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He Gazed at Life Offered

copyright 2001, by Gryphon

Disclaimer:    The characters Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Clarice Starling, and Jack Crawford were created by Thomas Harris.  They are used herein without permission, but in the spirit of admiration and respect.  No infringement of copyright is intended, and no profit, of any kind, is made by the creator, maintainer or contributors to this site.

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He inhaled the scent of her a moment before his tongue met the exquisite velvet underside of Clarice's soft-hard nipple. The explosion of flavors that met his palate was sex in itself-the mingling of the memory of the dinner in Clarice's mouth with the delicate Chateau d'Yquem and, of course, the singular flavor of Clarice herself, all combined in this moment to become a new wing in his memory palace, now waiting to be furnished with exquisite detail.

Somehow unsure, even now, of Clarice's intentions a stab of pain pierced through him, venturing to the darkest corners, tantalizing even those rooms, the ones locked behind rough wooden doors that left splinters whenever inadvertently passed. The unexpected feeling caused in Hannibal Lecter a quite uncontrollable but silent sob, which Clarice would one day realize for what it was, but for now only felt as a sharp sucking on her distended nipple, a welcome feeling. A need was growing within her.

For some time, neither of them made a move to make any other physical contact, just infamous mouth on hallowed breast. One slowly allowing himself to believe-no, rely- on more than just the now, and the other trying to identify fear of this, of him, of anything, and finding only fear in not finding fear otherwise. Clarice found she wasn't even afraid to die. She sensed Lecter's greater purpose, not in the reviving of his dear Mischa, but in the advent of a new embodiment of his-love? No, love was not the word.

"Ahh!" Clarice cried out as her eyes flew up to meet twin points of maroon fire. Hannibal now had her by the hair, pulling her head back and exposing her throat to his mercy. His eyes briefly moved to watch the blood she could feel pounding powerfully beneath the delicate white skin of her neck. Deliberately moving his gaze back to hers, Hannibal slowly and precisely intoned, "Do you think you know me? Hmm?" Without giving her the chance to answer, he warned, "Am I some inexperienced youth to be manipulated? Won merely by the sight of a woman's breast?" Eyes glittering in a glance, "Succulent as your offering is, dear Clarice, you'll have to do better."

"I don't understand-ahh," as his grip tightened.

"Don't you? I should think you understand all too well, my dear. Do you really believe I didn't know that your last "Plum offer" was a ruse? Tsk, tsk…really, Clarice, you underestimate me," slyly, in his sing-song voice. "And although your lapse in judgment was useful then, I would rather you now fully comprehend who you're dealing with."

Suddenly releasing her, he made no move to back away, leaving them very close together, with him still on his knees before her. Looking at Clarice, he saw that she was unaware of the significance of his gesture, and he was strangely glad. If all went well, time would come, soon enough, when he would be unable to shield from her so much of himself. His thought was painted in her colors-cool green and warm gold-and was flavored bittersweet, like the finest Valrhona Carré Guanaja.

Clarice was still feeling the heat. "He's so close, I could just reach up and pull him down to me," she thought. Her right index and middle fingers twitched, but she knew better-it might surprise him to know. God, he was an egotistical SOB! She'd almost forgotten… Focus, Clarice! It's do or die, here. Ha, ha-focus, woman! Yes. Yes, she had had a moment of clarity minutes ago that had led her to make the decision to be his lover rather than his victim. But, truthfully, and she knew how much truth counted here, there was more to her decision than self-preservation. She looked at him, saw the intelligent, distinguished, somewhat frightening features which had been with her since the day she first saw them behind those beautiful, ferocious eyes, down in the dark, deep dungeon. The dungeon! What was she doing? Sudden fear blossomed, as she was again Agent Starling of the FBI.

Hannibal saw his Clarice's features arrange and rearrange as the various thoughts crossed her delicious mind. He rode the roller coaster with her: heat, defiance, anger, fear-ahh-revelation, adoration, and…shock? Why shock? Thinking, tick, tick, tick like a computer. What happened? Oh, yes. Those damnable three letters.

"Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity. Only you, Clarice, have ever brought meaning to those words for that insufferable institution, and what do you get for it? Hmm? Jack-als and hyenas, laughing their way in for the kill." The peculiar metallic rasp was derisive.

As always, his perception was startling. Clarice felt like she had one of those LED diplays embedded in her forehead, with her thoughts running across the screen for him to read so easily. But his words were all she needed to resume her view through those perfectly aligned windows…

"I also got you."


*             *               *


And time stopped. Hannibal barely breathed. Clarice held her breath. Slowly, gently, she reached her hand up to his face and just barely touched his skin as she cupped the side of his face. Her lips parted and her eyes softened as the awareness in her mind of what was about to happen hit every part of her body, until every inch of her became attuned to the heat and movement from her mate.

Hannibal felt his blood sing through his veins as he finally rose to his feet with his Clarice once again in his arms. Ah, glorious life pulsing through him! All at once, he relished so much: his freedom, his choice of her dress for this special evening, his choice of Clarice-so perfect!-and, especially now, his unrivaled familiarity with the ins and outs of a woman's body. He looked down at his quarry as he carried her up the stairs. She was so beautiful, the bodice of her gown had moved somewhat back into place, but still showed the hint of an aureole where the fabric had caught against her nipple.

"I'll make you happy. I'll give you what you want." Clarice's eyes showed surprise, then humor as she acknowledged, "I looked deep within myself, and I found the rest of me."

Smiling, he crossed the threshold of the beautifully appointed bedroom and set her down on the soft Agnona vicuna blanket, this gift from the gods, one of the many things he'd brought back from Italy for his lovely Clarice. "Oh, we are going to have fun!"

Putting one hand on each side of her, Lecter slowly lowered himself onto his Clarice. His eyes closed in ecstasy. Even fully clothed, this was the most arousing contact he'd ever had, including that unforgettable electric moment in Memphis. They were the same height, with the same athletic proportions-a perfect match. He kissed her.

Clarice was on fire. God! He was so perfect! She felt his weight over every inch of her body, then felt his warm, firm lips pressed against hers and nearly came just from these initial sensations. She couldn't wait to feel him naked against her. She opened her mouth.

With her sweet invitation, Hannibal had to remind himself that patience was a virtue. With great control, he moved his hands to hold her face, used his thumbs to pull down her lower mandible, and fully invaded her mouth. He thrust his tongue deep into her mouth, his teeth grinding ever so slightly against her teeth as he sucked her into a dizzying primal kiss, where his soul met hers in a hot, wet dance.

Their bodies were moving now, in sync with the thrusting tongues. Hips ground into undulating hips. Clarice's hands ineffectually tried to remove Lecter's clothing, but he still held her face and didn't seem to be in a hurry to let go anytime soon. She thought she would die! She couldn't even voice her needs, could barely moan, couldn't breathe.

Finally, his hands moved their way downward to push aside the bodice of her gown, revealing both perfect breasts to the doctor's capable hands. As his fingertips brushed over Clarice's wound, she jerked in a spasm of pain and he broke from the deep kiss to open heavy lids and look into her eyes.

"Undress for me." He stood with her, reached around to lower the zipper on the back of her dress, lithely stepped away and removed his jacket as he walked across the room and opened a drawer to remove candles and a lighter. He kept his gaze on her as he walked about the room, dressing it in candlelight. Flick, hss, the candle lit, he placed it on the windowsill. Clarice slipped the dress off her shoulders, revealing her naked torso to his gaze. Flick, another candle, this one on the bookshelf in the corner. Clarice pushed the dress lower and it slid to the floor. Flick, this one on the dresser. Off came Clarice's very expensive shoes. Flick, the overhead light went out as Hannibal passed the door.

Watching the candlelight lick over her body, Hannibal Lecter felt entirely compelled to do the same. He put his hands over hers at the waistband of the very immodest panties he'd also brought back from Italy. With a soft kiss of her lips, his mouth began a trail down her jaw, neck, shoulder, breast, the divine crease underneath one breast, that sweet spot on the sternum, down to her navel. Now on his knees, slipping his fingers into the sweet wetness awaiting him, while he grasps her ass with his other hand he proceeds to kiss these waiting lips.

Clarice grabbed Hannibal's shoulders to keep from falling as the same dizzying feeling of a head rush overwhelmed her. She felt his hand doing incredible things to her, pinching, rubbing, pressing her like he was playing some fine instrument-and very well! Added to this was the sensation of his hot mouth pressed over her mound, sucking her hard, right through her panties. She looked down between her breasts with their pointed nipples, saw his closed eyes and the look on his face, and Clarice Starling had the most satisfying climax of her life.

When the tremors subside, Hannibal disengages himself and stands gracefully. Clarice opens her eyes to find him watching her with pleasure. Still looking into his eyes, she reaches down to free him from his exquisitely tailored pants. Her eyes widen as she holds him-in both hands. She starts to lower herself to her knees, but he grasps her upper arms and nearly throws her onto the bed. The rest of his clothing is off before she can blink and he quickly moves to her, reaching down and ripping off the soaked panties.

Nothing stands between them now, and with a fierce look on his face, Hannibal thrusts himself deep into Clarice. His mouth is on hers again, and this time she is prepared and stakes her claim on his mouth first. Her tongue explores his mouth in concert with his coital moves, sending him quickly to the edge. No woman has ever been his match, and he has never given any other woman a tenth of his abilities. But here was Clarice, his sweet Clarice. All there. And his. Finally.

As sweet release plagued him with sleep, he refused to leave her sensual hold. She didn't complain of discomfort, and he didn't ask because he wanted to feel her this way. Feel the lifeblood pulse through her body. Feel her strong, brave heart and be a part of it. His last thought before giving in to slumber was that he had been so close to losing her-twice.

For Clarice, her last thought before slipping into a peaceful, dreamless sleep was that Hannibal Lecter was a giant among men, in many ways.


copyright 2001, by Gryphon

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