Sherlock Holmes: the Problem
Chapter two
Copyright held by Cynthia K. Coe

I gazed moodily out of the sitting room windows, brooding on the appalling lack of mental stimulation. Watson sat behind me reading the London Times very quietly as if too much rustling of paper would provoke me into an outraged diatribe. Now, that thought brought a small smile to my lips and I turned to gaze on the man who held my happiness in his hands.

Faultlessly turned out and impeccably groomed, he was due to head out soon for his daily rounds to those patients who refused to be attended by his partner. That number was growing instead of decreasing since our trip to Cornwall three months before. My business had fallen into a slump while the seasonal increase in sickness had my friend working much longer hours of late.

He lowered the paper and caught my gaze with his own. His blue eyes were so gentle, the corners crinkling into laugh lines. His lips quirked up into a smile and I watched somewhat breathlessly while he laid the paper aside and crossed the room to stand before me. He had to look up a bit since I am five and one half inches taller than he but that never seemed to bother him.

"I will say it for you, Holmes. There has been an appalling paucity of interesting criminal behavior in London of late." He mimicked my accents perfectly.

"Ah, Watson, that was not exactly what I was thinking." I sighed. "I was thinking that your eyes this morning are the exact same shade of blue as the new Wedgewood teapot on our breakfast table. And just as beautiful."

He blushed and shook his head while I smiled in triumph. It wasn't often I could disconcert him with a compliment. I was very bad at them and had learned to listen to his so that I might formulate my own. My reward was usually a fond look if we were in company or if we were alone, he would gift me with a caress that made my body come completely alive.

"If I did not have an extremely long day ahead of me, with patients from one end of London to the other, I would take you back to bed and thank you properly for that lovely remark." He brushed a finger over my dry lips and I tasted his warm touch with the tip of my tongue. "Instead, I must leave you to your own devices and the thought of tonight. Until then, my love."

His kisses were sweeter than any honey; each one different and precious for it has only been such a few months since we had shared them. I could taste buttered toast and Darjeeling tea. It never occurred to me that that particular combination had the qualities of an aphrodisiac.

"Be careful, Watson. Do not, I beg you, catch the sickness of this season. Or I shall be forced to put you to bed and nurse you back to health." I managed somewhat breathlessly after his lips left mine.

He had crossed to the hall tree and removed his coat and my request caught him by surprise. He chuckled while shrugging into it and finding his bowler hat, he perched it atop his head and opened the door to the outer hall.

"You know, Holmes, I may just let you do that." And with a twinkle in his eye, he closed the door behind him and I listened while he took the stairs and said a cheery goodbye to Mrs. Hudson.

Just like that, he took all the life from what had been a cozy sitting room. What maudlin thoughts, Sherlock. Surely you can do better than that? Sighing, I contemplated the long day ahead of me. My scrapbooks were done for the moment, I had no experiments to pursue and I had finished Professor Wingate's book on the geography of the Shetland Islands.

Shoving my hands in my pockets, I half-heartedly paced back and forth from one side of the room to the other. Stopping by the bookshelves, I realized none of them were worth a second reading. At least not now, when I was so out of sorts. It was at moments like these that I most missed the cocaine, I mused and clenched my fists in the silk pockets of my dressing gown.

Best not to think of that, I decided and headed for my bedroom door to change into street clothes. I needed to go to the tobacco shop for my special mixture and to Harrod's for marmalade for Watson. Action suited my mood and not even the biting cold of a December freeze could dissuade me. Wrapping the cashmere muffler around my neck that John had given me to protect me from drafts, I smiled and headed out.

Mrs. Hudson probably breathed a sigh of relief when I left. Her cheery goodbye seemed quite heartfelt. I could be a sore trial to the good woman with my fits of ill humor and the days when I hibernated in the sitting room, refusing to let her give the room the 'good turning out' she seems to think it needs each day. So, I mentally added a stop at the Indian grocers on Reigate Street for some of the powder that she enjoyed using for our curries.

All in all, I spent the day in brisk walks from one part of London to another. Each purchase was ticked off my mental checklist and given into the hands of one of my Baker Street Irregulars for delivery to 221B Baker Street. They are never far away when I'm out roaming the City, just in case I should need them. Good boys, all of them and while not completely understanding of the two hours of schooling a day that I insisted they take with Professor Jenkins, they are learning.

Hands in pockets, I mused on my experiment in education that had already seen young Hawkins studying full time with Professor Menton of the Geology Institute. His life on the streets was at an end and his old compatriots still muttered what a loss he was to their small gang of street urchins. Perhaps some of them would never understand the wider world into which he'd stepped but I rather thought that some of them had begun to contemplate just what their schooling might lead to.

I smiled fondly at the thought of what havoc my former Irregulars might have on London society in the far future. The world was changing and I couldn't help but think that most of the changes were for the better. I have never believed that a man's birth should dictate what he must do for the rest of his natural life.

The sweet strains of a familiar melody caught my attention and I looked for Blind Peter, finding him on the next corner with his violin even in this bitter cold. Lengthening my stride, I soon reached him. The ends of his fingers in the cut-off leather gloves were almost white and his notes faltered occasionally with the stiffness creeping into his hands.

I waited until the young man listening to him had thrown his coin into the open violin case and moved on, before taking his place. Begging was forbidden in London but Blind Peter always gave good value with his music so he was considered a busker. And at the moment, a very cold one.

"Peter, it's Holmes." I spoke quietly so as not to startle him and he smiled and changed his tune to one I'd heard him play before. "Would you care to join me for a rather belated mid-day meal? I seem to have forgotten to eat today and I would value your opinion on an incident in the Blue Feather of which I just heard."

"Aye, 'twas a funny tale and I witnessed most of it, Mr. Holmes. A bit of food and a pint would go down a right treat about now. It's getting a wee bit cold for playing. I'll be flatting all my sharps if I don't take care." He chuckled and made short work of securing his violin, joining me in the short walk to the aforementioned Blue Feather.

The public house wasn't full and the proprietor quickly served us himself with the requested pints and shepherd's pie. Letting Peter eat while the food was hot allowed me to relax and complete my assessment of the pub's customers. We were seated in the rear and with my back to the wall, I could survey the interior with a sharp eye while taking a few bites to satisfy the pretense that my invitation had been for both of us. All men have their pride.

"Peter, what was that music that you began to play when I introduced myself?" I broke into speech when I judged his initial pangs of hunger were satisfied.

"Yours." He said succinctly. My silence must have told him that I did not understand. "We've known each other, what, ten years or so, Mr. Holmes? We've met in the streets and in the back rooms of pubs just like this one for years. I write little music pieces about the people I know. Short little themes that speak to me of those in my life. That one was yours."

"I see." My brain circled the concept and I realized that the quiet chords interspersed with staccato notes did indeed sum up our meetings. He was an invaluable source of street gossip and had thrice been involved in investigations that had led to some rather violent offenders being removed from the streets of London. "Thank you, Peter. I believe I understand the concept. Someday, I would enjoy hearing others of your 'themes'. It is an intriguing idea. But for now, I would like to know more about the incident last week."

He chortled and proceeded to spin his tale with a little embellishment, the way most storytellers are wont to do. Even Watson can not resist adding to the adventures he publishes so regularly in the press. I chide him about the melodramatic touches but he points out, quite rightly, that those little additions focus the attention on the problem rather than on us. He is much more intelligent than most people think.


My errands over, I walked home thinking about what Peter had said about people and music. I must admit to finding the idea intriguing that a person could be identified by a set of musical chords and rifts. I mused over what Lestrade's theme would sound like. A brass horn played very loudly, perhaps. And Mrs. Hudson would be a cello movement, strong and sure yet sprightly with delicate notes.

Only when I was home and comfortable in dressing gown and slippers, did I pull out my violin and begin to limber up my fingers. How would I describe John with the limited notes at my disposal? He had so great a soul that I wondered if it could be captured with a few simple chords on my violin. Perhaps only a full orchestra could do justice to his great and gentle heart. My fingers wandered through my favorite pieces and I felt my mind grow quiet and reflective.

John's return surprised me in the middle of a passage that I thought might do for the part of him that is the healer. The time had flown by and he had the door open before I realized he'd come home. It had begun to snow again and he laid down his bag with a sigh of relief. Taking off his hat and hanging it on the rack, he protested my stoppage.

"Oh, please, Holmes. Do keep playing. That was a lovely air. I stood on the landing and listened to it with such a sense of peace. After a day of pain and suffering, it is good to come home to warmth and good music." He finished hanging up his coat and turned to me. "I didn't recognize it."

"Oh, it is just a little something, Watson. I came upon Blind Peter and stood him a noonday meal in return for his report of the district. It put me in the mood to practice." I laid my violin away and crossed to the sideboard to pour him a drink. He joined me and accepted it although not before kissing me thoroughly. It was fast becoming one of our little rituals when we'd been apart. Disconcerting at first, I'd grown to expect and even miss it if we were constrained by the presence of others.

"Ah, yes. The street musician who plays so well." He savored the drink and moved to the fireplace to enjoy its welcome warmth. "I remember when the two of you played dueling violins whilst you were pretending to be a busker to catch the burglar who preyed on the blind. It is too bad that he must ply his trade in such terrible weather."

I curled up in my chair while waiting for Mrs. Hudson to serve our dinner and questioned him about his day. He'd lost a patient to the cough that had invaded London. He described the family grief at the loss of their patriarch and I marveled at the differences in family feeling. I had felt nothing but relief when my parents died so suddenly in the carriage accident.

Luckily, our dinner was served before I had to reply. I think he would not understand my reactions since his family is very close and loving. His father's death the year before had affected him deeply. He still remembered him fondly and would often share stories about him when an incident reminded him of his youth. I wondered if he ever wished for my own reminiscences but much as I hated to disappoint him, my past had to remain closed. Remembering brought only pain and I would spare him that if I could.

Mrs. Hudson had surpassed herself with a savory potage of beef and vegetables accompanied by thick slices of fresh bread and butter. A simple meal but filling and quite satisfying after a day out in the bitter cold. I could see John begin to relax in the warmth and when he finally finished his dinner, he sighed and stretched as he left the table.

"I think it will be an early night for me, Holmes. I will read a little in the new Lancet before dropping off." He smiled at me from the foot of the stairs his eyes already drooping and I nodded.

"I shall play you to sleep, Watson." I reined in my libido and offered my music for his pleasure. He smiled and ascended the stairs, the copy of his journal tucked under his arm. I would check later to be sure he hadn't fallen asleep with his lamp lit as he had many times before.

I gave him half an hour of his favorite tunes before my fingers came back to the song I was composing. Strong and gentle by turns, the notes seemed to weave together into one cohesive theme that spoke of John in all his varied moods. His earlier words about the duet that Blind Peter and I had played stuck in my mind and part of me toyed with the idea of composing another theme that would portray me.

It would not be as beautiful as his was since my natural coldness and reserve are the opposite of his open good-hearted nature but something measured and linear would provide a counterbalance to his lilting melody. I sighed and put my violin away, banking the fire and stealing up the stairs to check on him.

He was sound asleep with the journal fallen open on his chest. Crossing the room, I gently removed it and bookmarked his place before extinguishing the lamp. In the dying fire, he looked so peacefully unaware of all the trials and tribulations of the world. Tenderly, I kissed him goodnight and felt his response before leaving as quietly as I had come.


The next week passed profitably on my part with yet another small case of espionage brought to my attention by Mycroft and the finalizing of my composition. I'd had to travel to Paris while tracking the stolen secrets and taking my violin with me, I practiced the pieces of my music until I decided that nothing more could be done with them. Contacting my cousin Auguste Verner, I went about the necessary business of having my scribbles transcribed into working sheet music.

The afternoon of my departure saw me playing my part in the studio of one of Verner's musical friends who played Watson's part to perfection. He asked me who the composer was and I retreated into subterfuge. I had to have a name and so chose my pseudonym of Sigerson, the Norwegian. The young man suggested an appropriate title that subsequently went onto the sheet music before publishing.

Sonata for Two Lovers by H. Sigerson.

Leaving it behind, I returned to London with the stolen papers, which subsequently disappeared back into the government archives via my brother Mycroft. He invited Watson and I to dinner at Simpson's to celebrate their return. And I accepted for the two of us but for the following night. I was much too eager to celebrate my homecoming in more private fashion.

Mrs. Hudson greeted me at the door with a beaming smile and an admonition to wash up immediately for dinner would be on the table before I knew it. While she took my hat and coat, she spoke of the hope that my coming would tempt the poor doctor into a semblance of his former appetite.

She disappeared into the back hall and her kitchen, leaving me to dash up the stairs in a most unseemly manner. Taking them two at a time, I paused only to catch my breath before opening the door into the warm familiar setting. Watson was turning from the sideboard with a glass of amber fluid in his hand and my abrupt entrance must have startled him for it slipped from his nerveless fingers and bounced on the carpet.

I had the presence of mind to lock the door behind me before meeting him in the middle of the room where he proceeded to try and absorb my body into his with his strong embrace. I must admit to a certain need to feel every inch of him against me as well. Our mouths glued themselves together and his taste exploded on my tongue with an explosion of familiar flavor.

Gradually the kiss gentled and I rested my forehead against his when our lips finally parted.

"I missed you." "Missed you."

We laughed at our spontaneous speech and I let him go reluctantly to unlock the door for Mrs. Hudson and the maid whose steps I could hear on the stair. He turned away and used one of the napkins to try and mop up the spilled whiskey with a trembling hand. I excused myself while Mrs. Hudson was tut-tutting over the stain, to go and wash up. Looking at myself in the mirror, I hardly recognized the smiling man who gazed back at me.

For the first time in my life, I had someone who missed me. It was an astonishing thought since I had always prided myself on my ability to need nothing and no one. It was rather frightening to miss someone so very much. And even worse, I was glorying in his evident need of me, betrayed in our kiss. Irrational, indeed. But when I dried my hands, I knew there was no going back now.

For I did need him, in all ways and forever. Going back to the sitting room, I watched his eyes light up from where he stood by the table. Accepting my drink from his hand, I began the description of my travels and the case, which would get us through dinner and a very early bedtime.

His eyes told me that I would get little sleep tonight and that thought warmed me even more than the whiskey. Mrs. Hudson was in and out throughout the meal while the maid, Kathleen, worked on hands and knees to stop the stain from setting into the carpet. She quietly left while I was describing dinner with my cousin whom Watson had never met. Of course, I made no mention of my composition.

Mrs. Hudson brought in her delicious compote of figs in syrup, sprinkled with almonds for our desert and beamed at our praise of her cooking. I was able to tell her quite truthfully that no meal in Paris could compare, although I was thinking of the company rather than the food.

Finally, the meal was over and John and I settled in for a time of reading in front of the fire until the clearing away was finished. I managed a rather convincing yawn while Kathleen was clearing the last of the dishes under Mrs. Hudson's watchful eye.

"All this traveling has quite worn me out, Watson. Would you think me rude if I turned in without answering all your questions?" I stretched a little and watched his eyes gleam in the firelight.

"By no means, Holmes. Have an early night and I shall save my questions for tomorrow when I can write your answers down for my files. I don't expect you slept very well in your Paris hotel." His voice was matter-of-fact.

"Quite true. Their beds are much too soft for my back. I almost pulled the mattress off the bed and laid it on the floor but was afraid of shocking the maid who brought my tea each morning. Until later then, Watson." I yawned again and said goodnight to the others who were just leaving.

I heard the door locked behind them and the sounds of the fire being banked through my open bedroom door. I was undressing with all the speed of which I was capable when I heard his steps on the stairs. I had at least five minutes to wash up and slip into bed. The water on my dresser was lukewarm but that was sufficient for my sponge bath by the fire, which I'd lit when I'd been in earlier.

Paying careful attention to those parts of myself where I hoped to soon have his hands and lips, I shivered from the need to put myself totally into his warm embrace. Dropping the washcloth into the basin, I crawled into the chilly bed only to find a heated brick at the foot under the sheets. Mrs. Hudson is indeed a treasure.

I sighed a little at the welcome feel of my own bed. The only thing that would make it better would be John's presence and I lay there propped on the pillows waiting for him with a yearning I could not deny. He entered and locked the door behind him. His eyes gleaming in the dim light, he tore off his dressing gown and nightshirt before joining me in bed.

Clasping him to me, I reveled in the feel of satin skin and silken hair. Soft murmurs filled the silence. Disjointed phrases of welcome joined with sighs of need. His tongue bathed me from neck to groin while his busy hands shaped me into wholeness.

"Sherlock, it was torture to come home each night to these empty rooms. I couldn't eat or sleep. I awakened at every creaking floor board or gust of wind." He spoke between caresses, his bristling mustache a tickling counterpoint to his soft lips.

"I, too, spent each night huddled in that horrible bed, thinking of you and craving your touch." My hands threaded through his brown curls in the massage that he enjoys most.

He paused in his soft licks to my rising cock and smiled up at me. "Sherlock, do you trust me?"

Disconcerted at his question, I'm sure I looked quite bewildered but I answered truthfully, surmising that it had something to do with our lovemaking. "Of course. You would never hurt me."

He dropped a kiss on the rosy head beneath his lips and I felt it jerk and weep a tear of need. "Thank you, love. I need to ensure your comfort before we go any further down this road and for that I will need something." He let go of me and leaned over the side of the bed.

I felt myself begin to wilt while all manners of strange thoughts raced through my mind. The green jar he fished out of the pocket of his dressing gown was unfamiliar but the scent that wafted up to me after he uncorked it was not. It was the lotion that I had used on his sore shoulder so many months ago, the one that had replaced the stinging liniment.

After pouring some onto my stomach, he smiled up at me and laid the jar aside on the bedside table. I smiled back if a little uncertainly while he coated his fingers with the viscous fluid. Then his hands were back paying close attention to my waning erection and the feel of the slick lotion brought a whole new level of sensation to my flesh. One hand tenderly stroked the base of my shaft while the other rolled the twin sacs that lay below between gentle fingers.

He nudged my legs farther apart so he could settle into place more comfortably and I splayed them to either side, already raising my hips in restless thrusts into his hands. But when he feathered a gentle caress lower still, I blushed and stiffened at the still unfamiliar sensation.

"I would never do anything to hurt you, Sherlock but I need to make a rather invasive touch to make sure that we can go further. May I?" His voice was as gentle as his touch and I nodded hesitantly, hoping for a further explanation.

He smiled and rubbed short little strokes over the puckered entrance to my body. It tingled directly to my groin and I moved again rather restlessly until with a start I realized his finger was sinking into my body. I froze and felt my muscles tighten against the intruder. He stopped immediately but did not remove it.

"You have a gland inside you, Sherlock. All men do." His doctor voice was soothing and I wondered at his composure. "When we reach a certain age, it needs to be checked for size and shape. It's called the prostate gland and is partially responsible for our ejaculatory fluid."

My mind raced over what I knew of the gland from my hospital studies. While I thought, my muscles relaxed and I felt his finger move deeper within me. There was no pain, just a vague discomfort and no little dismay at the embarrassing touch. But he was smiling at me and his free hand was massaging my stomach in soothing little circles that relaxed me onto his hand.

"Middle aged men, like ourselves, John?" I managed to ask.

"Exactly, Sherlock. Men in the prime of life." The searching finger circled and suddenly I felt a flash of ... something. My soft exclamation coincided with his own. Another touch and I could see by the intent look on his face that what he was finding was reassuring. "Just right, my love, not enlarged or too spongy. I think you will find this particular caress an intriguing one, Sherlock."

His sudden grin and the warm flush of heat from deep inside me came together and I felt myself hardening within his grasp. Again and again he brushed against that spot inside while his warm mouth began the gentle sucking of the head of my shaft. His firm grasp of the shaft itself provided the pressure I needed to let go of my inhibitions and come.

Feeling that flash fire tingle run through my limbs, I fell over the edge of the abyss and into such pleasure, I had never felt in exactly this way before. I spilled my seed in long bursts that he quickly drank down. The little aftershocks continued and I jerked when he slowly withdrew his finger.

"Did I hurt you?" His anxious voice sounded by my ear and I shook my head and kissed him, not knowing what to say. I had enjoyed it and yet I feared it too. His earlier statement about 'going further' was tickling my memory, about something I'd read once, long ago at University.

"We are both in excellent condition, Sherlock. My own doctor performed the same examination of me while you were gone." His tones were rueful. "Although, I did not enjoy the process, face down on the examining table under a bright light in his rather cold examining room."

"Poor Watson." I smiled up at him when he leaned over me. So, this was something that pertained to both of us, my busy mind picked at the clues he was giving me.

"Perhaps, I could persuade you to perform it again when we are not so tired. The gland gives great pleasure when stimulated properly." John hid a yawn in my shoulder and so missed my look of dawning recollection. I held him close and tried to come to terms with the thought of inserting part of me, even just a finger, into him.

"You have experience then, in this most intimate touch?" I felt a sudden jealousy rise up when I remembered the male lover he'd lost in the war. Had he shared this with him?

"Marcus and I shared many things, love. That was one of many touches that are pleasurable and it leads to the most complete sharing of bodies that is possible for two lovers." He rubbed his hard length against my hip and I felt it twitch when I took it into my gentle clasp.

But my mind made the connection between his words and actions and suddenly without any warning, I froze. He quickly realized that something was wrong, slipping from my grasp and holding me close. Rocking me gently and pillowing me on top of his body, he whispered urgently in my ear.

"Sherlock, what's wrong? Please tell me why you're shaking."

I hadn't realized that I was but my mind was racing from one thought to another and I could not have answered him if my life depended on it. The thoughts that came to mind centered on the one time I saw a man and a woman having sex. I must have been about seven years old and playing in the barn's hayloft when one of the maids had slipped inside to meet her lover.

They'd kissed and partially undressed each other quickly and I watched with curious eyes while the stable hand freed his large member from his leather pants and without any words at all, thrust into her. Her legs had come around his waist and she moaned at every thrust while he silently slammed into her. She'd obviously felt a change in his stroke because she'd suddenly pushed him away and said something I couldn't hear.

He'd grunted and flipped her over onto her stomach on the pile of hay before spreading her cheeks and thrusting into what I had assumed to be the same place as before. Her shriek was muffled in the straw and I wondered if he were hurting her but then she had pushed back and he'd begun to thrust in and out again. Their moans wafted up to the hayloft where I'd been playing and when they finally stopped moving, I kept very quiet for fear they would hear me and report me to my tutor.

With adult eyes, looking back over the memory, I realized that she'd probably told him not to come inside of her because of the fear of pregnancy so he'd simply taken a different route to his pleasure and used her nether hole instead. Since men have only one entrance, this must be how they made love. I berated myself for never having seen that before and felt a frisson of fear at the thought.

"Sherlock, please. Tell me what is wrong." John's voice was frantic and I realized that I'd totally tuned him out while I relived the memory. Gazing up into his worried blue eyes, I wondered how to tell him of my fear.

"I'm sorry. A ... a memory came to me that rather shocked me. It is nothing that you did, John. I am just not sure that I am ready for the ... next step." My voice faltered.

"Oh, my dearest love. I am an idiot. We will never do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. Some men never get beyond what we have done and they lead wonderful lives of pleasure." His voice berated himself and I protested with my hands, pulling him closer to me and covering his lips with a finger.

"It is simply a new idea for me. The feelings were not without some pleasure. We are speaking of ..." I could not find the right words.

He kissed my finger. "Anal penetration. When done properly and with great care, it is very, very pleasurable. But it can also hurt badly if not done with care and if we never get to that point, we will still be able to love and enjoy ourselves."

"You have done it before?" I hated my hesitancy but I had to know.

"Yes. I have both given and received that particular pleasure. But that was another time and place. I loved Marcus very much but what I felt for him pales in comparison to what I feel for you. You are my heart and soul, Sherlock. I could not live without you. If this makes you uncomfortable then we shall speak no more of it." He held me close and I felt his shaft, no longer hard, against my stomach.

"Poor, John, this is what comes of seducing virgins." I tried a little humor to leaven our conversation. "I am uncomfortable but that is because I know so little about the subject. Let me tell you of the memory I just recalled."

We held each other while I spoke of my seven-year old self and the incident in the barn. He wondered aloud why I had had no one to ask and that led to my very brief explanation of the tutor who'd replaced Nanny. He held back his comments for fear of saying something about my childhood but I could read the indignation in his eyes. He would wrap love around even my past if he could.

And it was that thought that settled the conflict in my mind. John loved me, even when I was being the infuriatingly logical rational detective with no apparent feelings. His love knew no boundaries and I refused to erect more of my own walls. If this was the next step in what I'd playfully termed my seduction then I would simply look forward to a new experience.

"John." My tone must have warned him that I'd made a decision, for resignation flashed across his face before he could hide it. "I love you." At his look of joy, I made another mental note to say that more often. It joined several similar memorandums. "And I trust you with all that I am. If we go slowly, I will do my very best to bring you the same great pleasure that you give me every day."

"Thank you, Holmes." His eyes were moist. "You are quite the bravest man I have ever met. We will proceed with care and caution. I promise you that we will both enjoy the journey. It is not one sided, you know. When it comes time for the final sharing, I would very much like for you to take me first. The very thought of taking you deep inside of my body gives me great pleasure."

I felt my heart skip a beat while the vision of him lying impaled on my cock, beneath me filled my brain with fire. We had both hardened at this point and we used our hands to gently grant ourselves release. I swallowed his cries in my mouth while my hand milked him to completion. No longer did I think of our discharge as something to be cleaned away immediately but rather as a precious gift to be savored.

We fell asleep in each other's arms, my homecoming complete.


It was almost a month later when I suggested that we dine at Simpson's to celebrate the successful completion of yet another case. John agreed readily and I made reservations that afternoon, after ascertaining that there would be a string quartet playing that evening. While speaking with the musicians, I mentioned the sonata I'd heard in Paris. I'd received copies of my composition from the music publisher via cousin Verner and I happened to have them with me.

The Manning Quartet was known for their playing of new works and they greeted the new sonata with great interest. I left a copy for them and as I departed, I heard them begin the opening notes. It was all I could do to keep from smiling at the thought of hearing it played tonight while Watson listened unsuspectingly.

He met me at the restaurant, having sent word that he would be late because of a new patient. He'd had no time to change so I hadn't either. We looked rather shabby next to the people in formal dinner wear but he was too hungry to really care and I never have paid much attention to fashion.

The food was excellent as always and our wine, superb. Relaxing with brandy, I encouraged him to tell me about his day and the new patient who'd claimed his attention. Rolling his eyes, he spoke of the rather fussy hypochondriac who'd wasted his time with meandering complaints that ranged from head pain all the way down to his gouty toe.

The quartet began to play while he was talking and I waited nervously for them to get to the sonata. He fell silent while he savored the last of his brandy, his eyes questioning my sudden nervous tapping on the tabletop. When the familiar strains lilted across the room, his head turned to watch the players.

Seated as we were, in the corner booth, only a small space separated us and I felt his hand touch mine beneath the tablecloth when he realized what he was hearing. Clasping it, I daringly ignored the public place and tried to listen to the sweeping notes as if I didn't know for whom it was written. When the last note died away, the silence lasted for a brief space before conversation broke out again.

A complement, really. Very few diners really listened to the music played so painstakingly for their enjoyment. Watson's eyes shimmered with unexpected tears and he squeezed my hand once before letting go and picking up his brandy glass.

"Just a little something, Holmes? I seem to recognize some of the melody." He paraphrased my own words back to me. "What is it called?"

"Sonata for Two Lovers by H. Sigerson. It's the latest song in from Paris." My words were nonchalant but my tone spoke of my uncertain reception.

"Ah, yes, the Norwegian explorer, a man of many talents. He must love someone very much to write such a beautiful song." His voice was low and rather husky.

I had to clear my throat before I nodded. "Yes, I think he must."

"We must get copies of the work so you can play it for me sometime." He signaled the waiter for the check and sent me a burning look of sultry love before hooding his gaze with his public facade.

"I already have it, Watson. It is, of course, a duet." I settled the check and left a good tip for the attentive waiter who brought our coats to us and smilingly called a hansom cab for our journey. "Meant to be played by two."

"Oh, it shall be, Holmes." He promised and held the door to the cab for me. Under his breath, he whispered. "I shall have to find some way to show my appreciation."

We held hands the entire way home and I wondered what kind of a 'thank you' he had in store for me. Whatever it was, I would enjoy it. I was quite sure of that.


End chapter two