Chapter 20

A slither of Argentine sunlight crept through the curtains playing over the soft lines of Clarice Starling's face, involuntarily her eyelids trembled and she prised them open, the black abyss of her dreams switching to a blurred reality. Her head was positioned oddly on the pillow, her body almost at an angle, how she had managed to sleep comfortably in such a position was unbelievable. Trying to focus her vision she squeezed her eyes shut once more, willing the stinging that the brightness of the room had caused to subside. She opened them to be met with the sleeping face of Hannibal Lecter. Her random sleeping position had been explained; she had invaded his pillow.

She smiled to herself musing about the time they had shared together the night before. The flight to Argentina had frayed her nerves and tested her patience, of course Dr Lecter being so used to such a situation had found her restlessness particularly amusing, especially the need to pace the plane at particular intervals, thankfully the need for discretion had put her off trying to make too much of a parade. Although, the delectable way she had frustratingly brushed her hand over the taught muscle of his thigh had threatened to weaken him; she delighting in his lack of control over her ministrations.

"Clarice," The eyes had opened and she was faced with his maroon orbs, boring into her, he would have looked positively menacing if it hadn't have been for the sated smirk pulling at his lips.

"Hannibal." She smiled, her eyes sparkling with glee as he touched her face with his fingertips, tilting her chin forwards towards him. Her eyes closed as she felt him kiss her good morning and she sleepily crushed her body into his, his arm moving to allow her hip to settle into his and resting across her back. She brought a hand gently across his chest resting it upon his breast bone and moulding herself closer to him.

"Are you hungry?" Clarice shook her head, her copper coloured hair splaying across his chest as she laid her head where her hands had been previously and pressed her lips to his skin, suddenly he felt her mouth move into a huge grin and a chuckle to burst from her throat.

"Clarice?" She moved her head to look at him, her smile huge across her face.

"I was just thinking how nice it is to not have the press pushing their crap through my letter box, and then I got thinking even more"... she smirked, "I was wondering if the National Tattler would lose all credibility now it has actually printed something with a basis in truth."

He smiled, his eyebrows rising up at her, she mirrored him, a small mocking gesture he would no doubt have her pay for later.

"To be perfectly truthful, some of the little scenarios they had dreamt up made my own pale in comparison, and I pride myself on being particularly imaginative Clarice."

His smile turned smug and he cradled her chin in his hands. She smiled back, and nipped at his bottom lip, his eyes were still hooded as she looked down at him. She captured his lips feeling them move against her own, she raised her head to look at him again, his mouth twitched and curled up at the edges into a satirical grin, he brought a hand to her face, and bringing her back towards him he curled his face into her neck, nuzzling her. She felt him breathe against her, and heard the faint sounds of his metallic voice, as his smile spread across her neck.

"Thank you Jack Crawford."