Chapter One ~ 1919

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Chapter One

"Lottie, you're a great many things, but I could never describe you as a fool

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"Lottie, you're a great many things, but I could never describe you as a fool."

          The morning sun woke Lottie, the light streaming through the window. She cursed to herself, wishing she had curtains to block out the light so that she could continue her dream. Groaning, she rolled over, facing her pillow. She had almost fallen back asleep when Freddie opened the door. "I'll be late home today," he said, tucking in his shirt.

          Lottie didn't look up but made a brief nod of her head to show that she understood.

          "Lottie," he sighed.

          She didn't respond.

          "Oi!" He commanded, chucking a piece of clothing at her head.

          "What!" Lottie snapped, throwing back what he had chucked at her, her bright blue eyes glaring.

          He laughed to himself. "Get up." He then left the room, shutting the door behind him.

          She didn't know how long she stared at the ceiling, but it however long it was, it wasn't long enough. Begrudgingly, Lottie pulled herself out of bed and changed from her slip into her soft blue dress. She tidied her auburn, softly curled hair and applied some make up, adding her signature red lipstick. She almost never went out without it. People would know something was instantly wrong if her lips weren't stained red.

           After the war, Freddie spent less time with the Shelby's, whereas she still enjoyed their company. Freddie had turned to communism becoming one of the local leaders. It was dangerous, Freddie knew this, but he made sure she was never seen with anyone else part of the group so that she wouldn't be targeted. Lottie didn't mind his beliefs, she loved her brother completely, but recently he had been getting more and more conspicuous and bold. Something that worried her. Of course, he waved off the concern, but she couldn't help from fretting.

          None of the Shelby's talked to Freddie anymore, not wanting to be associated with a communist. At first she thought they'd turn their back on her, too, but they never did. She was so thankful for it - they were family even if they weren't blood, they raised her. Despite Maxim not agreeing with Freddie's views and not getting on at a personal level, they remained very civil. Only Ada 'spoke' to Freddie out of the Shelby's. Lottie knew about their relationship, Ada couldn't wait to tell her. She approved as she knew they made each other happy.

          After the war, there were also some tragic changes since the men left to fight. John's wife, Martha, died in childbirth with the twins, a death that hurt them all. She was so kind to Lottie - to everyone. She felt sorry for John as she knew he loved her and he was now left with four children, needing a nanny to help look after them. Lottie often volunteered to help and she was now seen as Aunt to them - a title which she was very happy with. John himself hadn't changed that much since the war, except that he had become a lot stronger individual, he had grown into himself.

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