In this private journal, I have already noted the details of two particular cases which had little in common on the surface. I refer, of course, to the Adventure of the Amateur Mendicant Society and the Affair of Ex-President Murillo's Papers. More particularly, I refer to those cases' closets.
It is not unusual, in the course of our working together, that Holmes and I are required to travel. Moreover, it is a not infrequent occurrence on those occasions that we share overnight lodgings. It is only fiscally practical to share a single room at any given hotel or inn. It is a rare treat, however, when such accommodation affords the luxury of a built-in closet. Aside from being a conveniently out-of-the way place to store extra bedding and to properly hang one's attire at the end of a long and busy day, they have the additional benefit of being far sturdier and more practicable than an armoire.
I was not born an aficionado of cupboards, wardrobes, and other forms of cabinetry. However, those two aforementioned cases, coinciding as they did with such notable shifts in the relationship between Holmes and myself, have caused me to become something of a connoisseur.
Upon the occasion of which I write now, Holmes and I were staying in a largish country hotel of modern construction. The architect was clearly influenced by the style of Inigo Jones and felt the need, therefore, for theatrical touches such spiralling staircases, white-railed balconies, and Ionic columns. For reasons less apparent but in my opinion more pleasing, he designed inset closets in even the smallest of guest rooms-for surely the one Holmes and I occupied on that particular occasion could not have been smaller without being considered a closet in its own right.
I examined the closet in our room as I unpacked my bag and Holmes'. Holmes was impatient to get onto the case and went ahead to meet with local constabulary. Scotland Yard had alerted them to our impending arrival, and Holmes went to confirm it. I need not go into specifics on either the closet or the case. Suffice to say, the former was sturdily built and comfortable enough for my intended purposes. I smiled to myself and went to join Holmes and attend to the latter.
The fire was in Holmes' eye. I've seen it often over our years together, whether in the course of a particularly compelling case or in our private doings. Now, the former bled into the latter. The excitement of the chase and subsequent capture of our target had set both our hearts racing. Indeed, I could see the pulse pounding in his neck even at the distance from which I now regarded him. Adrenaline pumped through my veins as well; the chase had been quite literal and had required a good deal of swift footwork and physical exertion to conclude.
I had another sort of physical exertion on my mind as we returned to our hotel in the darkest hours of the night, and I could see from the glance Holmes shot me on our way up one of those spiralling staircases that his mind was on similar thoughts.
I have known Holmes go without speaking for days at a time when absorbed by a particularly puzzling case. It is my belief that his mind becomes so full of activity that words become an unnecessary distraction to him. Such it was with our love-making on many occasions, including the night in question.
Once the door to our little room was locked behind us, all decorum vanished in a heartbeat. His hands were on my shoulders, slipping my overcoat from my shoulders and dropping it to the floor. The room itself afforded minimal space for manoeuvring, and yet it felt too big to me. I wanted no space between or around Holmes and myself and it seemed even in the confines of that hotel room that there was too much. I tugged him towards the closet that I had inspected earlier even as I unbuttoned his waistcoat and proceeded to work my way down the buttons of his shirt.
Holmes did not protest, following willingly to my chosen location for our coupling. We shed our clothing in the short distance. Then I pulled him into the narrow closet and closed the slatted folding door behind us.
The darkness within was nearly absolute, but neither of us needed light to find our way around one another's bodies. Holmes' lips were upon mine in the moment the door was shut, his kisses hard and urgent. I returned them with ardour, my hands reaching up to lace into his hair. I grasped the fine strands and held him tight against me.
I could feel the heat and hardness of his passion, equal to my own, where our bodies pressed together along their length. I rolled my hips against it. A muffled sound of pleasure escaped between our mouths, but I could not tell you which of us made the noise.
His hands, that had until that moment grasped me so tightly at the shoulders, slipped downward to cup my buttocks. His fingers were long, lithe, and strong and they dug into my flesh with great skill. The sound that escaped this time was definitely drawn from my throat.
I felt Holmes chuckle deep in his narrow chest and brought my arms around him. I ran my hands down his sides and around his back. I shifted my kisses from his lips to his jaw, rough and unshaven at such a late hour, and then to his trapezius and supraclavicular fossa. He tilted his head back and to the side, affording me greater access to what I knew to be a particularly susceptible area. He shivered under my touch and suddenly pressed his hips so hard against my own that I was forced back against the wall. I was barely aware of the hard plaster against my back, so overwhelmed was I by the feel of Holmes' body pinning me there.
We moved against one another and I became glad of the architectural support as my climax neared. Blood rushed in my ears, drowning out the soft sounds of pleasure now emanating from us both. Holmes still kneaded my gluteal muscles, fingers honed by years of violin digging in more powerfully than any Turkish bath's masseur. And when one of those lissom fingers pressed against my anus, I could not hold back another moment.
My body stiffened in the moment before release took me and shook me to my core. I felt the pulse of Holmes' orgasm even while in the haze of my own. His hands ceased their movements, as did mine, and we simply grasped one another's posteriors and pressed our erections together. A tiny shift of Holmes' shaft against mine sent shockwaves through my already heightened senses, and I gasped his name. I was barely aware of his gentle shushing as the last of my orgasm slowly ebbed and sense returned to my addled brain.
As I returned to coherence, I was again glad of the wall at my back and the support of Holmes' hands holding me tightly, as I believe my legs would not have held me on their own. I felt the wetness between our bellies, slick and warm proof of our mutual spent passions. I opened eyes that I was unaware I had shut and met Holmes' penetrating gaze mere inches from my own. My pupils had adjusted and I found there was just enough light to see his eyes clearly. There was warmth in their depths, and mirth, and more than anything there was love. I hoped my own returned the same. I felt that surely, with as much deep affection as I felt for him, it must show plainly to the man who was both my lover and the keenest detective in London. Society forced us to keep so much hidden, but in these most personal and private moments, all our masks were obliterated. I smiled and saw a mirroring expression on his face.
Still without a word between us, he opened the closet door and, taking my hand in his, led me out of that deep darkness into a dim, predawn light that seemed to me like the warmest sun of summer.