Chapter Eighteen ~ London

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Chapter Eighteen

"you need to watch yourself"

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"you need to watch yourself"

          The youngest Shelby paced back and forth across the room, causing Lottie to clench her jaw in agitation. She had been increasingly irritable since Freddie's death and this was putting her on edge. Thankfully, Arthur spoke up. "Sit down, Finn," he ordered.

          Finn did as he was told.

          The room became silent as they all waited for Tommy. Lottie leant against the stairs, her fingers twisting nervously. Polly and John stood by the window, Finn now at the table opposite Arthur, and Maxim in the corner, silently smoking his cigarette.

          "Where the bloody hell is Tommy?" John murmured to Polly.

          "He's on his way," she replied coldly, not looking at her nephew.

          Arthur cleared his throat. "While we're waiting patiently," he began, standing up. He grabbed a crate which rattled. "Whiskey."

          At the sound of alcohol, Lottie stood and joined him at the table.

          "Left over from the explosion," he explained. "It's good stuff as well."

          John also walked over to grab some, pouring out the drinks. He passed a glass to Lottie who took it, quickly downing it all in one. Her insides were a mess, she had constantly butterflies in her stomach - only they weren't flying, but perhaps being shot down. It was a sickening feeling and she wanted to numb it. Only Polly and Esme didn't have some; Polly still staring out the window and Esme staring at the whiskey disapprovingly. John finished his glass and stood at the head of the table. "Right," he said. "Before Tommy gets here, I think there's a few things we need to get straight between the rest of us."

          Polly finally turned. "You think?" She questioned.

          "Yeah," he replied. "Yeah, I do. I want to know when did we all take a vote on this expansion south?"

          She walked towards him and with an unwavering stare she said, "You have anything to say, you wait for Thomas."

          "Polly's fucking right," agreed Arthur.

          Lottie raised her eyebrows and sat down next to him, reaching for the whiskey and refilling her glass.

          "I see all the books," continued John. "Legal and off-track. Saw stuff you don't see. And in the past year, the Shelby Company Limited has been making 150 pounds a day. Right? A fucking day. Sometimes more. So, what I want to know is why are we changing things? Polly, look what's happened already? We haven't even set foot in London yet."

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