Sherlock - Dangerous Mould and Shot in the Dark Trilogy

Chapter 60

Molly was nervous, trying to wipe her damp hands surreptitiously on the plain but quite elegant dress. She needed to get her anxiety under control; otherwise Mycroft wouldn't need more than a minute to figure out that the real purpose of their meeting wasn't that she wanted to report on Sherlock's plans about finding the culprit for the attacks on the Consulting Detective and his flatmate's lives - not the truth at least.

She waited outside for the limousine to pick her up and drive her to the Holmes mansion. It was a business meeting, but Molly had thought that it couldn't be too bad an idea to look good - appropriate - when dining at the noble home of Mycroft Holmes. The latter had been very polite on the phone, inviting her instantly - a fact that Sherlock had predicted and expected.

When the shiny black car glided to the kerb almost noiselessly and she waited for the driver to open the back door, Molly sensed that this would be one of the toughest tasks she had ever dealt with, being one of the worst liars in the world, telling one of the cleverest men in the world a story that wasn't even built on her own ideas. She was afraid of being unmasked and thus spoiling Sherlock's scheme and losing Mycroft Holmes's trust.

The other incredible difficulty was to make Mycroft eat one of the truffles Sherlock had given her and told her NOT to try one herself. Upon asking what they contained, Sherlock hadn't replied; he had just repeated his warning.

He had explained to her that his brother loved chocolate, and truffles in particular, and that he could hardly resist them. Since Mycroft was on a diet and, therefore, didn't have any of them available, he would behave like an animal that had been fed with salt and kept away from water for a while - he would fall on them. Molly could only hope that Sherlock knew his brother well enough. It was her task then to ring the Consulting Detective afterwards to signal him that their plan had worked. If only she survived the evening! At the moment, Molly regretted a bit that she had promised to help Sherlock as she hadn't thought that it meant that she would work for him rather than working alongside him.

She gracelessly climbed into the backseat of the car, wondering how women in dresses could get into cars without looking ridiculous. Sunk in the cosy depth of the soft leather seats, she enjoyed the ride, feeling even a bit like a real lady and forgetting for a couple of minutes about her task. She was disrupted in her daydreams when the door opened again and the chauffeur offered her a hand. All of a sudden, she was afraid, her heart beating wildly in her chest, and she briefly contemplated refusing the hand and asking the driver to take her back home. However, on the other hand, she wanted to be brave, to prove to Sherlock that she was really much more than the lab mouse, so she collected herself and prepared for entering the lion cage - or hopefully, if Sherlock was right, the monkey enclosure.

The dinner went by uneventfully and Molly reported to Mycroft the fake story of Sherlock's scheme, which was only commented with occasional frowns and dismissive shakes of his head. As peculiar as the formal distance of their seats at the rather long dinner table was, Molly appreciated it this time since it brought a safe space between her and Mycroft, which made it more difficult for him to read her nervousness from her posture and eyes.

Much to her surprise, Mycroft seemed to be quite contented with what Molly told him, so apparently, Sherlock had known very well what would sound believable to him. After the dinner they sat down in the luxurious living room for some cognac and coffee and Molly saw the older Holmes's eyes darting in the direction of where her little gift was sitting on a side table. She had given it to him when she had met him at the entrance, telling him that it was just a little selection of the chocolate truffles she loved so much herself- well, when she could afford them, every now and then as a special treat, and she had seen the tiniest hint of a sparklein his eyes. Anticipation?

Molly wondered briefly at the fact that, despite their display of mutual disdain, the brothers seemed to know each other really very well.

A few sips of coffee and cognac later, the pathologist witnessed Mycroft's resistance breaking down, and he went to the little elegant side-table, taking the box of chocolates into his hand, contemplating for a second before opening the ribbon, subconsciously inhaling the sweet scent upon opening the lid and offering her a truffle.

A little shock went through Molly before she plainly answered, that she couldn't eat anything anymore, otherwise her dress would burst. Condemning herself for her stupidity, as the dress wasn't really tight but rather comfortable, she hoped that Mycroft would interpret it as a lady-like refusal to indulge shape-ruining substances. She was wrong. If only she hadn't told the older Holmes of her liking of truffles! He insisted she took one first. Being in a real dilemma between risking him not eating the chocolate and sticking to Sherlock's warning, she decided that the Consulting Detective wouldn't want to kill his brother, so she wouldn't be risking any harm when she ate one of the lovely sweet balls. In fact, the expensive chocolate with a core of buttery, sweet whiskey cream inside melted on her tongue and a pleasant feeling spread in her mouth. She closed her eyes for a second and uttered a long, delighted "Mmmmmm."

Feeling guilty of having eaten of the forbidden chocolate, she opened her eyes widely, almost staring at Mycroft, who was already chewing on the second bit, admitting to her that there was hardly anything in the world he couldn't resist - apart from chocolate truffles.

Molly tried to assess herself in order to find out if the substance that Sherlock had injected into the truffles, showed any effect. Since she couldn't feel anything unusual, she excused herself, pretending to be in dire need of using the bathroom. From her last visit at the Holmes mansion, she remembered where the toilet was, so she just got up and escaped from the living-room. On her way to her destination, she sighed with relief - it was done, perfectly. Well, almost perfectly. Having locked the door to the richly decorated guest-bathroom, she took out her mobile from her unusually small handbag and pushed the one-touch-dialling button for Sherlock, when all of a sudden, a slight dizziness befell her. She only managed to unlock the door and stagger into the entrance hall before plumping into the next available chair, unable to move anymore. Before she entirely slumped in the rather uncomfortable seating furniture, she briefly wondered how Mycroft was feeling now and if she had been right to assume that the substance wouldn't do any serious harm. Then it went dark around her.

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