Mac wakes up to midday sun. A raging headache. Sticky thighs and dry lips and Phryne climbing into bed with her. The sheets in the guest room--her room, when she stays at Phryne's house; she's phrenetic motion in her sleep, has pushed more than one lover to the floor--are silk. Deep blue. The duvet is tangled around her feet, and she kicks at it until her legs are free.
"Mac," Phryne says. She sounds happy, her voice practically singing. "Wake up." She presses against Mac's back and wraps an arm around her waist, hand tracing random shapes between Mac's breasts.
"Jack leave?" Mac asks.
"Hugh called early this morning," Phryne says. She huffs. "Woke us before the sun was even up, some dull case involving dull people that didn't have the decency to involve a murder."
Mac turns her head. Rolls her eyes at Phryne's melodramatic pout and presses a quick kiss to the corner of Phryne's mouth. Phryne smiles. Her lips are bare--Mac would bet a day's wages she was back in bed before Jack could finish dressing--and Mac's mouth mirrors her expression. An autonomic response: unplanned, inescapable, undeniable. Just like Phryne herself.
She drops her head back onto the pillow and rolls onto her back, swallowing a moan as her muscles protest the movement. Something creaks: her bones are old, tired. Phryne moves with her. Shifts until she's lying half on Mac's body, one hand on Mac's cheek, the sleeve of her robe bussing Mac's chin, lips, nose. Mac takes Phryne's other hand in hers. Laces their fingers together.
"I'm starving," Mac says. Her stomach rumbles, then turns. She closes her eyes and wills the nausea to pass. Too much drink last night: Phryne's birthday, just Mac and Phryne and Jack, champagne and music and Jack falling from the chaise while Phryne fought with his trousers. Mac leaning against the wall and watching.
Bottles littered the floor when they finally stumbled upstairs, shedding the rest of their clothing as they went. Mac sighs. She isn't sure she has the energy to move. To dress, to climb back down the stairs and sit at the table for toast and tea. Her suit isn't hanging in its customary spot. "I don't know where my clothes are," she says.
"Hanging in my boudoir," Phryne says.
"Of course," Mac says. She bites her lower lip. Decidedly does not laugh. Mac prefers to dress in solitude. Don her armor, sheath her weapons. Phryne is a more social creature. She likes to button Mac's waistcoat. Knot Jack's tie. Trade kisses with them until they're both running late. "Clean and neatly pressed, I'm sure," she adds.
Phryne bullies the world to her liking, and nothing is too small for her attention. Mac focuses on the bigger things: love, career, clothing. She dresses in Phryne's room most days that she stays here.
"Obviously," Phryne says. "Mr. B was under the impression that you were unwell-"
"Oh, I wonder who might've given him that idea-"
"-this morning, so I told him to leave your things with mine," Phryne finishes. Their voices overlap, and Mac is more amused than upset. She's pretty sure that would still be the case were she not half-asleep and hungover and--her stomach acts up again--hungry.
"Is he under the impression that I'll be well enough for breakfast?" Mac asks. "I'm hungry."
"And gloriously naked," Phryne says.
Mac hums an affirmative response. Lifts a hand to play with Phryne's hair. Her eyes are heavy, keep closing; she doesn't want to fall back asleep, so she keeps forcing them back open. Tries to think about toast, about bacon, about Mr. Butler walking through the door with a tray full of food.
Phryne moves suddenly. One second she's tangling her fingers with Mac's, humming in enjoyment of Mac's nails against her scalp. The next she's kneeling over Mac. Legs on either side of Mac's, hands untying her robe and sliding it off her body. Grin feral and seductive and, well, Phryne. Mac's never found another word for this feeling in the pit of her stomach, of weightless confusion. Of falling.
Mac runs her fingers along the line of Phryne's shoulder, down her arm and back again. Uses her nail to circle her areola. Phryne moves to reciprocate, and Mac wraps her free hand around Phryne's. Holds her still. Her skin's still overstimulated from the previous night. Her hair feels like it is about to spark. "I'm not," she says. This happens to her sometimes. "I can't."
Phryne leans forward and kisses her. Fast but soft, tongue barely pressing against Mac's lower lip. Against Mac's tongue. "More fun for me then," she says. She sits up. Pulls the tie from the robe pooled around her waist and passes it to Mac; makes a show of holding her arms out in front of her, wrists crossed.
Mac often prefers touching to being touched. Giving pleasure to receiving it. She pushes Phryne's hands above her head. Wraps the tie around her wrists and knots them to the headboard. "Don't touch," she says. "Just let me."
She kisses Phryne. Mouths wet and mobile, her hand cupping the shell of Phryne's ear. She mouths her way down Phryne's body: licking her chin, biting and soothing her neck. She likes to kiss the space between Phryne's breasts. Likes to focus there, tasting the sweat and salt of Phryne's skin. Phryne's arms begin to vibrate: tense and straining, forcing herself not to free herself. Mac shushes her. "You're doing so well," she says. "Just hold still a little longer."
She keeps talking. Murmuring nonsense. Lets Phryne focus on the sound of her voice. The movement of her mouth against Phryne's chest. Mac reaches down and runs her fingers lightly through Phryne's pubic hair. Phryne's wet. Her hips twitch. Mac presses her finger inside Phryne's cunt and holds it still. Watches Phryne tremble and stare, defiant and proud. Her eyes almost pure black.
"What do you want me to do?" Mac asks.
"Mac," Phryne says.
"Perhaps I could," Mac begins. She lets the rest of the sentence linger. Presses her forearm across Phryne's hips and curves herself over Phryne's body, ignoring the odd creaking sound that seems to echo across the room. She licks across Phryne's labia. Smiles so Phryne can feel her teeth against her clit.
"That works," Phryne says. Mac adds a second finger, licks around it and savors the taste of both of them together. Phryne's hips press up against Mac's arm. "Another finger," she demands, and Mac obeys. She flattens her tongue against Phryne's clit and scissors her fingers. Works to make Phryne fall apart beneath her mouth. Around her fluttering hands.
When Phryne comes, it's never a surprise. She warns, she exclaims, she sings her pleasure so they can hear it in Singapore. Los Angeles. On the moon. Mac moves her mouth to Phryne's inner thigh. Kisses her soft skin until Phryne tells her to stop.
"Can you untie yourself or do you need me to help?" Mac asks. Phryne shifts. Wiggles. She drops the tie on Mac's head, and Mac shakes it off. Bites Phryne's leg. Licks to soothe the pain.
Phryne stretches. Full body, full voice, her muscles straining and toes pointed. Mac budges up the bed to escape Phryne's kicking legs, rolls them both onto their sides. She presses her body against Phryne's back and wraps her arm around Phryne's waist. Skin to skin, sweaty and warm. Mac opens her mouth against the skin at Phryne's nape, inhales and feels Phryne's hair against her tongue. Phryne smells of perfume and sweat, champagne and the moon.
"I do love you," Mac says. She's not fond of saying it; she'd rather proclaim her love through unbuttoned waistcoats and autopsies. In poisonous plants. But it's Phryne's birthday, and Mac does love her. She says the words.
"Yes," Phryne says. Her voice is warm, and she sounds like she's trying to swallow a fit of laughter. There's a knock on the door, followed by Mr. Butler walking through.
"I'm sorry, Miss, Doctor," he says. "But Inspector Robinson just telephoned. He'd appreciate your assistance on a-"
"Thank you, Mr. B," Phryne says. She's already in motion, sitting and standing in one swing of her legs. She's likely halfway to solving this case about which she has no information.
Mac yawns. Arms over her head, back cracking as she turns. "Did he say anything about needing a coroner?" she asks.
"There was mention of a body," Mr. Butler says. He slips out of the room. Closes the door behind him without a sound.
Mac sits up. Legs crossed. She rests her weight on her arms behind her, watches as Phryne begins her ablutions. Water splashed on her face, rivulets running down her chest. Phryne dresses quickly--there's a mystery to be solved--and Mac barely blinks in the time it takes her to wrap her body in black and gold. A present to be discovered later.
Phryne tosses a towel onto the bed. "Normally I'd watch you dress too," she says. She tilts her head. Looks almost torn.
Mac stands and walks the couple steps to Phryne's side. Presses a quick kiss to Phryne's mouth, runs a hand across her arse. "But there's a body, and Jack's waiting at the station," she says.
Phryne grins. Their next kiss is longer, wetter; Phryne kisses like she's a murderer and Mac is her intended victim. Mac nips at Phryne's lip. Imagines her lipstick is blood.
"Meet you at the morgue?" Phryne asks.
"Always," Mac says.