Chapter One

Holmes had always been stubborn. Watson often complained about his pride, but good-naturedly. It was nice to know somebody out there didn't give up, no matter the odds.

Holmes had often felt the same about Watson. Despite the doctor's constant nagging, persistant complaints, and overall bad attitude towards anything they did, he stayed by the detective.

So why wasn't he here? Holmes wasn't sure how long he'd been captured. He'd tried to keep track, but being knocked unconscious so many times, and with no window to determine the time of day, he could not be sure.

Blackwood. His captor. His tormentor was more like it. At first Holmes hadn't been afraid, merely annoyed. It was part of the stubborn pride. Blackwood had informed him that he was here forever, now part of The Order, part of him. He didn't harm him, not first, but several days after his refusal to do anything except make smart-aleck comments and try and escape, Blackwood's followers were orderered to beat him. Several of them at once, kicking and striking him, all the while, Holmes on his knees. His hands were bound behind him, his back pressed firmly against a room pillar. It wasn't fair.

The starvation didn't bother him much. He could go a long time without eating, but he desperately missed water. He remembered once when he'd been ill with a high fever. Watson had given him a glass of water and Holmes had complained that he wanted brandy. Now he would do anything for that glass of water.

He wasn't sure how much time had passed, but in that time, a crack had formed in his pride, and it was steadily crumbling away. Blackwood saw, and Holmes hated himself for it.

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"Perhaps we can untie you today?" His captor suggested. "Well, leave you untied, I mean."

They'd untied him several times, but he'd always come out of his bindings fighting. Now he was so tired and his stomach hurt so badly he wasn't sure he'd even be able to stand up, let alone defend himself.

Blackwood nodded to two goons nearby and they did so. Holmes raised his eyes towards the ceiling, trying not to wince as the ropes dug into his semi-raw wrists. When his hands were free, he let them drop to his side, pain throbbing where the ropes had binded him. All three men watched him intently, like they'd just released a lion from a crate. Holmes rubbed his wrists, not looking at any of them. Despite all he'd been through thus far, he took pleasure in their anticipation.

"You're wondering why I've captured you," Blackwood said. "I know you are."

Holmes finally looked up. "Not particularly." He sat down, crossing his legs as he continued to massage his arms. "I wonder a lot of things, but your reasons for ensnaring me is not one of them."

The two goons eyed each other uneasily, taking a step backwards. Holmes couldn't help himself. His bite was still there, even though his body told him to cut it out.

"I honestly could care less what you have planned for me," he sighed, raising his eyes.

Blackwood pushes his devious smile back into place, and stares back at him. He'd never met anybody like Sherlock Holmes, and when he did, he knew he had to have him. The man was a curse. He'd always considered himself the most powerful thing in the world, but the detective invaded his dreams and infected his thinking to the point where he'd finally decided he had to be with him.

The tricky part, of course, was making him want to be with him. In reality, he could keep Holmes and do whatever he wanted with him, and not care how he felt about it. Blackwood didn't have a problem with that, necessarily, but he also knew that evenutally Holmes would find a way to escape and leave him. And he didn't want that. Not again.

"Tell me, Sherlock," Blackwood asked. "What are you thinking right now? At this very moment?"

Holmes looked up again, and he pretended to ponder it. He knew what he was thinking, of course. He'd been thinking about it for as long as he'd been here, whether he was awake or passed out. Watson.

"The color red," he lied. "I noticed all of your furnishings are the same color."

"Yes, well red is a symbol of passion," Blackwood said, sounding just as uninterested in answering as Holmes had in suggesting.

"It may also indicate a warning," Holmes smiled sweetly.

"Or blood," Blackwood retorted. "Either way...I feel that blood, passion, warnings...they all go hand in hand, wouldn't you agree?"

Surprisingly, Holmes nodded. Blackwood didn't expect it. Then again, they said expect the unexpected from Sherlock Holmes-every criminal who'd ever dealt with him.

Holmes wasn't afraid to tell the truth, so he'd nodded. Passion, blood, warnings...they did go hand in hand. He felt the passion for Watson, he'd seen the warning signs long before, and the blood...well, they'd been through a lot together...love wasn't always the sunshine and warm feelings it was portrayed to be. Sometimes it was frightening, and sad, and sometimes angry....without these, however, the warm feelings could never be appreciated.

"You're thinking of the doctor," Blackwood said quietly, no longer trying to sneer. He was downright disgusted. "I can see it in your eyes."

Holmes looked at him, but said nothing.

"You won't be thinking of him much longer."

To Be Continued...