You looked up from the floury dough you were kneading. It was as though your body just knew when he was here. The Peaky Blinder. He came to visit Mr Solomons every week or so and every time he was here, you couldn’t explain the way your body tingled with knowing.
You had worked for Mr Solomons at his bakery for a few years. What started out as weekend job had turned into something full time and permanent once you left school. This bakery was of course a front for Mr Solomons other bakery. The bakery where he really distilled and exported rum, and carved out all sorts of other unsavoury lucrative deals with an array of unsavoury characters.
You could clearly remember the first time you saw him. Thomas Shelby. It had been a cloudy day with a slight chill. Not that you really felt it inside the bakery where the ovens kept the small shop warm and its employees even warmer. You had just finished serving Mrs Abelson with the fruit pie she bought every week for when her daughter visited. And just like every week it had been a mind numbingly tedious affair as she painstakingly insisted on inspecting every single pie closely, convinced that some pies didn’t hold as much fruit as others or that the pastry on some was too thick. Your mind had switched off after you had watched her pull out a tape measure because last week she had paid for a nine inch pie, but she had most certainly only gotten an eight inch one.
The little bell above the door had tinkled and you had looked up only to find the breath knocked from your body. You were alone and with a courteous nod to Mrs Abelson you hurried over to the other end of the counter to attend the mysteriously handsome gentlemen whose ice blue eyes were visible even beneath the peak of his grey cap. He wasn’t from around Camden, you had been able to tell immediately. There was just some different about him.
“I’m here to see Mr Solomons,” he had spoken in a gruff brum, and up close you noticed that those gloriously sharp cheekbones were cut and he had yellowing bruises on his face.
“Is expecting you, Sir?” you had asked.
“Yes,” the man had nodded, taking a drag on his cigarette as his eyes studied you curiously.
“Well if you’ll just excuse for one moment, Mr uh…”
“I’ll be back in a moment, Mr Shelby.”
You had disappeared out through the back of the bakery to the door that led to the factory floor. Ollie had been easy to spot and had confirmed that the visitor was indeed expected.
As you had ushered the man with the battered face and the strange accent around the counter and through the kitchen, you had been assaulted by the smell of musk and something that you couldn’t place. All you knew was that it was nice and it was masculine. It was a smell that you would forever acquaint with the man.
Four months later and you still thought of him whenever you smelt whatever that was. One of the other girls in the bakery who worked less frequently had commented that it was the same smell her boyfriend had when he was ready for a fuck. You had frowned at her crudeness but she had giggled at your naivety.
“Morning Y/N,” Mr Shelby called out as he pushed open the door, yanking off his cap and shaking the rain off of it.
“Morning, Mr Shelby,” you smiled, wiping your floury hands on your stained apron. “Want me to take your coat and dry it out beside one of the ovens? It’ll be nice and warm when you come back.”
“Only if you stop calling me Mr Shelby,” he smirked and your stomach flip flopped.
“Sorry,” you grinned, taking the coat from his hands, blushing when he accidentally brushed against your own hands. “Mr Solomons is waiting for you in his office. Ollie’s had to nip out but he said to tell you to go straight through. I’m presuming you know the way by now?”
“Hmm I might need you to take me,” he winked. “I’m joking of course.”
You smiled at his teasing. Somehow over the past few months, a sort of friendship had formed between you both. He asked about your family and you asked about his. When your sister had given birth to a little girl the month before, he had sent flowers and a very generously stuffed envelope full of money. When he had mentioned that it was his nephew’s birthday the month before that, you had made the little boy a cake that looked like a train and wrapped it up in a box with blue ribbon.
“Well if you get lost, hopefully you know how to find your way back here,” you joked.
“I should think so. And if I fail, I’ll just follow the scent of baking over that of rum.”
“You ought not to say that out loud in case Mr Solomons hears,” you feigned mock fear. “He’s very particular about keeping his produce a secret.”
“I’m not scared of Alfie, Y/N,” Tommy chuckled, stepping through the door and onto the factory floor.
I bet you’re not, you thought to yourself. You’d heard many things about the Peaky Blinders from Birmingham and if you were being honest, you thought that Alfie should probably be more fearful of them and the havoc they could wreak.
“Thank you,” he smiled shrugging his coat back on. His meeting with Mr Solomons had been relatively short compared to other times, but luckily his coat was dry and toasty for him. “Now before I go, Y/N, I was wondering if you could perhaps help me with something. I’m looking for a cake. But not just any cake. It’s for someone special.”
“Of course,” you smiled back, feeling a pang in your chest at his words. Not that you had thought a man like him would be without a special someone in his life. But he’d never mentioned anyone before so you have been happily ignorant of them. “Is there a special occasion?”
“Sort of,” he nodded, following you to the end of counter where the cakes were placed delicately in a rotating glass case. “She doesn’t know she’s special to me yet, but I’m hoping she will once she sees this.”
“I see,” you nodded. “Well what sort of flavour does she like best?”
“Hmm,” Tommy pondered on that for a moment. “I can’t say I actually know. I would say something sweet but also something decadent. She doesn’t have much and deserves a luxury I think.”
“Alright, well I don’t think you can go wrong with this,” you pointed to a chocolate cake; two tiers coated in a thick chocolate frosting and white marbling. It was a work of art, even if you did say so yourself.
“I shall trust your judgment then,” Tommy agreed, his eyes raking over the cake appreciatively as you took it out off of its stand and began to box it up. “How much do I owe you?”
Tommy didn’t even bat an eyelid at the cost of the cake, which was almost as much as your wage for the entire day. You hoped the mystery woman appreciated just how lucky she was.
As Tommy left with a smile and a tip of his hat, you smiled back but inside you wanted to cry.
The rest of the day had passed by in a flurry, and and two hours before closing, Ollie had come into the shop to tell you that Mr Solomons had requested that you finish early. Apparently all those evenings you left late and didn’t ask for payment hadn’t gone unnoticed. You frowned but Ollie told it was best not to argue and to just accept Alfie’s good mood for what it was.
It was nearing winter and it was dark even in the late afternoon. The ground was dotted with puddles from earlier rain and you side stepped them as you trudged home through the dreary streets of Camden. Perhaps it was unfair of you to call Camden dreary. You supposed there were worse places to live, but having never left London you couldn’t say you knew for certain. You had lived in the same bedroom in the same house on the same street since you were born. The only difference was that out of the three sisters you shared a room with growing up, they had all left home and started families of their own, leaving you to spend your nights staring at the faded wallpaper of your childhood. Occasionally when you couldn’t sleep you would look under the bed at the initials etched into the skirting board. You and your sisters had scratched them there with a knife from the kitchen, promising to always stay together. Of course, you had all been young at the time with a total disgust for the opposite sex and their filthy habits, but sometimes you wished that promise had been kept. If only for the fact that you wouldn’t feel quite so lonely.
You were so lost in your own thoughts that you completely managed to walk past your own house, and it wasn’t until your head met with the cold metal of the lamppost at the end of your road and you fell rather ungracefully to the floor that you even realised. Thankfully nobody had seen so you hurried back towards your house, rubbing the lump on your head and lamenting your own stupidity. The truth was that you had always been ridiculously clumsy.
The front gate squeaked as you pushed it open. Your Dad promised to oil the hinges most weeks and you wondered how long it would take for your Mum to just give up waiting and do it herself. So far it had been two years and she was still living in hope.
Walking up the path, you frowned when you saw a box resting on the door step. It was the same sort of the box you used for wrapping up cakes at the bakery. There was an envelope on top of it with your name in small, handwritten letters and you glanced around before pushing open the front door and bringing the package with you. Dropping it onto the dining table along with your keys, you didn’t even remove your coat before tearing open the cream envelope.
I told you this was for someone special. Hopefully you like it. I’ll pick you up at 7 tonight.
You opened the box and your jaw dropped when you saw the chocolate cake sat there. You squealed with excitement and surprise. Surely this must be an error. A joke, perhaps? Thomas bloody Shelby was picking you up at seven. To go where and do what, you didn’t know. But one thing you did know was that you were his someone special.
Hurrying up the stairs, clutching the letter to your chest, you tripped and banged your knee but even that couldn’t wipe the smile off of your face. You didn’t think anything could.
“So are you in a rush to get back or do you perhaps want a drive?”
You looked at Tommy and the cheeky glint in his eye and grinned. When he had picked you up earlier in the evening, you had been petrified that this was all either some sort of joke or that he was going to take one look at you and realise he had made a mistake.
He had done none of those things. Instead, he had politely held upon the passenger door while you climbed into his car and then he had taken you to poshest restaurant you had ever seen, all the way in the west end of the city. He had wined and dined you like a gentleman, his eyes never leaving yours and when he had lead you onto the dancefloor, he had held you closer than he really needed to.
Once the car came to a stop outside a quiet side street on a rather well to do part of the city, nestled in between the semi- privacy of a row of trees and well-trimmed hedges, Tommy looked at you.
You looked back at him and smiled, still unable to believe that this wasn’t all a vivid day dream. But there was no imagining the way his eyes flittered over your face or the way his fingers brushed your hair back behind your ear.
There was an atmosphere in the car that had your stomach churning in a way you had only heard about from other girls. The desire and want between you both felt so tangible that you almost wanted to reach out and grab. You knew that Tommy felt it too. You could see it in his eyes; the way they smouldered and devoured you.
But there was only one thing that filled you with dread about the whole scenario. How to tell him that you had never even kissed a man before let alone anything else?
But you didn’t have to say a word because it was as though Tommy could read you like a book. He cupped your cheek and smirked; but it wasn’t mocking. It was sweet. You wouldn’t know this until years later, when you were happily married with children, but knowing that no other had man had ever laid a finger on you did things to Tommy that he hadn’t expected.
He pressed his lips against yours in a butterfly of a kiss you and smiled against your lips when he felt you lean forward and clutch at his jacket. He pulled back to peer at your face and you were overwhelmed by the feeling for you in those azure eyes.
“You’re beautiful, Y/N,” he murmured softly, stroking your face tenderly. “All those times watching you in that bakery and the only thing I wanted to eat was you.”
You blushed which made him chuckle at how endearingly innocent you were and he pulled you in for another kiss.
His lips were soft and full against your own and his tongue traced your mouth, seeking entry which you gave willingly. You could think of nothing but the roar of blood in your ears and the adrenaline pumping through your body. This was nothing like anything your pathetic imagination had been able to conjure up.
When Tommy moved to kiss and nibble at your neck, you moaned at the delicious sensation something so simple could bring. His hands cupped your breasts, his thumbs brushing across the hardened and achingly sensitive nipples. You gasped at the unexpected jolt that shot through your core at his ministrations.
One firm hand slid up your thigh, grazing your skin until he reached your knickers which were already soaking wet. When his finger brushed against the material covering your core, you bucked slightly before relaxing into the lips that were once again on your own.
There was something about sitting in a car in a semi-secluded area, where anyone could walk past and see Tommy’s hand up your dress, but you didn’t have the energy to care. The agonising pleasure that came from the feel of his thumb pressing your clit through the thin material of your underwear was all consuming at that very moment.
“Tommy,” you moaned, as he pulled your knickers aside so his fingers could brush against your flesh.
“Ssh,” he murmured, sucking at your neck before placing his mouth over one of your nipples. Even through the material, his warm, wet breath was exquisite as he suckled.
When he slipped a finger inside you and groaned approvingly at the slippery feel of you, you bit your lip and threw back your head against the seat. He added another finger, stretching you slightly before his thumb began to trace small circles around your clit.
It didn’t take long for you to reach your climax, and Tommy held you gently as you came apart into a thousand pieces in his arms.
“You alright?” he kissed your forehead, smoothing back your hair from your face.
You nodded, unable to speak; completely amazed by what had just happened. You should have perhaps felt shame that you had let him do something so intimate after only one date and in a car no less, but you only felt satisfied and cared for. This hadn’t been about Tommy getting something from you; instead he had been giving.
“Is it always like that?” you asked him? “Will it be like that when we…er if we…?”
Tommy silenced you with another kiss.
“That’s for another night, love, eh?”