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The gifts that keep on giving

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“Lovely stationery, Dot,” Phryne commented as she picked up the thank you card.

“Oh, isn’t it? Hugh picked it out for our first anniversary,” she beamed. 

“Ah, paper,” Jack stated knowingly.  

“Exactly, Inspector,” Dot smiled in surprise at his knowledge. “I framed the movie ticket stub from our first date for him,” she revealed.

“Paper?” Phryne closed the card and stared at the pair.

“Emily Post, Miss. She wrote the book Etiquette. I received a copy as a wedding gift. She’s assigned a theme gift to each anniversary year. The first year is paper, the second year is cotton, and so on.”

“And you knew about this?” She turned to Jack.

“We only caught the tail end of the trend, but Rosie wanted to do it. She received a… silk scarf for our 12th anniversary and a lace tablecloth for our 13th,” he informed her. “She took the tablecloth with her when she left so that had to mean something,” he smirked as he shook out the morning newspaper. 

“Well, if Hugh and Dot just had a wedding anniversary, our anniversary can’t be far behind,” Phryne realized and Jack set down the paper again in interest. 

“I know that we’ve shared some deep bottles together, Miss Fisher but I don’t recall ever marrying you.”

“No, I meant, when did we first…?”

“Nnh,” he cut her off. “Choose your next words very carefully,” he warned, “there are children present.” He gestured towards the baby asleep in the corner of the dining room.

“When did you arrive in London?” Phryne rephrased politely.

“October 20th, 1929,” he recalled. 

Phryne smiled at his excellent memory.

“Well, let’s use that then. It will give us time to prepare,” she decided as she stood up, thinking the conversation was done. 

“You actually want to celebrate our anniversary?” Jack asked as he followed her into the hall.

“Why not?”

“In the two years that I’ve known you, you’ve run as fast and as far as you can from anything that resembles commitment. Celebrating it hardly seems like your style,” he said suspiciously as she slipped into her coat.

“In those two years, have I ever turned down a night with you, or a gift, or a party?” She asked.

“No,” he concurred reluctantly. 

“Moreover,” she wrapped her arms around his neck, “in those two years, have I ever appreciated being told what I will do or won’t do by a man who bought his wife a lace tablecloth instead of lace lingerie for their 13th anniversary?”

“Oh, check mate,” he conceded with a groan as she brought him in by his neck to kiss him goodbye.

“You better start planning,” she warned as she opened the front door. “I have a feeling that I’m going to be very good at this," she said confidently.