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Take Me

copyright 2002, by Mara Trinity Scully

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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Darkness swelled over the horizon, covering all…hiding the sun. Even the stars were hidden.

He knew she was afraid, afraid of the turmoil in her heart. Afraid of her obsession for a cannibalistic serial killer. Afraid of her choices. Afraid of his choices. Afraid of herself. He also knew that she wanted him to stay, stay and be caught. If he was put back into jail-more likely he'd be sent to the chair-she could visit him. She could talk to him. She could be with him.

He knew that there was another answer, but it was not one he would ever ask of her. And he had always been of the mind that he could ask Clarice Starling any question. But never the one that he so desperately desired to ask.

Hannibal heard her three steps before she reached the door. He almost laughed when she entered swinging a candlestick madly at him. The woman charged ferally, wild like an animal, the morphine adding the fuel to the long burning fire.

How marvelous, he thought.

He restrained her, his strength ever the more powerful, feeling quite rabid himself. Neither of them noticed the physical pain when he slammed her against the refrigerator; they only noticed the emotional. He held her and with a deep breath said, "I came from around the world just to watch you run. Let me run."

He sensed her pain. The pain of loosing him. Her mind was blank of words and so she could only act. Her strict rules of reason were long gone as her heart urged her to fight. Again, she pounced at him, this time catlike. Both knew it was futile, but they fought anyway, subconsciously enjoying the touch of each other's unrestrained bodies.

And again he slammed her against the refrigerator. He knew that she felt the pain this time. The physical added to the emotional torture. He was rejecting her. Rejecting the idea of staying behind. And he knew the morphine couldn't dull the pain of loosing her ultimate obsession.

But he couldn't stay. He would never give up his freedom willingly again. Even for her.

Hannibal knew that she would attack again if he didn't do something, and if that happened, he might hurt her worse. Thinking quickly, he grabbed her hair, opened the refrigerator door, thrust her ponytail inside, slammed the door shut and broke the handle off.

She was trapped. Cornered. Her expression calmed and stilled, eyes loosing the violent shine. In those eyes, he watched the agony in her soul. It called to him that her only fear was the inevitable loss that faced her.

But he wanted to make sure he was right.

The man quietly murmured, "Would you ever say to me, "Stop. If you loved me, you'd stop."

The woman, unwavering, spoke without hesitation. "Not in a thousand years."

Intrigued, Hannibal moved in, mouth open and teeth barred.

Clarice remained unmovable.

He was right.

Hannibal stopped centimeters from her face and drew back slightly, impressed. And immensely pleased.

"That's my girl."

Then he advanced again, slower this time to gently kiss her lips. The closeness immersed him into a pool of elation. It reminded him of the feeling he got from caressing her finger in Memphis…all those years ago.

Clarice did not return the kiss, but there was an ache that he could sense in the subtle quivering of her body. The ache exuded from her and entered him, nearly completing the bond.

There was the quiet sound of the metallic click of handcuffs. Hannibal withdrew from the embrace and stared at the bondage connecting him to the woman. He mused that it was a sorry metaphor for the spiritual bond that held them together.

A beautiful tear streamed down Clarice's face. It was the tear of a decision resolutely made, the one shed after much internal conflict.

Mildly annoyed, Hannibal raised their wrists and sighed, "Now this is really interesting. And I am pressed for time-"

She opened her mouth to speak and then faltered. Another tear formed and began to roll down her cheek. Startled, already knowing what she was going to say, he took a step back.

In a soft voice, she stated with only the slightest emotion, "Dr. Lecter. I'm offering you a choice." Clarice took a breath. "Stay here and face the police or…" She faltered.

"Or what, Clarice?" he prompted, eyes thrilling at the possibility of being right as always.

"Take me. Take me with you."

He stared at her. She had asked him. She had actually done it. And it frightened him. Pleased him to no end, as well, but it had meant that she would give up everything…and nothing for him.

"Or I could just take the butcher knife, cut your hand off, and run off free."

But Clarice saw the answer in his eyes. They had so often prolonged conversations with words whereas their eyes spoke for them more eloquently than any word.

"So, you would leave the world of light and goodness? Your precious sense of right would tolerate the change? How would poor daddy think of this decision?" he asked not so gently, testing her. Clarice held her stare, unflinchingly.

"My father always told me to follow what was right. This is right."

Hannibal raised his eyebrows in surprise and quipped, "So Persephone wants to stay forever in the Underworld?"

With only the softest hint of her ache, she whispered, "forever."

He smiled. The first real and genuine smile he had experienced in a long time. Eyes twinkling, he reached out to the refrigerator to free her hair. With his hand in her hair, he saw a tear teetering on the side of her chin. In one movement, he put his lips over it and pulled the liquid of her decision into his mouth. The salt and raw emotion filled him with her. It was marvelous.

"Clarice. The police will be here in two minutes. I need the key to the handcuffs. Work will be much faster," he paused, sensing her question, "And I am taking you with me. I won't leave you behind. The masters you once served will never see you again. Does it please you?"

She nodded, the morphine still running in her veins, heightening her exhilaration as she opened her mouth again. The tiny key lay on her tongue. Her eyes flashed dangerously. Hannibal laughed and again closed the distance between them to tenderly retrieve the key.

And the sky cleared. It was filled with stars, twinkling and breathtaking in their beauty.


copyright 2002, by Mara Trinity Scully

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