I came out of an unsettled sleep in the bedroom I was sharing still somewhat reticently with Sherlock Holmes.
I started awake at the sound of my name to find my newly remembered husband beside my bed and I absorbed that fact that he must've come in quietly and proceeded to bed without disturbing me.
Either I had been in a deep sleep that the noises of his bed time preparations did not disturb me or I subconsciously had already accepted his presence remarkably considering I had two days previously not had the faintest awareness of his identity or place in my life due to an unknown attack.
He looked concerned now as he switched on the lamp. ‘Are you all right?’ he asked as he reached out offering me his handkerchief, sinking beside me on the bed.
I became aware of tears on my face, and accepted his offer sheepishly.
‘Why are you crying?’ Holmes queried solicitously his tones at odds with the very subtle hint of male distaste on his face. It steadied me to know that my powers to be aware of his frame of mind had not vanished entirely. Most would've missed the micro-expression entirely.
‘What?’ I reached out a hand to him, which he instantly engulfed in his own. I had meant what I said that day, my trust in him was complete whether or not all details of our history returned to me or not.
His raised eyebrow nudged me to answer him, his grey eyes finding mine.
I HAD been dreaming, and I was aware for reasons unknown to me , of his tension as I began to describe the contents to him.
I had found myself in a remote cabin at a location I could not pinpoint but felt it to be on the west coast of America. The quietness and serenity called to me and as it had been as it was when I was a young girl. I was aware of the presence of my mother and father and my younger brother. By their expressions I knew we were happy just to be together.
We sat quietly in the garden overlooking the lake. I suddenly realized the radio was on inside and a sense of urgency swept through me that whatever it was going to say I did not want to hear it. I leapt up, going inside to stand transfixed as the voice informed me of a Great Fire that was burning San Francisco.
In my dream I shut the radio off. turning to walk down a suddenly long hallway trying to get to the yard to warn my family. but I went out the door only to realize I was alone at the lake.
I suddenly recalled standing there that they were no longer alive and that an accident had taken them all from me but as I looked their presence was still evident all around me and although I felt their loss I was surprisingly comforted and as well by Holmes' nearness now.
‘You have had similar dreams before,’ he remarked slowly, ‘but their outcomes were much more disturbing to you . It appears that you are, in spite of whatever has transpired here in Morocco, thankfully laying your past to rest.’
As I studied the remarkably handsome older man before me, another memory surfaced. This man and I at the same cabin together after he had spent days patiently waiting while I came to remember and accept the tragedy that surrounded the loss of my family.
And I now recalled how we had made the most of our final three days in that discreet private setting with no distractions, Holmes being generous in his marital attentions.
Holmes cleared his throat and I became aware of what might be described as an unseemly intimacy developed between us. Perhaps he too was remembering the lake.
Our eyes met and before I could move, he abruptly stood, slipping his hand out of my grasp, turning to lay down and shutting off the light.
I could only be blunt, ‘You were remembering too,’ making it a fact.
‘My dear Russell,’ cutting me off, ‘I suggest you resume your sleep, you still are recovering from a head wound and tomorrow will test the mettle of all of us.’ His tones sounding deeper than usual to my ears.
I said nothing, merely getting up and stepping over I laid down, pulling his blankets over me and closing my eyes.
I could feel his distinctly injurious stare on me, but as I lay quietly, he huffed a breath and turned his back to me, laying on his side.
We lay silently, and I could only be glad to have the memories I did with this man. I couldn't help wanting to be nearer so I turned over with my front now against his back. He tensed but seemed to settle back.
‘I remember doing this after we got away from Karim Bey’ Holmes said softly later surprising me as I thought him drifted off. The moon must have risen as I could detect a a luminescent glow from around the shutters.
'So do I' I answered pensively, my arm moved settling over and tightening around his waist. Hugging him against me protectively as I had on that nightmarish ride. By the next day we eerily would replay it.
He moved his arm grasping my hand that rested against him and pulled it to his chest lacing his fingers in mine.
Langourously almost mindlessly my fingers brushed his, stroking, and I felt and heard a sudden sharp in drawn breath
Flipping over to face me, he lifted my chin,
‘You realize , my dear one, that everything you have to say about this has crossed my mind already,’ he said pointedly.
I kissed him then, letting a hand press around the curve of his hip, massaging it under my palm.
‘Without a doubt, love, only may I say what better way to help me remember who we are; who I am, than being here together .. now, in every way”
I could sense his weakening, his breath skittering, as my hand flattened and slid up, feeling bare skin.
‘Promise you'll stop us if you need to,’ he breathed, as he bent near, his arm sliding behind my back pressing me to him.
We were up at the crack of dawn, the business of assisting peace efforts and Insh’allah, locating Marsh, pressing upon us.
But in Layautey’s morning greetings to us, I blushed fierily and could not look at Holmes as he enquired my well being. My marriage bed was well but that knowledge belonged to Holmes and myself.
I only answered demurely as we planned our days intrigues.