French Lessons
Jem's Bird

“Holmes!” I ejaculated.


It was too late; so intent was my companion on following the path of the old rock wall that he failed to see the ditch just in front of his feet and toppled over into it, almost headfirst, letting loose with a string of French profanity that doubtless would have burned my ears had I known more of the language.


There are many facets of our adventures that do not make it into my accounts in the Strand, and not just to guard the sensibilities of my readers who would be offended by the great detective’s liberality with the expletives of his grandmother’s tongue. Certainly, I would never dream of recording the more spectacular blunders and outrageous mistakes that such genius must admit from time to time.  I admit that I have left my readers with a mistaken impression of my friend; many think him a perfect reasoning machine, incapable of error. In fact, Sherlock Holmes makes mistakes like any mortal, but when he errs, the results are even more extravagant, and invariably accompanied by a generous helping of Gallic invective.


I endeavoured in vain to keep a straight face as Holmes thrashed about in the ditch, ankle-deep in foul muddy water, slipping over loose clay that forbade any hold to pull a body up to dry land. My friend flailed about desperately for any purchase on the bank and found none, his struggles to climb out totally fruitless. Eventually he managed to stand upright in the middle of the ditch, glaring up at me as I carefully made my way to the edge.


“Don’t just stand there gawking, Watson,” he snapped irritably. “Help me out.”


“Of course, Holmes,” said I, trying not to laugh and failing miserably. My companion made a pitiful sight indeed, covered from head to toe in muck and grime, his clothes and hair in disarray and dripping with mud. Wiping the grin from my face, I cast about for some sturdy stick or vine that I could use, but found nothing.


“What are you waiting for?” Holmes growled. “I’m freezing.”


“I’m looking for something to pull you out with,” I told him patiently.


Holmes muttered something in French; unfortunately, this was a phrase I recognized.


“Holmes,” I replied coldly, “that is not only ungentlemanly, it is most likely physically impossible, and certainly uncomfortable.”


“Nevertheless, I should like to see you try,” he retorted.


“Would you like me to try now, or would you like me to get you out of that ditch? It’s your choice, Holmes.”


Holmes shot me a warning look, his grey eyes flashing with anger.


“All right, all right,” I sighed. “It looks like there might be a decent foothold over this way. Give me your hand.” I reached out over the embankment, preparing to pull my friend up to dry ground.


Instead, we both landed in the muddy water, flopping about like caught fish on a deck. And, indeed, the water was freezing cold.


“You were supposed to be helping me out of the ditch,” Holmes growled, as we struggled to our feet, “not pushing me back in and bringing yourself with me.”


I am, as I have recorded elsewhere, a long-suffering individual, but there are limits to my patience. I am slow to anger, but when roused, I can be fearsome enough. “Really, Holmes, this is unworthy of you,” I said hotly, reaching for his arm for support. “I was doing my best –”


He snatched his arm away. “Honestly, Watson, I should think that your best might be somewhat more effective, but then again, I never do get your depths.”


That did it. I drew my arm back and punched him in the jaw. Or rather, I tried to hit him, but the effort of swinging my fist pushed me off-balance and I fell ingloriously onto my back, having only connected a glancing blow to my companion’s chin.


In a moment, Holmes was straddling me, grabbing my arms and pinning them above my head. I struggled to break myself free, and was rewarded only with a torrent of icy water sloshing over my chest and sinking into my clothes. Holmes held me firmly in the viselike grip of his arms, my hips captured between his knees. A few more seconds’ writhing only resulted in locking us closer together, our hips grinding together in the mud. My desperation to escape increased sharply as I realized the full implications of my position.


I feared that soon my perversion would manifest itself. I had hidden my dark secret from Holmes for so many years, but now his groin rubbing against mine and his hands upon my body were bringing inevitable results. Despite the cold of the water and the violence of the situation – or perhaps, I blush to think, because of it – I felt my member swell with arousal. Still I could not release myself from Holmes’ clutches, and I knew very well that part of me did not even wish to try. To my deep horror and shame, I realized that I was enjoying the sensation, savouring the contact with the one man I desired above all others.


With steadily rising panic, I knew that soon he would realize my condition and recoil in disgust. He must already feel the evidence; I could certainly feel his –


I could feel his erection rubbing against mine.


I had been avoiding his gaze for a while; now I looked up and saw the twinkle in those slate-coloured eyes.  


Sherlock Holmes released my arms from his grasp, but did not move his hips. Or, rather, he moved them in a manner that made it perfectly clear that he enjoyed the contact as much as I. Smiling angelically, he reached down and gently stroked my cheek with a single finger, tracing down the line of my jaw.


“All these years and I never knew,” he murmured. “This is a perfect example of emotion clouding the faculties of observation, you realize. My own feelings for you must have –”


I had heard enough. I reached up and pulled him down to me, crushing my lips against his, wrapping my legs around his and easily rolling him over. My tongue demanded entrance at his lips, and he acquiesced quickly, allowing me to penetrate his hungry mouth, tasting the wonderful combination of tobacco, brandy, and Holmes. I ground my hardness into his, my hands taking possession of his shoulders and chest, my lips sliding down to his neck, leaving passionate bites along the line of his collar.


Unfortunately, my mouth soon became full of mud, and I had to sit up, coughing.


Holmes grinned. “I rather think, my dear Watson, that this is not the appropriate venue for this conversation. Somewhere more private, and, of course, less cold and wet, would be infinitely preferable.”


We disentangled ourselves rather reluctantly and pulled ourselves to our feet, exchanging a muddy kiss before addressing ourselves to the task of getting out of the ditch. Eventually we found a section of the bank that allowed some foothold in the roots of a stately oak, and there we caught our breaths for a moment, before throwing ourselves against the trunk, our arms and legs intertwined, our lips and hands fervently wandering beyond the realms of all propriety.


A sudden pang of conscience forced me to pull my mouth away from his. “Holmes, the case –”


“Damn the case,” Holmes growled, biting my neck.


“Holmes!” I pushed myself away, stepping back in shock. “You can’t be serious!”


Holmes waved a thin white hand in an impatient gesture. “Pshaw, Watson, you know my methods. I already have all the answers needed for the successful resolution of the case; we were merely following the path of the old rock wall to satisfy my curiosity on an unimportant trifle concerning the original property line. Be that as it may,” he continued gravely, “you are far more important to me than any case.”


My jaw dropped in disbelief at his words, and he allowed himself a small chuckle, touching my cheek in an affectionate gesture before becoming serious once more.


“My dear Watson,” said he, “you know that I am not a man to whom emotions come easily. But you must believe me when I tell you that I hold you in the highest esteem, more so than any other person in this world, and that when I have imagined this eventuality –” here he leaned forward and planted a gentle kiss upon my lips – “I have only allowed myself to consider it a fantasy, dearly desired, but ultimately unattainable. I cannot tell you –”


Once again, I stopped his words with a kiss as I pulled him into my arms, relishing the feel of his tongue sliding over my lips.


A rumble of thunder interrupted our embrace, and a rising gust of wind brought the scent of impending rain. It was an unseasonably cold June, and the weather had been foreboding all afternoon.


Sherlock Holmes looked up at the darkening clouds. “We should make our way back to the inn,” he said.


We walked in silence for a while, close together, our shoulders occasionally brushing.


“Watson,” Holmes said eventually. “How long have you known you were … well, what we are.”


I allowed myself a small smile. This hesitancy was certainly unlike my friend. “Since I was in Afghanistan.”


“You became involved with a fellow officer?”


“Another surgeon, yes. He was killed at Maiwand.” I rarely allowed myself to think of him these days, but for some reason the memory did not pain me as much.


That reason put a hand on my shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze.


“I’m sorry, old fellow.”


“That is in the past.” I took his hand and linked it round my elbow, and again we walked in silence for a time. The wind had picked up, and another roll of thunder threatened in the distance. “What about you?” I asked quietly. “When did you know?”


“Quite early on. I think I told you about Victor Trevor,” he said with a slight grin.


“Apparently you didn’t tell me everything,” said I, returning his smile. “Not that you are ever forthcoming with your information. Frankly, I’m amazed that you didn’t deduce the truth about me.”


“In retrospect, I suppose that my own desire to keep my inclinations secret blinded me to the fact that you might have a few secrets of your own,” he replied. “But in any case,” he continued, gripping my arm a little tighter, “we must not dwell on past mistakes and lost time, my boy. We have a bright future together –” he stopped suddenly, peering at me intently, as if examining some puzzling bit of evidence. “Perhaps,” he continued quietly, “I am being presumptuous in my assumption that you wish to pursue a relationship …”


I looked quickly along the road in either direction, and, seeing no one, grasped his chin and drew him into a fervent kiss, releasing him only when we were both breathless with passion. “Does that answer your question?” I murmured.


For a moment, the hard grey eyes softened, and I fancied I saw a glimmer of tears there. Then he blinked, and chuckled in his old jovial manner. “My dear Watson,” said he, “your answer has brought me more joy than the successful conclusion of a hundred cases.”


I blushed heavily at his words, my heart singing in joy. And yet, a note of fear joined in the chorus. “We shall have to be discreet,” I answered, as we continued along the path.


“Nonsense. We shall continue as we have, and no one shall be the wiser. After all, Sherlock Holmes is a brain without a heart, who speaks not of the softer emotions save with a jibe and a snigger.”


“Holmes, I sincerely regret those words.”


“Don’t. They may be our salvation. Though we should probably find you a wife at some point to cloud the issue further.”


“Perhaps one of your clients,” I laughed, as we approached the small village. A few sprinkles of rain had started, but yet the streets were as deserted as if the storm had been raging full force all day.


“There is a birthday celebration at the public house,” said my companion, as if reading my thoughts. “The whole village has turned out to wish our client well.”


“I didn’t know it was his birthday,” I said, as we turned into the yard of the small inn. Our client was an extremely garrulous man who had shared much more information than we had needed or desired; I was surprised to hear that he had not informed us of this anniversary as well.


“Didn’t you? Well, it is no matter. We shall have the added bonus of a little privacy tonight before I give my conclusions tomorrow morning,” he added with a sly smile, and my face burned with excitement at the thought of how we might use that privacy.


“Good heavens! Mr. Holmes, what happened?” a matronly voice greeted us at the door of the inn.


“Oh, just a slight mishap,” Holmes said carelessly, waving aside the attentions of the landlady. “The good doctor took a misstep and fell into a ravine, then pulled me in after him as I tried to fish him out. We’ll need a tub of hot water sent along to our room. That and a plate of sandwiches are all we require,” he finished with his most charming smile.


“Holmes, that was wicked,” I muttered, as soon as the woman was out of earshot.


Holmes squeezed my arm affectionately. “Surely, old boy, you must realize that we can’t have these people thinking that the great Sherlock Holmes goes around the countryside toppling into every muddy ravine in his path.”


“So then I shouldn’t tell them about the time you turned your ankle last year.”


“Behave, Watson,” he grinned, as we ascended the stairs.


I must admit that my heart began pounding mercilessly in my chest when we finally managed to rid ourselves of the landlady and the chambermaid fussing over us, and when Sherlock Holmes locked the door behind them and turned to face me with a ghost of a smile upon his thin lips, my knees felt weak and my head began to spin. Turning away from him quickly, I stood beside the tub and began to undo my collar with shaking hands.


In an instant he was behind me, his wiry arms wrapped around my waist, his lips upon my neck. “Now, Watson,” he murmured, “that’s not fair. Allow me.” Slowly, agonizingly so, he unbuttoned my collar and my waistcoat, and then my shirt. He ran his hands over my chest, pausing to pinch my nipples before moving downwards, tracing idle patterns over my abdomen with his long thin fingers, finally drifting down to my flies. I gasped aloud as my trousers came apart and his hand slipped inside, gripping my hardness with such gentle familiarity that I almost spent myself there and then, and indeed would have, had not my friend distracted me with a love-bite upon the back of my neck.


I turned to face him and we exchanged a soft, lingering kiss as I divested him of his clothes, trailing my lips greedily down his chest as I laid him bare before me. Eventually our muddy clothes were piled in a heap on the floor, and we two stood together, naked as the day we were born, exploring each others’ bodies hungrily, our hands and mouths wandering over each other in unashamed delight.


By tacit agreement, we made our way over to the tub, and Holmes helped me into the steaming water, then stepped in himself. For a while we stood thus, up to our knees in the deliciously hot bath, our pricks rubbing tantalizingly against each other, our hands caressing and touching all the secret places we could find. I had not looked down yet, but as Holmes reached for the sponge and the bar of soap upon the small table beside us, I could not resist and sank to my knees, finding myself face to face with the most gorgeous cockstand I have ever seen, a luscious throbbing pego of brownish red rising from a dark bush of curly black hair. His foreskin had already pulled back in anticipation, and a pearly drop of fluid glistened at the tip of his staff. I wasted no time, but took him into my mouth, savouring the groan my actions elicited from above.


Holmes dropped both soap and sponge into the water, and his hands trembled upon my shoulders as I licked up and down his shaft, tickling open the slit with my tongue and enthusiastically tasting of his salty essence before sucking his whole member into my mouth as far as I could. With one hand I reached between his legs and began stroking his ballsac, rolling the precious stones inside between my fingertips, while with the other hand I reached around and began fondling his lean, taught buttocks.


Holmes started whispering and then moaning in French, uttering a long string of curses I did not understand, and yet I could tell that this otherwise cold, rational man had been brought to ecstasy by my ministrations; my heart burst with joy at the thought, and I redoubled my efforts upon him, sucking his member with such fervour that he nearly lost his footing.


“Watson,” he panted, “the bed. Now –”


“Not yet,” I whispered, and gave his cock a teasing whisper of a kiss, right at that spot that is the most sensitive, just below the tip.


Sacre Dieu, Watson,” he said, shuddering with pleasure and squeezing my shoulders.


Smiling, I took the sponge and the soap from where they had landed in the water and stood up next to him. “I want you clean before we get dirty.”


He lifted an eyebrow. “Watson, are you one of those pitiful cases who is disgusted by his own passions?”


“Only the morning after,” said I, and sealed his mouth with a kiss once more, while I lathered his back, squeezing the sponge so that the water ran down his spine in a warm soapy cascade.


I rubbed the sponge over him, washing his back, his arms, his legs, his chest. I stayed teasingly away from his groin, but I washed his face with my kisses while I lathered his buttocks, tracing a single finger down between the cleavage I found there. I ventured just far enough to make my request known.


“Yes,” he whispered, biting my neck.


I entered slowly, pushing gently upwards until I found the spot my fellow surgeon had shown me so long ago. Apparently Holmes had enjoyed this act before; he flexed his muscles to push against my finger and moaned into my mouth, his whole body trembling.


Cheri, it’s been so long,” he sighed. “Bed. Now.” He moved to step out of the bath, pulling me along, but I stopped him, holding him tight to me and thrusting my finger deeper inside, before adding another. He swayed in my arms, groaning as I withdrew slowly.


“Please take me to bed,” he whispered.


I smiled into his cheek. So the masterful detective had learned some manners. I stepped back and handed him the sponge with a pointed look.


“Wash me first.”


Sherlock Holmes gaped at me in shock. “Watson, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you like this before.”


“That’s John to you,” I smirked, “and frankly, Sherlock, you’re damned right you’ve never seen me like this before. Now, believe me, I am going to take you to that bed and make passionate love to you, but first I would like to have some of this mud off me. I have washed you, now you must wash me. Or do you not wish to touch me the way I’ve just touched you?” I finished in a teasing voice.


“A thousand apologies,” he murmured, taking the sponge from me. We kissed deeply for a while before he bent to his task, using the sponge and his lips alternating over my chest and shoulders, before lowering himself to his knees. He kissed the tip of my prick gently, sending shivers of delight down my spine, before swallowing my whole shaft into his warm wet mouth, tickling my sac with one hand while his other hand slipped around behind, rubbing tentatively at my small entrance.


I spread my legs slightly in invitation, and groaned as I felt him enter me. There was no doubt remaining in my mind; Holmes had definitely done this before. He found the exact spot that made me tremble, and a white-hot flash of fire erupted from my scrotum and up my spine.


I did not manage to keep my balance.


Instead, I landed, arse-first in the water, my arms and legs splayed over the sides of the tub, with Holmes kneeling between my thighs.


He raised an eyebrow in silent question; I spread my legs further in answer. He reached to the side table and picked up a tin of salve.


“You were planning this,” said I.


“I slipped it from your medical bag not five minutes ago,” he answered, grinning wickedly as he stroked the lubricant onto his cockstand. “So I should say that you were planning this.”


I merely shook my head and smiled, my eyes closing in sweet anticipation as he pressed the tip at my opening.  


Non, mon coeur,” he whispered softly, touching my cheek. “Open those beautiful blue eyes for me first, s’il tu plait.”


My eyes flew open and I stared up at the man I loved as he entered me, groaning as he filled me, grabbing his lean buttocks and thrusting myself onto him. He hit his rhythm immediately, and we rocked together deliciously, the water sloshing around us and splashing over the edge. He reached for my throbbing organ, but I gripped his wrists, holding him away.


“Not yet,” I panted. “I want to save this for you.”


He smiled and thrust into me deeper. “We have all night, my sweet,” he replied as I arched my back and moaned. “But if you do not wish to come to glory with a hot cock in your hole, then we should definitely change positions, because I can tell you that I should love to do exactly that.” And with these words, he slipped his still rampant prick out of me, ignoring the groan of disappointment that escaped my lips at finding my treasure gone.


“Then let us get to the bed, for heaven’s sake,” I panted, struggling to get up.


Now you want the bed,” he laughed, pulling me to my feet. We stood in the tub, kissing awhile, then, hand in hand, we made our way to the bed, Holmes tumbling onto the bed on his back, pulling me down on top of him. We rubbed deliciously against each other a while, our throbbing pricks wrestling, our mouths locked together, our tongues meeting in a sultry dance of unabashed lust.


Holmes broke away from the kiss and handed me the tin of salve with a meaningful look. I put a pillow beneath his hips, and began coating his entrance with the slippery grease, taking my time to savour how the puckering hole quivered at my touch. I thrust one finger deep inside my love, then two, rubbing up against his prostate and receiving a torrent of French profanity in response. I smiled and pushed my cock up against the entry, rubbing teasingly against the pink lips.


“For God’s sake, Watson!” he gasped, thrusting his hips forward. I pulled away, and touched his cheek with a mischievous grin.


“I told you, it’s John,” I laughed, rubbing the tip of my pego against him once more. “Now, shall I enter, or should we just go to sleep like sensible men?”


The flood of Parisian expletives was really quite impressive this time, and I teased him a little more with the point of my shaft, always promising, but not quite entering.


“Please, Watson,” he hissed, pumping his hips in desperation.


“John,” I said.


“Please … John,” he croaked.


“Please what?”


“Please have mercy on me, John. Je t’emprise.


I decided I had teased him enough. I entered him slowly, groaning as his tight heat enveloped my member, throwing my head back in sheer bliss as his internal muscles squeezed and massaged me in the most intimate fashion. I bit the inside of my cheek to keep from spending as I thrust in all the way to the hilt. I held still for a moment, then withdrew almost to the tip, then thrust all the way in again. I found a steady rhythm, slow enough to keep my climax at bay, but fast enough to satisfy the growing fire in my loins. Below me, Holmes squirmed and thrashed upon the bed, his coal-black hair plastered to his face with sweat, his long white hands clutching at the sheets, his sinewy body twisting in delight, his mouth babbling on in French, his eyes tight shut, as I kept driving myself into him, over and over and over. I grasped his member and began stroking it in time to my thrusts, squeezing and fondling his ballsac with the other hand, and presently the torrent of French degraded into animal grunts as Holmes twitched and bucked in pleasure, eventually spilling his hot seed over my hand and onto his belly. His anal muscles contracted, squeezing me to my own climax, and I roared as I died inside my lover, before falling down on top of him, covering his face and neck with passionate kisses.


Holmes sighed gently as my softening member slid from him, and I drew the covers over us, snuggling down onto his chest.


He kissed the top of my head and wrapped his arms around me. “Good old Watson,” he yawned.


“I’d given up hope of ever having you like this,” I murmured sleepily.


“I’d never even dared hope,” he whispered. “If we hadn’t been following that rock wall … still, something bothers me …”


I tensed. “Something bothers you?”


“The wall runs south to north,” he mumbled. “An unimportant trifle, as I said, but still, it’s rather queer …”


I waited for Holmes to elaborate, but his breathing soon slowed into the steady rhythm of sleep, and a gentle snore told me that I would hear no more from him tonight. I nestled into his chest, listening to the gentle patter of rain against the casement window, silently giving thanks to the great God above for today’s turn of events. Then, I, too, drifted into the arms of Morpheus and knew no more.




When I awoke, I found myself alone. At first I thought the whole adventure had been a vivid dream, but the evidence lay before my bleary eyes: the tub by the fire, half full of now-cold water, the bar of soap and the sponge on the floor to the side. On the bedside table, the tin of salve still lay open (and careful exploration with a single finger reminded me of the much larger object that had so sweetly invaded my body). My clothes, however, were no longer strewn about the floor, but had been picked up and neatly laid out upon a nearby chair. A single sheet of paper lay upon the mantel, and I fairly leapt from the bed and pounced upon it, unfolding it with trembling hands.


I only read the first ten words before my heart turned to lead in my chest. I crumpled up the paper without reading the rest and threw it into the grate, then turned and calmly dressed, packing my bag without any outward sign of emotion. Inside, my heart wailed and bellowed in agony, but still I walked peacefully to the front desk, paid my bill, even made a desultory remark upon the weather to the landlord before walking slowly to the train station.


I sat upon the platform, staring at my feet. Unbidden, the words I had seen in that all-too-familiar hand came back to haunt my vision:


I have been an absolute fool [the words ran]. I should have known …


How interesting that the words that had just broken my heart managed to echo my sentiments at reading them. The Alice-in-Wonderland quality of it all appealed to me somehow.


“Watson, there you are!” a steely voice rang out.


I turned to see Sherlock Holmes striding towards me, his usual smile of greeting upon his lips. I saw no discomfort, no regret, no sign that he had just cast me aside like a worn-out coat. How could he be so callous?


My rage must have shown in my face, because he paused as he saw my expression, his eyes clouding over in genuine confusion. “Good heavens, Watson, are you all right? And where is the rope I asked you to bring?”


“All right! How could I be all – rope? What rope?”


Holmes frowned sharply. “Didn’t you see my note on the mantel?”


“Of course I saw your note on the mantel!” I fairly shouted. The few others on the platform looked around curiously, and I lowered my voice. “A bloody fine thing to do to a fellow,” I hissed. “If you had regrets, you could have at least been man enough to tell me to my face.”


Holmes’ eyes widened, and his face broke into an extraordinary expression. “Did you –” he began, then stopped, stifling a laugh.


I spun on my heel, intending to storm away, but Holmes grabbed me by the arm and bustled me into the alleyway, only looking quickly to see that we were unobserved before pushing me against the wall and sweeping me up into a melting embrace, his tongue sliding deliciously into my yielding mouth.


He pulled away, his grey eyes twinkling. “From your reaction,” said he with a chuckle, “I must deduce that you only read the first sentence.”


“I only needed to see the first sentence to know what it said,” I said with dawning uncertainty. Did I dare hope?


Holmes smiled broadly, birthing a surge of joy in my heart. “My dear Watson,” said he, “what have I told you about leaping to conclusions without possession of all the facts?”


“But you said you’d been an absolute fool –” I whispered.


Cheri,” he murmured, “would you like to know what the note said?”


I nodded dumbly.


“‘I have been an absolute fool,’” he quoted. “‘I should have known that there are no such things as unimportant trifles. The rock wall runs south to north, rather than east to west, as on the old deed. Meet me at the station; Lestrade is coming from London with a warrant. Bring a length of rope, at least fifteen feet, as thick as possible.’”


I laughed despite myself. “Well, at least you’re not the only absolute fool here,” I said, shaking my head.


“Really, Watson, I should have thought I had made my feelings clear last night,” he replied, flashing me a lightning-quick smile before growing serious once more. “And not only would I never treat you so shabbily, I certainly would not have left anything so – incriminating – upon a the mantelpiece of a room in a public inn.”


“I’m an ass, Holmes,” said I, as we walked back to the platform.


“Yes, Watson, I know. But I shall endeavour to look past your failings if you can look past mine. Ah, Inspector Lestrade! You have the warrant? Excellent. We have to take a small detour to the local dry goods establishment for the procurement of a rope, and on the way I shall explain how matters stand. You know, of course, that my client has been ….”




The Kentish train rumbled along back to London through the pouring rain, and Sherlock Holmes and I had a first-class compartment to ourselves. My companion sat opposite me, his elbows upon his knees as he leaned forward, puffing on his pipe and expounding upon the details of the case.


“Of, course, I should have suspected the chambermaid was lying when she said she had heard the shot. But when the evidence of the frayed curtain came to light –”


“For God’s sake, man! Are you made of stone?”


Holmes scowled sharply. “I should think that recent events would have proved otherwise,” said he.


“So how can you just sit there and talk about the case as if nothing has happened?”


Holmes raised an eyebrow. “My dear fellow, I thought I made it perfectly clear just how important last night was. After all,” he said quietly, “I kept telling you all during our … encounter … exactly what I’d wanted to tell you for years.”


“Holmes,” I said with some asperity, “you were swearing profusely in French.”


“You don’t speak French?” My friend seemed genuinely surprised.


“Not everyone is so fortunate as to have spent their childhood summers in Montmartre,” I replied somewhat impatiently. “Your grandmother Vernet must have been quite a woman,” I added.


“She still is,” he said. “I shall have to take you to Paris to visit her. But you honestly didn’t understand a word I said?”


“I understood some of it,” I admitted, “but I was slightly distracted, and, well, the heat of the moment, you know … I assumed you were cursing.”


“Ah. Another assumption. In fact, I was professing my deepest feelings, and you thought I was being a foul-mouthed blackguard, as well as a cad.” Holmes flashed me brilliant smile. “But, of course, my habit of cursing in Grandmaman’s language might indeed lead you to that assumption,” he continued, getting up and lowering the shades on both sides of the compartment before locking the door. “I rather think that I should translate some of what I said last night, since I did indeed mean every word.” He sat down beside me, and gently caressed my cheek, tracing a finger along my jaw, drawing my face to his. He kissed me, a soft, chaste, tender kiss. “Je t’aime,” he whispered. “I love you.” He trailed his lips down to my throat, where he delivered another sweet kiss. “Je t’adore. I adore you.” He unbuttoned my collar, and kissed just at the top of my breastbone. “Te sourire chauffe mon âme. Your smile warms my soul.” He untied my cravat. “Tes yeux placent mon coeur sur le feu,” he whispered, and began slowly unbuttoning my waistcoat, before starting on my shirt. “Your eyes set my heart on fire.” He un-tucked my shirt, pulling it and my waistcoat apart to lay bare my chest. Ton contact envoie des frissons en bas de mon épine,” he murmured, leaning in to kiss first one nipple, then the other. “Your touch sends shivers down my spine.” He caressed my chest with his lips and hands as I stroked his head, running my fingers through his raven hair. “J'ai t’ai aimé depuis le jour j'ai vu que toi,” he continued, kissing just above my navel as his nimble fingers undid my belt. “I have loved you since the day I saw you.” I gasped as he undid my flies and slipped his hand inside. Il est mon souhait plus affectueux que nous dormirons toujours ensemble comme nous avons dormi la nuit passée, mon plus cher Jean. It is my fondest wish that we shall always sleep together as we slept last night, my dearest John.”


Even in my current state of preoccupation, I caught the obvious impossibility. “Darling, not that I would dream of arguing with you, but that last one –”


Holmes smiled up at me angelically, my burgeoning rod trembling mere inches from his reddened lips. “You do not wish to share my bed?”


“You know I do,” I said quickly. “But you couldn’t have said that last night. We hadn’t –”


“No, that last phrase was not what I said last night,” Holmes said with a laugh. His grey eyes grew wide as he looked up at me earnestly. “I am saying it now. John, nothing would make me happier than to spend the rest of my life with you at my side. What do you say?”


I touched his cheek. “Say it in French,” I told him, and guided his mouth to my waiting prick. “But later.”



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