Chapter 18: "The Woman"

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Sherlock and Claire stood in front of the woman and man with only the coffee table parting the pairs. The woman smiles at Sherlock as he stood there unable to speak with not a much evident emotion on his face. Claire stood beside him holding her coat awkwardly, she looked at the woman intently before knowing that she actually recognize her.

'Pardon me but, Irene Adler isn't it?' Claire says as the woman walks towards her offering her hand. 'Perhaps. Do I know you?' Irene says with her sweet sultry voice as Claire shook her hand. 'Um, Claire ma'am. I used to work with Mycroft Holmes.' Claire explains, Sherlock still standing beside her, listening to everything.

Irene smiled at Claire before walking towards Sherlock. 'And, how are you, Mr Holmes?' Irene says looking closely at Sherlock, but not too close. Sherlock looked down on Irene since he was taller than her, even with heels.

Claire looked at the two awkwardly without a word, so she decided that she had to do something. 'Good, very good actually. Congratulations by the way.' Sherlock smiles as he notices the ring on Irene's finger. 'Hmm? Oh yes, thank you. Michael is a great man. She kept you company then?' Irene grins talking about Claire. 'You could say?' Sherlock answers as Claire frowned at his answer.

'Oh, right? Uh, I'd go ahead and take a rest, you two have-'

'No, stay. You've got nothing to do.' Sherlock answers, not even letting Claire finish her sentence as Irene looks at her.
'Um, no. I actually-'

'You heard what I said, don't make me say it twice.' Sherlock says sounding more like a father than a detective. Sherlock looked at Claire intently hoping for her to say to accompany him through this very uncomfortable scene.

Michael sat quietly as if he wasn't there, he watches as he watched the trio conversing, not even bothered by the close proximity that his fiancé is standing from Sherlock. Claire looked at Sherlock being unable to put the expression on Sherlock's face into words.
'Alright then, why don't make tea with Mrs Hudson, I'll be right ba-'

'What are you talking about? I have tea here and you can make them.' Sherlock says as Claire was just about to go downstairs.
'First of all, can you please stop cutting me off, and second, I am not your maid so stop bossing me around.' Claire says, her impatience wearing thin. 'You were the first one to offer aren't you?' Sherlock says furrowing his eyebrows, his attention focused on Claire.

Claire looks down on her coat with a face of defeat as she took a deep breath, you know what fine. You win. I'll go ahead and make tea for you and our guests.' Claire says as she sets down her coat on one of the chairs before hesitantly going into the kitchen.
'Well, shit.' She curses softly as she fishes her phone from her pocket before dialling up a phone number. She then placed the phone to her ear as she listened before someone picks it up.

'Hello? Sorry, but who's this?' Said the person from the other line with a manly voice. It was John.

'Het John, it's Claire and I desperately need your help.' Claire whispers trying not to be heard by Irene and Sherlock who was conversing about her time in America.

'First of all, why are you whispering? And second, how did you know my number?' John bombards Claire with questions.

'It's Sherlock.' Claire says briefly not knowing how to explain about the sudden situation. She began making tea with her neck and head supporting the phone for it not to fall.

'What happened this time?' John asks with much annoyance as Claire called whilst he was in the middle of a patient's appointment.

'I am telling you right now John, Sherlock is panicking, and it will only take a few seconds before he blows. He doesn't even want me out of his sight-kinda.' Claire explained waiting for the kettle to boil.

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