TITLE: Unmasked
AUTHOR: Susan / apckrfan
EMAIL: apckrfan@yahoo.com
DISTRIBUTION: My site www.phantomroses.com/apckrfan/fanfic/
DISCLAIMER: I don't own any characters.
RATING: R
SPOILERS: None
SUMMARY: Clarice on duty at a formal costume party in Charleston takes a walk in the gardens, leading to a wild boathouse rendezvous with Lecter.
COUPLES: Lecter & Clarice
FEEDBACK: I cannot write better without it.

Unmasked

Clarice stood watching the partygoers with both admiration and disdain. She had laughed when this assignment had been given to her. She had hoped for something good when she had been called to Mr. Crawford's office, instead she had been sent on a schoolgirl errand. This was an assignment even the greenest of agents could have handled. Some big name foreign affairs minister from a country she hadn't realized still existed was here and Special Agent Clarice Starling was there among a few other agents as guests to ensure nothing happened.

The party was a costume party and while Clarice hadn't been required to choose a costume she had at least bought a full facial mask of black velvet with dark green feathers at the side of each eye near her hairline. It set off her auburn hair well if nothing else, but she still felt foolishly out of place here. Why had Jack chosen her? She belonged here like Ivana Trump belonged in the coalmining area of West Virginia where Clarice had spent her childhood.

So far no one had tried to talk with her. She had talked in passing to the few other agents here as civilians so that she wouldn't stand out too much, but otherwise she had kept to herself. She hadn't even caught more than a passing glimpse of the man whose life she was supposed to take a bullet for.

It was a beautiful autumn evening in Charleston and Clarice was reminded of a dream she'd had on and off over the years. It was a setting very similar to this one, a formal party in an old city filled with history. Even the dress she had bought for tonight's party was, now that she thought about it, eerily similar to the one she had worn in her recurring dream.

She was dressed in a floor length black velvet gown that hugged her well toned figure like a glove. She was able to walk thanks to the up to the thigh slits at either side of the gown. One arm was encased in the black velvet, complete with a ring of the fabric that went around her middle finger covering the back of her hand like a black velvet glove. Her other shoulder and arm were bare, her creamy white skin exposed and looking slightly out of place here tonight from the other women here who obviously had time to tan. Another ring of the soft black velvet was around her neck, connected to the fabric at her covered shoulder. It was a good thing Paul Krendler wasn't here to gawk, she almost felt sexy without him there to make her feel cheap.

She took a flute of champagne from one of the waiter's serving trays and offered him a smile when she saw him checking her out. Who knows who he thought she was, someone with money obviously. She had splurged for this gown, but she knew when she saw it she had to have it. She hadn't even realized until now why, that she had dreamt of this gown for years. As in the dream, she wore no jewelry as she didn't need any. The velvet around her neck like a collar made a necklace unnecessary and her hair as long as it was made earrings an accessory that would go unnoticed.

If she was aware of anyone watching her as she stepped out onto the balcony, she didn't give any indication of it. She had indicated to one of the agents with a subtle gesture of her head that she was going to step out for some air. She doubted she'd be missed by anyone, and it wasn't as if she could do much protecting dressed as she was.

Descending the cement stairs that led from the large patio to a narrow path Clarice followed it. She didn't get to come to places like this, homes that at once upon a time had been thriving plantations, rich in history and just plain rich. She heard footsteps close by but paid no attention to them, she was probably not the only one who wanted to walk around.

The hairs on the back of her neck were standing at attention when she sensed someone standing behind her. She tried to appear calm, taking a sip of her champagne as if she weren't on a path leading god knew where. It was dark aside from the few rays from the moon cascading through the trees.

The large hand against her bare shoulder should have made her jump, should have put her on the defensive. Clarice found though when she glanced at it from the corner of her eye and saw the man's hand bore six fingers that she was anything but defensive. She said nothing, but her breath caught certain that once he recognized that she knew who he was he'd leave. In her dream he always left, curiously leaving her wanting more even when she had woken from the dream. It had never occurred to her that in her dream she was supposed to follow him.

The hand at her shoulder while gentle in its touch was firm in its unspoken command. She walked in the direction bidden, deeper into the path taking her farther from the house and protection. Wordlessly she stopped at the boathouse and breathed in sharply. She couldn't go somewhere with him, someone would notice her missing if she was gone for too long.

He reached from behind her, again with his left hand as if he wanted to make sure she saw, and opened the boathouse door. Ever the gentleman she couldn't help but think to herself and yet at the same time she chided herself for going into the boathouse. He hadn't said one word to her, not even a hello, and Clarice was following his unspoken commands like a puppy dog anxious for love and attention from her master.

The crystal champagne flute, one of the finest she'd ever had the privilege of actually holding fell through her manicured and polished fingers when she felt his hand at her breast. She had gone without a bra tonight, the fact that one of her shoulders and part of her chest was completely bare had made her decision for her, and embarrassedly felt her body respond to his touch.

His left hand covered her mouth when she started to say something. She heard a quiet "Shh" from behind her and nodded her agreement and acceptance of these terms. Her dream had never taken her this far so she had no idea what he had planned for her. She saw nothing, the boathouse offered no light, the moon's reflection on the water was too faint in here to offer her any help. She closed her eyes, feeling his hand touching her so intimately and the pressure of the mask over her face. What would he do if she tried to turn around and look at him? She knew without hesitation he would go. Clarice knew, too, that she didn't want him to go.

She moaned quietly as his fingertips worked her peak into a taut pebble standing at attention for him. She heard the unmistakable sound of a zipper being worked, down she imagined, and tried to imagine this man doing something so common as taking her while both of them were fully clothed. And she was letting him! Where was her dignity? Where was her sense of right or wrong? Forget what he was, what did it say about her that she was willing to do this?

As Clarice felt the warmth of the velvet against her legs travel ever so slowly up she was glad she had chosen to wear a black garter belt with her stockings and a pair of racy red lace panties. There wasn't really enough material to call them panties, but it had seemed appropriate to dress nicely underneath her gown. Her doubts were quickly pushed to the back of her mind when she heard a forcibly whispered "Oh God" when his hand met with the top of her stockings.

He then pushed his hand up further and felt her bare bottom thanks to the style of her panties and felt pleasure wash through her that she, Clarice Starling was able to goad this feeling out of him. He wanted her, wanted her so badly that he was willing to seduce her in a boathouse despite all of his claims and assertions that he was a gentleman. Yes, Clarice found she liked that feeling, she was no seductress and would never believe she was one but tonight he was making her feel like one. It was almost dreamlike and she wondered briefly if she would wake up finding herself alone in her bed, this familiar setting for a recurring dream just having gone farther than it normally did.

As if reading Clarice's mind, he prompted her wordlessly to part her legs for him. She didn't need to be told to place her hands against the wooden wall the boathouse offered. She knew there wasn't going to be anything gentle or nice about this, but surprisingly she just wanted it all the more. That she could provoke him to lose control in such a way was a little humbling. She doubted any other woman had done it. She felt the rough, aged wood underneath her fingertips and bit her lip preparing for his entrance.

Not that she could have prepared herself for it, a simple biting of her lip didn't do it. It silenced her shock, yes, but Clarice was rocked to the core by the power behind his entrance into her. Grateful for the mask she wore as her face for a moment was pushed from the force of his thrusts into her against the roughened wall.

There was something both incredibly dirty and erotic about this. Once firmly planted inside of her, the tempo of his taking of her so wickedly set, he released her gown. She once again felt the velvet against her legs aside from in one very private and revealing place near where her legs joined and he was inside of her.

Normally, it took a good deal of effort to get her to the point of climax from sex. Given that there had been no foreplay aside from a prolonged groping of her breast Clarice was surprised when she felt the familiar pulling between her legs and the tension in her body indicating she was about to. He seemed to sense this as once again she felt the velvet move away from her legs and his hand move to aid in bringing about her release.

He didn't need to aid her in the least, as his touch there did nothing more than bring her off immediately and intensely. She had never felt anything like it and what was more she felt another one building right on top of the orgasm that had just ripped through her. The first one had made her feel like collapsing against the wall, she wasn't sure what two like that would do. Clarice wasn't going to complain, though, she knew that there were women all over the world waiting to have orgasms like this. She'd take as many of them as he could give her and she sensed somehow that one or two was just the beginning.

Clarice had no idea how much time had passed when he finally pulled away from her, both of them more than completely sated. She was surprised he had been able to last as long as he had, she knew that much. The urgency with which he took her would have led her to think quick and unsatisfying. She was dreadfully wrong about both assumptions. She was more than satisfied and he had been anything but quick about doing it.

His hands were next to hers bracing himself against the wall, his thumbs resting over the back of her hands. At the moment, it was their only contact and it was all that was necessary. Neither spoke, though he did laugh lightly when she turned her head and the green feathers at the side of her mask tickled the underside of his chin.

She started to turn slightly, testing more than anything to see if he'd allow her to turn to face him now that he was done. He did and when she turned around to face him she saw the desire still stoked in his eyes. How could he possibly still feel even remotely amorous after that? She had never experienced anything like it and surprisingly she didn't feel cheap or dirty.

She opened her mouth to speak, so many questions on the tip of her tongue. Clarice was silenced though by the kiss he graced her with. After the almost animal like sex they'd just had it was tame, but it still managed to get her attention.

He broke the kiss, nibbling lightly on her lower lip while his finger traced along the velvet collar at her neck. It was time to go, she had been gone too long and surely her absence would be noticed. Both knew this without having to say a word.

Clarice noticed, actually, other than the few words he'd spoken as appreciation while inside of her neither of them had said a word. But what needed to be said? Was she supposed to thank him for the earth shattering sex? She didn't think it needed to be said and somehow she suspected that the earth while maybe not shattering had certainly moved for him as well.

In her black velvet heels, she was as tall as he was and kissed his cheek politely an air of grace about her. She reached for the door leading from the boathouse, but he was faster and held it open for Clarice. He would not follow, Clarice sensed this before she heard the boathouse door close behind her without his having exited. She hadn't noticed a boat in the boathouse, but she imagined he had his getaway planned.

Ascending the path back to the house, she glanced once over her shoulder but there was no one there. Returning to the party, no one seemed to notice she was gone. She nodded in the direction of one of the other agents as she took another glass of champagne from a tray. Was that a look of question in his eyes? Could he tell? She didn't know and she didn't care. Let him think she'd gone outside and had a good time while on duty.

The night drew to a close uneventfully and Clarice went to her hotel room. She woke the next morning, groaning softly as she stretched. The dream had played out further than ever before. It had to be a dream, but as she moved to sit up in bed her body told her that it had not been a dream. Doubt and embarrassment washed through her as she realized not only what she had let him do but that she had fully enjoyed it. She had given in to him, but he had given in too, she knew it. Even without looking at him or talking to him she could tell.

She glanced out of her room's window which offered a view of the Atlantic Ocean and sighed softly. Now instead of thoughts plaguing her mind of what Hannibal Lecter would do to her if he ever did seek her out, Clarice knew she would be plagued with the curiosity of when he would seek her out again. Perhaps it was time to come up with another dream so that he could expand on it and make that one come true, too.