Jack reminisces about a previous time spent in Miss Fisher's kitchen. The two detectives sat at the table, examining a torn page out of the kabbalah with ancient hebrew written across the edge of a page. He addresses Collins "Do you have a match, Constable?" His response "What are you trying to match, sir?" "My wits against Miss Fisher." His effort hasn't stopped since then. The state of his half-dress necessitates a prompt regathering of his wits.
Jack collects more full sized sheets of paper from his desk before picking up his hat from the table and returning to the other room to sit next to Phryne. She may have won the last round. Regardless of whether he wins this one or she wins this one, he will be pleased with the result.
Jack leans over and says quietly "My master sends me to you, madam."
"Really? Whatever for?" She is enjoying this far too much.
"To do what I do." He hands her a piece of paper. Then he grabs a pen and holds it upright for her to take from him. He lays face down on the ground and starts to write one word at a time:
"Between"... then he looks up at her to make sure she follows.
Phryne rolls onto her belly so that she is side by side with the inspector and able to look into his sheet of paper. She writes: "Between"
Jack continues "us detectives, the better is" he looks over to make sure she is writing. He sees on her page "Between us detectives, the better is"
Jack continues again "Detective Inspector Jack Robinson." He raises his eyebrows to Phryne to see if she takes the bait.
His paper says "Between us two detectives, the better is Detective Inspector Jack Robinson."
Her paper says "Between us two detectives, the better is"...
He leans over and whispers in her ear "I can't be that difficult, Miss Fisher...to finally admit it." He feels her breath catch and senses her closing her eyes. "It would be a relief, wouldn't it? To write it down? To confess your deepest thoughts?"
In reality, her only confession would be about what his voice was doing to the rest of her body.
"Keep writing, Miss Fisher and I'll keep doing this." His tongue dabs at the contour of her ear. The heat of his breath travels inside her ear, down her spine and out through the tips of her toes. She lets the pen start moving in her hand. No, it wouldn't be that bad to write it down. The twirls of ink are as incoherent as her thoughts. Jack turns his head to look what she has written on the paper: "Between us detectives, the better is" and then a single line of ink resembling the stem of a flower drifting down to the bottom of the page. He looks directly into her eyes and says "Oh, now that is a shame". He holds the hat for her to allow her to pick up a forfeit.
Phryne collapses onto her stomach, reaches her arm up into the hat and picks out a piece of paper. With a quick roll onto her back, she stashes the forfeit in her loosely closed fist. She caresses the inspectors face. Forfeit? What forfeit? He leans in and hovers close her face, his eyes darting between hers. She arches into him, wraps her arms around his neck and, with softly parted lips, she closes the gap between them. She finds her mouth fully penetrated, his tongue kneading into hers. The heat from his chest, making her skin fall away from hers. She could surrender right now. Game over. No regrets. She groans and pulls him closer.
"Miss Fisher." He has returned to hover over her, a little out of breath. "You aren't getting out of a forfeit that easily." He returned to sitting and held his hand out for her to lever herself to a similar position. She opens her fist to reveal the paper. It is another that she has folded.
"Read it, Jack." He takes the paper from her palm and opens it.
"Only a single layer of clothing is left. The winner removes the rest." His pulse thunders. He looks into her eyes. "Are you sure, Phryne?" The desire reflecting back to him is palpable. She is sure.
His hands skate along her ribs to detect a hidden zipper along her left side. He revels in the unwrapping of his new lover, in the promise of the next inch, in the next moment, in the next sigh, in the next taste. He supports the cloth at the top of the zipper by placing his hand flat against the cloth. It makes the delicate zipper release smoothly. The tension of the dress softens tooth by tooth. He slides his hands under the hem of her dress and over her body, allowing the fabric to gather along his rising arms. Her face briefly disappears in a blanket of blue flowers then reveals itself at the other side. She looks lighter now. He carefully drapes her dress along the back of his settee before sitting aside her again.
He lifts a foot to unbuckle her right shoe. Her leg is supported with one hand; his other slides her heel way from her foot. He places her shoe behind him and gently lowers her leg. He moves to the other. The strap is thin and less flexible than the other. He rests her leg on his and uses both hands to unbuckle this second shoe. His left hand finds its way to caressing her calf as her shoe is removed.
She is wearing a camisole with nothing else under it. Tap pants. Stockings. Her garter belt and smalls make up two layers. The choice between them is his, he knows. He smooths a path up her leg with his hand and fingers at the stay terminating one of the suspenders.There is little he finds more arousing than the feel of silk stockings against the firm pull of suspenders. His joy in applying his tongue to silk, comes from administering heightened stimulus with simultaneous frictions. However, if her pants are the items removed, he won't last. He makes his decision, hoping that another evening like this is possible.
Jack holds the stay along the flat of his four fingers and uses his thumb to release it. Thank god he still remembers how to do this with a single hand. He repeats this to the other stay along this stocking then moves to the two along her other leg. Now for the belt itself. This, he definitely will need both hands. He wraps his hands around her to tuck them below her pants. He finds the fastenings and loops the fabric gently until it is free. Not as bad as it could have been. He pulls the belt out slowly and realizes he could stop. The stockings slouch at her thighs.
His fingers find themselves brushing the lip of silk; it opens to him. Should he continue? If he does, he won't stop. She saves him.
"My master sends me to you, sir." She hasn't left the room, he noted. No matter.
"What for?" He is so warm sitting next to her like this.
"To do what I do." She wraps his fingers in her own and distributes tiny kisses to their tips.
He does this to her pinky finger, ring finger, middle finger, index finger. And again. Then he takes the tip of her index into his mouth slowly and runs his teeth along her skin. Another forfeit is coming his way but he doesn't give a damn. He does the same with her middle finger. Then her ring finger...but before releasing it, sucks it into his mouth along with her pinky finger, rolls his tongue around them and slides them out in release. He presses his lips against the arch of her palm and nibbles at the pad of flesh at the base of her fingers. He raises his head to watch her and strokes down her thumb onto her forearm.
She smiles at his silent acknowledgement and reaches into the hat on his behalf. This one has been opened. She reads it first and purses her lips in pleasure.
"Well, well, Jack..."
She turns the paper toward him so that he can read it: "Five minutes, blindfolded."