The Death of the Dominatrix

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Sherlock helped her as they made their way back to her room. She had her arm around his neck and was leaning on him as they slowly entered the suite. She was happy with the state of things.

As soon as Sherlock managed to get the door open, he strode over towards the bed and laid her down upon it. Propping her up against the pillows, he pulled down the blankets and covered her.

As he drew back, she seized his forearms to keep him from leaving.

Sherlock looked at her and saw dilated pupils.

He remembered how she had fallen on the sidewalk and winced when her back hit the ground. He decided to play along and try for information.

"Your ankle isn't sprained."

"Of course it isn't."

She pulled him down so that he knelt beside the bed.

"I've not the time for your trifles, Miss Adler."

She sat up.

"Why not? Just one trifle?" she quizzed, reaching out and fondling his cheek.

He wasn't sure what to do at this point. She pulled him closer so that his face was only inches from hers.

"Let's have dinner," she wooed.

His visage didn't change. He just stared into her face unblinkingly. The moment felt strangely familiar. He remembered when they had sat like this by the fire at 221b, each one holding the other's hands and getting lost in the other's eyes. And she remembered, too.

She reached up and intertwined her fingers behind his neck. His mind warmed as he processed the fact that she trusted him.

Their noses touched.

Their pupils were swelling.

He would go no further, but she didn't know that. Here he would deduce.

"Does it hurt when I do this?" he asked, his eyes steady and unblinking.

"Do what?" Irene asked, blissfully mesmerized.

He slid his arms around her shoulders as she inhaled expectantly. To her surprise, he pressed her right shoulder blade firmly with his thumb. As his fingers felt the flesh, he knew exactly why she had resisted the road's touch only an hour earlier.

Shock chased the sensual emotion off her face.

She let go of his neck, inhaled as if she were coming up for water, and smacked him across the face.

He was not stunned.

"Don't."

"Don't what?"

"Don't," she spat, speaking the word as if it tasted foul. Her eyes were practically on fire.

Her nose flared. Her eyes were like dinner plates. She was breathing hard; not from arousal, but from anger. A bead of water formed in her left eye. Sherlock recognized her expression. It was the same as it had been when he revealed the code that unlocked her camera phone.

"Leave me."

She said it under her breath. It was hardly audible. Barely discernible.

The bead let go of the lash and fell down her cheek.

She turned over and faced the wall.

"You don't wield the whip anymore, do you, Miss Adler?"

"My dominatrix days ended the moment you confiscated my camera phone."

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