In 1888 I briefly entertained the notion of falling in love with John Watson. He was fascinated by me, I knew, and although I also knew he preferred women, I was certain that with the right motivation, he would have made himself happy with a man. But I say briefly because it did not take me long to come to my senses and realize that I would ruin both myself and my steady dependable Boswell.
In 1891, having seen him safely married, I died. I realized almost right away that it was perhaps the biggest miscalculation I had ever made, for I had gravely underestimated the depth of his esteem and his capacity to love. No, John Watson had not gone and fallen in love with me, but I had made the error of assuming that love was a zero-sum game and that as Watson had given his to Mary, and that he would be quite content without me or mine.
And damn the man, I missed him.
So I came back and settled myself into a life of cases with the best man I had ever known, and physical affairs with men who caught my attention but little else, and resolved to be satisfied. Then I met Stanley Hopkins.
Hopkins was not what I was expecting. He was young and eager, bright and bold. At first, I thought of him only as a mind to mold and shape in my methods, but one afternoon I caught myself chuckling at a witty comment during an investigation and realized that I liked him beyond his usefulness as a rather clever police inspector.
I watched him carefully. Queer men hid themselves well and I had learned my lesson painfully and early when it came to affairs with the wrong men. But it did not take long for the small facts to present themselves and for me to infer that he was as queer as I was.
I wooed him subtly with practical advice on detection and compliments on a job well done. I spoke with him about cases and consulted as often as I could arrange it when I could in the south-east territory he worked most often.
On a rainy spring day in 1894, I made my move and caught his fingers with mine when I passed him a cup of tea in the Baker Street sitting room. He blushed and looked around. I smiled at him.
"This is unworthy of you!" he exclaimed.
I startled, for that was hardly the response I expected.
"My dear inspector," I replied. "Pray, accept my apologies. Viewing the matter as an abstract problem, I had forgotten how personal and painful a thing it might be to you. I assure you, however, that I would never…"
He looked unconvinced and frightened. "How did you guess?" he asked in a small voice.
"I never guess - it's a shocking habit. But I must confess, I've been at you awhile now. If you would like me to stop, only say so and I swear to you, you shall never have a moment of anything but the strictest professionalism from me, Hopkins."
He looked about the room, nervous.
"And the doctor?"
I sighed, he was not the first one to make that assumption.
"Watson is a dear friend, nothing more. He is not... unaware... of my preferences, but he is discreet and kind and was deeply in love with his wife."
He set his cup down. "So how does this work then? I say yes, we conduct our affair, and then go about our ways?"
"If that is what you would prefer," I replied carefully. Although I knew without a doubt that Hopkins was queer and that he found me interesting enough to bed, matters of the heart really were Watson's strength and not mine. I was in new territory. It was not what I would prefer, but I hardly was eager to lay myself out before him in such a manner.
"And if I don't?" The poor man looked as if he were facing a firing squad.
"I'm not one for promises, but for all that Watson describes me as clockwork, I do have the capacity to care, deeply, and I would not toy with another's feelings in so callous a manner."
He seemed to collapse for a moment. I rose from my chair and knelt at his legs. Seduction, I was familiar with, and although it terrified me, I was fairly certain I could bluff my way through the rest until I figured it out.
I slid my palms up the outside of his legs and tipped my head up to his. "But as to how this works, I'm quite certain you are aware of at least one or two ways that this works, and I'd be happy to show you a few more. We can start with a kiss."
He froze, staring at my mouth, then surged forward, toppling us both back onto the carpet. "Yes," he whispered over and over as he devoured my mouth. We lost some time and most of our clothes there by the fire, before I gained my senses and dragged us both into my bedroom.
What he lacked in finesse he more than made up for in enthusiasm and his refractory period was practically non-existent. I was quite pleased with myself for happening to develop feelings for him.
I let him press me into my bed and suck me down until I spent. He came with a cry and his own hand, his lips wrapped tight around me as I shot down his throat. But the man did not even grow soft before he was rutting up against my hipbone as I caught my breath.
"Good god, Hopkins," I chuckled as I licked into his mouth. He whimpered in response and held my shoulders down. I could tell he was desperate for me, but would not ask. Luckily for him, I enjoyed a good buggering and pressed my vaseline into his hand. It had been awhile for me and I had to work him with my hand thoroughly while he worked me open. He came, shuddering into my bed clothes and I only gave him a moment to recover before rolling onto my stomach.
Twice gone now, he managed slow down and enjoy fucking me without a hurried rush to the end. I encouraged him to pinch at my nipples and to reach around and allow me to thrust into his tight fist in time with his slow rocking inside me. He collapsed on me, after wringing orgasms out of us both and fell into a blissful sleep beside me.
In 1895, I finally understood why Watson had left Baker Street for domestic life with Mary Morstan. The chest under my fingertips may have been flat and a bit hairier, but the feeling of waking up beside someone certainly must be the same and I felt lucky to be experiencing it on a shockingly regular basis.