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Gambit

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Gambit (definition):

A tactical opening move, usually in chess, in which a player sacrifices a piece, usually a pawn, in the hopes of gaining an advantageous position.

 

 

ooo

 

 

“Do you play chess, Will?”

 

The question made Will pause, pulled abruptly from his thoughts.  “Have we resorted to board games, Doctor?” Will smiled wryly, bringing his hand up to smooth idly over the stubble coating his chin.  “Are you so easily bored of your usual games?”

 

Hannibal’s lips quirked at the pun.

 

“An innocent request, I assure you, merely an entertaining way to pass the evening.” Hannibal nodded his head elegantly towards the large windows framing his study, and the rapid flurry of snow indicating Will would have no choice but to stay the night. “A nightcap, perhaps, before we begin?”

 

Will nodded absently, already drifting towards the chess set assembled near the far bookshelves that he had only glanced at previously. He heard Hannibal behind him, hands occupied in the melodic cadence of preparing their drinks at the wet bar. Simple, soothing sounds reached him. The low hum, one of satisfaction, as Hannibal located his bottle of choice, followed by the bright ring of cascading ice, and the warm splash of liquor against fine crystal.

 

Will frowned, bending forward slightly to study the chess set closer, wondering when he had begun to think of the sound of Hannibal’s voice as soothing once again . Before his incarceration, certainly, Hannibal having manipulated his way into Will’s life as a source of unyielding, unwavering security. His paddle. An island of serenity and calm  in the dark and turbulent sea of his mind. But after….the scales had fallen from his eyes, he sawthe creature that lurked behind the face Hannibal presented to the world. It was unthinkable he should feel the tension ease from his shoulders as he heard the low murmur of his name, and yet…

 

“I thought we might move the table nearer the fireplace, between the armchairs.” As if drawn by Will’s reflections, Hannibal appeared quietly at his elbow, drinks in hand. “Would you mind assisting me?”

 

Hannibal crossed the room, his tread silent upon the thick, hand knotted antique oriental rug spread opulently on the hardwood floor, placing their drinks in the precise center of the chrome and glass cocktail table set to the side of his armchair. Will’s gaze was heavy on him in sequence of the simple actions, but quickly averted as he straightened and turned to rejoin his companion.

 

Hannibal was striking in firelight, Will noted, a mere fact impossible to deny. The light flickering like a lover’s caress over the the high arch of his cheekbones, his aquiline nose and aristocratic brow betraying his ancestry.

 

They moved the table with efficient, coordinated ease, setting the low wooden game table between the two upholstered arm chairs, where the soothing warmth of the fire would saturate their game. Will sat down heavily as Hannibal moved towards the shelves once again, and he was  suddenly aware of the day’s fatigue as he reached for his drink, indulging in a long swallow of whiskey and feeling the sweet burn warm him from within, banishing the lingering chill of the winter’s eve.

 

Hannibal returned in a moment carefully holding with the chess set, setting it gently upon the table and taking his seat gracefully. The large square board was covered with a delicate glass presentation box, which Hannibal lifted swiftly, with the same panache with which he revealed his culinary presentations, to unveil the intricately carved obsidian ebony and ivory chess pieces standing proudly on their designated squares. Real ivory, judging by the yellowing patina coloring the grooves of the white pieces, likely hand carved. Elegant and tapering: a king and queen, with cruel points glistening at the tips of their crowns, a pair of rooks, towers ending in sharpened turrets, a pair of benign, polished bishops, stately against their squares, and a trim line of neat pawns. But Will’s attention was grabbed by the pair of knights, carved into intricate replicas of regal stag heads. Fitting, he mused.

 

Will couldn’t help the wry chuckle that escaped his lips, unbidden, as he took in the entire opulence of the game set. At Hannibal’s curious glance, he explained “I should have expected nothing less. You’re not the type for plastic pieces with a folding board in a cardboard box.”

“I should think not.” Hannibal replied drily, but his eyes were bright with reserved mirth as he surveyed Will over the rim of his whiskey snifter. “Your move.” He indicated the ivory pieces arranged on Will’s side of the board with long and elegant fingers. A surgeon’s hands, personified.

 

Will did not break his gaze, merely reaching to move his pawn forward to d4 before reclining, drink in hand. And already half finished, he was surprised to notice, swirling the crystal snifter in his hand to chill the liquor against the large cube of ice. He was feeling pleasantly drowsy, his belly full from another exotic dinner at Hannibal’s table, followed by the crackling lull of the fire and a fine, smoky whiskey burning pleasantly in his throat, he predicted an early evening in his future….perhaps, he thought with a glimmer of hope,  even a decent shot at a good night’s sleep in the no doubt luxurious spare bedroom of the house on Chandler Square.

 

“Ah.” Hannibal smiled, “‘Queen’s Gambit.’ You are not a novice player, I take it?”

 

Will shrugged easily, settling further into the downy cushions of the armchair. “I’ve played a few times. Not an expert, but I can hold my own.”

 

Hannibal glanced at the board briefly, moving his own pawn to d4 in a countergambit, before returning his eyes to Will’s form, reclined with unusual grace and flushed from warmth and liquor in his chair. “You will understand, of course, if I say I will not take it easy on you?”

 

“I would be offended by any less, wouldn’t you?” Will moved his pawn to d5, his lips mirroring Hannibal’s in a quiet smirk.

 

As the game progressed, and the two became deeper and deeper in their cups, Will got the distinct impression that Hannibal had already planned his moves several plays in advance, but took his time during his turn and focused his attention on Will instead, his gaze lingering, until caught, under the guise of deep thought.

 

Hannibal watched, enraptured, as the flush slowly traveled over Will’s exposed skin. Starting with a crimson bloom across his cheekbones, bleeding lower to coat the expanse of his throat, his adam’s apple bobbing enticingly with every swallow of whiskey.

 

“Check” Hannibal announced, replacing Will’s knight on the board with his bishop. He stood to collect their glasses for a refill, before moving to stoke the fire.

 

Will glanced at the fireplace as Hannibal added another log of birch and a sprig of dried rosemary to the inferno, the flames licking the firewood and burning brighter. And hotter, he noticed suddenly. At first he had blamed the whiskey for the flush he felt building over the last half hour, but the room was honestly sweltering now, all traces of the blizzard vanished. He moved his rook forward, protecting his king from Hannibal’s bishop, and tugged upwards on the hem of his sweater, sighing with relief at the instant rush of cooler air over his skin as he peeled the garment over his head. Hannibal’s eyes darkened at the motion as reclaimed his seat, tracing the movement of his hands as Will ran his fingers through his hair in a misguided attempt to tame the curls, thinking twice before dropping the sweater onto the floor in a heap, before messily folding the sweater and placing it neatly on on the carpet next to his chair.

 

“Your move.”

 

Hannibal’s eyes had not moved from the open neck of Will’s dark blue button down, providing a glimpse of the notch of his throat, flushed pink and damp with fine droplets of sweat from the warmth of the study.

 

“Is it that sort of game, Will?”

 

Hannibal’s voice had deepened, Will noticed, his accent more pronounced, his eyes dragging slowly up Will’s body to claim his gaze once again, a regal eyebrow quirked suggestively.

 

Oh. Ohhh.

 

Suddenly, Will couldn’t hold his gaze, staring fixedly at a point over his shoulder. . He opened his mouth to reply, but quickly shut it once no words seemed forthcoming. After all this time, Hannibal had finally rendered him speechless.

 

Sensing the opportunity, Hannibal pressed forward. “If you plan to start undressing, Will, we might as well make it interesting and...raise the stakes.”

 

Will felthis eyebrows disappear into his hairline.

 

“Quid pro quo. Are you familiar?” In a gesture that relayed casual intent, but was surely anything but casual, Hannibal loosened the eldredge knot of his Hermes tie.

 

“I am.” Will found his voice at last, his mind processing what Hannibal seemed to be proposing.

 

His first thought, inversely, was that Jack would be furious. But that implied he was planning to acquiesce to the challenge, did it not?

 

Did he?Will considered. Was he willing to go that far in this game, this gambit, as lure between the Chesapeake Ripper and the FBI? And how far could such a proposal go? Would it end in shed clothes by the fire alone?

 

Hardly, Will’s brain helpfully supplied, it would end in fire and blood and…

 

In his bedroom.Will realized with widened eyes that his hands had begun to tremble lightly against the plump upholstery of the arm rests.  But not in anxiety….no, this was another feeling entirely. Anticipation.

 

This was, quite honestly, not what he had signed up for that day on the ice with Jack. But, he reflected, recalling his gruesome, glorious monument to Randall Tier, how many boundaries had he already crossed in this game?

 

Only if you lose. So don’t lose.

 

“Perhaps I misread the situation.” Hannibal said mercifully, not above using a little reverse psychology to his own benefit, reaching forward to move his pawn deliberately in the path of Will’s queen. A gambit sacrifice.

 

Quid pro quo.

 

Will swallowed, a dry click in his throat at the motion. He never could back down from a challenge.  “Queen to h3” He said softly, removing the black pawn with fingers still trembling against all efforts to the contrary. 

 

Hannibal’s smile was triumphant, devouring, gifting Will a flash of pointed canines before acknowledging the start of their new, dangerous, game with an elegant incline of his head. His fingers found their place at his neck once again, nimbly untying the eldredge knot and neatly folding the tie to be placed on the cocktail table to his right.

 

“Your move.”

 

Their game moved swiftly and savagely forward.

 

Black Knight takes White Pawn.  Will’s button down joined his sweater upon the ground.

 

White Bishop takes Black Pawn.  Hannibal’s vest was discarded in a roll of his shoulders.

 

Black Rook takes White Knight.Will frowned at the board, how had he not seen the rook? He needed to stop drinking if he wished to remain clothed, he realised belatedly, remorseful over the loss of two knights. This was his third whiskey, no... fourth? Shit.He grimaced as he looked down, weighing his options. He wasn’t keen on the idea of losing his undershirt so early in the game, feeling so exposedwith Hannibal for all intents and purposes still fully clothed, looking so wholy in his element and in control. He unlaced his shoes, which were nice by his standards but still managed to look shabby in the luxe surroundings, placing them to to the side of his shirt and sweater on the ground.

 

Hannibal’s dress shoes and socks quickly followed after a brief but intense pursuit of Will’s bishop after two of Hannibal’s pawns, losing his own socks and a pawn in the process. 

 

Black Bishop takes White Rook. Check. Will swallowed dryly, feeling decidedly woozy but unwilling to admit the slightest defeat in asking for a glass of water.

 

“I believe it would be suitable for the opponent to name the article to be removed if a king is in check.” Hannibal’s voice broke the silence, momentarily startling Will. “Unless you find it too....”

 

He let the implication hang thick in the hair, and Will regretted not asking for that glass of water, even if merely for the distraction.

 

“Quid pro quo?” Will asked, willing himself to meet Hannibal in this game piece for piece, eye to eye, blood for blood. Hannibal’s eyes glowed crimson in the firelight, his delight unveiled.

“Quid pro quo, Will. Shirt. Off.

 

Will resisted the urge to fidget, willing his body and hands to still as he reached behind his neck to grasp a handful of his cotton undershirt, pulling it forward and over his head with as much dignity as he could muster sitting down. He didn’t entirely trust his legs not to sway with the alcohol and warmth should he stand. He met Hannibal’s eyes as, in a minor display of defiance, he tossed his shirt carelessly to his left where it landed on a sculpture of a young ballerina that looked suspiciously like a Degas.

 

Will expected to see a glimpse of annoyance and in turn was surprised at the dark gleam that flashed in Hannibal’s eyes at the action.

 

“Cheeky boy.” He murmured, so lowly that Will wondered in hindsight if he had imagined it.

 

Hannibal’s eyes consumed him, roaming greedily over every inch of exposed flesh. It was a night of unexpected twists, Will mused, as he felt a tingling thrill rather than embarrassment at the power he wielded to induce the good doctor into such a state.

 

Hannibal drank him in, reveling in the peaks and valleys of his collar bones exposed in the flickering light of the flames...the faint shadow of his ribs, evidence of his continued lack of self care, filling Hannibal with an uncharacteristic urge to feed and nurture….his chest was nearly hairless, only darkening and leading downwards past his flattened plane of his stomach into to his waistband….

 

“Rook to C5. Your move.” Will rumbled lowly, smiling coyly as he caught Hannibal’s gaze lingering further and further south. With a nearly audible swallow, Hannibal fixed his attention once again on the game. And so they continued.

 

White Rook takes Black Knight.Hannibal seemed surprised by the move, looking from the board to Will several times, for though Will had captured his knight, his rook would clearly be sacrificed to Hannibal’s king on the next move. An interesting development.

 

He took his time removing his shirt, standing first and removing his cufflinks to set them to rest delicately upon his tie, before his fingers descended upon his collar buttons. His pace was torturously slow, but Will found himself captivated. He moved, as always with preternatural grace and and quiet dignity, possessing not a shred of insecurity or modesty. He preened at Will’s attention, tilting his head to the side and exposing the column of his neck as he moved past the buttons upon his collar and moved down his throat to bare his chest in the smallest of increments.

 

When he caught Will’s eyes once more, smouldering in crimson intensity, Will found his mouth had gone dry and his breath came short. He was beautiful, Will realised, and wondered how he hadn’t ever thought of Hannibal in those terms quite before. It was not a psychiatrist’s body he unveiled beneath his suit, but one of a swimmer’s physique, lean and toned musculature dusted with dark and greying hair with the counterpoint of a slight softness about the the belly, betraying his indulgence in epicurean delights. Will took another heady swallow of whiskey, simply to keep his hands occupied, using the movement as opportunity to shift his legs, trying stubbornly not to think of the tightening of his pants.

 

Hannibal removed his shirt with an elegant roll of one shoulder, than the next, folding the lavender pinstripe fabric deliberately, yet delicately, to place it atop his shoes. He took his seat once more, his lips pulled into a shadow of a smirk, toasting Will with a raised glass. The firelight played against the raised lines of the scars upon his wrists. Will’s scars. Will took another deep draught of his whiskey, mouth suddenly dry with another flood of twisted, possessive desire.

 

Black King takes White Bishop.

 

Will looked down and grimaced, his previous bravado vanishing.  He really didn’t have that much clothing left to lose and Hannibal still had quite a number of pieces on the board. Begrudgingly, he admitted Hannibal was better player than he had originally surmised. Or perhaps he was drunker than he thought.

 

The glass face of his watch glinted sharply in his eyes, catching the light from the fireplace as he moved his left hand forward to rub his jaw. Thank god.

 

He stretched his arm forwards and flipped his hand over, reaching with his right hand to unclasp the leather band of his watch.

 

“Ah, ah.” Hannibal’s admonishment stopped his movement. “Accessories and jewelry do not count, I’m afraid. I removed my cufflinks with my shirt, as you see.” He gestured to the neatly arranged pile of clothing to his right.

 

Will closed his eyes. Fuck. He took a deep breath, trying to ground himself.

 

“That leaves the belt and the trousers as your options I believe, and...boxers, if I recall. Unless your proclivities have changed.”

 

Will flushed beautifully at the last remarks, his reaction pleasing Hannibal greatly.

 

Shaking slightly, Will slowly stood and starred resolutely anywhere but Hannibal as his fingers fumbled with the clasp of his belt. Much to his chagrin, there was no disguising the evidence stubbornly tenting his trousers. He didn’t know what would happen if he met Hannibal’s eyes at that moment, but he wasn’t quite prepared to find out.

 

“You’re trembling, Will.” Hannibal remarked, his brow slightly furrowed. He rose and crossed the short span of carpet separating the two men, covering Will’s trembling hands with his one of his own, placing the other gently against Will’s jaw, tilting his head to meet his own eyes.

 

“Allow me.”

 

His hands were warm and soft against Will’s own, and Will’s lips parted in a gasp as Hannibal’s knuckles brushed gingerly against the fine hair on Will’s stomach as he moved to unfasten the buckle. Will’s trembling had not ceased, and had intensified if anything, his breathing rapid and shallow as Hannibal drew the leather slowly through the buckle and began to draw it behind him, out of Will’s trouser belt loops.

 

He looked so nearly undone, unraveling at the seams as he stood tall and pliant under Hannibal’s hands, shivering despite the warmth radiating from the fireplace. His flush had descended, Hannibal noted with relish, flowing in a crimson tide down the planes of his chest, his nipples dark and peaked in the air, Will’s eyes fluttering shut. Next time, Hannibal vowed, taking a deep breath, his nose filled with the heady scent of Will’s arousal, bold and alpine and masculine, next time he would remove Will’s belt with his teeth.

 

Hannibal pulled the last inches of the belt through the loops with a flick of his wrist, the leather sliding out with a sharp snap before it was dropped unceremoniously upon the ground.

 

Had they ever stood so close to one another? Hannibal wondered, his eyes feasting on the sight of Will Graham unraveled, flushed and trembling before him. And he hadn’t even touched him yet. An interesting development to the evening, indeed. Hannibal leaned forward, smiling indulgently to himself when Will unconsciously mirrored the motion, before brushing his lips against the shell of Will’s ear.

 

“Your move, dear Will.” He whispered, watching raptly as his words caused Will’s exposed skin to erupt in gooseflesh. It took considerable self control, for which Hannibal no doubt congratulated himself, to leave Will standing there without moving forward to press his lips against Will’s, to feel the evidence of his arousal, hot and hard against his thigh. But retreat he did, returning to his own chair and nearly draining the last of his whiskey. After several deep breaths, trying his best to seem unaffected, though clearly not, Will returned to their game.

 

They played for several long minutes, their pieces dancing around one another in clever ploys of evasion and chase, Will capturing another pawn with his king resulting in the loss of Hannibal’s belt, discarded almost as an annoyance, before Will saw Hannibal grin triumphantly, moving a pawn forward to capture one of Will’s last remaining pawns.

 

Check.” His eyes gleamed darkly in the dwindling firelight, flickering like flames over Will’s torso and legs.

 

“Do you require my assistance?” Hannibal asked as Will stood, his voice husky and low.

 

Will shivered, his hand paused upon the button of his pants. “I think I can manage.”

 

“Would you indulge me and step closer to the fire?”

 

Of course, Will reasoned, it was no longer enough to have him strip on command, the unabashed hedonist wanted him bathed in romantic lighting. But he could no longer deny the effect of Hannibal’s voice as he nodded, treading carefully across the carpet to stand nearer to Hannibal, tantalizing and just out of reach.

 

“Boxers, next, if you please.” He murmured, settling back into his armchair with a sigh, draining the last of his drink. “Your king is in check, after all.” He added, reminding Will of the additional rule.

 

Will started, not having expected so bold a request, no, a command. There was a glint of challenge in Hannibal’s eyes, daring to see if Will would go through with his end of the bargain, waiting to see how far Will was willing to go.

 

Fuck it.

 

He stared Hannibal down, relishing the look of pleasant shock that passed over Hannibal’s face as he reached down to efficiently and unceremoniously unbutton his pants, the metallic hiss of the zipper resonating in the quiet room against the gentle crackle of flames. Hooking his thumbs around the waistband of his underwear, grey boxer briefs, as Hannibal had presumed, he pushed down without hesitation, his pants and boxers pooling around his ankles before he stepped out of the bundle of fabric, and closer to the fire. Hannibal’s eyes never left Will’s until that final step closer to the fire, closer to him.

 

Will could not repress a smile as Hannibal’s gaze finally lost the battle against his iron will and slid slowly, sensually, down his body, his full lips parting with an inaudible rush of breath as he took in the sight of the other man bare and willing in the firelight.

 

He felt each lingering glance like a caress, warm and heavy against his skin. Hannibal’s eyes roamed his face with a look akin to awe, the raw need and something akin to affection revealed in that moment overwhelming Will and left him wondering how he could ever have been blind to such regard.

 

Hannibal’s descent was slow, savouring each inch of skin revealed to his gaze - hisand his alone - like a starving man presented with a feast of resplendence. He stared at Will as if he, his friend, his equal - his beloved-  could assuage the hunger that haunted him. The hunger that urged him to rend and tear, to possess and proclaim and to collect his pound of flesh and blood from the man that stood before him.

 

He stored the memory away in his memory palace, in a special wing he knew would forever be dedicated to Will, and knew he would revisit this moment often in quiet moments of reflection, in his sketches, would try and try to recreate the vision before him in charcoals and oils.

 

But nothing could compare, he thought, with the sight before him. Will possessed a body meant to be worshiped by firelight. The flickering glow carved shadows in the hollows of his cheeks, highlighting the bone structure strikingly delicate yet masculine. A sculpture’s ecstacy. The fire sent ripples of light across the column of his neck, the tendons taught and his pulse fluttering enticingly against his throat. Hannibal was momentarily overcome with the urge to press his tongue against the vein, to feel the power of that  pulse against his lips, to lap at the succulent dent of his throat.Later.

 

Lower and lower Hannibal indulged his gaze, past the newly familiar expanse of his chest to the delightful shadows cast by the ridge of his hip bones, down the toned lines of his legs, dusted in dark hair, even down to the slender joints of his ankles, revealing finely arched feet. At last, he could abstain no longer, his eyes drawn upward to the apex of his thighs, and to the delicacy he sought between them.

 

His cock hung full and heavy against his thigh, already hard and still  thickening steadily, Hannibal noted with wicked satisfaction, his foreskin retracting to reveal the rosy tip, already weeping gently against the coarse hair of his thighs and into the dark dusting of trimmed curls that framed his pelvis. The dusky scent of his arousal was thick in the air, and Hannibal inhaled greedily, reveling in the knowledge that it was a scent of his creation.

 

Delectable.

 

Feeling that he had indulged, or perhaps taunted, Hannibal long enough, Will turned his attention back to the game. His gaze was focused on his hand, reaching out to grasp his last Rook when he caught a  flash of movement from the corner of his eye. Suddenly, Will  found himself pushed forward and pinned against the wall. Hannibal’s body was pressed flush against him, holding Will in place with his body weight, his lips brushing against his ear in a rush of warmth, and the evidence of his arousal pressing hot and hard against the flesh of Will’s stomach. Hannibal’s voice was a growl in his ear.

 

Fuck the game.”

 

Before Will could blink, Hannibal’s hand descended upon the nape of his neck, yanked his head forward and covered Will’s mouth with his own. It was a devouring, all consuming embrace. An excruciating, violent intimacy.

 

Will closed his eyes, a low moan escaping his throat as he felt Hannibal’s tongue teasingly part his lips, tasting him.  Hannibal’s grasp gentled as they kissed, finding a dulcet harmony. Will tasted as sweet as he imagined, the essence of peach and spun sugar from their dessert, and the smoky warmth of whiskey upon his tongue. Hannibal’s hand upon Will’s neck moved upwards along his nape to twine his fingers into his dark curls in a firm grip, while the other rose from his side to cup Will’s jaw in a familiar motion.

 

Will acted without conscious thought, and found himself mirroring Hannibal’s actions, possibly a side effect of the waves of empathy coursing through his body as he attempted to process the sheer multitude of sensations pulsing through his nerves like electricity. His hands drifted upwards, one securing Hannibal in a grip around his shoulders.  The other found a home in the doctor’s carefully coiffed hair, gripping tightly, and on impulse, pulling his head back harshly, separating their lips by a breath.

 

Hannibal gave a low groan, surging forward to nip hungrily at Will’s lips, taking advantage of his surprise by gaining entrance into his pliant mouth. He sucked wantonly on the tip of his tongue, rolling his hips firmly and deliberately against Will’s hardness.

 

Will’s eyes snapped open at the sensation, alien but not unwelcome, rolling his hips experimentally, releasing a shaky breath before he found himself gripping Hannibal harshly by the hips, dragging him forward to repeat the motion.

 

Hannibal abandoned his mouth, pressing slow, wet kisses against the line of his jaw, down the column of his neck, pausing in his efforts to worry at the flesh with lips, teeth and tongue, tasting the salt of his skin, drawing back for only a moment to admire the rosy bloom that would deepen into a bruise by morning.

 

“So eager.” A low chuckle against Will’s throat, followed by a press of warm lips. “You have no idea of the delights you are to sample.”

 

Using his grip in Hannibal’s decidedly mussed locks, Will pulled upwards, hard, to direct Hannibal’s mouth back upon his own. Smiling against his lips at the violence of Will’s actions, Hannibal was relentless in his assault, parting the seam of Will’s lips effortlessly with his tongue, tasting, drinking deeply of him.

 

Will finally broke away, vision going dark at the edges for want of air, and the two men stood motionless, catching their breath, nearly panting into the other’s mouth.

 

Hannibal…” Will’s voice was a sinful groan, his lips brushing against Hannibal’s at the murmur. “Bishop to H6. Check.”

 

Surrounded by a halo of wayward curls, Will’s grin was sensual and impish, reminiscent of a Caravaggio muse, as he detangled his limbs from Hannibal’s, walking backwards to take a seat in Hannibal’s arm chair, crossing one leg to balance his ankle upon his knee, pouring the final dregs of whiskey from the bottle into Hannibal’s waiting glass and drinking deeply.

 

“Pants. Off.”

 

A small tic twitched beneath Hannibal’s right eye, staring pointedly at Will’s bare ass sat upon his leather armchair. Will grinned wider at Hannibal’s indecision. He seemed torn between scolding Will for his impudence or, encouraging it and delighting in the bloody and blissful aftermath.

 

Without seemingly deciding on either path, Hannibal sauntered forward. He walked slowly and without shame, a predator at ease, his erection obscenely tenting the front of his trousers, continuing onward until his feet bumped against the base of the chair leg. His position left Will with two options, to either be folded uncomfortably on the chair, or spread his legs to accommodate the doctor in front of him. Hannibal grinned lasciviously as Will chose the latter and as he settled himself between Will’s knees,  he adopted wide stance, his hands moving slowly to settle on the waistband of the trousers, fingers brushing the clasp of the button.

 

He stared at Will intensely, seemingly waiting for Will to speak. Will raised his eyebrows questioningly.

 

“You may continue.” He gestured towards Hannibal’s pants with an elegant flick of his wrist.

 

“You do not intend to offer assistance? Boldness makes you rude, Will.”

 

Will smirked, enjoying the repartee. “Indeed? What’s to be done about that, doctor?”

 

Hannibal smiled wolfishly, the tip of a pink tongue darting out to caress the glistening tip of a canine before disappearing once more. “When we have tired of our games, I will have you trembling and begging beneath me. I will not be merciful. Perhaps then you will regret igniting my ire, dear boy.”

 

Will shuddered at the double entendre, feeling the threat of desire and violence behind the words. His cock was leaking steadily against his stomach now, leaving rivulets to slip slowly down the crease of his thigh and settle on the upholstered leather seat. Hannibal would be furious...or turned on. Will smirked.  Hannibal was clearly no less affected, a small damp spot slowly bloomed at the front of his charcoal grey trousers. Will licked his lips absently at the sight, and Hannibal traced the movement of his tongue hungrily.

 

Will…”

 

An inquest...a command.

 

Will snapped. He reached forward, all hesitation and tremors a distant memory, wrenching Hannibal’s hands away and tearing at the button and thin fabric separating their skin.

 

Distantly, he was aware of Hannibal chuckling affectionately at his eager fumbling before releasing a broken moan as Will pressed a broad palm firmly against his length, and used the other to tug violently at the zipper.  Finally sliding downward with a metallic hiss, Will slid his hands upwards, hooking his fingers around the waistband to draw them down Hannibal’s legs, when ---

 

“You’re not wearing any boxers.” Will blinked.

 

“I’m aware.” drawled Hannibal, his voice infuriatingly smug.

 

Will stared, dumbstruck. Then, --

 

“You presumptuous bastard. Fuck.”  Will made quick work of the trousers, rising unsteadily on his feet to place his hands on either side Hannibal’s jaw and pull his mouth down the few inches separating them to meet hungrily with his own. Electricity shot through his nerves as their bodies pressed heatedly together, the skin to skin contact overwhelming him. The sensations were new and keenly masculine, from the faint stubble of Hannibal’s cheek scratching against his palm, to the coarse hairs rubbing against his chest, to the heady sensation of another man’s cock pressed hot and hard, rubbing against his own in a rhythm that sought to shatter him completely.

 

Will found himself being maneuvered backwards to the bookshelves once again, Hannibal taking care to shield the back of his head from the brunt of the collision as he held him there, pinned by the weight of his sharp hips against his own, Hannibal’s erection digging into the soft flesh beneath his iliac crest. Hannibal hoisted Will’s hands above his head, clamping them securely by the wrist  in one hand, while the other came up to wrap dangerously, seductively, around the tender flesh of his throat. The pressure was gentle at first, a reminder, before Hannibal nipped sharply at his bottom lip, gradually increasing the pressure upon his windpipe as he sucked the lip into his mouth, worrying it with his teeth. Will moaned when he felt the skin break, blood seeping into their kiss as Hannibal lapped at the wound.

 

“Tell me, Will--” Hannibal began, ceasing neither the pressure at Will’s throat or the gentle, rolling thrusts against his stomach. “Do you still fantasize of killing me?” His smile was tinged with red and his eyes held promises of death and delight.

 

“Yes...” Will’s words struggled for release against the fingers encircling his throat. “Amongst other things…” He turned his head violently to trace the tip of his tongue up the rippled line of scar tissue bisecting Hannibal’s wrist, currently holding Will’s hands pinned above his head. Hannibal shuddered bodily.

 

“Beautiful boy.” The hand released him, color flooding Will’s vision and blissful, drunken euphoria saturating his head as he surged forward, hands still held alove, before latching his mouth onto the ridge of flesh connecting shoulder and throat, sucking mottled bruises onto the tender skin, attempting for all the world to consume the beast in front of him.

 

Hannibal’s tongue, warm and wet, traced the shell of his ear, sucking the lobe between his teeth as Will bit down on his shoulder. He traced his hand down Will’s side, feeling the rise of each rib beneath questing fingers, before hooking his fingers around the back of Will’s thigh and lifting insistently, until Will understood and inched his leg upwards to wrap around his waist, spreading himself deliciously. Hannibal would devour him like this, he thought, so responsive and so pliant beneath him. Will’s trembling had returned, his nerves raw in the onslaught of sensation from the new position, and his lips fell from Hannibal’s skin to pant breathlessly against his neck. They were twin flames entwined, were he to see a scorched imprint of them forever scarred upon the bookshelves, Will thought faintly he shouldn’t be the least surprised. The friction and heat of their bodies and the sweltering warmth of the fire was relentless, Will felt sweat beading along his scalp to run down the ridge of his spine.

 

As if sensing his discomfort at this realization, Hannibal relented in his assault on Will’s earlobe to nip at the shell once more, growling in his ear.

 

“Let me fuck you in the shower.”

 

“Oh god.” The words fell unbidden from Will’s lips, squeezing his eyes shut at images the words beckoned and the light burst of wetness warm against their stomachs, a reaction to the utterance of the curse in Hannibal’s cultured accent. He felt Hannibal’s stuttered groan rumble against his neck as Will’s hips bucked upwards, seeking friction, needing more. The images flickered through his mind like a reel. Hannibal, his hair hanging loose and over his forehead in dripping strands, blinking upwards through the spray on his knees. Tight, wet heat, engulfing him. Water sluicing down his back, Hannibal’s hand hot and tight on his cock, unceasing in rhythmic torture.

 

His leg slid down from Hannibal’s hip, and Hannibal released his iron grip upon his wrists, allowing Will to grab him by the hips and turn, tugging him insistently forward. “Show me.”

 

“Upstairs.”

 

He led Hannibal until his heels bumped the back of the stairs, causing him to stumble. Hannibal’s hands shot out to steady him, taking the opportunity to press him into the wall, licking savagely into his mouth. They made their way up the staircase, lips roaming hungrily over sweat dampened skin, hands straying, desperate for contact. Hannibal separated himself only once they had stumbled into the master bathroom, pressing his fingers against Will’s lips. “Patience, mylimasis.” Will watched him enter the large, domineering shower of chrome and carrera marble to turn on the shower and arrange the taps, adjusting the temperature to his liking. His bent position gave Will ample time to roam the expanse of his back, from his broad shoulders tapering to a trim waist, to the firm, smooth globes of his ass, presented alluringly to Will’s eyes. He acted instinct, stepping into the shower and pressing himself fully against Hannibal’s back, one hand secured tightly around his waist, pulling Hannibal flush against him, mouthing at his neck, leaving a faint blush of a bruise in his wake, the other hand reaching forward to hesitantly wrap his fingers around the base of his cock.

 

It was a different experience, touching another man so intimately, although he felt more comfortable than expected given the familiarity of the angle. It was heavy in his hands, hot and harder than he could imagine was comfortable in his hands, the skin velvet soft and slick from the cascading shower and the copiously leaking precome that Will spread greedily down his length. He was bigger than Will had expected. His fingers barely touching his thumb around the girth, he realized with a swallow….and longer than expected, longer than his own length which was not considered insignificant by any means.

 

 He swallowed again, a dry click in his throat, anxiety briefly flooding his thoughts with regards to the mechanics of the act to which he knew their playful teasing led. His rhythm faltered momentarily, squeezing harder than he intended as images filled his mind of being held down, deliciously restrained, and taken, spread apart and speared by the man he held at his mercy, begging for his own release.

 

Hannibal leaned back into Will at the sudden tightness around his cock with a hiss, twisting to meet his lips, his fingers knitting into Will’s curls, drawing him into the hot water. He pushed backwards suddenly, startling a groan from Will as he felt his cock slot firmly into the cleft of Hannibal’s ass before thrusting forward into tight grip of Will’s fingers. Will tightened his grip experimentally, circling the base and drawing his fingers forward, pulling the foreskin over the tip and back down. Hannibal hissed something sounding suspiciously like an expletive in a language Will couldn’t place, turning around violently in his grasp to slam Will’s shoulders against the marble before sinking gracefully to his knees before him.

It was a sinful sight, water cascading in rivulets down the sculpted lines of his face, gathering in small pools in the dips of his collarbones, his eyes were dark, pupils blown to nearly black. It so strikingly similar to the vision he imagined in the study that Will felt his knees buckle, nearly giving out before Hannibal’s hands steadied him with a firm grip on his hips. Hannibal stared up at Will though his eyelashes, giving him a wicked, indulgent grin, before leaning forward and swallowing him down.

 

“Fuck.”

 

It was agony, held captive under Hannibal’s unwavering grip, made victim to his unrelenting torture. Coupled with the sight of those  full lips  stretched wide over his girth, consummining him, lips that had consumed unspeakable delicacies,  Will groaned low in his throat; his hands grasping sodden handfuls of Hannibal’s hair, unable to stop pushing his head down until he felt himself hit the back of his throat. Hannibal swallowed around him, pulling back slowly, sucking deeply,  the tip of his tongue pressing lightly into the slit, licking away every weeping drop of cowper’s fluid,  before swallowing him down once more. Will opened his eyes briefly to find Hannibal staring at him, unheeded by the cock down his throat, licking him teasingly as one of his hands slid from Will’s hip, down his thigh to grasp at his own arousal, slowly pumping in time with the movements of his tongue. That sight was nearly his undoing.

 

Shit, Hannibal. Your mouth…” He panted, his hands gripping erratically at Hannibal’s hair, nails scoring his scalp as his motions slowed to a torturous, teasing pace. “I’m so close--”

 

Hannibal hummed, Will feeling the vibration down to his very toes, before letting Will’s cock slide from his mouth with a gentle pop. Will nearly sobbed. His hands briefly pushed down on Hannibal’s head, desperate at the loss of the sweet suction, but Hannibal batted them away, rising with lethal grace to his feet and wrenching Will’s head backwards by a handful of damp curls.

 

“Ah, ah. Don’t be rude, Will.” He scolded, softening his words with a deep kiss, his tongue flicking into Will’s mouth, letting him taste his himself, an emulsion of salt and musk exploding upon his palate. “Patience, mylimasis.” He reached behind Will and returned with a sea sponge, lathering it with an expensive soap that smelled of ylang ylang and lemongrass. “Turn around.”

 

His swipes were broad, teasing, coating Will in fragrant lather from the circular brushes against his shoulders and reaching across to wash his chest before dipping lower, suds dripping into the neat crop of hair that feathered his pelvis, and lower, caressing the silken pouch already drawn heavy and tight against his body. He moved the sponge away, pressing against the back of Will’s neck with his free hand, encouraging him to rest his body weight on his hands against the marble bench of the shower, bending over and presenting himself to Hannibal. Will complied, the trembling in his limbs having returned as Hannibal added additional soap to the sponge and redoubled his efforts, palming, squeezing firm globes of his ass before abandoning all pretense, and reaching forward to press a single finger against his entrance. He trailed temptingly around the rim, pressing the pad of his just enough to feel the fluttering of the muscle, but not enough to breach. Will gasped, the sensation alien and enticing, his breath speeding up as Hannibal’s continued in his ministrations, never applying quite enough pressure to enter him,  leaving Will shuddering beneath him.

 

And suddenly, he was gone. “No, no..” Will protested with a high pitch whine, lifting himself upwards, seeking contact. The water shut off abruptly, and Hannibal’s hands descended on him again, drawing him close, his lips finding his neck. “Bed. Now. I need to see your face when I’m inside of you.”

 

Hannibal walked backwards out of the shower, leading Will by both hands into the bedroom, placing a damp kiss to the pulse point of each wrist before turning him to press him gently, still wet from the shower, into the dry, satin sheets. Will’s senses were flooded with Hannibal; the press of his hands and lips upon his skin, the fragrance of his dampened skin and the essence left upon his sheets filling his nose, the taste of his succulent mouth and the burn of the evening’s whiskey upon his tongue, the low rumble of his name, repeated in a litany of tender, filthy praises, worshipful, like one devoutly reciting a rosary, and his eyes, burning crimson and obsidian, threatening ecstasy and blood and promises of unimaginable, dark beauty….

 

Hannibal pulled back, taking a moment to relish the sight of his empath flushed and spread warm beneath him, his hair curling into dark ringlets, water droplets still dappling his chest, the inside of  his thighs… Hannibal rectified that immediately, swooping down to chase the sliding droplets with his tongue. He was tempted to venture lower, to press himself flush against Will, to taste him thoroughly, intimately. Will’s hips rose, no doubt misinterpreting Hannibal’s original destination, encouraging the return of his mouth to his cock. Hannibal grinned deviously, imagining how his empath would writhe and gasp beneath his ministrations, his mouth pressed sinfully against his entrance, worshiping  him, begging him first to stop and then not to stop. Will was already so close, Hannibal could smell the release building within him, his cock flushed deep red, so much darker than the pallor of his skin, his sac drawn tight against his body. With a lingering caress of his tongue against the crease of his thigh, Hannibal decided he had pushed his empath far enough for this initial encounter, and reached across his prone body to retrieve the glass vial of lubricant stored in the nightstand cupboard. He rolled it between his hands, warming it, taking the opportunity again to drink in Will’s flushed visage.

 

“It’s rude to stare, Hannibal.” He drawled languidly.  Hannibal felt a rush of affection for him as he lay: thighs trembling, cock weeping, and still able to sass him, a transgression no one else had ever been allowed without finding themselves served upon his table.

 

“Forgive me,” Hannibal began. “I merely wish to remember you as you are now, before. I shall endeavor to do the same, after.”

 

“You believe it will be that momentous a difference?” Will raised a brow. “Should I do the same? To see how I’ve changed you as you change me?”

 

Hannibal smiled, clearly pleased. “If you wish.” He uncorked the vial, spreading a liberal amount of lubricant over his fingers, settling down upon his elbows, nudging Will’s legs apart with an open mouthed kiss to the inside of each knee. “Am I correct in my assumptions that I will be your first?” He punctuated the statement with a nibble upon a warm thigh.

 

“I assume that pleases you?” Will offered in answer, his words trailing off in a gasp between lips still shiny from Hannibal’s affections, as Hannibal’s hand traveled lower, circling the pad of a single finger against his hole.

 

“I had hopes.” Hannibal admitted absently, focused on his task, smirking in satisfaction as Will’s cock gave a violent twitch as he pressed inward suddenly, sinking in to the knuckle, lost in the sensation of tight, velvet heat enveloping him. Definitely the first, and the last, Hannibal decided in a rush of possessiveness.

 

“You have surpassed all of them, Will.”

 

He sunk deeper, enveloped to the second knuckle, the sounds escaping Will like the sweetest of arias to his ears. A second finger soon joined the first, his lips latched to Will’s throat, his tongue vibrating with the litany of moans escaping his lover-- and once, when he had  spread his fingers wide, scissoring, stretching him deliciously over and over, before pressing the pads of his fingers deliberately over the bundle of nerves he had so studiously avoided, a keening wail overtook Will, his knees bent and trembling, hands fisted in the crisp silver sheets, his head thrashing in sweet agony.

 

Will released a sound embarrassingly close to a whimper as Hannibal withdrew his fingers, rocking back on his knees to pour additional lubricant in his hand, reaching down between his legs to generously slick his cock.

 

“Oh god” Will moaned, the shameless display sending a fresh wave of lust and desire to pool in his belly.

 

Hannibal crawled up the length of Will’s body, settling himself heavily between his spread legs, using one hand to line himself up at his entrance, and the other to wrap, still slick with lubricant, around Will’s cock, pumping him just enough to tease.  Will tensed, closing his eyes at the dull pressure against his hole, already feeling a slight burn as Hannibal pressed in slightly against the ring of muscle.

 

“Breathe, Will.” He lowered his head down to nose at the line of Will’s jaw, pressing gentle kisses along his jaw, his chin, and finally his lips. “Stay with me. Don’t go inside.” His lips brushed Will’s with each utterance.

 

Will smiled slowly at the reminder, releasing his grip on the sheets to place his hands on Hannibal, drawing him closer with roaming touches to his lower back. “Where else would I go?”

 

Hannibal’s eyes glistened in the darkness, brimming with affection and something akin to worship. He waited until he saw Will relax, releasing a deep breath, settling deeper into the plush pillows beneath him, before sinking slowly, inexorably forward.

 

He reveled in the shocked awe in Will’s eyes as he filled him, his eyes flickering from Hannibal’s face to the point of their union, feeling every inch of him as he pressed into his tight, wet heat, constricting viselike around him.  It was transcendent, their bodies entwined in such exquisite torment. Hannibal pulled back, shuddering helplessly as Will’s body protested the movement, his walls drawing him closer, deeper, before thrusting forward with a snap of his hips, Will’s mouth falling open with a soft “oh” as the he buried himself to the hilt.

 

It was in a curious moment of clarity that Hannibal realized he would never bore of this, of having Will beneath him, beside him, inside him, bonded inexorably with him. An equal. A mate. Possessiveness surged within  him, still a sensation new and foreign, and he snapped his hips forward, filled with the urge to claim, to mark that which was his. Again and again, he filled him, Will reduced to near incoherency at the punishing pace, gasping, holding Hannibal’s hair and the sheets in a tight grip as he sucked a trail of bruises from jaw to collarbone.

 

Jūs esate mano, niekada nepamirškite.” Hannibal growled against his throat, abandoning his grip on Will’s cock raise his leg to wrap around his waist, sinking deeper, pounding against Will’s prostate with the new angle. He felt blunt nails leave scores down his back as Will adjusted to the new position.

 

Will sobbed, his nerves raw and singing at the onslaught, their stomachs slick from the steady stream of precum leaking from his cock pinned between them. “Visada turėsiu jus”He nipped in warning against Will’s neck. Will’s hand abandoned the sheet to wrap around the edge of the headboard, holding on as Hannibal slammed into him. “Kiekvieną dieną.” He could feel Will’s cock throbbing between them, he was so close, and Hannibal was not far behind. “Kol mes nebebusime.”

 

I don’t know what you’re saying” Will babbled, his thighs had begun to shake uncontrollably, he was so close he could tasteit. He released Hannibal’s hair, his hand snaking down to jerk himself off frantically, teetering on the edge. Hannibal slapped his hand away, slowing his pace momentarily, and Will felt tears gather in frustration at the denial.  “Yes, you do.”

 

He had to be doing this on purpose, Will thought furiously, throwing his head back on the sheets, rubbing a hand over his eyes, mentally cursing Hannibal with his thrusts shallow and brief, missing his prostate, a tease. He felt broad fingers trace a path up his sternum to wrap firmly around his throat. “Patience, mylimasis. You will come by myhand, or by none at all.”

 

“Is this your way of--ah--” Will attempted to swallow around his grip. “ -seeking my forgiveness?” The fingers tightened. “I thought we were beyond our games.” he rasped.

 

Hannibal chuckled, his eyes glinting, thrusting deeper as his grip grew more punishing, rewarding Will with a tingling shock as he brushed his prostate. “You already forgave me, Will.”


Will’s eyes widened at the truth in his words, and the increased pressure against his windpipe.

 

“Would you have let me fuck you, if you did not forgive me and know me? As I have forgiven and known you?” Will’s eyes flickered to the raised lines of Hannibal’s wrist. His forgiveness paid for as if to a demon, demanding his pound of flesh.

 

“Let go, Will.” Hannibal urged, his pace building once more, Will could hear the headboard beating a violent tattoo against the wall, the frames of Hannibal’s precious lithographs shaking against the drywall.

 

His fingers pressed harder and using his other hand, he pulled Will’s body down the bed, wrapping his fingers around his cock. Will felt the edges of his vision darken, all the blood leaving his head and driven southward.

 

“Come for me, beloved.”

 

Blackness erupted behind his eyes, white hot pleasure flooding his body as he came. Hannibal fucked him through his orgasm, the pressure suddenly released on his throat, he found the rush of air and euphoria overwhelming. Tremors wracked his body, his cock pulsing to coat Hannibal’s hand, and his own chest and stomach in stripes of release.

 

“Good boy.” Will flushed at the praise, his cock giving a final twitch and wet burst of come upon Hannibal’s hand, which the doctor raised to his own lips with the reverence  ofone taking communion, licking his essence from his fingers.

 

Aš tave myliu.” A confession, a benediction; the words spoken so softly Will wondered if in the haze of his pleasure he had imagined them.

 

“Fuck, Hannibal.”Will groaned as Hannibal slammed into him, chasing his own pleasure. Will’s voice was wreckedHannibal noted with satisfaction, the imprint of his hand glowing pink against his throat in the dim light. He lowered his head to trace the outline of his handprint with his tongue, soothing the tenderness of the flesh. “Come for me.” Will pleaded, placing his hands on Hannibal’s shoulders, clinging to him, drawing him closer.. “Come inside me.” He felt Hannibal nip against his shoulder in warning, before sinking his teeth into the tender flesh of his collar, drawing blood. “Please.” Will gasped.

 

Hannibal stilled with a groan, pressing in to the hilt, pulsing against him as he spent inside the velvet heat of Will’s body. Will moaned as he felt the hot splash of Hannibal’s pleasure pooling inside him, pulling him down to collapse on top him, holding him tightly to his chest as their breathing slowed. He felt Hannibal lick languidly at his collar, pressing his lips tenderly against the wound.

 

“I apologize, --”

“Don’t you dare.” Will interrupted challengingly, chest still heaving.  “I swear to God, Hannibal, for once in your life, shut up.” He pressed his lips firmly against Hannibal’s, preventing any admonishments.

 

They lay like that for some time, kissing lazily in the afterglow, seeming content to relax in the presence of the other. A kiss pressed here, a strand of hair tucked behind the ear there. Comfortable. Natural.

 

 “Beautiful.” Will Hannibal murmured, staring at Will “after”, as promised.

 

Hannibal retrieved a damp towel from the bathroom, gently cleaning the evidence of their release from their stomachs and thighs, before settling back into bed. He drew Will’s arm against his him and turned, tucking Will’s hand against his chest so Will lay flush against his back.

 

“Beautiful”, he heard Hannibal murmur as they drifted off…”My Will….”

 

 

ooo

 

“Will”.

 

He thought he heard a familiar voice call his name….

 

“Will.”

 

He opened his eyes blearily, blinking sleepily in the semi darkness of the room, momentarily disoriented in his surroundings. Hannibal’s face swam into focus. He was so tired he could barely keep his eyes open. What time was it?

 

“I’m afraid I have an early morning, -” Warm fingers brushed his face, reverently. “- but I will feel your absence keenly, and regret every moment not spent by your side in this bed.” That familiar voice and chaste kiss upon his forehead, no more than a brush of lips on skin..“Sleep, mylimasis.”... and he was gone. Will’s eyes fluttered shut. The bed was so comfortable, he was so warm….

 

He awoke alone, hours later, blinking dazedly through the dappled sunlight that flooded the room. He rubbed a hand over his eyes, trying to recall the last time he had slept so late, or so deeply. He reasoned being well fed and well fucked were both contributing factors, and rolled over to his side, looking for his phone, wincing at the twinge of soreness that accompanied the motion. He would definitely be feeling that on the drive home to Wolf Trap. He felt sore all over, from the tenderness concentrated between his legs to the dappling of bruises he felt with a wince, decorated across his chest and throat. He coughed once, testing, his throat still raw. He smiled.

 

He was not surprised to see his clothes hanging against the bathroom door, freshly laundered and pressed, Hannibal being both immaculate in his housekeeping and courteous to his very core. However, the plate of fine china covered with a silver service dome on his nightstand was a very pleasant surprise indeed. A lift of the lid revealed a golden monte cristo sandwich, complete with small pots of jam and dusted with confectioners sugar. To the right of the plate was a crystal chalice of orange juice, considerately placed with an unopened bottle of aspirin and--- 

 

Upon closer inspection, there lay an appointment card for “Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Psychiatrist” underneath the bottle of aspirin, made out for Will Graham for the upcoming Friday, two days hence, for 7pm with the word “Dinner” written in elegant, looping script at the bottom of the card. Presumptuous to the last.He smiled bemusedly, shaking his head.

 

Will was on his way within a half hour, the morning quickly slipping away and his dogs no doubt anxious to receive their breakfast. He dusted the last of the powdered sugar from his lapel, patting his pockets to confirm the location of his keys and phone, locking Hannibal’s door behind him and crossing swiftly across the shoveled walkway to his car. The bright chirp of his cell phone startled him, causing him to drop his keys as he fumbled in the chill of the morning to start the ignition. Grumbling, he retrieved his keys, turning the ignition over and coaxing the heater into action before checking the text. It was from Hannibal.

 

“Checkmate"