"Shelley Holmes, huh? Are you meant to be some kinda female Sherlock, lass?"
"I'm not a private investigator, I'm a consultant detective," Holmes pulls the badge from the policeman's hands. "Europol. Says that right here."
The squinting Scot in the high-vis jacket peers bemusedly at the woman. "Europol, eh? What feckin' jurisdiction you got here? This is Edinburgh. We can handle our own business, thank-you-very-much lass."
"No jurisdiction whatsoever, Constable. I'm here to advise and observe. I wouldn't be here if we did not have reason to suspect the crime scene may have international implications," the woman explains, gradually becoming exasperated. The rain-slick street of identical, dour, semi-detached little grey houses was hardly the most cheerful sight. One particularly unremarkable one amidst the lot was now surrounded by police tape, a couple of squad cars perched against the curb just outside. Add to that an increasingly stubborn Scot, and Shelley Holmes' day was hardly looking pleasant.
"What feckin' international complications? Wee biddy shot her fella. Domestic homicide, happens all the feckin' time around these parts. The lads dinna have much else ta do 'cept rough up the poor lasses. Every now an' then one of 'em gets fed up. S'practically routine. The scene was called in b'the quine 'erself jes' two hours ago. What possible international consequences are you feckin' goin' on aboot?"
Without actually stepping into the house, the best Shelley can do is jam her palms against the doorframe on either side of the Scot and lean her head in over his shoulder. "Inspector Grisley, your fucking constable is getting on my fucking nerves. Will you get the fuck down here and let me in?"
Willard Grisley's appearance at the top of the stairs, behind the Scot, demonstrated a facial expression that was more the result of a conflux of a fairly wide variety of emotions rather than any one reaction in particular.
"Shelley Holmes," he clears his throat, gesturing for the woman to step inside. "Do come in. To what do I owe this unexpected..." he lets the sentence trail on.
Deciding to follow Grisley's approach to the situation and flat-out ignore the Scotsman, Holmes dutifully follows the invitation, squeezing past the rotund man in the high-vis. "Not the best sort of day to catch up, is it Grisley?" she looks up, folding away her umbrella and taking his hand for a firm shake, even though it was not offered as such.
The diminutive Europol consultant wears a fashionable and somewhat expensive-looking tweed jacket, now rather wet from being caught outside. The last time Grisley had seen her, the lanky little redheaded woman was a novice trainee at Scotland Yard, a mere four years ago, not overly long before he relocated his business to an adjacent country with, amazingly, even more mediocre weather than London.
She had never quite left the man's memory. Not least because of that memorable photo he still kept for keepsakes, wearing just undergarments and a deerstalker, an oversized magnifying glass cheekily pointed over the superintendent's crotch. It had been taken at the one staff Christmas party he'd caught her at before he left and, he strongly suspected, he was not the only officer of the law to still keep that picture around.
But Shelley Holmes now looks rather different to the perky young trainee his memory led him to believe he remembered. She's put a little meat on her bones, the clothes suggest a pay grade approaching his in only a fraction of the time it took the man himself to climb the ranks of the Met and, above all else, she's found a hair stylist that manages to work miracles on her notoriously unkempt curls.
"No," she tells him with a smirk.
"What?" Grisley's train of thought snaps back to the matters at hand, his gaze meeting the woman's eyes again.
"You're contemplating an affair with me to get back at your wife for cheating on you. It's a terrible idea, she's never had an affair herself, she just wanted to make you jealous. You drag me into bed, you'll ruin your own marriage like you fucked things up with Lindsey," the consultant detective sighs. "She's crying out for attention, for fuck's sake - not scorning you. Now... let's go see the damned body already."
Grisley takes a few moments to answer. "Good God, Shelley. You've really been practicing your Sherlock Holmes shtick after all, haven't you?" he mutters, stepping back to let the young woman past. She hurries along up the stairs, ignoring the remark. When he finds her, the woman is already stepping over the dead man's corpse, surveying the bedroom.
The place would have made Marquis de Sade squeal like a schoolgirl at a Bieber concert. An entire wall is decorated with implements of pain and pleasure, most of them the former. Many leather things, but some of them metal. Some of them metal and pointy and outright scary-looking.
Then there is the matter of the bed. Restraints - leather and metal both - had been affixed in every conceivable position. The traditional cotton sheets supplanted with a tight latex cover. By the foot of the bed stands a large metal kennel, its bottom padded with fluffy pillows and a dog bowl just in front, reading 'CUNT' in blocky letters.
"So hang on, whatcha doing here anyway?" Grisley wonders, leaning against the doorway, watching the woman work and staying out of her way for the time being. "Hell, where are you working these days? Didn't you leave the force?"
The woman leans down, smelling the latex sheet over the bed, her eyes darting around the room, scouring over every detail she can make out. The inspector's question does not rank high on that particular list of priorities, so she answers about a minute later, tossing her Europol badge at him.
"Huh, okay. Europol..." he turns it over in his fingertips. "Wait, okay... what?"
"The deceased, Martin Collins, presumed killed by his longterm partner, Patricia Ferguson, correct?" Holmes straightens up, pulling a pair of latex gloves out of her jacket.
"Yeah. We've got her in custody. She's pleading self-defence. Girl's in quite the state... so what's Europol..."
"Have your guys gotten you a background check on the happy couple yet?"
"Ah, no. Not yet. You know how it is, the amount of shit we have to take care of in a city like this... it's just a domestic homicide, we can let the courts take care of this one, no? Who cares what the two did for a living," he slides his hands meekly into his pockets.
"Well, you should have demanded it all the same. We got the notification about this case as soon as you lot updated the crime database," the redhead sits on the bed, legs crossed and flashing Grisley a stern, reprimanding look. "Ms. Ferguson is a government employee - Ministry of Defence, to be specific. But Collins, he is your real problem here. His death is not going to remain a small matter for the courts to settle, Inspector. I'm afraid I am to be only the first bearer of bad news for you today."
"What do you mean?" Grisley's eyes narrow, flicking from Shelley to the corpse, then back to Shelley.
"This body is of one Sergei Kostyakov. Former Russian media tycoon. He requested asylum and a new identity in the United Kingdom about eight years ago. The full details have not yet been disclosed, but it is needless to say the man has had... enemies."
"Fuck Holmes, you mean to say I may well have another Litvinenko on my hands?" at this prospect, the Inspector seems to grow rather more pallid, his brows furrowing with growing alarm.
"And killed by a Ministry of Defence official? Your investigation will make the evening news internationally - if not tonight, then tomorrow."
"But surely... how many people can possibly know this guy's real identity? If he's been hiding from the Russians for this long..."
"Oh Grisley, the press have their ways. And in a case like this, I imagine they'll get tipped off by someone pretty quick. They always do. You know how it goes."
The man has to look around carefully to find a seat on the crime scene he could occupy safely while he processed this information. "I need to escalate this, then," he remarks, giving Holmes a weary look.
"This has been escalated already, Grisley. It's what I'm here for," the woman retorts, walking back across to him and retrieving her Europol ID from the policeman's hands. "If you think you need more men to cover this..." she presses her lips together, "then fine, whatever. But give me a chance to get through the house without tripping over a dozen more Mr. Grumpies like the chap downstairs, alright?"
The nude man sprawls face down amidst the floor of the playroom, collapsed lifeless amidst a pattern of his own blood and brain matter. His physique is average - pale skin, late-to-middle age, balding hair and a chubby demeanour. Rather unusually for a man his age, he appears to be entirely hairless below the neck.
The physical details of the crime itself are easy for Shelley to reconstruct. The bullet entered the back of Kostyakov's skull, tore a fatal chunk out of his grey matter and proceeded to escape through his forehead. With no evidence of the body having been moved, it appears that he had been shot from the direction of the bed, the murder weapon having been left neatly on a nightstand: a tiny revolver with six empty chambers.
Police markings, numbers, chalk little crosses and circles are lazily strewn about the room, highlighting both the obvious and the mundane. The forensic investigators - or more likely investigator, singular - seem to have been in a hurry, eager to get done with the scene and move on. To more interesting cases or, more likely, lunch. Holmes has a feeling they will want a second look once someone breaks the news to them.
"So you got two nine-one-one calls. First from the neighbour at the sound of a gunshot, then half an hour later, from Ms. Ferguson herself, admitting to the murder - is that correct?" the redheaded woman inquires.
"And she claims self-defence."
"Something like that."
"He was playing Russian roulette with her. He overstepped his bounds - perhaps pulled the trigger twice when she only allowed him a single shot, endangering her life against her will. She was pissed off, so when he finally turned to leave, she grabbed the gun and pulled the trigger on him... except that this time, the bullet was in the chamber. Does that sound about right?"
"You figure that out just from the empty gun?" Grisley laughs. "Yeah, that's pretty much her version of it. Well, except for the first bit. She said he forced the whole Russian roulette spiel on her altogether. Pushed the gun to her head and pulled the trigger. She was terrified, and that's what he wanted. Yadda-yadda-yadda. You know what these freaks are like."
Shelley frowns, reaching for the gun, picking it up carefully between her latex-covered thumb and index finger - sniffing the tip. "No, that's definitely bullshit. She's cleaned the tip of the pistol, but it wasn't pressed up against her forehead, that's for sure."
"What are you getting at, Holmes?"
"There's more than one way to play Russian roulette. This game was of the penetrative variety, Grisley."
"Good lord, who would do such a thing?" the inspector looks down at the body, aghast.
"Well I suppose the thrill is rather intense. I can see the value of such a threat in certain relationships, certain moods, certain power exchanges - though of course actually putting one's life on the stake is..." she clenches her jaw slightly. "In any case, she was not overpowered."
"How do you mean? She voluntarily let herself be... penetrated, in this way? The woman's an MoD official, why would she ever..."
"That has no relation on her private life, inspector Grisley. At any rate though, Patricia was the dominant partner in the relationship." The look on Grisley's face is priceless enough that Shelley can't help but flash a modest smile. "The man was a sub, that much is obvious. This isn't even his house, Grisley - again, obvious. I mean, it's a second residence for the both of them, a little bondage retreat, but she's the one that looks after it and pays the bills - there was a stack of those on the stairs. That's not even Holmesian dedution, it is literally elementary, inspector..."
"Well, we did pick that detail up, yes Holmes. But that doesn't mean..."
"The most damning piece of evidence would have to be the strap-on," Shelley sighs, walking across to the wall, demonstrating the rather thick toy, cast in shiny, black latex. "The toy collection in general is heavily skewed towards anal play, in fact, with a lot of rather phallic tools. Men's toy collections tend away from featuring quite so many penetrative toys, most feel on some level that their manhood is threatened if they don't use their innate tool. And needless to say if he was the dom here, he wouldn't have use of the strap-on. And then there are the smaller things - he's completely waxed, for one. For another..." she leans down and carefully spreads the dead man's asscheeks apart, "There's the anal bruising. I can't believe you left that to the coroner to find?" she looks up at Grisley. "That's why you need more women in plain clothes up here, you chaps just can't bear to ogle a man's ass. Or queer detectives, for that matter. That would help too..."
"You've made your point, Shelley, thanks..." the man grits his teeth. "But that doesn't make sense. Are you saying then that he overpowered his... his mistress? You think she was the one that did something to piss him off?"
"Of course not. But it is a game she has played several times with him in the past. If you look very closely, there are traces of older faecal matter near the trigger guard on the revolver. It may not have been actual Russian roulette, mind you, it's quite likely she merely fucked him with the..."
"Oh get to the point, Holmes, God... you have no idea how much I don't want to hear all the grisly details..."
"You never did live up to your name," the redhead chuckles. "Alright. I'll spare you the workings-out if you insist. She was the domme, no question there, but she... she allowed him this. Perhaps as a privelege, likely just as a reward. Who knows, maybe she was feeling submissive. My original point stands - she was pissed off that he took it too far, pushed his prerogative. Maybe she allowed him to fuck her with it, but forbade him from pulling the trigger. He pulled it and that pissed her off. Matter of fact, I bet she made him take it. Made him turn around and hold still when she pressed the gun to the back of his head and, as it turned out, blew his brains out with the loaded bullet. The one time they played for keeps, they got unlucky."
The man's aghast, so Shelley picks up a nearby cane to demonstrate. "Observe the blood splatter on the far wall. It's clustered at the median, only about four feet off the ground." She uses the cane to draw an imaginary line. "Now, blood exiting the cranium after a gunshot wound can be expected to drop off, but not that far. Had he been standing up, we would see it at head height for the victim - at around six foot. The man was either kneeling or shot at a pretty extreme angle, which the exit wound suggests he wasn't. I'm sure your forensics will figure it out eventually."
"Well, it's going to be a fucking hell of a headline. Russian Tycoon Dead in Russian Roulette with MoD Mistress. The Daily Mail will have a fucking field day. So what, we charge the woman with homicide?"
"Self-defence won't cut it if she killed him in cold blood," Shelley nods, "no matter what the odds are."
"Pulling the trigger on someone is attempted murder, even if there is only one bullet in the chamber." Grisley rubs his eyes. "Goddamn senseless waste," he frowns, looking down at the body. The redhead gives the deceased one last look and heads for the door, when the inspector holds out a hand to stop her. "Listen, thanks for coming out Holmes. You've always had great insight, it's good to see you around and cracking cases again. But moreover, it's nice to see you again - full stop. I hadn't realised you were working for Europol now. How about we catch up tonight... it's been a while, you know? And I know what you're about to say," he smiles a little, "I won't hit on you, I promise."
Shelley takes a deep breath. "It was good running into you too, inspector. I appreciate your offer, but I cannot. I already have other plans for tonight." She pauses for a moment and shrugs, "And spare the flattery. There's nothing here you wouldn't have gotten in a day or two after the forensic investigation went through its due process. I'm just speeding things along. Ah! And while I remember," she hands her business card out to him, "call me if any other details pop up in the investigation. Anything... unusual, okay? I'll be in Edinburgh all week on personal affairs. So don't hesitate to call. If I'm unavailable, leave a voicemail, or text or... just, you know. Get through to me."
"Huh, sure. Why, you think there might be something more to this?" Grisley smiles.
"You know, one thing I've always liked about you Grisley," Holmes replies with an amused look up into his eyes, "is that you don't waste time second-guessing me. You never care about your ego as much with me as some do... you know my judgement is good, you trust it. You don't try to prove an untenable position just to contradict me. So many guys do it. Especially as a Europol consultant, every man I meet is determined to show me personally just how useless and redundant they feel my job is," she bites her lip.
"Nature of the game. You know how territorial us bulldogs tend to get. The dog's got a bone, he's not gonna let anyone else grab a bite of it. Sure as hell not Europol. Alright then Holmes. Thanks again for dropping by. I'll let you know anything we get."
"Good, keep your eyes peeled Grisley."
"M," announces the baritone voice on the intercom after a minute's wait.
"It's Holmes," Shelley replies, cursing herself for the nervousness in her voice. In the space of time it has taken her to cross to the other side of the city, it has gotten dark. Though at least the rain has eased off. Still damp, the woman stands before a non-descript door at the bottom of a small flight of stairs that lead down from street-level to the hidden entrance. An unremarkable door in an unremarkable alley off an unremarkable street.
"You're late. By thirty-three minutes."
"Yes, I know, M," her heart skips a beat. She grinds her teeth a little at the far-too-enjoyable feeling of exhileration that accompanies it.
"Do you remember what I said will happen from now on, every time you are late?"
"Then why are you still clothed?"
Holmes takes her finger off the intercom as the voice on the other end goes quiet. The underground recess is deep enough, at least, that she would not be seen from the alley if she did strip. Above all, she did agree to this as a fair and just punishment at the time - even though being diverted by an unexpected call from work was hardly a fair point, one might argue, to put the blame on her for.
Without other options presented, the small redhead quickly proceeds to divest herself. First the coat, then the shirt. The shoes, the jeans, the underwear. The cold Scottish autumn sends goosebumps across her nude, pale skin. She gathers up her clothes and presses the button again. This time there is no response, only an impersonal click as the door is unlocked electronically.
It is no warmer in the small hallway past the door than it had been outside. Her toes squirm with every step across the bare, frigid concrete. Once she has closed the door behind her, the door ahead slides open, spilling light across her nude figure. She steps through and M takes the clothes from her arms - careful to separate the woman's handbag from the rest. The much larger room she finds herself in now, is a basement. All cinderbrick and concrete, once connected to the building upstairs, but then at some point walled off and rented out as a separate property. Not to live in, of course. But the kind of place that would make a good workshop, or extra storage space, for a person needing some on the cheap. And it did have the basic facilities - a sink, a toilet, even if no walls to guarantee one's privacy.
Its current owner has made a few additions of his own, of course. Under the guidance of his vision, the basement space has become something rather more resembling Patricia Ferguson's playroom. In parts, it is both a cozier environment and a more frightening one. There are several upholstered leather armchairs here, one seated across from a makeshift gas-operated fireplace, freshly built into the wall. There's framed photographs hung up, too, mostly black-and-white, featuring ornate shibari ropework constructions adorning beautiful women - wearing the hemp and little else. It is a cozier place because there is much more love and dedication, many years of work that appear to have gone into it. It is more frightening because in spite of this, it makes no pretense at domesticity. There is no bed here, only a stainless steel table, a St. Andrew's Cross and a gynaecological chair in the corner. Chains hang from the ceiling; rings are set into the walls with ropes still tied to them. The room has a singular function and it communicates that function unambiguously.
And then, there is M. He reaches a height of six foot or so, though Holmes cannot admit to having ever gotten out the measuring tape as such. His age would seem to be in his late thirties or early forties, with the physique of a man who is only just slipping out of his physical prime. The precise contour of his figure is readily divulged largely because he currently wears nothing other than a black, latex full-body gimpsuit, which even goes so far as to mask his face, except for the eyes and the mouth, while revealing every curve and ripple of muscle on the man's body. Only his hands, his feet, his cock and his ass are left exposed by the tight latex.
Holmes watches, squirming uncomfortably as M kneels down by the fireplace, feeding the woman's vestments one by one to the flames. The only when her shoes begin to crackle and twist under the high temperature, he finally stands and speaks again. "I am glad you have decided to come up here and visit again. I am less glad that your time-keeping skills have clearly deteriorated in my absense," he laughs. Like Grisley and Shelley Holmes, he is not a native to the rugged landscape of the Scottish Lowlands. His accent is distinctly Yorkshire.
As he approaches her, Shelley kneels down, her body still remembering the customary position. The warmth of his hand, sliding through her hair - as much as she would normally loathe to admit it - is both relaxing and comforting now once more. With her lips guided to the soft, but nonetheless voluminous length of his swaying cock, the woman starts to plant kisses up and down its length, breathing in deeply the familiar musk.
"I needed this," she whispers at last. "I'm sorry. I thought I would be able to let go of it, but..."
"But your cunt got the better of you. You needed someone to violate you and push your limits... you've tried to distance yourself from those thoughts until it became unbearable. Until you could no longer even spare the time to look for someone local to take care of your needs. You just had to get the first train here and a week off work. Because you needed me like a sorry little cunt," he tells her pacedly, guiding the redheaded detective down, smiling as her lips start to suckle on his ballsack.
"You know I don't like it. It is a... physical need," she replies, her voice a little unsteady. "I don't need you to tell me how disappointed you are with me."
"I am not disappointed. I still believe in my..." he laughs quietly, "...professional opinion, that the best course for you to take is to do what is natural and right. Satisfy your body's urges, maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle. I still do not see why you find submission so burdensome. You would cope much better if you did not insist on your regimen of absolute abstinence."
"Yes, I hear drinking in moderation is all the rage these days as the number one cure for recovering alcoholics," Holmes glances up, gently biting the man's glans. She is rewarded a firm slap across the cheek.
"If you don't listen to my advice, I will take more extreme measures to do what's good for you, Holmes." The woman gasps as she's grabbed by her ginger curls, staggering to her feet just in time to catch her balance before she's thrown across the metal table and bent over at the waist. She grabs the edge, tensing up and anticipating any of several things that could follow - none of them pleasant.
"The first time you relapsed was after a mere week of celibacy," M contemplates, picking up a cane off a rack in the wall - stood directly in front of Shelley Holmes. She grits her teeth, but remains silent. The man circles the table slowly, running his hands down her spine. "I was as supportive as I could bring myself to be. You crawled to me on all fours and demanded punishment when you could no longer hold out. Do you remember, Consultant Detective Shelley Holmes?"
The cane whistles and slams into both of the woman's buttocks. She grimaces, mewls, but remains steadfast. "Yes, M," she replies, gasping.
"Do you remember what you asked me, Ms. Holmes? That night that you came back again?"
The detective squeals as the second welt decorates her soft, pale buttocks. "Yes, M," she grits her teeth. "I... asked for you to piss in my mouth," she winces, remembering the humiliation of that night.
"Interesting, isn't it. Before that night, I had tested your limits many times. One thing you had always, always found intensely abhorrent to the point of physical disgust, was bodily waste. Now, I've respected that. I've never pushed you toward that direction, never encouraged you to even consider overstepping your bounds. Why, then, that night of all nights you found yourself craving humiliation so intense, you yourself described it as 'nauseating'?"
The third swat of the cane causes the woman to twist her hips in place, grimacing even more as she endures the agony. "I... I don't know," she mutters.
"Think harder, Holmes, you're the goddamned genius."
"Fuck! I-I can't think when you're fucking caning my ass..." the redhead winces, holding onto the table white-knuckled.
"You told me you can walk into a room, see every detail within it with perfect clarity, all at once. You have five televisions at home, you can watch them at the same time you tell me. What did you say your Chrome record was? Twelve browser windows?" The next blow slices through the air vertically, slicing across the detective's cunt. Her entire body trembles in agony. "Yet I've had schoolgirls who are more lucid being caned than you are. I think you're avoiding the topic."
Despite herself, Shelley Holmes blinks tearful droplets out of her eyes, panting hard and recollecting her thoughts, "I thought that if I... if I pushed my boundaries, forced myself into something I abhorred, I would... I would kill the desire in myself," she explains quietly.
"And did it work?" the cane hits again, lighter this time. The skin, however, is painfully inflamed with the previous welts and Holmes shudders, pushing her body up onto her toes.
"You know the answer to that," she growls.
The cane hits the woman's sex again, forcing her to clench her thighs and howl out loud yet again. "Did it fucking work?!" M demands.
"You became a little piss-guzzling whore for me didn't you?"
"And you fucking loved it."
"No! I-I mean, yes," Shelley whimpers as the blows come hard and fast, both of her buttocks turning crimson and then deep purple. The beating is savage and unrestrained.
"What deductions can the world's greatest detective make from this experience?" M finally lets up, the room quiet for a few moments as the redhead sobs and whimpers. He pushes the tip of the cane idly against the woman's anus, watching the way she tenses up when the implement of torture starts to slide several inches into her body.
"Fuck, I'm not the world's... fucking... greatest detective..." the redhead gasps, wriggling her hips at the thin but unlubricated implement of sodomy.
"I think, you have either been very stupid for a woman of your intellect, or you have purposefully mislead yourself." With the cane left sticking out of the her anus, M circles around, lifting her chin up. She can't quite lift her eyes up to meet his, but she does find herself face-to-face with the man's heavy cock. Even in its mostly flaccid state, it is one of those cocks that resembles an elephant trunk. Having given the woman a chance to speak, he now feeds her the business end of his soft shaft, sliding it into the detective's wet lips. There, the familiar, revolting taste of the man's bitter urine greets her, gently trickling down her tongue. M waits until his submissive begins gradually gulping down her dose of piss before continuing. "I do not know why you repeatedly fail to see this. Every time you maintain a steady diet of submission and sexual servitude, your life achieves stability and normality, at least so far as those are words one could apply to your life, is that not so? Your desires never escalate, much. Certainly, you crave variety, but nothing dangerous or alarmingly self-destructive."
Shelley's cheeks start to blush as she looks down, still drinking, once more marvelling at the size of the man's bladder. He strokes her curly hair encouragingly, still talking, "Is it not clear that your abstinence is a far, far more dangerous habit for you to indulge in? As much as you hate your submission, as much as you seem to... admire, your free will and mental determination, the simple truth is that they are not strong enough to overcome your baser needs and desires. And if not for your rather unbecoming arrogance, you would be able to see past it. Ironically, it is of course your arrogance that makes you so ashamed of playing the role of the submissive, is it not?" he grabs the woman's hair, his prick hardening as her lips suckle the last few droplets out of him.
Bladder emptied, M steps back, grabbing a towel - making a show of meticulously drying his cock in front of Shelley Holmes, now a solid, swaying erection with an obscene side-to-side wobble when he walks around her. His path takes him behind the woman yet again, the cane pulled out of her asshole, allowed to clatter down to the floor.
"Tell me, do you disagree with my analysis, Holmes?" he asks, spreading her cheeks apart.
Shelley steels herself - M's member, once fully erect is only a little under the width of a Cola can. From personal experience, the detective knows just how loudly it can make a woman scream. Yet even with a rather vivid imagination, she still rather struggles to imagine what that sensation would be like without any lubricant whatsoever to ease passage. When her shoulders are grabbed and she's pulled back, impaled onto the turgid prick, she promptly finds out.
The pain in her throbbing, tender anus - now bruised and blistered under the violence of M's methodology - is strong enough that it even surpasses the revolting, bitter taste in her mouth. The redhead sits up nude on the table, cradling a cup of Tetley's. Still catching her breath, she leans back against the warm, firm, latex-enveloped figure of M, occasionally sipping the milky tea and ruminating on his words.
When she had first approached him, recommended to the dominant by a mutual acquaintance, M - of course - had tried to claim that the initial stood for 'Moriarty'. Her nominal resemblance to a certain fictional detective never seemed to cease amusing people. His real identity, however, M never revealed, much preferring an air of grandeur and mystery with his 'visitors'.
For Holmes, he had never been an especially difficult enigma to resolve though. On her very first encounter of the man, she had correctly determined that he was a blue-collar worker. Her guess, that he was a plumber, was also correct. It was the establishment that proved easiest to trace to the man. Searching through old copies of the yellow pages, she soon discovered that there had been a workshop once advertised at the very same address, belonging to a plumbing company run by one 'Mortimer Smalls'. Once that much had been established, it was no surprise to the woman that Mister Smalls, having moved his business to a more spacious home in 2005, never sold or vacated his former place of work.
Unravelling the mystery - she was amused to find - never trully lessened her enjoyment of time spent together with the man. It had turned up some surprises as well: he did, in fact, hold a degree in psychology from the University of Edinburgh. The precise circumstances leading into his present occupation (or occupations, rather) were something she opted never to question or investigate, however. Just as she stopped her curiosity short of attempting to see the man's face. It is perhaps likely that neither of these queries would have made an impact on the quality of her time with M either, but this far into the investigation the woman had realised it was not a chance she wished to take.
M never liked to speak much during the aftercare. In the initial few sessions they had together after their first meeting, he would murmur tender encouragements into the woman's ear, but Holmes found this irritated her and she told him as much. Since then, he simply made her tea and hugged her, which suited the detective just fine.
Having contemplated the man's words, she finally decides to break the silence. "So who's the woman?" she asks curiously.
"What woma-" M begins, then chuckles, "yes, yes I imagined I would hardly be able to keep a surprise from you Holmes."
The detective frowns, "Surprise?"
"Yes, I did intend to surprise you. All in due time, I would say, but I guess now is as good a time as any."
"What do you mean surprise me..." Shelley's voice grows increasingly alarmed. M releases her, making his way along to the small utility closet set into the side of the basement. She had seen him store a few toys in there before and had noted that the closet, too, possessed a fair few fastenings that would allow for a person to be tied up inside of it. She had - shamefully - not noticed the telltale signs of another play-partner when she'd come in: the fresh saliva on M's cock, the pair of women's shoes standing just beside the doorway, the fact that the closet was tightly shut when normally it was always left at least slightly ajar and, of course, the rather characteristic, if faint, whiff of freshly-applied cosmetics...
Only now, having finally received what she needed from M, her mind begins to clear and Shelley at last sees herself able to use the fullest of her mental capacity.
"Why would you surprise me with a woman? You know I'm not into..." the redhead demands, hopping up from the table urgently, trying her best to think despite the innumerable ways her ass hurts. M fails to provide a reply. When Shelley joins him, he has pulled the door open to reveal the other woman.
The nameless submissive appears to be in her late twenties, though given the general pattern of application of hairdye and makeup, as well as the general scent of her cosmetics - the brands of which Holmes had made herself rather familiar with through study - the detective places her instead at an exceptionally stunning and beautiful early forties instead. Her body is athletic, smooth and without a shred of clothing to hide her modesty of course. Washboard abs, a runner's thighs, nothing less to be expected of someone who takes as much care of her looks as this woman does. Not one stray bodyhair below the neck, either. Not waxing, Holmes realises, the mystery submissive shaves, regularly. Presumably at least once a day given the texture of her skin, suggesting both discipline and a relatively low income. Tiny freckles pepper the bridge of her nose and her cheekbones: she's a woman of southerner climes than Edinburgh.
Her hair is dark, curly, spilling across her shoulders and matted by sweat. Very much all of her is, in fact, glistening with sweat - the reason immediately apparent, too. The bondage that M has left her in is simple, but also intensely demanding over a long period of time. With her hands tied up above her head, the woman is lifted high enough that she cannot even support her weight with the balls of her feet, only the very tips of her toes touching the ground as if she were a ballerina. The muscles in her arms strain to keep herself suspended - given how little leeway M's ropework allows, if she were to relax her arms, her weight would likely dislocate her shoulders. Shelley Holmes almost grows pale at the realisation that the brunette has been enduring this bondage since she had arrived... and likely since quite some time before too, given the detective's lateness.
"Yes, this is why you should really strive to keep your appointments Holmes," M explains, "you never can know who else will pay the price for your failings. In this case, I'm sure Doctor Watson would have a word or two to share with you, if not for the ballgag."
Shelley nearly spits her tea, "Doctor Watson?" she peers at M. "Please tell me you're being metaphorical..." she hisses.
"Not at all. Shelley Holmes, meet Genevieve Watson, PhD."
"M..." the detective breathes in slowly, "what the fuck is the meaning of this. And when the hell are you going to release the poor woman?"
"You can release Doctor Watson from her bondage at your leisure, Holmes. As long as you do one small thing first," M explains, closing the door on the brunette, the sweaty woman's eyes widening as she twists against her bonds.
"I don't get what the fuck you're playing at, but I don't like it. Like, look, I get what you said about my abstinence just making the addiction worse... I get you're trying to teach me... lessons and things," she growls, "but why the fuck are you bringing other people into this, what is the meaning of..."
She's cut-off when the gimp-suited man grabs hold of her shoulders. "Holmes, calm the fuck down. I've thought for a long time about this. Doctor Watson's appearance, I feel was very much a sign for me to push you into the direction you really need to follow." With his hands on the redhead's shoulders, he guides her to the fireplace. "I admit, I am only going on gut instinct, but you yourself told me... in the majority of cases, one's first instinct is the correct one. So I posit, Ms. Holmes, that Doctor Watson is the real solution to your predicament."
"I don't follow," she glowers.
"You have spent a very long time trying to run from your submissiveness, but you cannot live without the lifestyle, that much is clear. It is an integral part of you. You don't care to admit it, but even I've noticed," he taps her forehead, "that this genius brain of yours begins to grind to a hold once your needs overwhelm you. At the same time, you do not want to be restricted - metaphorically speaking - by a long-term dominant in your life. You loathe the idea of life at someone else's terms. You refrain from seeking out more casual relationships, quite rightly, because you are concerned for your own safety in the hands of those few who can promise to truly excite your lust.
M leans toward the fireplace and pulls out an iron poker, which Holmes - with a skip of her heartbeat - realises is in fact a bespoke branding iron as its tip is unearthed from the coals, glowing a dull scarlet. Seen down the handle, there is no mistaking that the metal inscription on its tip reads 'HOLMES'.
"But what you require is not a dominant. You require a submissive," he offers the branding iron to Shelley. The young woman jumps back, as if repelled.
"THAT woman?" she exclaims. "M, what the fuck. I am not a dominant, I've told you, I..."
"You've tried dominating a boyfriend in university. You didn't enjoy it, it's not the same. Damned. Thing. That was a different you, it was a different relationship. You say you're not a dominant, but believe it or not, everything that makes you a good detective makes you an excellent mistress. But... no, listen me out Holmes," M holds out the brand, blocking the woman's path with it as she tries to squirm away to the side, finding herself cornered by the much larger man.
He grabs her chin, "Listen to me. I've known you for three years now. There are things that you hide from others and even from yourself, but I can tell when you are lying, even if you yourself don't think you are. I know also that I am one of the few people you have ever put your trust into, so trust me now, dammit. You need this. You need this badly. Goodness, I wouldn't be going to these extremes to set you up with someone if I didn't think you needed to be pushed."
"M, I am not a dominant. Read my lips. I am not even a lesbian, I'm... I'm bicurious at best," the redhead mutters as best as she can with her chin being pushed up. "You can't ask me to, in good conscience, brand and take... ownership... of a woman I have never met or spoken to..." she whispers.
"You are not a dominant yet, I will confess. But you will become one. And for your sake, I advise that you make the attempt. What you may be rather surprised by is how much you enjoy it. Again, trust me. I have seen this happen with other women like you," the man grins, "you might think it is the act of submission that you crave, but I am beginning to understand that is not that... it is the event. You like the exchange of power. You like the vulnerability, the helplessness, the empowerment of the master, the disempowerment of the slave. Where others see a woman kneel, you see a myriad of possibilities, a million connections - trust, risk, intimacy... you observe so well that no gesture or nuance misses you, least of all one made by your partner. You act cold, but I think you are the most empathetic person I have ever met."
With her back pressed against the cold wall, her welted, swollen ass painfully scraping on the bare cinderbrick, Holmes looks straight up at the man after a few moments of catching her breath. "So what... you think I can satisfy my own urges by empathising with her plight? Doing to her as I would have done unto me?"
"Something like that."
"Bullshit, M," the redhead growls.
The dominant is taken aback. She can see his muscles tighten and she knows he's now placing himself on the defensive. "You are still my submissive in this room, Holmes. I don't tolerate that kind of language you know. You are here because you need me. You do not get to pick and choose your punishments, I believe I made that clear a long time ago."
"M, this is not a punishment..."
"I have another brand in the fireplace, Holmes. One that's a lot more well-used. Just a simple 'M', you know? I think you've seen it on a pet of mine or two in the past. Are you willing to accept that your place is at my feet Holmes? Stop this nonsense of abstinence, these fruitless hiatuses before you come crawling back to me? Make your submission to me complete once and for all?"
Her eyes widen, "What? No, I..."
"I don't think you should. But if you don't take Watson with you, that is your fate. If not now then soon, perhaps the next time you return to me, in month, two, six months, a year... whenever. You and I both know it is going to happen. Might as well get it out of the way while you're here." Just like that, the man releases her, wandering back to the fireplace.
Nude, the Europol detective shudders, blinking a few times as she looks around the room. It is enough for M to retrieve the second brand from the coals for the young woman to realise that he is not joking.
"There's a third option," Holmes clenches her fists defiantly.
"Yes, your safeword. I do still recall that you insisted on one when we first met. I trust you also recollect the condition for using it, yes? Once spoken, you may leave of course..." the latex-clad man steps closer, "but solely with the understanding that you may not return to my door for any reason, ever again," he lifts up the small woman's chin, gripping it tightly between thumb and index finger - but only for a moment.
His grip relaxes, tracing down far more gently now, over the curve of the redhead's throat. Holmes swallows an awkward lump in her throat.
"Well guess what. 'Reichenbach', motherfucker," the woman pushes him away with vitriol. M is sufficiently shocked that he even drops one of the brands, leaving a scorch-mark on the floor from under the heated metal. "It's bad enough that you try to manipulate me... psychologically and physically. But then you also bring her into this," she pulls the closet door open violently, once more exposing the nude and compromised Doctor Watson.
"She is a submissive, just like you. That woman knew what she had agreed to do," M calls out.
"Did she now?" Shelley spreads her hands. "How can someone give their consent to be... to be fucking branded, by someone they've never even met before?" she calls out angrily. With M stepping back now, she turns her attention to Watson, beginning carefully untying her restraints - slipping her hands out from the rope and supporting the taller woman as she comes down. "And not only do you try to pawn her off to someone she's never met, you are trying to force her to be the permanently marked sub... of a woman who is not a domme, who's not even gay... what the fuck kind of fate is that M? Have you even explained it to her?"
"Holmes, you've given me the safeword, you can go now. You've made your point... now get out. What are you doing with the good Doctor Watson?"
"What does it fucking look like I'm doing?" the redhead sighs exasperatedly, helping the other nude woman lower her arms slowly as blood returns to them after such a long time in bondage. "I'm taking her with me, that's what. Like hell am I letting you look after her... after all that," she shakes her head. Then, to Watson, "Sorry dear, it's going to be a little tough, but I'm afraid we'll have to skimp on the aftercare tonight," she mutters, carefully taking out the ballgag. "Also, I may need to borrow your coat. The current state of my clothes is a little... flimsy, for this weather."
M paces the room, but appears to have run out of things to say - instead, setting himself about dousing the branding irons and tidying up the dungeon. Holmes, in turn, finds the gag used to be rather brutally wide for the unfortunate submissive's jaw, leaving Watson apparently incapable of meaningful speech while she dresses, getting her garments out of the closet, where they'd been stashed away beside her. She arrived, as it transpires, in a rather fetching suit, complete with high heels, trousers and a button-up shirt, which conceals exactly no undergarments.
"See you never," the detective tells M bitterly, buttoning up the overcoat that Genevieve Watson has decided to generously loan her, given the new status of her own clothes as kindling. The man gives them a blank look and only raises his hand in farewell, while Holmes collects her handbag - and takes Watson's hand, leading the woman out.
"Fine piece of work back there." As Watson flexes her jaw, Holmes gives her a startled look. They find themselves on the Royal Mile when the tall woman's jaw is limber enough for her to speak. It is the thick, southern American accent that startles Holmes though.
"It's not something I do often, but I do have to apologise. As much as I disagreed with your situation there, I... I never really asked for your own wishes or opinions. I dragged you out with me to make a statement. A somewhat selfish statement," Holmes tells her somberly.
"S'quite alright. Can't say I was thrilled myself. But y'know how subspace goes, Miss Holmes. Seemed like a good idea at the time," Watson smiles a little. "And, well, that's why I was congratulatin' you. I mean, I heard the things you said. I just wanted you to know that it was pretty admirable - I think, anyway. Y'did a good job of standin' up to him. I don't think I coulda done what you did."
"Well, I don't know. I can't help but think that if he hadn't used me first... fucked me, you know? I mean, I was sated then, when he pulled the ace out of his sleeve. I'd gotten what I came for, I wasn't feeling as submissive. I didn't need him then anymore. And it hurt, saying the safeword, cutting him out like that. But, if he'd pulled you out of the cupboard first, I don't know. I might have gone with it." Holmes glances down at her bare feet. Being out on the Royal Mile in only a loosely buttoned-up coat - and not a very long one at that - she realises to be drawing some looks. "Shall we pop into a Starbucks or something? It'll be my treat, to make up for M tonight."
"Oh no, Miss Holmes. It's mine. You're in much worse state than I am. I'm a strong girl, I can take a bit of time in," the older woman laughs.
Holmes checks her phone as the two of them find a nearby cafe - it's coming up to nine o'clock at night. The doctor insists on getting the coffees, so Shelley picks out a seat and waits.
"I gotcha a mocha," Genevieve grins, setting the large mug down in front of the detective. Her own drink smells like an Irish coffee.
"Thanks. So, your name is really Watson, huh?"
"Yeah, funny sorta coincidence, isn't it?"
The redhead looks across at her, taking a sip of the mocha - the drink gets an appreciative look when it starts to warm her up/ "Not really. It's just M being devious. He likes plotting elaborate schemes," she sighs.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, he's the one who got you to come to Scotland, all the way from Georgia, right? At a guess, I'd say the mathematician got seduced by the attractive offer of a renowned Edinburgh dom, offering to put her up for a while at his expense. While she's on a sabbatical, say, writing a book. Perhaps she'd that having a man with a hard cock in her life would stimulate her creative juices?"
Genevieve Watson blinks a few times. "Whoah. You're gooooood," she peers at Shelley with a little smile. "So, okay then. Spill the beans. How'd you figure it out?" the brunette cants her head quizzically.
"All of it! I mean, I know he didn't tell ya..."
Holmes sips at her mocha again while Watson speaks - then takes a deep breath, "Well, you're American, have a southern accent... you've still got a tan that doesn't match local weather and given the overly conservative tan-lines, which I have to admit to having noticed, I'd say you weren't exactly sunbathing on holiday lately. So no, you got here recently, I'd say only a night or two ago, because you're still jetlagged as hell. In fact, I imagine I know precisely when M told you to come: two days ago, late afternoon, he told you he booked a ticket on a transatlantic flight the very next day in your name. Why? Because that is when I first told him I would be coming to visit this afternoon.
"Your PhD - it's in mathematics. Group theory to be precise. You literally wear your discipline on a sleeve - you have Rubik's cube cufflinks on your shirt, a Rubik's cube pendant and even matching earrings. The Rubik's cube is, of course, one of the most famous group theoretical puzzles. Sure you might be an amateur enthusiast, but to ingrain it into your identity so much makes it doubtful to me that your interest does not extend into the professional, right?
"So, why Georgia?" the redhead pulls a set of keys out of one of the coat pockets - a plastic blue panther dangling from them as a decorative keychain. "Blue panther is the mascot of the Georgia State Panthers... the home team, of Georgia State University. Which, as it happens, is a very high research activity university with a world-class mathematics department. Curious, that! The rest, well, is pure speculation. Since you're here for an indefinite duration, going along with M's plan to make you my slave, I should take that to mean you don't exactly have a lecture to hurry home to. Hence, you're probably on sabbatical... and that you're writing a book is an inspired guess. You just seem like the passionate type about your subject. I bet Rubik's cubes are involved."
"Damn, M was right. You do the Sherlock thing well," Watson smiles across at the redhead, from behind her coffee mug. "It's not strictly speaking deductive reasoning, more like..."
"...inspired guesswork. Yes, I know. Look my name is just, I dunno, it's both a kind of a burden and a boon all at once. It's a great happenstance that my professional skills fit the image conjured by my fictional namesake. Sort of. I mean it makes conveying what I do to other people a little bit easier than it would be otherwise. I'm a short little ginger girl, I wouldn't normally be detective material in most eyes, specially not at this age. But then I just say I'm Shelley Holmes and everyone's like 'Oh yeah! You!'.
"But at the same time it's like..." she squints, "some people almost see me as a mascot. You know?" the younger woman fiddles with the little keychain panther. "They keep me around not for myself, but for what I represent. They kinda assume that I must have some kinda mystical link to the fictional Holmes, so because there's a few superficial similarities between me and him, they decide they know everything that I'm about. And that's the sort of thing that can give me a boost up one time and kick me in the teeth another. And then you get the jokers like M who get a kick out of trying to shape my life for some fucking reason, doing crazy shit like finding a Doctor Watson to set me up with," she laughs. "No offence. You seem like a wonderful woman! I'm just sorry you got dragged into my mess..."
The mathematician reaches over, squeezing Shelley's hand, "Hey, it's alright. You've said sorry once and that's more than enough for something that ain't your fault, honey." She offers a compassionate smile, "Look, this has been a tough night for you. You're working and dealing with all this drama... and you've had to walk out on your dom, which can be even worse than the usual kinda breakup. And you've just come up from all the way south.
"Why don't you give yourself a different kinda break. You don't need him to get fucked like a little whore, in a city like this," Genevieve winks. "We could go out just the two of us, see what sorta trouble we can get ourselves into. I mean, unless you'd rather get rest..." she pauses, "sorry, I'm just projecting a little," the academic explains with a little blush, "you're the one that got so loudly fucked across the table!"
Holmes winces, "Oh God, I'm so sorry about that, I've really been so incredibly selfish tonight," she bites her lip. "Yeah, I think a night out sounds great. I think I still remember a few nice haunts around the city," the woman admits, "I might be up for showing you around. Least I can do, that kinda thing..."
"An' I keep telling you, stop kicking yourself you sweet little masochist," Watson squeezes the hand tighter, "trust me, it's okay. I'm bein' sincere alright? By the time your altercation with M came around? I honestly wasn't in the mood. I mean, I barely know the guy, only met him for the first time yesterday as you figured out just now. Knew him online and by his reputation, but... y'know, I don't have that kinda connection to him you have. I don't feel sorry to go, not at all. So let's go someplace fun and I'll buy you shots... see just how many hunky guys we can pul between the two of us?"
This gets the detective to relax a little, "And you know, that genuinely sounds sweet," she smiles. "Yes, I suppose I do need it," she grins, "and I'm sure you do as well," she squeezes the woman's hand in return - only to be interrupted in a rather untimely fashion by the clamour of her phone. "Shit..." Holmes pulls away, sliding her finger reluctantly out of Watson's. The drum solo vibrates in her hand for a few moments longer, until she can fumble through the touchscreen and answer.
"...hello? Grisley! Hey. What's up..." Shelley flashes Watson a nervous look, mouthing 'work' at her. "Right. Okay, sure." The detective waits a moment longer, then curtly cuts the call off. When she turns to face the other woman, she assumes a guilty countenance one more, "Well shit. Listen, it looks like I won't be able to make it tonight after all. They've just called me back in on the case - I've got no idea how long it'll take."
The doctor nods slowly, having sensed that coming. "Yeah, it's okay..." she pouts a little. "Work's work, what can ya do." The woman slumps back in her chair a little, "Hey, is that Chase & Status on your phone? Sorry, just thought I recognised the beat."
The sudden shift in conversation disorients Holmes for just a moment, "My phone? Huh, yeah it is," she chuckles, slipping the little device back into her pocket. "Thought drum and bass wasn't that big in the US."
"I grew up being way into house. But... the anglophile in me can't help but try to keep up with all this crazy new stuff you kids are doing these days," Watson grins, downing the last of her Irish coffee. Holmes glances at the rest of her mocha, but opts to leave it half-consumed as she heads out, followed by the mathematician.
"You ever get into any of it?" the redheaded detective wonders.
"I like the jazzier and reggae stuff a bit more. Didn't figure you as a mainstream kinda girl," Watson stuffs her hands into her jeans, feeling the chill of the increasingly colder night.
"Hey, who do you take me for? Did-did I put my ironically-ironic black-rimmed glasses on this morning?" the detective jibes. "I'm allowed to like mainstream! Sure, I love grittier drumfunk tunes when I really need to think, but I like bands like Chase and Status, or - I dunno - Infected Mushroom. Bands get popular cause they're kind of good, not just for being the lowest common denominator."
"Girl likes her drum fills," Watson laughs, shaking her head. "Listen, it's kinda freezin' out here. How about I cut you a deal... I get you a taxi - on my account - to get you to wherever it is you need to go. Aaaand you let me come with you to the crime scene?" she suggests with a little grin. "Then soon as you're done, we can head off to town!"
Holmes sighs, "No... no, come on. I can't just bring my friends and my kids and my dog to a crime scene. And this one's a pretty sensitive one, too. I mean, even if I was okay with it, there's no way they'd let you past the police tape. I bet they've got a dozen coppers up there by now, watching the place like hawks."
"Murder scene?" the mathematician grins mischievously. "Come on, cantcha wave me through as an assistant of some kind?"
"Europol? With that accent?"
"Officer exchange program! C'mon. You're not Sherlock Holmes, but I bet watching you work would be awesome. What else am I gonna do, go back to my hotel room?"
Shelly bites her lip, bare toes still squirming against the cold, rough asphalt. "Alright," she nods at last, a little laugh escaping her lips involuntarily. "I don't even fucking know why I'm agreeing, but fine. Just on one condition - don't you dare breathe a word to anyone... anyone at all... that your name is Watson. Okay? Oh and, impersonating a police officer can be up to six months jail time," the redhead smirks.
Watson leans in and kisses Shelley's cheek, "My lips... are sealed," she grins. "And there's a taxi! Or, a cab, as you guys call them I take it," she stretches her arm out, whistling to get the driver's attention.