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Violence had always been a foundation of their relationship. It had started with the dramatic display of Cassie Boyle’s body mounted on the head of a stag. Will Graham had gone into that wide-open field, looked at the antlers breaking through her pale skin, and knew that this wasn’t the same man he’d been tasked with profiling.

This wasn’t the Minnesota Shrike.

This was someone new, someone else vying for attention.

What he didn’t know at the time was that the favor this new killer was seeking was his own, that the display of the young girl’s body had been a curiosity – an experiment to see how Will would react. 

A courting gift from a monster.

It had continued as Will had gotten closer to him, as the scales had started to fall from his eyes. Another body impaled on the lifeless, disembodied antlers of a long dead stag. The mangled face of a doctor of which he believed himself to be the morbid sculptor. The suspended body of the judge weighing the might of his own head and heart on a dangling scale. An origami heart folded from the broken body of a man.

And Will had returned those gifts with his own designs of prehistoric teeth and fireflies.

Their shared violence had consummated in the death of the Great Red Dragon who they’d dispatched with an open chest and throat before Will had taken them into the dark, roiling Atlantic. The water broke them – shattered them as individuals – and remade them as one. From the moment they both had crested the briny water and desperately inhaled air into sore lungs, they could no longer abide being apart.

They fled together. They healed together. They hunted together. They dined together.

And eventually, they slept together.

It was only then, when Will pressed himself against Hannibal’s warm body, that he’s started to feel disconnected from him. Their intimacy was satisfying and left them both spent and gasping, but Hannibal’s hands and lips were gentle. Will would suck and bite at his shoulders, pin his wrists to the bed, and push inside him with increasing fervor, and though Hannibal never stopped him, he never returned his ferocity.

Hannibal treated him like a delicate thing and Will had never felt farther removed from him.

On this night, Will sat with a glass of whiskey in his hand, pushed back into the soft leather chair. Hannibal sat just beyond him, long legs crossed with a book perched on his knee. This had become their evening routine. They would dine, speak gently, make plans, and then relax together before heading to bed.

Will stared at him, at the sharp lines of his face, at the greying hair falling into his eyes, at the long fingers cradling his book.

Will finished what was left in his glass and placed it on the small table beside him. He came to his feet and stepped towards Hannibal, stopping just in front of him.

“I want you to fuck me, Hannibal.”

Hannibal looked up with a slight tilt of his head. He uncrossed his legs and closed his book, lowering it into his lap.

“Yes, Will.”

As he moved to stand, Will placed a hand flat on Hannibal’s chest and shoved him back down. Hannibal’s eyes widened slightly in surprise as he looked up at the man standing in front of him.

“Did you hear what I said?” Will asked as he loomed over him.

Hannibal regarded him carefully, considering.

“I did,” he answered.

“What did I say?”

Hannibal grinned and leaned back into his chair, enjoying the unpredictability of Will’s words.

“You told me to fuck you.”

Will ran his tongue around the bottom of his teeth.  

“Stand up.”

Immediately, Hannibal did as he was told. They stood inches apart.

“I mean it,” Will whispered close to him. “I don’t want you to be tender. I don’t want you to be careful. I don’t want you to be soft. I want you to fuck me.”

“Have you been dissatisfied sexually?” Hannibal asked, the faint crease of worry evident on his brow.

“No,” Will said as he shook his head. “But I don’t feel connected to you like I want to be. I don’t feel you. You’re too careful with me.”

Hannibal reached for him but was met with a quick, sharp slap to the side of his face and a hard shove to his chest. As he fell back into the chair, he rolled his shoulders slightly.

“Come on,” Will said, his cheeks flushed with color. “I won’t break.”

“I do not see you as a delicate thing, Will,” Hannibal said. “I never have. You are the most magnificent, powerful creature I’ve ever beheld.”

Will straightened his posture at Hannibal’s words, feeling a shiver run through him.

“Then you’ll do what I ask.”

When Hannibal came back to his feet, Will allowed it.

“I will,” he affirmed. “Is it violence you want?”

“Yes.”

“Within what parameters?”

Will took in a large breath and let it slowly release from his nose.

“No instruments,” he explained. “Nothing but you – your hands.”

Hannibal extended an arm up and brushed the back of his knuckles against the faded scar on Will’s cheek. If he was expecting another blow, he didn’t show it.

“Do you want me to strike you?” he whispered. “Use you?’

Will’s pulse quickened, his pupils blown wide. He hadn’t been sure of how badly he wanted this until he heard Hannibal’s words.

“Yes,” he breathed.

Hannibal lowered his head and nosed along his jaw, holding him in place with a soft hand at the back of his head.

“Does that turn you on?” Will asked, his voice breaking slightly. “The idea of it?”

Hannibal pulled back and teased his fingers into the hair at the nape of Will’s neck.

“The act removed from all else?” he asked. “No. I find the notion of utilizing force to manipulate someone into sexual acts repulsive.”

Will leaned in to kiss him softly.

“You know there are some who would consider murder and cannibalism to be repulsive.”

Hannibal kissed him back.

“As do I,” he said. “Which is why I don’t engage in such acts of mindless barbary. What we do, Will, is elevation – redemption for the otherwise unredeemable.”

Will thought back to the woman two weeks ago who had continued to speak loudly on her cellphone at the museum, even after Hannibal’s polite request to stop. He thought of how she’d tasted dripping in garlic-butter.

“You know this,” Hannibal continued. “You know me as well as I know myself.”

We're conjoined. I'm curious whether either of us can survive separation.

“Then do it,” Will whispered, his voice raw. “Fuck me.”

Hannibal moved to wrap his large, warm hand around Will’s neck, fingers constricting gently. Will sighed and felt a shiver run through him.

“Only my hands,” Hannibal breathed. “Any other restrictions?”

The question was maddening, knowing what Hannibal was capable of.

“No drugs,” Will said. “No prolonged oxygen deprivation; I want to be lucid.” 

Hannibal leaned in and placed a single open mouthed kiss to his jaw.

“Would you like a safe word?” he questioned against his skin.

Will swallowed hard.

“No,” he said.

Hannibal pulled back and rubbed his thumb against the corner of Will’s mouth.

“You will tell me to stop then,” Hannibal commanded. “If it becomes too much. You will tell me immediately.”

At the press of Hannibal’s thumb against his lips, Will opened his mouth and Hannibal hooked inside. The pad of his thumb traced teeth and tongue.

“Will,” Hannibal said, more firmly this time. “You will tell me to stop or say ‘no’. Otherwise I will not. And I’ll be quite cross if you tell me later that you wanted to stop.” 

Will placed a hand on Hannibal’s wrist and pulled him away. He covered Hannibal’s hand with his own and pulled it to his chest. Blood was coursing through him, bringing color to his cheeks and neck. Before him stood one of the most wanted men in the world – a man capable of breathtaking violence – telling him he would stop the moment he asked.

“I will. I’ll tell you to stop.”

It was not but a moment later when Hannibal roughly pulled free of Will’s grasp and cracked the palm of his hand across his face. Will gasped and stumbled backwards, his cheek stinging. It hadn’t been enough to send him to the ground but it was successful in distracting him as Hannibal lunged forward and grabbed him about the waist, sending Will tumbling back into the chair he’d been sitting in.

After all of this time with Hannibal – all the time spent on the same side of the veil – Will was still shocked at how fast he could move.

And how strong he was.

Will quickly brought his hands up and ducked his head as Hannibal brought his knee down hard on the side of Will’s leg, slamming the weight of his body into the plush cushion. As Hannibal got a grip in the back of Will’s hair, Will pushed his feet into the floor hard and surged up as forcefully as he could.  Hannibal attempted to regain control by dropping his hand from Will’s hair and wrapping it around his back, but Will locked his shin behind Hannibal’s calf and sent them both tumbling to the ground.

The top of Hannibal’s head caught the leg of the end table and rocked his book to the ground, its pages fluttering. Will managed to swing a leg over Hannibal’s hips and pressed his body down into him, feeling a half-hard cock pressed against his own.

It was intoxicating.

He reached for Hannibal’s wrists but only found open air as the man under him got one hand around his throat and the other locked around his hip.

Will’s fingers instinctively went to his neck, trying in vain to pry Hannibal’s fingers away.

He knew Hannibal would honor the rules he had set, but he couldn’t stop the animal panic from seeping in; it sent shockwaves through his entire body and made his lips tingle. As the fingers around his throat tightened, Will tried to latch his own hand around Hannibal’s neck but found it swatted away before Hannibal released Will and turned them both. Will found himself on his back with Hannibal’s weight spread across his hips.

Hannibal’s thighs tightened, holding Will’s lower body still as he successfully captured Will’s wrists and pinned them above his head with one hand. Will stopped breathing as Hannibal pushed his upper body down and brought their chests together, tangling a free hand back in Will’s hair and roughly pulling up. Will felt teeth close around the side of his neck and arched his back as much as he could with Hannibal’s weight on top of him.  

Hannibal kissed, sucked, and bit at his throat, keeping a firm hand in Will’s hair to hold him still.

Will felt trapped, taken, consumed.

A ragged breath pushed from Will’s lungs as he bucked up hard and managed to throw the other man off of him. Hannibal reached out for him as Will jumped to his feet and tried to put some distance between them.

There was a fire in his eyes that Will only saw when they hunted together.

Bringing his hands up to shield himself, Will threw his left fist out towards Hannibal’s face but missed as the older man ducked and slammed Will into the wall at his back. Will felt all the air leave his body as Hannibal turned him and pulled his back flush against his chest. Hannibal grabbed Will’s right arm and pulled it hard behind his back, his other hand clamped like a vice on Will’s shoulder.

Will could feel Hannibal’s erection firm against his backside.

“Oh, Will,” Hannibal breathed into his ear. “Were I only able, I’d take you apart.”

Will winced at the pain in his shoulder as Hannibal steered him towards their bedroom, his fingers digging into him.    

“I’d marinate and slow cook your thighs,” he whispered as he pushed Will in front of him. “They alone would keep me sated for weeks.”

Will groaned and managed to free his arm, grabbing at the hand on his shoulder and twisting his body away. Hannibal let go but soon slipped his arms tight around Will’s waist and pulled him close as he walked him backwards.

“Your ribs I’d slow roast with brown sugar and rosemary until  the meat melts off the bone,” he hissed as Will pulled him closer and kissed his lips hard.

“Your blood I’d use for pudding and sausage,” he continued between wet smacks of lips. “I’d add it to a lotion to soak into my skin every day.”  

Will felt himself weaken against him, his body supported by Hannibal’s as they finally made it into the bedroom. Hannibal’s arms tightened around him again as Will felt his feet leave the ground, carried the final few steps as Hannibal shoved him roughly down onto the bed.

“Your heart I’d save for last,” Hannibal said as he straddled him and held his wrists down on the mattress. “And that, I’d consume raw.”  

“Hannibal,” Will breathed as he squirmed, attempting to free his arms. “God.”

“Does that arouse you, Will,” Hannibal asked, tightening his grip on Will’s wrists and leaning down to push their chests together. “The idea of your body providing mine with nourishment?”

Will moaned and arched his hips as much as he could with Hannibal’s weight pressing into him. He hissed as Hannibal’s teeth closed around the side of his throat.

“Yes,” he managed. “Yes.”

Closing his lips around Will’s skin, Hannibal sucked until he was certain it would bruise and then pulled back. He released one of Will’s wrists only to quickly recapture them both with one hand, his other grabbing him firmly by the chin.

“Will you nourish me now?”

Will looked up at him and nudged his knee up into Hannibal’s clothed erection, his own cock straining against the soft fabric of his pants. He wanted to give him everything he wanted.

“Yes.”

Hannibal released his hold on his chin and slid his hand around the side of his neck, holding him still as he pushed their mouths together. Above his head, Will wiggled his fingers but had given up the game of resisting as he kissed him back, opening his mouth to let Hannibal inside. Hannibal pulled away, his fingers dropping to Will’s belt. As Will moved to help him he gasped in surprise when his hands were slapped away.

“Be still,” Hannibal instructed. “Let me.”

Will laid back and gripped the sheets at his sides, lifting his hips for Hannibal to pull his pants and underwear down. His cock sprang free, wet and nearly purple. With a quick lick of his lips, Hannibal pushed Will’s shirt up to his chest - leaving a large flat hand on Will’s sternum – as he swallowed him down greedily.

Will moaned and pushed himself back into the mattress, his hips arching up but his chest held down by Hannibal’s hand. He tried to do as he was told, his damp fingers gripping hard into the sheets, but he couldn’t stop himself from reaching down and getting a fistful of grey hair.

He looked down and watched Hannibal work, his lips swelling and cheeks hollowed. Hannibal’s eyes were closed, wet and shining at the corners. Will twisted his fist in Hannibal’s hair and held tight as the older man increased his pace, his head moving all the way up his cock and then back down until all of Will was held hot and wet inside him.

Hannibal felt a welcome taste at the back of his throat and pulled off to hook Will’s leg up over his shoulder, Will’s knee by his ear. Will gasped as Hannibal’s fingers worked the meat of his thigh while his lips and throat continued to push him closer and closer. It wasn’t but a moment later that Will felt the orgasm scream through his body, shooting from his cock and down into his toes that curled by Hannibal’s ear.

The muscles in Hannibal’s throat contracted slowly as he milked Will for everything that he would give him until Will’s body relaxed and fell back to the bed.

Gently, Hannibal released him and kissed the inside of his thigh before he lowered Will’s leg from his shoulder. He crawled up Will’s body and kissed him reverently.

“See how powerful you are?” Hannibal whispered as he licked Will’s taste into him. “How perfect?”

Will sighed and held the side of Hannibal’s face with his hand, his thumb moving against his stubbled cheek. He carefully pushed his hips up to feel Hannibal’s erection pushing hard against his slacks.

“What do you want?” Will asked.

Hannibal pushed his cheek into Will’s hand and closed his eyes.

“Tell me what you want, Hannibal,” he repeated. “Now.”

Hannibal’s eyes opened again as he looked down at him.

“To possess you.”

Releasing his face, Will reached down between their bodies and unbuckled Hannibal’s belt before tugging his slacks down just enough to reach inside and free his erection.

“Then possess me,” He whispered.  

Reaching down, Hannibal grabbed at Will’s hands and pinned them back to the bed above Will’s head. Using his grip on Will’s wrists as leverage, Hannibal grabbed at his cock with his free hand and slowly began to pump his erection. They held each other gaze as Hannibal’s wrist and shoulder worked, moving up and down in a quick rhythm.

Will’s fingers strained for touch, brushing the back of the powerful hand that held him down. Hannibal’s breathing quickened as he continued to hold Will’s gaze, his fist working faster and faster. As Hannibal’s breath started to hitch and his eyes struggled to stay open, Will let his gaze fall between their bodies. He watched as Hannibal’s slick cock spurted and roped semen above the long, horizontal scar above his navel.

Hannibal shuddered above him, a ragged moan breaking from his lips. He pulled his hand away from his cock and released his hold on Will’s wrists, collapsing on top of him and smearing come and sweat between their slick bodies.  

Will felt Hannibal’s heartbeat through his chest and into his own, felt them breathe in tandem. He concentrated on the heavy weight of Hannibal on top of him and reached up to let his hands come to rest on Hannibal’s back, fingers brushing the strong muscles in his shoulders. Will could see small bruises forming on his own wrists and was positive from the way his neck ached that his throat looked much the same. His shoulders burned from having his arms pulled tight behind him, his back was stiff from their tumble to the floor.

Lifting his head, Hannibal pressed a careful kiss to the cheek he’d struck earlier before he shifted to his side and came to rest his head on Will’s chest.  They lay there dozing – sore and sticky – with Will’s arms holding tight to the sleeping monster above his heart.