The lights lining Heathrow International Airport’s runway twinkled at him as the plane gracefully descended. Over the public address system, the captain announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, we should be on the ground in London in the next 15 minutes. Please turn off and stow any electronic devices, buckle your seat be put your seats and tray tables are in an upright position.” The crew walked through the aisles collecting trash and checking passengers had complied with the pilot’s orders.
After donning his gray driving cap, he returned his leather satchel to its place beside his medical bag beneath his seat. The stewardess, clad in a blue jumper dress uniform and sported a bluish green scarf around her neck, smiled her approval and handed him a warm towel, a courtesy all the passengers in first class received. Compressing the heated cotton to his face, the young doctor cleaned away the remnants of the few hours sleep he’d gotten during the flight, and then wiped his hands before dropping the used towel into the metal dish the stewardess used to collect them. On her final pass, she gave them a plastic bag that contained a small orange juice, cereal bar, fruit and nut mix and a small breakfast sandwich.
The passengers disembarked the plane in the otherwise quiet airport. The only noise was the occasional sound of carpet vacuuming by the maintenance staff. None of the airport shops or car rental businesses was open except for a couple of fast food restaurants and newsstands.
He only had the two bags so he didn’t have to wait to collect his luggage, so he boarded the tube. There weren’t that many passengers so he didn’t have to worry about being robbed. Closing his eyes, he dozed for a few moments.
In his mind, he pictured his wife, Mary sleeping in their bed in the country home in Sutton, a city about 30 miles southeast of London. He suspected his curly blonde haired bride, who was school second-grade teacher, had retired early even though she was on her three-month summer school holiday. He’d peel away the frumpy white night gown she usually wore to bed and make passionate love to his beloved whom he’d fondly missed after only a day apart. Such behavior would be the perfect opportunity to excuse himself from work so he could spend a day with her. His deliberate oversight of forgetting to call the hospital and informing them he’d returned from New York would relieve the demand of making rounds and tending to his patients would ensure he'd accomplish that goal.
After quietly entering their house, he hung his hat on the hat rack and set his bags down beside it. His heel removed his shoes that he neatly set next to his wife’s on the mat. Heading upstairs, he reprogrammed the alarm system before walking into their master bedroom. As she snored softly, he smiled as he stripped and laid his clothing on the chest at the foot of their bed.
Even though he carefully slid into bed, she stirred. “John, is that you?” He confirmed it by wrapping his arms around her and softly kissing the nape of her neck.
Gracefully she turned onto her side, she tenderly kissed him. “Did you just get in?” He grinned broadly in answer. “Why didn’t you tell me? I would have come to get you.”
“I wanted to surprise you,” he said in a sultry tone, sealing his hungry masculine mouth on hers.
As their passionate kisses deepened, his hands roving over her body, he pulled away her night gown, which enabled him to caress her bare flesh. With a gentle tug, he slipped off her white panties; his fingers stroked the wet, intimate essence of her and she writhed excitedly at his touch, moaning, “John! Make love to me”
His aroused state suggestively and sensually slid against her thigh as he pulled her on top of him meeting her demands and desires as he fulfilled his.
Beneath his flannel robe, she was naked, he knew, sipping his coffee at the breakfast table. He pretended to read the paper, but the only thing on his mind at that moment was to take his sexy wife back to bed and have another romp with her. Then again, she’d probably affectionately stroke his face and tell him no since he had to work. Well, she didn’t know he intended to be on holiday with her for the day.
Mary set a plate with a generous helping of scrambled eggs, fried potatoes and bacon in front of him. Lowering the paper, he gave her a fervent kiss full on the lips in a show of appreciation. As she returned to the stove to finish dishing up her own breakfast, he turned his attention back to the paper. An article in the society section caught his attention.
Famous Opera Singer to Wed Egyptian Prince
By Elizabeth Gallegan
American’s favorite pop diva and famous international opera songbird Irene Adler is scheduled to wed Egyptian Prince Rashid Ismael Habib Amad at 2 p.m. today at St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Amad is the heir to the throne in Egypt and has a billion dollars, which is slightly more than the millions Adler has earned for the multitude of gold and platinum albums she’s had in the opera and pop music genres.
Adler and Amad became intimately involved in a salacious romance after the prince attended her concert in Paris last year. …
Now he knew what Holmes meant when he said if he didn’t return to London that day, he’d do something drastic. His love sick friend intended to crash the singer’s wedding and by doing so prevent it from occurring.
Crumbling his napkin and tossing it onto the plate of food he’d barely eaten, he rose from the table and headed out the kitchen.
Bewildered at her husband’s strange behavior, Mary called after him. “John, where are you going?”
Hurriedly dressing, grabbing, his hat, black trench coat and dark colored umbrella in case it rained, which it typically did in London even in summer, he shoved some toast plastered with orange marmalade jam that was sitting on the counter in his mouth. His kiss bussed her cheek. “I’ve got to go stop Holmes from spoiling Irene’s wedding.”
With that, her husband darted out the door; she felt confused. Taking her warm plate, she sat down at the table and pondered her why her spouse had unexpectedly departed. The strange cryptic comment about Holmes spoiling Irene Alder’s wedding was a sorry excuse to leave without finishing his breakfast. Picking up the discarded newspaper on the table, she read the story he’d been pursuing and began to get a better understanding of what was going on.
Standing in front of the long oval mirror laden in gold, Irene didn’t pay attention to how radiant she looked in her strapless ivory beaded tea length wedding dress designed by Christian Dior. Her assistant, Casey, a fiery red-haired young woman from Ireland, did her duty as maid of honor by carefully securing her lacy veil on top of her head with pearl combs.
The wedding was a half an hour away and Casey still hadn’t changed into her formal dress. The 21-year-old spirited single Irish woman wore her black biker jacket, matching tight leggings and biker gloves and hot pink tank top made her look as slutty as Madonna had been at a younger age. Her appearance clearly indicated her bold, wild young employee hadn’t bothered to go home and put on different clothes than the ones she’d worn both to the London street races and club last night. That fact along with the oral fixation the younger woman had with her gum made Irene wondered why she’d picked her to stand up at her wedding.
This wedding is a sham! She thought, picking up her bouquet of yellow roses on the antique marble table. You’re only doing it in the hopes that Sherlock Holmes will throw himself at your feet, proclaim his undying love for you and plead with you to be his wife.
Sherlock Holmes! He’ll be an eternal bachelor! The devil inside her snorted derisively. That fool is probably so stoned that he neither knows nor cares that you’re getting married.
Yes, but you love him! The soft angelic voice of wisdom argued. It’s a sin to marry a man you don’t love. And Sherlock’s definitely a better lover than the man you’re about to wed!
The bouquet she held felt heavy in her hands and the image reflected in the mirror a costume worn by a performer; her convictions and beliefs were beginning to fail. Her viewpoint had shifting from lies to truth.
It’s true ! I do love him and as far as a lover he ranks a 10; that’s all he’ll ever be is a lover. He’ll never be your husband because he cannot make a commitment since he finds intimate romantic attachments and involvements with women, no matter if they’re honorable and honest, highly moral characters such as you are, are abominable, for these relationships must be avoided at all costs.
Unable to convince herself what she was doing was a just a fantastic role she wanted to play, she propelled herself forward to her imminent reality. Flinging the doors of the bride room open, she took a confident step into the arched church lobby filled with Handel’s wedding music. No one waited there to escort her to the altar.
Customarily the bride’s father took that final stroll with his daughter, but her father, George William Adler, a famous shipbuilder from Connecticut, along with her mother, Teresa had been aboard the plane that Middle Eastern terrorists crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. Her brother, Scotty, who lived in Seattle with his wife and three children, could have walked her down the aisle, but she hadn’t even told him she was getting married.
Looking bored, the usher, one of the prince’s servants, shifted his position, turning toward the bride. She gave him a smile and a nod. In his native language, the man pressed his hand on the microphone hanging from his ear and quietly issued an order. The music smoothly transitioned from Richard Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” to Felix Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March.”
Guests and spectators rose, their eyes followed her as she walked down the long aisle. The prince, dressed in his white dress military uniform adorned with numerous medals, stood patiently waiting for her at the altar with the minister. His twin brother and best man, Jamel Benahihym, also wore the traditional white tunic associated with members of the royal household of Amad.
After Irene set her bouquet on the railing in front of the altar and took her intended’s extended hand; attentions shifted and people whispered as London’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes breezed into the cathedral. Sophisticated curls of smoke curled from the thin wooden cigarette pipe he puffed on; a few guests coughed loudly or made disgusted faces as they waved away the offending smoke to suggest he desist, but he continued smoking.
For a moment she wondered if the second-hand smoke he was subjecting them all to was laced with bud or opiates as he had an obsession with both drugs, but there weren’t any detectable odors indicating he was higher than a kite. While some felt engaging in such a nasty habit at a wedding offensive and rude, to him, he was just being refined and cultured. This occasion must have really important and meant a lot to him if he’d shown up sober from the intoxications of his drug addiction, she mused in admiration.
His black trench coat swirled about his best black pin-striped suit as he tried to slide unobtrusively to a vacant spot at the end of the pew. As he removed his stylish black derby and small framed sunglasses like those Sir Elton John wore, she noticed out of the corner of her eye that he’d cleaned himself up. He’d shaven and apparently he’d showered because his damp hair was neatly combed. The diamond pin on the center of his tie lying on top of his neatly pressed suit glittered making him look incredibly sexy and handsome, not that she’d noticed.
The veteran Anglican minister began to the ceremony and her body tensed when his smooth, classy accented voice projected throughout the cathedral stated, “Marriage is a sacred institution that’s why the Good Book says, ‘What God has joined may no man put asunder’, so if there be one here who can show just cause or reason why this man and woman should not be joined speak now or forever hold your piece.”
In that crucial moment, she tossed a casual glance in Sherlock’s direction but he sat there, content and silent, smoking his cigarette. Shaking her head, her heart was heavy. She could not escape the truth.
Locking her azure blue eyes on the groom, she let go of his hand. “I’m sorry, Rash, I can’t do this.” Many of those in attendance gasped or murmured in shock.
“It’s just wedding jitters, Darling,” he told her unruffled and upset. “They’ll pass.”
“No, Rash, they won’t,” Her eyes were sad. She picked up her abandoned bouquet as stepped away from the altar. “I’m sorry, but I can’t marry you.”
Her intended’s twin brother became irate. “I told you there was another man.” Unsheathing his scimitar from the leather scabbard hanging from his side, he urged, “We should find him and kill him.”
Calm and placid Holmes sat in the pew, smoking away at his cigarette, as if he had nothing to do with anything that had just occurred. Patience, maturity and charisma exuded from the heir to the Egyptian throne as he placed his powerful hand on the raised weapon. The pressure was sufficient to lower it so it wasn’t so threatening; the gesture helped somewhat assuage his brother’s anger.
“Your brother is right,” Irene told Amad. “There is another man.”
“But …” His dark eyes were skeptical. He had felt her ecstasy when they’d made love. “ … you loved me?”
“No,” tears welled in her eyes, moistening her thick dark lashes. “I never loved you. I’m sorry.”
Just as she was about to turning on her fancy glittering silver and ivory shoes and run down the aisle, the large wooden doors boomed loudly as they opened. With his own manly charms and debonair appearance, Dr. John Watson, clad in a brown hat and matching suit, bellowed loudly. “Holmes!” The smoking detective, his shades hiding the delighted look in his eyes, glanced back and smiled at his former partner. The married doctor saw the bride crying on the shoulder of one of her distinguished senior citizen guests in the front pew, and the groom, his brother and a mass of well-built security guards jabbering heatedly in Egyptian while some of the guests began to quietly and slowly make their way out of the church.
Shit he was too late! He frowned in disgust. London’s traffic hadn’t been that bad, but that bugger of a taxi driver hadn’t rushed like he wanted him too either.
Hurriedly Watson strode up the center aisle, red streaks painted the majority of his face. He was ready to strangle his friend as soon as he got his hands on him. “Holmes, how could you?”
Irene stopped him with a gentle hand on the doctor’s arm. “He didn’t do anything, John, I did.”
“You?” He said with a mix of surprise, shock and disapproval. “What could ever possess you to utterly ruin your own wedding?”
Lowering her voice to the barest of whispers, she watched Holmes as he made his way through the thinning crowd toward them. “You know he’s the man I love.”
He did. Watson sighed, relaxing his guard and posture. And only God knew how she’d lost her heart or why she’d freely give her love to a man like Sherlock Holmes! The man was almost his brother but definitely a friend, but despite that Holmes didn’t deserve to have the unconditional devotion of a woman like Irene.
Holding the cigarette in his hand, Holmes stepped up to the two of the best people in the world who he loved with everything in his being. “We’re you two talking about me?”
She was not giving him the satisfaction of an answer. Rolling her eyes, she regarded this despicable scoundrel of a man with disgust. It was beyond her powers of comprehension to fathom how she could love a pompous, conceited bastard like him.
Like an angry hornet, her veil flapped behind her as she began to storm from the cathedral. Holmes gently snatched her arm, pulling her toward him and said quietly. “I must say, Darling, you invited me to a most excellent performance. I haven’t seen a show as good since I went to see Mary Ellen Hallwood of the Shakespearean Theatre Company portray Kate in The Taming of the Shrew.”
Her ocean colored eyes flashed with rage. “How dare you accuse me of something so prosperous!”
He wagged a finger silencing her. “Actually, I must amend my earlier statement. I think your recent performance was a thousand times better than hers.”
“You are a complete ass!” She spat at him.
His visage exhibited a confidence and smugness. “That I am, Darling!” With that, he gave her the most sizzling kiss on the lips, and he didn’t care if God, Prince Rashid, his brother and entourage or anyone else that matter saw his public display of affection for her. As he savored her sweet petals, he saw a familiar blur of a scholarly looking man exiting the cathedral.
“Moriarity!” He shouted breathlessly, breaking away from his passionate exchange and chasing after his nemesis.
The disgruntled man didn’t even look back; he continued on a good clip toward the arched lobby then disappeared as if he’d been sucked up by a thong of chatting wedding guests still milling around the cathedral.
For this reason, neither Watson nor Irene had seen Moriarity, much less anyone else depart; their opinions on the occurrence differed. As for himself, the doctor thought his friend was evidently wasted by whatever drug combination he was smoking and that caused him to hallucinate. One again it was up to him to stop Holmes from doing something where he harmed himself or someone else. As a result, he picked up his pace to catch up with the detective who was in hot pursuit of his opponent.
On the other hand, Irene was oddly silent about the occurrence. She didn’t think Holmes was high or hallucinating at all because she’d seen this man on a few occasions before and she’d felt a sense of familiarity and recognition of someone she’d had both acquaintance and encounters. Since she trusted her intuition, she knew he’d seen someone who looked like Moriarity, his adversary.
Why this was a probable possibility made it a disastrous, dangerous and deadly puzzle. Well, if anyone could solve such an enigma, it was the man who her heart desired, Sherlock Holmes. Sighing, she removed her veil and went into the bride room to change into more sensible attire before she too went in search of where the two men were on their adventurous quest.
The long black stretch limousine pulled up the circular drive in front of Blackwood Manor his home on the farthest southern edge of London. His longtime man and butler, Jeeves, a thin wisp of a man with thinning peppered gray hair, stood tall and proud at the foot of the staircase. He didn’t even bristle when the Chinese chauffer opened the limo’s door and the Lord of the manor stepped out with an angry look on his face.
Personally the crafty servant didn’t blame his lord for his fury. He’d be madder than the Zeus himself who had been disturbed while he relaxed while sitting on his throne. This was how exactly his Lord felt about being missing an important vote at the House of Lords for an insignificant matter such as this.
“I’ll tell Francine to delay your dinner, my Lord,” Jeeves informed him as he keep pace with his infuriated master entered the three-storied luxury manor that had been in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s family for generations. “And I’ll bring you some brandy and your favorite brand of Cuban cigars.”
“Thank you, Jeeves, I want to chew the hell out of them,” he said, pulling on the bust of Machiavelli that served as a book end on his library shelf. A secret passage led to a laboratory where Dr. Malcolm Hennessey, one of the top scientists in cloning and cryogenetics, holding a chart in his hand, stepped forward.
“How did he escape again?” Doyle barked at the brilliant scientist.
“It’s not his fault, Master,” Moriarity protested, trying to get away from the two beefy gangster thugs restraining him. “It’s mine.”
Jeeves reappeared and handed his Lord a cigar which he lit with a golden lighter.
Taking a long, smooth, sighing draft, Doyle demanded, “Then what exactly were you doing running out and about in London when you were specifically ordered to stay in the laboratory until we were ready to release you?” He snapped his fingers and the henchmen rudely dropped the clone on his knees in front of their boss.
“I’m sorry, Master,” Moriarty said remaining on his knees. His countenance was contrite. “I was only doing what you observing my enemy like you taught me to.”
“And just what exactly did you observe?” Doyle asked as he took several tokes from his cigar.
“That my enemy, Sherlock Holmes has an Achilles heel,” Moriarity proclaimed, an evil smile sliding over his lips. “Irene Adler. He loves her.”
Compassion always made heroes weak, Doyle thought as a pleased sliver crept up on his lips.
“Well done, my good and faithful Servant,” Doyle draped his arm around the clone’s shoulder as he helped him get to his feet. “You’ll be rewarded. Tonight you and I shall dine on fine food and wine and afterwards we’ll enjoy the pleasures of exotic and high class women.”
“Yes, my Master,” the clone said, satisfaction and pleasure evident in his tone but the curiosity he felt caused wrinkles to slightly mar the perfection of his scientifically engineered face. “But when will we have our revenge, conquering our mutual enemy Sherlock Holmes once and all?”
“Patience, my Friend,” Doyle said guiding the newly genetically re-engineered and improved version of Moriarity away from the laboratory that created clones and cryogenetically designed humans, a master race of perfect super humans who would eventually rule the world. But in order to achieve that goal, they had to eliminate the clones, Sherlock Holmes, Dr. John Watson and Irene Adler, designed to be the saviors of humanity.
The bloody humanitarian scientists, formerly in his employ – intellectually brilliant, geniuses really and scientifically gifted scholars they were – had done some experimenting with the clones and the creations they had been cryogenetically crafted. It was miraculous and amazing what they’d accomplished. A flawless, smart and incredibly strong super human who could survive even a nuclear holocaust.
When he bought the facility more than a decade ago, he had been young and foolish and inexperienced as far as his education, knowledge and experience with these modern scientific wonders; he had been blinded by the mastery and power men and women who were on the same level as Mary Shelley’s talented fictional scientist, Victor Frankenstein. By the time he’d found out that these bright scientific minds had foolishly and unwittingly let loose their perfected protagonists on society without his approval or permission, it had been too late to do anything about it. Instead of firing them, he had his Mafioso men brutally kill these masterminds; he got away with it all scott free because their deaths looked like accidents.
“His fatal flaws will soon lead to his downfall,” Doyle said opening the door and walking with his prized villainous clone into the manor’s grand dining hall, “and then you and I will have no one to stop us from having dominion over all.”
What will happen next? Stay tuned for the next episode to find out!