A/N: Hello again! I must say it made me very sad to see that I only got three reviews for the previous chapter. I really do enjoy having feedback. C'mon, now and don't make me beg.
Okay. So we are back to Clarice's point of view. And we also have the moment you all have been waiting for…the introduction of Charles "Charlie" Porter AKA Clarice's fiancé. Yes, you do get to finally see who this mysterious person is that is 'stealing' Clarice from Lecter.
It should be noted that Clarice has been in a lot of distress for these past two weeks that have passed by in the story. If she seems out of character in this chapter, that is why. I mean, wouldn't you be a little off your norm if you'd been going through what she'd been going through? Yeah, thought so.
Also, look for similarities in this chapter. Do Charlie's actions to Clarice remind anyone of a particularly familiar someone? Of a certain event that occurred previously? It should.
Disclaimer: To see the full disclaimer, check the prologue. In this chapter, I do not own the song lyrics to 'Blue Eyes' by Within Temptation.
It's burning me up inside
Lost all my tears, can't cry
No reason, no meaning
No matter how hard I try
You fear the beast inside
It's growing, it's waiting
Just to hurt you
Chapter 5: Blue Eyes
That same evening, 5:57 PM
"What the hell do mean that you had people have her interviewed today?"
"I'm sorry, Clarice—"
"Don't you start 'sorrying me', Mister Crawford!" I snarled into the mouthpiece of the receiver. "And it's 'Agent Starling' to you, sir."
I heard a defeated sigh on the other end. "Look, I know you are not happy with this—"
"Damn right I'm not happy! I was supposed to interview her!" I practically screamed.
"Will you just listen to me?"
"NO!" I threw the phone at the wall with such force that it actually went through it. Or should I say, it went half-way into the wall, sticking out almost comically. Honestly, it would have been extremely funny had I not been so mad.
And trust me when I say, I was pissed.
See, my anger has nine stages, much like the hell from Dante's Inferno. Today I happened to be at seven, AKA Violence. I was so incredibly infuriated that my body was vibrating in fury. My fingers were clenched into tight fists, causing my nails to dig into the palms of my hands so hard, that I could feel them drawing blood. The scent of metal hit the air from the said blood as I continued my mental rant. They couldn't do this to me! I'm a GODDAMN SPECIAL AGENT! Lecter is MINE! This case is MINE—
But this isn't your case anymore. You are bait. The cheese of the mouse trap. The raw steak hanging in the lion's cage. Nothing more, nothing less.
And if Lecter really did give a damn about you, wouldn't he be here? To help you fight for your precious lambs? Wouldn't he? Of course he would. Clearly, the Doctor doesn't need you anymore. You were just petty entertainment to him. Mild amusement. A Greek tragedy of an emotional past that served as a suitable diversion from the bore of the rest of the world. Now that he has the 'Archangel', who you know—despite the fact that no one alive knows anything about her—that she is absolutely gorgeous, extremely intelligent, and irresistibly charming. He doesn't love you.
All the rage and fight that had pierced through my veins vanished. The adrenaline high that I had been riding on crashed. I collapsed on to the couch behind me, sobbing uncontrollably as I curled into a ball. Why the fuck did this always happen to me? What the hell did I do to God to piss him off so bad that shit like this kept occurring?
You know what? I honestly don't wanna know the answer to that question.
It felt like hours later when I finally regained control of my body. Realistically it was only about 30 minutes. Yeah. Only.
The worst part was that I didn't even know why this was such a big deal. I should be the happiest woman in the world. I was getting married in a few months to an okay-looking guy that didn't seem fazed by my previous associations with Doctor Lecter and my career was on the re-bound.
So why then was I so completely miserable?
Oh, puh-lease, girl. The darker side of my mind snarled. You know why. A one Doctor Hannibal 'the Cannibal' Lecter having a female companion. You were fine when he was infatuated with you and you only. Now, he's having romantic relations with someone else. That someone who has replaced you in his thoughts and feelings. Who is having the chance at a life that he offered you—a life that you rejected in those infamous words that came out of that stupid mouth of yours…
Never in a thousand years.
Am I the world's biggest idiot or what? Yes. Was I any happier in this life, in this career, than I was five years ago? Hell to the no. Then what was the point? There wasn't one…
How could I, a well-scrubbed rube with little taste, a girl of pure West Virginia that was one generation away from being poor, white tornado trash, compete with a woman who clearly has captivated the Good Doctor's attention? A beautiful, intelligent, charming, female serial killer who clearly shared many of his same likings and tastes? One that was his precise match in every way…
I was so out of my league it wasn't even funny.
HA! The darkest corner quivered in victory. You, Clarice Marie Starling, are jea—
The phone rang in a shrilling manner, interrupting my thoughts. I didn't have to move to check the Caller ID. I knew who it was. Only Jack Crawford would be that big of a god-forsaken moron to call me after I had pulled that little charade earlier. ARGH. Why the hell couldn't he take a damn hint? Did I have to spell it out for him? What. An. Idiot. Twisting my body so that I was laying on my stomach, I grabbed the nearest pillow and covered my head with it much like a teenager would do when trying to block sunlight from their eyes as their parents attempted to wake them up on a school day via window opening. As hard as I tried to block out the insistent attention-seeking screams coming from the phone, they still pierced my ear drums. Thankfulness filled me when it stopped and went to voicemail. Of course, that was short-lived due to the fact that Jack Crawford's voice came on a few moments later.
"Starling, I know you do not want to listen to me, but listen anyway. The FBI agents sent to Lecter's former mistress's house were ordered there by Natasha Halls. Yes, she was well aware of the fact that this was your day off. I don't think she likes you very much."
No fucking shit Sherlock. What was your first clue? The haughty stares, the snobby nicknames, or the fact that when we left the meeting room two weeks ago, she nearly knocked me over by ramming her shoulder into mine when we tried walking out at the same time? Did I mention that we were RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU?
"Anyway, the agents—two rookies, mind you—arrived at the mistress's household—or should I say mansion—and were um, very taken by her. Apparently Miss Julianne Foster was not informed of this meeting because she answered the doorway in a—there was some rustling of papers—black, latex, low-cut, halter mini-dress and thigh-high leather black boots with three-inched heels."
Huh. Well, that was a shocker. Doctor Lecter use to date someone that dressed like that? That went to night clubs? Who the hell was this woman?
"The guards were completely disarmed by her attire and didn't hear hardly anything from her. Basically a giant waste of time."
I couldn't help but snicker as that whole scenario played out in my mind. Two male rookies going to a mansion that was owned by apparently a beautiful woman who was dressed to go late night clubbing was down-right hilarious. I would applaud her if she wasn't causing another round of envy to course through my veins like flames of burning fire.
"However, we did get information regarding a possible lead on his favorite operas. One of them, 'Vide cor Meum', is being shown at the Kennedy Center Opera House next Wednesday."
He paused, almost as if regretting to have to say the next part. Crawford didn't need to say it. I already knew what was going to be asked of me. Anyone wanna bet me fifty bucks that he says…
"Halls wants you there."
Yep. Called that one. Fifty bucks, please. Anyone…?
"Clare, I'm sorry for—"
That's all I heard because I had violently jumped up from the sofa, grabbed that damn thing and threw it in the direction of the wall where the phone was, but it instead smacked into a lamp on a nearby table. I didn't even hear it shatter into a million pieces.
How dare he have the audacity to call me by my nickname? Are ya freaking kidding me? He didn't even have my permission to be within 10 feet of my body right now. Not after that little stunt he pulled two weeks ago.
He was the one that should have been my ally, but no. No no no. He was in on the whole god-fucking-damn thing. That so-called meeting at the FBI HQ? A set-up. Yeah, I discovered that lovely piece of shitty information about a week ago. Me reading out that letter out loud? Also a set-up. A scare tactic, an intimidation approach. A way to get me to shut up, sit down, and do what I'm told with no questions asked.
Uh huh. Cause that works on a stubborn, determined, independent woman like myself.
Don't ya just love the FBI? And lest we forget all those other government agencies. All those greedy bastard bureaucrats waiting in line to kiss the top dog's ass.
Plopping back down the worn out couch, I glanced over at the clock. 6:19. Charlie should be home soon. That thought made me grimace rather than grin blissfully.
What the hell is wrong with me?
Faintly, I could hear the turning of a key and the front door squeak open. "Honey! I'm home!"
WOW. Talk about the most cliché, couple movie line ever…
"Hey, Charlie," I replied monotonously. Huh. Interesting. I think Arnold Schwarzenegger sounded more emotional in Terminator.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him enter the room. Charlie was 6'3 with tanned skin and a muscular body. His eyes were a beautiful blue-green and his hair was a dark brown, always worn short with the front spiked up. Fine so I guess I wasn't being fair earlier. He was rather good-looking. Okay, okay! He was freaking gorgeous! Does this look like a goddamn courtroom? No? Then get off my fucking case. Sheesh.
Great. Wonderful. Now I'm talking to myself. Isn't that supposed to be the first sign of madness? Let me just add that to the list of all the wonderful things that have been happening to me lately.
That extremely long list of blissful happiness.
"How was your—"
I could tell when he stopped walking as his heavy footsteps seemed to freeze. It wasn't like I blamed him. If I was in his shoes, I would probably be freakin' out if I came home and saw a hole in the wall—that was now smoking—with the phone and answering machine protruding from it and my fiancé trembling on the couch.
I forced myself not to flinch. It was nothing against him, but it's just…it's just that Charlie pronounced my name in an…"un-Lecter" manner.
Ugh, girl. You are incredibly pathetic, you know that right?
Acknowledged. Understood. Excepted.
You, Clarice Starling, are the world's biggest moron.
I thought we already established this…?
Suddenly, two warm, strong arms encircled around me, embracing my figure. Holding me close, they rocked me back and forth while my fiancé whispered sweet nothings in my ear. Wrapping my arms around his middle, I pressed my check against his chest; my eyes dry of tears from overuse in too short of a time span. He gripped me tighter, placing his chin on top of my head and stroked my back soothingly while holding my body close to his own. It was a nice moment I needed. In fact, it was perfect until I smelt that cologne…
It was expensive and tantalizing with a hint of danger and spice. Almost unconsciously, I turned my head and pressed my nose into his chest, closing my eyes while inhaling deeply. Mmm-mmm. That was some serious yummy-ness. I could smell that all day and never grow tired of it. It was like heaven in scent form. I breathed in again. Hold on…hadn't I smelt this before? It seemed awfully familiar. I mean, I knew I knew that fragrance from somewhere before—
That's my girl.
Oh my god…
It was his cologne.
WHAT THE HELL WAS MY FIANCÉ DOING WEARIN' IT?
Wait. This was Charlie, right? Not…him? I could feel paranoia start to set in. Pushing myself away gently, as to not rouse suspicion, I looked up at the eyes of my comforter. I felt the terror slip away as I saw the concerned blue-green and not amused maroon.
Charlie stroked my cheek with a single finger before pressing his lips on the twin, dried tear streaks that ran down my face. "Are you okay, sweetheart?"
I nodded my head, not trusting myself to speak. Actually I didn't really trust myself in general with anything. Especially not of late. Not with the world going all ape-shit on me.
Ha! Now I'm sounding like Ardelia.
Hmm. Speaking of which, she still hasn't talked to me since that little incident in front of the Hoover Building. Probably need to apologize sometime.
Meeh, it can wait.
Right now, I was being distracted by Charlie's mouth against mine. His strong, firm body silently seemed to coax mine to lie down on my back. For several minutes, I greatly enjoyed the teenage-ish make out session. But it wasn't my fiancé's lips or his body that I was thinking about during this time. No. I was back in the lake house…
I was pressed between his body and the refrigerator with my ponytail caught in the door with his lips on my own; soft and lovingly. I was frozen in place, my muscles completely immobile as my morals and ethics took over, forcing me to not kiss him back. I was gripping the appliance with all my strength to keep myself from grabbing his body and clutching it to my own. Holding him as we began to—
What have you done to me, Doctor? What have you changed me into? Who have I become?
What have I become?
"I have dinner reservations for us at your favorite restaurant," Charlie whispered huskily on my lips, bringing me back to the present. I don't even think he noticed me not reacting to his kiss.
I nudged my nose against his, my eyes fluttering open slightly. "Oh?"
"Yeah…" he kissed me again briefly before rolling us over so that I was on top of him with my hands on my chest and his arms around my waist. "You still like Citronelle, don't you?"
"Mmmm. You know I love it," I replied, resting my chin on my linked fingers and smiling kindly. "How did you ever manage to get in? It takes forever to even get considered to be on the waiting list."
He smirked slightly. (God, I loved that crooked smile.) "I have to keep some mystery. I don't wanna bore you."
Laughing, I raked my fingers through his thick locks teasingly. "You could never bore me."
His aquamarine eyes sparkled. "Good to know."
"So, when do I need to be ready by?"
"Wellllll…." he drew out the word leisurely. "Reservations are at 8:20."
Charlie then gave me a look equivalent to a wolf leering on his prey as his hands began to move downward. "Plenty of time to—"
I literally leapt backward from the couch as panic seeped into my body. As I ran from the room, I spotted out of the corner of my eye the bewildered and almost hurt expression on Charlie's face. Guilt flooded through me but not enough to make me go back.
There's no going back…
You can never go back…
Not after everything.
Racing up the stairs, I darted to my room, shutting the door behind me. I crumbled into a ball on my bed, hugging my knees to my body. I could feel my bottom lip start to tremble again but no tears would come. There was no use in denying it any longer. I hugged my body closer…
…and repressed a shudder that wasn't from being cold as I reached the inevitable conclusion that seemed to have been written into my destiny from that single moment of that fateful day that brought us together in that dungeon-like asylum.
Doctor Lecter was taking over me.
A/N: Aw, poor Clarice. Completely and utterly hormonally unbalanced. Ah…yes.
I do hope that this chapter was up to y'all's standards. I thought it was an interesting to try to write Clarice with another man. Well, she's with another man but mentally with Lecter…yeah nevermind. It's kinda confusing.
I tried to keep Clarice in character. If she wasn't, I apologize, but I believe that it was necessary
Well, this is hopefully cleared up the whole FBI agent conversation that went on while we were in Hannibal's head in the surveillance room. Also, this allows us to catch up with what Clarice has been going through for the past couple weeks.
Oh? Did some of y'all notice the, ahem, restaurant name? And the reservation time?
Look *clears throat* familiar?
Oh, yes, this dinner will be funnnn.
Until next time…