"The dog had to die. I imagine that was the beginning of the plan, and it grew from there. The nephew will undoubtedly confirm that when his jaw is no longer wired shut or he's recovered enough to write out a confession. John did quite a number with that shovel when the idiot attacked me."

"Oh God, Sherlock, did he hurt you? I'm so glad Dr. Watson was there."

"Yes. I should have realized sooner that he was hiding out in the old unused barn on the estate. He did a rather good job hiding himself in plain sight, he was a special effects makeup artist apparently. But that wasn't steady enough work, so he decided to go after dear old auntie's money." Sherlock spoke disinterestedly as his hand smoothed over Molly's exposed belly. He leaned in and tasted her sensitive skin with a tiny lick. "Mmm. It's amazing the illegal lengths people will go to for money when they could simply get a job and earn a comparable salary. Well, almost comparable. The artist is quite famous, worth millions. You might be able to guess to whom I am referring, but I am sworn to secrecy."

Molly squirmed and giggled as he touched her belly. Sherlock couldn't see her eyes behind the black satin blindfold, but he deduced that her pupils would be very dilated by now, based on her pulse rate.

"She had designated her lover Deirdre to inherit her money if she died, but when Deidre died several months ago, the artist changed her will. A trust was created with the entire fortune to support Brandon, her Welsh Corgi. Ugly little bastard. She kept showing me pictures and crying. John cooed over them quite a bit," Sherlock added scornfully.

Molly stretched her arms, adjusting herself to find a more comfortable position, though it was somewhat difficult with her wrists handcuffed to the bed. With a complete disregard for his expensive head- and footboard, Sherlock had drilled holes into the wood to attach oversized eye hook loops for securing ropes or cuffs. When Molly entered his room earlier, she'd noticed that the fresh new metal hooks drilled into several places on the wall, low and high. It seemed that she'd only seen the tip of the iceberg when it came to Sherlock's creativity with restraints.

"So she was going to leave her money to the dog. Why did the nephew think that getting rid of the dog and making her think the house was haunted would help him, though?"

"Isn't it obvious? Try harder, Molly." He pinched her nipples to emphasize his point.

"Well if she doesn't have a dog, she'll change the will and maybe it will be to him? That still seems like a big what-if, Sherlock. He's not her only family, right?"

"That's why we have the 'hauntings.' I told you she spent time with her family after her partner died. She was lonely, she reached out to the only people in the world left to her, though they couldn't be bothered with her when her lover was alive. She spent the most time there with her lazy but creative nephew then. He saw how wealthy she was, and most importantly, learned that her dog was now the heir to a fortune."

"Oh that poor woman! Just wanted a bit of company, and someone kills her dog. That is awful."

"Always go straight for the sympathy, don't you, Molly." Sherlock smiled down at his girl, who always thought of others' pain first.

He thought the artist was rather blowing her attachment to Brandon the Corgi out of proportion until John pointed out that the dog was most likely a surrogate for the affection she could no longer shower on her lost love, Deirdre. Sherlock thought that was utterly stupid.

"I suppose I do. I'm not sorry at all. And the weird things happening on the estate?"

"He had disguised himself as one of the repairmen working on the roof, and he sabotaged it after it had been inspected. Trying to scare her back to Cornwall and the family home. When that didn't work-for a quiet and crying sort of woman, she is remarkably stubborn- he kept at it. Used his disguises to access the home in a variety of ways, making strange noises when she thought she was alone. Oh, except for the refrigerator, the moldy food. The thermostat in it was broken, kept going up and down without reason. Old house." He shrugged. "She bought a new appliance, everything 's fine."

He hadn't thought the artist's refrigerator was that bad, but John was mortified by the level of mold growth. It was lucky John didn't really know what was growing in all the containers in 221B's refrigerator.

"I like hearing about your cases, Sherlock. Next time, will you please call me or text when you aren't running from a murderer or something, and let me know how it's going?"

He kept on as if she hadn't spoken, and smoothed his up, down and between Molly's thighs as he explained. "I had worked out that the culprit was most likely a relative who was removing the fiscal threat of the dog before we left Baker Street. I didn't think it would take more than three days to unmask the person behind it. I failed to deduce his disguising abilities. He hid remarkably well. Turned himself into several different employees and visiting artists from the nearby colony. The man's an outstanding makeup artist. He'll be invaluable doing prison theatricals."

Sherlock unbuttoned and removed his shirt, tossing it onto the floor. Trousers and boxers followed. He crawled onto the bed and knelt between Molly's legs, which were spread wide and secured at the ankles with cuffs as well.

Molly licked her lips nervously. Her stomach muscles tensed as she felt the weight shift on the mattress as he came closer to her body. She kept shivering, though she wasn't cold at all. Sherlock's soothing voice had lulled her into relaxing and enjoying the sensual touching, but now she felt exposed again, open for his pleasure. She was blind, and his voice and hands were her entire world now.

She heard his voice again, now closer, and felt his curls brush the underside of her breast as his body pressed closer to her torso.

"And so…he wanted to drive her home, where he could resume his friendship with dear old auntie, who shared his artistic tendencies, and worm his way into her will. He should have cut his losses and left when I turned up, but no. Greed seems to have won out. Couldn't neglect the time he'd invested in scaring her. I think he intended to do nothing but observe, but us hunting him down drove him to act with violence. He cracked under the pressure of the waiting game. As many do."

She felt the crackling energy coming off Sherlock. His retelling of the adventure had excited him, though his controlled voice didn't betray that. She felt it in the driven way he touched her now, the need to conquer again being focused onto Molly. She wanted to take that livewire energy into herself, let him pour it into her. She was ready. Painfully aroused, if she were honest with herself. She had passed from need into desperation halfway through the story.

"Do you know, Molly," he said as he squeezed and sucked a nipple into his mouth, "I quite like the list you made for me, of ideas. But nothing is going to be exactly as you suggested. Need to keep you on your toes, you know, otherwise you'll get bored."

"I'll get bored with you?" Molly squeaked out.

"Mmm yes. Are you bored yet?" She could hear a smile in his voice. "Are you so terribly bored that you'd like me to hop off and uncuff you and never smack your arse again?"

Molly laughed, and gasped when his teeth sank into her neck, nibbling and sucking and kissing, as his groin ground against hers, until she was begging for him to finish it.

"Please, Sherlock, do it now, please. Oh God, just fuck me." Her body strained upward, her wrists and ankles now fighting the cuffs.

She was flawless in her need, Sherlock thought. Completely honest and sexual and happy and generous and warm. That was Molly.

He pushed his cock into her folds with a rough thrust that forced a high-pitched 'oh!' from her mouth. He began moving hard right away. The buildup had been torturous for him as well. He tried to control the pace, to draw out the pleasure and pain for Molly, but he found himself giving into every animal urge he had, and simply fucked his woman.

In her body, Sherlock Holmes lost himself for a time and lived in her heat, her skin, her submission and need. He was almost afraid to admit how happy it made him.

Molly Hooper lay breathing, eyes closed under the blindfold, her abdomen still rippling from the orgasm that had rolled through her. Her skin was tingling and Sherlock lay on top of her, his breath heavy on her neck. He kissed her mouth again, soft and slow.

He silently got up and retrieved the cuff keys from the bedside table. He loosed her wrists and ankles, and rubbed the skin. There were grooves and some redness that would last probably until tomorrow. She had gone so wild at the end that she pulled on them too much. Perhaps he should have tied down her midsection as well. That was something to consider for next time, Sherlock thought.

He rolled Molly over on the bed, onto her stomach, and began to rub her shoulders, which were a bit sore from having her arms stretched over her head. She groaned happily.

"Thank you," she breathed into her pillow.

He rubbed her shoulders and back, moving down to her bum. He did love these curves, the natural slopes of her body, the width of her ass, cupping the cheeks and smacking them to test the bounciness.

"You know, those cuffs look real, Sherlock. They don't feel like the fuzzy pretend ones for sex."

"They are real."

"Like really real? Where do you buy real handcuffs from?"

"I don't. I steal them from Sgt. Donovan when she annoys me. I've got a drawerful of them in the kitchen."

Molly laughed hysterically, and Sherlock found himself joining her after a few seconds. He continued touching and playing with her bum.

"Having fun?" she asked.

"Mmm yes, very much. " Another smack on the bum. This one harder. "You have a lovely arse, Dr. Hooper." He bent over and precisely bit her on the right buttock. She reflexively moved away from his teeth.

"Don't want my mark then? Too bad." Sherlock reached over to the bedside table and pulled a rose from the bouquet they'd carelessly tossed aside in their eagerness to get to the bed.

"I don't think you care very much for roses, Molly. You didn't shriek about them as I've noticed other women do," Sherlock observed.

"Oh they're lovely. I just don't really put much stock in flowers, I guess? I really really do appreciate it though, Sherlock. I know it's…hard for you to…remember those sorts of things," she rushed out. "But I think men mostly buy flowers for women when they've botched something up. Roses are…they aren't precisely honest are they. I remember Jim gave me roses. I guess I think of them as being…about expected romance and not something real. Oh God, but I love that you brought me them, I…I keep saying the wrong thing. I always do, why can't I say the right thing?" She buried her face in the pillow and shook her head.

"Because the 'right' thing to say is often not the honest thing. So John tells me." He kissed the small of Molly's back tenderly, and licked experimentally. Goosebumps arose on her arms and legs. Interesting. He made a mental note.

"I would rather you were honest with me, Sherlock. I know that it will probably hurt, you have said terrible things before…but I'm so tired of lies. I don't need roses when we're together. I just want you."

"Right." He stripped the dark red petals from the flower and let them fall to the floor, and climbed back between Molly's legs. He placed a hand on her bum, telling her nonverbally to stay as she was, on her belly. She understood.

He kissed her bum cheeks, still pink from slapping, and dragged the thorny stem of the rose over the tender skin.

Molly almost bucked from the sensation but the presence of Sherlock's hand reminded her to stay still. She trembled as he again drew the thorns over her bottom, scratching her lightly. The third time, he pushed harder, leaving tiny white scratches across the reddening skin.

Sherlock's eyes lit up as he had an idea. He sat up straighter and held the thorny stem in a tighter grip. He moved the thorn purposefully over both bum cheeks, in a pattern Molly couldn't quite put her finger on.

When he was done, and Molly nearly wiggling her arse with the sensations, Sherlock dropped the stem, and pulled Molly to standing. A bit too quickly, and she staggered into his arms, giggling. She was still wobbly from the restraints and play.

He held her close to him, and then walked to stand in front of the long mirror. He turned her back to it, and told her to look. Molly craned her neck and squinted, and Sherlock pushed her closer to the mirror. She could see, neatly scratched into both cheeks on her arse, the white scratches turning into bloodless red lines, the letters "SH."

Molly stared for a moment, and then wrapped her arms around Sherlock joyfully, pulling him down to her.

"Stealing kisses is hardly disciplined, Molly Hooper." He admonished her, holding her back.

"Oh! I forgot…sorry." She still had a lot to learn. Sherlock would tighten the discipline now that she was certainly his. Although there was one other detail to take care of, in that regard…

"Molly, I've got some errands to take care of, and Lestrade needs me to check in today. He's utterly helpless without me. The Yard's gone to hell in the last few weeks. I'll see you tomorrow. Sorry, I really have to go."

Sherlock dropped her arms and began throwing on his clothing. He was so quick, burning with his new idea, that Molly barely had her bra back on before Sherlock was running out the door.

"Let yourself out whenever you like, gotta go!" he yelled as he ran down the stairs, taking the steps four at a time.

"Well. That was…that was very Sherlock."

"And now I'm talking to myself. Right."

She looked at herself in the mirror again, the edges of the scratched initials barely showing beneath the bottom line of her knickers. She looked thoroughly shagged and exhausted, with her mascara smearing and a knot of hair sticking up in the back.

Molly shrugged, and got dressed. She tied her hair back and went home to feed Toby, who was probably shredding her new issue of OK magazine as a penalty for her being late with his supper.

She turned up at work the next day and said hello to Dr. Davison in the hallway as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened the day before. He treated her more cautiously than usual. It was as though her being involved with the mad brilliant detective lent her an air of unpredictability. He hadn't expected to find Dr. Hooper with a man like that. Not after the last one- they all knew about Jim from I.T. being some sort of fraud, though the details were sketchy. Apparently she had a taste for dangerous men. Interesting how you can work with some people and never really know them. Molly Hooper was a mystery. Davison was impressed.

She noticed Davison treating her differently. To put it succinctly, she didn't give a fuck. He was a bit of a pig, with his glib chatter. He was a solid pathologist though, she would admit. He was very good with grieving families who came by to i.d. bodies. That's what really mattered.

The pathologist was settling into her morgue routine and humming as she examined stomach contents, when Sherlock breezed into the room without knocking, as usual.

Now when she watched him enter, there was no hurtful longing or defensive feelings. She still felt the need to offer her assistance on whatever he was there for, that instinct would never go away.

He looked down briefly at the open abdominal cavity Molly was working on.

"Excellent cut, Molly. I'd know your work anywhere." He kissed her cheek lightly and put his hands in his pockets.

She blushed. "Oh thank you. I do like a tidy cut, it's so much easier to clean up after and make presentable for the families."

"Stop for a moment?" He raised his eyebrows, to emphasize that it was a question and not an order. As much of a pain as he was in the morgue, he never ruined an autopsy for her.

"Oh sure, that's fine. He's not going anywhere! Ha ha. Um, yes. Anyway."

Molly washed up her hands at the sink and rushed back to Sherlock. No one else was around. She slipped her hands into his coat and wrapped her cold hands around his narrow waist. He smiled coolly down at her.

"I have a present for you. If you want to wear it. If you don't, I understand."

He steered her over to one of the handwashing sinks. Someone had stuck a small mirror up above it, something more appropriate for a teen's locker.

He pulled a plain package out of his pocket. She unwrapped the beige paper and found inside a jeweler's box, a few inches squared, in size with the name of a famous company on it.

"What is this?" Molly asked.

"Open it. Wear it, please."

She slowly lifted the lid and looked inside. Nestled on the white bedding was a necklace with a charm. She drew it out, letting the charm dangle at the bottom of the chain.

Sherlock explained, in his clipped and hurried way, "You don't like gags. You don't like things that obstruct your breathing at all, ergo you would not respond well to or even be able to wear a collar. I thought this might be a suitable substitute."

Hanging on the delicate chain was a perfect little replica of a padlock, made of white gold. Engraved on the surface on the lock was SH.

Her mouth moved but nothing came out. She held it and looked into Sherlock's eyes, which were electric green and wider than usual.

"Molly, will you- do you want to wear it?"

"YES. Yes, of course I do. I. Yes, please." And with that, he took the necklace from Molly and manipulated the tiny clasp far faster than she ever had in her life.

He turned her toward the little mirror on the wall, to show her the necklace. It was loose enough that it wouldn't choke her, but it would not dangle low when Molly was working on the bodies. It was the perfect length to stay neatly under her tops. Of course, it was the ideal length, it's bloody Sherlock Holmes. He would know.

Molly touched the padlock and smiled at Sherlock in the mirror. He smiled back, and exhaled heavily.

She turned around and threw herself into his arms again. He kissed her hair and squeezed her so tight she was breathless. She lifted her head up, asking with her eyes, and his lips met hers.

She lost track of time. She felt his arm roaming over her neck and chest, feeling how his lock sat on her. She wrapped her hand around the charm, and he covered that hand.

"I've never done this part properly before, I never even wanted to collar anyone before. And I don't know how to be someone's boyfriend. I don't know when I'm supposed to call. I'll try." Sherlock pulled himself up to his full height and the intensity blazed in his eyes. "Do you still want me, Molly?"

Molly beamed at him and nodded quickly. "I'll teach you, Sherlock. I'll teach you if you teach me, okay?" She started to tear up then and he kissed her senseless to make them go away.

He saw happiness and love in her eyes and for the first time, he actually wanted to believe that someone could really love and trust him. Love was a useless emotion; why want it? But when he looked in her eyes, he thought he would feel ill if he didn't see those emotions shining from her. He didn't know what that meant yet.

Molly Hooper knew that she was on a strange and rough road with Sherlock, but she was incredibly excited about the adventure she was beginning. This thing growing between them, it was another mystery; one that she might be even better at solving than the great Sherlock Holmes.

And there you have it. Not quite happily ever after; more of a realistic beginning, I think. I probably will do a second arc, not right away, about Sherlock and Molly working on a case together. And of course, having lots of sexy kinky times and kicking it up a notch with new scenarios, now that she's'collared' and not so untried. It would be fun too, to see the regular characters interacting (nonsexually speaking) with Sherlock and Molly as a dom/sub couple.

The title of the story is a reference to a BDSM starter manual of sorts, a classic in the genre, "Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns." It's a great book if you're just getting into kink. The cover of the book is usually the one I described in this story- purple bound hands and the nude woman. Oddly enough, the book is coauthored by a woman named Molly.

Thanks to everyone who wrote reviews, and added the story to Alerts and Favorites. I'm happy with how this turned out, and the positive reaction to sub!Molly. It's been so much fun to write. I might be addicted now. :)