Jack woke slowly. The room smelled heavenly. It smelled of firewood, Phryne, and sex. He could feel her small body covering his. Her skin soft and warm against his. He held her closer, not wanting to wake up fully but after a short time his body started to protest. It was in need relief and food. He slowly and carefully struggled out of her heavenly but entirely sinful embrace. Shushing her as she started complaining. He tucked her back in and tossed wood on the dying fire. He walked to the washroom. He knew Sam would want to work on their room today, but he did not feel in a hurry to get the day started. He walked out of the washroom and headed to the small kitchen. His hat was on the table and his coat handing on the chair. He placed his coat near the fire to dry more and placed his hat near the kitchen window for the sunlight to dry. He began making some eggs for breakfast.
His mind drifted as he recalled the night before. The feel of her again. The smell and taste of her. He suddenly remembers the scream of fear and her pulling away. She said she had seen that bastard at the window. Which was not possible. He checked and found no one. He remembered the feeling of her shaking as he held her closer. He made love to her until she broke apart in his hand, wanting to take away her fear and pain. He laid there awhile after holding her sleeping body. He whispered his love to her until he followed her into the dream world. As he stood at the stove, he started wondering if he should mention the sighting to Mac. He did not hear the knocking at the door.
Suddenly there was a loud gasp and broken glass. Jack turned quickly to see four women standing in front of the front door. Jack stood there briefly in shock before remembering he was wearing nothing. He quickly grabs the closest item to cover himself, which happened to be his fedora. Dottie, Mac, Isabelle, and Rosie stood in front of him all frozen as well. Dottie had dropped her basket which was the reason of the broken glass. She covered her mouth and quickly turned away facing the doorway. Mac shook her head slowly and sighed. Isabelle just stood their smiling. Rosie shook her head with a smile and set down her basket. She then gave Jack a sympathetic smile. Mac was beginning to turn away but then moved in front of Isabelle. She grabs Isabelle by the shoulders and turned her around, then holding the woman’s head held in place to prevent her from turning her head to look. It was Phryne’s snort that had broken Jacks stupor. He quickly turned and rushed into the washroom. The view of his arse causing Phryne to snort again.
Phryne laid there in a fit of giggles. Mac tossed her nightgown. Once finished, Mac was the first to speak.
“Well, that could have been a lot worse.”
“Really, How so? “Phryne asked wiping a tear from her eye.
Mac opened the front door and a bundle of fabric and hair vaulted at her. Yelling
Phryne caught the bundle.
“Jane!!! Oh, how I have missed you.” She hugged the young woman.
Behind the bundle stood the Baroness smiling at the sight.
“Mother?” Phryne said.
“Jane showed up at the manor, I couldn’t let her travel here alone. Plus, I am hoping your father will wear himself out fishing. Where is Jack? I hope you did scare him away dear, that one is a keeper.” Peggy said.
“In the washroom. Jane your supposed to be in Paris studying” Phryne asked the young woman.
“I heard my mum needed me.” Jane answered hugging Phryne.
“Your mother, what’s wrong. Do I need to fly you back home?” Phryne concern in her voice.
Jane smiled and shook her head, “Not her, you.” Jane answered hugging her harder.,” Mother is fine, we write each other often. I promised to bring her something back from Paris “
“Oh, Jane. I always need you.” Phryne whispered in reply hugging her tighter.
Jane left with Mac and the Baroness; Isabella followed. Dottie and Rosie were in the kitchen. Phryne walked to the washroom and heard water running. She checked the door and found it locked. She shook her head. She walked to the bedroom and gather some clothing for Jack and her lock picks. Rosie gave her confused look as Phryne started picking the lock. Suddenly the door opened, and Phryne stumbled in. Before she knew it, she was on her feet with the bathroom door closed behind her. A wet Jack starring at her.
“Hello.” Phryne said. Jack grabbed the clothing and started getting dress. Phryne stood there watching. Once fully dressed Jack starred out the window.
“If you’re thinking of escaping out the window, I am afraid that is too small.” Phryne said.
Jack whipped around a glared.
“I am not leaving this room.” Jack replied.
“Come now Jack, you have nothing to be ashamed of.” Phryne purred. Wrapping her arms around his neck.” Besides, it could have been worse.” She finished with a whisper.
“How so?” Jack asked not believing her.
“Jane and mother were just outside.” Phryne answered.
Jack face when pale and then red.
“I am certain everyone will behave with Jane and my mother here. If they do not well, they will have to deal with me.” Phryne said giving Jack a serious look. He rolled his eyes and crossed his arms.
“Jane is wanting to see you and Dottie is cooking.” Phryne said pushing him towards the door.
Jack stubbled out of the washroom with a small shove, not looking at the women in the kitchen.
“Rosie, Mrs. Collins.” He greeted before leaving the cottage. Phryne had followed him but stopped in the kitchen. She watched as he left. She looked at Rosie, who was chopping up some veggies. The moment their eyes met they both barked out a laugh and quickly composing themselves.
Phryne stepped out of the cottage after a shower and getting dressed for windy day. Jane was on the beach with Mary and Owen. She heard Jack and walked to the other side. Jack and Hugh were helping Sam with the broken window. Hugh had jumped through the window into the bedroom and was handing wet furniture, sticks and broken glass. Mac walked up with a first aid kit, handing it to Sam.
“Morning Miss Fisher!!” Hugh yelled from the window, Sam turned and waved to her. Phryne then noticed her father and guy leaning against the car. Giving the other men instructions and suggestion while sipping from a flask.
She turned to find her mother hanging wet items on a drying rope. She watched as her mother began struggling with a blanket that had been picked up by the wind. Phryne went to help her. After they had the blanket hanging Peggy spoke.
“Must have been quite a storm. You and Jack must have had a busy night.” Peggy said.
“Yes, I think we would have slept all day if you all hadn’t come over.” Phryne said with a smiled at the memory of the night before.
“Does Jack smoke?” Peggy asked still focusing on the task.
“No, why do you ask?” Phryne asked, a confused look on her face.
“Oh no reason, I noticed some buds near your doorway and window.” Peggy answered. She pointed toward the door.
Phryne walked over to the area her mother pointed out. She four buds laying on the ground near the window. She dug around a little and found two more. She froze as she also noticed a somewhat large puddle at the window. She heard movement beside her and as she turned, Jack was beside her leaning down too she that she had found.
“Hey.” He spoke. Looking at the bud in her hand.
Phryne handing it to him, then picking up another.
“Mother noticed them earlier what do you think? Phryne asked.
“Properly washed or blew up from the storm last night.” Jack said a similar look of confusion on his face.
“Hmmm strange that it would be in one location.” Phryne responded before slightly sniffing one of the buds. She quickly dropped the bud and buried and the others.
“Phryne?” Jack asked as he noticed her normally pale skin became paler.
Before he could reach out to him, Phryne quick stood up and walked inside their cottage. He rushed after her, slightly concerned. He followed her to the washroom and watched as Phryne started scrubbing her hands in the sink. She continued scrubbing long after the sand-muddy mix was long gone and her hands becoming red.
“Phryne stops!” Jack said, grabbing her hands and pulling her to him. The water slightly burning his skin at the contact. That is when he noticed her shaking slightly. Her gentle pushed her further into the washroom and closed the door. He took her face into his hands and placed his forehead to hers.
“Phryne talk to me.” He whispered.
The stood together without talking. Phryne took a deep breath and wrapped her arms around him. Hugging him.
“I’m fine now, Jack.” Phryne said. She pulled away and sat on the toilet.
“I think I am over-reacting. Those cigarettes, there small anyway, reminded me of… and then I remembered that face I saw last night. The face I thought I saw, but someone would have to be crazy to be out in that weather. Right?” She asked looking up at Jack.
“I’d think so.” He said before reaching his hand out to her. She reaches out and stood up as he pulled her back to him. Resting his forehead against hers again. She kissed him, pouring all her emotions into it. She gentle pushed Jack against the door as the kiss heats, his hands traveling down her cupping her arse and pulling her closer. One of his hands traveling up and under her blouse, to her breast. His lips moving to her throat. The suddenly heard loud banging and pulled apart. They remembered the group of people outside. After a few breaths Jack spoke.
“Hammering, Sam must have found a board or two to cover the window, I should go back out there to help. Jack said as he straightens his hair and then brushed some hair behind Phryne ear. It had grown out some past her normal bob cut.
“Unless you need me to stay a bit longer?” Jack asked.
“I always need you Jack. She whispered as she pulled back and straightened her blouse. “You go, I’m fine I’ll be outside in a moment.” She finished as she turned off the water and fixed her hair and her makeup.