It took me ages to find the book. Moriarty sure didn’t make it easy. I went to practically every single bookshop in London. Finally, after hours of searching, I found it in a little bookshop outside of Brixton. Quickly I opened the book to page forty-nine, word thirty-four, “are.” I pulled out the piece of paper and wrote down the words flipping the book to each page I needed. As I jotted down each of the words, I could feel my heart rate picking up. When I deciphered the last word, I took off running. The message read; “Are you afraid yet, you should be I’m going to hit home now.” I quickly found a cab and rushed home. I saw that the door was open and I quickly pulled out John’s gun that I remembered was in my coat. “John!” I called and I panicked, sprinting up the stairs, when I didn’t hear a response. “Grace!” I yelled as I walked into the flat. Time seemed to slow down as I turned to see Grace handcuffed to the beam. Her head was slumped forward and her shirt cut open. “No, no,” I gasped as I rushed towards her. I felt my breath hitch in my throat as I looked Grace up and down. I couldn’t find any blood but I could see an extensive amount of bruising around her midsection. They didn’t look fresh so I assumed they were from Moriarty. Suddenly my eyes stopped just below her collarbone, where there was a clearly noticeable M branded. My shaking hand slowly reached to check for a pulse and I sighed when I found one.
“Sherlock,” She mumbled opening her eyes. I could see that they were red from crying.
“Don’t worry, I’m going to get you down.” I said noticing in her bra. “May I?” I asked and she nodded. As I opened the paper, I walked underneath her so she was sitting on my shoulders.
“Thank you,” She breathed. Slowly I began to read the note, it was a message from Moriarty. “Did you have a nice time chasing the white rabbit?” It read.
“Damn-it!” I thought. “Moriarty sent me out on a goose chase.”
“Sherlock,” Grace mumbled again. I had to get her down, I just did not know how.
“Grace, I’m going to get you down, but, I’m going to have to move. Just tell me if your wrists start hurting.” I could see they were all read and bleeding. “I’ll be right back.” I said.
“Ok, wait…” She started but I was too busy trying to think of something.
I walked into the kitchen looking for something to free her.
“Sherlock,” Grace said.
“Hold on Grace, I’m still looking.” I said frantically looking around.
“Sherlock,” She said again.
“Just a minute.” I called.
“Sherlock!” She yelled.
“Yes,” I said hurrying to face her.
“In my pocket,” She said, and I saw what she meant. Sticking out of her jean pocket was a pair of keys.
“Oh,” I said as I reached into her pocket and unlocked the handcuffs. She collapsed into my arms and I put my coat around her. “Grace, where is John?” I asked and I panicked when she started sobbing.
“He’s gone, they took him.” She sobbed as she grabbed onto my shirt.
“Who did Grace?” I asked.
“Max,” she said sobbing harder.
“Damn-it!” I screamed causing Grace to jump. “I’m sorry,” I said rubbing her shoulders. This was not what I had meant when I said I wanted to feel Grace in my arms.
“We have to find him or they are going to ki…” She started leaning into my chest.
“No,” I said grabbing her shoulders and pushing her back so she was looking at my face. “Don’t you talk like that, we are getting John back.”
She nodded and I pulled her back into my arms. “How are we going to find him?” She asked wiping her eyes.
“I don’t know,” I sighed. Moriarty had crossed a line taking John, and he would have known that. That meant Moriarty was preparing for something big.
“Did you find the book?” She asked.
“Yes but…” I said.
“Well, maybe the code tells us where John is.” She said her voice filled with hope. I hated to take her hope away, but it would have been cruel for me to leave her thinking we had more than we actually did.
“Grace, the book code was just a way to get me away from you and John. Look,” I said handing her the paper.
“That means that Moriarty wanted John. John is just a pawn in his little game.” She said and I could see the anger growing inside her. “Give me your phone.” She growled.
“What?” I asked as I backed away.
“Give me your phone!” She screamed as she lunged at me and started reaching into my pockets.
“Grace.” I said trying to stop her.
“Where is it?” She shrieked going through my coat pockets. She pulled out the phone quickly punching in a number.
“Grace, what are you doing?” I asked as she put the phone on speaker.
“Oh, hello Sherlock,” A voice said and I recognized it as Moriarty’s. “Have you missed me, because I know I have missed you?” I could almost see that stupid smile on his face.
“Let my brother go!” She screamed dodging me as I reached for the phone.
“Oh, hello my Gracie.” Moriarty’s slimy words rang through the flat and I watched as Grace tensed up.
“I’m not yours,” She spat.
“But, you see, you’re wrong. I’ve already marked my property,” Moriarty laughed and Grace’s hand went up to her chest running her fingers over the brand. I watched as her hand curled into a fist. She started shaking with rage as she screamed.
“You son of a…” She started.
“Eh, eh,” He said, “no foul language in front of your brother.”
“Gracie?” Another voice said.
“John,” Grace gasped and I was quickly by her side.
“Are you alright?” John asked.
“Yeah, Sherlock’s here. He helped me down. Where are you?” She asked.
“Sherlock, Jenni…” He started when suddenly we heard the sound of skin hitting skin causing Grace to gasp.
“Yeah, he’s not allowed to finish that.” Moriarty said but his voice was drowned out by the sound of John’s screaming. I watched as Grace brought a shaky hand up to her mouth trying to hide her sobs. I grabbed the phone and took it off speaker, turning away from her.
“I’m playing alright Jim!” I spat. “Just give me the next clue!”
“Alright, alright, don’t get your knickers in a twist, pink.” Then the phone went silent.
I turned back to Grace to find her sobbing on the ground. Slowly I walked over and picked her up into my arms. She buried her head into my chest. I rubbed her back as we sat down on the couch and I positioned her in my lap, showing emotion I did not know I was capable of showing. “We will get him back, I promise,” I whispered into her ear. She cried for a while before her breathing slowed. I placed her head under my chin and wrapped my arms around her waist.
“How are we going to find him, Sherlock?” She asked.
“I just need to think, give me a moment.” I said closing my eyes and going into my mind palace. Words swirled around my head when suddenly it hit me.
“What was the mistake?” Lestrade yelled down.
“Pink!” I yelled.
My eyes snapped open. “That’s it,” I thought, “pink.” Knowing it was much too dangerous for Grace to come with me, I needed to distract her so I could leave.
“Grace, will you do me a favor, will you go get my laptop from my room.”
“Sure,” She said as she slowly got up and headed towards room.
The minute she was out of earshot, I made a quick dart for the downstairs. Once I was outside, I quietly made sure the door was locked before signaled a cab.
“Sherlock,” I heard someone call from behind me. I turned to see Grace in the coat I had given her the first day we met, which I couldn’t believe was only a few days ago. She was carrying my coat and my scarf. “Did you forget something?” She asked handing them to me.
“What are you doing?” I asked putting them on.
“You didn’t think I was going to let you save my brother without me did you?” She smiled.
“You aren’t coming.” I snapped
“I figured you had figured it out when I came back and… what do you mean I’m not coming.” She asked.
“You aren’t coming Grace, it’s too dangerous.”
“Since when have you cared if something is dangerous or not.” She snapped.
“Since I’m not longer looking out for just myself anymore.” I said and I watched as Grace got angry.
“You don’t have to watch out for me.” She yelled.
“I promised John I would keep you safe.” I lied. Although I had promised John, I would keep her safe, this decision wasn’t for John, it was for me. I couldn’t stand the thought of Grace getting hurt again, especially because of me.
“I don’t need a babysitter,” She said starting for the cab.
I grabbed her hand, roughly, pulling her into me.
“I’m going.” She said standing on her tiptoes so her eyes were level with mine.
“No you’re not!” I yelled.
“Yes I am.” She yelled back.
“Yes!” She replied.
We started at each other for a while, her brown eyes melting into my heart.
“Please,” She begged.
“Fine, but if things get bad you run as fast as you can, I can’t lose you,” Grace’s face turned read as my words came in. I cleared my throat. “I promised John.”
“Thank you.” She said hopping into the cab.
We headed to the only place I could think would involve pink, the house where Jennifer Wilson was found, where John and I worked together for the first time.
“Where are we going?” Grace asked.
“You’ll see,” I replied.
After a long ride, the cab pulled up in front of the house.
“Oh my God,” She gasped seeing the house. “Pink, a Study in Pink!”
“Not you too!” I yelled.
She laughed sadly and I could see the worry in her eyes.
“Do you remember what I told you?” I said helping her out of the cab and then positioning her behind me.
“Yes, run if you say to.” She said but I knew there was no chance she would run. The one part of her being like my I didn’t like.
“Alright just listen to whatever I say.”
“Yes Sherlock,” She said as we opened the door. As the door closed, I could hear Grace breathing heavily.
“Everything is going to be fine.” I said grabbing her hand as we went up the stairs. With each step, she gripped my hand tighter. The stairs creaked and cracked as they were old and all termite infested. Slowly we walked up the stairs, stopping when we reached the top. The door was shut, and again I put her protectively behind me reaching into my coat expecting to find the gun, but it was not there.
“Damn!” I thought it must have fallen out while Grace was wearing my coat. “Stay here,” I whispered grabbing the door handle praying she would actually listen to what I had said.
“No,” She whispered pushing the door open. The room looked exactly the same as the last time I was here. It was completely empty apart from a knocked over chair. Slowly we both slowly inched a little closer to find someone tied to it, John. His shirt was ripped open and he had a brand right below the collarbone same as Grace.
“John,” Grace gasped running over to him. Before I could join her something on the floor caught my eye.
I knelt down running my hand over the letters, R, A, C, H, E, when something caught my eye. However that wasn’t the only thing that was carved into the wood there was something new, it read “Keep an eye on Little Red, for the wolf is hungry.” I turned to look at Grace who was trying to lift an unconscious John off the floor. I rushed to her side putting one of John’s arms over my shoulder as she did the same.
“If it isn’t Grace.” A voice said and I turned around to find a big man standing in the doorway. “And you must be Sherlock Holmes.”
“I do not believe we have met.” I said trying my best hold my composer as I looked at Grace hoping she would give me a clue to who he was. She saw me looking and placed her hand on the brand. “Max,” I said.
“Oh, did Gracie tell you about our little run in yesterday.” He said moving closer shutting the door behind him. “To bad I was working, well, I’m free now.” He said wiping out a knife. “Come here,” He gestured towards Grace.
“No,” I said as she let go of John.
“Sherlock, I’ll be fine. “ She whispered walking towards him.
“No!” I yelled grabbing her wrist with my free hand pulling her towards me.
“Sherlock,” She sighed placing her hand on my cheek. I leaned forward placing my forehead on hers.
“Please,” I begged.
“I’m sorry,” She said as she quickly broke away from my grip.
“Come here beautiful,” Max purred causing me to cringe. He roughly grabbed her and pulled her into him. He placed a knife on her cheek as he said, “Moriarty said I was just supposed to leave the message and go, but I didn’t want to leave without saying goodbye to my Gracie here.” He said and then he kissed her.
That was it; I set down John then charged Max. I knocked him to the ground sending the knife out of his hands. As I reached for it, Max kicked my feet out from under me. Then he reached for the knife. “Run!” I yelled at Grace as I kicked the knife out of the door. It stopped right in front of the stairs banister. Both Max and I raced to get it, however Max reached it first. I jumped on him reaching for the knife but it sliced my cheek causing me to wince giving Max the upper hand. He swung his arm back knocking me backwards. He pointed the knife at me a smile on his face.
“I have beaten the great...” He started when a shot was fired. Max looked down at his shirt which now had a giant red stain at his chest. He looked up and I swore I saw him smile before he fell over the banister. I turned around to see Grace holding the gun and John awake, staring at her eyes wide.
Of course, John made us call the police. The paramedics said he was fine, just a couple of cuts and bruises. He was not the one I was worried about however. “Grace,” I called. She was sitting in the back of the ambulance, right on the edge, an orange blanket draped across her shoulder. It took me back to that night so many months ago. “Are you alri… ok?” I asked.
“Yeah, of course.” She said not looking at me. She had her knees brought up to her chest and her arms pulling her legs into her chest.
“You know you cannot lie to me right?” I smiled.
She stood up angrily and started directly into my eyes. “You almost died.” She spat.
“Don’t exaggerate,” I sneered.
“No, Sherlock you almost died trying to be a hero. What were you thinking?” She yelled shoving me.
“I was saving your arse because you didn’t listen to me and stayed away from Max.” I snapped.
“If I hadn’t had gone to him, he would have killed us all!” She screamed back.
“And if I hadn’t had saved you, who knows what Max would have done to you!”
“Do you think I cared?” She shouted back.
“What?” I asked shocked.
“I would do anything to protect you and John, because you two are all I care about.” She turned away and I saw a tear slide down her face.
“Grace, I’m sorry,” I said placing her hand on her shoulder.
“Anyway, Lestrade said I’ll have to go to court, but there is no way I will get charged with anything. He’s talking to John right no…” She started as I grabbed her hand pulling her into me and silencing her with a kiss. As I passionately kissed her, I pulled her closer wanting no space between us. We broke apart only to catch our breaths then we continued kissing with fierce intensity letting go everything we had felt since we had met. I never wanted to stop. We kissed again before Grace broke away.
“We can’t tell John,” She said.
“No, no that would be bad.” I smiled kissing her again. “We better head over to him so he doesn’t suspect anything.”
She nodded and we walked away hand in hand and I felt the happiest I have ever felt in my entire life.
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