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Jack straightened his tie in the reflective glass of his office door feeling an overwhelming sense of déjà vu. They had been here before. It was even the same tie. Her tie. He smirked involuntarily at his own sentimentality, wondering what combination of gruesome murder and spontaneous relatives would serve to interrupt them tonight. It seemed nigh on impossible that they could make it through an entire meal without being derailed by something.

Then again, there was always the possibility that tonight might be different. He shivered slightly at the prospect of dessert.

***

Phryne had been home for two whole days. The first had been a vague haze of sleep; she had traversed the globe in a tiny plane, getting from Melbourne to London and back in a little under two months. She had broken aviation records, fixed her parent’s marriage – well, her father’s genuine contrition and her mother’s apparently endless patience helped, but she didn’t see why they should get the credit – and returned home in triumph. Then she had fallen into her wonderful, soft bed and given her staff instructions that she was not to be disturbed unless the house was on fire.

The second day had been primarily spent at the Melba Cruise Salon of Beauty, where she had wrung the last aches of travel from her limbs and contemplated the delightful prospect of an evening alone with Jack Robinson. She had swung past the station on her way to the salon, bringing a basket of Mr Butler’s finest treats and an invitation to supper.

He had that lean, hungry look again. She would have to do something about that.

***

Phryne knew it was him this time, not from the knock – although really it should have been a dead give-away – she had been watching from the window. The familiar long, sure stride and billow of a trench coat was instantly recognisable and she slid off the window seat and onto her feet, smoothing the lines of her acceptably lethal gown and moving to pour the whisky.

“The Inspector, Miss.”

Was there a little twinkle in the old man’s eye as Mr Butler ushered Jack through the parlour doors? Neither detective was in a position to notice if there was, although Phryne spotted ‘her’ tie around Jack’s neck, and Jack could hardly miss the glint of a silver swallow against the sky blue silk of Phryne’s dress.

“Jack, right on time.” She grinned, sashaying over to him with his glass and accepting a soft, chaste kiss on the cheek.

Perhaps if he had followed her, half a world’s worth of grand romantic ovature would have been enough to have him sweep her into his arms at the dock and kiss her senseless. Perhaps.

As it was, their waltz continued in slow, deliberate steps, closer and closer. In the quiet, intimate space of her parlour it felt right; letting the anticipation build, savouring every moment of this night after an eternity of waiting.

“It appears congratulations are in order.” Jack toasted her, taking up his accustomed place at the mantel as if no time had passed at all. “First person to fly from Melbourne to London, that’s quite an achievement.”

“Well technically it was nearer Colchester than London, but I did break my own speed record on the flight home.”

“I noticed, I barely had a chance to miss you.” He teased, fooling no one.

“Well we can’t have that. Next time I’ll just have to take you with me.” A dare, another step closer, another line crossed, she smoothed her hands down the lapels of his jacket, the gentle pressure pulling him towards her.

He stood firm, enjoying her attentions and allowed his free hand to settle at her waist. “Sounds dangerous.”

That beautiful voice, rough as whisky, honey sweet and dark as sin. It had haunted her dreams throughout her journey, tempting her into an adventure of a different sort, one likely to be just as thrilling as flying her plane over the open ocean, and possibly much more dangerous. Well, she did like to live dangerously.     

“Exceedingly dangerous. Are you scared?” Her eyes lifted from a deliberate contemplation of his lips, there was an honest question beneath the teasing, and an honest confession of her own fears.

“Terrified.” he whispered, the soft click of his glass on the mantel was louder than it had any right to be, and then his hand was in her hair and their lips met and everything was wonderfully, perfectly simple.

It was passion without haste, a thorough exploration of barely charted territory with nothing to hold them back or rush them forward. Jack had spent far more time imagining what it would be like to hold her like this than was proper or rational; kisses of victory and surrender holding equal place in his fantasies. This was neither, or it was both, a mutual laying down of arms and baring of souls, as perfectly manicured fingers and close bitten nails, found new homes amidst pomaded curls and the taunting, tempting ridges of vertebrae beneath silk.

They were interrupted – as was apparently mandatory – by the ringing of the telephone. Phryne’s utter exasperation at the intrusion was so endearing, that Jack couldn’t help but smile, a smile that turned into a choked laugh when an apologetic Mr Butler tapped on the parlour door to announce “Mrs Stanley on the telephone for you Miss.”

“I swear that woman has a most inconvenient sixth sense.” Phryne grumbled, making her reluctant way into the hall as Mr Butler furnished Jack with a pre-dinner cocktail.

It was delicious, despite the presence of a cocktail onion which Jack regarded suspiciously for a moment before eating it. He had never really understood the need to add arbitrary vegetables to drinks.

Through the now open parlour doors, he could hear Phryne extricating herself from a conversation with her Aunt as deftly as she could and in less than five minutes she was back with him.

“Sorry to keep you, Jack. For what it’s worth, it cost me dearly. I am now attending what will doubtless be an excruciatingly dull luncheon with the Women’s Auxiliary Committee on Saturday.”

“Could be worse – at least it wasn’t a murder.”

“Well, not until Saturday. Although a murder would save me from suffering the tedium alone.”

“Would it make any difference if I told you that was my day off?”

“You’re never off duty when it comes to Aunt Prudence, Jack. It comes with being part of the family I’m afraid.”

She had said it without thinking, her mind still partially running through plausible schemes outside the realm of murder for avoiding or improving the blasted luncheon, and only caught up with herself at the look on Jack’s face. As if she had given him something precious and he could scarcely believe his luck.

Part of the family.

It was the truth, and whilst the majority of those she considered family were connected to her by friendship rather than blood, she could honestly say it was the first time she had felt that connection with a potential lover. It was a frightening thought, underlining the risk they were both taking in crossing over this line; not that she had ever been a woman to shy away from risk.

Jack had crossed the space between them in two strides and taken her in his arms again before she could begin to second guess the statement. He wasn’t sure he trusted his voice to respond, but his kiss held all the words he couldn’t say, and proved a more than adequate substitute.  

Mr Butler, the soul of discretion, called from the dining room when supper was ready, not wishing to intrude. They lingered over their meal, Phryne sharing tales of her travels, Jack of the cases she had missed in her absence. Their easy flow of flirtatious conversation continued without effort as if they had never been apart.

Phryne found a wonderful contentment in Jack’s company, not unlike the feeling of sinking into her own bed after so long away. The love between them and the partnership they had built felt like a home she might never grow tired of returning to. That should have been a frightening thought as well; letting one person, especially one man, have such sway over her happiness, and yet somewhere amidst the teasing and the tempting and the steady meeting of minds, she realised she was not afraid, not anymore.

Jack could not keep the slow, adoring smile from crinkling the corners of his eyes and toying with the edges of his lips. He had missed this, the joyous energy that suffused her every graceful movement and the delight she took in little mysteries and the discovery of new things. He thought he might happily spend the rest of his life in evenings like this. It was a realisation that had frightened him since he first came to it, such happiness had in his experience, been nothing but a prelude to pain and loss. He pushed that thought away, those worries would keep until tomorrow, tonight he felt only the strange freedom of the now. He allowed himself to drown in her eyes, and let his gaze linger on her lips as she regaled him with dramatic tales of derring-do. To hell with the consequences, he would take this moment for everything it was, however brief it turned out to be.   

As they polished off the last of the exquisite strawberry ice cream Mr Butler had made in deference to the hot weather, silence descended. They both knew what came next; there was a hum of excited tension that reverberated through the room, thick with desire and with things still left unsaid. Phryne scooped up the last remaining berry, her unwavering gaze on Jack as she slipped the spoon slowly between her lips, her tongue flicking out deliberately to catch a trace of cream, pale pink against the crimson of her lipstick.

Jack swallowed, his eyes dark in the candlelight, he managed to tear them away from Phryne’s mouth and when he met her eyes they were deep and hungry, heavy with the weight of shared history and promises as yet unfulfilled.

She saw it the moment he made his decision, the certainty, the letting go of should and ought, the ready acceptance of will and want. “Nightcap?” her voice was a whisper, feather light despite the weight behind the word.

His jaw clenched, he nodded, and abandoning the pretence that it was merely whisky she was offering he answered plainly, “I would like that, very much.”

“Then lead the way, Inspector.”

There was gratitude in his all but invisible smile as he rose from the table and took her hand, his warm palm wrapping around hers, calloused fingers caressing the soft skin of her wrist. She could have had him the moment he walked in the door if she wanted, pushed him down on to the chaise in the parlour and torn his armour from him piece by piece till he was shaking and helpless in his need for her. He would hardly have objected, but her decision to let him set the pace this first time spoke of a generosity and an understanding. He wanted to take his time, to give her every part of himself freely as he finally allowed himself to cross this last, final threshold separating them.

They reached the hallway still holding hands, Phryne glanced up towards her bedroom as if it held new and untold adventures, but managed to resist the urge to drag Jack up the stairs. She had told him he could lead the way and she meant it. The look on her face was one that thrilled and terrified him in equal measure, he returned it with a kiss, a light, soft press of his lips to hers, before turning to climb the staircase, still holding her hand.

Phryne could feel her heart racing, excitement and anticipation heightening her senses until every tiny movement of Jack’s fingers against her knuckles felt like an intimate caress. The soft spring of the carpet beneath her shoes, the very air against her skin seemed amplified, sensual. The decisive click of the door swinging shut behind them echoed in the still space, demanding an answer.

She breathed slowly, eyes shut. The familiar scent of her perfume and the summer breeze through the open window was mingled with the light, waxy fragrance of Jack’s pomade and the deep masculine scent of his skin; an olfactory assault on her senses that left her breathless, but also serene, content to bask in every perfect moment of this night.   

Phryne opened her eyes to find Jack in front of her, drinking her in, the hand not still holding hers moved to brush her hair behind her ear, trailing his fingers slowly down the line of her neck, dipping ever so slightly beneath the silk of her neckline. She felt goosebumps erupt across her skin, the slight contact sending a delightful shiver down her spine. Jack saw it and felt his confidence increase, tilting his lips up just a fraction in a manner designed to drive her mad. It was working. Phryne wanted him, badly, she also wanted to wipe that smug and all too delicious smirk off of his face. Her own hand slipped beneath his jacket, pulling him closer as she offered up her neck to his lips, she could feel that damned smile against her skin as she squeezed the solid muscles of his arse.

They really needed to be wearing fewer clothes.

Jack was coming to the same conclusion, the sound Phryne made when he ran his tongue along the tendon in her neck was utterly obscene. He felt himself harden as she pressed closer; she tasted like champagne and strawberries and a rare and exquisite something that ignited a hungry flame inside him and drove him onwards, all caution forgotten. He had been nervous when she offered her nightcap and as they climbed the stairs – the long anticipation of this night meant there was a lot to live up to – he was not nervous now. The impatient grasp of her fingers, the little sighs, the involuntary pebbling of her skin at his slightest touch; it was intoxicating and left him in no doubt of her desire. It was what he wanted, more than anything, her pleasure, for her to find that visceral joy she seemed to take in every part of life, but in his arms, at his touch. His own desire was if anything a background consideration, until Phryne’s wandering hands found the growing length of his erection and squeezed him through the fabric of his trousers. The sound he made as she touched him was the sound of a man finally letting go of reason. He had no regrets.

Having decided to let him lead was one thing, but Phryne was not a woman to deny herself pleasure and she finally, finally had Jack Robinson, hard and needy, pressed against her. The temptation to run her hands all over his beautiful body, to devour him, to explore all the parts of him that had thus far been denied her – it was almost overwhelming. She wanted all of him, now, wanted to sink to her knees and take him in her mouth until he tore the sky with curses. Just the feel of him beneath her hands was enough to make her legs tremble.

A firm but gentle hand raised her head from where she had been doing something spectacular to his ear with her teeth. His eyes were shy, almost apologetic and the vulnerability in his face went right to her heart.

“Slowly, please?”            

She nodded, understanding, stepping back a little and moving her hand up to his tie, he did not shy away but let her slide the silk out and toss it aside. Her nimble fingers loosened the top button of his shirt and set to work on his waistcoat, peeling back his layers, gently, tenderly, without touching his skin. She was not alone in her desire to simply let go and give in to the carnal need that simmered hot between them, heating up the air in the summer twilight like the still heat before a storm. He wanted her, so much that it came close to driving all rational thought from his mind, wanted to strip her naked and bury himself so deep inside her that part of him would remain there always. But there would be time for that; he needed to stay in control, just a little longer, he wanted this to last.  

The pause had been enough to let him catch his breath and Jack renewed his attentions to Phryne’s neck, letting his hand slip up over the silk of her dress to cup her breast. Phryne purred her approval, her hands now tracing the lines of his chest through his singlet, letting herself adjust to the slower pace, luxuriating in every inch of skin as his armour was peeled away piece by piece. His fingers found the line of buttons running down her spine, flicking them open one by one, every little pearl a slow step closer, another line crossed, each one savoured and delighted in.

Phryne’s dress hit the floor alongside the tangle of his tie, leaving her in nothing but her satin slip and stockings, the midnight blue against her pale skin made her glow and shimmer in the darkling light, like some other worldly siren calling him to drown. There were worse fates. Jack backed her slowly towards the bed, his lips hot on her skin, leaving a trail of discarded clothing; jacket, waistcoat, shirt, a final tangle of shoes, socks and braces, until he was lying beside her on the bed in his singlet and trousers exploring the exotic texture of satin over skin.

“Jaaa-ck.” Phryne gasped as his hand found its way under the edge of her slip and along her leg, pausing as silk stocking became silky skin.

He was watching her, mesmerised by her pleasure, the flush across her chest and cheeks; his eyes widened as he felt the wetness on her thighs. He had intended to run his hands up her sides, pulling the slip over her head so he could worship every inch of her bare skin, but there was a mischievous glint in her eyes that prompted him to test a theory. His fingers found nothing between her thighs but bare dripping curls and hot wet flesh.

“Miss Fisher, you appear to have forgotten something.” He managed to keep the amusement out of his voice but not his eyes.

She smirked back at him, unphased. “Nothing of importance I’m sure.” She pouted as if in contemplation, but when she spoke her voice was a gentle confession, revealing more than she had intended, less than she felt. “No, I believe I have everything I need, Inspector.”

His smile at that was a beautiful unaffected thing, like watching the sun emerge from parting clouds; he dipped his head to kiss her, deep and slow. He was determined to live up to that compliment, and whilst he might have been off the floor for a while, he still remembered the steps to this dance.

Jack Robinson’s kisses had always been a revelation, from the stolen one he’d never owned in Café Réplique, to this thorough exploration in the privacy of her boudoir. She could feel the electric crackle of the current that ran between them, it tingled along every nerve, sparked along the nape of her neck where his hand was in her hair and in wild sparks between her legs where his fingers were still stroking gently against her mons.

He pulled back, breathing heavily, but only because Phryne was tugging impatiently at his singlet and he could not bring himself to deny her. He dragged it up over his head and Phryne whipped off her slip with a flourish, leaving her in nothing but her stockings and the creamy lace of her garter belt, framing her perfect cunt. Jack moaned, breathing in the heady, decadent scent of her, but still he did not rush. His hands carefully catalogued her ribs, her belly, the texture of her flawless skin, his lips following his hands, teeth grazing in a deliberate pressure against a pointed nipple, fingers trailing lower, closer to where she wanted them.

Phryne was arching her back and moaning, Jack’s careful, methodical ministrations were filling her with a steady, golden fire, growing hotter and more exquisite with each tender press of his lips. When his fingers finally, finally, slipped between the soaking folds of her sex she shouted out a stream of curses that came directly from the streets of Collingwood, all refinement abandoned in the throes of passion. She was dimly aware of the satisfied little smile on Jack’s face as he toyed with her swollen flesh, but she didn’t care, nothing mattered but the rushing, burning flames, sweeping up to engulf her every nerve. She pulled Jack’s lips to hers, thrusting her tongue into his mouth and he matched her rhythm with his fingers, sliding deep inside her over and over until she froze against him, muscles locked and eyes shut tight as her climax overwhelmed her.

The sound of Phryne’s satisfied humming giggle as she relaxed back into the pillows was full of an artless glee that filled Jack’s heart with a happiness he had almost forgotten how to feel – not to mention a certain amount of satisfaction at having brought it about. He was hard and straining against his trousers, but despite the pitch of his arousal he found himself captivated by the sight before him. Phryne, her head lolling back against the pillows, luxuriating in the glow of her release. He felt once again the same sense of déjà vu he had felt adjusting his tie back in his office, although this time he was certain he had not experienced this moment before, at least outside of dreams.

Phryne’s eyes blinked slowly open and she stretched, lifting her fingers to brush the curl from Jack’s forehead, mostly for the pleasure of watching it flop back into his eyes.

“Mmmm, Jack, that was delightful.” She purred, the dazed look retreating as her body relaxed.

“You did appear to be enjoying yourself,” his voice dropped to a growl as he traced his fingers ever so lightly against the sensitive flesh of her thigh, “would you like me to do it again.”

“Hmm, that’s very gallant of you, darling, but first,” she stroked him once again through the fabric of the trousers he was still wearing, “you have some catching up to do.”

Jack gasped but did not pull away, he didn’t think he could of if he tried. The feel of her hands on him, even through the layers of wool and cotton was an exquisite torment, he wanted more, wanted her hands and her mouth on him, wanted to spend deep inside her and take her with him over the precipice into glorious oblivion. He might have been too much of a gentleman to give voice to the fevered imaginings that were darkening his eyes and making his breath ragged, but Phryne was no novice in the boudoir. His face, usually such a challenge to read was an open book – specifically the kind likely to be prohibited by acts of government.

She rolled him gently to his back and there was a tenderness in her kiss and the undemanding caress of her hand against his bare chest that calmed him. It had been a long time since he had taken a woman to bed, but that was not what was causing the lingering anxiety that even the sight of her shattering under his fingers could not chase away. There was another deeper fear at work; she had reached the last bastion of his defences, any further and he would have nothing left to hide behind, she would know without a doubt how far he had fallen, hopeless and helpless except for his implicit trust that she would catch him.

Phryne understood Jack’s fear, knew it well, although it was one of the many she would not readily admit to. Sex was not ordinarily a place of vulnerability for her – if anything the opposite – but as such she respected it and understood the dangers it could pose for him. For her too, if she was honest, and she tried to be in matters of the flesh. There could be no artifice, no mask of seduction in bedding Jack Robinson, he was already too deep in her heart to hide from.

She moved her hand down to stroke delicately along the front of his trousers. “I think we can dispense with these, they are beginning to look quite uncomfortable.”

He quirked a little smile at her impeccable poker face, nodding and making to remove them but she stayed his hand.

“Please, let me.”

She released him gently, trousers first and then smalls, pulling each down and off then casting them aside to land in a crumpled heap amidst the battlefield of fallen fabric that was her bedroom floor. To his credit he did not look at all abashed by his nakedness, in fact he was once again wearing that self-satisfied smirk as he took in the obvious admiration in her widening eyes and the momentary flash of teeth as she bit her lower lip.

“My goodness, Inspector. You are quite a sight.”

“Come now, Miss Fisher. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before.”

“Only technically. You were out cold last time and I was too busy worrying about your terrible propensity for head injuries to pay proper attention.”

“I somehow find that hard to belie-oh Jesus Christ do that again…”

Phryne had cut him off deftly by taking the head of his cock between her lips and swirling her tongue around it in a slow circle. She shifted, planting herself between his thighs, then took as much of him into her mouth as she could, slowly, savouring the taste of him.

It was an indescribable feeling, something at once debauched and loving that had him floating on a warm sea of ecstasy, one trembling hand in her hair, the other bunching in the sheets as sweat began to bead on his brow. He was shaking, no longer able to articulate more than rough gasps and soft curses as Phryne deftly dismantled the last remnants of his control. His vision was blurring, lights exploding quietly behind his eyes, and he moaned something that could have been, “I can’t…I can’t,” as he reached the point of no return. Phryne sped up, fisting his hard length from below whilst her mouth and tongue enveloped him in a caress that took no prisoners. He came with a wordless cry of release, a gorgeous sound of liberation and joyous abandon that rang like music in Phryne’s ears as she drank him down; it was beautiful.          

Jack was nestled into comfortable pillows, feeling as if he was somehow very far away, tingling all over with a happy, glowing contentment that was blocking out all coherent thought. He felt a weight on his chest and opened his eyes in time to catch the look of utter delight on Phryne’s face before she bent down to kiss him softly, her fingers tracing the line of his jaw. He could taste himself in her kisses, the flavour intimate and indescribably erotic, despite his sated limbs, lax against the silky sheets.

She pulled back to look at him, so full of love she could feel it spilling out of her, sparkling in her blue eyes like the sun on clear water, honest and true as anything she had ever felt. He returned her smile shyly, all pretences dropped, the depths of his feelings writ large across his face, softening his sharp features, it made him look younger, hopeful. A palpable susurrus of unspoken words whispered along the breeze from the open window, but still they did not speak; when had they ever truly needed words after all?

Phryne tucked her head beneath Jack’s chin, sliding to the side and wrapping her limbs tight around him. Together they dozed in a peaceful haze of blue as the last of the daylight faded and the evening stars grew bright against the sky.

***          

Jack woke in the dark to find the bedroom awash in silver moonlight. The night was warm and quiet, the soft sounds of night birds and the scents of honeysuckle and night flowering jasmine floated through the window. They had rolled in their sleep, his front was pressed against Phryne’s back and his face nestled into the curve of her neck. At some point she had apparently roused enough to finally remove her garter belt and stockings and the feel of her body, smooth and warm and so close he could map its every curve was electrifying.

He grew hard against her, his body reviving, the faint, lingering scent of sex and sweat acting on him like a stimulant. He nuzzled into her neck, breathing her in, revelling in her sleepy sigh as she roused at his attentions but did not turn around or open her eyes. Instead she reached for his hand which was resting at her hip and moved it up to cup her bare breast, arching her back to take full advantage of the situation. Jack could see the apples of her cheeks rise as she smiled, the game was on, she was definitely awake.

“Are you always so demanding in your sleep, Miss Fisher?” he asked, lips close to her ear so she could feel the warmth of his breath against her skin.

“Of course, Jack. A lady should know exactly what she wants if she is to stand any chance of getting it.”

The hand which she had strategically positioned gave a gentle squeeze, strong fingers trapping her nipple in a gentle pinch that made her gasp in pleasure. Jack’s voice when he spoke was dark and sinful, rough with wanton promises.

“And what is it you want?”

He was teasing her, his erection hot against her buttocks, his hips making infinitesimal movements in sync with his fingers at her breast. It was more than clear what he was offering and good god she wanted to take him up on it, wanted to feel him so deep inside that she wouldn’t know where she ended and he began. Phryne turned to face him; the moonlight cast Jack’s face in a sharp contrast of light and shadow, picking out the strong line of his jaw and his high cheekbones, it was a delicious sight that she would very much like to get used to seeing in her bed. She cupped his cheek, eyes clear on his, her voice fearless and certain as she let the last of her defences down and set her jaw firmly against any lurking shadows from her past that dared to hold her back.

“I want you, Jack Robinson. Just you.”

The teasing light died from his eyes, replaced by a delighted surprise, then an adoration that melted her down to the marrow. He rolled her beneath him, lips brushing lightly against hers.

“I’m all yours,” he whispered, with an unvarnished honesty that was somehow easier in the dark.

He entered her slowly, the moonlight was bright enough to watch her face as she felt him, inch by inexorable inch, her eyes loosing focus, her legs and hips hitching up to pull him closer, deeper. They gasped together, a swift exhale of sweet breath mingled in the space between their lips, which met again and again, their bodies still, hearts racing, savouring the intensity a moment they had both dreamed of, and more often than either would like to admit.

Phryne considered herself a connoisseur of sensual pleasures, and this, this was something rare and marvellous. She could feel the exquisite stretch of her sensitive tissues around the steely length of Jack’s gorgeous cock. She embraced him, squeezing and relaxing around him in a gentle caress that mirrored the lazy press of her tongue between his lips. He could feel her inner muscles pulsing around him as if welcoming him home, hot and wet and magnificent; the sensation was shooting out from his cock to his every nerve, enveloping him. It was overwhelming, glorious and he never wanted it to end.

They began to move together, a steady undulation, never loosing contact, pressing closer and deeper, merging as the blissful harmony of love and pleasure cocooned them in a warm dark place, somewhere primal and ancient from before the birth of thought and reason. Time raced and slowed at once, measured not in seconds but in the frantic flutter of heartbeats and soft sighs. It could have been hours, days, centuries gifted to them by some benevolent deity. The world outside fell into vague irrelevance; they existed only here, in the hot press of their bodies, the burning touch of lips on skin, the taste of sweat and scent of sex that rose to mingle with the jasmine as the sound of each other’s pleasure filled their ears, drowning out the noises of the night.

Phryne could feel her climax rising like a mountain over sea level, each peak, each pebble on the slope a little thrill as she rose higher and higher with each deep press of Jack’s cock and touch of his lips to hers. She lifted her legs further, stretching her muscles till her feet reached his shoulders. It was unlikely to be comfortable for long but in this position he could go even deeper, she grasped the tight flexing muscles of his arse, pulling him in, driving him to go harder and faster as she spiralled up towards oblivion. He was less than two steps behind as she came with a silent, trembling scream that vibrated all the way along his cock and up his spine, whiting out his vision as he sank, panting to his knees.

They held each other close, Jack’s forehead resting against Phryne’s as they drew raw, ragged breaths. Her legs slipped a little against the sweat still shining on his hips, but still she held him against her, unwilling to let him go. Unwilling ever to let him go. He kissed the sweat from her brow, the lines of her cheekbones, her parted lips. Steady and serious, each caress a solemn, silent promise, ‘I will be here. As long as you want me, I will be here.’ She heard the unspoken words, clear and true and she didn’t doubt them for a moment.

Eventually they disengaged, snuggling under the covers with Phryne’s head pillowed in the crook of Jack’s shoulder, her limbs splayed out across his body as if she did not have an entire half of the mattress to occupy. She hummed a ponderous little hum and looked up at him through sleepy lashes.

“Did you say you had a day off on Saturday?”

“I did.”

“Well you know, I did promise Aunt Prudence I would attend her charity luncheon, but I’m afraid I might be about to come down with a terrible head cold.”

“Oh dear, I take it that means you will need to spend the weekend in bed whist you recover?”

“Oh yes, Jack.” She coughed theatrically, her eyes twinkling at him. “I wonder Detective Inspector, are your nursing skills up to snuff?”

He pondered the question with mock solemnity, his fingers tracing idle patterns on her bare skin.

“A little rusty, but I’m sure they will improve with practice.”

“I’ll hold you to that.”

She kissed the secret smile that lingered in the corner of his mouth, then rolled them over so she could fall asleep, replete and peaceful in his encircling arms. It was good to be home.