by London Lampy
The typing on the letter Vio took from Miss Collister's tray didn't match Menna's suicide note so that's one more machine eliminated. However it also means that we're almost at a dead end with the whole thing, and from now on most of our time is going to be taken up with trying to discover the identity of Sampson's would-be assassin.
By the time I leave work I'm half asleep and while I want to see Jack I kind of wish I could go home for a nap first, but things being the way they are at the moment I'd most likely fall asleep and not wake up until tomorrow. Then I'd have to spend yet another morning making my apologies, only this time it would be to Jack again.
I make my way to Vio's house alone as Vio and Caddy are going out for dinner together, or in other words are kindly getting out of our way because apparently Jack is cooking for me, which could be interesting. Standing on the doorstep ringing the bell I have a sudden vivid memory of doing exactly the same thing in the early hours of this morning, queasily full of pink alcohol. Jack answers the door, kisses me then briskly ushers me inside. I can smell something cooking and it smells good, he really is making me dinner. "What are you cooking?" I ask curiously, I don't think anyone has ever cooked especially for me before.
"Eggs with cheese and spinach sauce, potatoes, and some carrots."
"Really?" we head into the kitchen. "That's proper food, I thought it would just be soup out of a can or something."
"No, I can cook." Jack wraps his arms around me from behind.
"Since always. Nanny made sure that we all knew how to look after ourselves, I can sew too."
An image of Jack doing embroidery pops into my head and makes me giggle. "Can you knit as well?"
"No, and to be honest I'm not very good at sewing, I could never make my stitches as neat as the girl's, but I am quite good at cooking."
"And you remembered, you made something without meat."
"Yeah, I take it you're still not eating animals?"
"I'm still not eating animals," I confirm. "But I'd eat one if you'd cooked it, I just don't do it out of choice."
It was the monkeys in the forest that did it. I've never really loved meat the way some people like Jack do, and no matter how well prepared it is it always somehow reminds me of the disgusting gristly stuff we used to get fed in the orphanage, but it wasn't until recently it occurred to me that you didn't have to eat it. Seeing monkeys being shot out of trees, gutted, skinned and roasted really made the decision for me.
Jack moves away from me and I watch with interest as he stirs things and pokes things and tastes things and adds a pinch of salt or pepper. He really does know how to cook! I've never got beyond toast in the two years I've been out of the orphanage, and I've never even put the oven on in my flat. I'm not even sure that I know how it works.
After a bit more stirring and poking and tasting Jack dishes up. As I sit at the table watching him slicing bread to go with it I know that I don't want to give up on this, it's far too soon to admit defeat. The last couple of days have just been teething troubles, no one could have possibly predicted that Topher would get shot.
He sees me looking at him and smiles, and I get the feeling that he's thinking much the same as I am. We eat in silence for a while, the food is really good and it's even better because Jack made it for me. As he's buttering himself a second slice of bread he casually asks. "How about when we've eaten and cleaned up the kitchen we go to bed?" Ah yes, cleaning up the kitchen. That's another reason I don't cook, if you only ever eat food out of packets all you have to do is throw the packets away.
"I'd like that, I'll make up to you for last night."
"Yes, you do owe me," he agrees. "So what exactly are you going to do to repay that debt?"
"Hmm..." I picture all the dirty things I'd like to do with Jack, and then somehow Topher gets in there too, which is Vin's fault, and I have to shoo him away. "I'll let you..." I begin, but I never get further than that because I'm interrupted by the sound of the front door opening and Tippit's voice calling out to ask if anyone is home. I look at Jack, who's now almost finished his food, as have I. We can hardly pretend we're not here so he swallows his mouthful and shouts back that we're in the kitchen.
"That smells tasty," Tippit says as he enters the room, taking off the dark glasses that he wears in public to disguise his eyes then tucking them away in a case. "Is there any left?"
"Sorry," Jack apologises, gesturing to the empty pans and dishes. There are never any leftovers with Jack around.
"Never mind, I'll make myself something." He bustles around the kitchen opening the ice box and the cupboards and peering inside. "You two the only ones here?"
"Yes," I reply. "Vio and Caddy have gone out for dinner."
"They must have forgotten that I was having the evening off tonight," he says as he removes a wax paper packet of cold meat from the ice box." Yeah, they must have done. "But you two can keep me company."
I look at Jack, then we both look at Tippit, who's now taking what's left of the bread from the table, then we look back at one another. Neither of us wants to spend the evening talking to him, but it would be kind of rude to say that we were actually planing to go to bed and spend the evening having sex.
"Oh, Exit, by the way," Tippit takes the butter and starts to spread it on his bread. "Mr Jonas wants to know when you're coming around for dinner again."
"What?" Jack mouths at me. I could cheerfully strangle Tippit right now.
"Um...I don't know, I'm kind of busy at the moment," I avoid looking Jack in the eye. I'm nothing more than friends with Ry now, but with all the Topher stuff, not to mention Vin, Jack's going to be thinking the worst.
"That's a shame," he says as he lays slices of meat onto the bread. "He wants to show you the photographs he took of you last time you had dinner with him at the house, he says some of them have come out really well."
Jack sits back from the table, folds his arms and gives me a look that I've been on the receiving end of far too often recently. I'll admit it does sound bad, but it's not, not really. Ry had just bought himself a camera and had had one of his spare rooms converted into a dark room so he could develop the film and make his own prints, so he asked me if he could take some picture of me to try it out. They weren't those sort of pictures, I only had my shirt off, and he didn't touch me, but Jack doesn't know any of that. I feel like banging my head on the table.
Tippit's finally finished making his sandwich and he comes and joins us at the table. "This is nice isn't it?" He looks at both of us with a smile, unaware of the trouble he's just inadvertently caused. "Much better than eating alone."
"You let your ex-boyfriend take half naked photos of you?" Jack's not bothering to keep his voice down, Tippit must be able to hear him. After a tense half an hour while we cleaned the kitchen and Tippit ate his food and chatted away obliviously Jack excused himself claiming that he needed to take leak, so I followed him. The gods only know what Tippit thinks but I don't really care. We're now standing together on the small landing at the top of the stairs outside the bathroom.
"I wasn't half naked, I just had my shirt off, that's all," I protest. Although I'm on shaky ground here because having your shirt off is kind of being half naked, but at least it wasn't the other half.
"Why?" he throws at me.
"Ry said it was something to do with testing the contrast on skin tones."
"And you believed him?"
"Yeah," I shrug defensively. "I don't know anything about photography."
"Did you fuck?" he glares at me.
"No! Nothing like that happened. Please Jack, believe me, I haven't lied to you. Can we just stop fighting for tonight?"
"We can stop fighting altogether if you stop giving us reasons to fight."
I sigh and turn away. "Shall I go home?" I ask, looking at a framed print on the wall. It's a seaside scene, yellow sand being licked by a bright blue sea.
"No, don't," he puts a large hand on my shoulder. "But you could go back downstairs, I really did come up here because I need to pee."
"I've got a better idea." I incline my head and rest my cheek on his hand. "Why don't you go and pee and I'll go up and wait for you in the bedroom?"
"What about Tippit?"
"You want me to invite him up too so we can have a threesome?" Shit, I shouldn't have said that, I've got threesomes stuck in my head thanks to Vin.
"No." Jack sounds something between puzzled and horrified by my remark. "What I mean is won't he wonder where we've gone?"
"He'll probably work it out, and I didn't come over here to spend the evening talking to him."
"Good point." Jack kisses the top of my head. "And you do owe me."
I quickly strip naked while Jack is in the bathroom, jump onto the middle of the bed and use my hand to get myself hard. It feels so good that I'm actually still doing it when Jack arrives. He stops in the doorway, looks at me and makes a low growling sound.
"Hi," I say with a grin. His reply is to growl again, strip his own clothes off faster than I would have thought possible, then pounce on me. He takes my legs and pulls them so that they're wrapped around his thighs, him on top of me.
"Want to fuck you," he mutters into my ear before kissing me so hard that all I can do is open my mouth and hope that I don't end up with bruised lips. He reaches behind me to caress my tail and I push my hips up to help, feeling his rock hard cock bump against my ass as I do. I want him to fuck me too, but I don't want to take it as fast as we did the other day either.
Jack produces a tin of lube from under the pillow, he must have put it there earlier in anticipation of this moment. He then he stops kissing me, kneels between my thighs and bends me in half so that my ass is in the air and my knees are touching my chest, then bites me hard on the ass cheek.
"Ouch," I protest, but not too much.
"Couldn't resist," he laughs, kissing where he bit.
Jack explores me with his fingers, stroking the crease of my tail, my ass, the insides of my thighs and my balls. I can feel the roughness of his fingertips on the sensitive skin there, then I hear him open the lube, then those same fingers are easing inside me.
"That two fingers?" I ask.
"Yep...too much too soon?"
"No, it's fine." Better than his cock with no preparation anyway.
He plays with me, moving his fingers fast then slow, touching me deep inside and making me gasp, then scissoring his fingers to stretch me.
"I wish you could see this." He says as he adds another finger. I know what he means, sometimes I play with Topher like that, although usually he's tied up and I'm teasing him. Eventually when I'm getting close to begging him to put something larger inside me he pulls out his fingers and uncurls me. I end up with my feet resting on his shoulders and my tail wrapped around his body as he finally pushes his cock inside me. He looks down between my legs and makes an approving sound. "Wish you could see this too."
"Mmm...but I can feel it...oh yes...just there! Damn that feels good."
"Ssh!" Jack sounds amused. "Tippit remember?"
"Fuck Tippit." I'll make as much noise as I like.
"I don't think he'd like that," Jack laughs, but he's also deliberately thrusting in as deeply as he can, and that's not the way to get me to shut up. "You're very close to coming aren't you?"
"I love the way you can do that without being touched."
"You're touching me...inside," I pant.
"Yeah," he agrees, speeding up. He's got his hands on my hips and is moving my body as well as his own. I'm not even going to try and fight this orgasm, one good hard thrust is all it takes for my body to be engulfed in pleasure and my chest become covered in come.
Once I've finished Jack manoeuvres me so that instead of being upside-down with my feet on his shoulders I'm sitting on him, straddling his lap, with him still inside me.
"You made quite a mess," he looks at my chest.
"Yes," I agree, "I did." Using my fingers I scoop up some of my spunk then push them into his mouth. He sucks them clean so I do it again with what's left then I kiss him, tasting myself.
I can tell that Jack's about to come when he stops kissing me and buries his face in my hair, his fingertips digging into my flesh where he's holding me. I flex my hips, riding him as he pushes up into me then comes with a shout that's louder then me, probably. I can feel his body spasm as he orgasms, and when he's done he wraps his arms round me, kissing my cheek and ear. Still holding me we lie down so that we're facing one another, his softening cock sliding out of my body.
We stay like that for a while, not talking or moving. I can hear Jack's heartbeat and I put my hand on his chest to feel it slowing back to normal. I know if I stay like this I'm in danger of falling asleep and going home late, or not at all, and therefore pissing Topher off. It's hard to want to move though and Jack has no motivation to get out of bed. I'm starting to doze off when a knock at the door jerks me awake.
"Hello...are you in there?" It's Tippit.
"Um...yeah," Jack replies, sounding fuzzy.
"I'm making a pot of tea, do either of you want a cup?"
"I do," I say loudly, it'll give me a reason to get out of bed. "Four sugars please."
"Not for me," Jack calls out as he rolls onto his back. "I was asleep." he mutters as Tippit's footsteps recede back down the stairs. "How did he know we weren't right in the middle of having sex?"
"We've been quite a while." I sit up, my ass feeling sticky. "And he's a butler, they're meant to know when not to disturb you, Ry says he's good at it." Crap! I shouldn't have mentioned Ry again, so I keep going, hoping Jack won't notice. "Although I don't think Tippit knows much about sex, actually, I think he's a virgin."
"Really?" Jack sits up too. "How old is he? I can never tell with echobacks."
"Me neither," I confess. "But he's in his early thirties."
"How the hell can he still be a virgin?"
"He was a slave for a long time, then he was freed and he was a tailess one. No self-respecting echoback girl wants to make it with a tailess one and the only tailess woman in his village was his sister. And he's pretty short too, I don't think that helps either."
"If he's short does that mean you're tall?"
"Yeah," I grin, "I actually am, in echoback terms anyway. Hell, I'm practically you."
"Poor Tippit." Jack puts an arm around me and kisses my shoulder. "If either of us meets a single tailless girl we should set them up."
"Mmm," I agree, but I'm not so sure I should start meddling in anyone else's love life when I can't even keep mine under control.
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