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No Such Thing As 'Too Much'

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The woman stood completely motionless with her hands still on the wooden edge of the old furniture as she stared down at the content in the drawer. The only exception was the movement of her red lips when she pursed them. This day was seemingly not done with giving her new exciting realisations about what she was up against and this... This was a clue that was, to say the least, more familiar than she would have expected. She reached down and quietly picked up the unmistakable item from the drawer's wooden bottom. Her gaze swept slowly over it as she took it in both her hands and her fingers wrapped themselves around the fine black leather, an action creating the very familiar creaking sound that emerged when forcing the stiff material to move. The woman's eyes narrowed. Well, look at that...

The riding crop was in very similar style to her own with its fiberglass body leading down to a well-shaped handle, covered in finely cut leather and sewn together with exquisite precision. The woman's lips opened as she slowly raised the whip upwards from her left hand and then struck it down swiftly into her palm again, creating a muted but still very satisfying sound to the ears of the dominatrix. Even more so was the fact that when looking at the wrinkles and scratches in the black teeper at the top, it was clear that the item had been made usage off before. Not just that. Used multiple times...

The woman slowly turned around and stared at the man in the bed. He was lying more still now and breathed calmer, indicating that his mind and heart had also calmed down after her... well, let's say private treatment of him. The same couldn't be said about her own mind that was now starting to twist itself around its vivid speculations as her gaze shifted between the item in her hands and the detective. With all that she had seen during the day, it had started to get very interesting even before she found this; a well-used riding crop in the drawer next to his clothes. Now she felt the irrevocable curiosity starting to grow with furious speed inside her. It wasn't interesting anymore. It was getting irresistible.

Oh, what did a man like him use this for? As a weapon? As a device? Well, riding crops had been created with one obvious purpose. You beat objects with them, whether they were dead or alive, inanimate or human, whether it was with consent or without. He had clearly beaten something, so what did he beat? Or better; who did he beat? For work or for pleasure? Well, was there even a difference between the two?

People wanted to think that pleasure was complicated, probably to legitimise their own wicked minds behind the boring facades.

It wasn't.

It was simple.

Very simple, in fact.

People did things because it felt good. People did good things because it felt good to think that you somewhere inside actually were a good person. People also did, what they would call it, bad things because it felt good to screw other people over and hurt them, whether it was physically or mentally, and whether people tried to make themselves believe that they regretted it afterwards. Pleasure was never complicated; always simple. Either you liked it or you didn't and if you didn't, you didn't do it voluntary. People might say that they felt bad about what they liked but it never changed the fact that they did like it and acted upon that desire. Pleasure was in either case immensely motivating, so why not use it? That was why it was her primary guiding star, both for the purpose of her work and for herself.

She wanted to think that this man was as simple as everyone else in that sense, in his own way at least. Well, minds like his however weren't satisfied by just simple pleasures. They wanted more, craved it most times even more than life itself. Oh, she if anyone would know how that felt. Nothing was too much. They could continue for ages, constantly crave more until their bodies couldn't handle the consequences of those desires anymore. The detective was well aware of what he could do, how far he had to go to find stimulation and exactly how he would find it. Had he followed these impulses that she knew he must have, he would definitely not have been staying on this side of the law. What was really the fun in being good, especially as a genius? The other side could always offer so many more options for brilliant unsatisfied minds.

Stepping over the edge was so easy.

Very simple.

Always simple...

Just ask Dr Faust.

But he didn't. For some reason the detective balanced on the edge but he stayed on the safe side. The good side, the boring side, and that... That did confuse her. What was it that stopped him? Was it the good doctor? In that case, what stopped him before Dr Watson? The Ice Man and his concern concealed by well-formulated threats? Or was there even more to him than they could ever see, not even the brother? In fact, had they really been able to stop him at all? Oh, what was actually going on in his mind, behind the polished facade, behind everything that was supposed to be law and order, or at least organised chaos? An excruciating mess of brilliance too large for all ordinary people to understand. A conundrum, a case, one that she was becoming eager to solve.

The woman's eyes narrowed again as her fingers caressed the black leather in her hands.

Oh, you dirty boy...

Who are you?

What are you?

Do you beat for a purpose or just because it feels good?

Is it both?

Why is that?

Why don't you choose?

The woman breathed out heavily again as her shining eyes widened. This game was starting to turn into the most intriguing one she had played in a long time. She was not only prepared but also excited to play it fully, totally, with all the resources that she had. She wanted to beat him at his own game. Beat him badly (certainly metaphorically, literally at best) and break him down into a million pieces if necessary and dissect every single one of them. The purpose was clear. The victory in itself against a worthy opponent and then the reward of the solution. Oh, she wanted to know, so eagerly wanted to solve the mystery of this complex construction of a human being and understand what he really was.

Her eyes closed again and she was back in her detailed fantasies. It wasn't the same picture as before that now appeared however. The detective was no longer on the floor below her, prostrated under her compulsion. He was standing opposite her, staring at her as she stared back at him, both outdoing each other with just their gazes, just like they had this afternoon. She kept wondering: How ruthless was he really? How wicked? Maybe even more than he was clever?

He was a mystery.

He was her equal...

Not a plaything.

A playmate...

Suddenly she found that she wasn't standing anymore. She was on the floor, on her knees and she was unable to move, locked down by restraints that she couldn't see or feel. The detective was now staring down at her, his grey eyes scrutinising her with all their sharp focus and burning intensity.

Stop boring me...

He was the one holding the riding crop now...

In reality, the woman was still clasping the item tightly with both her hands. Her grasp hardened, her fingers were now almost shaking from the pressure. When she opened her eyes again, there was no excitement left in the looks she sent the still unconscious man on the bed. Not even arousal. Only raw and untameable desire...

Thud!

The sudden loud noise echoing from the kitchen made the woman snap out of her thoughts and her gaze darted towards the door again. She could hear the doctor curse under his breath but the sounds soon died out again. They were replaced instead by the sound of the detective's increasingly distressed movements and deep breaths. The signs of impending consciousness weren't hard to recognise. Realising immediately what it meant, she frowned grimly. Time was running out.

The woman urgently put the riding crop back in its place and closed the drawer with a swift but soundless movement. Just as quietly, she ran over the floor towards the window again, opened it and started to climb back out into the now pitch black London night. The window felt smaller now than before, totally unreasonable as she of course had entered in a much larger garment than she wore now. The difference was that back then she hadn't felt the seconds slipping away from her in a pace she couldn't control, possibly like the detective must have felt when he gradually felt himself loose sense of his muscles and consciousness on the floor in front of her while she took the opportunity of having her way with him.

She reluctantly admitted that this time it had been more down to luck than skill. Just when she started to climb down the ladder again, she suddenly heard the dark voice belonging to the man that she had visited quite thoroughly loudly yell the doctor's name. He still sounded delirious, agitated in his confusion, pitifully small in his screams after "mummy" after the scare of the very realistic nightmare which he had experienced. But he was awake, his incredibly observant mind finally starting to re-establish its connections with his previously numb senses. It would be utterly foolish to underestimate his skills, even in this state. The woman was many things. One of them was not a fool. She needed to act quickly.

The woman immediately let go of the ladder and dropped towards the asphalt. The distance to the ground was slightly higher than she had expected but she didn't have time to be taken by surprise by this or feel the slight pain in her legs that the impact caused. Instead, she instantly ran on her bare feet to behind the wall of the neighbouring property. Making sure she hid from any possible view, she pressed her back against the rough bricks and listened to the indecipherable murmurs heard from inside the room she just had left, as well as the pounding sound of her racing heart beating furiously in her chest. The woman breathed deeply and let her head fall back against the wall. She closed her eyes and snickered soundly. Well, wasn't this a successful day? What now was waiting was work behind the frontline, plotting in the shadows and wait for the next confrontation. When that was, when it was time to meet him in person again, possibly with him actually aware of her presence this time, that only time could tell. Yes, until then, she just had to wait. Except, she didn't want to wait...

The woman released a breath which she now realised that she had been holding. Had it been tempting? Oh, yes... Almost too tempting to stay a while longer and finish what she had started. Crossing the line was what she did and had done many times. So why did this feel different? Why did she feel that she hadn't had control over her loss of control, the dominatrix with her subject below her, always well aware of which boundaries she consciously chose to step over? The beating of her racing heart continued to echo in her ears. The feeling now in her chest was strangely unfamiliar. Malicious and at the same time shy, both satisfied and completely starved, daring but still absolutely terrified. Only one thing was she sure of; that she wanted more.

The dominatrix took out her phone from the strap on her bare leg, chose the number to the other phone in the pocket of the coat she had left in the room and typed the text quickly. Six words, one sentence, the content just a slight tease of what might have happened and what was to come... Till the next time... She pressed 'Send'. The other phone would have received it within a matter of moments and with that, she had sent the first of many reminders that he would not be allowed to stop thinking about her. Oh, definitely not now when she had started to enjoy thinking about him, finding herself locked again in the thought of how their game of wits would play out.

The woman glanced down again to her thigh, looking at the camera phone whose hard material felt cold against her skin. Her invaluable resource, her protection, her life... She removed it and opened the start screen reading the message of its status of security.

 I AM

[][][][]

LOCKED

She snickered as the idea came to her. It was as ridiculous as it was brilliant and therefore perfect for this particular game. They say that you should keep your friends close but your enemies even closer. People were always more willing to see what they liked, saw this over everything else, and the detective liked enigmas, just like she did. Therefore, she had to play with what he couldn't understand in the light of this: that the most difficult mysteries always had the simplest of answers. Place the solution too close and the observer has no possibility to set the right focus to see clearly. He was going to try to make his focus be as sharp as a diamond shard. He could try, she would make sure of it, wanted to make sure of it. What was possible that she could do to him the next time they met, and what could he do to her? Delusion, humiliation, locking the handcuffs and throw away the key.

Everything...

In the end, she was a woman that foremost liked to enjoy herself and pleasure was what she always desired and craved. She desired this game and craved the solution to the enigma that was his existence, locking her down until she had found satisfaction.

Yes... Locked...

She looked at the device in her hand again. It wasn't a lie. Just a disguise spiced with a bit of truth.

Irene Adler laughed. She could already see it. One day... One day, when this was over, they were going to stare at each other and one of them was going to beg the other for mercy. That would be the day when she would have solved the mystery that was Sherlock Holmes.