Jack took a look around the lobby and the front desk, examining it for any issues his constables might have overlooked. He heard Phryne tug open a drawer in his desk. A quick sidelong glance through his open office door revealed it was the one that held a good bottle of whiskey, a tin of biscuits, and an unmarked folder with her photos in it. He waited to see what she would do but at hearing the silence, he took a deep breath and returned to join her.
“You kept all my photographs.” Phryne held up the evidence in her left hand.
“I did.” He made his way towards her slowly.
“I don’t know why I’m surprised. After all, they were all meant for you.”
He pulled her in closer towards him.
“Every sultry look. Every silly pose. I wanted your attention,” she confessed, placing her free hand on his heart.
“You never needed a photograph to hold my attention,” he smiled softly but her eyes were still searching his. She wanted to know his real reason. “I kept these particular photographs because they remind me that we don’t have to fall victim to our work,” he confessed quietly, his hand winding along her spine as she turned to look down at the photographs, “that we can walk into the darkness and not feel guilty for being able to walk out again. It’s perfectly acceptable to laugh or play. It doesn’t detract from the horror we’ve witnessed.”
She shook her head, agreeing with him.
“I’d forgotten,” he assessed his past self thoughtfully, remembering the broken man as if he were another person entirely. “But you reminded me, you still remind me.”
She was looking at him with those dreamy eyes that she normally reserved for his grand gestures and he knew that she was cataloging this as an important moment between them.
“It’s mathematically impossible to fall in love with you this many times,” she declared as she closed the distance between them and kissed him breathlessly.
Jack wasn’t quite ready to end the kiss when she pulled away and a small pout appeared on his face.
“Not at the station,” she reminded him as she swiped at her lipstick residue with her thumb.
“A stupid rule,” he decided, even though the consensus had been unanimous at the time of its enactment.
He watched her inhale deeply, trying to compose herself and found he wasn't ready for that either.
“Then perhaps I could interest you in coming home with me?” He requested. The overt invitation, rarer these days as they fell into more of an established routine, made her smile.
“Are you propositioning me, Inspector? And in a police station no less.” She shook her head at the thought. “No kid from Collingwood would ever fall for such tricks.”
“The one I’m looking at will.” He knew it was true. “She loves a bit of risk. She’d walk into a lion’s den just to comment on the decor,” he murmured.
Phryne lost her battle as a chuckle escaped her flushed chest.
“When will you be done?” She asked. “Do I have time to run home and pick up a few things?”
He glanced at his desk.
“Unfortunately for the drivers of Melbourne, I think you probably do.” He looked at his watch. “30 minutes?”
“I'll be undressed and in bed in 30 minutes,” she scoffed at his estimates.
“All the better for me,” he replied, unfazed by her comment. “I’ll see you at home.”
Before she even made it to the door, Jack’s nose was in a file.
“Jack?” She paused with her hand on the gate, wanting his attention one more time. “Undressed and in bed,” she repeated, somewhat unnecessarily.
“The last file,” he promised, holding up the end of his workload. He watched her turn around and head out the front door, but he waited until he heard her car start on the quiet street before turning out the lights and locking his door. He peeked out the station door to make sure she was actually gone before running to his car and putting it into gear.
Just once, he wanted to see her reaction to finding him waiting undressed and in bed.