AN: Holy Crap its been a long time, but I finally got this chapter done. I had to reread things to remember where I was

going with this story, but I found my "writing groove" again. I hope you like it and I hope it was worth the terrible wait...

Chapter Nineteen: Confusion

Thursday May10th '07, 9:30 a.m.

~^~Earlier~^~ When got up at six this morning he checked on Gabrielle and was happy to see she was sleeping soundly. Then he went down stairs and out to the barn to deal with last nights issue. After saving a few things (brain, tongue, and a thigh) that he had made plans for while he ate last night. He figured that given how comfortable Gabrielle had become with him, and the fact that he hadn't gone out and just killed the first rude person he found on the street, that she wouldn't object to him having some of his favorites. After properly storing what he wanted to keep in the freezer he went back outside and past the barn, grabbing a shovel that was resting up against it as he passed. He walked through the forest for about fifteen minutes before he came to a small clearing.

He started digging in the center. dug a circle that was five foot in diameter and three feet deep. He stuck the shovel in the ground and walked back to the body. He grabbed a tarp from the barn and layed it next to the body. He then took an axe and cut off the mans arms and remaining leg. He put the axe in a bucket of water with cleaning solution then put the pieces of the body on the tarp starting with the torso. He dragged the full tarp to the whole he had dug and tossed the whole thing in. He soaked it in lighter fluid then grabbed brush and wood from the surrounding area and covered it completely. He then lit several matches and scattered them, pushing them as close to the body as possible, around the pile and watched as it lit in an instant. He fed the fire making sure it stayed as hot as he could get it. He would let it burn down a little and check the tarp every so often, and when he saw the body could no longer be recognized as human and that the tarp was now melting to the remains, he built the fire up one last time. This time he let it burn all the way down and started to cover it as it smoldered.

Once he was satisfied he covered it with some brush and went back to the barn. He cleaned the axe and cleaned up the blood on the barn floor. He then saddled his stallion and went looking for Nodileame. He knew she could not have gone far, but Gabrielle would get worried if she saw her missing. Like he thought, she hadn't gone far. She was grazing in the area Gabrielle had brought her to yesterday and when she saw Dr. Lecter she came right to him. He got both of them back to the barn, washed down, fed, and settled in their stalls.


Dr. Lecter mulled around his memory palace, adding things here and there. In the outside world he was sitting on the balcony with a glass of half orange juice and half cranberry juice just staring out at the country side. Back on the inside he was less calm. He remembered the lucky fact that the stable-hand only had his sister. The rest of his family was laying at peace in a cemetery or too old to remember him. The man had a fight with his sister while Gabrielle had taken the mare out for a run, so Dr. Lecter wasn't quite sure when she would be back. He was in the middle of contemplating how the detective found his other home when he heard Gabrielle's toilet flush and the shower turn on.

~*~Good to see her up and about~*~ He thought to himself and went back to his thoughts

"What do you mean he got away?" The Chief yelled at Detective Tompson.

"They were gone by the time my men got to the barn." The detective sighed, "When we went to his house they weren't there either."

"So let me get this straight." The Chief said as he pinched the bridge of his nose, "He got away from you not once but twice and he now has a teenage girl with him that he could use as a hostage if he wanted to? *the detective nodded weakly* Goddamnit you fool! How could you let this happen?"

"We were expecting it to be easy sir, at least it should have been." Detective Tompson said as he straightened up, "It's possible that she knows who he really is."

"Oh really? I don't see him just going up to her and saying 'Hi my name is Doctor Hannibal Lecter and I like to eat the rude' to a seventeen year old girl!"

"Sir think about it." Tompson nearly pleaded, "If she didn't know then why would he run? That would raise suspicion and she would start asking questions. I asked my men if there was anyway he could have had forewarning at the barn and Charlie said that it very well could have been the girl."

"And how would that be possible?"

"We were settled only behind the field that is behind the barn. We hadn't yet worked our way around full circle yet. The girl was the only one to ride a horse and the only one in the field for that matter. Dr. Lecter never set a foot out the back of the girl also stopped and looked right at me and my team and Charlie said he saw her pull out her phone on her way back to the barn."

"But two questions still remain. First, how did she find out who he was? Second, if she knows who he is then why is she still with him? One would think she would run at the first possible chance. You said she had done a report on him right, then one would think she would be aware how dangerous he is."

"There are two possible answers to your question." a female voice said behind them.

The Chief turned around and asked, "Who the hell are you and what do you want?"

"I'm Special Agent Ardelia Mapp of the American FBI. Detective Tompson here called us when he recognized Dr. Lecter. I'm here as back up." Ardelia Mapp said as she held out her hand to the chief.

"No offense miss, but we don't need your help." The chief said without shaking her hand.

"With all due respect sir, we do." Tompson piped in, "Do you remember Special Agent Starling? The only one who had the ability and the possibility of catching the Doctor sir?"

"Of course I do. We worked with her several times, nice girl. It was all over the news when she was shot."

"Okay then. This is her best friend sir. I specifically asked for Agent Mapp because she was Agent Starlings best friend. She knows Dr. Lecter nearly as well as Clarice did through what Clarice told her. Which makes her the most qualified to handle this."

"I see where you're going with this." Chief said and turned to Agent Mapp and said, "You were about to answer our questions..."

"For the first question 'How did she find out?' there are two possibilities." Agent Map started, "The first is that she had watched your news the other day and was able to put two and two together. The second would be that when Detective Tompson talked to her she started thinking and figured it out."

"So you don't think that he actually told her?" Chief asked.

"There's not a chance in hell that would happen. Not even if his life depended on it. He's crazy but he's far from stupid." Tompson piped in.

"He's right." Mapp said, "To answer your second question Chief, the most reasonable would be that she is drugged."

"And the least reasonable, yet still possible answer?" The chief asked with a raised eyebrow.

"That would be that she has decided to stay with him freely." Mapp said as she shook her head, "I hope that she is in fact drugged, because if not it will be rather hard if not impossible to separate them."

"There's got to be a reason." Tompson muttered to himself.

"What did you say detective?" Chief asked.

"I said that there has got to be a reason that he's keeping her around if she does in fact know who he actually is."

"Yeah as a hostage."

"No it has to be deeper than that." Mapp piped in, "Tompson you said that she looked healthy and untouched by drugs right?"

"Yes, there were no signs of any type of drug use, and she was really enjoying the ride." Tompson answered."

"Then the reason has absolutely got to be deeper." Mapp said as she started to pace, "It could be something as simple to us as him taking on the role as her psychiatrist to something like the interest he had in Clarice."

"Lets hope its not the latter of the two." Chief said, "If it were that he could either let her go or allow her to stay with him. If that's the case, we'd have to kill him to get her back."

"He wont keep her." Mapp said, "The man values life and learning above everything else. She's only seventeen and she has yet to finish school. The girl is gonna have dreams and she's probly shared them with Doctor Lecter. If I know him half as well as Clarice did, I'd say that we can expect him to bring her back before her class leaves France. With this in mind, it would follow the theory to say that if we forced him to run he would leave her behind...after making sure she was safe of course."

"Ok, so knowing all this, what do we need to know about the good Doctor himself? 'Cause you know he's gonna put up a fight." Tompson asked.

Mapp pulled a large file and a notebook out of her brief case and the Chief called everyone to gather around the center table.

))))) 2 Hours Later (((((

Tompson sighed and ran his hand through his hair. He was overwhelmed by all the information he had just been given. He lit a cigarette as Agent Mapp came out into the courtyard.

"More to know than you thought there would be huh?" Mapp asked as she walked to the side of the detective that was upwind of the smoke.

"How can one man be so complicated?" Tompson asked.

"A man who has much devastation and horror in his past. A very dangerous man." Mapp answered with a sigh, "And I'm not even half way done yet."

"God help us!" Tomson said as he put out the but of his cigarette, "Alright, lets get this done Agent Mapp.

Mapp nodded as they went back into the building.

Gabrielle shook her head as she came out of her bathroom. A little water came off her head and the difference in temperature chilled her a bit. She didn't put a lot of effort into her outfit today. Black dress pants; a deep purple, semi-low cut, fitted t-shirt with a black, long sleeve sweater that went down to the back of her knees and hung open loosely. She used her towel to remove most of the water from her hair then pulled it back into a ponytail. She put on some light make-up and some jewelry. She grabbed a pair of knee-high boots and left her room. Gabrielle didn't go downstairs right away. She decided to go to the window that overlooked the barn. She wanted to see if Doctor Lecter had cleaned up their mess from the night before. She sighed in relief when she saw that the body and the blood stains were gone.

~Thank goodness~ She thought to herself ~I don't think I'd be able to handle that clean-up~

Gabrielle left the window and went downstairs with the intention of going to the kitchen.

"Good morning Gabrielle." Dr. Lecter said coming up behind her having just come from the barn.

Gabrielle jumped a little and turned around to face him, "Good morning Doctor."

"I trust that you slept well."

"Actually, yes I did, surprisingly."

"Surprisingly Gabrielle?"

"Well with what happened last night I wasn't expecting to sleep well at all."

"I see, well the mind can be a curios thing. Give me a minute to change and then we'll get breakfast going."

"Okay Doctor." Gabrielle nodded.

After Doctor Lecter went upstairs Gabrielle went to the kitchen to lool through the fridge. She was making a mental list of things to make and she didn't hear Doctor Lecter come into the kitchen. He stood there and watched her walking around the kitchen looking through cabinets and the fridge. She stopped when she opened the freezer and Doctor Lecter couldn't help but chuckle cause he knew what had caught her attention. The sound of his chuckle made Gabrielle and give him a slightly frightened look.

"Don't worry Gabrielle, I wouldn't serve any of him to you without your knowledge."

"Him?" Gabrielle finally spoke, "You mean to tell me that this is that stupid fuck that tried to kill me last night?"

Dr. Lecter crossed the room so fast that he was apon her within the blink of an eye.

"Gabrielle that was rather rude of you, and having done research and been in my presence for the past several months you should know that I detest rude people."

Gabrielle swallowed hard. Dr. Lecter's eyes and expression were darker than she ever wished to see. The monster inside him was again showing itself, this time it was aimed at her.

"Make no mistake Gabrielle, I am a monster on the inside." Dr. Lecter continued and motioned to the freezer, "I am who I am and I have no reason to change. You can accept that or you can leave. I saved those for myself and I am not, nor was I ever, expecting you to want any of it anytime soon. So let your little heart rest easy and lets get on with breakfast."

Gabrielle didn't move and she couldn't get herself to say anything either. All she could manage to do was stare into his dark maroon eyes. Normally she burst into tears when she was being yelled at, but even though Dr. Lecter was reprimanding her she had no urge to breakdown. Instead she had the urge to fight him, so she did. She got her body to move and she turned grabbed what she needed to make crepes and caramelized fruit filling out of the fridge. She put the ingredients on the counter and went to pull out the pans she needed. As she did this the doctor grabbed her wrist.

"You are testing my patience Gabrielle.' Dr. Lecter said in an even darker tone than before, "This isn't the best idea. My patience with you stretches a little further than it does with most people, but not much farther. With our recent dangers, fighting between the two of us would put us at an even greater risk. Especially since I plan to deliver you back to your group safe and sound in time for you to be able to go back home. This means that if the police get any closer I will have no choice but to bring you back right away so that I can run without putting your life in danger."

Gabrielle's expression changed when she realized that it would be time to go back to the U.S. in a month or so. Even though she was a little sad she would have to leave soon, she couldn't get her combative feeling to go away and that made her even more upset. She turned back to her crepes and poured a few in the pan. Dr. Lecter put his hand on her shoulder and turned her around once again. There was a single tear rolling down her cheek and her eyes glazed back over to anger when she made eye contact with him.

"Gabrielle I am not your enemy." Dr. Lecter said, the monster gone from his eyes.

Gabrielle sighed, "No your not." She turned to flip the crepes and then looked back at the doctor, "He's in your freezer! I understand who you are and your...special... tastes in food, but did you ever think of how it would effect me if I found that the day after the attack? You could have put a note on the freezer door or even told me to stay out of the freezer before you went to get changed. I appreciate you cleaning things up this morning cause I know I probably would not have been able to handle it, but seeing that threw me into a flashback."

Gabrielle sighed and turned back to the crepes. She put them in a dish then put that dish in the oven to keep them warm. She poured a few more in the pan and sighed again. She turned back to the doctor and uncomfortably looked him in the eyes. That thing she couldn't identify was showing again. She turned to flip the crepes and two more tears ran down her cheek. They didn't say anything for the next fifteen minutes as breakfast was being made. Dr. Lecter set the table and poured the orange juice while Gabrielle finished the crepes and made the caramelized strawberry filling. They ate in silence and with their house rules, Dr. Lecter cleaned up because Gabrielle had cooked. When the doctor finished and shut the water off he heard what he had been expecting since last night. He filled a glass bowl with water and ice, grabbed the face-cloth from the freezer, put it in the bowl, and grabbed the box of tissues from the bathroom.

He walked into the living room to find Gabrielle curled up in a ball on the couch balling her eyes out. He put the bowl and tissues on the table and knelt down next to her. He had a flash back of a certain Special Agent as he brushed Gabrielle's hair from her face. Gabrielle buried her face in the pillow she was resting on and Dr. Lecter got the feeling she was ashamed of crying in front of him as she often felt when she cried over something she felt was trivial or too small to be crying over. He was right, Gabrielle was pissed with herself for not being able to handle something that she knew was nothing to him. He had killed before so he was used to it and she felt honored that he had killed for her. Fighting the stable hand wasn't the part she was having trouble with 'cause she knew her fighting skills were honed enough for her to be able to defend herself. It was the fact that she was willing to kill the man.

She had stepped on his broken ribs and punctured his lungs. The sound of his breathing becoming nothing but gurgles filled her ears. She heard Dr. Lecter saying her name faintly and she could feel him petting her head, but she didn't have the will to respond. As Gabrielle's sobs started to make her body shake, Dr. Lecter watched as she completely broke down and he felt a pain that he hadn't felt since Clarice. Then he did something that was completely out of character. He picked Gabrielle up bridal style, sat on the couch, and put her in his lap. She immediately curled into him and he pet her head trying to calm her. She cried for the next fifteen minutes then forced herself to calm down when she started to hiccup. Gabrielle's face turned red with embarrassment when she realized where she was and she struggled to get up.

"I'm so sorry Doctor, ohmygoodness." She said as she tried to get up again.

"Never say you're sorry for being scared of the feeling of wanting and actually killing someone." Dr. Lecter said as he kept her in his lap, "You were in an aggressive state. The wanting and liking of killing the man who was trying to kill you is completely normal. You have nothing to fear or be ashamed of. You feeling guilty for killing him is what makes you human and I the monster."

Gabrielle stopped struggling, "You feel no guilt?"

"For killing the man?" Dr. Lecter shook his head, "No, but for not seeing him for what he was or what he would try to do to you? Yes, very much so."

"How can you feel guilty about that? He showed no sign, no indication of his anger, or whatever it was. I know its your talent to read people, but you can't peg them all."

~You got that right...~ Dr. Lecter thought to himself.

"For my own safety and the safety of another in my care, I have to be able to see and "peg", as you say, anyone that could potentially harm either one of us."

Gabrielle looked the Doctor in the eye and saw that thing again, it made her heart jump, which made her want to know what it was even more. She was suddenly aware that his arms were resting comfortably around her waist, and she felt her face get hot. She turned down her face so he wouldn't see, though he probably already had, but she couldn't get her heart to slow down.

~You're seventeen goddamnit!~Gabrielle thought to herself ~There is no way he has any romantic feelings for you! Besides he's old enough to be your grandpa, though he looks young enough to be your dad, how the hell is he able to do that? NO! That's NOT the point! Get your head on straight girl your going nuts!~

"I'm a mess." Gabrielle finally said and she tried to get up, thankful that Dr. Lecter let her this time, "I'm gonna go upstairs and fix myself."

Gabrielle didn't give the Doctor time to respond. She grabbed and wrung out the face-cloth from the bowl and wiped her face as she went upstairs. The cloth wasn't to help with her eyes, it was an attempt to cool her face off as fast as possible. She ran into her room and sat down at her vanity, then looked herself in the eye and slapped herself across the face to try to get the image out of her head.

"What the hell is wrong with you girl?" Gabrielle yelled at herself as she got up and started pacing the room.

It took about twenty minutes but she was finally able to calm herself down and get the image out of her head. She sat back down and fixed her make-up and hair. She had an idea on how to fix her problem, but convincing him wasn't going to be easy. She might have to let him come along, but she'd be damned if he tried to keep her away from it right now. Set in determination she left her room to go back downstairs, hoping to not have to face the beast again...

Dr. Lecter was quite amused by Gabrielle's reaction when she realized she was in his lap. He purposely held her there to see if she would fight him. When she didn't, and he saw her to be quite comfortable he became curious. When she became embarrassed again, he had to fight to keep himself from laughing out loud. The only thing that concerned him was this feeling he kept getting and the fact that it was getting harder to suppress. He passed around the living room while he added some things to his memory palace and tried to figure out the strange feeling. Dr. Lecter felt like he was being watched and looked up to find Gabrielle watching him from the bottom of the stairs, she looked rather nervous.

"Are you ok?" Dr. Lecter asked.

Gabrielle nodded, "But I have a favor to ask."

Dr. Lecter stiffened a little, "Okay, I'll see what I can do."

"I want to go to Rose Red tonight." Gabrielle blurted it out without hesitation.

"Absolutely not!"

"I am not a child Doctor, I can handle myself." Gabrielle said calmly finding her dominant demeanor, "Besides I didn't ask to go alone did I? I remember promising not to go without you, not promising to never go there again."

Gabrielle suddenly had a mischievous thought and before she could talk herself out of it she walked up to the Doctor. She stood inches away from him and looked into his eyes. She saw a darkness there but it wasn't the beast. It was playful like the time she got him to play hide-n-seek tag on their picnic.

"I'm honoring my promise Doctor." She said as she stuck her hand in his pocket.

Dr. Lecter didn't move for fear of hurting her too much. She pulled out her hand and held up his harpy, there was a dark amusement in her eyes.

"Now it's time for you to honor yours." She finished with a smile.

Dr. Lecter swiped the harpy from her hand and lashed out at her with it. She ducked just in time and pulled her own out of her pocket. She spun around and ran outside, there was no need to ruin such a nice home unnecessarily. She vaulted over the railing to put some distance between her and the doctor, but he was faster than she had anticipated. When she turned around she barely had time to duck the punch he had thrown at her. She threw one back but he blocked it easily, grabbed her wrist and held his harpy to her throat.

"You need to learn to anticipate Gabrielle." Dr. Lecter said in somewhat of a dark tone.

Gabrielle nodded and pulled away. He gave her no time to get her bearings and lashed out again. Gabrielle dodged and ducked out of the way for the next couple of minutes as she tried to focus. A couple of his punches connected and knocked her back, but it seemed to be what she needed cause she finally realized that he was only holding back when he swiped at her with his bade. She rolled and got back to her feet quickly and lunged at him. He blocked and took another swing at her, but she expected it and dodged. She swung at him and her backhand actually connected with his face. Without thinking she kicked his legs out from under him, straddled his chest and held her blade at his throat.

"Nicely done Gabrielle but you forgot something very important."

"Oh? and what would that be?"

"I still have the use of my legs."

Before she had time to think, Gabrielle felt him put his leg around her neck and bend her backwards. Her neck was in the crook of his knee and instead of fighting it she rolled back with it, putting her hands on the ground on either side of him and pushing off with her feet. His momentum helped her flip herself upright and get out of his hold. He stood up as she ran around him and tackled him from behind. she lingered only long enough to put a small slice at the base of his neck and then let go, rolling away as he turned around.

"I'm not completely ignorant Doctor." Gabrielle said with a little venom.

"Oh really? I think I'll be the judge of that."

He lunged at her again and the continued their sparring. Dr. Lecter had the upper hand for a good fifteen minutes but after a while Gabrielle gained strength in her determination and the good Doctor found himself at the end of her blade more than he cared to. Finally he caught her wrist and once again had his blade to her throat. Gabrielle chuckled darkly and just before he asked what she was laughing at, Dr. Lecter felt blood running down the side of his neck.

"Am I still completely ignorant Doctor?" Gabrielle asked with a smile as she lowered her blade.

"Not completely, no." He answered as he released her, "But you still have a lot to learn."

Gabrielle let the hot water flow over her body as she inspected her wounds. There were small cuts and scrapes on her stomach and arms, and she was pretty sure there were a couple on her back too. She was a little disappointed though, her two favorite pieces of clothing had gotten torn up. Dr. Lecter said he would replace them, and selfishly she hoped it would be soon. She turned the heat on the shower and grimaced as it got hot enough to boil, but it was necessary. She was going to have bruises all over (including a couple on her face) and she always found that if she stayed in hot water for a while then switched it to freezing cold that most of them were taken care of before they even had time to appear. She stood under the hot water for fifteen minutes then under freezing cold water for fifteen.

Dr. Lecter showered and was quite surprised to see how many cuts he had on him. It was nowhere near how many Gabrielle had but it was still more than he had been expected, he was getting rusty. He was so used to taking out his victims that he had completely overlooked training. Gabrielle had Martial arts training and now kickboxing under her belt. He was going to have to step up his game if he was going to continue to teach her. He got dressed in his black dress pants, navy blue silk button up shirt, black suit coat, black shoes, and grabbed his black fedora with the blue silk around it and went downstairs. He hadn't looked at a clock since he got up this morning and was surprised when the living room clock rang six o'clock, sparring and Gabrielle's breakdown had taken up most of the day. Dr. Lecter tossed his hat onto the coat rack and went into the kitchen to start dinner.

Half an hour later Gabrielle came down in a simple tank-top, black, cotton dress and barefoot. She had straightened her hair and threw it up into a ponytail. She walked into the kitchen to find Dr. Lecter straining pasta in the sink. She noticed that he seemed to already be dressed for the club and felt a little guilty that she would have to make him wait after dinner, but she wasn't going to risk ruining an outfit before she got to wear it out.

"Smells good." Gabrielle said as she set the table and pulled down two plates.

"Just a simple spaghetti and sauce with some buttered bread." Dr. Lecter answered as he dished out dinner.

Dr. Lecter gave her a look over and chuckled when he saw that she was barefoot. Gabrielle's attempt to avoid shoes as much as possible amazed even him. She had even been able to take off her boots when they were sparring. They ate in a comfortable silence for a while, enjoying the much needed nourishment.

"I take it that you're going to get dressed after dinner Gabrielle?" The Doctor asked when she got up to get seconds.

"Yup, it won't take long, I already have my clothes laid out. Twenty minutes at the most."

"Okay, there's no rush."

They talked a little while Gabrielle finished eating. When Gabrielle went upstairs, Dr. Lecter walked around and made sure that he had everything that he needed and that the house was properly locked up. Gabrielle walked into her room and shut the door. She took off her dress as she walked towards her bed and started to get dressed in the outfit she picked out. Skin colored nylons, semi-tight black dress pants, a black halter corset that laced up in the front, and her black knee high boots zipped up over her pants. She kept on her pentagram and added a velvet black choker that had a jeweled gothic cross hanging from a ring in the center, rose dangle earrings, and her usual rings. Her make-up was dark but subtle, she sprayed herself with a soft yet musky perfume, and she redid he ponytail and put it into loose curls. She put on her fitted leather trench coat, buttoned the middle three buttons and left her room. Her steps were measured and controlled. She felt somehow filled with power and determination, she was ready for anything.

Dr. Lecter was sitting on the edge of the couch waiting for her when Gabrielle finaly got downstairs. He took a deep breath when he saw her and his nose was filled with the sent of her perfume. He hoped she had sprayed some on her neck so that if anyone tried to bite her they would quickly release her 'cause of the taste. Dr. Lecter caught himself staring and quickly stood to greet her.

"I'm ready now" Gabrielle said as she crossed the room.

"You look very nice." Dr. Lecter commented pathetically.

Gabrielle chuckled, "You haven't seen what is under my coat yet."

Dr. Lecter chuckled as well, "Are you armed?"

Gabrielle patted her hip, "Little miss harpy is safely in an inside pocket of my pants here at my hip, and I have my switch blade in an inside pocket at the top of my boot."

"Good." Dr. lecter said as he nodded to the door, "Shall we?"

"Yes please."

Two hours and a little bit of traffic later Dr. Lecter pulled up to the club and a valet opened Gabrielle's door.

"You go in now, im going to park the car so we are not perceived to be together, after all I am here to watch over you not escort you."

Gabrielle nodded and smiled, "Oky doky Doctor."

Gabrielle Got out of the car and walked up to the door with her hands in her pockets. She remembered the bouncer and gave him a smile.

"Name?" He asked.

"Gabrielle." She answered politely and she caught Dr. Lecter's car go down a side street out of the corner of her eye.

"Welcome back m'lady, go right on in." The bouncer said with a noticeable amount of new respect.

"Don't I have to pay?" She asked confused.

"You're at the top of Victor's list miss, you get in free of charge."

"Ummm, ok." Gabrielle said and she took out her twenty, "Here then, you keep this. It's a tip for being so nice to a lady."

The man bowed and graciously accepted the tip, "Thank you m'lady."

Gabrielle nodded and went inside. She made her way to the bar to see if Tanya was working tonight and she smiled when she saw her newest friend serve'n up drinks like a pro. Tanya looked up to see Gabrielle smiling at her and leapt over the bar without hesitation.

"Gabrielle!" Tanya cried as she hugged her, "Ohmygoodness I was afraid you weren't coming back!"

"Tanya it's only been three days..." Gabrielle said between breaths 'cause Tanya was hugging her so tight.

Tanya let go of her and smiled weakly, "Most of the time when people haven't come back after day three, they don't ever come back."

"Well you don't have to worry 'bout that with me girl!" Gabrielle said with a big smile, "I love this place!"

Tanya clapped, "Awesome, hey let me take your coat for you, I'll put it behind the bar."


Tanya whistled when she took off her coat, "Ohmygoodness, wait till Victor gets a look at you! You'll have him following you home if you're not careful!"

Gabrielle laughed, "I'm glad you approve."

Tanya went back behind the bar and put Gabrielle's coat away as she sat at the bar. Tanya gave her a water and they talked for a while. Gabrielle felt someone standing right behind her and she knew it was Victor 'cause Dr. Lecter would have said something by now. Not to mention Tanya had a smile on her face a mile wide. Gabrielle spun around on the stool, legs crossed, on arm in her lap and the other resting on the bar.

"Hello Victor." Gabrielle said with a smile.

"Well hello love." He answered and took a couple steps forward, "I must admit, you had me worried that I had scared you off."

Gabrielle stood up, got as close as possible to him, put her hand on the back of his head, and whispered in his ear, "You're the reason I came back."

She heard him suck in air and felt his body temp rise and she chuckled. She grabbed his hand and pulled him into the crowd to dance. They danced for about twenty minutes and as her moves got more provocative he started to whisper sweet nothings in her ear. She had completely forgotten about his fangs until he started to nip at her ears and neck. She let him have his fun, she had no intention of sleeping with him, but the attention was appreciated. They danced for about another half hour before he let her go have another bottle of water. She laughed when some woman who had been eyeing him all night came up to him and tried to dance with him not ten second after she left his side. Gabrielle laughed as Tanya handed her a bottle of water. It was Tanya's turn to laugh when Gabrielle tried to pay for it.

"Have you not figured it out yet hun?" Tanya asked.

"Figured out what?" Gabrielle answered curiously.

"Special guests of the boss man don't pay for what they want here."

Gabrielle's eyes went wide, "He's the...boss?"

"I luv ya babe, but sometimes you can be rather dense." Tanya laughed.

Gabrielle stuck her tounge out at Tanya in a childlike manner and drank her water. They talked for a while as she drank her water and just as she had expected Victor came up behind her. He put his hands on the bar on either side of her and nipped at her neck.

"Can you not keep up love?" He asked in a mocking yet playful tone.

Gabrielle turned around slowly so as not to hit anything...precious on him and had to lean back against the bar 'cause he was so close.

"When I made my way in here earlier and up to the bar a couple of minutes ago, I caught men looking at me like they wanted me and men looking at me with a sort of respectful jealousy. Why is that?" She asked as she played with the buttons on his shirt, trying to focus on something other than his distracting eyes.

"The men who look at you with respect recognized that you are with me when you're in here." Victor answered in a husky tone, "Those who look at you with wanting believe that you are still fair game because you're 'human' and I have yet to mark you as my own."

"How far does that stretch, just out of curiosity?"

"You are your own person outside this club. If you happen to run into someone from this club in the outside world they will treat you as such." Victor answered and he stroked her face, "But here I have the right to have you as mine and mine alone, as does any Vamp with his or her human. I must tell you that a human who is not 'bound' to one vamp here is marked as a fake or a...fang-whore. You could be bound to me without the marking, but you will get no respect from anyone of any status in here without it. I won't mark you of course, unless you agree to it."

She looked into his eyes and asked, "Are you sure you want to mark a girl who will be leaving and going back to her own country in about a month or so?"

"It makes the want to mark you as my own even stronger love."

Gabrielle was overcome by the emotion coming from him. She took his face in her hands and kissed him. He pulled away looking a bit stunned.

"Well? What are you waiting for?" She asked with a smile.

He sucked in air, gently took off her choker and handed it to Tanya. Gabrielle figured her friend would put it with her coat so she wasn't worried. Victor kissed her neck softly then bit her. Her eyes went wide at first then she relaxed when she realized he hadn't bit her too hard. She was also very much aware that everyone was now looking at them. He gave her a light hicky and put a new choker around her neck. It was crimson red velvet with a ring in the center like hers. There was a gothic style cross that had a rose wrapped around it. The bloom sat on the intersection of the cross lines and there was a pentagram nestled in the center of it. He held up a mirror that Tanya handed to him so Gabrielle could see it.

"What do you think?" He asked in a whisper.

"I love it!" Gabrielle said with a look of awe, "Its beautiful!"

"You are the only one with this choker Gabrielle." He said as he look her in the eye, "I wont lie that I have a few pets as well, but theirs are all black and don't have the rose on the cross, just the star."

"Not that I'm complaining, but why is mine different?"

"Cause you're not a pet, you're my human companion. My only human companion."

He kissed her deeply and lead her back out onto the dance floor. She got a lot of nods and a lot of "m'lady"s as they passed people in the crowd. Gabrielle saw the woman who had tried to dance with Victor earlier and she looked positively peeved. Gabrielle couldn't help but chuckle with amusement.

Dr. Lecter knew his patience would be tested the second Gabrielle took off her coat. He was sitting at a table next to the railing of the balcony so he could watch her easily. He wasn't surprised that she was appropriately dressed, he was surprised at the outfit itself. He had gone through her closet when he checked on her last night and didn't remember seeing the corset there. The music and the dancing (both somewhat vulgar at times) he could handle, the marking part nearly broke his control. His reaction confused him though. This "marking" was something that he should have been able to brush off. It wasn't like she was betraying him or anything, she had kept her promise. He would think about it later, right now he had to keep his wits about him because there were some not so pleasant conversations taking place behind him.

"Ugh, did you see that?"

"Yes, the sad thing is that I can see him stooping so low as to take a young American teenager as his companion."

"I feel bad for her."

"Ha! Why would you? She's leaving soon to go back to America. She'll get home and forget all about him, and he'll move on to someone else."

"Like who Anne? You? Ha! You've been trying to get into his bed for years and look where you are now."

"I don't know if he'll just move on to another girl. I mean, he seems really attached to this one. Something is different in him."

"Ladies please, we all know that once she's gone and her 'pure of heart' influence is gone he'll go back to normal."

"Now see, I'm not so sure about that. She has definitely changed him. This is the first time I have seen him treat a girl like this, she is equal to him in his eyes."

"Oh and how do you know that?"

"The choker he gave her, for one thing, is a lot different than the others he has given. He lets her lead him around when he's usually the one leading. Lastly he hasn't tried to dominate her...once."

"She's got a point."

"Well then we will just have to wait and see now won't we."

Dr. Lecter's interest was now peeked. He would have to look into this man thoroughly. He would not allow Gabrielle's safety to be jeopardized again. When he saw her fighting and holding her own made him feel better, but seeing her being attacked gave him a feeling of panic and instant anger like he couldn't believe. As he watched her dance Dr. Lecter couldn't help but wonder how that aggressiveness could come from her.

As Gabrielle danced she thought of how this would be the perfect fantasy if she were a few years older. He kept in perfect time with her as they danced, almost like he knew what she was going to do next. They danced for another two hours and the time seemed to fly by. She checked her phone to see what time it was and jumped when she saw it was already almost 2am.

"Holly mother of the goddess!"

"Whats is it my rose bud?"

Gabrielle had a shudder of giddiness from her new nickname, "It's incredibly late!"

"I didn't even notice."

"I'm sorry Victor but I must go, I'll come back though I promise."

"Alright but only if you absolutely must."

Gabrielle smiled and kissed him on the cheek and started walking to the bar to get her coat. She pulled out her phone and sent a text to Dr. Lecter that she was ready to leave and put her phone back in her pocket. She saw him slip out as she put on her coat and thanked Tanya for her help. Victor walked her to the door, mostly for her safety at the moment, though she just thought he was being romantic. Victor kissed her again and watched her leave. As Gabrielle got to the curb the doctor pulled up in his Jag. He opened the door trying his best to look like "just the driver" because he knew Victor was watching. Once she was inside he got into his side and sped off.

Victor was curious at once about Gabrielle's driver, but quickly put all thoughts aside as the man was seemingly too old for her to even be interested. He did however find the man's face to be somewhat familiar. He would have to wait and see when he saw the man again if he could figure it out. Meanwhile Gabrielle had fallen asleep not ten minutes after getting into the car. She admitted to herself that the biggest reason she had wanted to leave was because she was actually tired, which is what made her check her phone in the first place. So as a result, Dr. Lecter was left to figure out and sort out the feelings he had tonight as he drove home.

Dr. Lecter pulled in the driveway and turned off the car. He got out and unlocked the front door. Meanwhile the gust of cold air that shot into the car as he got out had woken Gabrielle from her sleep and she got out of the car. Dr. Lecter turned around to see her halfway to the door and rubbing her eyes. Even in her half slumber she was still graceful as she walked across the gravel driveway. He held out his hand to help her through the door so she wouldn't trip and she took it without hesitation. He noticed she was consumed in her own thoughts as she entered the house and wondered if something had happened at the club that he hadn't seen.

Gabrielle was confused like never before. She had a lot of fun at the club that was for sure, but her mind had wandered and that's what confused her. It had first happened when Victor had bit her, marking her as his companion. After he had bit her and was leaving a light hickey she stopped thinking of victor the hickey. She was thinking of Dr. Lecter. At first it startled her, but after a while she figured it was only because she knew he was a cannibal. She figured it was a normal reaction. However when she went back to dancing with Victor, she caught herself pretending it was the doctor she was dancing with instead. She had then rationalized out to be because of the Ball he had brought her to. The dream on the ride home however was a completely different matter. The things she had dreamt of him doing for her...doing to her...she didn't dare think of them for fear of him seeing it in her eyes.

Dr. Lecter followed Gabrielle at a distance as she went upstairs to her room. He was quite curious to know what had her in such deep thought, she had seemed perfectly happy when they had left the club. She turned around and mumbled goodnight to him, till lost in thought, and quietly went into her room. Dr. Lecter went into his room, but didn't go right to sleep. Instead he sat up in bed and read for a while. He wanted to occupy his mind for a while and stop thinking so much as he had been. He had definitely had enough of that today. Gabrielle stripped on her way to bed, thankful that the doctor almost never came in her room to wake her unless he had something planned and she knew their schedule for tomorrow was wide open. She didn't worry bout her make-up, it would come off in the shower tomorrow. Too tired to put any pajamas on, she climbed into bed with nothing but her underwear on and had just enough sense to turn off her cell before passing out completely.