My life before
The difficulty wasn’t in finding willing partners. In fact, my reputation as both discreet and accommodating became rather well-known among the growing number of men in my camp who were desperate for sexual release. Many of them were married, a few were certainly inverts themselves, but none were looking for more than a hasty coupling.
I longed to find a partner who wanted me as verily as I wanted him; someone who would take pleasure in seducing and being seduced, who would place loving hands upon me, who would smile in mutual satisfaction after our moment of intimacy.
But all my encounters had been instigated only by a glance and a nod, followed by awkward fumbling and hurried thrusts. While some of them had the grace to thank me afterwards, most of them turned away, refastened their trousers and silently departed my company.
When I arrived in
I was first astounded simply by the sight of him. Here was a man over six feet tall, lean and lithe, with intensely dark features and wiry strength that belied his elegance. His lively, clever grey eyes lit up when he shook my hand, and he astounded me with the first words out of his mouth.
“How are you? You have been in
As to his first question, I felt simply gratitude, for no one had asked me as much since my return to
And then, as he proceeded to describe his recent discovery of a re-agent for hoemoglobin with excited agitation, I forgot myself altogether for the first time in months, so swept up was I in his eccentric enthusiasm. I imagined even then that anything of interest to him would be of interest to me.
We quickly dispensed with formalities, briefly discussed our living habits and within two days we were co-habiting at 221b
With little else to keep me occupied, I followed Holmes’s routines with open fascination. His habits were regular enough, but he seemed to exist inside a charismatic aura that hovered elusively between the hard and fast rules of science and the limitless boundaries of art. He was as capable of rendering the most complex puzzle into an elementary solution as he was naturally gifted at developing a simple tune into an extravagant piece on his violin.
Physically, Holmes was no less a dichotomy. He kept a meticulously polished wardrobe, and even when he was not at task his every movement appeared calculated. Yet there again was an artist’s fluidity about the way he moved gracefully and often noiselessly about a room, his tails flying behind him like a circus acrobat ready to perform his next trick. His modulated, aristocratic voice could rise to a thunderous boom in laughter or vexation, and just as easily fall to a trifle whisper that floated upon a single breath.
I had thought his interest in criminology a mere hobby, and his contempt for Scotland Yard the attitude of a man who may have once found himself on the wrong side of the law. And then one afternoon, he read aloud a newspaper account describing the apprehension of a jewel thief in the
“Well, it sounds right enough, does it not?” I said objectively. “They recovered the stolen jewels without protest.” I picked up the discarded newspaper and scanned it for any details I may have missed.
“It’s all wrong!” he barked. “They’ve got the wrong man. I know it. I know it.”
And he bolted from his chair and out of the room. I barely had time to grab my hat and follow him out the door before he disappeared into
“I guess we owe you another debt of gratitude, Mr. Holmes,” said a sheepish-looking man with a round, sallow face.
“Really, Lestrade, I should think the Yard had learned its lesson from the disaster over the Eldridge robbery,” Holmes scolded him breezily. “But I’m glad if I could help,” he added and gave Lestrade a comforting, if slightly condescending pat on the shoulder.
As the weeks went by, I became ensconced in the strange, mercurial world of Sherlock Holmes. Members of all classes of society began appearing at
My experience of camp life in
Publicly, we were Sherlock Holmes, world’s only unofficial consulting detective, and his friend and colleague, Dr. Watson. Privately, things became much, much more complicated.
* * *
“But you see, Watson, the legible handwriting on this card is too exact a match to belong to the same person. Observe the particular way in which the writer crosses his 't.' Had he written the note just below it, he would have not taken care to copy its exact length and angle,” Holmes said as he leaned over my shoulder with a magnifying glass.
“I agree with you there, Holmes, but can you be so sure that it wasn’t simply a coincidence?” My deductive skills were coming along all right, but Holmes always remained several steps ahead of me.
“There can be no question,” he responded in a clipped tone. "Look closely and you'll see the blot is heavier on the right of the mark, though the writer was obviously right-handed. The flow of the script is not a natural fit to the manner in which this was written."
I tossed the cards onto my desk. “I suppose you knew this all along.”
“Well, I admit it did trouble me at first, but once I observed the obvious inconsistencies, it call came clear.”
He went to the mantle and extracted a pinch of tobacco from his Persian slipper.
“I always wonder just how long it takes you to reach such conclusions,” I said, regarding him with the admiration that was growing every day. “Something tells me you recognized this for what it was at first take.”
A smile tugged at the corner of his mouth as he filled his evening pipe. “I’ve been wondering something similar for some little time now,” he said, darting me a furtive glance.
“And what is that?” I prompted him. I could not imagine that he wondered too long about anything.
He looked me squarely in the eye. “How long it would take to bring you off.”
I started and blinked. “Beg your pardon?”
“You are an invert, are you not? And do you not enjoy receiving oral ministration?” he asked me nonchalantly before lighting his pipe.
“Er, yes, I am. And I do. But your candor surprises me.”
“Forgive me,” he said with a smile. “I am not terribly tactful when it comes to matters of sex. I prefer to get on with it without all the usual social overtures.”
“And you’re wondering…” I still could not quite believe he was propositioning me.
“How long it takes you to reach a climax. I presume your long illness has had some effect on your physical responses, but you seem to be of a particularly sensitive type. I would be much obliged if you would let me test my theory,” he smiled again and puffed on his pipe.
“By all means,” I said, and I dutifully uncrossed my legs, unfastened my trousers and hitched myself forward on my chair.
When I looked up again I saw he was watching me with great amusement.
“I don’t suppose your previous partners were ever bothered with the ceremonies of preparation,” he chuckled, rather to himself.
“How on earth did you—?“ It was a question always on my lips wherever Holmes was concerned.
“Such habitual detachment must have its foundation in regularity, and as you have recently been discharged from the army, it would follow that the pattern developed there.”
“Well, how do you go about it?” I asked him, now somewhat annoyed. I was not comfortable as the object of his scrutiny, and certainly not on the subject of my sexual past.
He laid his pipe on the mantle and approached my chair. He leant over me.
“On your feet.”
I stood and faced him. He checked his pocket watch and snapped it closed. He then cocked his head to one side, and proceeded to drag his fingertips along my collar, down my shirtfront and to my loosened waistband. I shuddered under the light command of his touch, and the nearness of his powerful physique.
He abruptly pushed my trousers to the floor, sank to his knees, and grasped my backside with both hands. He closed his eyes and pressed his forehead to my pelvis. I could feel his breath upon my arousal, but he did not take it into his mouth. Instead, he nuzzled his face into my pubic hair and slowly swiveled his head from side to side until my cockstand rose to his lips of its own accord.
And then, with virtuosic skill, he licked and sucked and nibbled at my flesh with all the noisy relish of a man enjoying a fine meal. I was unable to stop my legs from trembling, for I never had anyone visit such attentions on me, and I fell back into my chair with an awkward thud.
His dexterous tongue tightened around my cock, pulling it deeper into his mouth. My old habit of desperately chasing my climax before my partner came—or worse, grew bored or disgusted—renewed itself and I was soon thrusting helplessly forward. Holmes placed both hands on my hips and attempted to force me to stillness, but my release could not be detained. My entire body stiffened and I spent myself down his throat with a sharp grunt and a shaking sigh.
It took me some time to recover from my little death, and I remained splayed on my chair until the blood stopped careening through my veins. I heard Holmes check his watch again, utter a surprised vocable and rise to his feet. When I finally opened my eyes, he was standing again at the mantle and relighting his pipe as though nothing had happened.
I cleared my throat. “Well, what of your theory?”
He turned around, his face aglow with self-satisfaction. “Three minutes and twenty-eight seconds. I had placed you between five and seven, though my error was in supposing your past experiences inured you to the effects.”
“It was never like that,” I confessed. “It was always…rather quick.”
He curved an enigmatic smile around the stem of his pipe and puffed several times before responding.
“Watson,” he said thoughtfully, “have you ever had a gratifying sexual experience?”
“Not in the company of others.”
“A pity that,” he said, with light-hearted sympathy. “You’re not at all suited to the cursory nature of army couplings.”
He extinguished his pipe.
“Follow me,” he said and led me into his bedroom.