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Miss Polly

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The last thing Detective Inspector Jack Robinson expected to see when he and Constable Collins entered the back room of the pub and unofficial headquarters for the small but growing gang they were investigating for a number of recent stabbings, was Miss Fisher, a woman he’d until this very minute believed to be with her Aunt in Queenscliff. A woman who now sitting quite comfortably in the lap of Gary Burns, leader of the gang and main suspect for the most gruesome of the recent murders.

Burns smirked, noticing the way Jack stared at the woman in his lap. His arm around Phryne’s waist tightened, and he gave a short head shake to his friends. They sat, all still glaring at the coppers, a few itching for the knives or guns they had concealed on their person,

Instead Burns grasped his own weapon of choice, barely lifting his hand from the arm of his chair, pistol directed straight for Jack’s heart.

Phryne yawned artfully, crossing and uncrossing her legs as Jack eyed the weapon.

“Who are you?” Burns asked coolly and dangerously,

“Detective Inspector Jack Robinson of City South. Gary Burns, you are under arrest for the murders of Michael Pine, Anthony Williams, Thomas Smith…” The list continued as Jack slowly walked toward Burns, cuffs in hand.

A large beast of a man behind the boss’s chair cracked his knuckles threateningly. Jack ignored him.

“Stand up Burns, don’t make this any harder on yourself.”

He took another step forward and promptly, the large beast behind Burns stepped forward and punched Jack in the jaw.

Stumbling backward into Burns’ other men, Jack was pushed forward again. He regained his balance and wiped at his aching face.

“Right then, Collins, round them up, we’ll take them all back to the station.”

Suddenly the men were on their feet. Jack felt a fist to his gut and he swung an arm out, grabbing the collar of his attacker, pulling his arms behind his back and cuffing him.

Phryne found herself being shoved unceremoniously to the floor and Burns pushed her from his lap to stand. He scarpered out the back door, a few of his men managing to follow, the others either staying to swing more hits at the coppers, or cuffed in place.

“Call for back up, Collins.” Jack said when the punches stopped and he had three men and Phryne bound and waiting.

It didn’t take long for another police vehicle to arrive at the pub. Constable Higgins entered, and along with Constable Collins they led the men out to the car, pushing them all into the back ready to take them back to City South.

Jack led out Phryne, one hand on her shoulder, the other at her cuffed hands.

He led her to his own car, pushing her into the back before walking around and slipping into the driver’s seat.

Collins stayed with Higgins, and he waited until they pulled onto the road and drove away before turning into his seat to face Miss Fisher.

“What on God’s Earth are you doing associating with a man like that, Phryne?”

Phryne sighed and rolled her eyes in mild offence, “I’m undercover.” She explained simply, “Do you think you can remove these handcuffs, they are rather uncomfortable to sit with.”

“Miss Fisher when I told you two weeks ago to-”

“Get out of town because this is all clearly far too dangerous for a woman,” Phryne finished, “I ignored you. Mikey Pine was a friend, Jack. I wasn’t about to run off to the sea while his killer was loose.”

“So instead you seduced Burns and joined the gang that killed him?!”

“I haven’t seduced anyone,” she retorted, sniffing distastefully at Jack’s implications, “Burns has appearances to keep up. Why do you think he’s been killing these men Jack, they’re not as random as you may think.”

Jack frowned. He had found no connection between any of the victims. They worked and lived in different parts of Melbourne, came from all over, all different classes, ages, even races. What on Earth could have tied them all to one man in such a way for him to start a killing spree?

“They’re his lovers! All of them. If word got out to those disgusting men that do Burns’ bidding I’m sure you can imagine what they’d do.”

Jack was flummoxed.

“Right.” He said, twisting back to face the correct way in the car. “Well, you can tell me all about your investigation down at the station Miss…”

“Polly Coleman.”

Unable to stop himself, Jack let out a soft snort of laughter, starting the engine of his car and beginning to make the drive back to the station.

“Well at least it’s better than Archie.” Phryne sulked, and Jack laughed again.

“At least it is.” He agreed.

When they arrived at City South, Jack pulled Miss Fisher from his car, enjoying the indignant stuttering she let out at his man handling.

“This way, Miss Coleman,” He murmured to her with a slight smirk on his lips.

He led her inside and directly passed the in use interrogation rooms, straight to the holding cells that were thankfully empty. Higgins and Collins must be questioning the few of Burns’ men about their leader’s likely whereabouts, and their knowledge of the murders.

Unlocking the barred door Jack removed Miss Fisher’s hand cuffs at pushed her inside, promptly closing the door behind her and locking her inside.

She gaped at him, rubbing at her sore wrists. “You aren’t seriously locking me up, Jack?”

“You’re undercover; it will look suspicious if I don’t.”

“Well how long am I going to have to stay here?!”

Jack shrugged, “Oh, well that all depends.”

“On what?”

“On what information we can get from you and your associates.”

Phryne glared at him for the term grouping her together with the brutes upstairs, but Jack continued.

“It will be an excellent learning experience for you, Phryne. I believe it might do you good to spend at least the night here.”

She gaped at him, “The night?!”

“Perhaps next time you should just go along to Queenscliff.”

“Oh you rotten little toad,” Phryne gaped, “You just wait until I get my hands on you, Jack Robinson!”

“That’s not a threat, is it Miss Coleman?”

Phryne opened her mouth to confirm that of course it was a threat, and he had a lot of nerve for treating her like this, when she stopped and reconsidered. Curling her fingers around the bars between them Phryne took a step forward, and looked up at Jack from beneath her lashes.

“Oh no, Inspector,” She murmured softly. “It’s just that it has been two long weeks since I’ve last seen you. I’ve missed you, darling; missed having you in my bed, spending the night entwined in your arms. All your lovely warmth around me, letting me relax completely and know I’m safe… It’s been so long since we’ve been together, darling… Wouldn’t you rather I come home to you tonight?”

Jack groaned.

He had missed her as well. Had been sleeping in her boudoir alone, despite the very fine bedroom he had of his own in her house. But she was playing him and he knew it.

Resigned he stepped forward, close enough for her to reach through the bars and caress the side of his face in her palm.

“Phryne,” he whispered.

“Jack.” Her fingers began to stroke through his hair, and Jack felt himself flush warm and contentedly under her touch. “It’s been so long, darling…”


“Kiss me, Jack?”

Jack looked up, into her eyes. There was no resisting her. He stepped even closer, so he could feel the cold metal bars of her cell against his chest, the sides of his face. And she brought her own to his, her lips finding his mouth and kissing him sweetly as her fingers found grasp of his lapel.

Eventually, after a long and sensual meeting of lips and tongue, Jack pulled back. He was light headed from the magic of her mouth against his, and a fire burnt fiercely in his lower abdomen, but Jack was a professional. He stepped back, out of her reach, and wiped at his mouth with his handkerchief.

“It would seem my shift is almost over. You will be processed and interviewed in the morrow, Miss Coleman.” He told her, “I will see you then.”

And he turned quickly, trying to hide his smug expression as Phryne yelled after him. He would pay for this the moment he let her go, he knew, but for the moment he just allowed himself to enjoy having the upper hand over his lover for once.