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copyright 2003, by Natasha Von Lecter

Disclaimer:    These characters 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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A cold, hard silver of light stabbing through the warm fragrant air of an immaculate kitchen. The glint of a silver candlestick refracted in the matching coffee service. Intoxicating Maroon eyes flashing as feral understanding propels his motion, hand reaching out to grab the delicate juncture where her wrist joins forearm. Hannibal Lecter has never been cursed with the human folly of over thinking. Instinct, coursing pure and unadulterated through the length of his elegant body relieves him from the tedium of self-doubt and fumbling indecision. When a blunt object hurtles towards his cranium, he does not ponder the situation, but merely launches a counter attack. Even if he loves her.

They dance, the momentum of two stars hurtling through the heavens driving their celestial bodies in an endless spiral. In the span of a heartbeat, which he feels through his fierce grip on the pulse point of her right wrist, conscious thought slithers back into his brain, and he is impressed, once more, at the beauty that softens her fury. Time crashes back on course as her back makes contact with the smooth white enamel of the humming refrigerator. The Shudders that shake them both have somewhat to do with the nature of objects at rest and objects in motion, equal and opposite reactions. And somewhat not.

For the first time in decades, Hannibal Lecter is torn. Between the need to run free, and the need to posses. The clock in his head ticks on with a precision that could never be matched by the tasteful Swiss watch that adorns his wrist…another five minutes…seven at the most and the hellhounds will close in on him. He does not fear death, nor even imprisonment, but he will not submit to being caged once again. Not for anything. Not even for her.

He stares into her eyes, and he sees the conflict churning there…sniffing the air he smells it…the room is thick with her torment. And he smiles, genuinely, knowing that he is not alone in his predicament. Leaning in close to her quavering throat, his breath pricking the flesh above her pulsing jugular, he whispers…

“I came half way around the world…to watch you run Clarice…”

He edges back, knowing the cold air that rushes in his wake subtly reinforces the gravity of the decision she has to make. He wishes her to feel his absence keenly. She must know the frigid loneliness before she can appreciate the warmth.

“Let me run, Hmm?”

A beat. His iron grasp is unrelenting on her porcelain wrists, and he feels her pulse skip. Can such a decision be made in the span of a single heartbeat? Can it ever be made any other way?

He fights the urge to close the gap between them, to crush her lips under his own, to taste the sweet metallic tang of her blood under the fierce love of his teeth. But he stays at arms length. She must make this decision on her own, and he does not care to appeal to the hormones he can smell flooding off her in waves. He will accept no less than her uncoerced surrender.

“Run with me, Clarice.”

Four life-shattering words hang in the air before them. Her eyes flutter, searching the floor for the answer because she fears loosing herself in the twin blood-hued eyes that float in front of her face. Moments away, the sound of wailing sirens split the air. Time careens around the stillness that surrounds them. The last vestiges of her icy detachment are shattered as his hand cups her chin with infinite tenderness, and her eyes lift to meet the twin soul that resides in the monsters heart. The honey of his maddening voice breaks through her haze.

“Tick Tock, Clarice”.

And In a pulse, he feels the surrender that courses through her body, in the softening of her features, in the way her rigid flesh is suddenly warm, and pliant, and yielding. If she cannot give voice to her choices, just yet, it is of no matter. Her body has already told him what he needs to know. Her eyes have given him their silent devotion. For now, it is enough. He will give her the rest of time to find her voice.

In a heartbeat he has released her, physical restraint no longer required. With the grace of a wild thing he bolts for the door.

And at his side, she runs with him.


copyright 2003, by Natasha Von Lecter

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