"I came half way around the world to watch you run, let me run hmm?" he suggested after he dropped the broken handle on top of refrigerator. His head tilted towards her as he inhaled, almost as if he couldn’t help himself. He moved back to gaze at her face, as a man gazes at home after a long absence.
"Would you ever say to me ‘stop – if you loved me you’d stop’?" his question was warm and sultry against her flushed cheeks. Clarice was pinned against the refrigerator with her hair clamped in the door. She felt trapped and so she did what came naturally; she defended herself,
"Not in a thousand years."
"Not in a thousand years, eh?" the quirk in his eyebrow was somewhere between hurt and impressed. Then suddenly he lunged towards her face with his teeth bared, but she didn’t flinch. He was Hannibal Lecter, Hannibal of Cannibal fame, who had just sautéed a living man’s frontal lobes, but they had both acknowledged long ago that he would never hurt her. He leaned back again to whisper,
"That’s my girl." Then his mouth descended on hers in a passionate kiss. She, however, kept her mouth firmly closed. When he heard the snick of the handcuffs, he opened one eye but continued the kiss and then moved around to nuzzle her cheek with his nose. One last breath of her essence that he tried to hold in his soul. The he stepped back and held up his shackled left hand for inspection. The look on his face, as he gazed at their linked wrists, was that of an adult trying to identify the subject of a small child’s drawing.
"That’s very interesting, but I’m really pressed for time," he stated as her ears picked up the first whines of the approaching sirens. "Where’s the key Clarice?" he asked calmly, and when she refused to answer, he roughly pinned her shoulders to the fridge and repeated himself more forcefully. She winced as the stitches pulled in her shoulder, but otherwise made no sign of response to his inquiry. He held her eyes trapped in his gaze, once again trying to fathom her secrets. The eyes are called the window to the soul for a reason. He had never had a finer view.
A soft hum came from his throat as he took another step back to rake her trembling form with his piercing cobalt eyes. She felt as naked as if he'd lifted a hand to the neckline of her dress and ripped it from her body. Dr. Lecter was never that rash; not when there was a subtler path in sight. He stepped close again – intimately close. The words he breathed in her ear caused her trembles to increase to shivers,
"I could do a lot of damage in the time it will take them to reach us." What exactly he was referring to she was unsure, but she knew it was something infinitely more harmful than physical damage. He suddenly bent down and removed her shoes, caressing the soles of her feet as he did so. She had to stand on tiptoes to relieve the pull of the fridge door on her hair. His hands moved up her calves and over her knees. He stopped with the tips of his fingers just under the hem of her dress, and glanced up at her with a smile of pure deviltry. She would remember that moment for the rest of her life. A small chuckle and he smoothed the fabric over top of her thighs, smoothly rising as he did so. His hands circled her waist, almost spanning it, before moving down to caress her hips and buttocks. He didn’t linger, but stroked her bare back, bringing a wave of warmth after the cold of the metal door. She did nothing to stop him as his touch moved to circle her throat and then up into her hair.
He brought his palms back down to her cheeks to hold her head in place as he smiled into her eyes.
"Sometimes, Clarice, silence is more telling than words," he informed her before his lips once again smothered hers. This time, however, the kiss was punishing, as if he were venting his disappointment in the situation. He forced her lips open and plundered the depths of her mouth with his tongue. When he finished and pulled back, her eyes were closed and he could tell that it was only because he was holding her that she remained upright. He waited till her eyes fluttered open, and he once again commanded her gaze with his, before he smiled again and removed the small key from between his lips. He savoured the resignation and disappointment in her eyes. Two quick twists and they were both free of the metal links, which he then tossed into the next room.
"Bye," was all he said as he walked out the door.
Clarice sagged against the fridge but the pull on her hair brought her up sharply. She reached over her shoulder and grabbed the door handle. It took her a moment to fit it back in place and then she was free. She massaged the back of her head as she stumbled out the door after him. She could see a small boat moving out on the bay through the trees. She managed to get far enough to see that it was empty before the police ordered her to halt and identify herself. Her voice was surprisingly clear as she shouted,
"Clarice Starling, F.B.I."
On the other side of the house a young rookie cop heard her and smiled. Clarice Starling and Hannibal the Cannibal! This was the kind of action he had been looking for when he’d decided to become a cop. So far, his career had been dead boring, but imagine if he managed to apprehend Hannibal the Cannibal. He was so busy fantasizing about the fame and fortune that would go along with such a capture that he didn’t notice the second shadow he’d acquired in the trees. It was child’s play for Dr. Lecter to sneak up on him with a chloroformed rag. His original escape route was put out of commission with the arrival of the police, but the doctor was always ready to take advantage of a given situation. Under other circumstances he would have slit the kids throat, but that would made a mess of the uniform jacket that was his real objective, so the rookie got to live.
Dr. Lecter settled the kid’s cap low on his head and then threw his dinner jacket over the boy's head and white shirt to better camouflage the body. A fleeting smile as he wondered what Clarice would have to say on the subject of the lack of training new law officers were receiving these days. Perhaps he’d ask her in his next letter. Not that he was complaining, but it would be nice to have a real challenge. He ruefully suspected that there was only one law enforcement official who could actually challenge him, and she’d declined his offer. He settled the gun belt around his waist and then moved purposefully around the side of the house heading for the platoon of squad cars. The rookie would have a marked car, but which one? Would anyone notice if he took the wrong car? Probably not, but where was the kid’s partner? That was a minor concern until he heard someone shout,
"Hey Caufield! Over here!" He glanced down at the nametag and read the name Caufield. Damn, the answer to his question was now fifty feet ahead of him, standing alongside Clarice who was clutching a gray blanket around her shoulders. DAMN! If anyone could pick him out of a crowd, she could. She was gazing out towards the bay, as he neared, not paying any attention to the cop beside her. The older cop shouted when they were still thirty feet apart,
"We need someone to get Miss. Starling and her car home. I wouldn’t want you to get eaten by the Doctor so I volunteered you for the duty!" The man laughed at his own poor humor. Doctor Lecter shook his head to convey his sarcastic thanks to the man and then caught the Mustang’s keys as the older cop turned to Clarice,
"My partner, Caufield here, will take you home Miss," he informed her, before he turned and headed back to the ‘action’. Clarice was already heading for the garage where her Mustang was parked. Dr. Lecter followed behind her, and noticed that she still wasn’t wearing any shoes. He might have to get her another pair he thought as he opened her door for her. She slipped into the seat and he closed the door. Why hadn’t she said anything yet? Surely, she had noticed who was accompanying her. Perhaps she was giving him an answer to his earlier entreaty to let him run. He walked around the car and slid into the driver’s seat. He turned the key in the ignition and smoothly put the car in gear.
The older cop smiled when he heard the squeal of tires, thinking it was just like his partner to try to impress a pretty girl.
Clarice was grateful for the officer’s silence as they drove. She was sure that he would be bursting with questions about what had happened, but maybe she intimidated him. He wouldn’t be the first. He was a good driver and she found herself slowly relaxing. Normally she would never fall asleep in the presence of a guy. She hadn’t felt safe enough around anyone to do that since her dad had died. She figured that it probably due to all the stress she’d been through in the last few days. She glanced down at his hand on the stick shift before her eyes fluttered closed. Her last thought was that he had nice, broad hands, but they reminded her of someone. She was to tired to grope for the answer, and let the thought go.
The man beside her smiled as he heard her breathing deepen in slumber.