"O, Sherlock! 'Tis a truth I must avow, would that I could bestow a kiss upon thy clever brow."
The line jolted Holmes from his morning tea and toast and he turned to me with a bewildered eye. With much difficulty in maintaining an air of nonchalance, I crossed the room with even steps, and with a flourish of the hand produced a sheet of lavender stationary from which I read:
To the Art of Deduction, pray, apply thy wit,
To undress these words mine hand hath trembling writ:
Thy keen observations I do admire, but 'tis thy lips that I--
"Watson!" Red to his ears, Holmes bounded across the room to snatch the letter from my hand. He examined it with a disturbed and frenzied haste, then looked to me, his mouth agape in surprise.
"It seems you have a fan."
Holmes straightened out his expression and cleared his throat. "Erm, yes. A woman, mid-twenties, a widow. Harmless. Toss this in the waste bin would you, dear fellow?" He extended the letter to me, and a smile crept across my lips.
"Certainly, Holmes," I said, taking the letter. "Just after I finish reading it--" Holmes's hand crushed around my hand and the letter it contained, and we entered into a light scuffle as I attempted to lilt out the remaining lines through my laughter and Holmes's protests. In the end I was bested, and the young lady's ardent verse torn up and thrown into the fire. Holmes fixed his collar and looked over at me, appearing victorious, if somewhat flustered. I met his gaze with apologetic eyes, then, after a moment of forgiveness had passed, spoke:
"Would that I could bestow a kiss--"