Alrighty, folks! Here ’tis…yet another chapter.
This is my first self-edited draft of chapter three. I’m going through the entire story with Eva, over at the amazing blog Coffee, Classics, and Craziness, and she’s beta reading/editing the story for me, which is helping tremendously. Thanks, Eva!
Be sure to check out her blog, friends.
I’ll be posting the final “edited” chapters on the blog’s archive, Wattpad, and Fanfiction.net soon.
Again, my usual disclaimer – I’ll spare you the details: No erotica.
There is a moment in this part where Irene tries to seduce Sherlock and he plays along to get information from her, but don’t be afraid.
On fanfiction.net, I have names for my chapters, and this chapter (chapter three) is titled “The Death of the Dominatrix.”
In fact, in this part I play with Irene’s character a bit more and pull on some strings we never really saw in A Scandal in Belgravia. Let me know what you guys think. I want this to be as realistic as possible.
I do detail the events leading up to a rape in this section. *gasps from my readers*
I don’t detail the rape itself, just the events leading up to it and the aftermath. I felt that it was necessary to the plot, and I understand some of you won’t agree, but this idea popped in my head, and I felt it would further the story nicely, so I went with it.
Also, sorry it took so long for me to post this; I start school tomorrow, and the last few weeks have been crazy.
Sherlock helped her as they made their way back to her room. She had her arm around his neck and was leaning on him as they slowly entered the suite. She was happy with the state of things.
As soon as Sherlock managed to get the door open, he strode over towards the bed and laid her down upon it. Propping her up against the pillows, he pulled down the blankets and covered her.
As he drew back, she seized his forearms to keep him from leaving.
Sherlock looked at her and saw dilated pupils.
He remembered how she had fallen on the sidewalk and winced when her back hit the ground. He decided to play along and try for information.
“Your ankle isn’t sprained.”
“Of course it isn’t.”
She pulled him down so that he knelt beside the bed.
“I’ve not the time for your trifles, Miss Adler.”
She sat up.
“Why not? Just one trifle?” she quizzed, reaching out and fondling his cheek.
He wasn’t sure what to do at this point. She pulled him closer so that his face was only inches from hers.
“Let’s have dinner,” she wooed.
His visage didn’t change. He just stared into her face unblinkingly. The moment felt strangely familiar. He remembered when they had sat like this by the fire at 221b, each one holding the other’s hands and getting lost in the other’s eyes. And she remembered, too.
She reached up and intertwined her fingers behind his neck. His mind warmed as he processed the fact that she trusted him.
Their noses touched.
Their pupils were swelling.
He would go no further, but she didn’t know that. Here he would deduce.
“Does it hurt when I do this?” he asked, his eyes steady and unblinking.
“Do what?” Irene asked, blissfully mesmerized.
He slid his arms around her shoulders as she inhaled expectantly. To her surprise, he pressed her right shoulder blade firmly with his thumb. As his fingers felt the flesh, he knew exactly why she had resisted the road’s touch only an hour earlier.
Shock chased the sensual emotion from her face.
She let go of his neck, inhaled as if she were coming up for water, and smacked him across the face.
He was not stunned.
“Don’t,” she spat, speaking the word as if it tasted foul. Her eyes were practically on fire.
Her nose flared. Her eyes were like dinner plates. She was breathing hard; not from arousal, but from anger. A bead of water formed in her left eye. Sherlock recognized her expression. It was the same as it had been when he revealed the code that unlocked her camera phone.
She said it under her breath. It was hardly audible. Barely discernible.
The bead let go of the lash and fell down her cheek.
She turned over and faced the wall.
“You don’t wield the whip anymore, do you, Miss Adler?”
“My dominatrix days ended the moment you confiscated my camera phone.”
“No, I mean you aren’t a dominatrix unprofessionally, either.”
“Who says I’m not?” she snapped, still facing the wall.
“The night you were beaten a few days ago.”
She froze. Words disobediently lingered at the back of her throat.
Then she laughed.
“You stupid man. Beaten? I’m not easily beaten. My shoulder is sore, and I prefer you keep your slimy hands off it. Which, if you agree to—,”
“No. You have scars on your shoulder blade. Your scapula is bruised from blunt force; it’s not sore.”
She pulled the sheets up over her shoulders.
“Self-mutilation, Mr. Holmes. It’s quite common.”
“A bruised scapula? With all due respect, even you couldn’t pull that off.”
She turned to face him. He thought she was going to cry, but she did not. She seemed to have read his mind, for she looked up defiantly, against any thought of tears.
“What happened, Miss Adler?”
She remembered two days ago. She remembered how she had eaten dinner at the hotel, and a man had lasciviously studied her from his own table. She was initially flattered. She had seen him before on the same floor as her, exchanging flirtatious glances as they passed in the hall.
He finished his dinner at the same time she finished hers, and he strode to the stairs as she made her way to the elevator. She had expected a sensual, mannerly invitation from him, but when he met her at her door and forced her into the bedroom as she opened it, she thought herself a fool.
She kicked him hard in the shins, and they struggled on the floor. She would not go down without a fight. She would be the one to dominate, not him. No one could make her do anything. She would master him and make him beg.
She drove her nails into his flesh, made him bleed, but he would not relent. She bit, scratched, pushed. Eventually, her blue, battered arms and bloody cheeks told her there was nothing left she could do. Her bedraggled hair fell over her eyes as she continued to pommel the assailant with desperate blows.
He was strong.
She wept, screamed, and was ashamed to find herself begging. Negotiating had never been her preferred weapon of choice. Nevertheless, here she was.
But the villain did not stop. He had a rope and a gag. He tore her dress and tied her arms to the bedpost. She kicked his stomach as he approached her. Her feet found their place with strength. Her left foot pommeled his chin. No, he would not, could not do this to her.
When she didn’t stop struggling, he took a glass lamp from the nearby table and walloped her shoulder blade with the base.
It shattered as it collided with her fair skin.
The pain was like having a block of ice forced up her throat. She fell limp, sputtering in agony and lay like one dead upon the carpet.
It was the final blow.
She coughed up lungfuls of agony.
As if that weren’t enough, he rummaged through her closet for that dreaded object: the riding crop, and he used it on her just as she had done to others before.
By the time he had left her bedroom before the sun rose without so much as a goodbye, there was blood on the floor.
She lay there all the next day.
Like a ravaged piece of flesh.
Her body would not obey her commands. Her eyes leaked tears without her even wanting them to. She stared at the white ceiling, unashamedly naked, and let herself bleed on the carpet. She felt nothing. She felt like nothing. Everything was numb.
She relayed the account for him, but not the details.
Sherlock said nothing, but his eyes were sparking with empathy. He wanted to reach out and take her hand. To hold her. To caress her hair. To take her face in his hands and even kiss her. How he wished he could have. But how it would have lowered him. Sentiment was still a chemical defect, and it would never cease to be. He continued to stare at her in the silence that followed.
Their eyes met.
She saw the compassion on his face. She clenched the sheets in her petite fists.
“Don’t pity me, Mr. Holmes,” she spat, wiping her seemingly tearless eyes. She rolled over once more and faced the wall.
Domination was a blanket of firm, powerful security.
At least it had been.
With every fall of her whip-wielding hand, there was pain for them. Each time the leather strip hit the flesh, there was triumph in her heart.
She knew it was evil.
Of course she knew.
She was bad, yes. She was a bad, bad woman.
But the power, oh, the power coursing through her veins.
It felt something akin to the way a young boy feels when he plucks the wings off a butterfly. When he squishes an ant or crushes duck eggs for the fun of it. The power makes one feel alive, secure, masterful.
So felt Irene Adler.
She was the master, the conqueror.
But then to receive it.
To be dominated.
It felt like a thousand needles slowly being twisted into her untamed, unanswerable soul.
How she hated the victor.
“May I see it?” Sherlock asked, his tone gentle.
Irene turned to face him again.
“The injuries, Miss Adler. On your back. Let me see them.”
She turned toward the wall again and replied with a distant “help yourself.”
He pulled the sleeve off of her shoulder, confident she wouldn’t try anything stupid. What he saw confirmed his darkest suspicions.
There were scars from cuts the glass had made. There were welts from a riding crop’s leather strap. Her bone was swollen and bruised. When he ran his fingers over it all, she inhaled, but never winced.
He spoke at long last.
“I’ll make the tea.”
She fell asleep while he did so.
That night Sherlock found a cracked riding whip in the walk-in closet.
The next morning, Irene rose late and opened the windows. Sunlight streamed in, and she stared out at Berlin below. Tourists flocked around the Brandenburg Gate like moths around a candle.
Sherlock was on the floor, still sleeping. He hadn’t even changed for bed. His mouth was open, and he was barely snoring. She wondered if she should scare him and wake him up with a kiss. Then she thought better of it and left him alone.
Last night was still fresh in her mind. She let her hand run over her shoulder where he had touched the wounds there. Her face was unflinching and cold.
So what if he knew? So what if he knew she was not the irradicable dominatrix anymore?
She decided it wouldn’t matter so much. He might pity her, which could come in handy if she played her cards right.
But no, he wasn’t stupid. If his pity was of an advantage, she would have had her way last night. He was too good, and she knew it. He was an ally, and it was much better than him being an enemy.
Without a word to him, she went to choose her clothes and take a bath. Showers were never something she enjoyed, especially not with scarred flesh for a back.
She was done in no time, and came walking back into the room wearing a blue satin dress that concealed every inch of shoulder she had. She didn’t want him deducing anything else.
Scanning the suite, she found no trace of Sherlock. He was gone.
At first, she tried convincing herself it was a joke.
“Mr. Holmes,” she chirped, calling out with her hands on her hips and a wholeheartedly unamused grimace on her face.
Then she saw the note on the kitchen counter.
It was written by a hurried hand.
Received word from “our British government.” Off to who knows where. I thought I’d give you a quiet morning without any goodbyes. Hope the bone heals soon. Stay off it. You know what I mean. Try Aloe for the skin.
She ripped it in half, then in quarters, then into eighths, and finally sixteenths.
She stuffed the bits of ripped paper into the trash can and slipped on a pair of flats. Running hastily toward the door, she opened it and headed for the stairs.
He would not get away this easily.
The truth was, Sherlock had studied the science of sleeping, and as soon as he had realized that Miss Adler was awake, he assumed a position of repetitive breathing, open-mouthed snoring, and a relaxed bodily figure. He had not worn any clothes for bed because he had been awake for the entirety of the previous night biting his nails in a nearby chair whilst sipping a cup of tea.
From his chair he could keep an eye on her, and for the most part she had slept peacefully. Every time he glanced toward the bed, he felt a belt of horrid proportions tighten around his insides. His face was as emotionless as ever, but his heart was feeling many things.
It was all normal to him.
He felt both proud and annoyed with himself.
He was proud for having resisted all opportunities of expressing sentiment. It was a true struggle of his that he had carried since he was small. His elder brother had always teased him about being “the emotional child.”
Mycroft was always right.
On the other hand, he was annoyed with himself for his having let a rape victim fall asleep in his company without consolation after she had shared a personal story that he compelled her to tell against her will. She never had any intention of telling him. It was too painful.
How similar they were.
His thoughts recycled themselves all night.
Sherlock waited until nearly nine o’clock in the morning. It was then that he decided it would be better if he were gone before she woke. He didn’t want to talk to her, and he decided he didn’t want to be there when she spoke to him. He was afraid of what she would do. He had received a message from Mycroft during the ride back to the hotel the previous night that he was needed in Minsk in two days. Another terror cell had been located. Remembering this information suddenly, he found a few pieces of scratch paper on a complimentary notepad and scrawled the message with a black pen.
She rolled over.
He clutched the pen and scowled at himself. He needed to stop. He was being incredibly stupid. If he left now, she would hear the door.
So what if she heard the door?
She would go after him, ask where he was going, what he was doing, to which he would reply something incredibly plausible and utterly fictitious.
There. The solution was simple. Go and leave the room.
I can’t lie to her.
He had stumped himself. He had woven a noose and slipped his neck through it. Halfway between the bed and the door, he felt as if he were being pulled by both ends of the room. The blankets were rustling. She rolled over again.
He dropped to the floor and assumed the position of a sleeping man.
He dared not open his eyes as he felt her stand over his presumably unconscious form for a moment.
God in heaven, don’t let her kiss me.
Sherlock thanked the God in heaven.
The door to the walk-in closet opened and shut. Sherlock waited until he heard the bath water start and stop running before he stood up and briskly strode out of the room. His own suite was the floor below, and he needed to gather up his few belongings before hailing a cab out front.
It took him about thirty minutes to stuff all his ragtag clothing, toiletries, and necessities into the suitcase. He was a messy thing, and his items were everywhere. He figured she wouldn’t take such a short time as thirty minutes to bathe. Knowing her, she would most likely stay in for an hour longer.
Blood was pounding in his ears. He needed to be gone. Now.
He hailed a cab out front and ordered the driver to take him to Berlin Ostbahnhof Station where he would catch the ten o’clock train to Warsaw and then transfer to Minsk.
No sooner had Sherlock stepped into the cab than Irene had stepped out of the bathroom. She scanned the room, found the note, and declared him a bastard in her mind.
But she was clever.
If he thought she hadn’t seen the message “Minsk, brother mine. Two days. Let not your heart be troubled,” from a certain “MH,” he was dead wrong. She had glimpsed it on the taxi ride home. He had his hand over his phone, but she read it in the reflection of the window before he minimized it simultaneously. She had simpered at herself in the dark.
To the train station she would go.
She ran to the door, opened it, and raced to the stairs. She skipped multiple steps, nearly tripping in her foolish dash to the first floor. Irene ordered a cab as soon as she came to the door and practically screamed “Ostbahnhof Station, bitte!” at the driver.
Sherlock’s cab was only five to ten minutes ahead of Irene’s. She was sure she would catch him before he had gotten on the train to Minsk. She had to.
He was sure he would be on the train before she had even gotten out of the bathtub. He had to be on the train before she even knew he was gone.
When Irene made it to the station, the driver let her off as soon as he could stop, and she jostled her way through the crowd as only a European can. She walked with nearly four-foot-long strides on the left side of the queue and scanned the crowd for his face.
The trains heading east were the ones she needed. She found the right signs. There were trains to Frankfurt, Nice, Warsaw…Warsaw was east. Most likely he would take the next train to Warsaw and from there transfer to a different station. The European transportation system was immaculate.
A train came into the station with enough wind to muster the strength of a combatant hurricane. Her hair blew around in every which way, and she shoved it all behind her ears frustratedly. She searched the sea of faces, hoping for one with long cheekbones, defined nose, and a myriad of black hair.
She found him. He was looking at his phone with uneasy, shaking fingers. His face was expressionless as ever; oblivious to the wind from the train.
She didn’t want to give him the impression that she had frantically followed him, so she put her hands on her hips, composed her face, and took smooth, collected steps in his direction. She was directly behind him when she haughtily announced, “You didn’t think you’d sneak off that easily, did you, Mr. Holmes?”
His mind was halted in its tracks.
What! How? Oh, God, the woman was good.
He needed composure, so he didn’t turn around.
“No,” he drawled instantly, as if he knew she had been standing there the whole time. “I gave you about ten minutes, and you’ve made it in just under fifteen. If I’m being honest, I’m a bit disappointed, Miss Adler.”
She rolled her eyes in an exaggerated manner.
“I expected as much,” she mumbled, tapping the ground with her foot. “You could have at least said goodbye.”
He pursed his lips and clucked his tongue.
“Erm,” he lazily drawled again, as if thinking. He still did not turn around. His face was burning with color. “No, I didn’t really want to, to be honest. I’ve never been the best at that sort of thing.”
“Goodbye kiss?” she flirted, hoping for a bit of luck.
His mind was much too fast for his own good.
He saw her in a white dress before an altar. He was wearing a tux. Their ring fingers were encircled, their hands clasped in ardor, and he was kissing her with a passion under a canopy of flowers.
He shut his eyes to clear the image from his mind. He was slapping himself inside his mind palace.
“Even worse,” he replied, his head still buried deep in his phone.
She was annoyed. She took a few steps closer until she was at his elbow.
“God, I wish I were as interesting as that phone. What’s it say?” she peeped over his shoulder, and he snapped it shut, pocketing it as if the reflex were involuntary. She raised her eyebrows and purposely enlarged her eyes as he almost elbowed her in the face putting it away.
“Nothing of your concern,” he curtly answered, refusing to make eye contact. He reminded himself that resisting eye contact was key in this situation.
Her temperament was getting ripe with exasperation, and she wanted the attention she believed she deserved. He licked his lips and stared at the platform. When would the bloody train arrive?
“I’ll be on my way, then,” she droned abruptly, turning on her heel and taking a few steps away from him. He knew she wasn’t going to leave, so he waved his arm out to her in farewell and continued to wait on the platform for the train and barely replied, “alright then.”
“Oh for God’s sakes,” Irene turned around again and marched back towards him, his back still against her.
“Mr. Holmes,” she addressed him with her most assertive tone, to which Sherlock looked upwards, but still did not respond. His arms hung motionless at his sides and his eyes were fixed on the ceiling.
His resolve cracked.
“I’m sorry you were raped, Miss Adler,” he uttered suddenly, wiping the fury from her face as if it had never existed at all. Her eyes weren’t watery, but she was shocked that he had let the word “sorry” pass his lips. It was a word she thought him incapable of pronouncing.
“I didn’t ask you to be sorry. I told you not to pity me,” she replied with sharp clarity.
She meant to sting, but he was not stung.
“I know, but I—I do. And I’m sorry.” His heel turned. He was looking down into her blue eyes now, holding out his hand for her to shake. She took it in both her own and pulled him closer.
She brushed a bit of imaginary dust from his coat. He watched her curiously.
“And I forgive you, Mr. Sherlock Holmes,” she replied, lengthening the syllables of his name with her usual sensuous drawl. “I forgive you for being the most ridiculous, difficult, and arrogant idiot to ever walk the earth.” She stroked his cheek as he continued to look completely unaffected by her words.
That’s how she knew they were making effect in his mind palace.
The train rolled into the station, and the PA announced over the sea of travelers that the train to Warsaw was now boarding. She intertwined her fingers around his neck, teased a kiss on his lips then kissed his cheek instead.
“Not yet,” she chaffed, letting her hands find their usual position on her hips and stepping back a foot so she could look him up and down.
He was breathing normally now and found his cheek warmer than it was a few minutes ago. He chided himself for being so trivial.
“Have fun in Minsk, darling,” she added, before swinging herself around and strutting towards the front of the station.
Sherlock required no explanation. No, he wasn’t sure how she knew he was going to Minsk, but he always knew she would have figured it out. It came as no surprise to him.
And she was flattered that he didn’t ask questions. It made her cheeks glow. Indeed, he had expected it of her. What a clever man.
She stopped at the front while she waited for a cab and decided to send him a text.
Jusqu’à la prochaine fois, mon amour.
Until next time, my darling.
And on the train, Sherlock replied.
It made her smile.
Parting again for the second time in unknown circumstances, Irene Adler and Sherlock Holmes both walked in different directions, but they silently knew that their paths would undoubtedly cross again.
At least as long as they both owned a fully functioning mobile.
Well, there it is. Chapter Three.
I hope I didn’t scare any of you away from this story; let me know what you think below 🙂