Mar 16, 2014

Episode 1 - Part 5

     Sherlock adjusted his bow tie again, not quite satisfied with it. He was on edge and buzzing with anticipation. Will tonight be the night when he will finally have the secrets of Magnussen's vault in the palm of his hands? He hated that man with a passion and would do anything to bring him down...even make a pact with the devil which he suspected he had already done by partnering up with the Panther. An image of her came into his mind and for the nth time he wondered what was wrong with the picture. There was something about her...something that his instinct was warning him about but his mind couldn't place...

     "Oh forget it!" he chided himself mentally, "I have to concentrate on the matter at hand. Panther can wait". His ice blue eyes gazed at himself one last time in the mirror and with a satisfied nod he went to play his violin while he waited for his "date" to show up. Exactly at seven o'clock the door to his apartment opened and the Panther walked in. He did not stop playing...didn't even turn...but he knew it was her the moment she walked in. But he didn't pause to acknowledge her presence and kept on playing till the piece did not conclude. 

     When he lowered the bow in the end, he stood there for a few moments savoring the piece he had just played. Then he turned to look at her and his pale blue eyes locked in with her rich brown ones. They gazed at each other like that for a few moments, neither of them willing to break the silence. "That was beautiful!" she breathed, "So soulful and capturing. It is strange to see that someone like you can create something like that. I'm quite impressed Shirley I must say". She smiled at him and then slowly gazed down on him, her eyes travelling the length of him and back again. Sherlock felt the heat of that gaze on his skin and it made him uncomfortable. But he kept his face passive as he didn't want to give her the satisfaction of knowing that she unnerved him. 

     When her eyes met his again, she gave him her infuriating mocking smile and said "My! You do clean up nice. Maybe I should reconsider my no-kissing-on-the-first-date policy...You look good enough to eat!". Sherlock gazed at her in the same manner as she had, a few moments before, only he was quicker about it. She had her hair up again but in a softer style with a few strands curling on her nape. She wore a diamond studs and a diamond tear drop pendant around her neck. Her shoulders were bare and the rest of her was encased in a ruby colored gown which framed her torso and then flared out into a soft fall. She looked like an exotic creature...correction...a dangerous exotic creature. 

     "Well, I cant say the same about you" he said in a bored tone, "Shall we get a move on then?". She got off the door frame she was leaning on and walked over to him. She placed her palms on his shoulders and while she held his gaze, slowly moved them near his neck. Sherlock held her gaze and refused to look away. With a smirk she adjusted his bow tie, turned and walked away. "Are you going to just stand there or should we get going?" she looked at him over her shoulder and made her way out, expecting him to follow her. Sherlock put his tie back the way it was and then went after her. 

     The party was being held in Magnussen's country mansion, a short drive from the city. They rode in silence the entire way. There were a number of security check points that needed to be cleared before they reached the main doors of the place. Magnussen, it seemed, was not taking any chances. There were a lot of security personnel all around and they had to go through metal detectors and full body check before they were allowed in through the doors. Magnussen was waiting just inside to greet his guests.

     When he saw Sherlock, he gave a smirk and then came towards him. He looked at Sherlock for a few moments before he engulfed him in a bear hug. Sherlock stiffened and waves of revulsion went through him. he suspected that was the very reason why Magnussen had done so. To show that he could...could do what he wanted. He patted Sherlock on the back and said "So good of you to come old friend! I didn't think you would and that thought made me very sad. After all we shouldn't let what happened get in between our beautiful friendship. Why you have bought a life to my party by your mere presence and I do hope you will enjoy yourself".

     Before Sherlock could remark back, Panther slid next to him to put her hands on his arm and squeezed. When he looked at her in question she gave him a dazzling smile and looked at Magnussen. "We intend too" she purred. "Who is this delectable morsel" questioned Magnussen. "I'm his date for the evening" she put an emphasis on the word date and winked at Magnussen. "The name is Sanjana but you can call me Sanj. I'm here to ensure that Mr. Holmes has the time of his life. A little gift from one of his patrons...if you know what I mean" she said in a seductive voice.

     Magnussen put his arm around her waist and pulled her against him. He pressed her body as close as he could to his and looked into her eyes. "Maybe later we can enjoy the rest of the night together. I have a weakness for exotic creatures" he then bent his head and licked her neck. Panther laughed and gently pushed him. She playfully shook her head and went back to Sherlock's side. "Sorry love. I don't cheat on my dates. At least not when I'm on the clock. My evening, night and dawn belong to this man here. You need to get in line if you want to play with me" she then looked at Sherlock and said "Shall we go in?".

     Sherlock actually felt angry at Magnussen for treating Panther like that. No one deserved to be subjected to what he had to witness. He offered her his kerchief and extended his arm. She was taken by surprise by his gesture and her smile dropped. She just stared at him for a few seconds before taking the cloth from him. With Panther's hand tucked in his arm he shot a look of pure loathing Magnussen's way and went to join the rest of the party inside the grand ballroom. They had successfully made their way into the lion's den. Now it was all a matter of timing and a battle of wits.

The game was on...

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