Okay, folks, you asked for it. Be careful what you wish for! My previous story really was intended to be a one-shot, but what can I say … it's fun to write smut. Especially Victorian smut. I tried to keep this true to the period, so there's no coarse language here, nothing shocking, but I do hope you find it … zesty.

I've posted this as a separate story because of the adult content, but it's a direct sequel to my first tale, After The Ball. Both are based on the Season 5 finale, Twentieth Century Murdoch.

Murdoch Mysteries and its characters do not belong to me and I mean no copyright infringement. I'm just being naughty.

"… Her most vulnerable aspect," murmured William Murdoch, as he rained kisses and nibbles down the column of Julia's exposed neck.

Her only answer was a sigh of pleasure, but her hands had not been idle. She had dispensed of her cumbersome gloves, followed by his white bowtie. Now she was working on the starched collar, eager to return the favour.

It was only when the hansom's driver cleared his throat and rapped on the door with his knuckles, that they noticed the carriage had stopped.

Julia's face coloured as she gathered her composure, but William merely fished in his pocket for a dollar, handed it to the driver and wished him a very happy New Year. He stepped out of the cab and extended a hand to help her down into the cold night air.

Just as they heard the driver cluck to his horse, Julia's mouth rounded in an alarmed "O", and she whirled to grab the door, duck inside, and retrieve the discarded tie, which had wedged itself between the seat cushions.

"Thank you, Julia … it's rented," chuckled William.

"We must be a sight," she returned, patting the remnants of her once-carefully-arranged coif. "Let's not linger in the street."

"No indeed, milady," he agreed. "It's far too cold for that. Allow me to escort you inside."

Like his tuxedo, the little house was rented, but it was a step up from renting a room from Mrs. Kitchen. When he'd returned from his sojourn in the Klondike, he'd found that she had given his room away – quite rightly – and though he missed the housekeeping she had provided, he certainly didn't miss her well-intentioned but excruciating cooking, nor the lack of privacy. With the extra earnings from his small gold strike, he'd been able to rent a cottage of his own, not in one of the more fashionable Toronto neighbourhoods, but only a ten minute bicycle ride from the station. It was sparsely furnished, but welcoming … or it would be, as soon as he got the coal furnace going.

"Sorry …. No servants here to get the fire started before our arrival, I'm afraid," he apologized as he poked at the grate.

And then she was behind him, nibbling at his earlobe. "I think we can manage to keep each other warm, Will," she suggested.

He groaned his agreement and turned to pull her onto his lap. "You will be my undoing," he said, as he ran his thumb along her cheekbone and then traced her jaw line and the contours of her lower lip, his gaze tender and fierce at the same time.

"You promised ravishment, Detective," she teased. "So then, ravish me."

He needed no further invitation. Knowing it was a cliché, but feeling the occasion warranted a grand gesture, he rose to his feet with Julia still in his arms. She squealed in amusement and threw back her head in mock surrender as he carried her to his bedroom, where at least the bed was large and soft even if the other furnishings were somewhat rudimentary.

They tumbled onto it together, mouths hungrily seeking each other, giddy with the knowledge that there were no impediments now.

Well, none except Julia's corset, and that damnable starched collar and its studs.

He felt lustful and buoyant and reverent, all at once, as he gazed at the woman beneath him, her honeyed hair fanned out across his quilt in a way that had always driven him mad with desire. "So beautiful," he whispered. "You're so beautiful, my love."

"Oh, Will ….," she sighed, suddenly flooded with regret for all the things that might have been. "After all the hurt I've caused you, that you can still call me that …"

He buried his face in her collarbone, seizing her in a tight embrace. The length of his body pressed to hers, his desire insistent against her thigh. In a muffled voice, he confessed, "Never stopped loving you, Julia. Tried. I really did. I'm incapable of it."

She found it hard to breathe – and it wasn't just the effect of his weight or the corset digging into her ribs. Taking his face in her slender hands, locking her moss-green eyes with his heavy-lidded chocolate ones, she smiled and whispered back, "Show me."

Once upon a time, he had been tentative in the arts of love. A strict Catholic upbringing, combined with his fiancée Liza's untimely death from consumption, meant that when he and Julia had first courted, she was by far the more experienced of the two of them. He had been, for all intents and purposes, a virgin, and fearful that he would fall short of pleasing her.

It wasn't that he was unfamiliar with the mechanics. He was a voracious reader, after all, and not all of the texts he perused would have met with the approval of the papacy. But theory and practice were two different things. His customary caution and reticence had tended to assert themselves … not to mention certain scriptures that had literally been pounded into him when he was a child. It had been difficult for him to let go. But Julia had been patient, willing, and so open, and now it seemed a lifetime ago. On this night, he no longer doubted himself. And he no longer doubted that loving her was the least sinful thing he had ever done.

Her nimble fingers had succeeded at last in releasing him from his waistcoat, and the collar and cuffs of his rented shirt, and she traced with delight the firm ridges of muscle beneath. His time in the north had only served to make him fitter and more masculine, she thought. Or perhaps it was absence, making the heart grow fonder … either way, he felt marvellous under her eager fingers. She found a pebble-like nipple and teased it with a fingernail, making him gasp. He fixed her with an evil grin, his eyes almost black with arousal. "That, my dear doctor, deserves retaliation," he rumbled, his voice nearly an octave below its usual register.

One thing Julia had never been was a shrinking violet. In love, as in life, she found it nearly impossible to be submissive or passive. "Be my guest, detective," she chuckled, "but please, get on with it." She rose to a sitting position, reached behind her and fiddled with a fastening, and the scarlet frock slid down her ribcage in an instant. Murdoch's eyebrows climbed towards his hairline. "How …?"

"It's called a clasp locker," she said, amused at having trumped him on the adoption of a new invention. "It just zips up and down on a track. So much easier than buttons …."

"You'll have to show me later. For now, Julia … I don't suppose your corset is also so equipped?"

"I'm afraid not. You'll have to tackle that in the usual nineteenth century way."

He captured her mouth again, kissing her with ferocity while his hands expertly loosened the lacing and unhooked the unyielding garment. As beautiful as it was, all rose silk and ribbons, it was the treasure underneath he was after: her pink-tipped breasts, dizzying handfuls which he knew were exquisitely sensitive.

The impulse to taste was powerful, but he allowed himself a moment just to stare in wonder. With the January moon streaming in through the window, his breath caught at the sight of those perfect breasts … until her impatient hands curled around the back of his head and guided him home. At the first touch of his tongue, she whimpered in pleasure, a sound that shot straight to his groin. He wanted her to make that sound again. He switched to the other breast, drawing the nipple between his teeth and nipping, ever so lightly, and was rewarded with an even throatier whimper. Oh, sweet success.

Her hand had crept southward from his chest to his waist, and then she was stroking the length of him through his trousers, as his eyes threatened to roll back in his head. Rented trousers, he reminded himself, gritting his teeth at the intensity of the sensation. Lord. This woman knew how to pluck his strings like no other.

Gently he seized her wrist and peeled her fingers away. She pouted for a second. "I need to return these in, ah, good condition, Julia, and if you continue, that may not be possible," he explained. That elicited a snort and a giggle from her, as he divested himself of the pants and tossed them in the general direction of a chair.

"Any further objections?", she queried, as she reached for him again.

"None, my determined little minx."

Who would object to sensations so sublime? He had not thought it possible to exceed his previous experiences with her, but perhaps the champagne, perhaps the months of absence and … yes, all right, pining, as much as he disliked that characterization … perhaps just the sheer joy of their physical reunion, was making his every nerve ending set off fireworks of their own. Ohhhhh, those dried-up old nuns knew what they were doing, forbidding this … for once you had experienced it, how could you ever take chastity and abstinence seriously ever again? And how could a just God design mankind for this and then deny that delight?

But turn-about was fair play, and Julia was in need of a demonstration of how much he appreciated her ministrations. He knew exactly what pleased her most. Rolling her over onto her back, he raked his eyes over the rapidly heaving ribcage, past her slender waist, to the satin tap pants she wore. "No bloomers?", he asked.

"Too bulky under the gown," she explained in a breathy voice.

"How very modern of you," he said, echoing a sentiment from their first date a thousand years ago. "They're lovely." And indeed they were: mere wisps of erotically silky fabric embroidered with butterflies. No doubt from somewhere in the Orient. But he had little patience for lingerie tonight. He pushed the central panel to the side and ran a finger along the soft petals it had concealed. Hot. Slick. Achingly soft.

She mewled in response and he plunged one finger into her core, making her arch off the bed, vibrating with arousal. She was so close already, she felt she might shatter if he ….

And then he replaced his fingers with his tongue, and she was instantly undone.

It was too much. He couldn't make himself delay another second, not when she was laid bare to him, body and soul, still tingling with sensation. He held himself up on locked arms, staring down at her with unfocused eyes, awaiting permission. "Will, yes," she said, urging him inside. And again, he needed no further invitation.

Heeding the lessons she'd given him, he tried to keep the rhythm slow, striving to reach her deepest recesses. Her ragged breath was his guide to her pleasure. But he knew he wasn't going to last. His senses were on fire, the feel and the taste and the smell of her surrounding him in every possible way and a few which were impossible. Despite his Herculean efforts to think about hockey, his self-control at last crumbled, and he drove into her like a man possessed – which perhaps he was. She cried out his name as her nerve centre exploded again, and he rode the wave to his own shuddering completion, his face buried in her hair.

A few weeks ago, he'd had the disconcerting sensation that he was floating above his own body, observing from a state of disconnectedness somewhere between heaven and hell. Now he had it again … except that half beneath and half beside him, was the warm and living body of the woman he loved. All of that coalesced as he came back down to earth, kissing the sweat from her forehead and murmuring a thousand thank you's.

Julia also allowed herself to drift for a few moments on contentment and satiation. Silly fool, her mind told her. You had this in your life, and you traded it in for the lacklustre talents of Darcy Garland? Her buttoned-down detective, so very reserved and proper in public life, had become quite a different man behind closed doors, and the delicious knowledge of that curved her lips into a smile.

She curled into William, nestling her head on his chest, and observed, "I believe I have been well and truly ravished."

More a rumble than a chuckle came from deep in his chest. "I had an exceptional teacher."

"Mmmmm," she replied, her eyes drifting closed.

A few moments later, a stray thought prompted her to sit up, gathering the quilt around her bosom for warmth. William opened one eye and peered at her.

"I'm afraid it's likely to be a scandal," she said, her voice heavy with regret.

He curled a hand around the back of her neck and brought her head gently back to rest on his chest, where his heart was finally settling back into a normal rhythm. She took comfort in its steady beat. "I know," he said softly. "While my fellow constables might be inclined to be discreet, I'm not sure all of their wives will be. Word will get out, my love."

"We weren't very subtle, were we?," she agreed with a wry smile.

And then: "Can you bear it, Will?"

He rolled onto his side so that they were face to face. "More to the point, can you, Julia? Your father is not likely to be pleased, and your place in society …"

"Oh, I'm already being scratched off Christmas card lists, thanks to my crusade for reproductive choice. So this will change little," she replied with a dismissive wave of her wrist. "If one is going to be a pariah, one might just as well do a proper job of it.

"And on the other hand, Ruby will be positively giddy."

He chuckled. "I suspected all along that I had an ally in Ruby.

"We'll weather the storm. Storms eventually blow over," he promised her. "We'll face Darcy together, if you want. But for now, sleep."

"Look, the sun's coming up," she observed drowsily, as the faintest hint of pink began to wash over the room. "Happy Nineteen Hundred, my love."