TITLE: Roses
AUTHOR: Susan / apckrfan
EMAIL: apckrfan@yahoo.com
DISTRIBUTION: My site www.phantomroses.com/apckrfan/fanfic/lecterfic
DISCLAIMER: I don't own any characters.
RATING: R
SPOILERS: None
SUMMARY: Clarice is on leave after getting shot on duty.
COUPLES: Lecter & Clarice
NOTES: This is a sequel to Unmasked but does stand alone
FEEDBACK: I cannot write better without it.

Roses

Clarice sat with the latest Grisham in her lap looking out the picture window at the ocean instead of reading. She hated having time on her hands because it gave her time to think and with thinking came the realization that getting shot had been her own fault. True, it could have happened to any of the agents on the case and Clarice certainly hadn't known there was going to be a sniper that day. She blamed herself because once again Doctor Lecter had managed to worm his way into her thoughts, only this time it had been on a purely physical, sexual level. Clarice wasn't accustomed to daydreaming on the job and certainly not about sex.

Clarice couldn't remember when she'd had sex before that night in South Carolina, and if she wanted to narrow it down to good sex that took her back even further. As sad as it was she couldn't deny that that quick interlude with Doctor Lecter had been the best sex she'd ever had. It was more than the sex and that was the part she hated. It was the man she had been with, though with was hardly an accurate term for what had occurred between them. There had been no with about it, he had taken and she had let him. And what was worse, she had enjoyed it.

Clarice woke in the comfortable chair the cabin offered wondering how long she had napped. She felt for the book on her lap and found instead a soft blanket. She drew the blanket around herself, curious as to why she smelled roses. She thought for a moment she might still be dreaming, but the scent was too vivid and real for it to be a dream. She opened her eyes more sleepily than she should have and glanced around the room. There were in fact roses and a good number of them. She realized she should have been upset that he had been able to get into her locked cabin without rousting her from her sleep, but she wasn't. She was instead curious as to why he'd go through this effort only to leave without waking her up. She didn't think he would have come and taken her while she slept either, though she had to admit the idea to her right this moment had its charm.

Not liking where her thoughts were taking her, she focused once more on the roses. The roses were a vivid, fiery red, which made Clarice blush slightly at the implications they represented – passion. She had never received one dozen roses in her life and here were four vases full of them. He had placed a dozen in her bedroom next to her bed, in the dining room as the table's centerpiece – not that she was planning on cooking anything to warrant the formal dining room furniture. There was a third dozen in the bathroom, which struck her as a rather odd place for him to have placed them. The fourth vase was on the table next to where she had been sitting and held fourteen roses instead of the twelve the other four vases held. She took the two extra roses and made a makeshift vase out of a bottle she had in the kitchen and placed them on the kitchen table.

She was a little disappointed that her search of the cabin revealed she was alone. So he had brought her roses and left. Clarice took a minute to touch one of the roses before going to the refrigerator and getting a bottle of beer. Her lips curved up into a smile when she saw there was more food in the refrigerator than there had been earlier. She took the note taped to the package of filets that even she could tell were impressive cuts of meat.

Crumpling the note after she'd read it she went into the bedroom to shower and change into the dress and shoes he had left in her closet. She wasn't accustomed to getting dressed up to eat dinner out let alone at home, but found as she blew dry and styled her hair that she was looking forward to it. It was the closest she was ever going to get to enjoying a formal dinner with Doctor Lecter.

The ivory lace dress he had chosen was sheer, only the satin underlayer the dress offered kept it from being see-through. Had they been going out she might have been uncomfortable, but for the cabin she didn't mind it so much. He had even chosen her underwear, a matching bra and panties with thigh high stockings all in the same shade as the dress. She glanced at herself in the mirror as she fastened the pearl necklace around her neck and put in the matching pearl earrings he had provided and had to admit she was happy with her appearance. The dress was short, barely covering the tops of the stockings and had a décolleté that was more than generous and was rather flattering. She didn't feel dreadfully exposed or on display, the dress was elegant. She wasn't certain but assumed these things were gifts and was curious for a moment just what he was trying to buy.

Now that she had finished getting ready she took the time to realize that she was no longer alone in the small cabin. The situation behind this visit was much different than their last. That visit had been about sex, he hadn't even spoken to her. This visit seemed to be about romance, though she imagined for some reason sex wasn't too far from his mind. It hadn't been too far from hers since that night. The shoes were a little flimsier and higher heeled than what she was used to, but she adjusted by the time she'd made it to the kitchen. "It smells good."

"I thought of making lamb, but didn't think you'd appreciate that so I decided instead on a filet mignon." He turned to face her, drying his hands with a dish towel taking in her appearance. His face revealed little, but his eyes flickered briefly in appreciation.

"I've eaten lamb before, Doctor," she said with a slight lift of her chin. She knew he was teasing her, but she was too busy taking in his appearance to let herself be baited. His dark gray suit offset the ivory in her dress quite nicely, it was so dark a gray it appeared black at first glance. She wondered briefly if he'd coordinated his outfit with hers or vice versa. His hair was longer than she'd remembered it, but she hadn't exactly gotten a view of his face the last time she'd encountered him.

"Had I but known," he said turning his back to her to finish cleaning up the counter area.

"Thank you for the roses and for making dinner, Doctor. I admit I haven't cooked much since I've been here."

"The roses I will say you're welcome to right now. The dinner, you've never tasted my cooking so perhaps you should wait to thank me until after you've eaten it."

"I've never heard anyone complain about your cooking, Doctor, even when they realized later what you had served."

"So true, perhaps none wanted to admit it was their meal I had served any of my delicacies with."

"But you haven't tonight, right?"

"No, it's just a beef, I assure you. You saw the packaging."

"Yes, I did."

"I hope you're not upset I didn't wake you. You seemed to be sleeping so soundly and since your bed hadn't appeared slept in I thought you could use the rest."

"I wake up to a cabin full of roses, new clothes, jewelry and dinner that I didn't have to cook myself and you're wondering if I'm upset?"

"I invaded your privacy, your space." He shrugged slightly and stepped towards her, his fingers pushing some hair from her face. He tucked a few strands behind her ear. "I guess the earrings weren't really necessary."

"They're nice. I've never had real pearls."

His hand dropped from the side of her head to the kitchen table, which he had already set. "You do now."

"Yes, I suppose I do. You don't need to get me gifts, Doctor. Not that I'm complaining mind you. The roses, the clothes, and the jewelry it's all nice but it's not necessary."

"Yes, I know, simple Clarice. Perhaps I felt as if I owed you something due to our last meeting."

"You don't owe me anything. You didn't hear me complaining, did you?"

A brow rose slightly both from surprise and in question. "No, but I didn't give you much chance to."

"You were fine, Doctor."

"I understand you were shot."

"It was nothing."

"You're here because of it, so it must have been something."

"I'm not here necessarily because I was shot, Doctor. I'm here because my mind just wasn't on my job and I was lucky to be shot in the leg and not in the head."

He took one of the roses with a low chuckle out of the makeshift vase on the table. His hands were graceful as he brought the rose first to his nose and then to hers. "I suppose I'm to blame in part for that."

She took a deep breath, taking in the scent of the rose. Her breath caught as he traced it along her lips. The petals felt smooth, silky against her moistened lips and the fragrance was very pleasing yet not overpowering. "It's my fault to let myself get distracted when I'm working. I know better, I'm not green anymore."

He continued touching her with the rose his eyes watching her closely. As the rose moved from her face, down her neck and throat to her chest he smelled her arousal and heard her breathing change. Her eyes closed slowly, opening again to half mast as he trailed the rose further along the décolleté in her dress. "Dinner will be ready shortly," he said softly the rose touching the swell of one of her breasts.

Clarice swallowed hard, forcing her eyes to open so that she could look him in the eye. "I'm not so sure I'm that hungry, Doctor."

"Pity, I'd hate to let the food go to waste."

"It won't keep until later?"

"Are you suggesting we skip the dinner and go straight to," he paused bringing the rose to his lips gracing her with a charming smile, "dessert. And you just got dressed, too."

"I can get redressed."

"Or we can just eat salad for dinner," he offered cupping the rose's bloom in the palm of his hand before placing his arms around her.

"You'd let all that food and effort go to waste?"

"I can have filet mignon anytime I want, Clarice. I can't have this anytime I want. So, the answer is yes, I'd let it go to waste, even the salad."

"Let's see if we can't work out a compromise," she said softly drawing him to her by his suit jacket's lapels. "Work off some energy now, which will then make us both hungry for that dinner you fixed us. And then work the dinner off later much slower." Clarice moved to his tie so she could loosen it. "I always pictured you as a cravat or ascot man rather than straight neckties."

"I've worn them, sure. But they stand out, and when you're a fugitive you tend to err on the side of caution and not do too much to stand out. Do you not like straight ties?"

"It's not a matter of liking or not liking, Doctor," Clarice said with her eyes focusing on her fingers loosening his tie's Windsor knot. "It was just an observation based on the things about you I know."

"My likes and dislikes? My tastes," he said his voice a low whisper.

"Yeah." She breathed a sigh of relief when the knot came undone and she was able to remove the tie from around his neck. Her hands moved underneath his jacket and smoothed along his chest over his shirtfront.

She kicked out of her shoes. "I hate heels," she said with a light laugh.

"But you look so good in them."

"That doesn't mean they're comfortable to wear." Her hands moved to remove his suit coat and then began unbuttoning his dress shirt. "And I think they'll be more trouble than anything for what's on my mind right now."

"I never realized you were so impatient, Clarice."

"I'm not normally, but I've thought of little else but doing this again since that night in Charleston. Besides you should talk, you weren't exactly patient that night."

"Point taken. Had I but known I might have sought you out sooner."

"Now you know."

"Indeed," he said helping her with the removal of his shirt, she hadn't anticipated his having cufflinks.

Clarice moved her hands along his chest, shoulders and upper arms. He was in surprisingly good shape given his years of confinement and his age, though he would have to be to engage in the activities he did before his incarceration. She didn't fool herself into believing he hadn't reconvened those activities upon his escape. "You're beautiful."

"I think I'm supposed to be the one telling you that, Clarice, but thank you."

"You're welcome." She ran her fingernails along his skin, hard enough to make marks on his skin. "Why did you come to me that way?"

"In Charleston?"

"Yes, Doctor, in Charleston."

"Because I didn't believe you'd let me close to you any other way the first time."

"And you believed I'd let you close to me a second time after that?"

"Well, not necessarily. I knew you might take offense to what I did, but you looked so appealing that I lost control for a moment. Velvet has that affect on me."

"I don't believe that for a minute. You never lose control, Doctor." She leaned into him, her breasts pressed against his bare chest as she kissed his ear and the side of his neck. "But I'll bear that in mind about the velvet part."

"I thought it was time for some physical action that's all. My attempts at wooing you through less direct means failed."

"They didn't fail as much as you think they did, Doctor. It was nice to know you thought of me, honestly. But you're right I would never have sought you out." Her mouth found his and kissed him lightly at first and then deeper. She parted her lips, her tongue tracing over his lips. She felt his lips part, felt his breath against her mouth but refrained from allowing his tongue to meet hers just yet.

Clarice pulled away when she felt him try to meet her tongue with his and placed a finger over his lips. "You had your way with me once before, Doctor, now it's my turn."

His lips parted and closed over her fingertip and he nipped her before pulling away. "Your turn to have your way with me?"

"Yes, Doctor. Do you have difficulty believing I want to or is it that you don't think I can?"

"I believe you can, Clarice." His hands smoothed along both bare shoulders as he spoke. "And I believe you want to. I'm just surprised you want a turn."

"I'm not trying to deny my attraction to you tonight, Doctor. There's no point to it anymore."

"I'm glad you've finally come to your senses." His eyes dropped to her hands unbuckling his belt and then removing it from his trousers. Her hands worked the button and zipper on his trousers, letting them drop to his ankles. One hand skimmed inside the waistband of his shorts before she placed both hands at his chest.

She knelt before him which caused him to look at her with amusement in his eyes. "Is there something funny?"

"No," he said as she unlaced his shoes and removed them. "I'm just curious how many men you've knelt in front of before."

"None." She removed his trousers the rest of the way, running her hands along his legs until she reached his shorts. "Why do you have a fantasy involving a woman kneeling before you?"

"Not just a woman, Clarice."

Clarice blushed slightly. "You had fantasies of me kneeling before you? It's a power thing, right?"

"Sort of, but not entirely. It's a trust thing, too."

"Trust," she queried her fingertips grazing inside the legs of his shorts.

"Yeah, if you didn't trust me you wouldn't be kneeling in front of me. You're not a submissive person and to put yourself in that position says a lot."

She regarded him for a moment, her eyes never leaving his as she removed his shorts. He was right, if she wasn't comfortable with him she wouldn't be about to do what she was. Her hand closed over his manhood, her body reacting not just to her touching him but at the sound he made when she did. Before she could rethink what she was doing, her other hand moved to his hip and she slid her mouth over his length.

She felt his hands move to her hair, his fingers brushing the pearl earrings she wore as they passed over either ear. She moved with him her mouth staying over him as he eased himself back against the kitchen wall. She felt the cold of the tile under her knees and while it perhaps should have grounded her and stopped her from doing what she was doing it did nothing.

Her hands braced the wall on either side of him after a little while and feeling somewhat proud of herself for having pleased him, his murmured words of encouragement were proof that she had. His saying her name with such desire and arousal behind his voice was almost as erotic as the act she had been doing. She kissed up along his abdomen and torso, over his chest kissing each male nipple as she stood to meet him. "I think I need to be where you are," she said as she kissed his neck and ear, complete with her tongue grazing the length of his ear.

"Is that so?"

And just as quickly as the three words were said he had gracefully moved them both in tandem so that her back was to the wall and he was standing in front of her. Her hands braced the wall again, more for reassurance it was there than anything else. She wasn't quite sure how to go about doing what she wanted to do without his help.

"I need your help, Doctor."

"I'd say so yes," he said with a slight smile.

She felt his hands caress her thighs, his thumb grazing her inner thighs through the dress as his palms caressed the tops of her legs. He then slid his hands behind her thighs, pushing the dress up. He met her eyes, his gaze holding hers, and she knew he was waiting for her to put a stop to this. But it was too late for that, and she knew when he had read that fact in her eyes.

He lifted her seemingly effortlessly; her back slid along the wall and her legs instinctively went around him. She felt his hand drop between her legs, felt him take the thin silk material of her panties into his hand, her head fell back hitting the wall when she felt him touch the place she needed him to touch more than anything just then. She felt the thin fabric of the panties give as his hand balled into a fist and pulled, tearing the underwear away from her body. Her eyes flew open then, and for a brief moment she was afraid. She had forgotten briefly who he was and how strong he was.

"I'll buy you a new pair, Clarice," he said using his hands at her hips to guide her onto his length. If he read the fear in her eyes he either didn't care or just dismissed it.

Her hands went to his shoulders for support and she let out a cry of surprise at the sounds he made as he slid himself all the way home. She wasn't afraid of him any longer, but she was afraid of how good he felt inside of her and the lengths she was willing to go to have him. They had access to a perfectly good bed in the other room and yet here they were, but he didn't seem to mind. And as she felt him move against her, she realized she didn't mind either. This was what she had wanted just now and unless he was planning on leaving as soon as they were done they had the rest of the night to make use of the bed.

Her eyes fell closed, her head resting against the wall allowing her body to take over and enjoy. She closed off her mind limiting herself to thinking only about how good he felt and how good he was at bringing her exactly where he desired to take her. And she wanted to go there, too.

This time lasted longer than their first time had, though Clarice would have liked more. Not that he had left her unsatisfied, far from it. But now that her feet were once again firmly planted on the tile floor she wondered just what type of woman she was and what he might think of her. She hadn't even removed any of her clothing, other than the underwear he'd ridden her of. She was quiet and let out a breath of relief she didn't realize she had been holding when she felt his arms go around her, drawing her to him. She returned his kiss eagerly when his mouth sought out hers, the approval for her behavior she had been seeking found there in his kiss.

"Did that satisfy your hunger enough to get us through dinner?"

She wordlessly nodded her head, her forehead resting against his cheek. "Yes, I think so. Though I didn't see you complaining any about dinner being delayed at all."

"No, you won't find me complaining about that type of delay from you at all, over dinner or anything."

She smiled slightly. "I, um, guess I should let you get dressed then and I need to go off in search of something that will match the bra and stockings I'm wearing."

His hand lifted the hem of her dress, touching her bare backside. "Do you really need to replace them? It's only you and I here and I already know what you do and don't have on."

"I suppose not," she said after a moment's pause. "Can I help with anything," she asked as she watched him with interest and appreciation as he dressed. His back was to her, and it was a view she hadn't been privy to before. She watched, riveted, as his muscles flexed as he stepped into his shorts and then his trousers. He bent over to retrieve his undershirt and finally his dress shirt. She turned away quickly when he turned to face her, but she knew he had caught her staring at him.

"Well, the look in your eyes tells me you'd like to help me back out of my clothes. If you've lost your appetite for the meal I prepared then I will gladly let you do what's on your mind."

She didn't bother feigning embarrassment or innocence at his accusation. "You're staying the night then?"

"I'll stay as long as you'll have me here with you."

"You'll need to buy more food."

"Somehow I'm not so sure we'll do much eating at this rate, Clarice."

She smiled coquettishly and left the kitchen in the direction of the bedroom. She had little doubt as to which he would choose, their meal or what was to be for tonight at least their bed.