Saturday came quickly, it was my day off so I didn't have to worry about cleaning or shopping although normally I did the odd thing so I didn't have double to do on Sunday but this time I was planning to go clothes shopping. I wasn't like most girl who loved clothes shopping but today I felt an exciting feeling course through my body, it could have been the party that night or that I was actually having a day off I didn't know. That morning I had woken at an hour after dawn, after having a lovely breakfast I collected my savings and set off towards the shops to buy myself some new clothes but especially something for tonight. The first shop I passed was too expensive for me, all the shops were too expensive so I when to the market and found a second hand stall that had lovely evening dresses which were in fairly good condition. I slowly looked through them, eventually I spotted a dress that looked exactly like one of Nancy's, it was plain red with sleeves down to the elbow, it was just what I needed.

"Sir, how much for the dress?" I asked

"Two dollars." The man grumbled.

"I'll take it please." I handed the money over " phank you." Turning I headed back toward the lodging house with the dress over my arm.

"Amber! Amber! Wait for me!" I turned and saw Jack's girl walking towards me, it took her ages to reach me , she could have ran!

"Sarah! How nice to see you again." I said politely.

"I wanted to talk to you, are you going to Jack's party tonight?"

"Yes, Dutchy is taking me; I've just bought my dress." I indicated the dress that hung over my arm.

"Your not wearing that are you?"

"Why shouldn't I?"

"Its disgusting, it looks like something off a second hand stall." She said disgusted.

"maybe that is because it is, I cant afford things like you Sarah, anyway if I did buy something from a shop what would I do with it after? Being a maid is dirty work."

"I suppose you are right." She sighed. " I would have given you one of my old ones. At least let me do your hair." She said getting excited.

" I can do my own hair phank you Sarah." I continued on my way back to the house. When I got there it was midday so I started on the small kids dinner as they weren't going to the party.

At five I went upstairs to get ready, Dutchy had said he would meet me downstairs at six so it gave me an hour to have a wash and get dressed. Once I was washed I slipped into the dress and admired myself in the mirror on the back of the door. The red of the dress highlighted the red in my hair making it look like it was on fire. Picking up a brush I got rid of the tangles that had appeared that day. By the time I was done it was time to go so I smoothed out the dress and started downstairs. At the top I heard all the voices stop and all faces watched me walk down which made me feel self conscious. Dutchy walked forward to meet me at the bottom.

"you look amazing." I said hoarsely, I bit bad a sarcastic retort.

"Phank you Dutch, you don't look bad yourself." I smiled

"lets go." He said smiling back offering his arm. Taking it we went outside and made our way to the Iving Hall, it was a long walk but I found it nice, the crowds of the day had disappeared and the stars shone above and Dutchy was beside me, for once I didn't care where Dodger was, all I wanted was to have fun and be with Dutchy.

" this is nice." I muttered allowed.

"yes it is, especially cause you're here." He replied smiling down at me

"ha you don't mean that." I laughed giving him a little shove.

"I do, I mean every word." He said seriously. " ah here we are." We walked inside and found seat on Jack's table. Dutchy pulled out a seat for me then sat down next to me. We chatted with the other guys for awhile.

"I'll be right back." I said standing up. "I need to talk to Medda." Walking away from the table I went backstage and knocked on her dressing room door.

"come in." she called. " AH Amber, its nice to see you. Vat can I do for you."

"well I was thinking, Nancy always said I was good at singing, so if its ok for you, I was thinking of doing a song for Jack's birthday."

"of course its ok, I fact you're a life saver, one of my girls has got ill and I vas looking for someone to replace her."

"phank you so much." I smiled

"no problem my dear, it's a pleasure. I'll call you vhen its time for you to come on."

"I'll see you later then, and phank you again." I went back to the table to find Dutchy had brought me a drink.

"wat was that about?" Jack asked.

"your birthday present." I replied.

"oooo intriguing." He laughed. The room went suddenly silent, we all turned and saw Medda walking out onto the stage as the lights went down.

"Hello everyone!" she called. Causing everyone to yell or woop in reply. " now ve all know why we're here!" more wooping and yelling. "its Jack's Birthday! Sooooo I think we should start this party off by singing happy birthday to him." Everyone yelled their agreement while I heard jack muttered that he didn't want people singing at him. The music started and Medda started the singing. " happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday to Jack." Once the song had finished another song started and people started to move around some grabbing their partners and dragging them onto the dance floor but on jacks table no-one moved, we just chatted while listening to Medda's beautiful voice. It was obvious that most of them loved her. Before long one of Medda's girls appeared next to me.

"|Its time." She whispered.

"Ok, be right back." I said standing up and going back stage. Just as I reached the side of the stage Medda finished singing.

"now, I have a special surprise for you all." She announced. " some of you will know her as your maid. Singing for one night only it's Amber!" a cheer went up so I nervously walked onto the stage. What was I doing! I hadn't sang in front of anyone like this! " good luck." Medda said as she walked past me.

"er, hey. This is my present for Jack." I smiled. I looked toward the piano to tell him to start.

"Small pleasures, small pleasures,
Who would deny us these? Gin toddies - large measures -
No skimping if you please! " i started nervously
"I rough it. I love it.
Life is a game of chance.
I'll never tire of it -
Leading this merry dance.
If you don't mind having to go without things,
It's a fine life!"My nervousness disappeared and I began to enjoy it

"It's a Fine life!

And though it ain't all jolly old pleasure outings,

It's a fine life!

It's a Fine life!

When you've got someone to love,
You forget your cares and strife.
Let the prudes look down on us.
Let the wide world frown on us.
It's a fine, fine life!
It's a fine, fine life
Who cares if staight laces
Sneer at us in the street
Fine airs and fine graces,
Don't have to sin to eat
We wonder through London
Who knows what we may find
There's pockets left undone
On many a behind
If you don't mind takin' it like it turns out,
It's a fine life!
It's a fine life!
And keep the candle burn until it's burned out
It's a fine life!
It's a fine life!
Though you sometimes do come by
The occasional black eye
You can always cover one
'Til he blacks the other one
But you don't dare cry!
No flounces, no feathers,
No frills and furbelows.
All winds and all weathers
Ain't good for fancy clothes.
These trappings, These tatters,
These we can just afford.
What future?
What matters:
We've got our bed and board.
If you don't mind having to deal with Fagin,
It's a fine life!
It's a Fine life!
And though diseased rats threaten to bring the plague in,
It's a fine life!
It's fine life!
But the grass is green and dense
On the right side of the fence.
So we take good care of it
That we get our share of it
And we don't mean pence!
If you don't mind having to like or lump it,
It's a fine life!
It's a Fine life!
Though there's no tea-sippin' and eatin' crumpet,
It's a fine life!
It's a Fine life!
Not for me, the happy home:
Happy husband, happy wife.
Though it sometimes touches me,
For the likes of such as me,
Mine's a fine.
Fine life!" The song ended and I took a deep breath. To my surprise everyone was cheering. " er phanks." I muttered.

" didn't she do good!" Medda said from the side of me. "Well done hun." She gently pushed me towards the steps. When I reached the table everyone clapped quietly.

"you were great!" Dutchy said excitedly.

"I wasn't that good."

"Why don't we hear you sing round the house?" Blink asked.

"Cause your out at work, I don't really like having an audience."

"Then I am honoured that you sung for me." Jack called across the table.

"You going to ask her to dance or I'll do it." Spot said.

"You want to dance?" Dutchy asked nervously.

"Sure." I smiled taking his hand that he offered. He led me toward the middle of the dance floor. He was really tense as he wrapped his arms round me.

"Relax, Dutch. Just enjoy it."

"But I can't enjoy it if I know your not."

"How do you know I'm not?" I smiled up at him.

"Why would you enjoy being this close to me?"

"Just because I'm not ready to date again, don't mean I don't feel strongly for you." He looked down at me surprised. Standing on my toes I kissed him on the cheek.

"What was that for?" I shrugged.

"I guess I'm gradually getting over Dodger."

"I'm glad." He smiled back pulling me closer right up close against his body, I laid my head on his shoulder. "I could get used to this." He muttered into my head.

"So could I." I sighed. "it may take a while, but if you could be there with me I would love it."

"Of course I will, I'll stay with you what ever happens."

"Good."

"This mean your er my er ya know, my girl?"

"I would love nothing more, just don't throw my trust away."

"I would do nothing of the sort, I'm not Dodger." He promised kissing me on the forehead. "I love you." I smiled up at him.

"Let's go sit down, I need a rest." I said, he reluctantly let go and we went back to the table. As we sat down Dutchy pulled his chair closer and put his arm round my shoulder.

"Finally!" Blink exclaimed.

"what are you talking about?" I asked smiling

"you finally trust him."

" not quite but she had agreed to let me help her."

"Are you happy with that?" Spot asked

"yes." He said firmly.

"good." We talked for what seemed like hours until I was falling asleep on Dutchy's shoulder.

"I think I better take her back home." Dutchy muttered.

"I'm fine." I muttered.

"your tired, I'm taking you home."

"I'll come too." Blink said.

"same." Specs yawned. I stood up slowly as I followed the others out the hall. The walk didn't take as long as it did on the way, Dutchy supported me all the way as I was too tired to walk, it might have had something to do with the drink too.

"who's that?" Blink asked as we entered the street. I looked up and saw a shadowy figure sat on the doorstep.

"Dodger." I muttered surprised. I suddenly felt wide awake

"What! Specs look after her." Dutchy transferred me to Specs then marched towards Dodger with Blink close behind.

"What do you want?" Dutchy said angrily, I could just hear them.

"I believe my wife is your maid?"

"she's not your wife." Blink growled.

"really? She tell you that? Who are you anyway?"
"her best friend."

"and you?"

"her boyfriend."

"really, well she's lied to you."

"why should we believe you?" Blink asked

"I just want to take her back, save you from broken hearts."

"come back tomorrow." Blink told him. "let us talk to her."

"No, go back to London, we don't want you here." Dutchy growled.

"what is the truth?" Specs asked next to me.

"what I have told you. He has no right to me."

"he's going now, your going to tell us what is going on." Specs marched me into the house and I sat on the sofa.

"So?"

"It all started when he was drunk one night, he was being really horrible to me, so the next morning when he was saying that he didn't need me and if I talked back to him he would throw me out I told him he couldn't as we had got married the night before. We hadn't but I told him we had." I explained as they looked down at me angrily.

"Sooo you both are telling the truth, sort of."

"Yes he thinks he is telling the truth."

"So what do you want us to do about him?"

"I'll talk to him tomorrow; I don't want to put you guys in danger."

"That's too late now." Specs muttered. I stood up.

"Look I am sorry he came here, I truly think he loves me but he doesn't know how to treat a girl properly." I ran upstairs and lay on my bed. I felt tears soaking the pillow beneath me. Why did he have to come find me? How did he afford the passage?

"Amber?" I looked up and saw Dutchy standing in the doorway, he walked over and sat next to me on the bed.

"I'm sorry." I sniffed

"Come here." Sitting up he enveloped me in his arms. "don't worry, I'll protect you." I cried into his shoulder for what seemed like ages. Once I had stopped crying I leant against him just enjoying his company, soon I fell asleep.

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