”You cannot be serious.”
It was a statement that included so much incredulity, Jack could practically taste it in the air.
“I am aware this is highly unorthodox,” he replied, in a whisper. “But we are in an extremely tight spot. I can’t think of another plausible explanation for us being here. You will have to make up your mind very quickly.”
The last words he practically said through his teeth.
If it hadn’t been so dark, he would have looked sternly into his companion’s eyes to make her see sense. As it were, he reached out and put a hand on her shoulder instead, briefly. The shoulder was very close, since they were practically crammed together, but he still felt her tense up slightly.
“Hmpf,” was all she dignified his comment with. “Do I have a choice?”
“It all depends on if you want to escape,” he answered.
“I suppose I can’t fault that logic,” she sighed.
She knew as well as he did that they had been put in a corner – or more correctly in a tiny closet. They had to flee into it when they were interrupted while searching the nightclub that had just closed for the night, and which they suspected was also a crime scene. They had been so sure everyone had left, deciding they could do a quick survey before reporting it in. They had been wrong.
Jack felt her body shift next to him. “So, how do we do this?” she asked.
“Erhm,” he answered, his brain quickly turning to think up the logistics. “If you… if you could move to the left.” A shuffle. “No, sorry, I was thinking of my left. To your right.” Another shuffle. “And put your hand here… I apologise, but yes, I meant on my arse.”
He blushed. Oh God. Luckily, there was no one to see it in the dark.
He heard her chuckle slightly.
“Words I would never have dreamed to hear,” she said; he could hear the smile in her voice.
That was a good angle to it. Make it fun.
“And you will feel things you never thought you’d lay your hands on either. Here,” he added, “I can guide you.”
He grabbed her hand and put it on his own backside. Then he carefully put his own hands on her shoulders.
“I will have to embrace you, I’m afraid,” he said through the corner of his mouth. “And when I open the door, we’ll have to kiss passionately while we fall through it. Alright?”
She sighed, but then she squeezed his butt, making him jump slightly.
“It’s okay. You’re not all that bad, considering you’re a man,” she teased him sweetly, the other hand reaching out to disassemble his perfectly straight tie.
“Just imagine I’m a lovely, plump maiden under your hands, then,” he said, equally pleasantly, returning the favour by ruining her hairdo.
She snorted, allowing her hand to free his curls from their pomade.
“Yeah. Like that could ever seem likely.” Her hand lightly touched his cheek. “Too much of that manly stubble. And the jaw to cut glass with.”
Now it was his time to snort.
“Ready?” he whispered. “On the count of ten. And let’s hope we won’t destroy the whole scheme with our clumsiness.”
“On the count of ten,” she confirmed. “And a perfect verisimilitude.”
He whispered the numbers steadily, and on nine he came closer to find her lips. They were warm – softer than he had thought, strong and ready. Her tongue darted out and he found himself enjoying a French kiss more daring than he could have ever imagined. As his hand reached out to push the door open, she grabbed his arse more thoroughly, making him moan of surprise.
Perfect verisimilitude it was.
The party looked up at the unexpected sound, a couple of men reaching for their guns before they realised there was no harm coming from the intrusion. They saw two people, practically entwined with each other, tumble through the door of a small closet. The man moaned as if he was right in the throes of passion, while the woman could be heard gasping “yes, yes, like that” into his mouth. The kiss was spectacularly indecent, their mouths open and devouring each other. Then they suddenly stopped, aware of their audience.
“Oh,” said the woman as she disentangled herself. She started to try to straighten her messy, red hair, although she didn’t manage to make much difference.
“Apologies,” the man said and looked utterly sheepish, trying to salvage his ruined tie. “We didn’t realise…” He broke off, eyes wide and mortified.
“Yes, yes,” the leader of the meeting said. “We can see that.”
He looked sharply at them for a second, before impatiently dismissing them with a hand.
“You should leave for a more private place. There is nothing to see here.”
Jack mumbled excuses and grabbed the hand of his lady, starting to walk towards the door.
“At their age,” he could hear a whisper from one of the group members. “Just imagine.”
Then they were out of the room, closing the door after them. After a heartbeat they looked at each other.
“Run,” his companion whispered. “But silently.”
Not until they were outside, and several blocks away, did they stop to properly catch their breaths. Jack leaned his hands on his thighs and tried to push his heartrate down.
“I cannot believe we managed to escape,” he finally said. “That was extremely lucky.”
“We did an excellent job,” his companion said, her smile sharp as glass. “You looked positively dishevelled, Inspector. I didn’t know you had it in you.”
He matched her smile, relief and giddiness struggling to take control of his body.
“Neither did I, Doctor Macmillan,” he replied. “Neither did I.”
“I know one person who will be very interested to hear about our adventure, at least,” she continued as they walked on, searching for a cab to bring them back to safety.
He looked at the woman by his side, a lopsided grin on his lips.
“I hadn’t pegged you as a person that would kiss and tell, Doctor,” he said teasingly.
She barked out a laugh at that.
“You would be right, too,” she said. “Though in this special case, there is just no way that I won’t.”
They fell into a companionable silence before she piped up again.
“Just imagine Phryne’s face when she realises I kissed you first.”
She raised her eyebrow in a challenging arch. And for a second time in just one night, Jack was happy the darkness hid the way he blushed.