Sunlight streamed in through the open window, shining into Phryne’s eyes and pulling her gently out of her dream. She rolled onto her side, smiling even as she shielded herself against the glare with her forearm, feeling insistent sunrays lapping at her skin. Jack’s covers were soft around her naked body, trapping her warmth, and when she breathed in deeply, she could detect the heady scent of his flourishing garden in the air.
Pressing her flushed face into the pillow, she recalled the first time she had spent the night at Jack’s. Like this morning, she had woken alone at a hideous hour, crumpled sheets and the chilly mattress the only traces of a lover long gone. Propelled by his absence to leave her cocoon, she found him kneeling in his garden among flowers that strained towards the sun, a compassionate keeper taking stock of his domain.
The sight of him like that—tanned forearms dirty, his large, gentle hands cradling a cluster of violets—had been her undoing, the urge to capture the image with more than just her mind becoming overpowering. Phryne felt sure, as she crossed the distance, that nothing apart from the vibrant garden transforming into barren wasteland directly under her feet could draw her attention away from Jack.
Even now, she felt her cheeks begin to hurt from smiling at the thought of their kiss. Soil-covered hands flexing urgently between them, he’d released a low, reverberating chuckle as she nudged her tongue between his petal-soft lips and trapped in her heart the soft moan that escaped him.
Peeling back the covers, Phryne ran a finger along her tingling lips and surveyed Jack’s bedroom with a spark of amusement. Sunbeams swept the floor like a spotlight intending to showcase that the room was tidy, their abandoned clothes from last night cleaned away. They had spent a quiet evening outside, sharing a delicious dinner of roast chicken and potatoes, before retiring to Jack’s hammock to watch the sky fill up with stars. With him swirling his fingers over her back as he held her, she had drifted off, the sensation of being carried into sleep by the softly swaying hammock reminiscent of floating amidst a river of starlight.
He had carried her to bed, where they made slow, sleepy love as the moon watched over them—Phryne basking in the feeling of Jack’s cock between her lips, Jack pressing his fingers into her body from behind as his hot tongue traced her swollen folds. That he’d taken the time for tidying made something warm and soft bubble up inside her. Her pale violet sundress was draped across his chair, and with her greedy gaze fixed upon the cardigan beside it, she decided that she liked his insistence to tuck everything away in its appropriate place.
After a quick detour to the bathroom, she raised the woolen item to her nose in a move that would have made Jack’s eyes light up smugly, smiling to herself as she shrugged it on. The Jack-scented garment hung loosely on her frame, just skimming her hips, and its deep shade of brown contrasted nicely with her skin. As it was clearly intended to be worn as a second layer, with three large, black buttons that ran from the hem to a spot far below her breasts, the neckline of the cardigan was almost scandalously low. Phryne rather looked forward to seeing Jack’s reaction, knowing he enjoyed the way his clothes engulfed her body.
She ran a finger along the plunging neckline, enjoying the roughness of the wool and the prospect of Jack. With the sunlight warm against her bare legs and backside, she went to his dresser, knowing all she needed now was a pair of his pajama trousers. The pair she drew out was one of her favorites, the sky-blue fabric with alabaster stripes conjuring memories of cozy evenings spent side by side. Although they never stayed around his narrow hips for long, the brief, precious moments before they were inevitably reunited with the floor were always delightful.
These thoughts circling in her head, she stepped outside into the darkened hallway. She discovered that the house was intriguingly quiet. It was small and intimate enough that she would have known if he had been making breakfast, and she couldn’t hear any of his usual gardening sounds, like clattering tools or his soft, secret humming when he thought that she was happily asleep.
When Phryne reached Jack’s sitting-room-turned-library, her expectations rearranged themselves like pieces of a puzzle falling into place. It was clear from one glance that whatever he planned to do this morning, it was unlikely to involve her lazing around while he did all the work, unless gardening in sleepwear was the latest fashion. And even then, Jack barely seemed awake enough to tell apart weeds from promising seedlings.
He sat in one of his puffy leather armchairs with a book in one hand and an indigo robe wrapped protectively around him, a linen blanket hiding his lower half from view. The garden door was open, and in the ray of sunshine that swept through the room, Phryne could see that his eyelids were drooping, his pale, otherworldly lashes fluttering like feathers against his pillow-marked cheeks.
Safety radiated off him like a rising fog, and she considered just letting him sleep, but found that she couldn’t suppress her urge to touch him. She wanted to wrap herself around him and inhale his musky scent, but still, her quiet steps slowed to give her more time to study him. Watching his face for signs of awareness, she stuck to the swirling shadows and crossed the distance in a half-moon arc. When she reached him at last, she could see over his shoulder at a slight angle, catching small glimpses of his book and the half-eaten cake and cup of tea beside him.
Holding her breath in rapt anticipation, she smoothed her hand up his shoulder to cup the vulnerable column of his neck. She applied soft pressure so that his head lolled sideways and his temple rested gently against her cotton-covered hip. Phryne loved the fierceness of Jack’s eyes first thing in the morning, love declarations swirling like poorly concealed secrets in their depths, and when he tipped his head back with the suggestion of a smile, she was sure that her gaze must contain that same captivated glimmer.
“A late-morning nap and cake for breakfast…” Phryne cast an appreciative look around. She felt a surge of delight as she took in his setup, which painted a scene of understated luxury—she knew that he couldn’t relax as easily as she did, and often wished she could pass some of that along. “Next up on my list is convincing you to stay in bed with me,” she purred, and started to gently comb her fingers through Jack’s hair.
“Mmmh.” Leaning into her touch, he made a considering hum low in his throat. Phryne scraped her fingernails lightly over his scalp, a soft, fluttering motion that set his teeth on edge with its insubstantiality. “Too tempting, Miss Fisher,” he elaborated, once he could speak again. “And besides, one more weekend spent away from my garden, and the next person to brave it will require pruning shears just to make it out of there alive.”
Turning his head, Jack pressed his nose to the tender skin above her drooping waistband, and his mouth watered as he breathed her in. He inhaled her sweat and just the slightest hint of the musk of her arousal, though it was more than enough to drive him wild. There came a soft thud as his book dropped to the table, the sound of it distant, barely penetrating the fog around his mind.
Wanting to catch every trace of her desire on her skin, he grabbed Phryne by her waist, savoring her shriek of laughter as he swung her around and positioned her directly in front of him, where the light played over her as if she were on stage.
Her hair was soft and mussed from sleep, sunlight clinging to the ends like glitter, and Jack smiled at the sight of her in that ancient cardigan he’d often thought of getting rid of, but never quite managed to follow through. With her arms hanging loosely at her sides, the heavy fabric engulfed her hands like mittens, but what skin the sleeves concealed was made up for by the revealing neckline, which showed off so much of her assets that he resolved to ask her to model all of his abandoned clothing from now on.
The slight inner curves of her breasts were perfect, rousing a deep longing inside him to rub his cheeks against their sensitive skin, and the tiny hairs that covered her soft belly glinted golden in the light. He smiled warmly, his heart beating faster with adoration, when he noticed her scarlet-painted toes peeking out underneath her trouser legs.
“I really need to get to work now,” he said with a half-hearted glance towards his overgrown garden, but opened his arms for Phryne all the same.
“Well,” she replied, removing the blanket from around Jack’s legs to lay it across her own slim shoulders, “if you ever change your mind about my flamethrower suggestion…” With that, she claimed her rightful place astride him. She was a queen returning to her throne after a period of absence, stealing his breath, the blanket billowing around her body like a cape. As she slid forward to kneel atop his lap, he felt her knees as scorching points on either side of his growing erection.
“Whatever will the neighbors think?” Jack murmured thickly, looping an arm around her back inside the linen. His dark eyes hopped between both of hers, and as he gazed into their depths, he made himself let go of the last of his objections, which he felt disappear like a palpable weight.
Sensing the change, she let a slow, deliberate smile play over her features. “They can sleep soundly knowing that your lover’s every need is taken care of,” she drawled, and had to remind herself to breathe when Jack nipped at her mouth in admonishment, “even if the most beautiful garden in the neighborhood suffers for it.”
Phryne exhaled a happy sigh, struck by the sudden realization that the warm scent of sleep that floated through the air excited her. She touched a finger to his stubbled cheek in wonder, imagining how it would feel against the tender folds between her legs. She loved admiring his progress in the garden, but there was something miraculous about feeling this soft, slightly more carefree version of him come alive under her touch. Cupping her hands around Jack’s shoulders for balance, she shifted her weight, trying to accommodate the needy pulse between her thighs.
“I’m sure that’ll win me Garden of the Year,” he said, voice dry with humor, and Phryne’s heart beat faster at his adorable smile. She slid her hands down Jack’s robe at the front of his body, her touch reminiscent of droplets of water skating over his skin. With her fingers hovering above the sash, she brought her lips so close to his ear that he could hear every sharp edge of her ragged breathing, and he thought that there could be no greater gift in the world than this open admission of his effect on her.
“Should I put my money on someone else, then?” The question reached him on a gust of warm, wet air, but it was nothing compared to the sensation of Phryne drawing his earlobe into the cave of her mouth while slowly undoing the knot of his sash. “I hear Mrs. Lynch next door grows the most marvelous rose bushes,” she whispered as she smoothed the band of fabric aside, his sensitive flesh still pinched between her teeth.
“And who do you think gave her all the necessary inside knowledge?” His voice was thick with equal desire and amusement as she tugged on the edges of his robe and slid her hands beneath the fabric, unable to keep from examining her prize. He was an eerily perfect picture of desire, looking like he hadn’t thought about his garden in years.
“A gardener and a teacher?” Phryne considered him, sounding impressed. “And here I thought you’d been directing your attention towards a different type of bush for quite some time now,” she teased, and Jack snorted even as her words sent a shiver down his spine.
“Oh—oh, I’m happy to focus on whichever one most requires my expertise.” His hand on her back moved underneath her waistband, inching ever closer towards the fragrant warmth his cock couldn’t reach in their current position. He pulsed his hips softly as Phryne played with his chest, though it was a mindless motion. He could only focus on the way his fingers pressed between her buttocks, and the smell of flowers and soft noises from outside served as thrilling reminders of the task he was ignoring to be here with her.
Panting, she pushed herself backward against his fingers there, her nails digging into his pectorals. “Well, I did wake up all alone and caught you spending quality alone time with my contribution to last night’s dinner date,” she rasped, and drew her head back just a little so that when Jack did the same to look at her, he could lose himself in the sight of the flush of her arousal.
Picturing the redness extending down to her small breasts, he burrowed underneath her backside to open her up with two fingers, one on either side of her labia. He’d intended to rile her with the softest pressure, touches that felt like feathers on her skin, but instantly he slipped in her ample moisture.
“That’s one point for the stubborn detective,” he growled, remembering their conversation, though he felt that there was nothing in the world but the heat of Phryne’s sex. At this point, she was sure that her nails must be leaving crescent marks on his chest, but he had a glint in his eye that said he wasn’t quite done teasing her. Biting back a moan, she rose to her knees, her muscles trembling with the effort to remain balanced on his thighs.
“I do like a man who has his priorities in order.” She breathed the retort against his parted lips, and Jack thought that if she could continue with their banter, he wasn’t doing a good enough job providing the attention he’d promised her. Phryne must have had that same idea, for when he buried two fingers in her tight passage, she responded by ducking her head to lap softly at his nipple, dropping one hand to his belly at the same time. They gasped in unison at the unexpected contact, their longing connecting them in body and soul.
Phryne closed her eyes, letting Jack’s taste and the wiry texture of his hair against her tongue consume her, and when he shuddered underneath her and dropped his chin to the top of her head, she squeezed his fingers with her inner muscles to signal her appreciation for his openness. “God, Phryne, I—” Jack gasped when she took his nipple between her teeth. He didn’t fight to retain his composure, and the tiny moans that signaled his pleasure filled her with a sense of bursting pride.
“What was that, Jack? I’m afraid that I couldn’t quite hear you,” she whispered darkly, her lips spelling out the words across the width of his chest on her way to apply a soft suction to his other nipple. The desperate groan he gave her touched her heart, making her curious about how much further she could push him.
“I really should…” Jack groaned, his head spinning. Between her sucking mouth and her muscles pulling obscenely at his fingers, it was all he could do not to lower Phryne to the floor and spear into her waiting body, and that was before she started toying with the drawstring of his pants in a manner that involved brushing her knuckles over his tip at every possible opportunity. His cotton confinement was no match for her passage, and he knew that his precome must be leaving a stain.
“Mmmh,” she groaned against his chest, his fingers inside her disrupting her thoughts. “Are you sure that’s what you were going to say?” Then, her eyes turning nearly black in anticipation, she covered his throbbing erection with her palm.
“Damn you, woman,” he muttered, forcing the words out between clenched teeth, knowing that she would read them as a love confession. He cupped her hip with the hand that wasn’t currently engulfed by her dripping wetness, the fabric there an unpleasant barrier. “I said I wanted you to take off those pants,” he said, at last giving voice to what he needed from her.
“I love the way you think, darling.” There was a moment of stillness before Phryne stood up, and as his fingers slipped from the warmth of her body, Jack itched to reel her back in, as if he could somehow wish her clothes away if only he tried hard enough. The blanket sliding from around her shoulders, he watched her push down her pants in silent amazement. He sucked in a breath when her lush pubic hair appeared, at which point she shot him a small, bashful smile.
He reached out like a man afraid of floating away, and like often in the months since they had become lovers, Phryne wondered what Jack saw when she took him in her arms. Many men attempted to undress her with their eyes, but Jack had a way of cataloguing her on every possible occasion—memorizing every angle under every light, finding unexplored parts of her body to worship.
Never one to miss a scratch or the slightest impression of her dagger on her skin, he was beautiful to watch as he pulled her closer, giving her barely enough time to step out of his pajama pants. The solemn look in his eyes was astounding, containing an infinity of unobscured love, and when he looped an arm around one of her thighs, Phryne moved to part her legs willingly for him.
Without wasting another second, Jack dropped his face against her inky black curls and slid his free hand up against the small of her back, thinking there was no better way to spend a Saturday morning. He could feel the perfect evidence of how much she enjoyed him as sticky patches on her thighs, though some of her essence would surely transfer over—the thought made him groan low and soft against the slickness of her mound. Her hands clawed up his shoulders to tunnel in his hair—still as wonderful as it had been when she’d abandoned it—but when he traced his tongue down the crease of her thigh to lap up the moisture there, it became hard not to double over and wrap her entire body around his head.
“Fuck, Jack, fuck,” Phryne gasped, as if there were a brick wall between them and Jack’s neighbors and not an open door and a flimsy, if somewhat intimidating, hedge. She reached around to grasp the back of his neck, then frowned when her attempt to push him farther down resulted in him pulling away completely.
“Ready when you are,” he assured her with a final kiss against her nest of hair that was too soft to even count as a promise. He proceeded to rest his chin on the jut of her hip bone, his blue eyes more smug than they had any right to be under these dire circumstances. It took Jack a moment to get his eyes to refocus, but the dirty look she shot him—disgruntled in a way that made him wish he could abandon every overgrown garden in the world for her—made it worth his while.
Phryne quickly stripped off her cardigan as well, winking at Jack when he groaned softly in reaction. She moved to crawl back atop him without another word, perching with her knees on the edge of the cushion and her hands wrapped around the arms of the chair, which caused her bare bottom to sway delightfully. He lifted his hands and gaze towards her dangling breasts, cupping them carefully, but he knew that touching her between her legs would soon become his priority again.
With a practiced motion that left no doubt as to which type of bush he had been focusing his time on, he stroked one hand down the front of her body, thrusting his hips into the air at the same time so that she could make quick work of his pajama trousers while keeping her risk of falling off him low.
She barely gave him time to get used to the exposure, and together, they threw themselves into the eye of the storm, Phryne encircling Jack’s cock while he swirled his fingers through the velvet moisture he couldn’t keep away from. Immediately, he felt her dripping down his upturned palm and called her name in wonder, the syllables drawn out until they were unrecognizable.
“Do try not to scream the place down.” Her tone was dry, but Jack could hear nothing but adoration in the panting breaths that separated her words. Her cheeks were flushed and her mouth slightly open as she rubbed herself against his fingertips, trying to get them to slide into her willing body. The knowledge that he could bring this woman into such a state, and even give her satisfaction, did more for him than even the most exquisite touch. “Lean forward a bit?” Phryne requested, and there was no question as to whether he’d obey her.
He was too far gone to do anything but hug her as she carefully crossed her legs behind his torso, her hands—one dropping to his thigh, the other holding the armrest behind her in a death grip—holding her up so that her slick cunt hovered just outside his reach. She was a blur of soft skin and black hair before his eyes, and as she reached for his cock to align him with her entrance, Jack had only her sharp breathing to keep him grounded in reality.
Everything else fell away as she guided him into her wetness, their mouths open against each other as they gasped with pleasure at being joined. Phryne swiveled her hips this way and that until she was fully seated, as if on a mission to turn his body into a coil of liquid heat. Being this close meant that she could feel Jack’s heartbeat, and they both broke out laughing at the sensation of her nipples poking as two insistent points into his chest.
“Good morning, Miss Fisher.” Jack flashed an appreciative grin at Phryne as she began to move, her fit of laughter preventing her from fully relaxing into his embrace. Angling his head, he glanced down to catch the offending little peaks in action, but his progress was stalled when she threw both her arms around his back underneath his gaping robe as if to really make sure that she was touching all of him.
“I love the way you feel inside me,” she shuddered out between two tiny thrusts, and the room seemed suddenly too small to contain both their love and laughter. A ray of sunlight bathed her in a blaze of gold, and Jack was blinded for a moment by her raw, immeasurable beauty. As she bounced on his cock to the rhythm of his heartbeat, the lines around her eyes held so much love, venturing beyond his wildest fantasies of what it would be like to make love with Phryne Fisher.
“God, yes, Phryne. Me too.” Jack nodded his agreement, desperation weighing heavily on his every panted word. His own hips moved in a slightly shaky rhythm, though considering how she clenched in response to her clit being compressed against him, he felt that he was doing a surprisingly good job. “You know I love that feeling, too,” he concluded in a whisper.
She pulled back as far as she could without changing their position, giving him the tight-lipped smile of someone who was about to tumble into the abyss, but was willing to break the laws of nature to try and hold it together for him. Then her mouth curved into a slightly unhinged grin, and the motions of her hips became even more frantic. “I love the look of pure bliss on your face as you lose yourself in me,” she panted as she fucked him with all of her strength, “the furrow in your brow smoothed out by your desire for me.”
“Yes, yes,” he promised, biting back a groan when Phryne bit down lightly on his shoulder to keep her own gasp of desire at bay, her own need to come making the balmy air of the room crackle with electricity. He cupped his hands around her bottom as he matched her thrust for thrust, enjoying her high-pitched moans and the softness of her skin. Jack wished that he could make this moment last forever, but the dizzying suction of Phryne’s cunt and the heavy pressure of her eyes on him conspired to drive him towards the edge of orgasm.
“Only you,” he nearly growled, just as dark spots started to blot out chunks of his peripheral vision, signaling that he was about to lose control. “Fuck, Phryne, I love you. So. Much!” Every syllable was accompanied by a surge of his hips that drove him even deeper into her fluttering pussy, until at last he reached completion and the hot, white spurts of his release within her prompted Phryne to do the same.
“I love you, my Jack,” she whispered just before her orgasm hit, her confession as quiet as a leaf on the wind beneath the roaring of blood in her ears that accompanied her own inevitable climax.
When darkness rolled in, Jack was there to catch her, his hands on her buttocks stroking up her back to reassure her of his continued presence even as the still-swaying room suggested otherwise. Shamelessly inhaling the salt of his sweat, Phryne clung to his shoulders as one might a pillow, willing the fragrant air to rouse her and dry her own damp skin.
“What time is it?” Jack’s muffled voice came from somewhere near her shoulder, and the small pinch of his lips there—she felt it thrumming across her sensitive skin, forming a line directly to her center—made her body more alert, until a fierce need to look at him took over her exhaustion.
Jack’s cozy library slipped in and out of focus as Phryne removed her face from its resting place near the column of his neck, but she felt that his face in the aftermath of pleasure deserved her full attention, her entire body humming with the thrill of having given him release. “The milkman should be sitting down to an early lunch now,” she said lightly, keeping her response deliberately vague, but it was clear from one glance at his open face that she needn’t have been worried about his reaction.
As his softening length slid out of her body, she watched a smile bloom across his slightly swollen lips, which were currently competing with his gold-streaked hair for the title of her favorite thing in the world right now. Holding her gaze, he shrugged his robe off his shoulders, letting it pool around Phryne’s crossed ankles before subjecting his trousers to the same dull fate of landing in a pile along the outskirts of their private bubble. “You’re a menace to gardeners across all of Australia,” he murmured, focusing on how her eyes twinkled at his compliment.
She fluttered her hands against his carved forearms gently, feeling her body respond to these beacons of his strength, which could gather her close or pin her to the bed with just the right amount of pressure. “That’s a strange way to ask me to go back to bed with you,” she whispered, drawing in deep breaths of the summer-scented air. Her mind alive with images of his body atop hers, she grasped those arms she loved so much and guided his hands to cup under her bottom, locking her legs behind him in obvious encouragement.
His tongue coming out to wet his rosy lips, Jack leaned in so close that he could almost kiss her, and Phryne’s heart beat faster at this gorgeous mirror image of their early days. “Can you hear all that shouting in the distance?” Pausing dramatically, he let the air between them swell with the sounds of rustling leaves and birdsong until she couldn’t help but rub herself gently against his muscular thigh. “That’s poor Mrs. Lynch making a fuss about those bushes you're so fond of being slowly devoured by my overgrown hedge,” he said in a solemn tone that would have been believable if not for his renewed arousal, which pressed between her delicate folds when he rose up abruptly from his comfortable chair, keeping her afloat with his hands underneath her buttocks to make sure that he maintained an unobscured view of her delighted face.
“And you didn’t teach her anything about dealing with a bit of uncontrolled shrubbery?” Her smug question reached him on a beautiful laugh, his garden reduced to a patchwork of colors behind them as he took the first step towards their shared definition of a perfect Saturday.
“Well, I hope that I managed to teach her something useful, seeing as how my ‘resisting the charms of headstrong detectives’ skills leave rather a lot to be desired.” Feeling like his heart was about to explode, Jack grinned up at Phryne as he carried her to bed, where they spent a good portion of their day teaching Mrs. Lynch a thing or two about being patient.