My mouth is stained red from the wine glass Polly has refused to let yo go empty. My hair has absorbed the smell of cigars that somehow stay lit despite the constant flow of conversation. And I can't stop smiling at how friendly these people are being towards me. I remember the first time I met anyone in Alfies circle. The whispered and cussed at me. Gypsy scum was used more than once. Spit not only from jealous women but from men who had at first spent the night complimenting Alfie on how much of a catch I was. By the end of the night I was at my wits end ready to walk away from the chaos that surrounded my future husband. Clearly they didn't think I was enough. I remember Alfie saying that what they thought didn't matter. That to him I would always be enough. Somehow that feels like a lifetime ago. Now I was just a pawn in his game of chess.
"I don't think I've seen him smile like this since Grace," Ada commented when she found me outside smoking and enjoying the stars. "I think he might even smile more with you."
"He's nothing like his reputation," I sigh. "That complicates things."
"Complicated isn't always a bad thing. Wouldn't you rather be happy I'm something slightly complicated then miserable in something easy?" The answer was yes. Of course the answer was yes, but we were a ticking time bomb. "Besides I think you've gotten Polly's approval. That's a rare thing to have."
"I thought she was just trying to get me drunk to learn all my secrets," I joke.
"Oh no. If she wanted those she would have had you tied to a chair with a gun to your head. We don't play games Zelda." Ada kissed my cheek. "Maybe I'm just hopeful but welcome to the family Zelda. We are happy to have you."
The minute Ada went back inside I found it impossible to keep down the contents of my stomach. I was doubled over in the bushes when Tommy found me. I had never had this feeling so strongly before. It was clearly guilt. Completely bubbled over and unable to run away from anymore. It was time I told Thomas the truth. Or at least some of it.
"Zelda come on let's get you inside," Tommy cooed squatting down next to me.
"I need to be honest with you about something Thomas and I need you to promise that you'll try and understand." I croaked.
"It wasn't an accident I walked into the betting shop that day. I wasn't just looking for a job...your father killed my father and my two brothers I came there that day looking for revenge." All the light faded from Tommy's eyes and we stared at me his expression growing darker by the minute. "I love you and I understand that changes nothing."
"My father was an awful man." Tommy lifted up my chin so I was looking right at him. "Let's go get you in the bath. Then we can talk."