniffs. "'At's 'at, innit it?" he says with a nod, thumbing his nose. "You know what to do wif 'im." he grumbles, pulling on his coat as Olli approaches.

"Where shall I send the barrels, sir?" he asks, taking the gun from his hands.

"I 'ont fuckin' care...Timbuktu?" he says with an annoyed shrug. Grabbing his cane and heading back home to wait for your release.
----------------------------------
As soon as you're out of the station doors you're reminded of how furious you are at his actions. You see Joseph holding the door open to your car as you stomp your way across the street. You stop before you bend to enter the car.

"Did you know about this plan of his, Joseph?" you ask harshly, shaking the previously balled and thrown piece of paper that holds Alfie's excuses, your body language reading hostile.

"No. Absolutely not Miss!" he shakes his head, his eyes wide and apologetic. You hadn't truly suspected him to be in on it, he'd just been available to take your anger out on. "Mr. Solomons sent me to get you as soon he returned back to your estate."

"Take me to the bastard, Joseph." you groan as you pull your dress angrily into the car with you. You sat and stewed in how mad you were the whole ride home. How could he not tell you about this plan that involved you? How could he embarrass you? To allow you to be arrested and treated in such a way? Had you let him forget who you were and what you could do? What sort of man kills to defend you, but won't impart the knowledge of the plans to do so to you?

He's sitting in a turned out chair to be facing you as you enter the dining room. He can tell by the quick trot of your feet that you've not taken to his plan well. He'd expected this and sucks his teeth, followed by a deep breath. He'd hoped you'd understand his business strategy and take it in stride as part of being involved in business together. But apparently, you'd decided to take this partiiscularly personally. He rises from his chair, head down and waiting for the abuse that was almost guaranteed to occur.

"Alfie!" he hears you screech before the maid even finishes her greeting to you. No Mr. Solomons used in reference to business...he knew you'd taken it all entirely personally.

"In 'ere." he shouts towards the doorway, facing your wrath head-on. He hadn't expected you to come in with this level of intensity after the long drive home but rage seemed like something you were never typically short on.

"Who the fuck do you think you are Alfie Solomons?!" you shout as you appear in full revved up form to be framed by the doorway. You looked a bit worse for wear than he anticipated, his nose flinched just slightly with the feeling of guilt.

"Well ya went and answered ya own question dinnt ya sweetie?" he says, shaking his head in obvious response. He can hear your huff of breath from your side of the room as your shoulders and hips moved in an almost sultry tandem as you stalked towards him, your hands in fists at your sides and slowly rising.

"I am so far past my limit for your smart fucking mouth right now Alfie I swear to God!" you say shoving him with both hands on his shoulders, he moves back slightly.

"Geneveive, calm down, I only did it for your own good now, you can surely see that, yeah?" his face more than annoyed at you laying your hands on him. You didn't care you wanted to tackle him against the wall and choke him with his own cane.

"I don't need you to fix my problems for me, Alfie! And to not TELL ME?" you shout in his face. Your shorter form rising on your tip toes to press into his personal space, your shoulders squared, hands itching to grab hold of him and hurt him. "It was a consequence of MY OWN actions and you have NO right to interject like this!" you're shaking with anger, embarrassment, your pride was screaming for being assaulted in such a way. You feel like such a fool to have thought that he actually thought of you as an equal. You didn't need him to fit the role of protector for you because you didn't need or want it from him.

He opens his mouth to respond but you cut him off, your hand rising to point at his chest.

"You made me look like a fucking FOOL, Alfie! Leaving me in the dark like this?! I'm not some god damned damsel that needs to be fucking saved! Then I was fucking brutalized being put into that fucking police wagon?!" you screech, your body tensing so hard you jolt with the delivery of your words. He looks you over to see the bruises and scratches and tears in your dress to back up your statement, lump in his throat growing. "You don't try to pull the wool over my eyes when I'm the fuckin' WOLF Alfie! I am not some SHEEP to blinded from the harsh realities of our world!" you scream in anger, your face tensing as you do so, hands shaking.

"It weren't nothin' like that, Gen, yeah? They was gonna try to kill you either way, weren't they? I see now I was wrong to think you'd see it rationally and not take it so personally." he pauses to roll his eyes and take an exasperated breath. Your eyes go even wider somehow, your nostrils flared, your teeth bared.

You can't help that your hand raises back to slap him across the face. The edges of your vision are glowing red as you look at him. That smug, wide-eyed feined innocence to guilt in his defense of himself. He catches your hand by the wrist and his bottom lip disappears under his mustache, sitting under his flared nostrils that exhaled angrily at you.

"Now don't go actin' like a child on top of this fit you're throwing now, eh?" he says, his head dipping down closer to yours to speak with a hiss of anger. You have the thought to hit him with your other hand and as the impulses from your brain shoot down to your fist he reaches out to grab it before it moves, he shakes his head and glares down at you as you struggle mildly in hopes he'd just let you go. You're relieved and annoyed that he's smart enough not to. "Ya gonna go actin' like a little girl everytime I gotta do business with ya and somethin' don't go your way?" he asks with words dripping of condescendence. You don't see any reason not to push back if he's going to continue his avalanche of disrespect.

You're so angry you just elect to make a noise of frustration and butt his forehead with yours, you knock his hat off with the force. "How dare you speak to me like that." your voice is low and heavy as your brow right now, your face clearly reading hostile towards him.

"Or fuckin' what, Gen, yeah?" he asks, now more animated than he had been. He just uses his grip on your forearms to move your body and shove you away from him. "If ya go 'n hit me, yer only provin' me right, innit ya?" he asks, brushing his shirt off, leaning to reach for his hat that had hit the floor.

You don't think much in the next few seconds. Your muscle memory kicks in and you've tackled Alfie. Slamming against a side table that rested against the wall, knocking off candlesticks and vases of flowers before you take him down to the ground.

"Fuckin' hell, Genevieve!" he gruffs out as he moves to control your arms that are coming at him fast, your hands clawing at his throat to choke him. He uses his larger form to roll you over, pinning your legs down, you manage to get one arm free in the struggle, That one arm desperately grasping the ground above your head, it's met with the cold metal of a candlestick and you swing it at him like you're delivering a right hook and he moves off of you quickly, making the metal hit your tiled floor, cracking it. His eyes move to the chunk of misplaced floor your small but fierce frame has caused with the metal object. "Ya tryin' to fuckin' kill me?" he shouts, his eyes wide but a scoff still in his voice. You're already working on getting up as the object makes its impact, but he's already standing, knowing you aren't going to stop now unless he stopped you first. He knew of a knife you kept in a rather, intimate space on your body, and he knew he had to get it before you remembered you had it. This really wasn't how he'd wanted to get his hands on you.

"You don't deserve death you lying...patronizing...fucking... disappointment of a man!" you growl and pace your words with your movements, as you stand in a fighting stance. You lunge at him again, he spins and grabs you, holding your back against his chest and the constriction of your movements makes you shout and growl out in anger as he lifts your feet off the ground as you kick. "Get off me you fucking mongrel!" you shout and squirm. His forearm slips around your throat. You immediately kick the edge of the table, forcing his back with a hard thud into the wall behind him. Your hands hold a talon-like grip on his forearm, trying to force him away, causing your adrenaline to surge. Your hips are struggling against his, you feel one of his arms loosen and you aren't sure the cause of this for a moment until you feel his forearm grip even tighter around your neck. You squeak out as you feel his hand raising up your skirt. Your eyes are wide and you elect to use one of your hands, previously holding his arm back from restricting your air too much with, against his hand that was now grasping at your inner thighs. Your feet kick back and try to hit him but you're met with the stone of the wall behind him, you hit his legs and this proves to not be enough to deter him. You rasp out his name in hopes to appeal to his emotions, as your nails scratch up the back of his hand as it clumsily searches the apex of your thighs. If your face hadn't been red from the forearm against your throat it would have been now in a mix of intense vulnerability and another wave of rage. You gasp and realize what he's going after too late. His fingers tug the leather strap that sits high up your thigh and hip. You don't have time to dwell on the thought long of figuring out when he'd seen your thigh strap before. You feel the cold metal of his rings, the scratch of the sharp bits of the filigree surrounding the gemstones as his fingers slide in the crease of your squirming thighs, he tugs out the small switchblade-style knife.

You growl at him again, pushing one of your feet against his inner thigh, bringing your hips up enough to kick back and hit him in the general area of his balls. Which was good enough for you as he lets you go. He's doubled over, face just as red as yours, both gasping for breath. You grab his wrist and yank his hand that holds the knife away from him, taking it from him.

"You ever do business that involves me again without consulting me on it and I might just fucking kill you next time!" you shout, pointing at him with the knife still open. His screwed up expression face looks at you as he reaches over to hold himself up on the edge of the table. He rests his weight on his elbows, watching you as the plethora of emotions you were feeling plays across your face. You disappear in the direction of your wing, hiding your face before the tears that were in your eyes fell. He knows better than to chase you for any reason he may have, so he groans and shuffles his way back to his room.

Chapter Text

 

cos22

You experienced a vast array of shifting emotions. When you thought you had one under control, here came another one rearing its ugly head. So you do what you always do when you have too many emotions. You paint.

Claire sits, laid back on your fainting couch eating an apple with noisy bites, she's looking at the painting you finished last night.

"I mean I like it," she says with a shrug, her foot pointing at the painting, pulling up the hem of her sock. "It's a bit..." she chuckles. "immature, sure but I get where you're coming from." she says, sitting up in the chair and yawning.

You'd been up all night, barricaded in your studio painting in anger. You'd broken two brushes already from pushing too hard as you worked out your emotions in the paint. Claire had come to have breakfast with you in your studio as an act of solidarity against Alfie. You both knew the silent treatment wasn't the way to actually fix anything. But damn did it feel good to be petty when you were mad. And if you tried to talk to him while still being in the middle of your feelings then you'd say something you'd regret because you like to go for the throat verbally in a knee-jerk reaction that can make you say things you can't take back. You did have a professional and personal relationship to take into account here. You also lived with the man so avoidance really was more trouble than it was worth.

"It is childish but I quite like how it turned out." you walk up to her, sipping your tea. You place your finger to the dark black background to check if it's dry. You frown and wipe the paint on your apron. "I mean portraying him as some mediocre cartoonish devil villain isn't the peak of creativity but I think red skin suits his eye color." you say with a snort of a laugh. You'd painted a portrait, a soft focus stereotypical devil Alfie. Red skin, pointy teeth, and tail, big huge sweeping horns, a grin full of bad intentions across his plush poisonous lips.

"You should give it to him as a present." she says with a sleepy smile, only half joking.

"Perhaps if we come out on the other side of this intact than perhaps I will." you say with a shrug and a sigh, looking away.

"You wouldn't give it as an insult?" she asks with her head tilted before she takes another bite.

"Christ no, I worked hard on that. He doesn't deserve it," you say straightening your posture. "Besides I think the bastard would probably like it." you say, a smile fighting it's way to your lips as you think about the laugh he'd let out if he saw the painting.

"Yeah, you're probably right," she says with a nod, eyebrows high. "How's your newest going?" she asks, standing and slowly moving towards the smaller canvas. "What are you doing here?" she asks, tilting her head as you stand next to her, arm to arm, as you crowd in front of the painting.

"After I painted my anger and it faded, I felt the shame kick in as usual and found myself exploring that deep running vein and found myself here," you say, your hand open and presenting the unfinished work.
"I can't tell what the fuck it is Gen," she says, laughing into her tea. You knock her with your elbow and cause her to spill her tea just slightly. "Oh fuck off now." she says with a laugh, leaning away to take a noisy sip.

"You're so rude," you say in a very amused voice because to anyone else this was a red and black mess currently. "It's his lips." you say in a frustrated way. Claire raises an eyebrow.

"Saucy choice. Interesting. Explain." she asks with a bowed head, putting her hand on your shoulder, her head on it, dragging out her words.

"Well ya know how he got all up in my bits after that knife and me being the untouched virgin I am," you don't plan to pause for your joke but Claire snorts in your face.

"Yes. Virginal. You would have to not have sex for at, minimum, twenty years to make up for the naughty things you've been into." she says in a low droll, teasing tone.

"It feels as though it's been longer than 20 already," you admit with a humorously anxious expression. "And apparently his big pouty, smoochable, lips of his, hiding that serpent tongue inside just keep distracting me most of all...because that's what's come out." you exhale. "It's a close up of lips here...the forked tongue out this way and down...it's all going to be wet and glossy lookin' and a touch gross," you say rather flatly. "I think it'll be an interesting addition."

"I hate it when they have smoochable lips too," she says in solidarity, nodding and looking at the splotches of paint and lines of graphite. "It's right on their face where you can't miss it and if I don't want to slap it then I want to kiss it and it never leads anywhere good."

"Because of the serpent tongue inside," you say with raised eyebrows.

"That fucking serpent tongue will get us, educated girls, every time won't it?" she sighs, taking her weight off of you.

"If only I wasn't attracted to men at all." you sigh, "Then I could do be a lesbian and they've certainly got the right idea, don't they?" you snort out as she nods and shares the sentiment.
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"Are you included in the lot that's shunned me, Agatha?" Alfie says with a very warm and sweet tone that Aggie is weak to.

"Oh don't you come at me with that Mr. Solomons," she says, shaking her head and folding sheets. "If you want to know about our Gen then just ask." she says with an obvious, knowing tone.

He sighs and slumps his shoulders. "She's not been down for a meal in two days. Now, this breakfast as well?"

"I know that." Aggie says, making him use his words.

"I know she's mad and we left on bad terms but is she just gonna stay locked away in her own house forever? That don't sound like the Gen I know." he says, chin pushing into his chest with an annoyed look on his face.

"She does this when she knows she can't face her problem because she's too emotional." she gives him a side eye, giving him a bit of what he wanted to know. "She's been in her studio painting it out," she adds, smashing down the air filled layers of bed linens. "She'll come down when she knows she won't kill you any longer," she states obviously, picking up the full basket. "So I hope you're as patient of a man as I pray you are, Mr. Solomons," she adds, looking up at him from under her brow. "Because last I checked she still wanted to."

He turns to watch her leave, eyes narrowed. It'd been days and you still wanted to kill him on sight. Well things weren't looking up at all were they?
=------------------------
He knows you're out of the house. It's been two more days since he'd talked to Aggie. You'd come down for meals but you'd been very short with him and made no eye contact. He was making progress but he wanted to speed this up and needed intellect seeing as he'd not been in this situation with you before.

He sneaks into your wing, up the spiral stairs, and into your studio. He stands hunched, hands around the knob as the door quietly clicks shut. He looks around the room and takes a deep breath before moving farther into it. A larger canvas sits with it's back towards him, drying in the sun, he assumes. A smaller one sits on the raised platform in the room where your paints and brushes and stool rest. He sees the black and red paint, plentifully smudged across the apron that rests on the small table. He steps up and turns so he can see what you're working on. He's a bit taken aback. He wasn't sure what to expect but this was, rather sensual he thought. It reminds him of the painting above your bed, serpent around the woman's body, and here were lips parted with a serpentine tongue peeking out of them. It had the strangest feel like you'd painted something from a dream and made it real. The soft focus and combination of hyper-realistic spit and shine make his face unknowingly to him at the time, move into a thoughtful pose. He realizes it apparently hadn't just been his actions that had hurt you but his words, as the reference was obvious. That same guilt that was still panging away on his insides starts to stir again.

He remembers the larger painting and approaches it. Now, this is more what he had expected. Here was his mad little Genny. He takes in the portrait of himself. Eyes calm and raking over it. He finds himself starting to laugh. The drama of it all. The way his eyes pierced through the darkness and shadow of the rest of the painting was striking, really. He thought the horns were fantastic, he hoped he could get you to paint him without the red skin next time and keep the horns. He's still laughing as he considers the pointed tail and puts his hand over his mouth to keep quiet. Seeing your anger clearly, radiating off the severity of color and light but the way you've made him so good looking feels extremely promising to him. The not subtle visage of him being the devil entertained him on many levels. He takes in the painting with a sweeping motion one last time, savoring it before he leaves.

He was thankful to not be painted in a scene with a sword to his throat honestly. He'd always thought you a bit of a Judith, to be honest, but he was glad he wasn't the king in this scenario. He could see you were mad, but it wasn't as murderous as he anticipated. He knows there are good odds that he can fix this, so he ponders where to place his bets. He just has to do something to get you to talk to him. Something to show he wasn't just another man to let you down. A disappointment, you'd called him. He didn't want to be among that company. You were far too valuable to not be willing to compromise to keep on his side. He needed something big.
----
You walk into your home through the front door. As soon as the sunlight is off your skin the strong smell of lavender hits you. Your eyes adjust, then go dramatically wide at the sight before you. There are rows of baskets of lavender in the entryway. Aggie is pushing them to the side, making a pathway to the door.

"I believe he's bought all the lavender in London, dear!" she exclaims, shaking her head. It'd been days since you and Alfie had your fight. You'd avoided him, cold shoulder, no words spoken, no downtime spent near him. You'd hated it. As much as you loved fighting, when it came to actual things that involved those close to you, you loathed it. It made the air tense and it reminded you of being in trouble as a child and the feeling liked to make you nauseous. But you had still ignored him out of spite. Aggie holds out a small envelope to you and you rip it open quickly.

"I might not think I'm wrong. But I know you're right. I'm sorry. " you hand falls heavy at your side as you let out a frustrated sigh, wrinkling the paper in your tightening grasp. You look over the filled room, the air heavy with the smell you were fond of. "Fuck me, the wankers went and bought me a field of lavender as an apology hasn't he?" you let out a high pitched, nervous huff of a laugh, your shocked face looking over to your friends.

"Oh, that is...nauseatingly romantic," Claire says, walking into view, her expression as if she'd tasted something terrible, arms crossed. "That's... worrisome is what that is. This feels like an actual attempt at an apology, doesn't it?" she says shaking her head and lightly kicking a basket.

"Well shit." you groan, "Here I was faltering in my rage and then he goes and does something like this." you say in a sigh, agreeing with Claire on the romantic bit.

"It's not a boat but...?" Claire grins with a shrug, joking about the outrageous gift you'd received before.

"This isn't as expensive no, but..." you sigh, your face frowning as the flowers tickle your ankles as you move about the baskets. "But this is far more personal, isn't it?" you scrunch your nose, looking to Claire who shares your expression, nodding in agreement with a worried look on her face.

"I have to say...I know I like to fluff the boy up so you'll marry him, but this is the nicest thing I've ever witnessed a man do," she says still dumbfounded and a bit in love with the man herself. "And for someone he's not even courting!" she adds with attitude.

"Don't forget he's apologizing for fighting and lying." you snap back with a side eye.

"He killed all those men for you! Yes, you both handled it terribly but he was protecting you, Genevieve! Like a man is supposed to!" her voice is pleading with you.

"I'm not even going to begin pointing out the terribly disturbing things you just said and instead remind you that we are where we are today because of me and not a man." you shake the paper at her. "This is a very grand gesture and something I actually find grotesquely endearing but I am not forgetting what he did. I may forgive him. But I'm not going to forget it." you say, stuffing the paper back into the envelope and heading to your room.
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You're laying on the cold stone floor, the baskets of lavender all around you making you feel relaxed as you look up at the sky through the window at the top of the dome in the ceiling. You're waiting for Alfie to get home. You hear him pulling up the drive and stand, you wait in silence until he shuts the door.

You're waiting for him near a ray of moonlight beaming from the ceiling. "What is all this fuss about, Solomons?" you ask, the envelope in your hand. His heart races at the unexpected sound of your voice. Closing his eyes as he turns to start taking off his coat and taking a deep breath, preparing for whatever you were about to bring down on him.

"Well I fucked up, dinnit I?" he says, setting down his coat. You nod in agreement, face indifferent. "I had to do something big to try 'an start makin' it up to you." he holds his palms up and out in an offering of the idea to you as he approaches after hanging his hat.

"This is certainly big," you say, your eyes meeting his. "What's this about then?" you hold up the paper.

"I do not believe that killin' those men so they wouldn't kill you was the wrong move. I saw a clear opportunity for a blindside and I took it, yeah?" his tone is only slightly defensive.

"Okay." you say, face and tone flat.

"But I shouldn't have lied to you. That very specifically was wrong." he reaches out and takes your hand. "And I do apologize for that." he gives you a series of short nods to emphasize his words. "Those coppers weren't supposed to be so rough on ya neither. Had a word with them about it, I did." he says his brow furrowing just slightly at recalling the memory.

"I'm also sorry for laying hands on you that way I did." he retreats his hands at the admission.

You sigh heavily and hold his gaze. "Ugh." you groan, your shoulders slumping. "You really are sorry, aren't you?" you frown up at him, sounding disappointed with the news. You'd never had a man rise to the occasion for you before. But here he was, meeting you where you had wanted him to go.

"I am Genevieve, yeah." he nods, his voice low but avid.

"I'm sorry I came at you like I did." you bat your lashes at him in a showing of defeat accompanying a sigh. "I'm still upset with you, don't misunderstand." you give him a soft smile. "But that will fade if you truly are sorry and your actions reflect the same notion." you offer politely.

"They will, luv and I started with buyin' you yer own field of lavender to run away to like you used to, yeah? Thought that might make ya happy." he squeezes your hand and you unwillingly give him a sweet smile. "Anytime us men go 'n act like fuckin' wankers, yeah? Anytime you get upset," he smiles down at you, selling his intention. "You can go and hide like you did when you was a girl, can't ya?" He asks with a push of hopefulness in his voice. "You remember tellin' me all that or was it all wine at that point in the evenin'?" he asks with a low chuckle that gives him a smile big enough to show teeth.

"I remember," you say with a sigh, looking out across the room. "I'm impressed you remember though." you admit with a tilt of your head. How dare he impress you.

"I know I talk a whole fuckin' lot but I can also listen. Yeah? And you've been nothin' but good to me, Genevieve." He takes your hand again. "I may be a right bastard sometimes, but I don't wanna treat ya like that. You deserve better than that now, doncha?" he asks, his head dipping towards yours.

"I do," you answer just above a whisper, looking back up at him. "Thank you for apologizing." you put your hand on top of his. "Thank you for the flowers." you continue sweetly. You swallow and your brow lowers, the sweetness in your face faded fast. You step closer to him, your hands held together pushed between your bodies. "Thank you for not taking their money." his eyes shift and they look confused for a moment before they're shrinking under a heavy brow.

"Never crossed my mind to do such a thing to ya." he answers in a hushed voice with no hesitation. Your stomach hurts for a fleeting moment because much to your surprise, he meant that.

"And thank you for killing those men." you say in a whisper, leaning closer to him.

"Weren't nothin'." he says with a dismissive tone, his face frowning with his words.

"I'll forgive you, Solomons." you say with a smile, your eyes locked. "Don't expect me to forget, though." a hint of warning in your voice.

"Smart woman like you, I'd expect nothing else." he says obviously, his hand bobbing yours in unison with his statement.

"You are so sickeningly sweet when you want to be, aren't you?" you sigh, a small subtle but more expressive look falls upon his face. "I don't have a field of flowers for you so this will have to suffice in its place," you say light-heartedly. You press your lips against his, your fingers gently placed on his jaw. It felt like the right thing to do, some gesture of your own to show your apology. His lips give against yours, but the rest of him stills. A single drawn-out press that you pull away from briefly as you consider, for a weak moment continuing the kiss.

Your eyes still shut, you don't see his eyes open as you pull away, seeing that fraction of a second of hesitation, his eyes closing again as he fights the confusing feelings that bubble up from the slightly open mouths that share the same breath for a moment. You feel him furrow his brow, his lips holding yours tightly, still against each other. You feel that shudder-inducing tingle in your spine for a moment before you part, signally the reboot fo your brain after the assault your defenses systematically failed to withstand. Pulling you back before you make any more bad decisions tonight.

"Don't make me regret my mercy, Solomons." you whisper against his lips before you pull away. You turn and leave him in the hunched pose, only his eyes moving to watch you leave. You don't hear him so much as breathe as you make your way to your room, your feet carrying you much more quickly than you had meant them too.
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You're in bed, the curtains not pulled to. The lights are out and the hall light is on as you see the sliver of light under your door. You'd let your fingers take your mind to another place where it didn't matter who you were or who he was, that consequence-free place you preferred to be when your hands made their way between your thighs. You move your busied hands to the bed, pushing yourself up as you think you hear something.

The sound of footsteps come up the stairs through your wing door you'd left open in your hurried escape. You hear the step-step-click of Alfie. Your heart still slightly raised from the activities the sound had interrupted, you feel it race again at the realization. You keep your eyes on the sliver of light, the shadows showing his standing in front of your door. You hold your breath. The air felt thick and tense. It was like a weight settled on your chest as your body tensed at the thought of what could bring him to your room this late.

The shadows shift only slightly. You think you're fooling yourself but you think you could hear him, it was probably your own heartbeat in your ears. You don't know how long he stays, it feels like hours when it's over. Your body slumps back on the bed as the footsteps retreat down the stairs and back into the main hall.

"Fucking hell..." you whisper aloud to yourself, your head rolling to the side to glance at the clock. You were afraid you knew the answer. What other reason do men come to women's rooms at 3 in the morning?

Chapter Text

cos23

He's sitting on a stone bench in the garden, coffee in his cup, sipping noisily and admiring the countryside and sunrise on a lazy morning. He's watching the lavender he gave you move in the breeze, most it now planted in an empty section of the field near the edge of your pre-existing garden. The rest littered the garden, bunches of it placed among the low lying flowerbeds, the last bit of it put into a large decorative planter that you'd placed in front of the window in your bathroom. You'll call him in when you're in the bath sometimes, bubbles masking the surface of the water. Bits of flowers, petals, and herbs scattered throughout the rolling hills of the soft mounds you set flight to as your lips pursed and blew. If he remembered the sight of you, what you'd asked him on each occasion couldn't be recalled with it. He just knows he's seen you breaking pieces off and using in your baths and your little bottles of oils and perfumes you made. The smell of the lavender he'd bought you slowly penetrated your hair and skin over the days into weeks of using it. He couldn't help but feel smug at the thought that you went out into the world smelling like something that would remind you of him in some way.

His thoughts and the near silence of the early morning are broken as he hears hooves. He gazes out, seeing a horse riding over the rolling field that lay before the forest on your land. You're atop the horse, galloping in, your hair bouncing with the rest of you. It had blown back, the long braid loose and messy down your back. The first rays of light just starting to break through the gloom of the morning, he can see the heat coming off you as you slow and dismount. As you approach he see's you're wearing another old fashion choice in dress, this one including a corset. The light white fabric of the sleeves, open front shirt underneath the tight fitting plain bodice over a layered skirt that was gathered up into your lap as you held it as you rode. He clears his throat, eyebrows rising as he's noticed the garters that hold up your stockings, worn underneath your riding boots. He found himself quite fond of the look. His eyes continue to watch you as you fix your skirt, hair, and chest as you call out for the man who works in the barn, the horse's reins in your hands. He decides to cut his morning reflection short to investigate.

"What' are you doin' up this early ridin' about?" he asks in a gruff shout as he crosses the dirt path from the garden to the barn.

"Good Morning, Alfie." you say, you scratch your head and mumble to yourself, distracted, walking the horse into the long line of stalls in this side of the barn.

He scoffs and laughs, hands on his hips are you blatantly ignore him. His shoulders still shaking in amusement as you walk farther into the barn, he stands and waits as he sighs and shakes his head at you.
---
Alfie has elected to stay outside the barn, getting to watch you walk with a stomping purpose back towards him, rolling your sleeves up over your elbows.

"I was distracted by Essie, I didn't hear a word you said." you say, shaking your head with a laugh as you crack your knuckles on approach.

"Forgiven, dear." he says with a dismissive shake of his head and wave of his hand. "I was inquiring about what ya doin' ridin' around so early." he politely explains again.

"I ride out before dawn to the forest quite frequently," you say, your face and chest flushed, he notices your hair with varied bits of leaf and twig stuck in its soft waves, you reminding him of some sort of forest nymph. "I have a spot for Essie to graze and run while I take off to the woods much like a rabbit, runnin' and jumpin' and carryin' on." you say with an easy going expression, your eyes bright. "Gets the blood flowing, ya know?" you tilt your head and wrinkle your nose. "Keeps me in fighting shape." you nod and raise your skirts as you take a pitchfork in your hand and move towards a stall. "Gotta stay on top of these things for work." you conclude sweetly before you move from his sight into the stall.

"I did know you rode." he chimes in, surprised to find you shoveling the contents of the stall into a barrow in the corner.

"What kind of little rich girl would I be if I didn't know how to proper ride a horse?" you say with a laugh, wiping your face with your forearm.

"Is that why you wear a corset to do it?" he smirks and you turn with narrowed eyes and a half smile.

"In part," you say, your eyes looking up for a moment. "When you're plentifully proportioned in such a feminine manner, as I am," you say with a cheeky smirk that compels him to mirror the expression. "You have to have support to ride a horse. Don't want to knock myself out or break my back." you say indifferently.

"I've always thought of corsets as a pleasing aesthetic choice, did not occur they would help in such a way." he beams that cake eater grin at you and you give him a scolding but still warm glance, a heavy sigh quickly follows and you shake your head at him.

"I'm sure there are lots of things you don't know about the reality of dealing with such aesthetically pleasing things." you jeer.

"Also didn't know shoveling shit was something you bothered yourself with, eh?" he asks with crossed arms and a raised brow.

"Well I'm having Winston look after Ess and this was the last chore he needed to be finished before he could leave for holiday, didn't want to keep the man away from his new baby any longer than I already had." you said, he thought he might've heard a touch of guilt in your voice.

"Here, gimmie that ya milk maid lookin' thing." he laughs, holding his hand out for the fork in your hands. You purse your lips at him, shoving the fork further into the hay.

"I am perfectly capable of doing it myself, thank you." you say with a smile but a defensive tone.

"I didn't say you weren't, but I'm a bigger lad than you, eh?" he asks, fingers gripping into his palm for you to hand it to him.

Your shoulders slump and you move to carry what's on the fork into the barrel but one hand slips in your distraction, knocking the metal of the handles of the wheelbarrow, and with the force you exerted to take the heavyweight over, the handle snaps in your hand.

"BAISEUR DE LA MERE!" you shout, one hand immediately covering the other as your shoulder shoves past him quickly. He sees the blood on the splintered handle that rests on the ground now. He hurries after you. You're cursing in anger, your face set in an angry pose that would have been adorable if the anger behind your eyes hadn't been so hot. You see Ess in the far stable, as you trot back to Alfie. "Winston's gone, I'll need to fuckin' clean and bandage this fuckin'-" you let out an angry growl, foot stomping as you bend slightly. "MERDE qui fait mal!" you laugh loudly, madly, holding your hands to your chest, taking deep slow breaths. "Enfer." you grumble as Alfie jogs away from you and you follow less enthusiastically as his loud voice booms across the garden.

"OI!" he booms across the flowers. His tone and word choice reminding you of boys from your school days. "Don't fuckin' see no one. You need me to go? I don't know where it's at but-"

"No, wait I'm sure it's not as bad as it seems-" you explain, not moving your hands apart, afraid to be proven wrong.

"OI!" he yells again, making you roll your eyes with no real annoyance in your face for him, only at the volume with which he announced his displeasure. "Imma go tell 'em." he mumbles out before he moves away quickly. He returns just as fast. "You need to hire girls who know where the fuck things are Genny." he says, annoyance in his voice. You tilt your head at him in question. "She said she didn't know where it was either but she'd go find out and bring it." he rolls his eyes, hands on his hips.

"It's fine. Just help me sit and we'll use this skirt to stop the blood for a bit. I don't feel faint or anything, I think it hurts more than the damage warrants. Lots of nerves in the hand, ya know." you say with a sweet smile to off set your rough words.

"Here, luv." he says sweetly, holding your elbow and sitting you on a stone step outside the barn. "Want me to tear a piece off?" he asks, the hem of your dress in his taut hands.

"Go on." you give permission. You groan as he pries your shaking hands apart, wiping off the non injured one first, setting it down on your dress, his strong hands are so gentle as they move you about the wrist. You can see the cut is near your thumb in your palm. You make a disgusted noise and shake your head. "Bollocks." you mumble with a sigh. He wraps the fabric around snuggly, you wince a bit but beyond that, his touch is like a whisper.

"You'll be just fine, least it wasn't your dominant hand." he's looking towards the house as he speaks, his hands taking yours between his, still holding a pressure to the cut. You were somehow flattered by his knowledge of which hand you wrote with, then you realize you also know his. Your brow would have furrowed if it hadn't already been from pain. You stop to study his hands as he holds yours, his impatient expression still looking over your shoulder. Your arms are pushed together by his holding of your hands, your bodies are directly up against each other, arms and thighs almost on top of the other as he'd pulled you to him to inspect you.

"You're going to make me nervous for no reason if you keep acting like this." you insist, eyes wide up at him, your doe-eyed expression catching him off guard as he'd been distracted by your aloof maid's incompetence.

"Uhh.." he stutters out, chin pushing back into his neck. "Sorry luv, that rocks for brains little girl got me frustrated." he says with a sigh.

"Then let's distract ourselves, shall we?" you suggest with a tilt of your head. He gives you a soft nod and smile. "Since they are directly in my vision, I can't help but be pulled to ask you about your tattoos, Alfie." you suggest. His head moves in small quick movements in surprise, looking down to his hands.

"Ah." he says with a quick series of nods. "You curious as to why I've got the crowns, eh?"

"How could I not be?" you say with a sweet grin.

"I got 'em after the war." he declares after a deep breathe before he elaborates, indulging your curiosity of him." The story starts before 'at though." he says shaking his head, brow low, face looking out towards the garden, being lit by the sun as it rises over the hills. Your eyes float across his handsome features as he speaks in his animated and captivating way when he tells stories. "'Spose me scrappin' and fightin' about as a boy was the true beginning," he says with a shrug. "But boxin' was where it became more than something that kept me occupied in my free time at school." his stare moves to meet the one you'd been giving him. You notice the sun picking up the yellow flecks in his blue eyes as he speaks "I's a touch good at it, yeah?" he says with a wrinkled nose, nodding over at you.

"I can imagine." you say looking up at him, your heart thumping at the thought, your adrenaline fading as he continued to speak.

"After the war I knew that weren't what I wanted to go back to. But it did certainly help save my arse more than a few times." his eyebrows raise in emphasis. "I was a Captain, right? "N as it came to pass you have to fight your own when you're fighting others sometimes." his nostrils twitched slightly in a tiny tell that tells you the memories could still bother him if he let him. "Whether there were words or drink or just being fuckin' stir-crazy we'd brawl," he says as if it's common knowledge. "With my position, there were many names I'm sure they called me," he lets out a huff of a laugh. "But the ironic usage of righteous fists in the insults they would whisper behind my back was always my favorite," he says in a whisper, nodding his head at you. "Somethin' about it."His eyes narrow and move away from you, darting about the garden again. "Even said in such hateful ways you can't help but feel a certain respect in the title. I ended up fightin' when I'd drink too much for all the wrong reasons and I'd win every time." he turns his face back towards yours, you make sure to lift up your half-lidded eyes. "Not a brag so much as a fact." he nods sincerely, face set softly to sell his point. " Wasn't exactly clean fighting, as you might be able to imagine." he almost mumbles, frowning slightly for a moment before his eyes twitch again and it disappears.

"I can." you say quietly to show you're listening. You notice you've been biting your lip and change this fact as soon as you realize. You hate to admit you'd let yourself almost get flustered at the power that came off him as he told his tale. The thought of him bare-knuckle boxing and then the number of men he'd been victorious over admittedly had done something for you on a deeper, darker, more animalistic level.

"I don't like to dwell on the memories from the war but that dunnit mean they're all useless." his words start high pitched and more to a deep rumble as he speaks, he looks down at his hands." I got myself out of the mouth of hell more than once with the help of these fists." the slightest hint of pride in his voice. "Seemed proper to remind meself of that." he gives that funny little face, his exaggerated frown when he wants to show his support for his point. "And to warn others I can send 'em back to their makers by my own judgment." he adds, a tilt of his head, his voice back to soft." 'N remind me that I still have yet to meet mine." his voice was growing more gritty as he continued sharing.

It hits you hard how dark and powerfully sexy his words were feeling to you. "That story is far much elaborate than I could've imagined. I can't help but be terribly interested when you speak to me of yourself in such ways. I love knowing what darkness motivates you." you show a supportive half smile, your head tilted towards his earnestly.

"I've seen your paintings, Gen. You don't fear the darkness in the same way others do." he shakes his head just slightly, looking down at you with a question in his eyes and voice.

"Same as you?" you bat your lashes up at him, your lips parted just slightly. He doesn't know if you mean to come off so seductively but you do nonetheless. As you lean forward to speak to him, he looks away, his peripheral vision aching at the noticing of how your breasts heaved when you slumped your shoulders to speak closely with him.

"Certainly seems so, yeah?" he gruffs out, eyes lowering to your chest as you look out the garden with a thoughtful smile and a nod.

"You know I'd thought of getting a tattoo before..." you say in a light-hearted way, smiling down at his hands. He lets out a sudden, high pitched scoff.

"Now why the hell would you go and mark up a gift from god like 'at?" the words blurt out, sounding like a disciplinary scold, his face turned up in an expression of pure confusion and perhaps even disgust at the suggestion. The red reaching his face as his clumsy and boarish delivery of the words hits him. Your eyebrows shoot up in surprise at the delivery of his opinion, you fight back a patronizing smile and choose to speak softly to counteract his knee-jerk reaction.

"Well," you say with a half smile, looking off to the side to nothing in particular. "I'm quite fond of them on men so I thought I would be fond of them on myself as well." you say with an entirely mischievous smile, he knows you've seen the crack in his calm facade in reaction to your feminine charms. You see his eyes, although skilled at not getting caught looking at you in ways he liked to pretend he didn't, grasping at the chances you give him consciously and not to look at you. In particular your breasts. Which were, in his defense, very distracting to a fan of the female form such as himself and in this corset nonetheless. The compliment isn't missed by his hungry mind as you noticed his Adam's apple bob up and down noticeably.

"You don't need no further decoration, luv. Believe me." he recovers in a gruff tone, his head swiveling about and not meeting your eyes. You can't help but be endeared to his boyish behavior. Getting his feathers ruffled over you getting hurt so simply, his opening up to you, the fumbled words from his suppressed impulses your body sent his way; a big, grown man like him getting flustered over some cleavage was for possibly the first time in years you can recall, something you found yourself getting turned on by. It seems you did have a soft spot for weak men, but the catch was, the weakness had to be you.
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It's another slow Saturday morning, Alfie sat in the study putting the papers away on his desk. He hears a high pitched squeal from you from the front door and he carries himself with a jog to the sound.

You've got your arms wrapped around Tommy's son, Charlie. He's on your hip and he's very weakly defending himself from your assault of kisses to his round little face. "How is Auntie's little gentleman? Look at you gettin' so big! I could eat those chubby cheeks right off your face!" you baby talk him enthusiastically, making 'nom' sounds and blowing raspberries on his face as he laughs and squirms. Tommy is closing the door behind him as Alfie rounds the corner, he's laughing quietly and smiling as Charlie tries to answer questions.

"Afternoon, Alfie." Tommy greets the man as he approaches, they share a mutual pat on the shoulder.

"It is." he gruffs out, looking at you as he speaks to Tommy. "Didn't know you were coming in today, mate."

"He's here on business and surprised me with this little man." you coo affectionately, bouncing the boy around.

"Well, I knew you'd want to see him. He likes driving around in the new car anyway." he shrugs slightly, hands in his pockets.

"Business, eh?" Alfie asks, looking back at Tommy.

"Don't be nosey, Alfie." you say, walking towards them both. "If you need to know, you'll know." you say with a non-threatening smile. You give Charlie one last smooch before handing him off to Aggie. "Shall we get the business over with so we can all enjoy each others company?" you suggest in a politely enthusiastic way. "I've got an adorable godson to spoil if you don't mind." you say matter of factly as you walk towards your office.
-------------------
You're sitting on the front of your desk as Tommy speaks to you of a job proposition. A nouveau riche man, coat-tailing on a politician cousin has been throwing his weight around on the wrong people. Literally on girls that work for Tommy and figuratively with his drunken rants that begin with "Do you know who I am?". Tommy didn't go into specifics but he didn't have to.

"I had heard words spoken of the man but until the girls brought him to my attention I didn't think much of it. Once they told me what he had done to them, and rumored to have done to others, I knew you were the woman for the job."

That's all he'd had to say. He could ve lead with that and shook hands and been done honestly. Tommy knew a lot about you. He knew more about you than any other Shelby. More than Polly and even more than Arthur. After jobs in years past, you had spent the occasional very drunken night together talking. It'd all start with a drunken blurting out of something about Grace. You'd both be left raw and the stories just came tumbling out. As much of a pain in the arse he was, he had always kept your secrets. And of course, you'd kept his. So from these quiet confessions, you cathartically purged previous pain of your lives. Spoken into the flames of a dying fire, your pouring and drinking to kill that pain still very much alive.

Because of the nature of the stories told, he knew you preferred to take on jobs that required murder if you thought the person deserved it. Due to the nature of this man's crimes and your stories told, Tommy came to you when he found out a man causing trouble had harmed women because he knew you'd say yes. You had yet to fail him on a job and he was noticing that Alfie was also catching on to how much your allegiance was worth. This didn't bother him in the slightest, he honestly wanted to encourage it. The thought had crossed his mind more than once that if you and Solomons were to join forces, that would mean mutually assured loyalty of Solomons through your orders. He'd only ever known you to be, and frustratingly so at times, a loyal person to those you loved, and as much as you claimed not to like him, he couldn't help but think you counted him amongst those you were loyal to. He didn't see this as changing anytime soon, and you wouldn't let Alfie harm him if you had any control over it, and he suspects a woman like you would certainly have control over a lot of things in a relationship.

So this power hungry pig was known for his fondness of burlesque starlets. It would be easy to get him alone for the purpose of seduction. The man thought he was clever, thinking that dancers couldn't possibly be threats. He'd send his men away, except his driver who Tommy said he could have taken care of with no work needed on your behalf.

"And where will this be happening? You don't own a bar with a stage." you say, holding your hand out to ask for an explanation.

"That's why I wanted the meeting here and on a Saturday afternoon." he says with a subtle smug smile and you nod.

"You want to use Alfie's club," you state, lips pursed, looking at the door, wondering if the bugger was eavesdropping. "You want me to go grab him or ask him later?" you sigh out, swinging your head back towards Tommy.

"I'd actually like to speak to him alone first if you don't mind." he says in an indifferent way. You sigh and stand.

"If he'll speak of business on Shabbat." you say sarcastically with a closed mouth smile.

"He's not trying to sell you that holy routine is he?" he shakes his head, eyes rolling but an amused look on his face.

"No, but I do find his hypocrisy and blasphemy highly amusing." your chuckle shakes your shoulders as you leave the room to send Alfie in.
-------
After being informed to the situation, the plan and the inquiry to use his club to do it Alfie sits back in your chair at your desk, hands on his stomach, shoulder hunched and brow low, clearly hesitant.

"I've kept the place quiet so far mate, best not mix things up right now. Not with the way the politicians are actin' skittish after our last job." he says, his face less tense but still unhappy.

"This man's cousin will not mind him gone. I'll clean it up. I just need a controlled environment." he offers, shrugging his shoulder. "Since Genevieve would be in a reasonable amount of danger with this rather large and strong man alone, I thought you might prefer to be around if anything did not go according to plan." he offers in a voice that is too still and calm to not make Alfie's eyes narrow at the man in offense to his assumptions of him.

A "Hmph." of consideration was the only response given to him for using you as a means to appeal to his emotions. He wasn't sure how he felt about the man's boldness to suggest he'd care about such a thing. Even if he was exactly correct in his presumption.

"If I know I can trust the owner of the establishment and the men in it, that lessens the probability that something will go awry significantly," he states with an easy going nod, presenting the attempt at persuasion and using you as a piece of the negotiation. "And we both know we can trust her, eh?" he offers, leaning forward with a nod of his head towards the door.

"You'll clean it up?" he asks, fingers tapping together in front of his face. "I just gotta give you a place for her to dance and 'ats it? You handle all the planning and dirty work?" he leans with his elbows on the desk.

"Every bit of it." he says convincingly.

"You got them political connections now, dontcha? Running for office and what not." he huffs out a laugh. "This a job for 'em?" he asks, tilting his head. "A favor among the aristocracy?" he lets out an amused breathy chuckle.

"Not exactly, no. It being at your club should bring no suspicion to you with the ends I have tied up." he says with a subtle purse to his lips, head tilting back at the man to show he wasn't backing down.

"So ya just use me place and ya payin' me? Is this what I'm to take away from this?" he asks, hands out in question.

"Yes, Alfie, that's what I'm offering." he states very matter-of-factly.

Alfie spits in his hand, Tommy follows suit as they move to open the door to include you in on the conversation.

Chapter Text

The sun is starting to fall behind a line of hills, the dying light casting spots of lights through the long windows in your dance hall. You're practicing your routine for the show to reel in the big fish. You have two large ostrich feather fans, that you had seen at the shows in Paris with the near starkers dancing girls and you'd always been a fan. Never danced yourself, but you'd always wanted to.

You have a multi-layered outfit. Currently, you're in the nudest layer, which only looked risque you thought. A tight corset, perfectly matched color to your skin tone. Same tone small bottoms that grazed ever so perfectly over the swell of your bum. All of it satin and delicately decorated in lace, adorned with rhinestones. A sheer robe, disguised as a long flowing dress would start the routine but be removed very shortly after you begin. Under it, a small feather wrap around your hips to match the fans you were delicately spinning about your body. You're scooting about in your sparkling heels, practicing your turns in the large mirror to the beat of the song you'd chosen.

"Mr. Solomons!" Aggie calls out before she enters the study.

"Yes, what do you need of me miss?" he charmingly smiles up at her from his desk.

"Genevieve has been upstairs all afternoon and I'm having a bit of a situation in the kitchen. Would you mind terribly to do an old woman's knees a favor and fetch her for tea?" she lightheartedly implores.

"Don't be silly, Agatha." he says, shutting his book and placing his hand on her shoulder as he leaves the room. "I'll go fetch our Genny." he says, head ducking and heading up the stairs.

"Thank you so much dearest!" she shouts back, heading back towards the kitchen slowly. She watches him go up the stairs and lets out a heavy sigh. She hoped this might be the straw that broke the camels back. That camel being Alfie and the straw being your dancing. There was nothing going on in the kitchen, her knees weren't even bothering her today, she just wanted to make sure he saw you in that little outfit before you changed for dinner.

He pads down the corridor, hearing saucy jazz float towards him from the dance hall. He realizes you must have stayed upstairs all day to practice your routine for the upcoming job. He thought it all a bit much just to murder the annoying bastard but you had seemed excited at the prospect. He had been purposely ignoring your wing when he knew you were practicing. After his flub of gawking at you too closely for too long at the barn, feeling much like an adolescent, he honestly hadn't wanted to invite the frustration into his life again so eagerly. But here he was, doing favors and punishing himself needlessly. He already found you distractingly attractive, particularly as of late, and he knew that seeing whatever you were working on wasn't going to help keep him from sinning while thinking about you.

He hears your heels tapping and dragging across the floor as he stands against the wall by the door. He hears you swear and giggle, sometimes you'd sing but you seemed to be concentrated on the dancing. He takes a deep breath, thumbing his nose before his hunched shoulders lead the way into the doorway. He softly exhales at the sight of you. What had he done to deserve this? He thought to himself.

"Aggie's callin' ya for tea, sweetheart." he says, looking around the studio. You respond first with a small, startled jump that elicits a tiny girlish gasp from you that makes his jaw tense.

"You startled me," you say with a chuckle. "Is it that late already?" you ask, the fans still in place over your body.

"'Spose it is." he says with a nod.

"Do we have time for me to show you what I've been working on?" you ask with big, excited brown eyes and a charming smile.

"Well, it's time for tea innit?" his tone makes the words both statement and question.

"Just a few counts, Alfie?" you ask with batting lashes, your knees bending as you bounce slightly with the sweet whine in your voice. "I need a man's opinion. I've never danced like this before." you hesitantly admit, an almost sheepish smile draws him in, you ruffle the feathers around your body as if to tempt him.

"I'll see it at the club, won't I?" he deflects.

"You have to approve it, don't you? It's your club." you say with a huff of laughter at his odd behavior.

"Not really, it's a job, innit? Not hirin' ya to do this sorta work meself." he says with the possible tone of judgment in his voice.

"You are being most stubborn Solomons!" you say, the feathers fanning out around your hips as you place your hands on them and stomp towards him.

"You're the only man I'd feel comfortable failing at this in front of so would you kindly do me this favor as I value your opinion?" you ask rather stubbornly yourself. He knew you weren't taking no for an answer after looking you over, shutting his eyes and shaking his head at your persistent nature working against him.

"Be quick about it, they're waitin' on ya." he says, crossing his arms. You give him a most triumphant smile, moving to a marked place on the floor and nodding.

"Restart the record please, darling." you say in a lilted voice. He does as you command.

Horns begin, jaunty piano soon follows. It's the most painful pleasurable experience he's ever been through. He wasn't sure if he believed you hadn't danced like this before because you were...very good at it. Your animated expressions and pointed toes looked professional as you flashed him bits of thigh and chest.

He had a subtle smile on his face, standing very still as you danced. Since you sensed his suspicious hesitancy you didn't make eye contact with him and watched yourself in the mirror. You are fluffing the fans across your bottom like peacock feathers, using the large fans as a clamshell, hiding and emerging in parts to the suggestive, flirtatious song. You stop and let your exertion show before the song ends.

"The rest is floor work," you explain. "I need to have chairs brought up to practice that part." you swallow and place your hands on your hips after brushing back your hair and fanning yourself without the aid of the feathers. You're met with silence. You stand up straight, eyes large and inquisitive as you saunter over to him. "Oh fuck me, it's not THAT bad is it?" you ask, a look of confusion on your face. "I know I've not done it professionally but I thought I was doing rather well." you say with no reluctance to brag.

He can't help but laugh at your quick transition from sultry to adorable in your unsure face, almost pouted and upset, snaps towards his at the sound of laughter. He feels compelled to ease this unforeseen hit to your confidence.

"Fuck no, sweetheart." he gruffs out, reaching his arm behind his head and rubbing it. "Stunnin' ain't ya?" he nods and meets your eyes to make sure his point is driven home. His inability to control himself couldn't be allowed to chip away at you. It wasn't your fault he was feeling this way, not truly. Even if he did like to blame you in his moments of weakness. He didn't want that certainty in yourself to fade from your demeanor and cause you to mess up on the job. If some side kick bastard hurt you because he wasn't honest with you he'd kick himself. "Brilliant, truly. I was simply mesmerized by you to the point of speechlessness." he coos at you, leaning towards you as your face screws up with faux anger.

"If you say so." you pause and sigh. "Thank you." you grumble, eventually chuckling as he stands with a raised eyebrow at you. "It wasn't too slow in the beginning was it?" your upper lip snarls slightly as you look at the ceiling in consideration.

"No, it was perfection, luv. Wouldn't change a thing. You do that night of and you won't even have to stab 'im. He'll fall over dead when ya look in his eyes." he says warmly, shaking his head just slightly.

"You aren't just saying that? If it's not brilliant and stunning as you say and I look a fool I will hurt you." you say with an almost serious threat.

"Don't be fuckin' dull, Gen. Ya got eyes, yeah? Ya lookin' in the mirror all the fuckin' time anyway innit ya? You know how good ya look." he gruffs out with a hand motioning towards you.

Your chin draws back at the underlying tone of anger in his praises. "Alright. " you say, eyes narrowed. You trot to set your fans down and move to take off your heels while standing and you speak. "I've got to change out of this. I'll be down after I do." you say with a nod.

His only response is to shove his hands in his pockets and grunt when he nods, bottom lip puckered out in agreement before he turns to walk, slightly hunched out the door.

His hunched nature was born from shame. He had let himself down at how much he'd liked that little dolly girl sort of routine. But it was really doing it for him in some new ways he was reluctant to explore further. He's never bothered much with the dancing girls, even at his own club. The most he watched them consisted of approving performances and signing outrageous checks for costumes. The naughty doll approach the song lent itself wasn't usually the thing that he responded to in such a heated fashion. But perhaps it was only truly, because you were the one doing it.
-----------------------------------
The bright spheres surrounding the mirror that ran the length of the wall, that sat behind a lovely stone counter, lit up your eyes as you primped for your number. You kept to yourself, not turning people down for conversation, but simply trying to get into the right mindset to do this sort of work. You're fussing with your hair as one of the more talented dancers comes and leans her rhinestone-encrusted hip against the counter next to you. You look over to her with a polite but indifferent face.

"Must be nice having a gangster be your guard dog." she says. The tone was slightly insulting but you didn't exactly know what she was referring to.

"Guard dog?" you say, your head tilting and your face wrinkled.

She lets out a laugh, much more friendly in tone this time. "I guess you haven't heard what happened?" she says with a smirk, side-eyeing you.

You turn on the stool, fully engaged. "I have not. What rumor is this now?" you say slowly, your gossip buttons all pushed.

"Ain't no rumor girl, I heard it meself!" she says with another laugh. You sit still and patiently, your eyebrows raising at her words. "You remember few nights back when ya came in to finalize this performance you're puttin' on tonight?" You nod and so does she. "Apparently one of the new mouthy boys in the kitchen took quite the liking to you. And by his nature he was announcing his fantasies as to what to do with those tits to the whole crew." she lets out a snort of a laugh, her voice shifting to a softer tone. "I only heard the bits about how he was gonna take ya boys out their barracks and declare war on your pussy." she leans away from you after chuckling out what she'd heard.

"I heard he was gonna take her after the show and bang her like a snare drum!" another girl behind her, a bit down the counter says with a loud laugh, hitting her face with a powder puff.

"Sounds a bit like the usual spew from the boys, doesn't it?" you say in a fully entertained tone, taking no offense and showing the girls you also didn't mind the laugh at the possible expense of yourself. Little boys ran their mouths, it's all they could do really, bless them.

"It is." she nods and sighs. "But that weren't the good part." she shakes her head, the other girl coming up to perch on her shoulder as her lit up face spoke.

"Sounded like a fuckin' whip!" she says enthusiastically.

"Ya ruined my story! I hadn't got to that part yet!" she says fully offended and knocking her head against the other girls.

"Sorry!" she says with no real apology. "But it did. You could hear it through the whole club." she adds in a giggle.

"I don't like punchlines before jokes so just tell what happened?" you say with a laugh.

The perched girl retreats back to her stool, leaving the other, better storyteller to finish her job. "Well Mr. Solomons was still around afterward, he's doing his usual rounds, checking on us girls before he heads out 'n the boy in question is doin' his chin waggin' 'n all out on the floor. When it's empty you can hear everything in this place." her expression turns more devilish as she continues. "Well," she says with paced enthusiasm. "Solomons was speakin' to me when he heard 'im talkin' and I swear the man's eyes went black." she bends slightly in a laugh. "I feared for my life for a moment because I thought I'd triggered that sort of reaction." she rests her hand on her chest. "But he raises up like a fuckin' cobra bought to strike, right?" her eyes are brighter, getting closer to the climax of the story which you could not be more interested in at this point. "And he gets that ol deep grunty groan he does when someones went 'n made him all mad in the head. You know the one, right?" she asks with an outreached hand.

"'Fraid so." you chuckle.

"He's all growly like a big ol hound protectin' a bone." she raises her eyebrow. "That bone bein' you," she adds as a side note with a smirk. "Of course all us girls peak out the curtain after he storms out the door toward the mouth of the crude river." she chuckles. "You could hear his feet stompin' mad across that marble, love. Stalks up behind the unfortunate boy, breathin' and snortin' like a bull. He turns around, looks like the boy immediately shit himself at the sight of Solomons comin' down on 'im like 'at." she shakes her head in disappointment at the boy. "He leans in real close and says somefin' to 'im. Couldn't make it out, too low and far away. But by the look on his face he could've been tellin' him he was gonna kill his whole fuckin' family." she laughs again, a hand hitting her knee. "So, he rears back and slaps the piss right outta 'im! And just like she said, sounded like a whip crackin'. If 'is intention were to knock the words outta 'im he got that and a few teef too I assume." she shrugs and smiles. "Not anyfing entirely unusual for here of course as I'm sure you're aware. But I thought you might wanna know you got that big lad on your side, love."

"I wasn't aware he'd do such a thing, to be honest." you blink a bit slowly.

"So you two got a little thing goin'? He's never gone after none of the girls before. Much to our dismay. " she and the other girl who had butted in earlier both laugh in solidarity.

"No actually," you say with raised brows. "That's what makes this so interesting," you say with narrowed eyes. "We're friends. And I know when people say that it means they are in fact, not but I haven't slept with him or anything. I thought we were mates."

"He might be invested in being mates in a different sense of the word." she snickers, her eyebrows high. "What with how he reacted 'n all." she shrugs.

"Don't know no man who defends words 'bout a woman unless he's invested in some way or another."

"Very true." you nod, looking back into the mirror and away from her. "That's what makes this story all the more titillating isn't it?" you suggest with a cheeky smile that shows through your bitten lip.

The pants would be charmed right off of you if you'd been wearing any. You hated when boys fought over you. But you loved it when men fought for you. You drag your nails across the counter in mindless circles considering the plethora of possible motives behind his actions.

Chapter Text

He enters the club from the back, already not in the best mood due to what he knew he was going to have to sit through tonight. It wasn't only you flaunting your bouncing bits about but that you were doing it where others would see. Your enthusiasm for such a thing isn't something he understands but he knows it's not his place to interfere. He doesn't like the feeling he pushes down deep that sits green and angry in his gut. You had been nervous, your usual tells he witnessed before you left your house, but there had been this intoxicating twinkle in your eyes that he hadn't seen before.

He gets the urge to check on you before he settles but before his feet carry him in that direction, he changes his mind. Perhaps, it's best if he doesn't. If there was ever anything wrong, you'd let him know. He never had to worry about you voicing something you needed to him, especially on a job. Which this was. He needed to remind himself of that. He sits far from the floor in a secluded booth. He wasn't chancing you being cheeky and trying to use him in the show. He was going to sit back and watch this all unfold and be of use if there was one for him. He hoped there wouldn't be.

He takes out his pocket watch, and stretches his jaw, taking a deep breath and leaning back in his seat, surveying the crowded, buzzing room under an unapproachable heavy brow. He's watching some boys changing the stage lights for your set until he sees Tommy coming his way.

"Not going to sit closer?" he asks, sitting down slowly in the secluded booth across from Alfie, he subtly motions his head towards the stage.

"Don't wanna be seen too close to nuffin'." he grumbles, shaking his head, still not meeting eyes.

"You're not taking advantage of the situation? " Tommy replies in his vaguely condescending way, making Alfie turn only his eyes towards his.

"What's to be taken advantage of?" he asks, lips open under a constant furrowed brow.

"After being so close to her for so long now, I thought you might indulge yourself a bit tonight with taking in the show." he gives as an excuse, a slight shrug of a shoulder accompanies the statement. "What with how little clothes she wears around her house." he says with humor in his voice.

"Despite that being true, I'm not." he answers flatly, eyes distant, looking at nothing particular in the room, his bottom lip protrudes just slightly in his annoyance.

"I thought you'd be enjoying yourself tonight but I see I can be wrong." he says, in defense of himself against the darkness sitting behind the man's eyes. "Must be harder to live with than I thought." he adds, looking down, a taunt to give him information on Alfie's moodiness.

"It could be." he states in the same tone.

Tommy rolls his eyes up to see Alfie, only short of a few millimeters of a pout with the way he was scowling.

"The plan is to wait for him to send someone to speak to her, set the meet up in the dressing room, she does the rest."

"And I then take her home?"

"I'm sure after you see her dance you'll want to." Tommy says with a short-lived raised brow and subtle smile at Alfie's expense.

"I've seen her dance." he responds, his face tight and clearly distracted.

"And did you want to take her home?" Tommy asks, crossing his legs and leaning on the back of the seat.

Alfie's wordless response of an open mouth stuttering with a slow blink of eyes and a rushed shake of his head before he stares at the stage telling Tommy all he really needs to hear.
------------------------
Tommy isn't in sight when the lights lower over the stage, making Alfie relieved. This was going to be something enough to deal with even without his unwelcome remarks and insinuating glances. He sees spotlights appear on the stage curtains.

He was immediately certain of his decision to sit away from the stage. It isn't as if the small amount of space from the stone stairs, separating the floor from where he sat was much of a separation. But just beyond the heads sat in clusters around the stage was you, drawing all eyes in the room with a single leg peeking from in between curtains as the music starts to play. The crowd had been very pleasant so far tonight and this did not change as you performed. He admits, your dancing had improved, bit more bouncy and matched with your singing made an unstoppable charming approach that had left it's intended targets jaw's on the floor. The lower register than the original made it much more sultry than it had in the dance hall. And he much prefers the sultry approach to the girlish.

You take off a long sheer, sparkling robe, followed by the small ruffled skirt hiding very short bottoms that graze just over the swell of your bum in a way that makes his jaw clench. In the bright lights, he admits the sparkle added to the nude illusion you said you were going for. He's surprised you can breathe enough to sing and dance in the tightly cinched corset, perfecting your feminine shape as your hips swivel and knock against guests shoulders. You fluff your fans at gawking men, framing your face and body as you float across the room. Your hands land delicately on shoulders and chests, and only for a second, just a taste of closeness in response the way they were undressing you with their eyes. He could watch you work a room of people all night, beguiling them, using what you had to your advantage. He was afraid he'd finally fallen victim to your charms as well. He knows you'll ask what he thought. He considers his answer. Exquisite? Bewitching? Divine? Should he compare your beauty to that of a Parisian sunset? He ponders for a moment which goddess you'd be most fond of being compared to.

He sees your hands sliding down your targets shoulders, lips near his ear and his own purse. He's sold on every word and move you make. He believed every bit of tease you put on and was fervently eating it out of your bejeweled hands. Oh, he wanted those decorated, delicate hands anywhere near his mouth. Anywhere on him at all. You've kicked back in a man's lap, taking his hat and wearing it. If these nobodies got to be gifted with your flirtatious touch, why couldn't he? He was somebody. These men that meant nothing to you. He knew he meant something to you, what exactly he'd never been able to pin down. And hell, if that didn't describe his grasp on you.
---
You've slinked away with the target. He's nodding and shaking hands from his seat as the club thins out. He hears your heels against his tiled floors, coming from the back hallway from your dressing room. The wanker about to meet his end stands with his greasy fingers around the edges of hi jacket as you approach him with a killer smile. He see's your little heels clicking as you walk backward, hands tugging on the big man's jacket to follow you into the back room.
---
How could he get you to do that to him? He thinks, eyes distant and buried under a heavy brow, bottom lip slightly sucked into his mouth as he thinks. Was there a way to sleep with you without ruining the whole set up he had for himself at your place while he lays low while his place is rebuilt? Built-in extra security and meals and luxuries on top of hospitality made the living arrangement almost too good to chance to ruin. But if the house turned to a personal hell of his own making, a prison where he couldn't escape his desires for you that he couldn't react on, should he really be there at all? But with the expected stresses of his high-intensity career, these sexual frustrations added on top of those made him feel as if he could buckle under it at any moment. He hangs his head for a moment. Closing his eyes just made the visuals of you worse as he shakes his head and sighs. He had to at least make an attempt to sleep with you. Breech the subject in some way. You weren't opposed to speaking of such things, he'd found nothing too taboo for you up to this point, you were a modern woman, surely sleeping with a friend who was in such close proximity already was a situation that would have passed your mind by now. If only to ease the tension from the high-stress careers you led. He didn't think a romantic approach would work, you weren't known for your hopeless romantic notions so he figures the practical approach is best. Seeing as you are a very practical woman underneath all that flash.

If you said no, he was at no long-term loss. He'd be right back here and he'd have to swallow his pride and deal with it. But at least it wouldn't be hanging so heavy in the air like this. The attraction he felt for you weighed around him in an almost visible haze. There's no way you could be surprised that a man in his situation would have become so attracted to you that he would wish to sleep with you. You knew how gorgeous you were and how you'd touched him, feeling that same small spark ignite as soon as you'd collided. He knew if you said you hadn't thought about sleeping together he'd call you a liar.

You appear in front of him, your shoes peeking out from under a long black coat, fluffy fur around the collar that your hair bloomed out over. Your made up face looks over at him with big blinking doe eyes. How could that face have just killed a man?

"You alright sweetie?" he asks, rising from his seat, having a little stretch for his back.

"Bastard ruined my ostrich fans. Bled all over 'em." you pout and whisper angrily as you kick the floor. "Other than that yes, I'm fine. Just ready to go home." you give him a soft smile, showing a bottle of wine in your very deep long coat pocket.

"She kills a man and is concerned with her feathers getting wet." he teases.

"Well, I care more about them than him don't I? Clearly." you say with an attitude-filled head shake, your mouth still set in a frowning pout that was just as cute as the last time he'd seen it.

He lets out a laugh, putting his arm around your shoulders, giving you a little shake and squeeze. "Clearly. Let's get you home so you can order four new fans to offset the sentimental loss of the original two as well, eh?" he playfully suggests.

You give him a little smirk and a side eye as you move with him out of the club under his arm. He sure knew how to get you to stop whinging, didn't he?
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By the time you make it home you've finished a bottle of wine and you were in a very good mood. The loss of your ostrich feather fans long forgotten by half the bottle. You knew you were drunk, but you didn't feel sick, you just felt warm. Your slightly delayed but still attentive eyes bat up at him as he moves to help you out of the car. You scoot without grace to the end of the seat, trying to bend to get to him.

"Ya wearin' things ya can't even move in, sweetheart." he shakes his head, his tone scolding but even in your buzzed state you could see in his face he meant nothing by his tone.

"But it looks pretty." you say in an obvious tone.

"It is innit?" he says rhetorically, you feel you aren't as wobbly as what his behavior warranted. "All that wine ain't helpin' ya move 'round neither." he says in a quiet chuckle, your gate a more languid, not hurried in the least, he feels your hips knocking against his side.

"It was a very good year." you say matter of factly with a nod.

"Seems that way, yeah?" he says in a teasing tone.

"Did you like that wine, Alfie?" you head tilts, your attention off track and your voice sounding oddly innocent in its aloofness. "Did you get to try that one?" you say, face turning back to him.

"I ain't much on the pink stuff." he explains.

"Oh I like the pink stuff." you enthusiastically nod, breaking free from his arm as you reach out for your door frame. Your childlike insistence in your voice as to the factual nature of what you said was highly endearing. You saunter over to your fainting couch by a fire that's already been lit.

He walks in, standing in the doorway, "You seem sober enough to put yourself to bed." he states, you glance up at him as you unbutton your coat.

"I need help with my thingy." you mumble. "Shut the door." you move your hand to indicate he should enter the room. You toss the coat onto the couch, he sits his in a chair. "I need help getting out of this." you say rather softly, your chest stuck out, arms up and behind your back, as you reach to pick at the strings on the corset. "I don't wanna get up Aggie, can you get the bell or somethin'" you grumble, eyes on the floor in concentration.

"Here luv. Let me 'ave it ya helpless little bird." he says in an amusing low voice. You turn rather obediently away from him, your fingers raking through your hair that you pulled to the side and over your chest to clear his way.

"You know what you're doing?" you ask in a soft polite way.

"Lucky for you..." he says in a gruff tone as you hear the sound of taut string slipping, the ridgid sides of the garment loosening ever so slightly with each tug. "I 'ad older sisters who made sure to abuse my strong hands to lace up their corsets before they went out." he says in a pleasant tone.

"Smart use for strong hands." you nod, looking down at your own hands. "They did you a favor, you know? Teachin' you how to do this. Bet it impresses the ladies." you say with a giggle.

"Don't know what's impressive 'bout it. Ya ain't never had no man take off your things for you at the end of the night?" he says with an odd smugness in his tone.

You're quiet for a moment. "No." your answer is weak and couldn't be more surprising to him. The look on your face, same as in your tone is curiously indifferent. It seems as if you'd never considered the thought before. You're both hit with the weight of your answer.

"No better time then the present then, eh?" he gruffs out, his fingers finishing their task. "Hold it up there love, I got ya all undone." he says, holding the ends together as your hands press against your chest to secure it. His choice of words feels appropriate as you feel the warmth of his hands held against your chilled back.

"Lemme change." you mumble, shuffling into the doorway that leads to your closet. He takes a deep breath and rubs the back of his neck. He looks up at the ceiling, eyes sweeping over the room for something to distract him. They land on something moving in the mirror on the far side of your room. The mirrors lined up apparently from your closet, giving him what he wanted but didn't need as you're bent over and sliding your stockings down your legs.

"Genny?" he calls out, his face fell as he watched you change.

"Alfie?" you lilt back at him, he sees you stand up straight and turn your head as if there isn't a wall between the two of you.

"May I ask you a question about your work tonight? Might be a touch sensitive in nature."

"Smart lad to wait until a woman's drunk." he hears and see's you snort, your tongue poked out of your mouth just slightly as you laugh to yourself. "Shoot, Solomons!" you command in a friendly tone, one of your arms moving into the air for a sweeping gesture, only meant for you, as if you were sarcastically inviting him to reply.

"How ya stand to do it sweetie?" he says, his voice sounding exasperated, sighing after he calls out.

You bite your lip, side-eyeing in the direction he was standing. Strange to ask of morality at a time like this but sure, you're feeling good and you decide to indulge him but he interjects before you can. He'd seen your face fall and wanted to make sure he clarified his intent with the question.

"I 'ont know how it is for women...seein' as I ain't one 'n all yeah? But for a man it seems that sorta work would be endlessly frustratin'." he explains. You nod as you fix the nightgown over your body, navy and floor length, slim straps holding up the lace-trimmed heart-shaped neckline.

"Oh you mean physically?" you elaborate as you round the corner, running a brush through your hair. "Well it's no different from any other day I suppose," you say with a high pitched laugh, your smile seems to be genuine. "Life'll get you all stressed and leave ya with no suitable vices for your tensions. Just keeps fucking with you and leaving no real release. So why would the looming annoyance bother me more when I work than when I'm not?" you say with a shrug.

He quickly shuts his mouth and wouldn't even dream of redirecting the flow of this conversation that is leading right into temptation where he longed it to go.

"I know it's the wine talking but I'll elaborate since your eyes are the size of dinner plates." you say with a laugh.

"You don't have to, luv. I-"

"Viens. Sit next to me, Alfie." you instruct, the drunkness languid nature of your movements fading now. "I'm drunk and I want to talk about myself. You bring up an interesting point of conversation." you say with your chin high, foot bouncing as your leg crosses over its mate in his direction as he sits on the couch next to you.

He sits, letting his body language read as relaxed, his knees apart, having taken his shoes and jackets off, shoulders rested on the back of the seat.
"I know I've spoken briefly of my frolics over the years to you," you say with a pause, your fingers touching his knee without much of an exertion from your arm. You pull your legs half up into the seat with you, resting your side against the back of the couch.

"Yeah I wish you'd speak more on 'em." he says in a deep chuckle.

"I know you would." you say with a smile. "But before I moved here I decided to slow down. I didn't like where it was going. I knew I needed to buckle down as I went farther into my twenties and so I cut off certain parts of myself so other parts could grow. But with all those vices gone, I fear I go a bit mad sometimes without them. I got off the booze and the boys and the drugs. No fun at all. Especially in the beginning." you groan and your posture softens. "And with those demons at bay, I still find myself wanting to be bad and feed them from time to time when they're howlin' at me. You know what I mean? Or am I in a mad spell currently?" you ask with a wrinkled nose and charming laugh.

"No, no, Gen I'm afraid I understand you too well." he gives you a series of nods in solidarity.

"You always have your quiet calm power about you. And here I was, thinking you might be able to tell me the way you deal with it since I can't seem to find that quiet reserve you have." you say, your face holding nothing but honesty. You don't look shy or hesitant about the discussion of the subject, you're entirely casual, head tilted and waiting for his reply.

"Well if we're both sufferin' then maybe we should look for the answer together? Misery loves company, ya know." he says with that exact smooth and certain, suave delivery that you felt you lacked at times when you felt partiularly needful.

"Oh." you say with a sly smile. "You're being a cheeky boy now, I see." you say, shoving his leg with your hand.

"It may be cheeky but it ain't my intention to be a boy about it." The tone in your entire body shifts. You look over at him from under your lashes, your mouth shifting to a smirk almost immediately.

"You're serious?" you ask, honestly a bit impressed by his boldness. It didn't surprise you he would be intersted in the idea. You knew he'd wanted to sleep with you, but you'd turned your mind away from it in reality. Mainly because you found yourself wanting to do the same with him and it'd been so long since you'd wanted someone like this. It felt like such an overwhelming task to take on. There had never been a right time to act on it. And with someone you actually liked, well that just made it even more complicated.

"If it doesn't offend you." he says with a calm, focused face.

"It doesn't," you say with a shake of your head, wetting your lips. "Well, this wasn't expected tonight." You let out a huff of a laugh. "I don't know if it's the alcohol or my surprise that's left me not knowing where to even begin with this topic of discussion." you say with an easy going inflection to your voice. He couldn't be more relieved at your lack of immediate, violent offense and an impending refusal of his suggestion.

"Well just so happens we got all night, yeah?" he says in an amused hum, eyes looking at your lips, his head tilting just slightly in a flirtatious way that made you shake your head with a soft, breathy laugh.

"Well hell you are serious." your voice and chin dip low as you suck your teeth. "Fuck it! Fine." you shrug in a playfully aggressive way. "I'll bite. This won't be a dull conversation will it? What are the terms we should propose?" you say, putting your legs further beneath you, arm on the back of the couch, sitting up straight at attention, your face in thought. "We'd have to keep it a tight secret." you say matter of factly.

"What's the reasonin' on 'at?" he asks, chin lifting slightly, his eyes not moving from your face.

"Pulling the veil back a bit here for ya Alfie..." the corner of your mouth pulling back slightly. "It's because I've not slept with anyone for quite some time. Serving the purpose of not giving anyone any rumor ammunition to be able to speak of anything other than business about me. If it were to be known I was sleeping with a gangster..." you say, being honest and hoping he didn't get his feelings insulted. You see an easy going smile on his face at your words, a comforting expression to ease the worry he could feel behind them.

"They talk bad about ya, I'll kill 'em." he says in a dashing and boisterous, moving his hands about as he spoke in a way that makes your eyes shut with laughter.

You sigh and settle back into the seat. "Another addition to the contract would be you can't go acting like that," you say with an amused shake of your head. "Thinking I'm some sort of property of yours. Defending me and my honor." you aren't sure if your tone tells him you know about his little tantrum on the busboy. But you knowing about it was enough for now.

"You are no mans, luv. Learned that the first night I met ya dinnit I?" he says, his elbow reaching out to nudge your arm as you look down and smile, tucking a piece of hair behind your ears as you turn your face to the fire to hide the blush he'd caused.

Your lips form into a pout for a fleeting moment, giving away your reaction to his remembering the first night you met. You sigh again, eyes dancing around the fire as you think. "It would work to keep from going crazy for both us, correct? I mean...that would be the purpose." you say in a low, quiet voice, eyes still on the fire, your brow heavier now than it was the last time he looked at you.

"It's whatever you want, sweetheart. This is 'bout you, not me, innit?" he offers selflessly with open palms to back up his tone. Again his willingness to cooperate for your sake makes your stomach flutter slightly.

You fall quiet and look up at him from under your lashes. You're biting your lip and the insides of your cheek as you glance away again, a frustrated look on your face he was trying to understand, you shrug and flop your hand on top of the other in your lap in annoyance. Don't let your impulsiveness get the best of you. "I don't-" you whisper, brow furrowing. Were you really ready for the repercussions that could come from this? "I don't know." your eyes look around the room, wide and glossy. You'd been drinking, were you really going to go back to waking up with regrets because of something you did while drunk? "Perhaps now isn't the time." you say with a slight shake of your head. Play it safe for now, there's always later. "I don't think it would be a good idea...tonight." you try to speak with certainty but the words come out in whispers. You'll wait until you feel this pull again when you're sober. "And it doesn't come from a lack of want, darling." you say with a sudden charming laugh, a blush across your cheeks, that catches him completely off guard, sending a rather dumb grin across his face as your face lights up if just for a moment at him. "I believe my brain, which is what I try to use most when making decisions," you say a more light-hearted way. "...is telling me it's not the smartest move for me just yet." you nod, returning your eyes to his.

"You know I'd never push nothin' on ya Gen, you know it's not like that, sweetie." his voice swinging low and his eye widening in their support of his statement.

"Of course, Alfie, don't be silly. The suggestion or the act itself isn't what I'm having an issue with." you say with a polite shake of your head.

"Oh?" He sits with a very interested look on his face as he nods, showing he's listening with a slightly furrowed brow.

You give him a half smile, your hands clasping together in your lap as you decide to elaborate. He'd been nothing but respectful so far, you figured he deserved some elaboration.

"I've worked very hard for what I have. And I have done this by and for myself for a very long time," you say with no sadness, but a tone to inform emotionally instead. "I want my respect earned on my own, not from association with a man." you state honestly.

His head tilts, his brow softening at the vulnerability you're showing, knowing you're being honest with him. Every time he could feel you actively choosing to share a hurtful truth over an easy lie with him made the feelings that your closeness stirred all the more confusing. "Since you've clearly, and rightly so, I might add," he gives you a series of short nods in his support,"...considered the negatives to this idea..." he says, his voice easy and smooth, purposely so to show his lack of judgement to the things you were sharing with him. "Have you considered the positive things that could come from it?" his tone inflects, eyes swinging up to meet yours with that rush of power behind them, weakening your defenses. You narrow your eyes at him with interest, leaning forward just slightly for him to continue. "Workin' wif the system instead 'against it." he tilts his head to the other side, his hand moving as he spoke. "Ya consider the positives of being associated with a man like myself? If the word did get out 'bout it?" Your posture softens, you stay silent but nod with squinting eyes to show your thoughtfullness on the subject. "How many less evenings would you spend huffed up like an angry hen over men's disrespectful words if they thought they might also be facin' someone else's hand if they said such things to you?"

Your mouth pouts in a thoughtful way, your eyes moving to the shadows the fire created. He has a point, and you had considered such things for a minut amount of time. However, your fierce knee jerk reaction to your attatchment to your independence had squashed the idea beneath its boot. But even if the word did get out...you ponder. You sigh and shake your head. You stay silent, because you know his point is entirely valid. Maybe a few years ago you couldn't have seen that. Blinded by ambitions unfulfilled. But now, your hard work starting to pay off, you find yourself tired of fighting sometimes. And you had been fighting for so long, hadn't you? Maybe the bond you could forge with this new layer to your relationship would be worth the trouble it would inevitably bring. Is Alfie Solomons and what he brings to the table worth it? Pretending it wouldn't be beneficial for you in the present is a laughable thought. But you couldn't just consider the present anymore, that was an old habit you'd worked too hard to silence. Your still alive impulsiveness stirs, wanting to cause you trouble. And you weren't the sort of girl who went looking and asking for trouble anymore, were you?

"I've considered the point before." you say quietly but clearly. "I really do appreciate your point of view. I do." you pause and sigh "But even with it..."

He see's your boldness retreat in your eyes, he's found a wall he couldn't get through yet. He knew you well enough to know that pushing you wasn't the way to go with delicate things like this. But he had found out many things he'd yearned to hear from you tonight. Even if they weren't exactly what he had sought out originally. He leans forward as if to stand and turns his torso towards you as you scoot up towards him, his hands reaching out for yours.

"You've had a long day, luv. Ya don't gotta bother yerself with it right now." He's leaned in close, speaking softly, to lull the hardness that's coming across your face. "I've kept ya up long enough." he says with a warm smile. "I hope I weren't overstepping no bounds by suggestin' such a thing." he says in a soft voice, you can't help but smile at his endearing whispers.

"Don't be dull, Alfie." you say with a softer, still distracted smile. "You can talk to me about anything, you should know that." you insist with a shake of your head. "This doesn't change a thing, darling."

He leans in to give you a kiss on the cheek. The whiskers of his mustache making you smile as they twitched against you lightly. "You get some rest, Genevieve." he says with a groan as he stands, shaking his legs before he starts to walk away. "Ya had a big night... so you make sure you don't push yerself." he adds in a huff, as if he's having a hard time delivering the caring thoughts into word form.

"I won't. I'm knackered actually," you say stretching before you stand. "Bonne nuit, Alfie." you lilt, your back to him, making your way to your bed.

"Goodnight sweetheart." he says in a deep tone as he shuts the door behind him.

He hadn't gotten what he sought, but he received a lot in compensation for his loss. You admitted you wanted to sleep with him. He knew you'd even thought it over enough to have answers that were clearly not off the top of your head. 'Not for lack of want' you'd said. He could work with that.

Chapter Text

Alfie is sitting at the table, waiting for you to start dinner. He hears you and Claire speaking as you approach the dining room. He can't tell if you're angry until he see's your face but once he does he knows you are. He ducks his head down and starts to eat, avoiding the storm walking through the dining room.
(In french)

"First the fucking flowers and now the players cancel!" you say with a groan. Your attention is drawn to Alfie, eyes indifferent, mouth chewing and looking at you as he did so. "At least we don't have to worry about Solomons keeping his contract." you say with a sigh, tossing a newspaper away from you to an empty seat.

"I 'eard me name." he says with a mouthful of food.

"Yes you did." you say with a sigh. "You're the only damn thing that's going right in this whole party planning process, dear. Everything else is falling right the fuck apart on me at the last minute." you say with a slight whine to your voice.

"Yeah ya birthday..." he says nodding. "'Checked the inventory to cover ya order today personally." he says, a smug grin on his face as he took another bite.

"You're the only man keeping his word to me in all of fucking London right now Alfie." you praise with a sweet tone and laugh, finding that you're enjoying yourself for the first time today you can recall. This lovely thought and your pondering his handsome face are interrupted as Claire pushes another piece of paper towards you.

"There's more to finalize." she states and you sigh, turning your attention back to her.

(In French)
"Yes the food is finalized, that is all well good, but unless you want bare tables and silence I suggest we figure out who to go to for textiles and music. Otherwise your theme this year will be minimalism and not decadence." she adds in a low annoyed tone.

"I'm done for tonight Claire. I can't take this shit when I'm like this. I'm tired of being in a foul mood." you groan and roll your eyes.

"You get some mood swings and you're going to just give up on your birthday party you woke up after the one last year?" she says, her hands hitting her thighs after she angrily sets the stack of papers in her hand on the table.

"You're being as dramatic as I am, Claire. Let's just do it at breakfast. We're both in a shit mood and I'm too distracted to talk business anyway. My head is done with its persistent whirring in problem-solving and I'm ready to get back to my basic levels of function." you say with a tired expression.

"Base levels? That what you call it now? You made us take the long way home because of that beefy boob that washes his car, ya bitch in heat." she lets out an annoyed huff of a laugh but her eyes show a hint of amusement. "Out there in no shirt and his suspenders still on. I don't understand how your brain works sometimes. I just- How is that attractive?" she says shaking her hand at nothing.

You let out a low dumb laugh in response. "I can't help it, Claire Bear." you say in a lilted way, wrinkling your nose at her.

"Sure seems that way sometimes." she says, side-eyeing you with a smirk.

"I'm at that point, sweet heart, you know how I get," you say exasperated even with your own hormones. Knowing your monthly burden was getting closer, you could tell by how frustratingly horny you were. "All those damn men and their mouths in the negotiations this week." you groan loudly, looking up at the ceiling. "Then the bottom falling out of the party plans and it's all got my blood pumping so fast it's made me a damn mess." you say, resting your forehead on your arm on the table.

"Get ahold of yourself ya cow." Claire says, knocking your shoulder with her hand. "Why don't you just go fuck yourself?" she tries to say it seriously but it stutters slightly in a subdued laugh.

"You know what?" you say raising your hands over your head and then plopping them back on the table. You get in her face, no actual malice to your voice at all, just the play fighting that became of Claire telling you get your shit together when you'd get carried away. "You're right. I think I will." you say low, your mouth set in a frown.

"Get your fucking sleep you nocturnal beast, we have to do deal with this party in the morning!" she shouts, her tone very angry, but you know she's not. The looks on Alfie's face shows amusement and confusion.

"I'm going to go take a bath!" you shout and stomp your foot, a chuckle breaking through. Alfie face looks like he might be picking up on what's happening but you aren't sure. "I'm going to go sip some wine and I'm going to have a wonderful time!" you say, hands on your hips, making a "Hmmph" of a sound as you spin on your heel and swing your hips in the direction of your room.

"I'll have the maids bring the wine you lush! Don't drink too much, you'll get a headache." she says with a bite to her words.

"MERCI! I didn't plan on it." you shriek in a, you think, convincing way before you start giggling behind your bedroom door. Poor Alf, you thought to yourself, living in a house with the likes of you when you acted like this.
---------------------------------------------------
He's at your door again. His nostrils flare as his nose twitches, shoulders rolling as he wets his lips and stares at the doorknob. With you storming out of the dining room in the fashion that you did, it compelled his feet to bring him here whether his conscience was telling him to or not. He slowly blinks. He had a reason to check on you. Just fucking knock on the door Solomons, he swore at himself.

He hit the door with enough force that he knows he won't second guess the noise he makes. He hears nothing. He's fairly certain you're in your room. Wondering what mood you might've shifted to since the hours that have passed since dinner. His hand sweats on the knob of your elaborately decorated door. Why was he finding opening a door, a simple task, so impossible?

He see's you spread out on the floor in front of your fireplace. You're stretched on piles of pillows, a plush fur currently works as the backdrop for your glowing skin, barely masked by an untied robe against the light of the fire and the darkness of the rest of the room. He thinks you asleep as you do not stir. He approaches, he can't help but want to rake his eyes over your exposed hip and thigh, running down to your delicate feet with the blood red paint on the toes. He tilts his head, thinking it suits you as you resemble a predatory feline, stretched out on a limb, blood on her claws. Your voice snaps him out of his heavy-lidded stare.

"What are you doing, Solomons?" you ask in slow, low voice.

"I was comin' in to see how you were after you left tea like ya did." he says defensively.

"So you stood in silence?" you say sarcastically.

You hear him sigh, "I'm only a man, Genevieve, yeah? So forgive me for staring directly into temptation."

You hum and nod, "You are only a man, aren't you?" you say staring into the fire. "A woman can forget such things." you say with a small forced exhale in consideration of the words. "You are just a man." you say in a tighter tone, your eyes narrowing. Sure he had power to wield but, underneath that, take away all the labels, he was just another human looking for someone to help make life a little easier. Take away some of that stress, make your nights more fun. Maybe you'd blown this whole idea out of proportion. It wouldn't be the first time you'd done such a thing. You weren't the same woman you were when you made the promise to yourself to not sleep with anyone. You were respected now, a legitimate businesswoman, successful and independent. You frown at the thought that you'd be proving him right by giving in but, was that really that bad of a consequence? Compared to the other consequences your mind cooked up, it was heavenly. You were aware of the same ache you felt the last time you were alone with him like this. You didn't give in then, but this time you were sober. This is a good idea you tell yourself, closing your eyes for a moment. You wouldn't do it if it wasn't one. You didn't make bad, impulsive decisions anymore. This certainly wasn't impulsive at this point and it making you feel like you were behaving badly was part of the allure. You felt a rush of heat over your skin and you knew it wasn't from the fire. The icy tingle left in its wake let you know that.

"What are you on about?" he asks, tempting you further to give in, to be honest. "I don't know if I should feel insulted or not and I'd like some clarification." in a more playful tone. You turn your head and shoulders, looking up at him for a moment where he stood behind you.

"Don't worry." you say as you rise to your feet, tieing your robe loosely. "Not an insult." you say with a sultry glance that passes over him and makes the muscles in his neck tense. You walk away from the fire, closer to the seating surrounding it, your eyes adjusting to the darkness. Best to draw him in, you muse to yourself, teeth biting the inside of your lip. "Where would you like to do it?" you ask, spinning around, arms crossed under your breasts, one hand gesture with a casual ease at the question.

"Fuckin' what?" he says, his voice higher pitched, brow lowering at you.

"What you came in here for." you state plainly, your face set in a challenging expression, your eyes burning at him.

"I thought I came in here to see if you was alright after stormin' off at tea." he says slowly, that drag to his gruff tone, that inquisitive look thriving behind his eyes.

"You come in making claims of being a man after watching me practically naked until I coaxed you to speak. That was not the impression that was left upon me." you say, face set in that seductive stone way he remembered from your first negotiation, thankful to see it now in the shifting light from the fire as it played across your features. You walk towards him, heel-toe with your hips and shoulders moving together in an almost serpentine fashion.

"My statement still stands." he says but you feel his voice waiver and you know he's not telling the whole truth.

"I know that's what you're telling me." your eyes squint with emphasis to your words, you come to a stop just short of reaching him. "And that may even be what you're lying to yourself with now. After my objection to your suggestion of the new path we go down together," you say with regret in your tone that he does not look over. You reach your hands out towards him, his head immediately turns so he can side-eye your fingers as they tense themselves around the chest of his shirt. "But I believe that offer to still be open." your eyes meet his, "Is it not?" you ask with a bat of lash, a tiny flick of your tongue on your bottom lip that causes him to take an inhale so large he tries to downplay the involuntary nature of the action by clearing his throat.

"It...very much is, sweetheart." his voice is smooth and dark and what you'd imagined when you thought of him at night.

"So I'll give you another chance to tell me the real reason you've come to my room. Alone. In the middle of the night." your bat your lashes and take a quick breathily exhale the word, "Again." your eyes that roll up to his tell him you'd seen him stand before your door on those nights he thought he'd gone unnoticed.

His eyes narrow from the lower lid in an almost defensive expression as his chin pushed to his chest, his face burning from the realization you'd known of the nights you'd worked his resolve down and into non-existence, leaving him weak at the feet of your intentional, and not, seductions. Leading him to your door like a scolded, apologetic dog. Feeling much the same after retreating cowardly back to his bed, defeated and succumbing to his weakness of craving to know you in the biblical sense.

The way your eyes beamed at him with the intention behind them that he'd wanted to see directed at him on those nights, told him you wanted him to cross that line. "What I really wanted to ask you, eh?" he says, his shoulders squaring up against your smaller form, his neck snaking as he spoke down to you.

"Oui." you bite back against the energy this bear of a man is drowning you in currently. You can feel his skin radiating with a magnetic warmth. His pupils were blown and you assume yours looked much the same from the causes of light and lust.

You see he likes the way you've chosen to egg him on. "I really wanted to ask why you'd gone soft."

"Soft?" you ask in a huff of a laugh.

"Yeah." he says in a harsh way, his face leaning in and invading your personal face. "The Genevieve I thought I knew, yeah? She didn't get concerned in others opinions of her, just took what she wanted." he looks back down at you. Your eyes smolder and your nostrils flare as his hands keep almost grazing your face and neck. "I don't know why you were lettin' anyone get in the way of somefin' you very clearly...need." he says with a grit that makes you take a large inhale you couldn't control. His eyes told you of how badly he wanted to give you the things you needed. "And you's a clever little thing, ain't ya?" he says, his upper lip leaving way to show teeth in a microexpression resembling a snarl. "Yeah. You are. 'Cause you know you're fuckin' gorgeous yeah?" he says with a sudden movement that shoots a tingle down your head and spine to the center of your legs as his hand runs down your cheek, he thumbs your bottom lip before he retreats his hand as he speaks. "And you know I am but a man, sweetheart." his voice turns and his hand moves to your hip as he closes the space between you. "No way I could resist a sin in the flesh like you, eh?" he says, his brow softening as other parts of you both harden at his confession. "Had no chance in fuckin' hell at not letting myself get carried away with those thoughts that led me to you on those nights, did I?" he says, his fingertips holding your hip steady as his other mirrors it. His hands slide back and grab your ass hard before his hands start to roam back up your body. "You had me with my tongue fuckin' lollin' out me mouth like some hungry fuckin' pup dinnit ya." he growls, sending your hairs on end and shooting a thrill through you as his hands move up your ribs, just under your breasts. "Havin' to sneak glaces at these magnificent tits when I just wanted to ruin those expensive dresses of yours to get my fuckin' hands on 'em." he lets out a deep grunt from deep within his chest, making your jaw clench as that sound hits you as he pants over your chest. "You make a man want to eat you up, luv. Fuckin' delectable, you are." he groans, teeth clenching as his eyes glaze at the pleasure of getting to drink in a good, long look at you without the hinderence of fear of judgment.

"Working the flattery angle?" you whisper back with a smirk at him.

"I'm gonna be workin' you from a fuckin' angle." he growls almost playfully, his hands moving to knead your chest. You let out a deep chuckle and bite your lip, you feel the weight and warmth from his hands through the soft fabric and you hum in support of his actions, eyes fluttering at him. "That what you want? You agreeing to the terms we discussed last time we had this conversation?" he asks in a condescending tone.

"A skilled negotiator even in moments like these?" you ask, licking your lips at him, a sultry smile sits on them.

"It's not the only skill set I have, sweetheart." he says, his eyes looking over your body hungrily. "Ya gonna let me show you, eh?" he whispers, words chipping away at your composure, his nose trailing up your cheek to your ear. "That what you want, Genevieve?" One hand trailing to your hip, thumb rubbing circles against your bones. "Want me to proper fuck you?" he coos devilishly. His hand moves between your thighs to press against you, the weight and heat through the silk making you give up a small moan at the sudden action. "You needin' a good fuckin' seein' to, innit ya?" you shut your eyes as they roll back in your head for a moment.

"Yes." you hiss out as his face moves back to yours. "That's exactly what I need." you say softly with a nod.

"I can give that to ya, luv," he groans, his mouth moving across your chest, his arms tight around your waist as he breathes heavily, kissing and sucking languidly.

"Then give it to me." you purr with a suggestive glance. "Give me what I want since you claim to know." you taunt with a whisper as he slowly tightens his grip into a fist, holding your hair. "Make good on all those filthy promises and fuck me." you command, even with the way the last words fade as his mouth engulfs your own.

The combined sound of both of your breathing was now the loudest thing in the room. You both buck against the other, your hands eagerly ruined the slick hair he'd styled as your mouths hit against each other like the two great opposing forces you are. You were riding high on his promises and the way his tongue worked against yours, the way it made your eyes shut and roll, working moans and groans out of you with it's skill. His own rumbling from deep in his chest, rolls thick across your skin and feels like it's slowly dripping down, gathering power at the apex of your thighs.

You feel his breath hot against your ear, his hands now roaming your body, grabbing at your breasts and thighs. You reach down to run a flat palm up and down the front of his trousers, causing you to suck on your own bottom lip as you feel him twitching and growing as he lets his words do all his work for him to thoroughly seduce you. "I'm movin' ya over to that bed," he says, his mouth moving up your jaw and ear and his silky words rub against you in a way you'd forgotten words could. "You're going to take this robe off and I'm going get all over these big fuckin' tits of yours." he groans, rubbing his thumbs over your erect nipples, "And since you're already soaking through this robe," he says in a deep, masculine chuckle, his hand massaging your inner thigh, moving to rub you through the fabric, a lazy back and forth that made you hum and bite your lip, looking up at him with dark eyes. "I know you want me to just stuff this cock into that wet, little cunt, don't ya, you wicked thing." he growls at you, making a mischievous smile appear on your face. "And you are drippin' sweetheart," he whispers against your ear, the rough pads of his fingers dragging up your inner thigh and seamlessly sliding between your pussy lips with a knowing pressure across your swollen clit drawing a soft gasp as he presses a wet kiss to your neck. "And it is tight. Innit, luv?" he groans, his fingers pressing into you. You tense and moan at the action, not letting your knees knock. "Fuck, you're going to feel like heaven around this cock, ain't ya?" his teeth sink into your neck, his tongue following after, feeling the speed of your pulse beneath it, following suit with his fingers.

You can't help but gasp with a fluttering of lashes at the feeling of something besides your own fingers inside you. You mewl and moan while under the influence of his words and fingers, letting your head fall to the side, your eyes closing as his strong hands held you when your weight shifted. You let out a lustful hum of agreement. "Alfie," comes out as a mumble through your moans his rhythmic fingers were drawing from you. "As welcome as your fingers are." you hum in your rising lust, eyes weighted and looking into his, "...tonight I'm going to..." his rocking movements bring a wave of pleasure over you to make you moan and pause, "Mmph I need you to..." his thumb sweeps over your clit as the smugness for having broken your speaking skills is beamed upon you from his face, "Fuck, I just...I want..." your brow furrows in defiance, "It's been too fucking long." you groan with insistence. "Don't waste time with fingers when I what I really need is you. Hard. In every sense of the word." you confess, your voice breathy, your fingers sinking into the tensing muscles of his back and ass.

"Fuck no, darlin', no teasin', not tonight." he groans out the words, planting kisses across your neck and shoulders. "But I gotta make sure you can take me don't I?" you moan at the allusion as you squirm with impatience for the stretch. He speaks as if he's read your mind, the snarl of your lip giving hint to your masochism. "I ain't gonna tease ya, am I? Not when I've gotta make you fall apart around my cock, yeah?" he says higher pitched, his tone in agreement. "Gotta find out what makes 'is body tick, dunnit I?" he drags his tongue across your collarbones and your head lolls about your shoulders like a rag doll as his fingers knead into your back, his face rubbing back and forth across your breasts, groaning as your skin is bared. His face moves the soft fabric away from your body. His fingers withdraw to circle your clit as your bottom lip starts to tremble at it's affects on you. "And repeat it until I can't recognize you trembling beneath me." he moves back roughly to suck on your neck as his fingers press as deeply as they can into you, probing your walls for intelligence so he made the image he's painting in your head a reality. "That's what you want, innit Genevieve?" he shakes his head and growls, withdrawing his fingers as you moan and nod, he starts to move you towards the bed, arms dragging you about like it was nothing.

"Fuck yes, that's what I want." you groan at him in strung out tone, his hands holding your forearms tightly in his big hands, moving you quickly to the edge of your huge bed. "Your respectful nature with me has served you well, hasn't it?" you give him a look that makes his cock push against the confines of his trousers. "But I implore you not let that nature second guess your natural inclinations in your treatment of me tonight." you whisper in a dark tone against his lips as he pauses his fingers, lightly fidgeting their way down the edges of your robe to the loose knot tied there. You beat his hands to it, sliding over his and slowly pulling one of the edges of silk ribbon, the robe opening just slightly as it relaxes, the ends caressing your thighs as you sit on the edge of the bed before him and shamelessly slipped the robe off your shoulders.

Despite how wet you already knew you were by the air hitting you as the robe was in a puddle around your hips, the look in his eyes as they clumsily ran their way down your body, his mouth opening, lip bouncing under his bottom row of teeth assured you became even more so. His tongue ran across the thick bottom lip, making you drip at the sight of him dropping to his knees in front of you. He pulls you closer, your knees spreading, sliding under his arms as he wraps his hands around your waist and takes in the sight of you before him.

"Fuckin' 'ell." he says with a slur to his words, his hands moving to your chest as he moans, rubbing his face between your breasts, you can't help but smile as he almost playfully squeezes them around his face with a happy grunt. The innocent intentions are soon lost as you catch sight of those lips, cohorts with his lapping tongue, moving to engulf a tight nipple, his hot breath fanning against your skin as he panted in this enthusiasm for the task.

He cycles through the sucking, biting, licking, panting one too many times for your impatient, aching center. "More of that later." you say with a smile. His eyes roll up to meet yours, mouth still attached to your breast. He lets out a groan of acknowledgment.

"Ya makin' me greedy ya so fuckin'..." he hums and moves up your body, kissing you and wrapping his arms around you to move you up the bed and set back you back down. "..mmmph, gorgeous." he mumbles into your mouth between biting kisses. You reach up to unbutton his shirt, thankful he was already in his pajamas as your fingers could make quick work over the silken fabric, as soon as your fingers arch over his shoulders to his back, stripping the shirt from him he already has his pants off and is diving back on top of you.

Your knees are dropped back and open as his hips rest against yours, his mouth biting over your nipples again before his hand finds your face and his lips meet yours. You reach between your bodies, your slender fingers wrapping around him. In your willingness to let go and indulge in what seemed to be very promising sex, you let out a moan that lilts into a whine, your eyes shifting to half-lidded as you wet your lips at the feel of him hot and hard against your hand. "Mmmm...Alfie." you mewl against him with enthusiasm for what you've found him to be endowed with. You stroke over the velvet feel of him, causing his hips to buck as you tugged him to the rhythm he kissed you with. You shift your shoulder to reach down for his balls which he was not prepared for. A grunt from deep in his chest huffs out against your lips.

"Fuckin', ung," he groans into your mouth, tongue lashing against yours a few moments before he pulls back with a hiss as you trail your nails up his balls and gently to the head of his cock, thumb lazily rubbing his pre-cum in circles cause him to resituate his hips, as you move your hand from him. He slowly rocks himself back and forth between your lips to cause a frictionless surface from your slick. He moves his lips to your neck as he pushes against your tight entrance.

You nod, as he breathes heavily in anticipation against your neck and ears, closing your eyes and trying to relax as you knew it had been so long since you've had sex that it didn't matter how wet you were, you were going to be feeling him tomorrow. His lips slow against the bend of your neck as you feel him take a deep breath, feeling it travel across your neck and shoulders, causing you to shudder as his head notches into you, eliciting a small grunty whine. He turns his attention to you, his lips on your earlobe with a soft kiss.

"'Right luv?" he rasps into your ear. You nod rapidly and turn your lips to his, your body craving the physical connection. You suck his bottom lip into your mouth, tugging him playfully to kiss you back and he obliges you with a lustful groan.

"More." you insist, feeling his lips smile against yours as he does as you command. As he pushes into you, your theory of the curve of him being complimentary to your shape was proven correct as his hardness pushes slowly against your walls. "Fuck, Solomons." you moan out from deep within your chest as you hit the thickest part of him, your mouth falling open and trembling against his. "If I ever call you thick again you'll have to wonder as to the interpretation." you say with an amusement and lust in your voice as you writhe beneath him. He bites your lip and gives you a cheeky growl, brow furrowed as he pushed deeper still. He finally stills, you feel his inner thighs rest solidly against yours "Fuck." you moan out again, your chest rising and falling as you let your head fall back, shamelessly basking in pleasure the fullness him.

"That a command or an expletive, darling?" he asks with a cheeky growl as he nips his way to your neck, preparing to pull out of you and keep his promises of making you fall apart.

"Both." you groan, lip twitching in a snarl as you roll your hips against him.

He huffs a laugh that he releases into the hollow of your throat, placing a kiss in its place as he pulls out of you. Shifting the momentum of his hips and bury himself fully inside you again. Bless that curve in his cock you thought as your swollen and sensitive insides are manipulated by it, pushing against your favorite places inside you.

Your long exhale is littered with swears as he starts his steady pace, his hands on your breasts, mouth moving to them quickly as he held them together and was hypnotized by their bouncing to the rhythm of the pulses he sent through your body. Every time his mouth opens to lap away at your nipples an obscene moan escaping from his wet lips that your voice responds to in matched enthusiasm and makes your fingernails dig deeper into his arms. He lays his body against yours, hips still working away between your thighs, he kisses up your chest to your neck, hand roaming and groping your ass and hips. His fingers finding their way to your hair to tighten in fists and the make you gasp in weakness. Once his mouth travels back to yours, his body rubbing you in the right ways you need as his weight presses down, you whimper into his mouth which he drowns the sound with his assaulting tongue. "You feel so fucking good, Alfie" you admit, voice strung out and hungry, your fingers on his jaw and hand on his back. You cry this out into his mouth as he pumps away harder at you. You groan and arch your back, swearing again as you hear his breaths punctuated with huffs as he shakes your body with his hips thrusts. You moan and roll your eyes, feeling the waves he was sending through you reach closer to capacity. You didn't know if you were getting off so quickly from how badly you'd needed it or if it was just him.

"You feel even better." he groans into your mouth as you pass back and forth with sloppy kisses and messy tongues with no rhythm, broken as you both swear and call out, both starting to fray around the edges. Your body rewards his praise by tightening around him and he exhales heavily, his shoulders slumping with a gravel laiden "Fuuuuck."

"Plus fort." you moan out loudly, starting to fade into French in your bliss. "Donne le moi. Plus fort" He growls in response.

"You're makin' me weak with that tongue." he says, his hand slapping your hip enthusiastically. You clench around him again and he groans, his forehead pressed against yours.

"Harder," you say in a deep command, your brow furrowing against his. "Faire moi jouir." you cry out the words with every pound of his hips he gives you. Your eyes cross as he grabs your hip and changes his angle. He's met with a long multi-note moan escaping an open panting mouth under fluttering eyes.

"That's it, pet." his voice groans, rolling with his thrusts, eyes shut and losing himself as he senses you're close. He swears again, moving faster towards his limit for just how good you feel. Knowing he's too far gone, he reaches down between your bodies, thumb now rubbing on your clit, paced with his forceful pumps. "Takin' this cock like a fuckin' dream, ain't ya?"
Your face contorts, brow plunging down low, your back arching in a quick whip movement, as he feels your thighs start to tremble. A rumble grows in his chest.

"Oh mon Dieu," you whine, your hands starting to shake. "Alfie." you rasp out, your pink swollen lips beckoning him closer. "Tu me feras jouir." you pant against his mouth that's currently trying to devour you with kisses and breathy moans. "Don't stop." you gasp out, your face moving up to meet his, both your eyes matched in their darkness, blown from lust. "Fuck right there." you choke out, your moans moving to a high pitch, he feels you start to squeeze around him. "N'arete pas de me baiser." you growl, his hand whose thumb was still circling your swollen clit insistently, pushes down and holds your hip in place as he put a flourish on the end of his performance to make you scream for him. His hand holds the side of your face roughly, thumb controlling your chin, making you look at him. You swing your head towards his thumb, enthusiastically sucking it into your mouth. It triggers a sinful moan of your name from him, shifting his approach as he bears down and hits you with a force that knocks your head back, breasts bouncing every time he connected with a slap. "Yes, fucking more, yes." you say with an aggression behind your eyes, your fingers holding tight in his chest hair, demanding his complete attention.

He memorizes that look in your eyes right before he feels you start to pulse so hard around him. It felt like years he'd been waiting to get to see that blissed-out look on your face. Your eyes roll back, a sharp inhale, his thumb released from your delicious mouth with an obscene pop. Your body convulses, he groans and swears, feeling the way your body trembles as he holds you through it. A hand on between your shoulders blades guides you through the intense reaction he's caused. The combination of your eyes rolling back up to meet his, desperate and unfocused as they watched him move in time above you. Your mouth moaning out his name against his lips is a completely unfair move that causes the look on his face it felt like it'd been years you'd been waiting for.

As you both lay in the afterglow. The moans and hips have slowed and stopped, but he keeps kissing you. You weren't typically one to stay connected for so long after you get off but the way he moved so slowly made the coming down and post orgasm aftershocks a much more pleasurable experience.

"Alfie?" you softly exhale, your voice a touch hoarse, his lips still manipulating yours.

"Mmmph?" he grunts in response, not ceasing his actions.

"Alfie. Cheri. I need to. Get up." you say with your words interrupted by his lips each time. You can't help but become amused at the man's persistence.

"Eh." he makes a dissatisfied sound, kissing your jaw. "What for?" he asks, another kiss placed on your neck.

"I have to wee if you must know." you say with a small snort. As he lifts himself up on his hands and looks down at you, to say you're a fan of the sight above you would be an understatement.

"Well that's a real excuse innit?" he says with a lazy smile, rolling off of you and plopping onto his side on the bed.

"'Tis." you grin at him, looking at him over your shoulder before you stand with a stretch and feel the looseness in your hips as you sway to the bathroom.

"Genevieve?" You hear him call out as you're peeing.

"Are you really yelling at me while I'm having a wee?" you ask with faux offense. You hear his laughter follow yours.

"I 'spose I am yeah. Seein' as I was just inside ya an all I didn't think it that wild of an offense." he calls out, you stand in the doorway, your hand on the molding of the archway.

"Our mess not even dry between my legs and you're making me regret this agreement." you say with a big mischievous grin on your face as you sway towards him.

"Well, I'm right sorry to hear that, love." he says, grabbing you and pulling you onto the bed beside him. You let out an annoyed mewl and oof as he lays you on your back at his side. You look up at him, both sets of yours eyes twinkling at each other. "'Cause it might be the best fuckin' deal I ever made." he growls as his mouth attacks your chest, his strong hands on your ribcage as you try and fail at holding in your laughter at his childish behavior.

Chapter Text

He wakes up next to you in the biggest bed he’s ever slept in. He was pulling himself from a dream about you. He was looking for you, he kept hearing you saying his name. But as he rubs his eyes and looks over at you, he realizes you’d been saying his name in your sleep and it’s woken him up. He brings his arms up in a stretch, settling his hands behind his head, taking in the sight before him.

You were sleeping on your stomach, hands near your face, arms out just enough for him to see the curve of your breast underneath you. Your hair loose and wild, going down your back, almost reaching your bum, some thrown haphazardly above your head onto the pillows. Your face was uncovered except for the tips of your fingers near your mouth, where his attention was being drawn to. Your lips puff out in an exhale of his name. He feels his heart and his cock stir, withdrawing a noisy sigh from his lips.

Your brow twitches and furrows, your back arches and you let out a tiny grunt of a moan, his eyes go back to half-lidded after trying to wake up. He moves closer, you stir but only moan in a high pitched, sweet little sound. His hand reaches out, his fingers lightly tracing down your back and to your thighs. Your hips move, your ass being pushed back towards him slightly as a little gasp escapes your lips. He hums greedily at the sound. Your shoulders shift, your face moving away from him, giving him your back, he grins wolfishly, sliding in behind you.

Your nose twitches as your eyes think about opening. You are are stumbling out of a rather steamy dream when you start to notice how warm you feel. You stretch and grunt finding big lean arms around your stomach and over your head. As you shift he moves an arm under your head.

“Mmmph.” you offer as a greeting. You shift your hips, to settle back into the covers as you feel an unmistakable heat resting between the cheeks of your ass and you hum in amusement. No wonder that dream had gotten particularly hot.

“You talk in ya sleep a lot?” he whispers, his voice still full of grit from sleep, in a slow delivery that adds a certain sauciness to anything said in it.

“Mmm?” you ask, rolling onto your back to look up at him, moving your hair out of the way.

“You were sayin’ my name in yer sleep.” he rumbles out, a lazy smile, clearly caused by his words comes across unfiltered on your face.

“I was dreamin’ ‘bout you.” you mumble, fingers moving to fuss with his wild hair, sticking out in every direction, it looks charmingly boyish and you hum at how it makes your breath hitch for a moment as you become aware of Alfie’s large hand on your stomach.

“I could tell.” he says in the same tone that makes you take a slow inhale. His eyes move from yours to your lips, zigzagging across your body until they reach the hair at the apex of your thighs. The fingers on his hand twitch.

“Could you tell how well you were fucking me by my words in my sleep?” you ask, face moving in a slow and sultry way towards him.

“You just said my name,” he informs, his eyes watching his hand move down your stomach. “But those saucy little moans told me I weren’t doing too bad.” he drags out the word, fingers playing in your curls for a moment before his fingertips trace up your inner thighs. You hum at the detour he’s taken with a smug look on your face.

“Mornin’ sex something you fancy often?” you ask, licking your lips.

“When I wake up to somefin’ like this moanin’ me name ya betta fuckin’ believe I fancy it.” he playful growls into your neck, you let out a breathy laugh as his words to kisses against your skin.

He slides his fingers between your thighs, wiggling them down to your lips, making your thighs rub together as he tickled you unintentionally. “C'mon luv, chuckle” he groans in that deep tone that he’s learning you love. He knocks your knees apart with his hand. “Ya know ya ain’t gonna regret spreadin’ these legs as long as I’m between 'em, eh?” his teeth graze across your jaw and you hum an indulgent moan.

“Keep provin’ yourself right.” you say with an amused sound, “But you have left me proper sore from last night, darling.” you say in a sigh, raising up on your elbow on your side to face him. His fingers still search out the crease in your thigh, his thumb pushing against your sensitive lips.

“Oh I can be gentle, sweetheart.” he says leaning in to kiss you as his hand moves to cup you, slowly massaging your sore muscles.

“I appreciate the gesture but gentle’s not really what I need.” you say, fluttering your eyelashes at him. His eyebrows raise, looking you over, highly curious look on his face. You yank the covers off of both of you, you bite your lip at the sight of his cock twitch as you turn to crawl towards him.

“What’s this now?”

“Stick out your tongue.” you instruct in a sweet tone, moving pillows around his head, your breasts hanging about his face as he nips at one as you move and chuckle at his enthusiasm.

“Am I allowed to ask why?” he asks, his charming grin with shown teeth as his eyes keep you in their crosshairs.

You speak as you move to straddle his chest, earning a very deep grunt from him. You sit perched, your hands running slowly up and down your body from your thighs to chest, shifting your hips slightly and rolling your nipples in your fingers. The look in his eyes is hungry and you’re here to oblige.

“Why? Because your fat cock has left this poor dear sore from that proper fucking you gave her last night,” you say in a delightfully pouty sort of way, a single fingertip tapping the tip of his nose and running slowly down his lips and to his chest. “That’s why. So now, I’m going to sit on that handsome face and you’re gonna lap up this cunt until I’m ready to take on that thick prick of yours again.” you say with no hesitancy, no shyness, and just the bold tone in your knowing that he would do what you were saying.

“Fuck me.” he whispers, the words dragging out, full of hitches and grit. His expression giving away how much pleasure he took from the sound of your words. The filthy plans pouring out of your mouth and down over him like the burn of good alcohol make his cock twitch and his mouth drop open. His eyes, wide but dark languidly take in the sight of your feminine face saying such aggressive things and with such certainty that he would obey. What had he done to deserve this, he wondered? Your confidence never lacking, you were performing in a way, and for no reason other than your own enjoyment, at a higher tier than women he’d ever paid for similar services. Perhaps what he’d really been missing with those women, was the genuine enthusiasm for the task. He was thankful to be having sex again without the thought of money being involved at all.

His hands groped up your body, grabbing a handful of your ass roughly, his lip bitten as he groans from the ache of your words rolling over him, just like his hips were subconsciously doing. His eyes look slightly dazed as they show signs of weakness he isn’t bothering hiding from you.

“I intend to.” you say in a hushed, entirely too sweet tone, smirking at him.

His arms reach behind you and grab you, yanking you down the rest of the way onto his face, your hands hitting the headboard to catch yourself. He makes contact with a ravenous growl that makes a blush comes across your face.

You lean back, his hands groping your ass as your knees are spread beside his head. You can see those pouty lips, overshadowed by a wicked tongue that sweeps broad and slowly up and down your center. Your breath hitches, the aggression lost in your eyes for now. You lean up, holding yourself over his face, your thighs on his cheeks, his hands kneading your hips as his eyes shut and his tongue went to work. He flicked your clit, moving down to suck and maneuver his tongue into the soreness he’d happily left in his wake from the night before. He hears a slight gasp from you.

“Mmm sore cheri, remember?” you moan softly out, hands holding your breasts as your chest starts to rise and fall more noticeably. “Clit first, then you’ll get to eat it.” you say in a seductively teasing tone, your fingers gently tracing over the planes of his face that were exposed to you still.

“Mmmm.” you hear in response, heading back to your clit as your thighs seize around his head for a moment. He lets out a dark and content growl, those soft lips suctioned around your clit, making your hands shake, sending them back to the headboard. His hands move up to your breasts, you’re met with more hungry fast head motions and broad licks across your throbbing center as he pinches and flicks his way to make you moan out his name.

“Your tongue.” you whine. “Fuck me with your-” he obeys before you clear the command, a slow process he excelled at. You give him a back arching moan in return for his obedience, his eyes fluttering behind their lids as you moved against his face. Your hand moves on top of his on your breast, your other hand holding his messy hair tightly at the crown causing a harsh smack to your ass from him, and an enthusiastic wet sucking noise from his tongue being exactly where you needed it. “That’s a good boy.” you hum devilishly with your lip bitten between your teeth, hips rocking against his face, hair tightly gripped in your hand. He moans, panting against your clit, hands still kneading away at you like dough, with the occasional slap and growl thrown in when you’d shudder.

He’s enveloped in heaven between your legs. The muscle of your ass serving a perfect grip to move you back and forth as you moaned his name so softly as if you had delicate sensibilities he could offend. The vibrations from his growls make you shudder as you mewled and tightened your grip on his hair.

“Keep that fucking tongue out.” you whine above him, your hands trembling in his hair, your thighs squeeze his head again and he digs deeper inside you, knowing you’re close as he feels you getting tighter around him. You have that sharp intake of breath right before you’re about to tumble over the edge, you let out a whispered string of swears. As the rhythm in your hips starts to flutter and you call out his name as if to warn him. He holds you tightly against him, your hands reaching down to hold his wrists as your hips bucked against him as he manipulated the pleasure out of you.

His eyes flutter open as your hips slow to a lazy indulgent roll, his lips now kissing your inner thighs, sucking the sensitive skin and popping his mouth off of you. “Lucky me your words aren’t the only thing that mouth is good at.” you say, a praising smile on your face, holding his gaze before letting out a noisy exhale. You roll off of him swiftly, landing on your knees and quickly moving with a hop on the soft sheets back towards him. He’s distracted by the way your heavy breasts knock together as you lean in towards him. “You’ve been a good boy, haven’t you Alfie?” you purr, crawling on top of him, your hips just above his.

“I’m gonna choose to lie and say I 'ave.” he says with a cocky grin. You hum happily at him, a nod with the bitten lip of amusement for him. Your fingers tracing his lips and wiping his beard. Your fingers bury themselves in the scruff as you kiss him with purpose.

“Smart man. Good boys get rewards.” you whisper against his lips before nipping at the bottom one. He lets out a low ill-intentioned laugh.

“Then I best get to behavin’, eh?” he says with a cheeky shake of his head and you grin at him, kissing him again, his hands moving to your hips. You place lingering wet kisses on his lips where they are met with content hums. You suck down in sensitive places across his neck and down his chest, following a downward path that seems to make his ache inducing moans to grow louder. Your hands move slowly across his torso as you kiss your way down him to his hip bones, fingers grazing over his nipples and dragging down his ribs. You push off of him, to crawl backward on all fours down him, much to his delight as his knees wiggle, eyes drunkenly taking you in as you slowly drag your breasts across him, across his hot, twitching cock as you moved between his legs. You kiss the inside of his knee as he tilts his head down at you, his lip not moving from between his teeth as he grunts when your lips graze the touch starved skin of his inner thighs. You run your hands up and down them, up to his hips to calm the twitching muscles. He groans your name as you look up your lashes as him, mouth hovering over his straining length.

You wouldn’t say you’re someone who got hung up about the size of someone’s cock that you were sleeping with. But now that you got to indulge yourself fully, taking in every velvety bit of him with your eyes as you let your breath carry over him. This causes him to twitch as he bounces against your lips and you let out a small amused hum at him that makes him grunt impatiently. You were always more excited when your partner had more girth to offer and that certainly seemed to be what you were getting your mouth around this morning. Seeing as you don’t believe your fingers would be able to touch if they tried to get around him. What you were even more excited for than the stretch he had to offer, was the curve of him. As he stood pulsing at attention, you imagine that this magnificent instrument of his was going to make a fool of you once you got on top of it. You weren’t even sure if you could handle having a cock that hit all your spots that also has a man attached that has the ability to respect you. You become very aware of your pulse pounding between your legs.

You dip your head to place your hands and mouth on his balls, as his eyes roll back in his head, head knocking back against pillows. You settle, ass up, nose buried at the base of his cock as he swears in inventive ways as your tongue lazily drags back and forth across his balls, other hand splayed and rubbing up to his stomach and chest.

As you make your way up his length with your hyperextended tongue, his eyes darken and focus on yours. “Oh he liked that, didn’t he?” you purr in a low tone, lips ghosting across the hardness as you speak, his hips threatening to buck. “You are throbbing and you are not even in my mouth yet.” you say in an almost patronizing tone as you take the tip of him in, one hand resting at the base of him, the other still cupping his balls.

“Fuckin’ 'ell Genevieve.” he groans out, muscles in his stomach rolling as his hips wanted to roll with them.

You take him entirely down slowly, his hands moving and grabbing the sheets. You add your hand to the motions, tugging and sucking at him in unison as he swears under his breath, his hips thrusting up. You slide him messily out of your mouth, looking back into his eyes. “Use your hands.” your lips on the head of his cock, you murmur against him as you take his hand and put it in your hair. He takes your suggestion very seriously as he starts to slowly move your head, hips sliding himself in and out of you, almost frictionless as his growls grow louder and his hips go faster. He pulls you off with one hand fisting your hair as you gasp and your eyes flutter open, Your mouth open and panting, tongue still stuck out of your mouth. A sinful smile spreading across your face of a woman who was entirely enjoying herself. That gleam in your eye, this obscene behavior from you from was enough to make him dizzy.

“Dirty girl.’ he groans, giving your head a slight shake by your hair. You bite your lip and wrinkle your nose with a nod in a fiesty rebuttal, licking your lips and sliding loose of his grip. You wipe your mouth with the back of your hand, expanding the space between the two of you. You grab his legs behind the knee and yank him farther down the bed, his cock bouncing at the motion. "Well fuck me, Genny.” he mumbles, hands landing back on the bed eyes wide at your strength as you giggle girlishly as your stalk like a jungle cat towards him.

“C'mere handsome.” you say with a nod, straddling him, rubbing your soaking, aching center across the hard length of him.

“Fuckin’ gorgeous creature, you are.” he rasps out, his hands running up your thighs to your breasts. You purr in content at him, eyes almost sweet as you reach between your legs, guiding the head of him into you. He swears quietly, as he watches you take him inside you. Your mouth, wet and pink and open, lips trembling as you let out small breathy moans as you lowered yourself onto him.

You hum and pulse your hips, eyes opening again as you settle against him, biting your lip in focus. “Shit, Alfie.” you say as if he’s insulted you, he lets out a low chuckle, hips wiggling underneath you as your gasps turn into smirks as you tense around him. You raise and lower yourself once slowly, your shoulders start to slump as you find a rhythm. “You feel so good like this.” your words weak and high pitched, your hands resting on his chest, your legs moving your hips in fluid, swiveling rounds, relieved to find he felt even better this morning than he had last night. “That’s it.” you moan and rasp with an arch of your back as he works his hips up against yours in a slow but hard pump each making your tits bounce much to his enjoyment.

“Take it you dirty girl.” he groans as your hips work, you lean forward, one hand on his chest, the other outstretched and on the headboard above him, increasing the speed of your hips. He pants, hands pawing at your chest. “C'mere and feed me these big fuckin’ tits.” he groans, mouthing up at you as you move your chest directly over his face. Once he places each nipple in his mouth separately, sucking and biting as he squeezes them hard, you whimper and your hips start to hit harder.

“Fuck, I’m getting close already,” you admit with a strained, yet sweet voice. He latches onto one nipple, sucking and lapping away at the hard brown nub with a focused brow. His hand runs down to your hips, moving you slightly, grinding you against him. Your thighs tense as your clit drags up against his body, as that curve in his cock warming up all the soft spots you needed him to hit. “Just like that, right there with that fat fucking cock.” you groan, voice strung out and needful, chasing your orgasm with ferocity, your breathing fast and heavy, hands on the headboard, slamming your hips against him, building up the pace you needed to finish both of you off and soon.

“Yeah, you bounce on this fat fuckin’ cock you wicked thing.” He growls, hands slapping your ass so hard your tense and squeak in surprise. One hand slapping down on his chest, nails digging into him as you gasp out above him. He grabs your hips in his hands, teeth clenched as he holds you in a vice grip, his hips starting to thrust up into you with his feet braced into the bed, giving you a reason to swear at him. You let out a shamefully helpless moan, voice rolling with every pound, jolting swears out of you. He moves his hands quickly from your hips to your wrists, he yanks them behind your back with a grunt, then holding you by the elbows. Now you are helplessly getting fucked, and hard by him as his skin slapped hot against yours. Your eyes roll back and you moan out his name. “That’s it ya filthy little minx.” he says with a shudder-inducing, a deep sexual rumble that you whimper at the words.

“Tu me feras jouir” the words roll out of your mouth and his pants open, wanting to drink them from your lips. “Ah-ah-fie.” you try to call his name and can’t as he slams into you, your body started to tense, he pulls you tighter by your arms, arching your back as you see stars. You aren’t sure if the word yes or oui were tumbling out of your mouth as you came. But your voice in soft breaths make his hips stutter as he slam into you, making you collapse against him. You’re still rolling in your bliss, his hands back to your hips, your shaking hands are on his chest, taking him like a champ and gasping. Letting him find his end as your sensitive, swollen skin is worked against him in ways that make your eyes flutter shut. Your back is hunched over his chest, your hands on the bed next to his side, your cheek resting on his sweaty and rapidly moving chest. You gulp noisily and wet your lips. His hands have laid to rest on your thighs, thumbs already twitching against your inner thighs as you both shivered. You both gasp in staggered breaths for what might’ve been minutes. You don’t recall the last time you felt so spent in such a way.

“What a way to start the fuckin’ day.” he says, breathing evening out more, cheeks flushed and the smile of a totally satisfied man on his face. You lift yourself up with a grunt, rolling and slumping onto the bed next to him. You’re on your back looking at the peak of your canopy beds curtains, your hands up by your head. You turn your face to look at him and he’s already got his eyes on your body. “Ya alright?” he asks with a laugh, his arm flopping out at you, fingers hitting your stomach.

You clear your throat and sink into the covers you’ve fallen into with a wiggle of your shoulders. “Sciatica my arse.” you bite at him. You lay there with a smirk on your face as you listen to his laughter fill up the room.

Chapter Text

Your nose was twitching, your lips pursed as he watched you writing at your desk. You were looking rather adorable with your hair up in a bun, pen in your mouth, little tiny gold-framed glasses framed your brown eyes. After you'd gotten beaten up for the hit attempt on you, you'd found glasses helped when you had to read, and with Alfie's advice, you went to his guy and now you had round little spectacles of your own. You had bought the delicate gold chain that attached to the glasses but found nesting the glasses on top of your head worked better for you. He said if he had a head full of hair like yours he'd have done much the same.

Your head shoots up towards the knock on the door.

"'Ello." he says as he bows his head and walks into the room. "Ya got a moment to talk a bit 'a business?" he asks with an intriguing expression.

"Pre-existing or new?" you say with a smile, pointing your finger to the chair in front of your desk, giving permission for him to sit.

"Little a both." he says with a shrug, settling into the leather chair.

"Shoot, Solomons." you say, chin resting in your hand.

Apparently, Sabini wasn't behind the hits that had been taken out on you. He found out you'd killed three of his men now personally, and Alfie had killed upwards of six himself. He had mentioned this to Alfie, having contacts with him and not you, and reached out to him to see if you'd be interested in a meeting. You were shocked you were gaining the attention of another leader of a gang in London, but then again, you did keep killing people. It was bound to catch up to you sooner or later, even if they had tried to kill you first.

Alfie informs you he wants a meeting with both of you. You raise your eyebrows with the delivery of this news. A meeting with both of you? It made you suspicious. Were you really going to throw your weight around with gangsters? Is the world you wanted to invest your time in? The draw of the power, as always, seduces you.

You'd never truly fancied yourself a gangster before. You share this thought with Alfie who laughs loudly as you look on at him with a bit of a confused but somehow condescending look on your face.

"You are more a gangster unintentionally than most that loudly proclaim the title for their own, Gen. You continuously deny that you are one and 'ats how I know you'd be brilliant at it, mate." he says with a wolfish grin.
------------------------
He'd left you with plenty to consider. You were still mulling it over as you looked out the window, sitting next to Alfie in his car on the way to the meeting with Sabini.

You'd both killed his men. This was old hat to Alfie, but not to you. You were never one to shy from new experiences, and if what Alfie says is true, if you do have the balls to be in such a position of power, why should you feel so nervous? You'd considered that what balls you had were better than the ones the men that already run the town have, so why should you and your superior balls, your ovaries, get to miss out on all the fun?

"If we're invited together and arriving together..." you say, a slow-paced thoughtful tone. "Are we to be presented as a united front?" you ask, your face turning to his, your upper lip bent up slightly in question.

"Well two against one is much better innit?" he says obviously.

"You realize what a big step this is, Alfie." you say seriously, your voice soft. Your brow is furrowed in the thought of presenting yourself to be a business partner with Alfie Solomons, to aline yourself with the London Jews even if for one meeting. "Both professionally and personally," you say in that same obvious tone he'd used. "Known criminal business partners." you state for clarification.

"It's not one I'm taking without much thought, Genevieve." he says, letting you know this isn't something he's taking lightly either. And he certainly meant that. He'd waited four days, thinking about how big of a step it was and how you might respond before he even came to you about the idea of the meeting. Professionally, you were one of his best assets and secret weapons. You brought him money in both his legal and illegal businesses. You were respected in the legal business world and were still relatively faceless to the illegal underworld in London, you were a newcomer, a wild card. You had high up connections, you had money and you had elite level skills. Professionally you were priceless as far as he was concerned, and he intended to keep you on his side as long as he could. And he knew that meant showing his throat and taking a leap of faith to show you he meant it when he'd told you he wasn't going to fuck you over then he was ready to jump.

He had also considered his personal gains and losses from the impact of this decision. Simply, you were a friend. But beyond that, you were a truly great one. You'd stayed loyal, honest and reasonable the entire time he'd known you. You'd shown capacity for forgiveness and generosity and with someone in an understated position of power like yourself, simple acts of these things had a very far reach in their repercussions. He'd stuck with the considerations of useful, practical things when weighing his options. He hadn't thought that things like your sense of humor, your kindness, beauty, and shared interests with how much he enjoyed your company should be taken into consideration for something like this. But he couldn't really help sneakily adding things like that to his mental list as he broke down his possible strategies in his mind. Because if he fucked this up...he'd be losing all those things as well, whether he denied their existence or not.

What if you ended up hating each other, you thought. What if you fucked each other over and took everything down in flames during the, what you were sure would be bloody and disgustingly played war between the two of you. You decide you can always just kill him if it comes to such a thing. You really didn't want it to come to that. But you could if it did. So you take the leap.

"Alright then. Solomons and Durand." you say with a nod and a deep breath. "Joining forces against the Italians." you say giving a small, sarcastic but enthusiastic punch to the air in front of you.

"We're trying to make a truce, Gen." he says with a quiet chuckle at you and you join in and shrug. "Tryin' to keep them from wanting to kill ya? Remember?" he's hiding his charmed smile from you as he looks out the window.

"Oh I fucking remember." you say with a silent laugh that moves your chest. "So I'm not to kill him." you say with a nod and a clap of your hands.

"Not killing him today." he says, nodding his head slowly, half smile still in place.

"Okay I won't kill him." you say with an exaggerated wink.

"Entirely unprofessional." he gruffs out, face straight but a glance that told you to reel it in politely. "Just agreed to do business and you're already playing the wild card." he says, tapping your nose.

"That was entirely unprofessional." you make in a rebuttal, twitching your nose. "If I get to be too much wild card for your taste just pull me back." you say cracking your knuckles.

"Literally or figuratively?" he asks, with a raised eyebrow.

"Well depends on how disrespectful he chooses to be, doesn't it?" you answer with a raised brow of your own.
----------------------------------------------
You'd had a little stretch before coming in, seeing as you were invited you weren't in a place you were familiar with, but you were still around London so it didn't phase you much. You're in one of Sabini's clubs early on a Sunday. You're searched before you come in, giving an angry huff as the man got a bit too handsy for your taste. You smack the back of his hand and make a remark on having to charge him if he kept that up. You weren't allowed weapons in the meeting, it was one of the terms.

You sit in the empty dining room, employees moving about slowly, getting ready to open for the afternoon. You and Alfie sit side by side at the smaller, round dining table that Sabini is already sitting at when you come in.

"Alfie. Miss Durand." Sabini greets you both with a nod each, his nasally tone just as grating as you recall. You return the nod, but pause, placing a hand on the back of your chair to make eye contact with each man on the other side of the table. You're still standing after Alfie has sat, your stone face showing your less subtle but still acceptable show of hesitancy to your company for this meeting. You slide into the chair slowly, face neutral and back straight.

"Let's cut to it, yeah?" he asks, leaning forward slightly. "As you should know, I am not responsible for the hit that has been placed on you. However, you've both in total killed fuckin' nine men under my protection so now it's my fuckin' problem." he says, his head shaking at his annoyance in dealing with this. "So I need ya both to stop killin' my men." he states, head nodding heavily, his tone obvious and bossy.

Alfie's bottom lip is hidden under his mustache, usually a sign of annoyance, but you see his face turn slightly towards you in your peripheral vision. The hit was on you, he was rightfully so letting you answer since you were the subject of interest.

"I don't know about you boys, but I kill people that try to kill me." you state obviously, your head moving as you speak. "It doesn't matter if they are Italian. It doesn't matter if they are French or Greek or Irish." you say, motioning your hand in a repetitive circle. "So if someone comes for me...and they by my poor fortune they are Italian." you say, exaggerating the last word. "I am going to kill them." you say with a certain nod of your head.

Sabini, clearly miffed purses his lips together at you.

"She got a point." Alfie adds in, chin down and eyebrows up at Sabini.

"Alright." he says, clearly annoyed by your answer. If he didn't like your responses already he wasn't going to get happier. "I won't be sending any men after you." he states, looking at the table as he taps it with his finger.

"That doesn't mean that none of them will still try to kill me." you say in a condescending tone. "I'm not going to sit and make a deal to never do something. Things of an infinite nature are not things I work in because they don't exist," you say confidently, with a scrunch of your face. "Because I could say I won't kill any more of your men, and then here one comes, hopped up on ego and beer and tries to come at me. I'm not going to let him get away with foolish actions unscathed on something such as an attempt on my life. And there I'd be...in breach of contract and then we'd all be all blustery again like we are now." you say, your tone now annoyed.

"And 'ats a waste of everyone's fuckin' time innit?" Alfie says, finger tapping the table top in front of him.

Sabini looks at you, lips still a puckered asshole, full of shit just the same, moving his eyes to Alfie. "What's this?" he asks, a disgusted look on his face. "I know I called you in together but are you workin' together?" he asks, eyes narrowed.

"Yeah. Yeah we are, mate. Lemme tell ya why...because we don't wanna worry about your men, bumblin' children they may be, tryin' to blow our fuckin' brains out. It's ridiculous. It's small-time nonsense that shouldn't even be on our agenda." he shakes his hand with his less than pleased tone.

"You killed 6 of my men!" he says exasperatedly at Alfie, who is looking at him with a straight face. "AM I supposed to just let that GO?" he shouts.

"It was business wunnit? You're taking it entirely too personally." he says with a shake of his head, tone growing harsher.

"And with me it is personal so can we please just-"

"And you killed THREE? A WOMAN!" his volume growing louder. "I know you haven't been in this game long but if you keep goin' and killin' people, you won't be in much longer because no one's gonna work with some wiley bitch who kills people all the time!" he says in an obvious and certain way that makes your jaw clench.

"And I'll kill more." you say, voice and head movements full of attitude.

"Is that a threat now"

"It's a promise if you call me a bitch again ya fuckin' wop." you bite back, hands splayed out of the table, back straight and legs apart to center your body.

Alfie remains still, he's still believing that you aren't going to kill Darby and he's leaving your negotiation tactics to your own doing. He knew disrespect to be your Achilles heel and he knew Sabini to work almost exclusively in it. He couldn't believe HE was acting as a mediator for once. "Now ya just keep pressin' the woman by usin' that language now, mate." he says, voice gruff. If the hair standing on the back of his neck as the insult was directed at you was any indication. He did not like it when someone called you anything like what he was.

"Oh, you care about watchin' the language with a lady here? The fuck is wrong with you? Frogs like her are known for their fucking rudeness and I didn't take you for bein' the soppy sort but this little kike's made ya soft hasn't she?" his tone was meant to antagonize both of you. You wait as long as you can restrain yourself, willing your hand to stay on the table at the use of the slur in Alfie's presence. You hear Alfie's hand hit the table, his rings making a loud clack against it and you instinctually, in reaction to the immense anger and the starter pistol-like trigger of the noise he makes, lean across the table and very literally smack the spit out of his mouth. Alfie appreciates the moral support but felt the reaction from you a bit strong for the use of the word, he wondered if he should be more angry about it himself, he was just used to this sort of thing from Darby at this point. You didn't hold back with the momentum behind your hit, the sound echoed through the room like a strike of lightning. Alfie was only sat forward in his chair, you were already up. Your hand still raised, the backhand of it facing Sabini as he sucked his teeth at you, touching his now split lip.

"Just 'cause I'm workin' with her, don't make her Jewish, ya daft cunt. I thought you only said things like 'at behind me back nowadays." his tone is loud and almost amused. "Least you got the fuckin' balls to say it to my face again ain't ya big boy?" he taunts him, standing, both of you, predatory jungle cats, looming over your prey.

"This little boy has no balls at all." you say, looming over him, power dripping for your pores.

"Listen here you fuckin bit-" he starts, you slap his face again, this time hitting him around the socket of his eyes. One of his men grabs you this time, twisting your arm back and tossing you back across the table. You're on your feet in seconds, hips pressed back against the table as your squared shoulders, braced on the table hiss at Sabini in Italian.

"Let me say this in your language so you'll fucking understand." you glare into his eyes, snaking your head so he can't lose your spotlight. "If you can't speak to me with a grain of decency in your tone, then I will very happily grind you to a fine paste, put you into a fucking bolognese and feed you to your fucking family." your calm delivery of these threats always works most effectively. The fear that flashed behind his eyes at the psychotic and taboo threat sends a thrill of power down your spine. "You will find I am very reasonable to work with as long as you DO NOT FUCKING DISRESPECT ME!" you shout, hitting your hands on the table to drive your point home, a slam for every shouted word. Alfie, who is standing, having gotten up to check on you after you were shoved to the floor which you were absolutely unphased by, holds his eyes on you, his hands ready to react to whatever you did next. He made a mental note as he sees you simmer instead of boil over at Sabini, to remind himself to tell you he liked your taboo insult involving cannibalism. "I came here to conduct business, just like you." you point at him before you let out a very loud and frustrated sigh. You sit back down in the chair, still burning but not raging.

He opens his mouth to speak and you hold out your hand and speak over him.

"I'm not finished." you begin, crossing your arms and leaning on the table. "It will take very little for you to salvage this working relationship Sabini." you say obviously, your voice less angry. "Just talk to me like a person."

"Like a person?" he asks confused.

"Yes like another human is supposed to talk to another fucking human." you say, leaning back and letting out a frustrated groan. "Is he always this fucking thick?" you ask in a saucy tone to Alfie who looks at you and shrugs in a very attitude filled response.

"Eh." he answers, moving his hand from side to side. Sabini looks at him with a fleeting moment of amusement.

"All I'm asking of you is to put some respect to my name when you speak it. Just like you usually do with Alfie. Treat me with the same thin veiled double-faced sarcastic respect that you like to pretend you give to anyone but yourself. And if you find yourself unable to rise to that insanely low standard than you don't deserve a place in any sort of business at all and taking you down is something I can add to my to-do list." you say casually, your predatory confidence making his face go red like a child being scolded. "I wanted to have a meeting where I got to be a lady and not slap a grown man who's mother should've raised him better." you bite out. "I wanted to be able to make a deal for a truce, for us to all just fuck off with each other. Alfie won't kill your men, I won't kill them unless they try to kill me first. It's so simple of a fucking idea that an infant could comprehend it, but NO you have to and verbally slap your cock out on the table and what good's it done, eh?" your voice has grown louder but less angry. You really did feel like a mother with these men sometimes. Wanting to take soap and a paddle to them, teach them how to behave like a fucking human in civilized society.

"I've had people killed for less disrespect." he squeezes out, his nasally voice making your teeth grit.

"And so have I!" you say, your hands up in the air in exasperation. "If I had intentions on killing you I would've already done it, you moron! I didn't want to have to make you look bad in front of your own people, but am I going to have to remind you who I fucking am?" you say pulling a favorite power move of yours. Alfie isn't surprised by the deep twitch your words and attitude cause in his lower stomach, he'd be half hard watching you work like this if he was anyone else outside this situation right now.

"What are you on about Durand?" he asks, you validate his verbal white flag.

"I'm on about ME. It's in your interest to do business with me. Not the other way around." you say mater of factly.

"Oh really?" he says, the same attitude in his tone.

"Yes. If how you're conducting business here today is any indication, I'll just assume you haven't done your research on me," you say, pursing your lips, speaking with your hands. "But I've done mine on you," you say with a smile. "I can buy and sell you times over if I wanted Sabini," you say in an almost seductive tone, making the mans chin push into his chest. "And if you try to fuck with me again, after your behavior here today..." you tsk him. "Well, it won't just be me you're answering to will it?" you say with a big grin, a bit crazed for the situation but you loved how it made him flinch. "Because if you come after me now? Even if you by some miracle killed me... I have people that will avenge me." you state obviously. "And people who actually would. Not just your yellow-bellied men who would be deserting before your body even hit the ground." you motion the men around him with your hand, disappointed look on your face.

"You and Solomons? That supposed to scare me?" he asks, his nose wrinkled.

"It fuckin' should." Alfie states deep, dark and clearly. "She's a better businessman than you, mate." Alfie says with the shake of his head, a taunting grin joined his words. "If it's two against one..."he tsks him, "If you don't make, what I think is a very reasonable deal, yeah? Then it's gonna be me 'n Durand against you. And if ya ain't scared of me..." he purses his lips for a moment, "Well that would make ya fuckin' dull as well but the point is our associate Durand here ain't nothin' to dismiss." he says with a tone of warning.

"I have other's who would back me up as well." you say, your eyes narrowing.

"And who?" he spits out, trying to call your bluff. But you werent bluffing.

"The Peaky Blinders for starters. I know how much you two are fond of each other." Alfie huffs out amused, knowing they were a sore spot for Sabini.

"All of the Gypsies. I also have many very, very wealthy and powerful clients who would be quite upset if I were to no longer be able to work for them. Hell, if you want to get the fucking Milleau involved we go down that road too!" your voice raising again, growing tired of this back and forth. You could be at home soaking in a lavender oil bath listening to your record player, you sigh at the thought.

Alfie's ears perk up at the mention of the Millieu. He did not know you had any sort of French mafia connections but should anything about you surprise him at this point?

"Alright. I fuckin' get it." he says, his face twisted and annoyed.

"Do you? Because the point is all this bickering is time-wasting nonsense and I don't associate myself with such things. So can we please conduct ourselves as gentlemen here? And just agree we won't kill each other? We will not send anyone to each other for any purposes of harm. We will inform our people that we are not enemies and we can work independently without the added weight of the worry on our shoulders as it would pertain to us three?" you say in a more positive tone, hoping to reel this in.

Sabini lets out a sigh, touching his lip again and grumbling, he leans his arms back on the table and looks back and forth between you and Alfie, both similar expression and body language. "Fine." he gruffs.
-------
"I don't know who's worse, him or the Greeks." you say with a roll of your eyes once you've slumped into the back seat of Alfie's car and he's shut his doors.

"Yeah he ain't the most pleasant." he says with the sarcasm obvious in his voice. "Shouldn't be callin' you what he did, 'ats for sure."

"Well I smacked the taste out of his mouth for everything he said about both of us." you almost mumble, feeling raw about it still. "At least he's not trying to fuck me and is just rude." you snort, laughing quietly to yourself, clearly being worn out from the meeting.

"The Greeks botherin' ya?" he asks, his brow furrowed as he also didn't know you were working with the Greeks.

"I mean, no more than any other oversexed, swarthy men." you shrug and give him an easy going smirk. "I only work with them because of the canal section they work anyway. "

"What interest you got in canals?" he says, eyebrow-raising at you.

"Business interests," you say with a grin, avoiding his question.
He continues you look at you and you roll your eyes. "Smuggling, Alfie." you say with a sigh. You were working together you might as well answer his questions honestly.

"What do you know about smugglin'?" he asks exasperatedly. What didn't you have your fingers in at this point.

"Their section of the canal runs out to a seldom-used dock between the towns in the north-west. That bit works an intersection for me to load and unload cargo without any trouble. Seein' as I got the men who work it by the balls because of my title and their poor decisions, boys don't want to lose their jobs." you explain. "Or their heads." you say with a snort.

"May I ask what cargo?" he inquires politely, like the smart man he is.

"Mostly art." you nod. "Lots of the men who hire me have boats and it's easy to use the small ones to get things past the law with my title and last name on the paperwork. It's unsuspecting enough to meet up in still waters at night make the trade-offs that way."

"I had wondered what business you had to come home stinkin' of the canal." he says with a half smile. Proud to know you were using your title to your advantage, he hadn't heard you use it as leverage as often as he thought you could, or perhaps should, but he wasn't going to question your tactics. He was for once, pleased to know he was wrong on his assumptions.

"Yeah, that wasn't a part that I anticipated when I got into smuggling. No one told me how much it fucking stinks." you chuckle.

"Well you're gettin' ya hands dirty ain't ya? That's good for a gangster to do from time to time" he smirks, knocking you with his elbow in a light-hearted way.

"I still don't fancy myself a gangster." you say in a whiny sort of way. "I'm a businesswoman. I con millionaires and steal art and jewels. I smuggle things for people and get paid handsomely. I don't run territories and have people pay protection to me. I don't have bookies. I don't have seconds or anyone on the street working for me. It's just me and my businesses." you say defensively.

"Do you not have Claire? Even Joseph or Aggie? Are they not seconds?" he asks, his face smug. You frown. "What about your real estate? That's territory. Last I heard your name besides this meeting was from some boys down on the border talkin' about you buyin' 3 businesses on one street. What's all that then?" he says in a louder voice, making his point. "And smuggling? Darling, smuggling is elementary to the game when played correctly," he says with a touch of pride in his voice for you. "I'm gonna read this paper here, yeah? And leave you to think about what you just said." he says with a nod of his glasses in his hand at you. "It ain't nothin' for a woman like you to be afraid of, luv. It's just a word your bourgeoisie friends would use to make themselves feel better. You're still a businesswoman. Think of it as...a woman who conducts her business in the night instead of day."

"Now you're making me sound like a prostitute." you say with a snort of a laugh, your chest already bouncing.

He opens his mouth and closes it without speaking, your wrinkled nose and eyes triggering the laughter reaction from him as well. "Weren't what I meant, yeah?" he says with a smile, patting your knee. "You're gettin' hung up over the word, Gen, it's just a word."

"Yeah like prostitute is just a word, Alfie? A title given. A set of negative emotions connected to it that people react strongly to at the very first mention of them." you look at him with a face that isn't angry, but isn't exactly warm either. "There's no such thing as just words, Alfie. There's always weight to them." you say softly as you watch the city you were becoming fused with dash before your eyes as you left it behind for home.

He doesn't say anything, he just wears a disappointed look on his face, knowing that telling you that you had a good point wasn't necessary.

Chapter Text

He hears you squealing, he believes it to be a happy squeal as he’s started to learn to translate your loud vocal expressions at this point. As it is a Saturday, and just after sunrise, he does not rush as he moves the cover back over his typewriter.

You are currently holding a slender man’s face in both your hands and covering him in noisy kisses as he indulges your affectionate notions with a reluctantly happy expression.

He’s barely taller than you, his hair accounting for part of that height as it is coiffed and styled in a shiny arrangement as per the current trend. He has very dark hair and eyes, similar to yours.

“Your glasses are just darling on you Fred!” you say, touching the dark tortoiseshell squared frames before retreating your hands. He nods to the glasses in your hair.

“Look like you have them now too. We’re getting fucking old Genevieve.” he says with a grin.

“Don’t get me started Freddie.” you groan with a smile, shaking your head.

“Looks like you’ve gone and gotten rather plump on me Genevieve.” he says smacking the side of one of your breasts with a snort of laughter.

“And what of it ya cow?” you say grabbing his face with both hands, squeezing his cheeks. You both start laughing at each other.

“I might’ve missed you a bit, you harlot.” he says with a warmer smile after you release his face and wrap your arms around his neck again.

“I missed you, you twat.” you purr contently, giving him a final squeeze as you hear Alfie clear his throat. “Speaking of…” you whisper as you pull away before introducing your boys to each other.

“Freddie meet Alfie Solomons.” you declare, walking towards Alfie as if he were a show pony, hand extended and showing him off with a smile.

Freddie approaches Alfie with an intrigued look on his face, not predatory, merely observant. He reaches his hand out to Alfie who takes it in both of his enthusiastically, “I’ve heard much about you Freddie. Gen’s been proper excited about you comin’ in, she has. Ain’t ya luv?” he says, nodding his head at you. You smile at his welcoming demeanor, feeling charmed yourself, knowing Freddie was enjoying being the target of it.

“I’ve heard about you as well.” he almost gives away too much of your giggled phone conversations about the man in front of him as he shoots his eyes over to you. "I figured I’d learn more after this dress fitting today though.“ he says with a calm confidence, measuring up Alfie.

"Ah. Well, I won’t keep ya from ya gossip then. I know Gen’s excited about that dress.” he says with a nod, moving over to you. “Ya gonna be at tea, luv? Or should I let the girls know ya takin’ it in yer room?” he asks, his eyes warm and easy going under his strong brow. You’re taken aback by the gesture, a strange lump in your throat appears suddenly. His arm around your back, the caring feeling of the question, oddly touched you out of the blue. The realization that he was considering you and your needs to the point of wondering ahead of time about your meals made you blink slowly at him. He shoots you a very subtle look of questioning.

“We’ll be at tea.” you say quietly, looking at his lips a second too long.
“Viktor is making one of Freddie’s favorites since we won’t be in for dinner.” you continue to speak softly, that Freddie can’t even hear you, as his face leans closer still to yours. Alfie smiles down at you, not knowing where this bashful girl had come from.

“Ya goin’ out tonight?” he asks in a soft tone that matched your own, not wanting to startle you further as your back straightens under the movement of his fingers against your back.

“Yes…maybe go to the opera or something. I planned on winging it.” you admit with a huff of a laugh, a half smile managed beneath your wide eyes.

“Well I’ll see you two at tea, won’t I?” he asks his hand moving from your back to your shoulder for a small squeeze.

You nod and as pulls away, the same strange smirk on his face at you. You realize at that moment that there hadn’t ever been a man to care about such things for you in your life since you were a child, and then it was only one relative by blood. There certainly hadn’t been any that had slept with you that would care about such a thing. This heavy hit knocked you a bit off balance noticeably. Freddie sees the presence behind your eyes leave as he knows something has just occurred to you, as your eyes drift about, unfocused.

Alfie has left politely and Freddie knowingly takes your arm and leads you to your room. “I’d act like that if he looked at me like that too sweetheart, god damn,” he says with a full amused and smug look on his face. “Not to insult your work Gen but that sketch you sent me of him does not do that big, charming Jewish ginger snap justice.” he says with a laugh, snapping you out of your invasive thoughts as you nodded in agreement with the statement.
—–
You’re back to normal, wagging your chin loudly at Freddie, catching up and bitching.

“Just in time Alfie! I’m just about to fit her tits for this dress.” he says in a laugh, tape measure in hand, pin cushion attached to his wrist.

“Oh well, I- Uh-” he says not coming around the corner.

“Don’t play shy Alfie, we can trust Freddie.” you say comfortingly. You figure he was trying to play low key on the sexual nature of your usual banter until he had a clear signal it was okay to be cheeky around this man he didn’t know.

“Nothin’ we ain’t seen before, eh?” he says with that charming smile, directed at you as he walks his powerful and paced walk you thought was very becoming. Especially when he looked so broad in his soft white shirt. His hands in his pockets, wide shoulders swaggering towards you.

“There he is!” you say cheerfully. “I told you he’s a cheeky boy just like you.” you say, your face moving to Freddie.

“Best kind of boy.” he says, mumbling in focus with a needle in his mouth.

“This the dress ya wearin’?” he asks, having the nerve to actually walk a slow circle around the pedestal you stood upon while Freddie fitted the dress.

“It’s not finished yet but yes.” you say, finding it hard to show off the beautiful gold floral lace that swelled out of your lower half in a classic ball gown silhouette.

“There will be more layers and beading when it’s finished,” he mumbles, fluffing the skirt with a frown. “We’ll have a sheer bit across the upper arms, the middle of the chest here,” he speaks informatively and casually.
“And course it’ll have all the beading and stones all across the bodice here as well. Have to be the shiniest thing in the room all the time, don’t you?” he says with a warmer tone. “But you’ll look like a golden ray of sunlight come to life once I’m done with you.” he says excitedly.

“Even like this it ain’t bad, yeah?” he says with an honest shrug.

“It’s not but it’s not up to level of obnoxiousness I need for my birthday.” you say with a grin. “I have to have something big enough to match the grandeur of the ruby tiara.”

“A fuckin’ tiara?” he says with a low chuckle. “Oh Gen. What we gonna do with a princess like you, eh?”

“Empress actually.” he looks at you with a friendly but confused look. “The jewels and tiara mimic those of Empress Josephine’s.” you say with a devastatingly charming smile.

“The Empress- Yeah of fuckin’ course.” he says with a shake of his head.

“I always wear a tiara on my birthday Alfie. It’s the only day I have the excuse to!” you say exasperatedly. “I have this grand party to celebrate and if I,” you place your hand to your chest. “…can’t show that I’m worth celebrating than the party would certainly be dull wouldn’t it? It’s about living your fucking life and all that.”

“It’s about you getting absolutely pissed out of your fucking mind and waking up in some peculiar way that will lend itself to the community gossip for days after the fact.” he says with his usual welcome pushy tone.

Your smile full of guilt you shrug at Alfie who is watching you with interest. “He’s not wrong.” you admit with a cheeky little smile, your chin pushing into your chest as you roll your eyes at yourself. “Why don’t you get fitted for a suit Alfie?” you suggest, a mischievous look in your eyes as they move up and down his body.

“Well I didn’t plan on it.” he says with a shrug.

“Freddie is a wizard and will make it fit you like a dream. If you were one for loud colors I’d suggest a gold metallic suit to match my dress.” you say with a high pitched laugh. He bites his lip for a moment at your laid-back silliness, finding your charm hiding in the most unlikely of places.

“You couldn’t get me in no matching, cutesy-pie shit like ‘at even ya’s my wife, mate.” he says with a slow-growing smile to accompany the chuckle.

“Well lucky for you she was kidding.” Freddie smirks, pinching your sides.

“Yeah I’m not a fan of anyone wearing anything that looks like what I’m wearing, am I?” you raise your eyebrow and tilt your head. “But you would look so smashing in something taupe. Don’t you think Freddie? Oh, or a nice blue-grey. Bring out those lovely eyes?” you say with a supportive, genuine grin while your forearms rest atop your head while Freddie fusses with your bodice.

“Those eyes are just begging for some color in that wardrobe. They’re gorgeous, Alfie.” he says motioning with his hand as if he’s dismissing any objection. He turns his face to meet Alfie. “That’s beyond me hitting on you, you heard the lady say it as well, just a fact.” he nods, going back to his work.

“Well fanks for 'at mate.” he says with a pleasant closed mouth smile. Oh, he was adorable when he was pleased with himself.

“I’d kill to see you in a dark purple.” you pout.

“I like my neutrals now, luv. I prefer me flash from jewels.” he says grinning, wiggling his decorated hands in the flattering light of the room.

“Like this one’s style.” Freddie says with a distracted polite expression, quiet as his back is turned to the man.

“I prefer to be decadent and do both.”

“There’s a thin line between that and gaudy, darling.” he and Alfie both share a chuckle at your expense.

“I’ll have you know Mr. Solomons is a fan of my taste in jewels.” you say in defense of yourself.

“'At’s true.” he nods, backing you up.

“Well, I suppose you just keep minding that line then,” Freddie says with a shake of his head. He sighs and stretches his back as he stands up straight. “I’ve almost got ya baps strapped in so if we’re having tea you might want to send word.” he says removing the pin cushion from his wrist.

You move your face in the direction of Alfie who already has his back to you. He holds his hand up in the air as he saunters away as if he knew you’d be looking to him.

“Got it.” he gruffs out, disappearing out of the room.
—————————————————–
You’ve called out his name in that lovely lilt it takes on when you’re in a good mood. He’s padding through the hallway, slippers on, glasses jingling around his neck to meet the source of the sound.

“There you are!” you say, your fingers smoothing out the silk of your dress. His eyelashes flutter as he see’s you in something that must be new as he’s seen no other woman dressing like that this London. "I wanted to show off a bit before I left.“ you admit with a coy shrug and a soft laugh. "Freddie brought it in, fresh from Paris. You can still smell a bit of perfume from the shop on her.” you say with that romantic tone to your voice.

He’s never seen you in pink before. Your look is soft and light and not what he’s used to. Your hair bounces in tight curls, lips a light pink blush like that of your dress. He gets close enough to reach out and feel the softness of the fabric resting snugly against your body. The dress was cut for your curves, hitting the ground in one long line, his fingers feeling the low back as his arm made its way across the small of your back.

He leans his nose in close to your ear, and agonizingly slowly. He can see your eyes darting in question as he leans in. He takes a deep breath, nose placed against the strap of your dress on your shoulder. “Mmmm. I 'ont know if its the dress or not but you smell lovely.” he says quietly, looking about like getting caught touching in your own house was a danger.

“Thank you, I used new oils in my bath Freddie brought as well.” you say, moving your hair off your shoulder. You keep your voice calm and soft, your body humming from the powerful stance he was currently holding you in. You were amused by the level of affection he was showing outside of a locked room. You hadn’t known how he’d start acting after you’d started sleeping together, but tonight you were seeing some grade A, prime charming Solomons on display just for you and it made the girl in you blush while the woman you were remained smiling with watchful eyes.

“Never seen you in pink before,” he says in a more casual tone, reaching for your hand and making your spin for him. You stop and watch his face as his eyes move over your body. You’d forgotten what it was like to welcome or enjoy a man looking at you in such a way. He meets your eyes, placing your hand that he had held for your spin onto his back as he moves his arm around you. “You always wear such dark colors,” he pauses, a thoughtful look plays across his face. “ But tonight you look like the sexiest candy floss I’ve ever seen.” he has a hint of teasing as usual in his voice and you smile at his words, his eyes watching your lips as they laughed and spoke. “But candy floss starts to disappear when it gets wet, doesn’t it?” he says with a sly smile, you return the glance at his cheeky words. “And I know you don’t do that.” his rumbling chuckle makes goosebumps run across your skin. If he didn’t kill you with violence it was going to be from dehydration wasn’t it?

“But I do melt when you put your mouth on me just the same.” you say saucily but without selling it too heavily in your expression.

“Mmm. Am I gonna get the chance to make you melt tonight, luv?” he asks with a snicker in his voice, leaning in close to your face, eyes watching your lips as you were starting to wish he’d just kiss you already.

“Hmmm.” you answer with pursed lips. “Ask me after I get home. Depends on how late we’re out and how much I drink,” you say less seductively but with informative tone. “I don’t know what he’s going to feel up to so I’m not going to make any promises I can’t keep,” you say with a charming smile, tilting your head up at him. “Not a sexy answer but a practical one.” you offer with a shrug.

“Who says practical can’t be sexy?” he says with a low laugh, his shoulders moving with it as he kisses your cheek. “This dress certainly is though.” he hums, raising his eyebrows at you, hand reaching down your back to your ass.

“Get your paws off her, Solomons, you’re going to wrinkle that dress and it’s African silk.” Freddie says with a bossy but light tone as he walks into the room.

Alfie grins and steals a quick kiss when Freddie isn’t looking, letting you go. “Well I wouldn’t want to take part in that atrocity.” he says with a low chuckle, hand moving to rub the back of his neck, stepping back and giving you a boyishly charming smile as if you’d gotten caught snogging in a storage closet.

He’s in his room, yawning as he rubs his eyes over an old book. He hears cackles from the lobby, he waits as he hears steps come down the hall in his direction. You were back far earlier than he anticipated.

“Bonjour Alfie!” you chirp, your hip swinging as you make your way into the room. “We ate and drank and it looked like rain and I’m not letting mother nature ruin this dress. But then I became tired because I ate too much pasta and we came home,” you say with a pout that isn’t reading as genuinely sad. “We’re going to have a little chin wag in the study and you’re welcome to join, or not.” you move your hands back and forth, “Either way is fine. We are not sober, and will be continuing down that path if you would like to join us on that journey as well,” you say happily, your hands clapping together with your loose body language, moving as you spoke by his door. “We will be loud so if we bother you to the point of annoyance, let me know, but please don’t yell at me though because when I’m drunk and men yell at me it doesn’t end well.” you say with a heavy nod of your head.

“I’m not gonna yell at ya for enjoyin’ yerself in yer house. Go on, have ya fun babes. I’ll be here.” he says nodding and shooing you with his hand. You spin and turn out of his room, trotting back down the hall to land on the couch with a bounce as Freddie poured more wine.

“You’ve got Chanel getting all the credit in Paris, dressing women like men while Lanvin, not only a designer but multi-talented, takes a back seat.” he hears Freddie bark.

“If you’re trying to tell me of how the public favors a young beauty over a well developed aged mind, I’m afraid you are enlightening me in no way.” Alfie hears you chuckle out. He’s eavesdropping again. Shooting a wink at Aggie as she catches him. She’d never tell on him.

“I know that, I’m not daft. Just unfair to the spirit of creativity and talent.” he says with a wave.

“If I’m wearing a Chanel dress, I’ll still have more Lanvin on my body,” you say with a flourish of your hand. “Although I use more makeup and perfume by the latter, I still believe I’ve given more money to Chanel.” you roll your eyes. “But better to give Lanvin my money over Patou, I suppose.” you shrug.

Freddie laughs into his glass. “Not a fan of ready-to-wear?” he smirks.

“You know I’m not.” you return the glance with a shake of your head.

“Nor of tennis?” he laughs.

“You know I prefer other sport.” you giggle. “How are my old freinds fairing? How is Madeline doing? She always knew how to fit a woman’s body. Oh! What about Elsa? Her and Dali still playing off each other?” you ask with inquisitive eyes.

“They’ve both built quite the name for themselves. They both have their own houses now, you know.” he says, with raised eyebrows.

“I did not.” you say impressed. “Good to see the girls doing well though. I’ll need to visit soon. I was always very fond of Vionett personally. But you know I’ll always roll on my back for a good Grecian reference though won’t I?” you giggle into the glass of wine.

“Speaking of the Greeks, why isn’t your Zeus joining us?” he snorts, cheeky look on his face while not meeting your eyes.

“Oh, I feel him more of a…Dionysus.” you declare with a broad grin. “I extended the invitation but he didn’t come, so….” you shrug and take another sip.

“Well, we’ve got all the pink wine tonight honey. If getting this pink into you does not get him into yours then I’m afraid there’s no hope.” he says with a smile and shake of his head.

“Pink wine does make me a bit of a harlot.” you say with a snorting laugh.
“I don’t think getting him in will be a problem.” you say with amused pursed lips.

“And what was it like to fall off the wagon and right onto a cock?” he says, making himself laugh.

“Much better ride than the wagon, I’ll tell ya that, Fred.” you belly laugh.

“He’s a broad man isn’t he? This reflected elsewhere?” he implores with a naughty grin.

He hears you snort into your glass. “Yes, so is his religion,” you whisper, tongue between your teeth as you silently laugh. “It’s like going so long without it has made it feel different now or something. I mean he’s…well, you know how I like 'em.” you say with a shrug. “He’s like that.” you say with raised eyebrows.

“Yeah you little masochist.” he chuckles.

“Eh, ya know me.” you say with a giggle. “It’s not just the breadth, the…” you make a hand motion to gesture the excellence of him, “It’s this curve he’s got.” you say quietly, biting your thumb.

Alfie wets his lips and holds in a laugh as he has the dumbest grin on his face from hearing your praise.

“Ah yes. Still on the hunt for that elusive female ejaculation, I see.” you snort into your glass.

“Not what I meant but he does fit me nice and snug I confess. My eyes almost didn’t uncross after I got off from riding him, I swear.” you fan yourself with your hand.

“It the wine or the man causing ya to flush?” he kids, prodding your shoulder with his foot as it hung off the arm of the chair he was relaxed back into.

“Both. Exacerbating one another.” you laugh.

“Since I won’t be sleeping with the man, any other dirty details you want to spill while I’m here? I know Claire doesn’t like to talk about such things. Might as well get it out of your system.”

“I’m not sure what’s left to tell.”

“Well what’s different? You said it was different now. I said we were getting old but we aren’t that old.” he smirks.

“I don’t know if it’s age, the abstinence or just him.” you shrug with a wiggle of your eyebrows. “Being as skilled and fun as he is, there’s something else that’s…” you sigh and frown slightly.

“You aren’t known for your lack of words.” Freddie says with a smile.

“No, but when you’ve done what I have and you find yourself experiencing something that you aren’t used to it can be a bit confusing.” you elaborate, moving your hands. “Maybe it’s the intensity he brings. He’s got that magnetism.” your eyes narrow in pleasant thought of the man.

“Certainly, I noticed. Confidence, power, that boldness you’re so fond of.” he adds to your description.

“Yes he’s very charming.” you say quietly, looking into your glass.

“You are used to being the charming one.” he says with a smirk, tilting his head at you.

You scoff out a laugh, “Two charming people can coexist.” you say in defense of yourself.

“Yes, especially when one likes the other more.” he says with pursed lips.

“What? I’m quite fond of the man but-” you start to retort with a wrinkled nose.

“I wasn’t talking about you, dear.” his tone reflects the expression he has so Alfie doesn’t even have to see it to know what it looks like; eyes raised to yours with a lowered brow with insinuation.

Alfies back stiffens, his eyes shoot to one side, feeling paranoid by the accusation. He steps back, your reply muffled now from his ears. He lets out a heavy sigh, hands on his hips as he bites his lip and takes a few steps back, looking at the ornately decorated door. He supposes he deserved to hear the gut fluttering statement since he was eavesdropping.But now he’s left with more questions than answers, the opposite of the expected outcome, with the questions being all for himself.

Chapter Text

Much later into the night, he hears the sound of you laughing over the sound of his music playing in his room. He decides to take you up on your previous offer, following through on his flirtations earlier in the day as he makes his way down to the study. When he knocks on the door he hears a happy mewl from you. You smack your lips and wiggle your eyebrows at Freddie before addressing the knock.

"Come in." you lilt out.

"I's jus' checkin' on ya before I went to bed." he announces, sauntering into the room, one hand in his pocket, legs planted in a wide stance.

"We were just talking about going to bed. But neither of us wanted to move." Freddie complains, a heavy sigh following the dramatic head movement that accompanied his words.

"Ah, room's not even that far down, mate." he says in a warm tone, knocking Freddie's foot that hung off the chair, chuckling at him.

"You're taller than me, it doesn't seem as far to you." he says in a lazy, slightly dramatic way, a twist of his chin accompanying his words.

"Well I can't argue ya on that bit there but, I know ya got an early train, yeah? And we both know what our Genny's like when she dunnit get her rest." he says, eyes darting to you, moved to your side and laid out on the couch, mouth now open at him.

"You're so rude," you say playfully, nose wrinkling at him. "What'd I ever do to you?" you ask with faux offense.

"Well, ya told me to get you up from a nap for one of ya lady lunch fuckin' things ya'll do on Sundays, right? And I did that, the nice man I am, yeah?" he gives you a wink that makes you let out a little wheeze of a laugh at his boyish charm."And what's she do, eh?" he walks closer to the chairs, looking at Freddie as he walks. "She calls me a slag and hits me wif a big 'ol fuckin' book, aimed for me head. Nearly sent me to my grave, it did." he says dramatically, your grin is unfiltered at his big personality moves across the room.

"The book wasn't that big." you say in defense of yourself, your face fox like in your girlish tone.

"She's not even denying it." Freddie says with a laugh that shakes his stomach.

"No that happened," you say with a laugh, laying your head back down on the couch. "Best get me to bed then, eh?" you say with a low chuckle, your eyes shut.

"Best get ME to bed." says Freddie. "Fucking wine." he grumbles, sitting the glass down clumsily on the table by his chair.

"Oh, he's a little drunk innnit he? Both in stature and in lack of sobreity." Alfie says with a chuckle. "Eh, fuckin' c'mon mate." he says hoisting him up same as he does you.

"Oh it's been too long since I've done THIS!" he says with a laugh, as Alfie mirrors his humor in the situation. In a few beats of silence, you hear another laugh and a shout from Freddie as Alfie carries his down the hall. "He says I'm lighter than you, Gen! I'm gonna keep this one if that's alright." he's already been sat down as you hear a little "woo." from him you've heard before in similar situtions.

"Yeah 'cause you don't have twenty pounds of tit on you!" you shout, your voice more fiesty but the boys laugh at you just the same.
---
"I think I'm just drunk enough to admit that I'm feeling a bit jealous of the attention you were giving Freddie." you say with a squeaking laugh, your face scrunched in a snicker. You bite your lip at him as he walks back into the room.

"Well that was the quickest way to get him out and me in, eh?" he gives you another wink.

What was with these saucy winks tonight, you wondered. You didn't mind it at all but my word was he being cheeky.

"She's jealous is she?" he says, moving in quick from far enough away for you to tense up before he reached you, sweeping you up in his arms threshold style as you gasp out his name in surprise, your arms wrapping around his neck. "I didn't think you'd like getting picked up and carried nowhere, princess." he taunts, his smug and very handsome face being studied by your half-lidded eyes.

"I've never met a girl that doesn't like being thrown around by a big handsome man from time to time." you say with a sly grin, kissing his cheek.

"Ya wantin' a bit 'a trouble tonight, luv?" he says in a gravelly, deep chuckle as you nod and place a kiss closer to his ear.

"Mmm Hmm," you say in a feminine tone, nose brushing the shell of his ear as he works a shout out of you by moving you suddenly and swiftly and throwing you over his shoulder. "Alfie!" you say, wiggling your feet in a weak display of protest.

"Shut the door, luv." he says as you reach behind him as he walks into your room and you push the door to. He plants an open handed smack to your bum, placing a loud smooch on your hip. "You said you wanted trouble didn't ya?" he growls and playfull bites the bulk of your thigh as he carries you to the foot of the bed. "Just so happens I got some to give ya tonight." he says in a smooth way that makes you hum at his words as he places your feet on the floor by your bed.

You spin and stumble slightly with your feet in only stockings, getting stuck on the long dress. He catches you easily but the laugh he gives you is more pity than desire now. You look up at him with a pout.

"Maybe you're a bit farther gone than I thought." he says with a chuckle, hands moving to your shoulders as you fuss with the lower half of your dress.

"I ain't that drunk. Honest." you grumble, slumping your shoulders after growing tired quickly at fussing with the dress. You look up at him, his head tilted slightly at you, face indifferent as you see he's trying to figure you out. "It's the fuckin' dress." you say in a sigh.

He keeps his eyes on you, checking you for a wobble, looking for a too distant look in your eyes for him feel comfortable taking things further. "Ya sure?" he can tell by the indifference in your face that you certainly weren't to a point of not being able to make your own decisions.

You let out a soft laugh, hand on his chest for a moment. "Oh you sweet man." you say with a sincere smile, you're still holding a hint of tease. "You afraid that you'd be taking advantage of me?" you say with a saucy scrunch of your nose as you grin up at him.

He doesn't say anything, just gives a nod of his head that tells you you're right when it was followed by obviously raised eyebrows. Had there ever been a man to consider such a thing before sleeping with you before? You couldn't recall any as the thought passed your mind.

You respond in a muffled 'awww' sort of sound, as you pout your lips at him in adoration.

He shuts his eyes with a laugh for a moment, his hands moving to your hips. "Yeah, I'm a real bastard, ain't I?" he says with a chuckle. "C'mon, luv," he says warmly, still laughing softly. He moves you easily in your not totally sober state. "Turn 'round and let's get this pretty little thing off of ya, yeah?" he says, eyes already narrowing in focus, the heat of his fingers making you chill for a moment as you close your eyes and enjoy the feeling. You can feel his breath on your shoulder as you hold your hair to the side for him out of habit.

You feel him start to pop the tiny row of bottons that line down the center of your lower back. His fingers release each steadily, but slow enough to build a delicious tension you thrived off of in your lazy state. The weight of the dress hangs on the folded shoulder straps alone, as you don't clutch it to your chest to hold it. You feel the heat of his palms on the bare skin of your back, reaching around your ribs, resting on your sides, thumbs rubbing circles into your muscles. You lower your head to one side and let out a soft grunt of enjoyment.

He plants a kiss to your bare shoulder. You smile in response, biting your lip as a second lands inches close to your naked neck. You feel the fingers move up to your shoulders, under the straps and the dress falls to the floor with a soft whoosh of a sound. Another kiss, feeling the air of the room on your skin, left in your panties and stockings, your chin drops, looking up in a sultry way at nothing in particular as more kisses follow.

The way the man decorated his time with you, making you stop and savor instead of the ususal rush and speed of force you leaned towards makes you ache. Small moments like this before he was inside you that made you feel things in a new way and you weren't exactly forcing yourself to like, but it'd been so long since you'd been surprised by sex that you hadn't been sure you could be now. But here you were. Who would've guessed such poisonous words could come from such sweet lips, that such worried hands as his could be so slow and tender when he wished them to be. Who would've guessed that it would be someone like him to show you something different.

"These as well?" you ask, your thumbs hooking the band of your silk underwear. You sway your hips back and forth as you feel more than hear a rumbling laugh come from his chest.

His hands move yours away as they grip your hips tightly, fingers clasped against you, his palms flat against the silk. He cups his hand over you, holding you assertively, you mewl slightly as he moves your hips, solid between your thighs, back and forth with his hand. You hear low hum come from him, giving your soft mound a light smack before retreating his hands.

"Mmmm. These as well." he gruff outs, his lips back to your shoulder for another kiss.

You follow through and step out of them, he once again catches you off guard with how fast he can be as he spins you back around, and gently pushes you back on the bed. As you let out a soft laugh at your bouncing landing, you're already shifting to a whine as his thumbs slip underneath his suspenders. You scoot to the end of the bed, feet on the floor as you reach out, tugging the front of his trousers, as he raises an eyebrow at you.

"Let me take them off." you insist. Grasping the fabric yourself, tugging him towards you.

"You like these, do ya luv?" he asks as you hum happily in response, dragging them down his shoulders slowly.

"I do." you let them fall to his sides. Your fingers start to work away at his buttons. "I like them better like this though," you admit with a smile, fingers slipping under the shirt to touch his shoulders. He tilts his head slightly, you know he wants to inquire further in your words. "I think they're sexy in a very...relaxed, casual sort of way," you say, your eyes looking back up to him as you give him a small series of kisses, your hands moving back up his arms after removing his shirt. "But when they're on they do make you look as broad as a barn." you say in a low sultry voice, hands squeezing his arms. He gives you one of those half lidded glances that make you weak.

"You like big boys, eh?" he says with a dark chuckle, his arms wrapping around your waist as he pulls you close, planting single kisses to your chest.

"Almost exclusively." you confess quietly.

"What you wantin' with big boys like me, luv?" he asks in a gruff voice. You feel your body tense at his words, his mouth moving teasingly close to your nipples.

"Besides being fun to look at..." you let out a small giggle and he smiles against your skin. "When I want to be submissive, I love the feel of a big body to back up the big talk. And when I don't want to be submissive, I find it much more fun to break the big ones down." a sneaky grin sits on your face.

"And which do you want of me tonight?" he asks in a quiet voice before he sucks one of your nipples into his mouth. You bite your lip to stifle the growing moan in your throat.

"So cooperative" you muse with a deep hum, your hand moving to run through his hair as he made your breath grow faster. "I've been drinking, cheri, I don't want to be on top." you say with a soft giggle that he mirrors, gently biting at your breast. "Biting is a good place to start though." you laugh, he sucks harder and grunts. Your eyes flutter shut, and you tug his hair slightly making his face tighter against you. "So is sucking on these tits like this, Alfie, fuck." you groan as he nips at you again.

His other hand moves back around you to roughly grab your other breast, moving you slightly. When he pinches your other nipple, he feels your thighs tense around him. "Tell me what else feels good." he rasps, tongue lapping away at your chest in a way that made you wonder if he was drunk as he was being utterly indulgent.

"Hmmm." you pause to think, moaning as he keeps sending aching jolts of need to your center. "I do fancy some dirty talk." you grin, eyes still shut. "You certainly don't have any problem with that." you let out a small gasping laugh as he bites as you again with a small growl.

"Fuck no, runnin' me mouths what I'm best at." he smirks prouldy, hands holding your breasts tight, holding your gaze as he bites and sucks.

"I also fancy you running your mouth in other ways." you say with a smirk.

"Oh I planned on getting my mouth back on that silky little cunt tonight, luv." he hums, sucking away to disctract from the fact his hand was already at your lips, finger tips beginning to part them to graze over your clit. You move to spread your legs farther apart for him which he gives a purely masculine grunt in response, his fingers circling gently. As you settle back down, ass near the end of the bed, one finger slides into you and your hips buck lightly in response. He moves his mouth back to yours, one hand making your pulse race as it teases your clit, the other teasing another sensitive nub farther up as he envelopes your mouth with his in a power hungry kiss. You let yourself melt as he winds you up like you're a machine. "You're still so tight, sweetheart." he hisses into your trembling lips as two of his thick fingers slide into you. "Barely even take my fingers you little thing." he says in a slightly condescending way that by the response of another buck of your hips indicates you're very much into. "I bet you like it when it hurts though...don't you?" he says in a lower register, hand grasping your breast harshly.

You let out a small noise of pleasure and surprise as he paces his fingers in and out of you. "I do a bit, yeah." you say in a sassier retort, your breathing becoming noisier as he probed you with his fingers, mapping you out.

"Oh she does, does she?" he gives you a soft groan, a quick harsh kiss. "Ya want me to be a bit rough with ya?" he inquires, his nose brushing against yous.

"Yes." you nod and whisper.

"What's this bad girl want, eh?" he rasps out, another harsh kiss.

"You to keep up with the bad girl talk." you moan and wiggle your hips in a playful way as he pushes his fingers inside you slowly, as deeply as he could. "Good girl also works." you add, looking up at him from under your lashes, as your chest moves fast in response to your arousal.

"I'll call ya a good girl when ya earn it." he groans, biting your lower lip. You hum and close your eyes in a clear display of encouragment.

"Can a bad girl tell you how she wants you to fuck her?" your words cause him to meet your eyes, eliciting a moan from him, his brows twitching as they take in your lustful face.

"Mmph, I insist." he sounds so strung out, you hold his wrist of the arm he's pumping into you with, an agonizingly slow build to anything substantial but it felt so good to get there.

"I like getting fucked hard," you say with no hesitation, the clicking annunciation of your words make his eyes roll back in his head before he dives down to suck your still hard nipple into his mouth. "And getting spanked when you're inside me." he raises and eyebrow in question, pouting mouth still sucking away at you. "My ass, my tits, and if you can do it without bruising the merchandise, I do love a good stern slap to the cheek. Whether in enthusiasm or punishment." you lean closer to his ear and whisper. "Although I prefer the enthusiastic ones after you've pulled my gasping mouth off your throbbin' cock." you say slowly, trying to tease him.

"Fuckin' hell." he growls, hand grabbing you by the hair, desperate, sloppy mouths crash against each other, "This fucking mouth, Gen." he scolds, holding your chin tightly.

"You want to know what I want so I'm telling you." you say quietly, his mouth sucking away your neck now. His fingers twist in a distracting way and make you cry out. "Fuck that's good." you moan.

"Keep tellin me luv. How do you want me to fuck you?" He repeats the action and your mouth drops open. "So I can know what to do with you after I make you come around my fingers, eh?" he drops his head to between your legs, another surprisingly fast movement from him as he pushes back your knees and his tongue laps slowly against you, his fingers doing deep small thrusts, the movement inside you making your swears grow loud quickly. "Tell me." he growls, mouth latched on your clit as your let out an excitedly playful sound.

"From-" you groan. " From behind." you cry out, his fingers taking longer more pounding strokes. "Fuck." you growl, your body getting chills at how close you were. "Bend me over and fuck me like you mean it." your voice is feminine, low and demanding. He moans around your clit. It was clear he was not messing an amateur here, you were meeting him with every button he tried to push and he couldn't remember any time since puberty that he'd been this hard without being touched. Your enthusiastic but not overly dramatic reactions from your body when he touched you made him want to never take his hands off you.

"And after you come for me, that's what you'll get, innit it?" he says in a condescending way, lips and tongue diving back into your folds hungrily. More growls ensue that send vibrations that make you hear ringing in your ears.

You don't know if he requires an answer but a helpless "Mmm Hmm." comes out as you nod, watching him manipulate your body, control it and direct it where he wanted it to go to like you were old friends, lovers who knew each other's body's like old stomping grounds. His sucking lips and his stroking fingers take your breath away in gasps, as your body convulses and your hips start to uncontrollably roll.

He stays on your clit, both arms moving around your legs and holding you still with a growl, tongue working every second possible out of that orgasm. He feels your hand tremble, laced in his hair and he pulls back. "That's a good girl." he praises, your eyes still fluttering and your mouth still panting as you watching him lean over you, wiping his mouth with the bend in his elbow before he continues your aroused state with a deep kiss.

He moves quickly again, his body moving as fast as his mind, grabbing your hips and flipping you, rolling you as he stands, one hand moving you and the other taking off his trousers with whip fast accurate movements that made your breath hitch in their subtle dominance.

He's pulled you up by the hips, knees on the bed, you feel the hard heat of him against your wet lips as he strokes back and forth before you gasp loudly at the feeling of his head notching into you. He groans as you tighten around him as he slowly but steadily pushes into you, your hands on the bed to hold yourself up, his clamped down on your hips.

"How do you still feel so fucking thick?" you moan and squeak, hips twitching as you take him in. "Shit." you moan breathily as he bottoms out inside you. "So fucking good." you moan out shamelessly as he pulls out and slams back in. You were still on edge from his mouth and fingers, your insides swollen and twitching. He growls as he slaps his hand down on one of your ass cheeks and you meet his actions with a squirming squeal that makes him twitch inside you as you flip your head up, hair cascading down your back, hitting his roaming hands, laying out the land of your curves as he savored the view of you from behind.

"Fucking take it like a good girl, now, yeah?" he groans, that same power and patronizing mix that he perfects. His hands hold your lower back forcing your top half down and pounding into you.

You gasp and cry out, head bobbing with the force of him as he hit you do deep you see stars. "So fucking deep, Alfie." you moan as you manage to raise your head, forearms back on the bed. "Fuck yes." you groan, trying to move your hips back at him. You're both sweating, grunting animals in this moment and you feel it's exactly what you needed. You feel that moment where you let go completely and unexpectedly find yourself having fun. He slaps your ass again, slamming and holding himself in you for a moment as you wiggle out of instinct, crying out in surprise as he hits you again, followed by your shameless swearing through clenched teeth as you bucked yourself back at him, loudly demanding more.

"You are a bad girl, aren't you?" he groans, kneeling over you to bite at your back, his hands groping your breasts.

You moan back in response, a soft and enthusiastic sound that makes his eyes roll back in his head. The loud, sharp slaps of him against you punctuate each matching set of moans from you and grunts from him.

Your hands shake as your head falls, being fucked up the bed by force, you try to push back to make him go that much deeper but he's hitting into you so deliciously your motor skills want to fail.

You hear a growl after a sharp slap, hand grabbing your hair, his other hand pulling you up from your sternum towards him. "C'mere." he growls. His head turned, breath fast and heavy in your ear as he holds your head back, throat bare, held against his chest.

You let out the most needful sounding moan of, "Votre bite, Alfie. La baise." as he moans, open mouthed in his wanton need of more of what you were doing to him. As he moves in swift strokes, you say another prayer for the curve in his cock and gasp out, "Juste ici..." your voice grows higher pitched, meek and soft in its intoxicating way as your hands clutch to his forearm. He releases your hair and moves his hand between your legs and you shout at the contact.

He can't handle the surges of blood your weakened voice gives him, his eyes shut, snarling lips pressed against your ear, giving himself over as he see's you're doing the same. "Take it, luv. Take Every fuckin' bit 'a me." he groans, you feel his open panting mouth pressed against your hair as you hear deeper and more guttural noises come out of him. Your hips start to stutter as he rubs your clit and you moan helplessly, thighs shaking as he keeps jarring your body.

Your whole body tenses, holding yourself up against the barage of pounding he's giving you. You want to try to encourage him with your words because you love it when he does it for you. Your thighs slowly spread farther apart on the bed as your body wordlessly asks for more, opening yourself up to him. You try to cry out his name, arch your back and request more enthusiastically with a personal call. "Ah-" comes out in a squeak, only the first syllable comes as he cuts you short with a jolting slam. So you try again, and you fail, the first syllable only coming, you let out a low noise of appreciation for the work he's putting in on you, stealing his own name from your mouth. You try a slightly different approach. "Ah." he plunges into you again, "'Fie." you call out. His ears pick up what you're trying to do and he lets out a dark lustful groan that's followed by another sharp slap to your ass. "Ah. 'Fie." you cry out again, finding the cries are helping you pace yourself, as you both collide forcefully with each other. With a twist of his hips, pushing two fingers in reckless circles, giving you a sharp slap to your swollen clit as you yelp, "'Fie." in a shameless whine, mouth panting and wet as his eyes rolled back into his head. He feels you're close, tilting his hips up and hitting you where you want it, a steady and solid weight jarring your whole body, you whimper his name helplessly again, "'Fie." Your black eyes bat up at him as the sound prys him from his own mind and he kisses you, hand creeping up your neck from your chest, moving your mouth to his completely. "Mon 'Fie. Je suis aller a jouir." you whisper against his lips. You move an arm up to behind his head, clutching at his hair to hold him close.

He drinks down the repeating cycle of these words and he feels your mouth tremble open, your breath catching, clenching around him so tightly he swore directly in your mouth. Only you could find yet another way to call his name that made his need for you grow past something he was totally in control of. His kisses grow harsher, fingers pushing your jaw towards him more forcefully as you convulsed around him. Your fingers stung into his skin as they trembled, grasping his hand as you shook and moaned beneath his touch in a mesmerizingly graceless way, watching you give yourself over to him.

"That's a good girl, finish me off with that velvet cunt." his voice is strung out, his hand now gripping your inner thigh, having made your sensitive sex scream at his touch. He holds you and hits you so hard and fast, chsing his end that you just hold your mouth open and gasp when you can as the fullness he makes you feel makes your thighs shake again. You feel him pull out of you, and as he pressses and rocks himself back and forth between your ass cheeks. His mouth is panting against you, you're both stuck in broken cycles of swears and noises of exasperation as you feel his release across your back, back to slowly moving his lips against yours passionately before he was even done rutting away at you. He roams his hands, now gentle against your warm, slick, pliable softness with a still lustful but less aggressive moan.

He moves you even after all that like you weigh nothing, separating your bodies as he uses his hands that span across almost your entire rib cage and lays you on your stomach on the bed. "Be back, luv." he instructs, you hear his feet moving to the bathroom.

You're half turned, face looing back at him as he returns. "Just a gorgous as when I left it." he hums with a satisfied smile, wiping off your back. He then crawls into the bed with a groan as you watch him slink up past you. He turns to reach for you as you lift yourself up, you lay side by side in the piles of pillows at the head of the bed, the coolness of their surface welcome with a groan by you both.

"I knew I needed that, but I didn't know how badly," you say with an amused, high pitched laugh. "Gonna be proper sore come morning." you say with a content smile, rolling to your side to face him.

"Yeah I'm gonna feel 'at later." he says with a gritty laugh. "I fuckin' needed 'at as well." he says with an audible gulp.

You give a muffled hum of agreement, hearing you swallow and sigh heavily, your hands laying limp on your chest and stomach as you recover. "I'm as limp as an overdone noodle," you say with a snort. "Don't remember last time I had the words fucked out of me." you say with a reflective chuckle, your hand reaching over to clumsily pat his stomach in a show of your praise that was attatched to your words. "Your cock took up so much room in me I only had space for one half of your name." you say with a shoulder shaking laugh.

He lets out a short raspberry with his lips, looking over at you with a dumb smile on his face, watching you giggle, moving your mane like hair out of your face.

"I 'eard Ah or Fie but not much of 'em together." he teases, reaching out and lazily pointing a finger at you as you roll to your stomach, your face now resting on a pillow you've pulled underneath you.

"I think I mixed it in with some French?" you ask yourself, he hums in content at the goofy, sincere smile that doesn't leave your face now. "Oui, oui. Mon 'Fie. Si je me souviens bien." you say with a shrug.

One of his arms moves to rest behind his head as you let out a heavy sigh at the sight, licking your lips despite yourself. You look down the strong mass of him, muscles under the inked skin hiding the bones, making him look bulkier and in your opinion, and mouth-wateringly appealing.

"If I did have to pick a syllable to call you out of the two, I do believe I'd go with 'Fie." you nod and snuggle the pillow under you.

"But if you chose Ah, every time you see me it would sound as if I've given you a wonderful idea just by being present." he tries to sell with a straight face and furrowed brow that doesn't last long as you roll your eyes and nod at him, hand running through your hair, your gaze across the room under your half-lidded eyes.

"And when I failed to deliver upon such a vocal tease for anyone else's wondering ears, you would continue to be the only one to ever find it funny." you taunt, grin across your mouth, eyes closed as your hand lays partially over your face as your arm rests above it. "I'll stick with 'Fie."

"Fine." he gruffs, reaching to pull the covers away from and then over you both.

"You get to call me Gen and I even let you get away with those Genny's from time to time, so I get to have a nickname for you." you grumble, opening one eye at him to make sure he's paying attention. Which wondering such a thing about him is the most unfounded question as you see his relaxed face, eyes calm pools, already set on yours as you give an involuntary small smile, but loud in the way it ends with your bottom lip between your teeth as you realize he's already watching you.

How could he not be watching you, naked and freshly fucked next to him? "And I said 'is fine dinnit I?" he defends himself with a chuckle, his toes wiggling as he amused himself still at your somehow endearing defensiveness on such trivial things. Such as nicknames.

You suck your bottom lip into your mouth as your fingers have the odd desire to know what his chest chair would feel like under the light touch of your fingertips. You find yourself following the trail of hair that leads from the density of his chest, tapered only to spread again into the dark, surprisingly soft hair between his strong, thick thighs. The sight of him in recline, feet crossed at the ankles, naked as the day he was born, his laughing form making the bed shake beneath him makes you wrinkle your nose as you find yourself conflicted with your usual after sex habits.

When fucked to this degree, this wonderfully tenderized and placated degree, you usually rolled away and found yourself staying in dreamless sleep. But you found yourself not doing that. You laid there, you talked about absolutely nothing, falling in and out of discussion as the moon moved across the sky.

You don't remember when you fell asleep, or who did first, but you do remember thinking as you faded into sleep, that you finally felt like you knew first hand what the girls you'd kept company with in your younger days meant when they'd giggle about pillow talk with their lovers. Your post-sex behavior could be summed up with the expression you'd heard yourself referred to as, 'wham, bam, thank you ma'am'. You rub your face back and forth into the pillow one last time with a grunt before you fall asleep just in time to not notice the new empty feeling growing in your chest as your tired brain made the important connection of present to your past.

Chapter Text

You've seen him wince too many times tonight. It's making you chew a sore spot in your cheek as you watch his small tells, a lip twitch, a stretching and clenching of a hand giving away his pain. You felt partially responsible, and you were to some extent. Being physical with the man wouldn't be anything new, but what you wanted to suggest you weren't sure he'd be up for.

You knew he'd love it if you could get him to relax, which is something you've found he had a very hard time doing. The sex had helped his mood noticeably, as well as yours. You weren't sure if it was the good mood you were forthputting now or getting to see Alfie in full form as he sauntered into the bathroom naked on occasion in the morning that had the girls that worked for you in such a cheery state. You knew if you had to listen to you and Solomons have sex and weren't a participant, the enviable performance sounds would have done exactly the opposite of that for you.

Because of those romps together, and with no help from your preference for hard and fast, your poor Alfie has found himself a bit worse for wear. You knew he'd also been working late this week, he was worn down in too many ways to even give you his usual cheekiness at this point in the evening on a Friday night. Instead, he sat in his pajamas, glasses under roaming eyes as he read. This was interrupted yet again with a grunt as he resituates himself in the seat. You knew what would help him feel better, you even more willing to do it for him, despite how tiring you did find it. You sigh and frown at the man that isn't shining as brightly as he usually does sitting across from you.

"Alfie?" you lilt out, your sweet call to try to set a willing mood.

"Mmmph?" is your grunted response.

"You're hurting again aren't you?" you ask, making his nose wrinkle as he didn't want to talk about it, already feeling less than for not feeling up to his preferred Friday night habit of fucking you.

"Eh." he gruffs out, giving you that hesitancy as his mouth opens and closes, eyes sliding over to you in an angry pout.

You rise and move to sit next to him on the couch, one foot on the ground, the other leg tucked under you as you place your hands gently on his thigh. "I'm certain I could make it hurt less if you're open to me getting my hands on you." you look over at him with those big doe eyes, asking things of him with their appearance.

He narrows his eyes at you, rest of his face neutral. "That's what's caused this flare up I'm in now." he says in a gritty, deeper voice, eyebrow cocking at his obvious tone.

You slump your shoulders. "I don't mean like that," you say with a scrunched up face, brows heavy, showing your disapproving expression clearly. "I'm trying to help, not make it worse." you say, an easy going smile back on your face as you look away from him as you speak.

"Then fuckin' what, Gen?" he says with the impatience in his voice. His aggressive finger picks at a spot of dry skin by his ear, his psoriasis flaring up, giving away how stressed he was. You frown at the cranky man beside you.

"Stop picking." you order, taking his hand and holding it down gently with yours. "You're nearly a mess, Alfie." you sigh, your eyes that aren't as scolding as he expected them to be meet his. "Let me take you to bed with other purposes besides sex, and let me get my hands on you, work all that stress out of you." your tone is polite and asking, not commanding.

"What ya wanna do that for? Ya can just leave me be now, Genevieve." he grumbles. My goodness he was sore in ways besides physical with you this week.

"You know I'm not going to," you say in a non-threatening but obvious way, your doe eyes now giving him a small hopeful smile that breaks his resolve. He never thought softness would be his weakness. But he did so very badly, knowingly or not, need more softness in his life. "And you know I'm good with my hands." you say playfully, nudging his leg with yours.

He sighs and looks at you, your patient face willing to work with his cranky stubbornness.

"You love how soft my skin is, why don't you let me soften you up a bit Solomons?" you give him a pouy, nudging his bicep with your hand. "I'll work you like you do your dough, darling." you say with a silent laugh, still smiling at him, as he knew you could tell you were winning with your kind insistence, trying to get him to act in his best interests for once. "Let me take that screamin' angry back of yours and turn it into a purring kitten." you say with a bat of your lashes, leaning away from him, preparing to rise from the seat. "You don't have to tell me why you're stressed but I'd like you to admit you are and let me help you, you stubborn man." you say in a slightly more scolding tone.

"I don't like gettin' all fussed on when me backs actin' like 'is." he grumbles.

"I'm offering you a way out of being in this mood, Alfie." you state obviously. "Only reason there's fussin' is that you're fighting me on it." you say with crossed arms, giving him a disappointed face a man never wanted to see directed his way.

"Fuckin' 'ell Gen, ya pest." he grumbles, groaning and standing as your victorious smile is unfiltered and beaming at him as you take his arm in yours and lead him to your room, whispering a thank you as you do.
--
"C'mon, bottom half as well." you say with a clap, chucking to yourself as he grunts while getting settled into the middle of the bed on his back. You hook your fingers under all his layers.

"Completely starkers..." he huffs out, kicking his legs at you slowly as you tugged off all his clothes and laughed at his cranky tone. "Not a stitch 'n you still dressed 'n all. Seems like a set up, mate." he groans in his hesitancy to roll to his stomach as you smirk at him and give his bum a tiny whisper of a pat. He hears the rustling of fabric after his statement, wishing he could turn to see what mischief you were up to.

"Only a set up for me to work my magic on you." you say, silent laughing to yourself at your choice of words. "But you have a point on the clothes so..." you take off your soft blue slip, "There, now I don't have to worry about ruining that." he is tossed back and forth slightly as you walk on your knees to him, straddling his bum, he feels the cold glass of the bottles roll to touch his sides as you settle. "But now you have to think about how I'll be naked doing this to you. Brought that on yourself, you did." you lean in to peck a kiss between his shoulders, "Silly man. Gonna be cold for just a tick, babes." you say, distracted, mixing a few oils in your hands. You think he's groaning in response to your words, but your breasts had placed their soft selves against his bare back when you'd kissed him and now he was eating his words about you not wearing anything either. "I'm gonna start at your shoulders, so try not to tense and hurt yourself if it's cold or tingly, alright?" you say in the sweetest voice.

He nods and grunts face first into a pillow.

Your start your hands light, warming him up and getting his raw nerves comfortable with the rhythmic movements your hands brought. After you've rubbed him down gently, back, arms, and arse with the color and softness starting to return to his dry skin from the mixture you were using on him. You weren't pushing hard but the way his body didn't flinch as you stroked it, and the now calmer breathing, littered with small noises of enjoyment from being touched, you knew we he starting to enjoy himself.

"I'm going to start pushing harder on you now, alright? I'll be working these knots out of you so just let me know where it hurts when I ask, 'kay luv?" you coo sweetly, bringing your hands to his lower back.

He nods and grunts in response.

"Alright, when I say inhale, you inhale, and as I push on your back you exhale." you say indifferently, wanting to make sure he knew your instruction.

Another grunt in response.

"Big inhale." you say doing the same. "Full exhale." you command, pushing both your hands up his back, sliding over the slick surface, pops and cracks as you flatten him out up to his shoulders slowly.

His wordless exhale soon turns into a long drawn out groan.

"That's a good boy, now. Again." you say light-heartedly, starting at the base of his back and up again, hard and slow, repeating until he no longer popped and cracked.

"Nothin' 'bout no boy." he groans. "I'm feelin' old as fuckin' dirt with these noises carryin' on." he whines. "Ain't no good at all." he sighs.

"Not that you are, but who cares if you're an old man?" you say supportively. "You certainly don't fuck like one, dear." you offer to console his bruised ego. "A girl needs a dirty old man around to make her feel young and wanted, anyway doesn't she?" you say with a chuckle, your fingers mapping out his ribs and searching for his tension as you tried to pump him full of praise. Men always seemed to act better when you would stroke their ego, and you didn't mind helping out your poor, aching friend who seemed in need of a pick me up.

"So 'ats why you had me move in..." he says as if he's serious. You give him a small smack on his muscular bum.

"Yes, that's entirely why. Did you not know?" you say, moving both your bodies from your laughter, rubbing a hard place with your elbow as he groans. "Certainly not because you were respectful. Or for your cleverness. And absolutely nothing to do with your sense of humor. None of those things were factors." you grin, hearing his noises shift to something much more soft and delicate at the praise, feeling him soften up under your hands.

He doesn't respond but you feel him finally lose all that tension he was unconsciously holding.

You reach his lower back, scooting back to below his bum with your hips. "Which leg is it that it hurts down, dear?" you ask, your thumbs rubbing slow circles on either side of his spine.

"Right." he gruffs out, face totally relaxed as he moved his head to the side.

"Any of this hurt?" you inquire, your fingers walking their way down his cheek and upper thigh.

"Nuh uh" he groans. You smile in response, shaking your head at his pouty lips before working his hips, thumbs on the outside of his cheeks and he lets out a loud groan as you start to chuckle again.

"Oh he likes that." you coo at him, grinning as you continued. "Have to oil up these creaky hinges, don't we?" you say in a baby talk tone. "You're doing wonderfully dear, just keep your breathing slow." you remind him.
After he's a shining, knot free, damn fine specimen you get to the part that's going to tire you out. You re-oil your hands with a different bottle. Taking slow deep breaths and rubbing your hands together.

"Now I'm going to go move back up to your back, sweetie." you let him know, hopping back up him. "Now you're just going to focus on relaxing. Okay? I've worked out the knots, you keep your body and mind calm now."

"I ain't very good at relaxin' me mind." he grumbles. You had figured he would say that, and here he was, playing into your plan perfectly.

"Then let's see if the meditation I do works on you then, hmmm?" you ask cheerfully.

"Wassat?" he asks, voice nowhere near the tone you wanted it.

"The breathing is important. Keep your breathing with mine. The timing is important to bring all the oxygen to your organs and brain to make you feel better. You just have to be willing to try to focus alright?" you say, patting his back before you stretch and crack your knuckles.

He grunts and nods, moving his head back to straightforward in a pillow.

"Breathe with me Alfie. In and out." you set a slow pace, closing your eyes, feeling the warmth of his skin under your hands, your fingertips feeling every freckle, tattoo, and scar. Feeling your chests expand and compress at the same time.

You didn't know how Alfie would feel about you using your techniques on him. You had done this for people before sure, but they knew you were trying to cleanse them. And it was certain as you instructed him to clear his mind, letting yours find that calm, still place in yourself, that he was full of bad energy.

Keeping your words paced with the rhythmic breathing, you instruct, "Now imagine all that stress...all that anger and annoyance...all those negative feelings...paranoia...guilt. Imagine all those are just black smoke. Smoke that has built up inside you for too long. You can feel it moving around, trying to take you over. But as you take a deep breath in...you're inhaling light." you feel his hesitation as you try to connect with him. "If you focus it'll work Alfie, I promise. Indulge me." you say softly, feeling him give up that control again. "When you breathe in the light, you exhale the dark." You push up on him as he exhales, seeing yourself in your minds eye pushing that toxicity out of him.

You felt your hair around your face getting damp from sweating. This was taking a lot out of you, it always did, but of course, he was a particularly stubborn case. It was almost as if he had something clinging to him. Something dark that did not want to let go. Something that would take more than one round of this to keep out of him. You pushed harder on the exhaling, flattening him out and focusing. He's being completely compliant and you couldn't be more grateful. Your breathing is getting more labored, still working him like dough, using your own inner calm, that light you fight so hard to keep balanced in yourself over to him. You weren't even sure why you felt so compelled to connect with him in such a way, as it was such a chore. But you finally feel it after a particularly tense exhale, that moment where the tension snaps. The calm falls over you, like snowflakes, slowly descending and landing on you in tiny frozen drops, a calm quiet like you'd find on a winter night.

You hear a quiet exhale from him as you feel the click, you're flooded with relief. You force your eyes open, still rhythmically connected with the plying of his body as your eyes flutter and you take in a shaky exhale. The feeling resembling that over holding your breath underwater for almost too long and coming up, gasping for air. Your brow furrowed, the tiredness in your muscles hitting you, the soft focus view of everything that comes for you after doing work like this make you whimper before you straighten up and move off him.

You lay in the bed next to him on your back. He's not moved, a limp noodle who was, thanks to you, blissed out and relaxed in what was the first time in years it must've been with as backed up as he was.

You're exhausted, yawning and stretching. He stirs with a groan, looking at you with no furrow in his brow.

"Right." he says as if he's just noticed you'd stopped. He inhales, rubbing his face, and starts to turn to his side. He doesn't grunt or groan. "Fuck me..." he says softly, as he isn't a mass of tension for the first time he can recall. "C'mere," he says, pulling you over to him, chest to chest. "What the fuck did you do you angel?" he says with a quiet laugh. "I feel much better, luv." he takes a deep breath, his eyes blinking slowly, hooded and soft breath escape his soft lips. "Much fuckin' better." he says with an amazement to his tone. "Thank you." he says, placing a kiss to your forehead. He sure was handsome blissed out like this, you thought. His hair was messy, his noises soft and happy.

"While you're in a good mood let me rub this excess oil off on you." you mumble, lazily grinning as you run your hands over his face. Your soft hands, warm and smooth rub over his dry skin, fingertips circling wherever you found dry spots, rubbing his temples lightly to keep him still as your fingers ran through his beard, coating it in the oil as well. "You'll be as soft as me in no time if you use this stuff." you say softly, a quiet hum from your happiness he was letting you fuss over him in such a way. "It'll help your skin and your beard. You won't be able to keep the ladies hands off you if you're all cuddly." you say with a small huff of amusement, grinning again at him.

"Don't worry 'bout me skin." he pouts, you sensed it was a delicate subject, and you understood his hesitancy. If he'd had people take the piss out of him for this glasses, you're sure some piece of shit has something about his spots. You knew of only one way to try to help such an insecurity.

You look up at him, his head hanging slightly over you, your fingers go immediately to the spots, your thumbs rubbing over them as you hold his face, your eyes move over his features. You'd never cared about the spots yourself, but you knew what they were and something like a skin condition wasn't something that would take away from anyone's attractiveness as far as you were concerned. Especially when the attraction was beyond physical from the start on your behalf.

"I never have." you say softly, your lips pouted, your eyes still tired but the feeling you made him feel when you looked into his eyes like that made the words take the breath out of him like a hit to the gut. He felt resentful for a moment. That you could cut away at him like this, keep catching him off guard with simple gestures that felt more like loud declarations. "Perhaps I should reveal my selfish motives for wanting you so soft?" your closed mouth smile, your tiny hum as you exhaled all kept his eyes on you.

He nods, his eyes moving slowly over your face as you look away a moment to take a deep breath and move your fingers to his disshelved hair.

"You aren't the only one of us that likes to touch soft things, you know." you raise an eyebrow at him. "If your beard was less wirey, it'd make it more pleasant to kiss you." you admit with a subtle tilt of your head.

"You certainly know how to talk a man into doing what you want, don't you?" he says with a soft chuckle, brushing a bit of your hair starting to dry now and curl, little waves surrounding your face and framing it like filigree. He goes against his better judgment and kisses you. You gently accept with small pressure given back to him from your lips.

"Do I?" you ask in a mischievous tone.

"Humble as always." he says, chuckling as he kisses you again. You can feel he wants more by the way he exhales before his tongue brushes against your lips. You shake your head at him and he retreats.

"Your back, 'Fie." you remind him.

"Well ya went and fixed it, dinnit ya?" he retorts.

"No, you have to rest." you say more forcefully but you laugh as his face has moved to your chest.

"Nah." he groans at you as you laugh, your hand now on his shoulder, the other in his hair.

"I'm not going to have you going and hurting yourself just because you're feeling a bit spry now." you scold, voice still sweet and soft. "Can I talk you into going to sleep instead?" you suggest in a whiney voice as he nips at you before raising his face to yours. "I'm tired. I know you're tired. If you wanna fool around tomorrow night I might say yes if you are still pain-free and you talk to me proper nice." you say with a raising of your chin to his, shaking your head as your charming smile once again gets him to agree to whatever it wants.

Chapter Text

He's come home to an eerily silent house. No one answers him at the door, and he sees no one on the way to his room. As he's changed into something more comfortable and made his way cautiously around the house, subconsciously heading straight for your room, turning swiftly as he hears a noise from the kitchen.

He pads down the dim back hallways of the house that connect almost all the rooms. He hears you and exhales noisily, putting his gun into the back of his trousers. He moves towards the sound of you talking to yourself as you're leaning over slightly, hands on your knees, looking into the oven window. You have a lovely flowing blue dress on, your hair pulled back messily, bits loose and pieces fall in no certain order.

"Where is everyone?" you hear Alfie call from the other side of the kitchen.

"It's a summer day off I give the house staff before my birthday." you explain, turning to face him, showing a smudged apron and a flushed face.

"What do ya do that for?" he asks, chin moving up as he approaches you, hand on the large wooden butcher block top of the island in the center of the kitchen.

"Well it's very stressful on them. The planning, the cleaning up, tending to guests. It can get a bit wild so some can come upon uncomfortable situations and I like my people happy so I give them time off before and after the party." you explain, laying your pot holders to the surface his hand rested on.

"Well that's nice of ya innit?" he asks rhetorically, looking into the oven behidn you. "What ya got in there?" he asks, head nodding towards the dish.

"Dinner." you say with a chuckle. "Hopefully. It's been well over ten years since I've made it." you say with an uneasy smile and a shrug.

"Well what is it?" he clarifies.

"A Potato Kugel." you say, moving with him as he walks towards the oven.

"What ya makin' a Kugel for luv?" he says with a surprised look on his face.

You turn to sit on a stool by the counter. "Well Aggie reminded me it was the anniversary of Ida's death and got me feeling all nostalgic." you say with sweet inflection to your voice.

"Who's Ida?" he asks, turning to you, hands in his pockets.

"She was the nurse I had from before I even born." your lashes flutter, your eyes moving around the room in memory.

"Has Agatha not been with ya that long?"

"She worked in the same home, but she wasn't my personally assigned nurse." you explain.

"Personally assigned nurse. I forget how posh your upbringing was sometimes." he admits with a small half smile and a quick tilt of his head.

"Hush." you say with a chuckle.

"Was this something Ida made?"

"Yes. I loved it when I was younger. She'd made me one special sometimes." he adores the girlish smile that comes across your face as a good memory dances behind your eyes.

"Was Ida one of mine?" he asks, turning his eyes back to the oven for a moment.

"Yeah." you laugh, finding the way he asked his questions very entertaining from time to time. "I don't know much beyond her being Russian and Jewish though." you admit with a furrowed brow.

"Oi, she was like me 'en wunnit she?" he lets out a surprisingly loud laugh.

"Are you Russian?" you ask, your surprise clear in your high pitched voice.

He grins at your big eyes and open mouth. "Me mother was." he says with a nod.

"Well that's a bit of serendipity isn't it?" you say with a childlike wonderment on your face. "That's lovely." you say with a very charming smile, kicking your feet as they don't touch the floor in the high chair.

"Well we'll remember her fondly tonight with this." you say with a heavy sigh. "Aggie thought I could make it from memory. Although I'm not entriely convinced yet that her faith is misplaced, I just haven't cooked anything in so long."

"Yeah I don't know that I've ever seen ya do much besides put jam on toast." he pauses, his fingers pick at his beard as he thinks. "Nah, you's heatin' up leftovers in a pan one night in 'ere wunnt ya?" he chuckles.

"I'm perfectly capable of cooking, I just haven't had to in awhile. Aggie thought it might be nice for me to make something to eat for once since it'd be just a handful of us here tonight. Not like I had to make a huge meal." you elaborate.

"And what better to make than a Kugel?" he says with a grin.

Then it hits you and you start to laugh, your face moving to your hands on the counter.

"What?" he asks, eyes getting wider.

"I got fucking worked by cheeky 'ol Ags is what." you groan out. "Fell right fucking into that." you sigh, turning to face him, wiping your fingers under your eyes.

He stands, raised eyebrows still waiting for a response.

"It's only going to be a few people here tonight. She knew she could use Ida as an excuse to get me to cook. And of course, she lures me right into making a Jewish dish. And she knew you'd be here tonight for dinner. A dinner that I'm making...cooking for the first time since you've moved in...ya see where this is going?" you ask with a wrinkled nose.

The realization blooms across his face as he laughs out loud, eyes crinkling at Agatha. "Relentless." he says with a shake of her head.

"So she IS bothering you about me as well? Because she's sure as fuck bother me about you." you both start to laugh.

"Of fuckin' course she has been Genny." he says gruffly as if it were the most obvious fact in the world.

"She is persistent if nothing else." you say with a sigh as you both laugh until a sigh builds between you, biding your time over the cripsing Kugel.

"I meant to tell ya when I came in 'an got so distracted by your divine skills in Jewish cookin' that I must've gotten sidetracked with the urge to propose and forgot." he says with a goofy smile.

You blink your eyes at him, giving him a playfully warning smirk.

"I 'eard some boys talkin' 'bout you today." he says with an odd but not off putting expression. "And a few ladies, come to think." he adds with a nod.

"What?" you ask with an unsure shake of your head.

"I 'eard you's the girl that knocked the granny out 'a Darby." he says proudly before his shoulders shake with a silent laugh.

"Oh, the word must be getting around then." you say with a big, slow nod. "It seemed I got hassled less today and I wasn't sure if it was coincidence or not." you say with a thoughtful pout.

"Apparently that second hit gave him a bit of a shiner and with the need for explanation, that he ain't givin', yeah? It's findin' its way around the rumor mill 'bout now. And apart from the normal derogatory terms that are inescapable amongst that sort of company, it's all about you being quite the little bearcat, roughin' up Darby 'n gangsters like me 'n the like." he gives you a sly smile.

You study his face, still smirking at his words. "They aren't talking about us working together?"

"I 'on't fink nobody gives a flyin' fuck as long as the subject of a woman beatin' up a gangster is on the table." he says in a matter of fact sort of way that your find oddly relieving to hear.

"Seems that worked out in my favor." you say with a huff of a laugh.

"You got all of London whispering about what a tough little bird ya are, luv." he says quietly with a supportive smile, leaning in closer to you.

You aren't really sure how to take the news. It was good, but you were still left nervous. You breathe a sigh of relief after a shielded reassuring smile at him before he moves to fetch drinks. The kitchen is quiet, but it's noisy in your head as you wonder how far the word would spread, and even more curious as to how that rumor might change as it traveled.
---------------
You're raging with blood to back up your fury as you've barricaded yourself in your studio again for the few days. It isn't unknown to those who have been in your employee for any amount of time how you prefer to be left alone for a few days a month. And by left alone you mean you are probable to yell, and not in polite words at anyone who did anything to upset you. At this point, you ruled as a ditator in your household, you tried to compensate for your behavior with kindness to your staff, the poor dears.

Alfie pads up the stairs, taking his time, listening to shouts from the landing above him, slowly coming into view. He hears a teacup smash and girl hunched over, trying not to look mad, shuffles out of your studio hurriedly. He stands and moves his head with her, watching her rush away. He returns his head with a quick swing as he hears Aggie's familiar sigh and a door shutting.

"My word Mr. Solomons," she says rolling her eyes, "Why are you up here? I told you she wasn't fit for company, poor dear." she says, shoudlers slumped, clearly tired and bless her, she was still trying to shine this in a positive light.

"Well she ain't come down for tea 'an then I's told she was feelin' poorly and I thought it proper to bring her somefin'." he says with a hopeful tone that makes Aggie shut her eyes and took a deep breath and hoping to herself that you'd see how thoughtful this man was one day. "I didn't know what was wrong so I just brought her 'is." he holds up a box from his bakery, flowers limply resting on top, wrapped in paper.

Aggie frowns and he's entirely confused by the expresssion. He thought women liked these sorts of things. Her face is really scowling because of how pleasant he could be in his honesty with his shrugging shoulders and questioning brows.

"You really didn't have to go to all that trouble." she says, biting the inside of her cheek at him.

"Well, she coulda been fuckin' dyin' up here what with how no one would tell me what was wrong with her, eh?" he says with a nod, eyes wide.

"She isn't always in such a foul mood," she says with one last sigh, moving away from the door, letting him enter by his own choice. "But there's always the chance she won't be miserable at you if you go in there and be your charmin', young self at her," she says matter of factly, moving slowly back to the stairs. "I don't care what she says, I know she likes it." she says in a sassy way and to no one in particular even though it was just the two of them upstairs.

He clears his throat, readjusting the box in his grip and knocking swiftly on the door.

"WHAT?" you state loudly, not in anger but in the least rude way you could get away with. The door opens with a quiet squeak as he pushes through his hesitancy, still not knowing what he would be met with.

You are perched on a stool, back slightly hunched with one foot resting on the seat, the other hanging down. You were posed much like a gargoyle on a cathedral with your curved back, a claw-like pose of your hands around the paint brush, extended to the canvas as he enters.

"Genevieve?" you hear his familiar voice, it felt even more warm than usual. He must have been warned. You move your face, stone with a heavy brow to his wide eyed curious face with a sigh.

"Alfie..." you sigh noisily. "Why are you here?" you ask in an annoyed drawn out way.

"Can I come In?" he asks politely, his lips pouting just slightly as your eyes narrowed at him, waiting to walk further into the room. At least he wasn't being a pest.

"Fine." you groan, shaking your head and setting down your brush. You turn to see him walk in, the box you know to be from his bakery in his hands, your stomach grumbles at the sight. You notice the paper on the top actually conceals flowers and is not part of the box and your stone face breaks.

The laugh starts in your chest, your eyes squeezing shut as you put your hands over your face as you laugh. You turn your head back to him as he approaches. You slowly drag your hands down your face, pulling bits of pieces of your already wild and haphazard bun that rested on top of your head down with your fingers. You sigh and exhale in a dramatic way. You leave one hand on your face, your fingers over your mouth. You've stopped laughing by the time he reaches your side. You take in his casual appearance, the smell of rum telling you he'd just gotten home from work.

His eyes meet yours, they're cheerful and you give a half smile at what he must've been told about you in this state. He sees your eyes reflecting something that he thought might be pity and he's not sure why.

"You brought me fucking flowers? You absolute fool." your voice is deeper than usual, more gritty.

"Well you weren't at tea and I was told you felt poorly so..." he shrugs and you lower your hand and take the flowers, moving both legs to a normal sitting position, sitting them on your lap. You readjust the black robe around your shoulders, the paper slides off the slick silk of the floor length gown.

"Why in the hell did you bring me flowers and sweets?" you ask, sounding exasperated but your face read as indifferent, almost amused.

"I was told you felt poorly." he says as if it's obvious. "I thought it proper to bring you somefin." he says in defense of himself. "We live in the same fuckin' house Genevieve, if ya sick, I'm not just gonna ignore you." as he speaks you take the box from his hands and open it, eating one of the round pastries.

"Perhaps you should." you say chewing slowly, your eyes looked tired, the circles under them more visible than the last time he'd seen you.

"Am I not allowed to bring you things when don't feel well now?" he sounds on the precipoce of annoyance to your difficult defaulted setting.

"They didn't tell you why I felt poorly I'm guessing" a single eyebrow raise and subtle half smile, breaking the tight lips that held too much tension.

"Well no but...what's that gotta do with anythin'?" he asks, shaking his head.

"Well, for your ease of understanding, if one were Jewish they might refer to me currently withe term, Niddah." you say, rolling your head back his way, looking for the understanding in his face. It was there.

"Ah." he says rather loudly, making you flinch slightly as you felt sensitive to such things at the moment. "Well everything makes much more sense now, dunnit?" he says with a lazy smirk and a small chuckle as you clearly are holding back a smile, your brow low but your eyes not angry in any way.

You shrug an eyebrow and your shoulders in response.

"Well, you don't gotta separate yourself now do ya? What ya hidin' up here for?" he asks, shoulders losing their stiffness now, his head nodding with his words encouragingly.

"When I feel particularly overwhelmed I isolate myself. I don't like being such a bear so I prefer to be alone," you say evenly, cooly, no offense meant. "I'm guessing your interpretation of ritual is a bit loose since you're still in the room?" you say with a smirk, side-eyeing him, cracking a joke.

"Eh." he shrugs, his voice gruff. "I fuck up most days anyway dunnit I?" he offers with an easy going nod and eye roll at his own words.

This makes you laugh again, a quiet, more chesty laugh, pieces of hair falling into your face as your shoulders shake. You raise your head nodding, taking another heavy breath and looking over him, your face tired but your smile still subtly worn. "Good it isn't kisses and hugs but rather food and solitary I crave while like this isn't it?" you say with a sarcastic tone, your face back to pleasant.

"After the maids warned me of your foul mood, I didn't think bringin' the former in here with me would be particularly useful. " he says with a smile, his eyes playful.

"I'm never entirely opposed to anything." you say low, a humorus twist to your words, keeping your chuckle silent. "However, I do feel much like a busted old boot in this state." you admit, your face frowning slightly.

"Well now I can't have ya talkin' like 'at about yourself now can I?" he says with a sarcastic over the top frown, moving towards you, you narrow your eyes as he approached with an extended arm. He wraps one around your shoulders, pulling you close to his side, after putting your arm around his waist despite your disapproving pout.

You hated how precious the action felt so much in fact, that you started to cramp again.

"I won't wear out my welcome, luv." he says in a warm way that taps against your shield of pouting and frowns. Your raw state, your nostrils twitch at the masculine smell of him as your face was just short of grazing the loose fabric of his shirt. Your mood shifts quickly, as it often does and you swallow as the smell of him relaxes you, breaking through your grumpy phase and pulling you into your stage of craving comfort. "But will you be coming down? I bought some new books and I'm happy to bury my nose in those alone all night if that's what you wish, but I thought it worth askin'." he looks down at you, and you look at him with big kitten like eyes. You sigh and touch his hand that rests on your shoulder with your own.

"You want me to come down for dinner?" you ask, your eyes narrowing from underneath, "Even in this state?" your voice gives away your surprise.

"I want ya in any state, darling." he says, excessively and dramatically throwing his charm at you in an obnoxious way, his head shaking down towards yours, your noses almost touching.

"Fuck off with it now," you say low, your mouth smiling ever so slightly as you shove him away from you by the ribs. He laughs and holds his side as if you'd hurt him. "Fine. I'm fucking starving anyway." you sigh loudly , popping another pastry into your mouth.
-------
You're outside in a lovely sheer green dress, matching silk slip, blending you into the rows of flowers as you moved in and out, heading towards the path to go in for tea. You're taking your gloves off, beating them outside the door as you look up and see down the long corridor that something rests on the table by the stairs that you hadn't put there, and in the midst of party planning this puts your senses on high alert. You toss the gloves into the box of tools and use the clean side of your apron to wipe the sweat from your face. You step over the boxes of food and decor for your party that lay in organized piles in the long hallway by the entryway to the kitchen.

As you approach your brow furrows, your fingers reaching out lightly to touch the purple petals of an Iris. Your soft expression glances over the large floral arrangement that didn't match anything you'd ordered, you find a card inside. "It's not a field and it's not Faberge but it is French and sent with feeling. Happy Birthday." The swooping signature, as big and obnoxious as the man himself didn't have to be seen to know the alliteration to be of his doing.

"What's these?" you hear Aggie ask moving the mixed arrangement of deep jewel tone flowers, the deep purple of iris's with their yellow accents, maroon and navy, all posed in a vase, black and bejeweled sits hidden under the cascading bottom of deep greenery, fluffing the whole thing to it's ground stature.

"From the missus." you say with a laugh, watching Aggie's face as she reads the odd little poem he's left.

"Christ on the cross, Genevieve, this man," she says handing the paper back to you with a huff and readjustment of her apron. "Sometimes I think it's you that doesn't deserve him." she says, picking up the vase, already knowing to move it to your room.

"Oui," you mumble, a subtle nod. "Sometimes I think that as well." you whisper out. A slow inhale and exhale, looking about the room, knowing you had no time right now to address such feelings that his personal touches left you with. You had a party to stage.

Chapter Text

The night is planned and set. If everyone followed orders, the night would be one big wonderful foggy blank space come tomorrow evening.

You're making your last rounds downstairs before people arrive, floating amongst the tall flower arrangments that sat on the gold and metallic linens, surrounded by gold chairs covered in bows and ribbon. Garlands of flowers covered the banisters, the columns and along the ceiling, hanging down from the second story balcony in the entryway. A champagne fountain in the ballroom, a table full of desserts in the dining room, everything was set and decorated and ready and you felt that wonderful adrenaline of anxiety from a good time being so near.

"C'mon ya little bird, flittering around the place." Freddie says, pushing you with both hands towards the kitchen. "One last thing you need to finalize before I get ahold of that mop on top of your head."

"What's left? I have the food with the sweets and the drinks..the drugs...the flowers...the band...the decoration...the garden is about finished, they're testing the lights right now." you're shaking your head and touching your fingertips to each other as if checking off a list with a furrowed brow.

"Well...I might've gotten you a little something of sorts." he says proudly.

"WHAT?" you squeak with eyebrows raised high, face darting back and forth.

"'Ere she is!" you hear Alfie's voice, your head tilting like a puppy at the sound as he's standing in the back hallway you're being rushed down.

"What's this?" you inquire as he moves his arm around your shoulders, Freddie moving past you.

"We mighta conspired together for ya birthday. Puttin' my skills and his expertise together to make ya somethin', birthday girl." the smirk on his face is smug as hell and you give him a smile with narrowed eyes, watching his face as he spoke.

"What did my two best boys do?" you say in a baby talk inflection. "You two working together, my word, I do hope you aren't leading me to my death." you giggle and he gives your cheek a smooch as he turns you before you round the corner into the kitchen.

"It ready?" he says, still grinning at you, but his face turned and calling out to Freddie.

"Ready!" you hear Freddie lilt.

"Alright love. We thought there's one thing missin' from ya party, and especially it being ya birthday I thought it awful depressin' for you to not have one..."

"Just let me see!" you say bouncing a bit in excitement with your shoulders.

"Well stop bouncin' like 'at and I'll be able to stop looking at bits and let you go." he laughs, eyes crinkling.

"Let her go you big bad wolf!" Freddie calls out.

"Eh...alright." he says with a big grin, letting go of your shoulders.

You round the corner like a child on Christmas morning. Before you sits a large cart with wheels and on top of it a giant birthday cake. You'd passed on a cake this year as you'd went with just a full bar of little sweets instead. But as soon as you saw it you knew they'd made the right call.

"Holy fucking hell..." you say, your eyes big and bright, circling the towering cake. It's top tier sat so far above your head that you had to lean your head back to see it. It had four parts, each separated with lifts and filled with flowers that matched those you'd decorated the house in. They traveled up and down the cake in perfectly placed trails, cascading down the tiers of white frosting. The top tier was gold, covered in sugar that made it look as if it were glittering, catching the light perfectly. The bottom tier was decorated with little tiny beads of sugar, connected with indentions in the frosting to make it look like the linens you'd chosen for the ballroom. The other tiers white and plain, showing off the lovely flowers beautifully. You'd been circling the cake in silence with your mouth open.

"Me n Freddie got together and put my bakin' and his design together and this is the creature we created."

"Might be the only joining of us I'll get close to but it was bloody fun." Freddie grins.

"Keep it in ya trousers Fred." you snort. "Plenty of other men for you to join together with will be here tonight." you laugh, putting your hands around Alfie's arm.

"Ya callin' dibs, eh?" he smiles down at you with a wrinkled nose in teasing at you.

"Well you're welcome to use me as a scapegoat if anyone unseemly comes onto you while you're here." you chuckle.

"Are you calling me unseemly? Don't tell the man doing your hair and makeup that unless ya wanna come out lookin' like a poodle who got into a bar fight." he puts his hands on his hips in an expression of his faux offense.

"Just so happens that's the look I'm going for." you snark back.

"Well in that case, cheerio, my work is done here, goodnight. Find me buried in my bad decisions with drunk straight men if ya need me!" he moves his arms dramatically as his voice raises.

"Why do I keep company like this?" you say in a lower voice, but still loud enough for Freddie to hear, smirking up at Alfie.

"Because you reflect yourself in the company ya keep ya tart!" he laughs. "If you're going to act like you've never been buried in drunk straight men I'll call ya a liar."

With this Alfie lets out a laugh, his shoulders moving with it, showing it's sincerity.

"Anyone besides someone wired wrong like us hearin' you talk to each other like 'at would think ya hated each other." he says with his laughter slowly fading.

"That's because we do hate each other." Freddie grins, coming over to kiss your cheek.

"Yes, kisses now because I am not letting that mouth touch me after this party." you snort and he straight faces you, eyes moving to Alfie.

"And to believe I kissed her goodbye after you two fucked all night. Means I've practically kissed you myself! Tsk tsk tsk." Alfie laughs again and Freddie's eyes return to yours. "We've kissed after both of us doin' far worse than what we'll be up to tonight little miss léchouille." he says in a clear taunt, quirking an eyebrow up at you before turning to leave.

"Léchouille?" Alfie asks. You sigh and huff out a laugh.

"He called me that after I got drunk one night and apparently went on to do a monologue about how much I enjoyed giving oral sex" you shrug and wait for a reaction.

Alfie laughs again, hand to his stomach. "Apparently I've not gotten you drunk on the right stuff." he chuckles. "Never had you confess anything to me while drunk." he says like the fact hurt his feelings.

"No but you have seen me in my Little Miss léchouille form haven't you?" you smirk.

"Oh well, fuck me, you're right." he says with a predatory grin. "You are proper talented at it though, luv. In defense of the nickname." he says low, forehead nearing yours.

"I take no offense to it. I love it and I'm great at it so who's it hurt? Not me." you chuckle. "If someone wants to give me shit about the nickname, that just tells me they've never given or received a proper suck and I just feel sorry for them." you shake your head and move your hand dismissively.

"You are somethin' else, Genny." his eyes moving across your face to take in the confident smirk.

"Something else entirely, darling." you lilt, turning to face him and taking his hands in yours. "And on a more serious note, thank you for the cake. It's fucking beautiful. Breathtaking. Truly. You're an artist, cheri." you purr at him, moving your head in earnest.

"Well you's all those things too innit ya?" he says with a wink. "I had to at least try to make it worthy to call YOUR birthday cake, dinnit I? Somefin' as gorgeous as you, eh?" he gives that little smug chin nod when he knows he's being charming and you willingly melt right into it.

"I'll have to properly thank you for this later," you wink back, tongue between your teeth. "Maybe a nice...long...meeting with little miss léchouille?" you wiggle your eyebrows before you start to laugh.

He leans down to kiss you with a single, slow sensual peck, as he'd gotten very good at knowing what to do to make you putty in his hands when it came to sex. "You promisin' that with just this cake..." he grins and steps away from you. "I'm lookin' forward to hearin' what ya offer after your real present." he returns the wiggle of eyebrows before turning to walk back down the hall.

"My real...? What?! You got me more?! Alfie Solomons you charmer, I swear!" you squeak as you hear his laugh down the hall and you chase after him.
----

You have your record player on in your room, the band downstairs in the ballroom playing faintly in the background. You're in front of your vanity and Freddie is fluffing your hair to be enormous and curly for the night. Your makeup dark and bold, you sat posed as you admired yourself in the mirror. The bodice was jewel encrusted as promised and the sheer fabric blended into your skin, making you look as if you were naked but the stones. Which happened to be one of your fantasies. The gold glittered across your gleaming skin, you smell of expensive Paris perfume and the air is buzzing about you as you loosen up to prepare to go down the now building crowd.

"Shoulda known ya's still gettin' ready." Alfie says with a sarcastic tone, grinning at you as he sneaks into the room.

You had everything you wanted for tonight. Everything had fallen exactly into place as it should. Except for one thing. Except for Alfie. He had something come up far away with work that he could not get out of, having been planned long before he had even moved in. It was just poor timing and there wasn't really anything you could do. It was a bummer that one of your best friends wouldn't be able to stay and get a bit crazy with you tonight but you understood.

"You've got to leave them wanting, cheri." you say in a playful pout, smiling at him, watching him enter the room in the mirror.

"Well I's wantin' to keep 'em waitin' a bit longer cause I wanted a word with ya." he says, body language still casual, his slightly tilted head and friendly eyes let you know this isn't a bad conversation that's coming.

You open your mouth to ask Freddie to leave and he interrupts your thoughts.

"I have to get my suit on, you two go at it. If I end up leaving with someone, I'll say Happy Birthday now Gen." he says, kissing your temple, your return it in earnest to his cheek, holding his face as you do so.

"Danke, darling." you coo at him, patting his face before he left through the secret way out in the closet. "What do you need me for Fie?" you bat your lashes at him, hands in your lap as you turn around on your tufted seat to face him as he sits on the side of your bed, not far from you.

"C'mere I gotta give ya the other present before you get lost out there in that sea of bodies and I can't find ya before I 'ave to leave." he says, patting the bed next to him, you bounce up happily, sitting facing him with a bent leg, wide eyes waiting.

"Ya got me somefing?" you chuckle. Mimicking his voice as it sounded the same whenever he brought you home something, from leftover tests of new bread to ornate bejeweled bee necklaces.

"Yeah, little summat. Happy Birthday, Genevieve." he says sweetly, handing you a rectangular box that has been tucked into his jacket.

"After that bee, you were good on presents far past Chanukah darling." you say with a soft girlish laugh that makes him smile, watching your painted fingertips unwrap the ribbon with precision.

You look over at him, indulging him with an excited glance before you open the heavy box. Inside is a stunningly decorated dagger.

His eyes study your face, waiting to remember this expression. Your eyes go wide and still, your lips set in a silent and pouty "o". The dagger was set inside a bright, iridescent sheath. A loud and gorgeous shade of green that shifted as you took it into your hands. Your fingertips run over the subtle filigree in a deep bronzey gold, small intricate lace-like patterns border the smooth green surface. The handle set in the same color of gold, stones set around its base, the grip not too decorated, you knew you'd actually be able to use it and not just look at it, which made it that much better.

You don't realize you haven't spoken until he breaks the silence. "I coulda gone with one that was covered in jewels, fuckin' gorgeous with more of the little detailin' you got all over everfing in ya fuckin' house." he says with a grin, his eyes still taking in the delicate actions of admiration he loved to see. "But I knew they'd have all 'em little fuckin'... holes 'n cracks..." he moves his hand to exaggerate his point.

"And it'd be really hard to..." you say you a slow blink, your head nodding subtly in agreement.

"Clean." you both say at the same time, his head nodding in agreement.

"Yeah," he says softly but enthusiastically, a soft smile appearing under even softer eyes. "I wanted ya to use it, right? Didn't want to get ya somefin' ya'd have to fuss with." he says with a frown, a small shake of his head to elaborate his point.

"Having one I can use is what I would always prefer with weapons," you say softly, taking it out of its sheath with a slice that hits your ears, making you get goosebumps. "She's remarkable, Alfie, thank you," you say in an almost shy voice, leaning in to place your fingertips gently on his face, kissing his cheek. "You wouldn't have happened to have gotten me something so lovely and grand because you still feel guilty about tonight would you?" you say with a hint of a scold to your tone. You keep your voice quiet since you're sitting so close, your thumb and finger give his freshly manicured beard a slight tug before you move away again.

You hadn't wanted him to feel guilty as soon as you'd seen him flinch after telling you the news after getting a few glasses of wine into you both. The poor thing thought you'd be so upset you'd hit him. The thought passing your mind again makes you smile and release of a huff of a laugh, the way you looked at him confusing him slightly. If it'd been anything but work yes you would've been upset, but thankfully for you both, you were reasonable when you felt it warranted.

"Now 'at..." he points to the dagger you're now sliding into your thigh holster. "Been some time in the makin' so it was just a happy coincidence."

In the making? You wondered, running your fingers over the delicate detailing, you realize the color is similar to that of his snake ring you were so fond of.

"Did you have this made, Alfie?" you ask quietly, your head tilted, brow furrowed just slightly, your eyes not leaving the dagger.

"Aye. Might've." he says with a nod, the corner of his mouth pulled back as your eyes swoop up to meet his.

"This is...you designed this? This is customized?" your chin pushes into your prominent chest, your hand moving to touch his arm in your excitement involuntarily.

"Yeah." he nods, being very humble about it. "Couldn't very well get you somefin 'at someone else has, could I?" he says, with a minor shake of his head, your shoulders slump and your lip pouts at the sentiment. You needed to start planning for his birthday now. "Gotta get someone unique like you somefin' just the same." he says in a casual way that makes it even more charming somehow. Alright, you needed to start planning for his birthday yesterday.

"Alfie." you say in a whine that makes his eyebrows raise in surprise. You move to kiss his cheek again, but you know that's not enough. "Why'd you have to go give this to me after I've done my makeup?" you say softly with a laugh, moving to sit in his lap facing him. The surprise moves over his face as his wide eyes move over your bodice and sleek slit velvet skirt, the layer beneath the huge princess bottom to your gown which was removable. You weren't about to try to get pissed in a huge ball gown and hurt yourself again. "I could've given such a gift a proper thanks in the moment instead of later." You kiss him anyway. One single peck, a smooch with the appropriate noise connected. "Thank you." Another peck.

"Yer very welcome, sweetheart." he manages to get out.

"You have the most gorgeous eye for beautiful things love, I swear." you say enthusiastically. "Designing a whole piece...a cake? Look at you, Solomons." you praise his stunning efforts. "Perhaps since you have such a fine eye, I might drag you to Paris with me." you say sweetly, your head tilted as you speak in a warm tone that when added on top of your fingers in his hair, moving as you spoke, making his eyes close.

"Wouldn't 'ave to drag me." he says in a chuckle.

"Your commentary on the fashion alone would be worth the trip, I'm certain." you say with a soft laugh.

"Probably get us kicked out of ya posh parties with my fuckin' opinions." his mouth continues its effortless charming smile.

"That's almost entirely the point, darling," you speak through a chuckle, watching him smile at your acceptance and even welcoming of his behaviors that most complained about. "It'd be so interesting to see it through your eyes since we have similar tastes but different backgrounds."

"I was thinkin' much the same fing 'bout you when I went last." he admits, his eyes opening to find your expression soft, your fingers still fidgeting with his appearance. "Bet there are all sorts of fuckin' things I'd never think to do there that you'd know about all about, eh?" he inquires sincerely. The look in his eyes makes you actually want to throw him in a suitcase and take him to Paris with you in fact and not fantasy.

"You are so thoughtful and sentimental to act like such a bastard, you know that?" you say with your noses almost touching, grinning down at him before you planted another kiss to his cheek. Your fingers fussed with the wild swirl of hair that always threatened to ruin his slicked-back hairstyle at the top of his head. Your shoulders shook as you silently laughed, leaning back, fingers still running over his hair and beard as he watched you with half-lidded eyes you didn't notice. His forearms rested on your thighs, hands lying still against your hips.

"Oh I fuckin' know." he nods, bottom lip pouted out in a matter of fact tone.
"Just can't act right, can he?" you say with a sweet smile, holding his face in your hands.

"Impossible." he agrees, you feel the tension in his cheeks from holding back a smile.

"Just like me." you blurt out with a laugh.

"Just like you." he agrees, corners of his eyes crinkling as his laugh mirror yours, you feel his hands stir against your skin.

"I have to admit though, being the selfish person I am I rather like that you don't show that side of you to everyone," you say with a shake of your head, a light kiss to his forehead before you twirl off of him in your stocking covered feet. "Knowing the man under the mask and all that." you say being playfully dramatic while you bend over the vanity, ring finger checking the edges of your lipstick for smudges, removing an invisible mask from your face while you look at his reflection in the mirror. He rises and leans on the same surface you do.

"I could say the same for you, ya know." he says, his hands crossed, held together in front of his hips as his face turned toward you.

"Yes except I occasionally seem like I have my shit together in public and instead of being thoughtful and sweet I'm moody and ever crasser behind closed doors." you say in an annoyed way, it quickly giving way to a laugh at yourself, your head lowering as your shoulders move before you shake your big wild hair back from your face.

"Well that ain't wrong but you're a lot kinder than you give yourself credit for. Ya bein' hard on yerself for no reason, again." his tone isn't exactly scolding, more a hesitant praise.

"It's to make up for all the awful things I do." you lean back and look over at him, shrugging.

He lets out a huff of a laugh, "'Fraid I can't relate." he says sarcastically with a shake of his head.

"But I can't rightly have one without the other, can I?" you say defending yourself to only your reflection. "You have to be sad to remember how good being happy feels. You have to go through the pain to appreciate the pleasure." you sigh, turning and fluffing your mane with your fingers. "I suppose it's important to remember such things on a night like this."

"A night set aside to indulge in sin?" he says with a laugh.

"I meant my birthday." you match his laugh. "I thought this one might feel different but..." you give a short shake of your head and a dismissive shrug.

"Why would it feel different?" he asks with a furrowed brow.

You frown at him in an exagerated way. "You know better than to ask about a lady's age." your express back to warm.

"Well ya turnin' 34 ain't ya?" he tilts his head, that's the age on the paperwork he'd seen of yours.

"That is what is under Genevieve Durand's name." you say with a sneaky grin.

"Oi, ya been lyin' on that as well? Don't go tellin' be you're too young and I'm gonna feel like a dirty old man because I thought you didn't look no 34." he says with a nervous chuckle, only half joking.

You hold your knees and laugh for a moment before moving over to a box on a far table in the room. "No, no dear." you pause to let your laugh die naturally, taking a breath afterward. "I put that I was older so I might be taken more seriously. I've always had this sort of roundness to my face that helps me look younger." you elaborate. "I'll be turning thirty." you say quietly after setting the box down next to him where he leans on the vanity, you lean in and say the words like they're dirty and he erupts into laughter. You let the smile spread across your face quickly as you relish his reaction to your foolishness.

"Well that's more than alright, innit?" he continues to laugh, his hand on his stomach.

"But that doesn't mean you aren't a dirty old man just the same." you snark back.

"Not after tonight, sweetheart." he says in a deep voice, playful and growling and he grabs you and pulls you to him as you're still laughing. "After tonight we'll just be two ancient fucks, won't we?" he says in a louder voice, drawing the smile to your lips as his head moves animatedly, looming over yours. "Too bad we didn't have the chance for me to make you call me a dirty old man when I's inside you while ya was still a young, bouncy thing, eh?" he says in such a sleazy way, one hand giving the exposed top of one of your breasts a small smack. "Too bad I'll just have to give it to ya rough and dirty like the grown woman ya are now, yeah?" he nips at your lips and gives your bum a smack, triggering you to let out a laugh genuine and loud enough to satisfy his want to take any hint of sadness from your eyes.

"You're crude and disgusting and I love it." you manage to say with a smile despite your bitten lip blooming across your face. "Lucky you're so funny," you say in a scoff of a laugh, your fingertips giving his cheek the lightest of smacks. "You've helped me realize how trivial of a thing it is to worry about. " you peck his lips again, he's caught off guard but gives you a smug smile anyway.

"I know 'at." he says obviously. "'At's why I do it." he says with a rumbling chuckle, paused for a moment with the first kiss of the night he'd initiated. You return it, lingering for a moment with no movement and you let out a small grunt.

"Those suggestive words sure didn't help me though." you say with a pout as you pull away before one side of your mouth draws back into a smile. Patting the tops of his hands on your lower back so he releases you.

"Ay well. You's standing too close to the source of the charm wunnit ya?" he gives you a smile that backs up his words.

"I have a speech to give and party to host, sir. I can't very well carry out those roles while under the influence of it," you say in an exaggerated way, primping yourself before reaching down to the box in front of you. "I must be nervous, I've only had wine and you've gone and made me blush." you admit with a slight hunch, a small wrinkle of your nose in amusement of yourself.

His soft expression stays as he watches you open the box.

Your tiara and matching jewels await you inside the velvet lining. Big faceted rubies in dainty little gold wire settings, decorated with pearls and stones in the lace pattern sit atop a solid gold band. You put on the matching hanging earrings, a single ruby each, swinging gently by one of his favorite places to kiss on your neck.

"I need your help, cheri." you lilt, holding the necklace out to him, as you gently place it into his large hands. "My hair is huge, I'll hold what I can." you say, holding up the back of it, his arms maneuvering around yours to clasp the chain of the single rowed rubies, all delicately framed just the same as the rest, as his hands move to settle your hair where he'd disturbed it, moving away and lingering on your upper arms a moment as he notices how your lips match the stones. Brilliant, his inner voice whispers. "This one as well, make sure it's even, Alfie." you say his name with that pleading whine he loves when you want something from him. He stands behind you, you slightly squatted, he places the tiny combed ends of the tiara in your hair, his broad, ringed fingers following your slender, bejeweled one's suggestions as to the piece's placement. You let out a high pitched hum of excitement as you turn to look in the mirror.

"Ya look like some sort of sexy lion princess, luv." he says in a fast-paced way, showing enthusiasm for the compliment and comparison he thought he wouldn't ever get to make unless he did right now. "Granted, I don't know much about the royal hierarchy of lions, yeah. But I figure you're about to be announced the new queen in this getup, with ya big bloomin' skirt." he pumps his arms out to his sides to emphasize how big your dress bottom was.

"I like the skirt." you say with a light-hearted laugh.

"Now I dinnit say I dinnit like it now, did I? I think it's very grand. It suits you." he says supportively. "I meant the look more suits a queen than a princess. Thought the comparison to be important for the easin' of ya nerves tonight." his hands squeeze your shoulders, backing up the warm tone and praises he gave.

"Are you decent? Can I come in?" you hear a knock and Freddie's voice.

"We are!" you lilt out in a sweet smile, leftover from Alfie's kind words. You turn to him for a moment before Freddie makes his way in. "Your sweet talk always help ease my nerves, darling." you coo at him, your hands placed lightly on his chest, a fleeting but sincere glance shared before you make your way to Freddie.

Alfie stands back and watches Freddie praise and fuss while he attaches the bottom of the dress. "Well at least you're not a smudged mess and you've got your jewels on." he says, lightly touching and adjusting bits of you.

"We behaved ourselves. We worked too long and hard on this to go and ruin it just for some cock." you say with a girlish laugh. "No offense, Alfie, dear." you say with a charming smile over your shoulder at him. He moves closer to you.

"None taken." he says, kissing your cheek before he departs. "I'm gonna go and get me a good spot to watching this entrance I've heard you practicing all week." he says quietly, still leaned in closely, pulling away with a grin.

"Try to find me before you leave again darling." you say as he pulls open the door. "You can tell me how wonderful I was." you laugh that big charming, hand to chest laugh that he'd honestly wondered whether it was witchcraft or not as he felt spellbound when you'd direct it at him solely.
--------
He was certainly glad he was tucked away on the balcony of the second floor, overlooking the stairs as you walked down. In your room you'd look like you were overdone, but as you descended above all the other bodies, shining and bright like yours in their excessiveness you were clearly the glazed cherry, sitting delicious and appealing on top of the sundae that was this crowd.

Decadence was the theme you'd said, and the decor certainly matched. Flowers and garlands and centerpieces almost as tall as him perched on fine fabrics covering tables full of food and spirits. Music played from the ballroom, a whole band with horns and percussion he was sure would make you dance all night, leaving you with nubs where your feet were by morning.

He could certainly tell you were playing up your French accent as you spoke, but suspected no one else would notice. You raised a toast to decadence. You instructed this was a place to let go, among friends as there was an order for no fighting or fuckery. You spoke of saint's with past's and sinner's with future's as you leave with a flourish of your sparkling gown and merge into the crowd.

He sees Claire, severe and dark but polished, whisper into your ear. Your eyes shoot up to him immediately, you stop in the crowd of people to give him a tiny wave. He returns it with a nod of his head a smile you could feel from the floor. You give him and him alone the remnants of the pants removing charm that you'd summoned to enchant the crowd as you nod back and spin around gracefully to give your attention to everyone else in the room.
-----
"I just needed to ask you something dear, you didn't have to drag me all the way back 'ere." he says before getting pushed into the door, your lips finding his.

He'd sought you out like you'd asked, you in your not sober state had reverted to your need for him, leftover from earlier in the night, still needing to be answered. You knew you weren't going to have sex with him right now, he had to leave, but you'd be damned if you weren't going to give you both something for the road.

"What ya need handsome?" you coo at him, pulling your lips from his, your arms still around his neck.

"I was going to ask you to dance since it was yer birthday 'n all." he says defensively.

Your mouth drops open. "You were?" your voice almost at a whine. "You're not now?" you pout, the natural blush of your lips darkened by your forceful kisses, evidence of your drinking and talking having already worn away your lipstick. "But I would love to do that." you pout.

"Well we still can luv." he says with a laugh, holding your hips as you let go of him. "Ya just pulled me in here before I could ask ya."

"Right." you say with a nod and a cheeky grin at your forgetfulness. "Because I've been drinking and I wanted to kiss your face." you laugh and give him another less aggressive kiss and he shakes his head at you.

"You might be too drunk to slow dance with, dear." he laughs, his hand moving some stray curls back into place at your big doe eyes batted up at him.

"Am not!" you protest, looking away from him. "It's a slow dance how can I fuck that up?" you ask, wondering if you should be offended.

"I's wondering if ya could behave yourself out there." he says smugly, you can tell his natural instinct is to reach out to tease but he resists.

"Rude." you say with a pout and stern nod. "To think I couldn't behave myself." you roll your eyes and let out an offended scoff, you turn your hip to move away, smoothly running your hand down and up the crotch of his pants before dipping out of the room quickly as he took one step for you and stopped to laugh, knowing if he ran after you it'd look suspicious.

What was he going to do with a wild woman who wouldn't listen like you? He waits for it, expects it, that familiar heat of flickering anger that would rise to his face at such a childishly disobedient action at his expense. But he couldn't find it, it never came. All that was left sitting on his face a lazy smile left from sucking his teeth at you as you scurried away.
-----
"I thought you said you'd behave yourself." he whispers, looking at you in a subtly scolding way, seeming odd with your arms wrapped around each other like they were. Your hands were held together, your head on his chest as you'd kept giggling at his comparisons of some of the actresses to poodles and other various domesticated dogs to match their appearance.

"I'm only laughing at your jokes." you say defensively, your head shaking slightly.

"Ya know I 'on't care but I'm only lookin' out for what sober Gen would want." he says with laughter in his tone.

"Women giggle when they're drunk and in the arms of charming, handsome men." you say with an adorably angry pout.

He pauses for a moment, eyes looking around before he nods. "Didn't think of it in such a way."

"Can't believe I'm the one telling you to not be paranoid." you snort, lifting your head.

"Well I gotta so you can have ya fun tonight dunnit I?" he says in a warm way.

"I didn't ask you to make any sort of sacrifices on my behalf, did I?" you say in a sassy retort.

"No, ya don't even have to ask me to do it anymore. Ya got me fuckin' trained dunnit ya?" he says with a laugh, looking down at you, finding the smile on your face he'd hoped he'd leave you with. He certainly didn't want to end on a low note on your birthday. Not with him already havin' to leave early.

"All this looking out for me and I haven't even had to pay you." you say with a laugh that shakes your shoulders, still huffed out softly between the two of you in the buzzy, crowded ballroom.

"Just let me keep lookin' at ya babes and I'll keep lookin' out while I'm at it, eh?" that same cocky tone and shake of his head as his eyes slowly blinked in his self-amusement.

"Who's talkin' about misbehavin' now?" you say with a sly wink, sending a lingering heat up his neck at what he felt was a bold action towards him. This was how he wanted to leave you, just like you'd said, wanting more.
--
Tommy stands, smoking by a stair banister, watching the dance floor. Arthur staggers up to his side, snorting and rubbing his nose, pushing his back off his face.

"What'd I miss?" he gruffly asks.

"Just more of the same." he says flatly, blinking slowly and looking back to you and Alfie. He wasn't sure how obvious it was to anyone else who didn't know both of you well, but he could swear the light was catching off the both of your eyes as you looked at each other, eyes glancing at lips just a little too often, a little too long to mean nothing. "Have you ever seen Solomons dance before Arthur?" he asks, the tone of his interest only slightly peaked.

Arthur doesn't pay much mind the question, looking at the other side of the room with a gleam of trouble in his eyes,. "I reckon not, yeah?" he says fast, instinctually, his brow furrows and he turns just a little too quickly to Thomas "Nah, I ain't ever seen him dance." he clarifies, rubbing his nose again and stalking off just as quickly as he'd arrived.

Tommy's eyes follow him across the floor, a sigh leaving him as they find their way back to the spinning pair of you and Alfie. "I've not seen it before either." he says very quietly to himself, a delayed response he felt was still warranted to help his brain dissect every exchange between the two of you.
--------
At this point in the night you were drunk. No denying that, you think the other drugs are out of your system but the effects of the alcohol are staying strong. But the great thing about being drunk, is that you sometimes don't know how drunk you are, and you just enjoy yourself. This was where you found yourself. The lull before your second wind.

You're sitting back on a fainting couch, cooling yourself with an elaborately decorated hand fan. Your back is reasted against the tall side of the back of the couch, your body slouched and your legs hanging loose. Freddie is sitting next to you, your head on his shoulder, side by side.

Your handruns up and down the stripe of black satin that goes up and down the side of the leg of Freddie's suit.

"Did I tell you how much I love this suit Fred?" you ask earnestly.

"About ten times now yes." he says with a sigh.

"Mmm." is your response with a nod. Your fingers keep tracing the lines in the design of the fabric across his thigh.

You let out a small chuckle. "I like the way the fabric feels. Is it like this on the inside as well?" your eyes still fixated on his leg.

"Silk lined."

"Oh fuck I bet that feels wonderful. This corset is fucking killing me." you whine, wiggling your torso.

"Well I think it looks absolutely gorgeous."

"Is pretty..." you mumble. "Just not comfortable for all night."

"Then change you crying child." he huffs out a laugh.

"Into what? I don't have another dress I planned to wear."

"What a fucking dilemma. May God herself striek you down if you wear the same thing twice. And when people are too drunk to even notice."

"Shut up." you grumble. Your fingers still running up and down his thigh.

"Either grab it or don't sweetie." he says with a laugh. "If i didn't know you I'd say you were trying to fuck me, Gen." he laughs, patting your hand.

"Don't be silly. Don't want you...just the suit." you giggle.

"Oh, it's not me ya want in but the suit?" he laughs, throwing his head back.

"Mmm Hmm." you nod and blink slowly.

"Well..." he pauses, hand touching the velvet of your skirt. "Why don't you then? You wear this and I wear this." he says pinching the fabric.

"I don't think you got the tits to fill this out Fred." you laugh, biting your tongue.

"I'm sure there are some large melons around here somewhere...I can improvise," he says convincingly enough for you not sober mind to agree.

"You wanna?" you lilt, eyes meeting his.

"You wanna?" he repeats, tilting his he
You grin like a child and nod enthusiatically.

"Well, fuckin' come on then!" he declares, trying to stand and falling back into the chair.

You snort a laugh at him, " Little drunk." you coo.

"You get the fuck up then Gen. Although you have the advantage of having uppers in your system." he says with a roll of his eyes.

You rise slowly, and turn to give him your hands to him to help him up. "Gotta do it slow."

"Never been good at slow." he says with a smug smile.

"Me neither...let's do this then." you say with a nod, taking off your heels.
---
You and Freddie have attracted a crowd, him in your dress, lipstick and all. YOu in his suit, barely buttoned with nothing underneath the jacket, and still wearing your heels. Freddie would've taken them if they'd fit him, but they were far too small.

Your heads are thrown back, laughing and being eyeballed and loving it, a flute of champagne from the fountain in your hand as you scan the room. Your eyes land on a rather gorgeous girl, standing with a mysterious look on her face, glass of wine in her hand.

"Fred....don't wait up on me...k?" you give him a devilish smile.

"Oh is she back at it?" he quirks an eyebrow. "Going to cheat on your big Russian bear, are you?"

"Not cheating." you defend yourself, your words almost slurring.

"Sure...sure Gen. You go have your fun while your husbands away on business ya slag." he snickers. You reach back and smack his arm a few times.

"No interest in husbands." you mumble, your eyes turning back to the girl who was now looking at you. "More interested in wives tonight." you give him a wink.

"Oh that's the loop hole is it?" he laughs and holds his stomach. "What you have to tell yourself Casanova."

You ignore him, your hand pushing against his face before you walk away.

You've set your face for seduction, slightly pouted lips, intense eyes, swaying hips.

"Hello, luv." you purr at her, lokoing her up and down. She smirks, showing you the mutual understanding of what was happening.

"Hello Miss Durand." she purrs back.

"Oh, please, darling call me Genevieve. No need for such...formalities between us..."

"Jacklyn." she says, blinking slowly and smiling as she raised the glass to her lips.

"Mmmm. Jacklyn. Love the way that...rolls off my tongue." you look at her lips as you speak, licking yours before returning your eyes to hers.

"I happen to be rather fond of the sound of your name coming out of my mouth as well." she gives you a flirtatious grin.

"Oh do you?" you bat your lashes, biting your lip and obviously checking her out. Her blonde hair fell past her shoulders, soft and drawing your attention to two perky tits, poised in a sweetheart neckline dress. They sat tantalizing above the gathered waist, the shape loose and flowing down to her ankles in a breezy fabric. "I'm sure there are ways I could get you to say it that I'd love as well." you coo at her, taking another drink of champagne.

"I'm sure there are. Ways that involved me rolling off your tongue as well?" she quirks an eyebrow and you hum with content at the words.

You lean in closer to her, wrapping your arm around her waist, being taller than her you look down at her feminine and sweet face. Two rose petals for lips and blue diamonds for eyes.

"Since it seems I'm the one wearing the more masculine attire of us two...how about I take you down that hallway..." you nod your head to a dimly lit back hallway, knowing no one would bother you there. "And we let these roles play out as they may." you stare into her eyes, they don't stray from yours. You can feel breath across your lips, your noses just brushing against each other.

"Oh I would like that very much, Genevieve." she scrunches her nose in a naughty smile.

You move your face slowly closer, tilting at the last moment before kissing her, your lips almost dragging across her cheek as you push back her hair to expose her neck and ears.

"C'mon then Jacklyn, let's find out what you taste like." you whisper into her ear. You feel her shiver in your arms and you feel that ache start to throb between your legs.

You escort her like a gentleman to one of the back corridors, shutting the door behind you, clicking it shut. Her face is turned away from yours, about to speak when you cut her off. Pushing her slowly against a wall, pressing your body weight against hers.

"You look absolutely delicious, luv." you rasp in her ear, planting your lips there for a single kiss. Your hand moves from her waist, up her ribs, pawing over her breast before lightly caressing up her neck to her hair.

"I could say the same for you."

"Let's both find out then shall we?" you whisper as you hover over her lips, letting them tremble before you finally kissed them. She moves fast, feeling as needy as you did. A few rounds of indulgent moans, your hands in her hair, holding her arms over her head as you kissed and sucked your way down to her chest. You yank the top of her dress down, moaning at the bounce of her much smaller than yours, chest. You take each into your mouth with a moan, her's rising louder as you switch to the second one, tongue swirling and flicking and teeth pinching ever so slightly to make her gasp.

Your hand moves down her hip, slowly gathering the fabric of the dress in your hands, exposing her thigh. You slip your hand under and to her satin covered lips. "Mmmph," you grunt with need. "You've soaked through these lovely little.." you lift her dress with both hands, leaving her a chest heaving and gulping mess against the wall, leaving her arms up again it even though you weren't holding them up anymore. You let out a wicked deep, dark laugh. "...black satin pants of yours dear." Your eyes shoot back up to her, looking at her from under your lashes. "Let me take those off for you." you coo, kneeling before her. She bites her lip and moans again as your fingers pull the pretty, ruined fabric down her soft, milky thighs. She steps out of them without being told to do so.

You start at her knee, planting kisses up to her hip bones. You groan as you make your kisses wetter, moving down into the crease between her lips and thigh. She gasps when you hook your leg over her shoulder, holding onto the wall for support.

"Genevieve." you hear her whisper, a call of anticipation.

"That's a good girl Jacklyn." You run your tongue up and down the creases on both sides of her sex. "Keep saying it luv." you purr before using your fingers to trace down her silken wetness, your fingers sliding without any resistanc between her swollen pink lips.

You dive in with your tongue first, a slow lap against her swollen bud. She falls apart under the actions, gasping your name again. "Good girl." you moan as your fingers move to tease her tensing opening. You slide one finger in, sucking at her clit, making her release a whimpering moan. You add two and her knees knock slightly, you hold her thigh on your shoulder for a moment, kneading it as you continued your slow build, fingers slowly and deeply fucking her as you slowly sucked away at her. Another moan of your name, you moan against her clit and her thighs tense.

You begin to curl your fingers inside her, knowing expertly where to go and she lets out a guttural moan at the action. You hum against her, rubbing your face into her folds, repeating the action over and over as she called your name again and again, coming around your fingers as you lapped away at her sweet sex as she tensed against you.

You leave her gasping, against that wall. A last sloppy and passionate kiss, letting her taste herself on your lips.

"See? Delicious." you give her a cheeky growl. A slap to the bum to bring her back down to reality as you lean away, biting your lip. "It's been a pleasure my darling Jacklyn." you say with a smug smile, adjusting your suit jacket. "But I must get back to the party, seeing as it is for me, after all." you shrug your shoulders and grin, her breathing still near a pant as she gulps and nods. "But we had fun..." you coo at her one last time, pushing her hair out of her face and kissing her gently this time. "Didn't we?" you wrinkle your nose at her.

"Yes." she nods and lets out a satisfied but distracted laugh.

"See you 'round luv." you give her a wink and head out of the hallway, leaving the door cracked to give her time to recover, chuckling to yourself as you make your way back to the champagne fountain.

---
"You shouldn't have done that last bump." Freddie says, in lipstick and your dress still.

"Oh I'm fine! Everything's wonderful dear, don't worry about it!" you smile widely. "You look lovely, I look lovely, Jacklyn looked AND tasted lovely." you giggle and kick your feet in the fountain.

"Do you plan on being like this until you absolutely pass out?" he rolls his eyes.

"It's my birthday! Fuck off Fred!" you say with a laugh, falling back onto the stone benched edge of the fountain. "I've been so god damned uptight. Working my fucking arse off all year and I deserve to get out of my fucking mind." you declare, sitting up and waving your arms in the air.

"Not saying you don't, you just haven't done snow in a while, dear you might want to dial it back a bit, hmmm?"

"I took it like an hour ago Freddie it's probably not even in my system anymore." you say chewing the varnish off your fingernails.

"Yeah...sure Gen." he nods, narrowing his eyes at you.

"Jesus Christ it's hot out here isn't it?" you whine.

"It is summer and you are high." he points out, his hand moving as if he were presenting the idea.

"This fabric is so damn hot." you start fussing the buttons on the coat, undoing them.

"So we're getting naked now are we?" he asks, crossing his arms. "You better not ruin that fucking suit, Genevieve."

"I'M NOT! I WON'T!" you cry out, hands working to unbutton the pants.

"I didn't mean take it off Gen. Fuck's sake." he groans, trying to grab you by the arms as you jump off the fountain.

"Are all men's' fabrics this heavy? This hot? How can you stand this?" you speak fast, jerking the coat off your body gracelessly. "WHAT SORT OF OPPRESSION IS THIS?" you shout, throwing the coat at Freddie.

"What the fuck are you on about you absolute ninny." he scolds.

"THIS!" you move your hands to the trousers. "These...PANTS! These..this..." you mumble, taking off the pants and he lets out a loud groan. You lie on the ground and jerk them off your legs, throwing your heels into the fountain. You scramble up and throw the pants at Freddie as well. "I can't BREATHE in that...that...SHROUD OF MASCULINE OPPRESSION!" you shout, moving down the lane of your garden.

"Gen you fucking nutter, get back here."

"NO! I SHANT!" you shout, turning and walking backward, he's surprised you don't trip. "Clothes...PSH! Who needs 'em? NOT ME!" you declare, taking off your knickers and throwing them at him as well. Seeing as it's the only thing left on your body, the dagger in your thigh holster catches your attention.

Freddie notices you still. "Gen...you alright?" He sees your shoulders shake.

"He...he got this for me Freds." he sees your bottom lip quiver lip an upset child's. "He...Freds he..." he sees you start to cry.

"Oh fucks sake you toddler!" you groan, trying to walk towards you.

"NO!" you shout, pushing him away. "I don't need YOU Freddie." your hand is on the daggers handle, your chest bouncing with your ragged breaths. "I need..." you look up and into his eyes, and it's as if you aren't high as a fucking kite anymore. "I need Alfie," you whisper. "And he's not here. On my birthday..." you start to sob. "He's not here." you put your face in your hands.

"Oh..." he sighs and tries to touch you again, hands on your shoulders. "You won't remember a fucking bit of this, so get it out Genevieve. Least I can do is try to help you act on what you really want when you're sober again." he sighs. The babysitting portion of the evening was well underway he saw.

"I really like him Freds." you sob into your hands.

"I know you do Gen. C'mere poor little bird." he shushes you.

"Why'd it have to be him?" you cry out, face towards the sky, tears running down your cheeks. "What's wrong with me?" your shoulders shake, he uses the sleeve of his jacket to wipe your snotty nose.

"I can tell you but you don't want to hear it."

"What? Tell me. I've never...I don't know..." your breathing hitches and you can't speak clearly. "He makes me slow down and feel things and I can't stand it. Like an elephant's on my chest. Like a colony of bees buzzing my guts!" you say breathlessly.

"That's because I don't know that you've ever felt this way before have you?"

Your eyes well up again and you start to loudly cry.

"I know dear. It's confusing, isn't it? Poor thing." he pushes your hair back from your face. "I've never seen you like this over a man."

"I've NEVER BEEN LIKE THIS OVER ONE!" you shout, pushing him away. "What's wrong with me?" your eyes are wild and your hands pull at your hair.

"You're in love Genevieve, that's what's wrong." he plainly states. You freeze, taking in a shakey, noisy, wet inhale. He regrets saying it as he sees the terror in your eyes. "It's okay! I'd bet money he loves you as well!" he tries to comfort you but this was the exact thing he shouldn't have said.

"NO!" you cry out again, fists and feet pounding and stomping. "I can't love him! I can't love anyone! I'm BROKEN!" you throw a tantrum and you do not care your heart felt like ti was breaking. How could Freddie make you think something like this? How dare he plant this in your head. Telling you how you felt. How Alfie felt. What did he fucking know?

"I know you don't think you can and I know it scares the shit out of you but don't you feel it? When he looks at you? Do you know what I would GIVE to have someone look at me the way he looks at you?!" he shouts, the liquor getting the best of his emotions.

"This isn't fucking about YOU Freddie!" you scream and run down the lane, naked as the day you born, disappearing into the garden somewhere, not to be seen for the duration of the night.

-------
He walks into the lobby in the cold first light of morning. The house is absolutely silent. One of the maids, looking a bit tired informs him she hadn't seen you in hours when asked about your whereabouts. He nods and thumbs his nose, cane poking bodies to elicit groans as he made his way past people, passed out in big noisy stomps. He sees lots of known faces, a Shebly or three, politicians, and actresses, people from all walks, now on the level together.

His hed quirks, brows furrowing as he see's Freddie...but he's in your dress. "HA!" he laughs out loud with amusement. "Seems you did have a good time, Gen." he grins to himself.

"Right. Right. Sorry, mate. Out the way, now. No shame, some of you." he grunts as he makes his way into the garden. He finds an exhausted Claire, sitting on the edge of the fountain.

"Have you seen Gen about?" she asks, as he approaches her.

"No, mate just everybody else in London."

"You know where her lily pond is?" she asks, her eyes narrowing, not sure of the answer.

He makes a confused face, shaking his head.

She chuckles and nods slowly, "Take that as a no." she throws back the last of the champagne in her glass. "Go down the path towards the pond, on the right, there's a barely noticeable footpath through the hedges, just follow that right to it, it's not very far off the path, just hidden from sight." she gestures with her hand in the direction of the path, sighing. "She should be in there. I've got to get these people up and out of here, so could you see to her for me? If that's not too much to ask of you." she shrugs, showing he had the option to say no. "It's just the poor house staff is stretched thin this morning." she stretches her legs.

"Nah, you got your hands full, dunnit ya?" he says, heading off in the direction she pointed.

"The tea in her room hasn't been there long, just toss her in bed for me, please," she says with a chuckle as she stands and brushes her pants off, heading back into the house. "She'll be ungrateful no matter what you do in her state so don't bother being gentle." she says with a laugh.
---------
He finds the directions sufficient and comes across a break in the hedges he had not noticed before, just as predicted there's a small grassy patch with a small lily pond, lily pads, and flowers across it. The space was covered with a mix of hedges and trees, blocked from unsuspicious eyes. He can see why you would choose to slink away here.

You're sleeping in the water, completely naked. All except for the tiara in your hair, your jewels and the dagger he'd given you tight in your thigh holster.

He shakes his head and tsks at you. Tommy told him to expect you to be in rough shape but passed out in a pond wasn't what he was expecting.
Your top half is out of the water, sleeping on your side on the grass, using your arm as a pillow, your hair damp and blanketed out around your upper body. One a solid poke to your shoulder with his cane, and when that doesn't rouse you he sighs and lays his cane on the ground hiking up his pants to sit in front of you by the water. He uses the arm farthest from you to move your shoulder.

"Gen." he says with no inflection. "Ya sleeping in all day now, luv? C'mon, up." he says with no anger in his voice, moving the hair off of your face.

With the touch of your face you stir, "There she is now." he says patronizingly. "You playing sleeping siren? Or ya laying like Ophelia? Because your paleness leads me to believe the latter." your face is soft for just a moment, barely noticeable before it screws up and you groan. "Yeah, ya hit it a bit too hard, dinnit ya sweetheart?" he shakes his head as you roll onto your stomach. He gives your bum one solid thwack of his cane. You laugh and it immediately turns to another groan as it hurts.

You flop your head to the side, looking over at him as you move your hair out of your face. "Don't make me laugh just help me, I think I may be dead." you sincerely plea.

"You look a little rough around the edges this morning, dear," he says rising from the ground. "You was born at night I recall you sayin' so it is in fact still your birth day so I 'ave to be nice to ya still don't I?" he picks you up from beneath your arms, you push yourself up the rest of the way with your legs. Your limbs aren't the most cooperative and he chuckles at you as you go knock-kneed for a moment. "Let's get ya up ya hellion." he teases.

"Shuddup." you murmur as he sighs at you again. He wraps his coat around you, buttoning it up and holding the side of your head to make sure you were alright.

Once you reach the house, still littered with people in the floor he lifts you without announcing it beforehand, making your dizzy as you hold on to him and your head spins.

"Those newly born foal knees aren't going to carry you past all these sinners, now are they luv?" he asks rhetorically, you rest your head on his shoulder and give in. Next thing you know you're in bed. You're still very tired and you only remember how nice and cold the pillow was against your face before you were fast asleep again.

While you were out and Alfie was left unattended by the maids, he dries you off after tossing his coat in the floor, now wet. You groan and pout, holding your head as he does this. He pulls the covers up over you, having tied your hair back haphazardly in his lack of skill and experience doing such a thing, and pulls your curtains shut. He lights a candle by your bed, checking your forehead to make sure you weren't warm. He finds a maid scurrying down the hallway outside of your wing. She says she'll send in Aggie in as soon as she can find her. He returns to your side.

"Still livin', mate?" he asks, sitting on the bed, propped up with pillows against the headboard, having grabbed a book off your shelf and moved a cup of tea to the nightstand for himself.

You respond in groans and grunts, pulling the covers tightly as you roll away from him.

He pats your hip and picks up his book. "Ya Aggie will be in shortly, I'll be here in the meantime. Gotta watch ya, can't have ya goin' and dyin' on your birthday now can I?"

Your feet rub against each other but otherwise, he gets no response.
---
Aggie drags Claire roughly down the hall towards your room, lit with the bright light of the afternoon.

"I have important shit to do Aggie! What is it that's so important?" she says quietly, but hastily as she jogs behind the shuffling woman.

"Look at them, dear," she whispers, pulling her into the doorway of your room. "I just found them like this."

Claire squints, seeing he's snoring, face looking towards you, propped up on a big pile of pillows, book resting on his stomach, one hand on it still. She see's you, on your stomach, face also looking towards him, sound asleep, little pouty lips murmuring, your arm bent, hand resting near your face. In it rests his, his arm extended out towards you. At some point, one or even both of you had decided to do this. She assumed how terribly hungover you were, she knew you craved comfort when you felt physically bad, you just rarely let yourself have it. But now you had access to it and perhaps it was just the state you were in.

That had to be it, Claire thought. The weakened state she was in must've caused such a thing to happen.

Aggie's eyes are hearts, her breath hitches and her hand clutches her necklace. "Couldn't you just die?" she sighs.

"Oui. I could." Claire responds flatly. Her eyes wide and calculating from what this could be forthcoming to. She as always tries to cover all possibilities from nothing to everything.

Chapter Text

It had been a gloomy and rainy day and the night seemed as if it would be going much the same way, seeing the light fading from the sky as you're driven towards London.

You'd had a call from one of the shop owners about equipment malfunctioning and needing it dealt with as soon as possible seeing as it would make it impossible to open the next day. So, you've taken one of Alfie's men with you, a rather large man named Charles. It seems you have to have backup whenever you go anywhere now, just a part of being a gangster Alfie had said and you'd reluctantly agreed, knowing he was right. You don't think he would've let you go at all if you didn't take someone with you, it wasn't worth the fight. You leave him with a smile, saying you should be back soon and to save you a drink.

Charles had been so very polite, opening doors and calling you Miss. You talk to him on the way to London, warming him up to get some bits of information out of him. He'd let slip somewhere between the river and the destination that Alfie had told him the consequences of you getting hurt would be answered in Charles's flesh. If you died, he'd kill him twice, he'd said. This makes you laugh, but it does not make Charles laugh. You can understand why.

The moon is up by the time you pull up the sidewalk in front of the charming front of the butcher shop. As soon as your foot crosses the barrier of the doorway, the hair on the back of your neck stands up. You see John, the son of the previous owner who had passed away behind the counter. You had asked him if he wanted to man the shop as the boy had seemed a bit unfocused since coming back home. He was a soft lad but very good with numbers. You know how John usually greets you, you know the expressions that should be following your hello to him, but they don't come. Even in the dim light of the shop, you can see he's paler than usual. You might ask how he felt if it wasn't also accompanied by two hands wringing together, sweat on his brow and wide eyes trying to hide how scared they were.

You know something's wrong. You give him a solemn nod, walking towards the counter, your face turning to the back of the shop.

"You said the problem was in the office?" you say with an indifferent tone, to not give away any suspicion to whoever was waiting for you in the dark of the building.

"Yes Miss." he chokes out, glancing pleadingly at Charles who comes in behind you. You believe he knows you know someone is waiting. You assume he's been threatened and give him a nod and a supportive smile. He wouldn't set you up by choice. You won't punish him with anything but mild words later. You motion with your hand for him to get down behind the counter. You look at Charles and he understands, brass on one hand already and a hand on his gun, moving in front of you. You point to the door in question. You can smell the liquor before you're even in the room, a bottle opened sits on the desk. You knew John didn't drink. The clock ticks loudly in the bare walls of the small room. You stand behind the desk, moving as quietly as possible to not give away your position in the room to whoever was waiting in the hallway for you, just on the other side of the door.

It happens quickly, as those moments of life and death nature usually do. They don't expect the large body of Charles to be waiting against the wall. You see two of them, one being taking down by a loud crack to the skull that overpowers the tick of the clock in the sounds of the scuffle. The one man behind him blindly shoots at you and misses, but you already have your gun out, hiding behind the large wooden desk. He doesn't expect you to rise and aim at him, he bolts and runs.

"Runner." you say to Charles, jumping over the desk, the liquor bottle crashing to the floor. You run out to the hall, seeing him silhouetted in the back doorway to the building. You zig-zag your way quickly towards him, he shoots and misses again, you hear Charles fire off a shot. The man bolts off out of the eerily lit frame of the door and into the dark alley. You push your feet as hard as they'll go, chasing him across the grimy cobblestone, heels clicking like a card in a bicycle wheel, proving faster than him. Once you've fought your way to the ground, you see the drunken look in his eyes. You can tell by the scratch of his cheap clothes, the dirt under his nails, his hands wet and clammy, thrashing up at you as you bang his head against the stone of the alley that this wasn't the man with motive alone to kill you, he'd been hired. You were so much smaller than Charles that is takes him a moment to catch up, but you have the situation handled by the time his shadow is cast across both you and the man as he stands behind you. You take your dagger out, holding it to the man's neck.

"Who sent you?" you ask, your tone demanding.

"Not fuckin' tellin'..." he mumbles, you punch him in the nose, he swears and struggles against you, you slam his head into the ground again, another nasty crack of sound.

"Who sent you?" you ask, leaning in towards him, hissing at him, commanding it of him.

"Ugh. I'm just following orders." he moans in pain, his rotting teeth sending a stench to your nose that you have to bat your eyes at to not gag.

"If you tell me who hired you I'll let you go. You haven't even touched me you low life, you aren't worth it. Just tell me who sent you." you lie convincingly.

"She did." he coughs out, you squint your eyes at him.

"Who?" you growl, leaning in closer, his eyes looking more fearful now than they had.

"Ricci." he groans. You knew that last name, you knew it well after you learned it was the last name of the man whose tongue you'd cut out at The Garrison.

"Ricci?" you ask, needing a first name, how many Italians named Ricci could there be in London, a fuck tonne you thought.

"Greta. Greta Ricci." he spits out.

You look over your shoulder to Charles who nods, showing he heard the name as well. You didn't know if he knew it but at least he'd heard it as well.

"Leo's sister?" you say with the same demanding tone.

"Yeah you fucking killed him," he explains. "She ain't gonna let it go." he shakes his head, eyes not meeting yours, but rolling about in their sockets as if you've jolted them loose. You might have.

"Looks like she and I have something in common then." you say as you cut his throat. You rise off of him as his hands grasp out at nothing. He quickly bleeds out, you're guessing due to the amount of alcohol in his system, looks like the drink killed him.

You let out a heavy sigh, wiping your knife off on his coat before you put it back in its thigh holster. At least the dagger Alfie got you had been properly Christened now.

"You know a Greta Ricci?" you ask Charles.

"No miss." he shakes his head.

"Neither do I. Looks like we've got some work to do tonight Charles. I'll call the missus, this is going to be a late night." you say, turning to walk back towards the shop, your teeth worrying away at your bottom lip in thought.

You're sitting in the shop, cleaning yourself up while Charles is out dumping the bodies for you. John scrubs the blood off the tile floor as you sit with your legs crossed in a booth against the wall with the phone.

"I'm sorry Miss Durand." he begins. You hold your hand, still bloody under the nails and around the knuckles to shush him.

"We'll speak of it later John. I've got to handle this tonight. I'm not going to hurt you for what they did, don't worry." you explain, leaning in an trying to give a comforting tone to the shaking boy.

You call Claire after speaking with John about this Greta Ricci. You learn where the woman lives, you share this information and all that's happened tonight with her. She's angry but not at you, of course, and tells you to keep in touch if possible. You tell her to do damage control tomorrow, make sure no one in the neighborhood wanted to talk, which seeing as you owned most of the two streets you were looking out upon from the large glass window of the shop, you didn't think it would be an issue. You tell her to be prepared to deal with the police, although none had shown up so you might've gotten lucky. You tell her it's going to be a long night and not to expect you back anytime soon. You want this done tonight. She supports your wrath.

Charles returns, you tell him to wash up, that you're heading back out to the courts in the Italian part of town. Charles heads out to start the car, you're almost out of the doorway, as John calls after you again.

"Are you going to kill her Miss Durand?" he asks meekly. Your face doesn't hide its surprise at the question.

"Why do you ask?" you say with a turn, your brow low.

"Well she..." he looks at the ground and sighs.

"What?" you ask in a much less kind tone.

"She has two boys, Miss." he doesn't look up to meet your eyes. "Their father is long dead and they're just children." he says, eyes almost tearing as they meet yours. You feel a pain in your gut.

"I won't hurt them, John. I have no quarrel with them, just their mother."

"But they'll have no one left Miss. If you don't mind me saying, you've killed their whole family." he winces, as if you'd strike him for saying it.

"It's a fact. You can say it between just you and I." you explain and sigh. "I started this dear, and I'm going to finish it," you say with a nod and a smile that you hope reads as not malicious towards him. He nods, looking back down at the floor. "I'm a woman of my word John. Don't lose sleep over those children, yeah?" you ask.

"Yes Miss." he nods.

"You close up and head home after you've cleaned up alright? If you can't open tomorrow I understand. Going through such a night would shake most people to the core. I'll send someone to repair any damage and take care of everything." This seems to ease his worries as his shoulders slump, losing their tension with a heavy sigh.

"Yes, Miss. Thank you."
---------
You share the information with Charles that you've received while he was away. Your posture is very poor on the ride there. You hated having to kill women, but they can be just as ruthless as men with even more rage in their souls backed by oppression since the dawn of time. You were proof of that. Greta was proof of that. But you were a survivor. And Greta wasn't going to be.

You and Charles walk up the flights of metal stairs as quietly as possible, heads down, weapons away. You move through the crumbling hallway. The walls cracking, plaster in chunks on the floor, the doors old and showing it in their marred faces. It's quiet, the hum of voices in other flats comes and goes, the late night hour making most everyone asleep as this sort worked their fingers to the bone for a living.

You reach the numbered door. You take a deep breath after retrieving your hairpin, leaning to pick the lock.

"You need any help Miss?" Charles whispers as the lock clicks. You just shake your head but give a thankful, weak smile.

"Wait out here. If you hear me shout, come in, otherwise, let me handle this. This will be a bit..." you sigh and shake your head, trying to clear it of any hesitation. "Delicate." you say with a frown.

He nods in understanding, posting up by the door as you enter the flat. It's shabby and simple, you walk directly into the kitchen, barely anything on the counters, an open, empty cupboard in the corner hits you as highly depressing since children live here.

You stand by the table, you hear a door creak open, you catch the eye of the woman. The fear in them tells you this is the last thing she expected out of tonight.

"Come on out Greta, we need to talk." you state quietly and calmly.

She pulls her thin dressing gown around her, one hand clutching it together, knuckles white and her arms shaking.

"The boys are asleep." she whispers, stepping up to the other side of the table. A passive move to try to get you to spare her.

"I assumed at this hour they would be." You let her know you know about her children.

"Miss Durand I-" her tone is pleading just as you thought it would be. You hold up your hand to silence her.

"Not going to work on me," you say with a frown, brow furrowed with the shake of your head. "You've tried to kill me so you've left me with no choice I'm afraid." you explain, eyes squinted, face stone.

"Please don't hurt my boys." the tears appear in her eyes, her bottom lip sucked into her mouth with emotion.

"I'm not going to hurt your boys. I have nothing for them. I'm here for you, because I know you Italians aren't going to let the death of a family member just go." you nod sternly at her. "Are you?" you tilt your head, your predatory eyes piercing through her thin veiled movement to grab a gun from her pocket.

"You killed my brother." she says, tears falling now, hand even more shakey than they were without the weight of holding onto a pistol. Her hands are weaving in such a way she couldn't hit you with a miracle.

"Your brother gave me no reason to think he was worth sparing for his behavior towards me." you say coldly.

"You didn't know him." she bites back, lip snarled at you, her hate for you bare and raw on her face.

"He didn't know me either." you say with a raised brows. "Didn't stop him though did it? Neither did asking nicely or rudely." you elaborate, voice still quiet. The woman is scared by the calmness in your tone. You remind her of a sorceress from an old fairy tale, dark and looming, threatening to take away everything she ever cared about.

"You're a heartless monster." her voice cracks and she sniffs from her tears.

"I can see why you'd think that." you say with a true understanding for her accusations. You felt like a monster sometimes. "But it was just business and you and your little family have gone and made it personal, haven't you?" you purse your lips and shake your head at her. "You brought this upon yourself miss and I'm not happy to be the one to have to do it." you say with real regret in your face that confuses and scares her more. "It's a shame for a woman to kill another woman." your voice goes soft.

"A mother!" she barks, realizing her volume and looking over the door to the boy's bedroom.

"Yes. You are." you state in plain agreement. "And you made the wrong decision." you whisper harshly as a sob breaks out of her she aims the gun again at you. It still bobs and weaves just the same, just as shaken with emotion as she was. She gulps and her eyes go wide as you approach her with no fear in your face.

"I'll fucking shoot." she chokes out.

"And you'll miss if you do." you say in a matter of fact way. "Best not wake your boys with guns." you say, taking the dagger from your thigh. The one Alfie gave you for your birthday. It comforts you in a strange way. What is he going to think about you doing this? The thought passes and you push it away. The woman reluctantly lays the gun on the table, making less noise than you thought for how heavy it looked in her hands. "You can fight or not." you say, moving towards the butcher's block of knives and retrieving one, turning in a controlled spin, steps calm and steady, opposite of hers as you hold the knife out to her.

"I'm gonna fuckin' fight." she says, yanking the knife out of your hand.

"Your choice." you say with a nod.

She put up a fight, bless her soul. She comes at you, fueled with rage and fear, teeth clenched, hands set in angry claws as they come at you. You block her, sacrificing a surface injury slice to your forearm in the struggle. You fight past the reluctance to kill her. She's wearing herself out quickly, lunging and circling. All you can hear in the flat is her heavy breathing, the breakthrough sobs, the fast and slow cycles of both your feet moving around the kitchen. She comes at you from the wrong angle for her, trying to stab you in the side. You too easily grab her wrist and twist her arm, holding the knife back up against her back, spinning her to face away from you, you hear a disgusting snapping noise as you hoist the arm up in an ugly angle she gasps and you slit her throat before she can vocally react to the pain. You take the knife from her hand so it won't hit the floor and wake up the children.

She moves to turn towards you, one arm useless, the other grasping at you, scratching as she bled out onto your dress as she stumbles into your arms. This would save the boys having to see the blood you thought. A ruined dress for the sake of saving two children the trauma of having to walk out to a blood-covered kitchen was worth it. She makes deathly noises, gulps, gurgles and inhuman vocalizations fade as she goes limp in your arms. You hold her by the waist and move her to the bedroom. You lay her on her bed. You look down at her and shut your eyes.

"I hate having to kill women." you whisper to no one but yourself. You let the pain through for a moment, you feel the burn of tears and you take a deep breath, saving them for later. You cross her hands over her stomach and shut her eyes, laying a knitted blanket across her so if they boys did see, they wouldn't know of the carnage. You shut the door behind you quietly.

You open the front door to Charles, you could tell he'd been a nervous wreck waiting outside. "Come in. Quiet now, the boys are still asleep." you whisper.

His eyes are wide at the blood, so you explain. "I'm not hurt. I cut her throat, she's in her bedroom." your exhaustion showing through on your face and in your voice. Charles, the nice man he is, pats your shoulder supportively with a reluctant half smile. You nod and accept his wordless apology.

You use their phone to call Tommy's house. He isn't in, to no surprise to you and you tell Mary of your plans to share with him once he returns home. You tell her you're taking the boys to Grace's Institute. You tell her their last name, and that you'll be putting money into their account to be held until they are of age. She asks no further questions, Mary was a smart lady.

You call a ride for Charles and the boys. Stating you didn't want them to see you soaked in blood, you didn't want to frighten them. He'll take them to Birmingham and they'll be cared for. You conscious should be clean, but it isn't.

You cry on the drive home. Alone with your thoughts. After you've cried it out, tears blurring the long dark road back home, the calm sets back in. You did what you had to do, you know this. This was the sort of life you'd chosen.

When you get home it is very, very late. Claire hadn't told Alfie what you were up to or why you'd been gone all night when you'd went out for just a simple errand. Hearing the rumble of the car he quickly removes his glasses, rubbing his eyes before he rises to head to the front door from his study. You're well into the front entryway, already heading towards the direction of your room as you hear his footsteps approach.

He see's you covered in blood and his drains from his face as he rushes towards you. He reaches out to hold you like he had when you'd come home injured before. You frown and make a noise of disgust that confuses him.

"Ugh." you groan, shoving him away from you. His eyes are wide and waiting, darting over you for answers. "Not my blood." you say in a deep tone that he isn't entirely familiar with. It makes his jaw tense to hear.

Your eyes are cold and distant when they reach his, creating more space between the two of you, as you clearly didn't want him near you. "Had more men try to kill me tonight. Shop was a setup." you say, eyes moving from his to the floor, your brow heavy over your tired and red eyes.

"Is Charles-" he begins and you cut him off with a shake of your head.

"He's fine. We parted ways. He had to tie up some loose ends for me." you explain in a heavy sigh that tells him something is wrong.

"Then what's wrong, luv?" he asks, leaning in towards you, the way your face is set pale and hard, opposed to its usual pink, soft lively nature makes his stomach clench.

"I killed the men that came after me. But I found out who sent them before I did." your voice is as cold as your eyes, calm and slow, calculated and holding no inflection as you spoke. "Found out the man I killed..." you look back to his eyes and he's surprised in what he finds behind them. "Had a sister and nephews left." You slowly blink and look away again.

"She sent the men after you?" his voice holds surprise at the news a woman did such a thing.

"Oui." your voice is quieter now.

"That's whose blood it is?"

"Yes." you answer coldly, looking back up into his eyes.

He doesn't look away despite how floored he is. He'd known men that had been killed for leaving women alive that they didn't have the hearts or survival instincts to kill. But he wasn't quite sure how you felt about it. You were so supportive of your fellow women that you having to kill one was something he'd never taken time to consider. Did you see it as no different from any other kill? And to kill a mother, that shocked him. He knew you had to have done some morally questionable things, well for most people morally questionable, to get what you had. His shock passes and he starts to feel the power coming off of you. Your shoulders still and square, your eyes clear and cold. He'd just now stopped to consider how deep your brutality ran and he found himself letting out a heavy sigh involuntarily. Was there anything you couldn't do? Or a better question was, was there anything you wouldn't do?

You can see he's rolling this information around in his mind. His eyes aren't as cold as yours, his face smartly indifferent to the news.

"They try to kill me. I survive. That's what I do." you say, trying to clarify you weren't happy or sad about what you'd just done. "No matter who tries to kill me. I will always kill them if they make the mistake in not succeeding the first time." your eyes move away from his with a slow blink.

He feels his spine tingle at your dark eyes in a match with the impactful delivery of your words holding that certainty he loved that you had out in full force. You'd never let him see this beast that resides inside you before, giving him a short glimpse of your inner demons.

"You get into this way of life and you live and die by it. There's no other way," you state in a calculated way, a sigh leaving your lips. You step back from him, biting your lip for a moment, turning to leave. "If they're fool enough to fail they're practically asking for it, aren't they? That's how this wicked world of ours works, isn't it?" you look back to him. You aren't looking for an answer, or even support. You knew with what he'd had to have done in the war that he understood. And now you found yourself in a different sort of war. It wasn't what he had been through, no, but it was birthed from the same beast of brutality.

"Doesn't matter," your voice with a hint of anger as you turn back away before he even opens his mouth to respond. "It had to be done." you say in a deep voice, harsh and biting as you walk away from him.

"Fucking hell..." he whispers as you stalk almost silently to your room, just the click of your heels echo through the massive hallway. He's mesmerized, eyes following your every move, gulping at what your words made him feel. He's never heard a woman talk in such a way. He'd never known a woman like you. Hell, there never has been a woman like you as far as he's concerned at this point. It was as if you were beyond human at times in your actions. As if a mere mortal woman couldn't do what you did, some shunned goddess born of Aphrodite and Ares.

Your brutality stirs something deep and dark within him, something buried in the bloody and grotesque trenches of his mind like the memories of war that helped him realize and birth that darkness into his life after it was over. You can't come back and be the same after doing the things the things he did. You were the first person outside of fellow soldiers to ever vocalize an understanding, an echoing of that same darkness that lay within him. You were the last place he expected to find such a darkness. But he longed to know how deep that darkness went in you and what he could find there. This worried him.

Chapter Text

Alfie comes into the dining room at breakfast, you're perched in your usual seat, dressing gown adorning your form and your hair still fluffy from bed.

"You're fully dressed this morning! Where are you off to?" you inquire, head tilted to the side, watching him enter, already in his coat and hat. Unusual behavior for a Sunday.

"Oh I got a bit of travelin' to do today's all, luv." he pouts his lips and shakes his head.

"Nothing bad I hope?" you ask with raised brows.

"Nah." he groans out, grabbing an apple off the table. "Your little Birmingham boyfriend has summoned me it seems.

"Which one?" you ask sincerely.

"Oh well that's the response no man wants to hear," he says with a loud laugh. "Ya Tommy, sweetheart."

"Oh well, I hope he'll be off the Gin and back in his head. For both of your sake's." you let out a small chuckle.

"You and me both." he agrees with a nod.

"You have time to have breakfast with me?" you lilt and throw your charm at him with insistence.

"Long drive out, innit?" he says pointing at you with one finger, the rest curled around the apple now with a bite taken out of it.

"It is." you nod and pop a raspberry into your mouth. "Oh!" you call out suddenly, raising from your chair. "Could you drop off something for me? Since you'll be going to his house I assume?"

"Eh. It'll cost ya." he teases with a gruff tone.

You smirk at him. "Claire!"

"I'm right behind you, Genevieve. Calm down." he says in a low tone, making her way into the room fully.

"Could you go get that...that..." you snap your fingers as you think.

"The papers for Tommy, yes." she nods and leaves.

"Merci!" you call out after her, eyes swinging back to Alfie. "I have some papers his lawyer needs for some property. I prefer them hand delivered and not mailed."

"Understandable." he nods, taking another bite of apple.

Claire returns promptly, as always. "Put it all in an envelope." she looks at you but hands it to Alfie. She returns to sit in the chair across the corner from you.

"Well I'm off, luv." he says tipping his hat. "I'll be back tonight I suspect." he grunts and nods, moving to walk away.

"Be careful, darling!" you lilt out to him, he waves his hand to you in acknowledgment. "If Tommy needs anything else besides what's there in your hand, just call me!" you say louder as he's exited the room.

"Got it!" he says as you hear his cane start tapping against the marble floors.

You let out a heavy sigh and sit back down. Your eyes move to Claire and you bite your lip.

"Let's hope that goes well." she says in a tone that lets you know she's wary.
------
"Afternoon, Solomons." Tommy says smoothly as he enters the room and heads towards the bar of his office.

"It is." he nods, taking the papers out of the jacket of his coat. "Gen's sent me with these as well. Somethin' 'bout lawyers and property. I dinnit look at it."

"And I'm supposed to believe that?" he smirks.

"Whatever you wanna believe mate." he grunts and shrugs.

"Drink?" Tommy offers, holding a glass of Gin out towards Alfie.

"You know I don't." he gruffs out as he takes a seat in front of Tommy's desk. The slender man lowers himself slowly into the plush leather chair. "What you callin' me all the way out here for?" he hunches over, hands rested on the top of his cane.

"You have better plans for a Sunday?" he raises his eyebrows while he takes a sip of his drink.

"Yeah, actually I do, mate." he says with a series of nods, his lips pursed together. You were his better plans, and he'd much prefer to have slept with you the night before and just now being woken up, possibly by your lips on him.

"Well then, we'll stick to business. I have an interesting proposition for you, Alfie. " he says with a firm nod, setting his glass on the table. He rests his elbows on his desk, leaning in towards the other man. He clears his throat, "I've heard Genevieve's been looking for the egg she lost to the Italians." he begins to explain. "I happen to have a proposition for you involving said egg." he moves his eyes back to Alfie.

"Mmm Hmm?" he responds, nodding slowly.

"I've found a man who is willing to pay an exorbitant amount of money for this egg." he moves his eyes away again. "I wanted to ask you if you knew anything about its whereabouts." he holds his palms up to show his intention of the question to have an answer follow.

"And what if I do?" he did not but he didn't have to let Tommy know that.

"Well, I think I may have a lead on it myself..." he pauses and Alfie's eyes narrow, knowing something unpleasant was going to come from his mouth at any moment. "Seeing as Genevieve trusts you now, I thought you might be able to get any information she's gathered and inform me of it to see if the sources match up."

"That's the same as stealing the egg from her a second time, Tommy. When are you gonna learn your lesson, eh?" his narrowed eyes are shot to Tommy's.

"Yes, but see ... she wouldn't have to know who was behind it. Would she?" he tilts his head just slightly. "We can have the little kitten go and fetch it for us, then have you, our man on the inside steal it from her and hand it off. She'd be none the wiser. We both get our money, the man gets his egg. Everyone's set."

"Who is it that's wanting to buy it?" his voice is deeper now, Tommy can tell he is unconvinced. "I might know 'em and I can tell ya if you're gonna get fuckin' played."

"Why would I give you the name? So you can go and take it all yourself?" he lets out a small amused huff.

Alfie shakes his head, face straight and serious. "Nah. That's where ya wrong, mate. See? I learn from my mistakes...clearly, you aren't capable of such a thing."

Tommy's chin moves back into his chest, eyes still calm but curious.

"If I told Gen about this, she'd have your fuckin' throat for it. You should know that if I do." his eyes open, alert and not moving from Tommy's in a confrontational way.

"But you won't tell her," he states with certainty. "Because you take things from people for yourself Alfie. That's what you do," he says it in an obvious tone. "You've done it to me. We've lied and stolen and almost fucking killed each other over it." Alfie doesn't appreciate Tommy talking to him like he knows him this well. "But we're still here...aren't we?" his eyes narrow with insistence.

"Well me 'n you fuckin' about is a bit different, innit mate?" he head thrusting forward, the menace back behind his eyes.

"Different from what, Alfie?"

"Different from you fuckin' with Gen."

"How?"

"For fuckin' starters, she's a bit bigger of a lad than even me when it comes to business, yeah? She's got deeper pockets and high connections." he says obviously and defensively. "If she's got better odds in her dealings that ME...what in the bloody hell makes you think YOU can come for her, eh?" his brow furrowed, knuckles lightening with his growing grip on the handle of his cane.

Tommy sighs before he continues. "She's a woman Alfie. Sure she's brilliant in her work, yes, but she has certain weaknesses we don't, eh? One's they're born with that even a woman like Genevieve can't escape."

"What the fuck are you on about?" he shakes his head, voice clearly exasperated.

"Her emotions." Tommy states clearly and matter of factly.

"Everyone's got emotions, mate!" he declares, a wave of his bejeweled hand to the air to go with his snarled lip and annoyed tone. "If ya don't ya fuckin' dead and that's the point innit then?"

"Apparently living with a woman so emotional has made you soft." Tommy says, looking away from Alfie to take a sip of his drink.

"Listen here, little man." Alfie aggressively points his finger in Tommy's face. "You can fuck around me with, yeah? But NOT her." he commands.

"And why exactly is that?" he says in a confrontational tone, his head shaking back and forth as he delivers the words.

"Because she is ABOVE YOU, yeah? She's not in your fuckin' budget Shelby!" his voice risen and clearly angry.

"She may not be in my budget but I don't remember neither of us worrying about such things like going for something bigger before."

"Well bigger ain't always makin' things better is it?" he says snarkily, a sigh leaving his lips as he looks away from Tommy, shutting his eyes for a moment to gather himself.

"My point is she's not making this deal, is she? She's too busy with her sweeping emotions affecting her decisions past her personal dealings and into her business." he tries to be convincing. "I'm not. She only wants the egg because it's shiny and she's a little bird who wants it for her nest. I want it for money. For something real, something useful." his chin moves forward to assert his point.

"What the fuck is wrong with you Thomas?" his bottom lip hanging in disbelief, shaking his head.

Tommy takes a moment to take another drink and another deep breath. "I'm giving you the option to use her fondness of you to your advantage."

Alfie lets out a strange snort of a laugh that Tommy narrows his eyes and tilts his head at. "And doing that has worked SO well for you hannit?" he barks back.

"She still does jobs for me, doesn't she? I know how to manipulate her, I know her. I thought we might use her as an opportunity to advance both of us, seeing as we find ourselves in her favor."

"I've heard her talk about you when she's drunk mate, you's over estimatin' that favor me thinks."

"No, alfie. Because of those emotions. Because she loves me because she loved Grace. Because she loves Charlie." he lets out a huff of breath at her name, pausing for a moment. "I thought you were a ruthless man who manipulated others to come out on top. That's been my experience."

Alfie takes a deep breath. Rolling his head as if it weighs a tonne back to Tommy, glaring into his eyes. "I ain't gonna fuck it up like you are, Tommy." he stands, shaking his head. "She's too valuable to be fuckin' with in such a way. And over a fuckin' egg? Ridiculous! If I want an egg, I'll get meself a fuckin' egg, right?" his voice travels as he moves towards the door. "I 'ont want no more of this so-called fuckin' advice of yours mate."

"Then it will be the last." he says, moving his hand dismissively.

"Good. There's much better things to waste me fuckin' time on, yeah?" his shoulder moving in a way that shows his anger.

Tommy is around his desk, moving papers and rolling his eyes. "The very possibility of losing her is worth more than a Faberge egg?" he says in a shady tone. "You've killed for Faberge before."

"Yeah, 'n I killed for her too mate. But I'd rather spend me time with her than a fuckin' egg and that's what I'd be doin' if I crossed her." he says with no hesitation.

"Alone and among your treasures was something I thought you held in high importance."

"You don't know nuffin 'about what's important to me, mate." a deep tone of warning in his voice.

"I know enough." Tommy quirks an eyebrow up, looking at his desk.

"Then maybe me definition of treasure is changing, eh? You should be inclined to look into doin' much the same." his tone to advise him for the advice given.

"Fucking hell you have gone soft haven't you?" Tommy says, face looser, staring at Alfie who stands across the room.

"I ain't gone nuffin'. I'm just clearly the smarter, the superior of us two and I can see the value of something when it's right into of me fuckin' face, yeah? I ain't inclined to go fuckin' things up when they're running right. Unlike you." he spits out. " Can't enjoy a fuckin' thing anymore can ya? Call me soft all ya fuckin' want, don't make it fuckin true. Ya just name callin' like a child because you've let ya misery swallow ya up. I ain't inclined to go the same way as you." his finger that's been pointed and probing in the other man's direction finally falls to his side.

"What happened to living and dying by the sword, Alfie?"

"I've both lived and died by it Thomas! Same as you. Same as her. I can't grasp what makes that shaken, gin-soaked brain of yours think you could get away with fuckin' her over like this. After you already lied to her on the same subject. On this big of a scale? Ya think a fuckin' Lady ain't gonna find out when a little Birmingham scrub like you is up and tryin' to fuck about in high society? Ya fuckin' daft little boy. I 'on't know what makes you think that just because I'm not willingly putting an expiration date on one of the most beneficial business relationships I've ever forged, that that means I'm not still livin' in the same wicked world as you mate." his head moves animated as his voice is carried across the room clearly with booming inflections, hand moving as he speaks, one grasping his cane as he waves it about in his anger.

"And what of the personal relationship?" Alfie has had it with his passive aggressiveness.

"It's always business first, innit? It is for me, it is for her. Thought I could say the same 'bout you but you've gone and chosen yourself over everything ain't ya? Over ya business. Over ya family...yeah. How many times have you almost fuckin' killed them now? Those same ones that made it possible for the little tatterdemalion boy ya was to get where ya are now." he opens the door. "You're supposed to choose your loyalties, mate. Not lose them all. I 'on't know who this connect is, but unless it's the fuckin' Queen, and even then, I'd say reconsider." he barks out before slamming the door behind him.
--
He stalks into the house, chest feeling heavy with the burden Tommy had placed upon him. Mad for him wanting to hurt you, mad you weren't there to hear Tommy's words yourself and get to watch you pounce over his desk and wallop him with your small but fierce fists.

His coat and hat are taken, he hands them off with a nod and a sigh, looking down the hall towards your wing. He hears faint music that grows louder as he makes his way in your bedroom. He hears the water splashing, you humming happily in your bath and he doesn't have the heart or energy to ruin your night right now. He'd let you sit blissfully unaware of Tommy's betrayal for another night. He hangs his head and goes back to his room.
----
"Gen, dear it's Thomas!" Aggie lilts, bringing the phone to you in your bathroom.

You smile and take the phone from her as she sits the base on a table next to the tub.

"Hello Thomas." you say with a lazy sigh, your toes wiggling out of the water.

"Good evening, sweetheart." his voice sounds tired.

"Oh I get a sweetheart, that means it either went very well or very poorly." you say with a quiet chuckle, shaking the water and causing the bubbles to pop and fizz.

"Has he not returned home?"

"Yeah, but it wasn't that long ago, he's probably perched in his study as usual. You must've worn the poor thing out." you say with a playful scold.

"More like he wore me out."

"Oh do tell, please." you coo into the phone. He tells about how he turned him down, how he told him no over and over again. Each time the smile on your face growing a bit larger, by the end you're on the verge of pruning fingertips are between your lip in the relief you're hearing from him passing every test that had been put before him. You sit in silence, Tommy hears your deep sigh.

"Quite the relief for you I'd imagine." he says with that same implying tone.

"More than." you almost shout in your enthusiasm but muffle your laughter by sinking back down into the bath, bubbling the water with your lips.

"Happy to help, Gen. We even for now?"

"Almost." you laugh. "Even enough. Thank you, dear."

"You're welcome, sweetheart."

"Kiss Charlie for me. Tell him I said hello."

Your sweet tone, that genuineness he can feel through the phone is the same that he knows Alfie feels. He hopes he's back fully in your good graces. Certainly, with the political influence of yours he'd need soon. He also found a whisper of peace he hadn't expected, something he pushed away as soon as it appeared, the thought that he wouldn't have to deal with Alfie fucking you over. Because he knew if he ever did you would get him involved and what a fucking mess that would be. "Of course, Gen."

"Goodnight."

"Goodnight." he lets out a sigh, the business being concluded, looking around his office, dim from the light of the single lamp lit not enough to fight back the darkness. More ends tied, he mumbles to himself. You'd keep Alfie from reacting and make him docile about the whole situation with a pre-planned trip to come watch Charlie while he's out of town, pretending you're arguing with Thomas while you're there. He knows you're a fine actress, he knows it will all play out according to plan. He pours a drink, thankful to be celebrating something going right for once.

Chapter Text

Alfie had been so nice to you that morning, unusually so and it was hard not to give away your secret in your smile as his compliments came with cheek kisses and shoulder squeezes, getting both unprovoked at breakfast wasn't something he'd done before. Alfie had sat you down after he came in from work that same day. His eyes showed pity and his face showed his hesitancy to share what he thought Thomas was trying to do to you. You sell it and sell it well. You leave him in a similar fashion to the night he'd filled your house with lavender. You thank him, tears threatening to fall, with a single kiss, your thumb rubbing his cheek as you sigh and excuse yourself. The poor lad was never the wiser.

After seeing how revealingly kind Alfie had been, in both what he said to Tommy and what he'd told you had happened, you felt a lingering pang of guilt knocking around in your head along with your reasons for doing it. You had to be certain about his loyalty to you if you were to truly accept this new gangster lifestyle. You hadn't had a choice. A woman in this life didn't get a second chance if she trusted the wrong person. You already owned one street, working on a second and you couldn't move forward without knowing you'd have him in your corner. You wanted to thank him, and there was one way that you could that you knew he'd appreciate.

It's almost ten, you're in Alfie's room, looking out the window to the forest and rolling hills. The sound of summer storm moving across the land rumbles the panes and sends a calm throughout the house. You thought he'd be home by now, your nails tap on the glass as your teeth worry away at your lips. You were starting to chill with the thin fabric of the gown you wore. You'd planned on slithering right up to him as he walked in the door and spending the night thanking him with your body for being such a good boy through this whole ordeal.

By the time he gets home, it's hours later. You'd fallen asleep in his bed, determined to see your plan through, and the need to warm up after your choice in pajamas fell short on the coverage of your body for warmth.

"What the fuckin' hell ya doin' in 'ere Genny?" is what you're woken up by. You sit up with a grunt, running your hand through your hair.

"Waiting for you..." you grumble, voice heavy with sleep. You rub your eyes before focusing them on the clock, seeing the surprising hour.

"Well I kept ya waitin' dinnit I?" he says, tossing his jacket unceremoniously onto a chair. His brow is furrowed, circles under his eyes making him look gaunt. You can see the redness appearing on his neck as you could tell he'd been fidgeting and scratching himself in thought too often. You found a different sort of urge come over you from the intended one you'd come in with.

He sits on the opposite side of the bed as you laid on. He grunts with the impact, stretching his neck from side to side, triggering a huge yawn. You crawl over the bed and slink off the side to stand before him.

"Looks like you could use some kindness, darling." you say softly, fingers starting to work at the buttons on his vest.

"Ya got any to spare?" he asks, tired eyes looking up at you, you give him a sweet smile.

"I might be able to find some around here somewhere." you chuckle softly, moving to the buttons on his shirt.

"Ya don't gotta, sweetie I'm fuckin' barely still together after tonight." he yawns, his arms moving slowly and possibly subconsciously as you slide the layers off of him.

"I've been going through it this week as well, Fie." you kiss the top of his head, a grunt escaping from deep in his chest at the gesture. You get another grunt as you kneel down to pull off one of his shoes.

"Not that it ain't fuckin' heavenly havin' a creature like you tend to me, but ya ain't gotta-" he protests weakly.

"Hush, Alfie. I was trained to take care of men for most of my life, you know. I'm very good at it." you say with a bossy smile that slumps his shoulders in defeat. You move to place his shoes together at the foot of the bed for the maids to pick up to clean. He'd been somewhere disgusting tonight, the metallic smell of blood drifts by as the bottoms of his shoes have become disturbed. You move back to kneeling in front of him, grabbing his big toe playfully and tugging at his sock before rolling it down and off. The feel of your silken skin touching and tending to his sensitive never touched nerves of his ankles draws a heavy sigh from him as you ball it and toss it into a basket across the room. A single nod in victory as it lands where it's supposed to. You seamlessly move to repeat the action on the other foot.

"You are that, yeah?" he says with a half smile, watching your soft polished hands move delicately across the rough natural fabrics of his clothes. "But I recall you cursin' about that trainin' when ya's drunk, love. 'Bout how much you hated it." his eyes move away from you.

"You know I don't do anything I don't want to do. Best you just let me do something that's nice while I have the urge to be so, eh?" you give another soft smile, meeting his eyes to let him know you weren't doing it out of some expected gender role exchange. You did it because it came to you naturally for him, you were so bold as to think that it also came naturally to him to treat you much the same. Still on your knees, your hands go for the closure on his trousers.

"Luv I ain't got it in me tonight." he says, his voice gritty, hand holding your wrist before you shake it out of his grasp.

"I might've come in here with the intention for such a thing but I'm not trying to give you any trouble tonight am I? Now lay back." you say with a smirk to go with the chuckle his suggestion makes, shaking your head and standing after you push him back onto the bed by the shoulder. He lands with a grunt.

"I'm a grown fuckin' man ya don't gotta-" you shush him again, yanking his trousers off him, and loom above his solid form. His eyes close but brow still furrowed

"Stop being so difficult," you say with a laugh. "You've taken care of me before, let me do it for you." you look him over him, considering your next move.

He grunts in response, opening one eye first. "I 'ave taken care of ya before, 'aven't I?" a smug, lazy smile comes across his lips.

"Yes, you have. Now scoot up and get your head on the pillows you silly boy." you almost baby talk him. "You keeping these on?" you ask with a raised eyebrow, one finger tugging at the waistband of his underwear.

"Gotta keep you offa me so yeah." he says with a snort. You laugh as you walk to the other side of the bed, he turns his head to watch you.

"I'm certain I can control myself." you grin at him, hand resting on the book on the table by the bed you'd brought in, planning to take it with you and go back to your bed.

He moves too fast for how tired he claims he is. He almost rolls over, grabbing your wrist and yanking you back into the bed. You land with a plop on your hip. Giving him a scolding look he can barely read in the dark. "But count on you to not." you snicker.

"Nah I want ya to do somefin' for me and it requires you gettin' back in bed so I just took the liberty of just fuckin' pullin' ya back in meself." You lay propped up on your elbows, looking at each other.

"What am I doing back in bed with you then?" you give him a smile that he feels in the dark, he hears you wet your lips and hears the quiet pops of your tongue as that smile grows as he grunts and reaches out to find your knee.

"I may not have voiced it at the time but I found myself real fuckin' fond of what ya's doing to me hair and face after you fixed me back," he says in a grumbled way you find endearing. "I wanted ya to do it again." he leans in closer to you, voice quieter now. "I know 'is a favor, yeah? I know ya ain't much on it at night. But how can a man help but want ya to keep ya hands on him in such a soothing way." he admits, his lips pouting with his annunciation.

"I'm not opposed to a good cuddle. Touch is vital for humans. I just don't tend to crave it in such a way after sex like a lot of people do. Just not something I've made a habit." you scoot yourself up, your chest close to his face as you hear a deep, relaxing sigh. "But just good, old-fashioned affection? You have only to ask, darling." He grunts and nods at you. You move to lay on your back slightly under him like you had the last time, scooting yourself closer to him. Your fingers moving into his beard. "Most like getting cooed and cuddled when they feel bad. The touch helps you recharge, I believe." his eyes roll back and shut as your nails scratch his scalp lightly.

"And I do feel fuckin' bad." he groans out.

"Then lie down next to me so you can fall asleep." What a heavenly thing to hear in the sound of your voice, he thought.

You adjust yourself after he plops his head onto the pillow you move towards him to share so you can see him properly. You busy one hand in his beard, rubbing his neck lightly. The others move through his dark hair, you mess it up on purpose, looking forward to the bed head he'd have in the morning. He was so boyishly handsome, all disheveled. You're cut out of your cycles of stroking and scratching as a snore of him nodding off escapes his popping lips, triggering an involuntary smile from you.

"Goodnight you big pup." you whisper, thumb rubbing his cheek before you slowly separate yourself from him. You lay on your back next to him, shutting your eyes and listening to his breathing as it's even pace helps you start to feel sleepy again. You feel him move, bringing the covers up over you both. You feel a warm paw reach out, grabbing your waist as he settles in closer.

"Another favor." he mumbles, smiling a smug closed mouth smile, not even opening his eyes. As he lays his head on your stomach, his big arm over you, his body weighing heavily on you. He hums contently as he feels you laugh, knowing he's gotten his way. You put a pillow behind your head, laying back and propping up slightly, your fingers go back to play in his hair. You most certainly were right in calling him a pup. The big, bad Alfie Solomons everyone feared curled up for a scratch behind the ears. You don't think anyone would've believed you even if you did tell them.
----
You'd separated at some point in the hours you'd been sleeping. He wakes up to see you still deeply asleep, laying on your side, facing away from him taking slow breaths. Your shoulders bare, he can see the handful of freckles that scatter across your back that in the dim light of the morning sun, just barely intruding on the light in the room, are enough to draw his attention to them. He slowly stretches, a grunt as his body goes back to rest. He looks down to see the usual morning intrusion between his legs, insisting he touch you. His hand reaches out, covering your shoulder, his face hovering over your hair. You stir at the warmth he brings over with him. You don't open your eyes, you remain still except for the deep breath you take, triggering a yawn as you hum and nestle back into the bed. His arm reaches around your stomach as he scoots himself closer. The heat of him is almost searing against your skin, still chilled from being bare against the air of the room.

"Matin." you mumble, moving your face into the pillow. Your voice is weak and breathy.

"Mornin', luv." his sleep-heavy voice naturally sends a warm sensation down your spine with it's impossibly seductive, deep tone. He plants a kiss on your shoulder first, hesitantly as if he's testing you for a reaction. When you make no sign of rebuttal, you feel the heat of his hand as it moves to your upper arm, the weight comforting and warm, his thumb making idle trails over your back. You take a slow, indulgent deep breath, resettling your body under the thin covers, your hips wiggling against a clear sign of his intentions. You hear him grunt as you make the, at first, unintentional contact, the low noise near your ear. You reach up to tuck your hair behind it, giving a clear invitation he does not hesitate to act on as you feel his lips against your shoulder once again, now not leaving but moving in languid, indulgent movements, leaving trails from his peeking tongue behind that send chills as the air hits them.

"Mmmph, Alfie." you exhale, your eyes opening just slightly, you sigh and relax against his large form. His hand trails down your arm to your stomach, fingers splayed across the soft silk of your nightgown. That tenderly feminine way you said his name fuels him as his eyes roll behind his lids. Leading the way with his nose, he moves to your neck, breathing you inaudibly, nose on your ear, lips on your throat. You wondered if you could talk him into waking you up like this more often.

His hand moves up your ribs, grasping at you in a firm hold as he pulls you closer, you feel him against your bum, shifting against him as his hands glide with purpose to your chest. His strong square-tipped fingers curl around the neckline of your nightgown. They grasp and tug, pulling it down to spill your chest out into his eagerly kneading hand.

He breath is heavy against your ear. "Fancy a fuck this mornin', luv?" he rasps in your ear, that velvet voice making parts of you he'd referred to as velvet tense. As he buries his face in your hair he hears you let out that low hum of approval he's grown fond of.

"It's what I came in here for, isn't it?" he raises his head to see that sly smile on your face, he presses his lips against the side of your face as you turn your upper body just slightly, reaching behind you. Your hand moves down his stomach, fingers moving, searching and finding him twitching and waiting. You grasp him over the thin fabric you'd left on him the night before.

"It is." he groans, your chest being turned up towards him more now, he leans over you to engulf one of your hardening nipples with his warm mouth. He sucks gently for a moment, a weighted sigh builds in your chest. "How's about..." he begins, moving from your breast to kick off his underwear. "We take the lazy way out this mornin'." his hands move back to your hips, his mouth to your neck once more. "We can revisit this and we can proper take out all that stress from work on each other tonight, eh?" his voice is slow and low, confident but still requesting permission.

"What does this lazy way out entail?" you ask, your lashes fluttering before your dark eyes meet his. You wore a soft expression on your face despite how your hand was currently cupping and fondling his balls, making his eyes want to shut again at the feeling.

"It means we don't wear ourselves out, but we both still get off, luv." his speech gets less articulate the longer you tug at him, the head of his cock wedged between your cheeks, his lids going heavy, lips parted.

"Mmm." you hum. "You're so hard this morning, Fie." you whisper out, eyes closed, lips in a smile as you tighten your grip around him. "Are you planning on making me come like this?" you ask almost innocently, pressing back on his cock, burying him deeper between your thighs and bum. He lets out a low grunt of approval, hips bucking slightly at the gesture.

"I am. Why?" his voice is back to aggressive, you feel the breath huff from his flared nostrils, a rough hand back on your breast.

"Good. You'll hit where you should if you fuck me like this." you purr back, you're still quiet and soft, although not from sleep any longer.

"You think I don't know how to make you come by now?" he says in a condescending tone you welcomed, he reaches down to yank up one of your legs by the knee, opening you up to him. You feel the heat of his hands running down your inner thigh in a clear taunt.

"That's not what I said." you say with a pouty, playfully defensive tone, your hips swiveling. "I was merely supporting the decision." you keep your cool demeanor as his fingers move between your lips.

"I would say yer lyin' but what with how wet you are I can tell yer proper fuckin' supportive innit ya?" he says in that perfect mixture of predatory and charming.

"Don't use that tone with me when it's your fault I'm wet," you say with a taunting smile, he returns the expression, leaning down to kiss you, lips only lightly manipulating yours. "You aren't going to shame me..." you say in a tone that makes him smile into the kiss. "Not when I know how much you love how wet I get for you." you purr at him.

He exhales forcefully out of his nostrils, "I do fuckin' love it, dunnit I?" his lips work forcefully against your own as he moves his fingers tips back and forth, grazing over your clit. Your eyes roll back behind their lids as you continue pulling away at him, his hips bucking with your movements. You feel him resituate himself, his fingers only leaving your body for a second as one teases you before he slides it inside you. Immediately drawing a sharp inhale against his lips, he cuts short the moan he causes as he hooks his finger into you. He slips an arm under your neck, holding you tightly and pulling you closer, his kisses almost overwhelming enough of an experience to make you forget his fingers. You maneuver your arm out and up to grip your fingers into his hair, pulling him hungrily closer with an encouraging moan as he slips another finger inside you.

You swear in a breathy exhale as your hips buck, "Fuck." you say weakly, his fingertips starting to press and roam over the spot inside you that he's learning so intimately that it's almost an unfair advantage at how quickly he can render you helpless with it.

"So eager already." he says in that condescending tone you love, pressing harder as he pumps his fingers in and out of you, those skilled fingers pulsing and drawing a higher pitched, helpless, "Fuck." in response. "You hear how fucking wet you are?" the tone of his voice, deep and shaming makes you moan loudly against his mouth, hovering over yours, greedily watching you give yourself over.

"Oui." you choke out, so intoxicatingly submissive to his ears that craved those sounds from you, your thighs tense as he brushes over your clit with his thumb.

"Should I make you come like this? Or should I fill you up and make you come around this throbbing cock you've caused."

You let out another breathy moan, your brow falling, eyes opening and piercing straight into his. "Around that throbbing cock of yours." the seductress was back behind your eyes, he knew you were close as he sees your eyes dark and focused.

He doesn't hesitate, and how could he after that request. HIs fingers are out of you in a flash, hand tight around his cock, covering him in your wetness, dripping from his fingers. You tilt your hips back, leg bent and knee up, opening you wide, a clear and open invitation that he answers swiftly, his hips dipping down to line himself up with you. Your bodies now familiar with each other, notch together with less and less conscious effort each time.

You let out a guttural moan, your hips involuntarily twitching as you feel that satisfying pressure of his head making its way inside you. Your fingers are taught in his hair, you wet your lips at the sensation of him slowly filling you up. He pulls your hips back towards him, you feel him fill you up entirely, holding himself in you as deeply as he could. His arms snakes up to your breasts, holding one tightly, an assault of kisses soon following. They're deep and intense, doing his best to stimulate you to the point of being overwhelmed, giving him what he desperately worked towards in fucking you so thoroughly that you'd never forget how good he made you feel. His fingers pinch and roll your nipples, he feels you pulse around him and he curses in a growl you tense even more in reaction to, he moans from the things your body does to him, you falling apart, making him do the same.

"Fuck me, Alfie." you whine and reach between your legs to your clit. You hear him rumble out a groan at your needful words "Make me come." you say in a much more seductive and less demanding way, moaning as he feels you touching yourself, drawing out of you and pushing back in with a hiss.

"Your cunt feels like fucking silk, luv." he says quietly, breathily into your ear, lips moving along the side of your face. He only takes a few strokes to adjust to your tight grip around him.

"Yes, 'Fie, more." you moan as you let your head fall back, your fingers working in circles around your clit. His pace filling you up with a shove, dragging himself slowly in and out of you and pushing every spot you wanted on his way. His arm across your chest moves to the side of your head, pressing you against him, your entire body moved when he pumped into you. A flush travels across your face, you buck against him, lip bitten in concentration. He pulls your face just a breath away from his own, eyes dark and hungry, meeting yours as he watches them roll and flutter when he reaches down to yank your leg up by your thigh, hand strong and firm against the soft flesh.

"You feel so tight like this," he groans out. Hand moving to slap where your arse meets your legs. "Fuck." he growls as he hits into you harder, making you squeak, the slaps and slams making you seize around him and threaten to end this too soon. His hand moving back quickly to your face again, his tongue greedily invading your panting mouth. Devouring your already helpless moans.

He feels that first roll of your body against his. That wave of pleasure your body takes so literally, every soft bit of you pressing against him as you writhe. You head falls back again, his temple rests against yours. "You are as hard as a fucking diamond." you moan out in praise. "You feel so good." you moan out in a soft way, his lips findings your bare skin again, pressing against your face, nostrils flared as he huffs out breaths timed with his thrusts. "Fuck I'm close." you whisper out, but he doesn't dare not catch the warning.

"Come on then." his tone cocky and challenging and you shudder against him as the hot breath following his words connect your lips as he pulls back to look at your face, your body heat, mixed with the heat from the friction you both create forms a thin veil of sweat over your bodies, his hair limp and bouncing across his forehead in time to his thrusts.

Your moans turn to cried swears, he moves his hand to your chest, holding you down, holding you close as he fucks into you with a loud slapping thud each time, making your mouth gasp open. You make a squeaking sound he isn't sure of at first, but the lustful almost roar that follows it makes him pant into your ear, growling at your sinful sounds.

Your hand, surprisingly to him, moves quickly from between your legs to grasp at his forearm. "That's it." you cry out, lip slightly snarled as you used your grip on his arm to push back into his hips causing the devilish wet slap of skin to skin to echo throughout the room. "Yes, make me come all over that fucking cock." your teeth clenched, voice with no innocence to be found in it any longer. He isn't sure how but he lasts through the sensual show you put on as you pulse around him. He can hear every breath as your head falls back again against his, he takes the shell of your ear between his teeth. He holds you down yet again, your shaking hands letting his forearm go with no resistance to your soft mound, he holds himself deep inside you, making your eyes cross as he prolongs the blissfull fluttering of your hips.
He slows, but he does not stop, the same can be said for the small little moans that follow your panted breaths. The drawn-out, full tilt moan that blooms out of your mouth, so close to his ear hold his full attention. "Oh she's still got more in her, does she?" he asks, a wet kiss pressed to the side of your face.

"Yes. You feel so fucking good." your hand moves back to in his hair as soon as his grip moves back to your hips. "Alfie, don't stop." you plead, he feels your juices starting to make their way down his balls, his tongue laps at the skin under your ear in a purely animalistic reaction to your body's wordless praises along with the pleading call of his name from your sweet lips.

"I won't. I won't." he coos in your ear. The unexpected softness in his raspy voice makes you shudder in his arms. His hold tight, his hand moving up to the side of your face again, pushing back the wet hair that's stuck to your face in your writhing. He keeps it there, his mouth working just under your earlobe, forehead pressed against your temple as he keeps pumping into you at a much gentler pace than what drew the first orgasm from you.

"Just like that." you barely rasp out, your request for something softer surprises him but he's more than relieved at the news. This slow build, this slow burn that felt like it was threatening to become untamable at any second was new. You always wanted it harder, faster, rougher. Here you were, trembling, almost two orgasms deep in a man's arms asking him to fuck you slowly. If this is what slow was like maybe you should stop shunning slow. The point is driven home when you feel that magnificent cock of his push you just where it needed to to make sure you took the hint that when done right, perhaps slow wasn't something you should look down upon.

He's not witnessed you come like this before. You don't convulse, you don't shout or scratch. Instead, a building, needful moan comes in waves with your deep breaths as he feels you reach some bewitching mixture of wet and tight. Hard, sudden squeezes draw swears from his mouth against your skin. His eyes are kept open, watching your lips, panting, licking, calling out his name as you roll like a serpent against him. He knows he isn't going to last forever, but if he could have stayed right there and orgasmed you into dehydration, he would.

He sees your eyes shoot open, fluttering and rolling as they try to focus again. "Holy Shit, Solomons." you pant out, taking a noisy gulp. "Fuck, you're good." you moan out, taking a moment to shake your head before turning your face to his and kissing him.

In his already close state, your actions catch him off guard. You move away and off of him to his confusion, but you don't give him time to even get in a vocal rebuttal as you push him to the bed by his hip, moving to take the tip of him into your mouth and all he can manage is one hand at his side and the other moving your hair out of your face so he can see whatever magic you are working on him. Your hands play with his balls, eliciting a deep moan from him, his head thrown back, your nails just grazing and manipulating the flesh before they go to wrap around his length, joining forces with your mouth, rendering him useless.

"Fuckin' 'ell, Genevieve." he eventually manages, bottom lip hanging down, line of teeth exposed, both hands next to him on the bed as you suck and stroke him to his end. "Fuck, luv you're gonna-"

Your eyes shoot up to his, your hands, slightly overlapped, and wet work on his length, your pink lips framing your tongue, which currently had the head of his cock being slapped against it and he moans like a bloody woman at the sight. "You've been such a good boy I think I'll even swallow all your spunk this time, Alfie." he doesn't know if it's the visual, the auditory stimulation or the filth of the words, but in combination with the sound of you saying his name with his cock in your mouth makes him cum, and hard with no further warning given to either you or him about it. As he spurts out against your tongue and lips you suck him down again, you meet your nose with his pelvis as he shoots into your mouth, all you can make out is a random assortment of "Fuckin" "hell" and "Gen" in cycles.

You make that obscene pop that causes his balls tingle with your mouth as you slide off him after his hips still. He watches you put on a show for him, his mouth open, pink and panting like yours, eyes not changed from dark yet, face relaxed and spent. You crawl back up the bed, your index finger wiping the bits of him that had caught you both off guard, as you lay next to him, facing him, you suck the rest of your finger, that same wet obscene pop making his cock twitch even now. You give a filthy smile, everything about it naughty as you look up at him from your lashes. Now laying back on the bed and looking at him with a smile that looked like you knew a secret he didn't.

"You're a fucking angel or the god damn devil and I can't decide which," he says, voice still exasperated and you grin, moving to your side and reaching for the blanket to cover both of you as you'd started getting chilly again already. "We were supposed to just lay and get off and then ya had to....do all 'at." he says, hand motioning to his crotch. "Ya really didn't have to do that sweetheart." he turns his face back to you. It holds a curious expression, your eyes slowly blinking at him as he returns the expression.

"I suppose I would have to say my odds are on the devil." you grin. "Seeing as you know how much I love to do that sort of thing." your eyes swing to his cock with a raise of an eyebrow and back up to his eyes.

"I can see the logic on 'at, yeah?" he gulps and lets out a noisy breath. "But my odds are on angel because sayin' that just made ya fuckin' perfect dinnit?" a slow, lazy smile forms across both of your faces as you lay in the afterglow together.

Chapter Text

You're sorting through letters in your hands as you walk to Alfie's study on a warm afternoon.

 

"Here you go, darling. I've been told to hand these to you," you say with a handful of decorative envelopes in a neat stack between your painted nails.
A nod and grunt, a furrowed brow with a large hand reaching out, palm up in expectancy of your handing him the letters. "Looks as though we've gotten the same invitation." you say, moving it out away from the rest in the stack with your finger after he lays them on the desk.

"Eh? What's that now?" he says, shaking his head, pulling his train of thought to your words.

"I'm thinking we've both been invited to the same wedding." you say in a slow pace as your eyes scan over the folded gilded paper.

He hums in curiosity and rips open the paper square to inspect the one he's received.

"Ah, one of the jewelers I see." he says gruffly, fingers adjusting his glasses on his face.

"What a match. A jeweler and jewel thief." you say with a shoulder-shaking laugh.

He looks up to you with a questioning, raised brow.

"Thalia. We've worked together before." you shake the paper in your hand. "I've worked with James as well but I just bought and sold for him."

"Yeah I didn't assume a man like James would be out there runnin' round on jobs with you." he says with a smirk, as James was more than a bit older than you both.

"I have been to his parties though." you say with a grin.

"I have as well." Alfie says with an expression that shares the same sentiment. James knew how to throw a fucking party.

"You wanna go? I mean, sure it's a wedding but the party after the ceremony just might be worth it." your eyes and grin are wide as you beam down at him with mischief in your eyes.

"Not much for weddings, eh?" he asks, his eyes still moving over his own invitation.

"I don't hate them," you say in defense of yourself. "But the ceremonies can be a bit boring," you say with a slight frown, showing your honesty. "If you're emotionally invested it's lovely but when you just want to get to the party after it can all be very tedious and expected. The same thing is repeated for so many years over and over, not exactly riveting for the bystander." you say with a small laugh and grin.

"You are certainly no good at being a bystander for anything, luv." he says with a laugh, tossing the paper back onto the desk. "I suppose I do need to socialize with that lot a bit more, dunnit I?" he says in a groan.

"Couldn't hurt." you say optimistically with a shrug. "Give us a chance to show off some jewels, seeing as the bride and groom are both in the profession." you say cheekily, your fingers running across your collarbones displaying a piece that wasn't there.

"You aren't supposed to show up the bride at a wedding Genevieve." his voice low as he looks up at you from under his brow with a smirk on his face at your expression.

You open your mouth to defend yourself but end up shrugging and rolling your eyes with a flirty flourish as your bit your lip to play innocent at the accusation. You let out a "Hmph." as you stand up straight. "I know that." you say with a wrinkled nose, looking over his head with the childlike expression, like you'd been caught doing something naughty before you let out a soft laugh and turn to leave the room.
------
Had you purposely made yourself run late so you wouldn't have to sit through a ceremony and could just take a longer car ride to their house and wait it out? Had he not bothered to remind you of what time to leave and never asked you to hurry up so you would make them late and you wouldn't have to sit through the ceremony? Yes.

You trot out in a lavender dress. Slim straps held it in place on your shoulders, somewhat hidden from your only partially up hairstyle, set into soft curls around your natural looking made up face. The dress has small sparkling beads in the small lace-like pattern detailing as it hugged your body, the stretchy fabric ending right below your hips, turning into a maribou-trimmed bottom hem, making you look like some sort of bell-shaped flower, your lovely legs serving as peaking stamens, tipped with gold heels. The heels match the coat you've just thrown over your shoulders, a lighter fabric than the thick one of his similarly styled overcoat.

He drinks in the sight of you, taking dangling diamond earrings from Aggie's hands as you sway towards him, eyes focused on the ground as you bite your lip in concentration to snap the earrings correctly. You adjust your rings and clasp your bright diamond bracelet as she latches the necklace, same simple styling, and stones as the rest of the set. Aggie is picking spare pieces of the fluff that's come loose off the new dress as he approaches you.

"This is new, yes?" you say, your dark eyes focused on his after you took in his suit, a smile that made his nose twitch in anticipation sits upon your face.

"It is." he says, his fingers reaching out to untangle a piece of hair that's gotten wrapped in a button on your coat. "Freddie got me all measured up before he left."

"You little sneak." you say, retracting your chin into your chest.

"I lost all me suits, so maybe it's one of those fuckin' signs ya talk 'bout that I should try somefin' new. I got 'is 'n different colors, much the same, yeah?" he says with a proud pouted lip, decorated fingers fussing with his big, ornate cuff links. "Whatcha think, luv? Ya fancy it?" he says, thumbs slipping under the black suspenders, resting under a deep, deep barely purple but just enough to call it not black, black. The gold from his rings melded so well it makes you want to whimper, the emerald eyes on his serpent ring complimenting the subtle use of color so well your bottom lip pouted out.

"You look so good I don't know whether to kiss you or kill you, Solomons." you admit with a sigh and a shrug, your honest eyes looking up at him.

"If I got a choice I'd prefer the former, luv." he says with a charming grin that makes your pout tense and turns to a smirk. "You look like the dancing girls in the pictures in this dress." he says with fondness.

"Well I plan on dancing like them so it seemed suited," you say with another charming smile. "You going to dance tonight? How drunk do I have to get you to get a fast dance with Alfie Solomons?" you ask with a wrinkled nose, smile beaming up at him to leave him weak, your slender fingers tugging at his suspenders just about the snaps to his trousers.

"I guess you keep askin' me and we'll find out won't we?" he pushes back with equal sexual aggression laced words, face leaning in close to yours. You could already tell your chemistry tonight would make for a good time whether you found that or trouble waiting for you.
-------
You pull up in a long line of cars to the grand house. It was just outside of town, stone and looming with its large columns that lit the countryside that surrounded it. The house was glowing from within, the insides hidden with curtains pulled shut in the tall windows.

You fluff the hem of your dress as you stand near the corner of the house, getting a glimpse of the buzzing party inside, lanterns in the garden, hidden just barely by an ivy-covered fence. "You go in first, that way we're separate and people will be busy watching you come in and won't notice me." you say, looking down at your dress and checking it for unsightly creases from the ride over.

"That has to be the most stupid thing I've heard you say, Gen." he says with a chuckle. "Yeah, they gonna be too busy lookin' at me, eh? With you as an option?" he shakes his head, eyes looking far over and past where you stood. "Ridiculous. luv." he says dismissively before returning his eyes to yours.

"Well what do you suggest since I'm apparently just a gorgeous moron." you say with a roll of your eyes, your arms crossing across your chest.

"I'll be sure to refer to ya as a homely genius from now on." he says in a teasing way, nodding his head at you. "C'mon, I got a way for us both to be happy, yeah?" he says, eyes moving around the space as he reached down and took your hand, around the corner of the house.

"You're not dragging me out here to kill me are you?" you whisper with roaming eyes before you see a small stone staircase come into view between the front of the house and the back garden. "Ah. You've been here before I see." you say with a nod as he lets go of your hand as he helps you down a small ledge to the hidden pathway.

"I've known James for a while. Been to his parties before, had to sneak out a few times, so 'at's how I know about this, yeah?" he says with a mischievous grin, taking your hand as he shuts the small wooden door behind you, entering the warm, plain beige hallway, lit by small dim sconces.

He leads you through back hallways, similar to the ones in your home. He lifts and guides you through rooms filled with nothing, rooms filled with only books, one particularly creepy one with a single chair and rug left in it, leaving you feeling uneasy until you pass the last room to get to the main hallway, which has two people rutting away in a chair in the corner as you share an apologetic glance before you've both popped out into a hallway. This part of the house just has a low hum of the party, somewhere in the maze of halls.

"I bet what led to you having to sneak out of those tunnels was proper fun wasn't it?" he turns to see you with a rather childlike look on your face, slightly flushed cheeks rounded out in an almost bashful smile.

"How could you guess?" he gives a laddish grin.

"I've snuck out of similar ones myself." you say with a chuckle, fluffing your hair as you regain your proper posture as you walk next to him down the hall, you round a corner and are met with the outskirts of the party. People holding hands and running past the two of you, someone crying in a room with a pulled to door, boys in groups like vultures, picking off prey and laughing at their own jokes. You see the glitzy girls with their fast-moving cocaine-fueled feet in a ballroom, you feel that familiar tug to join them. "We've both got schmoozing to do, cheri. We'll find our way back to each other when we want to leave?" you ask in a polite and charming way that tells him you've already slipped back into your old socialite ways as you give a little wave to someone across the room and give a huge flash of a smile to go with it.

"See ya then, luv." he says with an equally charming smile, both of you warming up your skills on each other before departing.
---
You find the light bubbling alcohol first and sip away as you find a small group of girls to infiltrate, having complimented ones dress and now you're sitting atop an unmanned piano, chatting with the other pretty rich girls, letting yourself be that girl again for a moment.

He's belly laughing with old schoolmates, they are lamenting on the loss of bachelorhoods, taking over their father's businesses and what they would do to the women in the room if they weren't married, some who were going to do it anyway. It's all the most familiar of discussions for him, and he has no problem partaking in the ramblings of men less enthusiastic about their life choices than he was in situations like these. His eyes move over the crowd subconsciously as he finds himself telling another tale of a job in an entertaining manner that lets the other men live vicariously through him. They thought if they'd just made a few simple decisions differently they could've been in his place. The power, the respect, the appeal of the thought of the money and women you could have and what wild things you could do with each if they had it all flicker behind their eyes.

You'd seen him hypnotize groups before, men and women just the same. He thinks the same of you as you notice you're within eyeshot of each other. He sees your crossed legs, hair falling to one side in a grand frame of your face as the women giggle and gently nudged each other as you told your stories in a much more intimate and quiet way than he did. You see his thick neck bulging as he speaks loudly. The men all sip with unblinking eyes, his words making them sigh and drink more because they clearly lacked that certain, je ne sais quios he had had in abundance.
------
You're both more than a few drinks in, still more sober than anyone else in the house it would seem by the deviant behavior happening out in the open at this point in the evening. Corners in every room full of rolling and writhing individuals without shame whether the effect is from sex or drugs, and at this point his money was on both for all parties.

The lads he had been speaking with had been picked off one by one, some by wives, some by mistresses, and he was left making his way through the bustling bodies, eyes looking for you as he's not seen you in quite some time. He follows the music as he assumes you'll be near it, singing, dancing or both. He turns into the ballroom, the sweat from the drug-fueled movement hanging heavy and dense in the air despite the extravagant height of the ceilings. The boom of the band in the back of the room hits his chest as it picks up again, eyes narrowed and searching until they land on you.

Your hair has fallen down completely, he can see how as you flip it and spin, it rising and falling as you command, always putting on a show for anyone watching. The swing of the horns moves your hips and shoulders, your face flushed and smiling, eyes bright and full of sparkle as he can tell you're enjoying yourself. Your skin glistens in the glowing lights of the room, the chandeliers low, the wall scones burning, fighting against the black of the night outside the tall and sweating windows, dripping from the heat of the bodies within. Your feet seem to favor the piano, as you're spun around between a small grouping of men and women, all laughing and dancing with each other. He first sees you with another man, hands clasped together, feet moving in time, and quicker than he knew his own could manage even if he did know the moves. Your feet kick up, knees bent as your bits bounce in your dress, still distracting to him despite the almost blurred visage of your legs and feet underneath you. Your hands rise above your head in exclamation as you sing along with the words of the song. You don't seem to mind as the man's face gets close to yours, as your heads both fall back in laughter to the cheeky lyrics of the song. He throws you across the group with a swing of his arm and you land softly, gracefully against a wall. Your nose scrunches jovially and you take a woman by the hand, spinning her out with you as she blushes. His eyes narrow as he sees your hand reach around to her lower back, holding her hips close to yours, chests pressed against each other with a sly smile on your face. The girl bites her lip and bats her lashes at you as you beam down at her. He'd swear you'd looked at him in such a way before, perhaps even mimicking the way he likes to pull you towards him when he has impure thoughts on his mind. Your dance partner warms up quickly, and who wouldn't being in the crosshairs of that smile. You take the lead, taking on the role of the man, pulling her back to your chest, hands out and clasped, another at her hip, moving both yours in tandem as his eyebrow raises at the action. It's clear this wasn't the first time you'd handled a woman in such a way and if his growing suspicions were correct, the soft speaking of how wild you'd been in the past lingering in his head now, he wonders if the role of man isn't something you rather liked playing when it came to being with another woman. He shakes his head and lets out a little laugh to himself, taking another drink. You were a prize lover and he supposes it made sense for a seductress such as yourself to be able to tame anything that came your way. What an unstoppable force of indulgence you were.

You leave the girl breathless, a more than friendly kiss to the cheek as you move her into the arms of the man you'd been dancing with before. You slink back, taking a long drink of clear liquid. You wipe your brow with your forearm, taking a few deep breaths and he sees a moment to intervene.

"'Ello, luv." he coos as he approaches. Your already rapidly rising and falling chest and flushed skin make it easy to hide how handsome you find him as you take him in before he reaches your side. Your smile shifts slightly as he approaches and it does not go unnoticed to him. His jacket gone, the first few buttons undone on his shirt, and who could blame him in the humidity of the room. His necklaces sit in that masculine nest of chest hair that rises up before breaking for the space of that thick spread neck before beginning again with his untamed beard.

"So nice of you to find me just as I was getting tired, darling." you say with a soft charming laugh.

"Well you's been movin' so fast I couldn't very well cut in before such a time, could I?" he grins, leaning in for a polite kiss to the cheek that you welcome with the cute scrunching of your face.

"I'm just delighted I can keep up without chemical intervention still." you say in a self-deprecating sort of way, your finger tapping one nostril so he is sure to understand your meaning.

"Well I'm delighted you're without chemical intervention tonight as well, luv." he says, arm moving to your lower back as you stand side by side, you fanning your face with one hand.

"You are?" your brow lowers slightly as your face turns to his.

"I am." he nods. "I'm not much a supporter of it if I'm being honest." he says matter of factly.

"Hmph." you say with a thoughtful nod, never having considered his opinion on such a thing.

"Despite the rare celebratory drinking as in tonight, and the jovial wine for rituals I don't indulge in such things meself. Don't like me mind to be altered in such a way." he shakes his head, expression not one of judgment.

"Well you'll be even happier because this is water, believe it or not." you say with a playful snort, raising your glass as if to toast him. "What I'm more concerned with right now, is you reaching the point in the evening where you're willing to dance with me." you grin up at him.

"Indeed I have reached it." he says proudly. You perk up with a bounce, posture straightening out again in anticipation.

Lucky for the both of you a less hectic and demanding song comes along, you set your drinks down and let him take the lead, not something you were accustomed to.

Your hair bounces about your face, framing it in matching softness as your enchanting smile doesn't leave the entire time he has his hands on you. Your feet don't skip and jump like they had previously, but you do allow your hips to become suggestively close, as you spin and switch between your back to his chest and face to face. You're doing most of the moving and you don't mind in the least, but you certainly wouldn't put down the moves he was giving in the slightest. The way his hands are tense and certain against your body make a familiar sort of ache start to rise within you.

You're deep in your own mind, enjoying the drops of sweat from his brow dripping to your bare shoulders as his face leans in close to your neck, feeling him move in tandem with you, reminding you far too much of your time spent together in bed and you just accept that he's making you wet just by being near you. The song ends far too soon, you spin in his arms, placing a hand on his chest.

"I'm going to melt if we stay out here, darling. I need an open window and a smoke babes." you say, taking a deep breath and patting him before moving away.

"Then let's find ya just that." he declares with a nod, taking your hand and leading you out of the ballroom and to a hallway full of doors.

After many failed attempts at finding an empty room he succeeds, shutting the door behind you both and moving to open the window against the far wall. You light a cigarette and lean against a dresser sat by the window. You groan as the breeze hits you, cooling you instantly.

"Fuck that's nice innit?" he says unbuttoning another button on his shirt, fanning it across his flushed skin.

"Like heaven." you say quietly, exhaling smoke out of the window. "Hotter than Hades out there." you declare with a smile. He nods and grunts in agreement, both cooling off as the sheer fabric of the curtains moves gently from the breeze. You finish your cigarette and extinguish it, looking him over, your mind quickly moving to far less innocent actions as you've now cooled to lava from magma.

"Your rum has made me feel some sort of way tonight, Solomons." you say quietly. "What is is you say it's for again? Was it fun and fucking?" your eyes move to his, your face not moving with it, the intent clear behind them.

"It is, sweetheart." a sly grin slowly appears across his lips.

"We've had fun tonight, haven't we Alfie?" his raises his eyes to yours, a sexy smirk making its way across his lips. "How's about we get the full use of what you and that rum of yours inside me can do?" you give that closed mouth smile that told him you were up to trouble.

"I take it you're ready to leave then?" he says with a chuckle.

"No." you say with a lilt, licking your lips slowly.

He gives you a look with a tilt of his head. "Here?"

"I'm feeling more than a bit amorous tonight darling and I was hoping you'd indulge me in a fantasy since the occasion has fallen right into my lap."

"It involve you fallin' onto mine?" he kids.

"But of course." you purr.

"What do you want me to do to you, dirty girl?" his hands grab your bum.

"It is as if you already know." you let out a deep, rumbling chuckle. "You've gone and turned me on tonight and now I want you to do something about it." you say with a little shake of your head, giving him big eyes, looking up at him, purposely trying to be as alluring as possible to egg him on. "Shag me here. Now. At this party. I want you to lift up my dress and try to make me scream so all those people out there might imagine the nasty things you're doing to me." you run your fingertip across his bottom lip, his tongue flicks out to graze it making you hum as a wave of arousal comes over you at the sensation. He pushes against you, one hand moving your hair off your shoulders, snaking into it to hold it taut at the nape, his teeth biting at your jaw as you spoke, placing kisses with needful moans across your throat. "I want you to tell me what a filthy woman I am for wanting such a thing." He pulls back to raise a brow at you, licking his lips.

"Mmmm." he hums, eyes moving across your face under heavy half lids. "You are exceptionally bad for wanting something like this from me, pet. Fucking magnificent and fucking filthy you are, eh?" He pulls back your head, both hands in your hair as he pulls is back slowly.

Your eyes flutter shut, your lips part. "C'mon then." you snarl your lip, nodding your head once in a taunt as even with your head in his control your eyes still ooze power with a glance. Your shoulders squared against him, a direct challenge he answers with actions and not words.

A rumble from deep in his gut rolls over you, making you tense before he makes his move. His fast and strong hands reach down to grab you through the thin fabric of your dress before landing a hard slap to your bum, grabbing a handful of you before it could even sting. His hand yanks your head to the side, lips feverishly moving against your skin, still glistening with sweat.

He keeps his hand in your hair as he stalks over to the bed, dragging you along beside him.He pushes you onto the bed, your bum hitting the edge. His hand snakes up your front and to your chin where his fingers firmly grasp it.

"You know as well as I do that that door isn't fucking locked, Genevieve." he sounds threatening and it makes you take a deep inhale at the sound and the feeling that it makes spread down your spine. "Anyone could come in here and witness what I'm doing to you." he speaks slower, a growing growl in his throat. His hand moves up your thigh, a pinch here, a tiny slap there on it's way to your soaked center. "You were so worried about your reputation before weren't ya? Now look at you." he snarls. "Asking me to fuck you with people just on the other side of that door that could hear." his fingers move quickly, expecting to be blocked by the silk barrier of your pants but when he finds nothing but the soft hair between your thighs against his palm his hisses. "Fuck me." he spits out. "And bare-assed in public. You are a dirty little thing, innit ya?" his fingers move to tease you, the middle one running over the arch of your clit. "And always so fuckin' wet." he moans, crashing his mouth into yours. You moan back, you don't reach for him since he's holding you, still enticing him to take it further. To make you do what he wanted. He must be starting to learn he hasn't been anywhere near as rough with you as you can handle. His hand retreats from under your skirt and goes to your wrist, shoving your fingers in the front of his trousers. "Take my cock out." he orders in a quiet, low and eerily calm tone that makes you swoon at him, you obey what he asks. You shoot your eyes to his, not losing contact and showing raised brows feigning innocence, asking what the detour was about. "You wanna act like a dirty girl, you're gonna get treated like one, yeah?" Your fingers work quickly despite how distracting his lips are so tauntingly close to yours. Groaning and pressing into you as you managed to undo his trouser fastenings and relieve his magnificence from its confines. Your lips pucker as his grip tightens on your face. "That's it, now." he exhales, one hand moving along his length in smooth strokes as the other grasps his bits. "Now suck it." he releases your jaw roughly.

You don't expect this but the way your muscles tense between your legs, there lies the proof that you love it. You slide off the bed and to the floor to kneel before him. You give one slow blink of lash, keeping those big gorgeous eyes on his, as you take him into your mouth without so much as a scolding glance. You're following instructions, you close your eyes to focus your hands and mouth and tongue all together as he huff and puffs above you. Your wet, sucking and slurping are enough to make one of his hands go to your hair. But when you let out a moan around his cock as your work him in response to his hand tightly fisted in your long, dark curls he tugs at you and you suck harder, your brow furrowing for just a moment, but this show of defiance for the sake of you wanting to continue keeping his prick in your delicious mouth makes his balls tighten and he pulls you off forcefully. A string of saliva connects your lips to his bell end, eyes as wide open as your pink mouth.

"Fighting to keep sucking my cock?" his voice is low but it does not change the strong wave of chills that turns to wetness down your body. He pulls you up, and rather roughly by your hair. "I knew you were fucking filthy..." he purrs at you, fingers holding your chin as he leans in close to your face. Your eyes are wide and batting but not reading scared, just very, very into what he was doing. He could tell by the way your chest was rising and falling. If you liked this, were asking for this, seeming to be willing to experiment tonight he simply follows his beastly instincts. He releases your chin and gives your cheek a firm but still light smack. The smile on your face could've been the sexiest thing he's seen from you yet. Biting your tongue between your teeth with a hum of approval. He smacks you harder this time, enough to move your face just slightly. Your face turns, you look to the direction he's hit you in for just a moment, enough to make him wonder if he crossed a line.

Your swing your head back, eyes glaring up at him from under your brow, your mouth open, your tongue pushing against your teeth as you exhale a breathy chuckle. "Go on." you purr from between clenched teeth. He growls and moves you so quickly by the back of the head from standing, to face first, bent over the edge of the bed. He holds you by the back of your neck, his hands curling up the edges of your dress, jerking it over your hips. He gives a hard slap to your ass. You jolt but quickly squirm under the chills it leaves after. And another. And another. The last he hears a slight gasp, and not wanting to hurt you before he even gets inside of you, he gives the now red flesh a rest. His thoughts turn to your sweet, dripping lips, framed between two soft thighs. "Arch your back." he demands. You oblige, as soon as you do you feel his fingers sliding between your lips, two sinking into you as you moan into the fluffy blanket on the bed. "Don't even have to touch you to get you dripping do I sweetheart?" he asks rhetorically, withdrawing his fingers, another firm slap to your arse, making it wobble in the wake of it.

So when he hears, "No." in a weak and lustful from you he groans with need, the hardest slap of the night to your arse cheek, a high pitched gasp from your mouth as he grabs your shoulders to hold you down.

"Acting like such a little slag and then admitting to it as well." his tone makes your eyes roll back, you thank the powers that be for sending you a man that can read non-verbal cues and take instruction. He sinks into you and you go limp for a few seconds.

"Oh fuck." you weakly whisper, your hands grabbing the sheets beneath you.

"To ask to be treated like the filthy fucking girl you are." he wastes no time, pressing your hips so hard against the bed, pounding into you, holding your shoulders to assure neither you or he went anywhere. One hand gathers your hair, wrapping it around his fist before pulling it back towards him. "C'mere." he orders, not giving you a choice. Your back is arched, your weight now on your hands as he pounds into you from behind. Heavy, hard slaps, punctuated with the subdued moans on your exhales. "This what you fucking wanted?" he hisses in your ear and your shudder around him.

"Yes." you helplessly moan out. The intoxicating stretch of him feels too good with you being this turned on. You feel yourself throbbing, aching as he draws you closer, overwhelming you to make you succumb to him.

He leans forward, hand now clasped over your mouth as he's pulled you up by the arm, holding it behind you. Now pumping into you with a force that makes your tits bounce wildly. "You better shut that cock sucking mouth of yours." he growls into your ear and you let out an unfiltered moan against his hand, eyes rolled back into your head. "Unless you want someone to come in here and see me fucking buried in your cunt." He uncovers your mouth just long enough to slap your arse again before returning to stifle your cry. "What fucking reputation would you have then love? Letting a man like me fuck you like this? I wouldn't be the only one who knew what a little tart you were then, eh?"

You're praising everything he's doing, all muffled from behind his hand as you're being tenderized by his hips. The cliche of Lady being taken by a criminal comes to mind and you find yourself getting off to the idea and you let out another moan, growing from deep in your gut, being fucked out of you by that thick cock of his.

"A Lady wouldn't allow herself to get fucked in such a way, Genevieve." he whispers. The way he says your name, brings another wave of pleasure over you, fuck you were close. He was going to run his mouth all the way to the finish line and take you with him. "But you are not a fucking Lady. Are you?" he growls. You shake your head back and forth and he roars into your ear, hitting you like a piston as your breathing starts to pick up, he knows you're close. "What are you then?" he groans, he knows you're close and he cannot last much longer, talking to you like this, you reaction to it in such a way, god it was intoxicating.

"Filthy." you cry out, he clasps his hand over it again. He lets out the sexiest laugh you've ever heard.

"Ah, fuck Gen." he loses his composure for a moment. You are a handful of thrusts away from losing all composure. He feels your thighs tense first, he knows he's done his job well good when they start to shake. "That's it." he thrusts and it inside you as you come, holding himself there for a few seconds, moaning louder than you had the entire time. "Fucking take this cock you wicked thing." he barks, you're now being used and pulled and pounded by him, a useless mess seizing against him.

"Give it to me." you huff out, your breath catching as your take in a shaky inhale still shaking against him.

"Fuck, I'm gonna come." he roars, a hard slap to your ass cheek again.

"Give it to me." you repeat, much harsher, much more demanding as you focus on the feel of his skin against yours, fingertips with bruising force against your hips, the hard convulsing now passed, leaving you a sensitive mess that was still getting fucked, leaving you so needy you'd let him spit in your mouth if he'd tried. What he did to you, the way he made you feel, you wanted every bit of him in that moment. Every ounce.

He pauses a moment in his mind, he didn't like to make a habit of coming inside you but if you were asking for it who was he to deny you? "You want me in this little velvet cunny, love?"

"Yes." you moan. "Give me every last fuckin drop of you, Solomons." you growl, pushing back on him. You'd gotten yourself so worked up at the idea of him taking and marking you in such a way that you might just come again with the way his moans are starting to sound more guttural, his fingers squeezing tighter against your flesh.

"Fuck!" he shouts, grinding his teeth. Fuck you felt like heaven and fuck if he didn't want anything else but to come inside you at this moment. "'At's what you'll fucking get innit?" he hisses. "I'm going to fill that little cunny and you'll be walking out of this party with me dripping down your thighs."

"Yes, you fucking take it, Alfie." you praise, pounding back on him, your head turned to see him.

"Fuckin' hell," he shudders, and you hum and moan, a bitten lip and a blissed out smile on your face as he moves to short, hard thrusts. "Yes fuckin' take it all..." he groans through clenched teeth. His moans turn to gravel in his mouth, grainy and dragging on. His breathing becomes more labored and less moany.

You're currently humming contently. He releases his grip, moving instead to wrap his arms around your waist so you don't collapse. You move your hands up his forearms, running to rest over his. "You alright, darling?" you ask quietly with a smile he can't see. His forehead moved to between your shoulders.

"I've never been better." he grunts and you answer with a chuckle then a heavy sigh that relaxes you completely. You pat his hands and he releases you. You turn, looking up at him, sweating and disheveled, your favorite visage of him. You fix his hair, tucking the longer pieces back, smoothing it down. "I don't recall the last time I've had that much fun." a grin comes across his face now, the flush in his cheeks making you smile. You move to put him back into his pants, buttoning him back, fussing over his clothes until it looks like nothing ever happened. "Ya sweetheart, stop ya fussin'." he scolds with a laugh. "I call ya a slag and then ya fix me up?" his smile carries over his whole face, relaxed and you knew yours looked much the same. "Ya making' me feel proper guilty for doin' so right now."

"Don't. You were fantastic. Quick learner, you are." you praise, voice low and relaxed, eyes perhaps a touch tired now, but you'd hardly notice from the glow you have. You move to fix your skirt, he steps back to give you room, his legs not wanting to work at their best selves still. You pull your fingers out from under your skirt. You both watch them, sticky with the both of you. "Really did fill me up didn't you?" you say with the most wicked smile. He isn't prepared for when you start sucking the mess off your fingers with unwavering eye contact as your bejeweled fingers slid out of your mouth, tongue lapping away at them.

"Fuck me..." he whispers, face looking drunk all over again, watching your tongue lick him up and your lips suck him off your fingers. His glazed eyes give away the effect the action had on him. What good fortune for him to be bedding a woman who was certainly a descendent of Aphrodite herself, he thought.

"You get off on that as well?" you smirk.

There's that bloody smile again of yours that makes his cock twitch. "Well a man like me can't very well not take pride in his work now can he?" he grins, eyes raking over you. "And I'll admit I hadn't given it entirely too much thought before." he shrugs, now fixing your hair for you, like you did his. "But if what you say is true of us 'n our power complex's it really innit that far fetched, is it?" he gives you a soft laugh, you watch his satisfied, easy going expression as his big fingers run down the straps of your dress. The size difference made it seem as though he might just snap the strap without meaning it. Ugh, you didn't need to go thinking about how big and strong he was and go and get yourself turned on again. You certainly didn't need to put your lower half through that again so soon.

Chapter Text

It's a lovely late summer evening, you'd hustled your way through your morning meetings in London, deciding to skip the shopping you'd planned and call it a day early. After the week you'd had you deserved it. You were currently sinking into a bubble bath. Eyes shut, head on a towel on the edge of the tub, feet stuck out of the bubbles, moving them to the beat of the music from your record player. You planned on soaking, getting just slightly tarted up for dinner and making the most of having Alfie home. You planned on slithering up him like a snake once the maids were out of sight and you both had a glass of wine in your study. You let out a heavy sigh, imagining how that encounter might go. You were aching for the touch of the man after the busy week you'd had, feeling desperate in your need for release at his hand. Your delicious thoughts are interrupted by Claire.

"There's a call for you in your study." she states plainly. You turn your head to look at her.

"I'm done for the week, dear, tell them to try again on Monday." you say with a sigh.

"It's Palmer." she says with a darker inflection.

"Fucking hell." you murmur, shoulders slumping. "Fuck." you bark with a bratty kick of your feet on the edge of the tub, sending some water over the edge. "Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!" you throw a small tantrum, hands hitting the surface of the water, trying to satisfy the need to lash out in annoyance at the news. "I'll be there in a god damned minute." you mutter, rising from the tub.

Palmer was possibly the richest man in England, and one of your top clients. But as usual, with old money, his habits and behaviors were a bit...odd. You enjoyed how well he paid, the gifts and recommendations of you he gave to other old rich men that gave you a substantial portion of your income. The only catch really, besides the odd grope from time to time was that when he called...you answered. And not just by telephone. If he called upon you, you had to drop everything and go. You knew the night you'd planned for yourself wasn't going to go as you'd hoped. You take a few deep breaths, giving yourself a few slaps to the face to rid yourself of any annoyance you might have in your voice as you stare at the phone before you pick it up.

Just as you suspected, he was calling upon you. Being summoned for the weekend to be wined and dined and discuss plans of action, whatever they may be. You chirp in agreement like a little bird for him, fingers tapping against your desk, a familiar thudding, a thought always in the back of your mind when working, you're doing this for the money.

You conclude the call, you were to arrive in the morning at his country estate. This meant you had to leave very soon.

"Aggie!" you shout, letting out a heavy sigh, your hand running down your face as you turn to head out of the room. She appears like a spirit, as she always tended to do.

"Yes, dear?" she says, her hands being wiped on her apron.

"When Aflie gets home could you send him to my room? I'll be leaving tonight for Palmer's and I'd like to speak to him before I leave." you give her a half smile, you know that the pat she gives to your arm is meant to be supportive. You doing things you didn't want to, allowed this house and her to live in comfort and safety. But she hated that you had to do these things, like answer to any man unwillingly, but she loved you for what you sacrificed of yourself.

"Of course Gen. You need any help packing your things?" she asks with such a sweet tone.

"Oh no, Ag's don't worry about it, I've got it. Just bring me my dinner in my room as soon as it's ready, I'll need to eat before the journey." you both nod and you drag your feet to your bedroom.
-----
You've finished getting ready, your dresses to wear laid out with matching pieces on your bed, your travel trunk open at the foot of it. You're talking to yourself, considering what to take and where you might be taken, not wanting to be unprepared.

He's watching you sway your hips as you walk around the bed in your silk dressing gown, arms crossed and your thumbnail being chewed by your teeth. Your hair is styled, makeup is done, the smell of your perfume travels through the air to his nose and takes a deep breath, opening his eyes again when the click of your heels across the floor catches his attention.

"What's all this now, eh?" you hear Aflie's voice come from behind you. You turn your face and shoulders in his direction with a smile before setting the jewelry in your hands down.

"We walking into women's room's without knocking first now?" you say with a smirk and raised eyebrows, flipping your hair behind your shoulder.

"Aggie said you were callin' on me so I thought you were expectin' me." he says in defense of himself, fingers still holding the edge of the door.

"Come in and shut the door behind you, darling." you say with a sigh.

"Something the matter, luv?" he asks, doing as he was told. You walk towards each other, your stride certain and his the opposite.

"Not in any serious way, no." you shake your head.

"You goin' somewhere?" he inquires, hand motioning to the bed behind you.

"Yes, that's why I called you in here." you scratch your head, turning to look at the bed for a moment. "I've been summoned by a client for the weekend and I'll be back Monday I suspect." you tone isn't supportive of the statement.

"You don't seem happy about this." he says, chin dipping lower as he closes the space between you, his hands in his pockets.

"I didn't know I'd be doing this until this afternoon and it throws a wrench into my plans for the entire weekend." you pause, chewing the inside of your cheek. "But more importantly my previous plans for this evening." you nod, looking him up and down, he wasn't sure of the intention of the glance. "So no...I'm not happy." you give him a more disappointed expression.

"I'm guessin' this is someone who won't let ya come another time, eh?"

"Your guesses are always good, aren't they?" you sigh, moving back to your bed, he follows but keeps his distance. "If he calls, I go. Didn't bother me as much when I first started working with him, but it does currently. Feels a bit...degrading now instead of empowering since I'm already established."

"He ain't makin' ya do nothin' ya don't want to is he?" his tone more concerned.

"No, no. He likes to show me off like a little doll out on the town and I smile and get my bum pinched but fucking hell does he pay well." you shake your head, eyes distant.

"Fuckin' better making you look all disappointed 'n that like 'is."

You can't help but smile at his grumpy face. "He's one of the richest men in the country, Fie." you shake your head. "Otherwise I wouldn't be doing this still." you shrug. "But money is money I suppose."

"'At's true. This might make me sound a bit dull to ask but I know all the richest men in England and I ain't heard none of them talk about you before."

"Well, I do work in secrecy and have more than one alias. I'm a woman who wears many hats, darling." you grin and move your eyes from his for a moment. "But you certainly know him. You've worked with him before." you nod.

"How would you know 'at?" his eyes narrow.

"He likes to talk when he's drunk." you smirk. "I know he works with the Oddfellows. And I know you've made deals with them."
His posture straightens, eyes still narrowed and questioning you.
"I'm not some fucking spy Alfie, calm down." you give him a huff of a laugh. "I didn't know you when he spoke of you to me. And that's far in the past now so you can certainly know my knowledge of such a thing is no threat to you." you say in a comforting way.

"Mmph." he says with a grunt, his face less suspicious. "The secrets in that head of yours Genevieve." he wags his finger at you.

"You have no idea, Alfie." you say with a mischievous smile.
--------
You're posed to his suggestion on a fainting couch. The dress he'd given you to wear shining in the low light of the room, the night creeping in through the windows. He's decided he's taking up painting since the last time you saw him and after many compliments and comparisons to goddesses and heroines, he said he'd like to try to paint you. You gotten a new dress, to sit on your arse and keep him away from you for hours? You accept with a smile.

"I heard you're working in London now." he muses.

"Yes. I've grown quite fond of the city. Despite its low points, the opportunity there is ripe." you say with your ladylike softness that he seems to be preferring this trip.

"Ripe like those berries you're hocking now?" he says without a change in experience.

"Yes, actually. I've found working with the earth to be much more rewarding than I ever expected it to be. I rarely get my hands dirty anymore with it, it's a successful business at this point."

"Well, you still are getting your hands dirty aren't you?"

"I wouldn't be here if I weren't, would I?" you smirk.

"I've heard you've been mingling amongst the underbelly of London."

"I did very literally mean getting my hands dirty."

"Seems so...working with the Jews, I've heard."

"There's really just the one of them."

"I'm familiar." he moves his eyes to yours. "You shouldn't be bothering yourself with such a caliber of person, you know."

"Not everyone can be as business savvy and wealthy as you sir."

"That's true but you know I've heard someone that matters more than Solomons isn't too happy with this fact."

Your jaw clenches and your skin breaks out in goosebumps. "Oh, he's heard has he?"

"I'm very surprised you've not heard from him yet. I've heard some nasty rumors about him over the years."

"They're probably all true. I had the same thought honestly." your eyes lose focus to gaze far away beyond the walls of the room, in the direction of the cold, stone home that resembled the heart of the poor excuse for a man that lived within it. "He didn't have you call me up to threaten me did he?"

"You know I don't do such things to people who make me as much money as you do, dear."

"Good to hear it."

"Lucky for you I find my power in money and not in Titles."

"And that's why we get along so well." you give a convincing smile.

"Is it?" he hums, a subtle smile, the best you'll get from him sober, comes across his face.

"Since I'd rather speak of money, might I make some inquiries of my own sir?" you ask politely.

"Yes, carry on." he says with a wave of his brush.

"Since we spoke of the possibility of me going egg hunting in the not so distant future I thought you might help me find one I'm looking for personally."

"I don't know of any on the market right now. The wife would have it if it was." he scoffs.

"I thought this one wouldn't be on the market any longer, it was stolen, but I had intentions on stealing it and now I want it more than ever because of this fact."

"Your emotionality towards beautiful things does surely help fuel your brilliance, dear."

"Thank you, sir" you smile. "It was stolen out of Hayworth's in London by some Italians and I haven't been able to hear a thing of it since. It's the Rose Trellis, so I know someone has had to snatch her up as lovely as she is."

"I do love how you refer to your treasures as female." he nods.

"Because they're beautiful and otherworldly." you muse.

"I believe I might know who has your girl then, Genevieve."

Your eyes widen. "Might I persuade you to tell me?"

"You might." he nods, his eyes moving back to yours. You don't like the look behind them but you sold your soul a long time ago so what would another thing you didn't want to do be to you at this point?
-----------------------
The business of actions for answers wasn't something you were unfamiliar with at all but this trip had left you feeling depleted. You shouldn't be surprised at yourself, doing morally questionable things in the name of revenge but what Palmer had you do to earn your information this time left you with a bad taste in your mouth.

As soon as the door to your house shuts behind you, signaling a true close to the long weekend you'd had, you give a big stretch, squeaking and yawning and groaning with wild abandon. When you rub your face, taking a few staggered steps forward and open your eyes, there's Alfie, leaning against the entryway to the dining room. You let out a loud and contented sigh involuntarily at the sight. He walks over to you without a word, his hand brushing your fussy hair away from your face, cupping your cheek as his furrowed brow looks over you. You close your eyes and lean your head into his hand. You can't help it, a welcome comfort was what you needed the most right now.

Still wordless to your surprise, after looking into your slightly sunken and less than bright eyes he takes you into his arms. You're a bit confused but the warmth, a touch that was actually welcome leads you to put your face against his chest. You feel his chin atop your head, big hands splayed and stroking against your back.

"Did something happen while I was away?" you ask after a heavy sigh.

"From the looks of you something did." he answers flatly, you feel the tension in his back under your fingers.

You don't answer and he feels a twisting in his gut. An odd sense of relief from his knowing without words, and a more familiar sense of worry from the same thing.

"Nothing here no. It's always dull when you're gone as you could imagine." you feel the sigh with the rise and falling of his chest.
"You gonna be seein' him again?"

"When he calls." you answer weakly, feeling an odd pang of guilt.

"You don't gotta tell me what happened but I'd like to express my distaste for you working with him."

"The taste for it doesn't matter." you say softly. "And I'm certain it's not as bad as whatever you've conjured up in your head."

"It's bad enough to make your eyes look such a way."

You put your hands to his chest, moving away from him. "You have no idea the things I've had to do to get where I am that make my eyes dull and dark." You see his face wince. How could he be surprised by such a statement? "I'm a woman in a man's world Alfie...did you think I've just batted my eyelashes and gotten everything I've ever wanted on the first try?" you ask, he hears the touch of offense in your voice. "Because nothing could be farther from the truth."

"I'm a Jew, sweetheart, believe me I know, yeah? But my knowing what the oppressed have to do to get up in the world is what makes me hate seeing you with this look on your face. The knowing, yeah? That's why I can tell he's crossed a line just by lookin' at ya. I've seen it in me own face in the mirror after weekends like yours. And 'ats why I don't like it." his face isn't hard, isn't angry. His hooded eyes are calm as they meet yours.

"Doesn't matter if you like it, Alfie." you sigh and finally separate.
"Doesn't matter if I like it." you add, turning to head to your room.

"Well that's where you're wrong Gen." he says as you step away. You hear him start to follow and you do not stop yourself or him.

He waits until he's shut the door behind him to your room before he speaks again. "Now this might piss ya off, but I'm willin' to risk it to get it off me chest." he gruffs, you plop down on the bed, removing your shoes.

"I can hear it in your voice Alfie, just get it out, darling. I'm listening," you say with a half smile, showing no animosity as you know even if he does make you mad it's not on purpose. "Just get these buttons for me first if you wouldn't mind." you ask softly, turning your back towards him, now sitting next to you on the bed.
His fingers work as he speaks.

"I think you've been holding yourself back, luv." he says quietly, slowly. You rise and give him a soft glance to continue, moving to your dresser.

"My changing won't bother you will it?" you ask from under your lashes, fingers slipping under the shoulders of your dress.

He shakes his head and motions with his hand for you to go on. "I think, and I like to amuse myself that I know you a bit at this point, yeah? I think as it happens to most oppressed who have to fight for themselves, that you've stagnated in your mindset."

Your eyes narrow, he sees you in the mirror of your open armoire door, you looked thoughtful but not angry as you let your dress fall to the floor.

"It happened to me and I don't want that happenin' to you." he shakes his head, eyes moving over your body with a sigh, trying to keep his mind about him as he looked over you for any signs of abuse. "You're brilliant, truly luv but you've had to fight more than I have for what ya got and I think going so hard for so long has clouded your view of your worth now."

You bend to take off your stockings, he watches your delicate fingers roll down the slinky fabric and grasp and toss them into a basket. You look up suddenly, grateful to find his eyes looking at your face. "I'm listening." you say with a soft blink. If you were to be in the same business as him, it would be daft of you to not listen to the free advice. You turn your back to him, starting to take off your undergarments as he turns his head while you do so.

"I just think you oughtta start considering sayin' no to some of these men."

"I don't blindly agree to everything they say and ask of me." you say in defense of yourself, still not angry as he see's your body lit brilliantly from one side before you slip the nightgown over yourself and move back to him.

"I ain't sayin' that. You're smart mate, that's not what I'm sayin', right? I'm sayin' you don't gotta jump when they say jump no more."

You move to sit next to him on the bed, hands moving slowly to gather your hair and begin braiding it, your face still relaxed, eyes moving over the room with no real focus.

"You've got a real business now, yeah? You've got small armies at your disposal with the friends you've made. And no, I don't know ya books or nothin' of the sort but surely it ain't necessary anymore to take every job that comes your way." his hand moves to your back and you sit up in surprise. A soft smile rests on his face as he rubs it in circles, amused by your reaction.

"It's not." you look to him with big eyes.

"I think you've gotten your mind stuck in a state of desperation, luv. It's natural for people like us to default to such a state when at one time we had next to nothin' and had to bleed out and work ourselves to the bone for even just scraps, dreaming of having a seat at the big table."

You look down in thought, he sees the contemplation on your face.

"All's I'm trying to say, yeah? Is that you don't gotta fight and scratch and claw and get used and say yes when ya wanna say no, no more Genny." He moves his hand to your chin to meet your eyes. "You aren't a little girl that's dreaming of having all this no more." his hand motions to your room. "You're a woman who's got it." he states. "You ain't fightin' for a seat no more, luv. Ya ain't merely surviving off scraps is ya?" he asks, finger giving your chin one tap before withdrawing. "You are the table now Genevieve. You are the multi-course meal and you ain't gotta answer to no one no more."

After the pitying thoughts you'd had on the long drive home you had worked yourself into a slump, allowing yourself to feel small and like someone that could be used. Even if it was a means to an end for something you wanted. It occurs to you that he is completely right. Everything was yours now. You weren't living off daddy's money, you weren't kissing ass and asking nicely for anything anymore. You'd blinded yourself to be so focused on making it that you hadn't looked up to realize that you had in fact...made it. You felt silly for letting those awful old rich white men make you feel less than. But you forgive yourself because you had been conditioned since birth to kneel to their demands.

Your clear and certain response of "You're right." makes the tension in his chest disappear. He blinks a few times at you, to make sure you weren't being sassy but you sigh and move your eyes back up to his. "Thank you." the corner of your mouth draws back before you lean in to give him a soft kiss on the lips. To say he's surprised by your softness would be an understatement.

"Fuck, Gen." he groans, hand going to the side of your face. "What'd they do to you luv? He went and took the fire from your eyes." he gazes at you with sad eyes, mirroring the look of your own.

"I'm only embers for now but I'll rage again soon enough." you nod and pat his hand on your face.

"It's good to hear." he says, giving you a stern nod, hand falling back to the bed.

"I did get some information out of it though." you say with a lighter-hearted shrug.

"Oh, you want to share with the class?" he gives you a sweet smile that makes you mirror him again.

"I'd like your help with it."

"What we doin'? Who we killin'?" he coos.

"I found out who has the egg." you whisper, he sees a spark behind your eyes again and it warms him in a very dangerous way.

"Oh, Genny...little Magpie, you are." he shakes his head and beams that charm at you, knocking your forehead with his, leaning back to reveal a full smile on your face.

Chapter Text

You'd found out the Rose Trellis egg had been bought by a man named Sigmund. You knew Sigmund, you'd worked for him in the past on multiple occasions and you'd never had a problem with him. He was rich but not wealthy, but his wife had very expensive tastes, and he was all about keeping her happy. A quiet man, almost shy and easily intimidated in your experience with him. You had come across Sigmund at a party months ago, even casually inquiring as to whether he had heard of any Faberge floating around in the world. He had said no.

So now you're left with a problem. This made Sigmund a liar.

Apparently, Alfie, having come across him in the jewelry quarter had asked him about an egg as well. He'd also said no to him. Which meant that Alfie now felt involved, wanting to come with you on the job. He also cited wanting to get the egg as an extra fuck you to Tommy. When you pouted and tried to start explaining you and Tommy had come to an understanding, he interrupted your explanation and told you in no particularly polite way that he didn't give a fuck what Tommy said. The well-intentioned but vengeful man was still well miffed about the argument with Tommy. But who could blame him?

So you and Alfie plan a job together. Seeing as breaking and entering was your expertise, he defaults to you on most decisions. Getting the layout, scoping the place out, many long nights spent up in Cambridge where Sigmund lived sitting in the back of a car with your notebook taking down your observations.

You return and sit with Aflie in your bedroom in front of the fire, pacing back and forth in front of the fire, tapping the notebook with your pen, your glasses sliding down your nose as you animatedly talk. His fingers ran absent mindedly, picking at his beard, his eyes narrowed in thought as he stares into the fire as you speak.

After you finish, he blinks and snaps out of his trance as he feels his weight shift as you sit next to him. You sit cross-legged facing him, notebook in your lap as you listen to what he'd been working on. He'd gotten someone in the house, hired on as muscle, so now you had the complete view of the place.

"By this hour in two days time, if all goes according to plan, you and I will have our hands on another Faberge egg." you say optimistically, looking out the window with a sigh. That wonderful feeling of an upcoming job, and one with such a magnificent payday with a side serving of revenge for both you and Alfie against Sigmund, Sabini and to only Alfie, Tommy.
------
He's already in the car that you'll both be taking to the job. He has his hard face on tonight, white-knuckled for now, sure to be red later. He watches you come down the hotel steps, in all black and looking as sleek as a cat in form-fitting trousers and long sleeved, high necked top. He lets out a sigh, still being affected by the sight of your form, curved and distracting to his eyes even under the long black coat you wear. Your face, beautiful and bare with your hair pulled back and plaited glows in the light of the sunset. He wasn't even lying to himself about how much he was looking forward to seeing your work tonight. He would try his best to keep his mind on business, which is what this started as. But at this point, it felt more like fun with a monetary pay off at the end. The promise of watching you work your magic with your skilled body, a new unseen and untouched Faberge glinting just out of grasp, he felt excited about work in a way he hadn't been in what could've been years.
----
He's made his way around the house, making contact with his inside man. Returning and sliding back into the car before turning to you.

"That'd be your cue, Genevieve." he says with a charming smile.

The energy between the two of you is electric. Both excited, both revved up and full of hunger for payback and a payoff.

"I'll meet you in inside, Alfie." you say with a smile that matches his in its charming delivery. You take a moment to acknowledge this lump in your throat. This flutter of your heartbeat as you're leaned in towards him, supposed to spin and exit and scurry your way to the house. But instead, in the dark with this look in his eyes, you get distracted for a moment by your heightened emotions. This was supposed to be work, you thought to yourself. But it didn't feel like work. You hold his stare a few fleeting seconds, before making the decision to lean forward and kiss him.

The part of your brain that usually determines your actions is confused by being overruled by an equally important organ that was currently thumping in your chest in excitement as you're reminded that you don't kiss business partners. You'd just wanted to kiss him though, hadn't you? Simple and complicated as that. You don't press your lips to his for too long, and it isn't particularly sensual, but you felt better after having done it. Holding your face away from his just slightly, you whisper, "For good luck." before you leave the car and move back into cat burglar mode.

As if he'd needed you to provide more of a distraction tonight. He turns to keep his eyes on you before you melt into the darkness of the night of the new moon. He sits back and blinks, brows moving with his thoughts. So you were kissing on jobs now? With the line being crossed, and very surprisingly by you and not him, he wonders where the line has moved to...or if the line may not exist at all anymore. His second in the driver's seat clears his throat, looking into the rearview mirror at Alfie thinking how funny it was to see the man with such a confused look on his face.

"She ain't never did that before." Alfie says, lips pouted as he considers one too many things as he looks out the window after meeting the other man's eyes in the mirror.

"I hope you take no offense but you're going to miss your window if you sit here and think about that kiss for too long." the humor in his voice was evident although he mostly hid it on his face.

He's back to his angry, drawn brow frown in an instant. "Eh." he groans, lips snarling for a moment before looking around outside and slipping out himself to head into the back of the house.
-----
With the help of his plant, Alfie is let in the back door and knows where to find the men that are moving about the house to guard it. He enters the back with a firm nod, hanging his coat on the hook by the door in a subtle act of dominance, retrieving his brass knuckles from the pockets, shifting his fingers around them. He rolls his shoulders, arms now free under this loose white collared shirt and dark vest. Trusting that you've kept your word to handle the upstairs, he thumbs his nose and concentrates on the task at hand.

His shoulders move with his hips as he swivels his head, keeping it low as he walks against the wall of the hallways. The first boy is where he should be as he closes in. With an unsuspected tap on the shoulder and a short "'ello, luv." before a well-placed punch is landed right on target. He moves the other man to a nearby closet, tieing his wrists and ankles, a gag in place just in case as he shuts the door behind him. He does this three more times, three more men, punches and bodies plopped and bound in the closet.

"'Fraid that makes it your turn, mate?" he says looking to the man who helped him inside.

"Yeah, get it over with." he groans, shutting his eyes as Alfie hits him on the button, knees crumpling beneath him as he puts him with the rest of the men. Can't make things look too suspicious.

He takes a small knife, sticking it in the lock on the door and breaking it so even if they did wake up, get loose and get to the door, they'd be stuck.

He wipes his forehead with his forearm, moving to take his watch from the pocket of his vest as he see's he's right on schedule. He turns an ear to the ceiling, nodding with each passing second and punctual as you always are for work, he hears a heavy thud from upstairs. "Good girl, Genny." he says to himself, putting the watch away and moving, still cautiously towards the stairs.
------
You hop up a trellis, thankful you brought gloves because the thorns would've torn you to bits otherwise. You slink up the second story, and crack open a window, sliding into the dark guest room and shutting it behind you quietly. You stand and wait, ears primed for any sound that might indicate you'd been seen or heard, but nothing comes.

You slowly creak the door open, fingers moving quickly and lightly in their tasks as you check the hallway. You knew the one maid in the house wouldn't hear you as she would be asleep at this late hour and her ancient ears wouldn't pick up on your light footsteps. You also knew Sigmund's wife was out of town, lucky for you. What you'd also found out in your shadowing of her was that she was cheating on little Sigmund with a young and strapping Italian so you were certain he'd be keeping her occupied for the rest of the night. This was what you thought could've been the reason for the Italians selling him the egg, not only would they know the wife wanted it, but they knew they could move it fast with this connection.

You stand over Sigmund, fast asleep in his bed. Big round nose over a round chin, balding head framed with a dark pillow as his lips blubber with snores. You see the pipe next to his head, you'd have to smoke opium too if your wife was out banging an Italian 1/4 of your age. You were thankful all these things fell into place because his being slightly dopey would only work to your advantage.

You take rope you'd carried with you, being very knowledgeable in the art of knots from your dominatrix days in Berlin, you're prepared to gag him at any moment if he wakes and chooses to scream but he does not. You bind his wrists, pulling the covers back and tieing his ankles as well.

"Siggy..." you say clearly, seeing if he might be more sensitive to sound than touch and your hunch is correct.

His eyes go wide, struggling against the restraints, as you shush him and put the gag in his mouth.

"Can't have you shouting now can I?" you say in a condescending way. He tries to get out of the bed and let out a heavy sigh. "Oh Siggy, come now, I'm not going to hurt you." you shake your head as his furry furrowed brow looks to you for answers. "I'm afraid you've made a very poor decision, darling." you scold, wagging a finger at him, now sitting up in the bed.

"Hmmph?" he inquires.

"If you recall, and by the pipe next to your bed, I'll assume you won't...but I asked you about a Faberge egg a few months ago didn't I?" your eyes narrow, a subtle tilt of your head as he keeps the same confused look on his face. "I asked if you had heard anything about the Rose Trellis egg." you give him a few pouty-lipped tsks. "Why would you lie to me, Sigmund? You should know better than that by now." you pause and you see him relax only slightly, realizing you aren't going to hurt him, at least not right this second. "You know well enough that I'd find out. Or did you want to get caught? If you wanted to see me Siggy all you had to do is ask." you stand and cross your arms. "But now you've gone and lied to me and I'm afraid that just isn't acceptable." you give him the naughty schoolboy routine, standing and giving his cheek a light smack. "I know you bought the egg from the Italians." you frown. "And they stole it from me. They've paid for their mistakes, so where does that leave you?" your head tilts, eyes wide as his go the same, now showing fear. "You don't..." you put your hand to your chest as if you're shocked "You don't WANT me to hurt you...do you Siggy?" you ask in faux earnest.

The muffles please are blocked by the gag, as he shakes his head violently.

"But you LIED to me, my dear Siggy. How do you think that makes me feel?" you pretend to be offended.

The plea's continue.
"I'll tell you what. I have a bit of information that's going to hurt you more than I ever could. So instead of torturing or killing you...like I did the Italians for their indiscretion." he hears your tone change and he whines. "I"m going to take back the egg that was supposed to be mine... and I'm going to break your heart instead of your neck." you give him a stern nod and a pat on the knee. "And in return, you will NEVER lie to me again and you will tell no one that I was here tonight." your eyes go dark, leaning close to his face, spit bubbling out from behind the hard ball in his mouth in his struggle to speak. "I have the cops on my payroll now Siggy. If you go to them I WILL find out. I've moved up in the world since we last worked together and even more so now than I ever have been...I am NOT a woman to fuck with. I have agreements in place with other gang leaders and connections that far surpass the ones you have from the dwindling amount of your daddy's money you've been living off of. And if you do try to come for me in any way. I will kill you. I'll kill your wife first and have you watch and then I'll kill you. Slowly and very painfully. We both know I know how to do such things. Don't we Siggy?" you annunciate clearly in your threats, you see in his weak chinned face as it shivers with fear and nods frantically, showing that he gets the point. "Do we have an understanding?"

"Mmmmph Pffbbttt Hmmmm!" his eyes are bloodshot from the rise in his blood pressure, veins popping out across his forehead and neck as he nods continuously until you break the silence.

"Lovely of you to be such a good sport." your face switches back to charming so quickly from deadly it makes him dizzy to contemplate. "Because you've made the very wise decision to be a good boy..." you take a vial from your right pocket, holding the glass between your fingers and giving it a shake, "You'll get the purple one tonight!" you say cheerfully.

"Hnnnggg Mmmpf!" he retorts with fear in his eyes.

"Come off it now Siggy, it's not going to kill you." you roll your eyes. "It'll just put you into a very deep sleep. This won't even make you sick. The other vial in my other pocket would've also knocked you out but it has some very nasty side effects." you pout your lips as if you were concerned about the man's well being. "I'm going to take this out of your mouth, and you're going to be quiet or I'll force the red vial down your fucking throat." you hold his chin painfully tight. "Do have an agreement?" you whisper.

"Mmmm!" he nods.

You unbuckle to gag as he gasps and pants for breath. "Down the hatch," you say almost cheerfully, holding his cheeks in one hand and pouring the liquid into his mouth. "There's one more thing," you say as you plug the stopper back into your own mixture of herbs. "This really does add insult to injury but you've gone and deeply insulted me and my intelligence by lying to my face so I don't feel bad telling you this really." you shrug as he smacks his lips, the potion must've already been numbing them. "You wife is the one who brought the egg to your attention, yes?" your head tilts innocently again.

"Yeah....why?" his voice is shaky.

"She knew about it because she's been fucking with the Italians," you say with a sympathetic shake of your head. You can see he doesn't understand your point. "That's where she is tonight. Out getting fucked by an Italian. So sorry to break the news to you deary." you give his knee a pat as he lays against the headboard, head hitting it with a thud.

"She's out at her cousins, she just had a baby she-"

"No you poor old fool." you pat his cheek, feeling it growing colder. "I've seen her fucking him myself, unfortunately. Just balls deep in her as soon as that hotel door shuts behind them. Just really...fuckin'...givin' it to her, ya know? You should hear the noises she makes. She fucking LOVES it. Or more specifically, her words, she loves that young thick made in Italy cock that fucks her so well. So much better than her husbands." you shake your shoulders in a dramatic reenactment.

You see the mixture of sleepy and sadness come across his face.

"I know, hard luck old boy." you pat his cheek again as a tear rolls down his cheek. "Oh come now Siggy, off to sleep dear. Deal with it in the morning, yeah?" you pull the covers back over him and let him slump back into his pillow. "Well that's done." you say to yourself.

You shrug and sigh, moving to the wall with the safe, you take the huge picture off the wall, much heavier than anticipated, but the signal would ring true and clear as it's weight lands with a heavy thud on the wood floors.

The safe intel you'd gotten all checks out, the maker and style all correct. You stand in front of it, hands on your hips, chewing your bottom lip as you click in the combination. And nothing. You purse your lips, and with narrowed eyes, you try again. And nothing. You should have checked the combination before you knocked him out. Oops.

You're still standing in front of it with your arms crossed and head cocked to the side when Alfie quietly enters the room.

"Bit of a problem, 'Fie." you mumble, turning your head to him.

"What's that?" he asks, looking to the sleeping man in the bed slightly confused. He expected to find him bound and struggling in a chair as you berated him but...this worked too. "Ya didn't kill him did you?" he quirks an eyebrow at you.

"No, no. He's bound and fast asleep from my nighttime vial, he'll be perfectly fine. There's a pipe by his bed so they'll assume he just hit it a bit hard tonight." you dismiss the worry with a wave of your hand.

"Like that Italians doing to his wife." Alfie jokes, a charming smile still beaming in the low light of the room.

"Yes, those were my thoughts on it as well." you nod and give him a joke approving smile his way. "The combination isn't working."

"Eh?" his head tilts, moving by you and trying it himself. "Hmmph." he grunts, fingers going to his beard in thought. "He's got a book with the numbers in it somewhere, 'ats how my man got them in the first place. He must've changed it recently."

"So I'm looking for a book..." you say to mostly yourself, turning on your heel with a clap of your hands, Sigmund still does not stir. "I'll check the desk." you clarify, switching on the lamp and opening up the drawers, fingers working quickly through files and paperwork.

Alfie joins you, rummaging through other drawers in the room. "Well, this man's a right git, no locks on these at all. All his accountin' just out here for anyone to get to." he tsks and shakes his head.

"Almost like he's asking us to steal from him isn't it?" you say in a playful way that he appreciates.

"It's like you're in me head sometimes, luv." he lets out a raspy little laugh.

"Maybe I am," you smirk, keeping your eyes and fingers to the contents of the drawers. You find a small black journal, brow furrowed again as you flip through the pages. "I think this is it. But there are loose papers in here, none are dated." you shake your head and turn to show him.

"Fuck me, this might take a while..." he frowns, taking the book gently from your hands.

"I was afraid of that." you nod, following him back over the safe, hopping onto the writing desk that sat by it. You look around the room, chewing the inside of your mouth as he grumbles and gets to work. You wait patiently, not wanting to make it take any longer than it had to. "You mind if I entertain myself while you do this?" you ask politely, your eyes now fixed on the door to the closet.

"'Course luv, go ahead. This is a one-man job, innit?" he says, eyes still focused on the dial.

You hop down and make your way to the closet, flipping the light on and letting out a little noise of approval and excitement. Alfie turns to see clothes hung on the walls of the now illuminated closet, rolling his eyes and letting out a small huff of a laugh at you before returning to the task.

Your eyes and fingers are busy just like his, but you're looking through dresses and jewelry with great focus. You see a half opened box sitting on what seemed to be the small portion of the closet that belonged to Sigmund. Everything else was immaculate and you found it a bit of an eyesore and possibly more than a coincidence that the box was left open. "Ahhh." you muse to yourself nodding as you see the box is filled with little glass vials. Morphine and laudanum you purse your lips as this is a surprise to you but fully explains the state you found Sigmund in. Since it's clear he's going to be out for some time you decide to play around a bit to pass the time.

You sit and go through a drawer of rings, trying them on and admiring them, you hold up necklaces and show them off on yourself in the mirror. You pick the biggest necklace you can find, adorning it and smiling happily at your reflection. At least his wife had some good taste, you thought to yourself. You even change into one of the more elaborate dresses you found. A lovely red dress, shimmering as it moved, your fingers dragging across the sequins and beading as it hung alone in a recessed portion of the wall.

You don't even know how long you were in there, but Alfie clearing his throat interrupts your dress up.

"Having a good time in here little girl?" he grins, eyebrows wiggling at you.

"I am. The dresses are too big but..." your shrug. " The jewels always fit." you let out a soft chuckle as you walk towards him.

"Too big in the waist and too small in the tits. Tsk tsk tsk." he shakes his head, eyes raking over you. "What a shame for poor Sigmund that his wife can't fit into a dress like you, eh?"

You smirk at him, loving it when the combination of that predatory look and a compliment from him was directed at you.

"Oh he doesn't deserve a wife that looks like me." you laugh, covering your mouth with your hand for a moment to stifle the laugh. "You make any progress?" your voice supportive and patient, delivered with an endearing tilt of your head up at him.

"Aye. I did." a smile you aren't sure if you'd seen before comes across his face.

"And...?" you inquire, leaning your body closer to his. He catches the light of impatience in your eyes at his words.

"You sure you want it?" he teases, lips curling up in a grin in place entirely at your expense.

Your eyes go wide and you nod enthusiastically, a small whine escaping your throat as your chest heaves in anticipation for a moment.

"Eh...I dunno if you've earned it." he chuckles, shaking his head at you.

"You've been in here playing dress up and had me do all the work innit ya?" he lowers his chin to his chest in a teasing manner, eyebrows high and accusing.

"I don't think saying you did all the work is fair. But you know I'd do anything for the fucking egg so what's it going to cost me Mr. Solomons?" you narrow your eyes at him, but they soon close as you start to chuckle to yourself.

"Well..." he sucks his teeth and looks you up and down before continuing.

"You could take off that dress to start." the way his voice swings deep, his tone calm and controlled makes you stop and freeze.

You give him a few wide-eyed blinks of surprise and his dark eyes do not falter. "Take off...the dress?" you almost stutter, your hands moving to your shoulders.

"That's what I said innit?" his bottom lip hangs low, eyes not meeting yours, but staring at your chest as he licks his lips.

What sort of behavior was this? This wasn't...professional. This wasn't...usual or expected. This was...well it was thrillingly sexy but you saw the line between you once again. Recalling you were the one that crossed it earlier with the kiss. So you suppose this was entirely your fault. You bite your lip and meet his eyes. As he burns through any resolve you might have left against his charms with the look in his eyes, you bat your lashes and purse your lips.

"What about Sigmund?" you ask with a tilt of your head.

"I just slapped the man in the face and he didn't fuckin' move. He's gotta pulse but that's about it." he explains with a shake of his head.

"Show me the egg first." you say with a wicked smile. He lets out a low rumbling chuckle at you, a smile to match your own on his face.

He moves his hand from behind his back, in it he holds the Rose Trellis egg. He see's your chest heave, your tongue reach out to caress your lips as your eyes glaze over. You looked at him the same way you did that egg and he wasn't sure which target receiving the glance turned him on more.

"Fuck me she's gorgeous." you whisper, eyes moving over it and taking it in.

Yes, you were, he thought.

"Is it bad that I have the urge to put that thing inside me?" your lip snarls slightly as a flush comes across your face, realizing you'd just said that out loud.

"I believe the pointy bits might create a bit of an issue there, luv." that deep rumbling chuckle comes out, and not directed at you, just a kindred spirit sharing the sentiment of your lust for beautiful things. How lucky you were to have found someone who wouldn't snub their nose at your sexual urges that came when you had something materialistic, retrieved by ill-begotten means. You reach out for it and he holds it above his head. "Ah ah ah..." he scolds, your eyes fluttering and meeting his again. "Told ya." he nods, eyes still blue shimmering, simmering pools into yours. "Ya gotta earn it." he states coldly again.

You supposed you're fully responsible for the monster you'd created. Letting him call you such filthy things in bed, letting him hold you down and giving him control. So you suppose there's nothing left to do now but enjoy yourself. You certainly wanted to. The tensing and silkening of your sex gave away your true desires and reactions to his power. And that was what had attracted you to him in the first place, wasn't it?

"I don't want to take the dress off." you say with no attitude to your voice as he smirks down at you.

"Why not, luv?" he asks quietly, chin moving down towards your face.

"I've never been fucked in another woman's dress and jewels before. " you give a coy shrug, pouting your lips as he lets out a laugh, looking away, tongue running across his teeth in amusement. "Or in someone else's closet," you add, looking back behind Alfie to the sleeping man in the bed. "Or while the husband of the woman's who's dress I'm wearing slept just a small distance away." you blink slowly in thought, closing the space between your bodies, your fingers drag down his suspenders, "You want to be my first Alfie?" you say with a smile that leaves him no question of the insinuation you were making.

"I thought you didn't have any firsts left sweetheart?" he smirks down at you, body humming with the desire to take the chance to be someone who could stay in your memory forever, even as a story you told at parties.

"Well I even surprise myself sometimes." you smile almost sweetly up at him. "Or should I say you keep surprising me Alfie?" your eyes narrow as you lick your lips and feel his deep exhale across your face.

He groans as he towers over you. He takes a deep breath and moves away, you turn your body to follow him as he sets the egg down on a table. You look at it, then to him with question. "C'mere love." he says quietly but not gently.

You obey and stand before him. His hands, branding iron hot against your bare skin, fingers trailing down your arms and to your waist.

"You like surprises?" he gruffs out, one hand now moving it's way back up to your neck.

"If they're the kind that ends with your cock in me then yes." you say almost matter of factly, a smirk being subdued on your lips.

"Then you'll love this one." he growls, the hand moving your neck unexpectedly, forcing you against a clear space of wall with a thud, his hand holding you in place as his lips crashed against yours. Moans met with moans, as you grasp him tightly, hands moving to his wide shoulders and raking through his hair as he makes you forget everything else with his kisses.

He yanks the top of the dress down, exposing your chest as his soft, full lips make their way down your throat to your naked chest. Wasting no time he sucks a nipple into his mouth in an almost violently hungry way. If his hand hadn't been around your neck, not squeezing but firm, you would've knocked your head against the wall as you released a muffled moan from deep in your chest, it coming out more weak sounding from his rough hand directing your jaw to the side so he could suck at your delicate skin.

"I bet you're already wet enough to take me." he groans into your shoulder, teeth biting down on the shuddering muscles, his eyes rolling back at the thought of you being so eager for him.

"I'll always side with Alfie Solomons on a bet." you say breathily, a smile across your face, eyes shut as he moves both hands to your face, the threat of violence lying just under the surface of his rough motions. He kisses you again, tongue probing deep into your mouth as you reciprocate fully, fingernails digging into his scalp as you both melt into the other, starting with your mouths. It was as if you were both starving for it, moans and gasps from you and growls and grunts from him, they overlapped and moved in tune to the other as he pulls the dress up to your hips, hand diving between your legs to grab you tightly, a tiny squeak leaving your throat.

"You always have been a proper smart little bird, 'aven't you?" he gruffs out as his lips move over your ear.

"When it comes to you, yes." you let out a soft hum of agreement as his fingers hook into your underwear to pull them down your legs, you step out of them as his mouth works away at your nipples again, as he'd lowered his face to pull down the silky fabric.

"Fuck, Gen." he moans as he rises, hand raising up your thigh to rest on his hip, he grinds against you and you feel him hard beneath the fabric of his pants.

"Yes, fuck me." you nod and whine, grinding your hips against him, your fingers clumsily work to release him from his pants, his mouth working away at your neck, hot and heavy breaths coming in shudder-inducing waves as his lips left marks against your skin. A growl from deep in his chest grows and you feel it move through you, groaning in response to feeling him hard and heavy in your palm. Using his own wetness, showing through his pants even before you'd ground yourself on him to stroke him to full attention.

With a grunt, he hoists your leg up again, face buried in the bend of your neck, stationary and sucking a bruise into your skin. And you could not care less. In fact, you welcome it as he stops to massage his tongue over the darkening spot, easing any hurt you expected from it, as lovers in the past made you agree with the name of love bites. But he was as always, indulgent and thorough. Rough but not rushed.

He merges the two of you in a solid forward thrust, your body welcoming him in enthusiastically with little resistance and a weak, breathy gasp. You feel his hand squeezing your bum, pulling you together even closer, a purely masculine, needy groan is given directly into your ear as his name escapes your lips involuntarily.

He withdraws, lips moving quickly from your ear to yours, a slower, deeper kiss emerges from the slow but steady pumps he gives you. The things this man could make you feel. Excitement from this, now a twice over mutual conquest of your bodies and the egg. You find yourself overwhelmed, clinging to him, hands scratching desperately against the loose fabric that covered his back. Your eyes stayed rolled back, body being jolted with every firm punctuation of pressure from his hips.

He notices you're quieter than usual, all breathy and soft swears whispered out into his ears as his hips expertly work away at your composure. It wasn't that he didn't think this softness was just as intoxicating as your growls and filthy words. It was probably more of a turn on due to the new and unknown nature of it. He'd planned on picking you up, bouncing you wildly on his hips as you squealed and rode him but he felt that all rough carnal urge hesitating, your hands and lips trembling against his firm chest and soft lips as you call out your pet name for him.

"Where's that filthy little French girl gone, eh? he asks with a smile, nose bumping against yours. You hum and let out a soft laugh, opening your eyes to his.

"She's right here. " you purr at him, eyes half-lidded in their lust.

He pushes your back against the wall, arms lifting you far more easily than you expect, a high pitched gasp as he pushes into you so completely, elbows hooked under your knees, now hitting into you harder to draw out that minx. "You aren't staying quiet tonight. I'm going to fuck you so you have no choice but to call out for me. Let me hear her, luv." he groans into the hollow of your throat.

"Oui, prends-le. Prenez-moi. Tout ce que tu veux. c'est le tien. Vous devez juste demander." (Yes, take it. Take me. All that you want. It's yours. You just have to ask.) you aren't even sure why the words come out this way. You hadn't meant for them to. You wanted to give him what he wanted, tell him how dirty you were, how he was pounding you like the piece of meat you were but, your brain had other plans. Or perhaps it was your heart that was leading the way tonight.

"Yes, yes, Genevieve. More." he moans while he kisses you, messy and broken as he pants from holding you up. The pounding he was putting you through, didn't match the words that fell breathily from your lips. His face buried in your tits, his tongue out and journeying across the expanse of your entire chest as you pushed your breasts together to either side of his face as your arms wrapped around his head, holding onto his thick neck for support.

" La façon dont tu fais l'amour avec moi est incroyablement incroyable. Vous me faites ressentir des choses que personne d'autre n'a avant." (The way you make love to me is incredibly amazing. You make me feel things that no one else has before.) He moans from deep in his stomach, a hand slapping your arse hard, making you tense and squeak in response. The continuous words, not just small excerpts of dirty dialogue, but the rolling of your tongue, the weak sounds rising and falling in volume pushed you both closer to climax. "Tu es tellement bon. Vous êtes si mauvais. Comment un homme peut-il être un amoureux si intuitif? Une bête, un criminel et un gentleman à la fois?" (You are so good. You are so bad. How can a man be such an intuitive lover? A beast, a criminal and a gentleman at the same time? ) your voice inflects upward, another moan, another gasp he reciprocates, hips slowing but not stopping, an in and out drag against your swollen sensitive nerves, each ending in a firm slap of flesh against flesh. "Je n'ai jamais été touché par quelqu'un comme toi comme ça. Bon sang tu es si bon. Tellement bon." (I have never been touched by someone like you like this. Damn, you're so good. So good.)

With that he crashes his lips against yours, a needful grunt of sound rises and repeats itself as he responds to your submissive body language, letting him hold you entirely, control everything about the sex you were having, giving yourself up to him in a vulnerable way makes his thighs shake and not just from exertion. You wrap your legs around him, keeping him close, hands clutching and desperate in his hair, as your chest heaves. "Si proche, plus fort. Oui, Alfie, plus. Tellement bon. Oh mon Dieu. Oui!" (So close, harder. Yes, Alfie, more. So good. Oh my God. Yes.) you cry out into his mouth, he feels that shudder in your hips as you start to shake. He doesn't hold back, hitting you like a machine, hard and fast and exactly where you need him to be like always. "Je vais ... tu vas me faire ..." (I'm going ... you'll make me...) your voice is high pitched and hungry, he felt the need from your sounds and actions along with the way he made your body respond to him.

"That's it, luv. Give me what I want," he growls, slamming you down onto his hips. "Come for me gorgeous, let me make you feel good."

"Tu te sens si bien, Alfie. Tellement bon. Ici ... maintenant, quand tu m'embrasses bonne nuit, le matin quand on se lève ensemble. Donne le moi " (You feel so good, Alfie. So good. Here..now, when you kiss me good night, in the morning when we get up together. Give it to me.) you cry out, eye squeezing shut as your lips tremble first, followed by the rest of your body. He feels it move down your spine, ending with your hips grinding against him as you quake and moan. "Merde! Comment te sens-tu si bien?!" (Shit! How do you feel so damn good?) barely squeaks out of you, all choked and rasped out between moans.

He can't hold himself back moving to grab you by your cheeks, holding you in place as you tensed and seized around and against him. "Fuck, luv, yes, take me." he groans, face falling between your breasts, his mouth always searching and moving against the sensitive skin as he empties himself inside you. Moans traveling like waves hit your ears with every twitch of his hips.

You wrap your arms around his head, expanding and contracting with both your chests, feeling his breath across your cleavage. You rest against the wall, head back to give him room to breathe, your fingers start to work at his hair without even putting forth the conscious thought to do so, gently pushing it off his face where it'd been jostled loose, your thumbs wicking away the sweat around his temples. "You can let me go, Alfie, put me down if you'd like." you whisper, moving your face back down to look at him.

He shakes his head no between your breasts, causing a hum of a laugh from you. "What if I don't want to?" he gruffs out, chest starting to slow in its rhythm.

"Then don't?" you say with a soft chuckle. He grunts in response with a nod, his lips start kissing your sternum, forehead still pressed against you. "Didn't want you to hurt yourself though." you say with sincerity. He huffs out a laugh at this, looking up at you.

"I wouldn't've started this if I didn't think I could finish it." he grins, and you respond just the same.

"I'd never accuse you of such a thing." you say animatedly, sighing and letting your head fall back against the wall.

"Alright. Down you come, sweetheart." he lets one of your legs fall, still wearing heels and landing with a clack against the hard floor. He holds a firm hand to your ribs, making sure you're steady before loosening his grip on the other. You grunt as you lower it yourself, a bit stiff from being bent up. "You good?" he asks, eyebrow up and lips pouted at you in concern.

"Oh yes, just have to get the blood back to my legs." you say, shaking them slightly. He reaches back and gives you a firm slap to your bum with a cheeky grin.

"That help?" he quirks an eyebrow and laughs.

"Oh yes, always helpful, you are." you chuckle, slipping the dress off. "Let me get my clothes back on," you say to yourself basically, hanging the dress back up. He comes behind you, large hands wrapping around your waist, his chin on your shoulder. "I'm considering taking this as well, to be honest." you give him a mischievous look.

"You do look smashing in blue...Sapphires flatter your coloring." he nods in agreement. My goodness, he did learn a few things from Freddie, hadn't he? "Those jewels look stunning on you dear. Does make me wish you'd taken the dress off though...maybe next time we can fuck with you only wearing someone else's jewels, eh?" he wrinkles his nose before planting a kiss to the side of your head. You almost blush from the adorable nature of the gesture.

"I'd be wearing a lot more pieces if we were going to do that. Enough necklaces to form an Elizabethan collar, bracelets up to my elbows, rings on each finger." you laugh softly, fingers caressing the stones that sat on your glistening skin.

"Wear the long necklaces around your waist?" he offers, tilting his head as you meet his gaze in the mirror with a smile he finds especially lovely.

"You're so clever, Alfie. We'll have to try that sometime." you giggle, returning the kiss he'd given you to his cheek as you turn to put your clothes back on. He peaks out the door, watching Sigmund still unmoving.
You leave the necklace on. "I think I'll take this as a reminder of tonight." your fingers play with the necklace.

He turns to see you, weight on your elbow, your body bent and rested on the table holding the egg, his eyes drawn to your painted nails twisting the pendants around your neck.

"That'll be good. Make 'ol Sigmund come to me to replenish his wife's back stock of jewels. What a master business model we've come up with." he laughs, turning his body back to face you.

"Well we are partners now, it only makes sense." you laugh as your fingers hold the egg and inspect it. "This is going to look spectacular in my closet next to the other egg, don't you think?" you tilt your head with your bright eyes focused on him.

"Wouldn't look better anywhere else." he declares, grinning as he stands on the other side of the table. "But I would kindly request that I get to come to look at it from time to time. Seeing as I got it for you and all." he rolls his eyes playfully, looking under his brow at you.

You give him a charming smile. "You know you're welcome in my bedroom anytime, Alfie." you let out a chirping giggle, your eyes returning to the egg, as his eyes stayed on you.

Chapter Text

You had been excited a mear hour and a half ago, but now you were standing in the corner, arms crossed across your chest with your lip between your teeth. Since when did you feel lonely? And in a room full of people? You chew your cheek and wonder if you're just moody from whichever point in your cycle you're in. You thought that maybe getting out by yourself, mixing among the socialites and upper class might make you feel empowered. You'd gotten all tarted up for no one but yourself and as soon as you'd started a conversation with the other party goers you'd had to hold in your heavy sighs at their words.

The women's heads seemed full of air, only gossiping about other people, nothing of any weight to be said. The men's pick up lines were atrocious and some downright nasty, uninspired and delivered with zero charisma. You find yourself unamused and uninspired and not wanting to be there. So you stare into the tower of delicately balanced champagne flutes, sigh after sigh, disappointing conversation to disappointing conversation, and you place the glass back down on the table. You hear a loud booming laugh of a man, swinging your head to see, your brain telling you it might be Alfie, but alas, it's not.

You tuck your purse under your arm and head for the door. You find yourself for the first time leaving a party early and being happy about it. You're already relieved as you slide into your car, you lie back your head and realize the best conversation you could be filling your time with would be at home, so that's where you'd rather be.

Alfie's nose is in a book, little gold glasses atop it as it twitches, his eyes blinking as he hears your car coming up the lane. He'd expected you to be out all night, you'd been so excited about the party earlier he found it strange behavior. He knew if anything was wrong that you'd come and tell him, so he chooses to continue reading and be patient.

Your feet aren't light as you walk into the study. You spin and flop dramatically onto the couch next to Alfie, causing him to grunt and look over at you. Your shoulders are slumped, lips pouted and face annoyed.

"Somefin' wrong, luv?" he says quietly, lowering his glasses as your eyes move over to meet his.

"No." you sigh.

He lets out a huff of a laugh. "Not very convincing, that." he grins with a nod of his head at you.

"I was having a miserable time at the party. Everyone was so...boring." you say with a twist of your chin.

"Well that's high society for ya." he agrees, a small shrug of his shoulders.

"I realized I'd rather be home." one corner of your mouth pulls back in a small smile at him. "And now that I'm back I plan on washing the makeup and mediocrity off of me in a nice long bath." Your eyes move to his hair, fluffy and messy and clearly recently washed. "I see you've already taken one tonight." Your voice sounds disappointed. This doesn't go unnoticed by him as he watches your eyelashes flutter as they move over his hair.

"Yeah, I got it over wif." His voice matches yours, soft in its delivery as he watches your face. It falls slightly, moving to your dress before you gather it in your hands to stand.

"You know where to find me if you need me, Fie." You say in an exhale, giving him a small smile as you look back at him over your shoulder before leaving the room.

So you'd rather be home with him and you'd planned on having a bath with him are the unanticipated thoughts behind his blinking eyes. He finds them fluttering like yours, and that much he'll acknowledge. But the fluttering in his stomach, and more importantly his chest that the confessions made him feel bring him to his feet without so much as a second thought as they find their way to you.
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Your eyes are closed, hidden by the steaming hot washcloth over your face. Your head leaned back on the edge of the tub, facing him as he quietly pads his way into the bathroom. The window is cracked only slightly, letting the sounds of the night in. You've forgone electric lights and set up candles in the room and bedroom, he'd seen you do this once before, but now he understood it as a way that you romanced yourself. You'd claimed it calmed you, saying everything looked softer, easier to deal with in candlelight. But with the sounds he'd heard you making with yourself on that night, after passing your door much later in the evening, he knew you were doing more than that with the dreamily lit environment you'd created. Perhaps he could make it so you didn't have to do any romancing or touching of yourself on your own anymore.

He watches you in silence for a few moments, the ripples across the water from your hands moving along your body, from shoulders to breasts to thighs and knees and back again. There are no bubbles to hide your feminine form from his eyes this time. The lavender he'd gotten you sits in the window alive and well, bits of it floating in the water with you. The steam rising smells lovely, just like the lavender itself, reminding him of the times he'd gotten close to you directly after a bath, that smell sticking to your skin as he got to steal small secretive sniffs of you as you got close to him. He didn't plan on sneaking any of those tonight. He yearned to press his face into your warm skin and inhale so obviously his lungs burned from the exertion. He desired to know what your pink and polished skin would feel like against his with steam still rolling off your body from the heat of the bath.

A lump builds in his throat as you move your hands to wipe the washcloth down your face, eyes moving automatically to him. You'd known he was there the whole time. Of course, you had.

"Are you going to just stand there?" you say with a soft smile, a piece of hair falling down across your face as you moved your head, the rest still piled on top in a knot.

"Seems when I come across you naked I'm compelled to silence and observation." he tilts his head slightly, an almost shy smile as he looks down at the floor.

"I'm not bothered in the slightest by your gaze. What is it, darling?" you say with a soft chuckle.

"I didn't want to interrupt your alone time, luv but I found myself wanting to be around you once you left. Seeing as I thought I'd be here alone all night and possibly nursing you and a hangover tomorrow morning, this now as a viable option seemed much more enjoyable." he grins and looks back up to you. "And seeing as those other people were such a bore I thought I might throw my hat into the ring to entertain you."

A smile blooms across your face, reaching your eyes as they crinkled at the edges. "And what is this plan of yours to entertain me?" your chin moves back and forth as you seem to glow at him, your damp skin glistening in the low light of the room.

He motions one pointed finger the tub. Your eyes follow it's direction and then swing back up to his.

"I thought you already had a bath." you say in a much quieter voice. You were hiding how your breath caught in your chest at the way he could read you. All from a glance and a fluttering of lashes that you hadn't even meant to do. He had known what you'd wanted.

"Yes but, I didn't have one with you now, did I?" the charm is back behind his eyes and smile and you succumb to it.

"I'd much prefer to have a pleasurable memory to be attached to you and baths than the current one of me being hurt." you use as an excuse, your brows raising high on your face.

"Then you don't mind if I join you?" he shakes his head, hand motioning out towards the tub in a broad gesture.

"No! Of course not!" your voice goes a little too high pitched, not hiding your happiness at his suggestions. "I'd love for you to, darling." you say, sitting up and moving to the end of the tub closest to him, forearms on the edge, water dripping off you and into the floor as you rest your chin and watch him undress.

"Good thing I'm not shy." he says with a laugh, shirt already off and fingers pulling down his pajama pants. "What with the way you stare and all." his chest keeps moving as he chuckles, eyes narrowed playfully at you.

"I like to gaze at things I find appealing, dear, you know this by now." you shake your head, sitting up to make room in the large tub, nose scrunching up at him with a smile that was entirely honest and genuine.

"Oh she's sweet talking me now, eh?" he laughs as you turn in the tub, knees to your chin as he steps in and takes his time sinking down in the steaming water. "Fucking hell, you like the water hot." he says, lip snarling slightly as he adjusts.

"It makes me feel more at home. Acclimated to my birthplace of hell." you laugh at yourself, shoulders shaking and rippling the water further.

"Mmm." he grunts, finally relaxing against the side of the tub. "I would argue but sittin' in it now it's feeling well good on my old bones so I suppose I'll agree since I too am feeling at home." he lets out a sigh and you both gaze at each other for a moment.

The room is near silent, just wind and insects muffled from outside, the lapping of the water as you moved hesitantly. Feeling oddly unsure as to how to proceed, your uncertainty sits heavy in your stomach.

He must have seen it on your face as he always does, as his deep voice breaks the silence. "C'mere, luv." he gives a subtle gesture with his hand. You give a shy smile, looking down and slinking towards him.

You move to put your back to his chest, sitting forward between his legs.

"Lay back sweetheart, relax," he says softly, and you let yourself lean back against him fully, Your head falling back just near his shoulder, giving you enough room to lay it back. "It's not usually me telling you to relax." his wet fingers move your hair away from your face and neck, you could feel his breath fan across the bend of it, stretched out and vulnerable to him. "Take your deep breaths." he quietly suggests, and you obey. "I know I can't live up to your hands but I can rub your back if you'd like." he offers.

"Oh no I much prefer laying back like this." you say softly, eyes closing. "Rubbing the front is much more relaxing than rubbing my back to me." you let out a little chuckle.

"As if you would even have to ask for me to do such a thing." his voice has that delightful cheeky ring to it.

"I do mean north and not south." you let out a giggle as you move his hands to your chest, your face leaning back, hands going back to rest and you let out a noisy sigh as he starts to knead your breasts. "Much better, darling, thank you for indulging me." you say as your head snuggles back into his chest.

"More than happy to oblige." you feel the breath of his laugh over your neck. "This alright?" you feel his mouth rest on top of your head, an affection tone washing over you.

"Wonderful, as long as your touching me, really." you admit in a breathy exhale, not feeling the sexual repercussions of such touching yet. He wasn't pinching and teasing, only rolling you softly about, hands sometimes wandering up your sternum, down to your ribs and stomach, warm and wet up your neck and cupping your shoulders. Soft and lazy and exactly what you needed.

"Now then. Tell me what made you leave a party you'd been looking forward only a few short hours ago." his voice is deep and evenly paced, taking cues from the back massages you'd given him. Everything feeling easy and gentle.

"I found myself feeling out of place. The women only wanted to gossip and I suppose I needed something of more substance tonight." you say in a weaker voice, now trying to deeply relax against him. You sat across him like a throne, your hand on his thigh of the knee that was bent up, the other rests against your own.

"Mmm." he said thoughtfully. "And you don't mention the men?" he chuckles, "I know they talked to you."

You let out an amused hum and smile, watching your fingers trace back and forth on his leg. "Awful." you let out a laugh and turn your head up to look at his face. "So boring. So unoriginal. Devoid of any charm whatsoever." your face shows your mild annoyance.

"Not even a handsome one could hold your attention?" his face looking possibly slightly smug in the low light.

You laugh again. "What's handsome worth anyway?" you shrug and look back to your restless fingers.

"Well it's worth quite a lot I'd imagine." he says with humor in his voice.

"Yes but for how long?" you sigh. "When I was younger, yes. I'd find one that was easy on the eyes and with the intellect of a bucket of rocks with a hole in the bottom and never care." you give your younger self a half smile.

"And not now?"

"The older I've gotten the more complicated it's all become." you shake your head just slightly. "Before you, it'd been over two years since I'd slept with someone." he studies your face, your microexpressions as they pass over and change with the thoughts you weren't expressing. "I could work with only handsome before, but now I require things far beyond that it seems."

"Like what, luv?" he sweetly inquires.

"A trinity of physical, mental and emotional."

"A sure sign of a woman who knows her worth and what she wants." you almost purr at his praise. "It'd been over two years...really?" he says, eyes narrowing at the statement almost in disbelief as he'd seen your sexual appetite and he wasn't sure how you had gone so long without exploding into thousands of tiny, shaking pieces.

"Yes." you say certainly, a slight nod of your head.

"And why me, sweetheart?"

The question and the earnest tone catch you off guard, your eyes flutter open as you think. "Well you checked all three boxes didn't you?" you say obviously, he feels the tension leave your body as your eyes shut again.

"Did I?" he says smugly, a grin on his face you can't see.

"I wouldn't be here with you now if you didn't." you state obviously.

"If you wouldn't mind to indulge me a bit here, luv..." you can feel him swallow before he speaks. "How exactly is it that an old ruffian like me got to be so lucky as to have you approve of him?"

You weren't sure what he was looking for from you. Maybe it was genuine curiosity. But perhaps now was a good time to sort a few things out for yourself. You go back to your original approach when you were still trying to learn to trust him fully and go with honesty. "Well..." you clear your throat and open your eyes. "For physical, you didn't have to do anything. You're very handsome." you grin and look up at him again, wanting to see him as the compliments came down upon him.

"So complimentary this evening." he chuckles down at you, you reach up, water droplets plinking against his skin and down your arm as you reach up to scratch his beard.

"You said indulge you, so I suppose you want specifics?" your eyes narrow playfully at him, a warm smile on your lips.

"How could I not want to understand how your brain works, Genevieve?" he looks down at you and radiates charm.

"Let's start with this work of art that is your face." you coo at him. A smile that mirrors the warmth and fondness of your own beams down at you. "That heavy masculine brow...piercing eyes...that example of perfection that is your nose." your head shakes back and forth just slightly.

"My nose?" he lets out a laugh.

"Yes, it's brilliant, darling. Perfect planes and points. My inner artist adores your face." you can't help but laugh with him. "And don't even get me started on those plush pillows you try to pass for lips." you giggle at yourself.

"These? These lips?" he puckers them and your nose wrinkles as you laugh at his silly antics.

"Mmm Hmm." you nod, lips barely able to close from a smile.

"Mmmph. I see." he says with a furrowed brow, leaning down to kiss you.

The wet smack of your lips back and forth for just a moment is all you hear echoing in the dark room. "I'm afraid with kisses to go with your hands on my breasts you're going to get me the opposite of relaxed." you smirk at him.

"I certainly don't have a problem with that...unless you do." his lips pout just slightly in the asking of permission.

"I do not." you shake your head and bite your lip.

"Certainly such sweet honesty deserves to be rewarded, luv." he coos down at you, one hand moving down to between your legs as you let out an audible sigh.

"You know I adore your reward system." you chuckle, closing your eyes, pressing the side of your face into your shoulder, nuzzling into his chest as his fingers parted your lips, rough fingertips giving you slow drags up your clit.

"What else?" his voice rings out darker, more commanding.

"Mmmph. Okay I'll try to keep talking." you can't help the smile that blooms across your face at his playful antics. "We were on physical...handsome...yes." you nod and scratch his beard. "I'm terribly fond of your more...masculine traits. This full beard..." you let out a noise of approval. "Even if it does cover that angel face of yours, still can't find it within me to prefer you clean shaved over it. Especially when you let it get a bit wild like this." your lips curl into a smile. "The salt and pepper of it," you give the lightening bits a tug at his chin. "The way it scatters down that...thick neck of yours." you let out a breathy exhale and lick your lips, his fingertips still tapping and gently flicking, building a slow burn within you.

Getting a peak inside your head like this, and as your eyes slowly darkened at his motions and your own words, the way you were getting wet over describing him physically was making him hard. It gave him a rush of power that he hadn't known before. You were clearly enjoying whatever feelings it was giving you, even in the low light, the flames flickering and lighting you like a painting you might create, he could see the truthfulness of your words behind those big brown eyes of yours.
"And you are built, cheri. Just...broad and...strong." you bite your lip to muffle a soft moan. "And your hands...ugh." you look down at your chest, feeling his chest move with a silent laugh at the roll of your eyes at him. "The rings are so sexy and those calloused fingertips and palms from work make me feel like a little sheltered French girl who's getting sexually awoken by the farmhand she's been secretly pining over." you chuckle at yourself.

He never thought he'd hear such words from you. To be able to see himself as you saw him only made him feel more powerful, more capable and dominant.

"You already know how I feel about that magnificent instrument I feel rousing against my bum right now." you grin again, eyes looking into the water at the hand moving just slightly between your legs.

"Now 'at you have praised before." he practically groans, fingers now sliding farther down, making you whimper and your chest start to heave with need as he pushed two fingers inside you.

"That curved cock of yours can press my buttons in the most sinful of ways, Fie." you whisper out, eyes closed again as you let your head fall back.

"Like 'is?" he whispers against your ear, fingers curling and holding you with a jolt that forced an involuntary noise from your lips of an obvious agreement.

"Oui." you whimper out. His fingers uncurl, going back to a slow in and out that was still making it hard for you to keep your head clear enough to carry on a conversation.

"And what's next, luv?" his voice to that delicious condescending power that made you tense around him.

"Mental." you rasp out before clearing your throat.

"Mmm. Now 'is. I'm very interested to hear." he whispers in your ear, making you bite your lip and moan softly.

"Well you do this." you let out a huff of a laugh. "It's the first thing I noticed about you. Couldn't miss it even from across the room." your head shakes as his fingers return to your clit, fingers pinching your nipple harder.

"What's that, sweetheart?" he implores further.

"That power you have. You just..." you gulp, and take a strong inhale. "It radiates off you. It's not just smart...not only clever or funny." your voice grows weaker, needier and it causes a groan to build up in his chest. "You are those but this is...different," you whine out. "Like an... undeniable charisma that forced itself in and seduced my mind."

"That is the sexiest thing you've ever said to me." his tone is exactly what you speak of. Like his words could command you to feel things you didn't want to. Things you'd fought for years against feeling, things you'd lied to yourself about existing.

"But you can be a right cheeky bastard when you want to be." your grin showed through your flushed, bitten lower lip.

"Someone's got to remind you, ya can't be in control all the time, Genevieve." you moan at the words, his fingers now harder and more insistent against your throbbing bundle of nerves.

"That's it..." you swallow noisily again. "The power I was talking about." you rasp out before you moan again.

"Oh, I know." you can feel his charming, wicked grin even though your eyes are shut and you can't see it. He was humming with power at this moment, even he could feel it and be aware of it now. Identifying the exact thing he wanted to know that made you want to submit to him. He was relieved it was something you found unique, as that assured you couldn't get it from anyone but him.

You knew what title came next. Your least favorite to talk about. But his fingers working against you were working like a truth serum as you were already a heaving chested, lusty little bird in his hands.

"And what closes this emotional trifecta for you, luv?"

How did he make you feel? You knew the answer of everything wouldn't work. You knew a lie wouldn't suffice, or possibly even come out of your mouth at this point. "You make me laugh." you whisper, eyes open but half-lidded.

He feels a motion in his chest that catches him off guard. Making you laugh was one of his favorite things. Something he'd worked at the art of all this time, as you didn't seem to care for just anyone's sense of humor, and you certainly didn't give the lusty head thrown back, hand to your chest laughs to anyone but him. Knowing it's what came to mind first touched him deeply. "I do." he answers smugly, lips against your ear as you shudder against him.

"I don't know how you do it but you can calm me...shut me down without making me hate you." your voice was sounding different, and not just because he was actively switching his fingers between circles around your clit and pressuring inside of you. "Perhaps that's also the power." you rub the side of your face into his chest, eyes squeezed shut in concentration and arousal.

"Perhaps." is all he can answer. He didn't know what he expected, but as you tended to do, you were outdoing anything he had expected to come from his antics.

"And you..." you swallow again, he feels you hesitate, feels your breath catch.

"What is it, luv?" he whispers, lips pressing against your neck and you moan at his actions.

"I feel...safe around you." your eyes open and they seem surprised by your own answer, he rewards the honesty with more curling of his fingers inside you and you cry out.

"I take that as a great compliment in our sort of life, darling." his lips continue moving across your neck, feeling your pulse jump, watching your chest move rapidly, whimpering out little moans with each time he'd press into you.

"More so..." you take a deep breath. You force it out. You do it because it's true. He wanted answers...you'd give them to him. You move your face, causing his lips to break suction from your skin. You move your hand up to the back of his head, hand trailing down the side of his neck, trembling. He meets your eyes and the fear flickers back and forth between the two of you for a moment. "I trust you." you confess. His heart races against his ribs so hard you feel it against your back.

"You..." he almost stutters and catches himself. "You trust me, luv?" It was a question and an unsure one at that. Trust wasn't something that existed in either of your lives previously. Least of all in someone who also worked in the treacherous, lying and brutal world that you two existed in.

You nod, licking your lips. "I trust you Alfie." it spills from your lips and as if he could catch it and put it back in with his own, he kisses you. "Should I?" you ask, his lips barely even parted from your own. "You aren't playing me like an instrument are you? Like you are with your fingers now?" your lips tremble, and not just because he had you on the edge of an orgasm.

The awful, wicked things you had to have been told about him. From Tommy alone, who could fill a book with all of Alfie's lies and betrayal. The other gangsters you worked with, you must know what sort of man he was. And now, looking into your deep, emotion filled eyes that desperately sought out answers he feels a shift within himself. That was the sort of man he had been. Not who he was now...not who he was with you. You claimed to be under the influence of his power but what of him with yours? Saving his life, forgiving him and taking him in and never demanding anything in return. Somewhere along this strange road that you two were walking down together he'd become loyal to you.

At first, it must've been your beauty, he thinks. Then your kindness towards him. He wasn't used to such a thing directed at him. Then your mind bewitched him, your skill and your dual nature of brutality and finesse. Somewhere between the night you first met and now...somewhere he'd been chained to you by fate and without question, and now realizing for the first time in his life...without question, he was loyal to you.

"You can trust me my love." his voice barely a whisper, a clearly honest answer you felt down into your bones. You push his head against yours again, deepening the kiss, your fingers in the strands of hair that reached past his hairline and down onto his neck.

He feels you shudder again, a whine still audible despite the way your lips locked together. He moves from your lips, to sloppily kiss your neck which you give him full access to.

"Alfie." you call out his name, his fingers back to your clit, moving fast and purposeful, wanting to make you feel as good as your confessions whispered in the dark tonight have made him feel. Your hand reaches up to clutch his that's still working against your breast. "I never thought..." another moan wracks your body. "Never thought I'd trust a man again." you whine, thighs starting to shake. His heart drops into his guts.

"I don't say it lightly, sweetheart." his words pass through the filter of lips and tongue to your throat and shoulders. "And I mean it. Never let it be a source of worry." he rasps against your skin. "To worry about my betrayal when it comes to you is..." he sucks at your skin as your cry out for him again, your hands shaking as they hold onto him tightly as he knows you're so close. "Needless." he moans into your ear. "Pointless." he huffs out, a groan escaping his chest. "Causeless." he whispers into your shoulder as you have your final shake, your body pressed against his fully as you held you tightly, letting the water spill and splash over the edges of the tub as you writhe against him. His eyes close, the feeling of your soft flesh grinding against him makes them want to roll back in his head.

"Oh, fuck." you breathily exhale. You feel a rush you haven't before. You felt alive and energized, the quiet room falling back into place, the moans hushing for a moment as you come down. You sit up, moving to bring your chest to his as you take his face in your hands and kiss him hard. His large hands travel up your back and hold you with splayed fingers gripping against you. "Alfie..." you whisper against him, gulping and taking a sharp inhale. He pants against your mouth, eyes traveling across your glistening face, patiently awaiting your request. "Take me to bed and make love to me." you request softly. He sees your eyes soft and wanting, focusing on his features that you'd confessed your fondness for.

"Anything you want, Genevieve." he whispers, his hand pushes your head back down to join his, mouths lapping at each other as your weak, high pitched moans intermingle with the constriction of his arms around you, holding you as tightly as he possibly could, knowing it would never feel close enough.

Chapter Text

"It's Friday night, luv, why ya still worryin' away over 'at?" his voice breaks your concentration as you blink up at him, head tilted in inquiry, feet paced heavy across the floor of your office to you.

You're sitting on your desk, still in your dress from work. Your ankles crossed and your hands holding a stack of papers. You push your small gold circular glass up your nose and as your concentration breaks you let out a yawn.

"Look at ya, already tired. You've been workin' too hard today, Genevieve." Your eyes meet his as he stands close to you, chin lowering to emphasize his point. "You's gone before I left this morning and now you're still buried in ya papers?"

"You do it all the time." you give him a small smirk, followed by a soft sigh. "I was dealing with my businesses today. Had to get an early start if I wanted to visit everyone and be able to get these finished." you shake the papers in your hand.

"What are they luv? If ya don't mind me askin'."

"No, darling, it's perfectly fine." you shake your head, handing them to him casually.

He looks them over, nose twitching as he grunts and nods, fingers flipping through the stack.

"All these are dated today." he observes out loud.

"It's what I've been doing all day. They're why I sent those papers with you to give Tommy." He grunts and his lips purse at the mention of his name. "Alfie, I told you we spoke on it and come to and underst-"He raises his hand to stop you.

"I know, luv." he says coldly. He was still sore about their argument and you didn't blame him.

You sigh. You continue your explanation. "I wanted them given to the lawyer he uses to make sure everything was binding and correct."

"What ya usin' his lawyer for? I know plenty of good ones." he says defensively, his eyes still on the papers.

"I've used him for years, he's a very decent man. For a lawyer anyway. Very shrewd and sharp. He's also Jewish." you shrug as if it might ease his mind on the subject.

"Mmm." he grunts in response.

"I wanted my agreements on paper with the employees. I thought if I'm going to go down this path I needed my affairs in order and legal and documented instead of being based on handshakes and good faith."

"And what path would that be, luv?" his eyes finally move back up to yours.

You let out a heavy sigh and smile at him, it catches him off guard and softens his expression. "The path to being a proper gangster." you say without hesitation for the use of the word for the first time. A smile grows slowly across his face, you mirror it as he sets the papers down on the desk.

"So these are contracts, yeah?" he says with a smug nod.

"Citing I own and operate and have the power to do what I please with the business whenever I see it fit." the fact that you were holding his stare, the sly smile and way your eyes narrowed just slightly as he approached you made his lust for you rise. He did love it when you took control of things and saw your own promise in being a ruling force in the city.

"And how did they take to that?" he says quietly, slowly, moving his hands to your knees, pushing them apart and standing between them. He loomed over you, his powerful aura starting to mix with yours and you feel your pulse quicken.

"Some signed with a smile." you give him a little shake of your chin. "Others took a bit more...coercing." your nose wrinkles slightly, eyes still steady and strong against his.

The insinuation of you having spilled blood and threats to get the pristine papers that had held your attention all night makes a deep sigh build in his chest, giving him the oxygen his body needed to pump his blood to places other than his brain, as that's what the thought did to him. "And did they all say yes at the end of the day Genevieve?" he leans in close, a hand trailing up your arm to the side of your face. His intentions fully clear.

To say him being so aroused by your actions did the same to you would be an understatement. A man who relished in your brutality and wit, welcomed it, nurtured its actions made your tongue dart out from between your lips, your eyes falling to his, set in an attractive smirk.

"Every last one of them." you whisper, tilting your head to show just how welcome his advances were.

His deep groan starts before his lips connect with yours harshly, continuing on as he held your face tightly, vibrating your mouth and feeling it into your chest. You return his passion in full, hands slipping under his suspenders as his nails rake up your thighs, pulling up your skirt.
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"'Ello Aggie love!" Arthur booms, hugging the woman who was wearing a rather surprised look on her face.

"Uh...hello boys! Were we expecting you?" her head shakes just slightly.

"No, but you try telling Arthur we aren't going to stop by and see Genny when we're already in London." Tommy says, giving his coat to a maid.

"I 'aven't...WE 'aven't got to spend a good night with her in ages, Tom. 'Course I wanna stop and see her." he defends himself, hands in his pockets as John puts his toothpick back in his mouth after taking off his coat.

"She does feed us and drink us well if nothing else. Although she's always got good stories...can't blame him Tom." he shakes his head at his older brother, lips in a thin line, eyes unamused as usual.

"Didn't say I blamed him." he says cooly, hands moving to his pockets.

"She's in her office last I checked. Had her nose buried in paperwork all day, poor dear." she says sweetly. "I'll set up tea and have Viktor heat up tonight's dinner. She didn't even come out to eat." she muses to herself, already walking away and to the kitchen.

Arthur is excitedly leading the way behind his brother's to your study, knees high and elbows out, excited to spend time with one of his best friends. He waits for the other's to catch up, wanting to surprise you by all three of them entering at once, just knowing your face would light up at their appearance. He wanted to surprise you...and boy does he. It all happens so quickly. The seconds that pass feel like hours when it's over.

"GENNY LOVE WE-" he makes a snorting, choking sound as both doors swing wide open, his arms out and proud in an announcement of their presence. "WHAT THE FUCKIN' HELL?!" he shouts out in that deep gruff tone of his.

"Ayyyy!" John yells, his clapping together immediately and laughing at the sigh of Alfie fucking you on your desk.

"Oh fuck." Tommy grumbles, hand covering his face, but not before everyone gets an eye full of Alfie with his trousers around his knees, balls deep in you, face buried in your neck, your head thrown back before it snaps forward and with saucer-sized eyes that meet Arthurs you let out a high pitched yelp as your hand slaps over your mouth in embarrassment.
And Alfie...bless him and his confidence, keeps pumping into you despite a laugh growing in his chest, as he can only imagine the look on the boy's faces.

You and Arthur are frozen, both stunned beyond words. "ARTHUR!" Alfie shouts out, turning his head slightly to the side, even though he can't meet Arthur's face and stay inside you. "Shalom!" he shouts and you can't help but snort out a laugh, slapping Alfie's chest and burying your face in his neck to hide your blush.

"Fuck's sake." you hear Tommy growl, slamming the door shut after he pulls his brother back into the hallway.

"Yeah, get 'em Genny!" you hear John shout before the door shut with a bang.

Alfie's stopped, the smuggest look on his face you've ever seen. In the moment, before the consequences sink in, you both burst into laughter together.

"Oh my fucking God." you choke out in between belly laughs. Alfie pulls out of you, shoulders shaking in amusement still as he puts himself away. You stand and pull your skirt down. "Have they never heard of a fucking telephone?" you say exasperated, taking a deep breath.

"Came for dinner and got a fuckin' show, they did." you give him a closed lip smile that tells him to stop in a playful way.

"Fuck me, now I have to go do damage control." you roll your eyes and sigh. Thankful it was just the brothers and this should all turn out fine. Anyone else and you would've had a real problem. Although you weren't at fault, you didn't feel shamed or guilty at your actions, you'd never wanted the brothers to see you in such a way, but it's not like they didn't know you weren't a woman or were in denial that you were some virginal girl. "Poor Arthur..." you say, with wide eyes, holding back a laugh.

"Eh, the lad'll be fine. But I reckon he hates me more than he did to begin with right now." he smirks. "I'm proper glad Tommy saw though." his brow furrows in a masculine, prowling sort of way. "Let him know where I fuckin' stand." his head shakes as he says the words with malice. He was relieved in a way that Tommy knew about you two now, now he'd know not to mess with either of you.

"I doubt Tommy cares about us sleeping together at all." you shrug, your face losing the laughter it'd held a few moments ago. He sees your lips twitch in thought. "I mean, I don't think any of them will ultimately care but Tommy's so far up his own arse sometimes he forgets there's anyone but himself around." you roll your eyes and sigh.

"You alright handlin' this, luv?" his tone much sweeter than it had been. "I dinnit think you'd want me goin' wif ya. Seein' as they're your boys 'n all."

"No, it's fine. I should go alone. Just a bit of a damper on the evening momentarily." your eye bat at him. "I was having a proper good time." you give a coy smile, triggering that charismatic grin of his you loved to make an appearance. "I'll give you an update when the smoke has cleared, darling" you lean to plant a kiss on his lips, giving him a small nod as you make your way to the lounge in the guest wing, you're guessing they'd be there.

Your feet feel heavy as you make your way slowly across the sprawl of your estate, fingers rubbing your temples to ease the tension of dealing with this. You hoped they were in a good mood so this didn't end poorly. They certainly seemed to be in a good mood until they'd laid eyes on you and Alfie.

You shut the door behind you and keep your eyes on the ground for a moment, getting a feel for the mood. The air was tense but not angry so you raise your eyes to look the men over.

John is chewing his toothpick with a smirk on his face, totally at ease, sat back in a chair with his legs crossed, he gives you an eyebrow wiggle and you give him a little smirk in response.

Tommy is sat forward on a couch, opposite end that Arthur sits, elbows on his knees, hands clasped together, giving you a look that was mostly indifferent, and partly telling you he'd known this was going on already.

And Arthur. Poor Arthur. He wrung his hands together, brow furrowed but eyes not angry in the least, eyes steady on the fire, not wanting to speak first.

"There are these inventions called telephones you know? Right?" you say with raised eyebrows, easing the tension and letting them know they should've at least fucking knocked. Tommy smirks at your response.

"I'm sorry Genny, sweetheart. Aggie just told me where ya was 'n I was excited to see ya and I just barreled on in there and didn't fuckin' think. Just like me innit?" his eyes are wide and a little bit sad.

"I assumed as much, dear. I'm not mad at you, don't worry." you see him let out a heavy sigh of relief.

"Solomons, eh?" Tommy sits back on the couch, lighting a cigarette. "Knew he was here to lay low but that apparently was not the entire truth, was it?" he plays coy for the sake of the other two men.

"It was the whole truth at the time." you say defensively.

"Of all the men in London I wouldn't have put my money on Solomons to be the one to get ya." John says.

"Get me?" your face frowns. "There's nothing to GET. We're two adults who have sex from time to time. I know you've had plenty of women you've had similar relationships with." you remind him with a nonthreatening glare.

"Is he good to ya, Genny?" Arthur asks with such sincerity you want to almost laugh at the holy fool. You were concerned about things far beyond Arthur's feelings but you were touched that he was considering yours.

"He's been very good to me." you give him a sweet smile and your response seems to calm him. "I will explain my actions just this once." you raise a pointed finger to emphasize your point. "And only because I feel like I owe you something for putting you through what you had to see." you sigh and cross your arms over your chest. "I'd not had anything to do with anyone since moving so I could make sure that I didn't give anyone any fuel for words being spoken of me that had anything to do with anything that wasn't business. So, as I'm sure you can relate, I found myself with needs unfulfilled and just so happens he also has the same needs and seeing as we already cohabitate it made sense to use the ease of spending time together to our advantage." your tone is indifferent and delivers the facts straight. "I expect this information, along with my relations with Alfie to remain unspoken and preferably never thought of again from all of you." your tone moves to scolding, fingers being wagged at each man, meeting their eyes and making sure they understood. "I don't want or need people in my personal business and this is something I want no one else to know about." you lower your hand and purse your lips.

"Of course not, Genny." Arthur agrees with a shake of his head, his eyes still a bit sad. You look over to John for confirmation.

"Ah, who 'ave I got to tell?" he says with a wink, that was as close to a yes as you'd get from with without coming down hard on him so you accept it. You swing your eyes to Tommy and nods obviously.

"I already knew so why start telling people now?" he does his smug smile and you roll your eyes in response.

"Well then that's settled." you brush your hands over your skirt as if to show you're moving forward with the conversation. "I'm going to go let Alfie know that you all decided to be mature about something for once." you say with a grin and move to the door. They each take the hint and stand. "You boys still want to stay? You'd be in a room besides the blue, Tommy, Alfie's got that one."

"Don't be silly Gen, it'd take more than the sight of Alfie's lily white ass to run us off." Tommy stands next to you, looking down at you but not bringing any negativity with him.

As you show them out of the room you hold Tommy by the arm as he shifts to walk away from you. You stop him after the others are out in the hallway. You speak in a much more serious tone, not wanting to alert the others, but wanting to make sure Tommy knew that you were still worried despite their verbal agreements not to tell anyone. "Knowing what you do about my father, you understand why I can't have any word of a romance between me and Alfie, correct?" your eyes are wide, brows high and voice quiet but cutting.

"Romance, eh?" he quirks an eyebrow at you and you glare at him.

"Not the time to argue over details." you hiss.

Tommy straightens his shirt with his fingers, correcting his posture and resting his hand on his chest. "Of course, Genevieve. I understand and I'll be sure they understand as well." his voice is quiet to match yours.

"Thank you Tommy. I'm already on his radar, word's getting around and I'm sure something will come of it sooner than later." you let out a ragged sigh. "I'm just trying to prolong the thin veiled, so-called "peace" that we have right now." you roll your eyes, mouth set in a frown, arms crossed again.

"If you need me for anything..." you both exchange a curt nod. "I hated him from the moment I met him at my wedding. I know what a fucking prick that man is, no need to carry the weight of all his sins on you when someone's offering to help you carry them, eh?" his face leans closer to yours, making sure you knew he was serious.

"I will. I've only heard a low rumbling of rumors thus far. But I'm sure every time I go out in public with him he knows about it at this point. And despite the fake name, I'm sure he's got wind I'm meddling with gangsters."

"The police are on your payroll correct?"

"Yes but...he's got more pull than I do."

"He's only a title now. You're underestimating how much people hate your father beside you I think." his eyebrows quirk slightly.

"I don't know anyone who likes the man except those that lick his boots to save their hides."

"And even then it's false fondness. You've made a name for yourself, and luckily for you, that name is said with good feeling by most and with fear from the rest." he tries to be comforting, and he is.

When it came to your father he was pretty much the only thing you feared. He was a Duke, as titled. An empty title but it was there nonetheless. You had tried since you were 17 to stay out of his line of sight. Perhaps it was time you tried to stand back in the light. You might have more money than he did at this point, everything grand about him had always been a lie, a front to hide his misery and debts and shortcomings as a human being. Only marrying your mother to save face by taking her family's money and the power of their name for himself through malicious blackmail. The thought still sent an ice cold chill up your spine. He had certainly beaten the fear of him into you, hadn't he? You feel ashamed of it for a moment, then you're reminded it's not your fault he was an abusive scum sucking parasite, living off of a title he didn't earn. How sweet would it be to have his least favorite child, his failure, and a woman above all else stand up to him? The thought sat deliciously in your mouth as you savored what that might feel like.

Chapter Text

You awake to the warm hands of Alfie on your clammy, sweat covered skin. He'd slept in your bed again after the usual Friday night of habit of sleeping together, which you welcomed now. And after waking up from a dream like the one you just had, you found yourself especially thankful he was there.

"Shhh, luv, it's just a dream innit?" you hear his voice soft and deep as his hand pushes back your hair, an open palm on your stomach, as your chest started to ease in it's heaving. But it wasn't always "just" dreams with you, was it? He forgets it was your dreams like this that are the reason he's still alive. Although this one was far easier to interpret than the previous ones you'd had about him.

You were standing on a beach. It was cold and you could feel the salty sea wind biting at your bare skin, feeling vulnerable and raw. You see your mother, your brothers, and sisters by the water together. Your heart leaps at the sight, as you hadn't seen them in so long and you start to move forward. Out of the corner of your eye, you see Alfie walking beside you, it was a lovely scene. You were excited to have him meet your family, you felt warmer as soon as you noticed him. But then appeared your father. He was like a great wall, a force that pummeled icy air upon you, separating you from your family. You want to scream and yell and attack, but you can't. He's in your face, teeth gnashing and spit hitting your skin. You feel small, frightened just like you had when you left home and you start to cry. He hits you across your face, followed by shoves and grabbing your hair and shoving you to the ground. Just like he had the night you left home. He shakes you and hits you against the wall he'd created with his appearance, separating you from Alfie. You look to the confused man and try to run towards him, the only thing besides your father with his hand around your throat that you can see, your head being knocked back against a hard surface. You call out for him and reach and fight and grasp at nothing but he's just out of reach. Your father turns, seeing that he's there and starts to pull you away by the waist. You can't get out of his grasp. Your fathers screaming at Alfie, throwing threats and telling him how you aren't worth the trouble, you're just a broken little girl who lives under his rule and he can't be with you. His insults then turn to Alfie himself and you fight back. You fight with all you have, but he keeps pulling you away from him. You think you might have hurt him enough to free yourself, feeling your body falling, and that's when Alfie's presence in real life snaps you out of the dream.

So you're gasping on your back, wide-eyed, face wet with sweat and tears. You hold your hands up to see them, they're shaking and Alfie takes them in his.

"C'mere, sweetheart," he whispers, pulling you into his chest, wrapping his arms around you as you come down from the trembling mess of a girl the dream had turned you into. He shushes you, face buried in your hair at the top of your head. You put your hands on his chest and feel his warmth, his heartbeat and you try not to cry. You're angry at yourself for the dream, for letting your father have this effect on you and your life. "I've got you, Gen, hush now, luv, nothin' gonna get ya while ya, while I'm here, is it?" he says in a warm, smooth voice that washes over you like a heavy blanket. You found yourself believing his comforting words. You move your arms around him, pressing your face against his chest, fingertips gripping into his back as you hold onto him like an anchor to reality. He continues shushing and cooing at you, kissing the top of your head as you settle, and eventually, you do. He asks no questions and demands nothing, just strokes your hair and bare skin lovingly until the both of you fall back asleep.
----------------
Alfie had gone out to the city, only after you gave him the go-ahead to do so after the state you'd woken up in. He said if you were too shaken he'd be happy to stay, it was only a few things that he had to do that'd help the workload of the next week move smoother.

His willingness to stay if you needed him and his reaction to the vulnerability you'd unwillingly shown make your chest ache. But not in the sorrowful way that you were used to. You watch his car leave down the drive, chewing your thumbnail in thought. This had gone beyond your original intention, hadn't it?

"Fuck." you swear out loud to only yourself in your bedroom, shaking your head. "You silly, silly girl. What have you done?"

You sit in the comfiest chair in your room by the fire, the autumn air starting to chill you even in the daytime. You pull your thick dressing gown around you and settle in, placing a phone call. There had only ever been one man previously in your life that you'd always trusted and you knew loved you and would never do you any harm. That was your uncle Altar. And seeing as you've found yourself in dire need of good advice, you call your favorite man in the world, the only man that had ever been a father to you.

"Surely the operator is lying, no way my little Lily is calling me out of nowhere?" you can picture his big grin under his beard, brown eyes so similar to yours shining with amusement as he spoke.

"She was not lying it's me." you say softly.

"Oh my favorite niece, it is a beautiful sound to hear you speak again my dear." he coos.

"And the most comforting to hear yours, uncle." you reply in earnest.

"What do I owe this pleasure my sweet princess?" he asks, getting to the point, just like he always had.

"I hate to admit that what I'm calling for is both, for you, seemingly good and bad news."

"Oh, Genevieve, my darling, what's happened? Are you alright?"

"That's debatable." you say with a bit of humor to your voice and you hear his warm laughter that makes you smile.

"Out with it, c'mon, who knows how long I've got on this earth, tell me before it's too late." he jokes.

"I find myself in need of some advice."

"And you've come to me? Oh, bless you, child, I'll talk the ears off your head, please go on."

"You're not going to believe this...I hardly believe it myself." you sigh.

"When it comes to you absolutely nothing could surprise me." he teases, it makes you smile. You missed him so.

"I've met someone."

"And I stand corrected." his voice goes higher pitched in surprise.

"And it's a man."

"Well fuck me, Lilly you've gone and got me all excited. Who is this demi-God, for he must be to have captured a demon's attention like yourself." his voice holds nothing but affection for you.

"I'm afraid it's more than a bit complicated. I'm not sure how to move forward, or if I even should...with my feelings for him I mean."

"If it's love how can it be that complicated?" he says supportively.

"I am very fond of the man but don't get ahead of yourself." you chuckle.

"No such words have been spoken. We're not even a couple really. I started sleeping with him out of convenience as he was a handsome friend and my idiot self has gone and started to go all doe-eyed and crave him romanticly and not just physically." your voice is grumpy now.

"Better to be friends first anyway. Don't be like me and jump into marriages over a great pair of tits and some tricks in the bedroom." you both laugh.

"I did learn that lesson from you." you chuckle, "Too bad you can't learn it yourself." you joke. "Although his tits and tricks are rather nice." you giggle.

"Oh don't try to change the subject dear, please, tell me who this man is so I may give this advice you seek."

You take a deep breath. "His name is Alfie Solomons. He's the leader of the Jewish Gangs in London." you feel your heart beat in the pause that follows.

"Fuck me girl, that is complicated isn't it?" his voice is still light. "Don't get me wrong, I'm elated at the news myself. You know I have no issue with that."

"I know you don't."

"In fact I prefer it." he chuckles. "A tough man that can provide and protect you." you can practically feel his chest puff up with pride over the phone. "Not that you require that darling."

"I know."

"So you have gone and gotten into the underbelly of London I see." his voice more judgey this time.

"I have." your voice flat.

"You said you weren't." his voice is still full of tease, he knew you too well.

"I know." you admit sheepishly.

"I knew you would, my child it is in your blood." he says proudly.

"Don't tell mum, please." your voice pleading slightly.

"I wouldn't! Wait, bought the crime or the man?" he laughs.

"Fucking both." he laughs again and you smile with it this time.
You let out a heavy sigh into the receiver. He breaks the silence.

"Does your father know?" he asks, voice more serious.

"I've not been contacted but I've heard rumors he has. He wouldn't know of my feelings for the man, just the working together." you softly explain.

"Well that's a bit of good luck." he offers.

"If that's what you want to call it." you roll your eyes.

"Are you worried about him?" his tone more concerned.

"I'm afraid I was conditioned to be." you weakly admit.

"You've gotten rid of a lot of the things you were conditioned to be, dear." he says supportively.

"He's the hardest to shake yet." The dream come back into your mind and you feel the sting of tears. "What if he comes for me? Or what if he comes for Alfie? What if he tries to take away everything?" he can hear the choking in your throat from holding back tears.

"You've not been on his money for years, my sweet." trying to build up your confidence.

"I know but what if he tries. I've worked so hard." you rasp out, hand covering your mouth, eyes shutting as you begin to cry.

"I know that better than most anyone, love." his voice is so sweet and caring, exactly what you'd needed and hoped to hear. "Is this Solomons worth the risk?" his voice prys, and you let it.

You pause, sighing and looking into the fire as you wipe away a stray tear. "I don't know." he hears you sniffle and realizes this is quite serious for you. But otherwise, you wouldn't have called him about it if it hadn't been. "I've just..." you take a shaky inhale. "I've never met a man who would be and here I am...risking punishment from my bastard father over one who could be. Exactly where I said I'd never be. Afraid of my father and afraid of my feelings and-" he can tell you're getting worked up and cuts you off.

"Hiding." he interrupts, his voice sterner, but he knew that's what you needed.

He hears your sob despite how you move your face away from the phone.

"I've always told you, you can do anything, my little Lilly. I have always believed that. As soon as I held you in my arms, I knew you were different. I don't mean to come at you so hard dear, you know I hate to upset you... but don't you see the root of all that trouble?" his voice is more desperate, wishing he could hold his darling niece in his arms and comfort her like he used to.

"Me?" you say weakly, it hurts him deep in his soul that that was the answer you gave.

"No! No, no, absolutely not, cheri. Try again." his voice kind and warm again.

Alfie certainly wasn't the problem, just the side effect. So was it men? Were you truly weak to men? Also no. Then your father. "Father." you whisper out.

"You have always been smart my child. You do not need him to approve of you."

"I know that."

"Do you? Because you're still denying what you are and when you came to me that summer after you left home...."

"I remember."

"You said you'd never let another man tell you what you could or couldn't be. And what does he still do?"

Your anger surpasses your sadness with his words. He was right, but of course, he was.

"He did it to your mother. He's done it to your brothers and sisters. You are not like them. You know where your soul lies. You didn't have it trained out of you, domesticated like some beast. That's not you, is it Lilly?" he asks, voice harsh.

"No." your voice matches his and he is so pleased to hear the fire burning in you again.

"Then what do you have to do?" his tone is slightly condescending but warranted.

"Not hide anymore." the fire in the fireplace reflects in your eyes, burning down into your chest and possibly down into your very soul.

"That's my girl." he cheers.
-------
You're in your office, chewing your lip at the ledger for Abeille. You hear a knock on the door.

"Come in." you say passively.

Claire says, holding one single letter in her hands. You can tell by her body language that something's wrong. "This came for you." she say softly, laying the letter in front of you on the desk. You shut the book and move your face to see what she's sat down.

"Fuck." you rasp out, hesitantly picking it up and rising from your chair. "I suppose this was inevitable." you say weakly, a groan to your voice as you move around your desk to the fireplace to get a good look at it. It was from the address of your father's office.

"I've been on edge waiting for it honestly. Or a phone call or God forbid he show up here." she shudders at the thoughts.

"I've been worried as well." you let out a heavy sigh. "Let's see what threats the jellyfish bastard has for me then." you roll your eyes and open the envelope. "From the secretary-" you scoff loudly. "Not even signed from him." you shake your head."Couldn't be arsed to write a letter to his daughter...fucks' sake." you clear your throat. " From the secretary of George Greene III..." you scan over the letter. "Your father has asked me to write to you to express his distaste for the news of you working with the Jewish gangs that he's received from London. He would like to remind you of the family's agreement and orders that you cut off your ties with them. In his mercy, he is willing to forgive this oversight in your judgment. If you do not cease and follow his demands, he will be forced to take further action against you." You swing your head to Claire, a deeply annoyed look on your face.

"Sounds about right." she says with a stiff face and angry eyes.

"I don't know about you Claire...but I'm about fucking tired of his bullshit." you say with vigor.

Claire smirks, happy to see some fire in your eyes. She hated your father almost as much as you did. "You know I prefer to not live in anyone's shadow. Especially those I do not respect." she gives a single controlled head nod.

"I fucking hate him." you say with absolute certainty. You roll your eyes and let out a heavy sigh, "I spoke with Altar..." you begin.

Claire grins, she loved your Uncle. "This should be good." she smirks.

"Oh it is!" you give her a bright smile. "After giving me a much needed talking to about who I am now, and where I've come from. How I don't live on his money and I rule without hate, unlike him, I believe it might be time to give 'ol daddy the big, fuck you that I've longed to my entire life."

"Oh." her eyes wide, not expecting this."Really? And he supports this?"

"You know he hates him more than anyone." you speak with passion.
"Perhaps it's time to expose George for what he really is." your eyes narrow. You give a single strong nod, balling up the letter and throwing it into the fire.

"Never thought I'd see the day but I can't tell you how equally happy and fearful I am." she offers with an unsure smile.

"Me too Claire." you move to her and place your hand on her shoulder.

"But isn't it time we got out of that monsters shadow? He doesn't deserve the sunlight on his skin, we deserve it on ours instead." you speak with certainty, back straight and eyes bright.

"I"m with you no matter what Genevieve." she puts her hand on top of yours.

"And to celebrate a small victory, to indulge in a bit of childish rebellion, I'm going to go and fuck the leader of the Jewish gangs in London." you say with a warm laugh.

"I can't even argue with it at this point." she grins. "The man's growing on me, I'll admit."

"He's growing on me as well." you say with a coy smile, a mischieveous smile on your face as you both look at each other.

"Don't think I haven't noticed." she says with a tilt of her head.

"Can't hide anything from you, can I Claire bear?" you lilt out, looking at her over your shoulder before crossing into the hallway.

"I know you better than you know yourself, Genevieve. Go have your fun." she smiles and waves her hand for you to go on.

She never thought letting Alfie into the house would end well. She never thought that he would bring on what she'd always wanted for you. Peace of mind. She knew that cutting the cord to your father, letting go of that hate for him and the hate he'd put of yourself into you, that even if it all crashed and burned that the weight off yours, hers and Aggie's hearts might just be worth the trouble.
-----
"Alfie!" you lilt out, a devilish smile on your lips, and an exaggerated sway to your hips as you enter the study to find him seated on the couch.

"What is it Genny?" his eyes raise from the papers in his hands, head still facing downward.

"You've been working all day and night, darling." you say with a pout that makes his eyes narrow.

"That's because I got a lot to fuckin' do, luv." his faces raises, a small smirk on his face.

You stand over him, one hand in your hair, twisting a curl around your finger, the other reaching out to run through his hair. "Why don't you take a break, handsome?"

The touch is welcome but he hesitates, he really did have a lot to do.
"Eh..." his mouth opens in a gruff stutter, shoulder shrugging slightly. "Didn't want to lose me focus."

You sit next to him, one leg bent up on the seat, torso facing him. "You're stressed, sweetheart."

"Of fuckin' course I am I got all these fuckin' leeches tryin' to bleed me fuckin' dry 'n that's not even the worst of it, I-" he begins, he sees your eyes narrow at him from under your thick lashes and he knows to stop his complaints. "Right." he groans out, eyes narrowing back at you mouth hanging open for a moment. He huffs noisily out of his nostrils and sets the papers down on the table in front of him. "Get that fuckin' look off ya face." he says as if he's angry with you, but you know it to be false. The sly smile you give him makes him more certain of the decision not to run you off. "'Ello luv." he says, resting a hand on your knee. "How are you this evenin'." his lips pout at the delivery of the words, his body and attention now on you.

"Wet, Alfie." your eyes grow dark, your teeth grazing over your plush bottom lip as you say his name.

A low groan comes from his throat, eyes now looking you up and down.

"I wanted to help you clear your mind..." you say sweetly but it's entirely a front as your fingers walk their way up this thigh. "And your balls." your eyes swing up to his, your tongue peaks out your grinning lips at him.

"I wunnit lyin' 'bout bein' busy." he says, almost as a warning, chin pushing into his chest.

"Then I'll just have to be quick about it, won't I?" you whisper against his lips. You ignore his tone and move to push his back against the sofa with your hands on his shoulders. You continue speaking as you lower yourself to your knees in front of him, between his legs. "I find myself craving you very specifically and strongly tonight, Solomons." you say as your fingers work to undo his belt and buttons to get to the twitching length of him.
"And I'm not going to take no for an answer when I really....really want something... am I?" you quirk a brow up at him, a wicked smile on your recently licked lips.

"No you are not, pet." he groans out, his hands resting at his sides, just soaking up the attention and the need he saw in your eyes.

You take him out of his pants, not all the way hard yet and you purr at the opportunity. You take him into your mouth with no verbal response back as you hear the hiss escape his lips. You press your nose into his stomach, tongue swirling and lips sucking away at him, feeling him grow hard in your mouth. One of your favorite things, and something you rarely got to indulge in with him. You moan around him, you feel a groan grow as you run one of your hands up under his shirt to drag down his broad chest, the other around his back to firmly grasp at his bum.

Once he's back to his usual diamond level hardness, you slide him out of your mouth, saliva still connecting your lips to his tip as you pull away, wrapping a hand around him to work him as you spoke. "Feeling you get hard in my mouth like that gets me so wet, Fie." your eyes burn into his, tongue out of your mouth and lapping at him in an exaggerated way, cycling from licks to indulgent sucks of his now red tip.

His sexy half smile, a huff of laugh that moves his chest at your words makes you moan around his head again. "You like 'at do ya?" his confident and cocky tone back to where you desired it.

"I love it." you say, your mouth never leaving his cock.

"Fuck Gen." he rasps out as you work him with your hand and your mouth simultaneously. "If it's a ride you're wantin' you better hurry the fuck up before the train leaves the fuckin' station." he laughs, hand moving to hold back your hair.

You give him a big charming smile as you let him pop out of your mouth. "Wouldn't want to miss that now would I?" you whisper against his lips, leaning over him, quickly removing your silk underwear, hitching up your skirt and straddling his legs.

His hands grab at your thighs, smacking their sides at the sight of your stocking and garters, pinching the soft flesh just so in the most appealing way. HIs nostrils and brow twitch watching you reach down to rub yourself for a few breaths time, his hands now firm on your arse and kneading away. You lean forward to kiss him, a firm slap to your arse in response as your tongues mingle among your crashing lips. You raise up your hips, and being the gentleman he is, he holds himself so you can lower onto him. You rise up away from his face, hand yanking down the neckline of your dress, exposing your breasts and his hands move quickly towards your heaving chest, and just like a baker he gets his strong, ringed hands kneading on you again.

"Oh, fuck Alfie." you whimper as you take him into you completely, now resting hip to hip against him. You waste no time as promised, running your hands up his chest. Your back arched to kiss him as you rest one hand on the back of the couch, gripping the hard wooden trim for support, the other, sliding up his neck, fingers nesting in his beard as you feverishly kiss him.

You move slowly at first, drinking in his moans as a hand moves under your skirt to hold you by the hip, guiding you along. You set a steady pace, the heavy thud against him gives the pressure you crave, feeling the pleasure building now, you break the kiss and rise up, placing your hands on his shoulders, moving up and down at a steadily increasing rate, your breathing matched in passionate panting as you look into each other's eyes. The first moan from you breaks the eye contact, your head falling back as you move to grind back and forth against him.

"Ah, that's it now, luv." he groans out, one hand still on your hip tightly encouraging the movement from you as he knew it'd bring you closer sooner, watching your hips drag and swivel, he licks his lips at the feeling, eyes fluttering shut for a moment. You take his other hand, placing it on your hips as well, drawing his attention back to your undulating body on top of his.

"Hold me tighter," you command with a gentle nod of your chin. He obeys and his white-knuckled fingers squeeze, pushing you down harder onto him as you whimper out with growing need. "That's it, good boy." your eyes shut but the wicked smile remains. "You feel too fucking good I'm getting close." he knows this position can finish you off quickly but your slower paced approach surprises him once again. "Keep hold of me." you whisper, leaning up, hands on the back of the couch as you rise and fall with a pounding force on him, still slow, steady steps to get to your destination together. Your chest now directly in his face, your tits knock about on his cheeks and he snakes his head around to suck one nipple into his mouth, causing your mouth to drop open and your chest to bounce as you let out a small, helpless sound gasp. He moans as the pace grows quicker, both hands still held onto your hips, slamming himself up into you as you crashed down against him, a moan knocked out of you each time with your deep breaths.

His lapping tongue is distracting, panting and roaming against the hard nub, taking it between his teeth and nibbling with taunting pressure the louder your sounds together became. You can feel the throbbing grow more intense, him moving inside you just so with the direction of your swiveling hips, "How do feel so fucking good inside me, Alfie?" you whine, your whole back now twisting as you gave over to the feeling.

"It's these fucking serpentine hips of yours you wicked thing." he huffs out, hand reaching up to pull your lips to his, he needed you. He needed your breath mingling with his as he bites and sucked away at your mouth that cried out for him. His other hand disobeys orders, reach up to grasp your breast tightly, thumb and index fingers pinching and rolling your nipple. He plants his feet firmly on he ground and bucks up into you hard, making you loudly cry out his name. He responds with a growl.
"Fuckin'g take it Gen. You know how much I love making you come all over this cock." he huffs out in an intoxicatingly dominate voice.

"Oui." you whine out against his lips, resting your bobbing forehead against his when you had to catch your breath. Your eyes are tightly shut. "Fuck." your chest stutters as you let out the prolonged cry for him. His teeth hold your bottom lip with a pinch. "You're going to make this little cunt come for you, Alfie." moan out helplessly, your body being pumped into fiercely underneath with the full power of hips. You couldn't have stopped yourself if you'd wanted to. Your ears ring and your hands tremble against his shoulders, a high pitched, sharp gasp of breath is the only sound that leaves you as you give him what he asked for with open, trembling lips.

Once the tremors have mostly passed, you can open your eyes, another sharp gasp of breath against him. His teeth now gnashed together, his jaw tight, heavy, masculine grunts and growls fill the space between your bodies as his hands move to your hips to hold you and fuck up into you to finish himself off. You tighten yourself around him, your head swinging to the side, mouth and tongue moving fast against his neck and up to his ears and back again, moaning into his thick beard and pouring dirtyy words into his ear to finish him off. "Come for me, 'Fie. I want you to fill up this little cunny you magnificent beast. I'm absolutely soaked from that thick cock of yours. Make it even wetter for me, would you? Make a fucking mess of me, darling." you hiss and rasp into his ear, your tongue working its' way into its grooves and panting as you wrap your arms around his neck to hold him close. He lets out a loud and guttural moan, a hand slapping your arse hard. "That's it," you say in a condescending tone, your hips pounding back into his. "This tight little cunt's going to make this cock mine, do you understand?" you growl, hand tugging at the hair at the back of his neck. "You're going to fucking come because it's what I want. And you'll give me anything I want won't you Solomons?" your voice is dark and directly antagonizing and his eyes roll back in his head. Fuck he loved your filthy mouth.

"Fuck!" he growls, eyes meeting yours as your lick the sweat from the side of his face. "Anything." he helplessly moans out into your smirking mouth.

"Then fucking come for me, Alfie." you growl, biting down onto his thick bottom lip. You know the strangled sound that squeaks out of his throat, how his fingers press into you, nails breaking the skin that he's giving you what you want in that moment. Holding himself inside you, before finishing off with a final few hard thrusts to finish the job.

As his soul falls back into his body, his eyes focus, hand moving to the back of your head, pushing you against his mouth, a deep and passionate kiss builds, despite your hips powering down. As you move to a slow and wet pace, lips smacking together, broken with smiles and happy hums between the two of you, you lean to kiss the tip of his nose.

"That's a good boy now, hmm?" your smile isn't condescending like the words would suggest. Your fingers wipe the sweat from his forehead gently, smoothing his hair back and gazing down at him.

The look in your eyes doesn't go missed by him, in combination with the warm smile and the soft tone you praised him with, he basks in the heavenly sight of you looking down on him adoringly. That's what it was, wasn't it? A sparkle that hadn't been there the last time he looked. What had he done to deserve a woman like you looking at him like tha