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The Friday Phrack Series

Chapter Text

“Yes, yes, ah, ah, ahhhhhhh!” Phryne cried as they came together hard. She was clinging desperately to the headboard in front of her when Jack pulled her down on top of him, letting them melt into the mattress together.

“Oh my God.” Jack murmured into her hair as she buried herself in his chest with a kiss. Jack placed a hand on her back before reaching over to pull the blankets over them. “What did we do with the sheets?” He asked as he lifted his head just enough to realize they had left the bed sometime during their frantic coupling.

“The first or second time?” She asked.

“Did we even make it to the bed the first time?”

“Oh, right.” She giggled, remembering their drunken escapades against the closed door of her bedroom. After a night of her sly teasing and secret flirting, he hadn’t been able to wait to slide his hand up her dress and finger her into oblivion for her crimes.

“I know we had them the second time.” She purred, recalling with affection the way she had hid under them to go down on him. She hadn’t been able to see him, but the noises he made told her that it had turned him on immensely to be blind to her actions.

“And the third time.” He cupped his hands over her backside, sliding her up so that her face was closer to his.

“When we pulled them onto the floor.” She recalled. “Which means they must be...” she paused and rolled off him, reaching just over the side of the bed.

“Totally defiled.” Jack added.

“Mmm, that too.” She smirked as she pulled the pile of sheets and blankets back over top of them. She was still trying to untangle them when Jack began to laugh.

“What?” She asked.

“I just remembered that you, of all people, send your laundry to a convent.”

“Not anymore!” She defended, but his laughter only grew.

“But you did!” He laughed harder. “To nuns!” She waited for him to calm down with a bemused look on her face but he couldn’t seem to stop.

“Are you going to be alright?” She asked him, unable to hide the smile that came with seeing such rare, unbridled joy from him.

“Oh, oh, yes.” He tried to breathe. “At least I think so.”

“I believe you’ve finally lost it, Inspector.” She commented. “Too much sex, not enough sleep.”

“Perhaps.” He agreed as he wiped the tears from his eyes. “Are you complaining?” He asked.

“Never.” She grinned.

Chapter Text

Phryne came over the dunes and smiled as she took in the welcomed tableau: Jack was ordering around constables while examining the body lying on the beach. Her heart skipped at finally being back where she belonged. And with whom, she admitted to herself.

When Phryne had called Jack yesterday from the airfield to let him know that she had returned, he had immediately driven to pick her up, more than happy to be the one chosen to bring her home. They had relished their private reunion, soaking up every minuscule difference and every comforting familiarity as they looked each other over before finally greeting one another with a long, slow, loving kiss. It had been as perfect as their parting, with the sun sinking on the horizon.

Phryne shivered just recalling it.

Jack had gallantly picked up her luggage and loaded it into his car. She had slid next to him, foregoing protocol and laying her head on his shoulder. If Jack disapproved, he didn’t say anything. Exhausted from pushing to make it home before dark, and overwhelmed by how happy she was to finally feel him next to her, she had closed her eyes and fallen asleep on his shoulder as he drove her back into the city by moonlight.

According to Mr. Butler’s report this morning, Jack had carried her straight up the stairs, laid her in her bed, removed her shoes, and pulled her blanket over her. She hadn’t woken until morning.

Now, Phryne made her way down the beach, making her entrance as grandiose as possible.

“Oh, Jack. A case already? You shouldn't have!” She grinned as she slowed to a stop next to him.

“Miss Fisher.” Jack greeted her. “It looks like the city got the memo you’ve returned.” He commented as she crouched down beside the dead man.

“How kind.” She murmured dryly. “I do wish they would have given me a day’s rest first. I’m still recovering from the time difference.”

“If you’re not up to it, you could leave this one to the actual police for once.” Jack suggested in his usual professional but playful tone.

“And let you ruin all the fun with your rules and regulations?” She tsked him at the thought. “Don’t worry, Jack. I’d never abandon you like that.” She tugged down her sunglasses to wink knowingly at Collins, who was poorly stifling a smile. She reached out to touch the body.

“No.” Jack pulled her arm back decisively. “You might not have any respect for the rules but the new constables need to learn.” He reminded her with a nod to the younger men.

Phryne could see he was being serious so she shrugged, non-verbally acquiescing to his request as she stood up again. She’d solved murders with less and she was best friends with the coroner. She took a few steps away from the body and Jack followed her. Now that she had him alone, she thought she would take advantage.

“Thank you for the drive home last night.” She said quietly.

“My pleasure.” He said with a cautious glance to the constables, making sure they weren't within eavesdropping distance.

“You know, this crime scene reminds me, I bought a new bathing costume in France that would work perfectly for an evening beach stakeout. Although, it is quite modern, you might not find it appropriate for police work, even in the moonlight.” She smiled. “Perhaps you want to come by later and judge for yourself?” She gave herself a professional excuse for the tempting in case it was too much, too soon for him. After all, if he could kiss her in the line of duty, surely she could disrobe for the beach. “I want to be sure it’s up to your official police standards.” She added.

“And if I find it isn't, will you remove it?” He inquired, looking over her shoulder at the horizon for a moment before making eye contact with her again.

It took her a moment to register what he had said. Jack found the audacity to smirk openly at her as he realized he had caught her by surprise. She had to admit, it was a rare feat. They hadn’t escalated to this level of flirting yet and she was surprised he would choose to do so at a crime scene. Not that their current location stopped her body from reacting to his offer, or her mind from quickly trying to outdo him.

Phryne peered over the top of her sunglasses, giving Jack a long look for his gall.

“That depends. If I refuse to take it off, will you do it for me?” She challenged seductively, taking a step closer.

“Oh, you’ll be begging me to.” He assured her with a confident glance to her mouth, as if he could already see the words forming there.

“You’re playing with fire, Inspector.” She warned.

“I’m not playing at all, Miss Fisher.” He countered seriously as he let the back of his fingers brush the back of hers briefly. Even through her gloves, her entire body flamed at his barest touch and she had to close her eyes.

“Inspector?”

“Just a minute.” He yelled over to the young man but his voice was a bit wobblier than usual.

Phryne took the opportunity to step back just enough to regain control of the situation.

“You know what, Jack? You’ve inspired me.” She said almost too cheerfully. “It’s so warm out here and I’m still tired from my trip so just this once, I’m going to leave a case to the professionals.” She reached into her bag and dabbed some more perfume on her wrists and neck daintily.

Jack eyed her suspiciously, understanding that she was toying with him but not knowing how quite yet.

“You get back to work. I am going to find the nearest bed and just fall into it for the rest of the afternoon.” She smiled. “And as luck would have it, I think you live relatively close to this beach, don’t you Jack?” She asked less than innocently.

A rush of understanding flooded his features.

“Phryne…”

She leaned in a bit closer at the sound of her name and despite the warning tone, Jack’s eyes went sinfully dark as the scent of her fresh perfume reached his nostrils.

“On a warm day like today, the idea of drawing the shades, slipping out of my clothes, sliding between your cool sheets, and entertaining myself until I fall asleep sounds positively heavenly.” She cooed. 

Jack’s jaw tightened and he took one deep inhalation of breath. He was right where she wanted him.

“And that way, tonight? When you slide between your sheets? They’ll smell like me, in every way.” She added as she made a gesture of innocently smelling her own wrist.

Jack closed his eyes as she pushed her sunglasses back up to the bridge of her nose victoriously.

“Oh, and no need to give me a key, Jack. I always bring my own.” She added as she patted her handbag, where they both knew her lock pick was stowed.

His gaze dropped from the bag back down to the beach. He seemed unwilling to look her in the eye.

“Good luck with your case, Inspector.” She made a big show of their goodbye and Hugh gave her an innocent wave as she headed back up the beach.

Phryne had just gotten in her car when she heard Jack bellow from where she had left him.

“Collins, I’m going to follow a lead. You’re in charge.” He delegated to the Senior Constable.

Phryne grinned as she started her car, pointing it towards Jack’s place. If he wanted to follow her lead, he was going to have to hurry.

Chapter Text

Jack tested the knob to his own front door, and sure enough, found it unlocked. He entered his house slowly, listening for Phryne and hearing movement in the bedroom. He removed his hat and coat and stepped out of his shoes, needing to take a minute to catch his breath before walking back to the bedroom to see what he already knew.

He paused in the doorway to see her in the middle of his bed, eyes closed, writhing under her own touch. She was on her back, one hand at work beneath the sheets and the other above, rubbing the soft cotton material over her breasts. She looked exquisite.

“Jack…” She moaned.

He felt himself flush wildly but it wasn't out of embarrassment. (He wasn’t even sure that she knew that he was there yet.) Rather, his blood pulsed with a hot, intense desire for her, throbbing madly, until his only option for surviving the fire was to undress. So, with his entire body pulled taut, he began to strip himself down, never taking his lust-filled eyes off her.

“Oh.” She gasped as her eyes fluttered open and she saw him watching her.

“Don’t stop.” He murmured but the sight of him watching seemed to only turn her on more as she arched harder against her own hand and her moans became unintelligible. She cried out suddenly, her body finally cracking under the intense pressure, but whether it was from her own touch or the heat of his gaze, Jack couldn’t be sure.

Jack watched mesmerized and when he thought that she was ready for him, he moved towards her, placing a knee on the bed and leaning over her to kiss her in gratitude for her vulnerable act.

“I didn't hear you come in.” She confessed against his mouth as she greedily pulled his undershirt up his back. He pulled away from her just long enough to lift the offending garment over his head and toss it aside before resuming his discovery of her skin.

“I didn't want to disturb you.” He mumbled against her neck.

“Mm, too late.” She teased as she pushed his hand between her legs to feel just how disturbed she was.

The expletive he released made her laugh out loud in scandalized surprise and he nibbled on her neck playfully in retaliation. She pushed him over onto his back and slowly reached into his smalls to free his erection.

“Oh, you are the most maddening creature I have ever met.” He informed her as she stroked him gently once or twice.

“So I’ve been told.” She grinned as she toyed with his cock. He barely adjusted to having her hand on him before she slid down to kiss the rosy tip of his penis with her wet lips and tongue.

“No, Phryne. Stop.” He didn’t know where he found the will to push her away, but his desire to be inside her trumped everything else she might have had planned for him. He reached over her, fumbling with the handle of his bedside drawer as he sought out the protection he kept there solely for this eventuality.

Never one to listen to his commands, Phryne barely gave him a second’s rest before wrapping her fingers around him once more and exploring him with her fingers instead.

“Quit that.” He reprimanded, pulling her wrist away so he could open the wrapper in peace.

“Not until you get inside me.” She pouted. He had barely gotten the condom on before she pulled him down over top of her and wrapped her legs around his waist.

He scolded her lack of patience (as if he had any himself) and pressed his way inside her. Phryne palmed his shoulder blades for purchase as he sunk into her warm, willing body.

“Finally.” She sighed deliciously in his ear. He silently agreed by pushing his way into her again.

Phryne threw her head back in relief and Jack took advantage of kissing the newly exposed skin at the base of her throat.

“Oh, God, Jack.” She muttered as she groped him, moving her hands down his back muscles before palming his buttocks and squeezing him tighter against her. She shifted her hips, taking him as deep as she could and it nearly blinded him. They repeated the action again and he bit his lip in torture.

“Yes.” He murmured as their hips found their rhythm and began to speed up.

“Mm, harder. Deeper. I want all of you.” She demanded.

“Phryne…” he moaned, his pleasure and surprise at her statement driving him crazy.

“Oh, say my name again.” She whimpered as she clung tighter to him.

“Phryne.” He happily obliged.

“Ohhh...” Her nails dug into his back and he thrust harder.

Her free hand snaked between them to touch herself and Jack felt his spine begin to tingle. He squeezed his eyes shut, desperately trying to stave off the inevitable but it was too late. She came chanting his name and her words and walls pulsed around him, milking him dry until he finally fell next to her on his stomach, totally spent.

When he finally opened his eyes again, she was looking so unbelievably sated that he chuckled to himself.

“I owe you an apology.” She murmured as her mouth began kissing its way over his shoulder to his back. “I’ve been fantasizing about what’s been underneath your suits for years and I’m afraid that even I didn’t do it justice.” She purred. “You’re quite adept at hiding your assets.”

“I don’t think wearing clothes in public counts as hiding.” He defended.

“It does when you have assets like these.” She countered as she slid her hand up his thigh and over his backside and up his back. “I need two, no, at least three days with you to make up for lost time.” She ran her finger over a bicep and trailed it down to his elbow.

“I’m all yours.” He murmured tenderly.

“Mm, but it's the middle of the day. People are going to start wondering where we are.” She argued weakly.

She was right, of course, but Jack was more focused on her casual use of the term ‘we’. He had nearly missed it.

“Then we need a shower.” He offered. (The word tasted as good as it sounded.)

“Can we share?” She requested slyly, as if he would need convincing.

“Only if you promise to stay away from the station today so no one realizes we’ve used the same soap.” He joked. She raised her eyebrow at his astute comment.

“Speaking from experience, Inspector?” She asked, suddenly only half-playing. He could see the underlying insecurity in the question and, like everything else she did, it took him by surprise. He covered his insight with an exasperated roll of his eyes, playing it off as if he hadn’t noticed she cared.

“I’d be interested in knowing which one of my male colleagues you suspected of such behavior.” He pointed out.

“Mm, I suppose it is unlikely.” She relented happily.

Her pleased smile told him more than she would likely feel comfortable with him knowing and Jack smiled softly to himself.

“I have a better idea." She informed him, changing the subject on her own whim. "You go back to work, and I’ll lie here napping, naked as the day I was born, until you come home and find a creative way to wake me up again. Homeowner’s choice.” She sang, sweetening the offer.

Jack groaned, burying his face into his pillow in anguish.

“How am I supposed to get any work done at all with those thoughts residing in my brain?” He asked her, his question partially muffled by the pillow.

“I’m sure you’ll come up with something. You always do.” She yawned as she snuggled deeper into the mattress.

Jack just sighed, unsure of which part of their conversation she had meant to answer.

Chapter Text

When Phryne found him, Jack was standing in his bathroom, staring into the mirror. He was wearing trousers, but his braces were hanging down around his thighs. His formerly crisp white shirt was now unbuttoned and relaxed on his broad shoulders, his sleeves hastily rolled up around his elbows. She knew if she leaned into him, the cotton would smell like the perfect remains of Jack and his favorite cologne.

She had been craving this: him, here, in his home; enough that she had been unable to sit still at Wardlow with the knowledge that he was here, looking like this. She had paced for almost an hour before allowing herself to get in the car.

The sacrifice to her pride had been worth it.

Jack looked up in the mirror and caught her gaze. He looked pleasantly surprised to see her, his warm, serene eyes meeting her longing, desperate ones.

She didn’t speak as she moved towards him, grazing the small of his back with her fingertips as she passed. She sat down on the sink, facing him as if she were on his desk and looked at him, content to just watch him go about his business as he finished drying his hands with a towel.

Jack would argue that he felt at his best when he was at work. In fact, when he had first invited her to his house, he had told her that it was just a place to rest between cases, and it had sounded so lonely that she had been moved to kiss him, right there in the kitchen.

But what Jack didn’t see was the transfiguration that overcame him when he was within these walls. Here, he was completely unguarded. He walked barefoot down the halls, let his curly hair run wild on lazy Sunday mornings, and made love to her whenever and wherever the mood struck him. Something about their time together brought out a side of Phryne that she never thought could exist, let alone thrive. She couldn’t help but find his calm, undiluted behavior contagious. They shared the paper in the morning, sidestepped each other in the kitchen as they made meals together, and argued over each other’s taste in...everything. For the first time in her life, she saw the potential for a different path for herself: a quieter, relaxed, more grounded life, without the usual fear and chaos. In fact, she had been seeing those opportunities more and more recently.

Opportunities like this moment, for example.

“Hello.” Jack murmured quietly as he settled between her legs and placed his hands on her hips. He dropped his forehead to rest gently against hers and he sighed, as if he too felt more whole just by being near her.

“Hello.” Phryne let her hands slip under the curtain of his shirt to touch his bare chest. She could feel his pulse thrumming under her fingertips as he bent down and kissed her gently. She sighed into his mouth and let him wash over her. He felt strong and sturdy under her hands and between her thighs. It was as if he had withstood a thousand storms to become the quiet, resilient, beautiful man before her and now he could not be swayed. He felt like forever.

“Make love to me.” Phryne whispered against his lips. She felt wide open to the intensity of Jack’s gaze tonight, especially after showing up uninvited. She wanted to stand on familiar territory until she found her balance again and nowhere did she feel more confident than in Jack’s bed.

Jack simply nodded, his nose rubbing against hers before he lifted her off the sink and took her hand in his, leading her into his bedroom.

Ever the gentleman, he never acknowledged her vulnerability, although he surely recognized it. Instead, he gave her the balance that she so desperately craved and became confident enough for two.

However, what Phryne lacked in confidence, she made up for in planning ahead.

“I came prepared.” She murmured, tugging her silk dress over her head smoothly to reveal that she was naked underneath.

“Oh, Phryne…” Jack whispered hoarsely before pulling her into his arms.

Phryne wove her fingers through his thick hair as she kissed the perfect hollow at the base of his throat. He let out a delicious rumble of approval and she felt it vibrate through her body.

As her mouth continued its delicate worship of his neck, she tugged at his shirt tails, pulling the garment off his tan shoulders. Jack made quick work of removing his trousers, stepping out of them as soon as they hit the floor. He placed open mouth kisses along her collarbone and down her shoulder and she shivered under his touch.

Unable to wait any longer, Jack placed his hands under her thighs and lowered her onto his mattress. His mouth found her breasts, sucking gently on her hardened nipples and making her body strain in ecstasy. She arched into him, her body longing to be one with his. Jack moved down her body, more than happy to let his tongue leisurely explore her curves, but she needed more from him.

“Jack…” Her voice was trembling as she placed her hand gently on the back of his head, wanting his attention. Her unusual tone caused him to look up in surprise. “I need you now.” She confessed.

He didn’t miss a beat, placing her legs around his waist gently, but she caught him examining her for signs to explain her trembling. Unable to determine precisely what it was she was feeling (and how could he when she hardly knew herself?) Jack settled for pulling her impossibly close.

“I love you.” He whispered the cure-all in her ear before entering her slowly.

Phryne closed her eyes and felt a rush of understanding hit her. She had been homesick, for his touch, his smell, his embrace, him.

“Yes.” She moaned, clutching him closer.

She wanted more of him. 

She wanted everything.

“Jack.” She purred as he kept his confident, calm rhythm going within her, ignorant of the fact that he was burning off decades of former opinions with every touch.

“I’m right here.” He murmured, looking into her eyes and making her body coil with need.

“Please.” She begged, although she was unsure why.

When she finally unraveled beneath him, she came with a cry of tortured relief. And as he came, her name fell almost silently from his lips, a secret intimately shared. It was more than she could bear.

She kept her hands busy on his neck and back, stroking him softly as she composed herself, hoping the tears clouding her vision could be blinked back before he shifted away from her. But Jack moved just a bit too quickly and managed to witness a tear escape out the corner of her eye and land on the pillow beneath her.

“Phryne…” He looked equal parts surprised and concerned by the rare emotional breakdown but she didn’t respond. She refused to voice what was bubbling up within her. 

I want you to be mine as much as I am yours.

I don't want to us to be apart.

I want you like this forever

She chewed on her lip, physically denying the words, but Jack was softly caressing her cheek with his thumb and she had to say something.

“I love you.” She offered, hoping it would ease the pressure in her sternum.

It didn’t.

“I love you too.” He replied, sitting up to face her. “But that’s never made you cry before.”

She forced a shaky breath, trying to find control.

“Tell me the truth, Phryne.” Jack requested, reaching out to hold her hand. “Whatever it is.”

“I don’t want to go home.” She shrugged and Jack’s face flooded with affection for her. “I know that you've said you can't move in with me and I’ve tried to make peace with that, Jack, I have. But night after night, I’m still lying in bed alone and that’s not fair. To either of us. I want more than that.” She added.

Jack’s expression fell before closing off to her entirely and she hated how easily he could hide his thoughts.

“I see.” He swallowed.

“Do you?” She asked. “Because I know that I must seem crazy after a lifetime of critiquing commitment but spending time here with you, it made me realize that I want all of you, all the time, even the small, inconsequential moments like watching you wash up after work. And let’s face it, people have gotten married for far less. So if that is the price to pay for the luxury of time spent with you then I will gladly pay it because I can’t keep going on like this, Jack.”

Jack’s blank features morphed into a cautious, if not muddled, understanding as Phryne continued on.

“And I know that my pathetic rambling is not the most romantic of overtures and if I were you, I would have a thousand alarm bells going off in my h…”

Jack didn’t let her finish. Instead, he kissed her until she was quiet, until she sank into him, until she couldn’t remember why she had ever been afraid of being with him. When she was thoroughly kissed, he pulled away.

“Well, go on then.” He commanded.

“What?” She asked, still stuck on his interruption.

“Ask me.”

“Jack…”

He looked at her expectantly.

“It might be a horrible mistake.” She warned. “I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m genetically cursed when it comes to commitment…”

“Phryne.” He said impatiently.

“Yes?” She looked over at him but anxiety rushed through her as she realized she had just put the onus of asking the question on him.

“Do you love me?” He asked simply.

“Yes.” She smiled in slight relief at a question she knew the answer to.

“Do you want to fall asleep together and wake up together, every day, in the same bed, for the foreseeable future?”

“More than anything.” She replied. “Well, beds.” She amended as she touched the mattress beside her.

“Beds?” He questioned.

“I love spending our Sundays here. I would hate if that changed. Not to mention, we’ll both need our privacy now and again and it doesn’t hurt to have a second location to fall back on.”

“Is that so?” He raised his eyebrows.

“Mmm, if we’re ever working on a top secret case, or we get into a fight, or we want to make up from one...” She smirked.

“You haven't even asked the question yet and you’re already planning our fights?”

She narrowed her eyes at his dry humor.

“Well, I think that you should have the honor. I don’t want to rob you of the experience.” She replied, trying to sound gallant instead of terrified.

“Mm, not so modern now, are we?” Jack replied knowingly, getting a sick joy out of watching her squirm.

“Oh, shut up and ask the damn question already.” She commanded, wanting to get on with it.

Jack cleared his throat and took her hand in his own, interlacing their fingers.

“Phryne, given that life is short, and we want to spend as many hours as possible lying in beds together, will you join me in what, yes, may potentially turn out to be a horrible mistake,” they both grinned, “but will undoubtedly be a wonderful and exciting adventure all the same? Let me be your husband?”

She felt her throat close up at just how perfect he was for her.

“Oh God.” She cringed as she realized they were actually about to do this. “Yes.” She answered quickly. Jack broke out in a wide grin.

“Yes?”

“Yes.” She confirmed as he kissed her. She broke away with a chuckle. “Oh, this is totally daft.”

“Most of your ideas are.” He pointed out as he got out of bed.

“Where are you going?” She asked as he slipped his shirt back on.

“I’m going to telephone a judge before you can change your mind.” He teased.

“Jack Robinson, get back here this instant.” She demanded.

“Or what?” He leaned forward, feeling lucky. Still, she noticed he hadn’t bothered buttoning his shirt.

“Or you’ll miss out on spending the very last night on earth with an unwed Phryne Fisher.” She raised her eyebrow. “I plan on running away with you in the morning but before I do, there are some things I’ll need to… get out of my system.” She emphasized as she raised herself to her knees and Jack slowly made his way back towards her.

“Oh? What sorts of things did you have in mind?” He asked as she gripped him by his shirt and pulled him in close.

“Things a properly married woman wouldn’t dream of doing to her husband.” She threatened. 

“Mm, then it’s a good thing you’ll never be accused of such propriety.” He whispered against her lips.

“Isn’t it just?” She grinned wickedly.

Chapter Text

Jack tugged at his tie wearily as he made his way towards the bedroom. It was after midnight and between the ungodly summer heat in his stifling office and being forced to cancel his dinner plans with Phryne in favor of stale pie at the cart outside the station, he was in a particularly foul mood. He had considered going to see her anyway, but it was late, which meant that she was either sleeping or out on the town and either way, he didn't want to disturb her with his current disposition.

He briefly regretted walking past the kitchen (he could do with some food and even more with some alcohol) but in his exhaustion, he wasn't about to turn around and make a second trip. He realized he could practically smell her perfume in his delusional loneliness as he undressed down to his smalls and fell face first into his pillow in a rare and rather dramatic act of self-pity.

“It’s about time.” Phryne murmured from behind him and he turned over slowly, a confused look plastered on his face.

She was standing next to the bed, in a silk nightgown, holding a plate of food and a glass of whiskey.

He frowned for only a second before remembering that she was Phryne Fisher and her talents knew no bounds. It was easier not to ask.

“Bless you, woman.” He muttered before taking the food from her.

“It’s very late, Inspector.” She frowned disapprovingly in her best Prudence expression and he gave her a glare as he shoveled Mr. Butler’s latest sandwich creation into his mouth.

“Too soon.” He replied, his mouth still full.

She grinned as she sat down beside him and he suddenly recalled the first time she brought him food. It was one of his favorite memories of her. She had another motive then and he wondered if that might be the case now. She had rarely been in his house, and never uninvited or alone. It seemed unlikely that she would choose to drop in on a whim now.

“What are you doing here?” He eyed her suspiciously. “Do I need to check my safe?”

“Please. You and I both know that safe is empty.” She took a less than innocent sip of his whiskey.

“I can’t imagine why.” He commented as he stole the glass out of her hands.

She gave him a slightly offended, but understanding smirk, before remembering he had asked a question.

“I couldn’t sleep.” She pouted. He fought a smile at the sweet action, thankful his mouth was full.

“Not bad dreams, I hope?” He asked, washing the last few bites of his meal down with a long swig of his drink.

“I never got that far.” She complained. “I hope that you don’t mind...”

“No. I want you to feel comfortable coming here, day or night.” He assured her. “I’d prefer if you used a key…” He suggested dryly.

“I don't have one.” She pointed out.

“I’ll get you one.” He offered casually, before realizing the implications of his statement. Phryne looked more touched than he knew she felt comfortable expressing out loud so he continued. “I mean, I already went through the effort of emptying out the safe.” He added with a grin.

“I hope you didn’t go through too much trouble on my account.” She played along.

“Let me tell you, the jewels alone were a nightmare to…” His teasing was interrupted by a long kiss. When she finally pulled away, her eyes were sparkling with adoration for him.

“What was that for?” He smiled in surprise.

“Do I need a reason?” She asked coyly and he shook his head.

“So come on. Tell me why you couldn’t sleep.” Jack edged her back to the plot.

“I don’t know. It’s quite rare for me. I consider myself to be an excellent sleeper.” She boasted proudly and he smiled because he couldn't argue. She slept like the dead most nights. “I can’t even remember the last time I…” She stopped mid-sentence and suddenly looked sheepish.

“What?” He asked, seeing her surprised face.

“Nothing.” She played it off. “It’s just... the last time I couldn’t sleep was the night I met Concetta.” She confessed.

He raised his eyebrows.

“Don’t look at me like that.” She raised her nose in the air, trying to maintain her pride.

“It just surprises me, that’s all.”

“What does?”

“That you would let Concetta, or the idea of Concetta, keep you up at night. You are usually very...relaxed about such things.” He said politely.

“But you two were so… informal.” She struggled to even say the word.

“Informal.” He restated, unsure of what she meant.

“Familiar. You were holding her hand in public, letting her brush down your jacket, and introducing her by her first name. I’d known you for a year and you still only called me Miss Fisher, even when we were alone. And you never let yourself within touching distance of me unless I was in danger of being killed.”

“You were jealous.” He smirked, feeling bad, but loving the fact that she could feel jealous over him.

“No, I was just…” She thought of a better term. “Alright, yes. I was jealous.”

“It was self-preservation.” He explained.

“What?”

“I was able to do all of those things with Concetta because she wasn’t a threat to my safety. She wasn’t you.” He stated, brushing her hair back from her face.

“A hand-hold now and again would have killed you?” She argued.

“God, yes.” He replied as he took her hand in his and intertwined their fingers. He stroked her skin with his thumb, sending electricity through their bodies. “There were days when I couldn’t bear to look at you for fear of what I might do.” He confessed.

“But you still looked.” She smirked knowingly.

“I did. I still do.” He corrected with a smile.

“You’d better.” She grinned widely.

“Then I assume Concetta is no longer the concern?”

Phryne sighed.

“It was hot. The bed felt wrong. You weren't there.” She listed off her reasons, playing them off as if they were all equal, but Jack knew better: she couldn't sleep alone anymore.

“Mm. Sounds serious.” He teased.

“It is.” She agreed, taking his line and looking him deep in the eye.

Jack wondered if she might ever feel comfortable saying the words out loud, but he was more than happy to settle for the looks she gave him that told him how much she loved him.

“I thought that if I were here, I might fool myself into thinking that you were here too.” She continued.

“Did it work?”

“No.” She replied. “The only cure is the man himself.” She leaned her head on his shoulder and sighed.

“Then I am at your service.” He kissed the top of her hair before pulling away. “Come on, into bed with you.” He moved off the bed to lift the linens and tuck them both in.

“Well, now that you are here, it would be a shame to waste this time sleeping.” Phryne countered with a sly smirk.

“Miss Fisher…” Jack sighed, his exasperated tone slipping through his exhaustion.

“See?! Still calling me Miss Fisher, even now.” She accused as she moved under the sheets.

“Only when you cause trouble.” He defended. “It’s not my fault that the occasion so often calls for it.” He slipped into bed and turned to face her, their noses practically touching.

“Mmm, but you say my first name so well.” She half-pouted, half-purred as she wrapped her thigh over his own, hooking him closer to her and allowing her nightgown to pool above her waist. He felt her damp heat through his cotton boxers and his body reacted accordingly.

“Phryne.” He murmured, appeasing her even as he teased her for it. He stroked the flesh along her elbow and watched in delight as her eyes closed and goose bumps appeared under his thumb. He wondered if his tongue might get the same reaction.

“Mm, Jack.” She exhaled his name on a moan and he fully understood the dangers of calling someone else by their first name. No one else could say his name the way that she did.

“Do you like that, Phryne ?” He whispered, as he pressed himself against her.

The gasp she elicited at his bold question was enough to end the teasing.

“Take them off. Now.” She commanded as she took her leg back long enough for him to kick his smalls to the foot of the bed. As soon as he was able, she was latched to him again and rubbing her desire over his shaft.

“Phryne…” Jack groaned in pain as his erection throbbed for her.

“Mm, it’s Phryne now, is it?” She grinned as she guided him inside her.

“Hush.” He scolded as he kissed her into silence.

Phryne’s hips moved in a perfect rhythm with his own. The silk of her nightgown cooled the friction of their chests and focused his attention on all the mind-numbing heat between their legs. It didn't take long before the pair was coming undone together, safely in each other’s arms.

When Jack rolled onto his back, he felt a huge distance from her, despite their proximity. He turned to his side again, not ready to let her out of his sights just yet. She was staring at the ceiling again.

“Come here.” He said as he gathered her into his chest. “Now close your eyes.” Jack commanded.

Phryne stared at him, rebelling.

“Close. Your. Eyes.” He repeated more gently.

She sighed before giving in reluctantly, letting his hand move over her back slowly.

“I don’t know what this will do.” She argued but her eyes were still closed.

Jack yawned as the rhythmic way the silk slipped between his hand and the small of her back over and over again lulled him into a peaceful state.

“Well, if it doesn’t work, then tomorrow is Sunday. You can sleep in.” He reminded her. “What do you reckon? Tea and toast for breakfast? Perhaps if you’re very lucky, I’ll make you your own so you don't have to steal mine.”

“But yours tastes better.” She murmured and Jack rolled his eyes. He might as well keep his toast in his safe for all the good it did him.

“You could have mine if you’d like.” She added magnanimously.

“That’s very kind.” He said dryly and a lifetime of eating his breakfast off her plate flashed before his eyes.

“You’re welcome.” She yawned.

His own eyes were beginning to ache with exhaustion. The realization that he had been too tired to eat only an hour before made him mentally shake his head. He was such a fool for her.

“I love you.” He murmured before giving himself permission to drift off to sleep. The last thing he heard as he began to fall were her whispered words, mostly to herself.

“And I you, Jack.”

And the contented smiles they both wore lasted until morning.

Chapter Text

“So, why lady detective?” The Inspector asked, looking down into his second glass of whiskey.

Everyone else had left her announcement celebration and the pair had moved from their previous table to the bar. After small talk about the case and her move back to Melbourne, he apparently couldn’t contain his curiosity any longer. That, or the whiskey was making him brave.

“Why not?” She asked coyly.

He gave her a deeply analytical look before reading something in her features that she hadn’t planned to give away. Satisfied with his answer, he reached for the last of his whiskey.

“What?” She asked, immediately hating herself for validating whatever assumption he had made about her.

He just shook his head slowly as he swallowed his drink.

“Nothing.” He replied but his chosen look was less than impassive and her own curiosity burst into flames.

“And what are your reasons, Inspector?” She asked, holding her ground.

He chuckled to himself at her weak attempt to turn the tables.

“You know, for a woman alone ,” he mocked her phrase with a smirk that told her he wasn’t easily led astray, “this is the first time I’ve actually seen you as such.” He commented.

She raised an eyebrow at being called out. She was loathe to admit it, but Detective Inspector Jack Robinson was quite adept at his job. Combined with the way he seemed to see straight through to the darkest parts of her soul, she felt off-balance for the first time in years.

“I’m not alone, Inspector. I have you.” She replied sweetly. It was clear she wasn’t going to get the chance to be underestimated again but maybe she could charm him over despite himself. “Besides, life is far more fun with friends to keep me company.” She purred.

“I’m sure it is.” He agreed dryly. “Although I’m not sure your unconscious friend from the bathhouse would agree.” He continued.

“Mm, and what about you, Inspector?” She asked him. “Any friends of your own?”

“Oh, um...no.” This time it was his turn to look off balance as she realized immediately that she had gone too far. A widower, perhaps?

“Divorced, as of Monday.” He murmured, reading her thoughts so clearly she wondered if she had spoken out loud. “From the Deputy Commissioner’s daughter.” He added for good measure.

Phryne raised her eyebrow as she let the ramifications of that piece of knowledge settle in.

“Mm.” He concurred with her stunned look. “I’m sorry to say it, Miss Fisher, but even your bathhouse adventures can't quite top that headline this week.” He smiled sadly before downing the last sip of his drink.

After a long moment, she returned to herself and waved down the bartender.

“This man needs another drink.” She declared on his behalf and the bartender complied without a sound.

“Thank you.” The Inspector muttered quietly, looking slightly pinker despite the dim lighting. He raised his glass to her silently before throwing the whiskey back smoothly. “But now, I really should be going. It’s getting late.” He said as he started to stand up.

Phryne felt her stomach drop. She wanted him to stay for another drink. (And for the night, if she were being honest.) He wasn’t her usual type but maybe that was what made him so exotic.

Leave it to her to consider a stoic policeman in a blue suit exotic.

The Inspector reached for his wallet, breaking her from her thoughts.

“Oh no, it’s on me.” She shooed his hand away from his pocket. “It’s the least I can do after you brought back my handbag, and I, well, you know....” She played at embarrassed, as if he had caught her clumsily tripping, rather than burning down an entire city block.

“Thank you.” He nodded as he placed his hat on his head.

“You’re welcome.” She murmured, getting lost in the sight he made in a fedora. She found herself wondering what it would be like to kiss him under the brim of that hat, their faces half-hidden in the shadow.

“Inspector,” she stood up slowly, “would you mind escorting me back to my door before you go?” She asked. “I’m afraid I’ve made myself... quite vulnerable.” She gestured to the empty glasses on the bar.

He looked blankly at her again. Why must he stonewall her so? He surely recognized the offer that was on the table.

After coming to yet another secret conclusion, he gave a slight nod in the affirmative.

“I wouldn’t mind at all, Miss Fisher.” He replied politely but his response didn’t reach his eyes.

They rode the elevator up to her floor in silence as she wracked her brain for something she could say to get him to come inside. But when they finally got to her door, she just unlocked it silently before turning to stare at him.

His hat was still in place; his tie was just a little loose. His suit coat was on, but hung wide open, an unknowing invitation to slide her hands around his waistcoat and up his back. With such a tempting offer on her plate, thinking of a competent excuse to get him inside was all but pointless

If the Inspector was embarrassed by her long look of lust, he didn't show it. He met her gaze and shared it.

“Well,” he cleared his throat, breaking the moment, “if you ever need a professional opinion during your new endeavor...”

“I have your card.” She replied. “And if you ever need assistance with...anything, you know where to find me.” She had moved closer to him and her fingers itched to smooth his tie.

“Yes. Suite 4.” He responded, still staring at her mouth.

She nodded but couldn't resist licking her lips slowly for his voyeuristic benefit as she did so. He leaned in closer. She didn’t dare move, as if he were an animal she might frighten away, but to Phryne’s shocked delight, his lips kept moving, past her lips and her cheek, stopping at her ear.

“You’re going to cause me no end of grief, aren’t you Miss Fisher?” He whispered into her hair. His words might as well have been actions for the havoc they wreaked inside her. She wondered how his low voice could both signal his surrender and cause hers.

“Only if you let me.” She whispered, giving him one last chance to walk away the safer man.

He didn’t.

He captured her mouth in a searing kiss that sent Phryne pitching forward into his waiting arms.

They must have stumbled through the suite’s doorway at some point, but the next thing she knew, the door was slamming behind her and the Detective Inspector was pressing her up against it. Her legs gleefully leapt around his waist and she gasped as she felt his body’s favorable opinion of the position.

He used the opportunity to slid his hands up her silk stockings and unfasten her garters with a deft flick of his fingers. She quickly realized that she wasn’t the only one who played towards underestimation: Jack Robinson’s potential as a lover was increasing exponentially with every touch.

As he massaged her bare thighs, she was happy to let him have her right there against the door, but he pulled away from her long enough to shake off his jacket and waistcoat and she came to her senses.

She kicked off her heels and tossed her fur over the nearest piece of furniture before Jack came back for more. He kissed her newly exposed neckline to the valley of her breasts and back again.

“Oh you are very good at this, Inspector.” She moaned against his swollen lips.

“Call me Jack.” He mumbled, never fully separating their frenzied mouths. “Everyone else does.”

“Phryne.” She gasped as he dropped the straps of her dress to her elbows, freeing her breasts. “But everyone calls me…”

“Miss Fisher!” He hissed as her thigh rose between his legs to grind against his erection.

Her entire body spasmed at the sound of his surprised and aroused voice. It was downright obscene.

She loved it.

They managed to slip out of the rest of their clothes without ever fully separating and made it to the bed.

Phryne reached over to rifle through the side table drawer as Jack worshipped at the altar of her breasts.

“There you are.” She murmured as she held up her reason for her distraction: a clamshell case that held her family planner.

“Full service hotel you’ve got here.” Jack panted with a boyish grin. The look was far from the dour face he wore in public and she bit her lip at the thought that she was the one who could evoke it.

“Don’t move.” She put her hands on his chest to still him. When she emerged from the bathroom once again, she smiled when she found that he had followed orders.

“Now, where were we?” She asked as she crawled slowly over top of him. “Oh yes, I was just about to ask you how you like to be touched.” She murmured before kissing his chest. “Fast or slow, rough or gentle?” She was teasing him but getting to undo a recently divorced, buttoned up, unshakeable Detective Inspector was the most thrilling challenge she’d taken to bed yet and she couldn’t resist.

“Honestly? It’s been two years. I’m not making demands.” He confessed.

“Year---two years?” Phryne stuttered. “Oh, Jack.” She shook her head. “I didn’t realize it was as serious as all that! And here I am trying to tease you, you poor man.” She tsked herself. “Let’s start with an act of mercy and see where the rest of the night leads us.” She slid down his body, prepared to help him take the edge off as quickly as she could.

To her surprise, he didn’t stop her. He looked hesitantly down at her, as if he wasn’t quite sure she would actually go through with it, but nodded for her to continue.

“And don’t you dare try and hide from me, Jack Robinson.” She warned, refusing to accept yet another blank face from him. “I want you to enjoy this.” She added before taking him between her red lips.

“Oh Jesus Christ.” He groaned as she set about performing some of her best work. It didn’t take long before he was tortuously trying to hold it together but a celibate man could only bite his lip for so long.

“Phryne...I’m...I’m...” He tried to warn her but she had no interest in releasing him. With an impressive blue streak of profanity, Jack spent himself inside her completely before melting limply into the mattress.

“There. Isn’t that better already?” She murmured proudly as she slid back up his body.

“Mm.” Jack’s eyes were closed and his hair had ruffled enough against the pillow to reveal a bit of unexpected curl escaping his pomade. The sight alone took her breath away. If nothing else happened this evening, she’d regret nothing.

But then Jack opened his eyes and fixed her with the deepest, darkest blue she had ever seen.

“Let me return the favor?” He requested quietly, asking permission and she was shocked by his generous offer. It was one thing to use her to move on from a bad marriage, it was another thing entirely to want to satisfy her and her alone.

No wonder she’d been ravenous to please him.

She kissed him with a slow burn that answered his question and gave him permission to do anything and everything he wanted, all night long.

Jack got the message.

He started slowly, testing her wetness with a finger before swirling it around her clitoris. He then followed the action with a gentle swirl of his tongue. She let out a soft sigh and he did it again.

Phryne realized that he was investigating, curiously gathering evidence of what pleased her and how. His attentiveness made him an extremely skilled lover, especially for someone who claimed he was out of practice. As his understanding of her body grew, her soft sighs became desperate. Soon, rhythmic, unbidden mewls escaped her throat as Jack’s hands and mouth did unspeakably pleasurable things to her body. She came with a cry that she couldn’t have silenced if she tried.

And when he had finally had his fill of her, and kissed his way gently back up her body, she barely managed to open her eyes to greet him.

“I think I underestimated you, Inspector.” She realized out loud and he chuckled at her statement.

“Oh, I think it'd be a tactical error to think you had me pegged just yet, Miss Fisher.”

“I'm very glad to hear it.” She grinned as she rolled onto her side to face him.

They considered each other for a moment before she spoke again.

“I’m glad you stayed.”

“As am I.” He agreed.

“Why did you decide to stay, if you don’t mind me asking?” She couldn’t resist. “I mean, yes, there is a rather…” she glanced down to their hips, “apparent attraction between us.” She giggled as he pulled her a bit closer to feel just how apparent it was. “But something tells me that alone wouldn’t make you stay.”

“Normally I wouldn’t.” He agreed. “I haven't let myself live in the moment since…” He wracked his brain for a date.

“1914?” She suggested quietly and he looked at her as if maybe she could see into the darkest parts of his soul as well.

He nodded once.

“I have the opposite problem. I haven’t taken anything seriously since. Life’s too short.” She believed.

“That’s precisely why I am so careful.” He argued. “In my line of work, one wrong move, one piece of missed evidence is often the difference between life and death, and not just my own.” He pointed out as he touched her gently. She could see the wheels turning in his head as he imagined getting to her just a few minutes later.

“That’s a lot of responsibility to carry around with you.” Phryne commented. “I’m glad you trusted me enough to set it down, even if it’s just for the night.”

“Me too.” Jack gave her a half-smile that touched her more than she thought it should for a single night together.

“And what about tomorrow?” She asked, not wanting him to have regrets.

“Mm, many hours away.” He assured her as he rolled over her to begin kissing her once again.

“Good answer.” She murmured against his lips as she fell silent and let him ravish her in peace.

Chapter Text

“They were having an affair.”

“He was married.”

“It happens.”

- 1x05 Raisins and Almonds

 

“No one can say it isn’t secluded.” Jack commented as he set their bags down in the small cabin on the outskirts of Darwin. After months of traveling together, this was the last night of their trip and while happy to be back on Australian soil, Jack was sorry to see it end.

“I’m sure it has seen its fair share of romantic and clandestine affairs.” She guessed.

“A girl at every airfield?” Jack raised his eyebrow playfully.

“Or a man.” Phryne raised hers right back, ever on the fight for equality.

“Mm.” He conceded quietly. He glanced around the cabin.

“You don't approve.” She realized as she read him. “Sometimes I forget there was a time when you could say no to me.”

“It also happens, Miss Fisher.” His strong memory earned a surprised smile from her. The truth was his response had less to do with the idea of infidelity and more to do with feeling like one of many himself, especially in London, where an old friend of hers was never far behind. He had to fight to remember that he wasn’t just another man she was using to cure her current boredom.

“I remember the days of pining for you.” She smirked slyly. “You would have never come to a secluded, romantic cabin with me while you were still married.” She toyed with his hand.

“But I’d have loved to see you attempt it.” He teased as he pulled her closer.

“Oh, Jack. Be careful what you wish for.” Phryne whispered coyly as she stroked the other side of his neck with her fingernails.

He felt a chill slide down his spine as her tongue, teeth, and lips toyed with his earlobe.

Damn her clever mind. She worked too fast.

“You must know that I’ve wanted you since the beginning.” She confessed, leaving warm, open kisses on his neck, fighting to get under his collar physically and figuratively. “I knew about your marriage. I knew that an honorable man like you would never be with me out of turn but I lay in bed anyway, touching myself, dreaming of your hands and your mouth on my body.”

He wanted to reach out and touch her with those same hands but he forced himself to keep them to himself. He wanted to see where this would go.

“Even now, just the thought of you inside me leaves me aching for you. I can’t tell you how much.” She unbuttoned his shirt slowly and kissed her way down his chest until she was on the floor between his legs. She undid his trousers and stroked him until he was painfully hard.

“Phryne.” He croaked as he took a step out of her grasp to preserve himself, unconsciously playing his role.

“You want me too, Jack.” She murmured as she pushed him to a sitting position on the neatly made bed behind him. She undressed slowly for him.

“I feel your eyes on me when you think I’m not looking.” She purred, even as his eyes were glued to her as she inserted her device. “And I see the thoughts that you try so hard to hide.”

She wasn’t wrong. How many times, in how many ways, had he fought off those thoughts? Had she noticed each one? Had she had her own?

“You don’t have to hide them from me, Jack.” She purred. “I’m already yours.”

She crawled up his body to straddle him and Jack swallowed hard at her new proximity. She picked up his hands and placed them on either side of her waist for him.

“I’ve always been yours.”

Her words cut through him with a vengeance. She had no idea how powerful they were, especially coming from her.

He could feel her wet heat teasing him now and he bit the inside of his cheek until it split under the pressure. Not even the metallic taste of blood could distract him from the way she was slowly moving over him. Her hips were setting an infinitesimal rhythm against his, unable to control themselves; Jack recognized it as if it were his own heartbeat.

“How long has it been, Jack, since you fucked someone for the pure pleasurable release of it? With no expectations, no boundaries?”

He felt his traitorous cock twitch at the question. It had begun to throb angrily at its denial of her.

“How long has it been since a woman begged for you, screamed your name?” Her fingernails scraped roughly at the back of his scalp as she shifted a little, her stiff nipples seeking relief against him. He longed to feel the same pain biting down his back.

“There are no demands here. You can take whatever you need, whenever you need it, no questions asked. I promise it will never leave this room.”

Her bargaining was beginning to sound more desperate than persuasive. Jack could relate. He shifted his hips in growing discomfort and she bit back another moan as her clitoris found friction against him.

“Please, Jack, just this once.” She begged. “Then you can walk away…”

That was the straw that broke him.

He meant to silence her with a violent kiss but as he arched upwards, the cry of relief he wrenched from her was animalistic and raw. It vibrated through him, wordlessly begging for him in a way she never had before. It was then that he realized that no one could hear them. The thought freed him in a way he didn’t expect.

Refusing to leave her pliant body, he quickly placed one hand on her shoulder and the other on her back and forced her backwards until she was underneath him.

“Yes.” She moaned loudly as he took control. “Oh Jack…” She was completely unfiltered and it turned him on even more.

“Scream for me, Phryne.” He begged as he continued to thrust hard inside her. She was all too happy to oblige him. Her nails sought purchase in his flesh as he gripped frantically at the footboard above her head for leverage as he rode her hard. She let out one last keening cry as she lost the battle between them, coming hard and sending him headlong into blinding, body-numbing satisfaction.

They lay there for a long while: boneless, gasping for the oxygen they had denied themselves earlier, before Jack managed to pull himself up and find a towel to clean themselves off. When he returned, she opened her eyes to look up at him.

“And that, Inspector, is how ‘it happens’.” She stretched lazily.

“I’m sorry I asked.” He grinned.

“Are you really?” She propped herself up in concern. He could see that she thought she might have crossed a line, bringing up even his imaginary infidelity.

“No.” He shook his head as he shifted to the proper side of the bed and began pulling down the doona, seeking pillows. “But if you had tried that then, I would have folded like an old newspaper.” He smiled.

“Well contrary to popular belief, I do respect marriage vows.” She defended as she snatched a proffered pillow from him. “But as soon as the ink dried on those divorce papers, you were fair game.” She smiled crookedly. “And I was playing to win.”

“Were you?” He smirked, opening his arm to make space for her.

“Mm, and competition was intense.” She grinned as she settled in.

“I’m sure.” He laughed off her comment, thinking it a joke.

”Oh please, Jack." She rolled her eyes at him. "You did not become Senior Detective Inspector by being naive.” 

“You’re serious?” He examined her for tells that she was teasing.

“The things that women have said to me when you weren't in the room to hear them...” Phryne shook her head. "You truly never noticed?" 

“No. What? When?” He asked curiously.

“It doesn’t matter now. The game is over. I won.” She crowed. 

Jack stared her down, trying to find his answers by reading her mind but she wasn’t budging and he knew a lost cause when he saw it.

“Well, go on then." He sighed in resignation. "What are you going to do with your prize?”

A slow, wicked smile bloomed on her face.

“Bed him senseless, of course.” 

Chapter Text

Jack awoke to the sound of footsteps creaking quietly down his hall. The intruder was moving slowly but they were no match for his old wooden floors. He reached for his gun, silently pulling it from its holster.

The bedroom doorknob turned slowly and Jack raised the gun in the air as a small shadow entered the room on the tips of her bare toes.

“Phryne?”

She jumped back as soon as she saw the gun pointed at her.

“Damn.” Phryne swore at her own lack of stealth. “I can’t even sneak up on you when you’re sleeping?” She asked him rhetorically.

“Be glad you didn’t; I could have shot you.”

“You would never.” She replied coolly. She had a handbag in one hand and her heels in the other and they were both swaying slightly in her grasp, proving she was unsteady on her feet but whether it was from alcohol or exhaustion, Jack couldn't be sure.

He rolled his eyes as he set his gun aside, his adrenaline beginning to wane.

“What are you doing here?”

“I didn’t want to be alone.” She said simply, but he realized she didn’t look him in the eye as she said it.

Jack heaved a sigh and motioned for her to come to bed. They had relished their unsustainable living arrangements while traveling home from England, and while they’d both known returning to Melbourne would be a sharp adjustment, sleeping alone wasn’t getting any easier.

Phryne set her things aside and undressed, leaving a trail of pieces behind her, conveniently forgetting that Dot didn't service his home as well. As she settled in beside him, the scents of less than elegant clubs clung to her. Stale smoke and cheap alcohol singed his nostrils, overpowering even her trademark French perfume. Jack, even half-asleep, read too much into the clues. She had spent her night in an unsavory part of town.

“I’m sorry it’s so late.” She whispered.

“It’s fine. I’d be getting up soon anyway.” He waved off her apology, glancing over her head to see if dawn was breaking through his window yet.

“It’s Janey’s half birthday today.” She informed him quietly.

Jack let his exhalation of understanding die on his lips.

“Janey loved celebrating birthdays.” Phryne continued unprompted. “When she was four, I stole a calendar so I could track the days I needed to get us out of the house, days when the bills were due and my parents would fight, or when my father would get paid and arrive home drunk and cruel.” She paused, lost in memories.

“You wanted to control the uncontrollable.” Jack understood that desire better than anyone.

Phryne nodded, stirred from her thoughts by his statement.

“I didn’t want her to be afraid of the markings so I also circled the 21st on every page and told her that it was our special day because we were both born on the 21st. I thought it would give her something to look forward to, but for that whole year, she would wake me up every 21st by poking me and saying ‘Phryne, Phryne, wake up, it’s our birthday!’.” She paused to swallow back her emotion. “She was so small and so pleased, I could never bring myself to correct her.” Her voice cracked. “I was the one who made her love her birthday.” She sobbed guiltily as the tears finally came. Jack closed his eyes as his heart broke for her. He let her cry, soothing her with soft sounds as he stroked her back.

“Oh Phryne, that’s not a bad thing.” He assured her. “You didn’t make her any more vulnerable by making her happy.”

“I did.” She hiccuped.

“No. Trust me. If she was anything like the Fishers I’ve met, her love of a good party was just intrinsic.” He smiled.

Phryne couldn’t help but chuckle at his statement.

“Maybe.” She concurred with a sniff, touching her forehead lightly against his in gratitude.

He could tell that she thought it was just another kind lie, but it made her feel better, so Jack took the small victory.

“Foyle gave you the bad memories; don’t let him take the good ones too.” He advised as he wiped the last tear from her cheek.

She gave a small nod before wrapping her arms around his torso, laying her head down on his sternum, and closing her eyes.

And as the sun began to rise in his window, Jack ran his fingers through her hair and lulled her into a deep and dreamless sleep.

OOOOO

Six months later, Phryne walked up to Janey’s grave marker slowly. She was both grateful for the existence of a permanent grave and loath to visit it. It was like having to look Janey in the eye and Phryne would never be able to do that again.

As she came around to the front of the stone, she found a bouquet of blue orchids already sitting in front of it, tied together with a matching blue ribbon. Phryne’s heart began to race. Only a handful of people in the world knew about Janey’s blue ribbons. She looked around for anyone who might have a clue as to who left them.

“Excuse me.” She found a caretaker a few rows away. “Did you happen to notice someone leaving these flowers here?” She asked as she pointed towards the grave.

“Blue ribbon?” The man smiled knowingly and Phryne nodded. “Not today, but it’s always the same man. He drops ‘em off every month. Always on the 21st.”

“Each month?” Phryne couldn’t understand for a moment.

“Like clockwork. He’s been coming a few months on now. Different flowers, but always a blue ribbon. Looks like it’s orchids today.” He glanced over her shoulder as Phryne suddenly recalled a drunken night in Fitzroy that had never been mentioned again.

“This man wouldn’t happen to wear a trenchcoat and have a strong jawline, would he?”

“That’s ‘im.” The man nodded. “Grows ‘em ‘imself, I think. Nice bloke.”

“You have no idea.” Phryne murmured to herself.

OOOOO

Phryne opened the latch of Jack’s gate and slowly walked around his house, examining every flower bed until she found a batch of blue spotted-sun orchids. She didn’t know why, but seeing the few clipped stems poking up from the plant was the trigger that finally made her break down. She sat down, right there in the grass, and began to weep behind her sunglasses.

“Are you alright, love?” An elderly woman peeked over the fence and Phryne frantically dabbed at her eyes with the hem of her coat sleeve.

“Yes, quite alright, thank you.” She smiled to prove it.

“Would you like to come in for some tea and biscuits while you wait for the Inspector?” She offered.

“Oh. No.” She stood up. “He should be home any moment. Thanks though.”

“Mmhm.” The woman watched as Phryne went inside to wait for Jack.

OOOOO

Her Hispano was in the street and Mrs. Lewis was standing in her front doorway when Jack pulled up to his house.

“I believe she’s inside, Inspector.” She pointed towards his house.

“Thank you, Mrs. Lewis. I’ll take it from here.” He said politely, but firmly. The old woman got the hint and shut her door. Jack took a deep breath before opening his own, unsure of what he would find on the other side.

“Phryne?” He called out as he stepped over the threshold.

“Jack?” He rounded the corner to find her standing in his parlor, examining a photo of his family taken at his wedding. She didn’t look like she had been crying.

“What are you doing here?” He asked her frankly, looking her over from head to toe, checking her for damage.

“Waiting for you. What are you doing here?” She returned the question.

“Mrs. Lewis called the station to inform me that there was a strange woman crying in my back garden.”

“That was me.” She confessed.

“I assumed. Are you alright?” He inquired, taking a step forward.

“I went to visit Janey for her birthday. I found the flowers. Your flowers.”

Jack fell silent as he put the context clues together.

“Every month, Jack? Why didn’t you say anything?” She asked.

“I don’t know.” He shrugged off his coat and loosened his tie, buying time to think. “It started that morning you crawled into my bed but the visit was... nice. It’s a five minute ride on my bike. I stop in the morning, watch the sun rise. I wish her a happy birthday, tell her about all the trouble you're causing.” He smiled.

“You just pop over to the cemetery once a month and have a chat with my deceased little sister.” Phryne repeated for clarification.

He stared at her blankly, unsure of how to respond.

“Jack Robinson.” She shook her head in disbelief at him before flinging herself into his arms. Jack caught her by the lips and it wasn’t long before his mind shut down and his body moved on autopilot, totally at the mercy of her insane whims.

She pushed him back against the wall of his parlor, nearly climbing him in her desire but he managed to spin them around so that her back was against the door frame. Her hands worked on his fly as he shoved her trousers to the floor.

“I need you now. Right now.” She panted and his buttons sacrificed themselves to her request as she ripped his shirt open. Jack shrugged the damaged top off his shoulders before giving into her demand.

Phryne clutched at his hair as he kissed any exposed skin he could reach, rocking into her all the while. He tightened his grip on her thighs, shifting their angle slightly and she let out a long, deep moan that made him curse.

“Fuck.” He growled as he sank deeper into her, wanting to hear the sound again but she was too far gone. She shattered in his arms and Jack slowed his thrusts until she was completely sated. It took all of his willpower to leave her, gingerly sliding out of her body. His traitorous legs wobbled under him and he lowered her to the ground before he dropped her.

“No.” She whimpered at the loss. 

“French letters are in the bedroom.” He explained, momentarily placing his hand above her head to steady himself on the door jamb. They might as well have been in London for all the good it did him in the hallway.

She slid her hand between them and fisted him tightly. He was still slick with her and her hand slipped over his erection easily.

“You’re covered in me.” She realized. Both her eyes and her voice were dangerously dark, primal even. Jack watched as she slowly dropped to her knees. Surely, she wouldn't...

“Phryne…” Caught between desire and scandalized propriety, his voice had never sounded so rough.

“Shh…” She took him into her mouth and sucked lightly, experimenting.

He knew he shouldn't be so turned on by her sucking her own juices off of his cock, but he was trembling from it. A groan of torture escaped him as she took him deeper. He could only imagine what she must be tasting, her unique flavor mixing with his.

Phryne sucked harder, building a steady rhythm and Jack nearly cracked the wood trim beneath his hands in an attempt to keep from thrusting completely down her throat. The pressure in his spine began to build and with a rough stroke of her nails down the back of his thighs, Jack broke. He cried out in relief as he arched deeply into her, going blind with pleasure.

He fell forward, leaning on his forearms, head tucked in the crook of his elbow. When he turned to find her, she was gone, already across the room getting redressed. He picked up the remnants of his previous wardrobe and headed back to his bedroom for fresh clothes. When he returned, she was waiting for him.

“Hey, are you sure you’re alright?” He asked, breaking her silence. 

She nodded, reaching over to straighten his perfectly fine tie.

“I forget sometimes, how involved you are in all of this.” Jack somehow knew she meant Janey’s case. “It’s been so long since I’ve had someone to talk to about her. The people who knew her before can’t or won’t talk about her. The people who didn’t know her either don’t care or pity me for losing her and I hate that.” She added stubbornly. “But you,” her eyes went soft, “my quietly noble Jack Robinson, have been there for me every step of the way, from that very first day I disembarked. And I think today, the enormity of that, and what it means to me, finally sank in.” She sighed and rested her hands on his suit lapels. “I’m so lucky to have you, Jack.”

Jack kissed her forehead.

“I do it for you.” He said simply and it was true. He loved her completely, every fractured piece. If he could make her day slightly easier or more pleasant, he would do anything in his power to make it happen. Flowers in a graveyard seemed like a drop in the bucket compared to what she gave him in return. "I like taking care of you." He confessed. 

“No one has ever been brave enough to take care of me before.” She smiled. “It’s…” She didn’t have a word, but he didn’t need one.

“You’ll get used to it.” He assured her. “And feel free to show your gratitude in whatever way you feel is appropriate.” He added, making her laugh out loud. It was a deep, throaty, sinful laugh that required he kiss her immediately.

“You should get back to the station before they send a search party out after you.” She murmured, rubbing her nose against his.

“Can I see you tonight or would you prefer to be alone?”

“What did you have in mind?” She asked with a raise of her eyebrow.

“A quiet night in: whiskey, a hot bath, you.”

“I think I can clear my social calendar for the evening.”

“Good. I’ll see you soon.” He kissed her once more before moving towards the door.

“Jack?”

“Hmm?” He turned around.

“I love you.” She looked a bit sheepish at her own need to say it before he left, but Jack just winked and smiled at her before turning around and heading out the door.

Chapter Text

The birthday party had ended, most of the guests had returned to their homes or their beds, but still, Jack stayed. He couldn't seem to leave.

All night long, he’d stood along the fringes of the party observing, quietly acknowledging that all of this might have been lost if Phryne had been allowed to let herself die at the hands of Murdoch Foyle. Jack had done his best to thwart those plans but all the same, she had tried too hard for his liking.

As she returned from ushering the last guest out, Jack looked up from his place at the mantle. She met his eyes and it was only then that her carefully constructed mask began to fade, but her beauty never faded with it.

She didn't seem eager to release him from her gaze so Jack took the chance to analyze her bare features. They had both been through so much the past few days but what he saw in her stoked the last dying embers within him, slowly turning the ash in his belly into a dim, smoldering heat. They spoke without words: making promises, considering past actions, navigating an unspoken terrain with an ease Jack couldn't explain. And still her eyes never left his.

“Will you stay tonight?” She whispered at last. She looked down, as if she knew the question was too bold.

His left hand reached out, more for her sake than his, and he pulled her closer by her elbow.

“One, gaudy night?” Jack whispered hoarsely, his fingertips soothing the skin along the back of her arm. He watched her eyes flutter shut at the contact and it thrilled him to know he was the cause.

“Or a comforting one.” She murmured. “To chase the last of the shadows away?” She opened her eyes and Jack lost the will to breathe. A yearning, crystalline blue suddenly became his favorite color.

If it were any other day, he might have been stronger. Any other day, her touch, her eyes might not have broken him. But here, on this night, standing in her parlor, he didn't have the will to deny her.

He pulled her forward and closed the distance, kissing her far too intimately for only their second kiss. He wanted to be strong for her, wanted to keep her demons at bay. In return, she was a salve for his open wounds, helping him feel almost whole again. They caught fire.

She only broke away from him to traverse the stairs and even then, Phryne held tightly to his hand. When she opened the door to her bedroom, Jack realized it was precisely the way he’d always imagined it. She gave him a few seconds to get his bearings before demanding his attention once more with a tug on his hand.

“Kiss me again, Jack.” She requested. “Kiss me and never stop.”

He was more than happy to comply.

They undressed each other with great care, taking their time, soaking in the moment, stopping only for more kisses or distracted touches. Jack knew that he might never get the opportunity to be with her again and he would not be rushed. He wondered if she was sharing the same thought.

It wasn't hard to maintain the same vulnerability she had shown him in her parlor. It had been several years since he had done this and never with someone with her experience. They were both a bundle of raw nerves, years of their baggage resolved in a few calculated moments, and now they were left with only each other. Somewhere in his darkest thoughts, Jack prayed it wouldn’t backfire.

When she was ready, she lay down on the mattress, her hand reaching out, inviting him to join her.

He did so, laying beside her reverently. He touched her cheek, her jaw, her lips and wondered how a single sidelong glance from her could fill him up to brimming, when for so long he had felt empty.

“You do, you know,” he spoke quietly, “chase the shadows away.”

Phryne paused for a moment, trying to ascertain if he was serious. When she saw that he was, she closed her eyes. She took his hand and placed it over her heart. It was beating erratically.

It was all the confirmation he needed.

He moved over her, took her in his arms and around his waist, and made love to her until neither of them knew anything but each other.

When she came, it was his breathless name on her lips.

When he came, it was the warm curve of her neck that he took refuge in.

Without another sound, they both fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.

Chapter Text

“Queenscliff.” Phryne decided. She was sitting with her back to the arm of the hotel sofa, legs curled up beside her. Jack’s feet were planted ever-firmly on the floor as he leaned over to pour them each yet another whiskey.

“Really?”  Jack asked curiously as he handed her her refilled glass.

“After your divorce, you began to open up more but it wasn’t until Queenscliff that you had a confidence that I had never seen before; it was extremely arousing.” She added conspiratorially. “And as fun as tormenting a rigid Inspector was, having one that played along was far more interesting. Naturally, I decided to make it my new mission to find out how far these new boundary lines extended.” She stretched her leg out to nudge his thigh playfully with her freshly painted toes.

“Of course you did.” Jack glanced down at the assault on his space with the same annoyed look that he usually reserved for when she got inappropriate at his desk.

It made her mischievous heart skip a beat.

“To be fair, I did run into more than my fair share of yours.” She reminded him of just how many boundary lines he had drawn when they first met. “But,” she added, “once you stole my attention…”

Stole ?” Jack mocked offense at the word. He set down his glass and turned to face her, his arm stretching across the back of the couch. “Would you care to file a complaint, Miss Fisher?” He raised an eyebrow.

“No.” She smiled warmly in the face of his gravitas. “I rather prefer the intrigue you provide, thank you. And occasionally, if I play my cards right, I still get to torment a rigid Inspector from time to time.” She purred as her foot slid deeper into his lap to take advantage of his new position on the couch.  

She was met with the firm clamp of his hand around her ankle and a stern stare. She didn’t back down from his disapproving gaze but Jack released her foot all the same.

“Come now, Jack.” She grinned as she moved to sit in his lap. “You know full well that I wouldn’t trade the last five years with you for anything in the world.” She draped her arms over his shoulders.

“We’ve had our moments.” Jack agreed as he stroked her thighs lovingly.

“Mm, and tonight is one of them.” She looked around at the familiar Windsor suite. “I can’t believe you remembered the exact room I was staying in the day we met.”

“The thing about all that boring paperwork you refuse to do, Miss Fisher, is that it remembers these details for me.”

“Is that what that notebook is for?” She played dumb. “Hmm...” She considered his point. “What else did it say about me?”

“You won’t be the least bit surprised to learn that the phrase ‘May cause future problems’ was scribbled down more than once.”

“Well, you’ve always been insightful.” She charmed as she let one hand slowly begin to unbutton his dress shirt. “But, in my defense, when the first thing you say to a woman is ‘Police! Open up!’, you’re not exactly unbiased in your assessment of her character.” She implied before kissing him behind the ear.

“Not exactly Shakespeare, I’ll grant you that.” He conceded as he leaned his head back against the sofa so she could continue her work.

“Shakespeare would come later.” She bit at his jaw. “And so would I.” She whispered saucily.

Jack groaned in tortured pleasure just as her hand ran out of shirt and trouser buttons to undo. She was just about to reach between their bodies to slip inside his trousers when Jack shifted.

“Enough.” He decided without warning and Phryne shrieked in surprise as he stood up, her legs and arms squeezing around him to avoid falling to the floor.

“Jack, be careful!” She laughed giddily as he carried her off to the bedroom.

"I am." He defended, nearly stumbling under her weight and his undone trousers.

“You’re tanked.” She accused playfully as he dumped her unceremoniously on the bed.

“Not quite," he demured, "but I am mortal.” He corrected as he finished undressing himself. “And you,” he paused to toss his shirt aside, “are a wicked temptress, whom I can no longer deny.”

“Oh, well, as you were then.” She grinned as she leaned back on her hands to watch him strip.

“Not so fast.” He shook his head, refusing to let her get comfortable. “Dress off. Now.” He demanded.

She smirked, all too happy to accommodate him. She loved it when he got bossy. She’d dressed for just this circumstance and after undoing only a few buttons, her dress was easily lifted over her head and dropped forgotten to the floor.

Jack pressed her down into the mattress, covering her body with his. He sucked and nibbled his way down her neck until he reached her breasts. He explored them meticulously, as if it were the first time instead of three years on, scraping with his teeth, smoothing with his tongue and all the while, she was a writhing, tingling mess beneath him.

For whatever reason, an illicit picture appeared in her mind of Jack doing the very same thing while she sat on his desk, both of them fully clothed, aside from her half-unbuttoned blouse, his head hidden from view beneath the coat she was still wearing, biting her lip to keep silent as he…

“Oh!’ She cried out as a short orgasm rippled within her. Jack had brushed his fingernails up her thigh and apparently, that and his mouth were all it took to set her off.

When she opened her eyes, her hands were still clenched in Jack’s unruly hair and he was staring up at her in surprise. He raised an eyebrow, smirking curiously at her, silently questioning if she had really just come from only his mouth on her breasts and hand on her thigh.

“Shush.” She panted at his proud gloating, tugging on his hair playfully before releasing him.

Jack moved back up her body and nudged her nose with his, seeking out her mouth once more.

She gave in and kissed him long enough to appease him before pushing him back onto the mattress. She coated him with her own fluid, watching as his eyes rolled back in his head at how wet she was for him, before she lowered herself slowly onto his unyielding erection.

Jack hummed in comfort as they joined, as if he’d been homesick for her body and only now was feeling relief.

She couldn’t resist leaning closer to him to kiss him and it pushed him even deeper within her. He gasped into her mouth and she swallowed it with her kiss.

“I love you.” He groaned. “I really do.”

“Prove it.” She teased as she began to swirl her hips above him.

“Oh God, Phryne.” He moaned as her muscles squeezed around him. “Don’t tease. I want you to…Yes!” He cried, wrapping his hands in her hair for purchase as she hit a particularly good spot. “Fuck." He bit his lip in frustration, trying to focus through her ministrations. "Come with me.” He begged.

“You first.” She fought him off, wanting to continue driving him wild.

Their competitive spirits flared and it was a race to the finish, one that they were both trying to lose. They clung to each other, their bodies frantically searching for release in the other, trying to stave off the inevitable in themselves, before eventually mutually shattering in each other’s arms.

“Oh God.” Phryne fell beside him exhausted, both of their bodies humming and slick.

“You’re amazing.” He praised, head lolling back on the pillow.

“Don't tell me. Save it for the notebook.” She panted, wanting her due. 

Chapter Text

Jack heard her before he saw her, as his front door swung open. His back was to the door so he pretended to be lost in his book, letting her make the first move. He felt her smile at the image he made, even without looking up to confirm it.

“Hello.” He greeted her blindly, listening to her footsteps move behind him.

“Hi.” She whispered sweetly, slipping her arms down his chest, her hands taking advantage of the several buttons he’d undone to battle the summer’s oppressive heat. “What are you reading?” She asked, peering over his shoulder.

“Cimarron.” He flipped the cover closed to prove it.

Another American western?”

Jack smiled at her disapproval as she began kissing behind his ear.

“I think Henry has started shipping them in because he knows I’ll always buy them.”

“Don’t you?” She paused in her ministrations.

“Well, he’s so close to retirement...” Jack excused and her teeth scraped at his neck playfully. He tugged her around in front of him so he could get his fair share of her.

She came around and he sat her down on his thigh, her legs dangling between his.

“How was the rest of your day?” She asked him as the fingers brushed at the back of his hair lazily.

“Manageable.” He confessed, sliding a hand up her thigh. He felt for the dagger he expected to find in her garter and he carefully pulled it from its sheath. “How’s your case going?” He inquired as he held it up for her to examine, suddenly doubting her safety.

“I’m sorry to disappoint you but it’s at quite the dead end actually.” She pouted.

He couldn’t help but smirk at her obvious displeasure as he cast the weapon aside.

“I spent all evening speaking to the driest people imaginable, trying to get some kind of information and no one gave up so much as a detail.”

“Maybe you were asking the wrong people.” He suggested as he rolled her stockings off her dainty toes.

“Bert and Cec were with the other drivers, and the, um, servants,” she got distracted as his tongue traced her collarbone, “were more than willing to chat with Dot.” She hummed as he kissed her neck and Jack felt the vibration against his lips.

Jack slid both of his hands under her tight, perfect behind and shifted her down against the arm of the sofa, letting his hands linger there for longer than necessary.

At her descent, Phryne’s dress fell above her hips but she made no attempts to cover herself up again. In fact, quite the opposite. She gave him a look that dared him to continue.

“You’ll uncover what you need.” Jack promised as he let his fingertips trail lightly over the center of her damp silk lingerie. “You always do.”

Her eyes closed blissfully, relishing in the attention.

“Perhaps you could help me.” She suggested, her thighs parting ever so subtly. “You’ve always been one to...dive deep into a case.”

He met her eyes, both of them knowing he was going to have her right here on this couch before the evening was done.

“Miss Fisher, are you asking me for assistance?”

“There’s no one else I’d rather ask.” She praised. “Your investigative technique is second to none.”

“Then you'd better start at the beginning.” He replied.

“Well, as far as I know, the first artifacts came out of London.” She relaxed as he brushed the back of his fingers along her thigh. “They arrived via ship and were exchanged in a hotel room. The bellboy gave a…” she gasped as Jack’s mouth explored just how low her neckline plunged.

Too damn low.

The soft material shifted far too easily, revealing an uncovered breast just waiting for his attention. He’d never be able to safely see her in this dress again.

Her hands wove their way through his hair as his tongue worked her nipple into a frenzy.

“...a description.” She hummed, biting her lip. “White male, average height, mid to late 40s, blonde hair, blue eyes, British accent of some sort.”

“Half the continent.” Jack mused as he removed her undergarments.

“Precisely.” She concurred as she got lost in watching him work.

“You were saying?” He encouraged as he placed her calfs on each of his shoulders nonchalantly.

“Oh, yes. The room was reserved under the name Echolls so I had Bert and Cec wait in the lobby until the so-called Echolls appeared. He wasn't blonde, but he was very wealthy. I thought he might be the buyer so we followed him to the party. l even managed to dance with him once or twice, but he was completely oblivious, and not in a clever way.” She panted. “Someone with access waited until Echolls had left his room to...oh, God, do that again.” She begged, her body arching up to meet his tongue. “Yes…” She purred. “Ohhh. Jack...”

He slowed his pace, wanting to let her continue but she tugged at his hair in frustration, not appreciating the change.

“Someone at the hotel…” He reminded her as two fingers slid into her and began to stroke her walls.

“Had access.” She cried as her hips began to quake. His mouth returned to its previous work.

“That’s it. That's it.” She moaned rhythms for him to follow. “I need more. Please, Jack. I need… I need…” She broke with a loud cry of release and he slowed his actions to a stop. 

“My money's on the bellboy.” He suggested with a kiss to her quivering thigh. He took his fingers back to clean them with a handkerchief from his pocket. “A vague description of someone who may or may not have even been there? He might have made it up entirely. But you do know that he was there. He confessed to that much. He’s the key to breaking the whole thing wide open. I’d start there.”

“I have another appointment with him tomorrow.” She murmured hazily as she came down from her high.

Jack smiled at her detective prowess even amid her disheveled elegance.

“Let’s go, Lady Detective. Before you fall asleep like this.” He motioned for her to sit up.

“What about you?” She asked with a yawn.

“I’ll be just fine.” He promised. Her limbs were heavy around his neck as he carried her off to bed.

“I don’t deserve you, Jack Robinson.” She muttered as he sat her down on his bed.

He helped her pull her dress over her head and she climbed underneath the doona naked.

“Jack?”

“Mm?”  

“When was the last time you read Antony and Cleopatra?”

“I really couldn’t say. Why?” He asked, dumbfounded by the question.

“You might want to pull it down from the shelf.” She said nonchalantly. “Especially before you... see to yourself.”

Jack was completely lost but he headed towards the parlor and tugged the book off the shelf. As he opened it, a few photographs were tucked into the pages. He nearly dropped the book as he realized they were of her in various states of undress in her boudoir. The last one was of her completely nude, propped up by a mountain of pillows on her bed.

He closed his eyes and flushed from head to toe.

They were more artistic than obscene, not that the State of Victoria would agree. He gave them all another once over. The last one had her perfect penmanship scrawled across the back.

You’re welcome .

He laughed out loud.

He really didn't deserve her either.

Chapter Text

“Morning Jack!” Phryne practically bounced into his office. “Toast this morning. Excellent.” She grabbed a triangle without a second thought. He didn’t bother fighting her anymore.

“How can I help you, Miss Fisher?” Jack asked as he leaned back in his chair.

“I’m working a case that requires... another set of hands, shall we say. Would you be interested in moonlighting?”

“You’re asking me for help?” He raised an eyebrow at the uncharacteristic behavior.

“You’re the only one I’d ask.” She smiled too sweetly. He immediately grew suspect.

“What’s the case?” He asked curiously.

Phryne sighed and sat down on the corner of the desk. He could have sworn he saw her hitch her skirt up ever so slightly.

“I happen to need a companion for an evening. My current investigation has led me to a familiar location and I won’t be able to go undercover. I need someone to take me out for the evening, you know, under the guise of dinner and the theatre and since you are perfect for the job and already trained for the work...”

“Dinner and the theatre?” Jack furrowed his eyebrows.

“It’s a natural neighborhood for you to be in, what with Russell Street right there.” She smiled too sweetly.

“No.” He shook his head vehemently as he realized where Russell Street and the theatre met.

“Jack!”

“No.” He shrugged stubbornly. “I’m not going to Chinatown to be the police cover for you and Mr. Lin.”

“Please? I help you solve cases all the time!” She reminded him.

“And when have I ever asked for that help?” He inquired honestly. She sighed before giving it another try.

“I could make it worth your while.” She leaned in closer and ran his tie through her fingers.  

“You can put the eyelashes away. We both know they don’t work on me.”

We know no such thing.” She countered. “Please, Jack? If you come with me, he’ll be so horribly distracted by your presence that I will get my information in no time at all.” She persuaded.

“I don’t see how my being there will assist you. Besides, unlike me, I seem to recall Lin being quite defenseless when it came to your... eyelashes.” Jack remarked distractedly.

“Jack!” She scolded with a roll of her eyes. “You know Lin is married. Although that never stopped him from being wildly jealous of you.”

“I can’t imagine why.” Jack scoffed.

“He could see right away that our partnership…”

“What about our partnership ?” Jack squinted, leaning closer at her generous use of the word.

“He could see that it was more important to me than any physical chemistry that he and I may have shared. He felt he couldn’t compete with it, no matter how often I assured him our relationship was physically... unfulfilled.”

Jack raised an eyebrow at the admission.

“Not that I didn’t try,” she confessed, “but it seemed like every time I turned around back then there was a damn noble man in a marriage standing in my way.” She pouted and Jack’s attention fell on her perfectly painted red lips.

“It happens.” He murmured, still staring.

“Not to me.” She whispered confidently.

Jack took a deep breath, moving just a millimeter closer and Phryne followed suit. He looked deep into her eyes.

“All the same, the answer’s still no.” He whispered before pulling away, completely unswayed.

“Oh!” She huffed angrily before standing up and crossing her arms indignantly.

Jack chuckled smugly at her reaction, settling back into his chair.

“If it makes you feel any better, you were very convincing.” Jack patronized. “If there were any chance my men could learn your skills of persuasion, I’d have you training them for me.”

“For your information, Jack Robinson, the reason it was convincing was because it was the truth.” She confessed, shoving her clutch under her arm. “When we first met, I was quite taken with you and Lin was jealous. Luckily, now I know better!” She cried before stomping out of his office and slamming the door behind her.

Jack glanced down at his watch, waiting for her inevitable return. When she didn’t, he waited a good five minutes before he stood up and went to go talk to Collins about the day ahead.

“Collins, can you…”

Jack stopped as he saw Phryne leaning over the front counter, flirting shamelessly with Constable Porter, tired from his long night shift and trapped behind the counter.

“Porter? You’re still here?” He asked.

“Sir.” Constable Porter acknowledged, his voice as wobbly as a young boy’s. Between fatigue and the woman in front of him, the poor soul was completely over his head.

“You’re excused, Constable.” He said.

“Thank you, sir.” The poor kid went scattering to the back of the station.

“He’s a child.” Jack scolded.

“Needs must.” She shrugged less than nonchalantly and Jack knew he was caught. He sighed.

“If I say yes, will you leave my men alone?”

“Yes.” She agreed readily.

“What time?” He asked reluctantly.

“Seven in formal wear?” She suggested.

“I’ll pick you up. If it’s a date, then we’re doing it properly.” He agreed with a nod before turning around to see Collins standing behind him, ready to start the day.

“Collins.” Jack sighed wearily.

“Sir.” He quietly stared at the door Phryne had just exited before turning back to his boss.

“Better not to ask, Collins.” Jack said as he slapped the young man on the shoulder as he passed.

OOOOO

Jack stood waiting in her entryway, small talking with Jane about the books she was currently reading when Phryne made her way down the steps. He paused mid-sentence to turn and give his full attention to her. She was wearing a particularly lethal evening gown and whether it was for him or Lin, Jack knew that he was in deep trouble tonight.

“Inspector.” She smiled. “My, aren’t you looking dapper this evening!” She gave him a onceover and allowed him time to compose himself.

“Miss Fisher, beautiful as always.” He said politely as he glanced over at Jane, who was beaming with the wide eyes of a teenage girl who was clearly writing romance novels about the two of them in her head.

“Don’t stay up too late.” She told her ward with a kiss to the top of her head.

“Have a lovely time.” Jane beamed as the couple left.

“So, what precisely are we doing this evening?” He asked as he escorted her to his car.

“You are taking me out to dinner. I am going to casually run into Lin, get the information I need, and then, if you so choose, we can continue on to the theatre or, you can abscond with the rest of your evening free.”

“You actually bought the theatre tickets?”

“I always have tickets.” She said as if it were the most normal thing on earth. “I swear, Jack, every time you forget how fabulously wealthy I am, it always thrills me. Why is that?” She asked rhetorically.

“What can I say?” He shrugged. “Our work tends to lend itself to only seeing the tiny troublemaker from Collingwood.”

“Is that what you see when you look at me?” She asked with a pleased smile at learning the information.

“Sometimes. While I’m sure that your money opens doors for you, I’m certain you could do just as much playing the starving child in dirty rags.” He glanced over at her knowingly.

“With my skills of persuasion?” She recited his words from earlier proudly.

“Unmatched and unparalleled.”

“Honed for survival.” She agreed dryly before falling quiet.

“What do you see when you look at me?” He asked, refusing to let her fall into her tragic past so early in the evening. Sure enough, she perked up at the question.

“A stoic man who has the uncanny ability to disconnect his outer appearance from his thoughts and feelings, like an iceberg that only reveals the tiniest piece of itself.” She smiled. “Inside, your mind is whirling a thousand cycles a second, it never stops and your heart is... immense. But somehow, all of that activity never reaches your features. There are moments where I would trade anything to know what’s happening underneath that shell you’ve created.” She confessed and it surprised him. “You’ve seen too much chaos in your lifetime so you use the law and its structure as a port in the storm.”

Jack was unable to argue.

“And I have a tendency to toss you overboard and assume you’ll swim.” She realized, looking out her window.

“I haven't drown yet, Miss Fisher.” He assured her as he pulled up to the theatre.

He waited for a witty rebuttal that never came.

“You were right, Jack. I shouldn’t have bothered you with this. It’s my case. If you want to go, I’ll be fine on my own.”

“What? Phryne, I…” He stuttered as she got out of the motorcar decisively.

Jack growled in frustration before getting out of the car.

"Just once, could you stick to a plan, any plan?” He whispered roughly. She turned around to glare at him for his small rebellion but he simply gestured to the door.

“After you, darling .” He dared her to send him away again.

She took a deep breath, rolled her eyes, and hitched up her fur a little higher up her shoulder.

“Thank you.” She sniffed to the door man as she entered the restaurant.

The doorman barely blinked. He had clearly seen more than his fair share of toffs having it out on his sidewalk.

Jack gave him a look begging for some sympathy for the crazy woman he was about to dine with and the man nodded in understanding.

Phryne greeted a small woman with a nod and a murmur of Chinese before heading towards a table in the back. A table, Jack noticed, that had a view of the entire restaurant.

“Lin’s grandmother. She hates me.” Phryne explained as she took her seat. “Fair warning, she may attempt to poison our food.”

“Oh good. Another life-threatening adventure with Phryne Fisher then.” Jack slid in close, unsure of why his fires were burning so hot tonight but he felt unable to control them.

“You could have risked losing Porter.” She countered, trying poorly to hide the effect his proximity was having on her.

“I’ve already committed to your insanity, let’s not bring the children into this.” He mumbled as he picked up a menu. It wasn’t the distraction he wanted as it was entirely in Chinese and he tossed it aside again.

“Jack, relax. This will be over in no time at all. Tell me about your day.” She attempted but Jack saw the flush of her neck as she reached out to touch him. She was burning as hot as he was.

“It all started with a woman stealing my breakfast.” He began.

OOOOO

After a rather frustrating chopsticks lesson from Phryne, who was trying too hard to distract him from the fact that the theatre was now long closed and there was still no sign of Mr. Lin or his associates, Jack was starting to lose patience.

“How long do you expect Mr. Lin will keep us wai…”

“Jack…” Phryne got his attention, but kept her eye on the door. “I suddenly feel the need to ask if kissing is still an acceptable form of undercover behavior?”

“I suppose if the need arises…” He began, knowing exactly why she was asking. She didn’t let him finish.

He may have kissed her back for a few moments, possibly out of repayment for his boredom, who could say?

“Now we’re even.” She whispered, rubbing the lipstick off his lips intimately. “He’s coming this way.”

“Miss Fisher. Inspector Robinson.” Lin greeted them.

“Lin! How lovely to see you.” She smiled. “How’s Camellia?”

“Fitting in nicely. You should come say hello.” Lin pointed toward their table, smiling politely at Phryne but giving Jack a wary side eye. He was obviously not invited.

“I would love to. Jack, be a dear and pay the bill? I won’t be long.” She requested as she slid out of her seat.

“Of course.” He said gracefully.

“You know, I was just thinking of you yesterday. I heard about the incident at the docks. I hope your shipments weren't affected.” She began as they walked across the restaurant together.

Jack knew she’d have her answer before she returned.

OOOOO

“So did you get what you needed?” Jack asked as he opened the car door for her.

“Yes, thank you. I was correct in assuming that your presence would throw Lin off-balance. I spent more time explaining our relationship than interrogating him. He’s still jealous of you.” She beamed proudly. He contemplated her statement as he walked around the car.

“What exactly did you tell him?” He asked as he started the car and pulled away.

“I told him that now that you were divorced, you were more...liberal-minded with your affection.”

“I’ve been divorced all of two minutes and you’re already using it to your advantage?”

“Trust me, I don’t like it anymore than you do. I was saving that particular advantage for another day.”

He gave her a disapproving glare.

“I was.” She maintained, unapologetic for her statement.

The rest of the ride home was a quiet one as they both contemplated the rollercoaster that was their day.

Jack was mulling her statements: that she wanted him when they first met, that she had been waiting to use his divorce to her advantage. Judging by the way she left his office this morning, and the kiss they shared tonight, her feelings weren’t in the past.

“Did you plan it?” He asked as he turned off the car.

“The kiss?” She verified by glancing over at him. “No.” She replied as she looked ahead once more. “Did you plan yours?”

“No.” He responded quickly, also looking straight ahead.

“But I don’t regret either of them.” She added. “You’re a very skilled kisser, Jack.” She teased, wanting to push his buttons.

“Mm, I did have higher expectations of you.” He teased right back and she scoffed at his gall.

“I save my best work for when I’m off the clock.” She leaned in closer to him, finally looking at him.

“Third time lucky?” He pretended to be skeptical as he met her gaze.

“As lucky as you want it to be.” She offered, her voice smoldering.

The air in the car was dense as he considered her offer.

“Unmatched and unparalleled.” He whispered, his voice rough but he didn’t give away his leanings.

“You haven’t given in yet.” She countered, looking deeper into his eyes, wanting a reaction of any kind.

“Haven’t I?” He inquired and Phryne raised an eyebrow. He tilted his head minutely towards the door, giving her permission to get out.

She slowly opened it but she kept eye contact with him as she pulled herself out of the car. She stood on the sidewalk, waiting for him to make the next move.

He made her wait, mostly just to watch her squirm before he opened his door and stepped out of the car.

The smile that blossomed on her face was worth the wait.

“Don’t tease me, Jack Robinson.” She warned. “If you walk through that door…”

He didn’t let her finish.

The kiss was slow but intentionally revealing.

“Can you read what’s on my mind now?” He inquired.

She shook her head slowly, refusing to cooperate.

“I’m afraid you’ll have to show me.” She looked up at him.

And Jack Robinson finally saw the appeal of giving in to Phryne Fisher’s eyelashes.


Chapter Text

“You’re quiet.” Jack noticed as he took off his jacket, pointing out the rarity rather than enjoying the disquieting silence like a smart man would.

“I was just thinking about those introductions tonight.” She removed an earring and returned it to her jewelry box. “I never realized it before because we both have titles but I don’t know how to refer to you in public now that we’ve…” Jack raised an eyebrow, wondering how she would choose to phrase their physical relationship but she just smiled. “Tonight, I still introduced you as Detective Inspector.”

“I wasn’t aware it had changed.” Jack made a show of pulling out his badge to double check his title.

Phryne, in return, gripped the heel of the shoe she had just removed and played at hurling it across the room at him.

“You know what I mean.” She insisted. “It felt a bit… impersonal, all things considered.”

“What would you prefer?” He inquired as he set his cufflinks aside. “Why yes, Mrs. Andrews, I am enjoying London very much, thank you. Have you met my unmarried lover, The Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher?”

“Think of the scandal.” She grinned.

“Might liven things up a bit.” He commented passively.

She flashed him a knowing look in agreement as she crossed the room to join him, silently expecting his help with her dress.

“I don't care how you introduce me.” Jack assured her as he touched the small of her back, silently asking her to shift a bit towards him and she followed orders. “Just as long as I get to be the one who sits beside you at dinner.” He grinned before turning his attention to the tiny buttons on her dress.

“So tonight when I broke away from my mother long enough to tell that young, beautiful brunette you were talking to that you were spoken for and to leave you alone, that wasn't overstepping?” She asked, eyes on the wall ahead of her.

Jack’s finger fumbled on a button as he realized that the question on her mind had nothing to do with titles or labels: she was jealous.

The air in the room shifted as his silence gave way to her vulnerability and he realized she interpreted his reaction as validation of her question.

This woman...

How she could go from hurricane to lamb in the blink of an eye was beyond him. However, confronting a lifetime of abandonment issues was not a war Jack was willing to wage tonight and if she was as serious as she appeared, his words would do nothing to allay her fears. He needed to prove his devotion another way.

“It’s not overstepping. It’s the truth.” He replied as he pulled the straps of her dress over her shoulders and her beaded dress fell to the plush rug with a muted jangle. He kissed the newly exposed skin on her shoulder and she shivered at the light touch of his lips. He felt her hand reach up to gently stroke the back of his head, encouraging him to continue.

“There is no one else in the world I would rather be with tonight.” His hands ran over her silk slip, sliding the soft material against her hips and stomach as he pressed himself into her from behind to prove it. The hand in his hair tightened in desire as he ran his teeth over the tendon in her neck. “And if you ever question that, I’ll be right here to remind you.”

“I know.” She acknowledged quietly.

“But…” He heard her biting back the word.

“You have a particularly cruel knack for befriending the only woman in the room with whom I can’t compete.”

Jack’s hands stilled on her hips and his mouth left her skin.

“What does that mean?” He questioned as he turned her around to face him.

“I had no illusions of competing with Rosie. She was your wife. Concetta offered you a life I couldn’t and I had no claim to stop you if that was what you decided to go after, but Sophia Morra…”

“What about her?”

“Aside from being extremely beautiful, wealthy, kind, morally sound, well-educated, well-behaved, and well-bred?”

Jack smiled as she finally finished her list. He’d wondered how long she could go on.

“Mm, all of that? Perhaps I should return to the party before she gets away.” He teased.

“Jack…” Phryne pouted, fully aware of how she sounded. “It takes a lot to rattle me, but I swear, it’s like God himself took the best of each of us and created her specifically to please you. And the fact that she is the only person you bonded with tonight proves my point.”

“Each of you?” Jack raised his eyebrow, not letting the subtle mention of his past slide by.

“The Holy Trinity.” She replied, neatly packaging Rosie, Concetta and herself into one phrase.

Jack really shouldn’t have been surprised that she’d picked up on his penchant for strong brunettes, but Phryne had never mentioned their common characteristics before, let alone in jealousy. A small part of him was relieved to know that she cared enough to notice but the larger part of him wanted to set her mind at ease.

He did her the courtesy of rolling his eyes drolly at her phrase.

“Phryne,” he shook his head, “it’s not the same. How many men graced your bed before me? Were any of them even half of what you and I have together?”

She fell quiet.

“Precisely.” He pulled her back into his arms against her will. “I love you. Unbearably so.” He added intentionally.

She gazed into his eyes for a moment, internally debating whether or not to be won over by his charm.

“Unbearably?” She wanted confirmation.

“Enough to send me sailing thousands of miles around the world to avoid the torment of it.” He pointed out. “But if it will help, I’ll confess that, from time to time,” he ran his fingers along her collarbone to her shoulder, “I’ve also felt irrationally jealous over you as well.” He teased as the strap of her slip fell off her shoulder.

“You have?” Phryne shivered and offered her other shoulder to him.

“Mm.” He hummed into her bare neck and watched in delight as the hair on the back of it stood on end.

“So what do we do about it?” She asked coyly as her fingers began unbuttoning his trousers.

“The cause, I’ve been told,” he paused as her slip fell vanquished to the floor, “is also the cure.”

Phryne’s eyes clouded over in overwhelming lust at his words, but she managed to focus long enough to help free him from his clothes. When he was ready, she pulled him tight against her, pinning herself between the wall and his body.

Knowing what she wanted, Jack pressed their hands together above her head, letting her have tight friction from head to toe. She practically purred in relief.

“Yes. Close.” She hummed. “Just like this.”

He nodded in understanding or agreement, he wasn’t sure himself.

“I missed you tonight.” She murmured.

“All I wanted was to take you away from that stuffy crowd and bury myself inside you.” He confessed.

“Yes.” She echoed, doing something particularly evil with her lips and teeth along the base of his neck before soothing it with her tongue.

Jack envisioned the mark he would have tomorrow but the knowledge that she was claiming him triggered a deep epiphany regarding her behavior: she wanted to be claimed herself, wanted to know that he returned her desire.

“Tell me more, Jack.” Her request was breathless, full of need, and proved his theory right.

Jack took himself in hand long enough to guide his way into her body, not stopping until there was no longer space left between them. He returned to keep her hands anchored to the wall as he began to work his hips, slowly pumping in and out of her.

“I’m yours, Phryne.” He promised her.

She let out a quiet moan at his words but clearly wanted more.  

“Jack...”

His name was a plea that twisted in his abdomen and he kissed her into silence before he could give in to her demands.

“Go on. You can say it.” She purred as she flexed around him, making him groan and he instinctively let go of her hands to press his left palm deeper against the wall for leverage while the other disappeared behind her to pull her even closer. “It’s the truth.” She used his own words against him.

Jack clenched his jaw in defense of the statement. It was exactly what he’d always wanted to hear and she knew it.

“Say it, Jack. Please.” She repeated desperately, her body quivering. She wrapped her arms around the top of his shoulders and her legs tighter around his waist before swiveling her hips, wringing the rest of his willpower from him.

“You’re mine.” He whispered roughly, giving in to her demands.

“Yes, Jack.” She moaned. “Yes. Again.”

“Mine.” He repeated as he nipped at her neck.

“Yes!” She cried as her orgasm rushed through her body.

Jack’s own pleasure ripped through him like lightning as he lost himself inside her.

She hummed into his neck as they sagged against each other in exhaustion.

“Now, was that so hard?” She asked wickedly.

A tired chuckle bubbled up from his chest and he pecked her lips once more before releasing her.

“Yes.” He nodded, knowing full well that she’d never belong to anyone, let alone him.

As they fell into silence, cleaning themselves up and finding their way into their respective sleepwear, he felt her eyes on his back, assessing his bare back with a satisfied appreciation that filled him with far too much confidence.

“You would tell me, though?” She asked sincerely. “If I ever became too possessive of you?” He turned around and stared at her to gauge the seriousness of her question. She stood in her peach pajamas, glowing in the low light of the bedroom. She was radiant inside and out.

“Only if you promise to do the same.” He countered strategically as she sauntered towards him.

“I promise.” She smiled slyly, running her hands over his bare chest.

“Then I promise too.” He agreed as she leaned in to kiss him.

“Good.” She pulled him towards the bed. “Because I fully intend to push those boundaries.” She revealed.

“I would expect nothing less, Miss Fisher.”

Chapter Text

The phone was protesting his tardiness by shrilly ringing as he unlocked the front door.

“Yes, yes, I hear you,” he muttered under his breath as he rushed to the phone.

“Inspector Robinson,” Jack answered at last, a little out of breath.

“Hello, Jack.”

The playfully seductive sound of her voice didn’t register at first. It had been so long since he had heard it. His dumbfounded silence must have amused her because he heard her smile through the silence.

“Have I caught you at a bad time, Inspector?” She wondered with a voice that turned his knees to jelly as he slid down the parlor wall to the floor. He leaned his head back and sighed.

“Phryne.” It was all he could manage. His brain had left him. “Are you home?”

“Not quite. I’ll be home by the weekend but I couldn’t wait another second to hear your voice. I’m calling from the hotel but it’s meant to storm tomorrow. I don’t think I’ll get home until Saturday.”

“How was your trip thus far?” He was buying time to think of a response to her confession, but he couldn’t do that until he was sure that she was safe.

“It’s much easier flying alone, as you might imagine. How are things in Melbourne? What have I missed?”

“Not much, I’m afraid. Everything is about the same.”

“Then how are you?” She asked, her voice softer. He could practically feel her tugging on his lapels as she said it. His heart ached for her.

“I miss you,” he confessed intimately. He had made a decision while she was away that he was going to act as though their kiss on the airfield was a beginning and not a goodbye. He was coming after her, just as she requested.

“I know. I miss you too,” she whispered. “It wasn’t fair, him swooping in on the very night we were going to...”

She stopped mid-sentence.

“We were going to what?” He prodded, the distance giving him courage. He wanted to hear what she had in mind.

“Have dinner,” she covered poorly and he laughed, outright, at her failure. They’d both known precisely what her invitation held when he’d accepted it.

“Is that what they call it now?” He chuckled.

“I had a plan,” she huffed. “I had candles and wine and lingerie. I was going to invite you to stay for a nightcap and then seductively take the whiskey bottle upstairs and make you follow me slowly step by step until you were driven mad with desire.”

“It would have worked,” he gave his word and she chuckled at his honesty. “And it still will,” he added and her chuckling stopped.

“Jack…” The single syllable conveyed all the feeling she had for him, not the least of which was her undying love for his dedication.

“It won’t be long.” He said it for both of their sakes.

“What will happen then?” She asked and he knew why she was asking. She wanted something to stem the tide. “What’s your plan, Jack?”

Jack closed his eyes, the question had been on his own mind for weeks.

“To kiss you until your lungs and knees give out,” he murmured hoarsely before listening to her reaction. Her breath quickened and he felt the air shift around him. He wanted more. “To undress you, wrap your soft body around mine, and make love to you all night long.”

She let out a soft mewl of a moan and he couldn’t help undoing his belt.

“Tell me more, Jack.”

“Are you touching yourself, Miss Fisher?” He asked, already knowing the answer.

“Yes,” she panted.

“Are you wet for me?”

“Yes.”

He groaned as he began to stroke himself tightly.

“How does it feel?” He asked.

“I want it to be you. Your hands, your mouth, your cock.”

Fuck.

“Talk to me, Jack,” she moaned. “Say anything, I need to hear your voice.”

He inhaled deeply, drawing every last drop of will he had for her. He let go of his erection, wanting to focus on getting her off.

“Phryne, this is the last time you will ever have to imagine what it feels like to be with me. In two days, it will be my hands, my mouth, and my cock inside you.”

She moaned and Jack's entire body twitched.

“I want to be the one making you moan like that, Phryne. I want to watch your eyes close as you climb, see your body writhing, feel you pulsating tightly around my hard cock as I come inside you.”

A long cry of pleasure hit his ears and Jack heard the phone fall a little further from her lips.

He finished himself off, hard and fast, the distant sounds of her panting and moaning as she came filled in the gaps of his own imagination and his orgasm ripped through his body like lightning.

“Jack?” He heard her pick up the phone once more. “Jack, are you there?”

He let out an exhausted hum of acknowledgment and she chuckled.

“This was not how I imagined our first time together,” she admitted.

“This doesn't count,” he disagreed. “We're still alone.”

“This was better though,” she pointed out and he couldn't argue.

“I'm sure the trunk operator would agree.” He swiped a bead of sweat from his brow with his wrist and she laughed.

“Where are you?” She finally wondered, having never set foot in his home.

“Sitting on the floor of the parlor, looking wholly depraved. You?”

“In the phone booth of the lobby,” she replied and Jack choked on air.

“I'm kidding,” she scolded him for believing her. “I'm in my hotel room, naked, about to slip into the bath.”

“Tomorrow then?”

“Maybe,” she cautioned for what had to be the first time in her life.

“Coy to the end, Miss Fisher,” he smiled but the pride was evident in his voice.

“Says the never-ending source of mystery.”

“Until our next investigation then,” he rephrased his familiar line and he could hear her smile across the continent.

“I'll look forward to it.”

OOOOO

If Jack woke up with a spring in his step, he tried to temper it.

Maybe, he schooled himself. Maybe.

But maybe also meant hope, hope that any corner he walked around that day could mean seeing her standing in front of him again and it was more than enough to have him whistling as he prepared to go to work. Even if she didn’t make it home until tomorrow, she was on Australian soil and that was enough.

He was setting his hat on his head when his phone rang. He debated leaving it behind, but the potential to hear her voice was more than enough to tempt him.

“Hello?” He greeted.

“Hello, sir.” It was Collins and Jack physically deflated. “We’ve just had a report of a murder in St. Kilda.”

“Well, Miss Fisher is expected to touch down in a few hours, so it was only a matter of time. Give me the address,” Jack sighed as he reached into his pocket for a pen, “I’ll meet you there.”

OOOOO

The murder, as it turned out, wasn’t a murder at all, but a false alarm. After a full investigation and hours of interviews, the coroner assessed that a heart attack had caused the gentleman to fall onto his own knife in the kitchen. It was merely a gruesome accident.

When Jack arrived from the morgue, his joy and excitement were waning under the weight of his next task. He was about to fill out ten forms in triplicate explaining his day and reminding himself all over again just how much of his time had been wasted by a panicked neighbor. Still, it was nice to finish a case the same day that it was opened for once.

He headed behind the desk to pull out the forms he’d need as Hugh reached around him to answer the phone.

Jack pushed his way through the gate to his office, throwing his hat down on top of his desk as he read the forms in his hands.

“Hello.”

Jack froze, stunned. He slowly turned around to find Phryne Fisher sitting in her chair, as if she had never left.

“I told you I would wear less next time,” she grinned, happy to have caught him by surprise.

He shook his head at her cheek as he tossed the file on his desk and wrapped his arms around her. He hugged her, realizing just how right she felt against him, before pulling one arm away from her long enough to shut the door to his office and kiss her far too quickly for his liking.

He was still staring at her, cupping her cheek in his hand, when she began to laugh.

“Say something, let me hear that voice,” she chuckled nervously as she stroked the front of his suit with her hands.

“I don’t have any words,” he confessed, reaching down to hold her hands in his. “I knew you were coming home, and yet…” he swallowed the lump in his throat as he held their hands to the side to look her over. “It’s so good to see you.”

She pulled him back in, not ready to let him go, hugging him close one more time.

“Can we have dinner tonight, just us? Dot is planning a big party tomorrow night for everyone at Wardlow, but…”

“Yes, of course. Whatever you’d like.”

“I’d like uninterrupted time alone with you.”

She couldn't keep her hands off of him and it didn't go unreciprocated.

“Come to my house tonight. I’ll cook for you,” he offered.

She raised her eyebrows.

“You cook?”

“Some of us have to feed ourselves to survive, Miss Fisher,” he teased, mostly to alleviate his nerves.

“What else does this secret hideaway contain?”

“The quiet comforts mostly: wine, books, music, a roaring fire, and a rather deep bathtub to soak in on cold, spring nights.”

“Mm, and what about your hands?” She questioned as she examined his right hand carefully.

“They will be there, yes,” he smiled.

“And your mouth?”

Jack wet his lips.

“Mmhm,” he nodded, before sealing her lips with his finger before she could ask the third question. “All of it. Whatever you want and more.”

“Well then, I suppose the only other question to ask is when should I arrive?”

“Seven.”

“Seven, it is.” She smiled, kissing him once more before pulling his handkerchief out of his pocket and handing it to him for his lips before leaving out the side door, completely bypassing Collins and the front of the station as if she’d never been there at all.

Jack wiped his lips, examining the red wax residue on the cloth before folding the handkerchief carefully and tucking it back in his pocket.

OOOOO

Phryne arrived as the parlor clock chimed seven and Jack briefly wondered if she was sitting in her car waiting for the exact moment that she was allowed to knock.

He opened the door.

“Hello,” he smiled as she walked into his home for the first time.

“Hello.” She paused minutely as she took off her coat. “What is that amazing smell?”

“Coq au vin,” he replied as he hung up her coat for her and set her bag to the side.

She stared at him in wonder.

“Where did you learn how to make coq au vin?”

“Let’s just say, an old friend,” he replied, hoping to stave off follow-up questions.

She just smirked knowingly.

“So it’s true. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”

“Something like that.” He nodded towards the kitchen for her to follow him and he pulled out a chair at the kitchen table for her and poured her a glass of red wine.

“Do you like to cook?” She asked. The question felt strangely impersonal given their history and she took a less than casual sip of her wine to cover her embarrassment.

“I do, although I don’t do it as often as I should.” He took the pot from the oven and began portioning up their dinner onto plates.

“Well, now that I know that you can cook, I will start sending Mr. Butler on more holidays,” she smiled as he set the plate down in front of her.

“You can send him to me,” Jack grinned as he sat down. “Enjoy.”

He was suddenly feeling nervous as she began to cut into her meal and he forced himself to look down at his plate instead of watching her reaction.

A moan that he had only ever heard over the telephone nearly caused him to drop his fork. He looked up again in surprise.

“C'est délicieux,” she nodded in pleased approval as she chewed.

“Thank you.” He cleared his throat and began cutting into his chicken again. He was going to have to at least make it through dinner before falling apart.

“You know, we had our first kiss over french food,” she commented slyly from behind her wine glass.

“Does that count?” He questioned as she swallowed her wine.

“I find I am growing quite tired of that question,” she admitted as she set her glass down and he smiled. “But yes, it does count because you kissed me, properly, I might add,” she pointed the tines of her fork at him for emphasis, “and I kissed you back.”

“A spade’s a spade,” he recalled.

She smiled happily at his cooperation as she took another bite of food.

Jack was quickly learning he'd do just about anything to send that look his way.

“And yesterday?” He asked. His cheeks grew hot as she turned to her right and glanced over at the scene of the crime, trying to visualize what he looked like on the floor beside the telephone.

“Also delicious,” she smoldered, “but no, I don’t think it counts. Tonight counts.”

“You’re fairly confident for a woman who just walked in the door,” he gave her a doubtful look, trying to keep her humble.

She leaned forward, never blinking as she looked him square in the eye.

“You haven’t seen what I have under this dress.”

Jack sighed, unable to argue and she grinned in victory.

“Tell me about your travels before this dinner goes to waste,” Jack warned.

In need of a cool down herself, she began regaling him with stories of her adventures outside of his little corner of the world and the next hour passed quickly as they drank wine and made up for lost time.

When there was a natural pause in the conversation, he stood up and began clearing their plates.

“Let me help,” she requested, standing up to assist him.

“No, they’ll be fine,” he tried to stop her but she reached around him anyway and began running the hot water in the sink. “Phryne, honestly, you don’t need to worry about them.”

“I want to,” she dismissed his concern. “You may dry if you really want to help.”

He stared at her, standing at his kitchen sink, all done up for their first date, giving him orders. She held out a towel and he sighed.

“I’ll wash, you dry,” he assigned as he took off his suit jacket and began rolling up his sleeves.

She gave him a pleased smile and kept the towel, moving out of his way.

“You do know that you are supposed to be having a relaxing night in after your travels,” he reminded her, “not doing my dishes.”

“If you can cook for me, the least I can do is help you clean up afterwards. It’s only fair.” She positioned herself close enough to brush shoulders with him and he suddenly saw the appeal of having a partner in the task.

They stayed like that, quiet and close, focusing on their work before she spoke again.

“Jack?”

“Hmm?” He glanced over at her.

“Being here with you, like this, was exactly what I needed tonight. Thank you.”

“You're welcome,” he replied, rinsing a plate. “I have a bookshelf in need of a good dusting if you're keen for more work.”

She chuckled and snatched the last plate from him.

When she had set it aside, Jack took the opportunity to move in front of her, pressing her against the counter. He took her towel from her, watching her eyes carefully for a reaction as he leaned in to kiss her but she welcomed his advance, melting into his touch as he tilted her head up towards him.

He would never get used to the sweet taste of her, or the effect it had on his blood. It simultaneously grounded him and charged him. Kissing her made him feel more himself than anything else in the world, but there was something else, something in her lips that made him feel invincible, like he could be everything that she needed him to be. He knew he would spend the rest of his life chasing the sensation.

When he finally broke the kiss, he rested his forehead against hers and closed his eyes. He felt her nose, rubbing sweetly against his and his eyes slowly opened to see her dazed blue eyes on his swollen lips.

The hand on his shoulder slowly came to rest on his chest.

“Show me your bedroom?”

The request wasn’t a surprise, but that didn’t stop his heart from racing upon hearing it. He wrapped an arm around her back and escorted her down the hall.

He shut the bedroom door behind them and turned on the bedside lamp as Phryne gave the room a brief glance over.

He undid his tie and tossed it aside before coming up behind her and wrapping his arms around her waist.

She smiled before turning around to kiss him again, this time with intention as her fingers began unbuttoning his waist coat.

He found the courage to let his lips trail along her jaw and down her neck and he heard her breath catch in her throat as her head fell back. He slipped out of his waist coat and she unpinned the overlay that was covering her shoulders.

Jack couldn’t help but brush his lips over the top of each shoulder and he felt her hands clutch his hips a bit tighter to keep from falling over. He discovered that her dress had a sharp v that ended halfway down her back and it made him ravenous for her. He turned her around to kiss her shoulder blades as he pulled the straps of her dress off her shoulders and the dress fell to the floor.

A lovely peach silk slip was revealed to be her only lingerie and it felt sinfully smooth under his rough hands.

Phryne guided his hands up the front of her torso to her breasts and he massaged them for her as his mouth continued kissing the back of her neck and shoulders.

“Jack,” she gasped as she realized the image they made in his mirror. He was still dressed, the unbuttoned top of his white shirt and his braces visible beyond her pale, flushed beauty.

“You’re beautiful,” he praised as he kissed her neck once more.

She spun around and began stripping him of his clothes. Jack let her work, knowing how enjoyable the process was and when he was finally naked before her, she lifted her own slip over her head.

She reached for him, summoning him towards her as she moved backwards towards the bed and her soft body cushioned him as he followed her down onto it. Her legs wrapped around him and his hand stroked her thigh encouragingly.

Phryne’s hand played at the nape of his neck, drawing his attention back to her and she kissed him blissfully.

Jack slid his hand between them, testing her wetness before guiding his cock toward her entrance. He slowly filled her, unsure of what to expect, but nothing miraculous happened, until he began to move.

They had always had something between them, a visceral connection that just wouldn’t be denied. Even on their worst days, when they felt entirely out of step, it still called out to him like a siren’s song, pulled her back towards him like a magnet. They’d never spoken of it, but they both knew it was there.

Moving inside her was like pouring petrol over it.

Every small connection they’d shared, every look across a room, every tandem movement, was distilled into one solitary connection binding them together.

It was in every tilt of her hips and every finger pressed into his flesh. It was in the breathy sighs and low groans as they lost the battle over their self-control. It was in the blue of her eyes and his painstaking need to feel her muscles flutter around him in pleasure.

It was intense, and it was unique, and it was theirs alone to share.

Still entwined from their union, Jack sighed as Phryne’s hands ran over his back and her lips calmed his fevered brow.

“You're trembling,” she smiled against his cheek before trailing her lips down his jaw to his chin.

“Mmhm,” he agreed as he pulled her over top of him.

She giggled with surprise at being manhandled.

“Why?” She looked down at him, her blue eyes full of their normal curiosity and something that looked remarkably like love.

Jack sighed.

“Exertion, mostly.” He brushed her cheek with the back of his hand before settling it on the back of her neck. “I’m coming down from the longest build up of tension in history,” he teased. “You must be tired yourself,” he commented as he remembered that she had flown across a continent today.

“No,” she shook her head stubbornly and he lifted his head incredulously at her denial. “I’m going to stay awake all night,” she kissed his sternum, “so I don’t miss a single moment of this.”

“Or,” Jack suggested less than subtly, shifting her in his arms so he could face her, “you could close your eyes, breathe deep, and know that when you wake up, I’ll still be holding you and you won’t have missed anything because this isn’t going away at dawn.” Jack countered gingerly, eyeing her for a reaction.

“It’s not?” There was a subtle smile in her eyes and it set him at ease.

He shook his head slowly.

“Is that a promise?” She stroked his cheek.

“It’s a vow if you’d like it to be.” Jack raised the stakes so casually, it surprised him more than her, but his heart was in her hands, come what may, and there was no point in pretending otherwise.

A small shiver spread through her and Jack smirked.

“You’re trembling now.” He tucked the blanket up higher over her and she rested her hand over his, trapping it against her shoulder.

Her gaze ensnared his, speaking volumes.

Jack found it impossible to breathe as her unspoken words cascaded over him. His heart soared and stomach clenched as they both silently agreed to feeling something so much larger than themselves.

“I guess we'll just have to tremble together,” she proposed.

“I suppose we will,” he agreed, sealing the deal with a kiss.