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Even after her front teeth lightly grazed the tip of his erect penis, and her tongue coiled for the first time around his swollen glans, Ambrose Horne felt he really ought to say something.
‘Mary, listen. I know Major Carpenter said you should make sure I have everything I need, but I’m not positive that he meant absolutely everything.’
Mary disengaged her mouth for a moment. ‘I know exactly what he meant, Mr Horne. This is just a little extra I thought I’d throw in for fun. It’s not every day we have a celebrity staying here, after all. Unless, of course, you have more urgent business elsewhere?’
Horne sighed. ‘No. You’re all the urgency that I need.’ The girl resumed her gentle sucking, and he sighed softly. ‘And now I need it more than ever.’ He sank back onto the thick down pillow, eyes closed, one hand idly caressing the parlour-maid’s rich, auburn hair. It had been a long journey down to the city and, from the brief conversation he’d already had with the Major, he knew it might be some time before he returned. Yet any tension and anxiety that might have been building up within him; indeed, any thoughts whatsoever of the mystery that dragged him out to this small English seaside town, were already ebbing away, as the pretty Welsh girl expertly worked him with her accommodating mouth.
Opening his eyes, he gazed down on her, watching as her head rose and fell, admiring the little dimples that appeared as her cheeks expanded and contracted around his hardness. Her eyes, closed in delightful concentration, opened and met his, smiling. Her hand cupped his balls, squeezing them gently as she inclined her head slightly, and licked his scrotum.
Horne moaned lightly and Mary, sensing his pleasure, took each of his balls in turn into her mouth, sucking and swirling while her thin, alabaster hand jerked his cock harder and faster. She was still suckling him as he came, a thick jet of white spurting into the air, splashing onto his chest. Mary stretched up to kiss him hard on the mouth, then stood and straightened her prim uniform. ‘Now, ring if you need anything else,’ she told him. ‘Anything at all.’ She turned and walked out of the room, leaving Horne lying on the bed, still breathless from his orgasm.
It was several minutes before he collected his thoughts, several more before he swung his legs off the bed, pulled on his pants and crossed over to the writing desk that Major Carpenter had thoughtfully supplied for him. Horne always thought best at a desk, his forehead cradled in one hand while the other doodled abstractedly on the pad of paper that he always carried with him. One day, he smiled to himself, one of those new-fangled European brain doctors he’d been reading about would stumble upon his doodles, the page after page of fat breasts, spurting penises and shapely bottoms with which his subconscious habitually relaxed ... he wondered what they would make of them all, and laughed aloud. ‘Head shrinkers. Whatever will they think of next?’
Horne had little time for the newly emergent art of psychiatry ... like most learned men of the late 19th century, he believed that there was nothing wrong with a fellow’s mind that a little hard work, a few years in the military and, if all that failed, a padded cell at Bedlam Hospital, could not cure. And how was he so sure? Because his own life’s work was intimately bound up in examining the minds, and deducing the motives, of his fellow man – a life’s work at which, if he said so himself, he excelled.
Twenty-three times he had been called in to solve riddles that the best minds in the land had been unable to crack; and twenty-three times, he had succeeded. The nameplate on his door in London’s fashionable Belgravia read, simply, ‘Ambrose Horne – Detective.’ But his reputation in the corridors of British Law screamed ‘Genius.’
Major Carpenter reminded him of that fact when they met at dinner that evening. ‘You know the British Army really doesn’t like to bring in outsiders,’ he said in-between mouthfuls of piping oxtail soup. ‘But, quite frankly, Horne, we’re at a complete loss. We know our secrets are getting into the wrong hands, and we know the leak is here in this town. But neither our own top brains nor Scotland Yard’s have been able to track it down.’
‘Does anybody else at all know of this investigation?’ Horne asked.
‘Not a soul. In fact, you only got clearance because somebody remembered that you signed the Official Secrets Act back in ‘86.’
Horne nodded. August 1886. Somebody had walked into a Naval laboratory and, apparently, sailed out again in a top-secret prototype submarine. It took the authorities six weeks to admit they didn’t know how it was done, but it took Horne just two days to produce both the thief and the submarine, while a certain Foreign Power gnashed its teeth and wondered where its ill-gotten prize had so mysteriously gone.