Thank you SO MUCH for the WONDERFUL REVIEWS! I've continued this because well, it seems like you want me to.

Lucifer Lazaro - Thank you for my very first Hannibal review! I liked it as a oneshot but I always like it like this.

Blood-Sucker-1428 – Thank you 3 I really thought Clarice wasn't in character but thank you for reassuring me.

MonMaskedAngeThank you and I updated for you well all of you

PrincessArtemistheprotector Thank you for the decent critique. Hm, now that you say it. I don't like that part of the story at all. Thank you for your wonderful comments. It was harder to keep him in character this time.

Erik's Sweet Intoxication Oh wow. I really….wow. Thank you so much. Most enjoyable Hannibal fic? Lmao, I lol'ed at that. But thank you so much. I'm really flattered and honored that you think so.

Well, here's the fic. Basically, Hannibal just wants to hear 'I love you' from Clarice. Kinda fluffy.

The Man Behind the Monster

Dracula and his Bride

It's been six months, Hannibal remembered. Six months since he saved her life for the second time. It was two years and seven months since that night in Chesapeake Bay, the night, uncharacteristically Hannibal regretted. That was always the gap between the two of them, Clarice and him. He was very open about his feelings, however she was not. Hannibal Lecter knew that she was apprehensive, she was nervous to admit her love. And he was certain it was there or Clarice would have left already. He sighed, and let his maroon eyes move over her sleeping form. He noted the way she took even, short breathes as her chest bobbed up and down. He noted how her cerulean eyes moved unconsciously underneath her closed lids, a signal that she was dreaming. Hannibal wanted to reach out and stroke her face and perhaps her brunette hair with auburn highlights. But he didn't. He kept his arms at his side, drumming his fingers on top of a reddish colored book cover. Looking down, he read the title out loud. And he, himself, wondered why he bought such a book. And then he wondered why it was written in the first place.

Dracula and his Bride

The truth about infamous serial killer Doctor Hannibal 'the Cannibal' Lecter and the woman who gave up everything for him.

Hannibal Lecter growled, Clarice had left the force that day after Chesapeake Bay and a week later, she moved to Rome, looking for him. Strangely enough, 2 years after moving there, she caught the cannibal in the flesh. Actually, he caught her. It was ironic how he again saved her life after that bastard agent shot her. Hannibal grinned, he had paid though. He had certainly paid. He could almost feel the warmth of that agent's blood lingering on his fingers and feel the agent's breathes shortening on Hannibal's neck. That night was a victory, a success for the doctor. Never, never was someone to treat Clarice with such disrespect. Ever. His eyes move back over the crimson book and ran his fingers over the title, his jaw clenching with anger. He felt enraged at such an obscene outlook on their life together. He had seen the filthy literature in Tuscany's local English bookshop, a place he frequented often. Despite his high intelligence and talent for languages, he never quite picked up how to read and write Italian. He remembered his cold maroon eyes staring up at him from the bookshelf. It intrigued him how different he seemed in the picture and in the flesh. Many had admitted feeling that exact thing before. One of them being Clarice Starling. He moved his eyes to the left. And then it was her, soft cerulean eyes almost glittering from the picture and gazing up at him. They both look unrecognizably different in public, thanks to wigs and makeup and disguises. The book would not be much of a problem for them in Tuscany or at least Dr. Lecter had hoped not. He remembered gliding his fingertips upon her face printed on the cover and realized sadly, that he loved her more then thought. He snapped back to the present and sighed deeply, he had purchased the literature hours ago, during the afternoon before the opera and never had much courage to look beneath the cover.

In truth, Clarice had given up little for him. She gave up- what, a job at the bureau where most of the agents had hated her for her so called 'betrayal.' She did nothing of the sort and that enraged Hannibal. They hated her for getting a little too close to the serial killer they despised, the monster, the outcast. Clarice gave up a single thing for him and that was Agent Mapp. Hannibal knew Clarice missed that Agent back in Baltimore, but she had chosen a life. A life with him and she couldn't turn back now. It only made Hannibal wonder even more, why ex Special Agent Clarice Starling lay in their bed, left Baltimore to live with him in Tuscany but still hasn't admitted her true feelings. Hannibal felt himself doubting her.

Perhaps she was just fascinated with him, Hannibal had considered that.

Or she hated the bureau so much in fact, she scuttled off to the man they hated the most. And had betrayed them.

All of these were perfectly good explanations but this did not please the doctor. He moved his head and gazed at the moonlight that leaked through the large windows that he could watch Tuscany through. He had not drawn the curtains closed tonight for he had a hunch; he was going to be gazing out them that night, unable to sleep. She stirred in her sleep and he lifted his maroon eyes quickly to see what was wrong. A nightmare, he realized quickly and went to his feet to move closer to the bed and the stirring ex-agent. He leaned up against the bed, above her now, gazing and watching while stroking her cheek softly. Soothing her, caressing her back to sleep. He hated to see her in pain and he knew what she was dreaming about. Those lambs. My Clarice. Beautiful, sweet Clarice. Why do the lambs trouble you, my sweet? Do I still trouble you? Do you know I could never hurt you, my darling? I hope so. Hannibal thinks this as he caresses her cheek, he hasn't stopped and her eyelids start to flutter open. Was he her lamb? He couldn't help but wonder. The nightmares had come back; they were gone when Clarice had first started living in Tuscany. But they were they back? Did he frighten her?

She utters a single word. "Anniba..." Her voice seems to soften him, caress him.

Hannibal Lecter felt if he had been slapped, her voice, muttering that word drew him back to the past. Anniba. Muttered and under her breath, she had lost the 'h' and 'l' as Mischa had when she was first introduced to speaking. Her voice screaming his name and he couldn't help but picture her perfect face and look down at Clarice, putting Mischa's face on her body. The feeling of heartstrings being pulled and snapped it's a horrible thing to feel; to feel as if your very core was splitting in half was equally as if painful. Dr. Hannibal Lecter felt both of these things and he felt tears forming in his eyes. Quickly, he wiped them away and pushed the thought of Mischa away. He regained his composure as quickly as it left him.

His hand retreats from her cheek and she rolls over and he returns back to his arm chair. He felt guilty that he awoke the beauty from her slumber.

Tuscany has treated them well. No one had questioned them and he still wondered if the FBI still looked for her. He doubted their search for Hannibal 'the Cannibal' Lecter would ever end. Perhaps even past death. They believed he was nothing more then a vampire, much less then a man. And on equal terms of a monster. He seemed immortal in their eyes, and Hannibal knew that. Hannibal wasn't afraid of much, but he was afraid of losing her. It was an odd feeling but it was there. Anniba. Like he lost her.

He moved to his feet, and walks toward the windows that were in fact doors leading out to the Tuscan veranda. He opened them slowly and a gust of wind causes the curtains to go wild, flailing and moving with the wind. Hannibal leans against the rail, and allows his eyes to drink in the beauty that was Tuscany. He always liked Italy, as did Clarice. It was so classy and refined and still contained that subtle hometown charm. From a far away corner, Hannibal could hear the faint hum of instruments playing for change; the music reverberated through the moonlit streets.

He heard a voice from behind him and whirls around to face her melodic voice. She wears only her silk nightgown that he had purchased for her. He, however, is still in his suit that he had worn to the Opera that had visited earlier that evening. Her face is flushed pale and her eyes seem distant and glazed over. She doesn't seem angry but perhaps, a subtle sadness. It was unlike Clarice.

"Trouble sleeping?" Clarice frowns and Hannibal notices a neat, reddish book in her hand and the two faces that were so familiar to him plastered on. On the top, in a bold font was printed the title he read out loud moments before.

"Why do you have this, Hannibal?" She speaks in a mere whisper. She's frightened. Of being found out, being called his 'bride' or of him, Hannibal is not sure. He doesn't know which answer he prefers either.

"Curiosity, I suppose. It killed the cat, you know. Wouldn't you like to know, Clarice, what they think of us? Aren't you curious?" He answers her quickly.

"No. I don't give a fuck about those lowlifes." She says this quickly and rather fiercely. Hannibal was actually surprised at the fierceness and perhaps anger in her usual placid tone. "Have you read it?" She says this much more softly and moves closer to him. She shivers slightly and he removes his suit coat and drapes it upon her shoulders. She can't help but smile.

"No, would you, Clarice?"

"I don't know, Hannibal. Wait, what am I saying; no, I definitely would not. I told you, I don't give a damn about them. Those bastards probably think I'm dead anyway and I doubt if they are still looking for me. They probably hope I'm dead anyway."

"That's only because they don't realize how wonderful you are, Clarice." She can't help blushing as he brings her fingertips to his lips. He softly moves his lips of them, one at a time in small kisses and caresses. Clarice felt her stomach tighten. She lifted her cerulean eyes at him and he seemed, troubled and tense. The maroon in his eyes gave it away, she pulled her hand away from his lips and he inhaled sharply.

"What's wrong, Hannibal?" Ah, the Doctor is caught off guard. He raises an eyebrow inquisitively, articulately but that doesn't hide it. He's a bit disappointed in himself that he hadn't veiled his emotions correctly. Clarice Starling saw right through him. That wasn't usual or common for the doctor.

Hannibal hated to lie and he wasn't going to at this moment. He was merely searching for the right words to use. Hannibal Lecter didn't speak before thinking and that caused a silence between them. She placed the book on the table on the veranda and extends her arm to caress the Doctor's face as he did to her moments before as she slept. He lifted his maroon eyes at her and caught her brilliant blue ones. She couldn't help but gasp. The effect was magnificent. She never saw the maroon of his eyes so full of emotion.

"Hannibal?" He had not answered yet and panic was fluttering up in her chest. Clarice, my sweet, I don't even know how to tell you.

"Do you love me, Clarice? Perhaps a bit blunt, my love, but no lies. I do not want you to lie, Clarice. I've always been truthfully to you and I would like similar treatment." Clarice for a moment was speechless and moved her eyes over the moonlit washed Tuscany.

"Why are you asking me this, Hannibal? And I would never lie to you. I want you to know that." She moves her eyes back at the 'so called monster'. He was nothing of the sort and Clarice desperately wanted the rest of the world to know this. He was no vampire or Dracula and he was nothing compared to a monster. She could think of monsters, but Hannibal Lecter did not come up as one. Paul Krendler was closer to a monster then Hannibal would ever be.

"Answer the question, Clarice." He growled but she feels no fear.

"Is this what has been bothering you, Hannibal? That I might not be in love with you? That you are just a mere fascination or perhaps a school girl infatuation? You think I just like you, Hannibal? I thought you were the guy that knew how everybody felt." She paused and looked at him, staring straight into his reddened irises. "I guess I was wrong."

"Why won't you answer me, Clarice? Perhaps it is a mere fascination. I know what I feel for you is not. Answer the question, Clarice." His tone has become menacing and for the first time, she feels fear. It's an awkward feeling, especially with Hannibal. It wasn't the fear of her eventual death that many had felt before their untimely deaths but the fear of losing the only thing that made her life worth living. Quite cheesy and cliché but it was true.

"Yes…yes. I believe I do, Hannibal. And I'm actually a bit disgusted that you believe what I have for you is merely fascination. I have absolutely no fascination whatsoever for Hannibal 'the Cannibal' Lecter." She says this sharply and surprise and hurt washes over the cannibal's face.

"Clarice, have the lambs stopped screaming yet? I'm not so sure, Clarice. Despite what you think, I'm not all knowing. I hear you, at night. Stirring in your sleep. Is it because of those dreaded lambs? But then, I stroke you face, run my lips over your skin. And you stop. Why, Clarice?" She realized it. What he wanted, he quickly pins her against the rail and she feels his hot, steady breathing on her face.

"Because I love you, Hannibal. You asked me once-" He interrupts her, Hannibal knows what the next line is. It's like a cleverly written script written by himself. He knows her so well. He's content with her answer, by the way. Actually, he is ecstatic. Before that sweet kiss that is coming, he must deliver the script.

"Tell me, Clarice. Would you ever say to me stop? If you loved me, you'd stop. I suppose that is the line you are looking for." She nods and he can't help but smile. "What would your answer be this time, darling? I surely hope it isn't what it previously was."

"At first, I wouldn't play into that game, Hannibal. Mind tricks, I know you. But then…then….I would think about it. I even think I would answer. If it were now, that is. If you asked that question at this precise moment. And….I think my answer would be, if you loved me you would stop. And what would you do, Hannibal?"

"I believe I would stop. I'd do anything for you, Clarice."

He presses his body up against her delicate one, his lips, they touch hers softly then he moves in more. They were exploring each other the best way another being can explore another. The tongue shooting out like a pistol, moving within her mouth. She can't help but moan into his mouth, the sound muffled. It was a kiss that was only in the movies, in stories. It was everything Clarice and Hannibal thought it would be. It was rather magnificent and amazing. It was passionate and romantic. It was like the very first time.

"Okey dokey then," He muses as they pull apart. "How was that, my bride?"

"Wonderful, my dear Dracula." And he laughs, for the first time really laughs.

Considerably shorter then my last chapter and written in a different style. Basically, this is going to be a series of oneshots mostly about their life in Tuscany. However, I may change the scene if Agent Mapp gets closer. If I do change the scene, I'd like to see some requests on where they should go.

I hope you guys enjoyed, 'The Man Behind the Monster' so far. I've certainly enjoyed writing it. Oddly enough, I think Clarice is harder to write then Hannibal.

Well, I'll be taking requests to where they should move if Mapp gets closers. It won't pull into a story but I think you know the gist of it.

I wrote this actually a while ago but I never uploaded it. I did a little editing and I like it this way around. God, how corny was that kiss, lmao. Well tell me what you think!