Lecter woke before Clarice the following day, she was just as pleasing to the eye in the daylight as she slept as she had been the night before. He showered quickly and ordered breakfast for both of them to be sent to the room. The food arrived when Clarice was showering, Lecter signed the bill and brought the food into the room himself. "I didn't know what you liked to eat I'm afraid, so help yourself to whatever suits your tastes." He helped himself to some coffee and a bagel with lochs perusing the morning's paper while Clarice toweled off her hair and looked at her clothes from the day before with distaste. "Something for you to wear for the day should be arriving shortly. I took the liberty, I hope you'll indulge me."
She eyed the food at the table and realized she was hungry. Fastening the towel around her securely, feeling uncomfortable parading around in front of him in just a towel, she took a seat at the table and decided to eat some eggs. She looked up at him, noticing he wasn't eating his bagel. "You ordered all of this food and all you're eating is a bagel. Surely I'm not that difficult to buy breakfast for, Dr. Lecter."
Lecter raised a brow, diverting his attention from the newspaper he was reading to her briefly. "Judging by your figure, Clarice, I'd wager you were a relatively light eater but I didn't want to insult you by just ordering fruit and cereal." As if dismissing her, he returned his attention to the paper.
Clarice picked up a piece of toast and walked to the window.
"It's a great view. I didn't really get to appreciate it last night." She coughed lightly as she looked closer, certain she had seen wrong. "You can see the FBI building from here." She glanced at him slightly in amusement; leave it to him to stay right under their noses.
"I wasn't overly choosey in my selection of hotels on the spur of the moment, Agent Starling." He glanced up at her until a knock on the door came. He folded the newspaper slowly, deliberately before rising from the chair and opening the door. He returned to where she could see him, holding up a pair of jeans, a blouse, and a pair of shoes. "Your clothes for the afternoon, Clarice. We'll get you something for this evening while we're out."
She took the jeans and headed to the bathroom, returning a few minutes later surprised at how well they fit. What else does he know about me? "Doctor Lecter, as kind as this is, I can't let you buy me clothes. That I've agreed to go out with you at all is enough to get my fired, let alone accepting gifts."
"Call it a loan then, you can pay me back sometime." He chuckled lightly, knowing she knew full well he would never allow her to pay him back for anything.
"Just where are you taking me, anyway?"
"I thought a day at the Smithsonian would be nice. Have you ever been there for pleasure?"
"No, actually. I've not seen much that D.C. has to offer in the way of pleasure."
"Well, perhaps you'll indulge me and spend the rest of the week with me after all. I think you'd be surprised at the things I can show you, Agent Starling."
She raised a brow slightly, that comment could be construed as suggestive but she knew it wasn't. "I don't know that there's much you could do that would surprise me, Doctor."
They spent the late morning and part of the afternoon at the Smithsonian. Starling had been there before in a professional capacity to speak with experts, but she had never taken the time to realize how vast the displays were. It was truly awe-inspiring. Standing next to Lecter for hours at a time was awe-inspiring as well, and while he allowed her her personal space he did touch her gently on occasion. A hand placed effortlessly and comfortably at the small of her back as they walked from one display to another, a touch to her arm to point out something of interest he thought she had missed. What shocked Clarice was her reaction to his touch; they sent shocks of warmth throughout her body and made it so she didn't want him to stop touching her. Each time his hand moved away she had to shake her head to clear it of whatever spell he had cast over her for that brief moment. And they were brief moments, his hand never lingered. Ever the gentleman, she mused inwardly.
After the Smithsonian they went to a deli and got sandwiches and made their way to the Vietnam Wall Memorial. Clarice was startled with the ease in which Lecter allowed himself to be seen in public. He certainly wasn't hiding or taking extraordinary precautions. After lunch, they stopped and Lecter picked out a dress and shoes for her to wear for the evening. Back to his room where they showered and changed and they were ready for dinner. Oddly, Clarice hadn't once that day thought about leaving him or how she would get away. She was alone in his room while he showered and yet she made no effort to leave or to pick up the phone and call Jack or Ardelia. What the hell was wrong with her?
She stood at the window looking outside, dressed in the emerald green silk dress and matching shoes he'd bought her that afternoon she was a little nervous. This wasn't an afternoon at the Smithsonian; this was a dinner date with someone who should be behind bars. Someone who had the uncanny knack of getting under her skin and making her feel things that no man ever had. Someone who knew things about her that no one else knew, that she would never dare to tell anyone else. She was lost in thought, her hands clasped on her arms held over her chest.
Lecter emerged from the shower and was glad Clarice didn't seem to notice. It was one thing to dress for a casual day in a bathroom, but for an evening out he had no desire to dress in a humid bathroom. He quickly dressed in his charcoal gray pinstriped suit, a white shirt, and a burgundy and navy striped tie. A pair of gold cufflinks and a matching gold tie tack completed his outfit. His long hair pulled back in a short ponytail, he presented a handsome picture when Clarice finally realized he was there and turned to look at him. "I clean up nice, don't I, Agent Starling?"
Clarice was shocked; the pictures she'd seen of him in eveningwear didn't do him justice. His hair worn long looked sexy, but pulled back like it was made her heart lurch. "Your eyes," she looked at him confused as she walked towards him.
"Contacts, Agent Starling. A curse God gave me my eyes that I try and disguise them whenever I can. Yet another thing you can add to the list of information you're compiling about me to add to your files."
"I wish you wouldn't call me that."
"And I wish you wouldn't call me doctor."
"Well, I'm not comfortable calling you anything else, Doctor Lecter. Believe it or not, I call you that out of respect. Whereas I get the distinct feeling when you address me as Agent Starling you're being sarcastic."
He smiled slightly, his sharp white teeth glistening slightly as he did. "You underestimate me, Clarice. I do it to tease you, but never as sarcasm." He sat on the edge of the bed and pulled on his shoes. "Do I meet your requirements, Clarice?"
"For a dinner companion, Doctor? I'd say you'll do." She walked through the door he held open for her, waiting for him before walking to the elevators. "Just where are we going?"
"An Italian restaurant I think you'll like. It's been a number of years since I've actually had the pleasure of dining there, but from my understanding it's still reputable."
Dinner passed by too quickly for Lecter. He knew that Clarice was hoping he'd slip up and reveal where he had been since his escape, but he wasn't careless enough to do that. He listened to her tales of work, knowing she like him really had no one else to talk to. He wondered if she realized how similar their lives where when it came right down to it, but he knew even if she did she wasn't ready to recognize it yet. Once dinner was finished, he led her to the bar that was attached to the restaurant. A live band performed, too loudly for Lecter's tastes but he was doing whatever he could think of to prevent the night from ending too soon. When they played a slow song, something he recognized from the 70s that he knew he could dance to he took her hand and led her to the dance floor without waiting for her to refuse.
Clarice didn't know the last time she had heard the song by Kenny Rogers, but she knew she'd never again hear it again without thinking of Lecter. He danced well, and she felt like a bumbler in comparison. But he led easily and she followed, surprised when one song led into two. She had to laugh when the band went from Kenny Rogers to Chicago, but her laughter was cut short by Lecter's kiss. He caught her totally off guard, which she imagined was what he was trying to do. It wasn't a passionate kiss, but it wasn't just a peck either. "What was that for?"
He shrugged and led her from the bar and outside to his car, after unlocking her door he placed both hands on the top of the car trapping her. "Clarice," he met her gaze and kissed her again. He had no desire to take her home, he wanted her to come back with him. When he felt that she was not going to fight him, he moved his hands from the top of the car to around her waist. "Kiss me back," he said softly.
The first kiss had surprised her, this one surprised her even more though why she had no idea. His lips were inviting, tempting her to kiss him back. And then he spoke to her, asked her to kiss him back, and somehow she found herself doing just that. That feeling that she had felt earlier in the day when he touched her was back as his hands caressed her back lightly as he kissed her. She pulled away slightly, certain that her lips were swollen from the attention they had just received. She didn't know what to say, she never knew what to say in these circumstances so she rested her head against his chin and waited for him.
Lecter sensed her confusion, her hesitancy and placed his finger under her chin. Lifting her face so she looked him in the eye. "Come back with me, Clarice. While I won't deny I have more than kissing you on my mind, I will leave what happens to your discretion."
"All right, Doctor. I'll come back with you. I have nothing to go home for anyway."
He kissed her again briefly before opening her door for her and going around to his side. Once at his hotel, he found himself oddly nervous. His normally calm heart was beating a little faster than normal as he dropped his hand in hers to walk through the lobby. It increased a bit more when she allowed her hand to remain intertwined with his as they rode up to his room on the elevator. He removed his suit coat and tie when they returned to the room and watched in silence as she walked to the window. After removing his shoes he walked up behind her, his arms going around her waist as his lips sought out the back of her neck.
Clarice was trying to hold back, trying not to respond to him but when she felt his teeth against her neck she jumped slightly. She laughed at herself when she realized that he was just doing what any normal person might do as part of foreplay, but somehow she had never really thought of Hannibal Lecter as a lover before now. Of course she had, but the images in her mind had never gone into details. Once over the initial shock she found it very easy to give herself to him when she felt his hand move from her stomach to the zipper on her dress she swallowed hard knowing there was no going back after this. She fought the urge to tell him no, she didn't want to tell him no damn it. Tonight at least she was going to be Clarice Starling, female, and put her career out of her mind. She turned to face him holding the dress clutched to her and stepped away from the window as she let the dress fall around her feet. She stepped out of her shoes, leaving the dress and shoes in a small pile of emerald green on the floor.
How exactly she ended up on the bed she couldn't remember, but it must have been of her own accord because he still stood by the window watching her. It was as if he was shocked by her behavior, was this just a trick to see what she'd allow him to do. If that is what this was, she was going to feel incredibly foolish. But then he unbuttoned his shirt and removed his trousers and joined her on the bed and she knew it was no trick. Unless she chickened out after tonight she would have slept with the enemy in the most dangerous sense of the phrase. She shivered instinctively as his hand ran up and down her arms and neck. A slight gasp escaped her lips when he took a breast in his hand, the palm of his hand was so warm against her skin. She closed her eyes and allowed her body to respond to him when she felt him take a nipple in between his thumb and index finger.
Lecter was waiting for her to say no, for her to slap him or do something. So when he touched her breast and she gasped he was pleased. Her nipples reacted so easily to his touch that he found himself getting more aroused than he already was. When he brought his mouth around a nipple and toyed with it with his tongue and teeth he was pleased that she brought her hands to rest on his shoulders. She was touching him of her own free will, even if it was instinctive. As his mouth focused on her breasts, his hand was busy trying to bring her pleasure. He was surprised at the way she reacted when he slid a finger within her, and he had all he could do not to take her at that very moment. But he wasn't a thoughtless lover, and he wasn't about to start now with Clarice. He was slow and deliberate with his movements, careful to gauge her reactions and make the slightest change if necessary to ensure she was being pleased. His mouth moved to her stomach where he nipped gently but hard enough to leave a mark on her when he felt her release was approaching.
Feeling him bite her pushed her over the edge, never had she imagined such a thing could be erotic but from him it was. She was embarrassed to look at him when she had finished; embarrassed that she had reacted so willingly and easily to him. Was she that easy or was he that good? Or was it a little of both? She watched as he moved on top of her, closing her eyes as she felt him ease into her. It had been so long since she'd been with anyone that she imagined he would be surprised at how she felt around him.
Lecter opened his eyes quickly as he entered Clarice. Over nine years had gone by since he'd been with a woman, but it may as well have been never as tight as she was around him. Determining that he was not hurting her, he kissed her biting her upper lip gently once he was fully inside her. If it was possible to try and possess her with a kiss that's what he wanted to do. He wanted her lips on his, her tongue pressed against his. His tongue traced her lips and with a little pressure she opened her mouth instinctively and he let out a light groan of appreciation when their tongues finally met. His hand reached up behind her head, his fingers running through her auburn tresses as he moved within her. His lips moved from her mouth to her neck and her ears and then again to her breasts where he focused until he finished. He remained within her, not wanting to pull out or away from her until he had to. He kissed her again with less urgency.
"Tell me you're staying the night, Clarice."
She laughed lightly. "What a thing to ask, Doctor." She ran her hand across his face, her fingers taking in the feel of his skin under her fingertips. "I'll stay as long as you want me here," her eyes clearly stated that she was satisfied. She groaned slightly when he moved to her side, smiling to herself when he placed an arm around her waist.
Lecter kissed her shoulder and her upper arm, enjoying the feel of his arm resting against her bare stomach. He didn't know how to ask the question on his mind so he decided to be blunt. "Please tell me that wasn't your first time, Clarice." He saw her questioning look. "You gripped me like a glove. It's been a while I have to admit, but I don't remember it feeling quite like that."
She laughed lightly out of embarrassment. "Well, I guess I should take that as a compliment. No, it wasn't my first time, Doctor. But it has been a while; I don't make it a practice to have sex often. And even then, it was only once before. You need a boyfriend to do that, and I haven't had one of those for quite some time. And the one I did have, he got what he wanted and left once he had gotten it." She turned to look away from him wondering to herself if he would do the same thing. Maybe that's what she was so scared of, that he would leave her too.
"Well, he was a fool, Clarice. But his loss appears to be my gain, because I don't see you as the type to be unfaithful even to a boyfriend." He felt himself growing tired and pulled her closer to him. "Do I have permission to wake you up during the night in a similar manner or would you rather sleep through the night?"
"I guess you'll just have to take your chances, Doctor. Hannibal." She swallowed hard.
"Much better, Clarice." He kissed her lightly, "get some rest now Clarice. If you're planning on joining me for the extent of my stay you're going to need your rest while I allow you the luxury of getting it." He chuckled lightly.
Clarice placed her hand in his hand that rested at her stomach. Odd that she felt safe in his arms. Shouldn't she feel just the opposite lying in the arms of a mass murderer? She was crazy. She was crazy to be here, she was crazy to have let him make love to her, and she was crazy to be sleeping with the man. What the hell was she thinking? She hated this, she finally did something to please herself and she felt guilty for it. And it wasn't because of what they did; it was because of who he was. Of all the people she could have fallen for, why did it have to be him?
"Stop worrying, Clarice and just go to sleep. What's done is done, you can't take it back and there's no use worrying about it. I don't think you'd take it back even if you could."
She turned slightly to look at him; she should have known he'd know exactly what she was thinking. "You're right, but this isn't having dinner with you."
"Stay the rest of the week with me, Clarice, and when I leave on Saturday if you don't want to see me again I'll do my best to honor your wishes. Just two more days and three more nights, Clarice. I assume you have vacation time you can take."
She sighed, clearly confused. "Yes, I do. I'm a fool for doing this, but all right. I'll stay. It's not as if I have any more appealing offers, Doctor. But I'm sure you already knew that."
"Ah but Clarice, there's so much more I want to know about you. For tonight, though I think we'll stick with the more carnal aspects of you." He chuckled lightly as he moved on top of her once more; a light smile came to his lips when she willingly moved her legs to accept him.
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com