I came awake with a start, the soft moan at my side tensing all my muscles. David was whimpering, caught in the tentacles of a nightmare. I pulled him closer only to have him flinch away. Getting a firm hold on my own fearful feelings, for I thought we'd left behind the bad dreams years ago, I called his name gently.
He awakened with a small cry and for a moment, the eyes of a stranger looked out at me. Then recognition set in and they were again the innocent azure blue of my friend and lover. "Josiah."
"David. What nightmare was it that took you so far away from me?" I asked him.
Shuddering, he buried his face in my shoulder and held on tightly. "The same one I used to have when first I came to you. He's there, holding me and hurting me. Laughing so cruelly. And I can't get away from Him. I just want to die and have it over with."
The 'He' was his last client at the whorehouse, who'd broken his wrist and raped him before throwing him out of the window in the blinding snowstorm. We'd never discovered who it was and I hated knowing that somewhere in London was the man who had so tortured my lover, walking around free to hurt others.
Gentling a kiss onto his fair hair, I sighed. "I wish I could take those memories from you, David. Erase them forever and give you peace."
Raising his head, he presented me with a rather watery smile. "But you do, Josiah. Every time we make love, a little more fades away. The Baron reminds me of Him a bit, I think. So, this whole masquerade must be bringing up the old memories to haunt my dreams. Once it's over, they will go away again."
And with that, he kissed me. A fervent kiss, filled with all his love and devotion. For the first time since the attack, I felt my manhood stir. He must have felt it too for his hand snaked down to my groin and caressed the turgid shaft into lifting for him. Breaking off the kiss, he grinned delightedly at me and ducked under the covers.
"David!" I tried to keep my voice low since I'd heard sounds from the drawing room. But he paid me no heed instead nibbling my shaft to a state of hardness I hadn't felt for days. His hot, moist mouth engulfed me to the root and I grabbed his pillow to cover my face.
Without sight or sound to distract me, I could concentrate on the tingles of lightning that arced through my body with such intensity. My whole body felt alive instead of half-numb from the aftereffects of the attack and all the herbal potions for healing. This wholehearted assault on my body was much more pleasurable and I twitched with each successive caress.
His agile fingers cupped the sac beneath my cock and gently rolled the twin globes back and forth. The pleasure was excruciatingly good while he mouthed my cock and took it deep into his throat with a swallow that almost destroyed me. I pushed back the covers so he could breathe. My hand found his head and I threaded my fingers through the silken locks in a soothing caress.
But soothing was not what he was after and I quickly found myself thrusting up into his voracious mouth while he tongued and teased me into release. I pulsed forever, safe in his keeping, his lips sucking my essences from me. Removing the pillow, I took in deep breaths that filled my febrile lungs with clean fresh air. He finally stopped and his head was pillowed on my upper leg while he stroked the inner skin of my thigh.
"Come up here, Imp." My voice was hoarse and his eyes turned to me with concern.
"Did I hurt your shoulder?" He sat up abruptly and looked anxiously at me.
"No, my love. You didn't hurt me at all." I drew him up further and further until he was crouched by my shoulder. "Lean over me so I don't strain my neck. You can not be so cruel as to make me do without my favorite morning beverage."
He laughed shakily and carefully stretched over me like the sleek cat I sometimes compare him to. He was painfully swollen and I knew it would not take much stimulation before he would release. Tonguing the small slit free of the first drops, I pulled him closer with my good hand. Coaxing him to use my mouth for his own pleasure, I took him in deeply and sucked gently.
He only managed three strokes before he erupted into my waiting throat. Shuddering in his relief, he held himself up with difficulty from collapsing onto me. Ever careful of my shoulder, he moved back to my good side and we cuddled close, our mouths sharing the exotic taste of each other. Indeed, my favorite way to wake up in all the world.
Pulling away just far enough so I could see his eyes, I made him a promise, choosing my words carefully. "We will both come back from this adventure. We have many more years of loving to which we can look forward. Trust in Holmes and Watson to see us through this safely. The Baron doesn't stand a chance against us."
A small fear still lurked in the wide-eyed gaze but he nodded anyway. His bravery is as much a part of him as his sweetness. "I know, Josiah. But after this is over could we please take a week in the country so you can recuperate fully?"
"Agreed, little one. Good country air and inspired lovemaking will put me to rights in a thrice." I smiled at him and we kissed again tenderly before he got up to close the window and put on his robe to go to see to breakfast.
My shoulder ached a bit but the pain was gone and I managed to hitch myself up a bit after thrusting David's pillow behind me as well. I flexed my left hand and instead of pain, I felt the tug of unused muscles. If I worked on stretching it today, I should have some mobility by this evening.
I could feel the frown on my face and hastily rearranged my features into a more pleasant smile. It wouldn't do to let David see my own fear. If I had been feeling one hundred percent, I would not be so worried about being able to protect him. Oddly enough, I had no fears about myself. It truly was more frightening to have your loved one in danger than to go into danger yourself.
And the Baron posed a threat to both of us. His ruthless plan to maim or kill me and steal David showed that he would stop at nothing to possess my lover. I hadn't forgotten the government document he had already stolen but that was Wenton's first focus not mine. I would go armed and if need be, I would kill.
The Baron was an amateur in ruthlessness when compared to a lover protecting his heart and soul.
The cables that kept being delivered to 221B, focused all my attention on the business at hand. Watson took a quick round of his patients, ending with Josiah and David. He brought word that the bookseller was much better and would be able to attend this evening's confrontation.
The ends of this puzzle were coming together and when Wenton came at the same time as our mid-day meal, he brought the last piece I needed to plan the attack on the German Embassy. He shared our meal of shepherd's pie and regaled us with stories from his sojourn in Berlin. John enjoyed them immensely and I thought again that for our anniversary, he would enjoy a trip south to foreign lands.
"I say, Holmes, I've got an invitation to dinner at the Embassy so I'll be there when the Harbottles arrive." Wenton beamed at us and I acknowledged his accomplishment with a faint smile.
"That makes our team complete since I will be accompanying them as well." Watson reminded me of my statement of the night before and I nodded, hiding my twinge of disquiet. He was too brave for my peace of mind.
"Yes, we shall all be present. Any word about where he is likely to have hidden the map?" I asked Wenton while pouring him more tea.
"He's a bit of a puzzle enthusiast. I had a look at the books he wants David to bring tonight and several of them are on the history of games. Including one about the ancient game of dominos. It may be in a puzzle box, of which he has quite a large collection. If the map was transferred to onion skin paper, it could be rolled up quite small and secreted almost anywhere."
"And yet, he is a very careful man who tends to keep his treasures close to him." I was thinking of the trunks that were to be placed in his cabin for the crossing. Which would not be holding young David if I had anything to say about it. "We will have a short amount of time to relieve him of the map before his diplomatic immunity forces us to let him go on his way."
Watson frowned. "You will figure it out in time, Holmes. I have every confidence in you. I am more worried about Josiah and David. If the Baron has his bully boys there, Josiah could be hurt again."
"Just how far do you think his interest in David has gone, Watson?" Wenton swirled his tea gently in the china cup, his green eyes staring speculatively at the good doctor.
"If he's prepared to hire three men to kidnap him and kill or incapacitate Josiah, then I would say it has gone beyond interest in to an obsession. The map is important to his country but he is putting it in jeopardy by continuing his crusade to take David with him. That is not healthy behavior in any aspect and it appears to be affecting his judgment." John spoke judiciously, his lips pursed slightly in thought.
Disgracefully, all I could think of at that moment was stilling those lips with my own and bringing a smile to the beloved features. But with a fierce reining in of my libido, I brought my attention back to the discussion at hand.
"Perhaps we can use this obsession to our advantage." Wenton suggested just ahead of my own idea. Really, he was quick witted to a high degree.
"Agreed. We shall ask David to provide the distraction we need for our search." I reentered the discussion.
Watson looked at both of us rather fiercely. "Only with his permission. I don't want to bring back the nightmares he suffered from so long ago."
Wenton's gaze went back and forth between us, his mind picking up the clues with which we were littering our conversation. "Last night it seemed as if the two of them were determined to help."
"Josiah's first thought will be for David's safety which will leave the map finding to us. If we are very careful, both our objectives can be achieved without undue violence. Although, I suggest that we all go armed tonight." I spoke to Wenton but I could see John taking in my advice as well.
"Very well, Holmes. Any last instructions before the curtain goes up on our drama tonight?" Wenton arose from the table with a raised eyebrow.
Interesting that he also saw this entire operation as a play within a play. "Not at the moment. If I think of anything, I'll send word to my brother."
"All right, until tonight, gentlemen. I'll give my compliments to your housekeeper on my way out." Wenton saluted us with a smile before leaving.
Kathleen came almost immediately to clear the dishes away and Watson went upstairs to get his revolver for cleaning. I sat down and wrote up my notes about the operation to come. It would be a few hours until I could assume my role for the evening. The makeup was arduous in the extreme, especially since the Embassy would be on the alert. The Baron would leave nothing to chance and reports had already reached me that the security had been doubled under the guise of preparations for his trip.
"Sherlock." John's gentle voice broke through my introspection.
"Yes, John." I looked up from my desk to find him laying down his freshly serviced Smith-Webley onto the morning paper with which he'd protected the tabletop. More time had passed than I'd thought.
"You will go armed tonight. Surely your disguise has a place for your pistol?" His blue eyes shone with anxious fervor.
"Not to worry, Watson. I do indeed have room for protection." Crossing the room to the safe, I pulled forth a gun I'd picked up on my travels abroad. Handing it to my friend, I watched him examine it carefully.
"A Colt Lightning, Holmes? Where ever did you pick this up?" He sighted along the barrel at an imaginary target against the far wall. ".41 caliber?"
"Yes, Watson. While I was in South Africa for a short while, I bought it off of a down-on-his-luck American. It proved to be just what was needed on several occasions while I was traveling in out of the way trouble spots. One of these days, we'll try some target shooting. You can see which you prefer."
"I'll take you up on that, Holmes. How soon before you must go off to assume your disguise?" He laid down my revolver next to his own and looked up inquiringly.
"An hour or so. I'll be using one of my safe houses." Referring to one of six properties I leased in different parts of London. He nodded and rose beside me.
"Then we have plenty of time." His eyes twinkled at me and I'm afraid I looked rather bewildered. But once his mouth covered my own, my higher brain functions went abruptly elsewhere. All I could feel was the heat of his tongue twining about my own and the lovely softness of his lips pressed against mine.
When he drew away, we were both short of breath. His smile was gentle and he drew me to my bedroom door, pausing only to be sure the sitting room door was locked. "Plenty of time for us to make warm ... passionate love to each other. Consider it armor for the conflict to come."
We undressed slowly, our eyes intent on each other. He paused when I removed my shirt, coming close to gentle a kiss to my left nipple. I returned the favor when his crisp linen shirt hit the fireside chair, except I chose the scar on his shoulder that had started my unraveling so many months ago.
Finally, we were naked and stretched out on the cool sheets. His weight was heavy against my side and I welcomed the sweet heat of him, warming me with his fire. His mouth skimmed across my flesh trailing flames behind his searching lips. Arching into him, I kneaded his shoulders with a silent plea for those lips to travel just a little further.
I shuddered when his chin nuzzled my rising shaft, right before his teeth nibbled up the tender flesh to lave the swollen head. He tongued the sensitive slit free of the clear drop that leaked out and my eyes closed at the sensation. All the better to concentrate on the exquisite feelings he evoked with his talented tongue and the delicate suction that threatened to drive me straight into release. His healing hands were now instruments he used skillfully to torment my aching nipples to hardened peaks while my body arched beneath his loving attack.
My hand went unerringly to his face so I could feel his cheeks hollow with the effort to coax me into climax. The tension in my body that always comes right before the denouement of a case was magnified a hundred-fold by his actions. I writhed beneath his strength and single-minded determination while he took me in deep, swallowing and setting off earthquakes in my body.
The spring was finally wound too tightly and I released into his waiting mouth with a strangled moan, dimly aware that it was the middle of the afternoon and I should be quiet. Panting, I came down from the heights to which John always takes me and managed to open my eyes to watch him suckle gently on my spent shaft. Such a sight still makes me sigh in disbelief that we have come so far.
"Holmes, you look at me as if I were a dream that can not possibly come true." He moved up my body slowly, his chest hair tickling my sensitive skin to new life. Tenderly, he shared my essence with me with a searching kiss that reminded me that this was not a dream but instead a glorious reality.
My chemical roughened hands ghosted down his back and now it was his turn to shiver. Our tongues entwined with heartfelt urgency and with a little flex he was flat on his back while I lay between his legs. Reluctantly I broke apart our mouths but only so I could kiss my way down his broad chest on my way to his steel hard shaft. He was close and the rosy head drew me like a magnet.
Taking pity on him, I took him deep before slowly mouthing back up while my fingers tweaked his pebble hard nipples. He was panting loudly now, his beautiful blue eyes squeezed shut, while his head thrashed back and forth on the pillow. I was smiling at the wanton sight of him sprawled against the white sheets when my name was whispered, oh ... so urgently. Licking the weeping drips from his cock, I ran my tongue up and down the shaft before taking him in again fully.
His moan changed then and I sped up my movements, intent only on giving him pleasure. His whole body thrust up once then again before I felt the first spurts of his seed onto my waiting tongue. Oh, he was ambrosia and I eagerly sucked forth all he could give me. He was limp now and not just his cock. His entire body had gone totally boneless and he seemed to have melted into the mattress.
"Sherlock." My name was nothing but a whisper but I heard him and slid up his side to take him in my arms.
We rested chest to chest, our legs entangled and our arms encircling each other in the most gentle of embraces. Our breaths mingled and for a moment, I could not tell, which was mine and which was his. Part of me reasoned that this closeness could be dangerous, I could lose myself in him. Lose my objectivity and my ability to think rationally. But then I'd never been able to think logically about the man in my arms.
"Sherlock, you will be careful this evening? I could not bear to have anything happen to you. You carry my heart within you." His eyes held such love and no little fear.
"I promise you that I will be quite safe. But you must promise as well. The beginning of this drama will be in your hands. David and Josiah need to be protected while I look for the map. Your calm head and quick wit will be needed in case the Baron shows his hand." I tried to show him my own faith and belief in him with my eyes and words.
He smiled and kissed me tenderly. "We shall all be careful and foil the Baron's little plot. He is one Prussian who will just have to go home empty handed."
"Indeed. England has grown complacent, I fear. Else, he would never have believed that such a plan would succeed." My mind began to work again. "Mycroft's job may soon be getting more difficult. Unless this was simply a warning flex of their government's to test our resolve and our ability to keep a secret."
"Dark waters, indeed. It is almost five, Sherlock. As much as I hate to have to say it, it is time that we cleaned up and got ready to go." John kissed me regretfully.
We pulled apart reluctantly and bathed each other with the lukewarm water on my dresser before he gathered up his clothes and headed to his bedroom to dress. I threw on what I'd worn before since I would be changing clothes again at the safe house. Smiling, I pondered the look on Watson's face when he next beheld me. Would he penetrate my disguise or would I escape his eagle eye?
Only time would tell. And the clock was ticking down to the opening curtain of our play. Who knew how it would end?
End chapter nine