"Silver Fox now in possession," intones my new assistant, Elisabetta, in her friendly, banal voice. Her eyes are trained on the small screen of her Blackberry. "C-19-A en route to drop-off point."
"Excellent." I lean back in my seat, not quite smiling. "Ring him." I hold out my hand as she dials, and lift it to my ear as it rings.
"You know, I expected one of you Holmes boys to ruin my holiday," Lestrade grumbles, "but I thought I'd at least make it out of the airport first."
"Ah, Detective Inspector." My voice is sickly sweet. "I trust your flight was comfortable?"
"Nothing a little scotch can't fix."
The edges of my saccharine smile curve up into something slight more authentic. "How delightful. And I see you found my driver."
"Kind of hard to miss," Lestrade says pointedly, drawing a chuckle from me. It wasn't as though I'd never had the man kidnapped before, after all.
"Superb. Consider him yours for the duration of your stay, of course. And I hope you don't mind that I took the liberty of booking you some more…suitable accommodations. You'll find instructions for dinner reservations on the desk in your suite, which you're free to ignore, of course, although I wouldn't; you're unlikely to find better cuisine elsewhere. In the wardrobe you'll find several suits, all to your size specifications, and in the top drawer of the nightstand I've had an assistant place a mobile with numbers for the driver and for one of my best personal assistants, who I hope you'll find satisfactory. Please, do feel free to call on them for any need you might have during your holiday."
There is a stretch of silence which makes my smile turn wholly genuine before Lestrade says, with something approaching trepidation, "Thanks? Might I ask what I've done to deserve…well, all of that?"
Tapping my fingers on the plush leather seat of my personal car, I suddenly frown. "There are very few people, Detective Inspector, on whom my brother can rely. The depths of my gratitude are boundless."
"Right." His suspicion pleases me endlessly. "I imagine there's a little more to it, of course."
"Sherlock underestimates your intuition, I'm afraid," I sigh. "Yes, there is something more. I do hope you understand that my brother cannot be left unattended for long."
"I'm only gone for-"
"Please, Lestrade, if I may call you that. I do not expect you to stay in his vicinity at all times. However," I take a deep breath, drum my fingers on the leather once more, "should he find himself in danger, or should he leave London unexpectedly, I would be remiss not to draw you away from your trip prematurely, would I not?"
"I see." Lestrade clears his throat. "And the, eh, grand gesture? I suppose that's meant to placate me, then?"
"I only hope you get the most out of however much holiday you've been afforded," I drawl diplomatically.
Lestrade laughs, and I can envision him shaking his head as he says, "Well. So it goes. This hotel got a pool?"
"Three of them," I answer. I hang up, pass the phone back to Elisabetta, and sigh. "Have them text me his whereabouts every quarter hour."
"Yes, sir." Elisbetta's eyes crinkle at the corners, and she says with something like a smirk gracing her pretty face, "Silver Fox, sir?"
I don't quite smile at that, though my left eyebrow quirks up quite tellingly.