Disclaimer: I want Lord Peter, I admit, but alas - he isn't mine! Neither are the rest of the characters, nor the situation herein depicted... In fact, I don't think any of this is mine. Apart., perhaps, from some of the words in some of their order. Here's hoping!
The poem is _The Feaver_, by John Donne. You know you're mixed-up when Donne reminds you of Wimsey...
Oh doe not die, for I shall hate
All women so, when thou art gone
That thee I shall not celebrate
When I remember, thou wast one
For several hours he stood at her side, watching the still figure on the bed. The occasional don appeared and disappeared, without a word. He hardly saw them. Only Miss Hillyard spoke to him; alone among the SCR, she dared to violate his silent thought.
'Lord Peter... You know who it was.'
He inclined his head slightly, without his customary courtesy, barely moving his eyes from Harriet's face to look at the historian. She continued gruffly,
'You saved her life, that collar. You knew it was going to happen.'
He winced and bowed his head, seeing the thick brown leather he held and beginning to twist it between his cold hands.
'I hoped not. I wasn't emphatic enough. I should have said more. I should -'
'You did all you had to. She's alive.'
Miss Hillyard glanced at the unconscious figure and departed, leaving Lord Peter still standing there. The sensitive hands moved faster, twisting the collar more and more frantically. He had hardly been aware of the odd exchange, his mind all fixed on Harriet's white face; and as he stood by her side, he was as still as she was. Only his mouth and hands moved rhythmically.
'Oh do not die,' he whispered to her, 'Harriet, Harriet, don't die... don't leave me, don't die...'
It was light before he left, and Harriet still unconscious. He drove to London with the mangled collar on the seat beside him.
But yet thou canst not die, I know
To leave this world behinde, is death,
But when thou from this world wilt goe,
The whole world withers with thy breath.
A/N - Any spelling mistakes I've missed, I'm very sorry. My keyboard is awful! A poor workman blames his tools...
Please review, whether you enjoyed it or not - I need criticism! And if you've got this far, thank you for your time.