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Three Continents Watson

Chapter Text

Inventory of the private library of Saughton Hall -

...One small book bound with leather and inscribed, "Three Continents Watson: Being the Personal Adventures of John Watson", with a preface by his nephew, the late Sir Archibald Watson-Dalrymple, to wit:

 

"A Preface to the Work"

In the year of 18--, John Watson, the 1st Duke of Midlothian, 9th Earl of Saughton, 10th Viscount of Cammo,  and 11th Baron Saughton, laid down the pen with which he'd recorded his many adventures, never to pick it up again.  The personal loss to his family was deeply felt and the esteem of his country amply demonstrated by the scores of mourners who saw him laid to rest beside his beloved husband, Sherlock Holmes-Watson.  Although increasing age may have reduced his public appearances, his energy had been tirelessly spent in the service of the county and the kingdom, and his greatest satisfaction was that he had lived long enough to see his grandson stand for Prime Minister, as well as the passing of several Acts granting greater freedom to Omegas.  A tireless campaigner for Omega Suffrage until his death, my uncle always said that he was more proud of the awards bestowed upon his husband, Sherlock, than of the accolades that he himself had received.  Perhaps this was one of the reasons why Sherlock Holmes always called his husband "the bravest and kindest and wisest human being I have ever had the good fortune of knowing" and "the one fixed point in a changing age". 

Among John Watson's possessions at the time of his death were many unfinished accounts of his adventures, which have since been completed and published by his youngest daughter, Lady Georgia Holmes-Watson.  However, there was another journal found locked away in a tin dispatch box at his bank, Cox and Co., a journal whose contents were of such a personal nature that even a quick perusal of them brought a blush to the cheeks of the young Viscount Cammo, despite his own nearly legendary amorous adventures.   It was decided between my cousin William and I that these stories should not be for general publication, to be pawed over for prurient reasons, but instead reserved for the adult members of the Family.  Therefore, these stories were privately printed, and that is what you now hold in your hands.  So, as you read these bawdy tales penned by the famous biographer of Sherlock Holmes, do not judge John Watson for his morals, but instead think kindly of him, for he was a good and kind man.   And, unexpectedly, a bit of a Casanova in his younger years.

Respectfully,

Sir Charles Archibald Watson-Dalrymple, Baronet"

 

 

 

Chapter Text

As I have said elsewhere, when I was born, I was the youngest of a lively brood of Watsons, and as I grew I knew myself to be cursed.  All of my siblings were tall - even the girls - and bonny, while I was short and of average looks.  They were all blessed with a ready tongue and a sharp wit where I was frequently at a loss for words.  My three older brothers tumbled in and out love - and in and out of beds as well.  My sister Helena had beaux by the dozens even though she was a Beta, and five offers of marriage before she turned eighteen.  Anne, who had survived scarlet fever as a child only to gradually fade away from its ravages, had an ethereal sort of beauty like the angels.  Even Harriet, my younger sister, had only to show her face to put all the Betas and Omegas into a tizzy.  Whereas I was...John.  Short and ordinary and tongue-tied,  and a bloody awful dancer as well.  My partners at the local balls and fêtes found me disappointing company for I had not the skill to turn a pretty phrase or the grace to guide them in a dance.  As for experiences of a more carnal nature, I had not the address to coax a warmer response from a coy lad or maid, to entice them into my bed.

My brothers looked on me in despair, offering advice that failed to help.  My elder sisters petted me and cooed reassuring words of "someday" which only made me feel worse.  And Harry - well, she laughed and teased me; for all that she was two years the younger, she had tumbled her first stable-lad by the time she was fifteen.

As my mother had planned a professional life for me, in due course I went off to the Royal High School in Edinburgh a virgin and returned the same.  I made friends there, but not of the intimate sort, and we were watched so carefully that I could not have sought the tuition of one of the town doxies even if I had known how to manage the matter.  And so I entered University at Edinburgh  with my sabre still unloosened from its sheath and gloomily expected that I would return home in the same condition.

In Edinburgh, however, and in particular around the hallowed halls of learning, there were much riper opportunities to experience the more carnal side of life.  And there I encountered a different sort of Beta from the lasses and lads of the countryside surrounding my home.  These lustful creatures had a keen eye for the young and innocent, and to them I was like a Christmas pudding, just waiting to be plucked.

Lest the reader worry on my behalf, let me add that these were not the common doxies of the street, those who needed every farthing they could scrape together for their doss and gin.  Light-skirts like those needed an experienced man who knew where to put his prick to get off quick so they could be off to their next customer, not a green lad who required schooling.  Neither were they the barques of frailty who decorated the boxes at the opera and theatre, for those beauties lay in wait for men of fortune who could set them up in pretty little houses with smart carriages and sparkling gems.  The penniless younger son of an Earl was not a fish to be lured to their nets.  Nor were they the clever offspring of knowing landladies, looking to hitch their wagon to a fortune by trapping the unwary scion of a noble name into marriage.  A second son might suit their purpose, but a fourth son was unlikely to inherit more than the clothes on his back and an honourable name.  No, a young lad who was destined to be a country doctor was not meat for their tables, and if I had known of this, I would have been thankful.  But I was as innocent as a newborn babe, and I had no idea that my lack of a settled future was my safety.

There were, however, those who dwelt among the artisans and craftsmen in the semi-respectable areas of town, for whom pleasure was amusement alone, and who had the patience to take a hapless and innocent young Alpha into their bed for the sole purpose of shared pleasure.  These were the singers and dancers and models, those who enjoyed their professions and didn't yet look for the security of a wedding band and Funds to support their old age.  Bohemians, a later age would call them, those who lived for beauty and pleasure and love.  And I was fortunate enough to fall into the company of such a pair before I had quite got the nerve to approach a nunnery for the relief of my virginity. 

I met Kitty and Kyle at a card party given by my older brother, Charlie, who was home on leave after passing his exams for lieutenant.  My father had prevailed upon him to spend his leave at Saughton and, as we had just lost George to a naval skirmish off of Flushing, Charlie had agreed.  He had secured a snug little house near port for his stay, shared with two fellow lieutenants, and it was there that he had invited me on an evening in late November.  As I had nothing better to do until exams started, I agreed to attend.  I had enjoyed myself, for the most part, for the company was jolly and the wine was good.  At the moment, I was being rather badly fleeced by a Captain Sharp, had I but known it.  I was debating whether to stake my watch and chain on the hand I held which, while not excellent, was the best I'd had all night when a cool hand caressed my cheek, drawing my attention away from my cards and up to a pair of merry brown eyes in the prettiest face I had ever seen in my short life.

"Upon my word," this Vision said softly, as his fingers played in my hair, "you have sat for too long, sir, and would be the better for a bit of fresh air."

I blinked up at the young man, then glanced back at my cards which looked even worse than before.  However, James had always been insistent that if one's luck was out when playing cards, it was fatal to abandon the game for one was sure to come about.  "I - but I - "

A pleasingly plump little arm was laid across my shoulders and a soft fragrant cheek pressed against mine as a young woman peered down at my cards.  She sighed.  "Cry surrender, young sir, and come away to the dance floor." 

I looked between my seducers, awe-struck by their attractiveness.  A striking pair they were, favourite models of the local artists, and like enough that they could have been taken for brother and sister, although they were not.  Feeling a trifle intoxicated between these two lovely persons, I found myself folding my hand and rising from the table in their company. 

"But I don't dance," I managed to say as each of them took an arm and pressed their fragrant bodies alongside mine.

"Better and better," said the young man, leaning closer to nip at my earlobe.  "Come with us, fair sir, for we have a snug little billet with much better wine and food only a few steps away."

"My brother - I should bid farewell - "

The woman smirked and pressed a kiss to my cheek before turning my head so that I could see Charlie, ensconced in a chair with a pretty young woman in his lap.   "He has already sought other company.  Come, for the night winds onward and dawn is but a few hours hence."

I resisted a little bit longer, although I wanted to give in.  "We haven't been introduced."

"For shame, sir!" the young woman said with a dimpled smile.  "Your brother introduced us several hours ago.  I am Kitty, and this is Kyle, and you are John, Charlie's younger brother."

I relaxed although I didn't remember half of the folk I'd been introduced to over the course of the night, and I let myself be persuaded to leave in their company.  I felt little fear of danger to my person for I had no coins of substance to tempt a thief, and I had faith in my ability to hold my own in a scuffle, and I had the belief of the young in my own invincibility.  I also had the thought that since my luck with cards was out, my chances at love of the carnal kind might have improved.

This was proven true for scarcely had the door shut behind us before I was beset, fore and aft, by twin pairs of arms.  The lovely young man assailed my mouth, breaching the barrier of my lips to commandeer my tongue, engaging in such a battle that I forgot the basic need to breathe and found myself light-headed.  His fair companion had not been idle as she stripped me of my coat and tossed it over a chair, then did likewise with my cravat and waistcoat.  Then she attached herself to my back like a leech and, in a similar manner, began to suck upon my neck.  My knees gave way which delighted the wicked pair.  Each took hold of one of my hands, drawing me with them into the bedchamber.  In very short order, I was divested of shirt and smalls, then I found myself tumbled onto the bed with an equally naked pair of hosts.

What we did together while entwined on that couch of pleasure cannot be fully detailed on these pages, partially for decency's sake but also because I had not the words to describe it when I finally set pen to paper.  Suffice it to say that I had never known that acts of the flesh could be so varied and so pleasurable.

[Editor's note:  At this point, there is a message written in the bottom margin of the page in another hand which reads: "What utter rubbish!  John, this missishness does not suit you!  If you intend to document these events in full, then do so!  You have certainly proved that you have both the knowledge and the words to convey such activities.  SH"  The story then continues on the next page.]

Once they had borne me down onto the bed's soft surface, they set about quickly bringing me to ecstasy so as to take the edge off of my eagerness.  Kyle's mouth mapped that most private part of me before engulfing my prick to the root in such a manner that I nearly fainted from pleasure.  Kitty, meanwhile, set about learning the rest of my body with her hands and tongue, wringing pleasure from me with every skilful move.  I tried to contain my ecstasy, embarrassed that I should display such loss of control so quickly, but so earnest were they in the application of their skill that I was soon lost.

After I had been restored to a semblance of my senses, my fair teachers began again, slowly and in concert, and they encouraged me to play along.  Neither of them felt a particle of shame for their nakedness, and in their company I soon learned to delight in my own.  They revealed to me the sensuousness of my own skin, tracing lines with fingers and tongues down my chest and stomach, over my back and buttocks, encouraging me to laugh when tickled and moan when pleasured.  They showed me where to touch them as well, Kyle guiding my eager hands and tongue in discovering the mysteries of Kitty's intimate areas, and my triumph in feeling her writhe under my touch was that of an artist gazing upon his masterpiece.  For the first time in my life, I sank my prick deeply into another body, feeling the heat surround me as I learned to bring a woman to ecstasy.  I found my own release in the clenching of Kitty's body around mine and in the sound of her cries, and then collapsed onto the bed beside her, spent but content.

They were not finished with me, though, this wicked and talented pair.  Kyle, who had been such an excellent tutor as I rutted with his partner, now moved to claim his reward.  In short order, as I sought to regain my wind, I found myself assailed in the most intimate and pleasurable fashion.  He knelt between my spread thighs and pressed his slick fingers along the crease behind my balls and then slipped a finger inside.  I gasped at the foreign sensation, wriggling a bit at the discomfort, only to find that the strangeness faded as the pleasure began to grow.  His fingers moved in and out of me, first one and then two, and I felt my body open to him like ripening fruit.  My prick, which I had thought well-pleasured and spent, began to fill and rise again.  Kyle chuckled at that and leaned down to press a kiss to the head, then shifted my legs to his shoulders and pressed inside with his slick cock.  The intensity of pain/pleasure took my breath away, and I cried out before Kitty rolled over to capture my cries with her kisses.  And then Kyle began to move, and I lost my senses completely. 

When I came to again, I felt as if my very bones had been liquified, as if pleasure had burned out every nerve in my body.  It was a very good feeling, and I longed to learn more of this Great Mystery.    My two tutors were very amused at this, but were very willing to teach me all that they knew - only not, of course, in one night.  Many was the time I returned to their home for more instruction, and was welcomed.  These lessons, I found, were much more to my liking than those of the classroom and I was in great danger of abandoning my medical studies completely.

And so there came one evening when Kitty kissed me on the lips and gently informed me that they were going to Italy for the winter, and that it would be best if I didn't return to their house any more.  I accepted this decree with equanimity for my heart was not engaged, and I was eager to test my newly-gained knowledge with new partners.  And so we parted, and it would be many years before I saw either Kitty or Kyle again, under vastly different circumstances.

Chapter Text

As I have said elsewhere in my published journals,  I transferred to the 66th Regiment in August of 1812.  I was sad to bid farewell to my former comrades in the 5th, but I was eager to see more action rather than return to England.  Life in the army as an assistant surgeon suited me down to the ground, for there was nearly always something to be doing.  I enjoyed the practice of my medical knowledge and surgical skills, even though they were often performed under grim need.  But there was adventure to be lived and comradery to be found, and I had found it more to my liking than England.

The only fault I had to find was in company of a more intimate kind.  While attending my final medical training in London, I had become accustomed to the ease of acquiring partners to ease my baser needs.  Although on rare occasions I had sought company among the higher class nunneries where willing betas were to be found, I had discovered that the rooming houses for medical students provided a cleaner and more satisfactory hunting grounds for pleasurable company. 

During my first years in the Peninsula, I had found myself too busy to need more than my own hand for satisfaction, but as I became accustomed to the routine, I discovered a return of my libido.  I also discovered that, as a medical staff member, i was in a peculiar situation.  It was not a matter of the presentation or gender of partners, for we were all Alphas and Betas, but rather that of rank.  Common soldiers found relief among their own ranks and with the camp followers.  Officers generally had their spouses following the regiment with their personal goods, or they had Beta-friends among their fellow officers.  As we medical officers were neither fish nor fowl, we were quite on our own. Our Primary Surgeon in the 5th had been both married and a Methodist, and as he discouraged such pursuits of the flesh among his staff, we had to take matters into our own hands or find relief during our infrequent leave.

Upon joining the 66th, I found that my situation in this regard was much improved.  Dr. John Murray, our Surgeon, was a man of a different stamp entirely.  He was a fellow Scot, not uncommon among the army, and as convivial a man as could be found.  He was also a great one for the telling of bawdy tales and the assuaging of the body's needs, and he encouraged his staff to do the same.  Dr. Henry, the other Assistant Surgeon, certainly followed his lead, tumbling headlong into love and lust with one Spanish Beta after another, and sporting with his Portuguese man-servant when between them. 

And so you might ask what I did to ease my own lusty needs?

The Division was preparing to leave Madrid to prepare for Winter camps, and new recruits were being integrated into the ranks of veterans.  Promotions were also being handed out, and injured soldiers were assessed for return to service or shipment to the general hospital for the region.  One of the men in our little regimental hospital was a Sergeant William Murray.  He was a genial fellow, well-liked by the rest of the regiment, and laid up by a bullet wound to the leg.  He had recovered well but retained a limp, and as he hobbled around the infirmary tent, he tried to make himself useful to the medical corps rather than being released from service.  As his father had been an apothecary in Aberdeen, he was quickly able to secure a place as a dresser and hospital mate.  He had a deft hand with dressing wounds and was unaffected by the most horrific injuries, and there was rarely a day when I didn't bless his presence.  He was always there to assist when I needed an extra hand.  And that was not the only thing that Murray attached himself to, as he was willing to lend an extra hand in places other than the hospital tent.

On my third night with my new regiment, I was preparing my pallet for the night when Murray stuck his head into my tent and gave me his usual cocky grin.   I could see by his damp hair that he had availed himself of the nearby river for bathing, as I had done earlier, and the lamplight made the water droplets gleam like rubies in his ginger hair.  The sight was a particularly fine one, and as it had been several months since I'd last found pleasure with another, I felt my member stir eagerly.

"What then, Murray?" I asked, hoping that one of the patients didn't require my assistance that evening as it appeared my hands would be busy elsewhere.

"Just thought that you might need a hand setting up your bed for the night, Doctor John," Murray replied.

I was so relieved not to be called back to duty that I said the first thing that came into my mind, namely that I had just finished setting up my bed, which could be plainly seen.

Murray's smile widened and he pulled the door flap open wider to step inside.  "Then perhaps you'd be wanting help in mussing it up again?"

I was unable to formulate any sort of reply for all my blood had abruptly moved downward, making my smalls uncomfortably tight.  Murray's eyes traced the flush down my chest and fixed on the swell in my breeches with an avid interest that kicked my pulse into a faster pace. 

"Or perhaps you could use my assistance with that swelling, Doctor.  It looks right uncomfortable."

"That it is," I managed to say with what few brains remained in my head.  "A helping hand would be most appreciated."

As I have said earlier, Murray was very willing to lend a hand - or a mouth, which was equally as skilful in drawing out the painful swelling that had infected me. We shed our restrictive clothes and tumbled back on my pallet where he proceeded to pleasure me until I shuddered under the delightful cataclysm of orgasm.  Once I had recovered my senses a bit, I was pleased to return the favour, using the skills taught me by my first lovers and improved upon since.  Murray seemed surprised by my attentions although I soon rendered him incapable of thought.

It was after, when we lay side-by-side on my pallet,  recovering and cooling our heated flesh that Murray spoke up.

"There's no need for that, sir," he said quietly.  "What you just did."

I rolled onto my side, propping myself on an elbow so I could look down at him, frowning slightly as I did.  "Did you not - good God! I didn't mean to force myself on you!"

Murray reached up to hook a hand behind my neck, pulling me down for a kiss.  "Don't be an arse.  Sir."

I frowned.  "None of that, Bill - not here.  It's just John."  I paused.  "You do wish to continue, don't you?"

In response, Murray kissed me again, which I found so satisfactory that I instigated a second round.  Still, when Murray left me for his own pallet, I was quite sure that he had misread my interest and resolved to speak with him at length about becoming my Beta friend during our service in the regiment.

The next day, our regiment was given new orders to relocate and all the medical personnel spent the next two weeks preparing our patients, either to move to the hospital or to rejoin the regiment.  There was little time to exchange more than a few words with Murray across a patient, and I was later told that my temper became quite short.  Finally, one afternoon shortly before we were to march, Murray pushed me into a darkened corner and dropped to his knees, applying his mouth in such a satisfactory manner that I walked about smiling for the rest of the day. 

The march was long and arduous, but at the end of it we were settled into the lovely little town of Don Benito, near the site of the battle of Medellin.  The locals greeted us with great warmth, as they had suffered much under the French, each of us being regarded in the light of a hero.  We were accorded the best housing in the village.  Our hospital was set up in a villa whose owners had fled during the wars, and there we made our patients as comfortable as possible.  I was pleased to have a private room with a real bed after months spent sleeping on a rough pallet on the ground.

As we were sorting out our personal belongings and rooms, I found myself alone with Murray for the first time since our night together.  We had not had the time to talk about our tentative relationship and, if truth be told, I was still awkward with words.  So, choosing to use action rather than words, I grabbed Murray's travel pack along with my own, walked to my room, and placed both on the floor under the window. 

Murray had followed me, looking bewildered, and I turned back to him and pointed to the bags.  "All right, Bill?"

A smile blossomed on Murray's face.  "All right, John."

From that moment until that day in Toulouse when I took a bullet to the shoulder, we shared a bed as well as a great deal of pleasure.  And it was with genuine regret that I saw Sergeant Murray off with the 1st Battalion of the 66th on their voyage to the Americas, the last sight I ever had of his cheerful face with the riot of ginger locks above it. I have looked for his name in dispatches and news from the Americas, but I have not seen or heard word of him.

Wherever Bill Murray is, whether he lives in lusty bliss with a new partner or whether he lies under the soil, I hope that he knows that I think of him with great fondness.

 

 

Chapter Text

India!  Just the name conjures to my mind the exotic scents and sights of that place.  And the heat!  I had never known heat like that, not even during the few weeks we'd spent in South Africa on our way to India.   We do not have that sort of warmth in Scotland, and even the hottest summer months I'd known in Portugal had not felt like this.  The air was heavy with a wet sort of heat that wrapped around me, and in the afternoons it sapped all the energy from me, making me feel languid and dull.  It was only in the early mornings that I felt more myself, for even in the night, the air hung heavy with the slowly fading warmth of the day.

It was not only the heat that was strange to me but the scents that hung in the air and permeated everything.  At home, the crisp Scottish air held little of the exotic but rather an all too domestic odour, particularly when the breeze came off the home farm or stables, but it was familiar to me.  During the war, the stench of blood and sickness had become more familiar to me, even above the tangy scents of oranges and limes.  Here, the smells of the domestic animals were overlaid with heavy perfumes from the exotic flowers, and with the pungent fragrance of unfamiliar spices from the marketplaces and cook-fires.  It was like walking through an exotic fairytale, and it stirred something deep and strange within me.

It was this exoticness that led to my next romantic entanglement -  that, and the lassitude brought on by the heat.  Not that I have any regrets, then or now.

Following my injury in France and during my lengthy recovery in England, I had had little interest in activities of a sexual nature.  I had been relieved to find that my libido returned with my rising spirits as I joined my new battalion and prepared to take ship for India.  I mourned the loss of Sgt. Murray then, although I found enough agreeable company both in England and in Southern Africa to suit my needs.  However, upon arriving in India, my first few months there were too full of marching and tending to the wounded and sick to be interested in the needs of flesh, save for sleeping and eating.   I had little time or inclination to miss the sure hand or mouth of another partner.

It was only after we settled at Dinapore, which looked to be our home for the next few months, that I began to feel restive.  The heat seemed to have the same affect on many of my fellows, the rising temperatures generating an equal rise in our libidos.  Dr. Henry, our second surgeon, tumbled head over arse for the lovely Beta daughters of the local British planters, while others in the regiment pursued the offspring of their fellow soldiers or the native merchants.  But my eyes were drawn in another direction, one that was new to me.

I was drawn toward our hospital commander, Major James Sholto.  An Alpha.

It wasn't that he was attractive - well, it wasn't just that he was attractive.  I  had been around other Alphas who were just as good looking and I'd never before felt the slightest inclination to dip into that particular pool.  Indeed, it was very rare for an Alpha to take an interest in another Alpha, no matter their gender - too many territorial instincts to overcome, and shows of dominance had never appealed to me.  But there was something about Major Sholto, something different.  He treated the medical staff with politeness instead of the barely-concealed disdain of many of the regular officers.  He always took our medical decisions seriously instead of arbitrarily removing the men under our care so they could report back to their units to swell their numbers before a fight.  At the same time, his authority was clear in any of his encounters with anyone who dared to cross him.

Which, perhaps, was part of the attraction. 

On those steamy afternoons when we could do little more than lie on shaded porches under the gently wafting fans of the native servants, I found my eyes drifting toward the Major, who always managed to look cool and collected.  He was a striking figure, and more than one of the Betas in our company or among the women let their eyes drift in his direction.  Not that the Major ever appeared to notice.

But he did notice me.  And I noticed him noticing me.

I was aware, of course, that there were others around us who would also notice unless we were very discreet, for there are always people who are bored or malicious, hungry for new gossip - and romantic trysts were their favourite food.  While an affair between two Alphas was not illegal (unlike between Omegas), it was slightly scandalous, particularly as Major Sholto was my commanding officer.  I had no desire to see either of our names bandied about like a nine-days-wonder.  So I was cautious in my watching of the Major.  The early mornings when he was inspecting the hospital and the patients was safe; as 1st Surgeon, it was part of my duties to follow him and make note of his orders.  It was a duty I could have shared with Dr. Henry, but as he was not fond of mornings while I preferred that part of the day, we had agreed that I would take morning rounds while he took the evening ones.   The Major didn't show any sign of surprise at my constant presence at morning rounds, but the one time I was obliged to change schedules I found him to be taciturn and short-tempered for the rest of the day.  This was generally attributed to the miserable heat, but the next day when I resumed my usual schedule, his temper was much improved despite the day being no less hot.

This was very encouraging, and it seemed that the Major was as interested in me as I was in him.  So I pondered what tactics would serve best to draw Major Sholto into my bed.  Ever since Kitty and Kyle had taken me in hand, I hadn't had to pursue partners - they tended to pursue me instead.  Perhaps this had given me an inflated sense of my appeal or perhaps the Major was more reticent.  In any event, I found the challenge irresistible. 

This seduction proved more difficult than I had thought, however.  The Major didn't seem to catch any of the subtle hints I dropped.  I touched his arm to gain his attention during rounds and let my hand linger a little longer than proper but this advance was not followed up by the Major with a suggestion to discuss the patients in private, as one might expect.  So I ventured to suggest a private tête-a-tete in the form of afternoon tea in my rooms, which he declined.  Casual suggestions of strolls through the markets fell on deaf ears, and he disappeared for solitary walks right after supper before I could suggest any activity that might end with us in bed together.  I thought about taking a page from Bill Murray's book, letting the Major discover me in his bed, but I had the feeling that he would politely excuse himself and go sleep elsewhere.  After about two weeks of this I was about to admit defeat when I overheard two of the ladies complaining about the heat to one of the wives of a local planter, how they couldn't sleep because of it.  Her advice sparked an idea that I hastened to put into effect that very evening.

As usual, Major Sholto attended the evening meal at the Mess, which usually sat about a dozen officers and their spouses, as well as single officers like myself.  And Major Sholto.  As usual, the Major excused himself from the usual evening entertainments - cards, games, singing and dancing - for a solitary walk.  I lingered long enough to be sociable, until after the evening entertainment had begun, so that it would not be noted when I left, stepping out onto the verandah to smoke a cigarette before slipping off into the night.

The guest house occupied by the medical staff was empty, as I had known it would be.  Dr. Henry was courting one of the Beta daughters of a local planter and had been invited to spend the weekend at their house.  Our assistant surgeon was much entranced with our dresser and spent much of his free time in the young sergeant's bed which was located in another building.  The few others sharing the house would be occupied for many hours with their entertainments, which suited me down to the ground as I had Plans.

A  small pitcher, a bathing tub filled with cool water, and towels were waiting for me when I reached my room, as I had requested.  I opened the windows and doors to let what little breeze there was flow through, making sure to secure the netting over the window openings.  The door I left invitingly ajar.  I set the stool inside the tub and removed all of my clothing except for my linen drawers.  I felt self-conscious about my shoulder as the scar wasn't particularly attractive on first sight, but then I arranged the stool so that my uninjured right shoulder would be visible from the doorway.  I sat upon the stool with the sponge from my wash-bag and waited.

It wasn't very long before I heard the Major's tread on the verandah downstairs.  He had a very distinctive tread, firm and measured, but not as heavy as you'd think for such a tall man.  I soaked the sponge in the water and squeezed it over my head, allowing the cool water to cascade down my back, and I gasped at the delicious coolness of the water on my overheated skin.  Why hadn't I thought to do this before now, on all of those nights when I'd lain awake, too hot and frustrated to sleep?

"Watson?"  The Major's voice sounded from just outside the door, clearly concerned by my startled gasp.  "Are you all right?  Oh!"

I turned my head, slowly and deliberately.  Major Sholto was standing in the open doorway, starting at me not unlike a starving man at a banquet. "John," I said.  "You should call me 'John' in private."

I lifted the sponge again, this time sending a trickle of water down my right shoulder and chest, and I watched the Major from the corner of my eye.  His eyes were locked on the rivulet of water as it slid down my sun-darkened skin, making the right nipple rise in a tight bud at the sudden chill.  He moaned, a helpless sound that appeared to rise from deep inside of him, and I smiled, slowly and with as much seductiveness as I could manage.

"Come in and close the door - James."

Major Sholto surged forward as if unable to control his body a moment longer, kicking the door shut behind him.  He dragged me up from the stool, pulling my body tight against his, ignoring the dampness of my skin that soaked his uniform.  His mouth devoured mine, demanding entrance, and I surrendered willingly.  It was a novel sensation, not being the aggressor, and one I had not experienced since Kyle had first bedded me.  I revelled in it.

Sholto released my mouth in favour of mapping my face and neck with his lips and teeth.  "John," he said hoarsely.  "I want - "

"Yes."  I wasn't certain what I was agreeing to, only that I wanted more and now, anything and everything.  "God, yes!"

We made our way to my bed, stumbling and graceless for neither of us wanted to release our hold on the other for a more dignified journey.  It seemed to take ages to cross the short distance, but at last I fell back upon my bed, pulling the Major - James - down with me.  He was still fully dressed although I did my best to remedy that situation; his coat was easily cast away and his shirt quickly followed, but neither of us had the patience to strip the clothes from his nether regions. Instead, I tore open the front fall of his breeches and grasped the heated flesh so exposed, causing James to shudder and swear before tearing loose the drawstring on my drawers,  a feat made more difficult by their dampness.  At last it was achieved and, with a triumphant sound, James returned to my embrace. 

The press of our heated and naked flesh together was bliss; I hooked an ankle around his hip to pull us closer together, relishing his helpless moan before James began thrusting in earnest.  I could tell that it wouldn't take long for either of us as our long-denied need set us both on the knife-edge of arousal.  I pulled James' head back down to mine, claiming his mouth as aggressively as he'd taken mine earlier.  He gasped and moaned under the dual onset of my mouth and our pricks, his body jerking against mine and I felt the first hot splash of his climax against my own flesh.  That was enough to send me over and I tore my mouth free as I gasped for breath while shuddering in my new lover's arms.

We lay there for several long moments, catching our breath, before the Major stirred as if to leave the bed.

"Stay," I murmured, tightening my leg around his hip to keep him in place.  I knew that we would need to move before long, both for comfort and discretion, but one lesson I had learnt well was that one should not rush away from post-coital bliss (unless one was in imminent danger) and this was a lesson to which I adhered.

Major Sholto had apparently not had the same calibre of teachers that I had, for he stirred again, more strongly.  "Watson," he began.

I pulled his head back down and kissed him silent.  "John," I reminded him when I allowed our lips to part.  "Or I shall be forced to call you 'Major' in bed."

He was startled into a laugh, then sighed.  "John.  I cannot spend the night in your bed, much as I would delight to do so."

"Of course not," I said calmly, reassuring him that I was not hurt by this candour.  "But our house-mates will be a while yet at their pursuits.  There is time for you to kiss me and tell me what a splendid lover I am."

Sholto laughed again, a true and deep laugh, and stopped resisting my hold.  "I wouldn't dare, for fear that I would swell your ego at your prowess.  I was warned about your reputation, you know."

"A reputation fairly earned," I admitted with a grin, "although the tales are more lurid than the truth."

"You would not be a proper soldier if you didn't boast a little," Sholto agreed.  "And now you have added a third continent to your tally."

I couldn't help blushing a little at that and Sholto kissed me again.  Then he fixed a sober look upon me.

"I am glad that you forced my hand in this matter for I must confess that you have occupied my thoughts almost entirely of late.  But John - "

"Hush," I said, placing my fingers on his lips.  "I know what you will say and I agree.  We must be discreet."

Sholto nodded.  "And I cannot offer you more than what moments we can snatch during our posting here."

"I hardly imagined we were going to retire from the army and take a cottage by the sea together," I replied tartly, stung by the inference that he thought I would demand such a pledge from him.

As if sensing that he had hurt me by his words, he kissed me again.  "My practical Watson.  Very well.  Since you have carried out a brilliant campaign thus far, I will admit defeat and leave matters in your hands.  I am yours, John, when and where you will, and for as long as this lasts.  And when we do at last part, I know that we will remain friends."

I agreed, and with that assurance I released my hold on him.  Major Sholto bestowed a last affectionate kiss on me before extricating himself from my embrace and, after a hasty wash with my sponge, gathered his clothes and departed.

And I lay where I was, watching and storing up images against the day when we must go our separate ways, content that it was some time in the future.  For now, I had the anticipation of many more nights like this to think about, and with these happy thoughts I surrendered myself to the dreaming world.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Something  woke me in the middle of the night.

I lay still for a few moments, trying to determine what it was that had awakened me.  There was a faint sound, one that could have been the wind off the moors or the sound of someone weeping, but it was too faint to determine its origins.  The room was dark but I could detect no presence other than myself.  And Sherlock.  Who was clearly lying awake beside me.

I turned onto my side facing in his direction and saw in the dim light from the fireplace that, as I had sensed, Sherlock was lying awake.  He was, in fact, lying on his side facing me, as if he had been observing me in my sleep. Before I could find out what was wrong, he deduced that I'd met with Beryl Stapleton earlier that evening.  For a few minutes, I thought that I was about to be subjected to a jealous rant, but I should have known Sherlock better.  I did know Sherlock better, as he knew me.  When he told me that I was his only friend, I was so moved that I took his hand.   There was an odd look on his face, one I'd only seen before when he was confronted with an entirely new sort of information.  I wondered if he'd made a break-through in the case, and if he was at the point of sharing it with me.  Or if he had had a nightmare.  

"What is it, Sherlock?" I asked quietly, so as not to disturb his thought processes.  

"I was thinking about what I said earlier, about Miss Adler," Sherlock said, in equally low tones.

That was the last thing I'd expected, and I felt a rekindling of the dissatisfaction I'd experienced this past week at the idea of Sherlock being interested in that Woman.  "Oh really," I said sourly and prepared to turn over and return to sleep.

"It occurred to me that I was committing the folly of making judgements in absence of facts," Sherlock continued, and I was curious enough to remain where I was in order to hear him out.  "I fail to understand why Miss Adler does as she does, and I am also at a loss concerning Mrs. Stapleton's actions.  I believe that this is because I have no experience with physical pleasure, thus I fail to understand the allure.  I can, of course, rely upon your own considerable knowledge in that area to augment my deficiency, but having knowledge second-hand is vastly different from having personal knowledge."

I tried to follow this rather tangled logic but it was late and I wasn't at my sharpest.  "What are you talking about?"

"I am saying that I wish to make a claim of my own."  Sherlock tugged at my hand, pulling me back into the centre of the bed.  "I believe that it is time for us to consummate our marriage."

I believe that my jaw dropped and I could certainly not arrange a coherent answer.  I am dreaming, I thought.

Sherlock frowned.  "You say nothing?  I thought you would be pleased as it has been some time since you have enjoyed physical relations.  In addition, Mycroft reminded you that we need to consummate our marriage to avoid challenges," he said peevishly.

This familiar tone of voice shook me from my daze.  "I have to tell you that was not the most romantic proposition I've ever heard," I said drily.  "And bringing up your brother at such a jointure could be considered poor planning on your part."

Sherlock's frown turned to a scowl.  "Well, how am I to know how to do the thing?  I have no experience in such matters!"

I was reminded of my own inexperienced days, when my address was woefully inadequate, and of my first teachers.  And I felt a warm something inside, an instinctive Alpha urge to possessive the Omega who was my husband and mate.  I leaned closer to Sherlock and saw my husband's eyes widen in surprise.

"Then let me teach you," I murmured, in the deepest and most seductive tone I knew.  "Let me show you the pleasures of intimacy.  Let me give you the knowledge you seek, carnal knowledge of the flesh, so that you might better understand the motives of others."

Sherlock's pupils had nearly swallowed the colour of his eyes.  "Yes," he breathed.  He swallowed, and my eyes dropped to watch the movement of that slender throat.  "Yes, John.  Please."

That was enough, and I shifted a little closer so that I could press my lips against his.  His response was tentative - not shy, for Sherlock could never be that, but inexperienced.  But I had several lovers to my credit and three continents worth of experience with men and women, and I knew how to coax a kiss, how to employ a series of soft pecks interspersed with longer kisses to soften a mouth and warm it.  Soon enough Sherlock was returning my kisses with enthusiasm.   It encouraged me enough to ply my tongue against his lips, coaxing them open and then skilfully taking possession. His response was everything I could have wished as he grasped my shoulder with his hand to pull me closer.  I was more than willing to oblige, and I thrilled to feel the evidence of his interest becoming firm between our bodies.  My own body was responding in kind, eager for coupling.

But this was no skilled lover or momentary conquest, to be enjoyed with a brief tumble.  This was my husband, and a virgin, to whom great consideration was due.

I eased back, far enough that I could see his face clearly in the dim light.  Sherlock protested, his mouth blindly seeking mine, then his eyes flickered open.

"John?"

"Slowly, my dear," I said.  "Pleasure should be sipped slowly at first, not gulped down."  I leaned forward, not to kiss his lips but his cheek.  His skin seemed very warm under my lips - not fevered, but as if his rising passion was lighting him up inside.  It was intoxicating, the taste of him, and I let my lips map his face, pressing kisses over cheeks and chin, forehead and eyes, before going back to his mouth.  Sherlock shivered and moaned under my lips, and the sound hooked itself to something inside of me.  I wanted to hear him make more of those sounds.  I wanted to taste all of him.

Once again I pulled back, but this time sitting up and turning to face Sherlock.  He opened his eyes again, slower this time, as if drugged by my kisses, questions forming in his eyes.  I plucked at the collar of his nightshirt.

"May I remove this?"

In reply, Sherlock sat up, untying the neck and pulling it off over his head before turning to me.  "Teach me more."

Obligingly, I pushed him flat and bent my head to press a kiss to his collarbone.  His skin tasted exquisite and I couldn't help sucking a bit on the flesh, enough to leave a slight bruise.  I let my mouth travel over his skin, taking particular care over his nipples.  Some of my male lovers had liked to have attention paid to these nubs, and I was delighted to find that Sherlock was one such. In fact, the first time that I nipped and sucked at it, he gasped and his hands came up to clamp my head to his chest.  I couldn't help chuckling at that and transferred my attentions to the other with equal results.

"John," he groaned.  "More.  I need - "

"Yes, I know.  I know."

And, indeed, I knew what he needed.  The evidence of his arousal was stiff against my belly.  I couldn't resist the urge to look at what I had not even allowed myself to imagine.  Sherlock's cock was long and slender, like the man himself, and a little larger than was normal for an Omega.  The head was flushed and rosy and warm to the touch, for touch it I had to do.  I had never seen such a beautiful one, and I sincerely hoped that Sherlock would be as unconventional in bed as elsewhere, for one day I would like to feel that gorgeous prick inside me.  It had been too long since I'd experienced that particular pleasure.

But that was for another time.  Right now, Sherlock was panting under my hands and tongue, yearning for his first release at another's hands.  I bent my head and took his flushed cock into my mouth, using all the skills I had learned to give him pleasure.  Sherlock gasped at the first sensation of mouth on flesh, his body quivering with this new pleasure he was experiencing.  I had half-feared that he would declare the experiment too disruptive to his finely-tuned intellect, but it appeared that in this matter he was as human as the rest of us.  I sucked him and his hips bucked automatically, one hand tangling in my hair.  I welcomed the pull of his fingers as he sought out his pleasure, encouraging him to buck up into my mouth.  His body danced as I teased and sucked, a nearly constant stream of moans and gasps coming from his mouth.  I relished each sound, wishing only that I could see his mouth as I did this, could watch his beautiful lips redden as he bit them.  As I could not, not without releasing my delectable mouthful, I concentrated on other sensations.  My right fingers traced a line down his balls and behind, seeking out his most private place.  I found it wet to the touch already, his body beginning to produce the lubricant that we would need for me to take him, opening at the touch of my finger.  I slid one finger inside at the same time that I took his prick down to the root and felt his convulsive shudder as his climax began.  He shook with that most honest and shattering expression of pleasure, filling my mouth with his come, and I greedily swallowed him down.

After a few moments, before the exquisite pleasure could turn to discomfort, I released his prick from my mouth.  I wasn't ready to leave him entirely yet, so I let my mouth move in a leisurely but purposeful direction upward.  I was aware of my own need but equally aware that it wasn't yet urgent.  I could well afford the time to settle my partner before I sought my own pleasure.

Sherlock was still gasping and shuddering under me as my lips found his chin and then his cheek.  Blindly, he turned his face, his lips seeking mine, and I granted him that access.

"John," he said between kisses.  "I didn't know."

"Of course you didn't," I said fondly.  Despite his brilliance, there were some things that could only be experienced to be known.

Sherlock shuddered again and sighed, closing his eyes briefly before suddenly surging up and reversing our positions.  I found myself lying on my back, with Sherlock straddling my thighs.

"Let me see what I have learned from your first lesson."

I was more than happy to allow him to demonstrate his new knowledge upon me.  My night shirt was tossed to the floor.  Sherlock's dexterous fingers mapped my skin, his large hands stroking my prick with growing skill.  Not that I really cared how skilled he was, for it had been a long time since a hand other than my own had touched me intimately.  And then his mouth joined in, that talented and fascinating mouth, and I was lost.

When I had recovered my senses, I opened my eyes to find Sherlock lying on his side, watching me intently.  There was a smugness to his expression, and I couldn't help laughing as I pulled his head down so that I could kiss him.

"Well done," I murmured against his lips.  "I am clearly an exceptionally good teacher."

"Or I am an exceptionally apt pupil," Sherlock replied archly. 

I couldn't help chuckling at that, but I also retaliated by pulling his body tight against mine and increasing the intensity of my kisses.  Now that the edge had been blunted, it was time to teach Sherlock about the slow build of pleasure, the way to tease and tantalize a lover.  I loved this part of bedding a new lover, the slow discovery of their body, the mapping of all their pleasure points, and teaching them where and how to touch me.  Even if it was only for this night, I was determined to make the most of it, and to draw Sherlock back to my bed at his next heat.  I kissed and licked and nuzzled the most obvious places and then taught him about the back of his knees and the insides of his elbows and the nape of his neck.

"John," Sherlock said, and I could hear an urgent undertone to his voice.  I could feel his cock stirring against my belly and I was impressed by the speed of his recovery, although he'd had ten years to build up a thirst for sex.  What was even more amazing was that I appeared to be recovering right along with him, which was perhaps not a surprise as I had never abstained for so long since losing my own virginity.  I allowed my kisses to become more insistent, encouraging Sherlock to move against me, rubbing our cocks together.  Sherlock's breath caught on another of those exquisite moans, and then he was rolling onto his back, pulling me to lie a-top him.

"John," he said, even more urgently, spreading his legs to allow me to rest closer against him.  "Please."

Despite the lust that was already beginning to fog my brain, I understood immediately what he was asking for and I was all too eager too oblige.  (I will not say 'beg,' for I have been reliably informed that he does not beg.)  My own prick was as stiff as if I had not already come within the last hour, and to my surprise I felt the beginnings of a knot forming at its base.  I had never before formed a knot, but then again, I had never before had an Omega rubbing against my body, marking me with their scent.  I pushed Sherlock's knee back, lifting one long leg to my shoulder to provide better access.  My thoughts were far from clear but I had enough sense remaining to check that his body was ready for me.  Then, setting the head of my cock against his entrance, I leaned down to capture his cries with my mouth as I thrust home. 

Never had I felt pleasure so pure as what I felt in that moment.  Sherlock's body opened for me, as if we had been created for each other, and he was warmer and tighter than anything I had ever felt.  I would have worried that I was hurting him except that he was clearly not in pain or discomfort.  He was rocking up to meet each thrust, my name upon his lips, his own cock leaking copiously against my belly.  I found myself panting against his neck, longing to bite and suck at the flesh there, to mark as our more primitive ancestors had done , to show the world that I had claimed this man as my mate.  Reason managed to prevail, and I restrained myself to bestowing kisses and little nips to his throat and chin, as I felt myself hurtling towards my release.  And then he was shouting and shaking, coming apart in my arms, as his climax ripped through him.  I had barely enough presence of mind to wrap my hand around the base of my cock lest I inadvertently knot him and then I was coming too.

The next few minutes were a blur.  I collapsed against Sherlock, lying heavily on his chest, but there was no protest for Sherlock was completely insensate.  I could not yet rest, for I felt a bone-deep Alpha need to take care of my mate.  I forced my trembling limbs to obey me as I carefully withdrew from his body and fetched a flannel.  He didn't stir as I cleaned the worse of the mess, and then I abandoned such efforts and crawled back under the covers.  The last thing I remembered was pulling Sherlock close against me before I tumbled into an exhausted sleep.

**********

When I next woke up, it was still dark.  The candle had gone out, no doubt gutted in the stand, and the fire was mere embers.   There was also a lean and naked man straddling my thighs, stroking my cock. 

"Sherlock?" I mumbled, blinking to bring him into focus in the darkness.   It may be that the second syllable of his name ended on a moan, to which I lay blame on those amazing fingers.  I was amazed that either of us was conscious after that second round, much less that he had regained his excellent motor skills.

"Ah, John, you're awake.  Good."

Sherlock shifted, leaning forward on my chest, then back again.  Immediately, my prick registered that it was sliding into a warm and welcoming channel and I moaned again.

"What - are you - oh sweet God!"

"I should think that what I am doing is apparent," was his reply, his smugness showing just a bit of breathlessness, for which I was ready to credit the girth of my prick.  I dug my heels into the bed in order to push upwards, grinning at the slight yelp Sherlock gave as my cock bottomed out inside him.

"Yeah, pretty clear what you're doing," I said, trying not to sound as breathless as I felt for - oh jesu! - his body was just as delightful on this second tasting as it had been on the first.  "not exactly sure - how.  You should be sleeping for hours still."

Sherlock pressed his knees into the bed, slowly pushing up and away from my body.  "Sleep is boring."

I had to agree with that at the moment, for sleep was coming in a very poor second on the list of what my body wanted.  More and harder and deeper were all vying for first place in its stead as Sherlock's body pressed downward again, reclaiming its prize.  I was more than happy to surrender to him.  Sherlock's eyes were shut as he chased his pleasure but that left me free to watch him, drinking in each change of his expressive face.  Perspiration beaded on his skin, enhancing the intoxicating scent of Omega, and it was an effort not to grab him and roll over, then fuck him to completion.  I grabbed the headboard to keep away the temptation and Sherlock's eyes snapped open at my movement.  He stared down at me and I saw passion's fire burning behind his eyes as they locked on mine.

"John," he said hoarsely, leaning down to press a hard kiss against my mouth.

That appeared to be a trigger of sorts, for he began moving in earnest, riding my prick.  I bent my knees a bit to give him a little support and grasped his narrow hips with my hands, helping guide him as his movements became more erratic.  I could feel my own climax rising, could feel the pressure building inside, and I knew that a string of nonsense was falling from my lips.  Sherlock groaned and slammed down hard, and that was enough to trigger my release.  I was vaguely aware that Sherlock was coming as well, streaking my chest and chin with his come before he collapsed heavily down onto me.  I had enough remaining energy to wrap my arms around him, content to bask in the sense of well-being that exquisite pleasure brought.   Sherlock sighed contentedly as he turned his face into my neck.

"I believe that I have gathered sufficient data for now," he murmured against my skin.

"Good," I said drowsily.  "I don't think that I could survive another round of experimentation.  Not without a long rest."

"I should move - " Sherlock said, then grimaced and drew in a sharp breath as he attempted to lift himself off.  "What in hell - "

I frowned, sliding my hand between us to confirm my suspicion.  I'd knotted, and his last energetic thrust had forced my knot inside of him.   "Don't move," I cautioned, drawing him back down to rest against me. "It will subside shortly."

Sherlock grumbled but settled down, grimacing at my orgasm aftershocks, and sleepily closing his eyes.  Before long, his breathing evened out into sleep.  I lay awake for a while longer, cradling him against me and breathing in his scent, even after the knot shrank enough to release my cock from his body, until finally my own exhaustion pulled me into the arms of slumber.

 

 

Chapter Text

The ending of the Priory School case was bitter-sweet for all those involved.  Professor Heidegger was dead and all he had done was try to save a young boy.  James Wilder was exiled from his home, from his country, and from everything he knew - and yes, he had endangered his half-brother, but what must it have been like, to grow up in such a stately manor and know that, through no fault of your own, you were barred from calling it your own?  For myself, I wouldn't have minded being spared the yoke of inheritance, but would it not make some men resentful?  And the Duke himself, torn between two well-loved sons - how bitter to know that in order to keep one son safe he must let the other one go away forever?   Even more, to know that he was the cause of his own pain, from his heedless actions towards Wilder and his late mother.

The only one who seemed overjoyed with the result was Dr. Huxtable who must have been imagining all his blue-blooded students being withdrawn by their fathers.  The loss of one German master must seem trifling in comparison.

And Sherlock?  While he was smug about solving the disappearance and recovering the boy relatively unscathed, he too seemed unsettled.  I was certain that it was the loss of an innocent life that disturbed him, for although I had heard him say that caring about people would not save their lives, it seemed to me that he was not so callous as he would have others believe him.  So, once I had seen Sherlock consume a meal, I made our excuses and accompanied Sherlock to our rooms in the guest wing.

Wiggins assisted in the removal of our coats and boots, then poured a basin of water for Sherlock to wash in while he mended the fire before departing for the night.  Once Sherlock had washed, I availed myself of the warm water, happily washing away the day's dirt.  Although it might not be a common practice among my class, my years in India had instilled in me the habit of a nightly wash, and Sherlock was as fastidious as a cat in this matter.  I disposed of the used water out the window, then let down the sash and turned back to where my husband sat silently in a chair by the fire.  

"Are you troubled by Heidegger's death?" I asked bluntly, preferring to take the bull by the horns, for Sherlock's stillness troubled me.  He frequently lapsed into lethargy after a case although rarely this soon, and the unhappiness on his face seemed akin to those weeks when he was sunk in despair.

A slight frown creased his forehead and he said, "Heidegger?  Oh, the tutor!"  He waved his hand dismissively.  "He was an idiot."

"Right," I said, crossing my arms over my chest and glaring at him.   "And if you saw a young boy running away from school, out onto the moor at night, you'd just let him go?"

"Of course not.  I would have alerted the rest of the staff  - which would have been much more effective."

"So if that is not what is bothering you, what is?" I asked.

Sherlock hesitated, then said bluntly, "If Miss Morstan had been amenable to an irregular relationship, would you have agreed to it?"

"What?" The inappropriateness of such a question took away my breath, followed by a flare of indignant anger.  In polite society, one ignored any such peccadilloes of one's spouse, not that I intended to be unfaithful.  "No!  Of course I wouldn't!  How could you  - "

"The Duke did," Sherlock said, continuing as if unaware of my ire - which he possibly was.  Sherlock's understanding of societal conventions was abysmal, and he often ignored the ones he disagreed with.  "When he couldn't marry the woman he loved, he made her his mistress and sired offspring on her."

"And that offspring poisoned the Duke's marriage to Lord Saltire's mother!" I pointed out heatedly.  "Not to mention nearly killing the boy, so no, I don't think I'll be taking him as a role model.  Nor my late brother, thank you very much!"

To my surprise, the broody look on Sherlock's face disappeared, replaced by a look of curiosity.  "Your - ah, yes.  Sarah Martin nee Murphy," he murmured, then the frown returned.  "You're angry."

"Of course I am!" I snapped.  "Even disregarding the promise I made your brother, how could you think that I would mount a mistress?"

"If it had occurred before our marriage, no promise would have been broken," Sherlock pointed out with his flawless logic.

"Well, it didn't, and I wouldn't," I retorted.

"I am given to understand that Alphas have...needs," Sherlock said, a faint bit of colour touching his cheeks now.  "And yet you have not demanded your conjugal rights since we left Baskerville."

This was such a switch in subject that I gaped at Sherlock, struck to silence.  I didn't know quite what to say so I wet my lips with my tongue, trying to think how to respond.

"Nor am I likely to demand them of you in future," I finally said when I could steady my voice.  "When we were betrothed, you told me that you had no intention of sharing your Heats with me on a regular basis.  You said that you were 'married to your Work', and I agreed to respect your wishes.  I will never force you nor demand such 'rights'."   I wondered if Sherlock thought I had violated that agreement when we had coupled at Baskerville Hall and felt sick to my stomach.

"Don't be an idiot, John," Sherlock said, rolling his eyes at me, and immediately I felt better.  "If I'd harboured ill feelings, I would not have hesitated to tell you."

"Right," I said, relieved to hear this.  "May I ask why you've brought up the matter now?"

"Because I wish to amend the terms of our agreement.  Unless..."  He looked uncertain, and I could see a hint of the insecurity that at times seemed to take hold of Sherlock.  "Unless you aren't interested in sexual congress with me without heat."

I may not be as brilliant as my spouse but I'm not a complete idiot and I had a glimmer of where this was heading.  I stepped over to where he sat and bent down, pressing my lips firmly against his.  It had been several months since I had last kissed him with intent, and I made certain that he knew I had missed that privilege before I pulled back.  "It would be my very great honour to share pleasure with you whenever you wish, with or without Heat."

"Right," Sherlock said faintly and licked his lips, then cleared his throat.  "Take me to bed, John.  Please."

Never before had I removed my clothes with such alacrity, and Sherlock matched me, article for article.  We eschewed nightshirts, tumbling into bed together as naked as nature had made us.  Sherlock's response was just as eager as it had been in Baskerville, and the soft roundness of his belly ignited something primal and possessive within me.  I kissed him again and again, claiming his mouth until we were both breathless and aroused.

I pulled back just enough to study his face, admiring the flush on his cheeks and the sheen on his skin.  "What do you wish?"  I asked, tracing his swollen lips with the tip of my finger.

"Not knowing much about the matter, my answer will lack specifics," Sherlock said in response, nipping at the tip of my finger.

"Then be general.  Do you wish my hand on you?  Or my mouth?"  Sherlock's  breath caught and I grinned.  It seemed that we both remembered how much he had enjoyed my mouth on him in Baskerville, the first time he'd been brought to pleasure by another.  "My mouth, then."  

I shifted up onto my knees so that I could better accommodate him.  "Move up toward the headboard with a few pillow behind you.  That will be more comfortable for you, and you can watch easily."

Sherlock did so, reclining among the pillows and looking a bit like a rajah in one of those dirty books that one of our soldiers had unearthed while we were in India.  The evidence of his interest couldn't be missed, for his cockstand was fully erect, beckoning me closer.  I was not at all reluctant to obey the summons, closing my hand around his slender length before applying my mouth to the tip.  A moan escaped from Sherlock and his head dropped backward against the headboard, then snapped forward as he forced his eyes open, fixing on me as if determined not to miss a moment.  I couldn't blame him for such attention is extremely pleasurable, and the last time I had done this the room had been in near-total darkness.  

I raised my head, ignoring his muttered complaint, and said, lowly, "Keep your eyes on me.  Just. like. that."  

Sherlock swallowed and he nodded as if unable to speak.  Satisfied, I lowered my head and once more took him into my mouth, determined to give him as much pleasure as he could take.  For although I was willing to abide by his dictates regarding our conjugal relations, I would assuredly welcome more nights like this.  I was also enjoying the sight before me: Sherlock's slender body (too slender, still, but I had hopes that Mrs Hudson would help remedy it) was already vibrating under my sensual assault, his chest and his cheeks flushed.  He was intensely beautiful, utterly desirable, and I redoubled my effort to draw those breathy moans and pleasured groans from him.

As I took his cock in my mouth to the root, my nose brushed against the rise of his abdomen, the flesh that held our growing child, and I could feel a possessive growl rumble in my throat.  Sherlock let out a cry and grasped my hair with his hand, pulling me up and away.  Thinking that I had hurt or frightened him, I was ready to apologize but Sherlock scrambled to turn over onto this hands and knees, his plump bottom nearly in my face.  It was a lovely sight and I grasped his hips in my hands as I nipped at one of those beautiful mounds.

"In me, John, now!" he demanded, wriggling a bit in my hands.

As much as that idea appealed to me, I decided not to allow the opportunity before me to go to waste.  I spread his nether cheeks and bent my head, licking a stripe up the path in-between.  Sherlock yelped in surprise and then, as I continued laving attention on his most private part, let his forehead drop down to rest on the pillows and pushed his bottom back for more.  I was more than willing to comply, until finally my own need grew too great.  

Sherlock made a noise of complaint as I lifted my head from my pleasurable task, but when I shifted upward till my cock pressed against the area I'd just been worshipping, he caught his breath instead.

"John!" he said, pleading.  

I was in no mood to keep either of us waiting, pressing inside slowly and steadily, Sherlock's body opening eagerly to receive me.  It was every bit as hot and pleasurable as the last time, even without the heavy scent of Omega arousal.  (And how I had missed that? obviously I had been under the influence of both Sherlock's Heat scent and Stapleton's compound.)  Sherlock was making the most delicious sounds under me, wriggling and pressing back for more, and I was willing to accommodate him.  I set a steady pace, careful not to thrust too hard as Sherlock was unused to such activities and we would be travelling for several more days.  Sherlock would have none of it, however, growling and pushing back against me with every thrust while his hand worked his own member desperately.  I gave in, allowing my Alpha instincts to take over, claiming my mate again with every thrust.  

Sherlock came first, his body stiffening for a moment before spilling his release over his hand.  The feel of his body clenching around mine, combined with the months of abstinence, was enough to trigger my own completion, with a few short thrusts deep within his body.  And then I nearly collapsed onto Sherlock's back, the overwhelming pleasure of release combining with the exhaustion of the day to undo me.  

I managed to catch myself, pressing a kiss against the nape of Sherlock's neck and grinning at the mumbled response, for it seemed that my husband was already succumbing to his fatigue.  Then I carefully withdrew, using a towel from the washstand to clean both myself and Sherlock before tossing it aside and climbing into bed beside my snoring spouse.  I couldn't help the smug smile on my face as I pulled the covers over us both, hoping that Sherlock had been so satisfied by this evening's events that he would wish to repeat them.

And, as I drifted off to sleep beside him, I hoped that I had also assuaged his fears on the subject of my fidelity.  For, despite losing the love of my life, I could not help thinking that I had at least achieved some measure of contentment.
 

Chapter Text

After an uneventful trip back to Scotland, probably our last by sail this year as they predicted a blustery fall, we were back at Saughton and caught up in the feverish whirl of activity that was the historic visit of King George to Scotland. Not for the first time, I was glad that the Watson clan was a minor one and not expected to be part of the parades and military revues and such. I would have been even happier if I could have gotten out of wearing a kilt to the two public events that I had to attend, although at least I'd been forewarned enough to have mine made up before we went up to London.

Only...well, it was a boost to the ego to see the look of appreciation in Sherlock's eyes when he first saw me dressed in a kilt of the Watson tartan. It was for the levee at Holyrood Palace, the formal presentation of the Scottish Peers to the King, and Sir Walter had dictated that we dress in the highland kilt, a blue or red coat and waistcoat, and stockings. I felt a right idiot - until I walked out to join Sherlock and saw the warm look in his eyes. It was just a quick flick of his eyes from crown (a silly-looking bonnet with feathers to show I was a Clan Chief) to brogues and a few kind words, but it was enough to ease my worries and to put a bit of a spring in my step.

It had been a long time since I'd seen that sort of look in a lover's eyes.

Not that Sherlock could be called my lover, in truth.  He was my husband and we shared a bed, but he hadn't expressed any interest in resuming intimate relations since Helen's birth.  I accepted that easily enough for Sherlock's desire for sex had been infrequent and I knew that some Omegas rarely felt desire outside of their heats.  I relished his company more than I lusted for his body.  Besides, that wasn't the sort of feeling one expressed for one's spouse.

And then there was the Grand Ball where I once again donned the kilt, and I realized that I might have been lying to myself about that. 

Sherlock looked - incredible.  His body had nearly returned to its leanness from before Helen except for a rather appealing softening of the edges.  He was dressed in a tartan waistcoat with a white coat and breeches, with the Watson colours pinned to his shoulder and flowing down his back in a primitive sort of claim.  He also looked somehow bridal.  Ridiculous thought as we had made a child between us, but sometimes the mind can form strange ideas.

I could barely take my eyes off of him as he was whirled about the dance floor by one partner after another.  I partnered him for the strathspeys, of course - and then he grabbed my hand and dragged me onto the floor for a jig, despite my laughing protests.  I managed to make my way through it without tripping over my own feet or tripping anyone else, a little drunk on the wine I'd been drinking and the joy on my partner's face.  My body seemed to be unexpectedly aware of his, and I could see from the look in his eyes that he was aware of the direction of my thoughts, but I was content with just this amount of closeness to him and he knew that as well.  The jig was followed by a waltz and, after having had frequent practice, I easily swung him into the proper hold and whirled him about the floor. Sherlock was silent, his eyes closed, surrendering himself to my guidance with a level of trust that touched me deeply.

We left after that, for what could eclipse that happy experience?  Sherlock lay back in the corner of the carriage, his eyes closed, humming the tune of that waltz over and over again, and I watched him fondly.  If I could have no more than this for the rest of my life, I thought that I could find myself very content with that. 

"I do have one question, John," Sherlock said, rousing himself as we arrived home and I handed him down from the carriage. 

"Yes?"

His question was delayed by the need to greet Turner and to assure him that we'd had a lovely evening, and to surrender our hats and outer wraps to him.  As we ascended the stairs, Sherlock continued, gesturing in the general direction of my kilt.

"Does one wear smalls under that?  A breech-clout?" he asked.  "It has a rather intriguing sway when you walk."

I couldn't help blushing at the question and Sherlock stopped on the stairs, staring at me in disbelief. 

"No," he said, disbelieving.  "Really?  Doesn't it feel a bit...exposed?"

"A bit, but It's a rather interesting sensation," I admitted. 

Sherlock's eyes lit up with investigative fever and he grabbed my hand, tugging me up the stairs and into his bedchamber. 

"Let me see," he said, shoving my jacket off onto the floor and swiftly ridding me of my waistcoat as well.  He went to his knees to remove my brogues, setting them aside, before unfastening my garters and sliding down my stockings.  Then, still on his knees, he slid his hands up my bare legs and under my kilt, pushing up the fabric as he moved.

"Brilliant," he murmured, staring at my member framed by the folds of my kilt as if was as fascinating as a locked-door murder. 

It was a heady sensation, made even better when he leaned forward and took me into his mouth.  I gasped, my eyes falling closed against the pleasure of sensation, his mouth warm around me.  It was a pleasure that I had missed sorely over the past two years, for although I had done this for Sherlock several times, he had never seemed interested in doing it in return.   He was a bit clumsy at it but enthusiastic, employing hand and mouth to good effect until I had to tug his hair in warning.  He pulled back and glared up at me briefly before returning to his task with increased enthusiasm, and I groaned as I grasped his head for something to hold onto.  It wasn't long before I was spilling into his mouth, my body feeling as if it was melting from sheer pleasure. 

I staggered, nearly falling over, relieved when a little shove from Sherlock pushed me to the bed.  I fell back on it, revelling in the residual pleasure flooding through me, my very nerves singing with relief after more than six months of abstinence.

"Give me a moment," I managed to say, "and I will take care of you."  Fuzzily, I thought about touching his skin, taking him in my hand or my mouth, smiling at the idea - until another thought lit a fire within and was almost enough to renew my spent prick.  I shifted up on my elbows to look to where he was still kneeling on the floor, fastidiously wiping his mouth on his shirt sleeve, meeting his eyes.  "Unless you would like to have me."

Fire lit in Sherlock's eyes and his breath caught.  "You would allow...."  He swallowed hard and I could see that the answer was yes although he hesitated.  "I didn't think that Alphas allowed that."

"I'm not like most Alphas," I said, and held out my hand.  "Come.  Know me as I have known you."

Sherlock was on his feet in an instant, shedding the remainder of his clothes without a care as to where they fell.  I sat up fully, removing my shirt and sporran, but when I started to unbuckle my kilt, Sherlock stepped forward to still my hands with his own.

"Leave it on," he said, a bit breathlessly. 

I couldn't help grinning at that and gripped his hands to tug him close enough to kiss.  "We will need something to ease the way.  The drawer of my night table."

Sherlock spun on his heel, striding into my bedchamber and returning with the pot of salve that I kept for my solitary pleasures.  He set it on his night table and then stripped off his smalls and sat down on the bed, turning to me.  I could see that he was eager although more than a little uncertain, and moved up the bed so that I could kiss away his doubts and worries.  He had always been quick to respond to my overtures and this time proved no exception, and before long he was panting with need, his hands searching out every bit of skin.  He was so eager that I was half afraid that he'd go off before we finished, so I pulled back and then turned over onto my hands and knees.

"Get the salve, love," I said over my shoulder. 

Sherlock caught a deep breath, then grabbed the little pot and moved to kneel behind me.  His free hand smoothed over my kilt for a moment before flipping it up onto my back and then he drew in another deep breath.  "John," he said, his voice reverential.

"You will need to prepare the way," I said and he nodded, opening the little pot and dipping his fingers into the unguent. 

Clever as always, Sherlock knew what needed to be done to make me ready for him, and the feel of his fingers pressing into me eased an aching need that I didn't know that I had.  Before long, I was rocking back into his touch, swearing under my breath and a hair away from begging him to just take me, take me, take me.

I might have been saying that out loud for Sherlock groaned and swore, so unlike himself.  His fingers were shaking as he pulled them out, slicked up his cock, and then he pushed into me.  I drew in a sharp breath at the brief discomfort and then, as I relaxed, there was only the deep pleasure of it all.  Sherlock's face was buried against the nape of my neck and I could hear him muttering some sort of mathematical formulas, no doubt to keep from going off immediately. 

"Sherlock," I murmured, encouragingly, hoping that he would move as I could feel a deep aching want inside that needed to be fulfilled.  He drew in another deep breath, then pulled back and began rocking in and out of my body.  It was good - and then he seemed to just sense what else was needed for he shifted just a bit and there! I am not ashamed to admit that I cried out and pushed back against him hard, begging for more, and now, and Sherlock!

He wasn't far behind me, arms wrapped around my body as he continued thrusting while I found my peak, then shuddering as his climax hit.  Then he was collapsing onto my back, breathing as if he'd just run a race.  My arms collapsed under me and he followed me down, but that was fine because I was utterly spent and blissful and happy.  He made an aborted attempt to pull back, to ease away, but I was having nothing of it.  I kept his arms in place, keeping him from moving, and with a little sigh he gave in and snuggled closer.

Before long we would need to move, to disengage and clean up, to climb under the covers and sleep - and there was little doubt that my kilt was ruined - but for the moment, I needed to keep him within me, our bodies joined into one.  It felt as if nothing, and no one, could ever separate us.    

Chapter Text

Mary had left.

It might have been the quiet sound of the door latch or a log shifting in the fireplace, but something drew my attention away from the mindless bliss of kissing Sherlock.  He was less willing to disengage, muttering a protest and blindly seeking my lips again, and for a moment I delighted in the sight of a Sherlock who was not thinking.  But our kisses had ignited a fire within that needed to be quenched, and for that we both needed less clothes.

For a moment I thought about releasing Sherlock entirely, about taking his hand and leading him upstairs to our bedchamber where I would lay him down and seek our mutual pleasure under the covers of our marital bed.  But another, more primal, part of me wanted to have him here, in our sitting room, the private heart of our house.  A series of erotic images unspooled in my mind.  Sherlock, on his back on the rug before the fireplace, his skin rosy in the firelight's glow, his legs stretched heavenward as I plowed him.  Sherlock on his hands and knees on the sofa, trousers rucked under his knees but shirt and waistcoat still in place while I mount him from behind, just the drop-front of my trousers open to free my prick.  Sherlock against the wall, or on my desk, or pushing inside of me.  And I wanted that, all of that.  Not the reserved and respectful relations with a spouse, but the heated and deliciously sordid intimacy with a lover, when passion and need demanded immediate satisfaction.

"Yes!" Sherlock moaned, pressing his lips against the join of my neck and shoulder as those skilful fingers undid my cravat and plucked at the buttons of my waistcoat and shirt.  "Anything, everything, John!"

What a blessing it was to have such a clever husband, I thought, my own hands dropping to his hips to pull his body flush against mine.  If I had doubted that he was as aroused as I, the hard evidence of his desire was pressed against my belly.  I growled and sought out his mouth again, claiming it with torrid kisses.  He gave as good as he got while his dexterous fingers continued to unfasten my clothing.  A tug on the closure to my breeches sent the buttons pinging across the room before his hand greedily closed around my cock.  I gasped, feeling a surge of desire surge through my body, followed by a wave of love so intense that I thought I might lose consciousness.

"Sherlock," I moaned.    

"Have me, John. Have me now!"

He pushed my breeches and smalls down, then shoved me back on my chair.  I stared, fascinated, as he shed every bit of his clothing, here in the sitting room where anyone might walk in.  His pale body shone in the firelight and he looked like some wild pagan creature, or an incubus, come to tempt me to Hell.  And I thought that I would follow willingly wherever he led, whether it was onto the rooftops of London or into the depths of the Abyss.

"Beautiful," I murmured, reaching out to run my fingers over his skin.  "You are so beautiful."

"John," he replied, and never had my name sounded so fine as it did when he said it. 

He took my hand, entwining our fingers together, then climbed into my lap and kissed me again.  I wrapped my free arm around his waist, holding his body against mine, drinking in his passion and giving him mine in return.  

"I love you," I said against his lips.  "I love you I love you I love you."

"John."  

His voice was hoarse and sweet and perfect, and I kissed each repetition of my name from his lips.  He rose to his knees and I guided his descent onto my cock, my hand on his hip to steady him.  Slowly he took me into his body, then swooped down to claim my mouth again before he sat back and began rising and falling.  Our laced fingers encircled his cock and began stroking, and he threw back his head, gasping my name again and again.  I groaned and tried to commit this image to memory: sitting bare-arsed in my chair, Sherlock straddling my lap, mother-naked and riding my cock, his head thrown back in ecstasy.  

"Next time," I said, panting as I rocked up into him, trying to give him every bit of pleasure that I could, "I want to strip myself bare and bend over the back of my chair, and I want your naked body pressed against my own from behind, your prick buried deep within my body as you fuck me hard and fast."

Sherlock gasped and I could feel him tightening around me as his climax hit.  I leaned up to catch the sound of his cries with my mouth, feeling my own body surrendering to passion.  He kissed me back, kisses that were now languid with satisfaction and sloppy with the fatigue that follows extreme pleasure.  I wrapped my arms around him to hold him close, keep him within my arms as my lips traced his chin, those splendid cheekbones, his ear and neck.

"John," he murmured, his voice slurred and sleepy.  "I love you.  Did I tell you?"

"Yes, love," I said fondly, then lifted his chin to kiss him again.  "Don't fall asleep here - we'll shock the scullery maid when she comes to make up the fire in the morning."

"Don't care," he muttered but acquiesced when I encouraged him to lift up.  Abandoning our clothes where they lay, I led Sherlock upstairs to our bed, wrapped him up in my arms, and fell asleep more completely content with the universe than I had ever been.