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When the Dominoes Fall

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              Hannibal enjoys having a certain modicum of control. He prefers to be a refined specimen with his hair combed back and suits eye-catching. He wants the scent from his skin to perfume the air and exude dominance. It is how he lives, day after day, Alpha coursing through his veins.

              But like all good things, Hannibal Lecter has something to hide. To many he would be a treasure, a rarity surpassing all others. It was once known, centuries ago, that in every generation of the Lecter line there is at least one Sigma. A Sigma, who has the choice of presenting Alpha or Omega. A Sigma, who is the perfect mate, because they can change their choice whenever they wish. Hannibal Lecter is a Sigma, but he chooses to be an Alpha. In the United States, no one knows what he is, and he is able to breathe a calm and still breath because of it. He is not sought after by rich Alphas who seek the most prized mate; he is not forced to choose Omega because of a dowry or contract. Hannibal enjoys his freedoms, never looking for a mate.

              He had the occasional tryst, sometimes a drawn-out affair that he always severs after enough time passes. He needs neither, though, for he is satisfied with himself. He prefers the comfort of solitude and lives under the guise of extroversion. His truth is that he hides under a perfectly tailored mask and slips it off only in the comfort of his own home. No mate would ever be worthy of his true face. He grew comfortable with this realization only several years after he presented as a Sigma, and then didn’t think much of it from then on. No one ever caught his fancy, though he has had many admirers.  He slips into a comfortable, unsuspecting life.

              That is, until today.

              A new patient sitting across from him, avoiding eye contact.

              Curly brown hair.

              Blue eyes, bright and beautiful.

              Soft, thick lips.

              A sharp jawline he wishes he could pass his finger over.

              Never mind the aftershave; he’ll fix that later.

              Later… Will Graham is already his, in his mind.

              Will Graham.

              Hannibal internally chastises himself for the dallying glance; he shouldn’t pay too much mind to the attraction. Attraction fades with time, Hannibal knows. He breathes in the scent of the Alpha sitting across from him, like thick woods in summertime and the smell of a stream after rainfall. Hidden deep underneath he can detect the slightest metallic twang of blood, fresh from the hunt. This Alpha is tempting, he cannot deny it.

              “Hello, Mr. Graham,” Hannibal begins. “I understand Dr. Alana Bloom referred you to me.”

              “I prefer Will,” he responds. “And yes. You come highly recommended.”

              Hannibal nods, looking down at high notebook, the page not blank. His hand had already begun drawing Will’s face on the page, so he may look at it later and remember each crevice he imagines he would brush his lips over. “My methods are a bit unorthodox. Dr. Bloom hasn’t told me much about your particular case, other than the fact that she believes you suffer from severe empathy,” Hannibal smiles then. “Labels here are insignificant. I would like to begin with conversations.”

              Will purses his lips, leaning back in the chair and crosses his arms over his chest. “I don’t want a psychiatrist,” he responds flatly.

              Rude. Quite rude, Hannibal notes. But it tickles him, nevertheless. “I am not forcing these sessions upon you, and you come only of your free will. This can be our last meeting, if you wish,” Hannibal assures, continuing his drawing. It won’t be our last. Hannibal thinks it to himself, the uncontrolled thought coming to the forefront of his mind. He wouldn’t want their story to end just yet; Hannibal begins the scenario in his head, their affair. He imagines himself on the brink of heat, slick running between his thighs—

              No.

              Hannibal will not choose to be an omega. He feels his cock twitch, and he moves his notebook to cover himself. The arousal spreads through his body quickly, and he realizes that this patient would be inconvenient for him. He must think of Will as a patient.

              Will is his patient.

              Will is his.

              He focuses on those three. How the words come so innocently.

              “There was an incident at the University where I work, and I was advised to take a leave of absence. My employment is conditional on seeing you,” Will admits then.

              “An incident?”

              Will shifts in his seat, “It’s in the file that was sent over.”

              Hannibal shakes his head, “Even so, I would prefer to get your version of events. If it’s too difficult to talk about now, we can start with something else. What is your position exactly?”

              “Associate Professor of Psychology at Johns Hopkins,” Will tells him, leaning forward. “Psychologists make the worst patients, haven’t you heard?” Will laughs then, and the sound is unforgettable. Hannibal wonders if he could hear something more beautiful; his heart pounds.

              “You know many of the traditional tricks. Like I said, my methods are unconventional.”

              “I primarily teach in rare disorders of the mind and criminal behavior,” Will continues. “The university has wanted my mind studied for years, always waiting for an opportunity.”

              “I will not study you. I have nothing to gain from publishing on you, except for perhaps some guilt for betraying your confidence, which I cannot allow. Only your interests and wellbeing are important here.” Hannibal walks over to his desk and signs a sheet of paper. “I’m deeming you fit to return to work, at whatever date you feel is appropriate.”

              “You’re rubber stamping me?”

              Hannibal hands Will the sheet of paper, his thumb brushing over Will’s. There is an immediate burst of electricity that runs through him; it almost startles Hannibal. “Like I said, this can be our last session if you wish. I will keep this time slot open, should you wish to come. We may just talk, as I think you’d like someone to talk to. I’m a unjudgmental ear, and I find that I quite like you. My office is always open to you, should you ever want to visit.”

              “Do you enjoy fish, Dr. Lecter?” Will asks him then, unexpectedly.

              “Of course,” he responds, taking a step back.

              “Perhaps we can talk over dinner then, at this time next week. I can send you my address.”

              Hannibal opens his mouth, then closes it, thinking. Will is not his patient. This would eliminate the possibility of a breech in doctor-patient relationship protocol. Will understands that he is an Alpha, Hannibal notes. He’s asking him to dinner regardless of the fact that they share the same secondary gender. A shudder runs down his spine; Will is interesting indeed. A unique specimen, worthy of his time. Hannibal feels a pull towards the unpredictable Alpha standing across from him.

              “I would prefer it if we were to meet here,” Hannibal responds. “Ball’s in your court. Have a good evening, Will.”