To Irene, red is the colour of life.
Red is energy, the very thing that keeps a man going. Red is what can cause a man to act on impulse, to indulge in their carnal desires and end up nothing more than a beast seeking their prey. Red is infatuation, the colour of love, the colour of fury, the colour of heartbreak, the colour that dances under the skin and dances along the surface when it is broken. Red is the colour of her lipstick, the colour of her nails, the colour that blossoms along her riding crop when a client demands more.
Red is passion, red is desire, red is life.
Irene is full of red, red, red.
A small bowl of strawberries sits innocently on the other side of the hotel room, and Irene lets her fingers trace along its brilliant surface, feels the firmness of the stunning red flesh that is scattered with pale seedlings. She plucks one delicately from the bowl between her index and thumb, and holds it up to the white wall, the brightness of the fruits flesh a stunning contrast to the harsh whiteness behind it.
The blankets of the bed behind her rustle and she smiles, her lips akin to a ruby bow, before she faces the consulting detective beneath the blinding white sheets, taking in his rumpled curls, the dazed morning look in his eyes, how he almost blends into the sheets. Sherlock glances around the room for a moment before his eyes settle on her, the fruit in her hands, the sheer gown that leaves little to the imagination.
She walks over, never takes her eyes off of him, and takes a bite of the strawberry. The fruit bursts onto her tongue, sweet and tart at the same time, not quite in season but enough to satisfy her tastebuds. He watches her the entire time, and for moment she wants to feel his pulse, the warm blood rushing through his body, settling on his heart, warm and alive and red, and doing it all over again.
In a flurry of movements, Irene slides onto Sherlock, still grasping the fruit between her fingers, and settles on top of him.
Her free hands moves to run her hand through his morning curls, but he stops it with one of his own. Their fingers twine together, her nails stand out against his pale flesh, and her skin sings from how warm he is, how wonderful and warm he is when he could have very well been bleeding to death on the pavement of St. Barts during a cold London afternoon.
Sherlock lets go, lets his hand fall to rest on her thigh, unconsciously grasping it, and she shifts closer to him, bringing the strawberry to his lips and offering her ruby smile that he's become familiar with.
His expression doesn't change, that blank look that doesn't betray any of his emotions, doesn't reveal any of thoughts that race through his mind, but his eyes are a little wider and his breathing is a little quicker, so she traces the strawberry across his lips, and he shuts his eyes, can't hold back the shiver that rushes through him as she teases the skin around his mouth, on top of his lips-
He's so warm.
Sherlock takes advantage of this, the way she admires every part of him, and flips them over in a ridiculously graceful manner. Irene lets off a huff of surprise, and watches as he takes the strawberry from her hand, gazes at it as though it were another one of his various experiments, before he throws it onto the other side of the bed.
Irene can't help the small laugh that erupts from her chest and when Sherlock does the same, she takes advantage of his joy to rest her fingers along the pulse that beats in his neck. He stops laughing and is still as she lets her fingers dance across pulse. She meets his eyes, a small smile on her lips, and brings her thumb up to caress the sharpness of his cheekbones.
"Now dear, what use are words when we have heartbeats?"
His eyes widen for a fraction of a second, and she meets him halfway.
The red fruit lies on the sheets beside them, seeping into the fabric, forgotten.