Has some Sexual References. To be read as a prequel to A Letter of Significance, but can be read alone. Baring-Gould Based. Still in the Editing process but I felt that after the immediate response I got from A Letter, I had better get this up and fast.
I had just concluded my business about the Bruce-Partington Plans that had gone missing – of vital importance to the country and in the extreme interest of international security – and was in the way of some time with which I had occasion to spend as I pleased. I wrote a letter and received by way of an answer a telegram informing me to meet the person of my correspondence at Windsor on Tuesday November the 27th at 8 O'clock in the morning at a little tea and breakfast Shoppe frequented by young women and their friends. I Arrived in Windsor, Berkshire by way of the Windsor and Eton, which ran directly into Park street nearby the Shoppe on The West end of Peascod Street. I was not disappointed, rather surprised at the greeting with which I was received.
"My Dear Sherlock!" My lover, Irene Adler had said, not too loud but loud enough in the busy tearoom. "It is so good to see you. Do forgive my last departure," she said quite hastily, as I was forced to recall the lonely morning in Cettigne, Montenegro.
"It was necessary, my dear," I replied and sat at the table from which she had gotten up. It was then of course that I realized we were not to be alone that day at Windsor. She did not sit as I did, instead going to the back of a chair, and, placing her hand atop the occupants shoulders, proceeded to introduce us.
"Sherlock," she began tenativly her voice just wavering slightly, but bursting with joy at the coming prospect, "I would like you to meet Nero, our son,"
I of course was shell shocked at her declaration; it was not improbable. Having ultimately assumed that the day would be an intimate time with my beloved, I had no prior reason to believe that we would not be alone. The idea of being a father was, in due case, quite frightening. As I was turning this over in my head, I found that I almost missed the next words from her flawless lips.
"Nero, darling, this is you father, Sherlock Holmes. He's a consulting detective, the world's first! "A happy smile was placed upon her lips and her eyes glimmered with elation. She was positively ecstatic at our introduction.
I said my warm hellos to the boy, only just three, I reasoned, and took him immediately to my heart, an occurrence rare for me, as it was almost unbelievable, except in the case of flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood. Irene happily chattered away about their life in Trenton and her visits to Montenegro, of which she had become fond after our months there.
During her discourse – of which I did add to- I studied my boy. He was tall for his age and dark haired with cool glass-blue eyes that twinkled like his mothers. He was a little chubby, attractive in little children, and pale as his mother. He was intelligent and keen sighted, I noticed, when he saw my hand go to my pocket and draw out my pipe.
"Nero, what is it?" Irene's digression was interrupted as my quiet mannered son looked up to his mother. Irene leaned down and he whispered in her ear some words, which even my astute hearing, could not decipher. "Well darling, how about you tell him yourself?"
"It's not allowed," he said a little humorously to my ears, seemingly imitating a phrase, which his mother had most probably repeated to him often.
"Ah, indeed, the sign does say so!" I turned my head to look at the sign that in my previous astonishment I had overlooked. "Thank you, Nero, you are quite observant. You would make a good detective yourself," I stated pointedly, and Irene's tinkling laughter sounded upon our ears, a pleasurable sound to be heard indeed. Nero was bubbling at the surface. He too must love to hear his mother's laugh I reasoned.
For a while, we ate our scones in silence and with no bad thoughts to cloud the atmosphere at the table I was in simple contentment. Meeting my beloved's eyes I saw a glitter there to match my own delight. A little breakfast tea with Irene and our son. Pleasant. Wonderful. Yet, on the whole, quite unthinkable. Why if I were to tell Watson, he would think me off my rocker and tell me that my jokes were positively ludicrous and old hat. But he could never know of course. My son's safety, as well as his Mother's was imperative.
We left our happy little table in merry and relative quiet, Irene holding Nero's hand and her right arm linked with my own. It seemed that we were to do some window-shopping on Peascod Street, and I thought, I'd perhaps have them circle to King Edward's Court... It was the perfect first family outing.
I fell silent. Idle chatter was always calming so why on earth did I suddenly feel so... It was then that the full enormity of my current position hit me. This was never going to happen again. I felt then that I would never be that happy ever again. I knew I would never walk down a street, arm linked with Irene's holding my son's hand. Somehow, instinctually I knew that this occurrence was once in a lifetime. It was with determination that I decided that I must not let the revelation get to me, that I must enjoy the day in full, as long as I possibly could.
I had bought a ticket for the last 10 O'clock express back to London and I was glad that I made it refundable. I would not be leaving that evening.
"Sherlock?" Irene questioned turning her delicate features towards my haggard visage. She tipped my hat up so she could look me in the eye. "Is everything alright? You aren't going to run off on us, with the answer to some fantastic happening, are you?" A small smile played on her features, but it was wavering. She was worried, the poor beautiful creature.
"No my dear Irene, everything is quite perfect," I remarked, leaning in a little and kissing her smooth forehead. We had stopped walking and Nero was waiting, facing us. His face was just a little scrunched at the prospect of the intimacy between his mother and myself.
I bent down and looked straight at the boy, a hard and serious look upon my features, my brow crooked just enough to make him laugh delighted at my appearance. "And what my boy, would you like to do next? Hm? Anything, you name it!" And of course being the exact image of a devious child proceeded to think of the very thing that he would normally not be treated to.
"Chocolate," he stated simply, throwing me a glance as if daring me to say no. Imprudent and conniving as his mother...
" I don't know, Irene, what do you say?" I threw a playful glance at Irene, who pretended to be taken aback. Nero took a hopeful peek at his mother.
"I can't say, I don't know Sherlock, I just don't know. I guess its up to you!" her smile had returned as I looked back at Nero.
"Well then Nero, chocolate it is!"
The completely unexpected and surprising thing happened. I was wholly unprepared. My son threw his arms about me, and I, in my astonishment hesitantly drew him into my embrace.
I was a father.
How utterly and astonishingly out of the blue the how thing suddenly seemed. It was not how my life was. This was not me, Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective Extraordinaire. This was not mine to have, a wife – lover – a son. Total bliss. The experience was out of my realm of expertise. I was out of my comfort zone, and yet so comfortable with the idea of these mundane happenings placed in everyday life.
Kissing and holding Irene every morning, evening and afternoon, Nero's small arms round my neck in gratitude, or at my homecoming... Was this how Watson felt to be happily married? But he hadn't a child. A sad thing, I felt suddenly, for my child was pure joy. A joy Watson would never know.
I had never felt that luck had any bearing on my situations before that moment. Luck and chance were not regular words in my extensive vocabulary. I felt at that moment that I was quite possibly the luckiest and yet ill-fated man in the world. I had one day of this bliss. One solitary day.
I made the best of it accordingly. We began to walk again and I bought Nero a particularly large bar of chocolate, and a bouquet of red Roses for Irene at the next corner. Humouring Irene's, sometimes illegal, affinity for jewels we stopped at a jewelry Shoppe, Anderson and Well's for a quick look. My interest was not piqued by the impressive display of trinkets and gems, so I lingered disinterestedly by the door, Nero grasping my hand. I could only assume that shopping trips with Irene usually went this way and that Nero was quite as jaded with them as I was, if not more so.
Irene did not take long however and we were soon on our way down the street to the other shoppes that awaited. We lingered in the shopping district for some time and it was late when we arrived at her Hotel.
"When must you be going, Sherlock?" Irene sighed just a little sadly at that prospect. I could only assume that those months were her happiest as well as mine. To leave them behind again so fast was dismaying.
"I won't be leaving this evening. I will see you off on the morrow and then return to London. To leave this evening would be a waste of our precious time,"
Nero was leaning to Irene's side, exhaustion claiming him. It was probably one of the longest most exciting day that he'd had in his short life, and the sugar rush from the Chocolate had probably only worsened the situation.
I lifted my son into my arms and proceeded with Irene to the Grand stairwell. She seemed glad of my relieving her burden, but I was just as happy of the room on the second floor, a suit of course, but not quite as grand as the Grande. All in all it made little difference to me.
My beloved led me to the bed which our son was to occupy and I set him on the bed. Irene then helped him into his night things and I went to the water basin and washed. Irene came up behind me, placing slender fingers gently on my tired shoulders. As I stood to my full height I registered the image that was before me in the mirror.
I looked younger; my hair falling in short placid wisps on my forehead, my eyes were free of their usual clear and cold surface. Beside me stood beauty's embodiment. He porcelain features were like crystal in the mirror, cheeks a little flushed, rich green eyes filled with a seriousness that I would never have thought to be in her nature. He ruddy curls were in disarray atop her head, one loosed tendril had fallen down, I reached a finger, tenderly brushing her left cheek as I looked at her.
Turning, I placed my hands softly on her now bared shoulders, sliding my light grasp down. I kissed her forehead, murmuring her name. She shuddered against me and she melted into my embrace, kissing me softly but passionately. She pulled away gently, resting her head against my chest, and I held her close.
"It doesn't have to be this way. Clara Stephens doesn't have to go back to New Jersey. Nero and I...we can stay here, with you, in London. We can be a family... We can get married and..."
"Irene..." her shoulders heaved lightly as she wept. "You know that cannot be. You know that our separation is for your safety, for Nero's safety..."
"But I want it so! Oh I love, how I love you!" she murmured plaintively, shaking like a leaf, so fragile and breakable as porcelain in my arms. I held her tightly, and we stay like that for a long time till we were bothe to tired to stand.
In the bed, she again found my embrace and I buried my face in her rich auburn hair, scented as Shea Butter and cocoa. It was so similar to the last night in Montenegro after those long and splendid months when she knew that we would not meet till years later. Our parting.
We made love with a passion that was quiet and tender. Not hasty, and it left us bothe exhausted. My lover rested lightly in my embrace as we caught our breathe. I was just beginning to drift away peacefully for the first time in a long time when the warmth of her soft skin was gone. She had stood, gloriously naked, backlit by the single candle that we had left burning, her sensuous curves made apparent and the contours of her slim form soft and very feminine.
She returned in a short time, her head nested in the crook of my arm, tresses splayed on my chest. I stroked her hair back from her face, and pressed on last kiss to her lips before we bothe fell into the comfortable and blissful embrace of sleep.
Irene had said her tearful goodbyes to me at the station not twenty minutes ago. She had kissed me several times, and Nero was melancholy enough that he didn't seem to mind. I gave Nero a hug and promised him that he would see me again, and he should worry. When I stood the whistle was blowing for departure. I lift Nero into the train and looked last at my beloved Irene.
"Time helps the heart grow fonder, my dear," I said solemnly
She looked resolutely at me, holding my unwavering gaze before she answered. "For a short time perhaps, but for longer it will only serve to help the heart forget and move on,"
"That will never happen, so long as I am alive, I promise you. It may not always be-"
"For the arrangement is in place as safety reasons that it must, I know. I will never forget you," her voice had become quiet.
She held my gaze 'till she embraced me tightly. I pressed one last tender kiss to her forehead where her Auburn hair just reached the paleness of her soft smooth skin. She then broke away, hoisted her skirts along onto the train and was whisked away before my very eyes. Her emerald eyes had been so glazed with tears, I doubt that she could even see my blur.
But now twenty-five minutes later I was sitting on the train in my box, replaying the scene over and over in my mind, memorizing her every feature, Nero's every individual characteristic when I notice what I had not at the station. Irene's slender hand deftly sliding down my chest as we embraced and into my pocket.
But I hadn't anything in it. I reached my own hand into the pocket where my fingers found a small black box. Upon opening the little thing, I saw a very fine tie pin. It was silver with Emerald inlays, defiantly to my refined taste, and positively and wonderfully thoughtful. It was the precise colour of Irene's feline eyes.
There was a little note included in the box and as I held the tie pin I held the paper on which was written her fine hand:
My Darling Sherlock,
A little something in remembrance of a perfect day, so reminiscent of our many months in a heaven called Montenegro. I love you to well, so much that it cannot possibly be good for my health. I have something of you with me always beside you photograph, our son, and I felt that you also should have one more constant reminder to keep you company.
I am forever and always yours,
Watson and I were dining at the Grande, my favourite, admittedly. It had been several weeks since my day at Windsor with my Beloved and my son. I sighed heavily.
"The food should be here any minute Holmes," Watson said in response to my exaggerated sigh. "Cheer up, old boy, it's the mutton, you love the mutton, you absolutely adore it,"
Love, adore. Irene, Nero. The words were practically synonymous.
But of course, as is always with matters such as these Watson is right. I do love that Mutton, and it cheered me readily, and with a little Merlot of ancient flavour, Watson was satisfied that my laugh was hardy enough and my face ruddy enough to match his own.
"Old boy," he said with a curiosity in his voice, "Did you buy that splendid tie pin in Windsor just those weeks ago?"
"No, my boy, 'twas a gift,"
"Ah, yes, hmm," He made grand about the whole ordeal, as he was almost properly intoxicated, as was I. "From whom might I ask?"
"Oh, a certain gracious lady,"
"Oh Watson you do so love to pry, don't you?"
"Holmes!" he exclaimed a jovial smile on his broad and pleasant features.
"Oh very well. I did carry out sum small commission - its importance is little and so the subject irrelevant - in her interests and well, I had requested a meeting with her so as to see if all was still in the right..."
"And the lady's august name? Hmm? Holmes, I am waiting..."
"You'll not have it from my mouth Watson,"
We toasted and I could help but feel the bittersweet tang of envy at his happiness. Watson, my dear friend was by far a luckier gentleman than I would ever be. I have only loved once. I shall only love once. All others of the female gender are nothing in comparison to her bright glow. *She eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. There is but one woman to me. Irene Adler. And as I once put it to Watson that May of 1887, *she is quite the daintiest thing under a bonnet on this planet.