The characters of Sherlock Holmes belong to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The 21st century brilliance belongs to Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat. No infringement on my part is intended.
I have no editor, Beta, or other such charming person. All mistakes are my own.
Part XVII M.Y.C.R.O.F.T.
Mycroft Holmes hung up the phone. As a rule, he considered himself too much of a gentleman to swear, but the only words that came to his mind at this moment were, “Bloody fucking hell!
If it is not Sherlock and his love of the bizarre then it is the Americans and their love of cowboys!”
Sherlock was obviously not enough of a cross for him to bear in this life. Once a year came the phone call. At this moment, he hated his job and perhaps just a tiny bit, his country for having to shoulder this responsibility. He would do anything…but this… this was unspeakable. Oh what to do?
If he proceeded carefully, for the next several days he could bluff and act as if contact had not been made. Message lost in the translation and all that. If he pushed it more than that, the phone call would be forwarded and the Queen would pick up. So he could not push it for more than two days. Forty-eight hours…a lot could happen but sadly, he knew that his American counterpart was not going to fall over dead. Or die in some tragic, horrible accident. Best just to soldier on.
“Where is that poison capsule when you need it?” he sighed.
The pressure to succeed at this game was now on him and it would keep mounting until he returned the phone call. Rubbing the bridge of his nose, he eyed the decanters. One held scotch, the other held gin. Going to the cupboard, he opened the doors and took out the bourbon. Those fucking Americans…and their bloody fucked up way of doing business!
If he was going to drink, now was going to be the time to do so. In the following days he would need his wits about him. Buckingham Palace was as secure as he could possibly make it. Guards had been notified and security was alerted. It was now official. The West Wind was blowing into town. His beloved city was coming under attack! The only thing he could do was be prepared for the worst. Ready the pantry for a siege and man the blockades!
Right now, this bottle of bourbon was all that stood between him and insanity.
“I am going to have to drink it and then call Sherlock. Nothing to be done for it. I am simply doing the best I can for The Empire. Time to drink up, man-up and ask my baby brother for a favor. I shall not cry. I am not some silly school girl who is away from home for the first time.”
It had been two days since he had been to Castle Combe Gate when his brothers had been present and accounted for. Perhaps he could start with Percy and work his way through to Sherrinford then to Sherlock…no…that would fail miserably. Sherrinford had been most specific about his visiting rights. Do not come unless called to do so.
Sherlock was still in town. Well, there was nothing for it. Opening the bottle, he poured the amber liquid into the glass. Picking it up he drained it then refilled it. Before the alcohol could take affect, he grabbed his courage by the ruff of it s neck, shook it around a bit and dialed the number and waited. Hell, surely, was preferred at this moment but this was his call to duty. His alone to shoulder and to muster on! His alone…he felt the tears spring up into his eyes when he heard the voice with those lazy vowels speak at the other end and a tear rolled slowly down his cheek.
Apparently he was just a school girl, after all.
Sherlock sat in their London flat with John. It had been an interesting past two days. Hanging up the phone he faced his male roommate.
“That was Lestrade. The blood tests are back and the two girls are, indeed, related to the dead man on the train.
The body was thawed at a controlled rate and a name for the woman in the freezing unit is still a bit of a mystery. Sherrinford has confirmed that she was Irene’s minion that had lived downstairs.
Of course, when the police showed up, both the upper flat and lower flat had been cleared out and clean up. Everything once more sprayed with bleach.
However, there is no mystery to the tattoo that was on her arse.”
“Oh,” John shook his head and made a face.
Sherlock could read John easily. The doctor in him was appalled. The soldier had seen this and worse. At times John still did not grasp that they waged war with the bad guys. They did this in a civilized manner while the culprit was anything but civilized.
“The same hand that tattooed the other two women did this one as well. And it was brand new. Not even hours old before she had been shoved, forcibly, into the box. The bruising on her body indicates that she struggled to get out but her arms and legs were bound. Probably with some type of leather belt. Once she was frozen, they were removed. The lid had been locked with a key and the key tied with a big bow and taped to the top.
The autopsy revealed that she had engaged in consensual sex. Male ejaculate was found in her mouth. There was some slight irritation in her vaginal area. Her sex partner was related to the dead women and the older man, as well. It was a busy little family.”
“Miss Adler’s family is indeed a den of vipers,” John’s voice said with disgust. “The Snake was aptly named. So,” he eyed Sherlock, “there are brothers as well. All of them bent to violence and the darker side of human exploitation.”
“Mrs. Hudson said that the same company that she danced for owned other traveling troupes, as well a circus or two. At one time she considered being a trapeze artist so she could tour Russia with them.”
“Trapeze artist,” John’s eyes looked down at the floor as if he was able to peer into Mrs. Hudson’s flat. “The circus…” his voice was low as he contemplated that.
“Yes, boggles the mind, does it not. Mrs. Hudson married to a clown or perhaps the tall man on stilts or monkey boy.”
“I was thinking more along the lines of the lion tamer,” John chuckled. “Gr-r-r,” he held his hands up in front of him and had his fingers like claws.
Both men stopped to think about that, shuddered and moved on.
“These little wandering troupes. Like gypsies they virtually go anywhere, unnoticed. Through the box offices you could launder the money. Transport all manner of goods,” John said, his focus back on Sherlock.
“Very handy,” Sherlock said nodding. His phone started playing *“Ding-dong the witch is dead, which old witch, the wicked witch…”
“Mycroft,” Sherlock rolled his eyes. “Yes,” he said into the phone.
Walking over to the window he looked down into the street. “I will be at the door. John and I are both here.” Hanging up he turned back around.
“We are blessed with his presence, twice in one week. Something is afoot. This cannot be good.”
Sherlock let his brother in and walked with him back upstairs.
Once in the flat, Mycroft sat the bag on the table and lifted out his most prized possession.
Sherlock was intrigued. “Bourbon,” he eyed his brother. “That can only mean one thing.”
“I brought the bottle,” Mycroft smiled as he sat down. “A glass please, dear brother, a toast, and then I have a huge favor to ask.”
“You are pissed already,” Sherlock said as he poured the tea out of three dirty cups siting by the sink. “Fill these,” he said, sitting them in front of his brother “and what is your tale of woe? But since you have not only been drinking bourbon but have brought the bottle, I would guess that this has to do with The Ugly American.”
“Oh-h-h-h Sherlock,” he smiled and batted his eye lashes. “No guessing, please.”
Laughing Sherlock picked up a cup and handed it to John and then took one for himself.
“To The Empire!” Mycroft said with a big hurrah in his voice. “To the Queen Mother and tea time and dark fruitcake soaked in rum.”
“Hear, hear,” John and Sherlock both replied along with Mycroft.
Standing Sherlock said. “Here is to The Chase, wrong doing brought to light, and to hot, rabid-dog sex,” as he raised his cup with a grin.
“Hear, hear,” two of the men responded. Hm-m-m, Sherlock glared at his brother. Just two men responded when there should have been three.
“Waiting,” Sherlock eyed Mycroft.
“Hear, hear and a great big huzzah!” Mycroft said with a forced smile.
John stood. “Here is to good friends, the best of friends. And my fellow warriors. Two of the finest sit here with me tonight.”
“John,” Sherlock slowly shook his head. “He comes seeking favors and did not bring the really good bourbon. He drank all that before he left his office.”
“Sorry Mycroft,” John sighed, “one of the finest sits here with me tonight.”
“Hear, hear,” all three men raised their cup and toasted.
“Much better,” Sherlock smiled. “Now, my very dear and drunk brother, just how might we be of assistance?”
“The West Wind is coming and has heard that the family is in the throes of expanding. How this is known, I know not. I suspect Sherrinford or speaking of rabid dogs, perhaps Percy was the informant. The West Wind is not that good at intelligence gathering.
But The West Wind is so old and formidable that they sat on FDR’s council and was known to smoke Churchill’s cigars. So there are some contacts in place.”
Placing his hand over his heart, he said with pleading not only in his voice, but on his face as well. “I am in need of a family dinner. And to host this dinner, a place of tradition is required. A place for dinner that speaks to the old bones and senile brain that will partake of bread with us. A place that has been serving food and refreshment before our American colonies were even of our colonies. And we shall be desiring some light entertainment. Perhaps dancing and security.”
Sherlock did not even have to consider it. “Foster’s Cups & Arrows in Castle Combe would do, I would think. Not overly large and the food is good. The dining room is over three hundred years old and looks out over the river. The locals are trust worthy and the family could be in attendance without raising any eyebrows.”
“Most excellent,” Mycroft managed a small smile. “And we will need to be in formal kilt and kit. Dr. Watson, you will need yours, as well.”
“I….I..” John was stunned. A formal kilt? He did not have one.
“No worries. Such a joy to be around,” Mycroft smiled at him. “It will be delivered to you in the morning. Sherlock, wear great grandfather’s if you would, please.
I will make the arrangements and we shall meet you there at seven.” Mycroft finished off his cup of bourbon and standing, nodded his head to both and then was out the door.
“Most days I think he is just an odd duck,” John said as he watched Mycroft close the door. “I now believe that on all days he is an odd duck. With him gone I think I am justified in saying an odd fucked scared drunk duck. Just whom are we having dinner with?”
“Mycroft has a very small problem,” Sherlock chuckled. “Well, actually, not so small. His American counterpart is coming and wants all the bells and whistles of dining in England. To include the family tartan and yours as well. We should invite Mrs. Hudson. She keeps her tartan formal attire ready to wear. Of course, she is going to need a new pair of shoes.
One moment,” he said rising. “Please John, stand with me at the door so you can see her face.” Going over, they both looked out as Sherlock opened it and yelled down. “Mrs. Hudson.”
Opening her outer door, she stepped out into the hall. “Sherlock, you could just have sent me a message to my phone. No need to yell.”
“Dear lady, I wanted John to see the look on your face.”
“Oh dear,” she turned towards the front door. “Has this to do with Mycroft?”
“Yes,” Sherlock smiled. “It is now September, Mrs. Hudson, and who comes calling in September?”
“Oh dear,” she was slowly shaking her head.
“Dinner tomorrow night Mrs. Hudson? Hm-m-m? I was just telling John that your formal tartan attire was ready to go at a moment’s notice.”
“Oh dear,” she was still shaking her head. “You are a dear boy for asking me, but I have no shoes,” she smiled sweetly. “I cannot go out without my shoes.”
“Coward,” Sherlock hissed at her.
“Oh darling,” she said holding up one foot and wiggling her toes. “See, no shoes. You just party on without me,” she smiled and waved and scurried back inside and closed the door.
“I give up,” John said sitting back down in his chair. “Who is this? The West Wind? Mrs. Hudson refusing a party is like…like…the P M not living at Number 10.”
“Names, hm-m-m-m, names. Well, she” he stressed, “is also known as The Dragon Lady, The Old Battle Axe, That Fucking Bitch, Satan, Jezebel, and my all time personal favorite, Mrs. Mycroft Holmes.”
“What? What?” John leaned in closer. “What? Mycroft married? No,” John chuckled. “No, not possible.”
“Well, they both say that as well. But apparently, back when they were much younger and during their agent days, they spent the night together in a hotel room in some out of the way Muslim country. The innkeeper, being the observant fellow that he was, and perhaps egged on by Sherrinford, though this is still not known, but he was in the area, noted that they were not married.
Sherrinford or no, the good innkeeper could have deduced this because of all the loud yelling and screaming from the wild sex they were having. Apparently no married couples carry on sounding like Tarzan swinging through the trees and calling for the elephants to attack the bad guys. And this was from the lady. God only knows what Mycroft was doing at the time.
The next morning, there was an Abdullah waiting outside their door. They could either marry or they could both be lashed one hundred times.
Mrs. Mycroft Holmes now shows up once a year for conjugal visits.”
“So…so…so…” John started laughing. “Sorry, I am just having a difficult time seeing Mycroft in the throes of passion.”
“That’s what she said,” Sherlock snickered.
“Really,” John was chuckling, “he can make a woman scream in passion?”
“That’s what she said,” Sherlock was now laughing as well.
“I…I don’t know if I should applaud him or just induce vomiting?” John laughed.
“That’s what she said,” Sherlock was grinning.
“Not one more word. Just stop it…” John was hooting.
“That’s what she said.”
John was wiping his eyes, “I mean it. Stop it. I think I just pissed myself.”
“That’s what she said.”
“Oh bloody hell,” John was still chuckling. “Does she have a name besides Mrs. Mycroft Holmes?”
“Carroll E. Stewart. There are two R’s and two L’s in Carroll. And the Stewart spelling is the Scottish royal spelling. Not the French bastardized form.”
“Am I going to like her?” John asked.
“Of course,” Sherlock smiled, “because Mycroft hates her.
Time to call the family. You want to go with me to Castle Combe, tonight?”
“No, I’ll train out tomorrow. I have a few things I am going to take care of tonight. Do a bit of writing on the blog site.”
“Until tomorrow,” Sherlock said. “And John,” he turned to his roommate, “do be careful.”
“Always,” he replied.
With Sherlock gone, John sat down at his laptop and began writing. The case he had dubbed The Wailing Walls of Westminster was still generating comments. As he began answering them, up popped Mary.
“Good evening…glad to hear the ghosts of Christmas Past are behaving themselves in the abbey.”
“Yes,” John replied. “Myself as well. The building’s acoustics makes for an interesting study in itself. Very clever. As soon as I get these answers posted, I am going for coffee. Would you care to join me?”
“Sounds lovely,” came her reply. “Same place?”
“Yes,” he typed back and hit enter. “In fifteen.
Oh please God yes,” he whispered. “Yes, yes yes!”
Was this a date? He thought maybe this was a date. He did a mental check list: Brush his teeth, shave, fresh shirt. Presentable. “Be presentable,” he said as he hurried upstairs to his area. “I do not think we will get this far,” he said as he looked around his room. His bed was made, his dresser-top neat and orderly. “If it gets this far, I will respect her in the morning,” he said with heart felt reverence. “Please, please, please let it get this far…I will bloody hell respect her the rest of my life!
If,” he felt his pulse quicken as other parts of him started to heat up. “If, I am so lucky that she accompanies me back here, it would just be for the best to keep her out of the kitchen area downstairs.” That could get a bit tricky. You never knew what body parts Sherlock had stashed in the fridge.
His eyes became critical, his area was clean and there was even wood for a fire laid.
“Get off laid,” he said to himself as he changed his shirt. “Be grateful that she is seeing you and be a gentleman. Good manners never go out of style.
Damn, the shoes could use a bit of a spit and polish. Well, no time now. I’ll switch to the others.”
Sticking his head in his loo, this area was clean and presentable as well. He cracked the window to allow for ventilation. “Fresh air never hurts. Always ready for an inspection,” he told himself. “Looks good, smells good,” as he brushed his teeth.
Down the stairs, out the door and down the block. Cross the street, down the block, cross the street, two blocks and he was there just in time to see her pull up in a cab.
Opening the door for her, he said, “I had no idea that you had to hail a cabbie.”
“Oh,” she smiled as she paid the driver, “no worries. I had a client that I was just checking on that morning. That was why I was here.”
“Lucky me,” John replied as he held the door to the Starbucks open and they both went inside.
“What would you like?” he asked as they stood in line.
“Oh, the Pumpkin Latte is back. One of those, please.”
“No,” she smiled. “Oh nice, the seats by the fire have opened up. I’ll pop over.”
“Perfect,” John smiled at her.
“Just perfect,” he then smiled to himself as he placed the order.
They spent a very pleasant evening sitting in front of the fire and talking families, likes, dis-likes and what the bloody hell had they been thinking?
When the rain started, John went to the loo and when he returned, their chairs had been pushed closer together.
All she said was, “It is difficult to hear you over the wind blowing the rain onto the window.”
“Fucking perfect,” John said to himself as he sat down and they were now side-by-side and knee to knee. Her body was turned a bit to face him and he turned his a bit to face her and when he felt her leg relax against his…“Just fucking perfect,” was all he could think as he ordered them another coffee and a blueberry scone to share.
“I would like to see you this weekend, for a proper date, if you would not mind,” John said as they heard last call.
“I would like that,” Mary responded.
“Actually, I would like to see you tomorrow night as well,” he smiled at her, “but Sherlock has a family to-do and I am invited along, complete with kilt and kit.”
“Oh,” Mary wiggled her eyebrows at him, “the Watson tartan,” she winked. “I have to ask,” she grinned.
“Normally, Madame, I would say that I only wear beneath it what God has graced me with. However…” he paused. “I am a gentleman and on my very best behavior.”
“Go ahead, say it, John, say it. Shock me,” she laughed.
“You, Miss Mary, can just find out for yourself what I wear beneath my kilt.”
“Oh, a bit of a challenge. I like that. When you come back you will have to wear it for me.”
“That is a date then,” he smiled at her. “Now, I think they are wanting us to leave. Let me see you home.”
“John, it’s a ten minute cab.”
“Come on,” he smiled reaching for her hand. Helping her up and holding up her coat, she slipped it on.
Out the door they went and when a cab pulled up in they both went, still holding hands. When they reached her flat, he said to the cabbie, “wait one, I’ll be right back,” as out the door he went and walked with her to her door.
Her lips were warm and gentle against his and then she was inside.
Grinning and slobbering like a rabid-dog, it was the shortest cab ride in history back to Baker Street. Paying the fare, he was inside, up the steps and into his room.
Taking out his phone he texted her: “I had a lovely evening.”
Right back came: “So did I. What are you doing?”
“Just got home. Thinking of you.” There was no instant reply. “Bloody fucking hell,” he hit his forehead with the palm of his hand. “Too much, too soon.”
His phone chimed. “Want to come over and think of me?”
“Blood hell yes!” he shouted for joy as he sent that response right back to her.
“Bloody hell yes,” he brushed his teeth again and was down the stairs, out the door and into a cab for the longest cab ride in the history of the world.
She was standing at the window, watching for him. Paying the cab he was out the door and onto her stoop and then inside. “What time do you have to be at work, tomorrow?” he asked as she took his jacket.
“Not until the afternoon. Then I will be in the office doing paperwork.”
“I don’t want to keep you up,” he said. “Medical practices need their people to be in top form…” he said as she stepped in closer. “I mean, if you had to be at work in an hour…or so…”
“M-m-m,” she stepped in closer and wrapping her arms around him rubbed her face in his chest. “You want to sit on the couch and kiss,” she grinned.
“Oh yes, yes please,” he smiled back.
“Want something to drink?” she asked.
“No,” he replied, shaking his head as she took his hand and led him into the living room. “I might be a bit rusty at this,” he began somewhat sheepishly. “I have not been with a woman since before Afghanistan.”
“What was it like, the war?” she asked.
“Awful,” he replied. “I came back in denial, suffering from PTSD. Therapist told me I had trust issues and to start a blog. I met Sherlock and…” he became thoughtful.
“You trust him,” Mary said as she ran her fingers through his hair.
“Yes,” he nodded his head. “I had some psychosomatic problems with my leg. I had been shot and the leg had healed, but my mind would not leg go of the trauma. Sherlock got me out chasing a non-existent bad guy across roof-tops one night. I forgot all about it. Never needed the cane again.”
“You walked with a cane?” there was surprise in her voice.
“Yes,” he replied, “oh yes. But if you want to chase criminals with Sherlock, you have to be able to keep up.”
“Yes,” she leaned in closer, “John Watson, please keep up,” she grinned as she leaned in and kissed him.
Gently, gently, gently, he let his lips roam across hers. Pulling her next to him, her lips responded in kind. Making soft, contented noises, his hands moved to her hair as he enjoyed the feel of the silk that now slipped through his fingers.
After several more kisses, she crawled into his lap and her fingertips played against his face.
“Bedroom?” she asked his softly.
“No,” he replied. “I like you Mary. A lot,” he said with a sure nod of his head. “Consenting adults and all that but…I am more than grateful to just be with you here on the couch, touching you, kissing you and wondering just how far you are going to let me go?”
There was a wicked chuckle from her. “Morals and the chase is it?”
“Well yes,” he replied, “and no. I came back from the war, changed. As a civilian doctor, I was called a player.”
“Yes,” Mary nodded, “I know the type.” And the tone of her voice indicated that she did not approve of that type.
“Well then,” he forced a smile. “There you have it. You know what a bastard I was. Oh gwad, oh gawd, oh gawd, I cannot believe I am going to say this but…make me work for it.”
Laughing she stood and taking his hands, pulled him to his feet. “That sir I can do, now I will walk you to the door, you can kiss me goodnight and I will see you when you return, in your kilt,” she added, wiggling her eyebrows.
“What? I….I did not mean to make me work that hard for it.”
“Come now,” she chuckled, as they walked hand in hand to the door. “We’ll kiss here, at the door, until your cabbie arrives,” she said as she helped him with his jacket.
After making the call, they stood, John had his back leaning against the door with Mary pulled up to him. His kisses were still gentle as his body fought for control.
He was properly worked up when the taxi beeped its horn.
“You ever have phone sex?” Mary asked as he opened the door.
“No,” he replied.
“Call me when you get home,” she grinned.
“Yes ma’am,” he responded as he stole one more quick kiss and was out the door.
He had been wrong about the ride over being the longest taxi ride in history. Going back to Baker Street was the longest. His hard on was throbbing as he thought about what he had just done. “I could be in her bed, buried deep inside her,” he felt like banging his head against something. “Why did I have to pick tonight to be morally responsible?” he sighed. “I could be having sex with Mary,” he held that thought as the wiper blades kept time to the throb in his pants. “Oh fuck…trust…works both ways.”
Getting out he was upstairs and into his room. Off came his clothes and into the bed he went.
She picked up on the second ring. “Are you in bed?” she asked.
“Oh yes,” he replied.
“Do you miss me?”
“Oh yes,” he moaned. “Your kisses, your mouth, your tongue, that breathy way you would say my name when my hands moved down your back…”
“Are you stroking yourself?” she asked.
“No,” came his reply.
“I am,” she whispered back. “I am pretending that it is your hand between my legs, John. Making me wet and making me wait to know what you will feel like inside of me.”
“Oh fuck Mary,” he said as he hand slid down his body. When he made contact with the head, there was a low moan.
“Say my name, John. Just keep repeating my name until you cum.”
“Oh Mary, Mary,” he felt passion grip him. “Fuck Mary, I want this to be your hand grasping me.”
“Yes, John,” her breathing was becoming faster. “Yes, yes, oh John yes,” she moaned.
“Oh fuck Mary, I am on the edge. Good thing I did not stay…oh-h-h-h, fuck, I am there…”
“John, do it, John, just do it. Let it go. Say my name and cum for me. Just for me John, please. Because I am there…”
He could hear her low wail.
“That should be me Mary, that should be me,” as he own hand in a frenzy caused him to yell her name as his body came up off the bed as his orgasm left his collapsed on the bed.
“Oh-h-h-h…fuck…” he murmured to the phone. “Thank you, Mary,” was all he could think of to say, his breathing still ragged.
“It was that good for me as well,” and he could hear the contented sound in her voice. “I will see you when you return from your out and about with Sherlock. In a kilt,” and he could hear the smile.
“Yes,” he replied. “In a kilt. Good night,” he smiled into the phone.
“And to you as well,” she replied as he heard the line go dead.
Her plane had arrived and Mycroft was delayed. He could not personally pick Ms. Stewart up from the Heathrow. “Please, my apologizes to Ms. Stewart,” he said to the assistant. “Send my deepest regrets.”
Nor will I be able to pick her up from the hotel and escort her to Castle Combe. Do to my work load, please tell her I will be arriving my helicopter at the last minute. But the car will be there for her. Please give her my apologizes,” he said to his assistant.
“Tell her yourself.”
His blood froze as he turned to face her.
“How far have you run today on your hamster wheel?” she asked him.
“Twenty,” he said as he turned it off.
“I see you are still attempting to lose that five from the last time that I saw you.”
“Well…yes,” he replied.
“Shower, get dressed. You know how I am about being punctual,” she smiled at him.
“Of course. Are we taking the car or am I driving?”
“Oh,” she smiled. “You are driving. Make sure you put the seat all the way back. We shall be having sex while you are driving.”
“Yes,” he gave a small nod of his head, “of course we are. That is why I am wearing the kilt. To be at your disposal.”
“Correct. Now do you require assistance in the shower?”
“No,” he smiled picking up a towel. I’ll be ready in thirty.”
“And I know you will,” she smiled in return. “The Bentley coupe is waiting for us,” she smiled.
“Oh yes. Of course.”
“Good,” she eyed him. “Nothing says a proper British fucking like the front seat of a Bentley.”
“Yes,” he gave her a small grin. “If you preferred the Rolls,” he began.
“No, the Continental is fine. I understand that is the car you drove the night you met with Miss Adler.”
“I did not fuck her,” he said facing her.
“I know you did not,” her voice was just as serious. “But you did other things to her because you thought Sherlock had fucked her. On the drive while you are fucking me, I am going to want to hear all about that.”
“Yes, of course,” he wrapped the towel around his neck and headed for the shower.
*Ding Dong the Witch is Dead, The Wizard of Oz: Yip Harburg, 1938
For those of you who have read my fan fiction, I always manage to work in some bastardized form of my name. Well yes, you also know if you have read any of my other stories that I have no shame…lol… and often do this with glee and great foresight. The same can be said of this character as well. Like I said…no shame…
As always, thanks for reading!
…the spirit transcends the body…
Part XVIII United We Stand
John was up early and was working on his blog when Mary chimed in. They agreed to meet for breakfast. He was waiting outside of Starbucks for her at seven. Opening the cabbie’s door, he paid her fare and then helped her out. Keeping her hand in his, they paused outside the coffee shop’s door.
“Thanks for last night,” he smiled at her.
“It was good for me also,” leaning in she kissed him.
“I have to leave at noon. I’ll be back tomorrow. Sherlock’s brother…his American wife…maybe she is his wife, no one seems positive about that…is coming into town. They see each other once a year…maybe.
I guess what I am trying to say is please Mary, please do not be to good to be true.”
Smiling at him she kissed him one more time before they went inside.
“Do you think I am too good to be true John?”
“Yes,” he sighed. “Of course I do. You had phone sex with me.”
Laughing she tweaked the end of his nose. “Buy me breakfast,” she grinned. “Then we can walk around and see your flat.”
John was grinning as they went inside.
“What?” she asked him.
“I changed the sheets before I left, that’s all.”
“Oh,” she grinned.
“But, there is a human head in the fridge. Sherlock is conducting some experiment.”
“Clean sheets, check, head in the fridge, check. Anything else?”
“Mrs. Hudson is our landlady. She will be surprised to see you.”
“Why is that?”
“She thinks Sherlock and I are lovers.”
“Oh,” Mary laughed. “Clean sheets, head, lovers. Now who sounds too good to be true?”
Mycroft knew he was in a relationship with Carroll and he was sure he knew the type of relationship it was. It was the relationship where he was always fucked because of the stupid shit that he did and she was always right. When she wrote the rules, she was always right. When he wanted to have sex, she was always right. When she wanted to have sex, she was always right. If she wanted to blow something up, she was always right and the rest of the world, she was so fond of saying, “Can just go fuck themselves.”
“Sunset is at seven-forty tonight,” Mycroft said as Carroll tied his tie.
“Yes,” she replied.
“If we have sex in the car while I am driving, we shall be seen.”
“Then see to it that we are not,” she replied blithely.
He was in some very deep shit here. Defecation at its finest of your own making as they used to say out in the field before someone blew your brains out with your own gun.
She knew about Adler, of course she knew. And he was royally fucked because of it. He did not understand her reasoning, but he knew it to be true. “My hands, per se, did not touch The Woman. I used a couple of different types of vibrators on Miss Adler, but you already know that.”
“Yes,” she said stepping back and smiling and then brushed lint from his jacket.
“She was merely a study in female sexuality. I had questions, her body supplied the answers.”
“Very good, never stop learning,” she patted his cheek.
“I would be more than willing to share with you the outcomes of this study. I have a spreadsheet and graph and perhaps you could clarify one or two things for me. She was a little hard to understand with that gag in her mouth.”
“Oh dear,” she arched an eyebrow at him. “I can see middle-age is beginning to take its toll. At one time you were the best in the business at understanding gagged responses.”
“Well yes,” he sighed, “and the weight. It comes and likes to stay.”
“You should do your running outside. The body and the mind has to adjust to the constantly changing surroundings. Keeps the chemicals in flux and your body has to accommodate them.”
“Quoting from the manual…still…” there was a very tight, very little smile on his face.
“Always,” she smiled back at him.
“You just do not ever follow it yourself,” he batted his eye lashes at her.
Mycroft did so like to play his little mind games. He thought that with his accent he was just all that more justified in doing so. The sun never sets, etc., etc. She found it amusing when he tried to play them with her.
And could her boy ever run at the mouth. He liked to engage you in a word duel and walk away thinking he was the victor. She had learned long ago that direct was the only way to deal with him. If you were polite, he just walked all over you and criticized what you were wearing to your dressing down.
“You do not know when to shut up,” she said. “When I woke up this morning, I was just mildly irritated at you. Now I am pissed off and you have not ever seen the crazy I have planned for tonight.”
“Well then, “ he took a step back and became complacent, “I do so apologize for my unbecoming mouth. Would you do me the honor of wearing the Holmes clan pin? And perhaps the tartan shawl?”
Her eyes flickered over him for a moment.
Oh my….he was offering up the family heirlooms. Oh-h-h, her boy had screwed the pooch. Sherrinford was running Mycroft’s ass in regards to something. Sherrinford was a great many scary things, but he respected and upheld family. That was why Mycroft was still alive.
Oh, well of course. Molly would have been the fuck up and Sherrinford was not pleased with his middle brother. Mycroft was willing to show he was indeed a team player when it came to family. Well, Mycroft was an arrogant asshole, but he was her arrogant asshole. “You are sincere.”
“Everyone there tonight will be wearing their tartan. Even Cook wears the Holmes crest on his,” he added, his voice hopeful.
“Well of course,” she replied. Standing perfectly still, she watched as Mycroft went to his dresser and removed the velvet box. Opening it, she could see the yellow diamonds and blue sapphires twinkling. Then he was beside her. Slipping his hand inside her blouse, he placed the back of his hand of the top her breast as he carefully slid the pin through the material and fastened it.
From another drawer he removed a lingerie bag. From that he shook out the tartan shawl, another symbol of the Holmes’ family. Wrapping it around her shoulders, offering her the crock of his arm, they walked out of his suite and into the lowering evening sunlight.
“I have been practicing my yoga,” Carroll winked at him as they approached the car in the garage. “I am going to put my legs behind your back. You just keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. I am going to be gathering information for my own spreadsheet and graph for the next hour and a bit.”
Once she was in the auto and straddling him, Mycroft managed to get out. “Your feet. My back…is there a more comfortable…”
“This is not about your comfort, you man whore,” she nibbled on his ear as she adjusted her ass and his penis. Once he was inserted she said, “Now, drive.
You running your test on Miss Adler. This,” she said with disgust in her voice. “This is about sibling rivalry.
This,” she thrust her hips forward, “this is about me.” She bit his ear and when he yelped, she let go. “This is about me having to spend my time debriefing that traitorous whore,” she spit out. “I do not give one royal fuck how she earns her living…but when she betrays her country, she whores herself out to whatever country she can profit from. She even asked me if I was interested.”
“Oh…” Mycroft responded, the merest whisper.
“And to top it off,” she was spitting nails, “hearing the name Holmes come from her lips. Not only in regards to The Virgin, but to The King as well.”
“That is not possible,” he said as his eyes held the road. “You are fishing, Carroll. And it is most unbecoming. You could read all about it in my notes. They are extensive. The drug I used to wipe her mind…”
“Fucking…man…whore…,” she bit him again and to her immense satisfaction there was a sharp intake of breath. “You need to keep up. You run on a treadmill and not out in the wilds where your life is forfeit if you take one false step. Yes, we shit out in the woods and because of it, our immune system is stronger.”
“What?” Mycroft whispered. “What am I missing?”
“New drug, it leaves no after taste or side effects, ” she said as she licked his earlobe. “Provides the genetic attachment. We can take what we want and leave what we want. We can mind fuck you on all levels and make you believe it. That is because your brain tells your body that it actually happened. Just lovely truths that your mind recalls and is recorded in your muscle memory. This delightful tale all according to your old Auntie Carroll.”
“I was told that drug was a myth,” he smiled. “Another American version of cowboy.”
“Well, believe what you will. She sang about you and the monitor you had hooked up to your phone, attached to her finger so you could record her vitals. That was new for her. She was most amused at how sexually inept and sadly lacking the Holmes men are.
I was not.”
“Brilliant deduction,” he smirked. “That would be the logical thing to do. You still have the touch for believability and American bullshit.”
“Well, I thank you for saying I am brilliant,” she ran her nose down the side of his throat. “And my bullshit is the best,” she laughed lightly. Her mouth at his ear she whispered, “Miss Adler said she almost wet herself when you snapped on the latex gloves.
First question: Did you crop Sherlock?” Her voice was pleasant. It had to be. At this moment she could stake him to a fire ant hill covered in honey. “No stimulus was used. You were looking to establish a base line.
Second question. Was their anal for either party? You used the battery operated G-spot vibrator.
Third question was did Sherlock moan while you whipped him and you used The Rabbit vibrator. Purple was the color. She said it was all she could do to keep from shrieking in glee and could not wait to include it in her memoirs. Complete with names, my darling man whore. And she knew yours. Did some insider trading with her, have you?”
Carroll silently congratulated herself. She had actually managed to get past that without doing Mycroft bodily harm.
“She lied to you of course. About everything. She said the whole time you were that you were trying to sexually engage her, she kept imagining you with your eyes gouged out and your dick hanging out of your mouth. I may only see you once a year, dear heart, but at that time I want that part of you to work.
She pissed me off to a level that I have not been at in a while. Because I was most unhappy about that, I may have told her she needed to gain a few pounds to look her absolute best. Like fifty,” she grinned.
“You are a cold hearted bitch,” he chuckled.
“Yes I am and you had best not forget that,” she kissed him under the ear.
“So you got to her and the sheik after the auction. Oh,” his hands may have gripped the wheel just a bit tighter. “Do you know where the nuke is?”
“Which one?” she teased him by blowing in his ear.
“The one the sheik…” and then his voice stopped. “That is rather brilliant. There was no nuke. You layered Adler and the sheik as well. And then you invented the person that the sheik was keeping it for. The one that put the bounty on his head…”
She was placing small kisses all along his neckline. Well of course, that had been a ruse as well.
“People are, as we speak, checking their secret hole in the ground and making sure their inventory is still intact.” Yes, he could see how this could work.
“Very good,” she kissed his ear and then ground around on him.
Pleasures of the flesh were just chemicals that the brain released to reward you. He was not in need of such a reward and she knew that. For him, it was not about the release, but about how he controlled the buildup. She knew that, as well.
With his superior mind he held such an unfair advantage. She was, however, a challenge on a good day. A headache on all others. But if there was such a drug…and the possibility of a cache of nukes being uncovered…that information had come to him easily. She always did enjoy sex on any type of moving transportation. That was when she was most vulnerable. “Do we get the formulary for the drug?”
“Depends on the pillow talk,” bringing her head around she kissed him on the lips and then began a steady back and forth motion with her pelvis with her head resting on his shoulder.
“Keep your eyes on the road and listen to me carefully. Fair warning Mycroft. You ever do that type of fuckery, again, you will spend the rest of your days as my cabana boy. Because that will be the only job you will be capable of finding.
Let us just keep that in mind, shall we?”
“Of course,” he smiled through clinched teeth. “Of course.”
So far, if this was all he had to endure from her, this was not that bad. Not anything like Istanbul had been.
“The pressure is building,” he said as a small thank you. “This is…exquisite.”
“How nice for you,” she cooed in his ear. “I shall be in control of the stick for our journey to Castle Comb,” she cautioned him. “I have plans for that delightful pressure. When we are about twenty miles out, I will begin our final approach.“
When she clinched her pelvic walls around him, there was a slight moan. When she clinched tighter, he thrust out. Just barely, but she had his attention.
“I am looking forward to seeing the family. Percy tells me Dr. Hooper is most delightful and has a real talent for shooting. Of course, most women do. The first day all they did was break down the Walther and put it back together. Percy says she can do it with her eyes closed and they are presently working on her timing.”
“Family,” Mycroft moaned through gritted teeth.
“Yes,” Carroll picked up the pace just a bit. “Our dear Dr. Hooper loves a rat bastard Holmes’ man. When the time comes, she may need to be able to put him down in a humane manner. Sadly, it will be after he destroys her heart. That is not a fair exchange, of course. For the rat bastard it would be a painless death. The male out of his misery and you are left wondering just what the fuck happened to your life.”
“If I were to have a rebuttal, what would be the consequences for that?” Mycroft asked.
“I will rip your tongue out with my teeth, stop the car then rip out your throat as well.”
“Apologies for even having a thought in that direction,” he countered.
“Oh my darling,” she kissed him, her tongue outlining his lips. “I love it when you talk dirty to me.
And you have of course stopped smoking.”
“Oh yes,” he assured her, “ages ago.”
Molly was standing toe to toe with Sherlock as she tied his bow tie. “Mycroft, married?” She had repeated for the well, who knows how many times today?
Sherlock was thoughtful. Trying to think of some way to get back into Molly’s undies before they had to leave. “Maybe yes or maybe no, neither one of them is willing to admit to it unless they have been drinking or they are in a disagreement over something. And they are always in a disagreement. Then, just to be feisty one will say they are and the other will say they are not and vice versa. We are due for a wonderful evening’s entertainment. It is not often you get to see Mycroft blush. He shall do so repeatedly tonight. Oh Molly, truly, these are the good times and I do so enjoy them whenever they come to pass.
She wants to meet you and has brought herself here to do so. A wonderful evening is in store for us.”
“You are very handsome in that kilt,” she said as she took a step back. “I am very much looking forward to this evening.”
“Our wonderful evening could start right now…” he said as he took a step toward her.
When she giggled, he knew he could appreciate the phrase he was about to get lucky. “The nice thing about a kilt,” he wiggled his eyebrows, “and you wearing that full skirt,” he lightly bit her lower lip, “is that we can have sex anywhere.”
“We have to leave in fifteen minutes,” she said, shaking her head at him.
“We know for a fact that I can get you there in six. Molly may I?” he asked, winking at her.
“Well, yes you may,” she laughed when he picked her up and tossed her onto the bed.
John stood at the patio doors of the restaurant and watched the Bentley pull in. “Nice car,” he said to no one.
“Well yes,” Sherlock said, noticing that there was not a passenger on the left side. “That would be the happy couple. They are on time. It is five till seven. Carroll abhors being later.
Oh, the Bentley. Oh,” Sherlock concentrated on the car. “Carroll is getting out first from the driver’s side and oh…my…goodness…out pops Mycroft adjusting his kilt. What have those two been doing?” he snickered. “Anyone care to wager a guess?”
“No,” John shook his head, horror on his face. “I have heard that it was possible in a Bentley. Mycroft doing the deed somewhat muddles with the illusion I have in my head of me doing that. I find I now need to refresh my drink. I will be at the bar.”
“What’s that?” Molly asked, walking up.
“Sex while driving the new Bentley Continental. I do believe Mycroft just dispelled any myth of that not being possible.”
Molly’s eyes went to the two people that were standing out in the parking lot. They were a handsome couple. Of course, any man looked handsome in a kilt. Her stepfather was a piper on the police force and wore his kit often.
Opening the door, Sherlock stepped outside. “Carroll,” he smiled waving, “the door is open. This way.”
Molly watched the older woman approach. She was fifty, Sherlock had said. From here she was a striking fifty. She was older than Mycroft by about five years and looked very much at home on his arm. There was no mistaking the Holmes’ tartan that was draped across her shoulders. When the sun’s rays hit her, there was a jewel that glistened on her upper body.
“Look at him,” Sherlock chuckled, “strutting like a peacock. Announcing to the world that he actually has a woman on his arm that has sex with him and he does not have to pay her to do so.”
“Sherlock,” Molly elbowed him.
“It’s true,” he smiled and waved at the couple. “And Carroll is lovely. Too good for the likes of him.”
“Sherlock,” Molly elbowed him again. “Oh,” Molly breathed out as her attention went back to the approaching woman. “I see what you mean. She’s…she’s…”
“What gave it away?” Sherlock whispered in her ear.
“She has your shape eyes…and they are crayon green.”
The couple was now about twenty feet away and had stopped to admire a bird in flight. After spending just a few days at The Gate, Molly thought she was becoming an expert at what the fae looked like and moved like. Not that she had seen anything, but Sherlock looked different when he was here. More pixie and less human. Ms. Stewart was clearly of the same manner as Sherlock. Tall. She had short, curly hair, the color being silver brown, like a tree trunk. Almond shaped, true to the green color eyes. And those killer cheekbones!
“Does she do parlor tricks?” Molly asked.
“Only the best of the best,” Sherlock replied. “Hence Mycroft’s fascination. Instead of watching from the sidelines, he can have one for his very own. He just does not know what to do with it and most importantly how to control it. She would get more than a little irritated if he tried to chloroform her and then pin her to cardboard stock so he could observe her.”
Taking Molly’s hand, Sherlock stepped outside. “Carroll, so good to see you again. I would like to introduce to you Dr. Molly Hooper.”
Drinks were most delightful. John’s eyes kept going back to Mycroft and Carroll. Married? Yes or no? Single? Yes or no? Did they have sex in the car? Really? Or had Sherlock made that up? Yes or no? Ms. Stewart was comfortable to be around. Mycroft was just beginning to bloody well scare him. Especially when he laughed.
Sherlock was enjoying the show. Carroll was not partaking of alcohol. Sparkling water with lemon was her choice for the evening. When she had her second one Mycroft pushed aside the scotch and asked for coffee. Something was up. Mycroft had not one clue what it was but he was cueing off of Carroll.
Watching the merry little band, John was just thrilled he did not have to spend his holidays with them. Christmas must be something for the books. What a nightmare. “Thank you for Mary,” he sent a silent prayer out into the heavens. It was time for dinner. Sherlock had assured him that was when the fun really started.
When they had tucked into the first course, Molly asked the question. “Carroll, how long have you two been…” she paused, eyed Percy who just grinned at her, egging her on she thought and continued, “married?”
“That is a very good question,” she smiled in return. “Dearest,” she looked at Mycroft, “how long?”
“Molly,” Mycroft smiled at her, “I do not recognize any vow that has not been blessed by the head of the Church of England.”
“So you are not married,” she said to Carroll. “It is just that you wear not only the Holmes’ tartan but the crest as well.“
“Fide Sed Cui Vido,” she replied as she touched the brooch. “Trust, but in whom take care. Something the Holmes’ family takes to heart. Perhaps something we should all,” she stressed, “be more mindful of,” she smiled sweetly at Mycroft.
“It is not a matter of not trusting you,” Mycroft said. “It is just that our vows were not blessed by the head of our church.”
“Whose church?” Carroll responded. “Your monarch is not the head of my church. I expect no one but God to bless our vows. Your Queen does not even appear on the list. That holy man’s words holds more sway in that regard than your monarch.”
Oh-h-h, John could see where this could be a regular reality show on the telly. The Brit and The Yank.
“Oh,” Mycroft smiled. “That holy man had been positioned outside our door all night from the looks of him. I cannot help but wonder,” picking up her hand he kissed it, “who alerted him?”
“He thinks it was me,” Carroll smiled sweetly at those sitting around the table. “That I was so desperate to be married, that I tricked him into the best night of sex of his life just so I could force a marriage upon the rising of the sun. He thinks I am enamored of his accent and that I loose all good reason when I hear it,” she said rolling her eyes.
Facing Mycroft she said, “I was willing to take the one hundred lashes. You were the one who was not.”
“Well then wife,” he responded, “I expect you to walk ten paces behind me.”
“Gladly,” she smiled. “And if you are still alive after you have cleared the mine field, that small distance gives you a much better shot. Although, you would probably miss the kill zone at ten paces as well.”
“How is the scar?” Percy asked as he looked at where the brooch had been pinned. “Does it still throb?”
Sherrinford picked up his drink and leaned back in his chair. You just could not buy this type of entertainment. And now, possibly, he was going to hear the rest of the myth. He had heard a variation of the story that was getting ready to be told. All types of scuttlebutt and speculation and abounded about just how The Yank had gotten shot. But not one word had been breathed out from the three that were actually involved. Percy held his secrets on a need to know basis as well.
“You have been shot?” Molly asked.
“Friendly fire,” Carroll responded, as she touched the brooch. “Right there. Fortunately, Percy was there. Saved my life. I am the reason,” she wiggled her eyebrows, “that Mycroft is not allowed to carry a side arm.”
“Oh please,” Mycroft scowled. “Barely a flesh wound. I knew exactly where to place the bullet. I killed the insurgent that was in front of you and your body slowed down my bullet that was shielding the defector that we wanted to get out in one piece. It was all a good solid plan. Finely executed and properly trooped to the line.”
“Your…” John looked at Mycroft, “husband…” then he looked at Carroll…“shot you? Was this before or after you were married?”
“After,” she replied.
“Oh please,” Mycroft rolled his eyes. “She was never in any danger from me. She was more at risk from picking up typhus from…from…defecating in the woods.”
Laughing she pointed to his ring finger. “Oh my dearest,” she patted his cheek. “Your thoughtfulness is touching. The casing you shot me with worn as a pledge of our until death do us part.”
From around her neckline he pulled out a necklace. The pendent was a substantial piece. It was an English rose, set in blue sapphires and yellow diamonds. Clearly a companion piece to the Holmes’ brooch she was wearing. “Obviously, a symbol of your love for me and my fine marksmanship, as you wear the bullet that Percy pulled from your body. A lovely job was done hammering it out and fashioning it.”
“That is some love story,” John said and you could hear the skepticism in his voice.
“Well,” Carroll was laughing as she took Mycroft’s hand in hers. “Our story is not one that I recommend. However, there are two redeeming values to the man. He does make the perfect cup of tea and he walks me through customs when I arrive in country. I do not have to stand in line. Those are two very important things in my life. I do not ask for much. Tea, no lines. If he could do something about parking tickets in the U.S., I would consider him the perfect male.”
Mycroft grinned out at the crowd as he raised Carroll’s hand to his lips and kissed it. “I am working on that, dearest,” he gave her a small bow with his head.
Molly’s eyes cut to Sherlock who was clearly amused. Even Sherrinford was smiling. Percy was just shaking his head in something that might appear to be shame.
“I have been talking with Percy about what it is like to have a relationship with a Holmes male,” Molly smiled at her. “Any advice.”
“My best advice dear one,” Carroll reached across the table and held her hand. “Is do not.”
“I can speak to that, just stand clear of the lot of them. Because with one comes all,” John said and then shouted, “Hear, hear,” raising his glass in a toast.
“Hear, hear,” the table responded in kind.
“Oh come now John, you know how boring your life is without me,” Sherlock sighed. “Any Mycroft, just look at the fine meal and entertainment he is providing for us tonight.”
“My dearest,” Mycroft responded by buttering his roll, his eyes on Sherlock and Molly. “They are so young, so in love. Such negativism,” his focus was back on Carroll as he sadly shook his head at her. “Why you have even tainted our dear Dr. Watson. What has turned your heart against me? Was it something I said?”
“Well…not yet,” she responded as she eyed the knife still slathering on butter. “Although, I hear your trousers complaining about you having to let them out.”
“Such a dear,” he smiled at her as he pushed the bread plate away from him. “See Sherlock, what you have to look forward too. The man of the house cannot even enjoy his meal in peace.”
“Well,” she grinned, “as the man of the house it is your duty to provide the lady of the house with a piece…” she smiled sweetly.
All eyes at the table lit up. That was not lost on them. Payback. Her brand of crazy tonight was that they were having sex in a public place. There would be no living past this time and moment if she succeeded in this endeavor. He would be the butt of bathroom humor.
Mycroft cleared his throat. “But, they have cleared away dinner and dessert is on its way out. Fig pudding with a vanilla ginger cream,” he smiled. “The house specialty. I know how much you enjoy those little fig bars.”
“Dried figs, Mycroft,” she gently patted his hand and began crazy… “And this evening has been most pleasant and then…” she sadly shook her head. “Not the cookie. Just dried figs are what I eat.” Shaking her head she regard him. “You pay attention to everything and everyone but me.
Family,” she smiled around the table. “Thank you so much for the pleasure you have brought to this evening’s meal. As a small thank you, I would like to provide for this evening’s entertainment.
And for many evenings to come,” she smiled at Mycroft, “as this story is retold around the fireplace on a cold blustery day or during a family meal.”
There was a round of applause from those at the table.
Standing she addressed all those that were in the dining room. “Your attention please. It is always good to come home to the land of my husband’s forefathers,” she smiled out into the crowd. “In great appreciation, and to show my kind regard for this great nation, at this time I would like to recite for you The Charge of the Light Brigade, by Lord Alfred Tennyson. The greatest poet laureate to be produced by your great and good land.”
“Hear, hear!” was shouted with gusto, not only from their table but from around the room and from behind the bar as well.
Mycroft could hear the ticking of the clock. The sound of the waiter’s leather soles on the wood floor. Plates being removed and coffee cups being refilled. The mice out in the field, sensing a storm, had the good sense to scurry away. He could hear the pitter-patter of their feet taking shelter, the little cowardly bastards.
He could also hear the ejaculate in his epididymis, that had been there all evening, peculating, wishing to escape. He hated it when she decided to go crazy on him. Dried figs, she liked dried figs. Why could he not remember that?
But she remembered everything about him. The Charge of the Light Brigade. He was fucked. He was going to be fucked…in a public place and he was going to be screaming while it happened.
She was beginning…at the beginning…her voice low and soft, following the cadence of a drum marching into battle. Her voice would draw you in, had drawn him in with the poetry of his heart.
He could see his youngest brother out of the corner of his eye. His hand holding Molly’s while his eyes followed everything Carroll did.
It did not matter what he wanted to be true or how badly he wished to step away. This spell she could weave…the same was true of Sherlock. As a small boy, when Sherlock would tell his fairy stories at tea, his youngest brother would paint the small fae creatures to life and at times he thought he could see them as Sherlock spinned tales about their heroic deeds and misfortunes.
For those few moments he would be captured by the majesty and pettiness of these magical creatures before Sherlock would stop and move on to something else.
Sherlock always stopped too soon, leaving him wanting more and he would be almost there…their light almost visible to him and then when his brother’s voice ceased, so did the vision that would hold him in its grasp.
Carroll was the same way. Her words brought to life whatever tale her mind had to imagine. And at times, he had seen her light, and the vision that was wrapped around her that he could touch. And for those moments he could be lost there. He loved being lost there. So much so, it was dangerous…
There was nothing he could do for it. Listening to her recite the poem he could smell the dust, hear the horses. Creaking leather of both men and beasts. Orders being passed and then shouted to the troops. Horns calling, lines forming. Standards being lifted and guidons held at the precise height. War was going to be fought in a hopeless situation yet some would survive from the mighty six hundred.
The smell of blood, the screams of pain…the dying of both animal and man alike. The sound of the canons shattering the ear drums, the bursts shattering the bones of the mighty six hundred.
His heartbeat fell into the rhythm of the poem being recited. It was her voice. Of course, that was the very first thing he had noticed about her. Her words weaving a path that you wanted to follow until she invited you to sit and rest and just listen to her voice.
There was nothing for it as his mind saw the battle that she painted on the evening air. The smells and sounds of the present kitchen were forgotten as war waged around him and there was only the copper smell of blood.
She had recited this poem to him before during sex. It was a type of aphrodisiac and it drove him to madness! Her voice caused him to relive those moments. The excitement, the blood thundering in his ears. The call to duty, the call to death! Knowing the outcome, that death awaited him, his orgasm would leave him breathless and once, even weeping in her arms.
This woman was a bitch and a witch and she knew his weakness and she exploited it from time to time. Adler could take lessons from her. He was so randy that he thought he would cum just sitting here watching her. But there would be more. She was angry with him and his pain would be absolute. He had willingly crossed a line and she was willingly making him suffer. In front of everyone…because she could.
He would survive this. It would make him stronger. Everything she did made him stronger. He did not want to believe in the fae but he wanted to believe in her. Early one morning, during pillow talk, she had told him that he had fought at The Battle of the Light Brigade. That he had rallied his troops, charged the cannon on horseback to save his men and had died there.
From time to time he thought about that. It was not that he did not believe her. He knew more about the Crimea than those that lived there. He also knew more about that battle than what was recorded in history books.
It was just that he was afraid if he admitted to himself that she was right…what else was capable in this world that he could not control?
He could hear the applause, his hands joining in. She was magnificent of course and yes; she was taking her bows as the room cheered her. Here it was…her pièce de résistance. This would be her grand finale and his doom. She would have her way with him. His shame would be complete as he rutted like an animal. His baser desires screaming at him to be fulfilled!
“*God save our gracious Queen,” she sang and every one in the restaurant stood and sang, “God save our noble Queen…”
After their anthem, all cheered. Taking her hand, he led her to the ladies bathroom. Closing the door and locking it, he pushed her up against it. Wrapping herself around him, he yelled, “Death before dishonor!” With a yell he plunged inside of her and came. Just as she had orchestrated it.
For long moments his head rested on top of hers. When she lowered her legs from around his waist his eyes met hers and he gently kissed her lips.
“You do not play fair,” was all he was capable of saying.
“I know,” she sighed.
“Parlor tricks,” he said as he put his hands on the door on either side of her.
“Yes,” she smiled.
Leaving his hands on the door, leaning in he kissed her. Wet, deep, and passionate. “Do we have tonight?” he asked, breaking off the kiss.
“Yes,” she responded, “but not as we both hoped for.”
Righting their clothes, when they went back out dessert was being served. From the hallway they could see that there was a man standing at their table.
“My ride is here,” she smiled at Mycroft. “Please inform your people that we have friendly inbound. Coming in from the West.”
Taking out his phone, he taped in a few numbers and then escorted her out into the hall.
Sherlock was assessing the American military officer who was standing at their table. Despite the civilian clothes and not saying anything other, “Good evening, I am here for Ms. Stewart, “ Sherlock also knew he was a Colonel, full bird and smelled of the ocean and jet fuel.
They would have sent no one less in rank. The aircraft carrier where he had originated from must be out in the Celtic Sea. That was where Carroll and Mycroft were headed. The carrier would be secure and American soil. Whatever this event was, it was big. They had come to fetch her home and somehow Mycroft was not in the loop.
Well of course, that explained this evening. In her own way, she was being mindful of him. The Americans were running some black op that their allies knew nothing about and tonight they were pulling the trigger. It was a very big trigger whatever it was and was going to make a lasting impression. The Americans had a tendency to do that.
Mycroft would be her guest on board the carrier, which would save him from hearing about it second hand or worse yet, reading about it in the intel traffic update. When Mycroft’s brothers-in-arms started calling, he would know exactly what was going on and would be arrogant and unbearable in that knowledge.
Sherlock eased back into his chair and knew John, Percy and Sherrinford were all doing their own silent assessments of the man as well. Like was drawn to like. You could always spot one of your own.
When Carroll arrived back at the table she was handed an earwig which she put in place. “I am eyes on The East Wind right now,” she said. “Your approach is secured.”
Mycroft nodded yes.
“Friendlies will light the LZ.”
Turning back to the table she said, “Thank you all so much for such a lovely evening,” she smiled at the faces of her family as she removed the tartan and folded it neatly and placed it on the table. Then she removed the brooch and pinned it to the shawl.
“John,” he stood and she walked over to him and hugged him, “a pleasure.
Molly dearest,” wrapping her in her arms, she kissed the top of her head. “Listen to Percy,” she smiled at her and then kissed her on the nose. “He has the most experience in dealing with the Holmes’ men.
Sherlock,” she winked at him and kissed his cheek. “If you ever want a job I have an opening.
Sherrinford,” she grinned. “It is always a pleasure to be able to offer to you safe passage,” she hugged him. “Do not ever hesitate to call.
Percy, dearest,” she hugged him last. “Thank you. And please, see to the shawl and brooch for me.”
“Black Hawk,” all the men at the table said together as they felt the vibration against the windows.
“Night Stalker,” Sherlock chuckled.
“What have you done?” Mycroft asked her.
“We have cowboyed up and given Commanders Wexford, Applegate and Kingston a ride out of Dodge, so to speak,” was her reply. “Your people are safe. Satellite comes into position in fifteen minutes and at that time I am the only sheriff in town.”
“There is no satellite in that quadrant of the sky,” Mycroft’s eyes were focused on her.
“I am flattered. If you cannot see it, then our stealth technology really is all that.”
“Ma’am, your ride is here,” the officer said as he removed his trench coat and helped her with it on.
“Wire The East Wind into the net, please. No mike, though. Ears only.”
“And if I refuse,” Mycroft glared at her.
“Then you can read about it on your Twitter feed in the morning,” she replied.
“You would not dare,” he hissed at her.
“Shut the fuck up!” she hissed right back. “I am fucking done! These three are earmarked for my country, you self-righteous British bastard,” her voice was low and threatening. “You have no say in this. We have pulled your people and the Israelis out. Anyone else who plays in that sandbox without us knowing it are getting ready to meet God.”
Through the doors, in the blackness they could see the green chem lights come on and were lit only long enough for the Black Hawk to get its bearings and then they went out.
“Earwig,” Mycroft said and then he was fitted with one.
The man said, “Checking commo for The East Wind and The West Wind. Ears only for The East. We are on the move, repeat The Cyclone in now on the move,” as he led Carroll and Mycroft out.
Sherlock took Molly’s hand and walked with her over to the doors. “Watch,” was all he said. “Do you seem them? Look for the glint of the rifle barrel. It will have a different cast to it than those shadows around it. That will be one of the few signs that the teams are there.”
“They have been out there all night,” Sherrinford stood behind her. “The best that the British and American governments have to offer.”
“That is a gunship, fully loaded,” Sherlock said, “off an air craft carrier out in the Celtic Sea. The Americans fondly call them The Night Stalker. Use your imagination as to when they do their best work. The silhouette, those are rockets mounted in the slots. Guns will be at the ready as well. They are now both on board, watch…” he said as men seemed to appear from nowhere and were now on the runners of the aircraft, hanging on, their weapons bristling and pointed out, at the ready.
“Bloody fucking hell,” Molly breathed out. “Who is she?”
“Mycroft’s counterpart,” Sherlock chuckled. “The American government.”
Part XIX …Mrs. Jones
After a lovely Friday night it was Saturday afternoon and Molly was strolling the gardens of Castle Combe Gate. After breakfast, Sherlock had gone back to London and here she was…a widow that was not even married…left to her own devices and to think about the week ahead. The decision loomed before her. Did she go back to London tonight on the train or wait and leave in the morning? It was a small decision but hers to make. Who knew when Sherlock would re-appear?
Work started again on Monday; the Adler family, terrorists, and Sherlock Holmes be damned! She had bills to pay and rent and her own life…which included a stack of romance novels she needed to finish. Romance novels were a dangerous thing ,she concluded. They were not reality and provided a very nice place to get lost in…just like Castle Combe Gate.
Ballocks! This was not her reality…but it could be. So maybe she should do a week in review.
So far, she had no regrets. The week she had spent here had been a true holiday and she had learned all manner of useful things.
She had no idea she such an aptitude for shooting.
The sex with Sherlock was good…the best…
But that was the romance novel…just great sex and searing heart ache and rapturous joy were not enough…pbblllt! She was confident she needed more than that. Her head could get around the fact that she needed more…her heart said something else, like maybe being a prisoner here of her own desires was not such a bad thing.
Sex with Sherlock…sex was secondary to being in Sherlock’s company. That was what she missed the most. Not physically being able to hear his voice or watch his mouth move when he talked. The way he arched that eyebrow when he thought you were an idiot. The way he smiled when he thought you were not. His charming self when he was having a go at one of his brothers.
Percy was pleasant company…oddly, since she was having sex with Sherlock, that was suppose to be Sherlock that was pleasant company.
Sherrinford was most diligent about teaching her the ways of an assassin. What to look for, be aware of, shoot to kill, and to always go with your gut feeling.
Mycroft…she was hoping she would not run into him. John had broadly hinted that he was never pleasant company and it was Ms. Stewart’s presence only that had made him palatable. What little experience she had with Mycroft, she thought this was probably true but into her phone was input a phone number where he could be reached.
And John Watson…he was a good man, cared for Sherlock and was more of a companion than she could ever be she realized. Well yes, perhaps that summed it up neatly. She could be Sherlock’s lover, but not his companion.
Sadly, she thought she had become her mother’s daughter…
“No please, not that…” she sighed.
Her father had been a petroleum engineer, deep water; that lived literally on oil rigs, coming home once a month for a couple of days then off again to another part of the world. Until when drilling one day, they hit a gas pocket that back blew and killed him and five others instantly.
Her mother…was this what it had been like for her mother when her father had been alive? In love with a man who was part myth because for those few days you only saw the charming male that wanted to get laid and eat his favorite foods.
Because of her father’s job, there was no day-to-day living together that helped build intimacy and respect for each other’s strengths. There was no encouraging each other and standing by their side during their weaknesses. There was only the sex.
When her mother had married Marc, the police office that came home at the end of his shift, Mum had bloomed. They went dancing and grocery shopping. He helped bring the laundry in off the line and fold it and helped her put it away. He loved to cook. Once a year they went to The Rising of the Clans. And they both loved to fish. Each day-off a different stream was just waiting to be waded in. They purchased a little caravan and there they would go camping and came back with great good fish tails and happy hearts.
She knew Sherlock…and had experienced him first hand. He could not be charming on a daily bases, let alone civil.
Was she really just handing her life over to Sherlock?
Percy appeared at her side. ‘You are lost to us Molly,” he said as he put a blanket around her. “Come back to us.”
“What?” she said, looking at him.
“It is raining, dear heart, and here you sit under the apple tree in the rain.”
“Oh,” she sighed. “Percy, you love Sherrinford. Do you feel abandoned most of the time?”
“Very deep thoughts,” he sat down next to her and pulled the blanket around himself as well and adjusted it over their heads.
“I have to be back at work on Monday, I have no idea where Sherlock is or if he is coming back for me. I just thought I would take the train, either tonight or the first one in the morning.”
“Do you want me to drive you back now?” he asked. “Sherrinford is off doing his fifty mile trek. I won’t be missed,” he kissed her forehead. “Mrs. Crowley will see to the dogs. I’ll pack a small bag and spend the night. Let’s go see a play, dine late and have two desserts each. Topped off with several nightcaps.”
“I would like that,” she smiled at him. “There are clean sheets on my guest bed. Nothing as fine as what I was offered here,” she said. “There will be no wonderful baking and roasting smells to greet us as we come in the door. No great roaring fire.”
“Hush now,” he tweaked her nose, “you shall be there and that is all that matters.”
“Percy,” her voice was very still. “Sherlock says he is going to draw the Adler woman in.” They were both very quiet. “Drugs is going to be the means he does that. The next time I see him, he is going to be using again. He is going to be high. It is going to happen sometime this week. He wants me to run. To be Mrs. Jones. He sees no point in putting it off. I am going to see the very worst of him and make an informed decision. He is going to rip my heart from me and I am going to let him do it.”
Shrugging she continued on, “Maybe that will purge from me the Sherlock virus. Leave me vaccinated against him and immune.”
“I am going to go pack,” he kissed her nose. “You continue to sit here a few more minutes. I do not wish to influence your decision because I care for you deeply. And in my heart, I see you and the children here to keep me company and to hold my hand as I pass from this world.
See,” he cupped her cheek with his hand. “I see tears glistening in your eyes. What I said is not fair. I can tell by the look on your face that you would stay for no other reason than to keep this old fool company. And I am not the reason you should want this.
Know this, dear one, this lovely place will become a lonely prison, dearest, if your heart is not in it for the right reasons. So the decision must be yours. But also keep in mind Sherlock is so much more than what he appears to be. It will come to you,” his hand touched her cheek and then he walked back into the house.
Pulling the blanket around her, she watched the leaves catch the rain. Drugs….oh my gawd! She loved a junkie! It would do no good crying over this. It had to be. Best just to rip the bandage off and move on. Move on to what? Where? Her life, her lab, her flat were now overlaid with memoires of Sherlock.
Taking a look around her, she could see in places, blue skies. Like Sherlock’s eyes twinkling in merriment. The shower was passing and there were sunbeams now dancing over the garden. The yellow buttercups glistened like a million jewels and bowed under the weight of the water droplets.
Sherlock’s words continued to float through her mind. Sitting out here, he said he had seen a small tinkerbell drinking from a buttercup. When she had said the fae could not be poisoned by those things found in nature, the look on his face said she had fit a piece to the puzzle. Her brain had briefly flitted over that fact and now she gave it thought. So, she pondered, could Sherlock get high from smoking a joint? From smoking opium? Yes he was part human…but honestly…high functioning psychopath…no…she thought about that…Sherlock…he was a high functioning fae with no regards to his human genetics.
He could get drunk because distilled spirits did not occur in nature…well, there was some natural fermentation in fruits and ethanol was produced…so he could probably imbibe that and not get drunk…and she bet he knew that because he had tried it.
When she had found him on her bathroom floor, he had taken meth and a cocktail of other things made in a laboratory or someone’s kitchen as she ran down a mental list of all that he had ingested. But there had been nothing on that list that had been harvested and then used.
Instead of feeling lost and isolated, she was now just getting angry. He had experimented with the all the man-made poisons to see just how much his body could withstand. He was after all a chemist. He had been running his own experiments. “Well yes Dr. Jekyll! I would like for you to meet my Mr. Hyde! That fucker!” She wanted to screech and then beat him!
“I am going to have a wonderful night out with Percy,” she smiled as she stood and shook the water off the wool blanket. “And if Sherlock survives Miss Adler, then I am going to kill him myself.”
Percy was most excellent company. It had been a wonderful Saturday night. Then there was Sunday morning brunch at The Savoy. Brunch lasted well past two. She drank perhaps her weight in champagne cocktails mixed in with a variety of food, tall tales and much laughter. At three-ish, Percy poured her into the car and then into bed and then Monday morning dawned at nine. She did not have to be at work until twelve. Hers was the late shift today and she would revel in it.
It was a pleasant walk to work. When Molly came back into her lab, waiting for her on her desk was a note from Sherlock. Dinner. Nine. Hotel Lynx. Garden Room. Obviously the rat bastard Holmes’ male had been here. Doing what was anyone’s guess. He was just as meticulous in the lab as she was.
Well drat. She was not exactly dressed for dinner. If she left here at eight, it would take her exactly one hour to get to The Lynx so she could not go home and change. Doing an Internet search, The Garden Room looked to be a nice place. Well, if she added lipstick, turned up her collar, clipped up her hair and rolled up the sleeves on her jacket, she might do. Yes well, there was nothing she could do about the work shoes. She stood all day. Her feet thanked her for her sensible shoes. But her flat was on the way to The Tube. If she made a mad dash, she could change shoes and switch out this jacket for her dressy black one.
“Do not over think this,” she exhaled. “Decide what you are going to wear and stick with that plan. No second-guessing! No time for that! Sherlock will be wearing his trousers and jacket of the day with a button down. My silk turquoise shirt, black velvet jacket and my black slacks with my black heels. My black opera coat. That is a good look. Percy said I looked well put together for brunch. Made dash in. Clothes off, clothes on and out the door. I will stick to the plan.”
Of course, the plan did not stick to Molly. A body had arrived at six-thirty with a silent plea for work to begin immediately. She had texted Sherlock she was running late.
By the time she had changed and stepped into the hotel lobby, it was nine-thirty.
Following the signs for The Garden Room, she took the elevator up to the twentieth floor with others who were excited about having dinner there. Silently regarding them, she realized that it was much nicer than she had previously thought.
As she stepped out of the elevator there was live music playing in the background and a three hundred and sixty degree view of the skyline where you could stroll the perimeter and admire the city lights. There were several steps down to the main floor and tables were secluded behind various sizes of potted plants.
Apparently Monday night was return to the 1930’s as she watched the couples check their coats and beautiful dresses and tuxes were uncovered. Taking her number from the coat check girl, she approached the desk and said, “Mr. Sherlock Holmes’ table, please.”
Maybe she saw a look on the maître d’s face. Was that pity? There was nothing wrong with the way she was dressed. She had the Percy seal of approval!
Ha! She did not care what he thought. The night was hers! It was a lovely establishment and she was having dinner with Sherlock! It was, she smiled, their first official date. Something that was not family. Just the two of them! She was thrilled that he could be so thoughtful! Yes, he could be thoughtful in the outside world and that gave her hope.
This was lovely being escorted down the stairs and past several secluded tables. All she could hear was the tinkle of laughter and perhaps…oops…was that ah-h-h…hm-m-m-m, small moans of pleasure? As her eyes cut to the right she then blushed and looked straight ahead. Yes, someone was having dessert! Just maybe her evening would end like that!
Rounding several large tropical plants, she saw Sherlock sitting at the table. Oh my gawd…he was wearing a tux…oh-h-h boy! With a white pleated shirt and a grey striped waistcoat! His hair was perfect and she wanted to run her fingers through it and mess it up! Marking him as hers!
She had underestimated this! A lovely silver candelabra sat on the table with the candles blazing! And when she took another step into the intimate, secluded garden area, she could see the woman…and that Sherlock was holding her hand, it was palm up in his, as he was tracing her lifeline…or something…he was tracing something…with his index finger…lightly…causing that woman to smile from those perfect blood-red lips as she looked up at him with adoration in her eyes.
Molly thought maybe her heart had stopped. To walk in upon the two of them in such an innocent but clearly intimate act…
The woman’s dress was true to the era…a halter neckline, plunging neckline, sheer, the female bosom being covered in beads. Her little bolero jacket was most cleverly done. Covered her shoulders and not much else.
“I will get a chair madam,” was all she heard.
“Holly,” Sherlock looked towards her.
“Molly,” she replied. “Apologies,” she mumbled. “Obviously, the note you left on my desk was not for me.”
“What?” he queried her. “What note?”
“The one you left saying dinner tonight, here, at nine.”
“Sherlock, introduce me to your friend,” the mouth with the perfect white teeth smiled at her and the words held a welcome and a hint of amusement.
“Of course, Irene, this is Holly Hopper,” he said standing.
“Molly Hooper,” Molly corrected him as she extended her hand towards Irene.
“Molly, a pleasure,” Irene grasped it and shook.
“Really,” Molly shook her head, “my mistake. Sherlock must have been sitting at my desk and wrote himself a note to meet you here, so sorry.”
At that time a waiter stepped in with another chair, followed by a waiter with a tray for a meal set-up.
“He sits at your desk?” Irene leaned in, intrigued.
“Yes,” she forced a smile and nodded. “He uses my lab from time to time.”
“I have privileges, ” he replied. “Molly,” he said her name with a bit of a question in his tone and she nodded yes. “Molly runs a tight ship. A pleasure to work in her area. I critique it from time to time. It always passes muster.”
“Oh, how charming,” Irene smiled. “Privileges,” her smile got bigger.
“And most importantly, when I do stop by, she knows that I like my coffee black with two sugars,” he smiled at Molly.
“Yes,” Molly nodded. “Black, two sugars. I will just be going…”
“Nonsense,” Irene smiled at her. “Please, join us. So far, all we have had are several bottles of champagne. And look, a place has been set for you. Please, I insist.
I am most curious about these privileges. Tell me all about them,” her eyes danced with amusement.
Molly just shrugged. “Sherlock oversees the labs for the city. Not many people realize that this is how he actually earns his living.”
“She always receives the highest marks for her quarterly review,” Sherlock said proudly. “Her lab is a thing of joy.”
“I am sure it is,” Irene raised her eyebrow at Sherlock. Well that explained several things. Sherlock could cook his own if the need be. What must go on after hours was probably most delightful. Paid for by the government.
Just shockingly delightful! Her boy Sherlock was running Little Miss Mouse Molly. Such a dear. Just look at her. Undoubtedly she had scurried home, changed and then scurried here. To have dinner with a man who left a note on her desk without her name attached to it. Irene could only shake her head at the wonder of it all. Sherlock had an admirer. One that would get him coffee when he stopped by to use her lab. What a sweet deal. Laboratory time was expensive. And to maintain one even more so. A couple of kind words in passing to the girl and she got him coffee and let him use the lab.
Poor child, just look at her and she had tried her best. Finding that note on her desk must have overwhelmed her. She looked so adorable in her evening out frump. Purchased straight off the rack at Marks & Spencer.
Irene’s right hand was resting in her lap. It was all she could do to not laugh out loud. Instead she reached over and poked Sherlock with her nail. What a liar her little virgin was! And poor Molly, so gullible. So enamored. So far beneath Sherlock’s notice…poor thing…maybe she was going to laugh out loud.
Perhaps she would pour just a little salt in the open gash of Molly’s heart. After all, she as a dominatrix. Pain was her specialty. “Sherlock, dance with me,” she said taking his hand. “Molly, be a dear and if the waiter comes by, please order for us. We will leave it to your judgment.”
“Of course,” she said as she watched Sherlock stand, pull out Irene’s chair and then escort her out. His hand in the small of her back, his smile only for her face…her perfectly made up face and hair coiffed wearing a dress that despite the jacket, showed the top of her perfect ass.
The bottle of champagne was sitting in the ice bucket. There was no one to see her when she picked up the bottle and bringing it to her lips, tilted back her head and drank.
“Excuse me Madam,” she heard the waiter’s voice and at this point really did not care that he thought she was some country bumpkin or perhaps wine-o, drinking straight from the bottle instead of the hand cut crystal flute.
Putting the bottle down, she watched as he filled her glass and then handed her the menu. It was all in French, of course. Which was fine, she spoke French but there were no prices. Probably too embarrassed to tell you a small green salad cost twenty pounds.
Fuck it! It nothing else, they were going to be constantly interrupted by the wait staff and she would have a nice meal and Sherlock could pay.
“I want a twelve course meal,” she said. “With a suitable wine for each new dish. Bring the most expensive of whatever you have. Wine and food. For each course, I want everything cooked in butter or drizzled in butter or a heavy cream. I will leave it to the chef’s discretion.”
“Of course Madam,” he nodded his head and left.
“I can do this,” she felt the tears forming in her eyes. “I can fucking do this. I will not run.”
A waiter returned and started laying out silverware and glasses as she sat at the table for the next thirty minutes and listened to the music and the laughter that surrounded her. She was thankful she could not see them out on the dance floor. That just might cause her to run.
Her waiter returned and filled her glass. “The first course is on its way out,” he said.
“Will you please inform Mr. Holmes and his lady for the evening that it will be arriving,” she asked.
“Of course,” he bowed his head.
When the first tidbit arrived so did Sherlock and Irene. There were lipstick marks on his cheeks, but none on his lips.
“Sherlock,” Irene smiled at him as he pulled out her chair. “You are wearing my favorite shade of lipstick. Please,” she picked up her napkin as he leaned in, “allow me to remove it.”
“Nonsense,” he pushed her chair in. “I plan on wearing those as my banner for the evening. That I am privileged to escort and receive favors from such a lovely lady.”
And that set the tone for the evening. Molly soon deduced that she who could readily be ignored, was not a lovely lady. That her finery was not fine enough. Now she understood the pitying look she had received when she had first arrived. The maître d’ knew what was waiting for her. Two snobs of the finest sort.
Sherlock did not say many words to her. His concentration was on Irene. Irene would from time to time address Molly.
The meal progressed. Perhaps the many mini-courses were not such a good idea after all. Molly was hoping it would help fill the voids in the conversation that did not include her.
Instead it turned into a love feast. Irene would feed Sherlock the tidbit, wiping his mouth with her napkin or he would feed her small bites of something from the plate. Fingers were accidently licked and from time to time there was a small, satisfying moan.
Of course, when that woman directed questions her way, they were of the intimate sort. Irene wanted to know whom she dated. Spent time with. They were all questions that she did not have an answer for. When Irene asked her about her lover, Molly’s eyes went hopelessly to Sherlock before she righted herself and had answered that she had been busy at work for the past several months and was not presently seeing anyone.
“I am sure, darling girl,” Irene reached across the table and patted her hand, “that Mr. Right is out there for you. But do be careful. There are so many Mr. Wrongs. They cannot all be Sherlock Holmes.”
Molly thought perhaps she sounded just a bit condescending. “No,” she managed a smiled, “there is only one of him.”
“Yes,” Irene winked at her, “and he sits here with us tonight. We are just the most fortunate women in the world.”
Molly bit her tongue. Now she was just being baited.
“Don’t you think?” Irene smiled at her.
“Yes, of course,” she smiled back.
“Can you imagine?” Irene went on a bit breathlessly, “On a date with Sherlock Holmes,” Irene winked at her. “And what a marvelous dancer he is. Of course, I have had a bit of surgery on my rotator cuffs lately so I was not able to fully enjoy all his moves,” she grinned. “But when I am nicely healed, I look forward to another such evening out with him and experiencing all that he has to offer.”
Irene laid her hand on top of Sherlock’s. “Wouldn’t you say that his lucky date for the evening should not be denied the pleasure of all that he is capable of?”
“Of course,” Molly fixed a smile.
Irene brought Sherlock’s hand up to her lips and kissed it. “Oh, dessert,” she smiled as the waiter stepped in.
“Sherlock,” she ran her hand down his cheek, “please, it is almost midnight and I am bored. Please call for the car. We can take our dessert and a bottle and finish them. I have nice surprise for you before we retire for the evening.”
“Of course,” he smiled as he put their spoons into his pocket. They both grabbed a chocolate mousse and Sherlock took the bottle and tucked it under his arm while Irene picked up their flutes. “Contact our car,” he said to the waiter.
“Miss Hopper,” he nodded his head to her. “Please, see to the bill. It does not do for Miss Adler to get bored.”
Standing he pulled out Irene’s chair and escorting her out they were gone.
“It was all an act,” Molly kept repeating to herself. That charming, flirtatious, Sherlock wanting that woman was all an act. That arrogant asshole! That highborn bastard that had looked down his nose at her! That was not who he was. That slick persona, she wiped at her eyes. That slick, sophisticated fuck you persona was not who he was. When he was with her, he was sweet, she wiped at her eyes again. Sweet and adorable and exasperating and rude but correctable. Not anything like that…that person who had ignored her so completely.
She did not even know that he could be like that…so…so enamored of someone in the way he acted and talked…the complete devotion and attention he showed that woman. The complete disregard he had for her. The tear trickled down her face.
He had never acted that way around her. So possessive and proud to be with her. No, she slumped back in her chair. He had never acted like he was proud to be with her. Picking up her glass, she sat it back down and picked up the mousse instead and wished she had a dozen more.
And the bill…oh my gawd…he had left her with the bill!
Emotionally, she had been violently violated. Seeing him treating that woman like he was in love with her. “Yes Molly, he gave you fair warning. Run,” she smiled as she fought back the tears. “My gwad yes. Run and be Mrs. Jones. That bastard set me up, intentionally,” she choked back the sob. He had told her that no one was privileged to hurt her with their words. He had made her believe it. But nothing had been said about their actions! Or perhaps it was his lack of action.
Nothing was said about how he still had the power to rip her heart from her.
“Oh fuck, Sherlock,” she felt her mind battling for control of her heart as the tears started.
The lights around the perimeter dimmed and it made the entire room just a bit darker. The guitar started soft and low, followed by the piano then the rest of the orchestra filled in. The voice of the lead singer was low and sexy. “I have a message for a very brave, lovely lady.
It reads: I am truly sorry about tonight. You have my heart dangling from your hands and my property tag dangling from your purse.
Mrs. Jones,” the lead singer leaned into the microphone, cupping it with his hands, “your R.A.F. lover dedicates this song to you.
*Me and Mrs. Jones, we’ve got a thing going on… “
Mrs. Jones? Property tag? R.A.F. lover? Was this song for her? From Sherlock? Yes, the singer had said those things, she had not imagined them…and the heartbreak began to lift.
“That fucking Sherlock,” Molly felt the tears of relief start in earnest. From one extreme to another he had pushed her psyche. He had known how this was going to play out. Had planned it. And he had known she was going to be hurting, no matter how strong she thought she was. He had told her to run, but with his apology in her heart she thought maybe he wanted her to stay.
The words to the song washed over her. Sherlock and his cold heartedness, it was all an act, just an act as she kept wiping at her eyes. She was going to kill him but it really was all just an act. Gawd…what a bastard! Finding a quiet still place inside of her, she took a deep breath, relaxed and listened to the words of the song as she sang along.. *”…nine thirty and no one knows she will be there….”
No, not nine-thirty. He had changed the wording. It was suppose to be six-thirty. Oh, nine-thirty was when she had arrived.
*”…We gotta be extra careful…” the lead singer dropped his voice to low and husky. Okay, she could be careful. Closing her eyes, she let the evening fall away as she embraced the words and let her heart heal. *”….same place….same time….me and Mrs. Jones….Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones. Same place….same time…me and Mrs. Jones.”
She was pulled from her reverie by their waiter’s voice. “Do you need anything else?” he asked.
“No,” she could now manage a smile. “Just the check. Thank you.”
“That has been taken care of Madam,” he bowed his head. “Your car is waiting for you downstairs. If you will hand me your ticket for your coat, I will get if for you.”
“Thank you,” was all she could say as she watched him walk off and then return with it. Helping her with it on, he offered her his arm and walked her to the elevator. “You will be going to the basement garage,” he smiled at her and punching in a code he then stepped aside. “This lift is now express to the basement. You car will be there as soon as the doors open.”
Waiting for her was Mycroft beside the car door.
“Mycroft Holmes,” she said.
His response was, “Is an ego maniac.
Sherlock and his love of the dramatic,” he said with a roll of his eyes as he helped her into the car.
“From the looks of you, I would say you weathered that storm,” Mycroft sat down and adjusted his cuffs while peering at her. “A bit of puffiness around the eyes so there was a very small amount of tears initially, but over all, no hysterics, no uncontrolled sobbing, and just the fact that you were not surprised to see me. This speaks well for you Dr. Hooper. You just might survive this long enough to produce an heir. Of course, Castle Combe Gate would be the child’s home. Hopefully you would be in residence there as well.”
Always dictating terms. Like the rest of the world could not think for itself. What was it about the Holmes’ male? Oh that’s right, Ms. Stewart had called them all rat bastards. Percy had backed her up about that. Molly was glad she had met her. She had her phone number as well.
This she knew for a fact: The only way to deal with a Holmes’ male was straight on. “Hopefully? Are threatening me, Mr. Holmes?”
“Oh no,” he shook his head. “And do call me Mycroft. Just stating facts. Ones that you should be aware of. A child would change everything. At some point, if you wished to leave Sherlock, he would be granted custody. The court would see to this. Just so you know Dr. Hooper what we are capable of.”
“Money, peerage and power,” she leveled her gaze at Mycroft. “So, you are the voice of reason. I thought you were not supposed to see me by myself. What has changed?” she asked.
“Well yes,” Mycroft smiled. “Sherlock asked me to pick you up. He is the only one who can override Sherrinford’s ruling about that. So I thought we would just spend some pleasant time together as we traveled back to your domicile.”
From the floorboard came a case. Handing it to her he said, “Happy Birthday. A little belatedly but I think you will find it useful.”
Opening it, inside was a Walther.
“If you would Dr. Hooper, please, I would like to see you disassemble it and reassemble it.”
“Would you like for me to field clean it as well?” she asked.
“No,” he watched her as she checked for a round in the chamber. Then her hands started breaking the weapon apart, her eyes still on him and then she put it back together. “Percy was correct, you have a real aptitude.”
“Yes, well, I am a mechanic. I just happen to work on dead bodies. Take them apart, put them back together. It is just about sequencing.”
“Most excellent. The Walther is yours. When you lock your front door after you arrive home, load it and keep one in the chamber. Anyone breaks into your flat, shoot to kill. Let me take care of the paperwork.”
This was different. A handgun. Shoot to kill and call Mycroft. “What has changed?” she asked.
“We have found another body. Older woman. Irene’s mother we believe.”
That would be cause for concern. Sounded like one of the brothers was killing off all of the old regime. “Was there a tattoo?”
“Oh yes. Added after the woman was dead. Found in the woman’s mouth was male ejaculate that matched the ejaculate found in the second frozen woman’s mouth. This male that she had consensual sex with would be her stepson.
Who says the Holmes’ family is not normal,” he said under his breath. Smiling at her he continued on. “When Sherlock resurfaces, I will let him know. If you see him first, please pass the word and request of him to check in. Tell him he owes me that much.”
“For your kindness to me,” she said softly.
“Yes,” he replied. “Dr. Hooper, I will have in my debt my youngest brother any way I can. This helps me to somewhat keep tabs on him.”
“And you will use me to help keep tabs on him?”
“Yes,” he replied with a sigh. “If I might call you Molly. Until I am told differently, you are, for all intentions and purposes, a Holmes.”
“Oh,” came the quiet rejoinder.
“When are you to see Sherlock again?” he queried.
“Tomorrow night, same place, at nine-thirty. Or maybe not,” she shrugged. “But I will be there at that time.”
“The Garden Room. Most good. First thing in the morning I will contact your office and tell them you have been pulled for special duty.
There is a spa where I wish for you to spend the day. They will do your nails, hair, and clothes for tomorrow night. Please,” he held up his hand. “No protest and no complaining about how I am running your life. I know Miss Adler and have seen her with clothes on and her taste is flawless and I have seen her without her clothes…” he just shrugged. “And I might add, I see what you are wearing. Lovely,” he nodded his head, “but it was not up to snuff for tonight.
Your ego could use a boost, Dr. Hooper. I know Sherlock and he was not pleasant to you this evening, hence the tears. In the morning, oh say nine-ish, I will send the car for you. A young lady will knock at your door. If she does not respond to the correct password, shoot her.”
“And that would be?” she asked.
“Sherlock Holmes…” he began and she added, “…is an ego maniac?”
“No,” he shook his head, “loves Molly Hooper.”
*Me and Mrs. Jones. 1972 . Written by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Cary Gilbert.
I love this song. After I said that to my roomie in college she pointed out to me that it was a song about infidelity. I said “What? No, it is just about a man who loves his woman and meets her every evening at the same café. How romantic!”
“Listen to the words,” Jeri said.
Well…huh…the picture I had painted when I listened to it and what was actually going on was indeed, two different things.
Just like with so many things, I wanted to believe it was all about the happily ever after. So I had mentally kicked the infidelity parts to the curb. LOLOLOLOLOLOL….
Decades pass. I still love it. I especially love it by Michael Bublé. When I knew that Property of S.H. was going to be more than a one shot, I knew that this song was going to be in the story and that this was going to be Sherlock’s and Molly’s theme song. Well yes, I told myself, let us just work that right on in…lolololololololol….
This is what I was listening to while I wrote this chapter. This is what I have listened to when I wrote each chapter.
Sherlock loves it by Bublé as well. This is what is running in the background of his mind whenever he thinks of Molly…and he is always thinking about Molly!
As always, thanks for reading!
…the spirit transcends the body…