I'm sorry, Abigail… that I couldn't protect you in this life.
The words haunt me and swirl around in my head. I stare into his eyes, so full of nothingness… no emotion, no sadness, no remorse. Eyes like my father's eyes, cold and dark.
Under my feet, the floor falls away. I can't move aside. I can't pull out from under his touch. The hand at my neck, against the side of my face, is so gentle, his thumb stroking my chin. He's reassuring me, quieting the lamb before he kills it.
My father once said panic causes blood to spoil the meat.
I suspected long ago, but didn't want to believe it. I think I even knew, when I found out he called my dad. I knew the moment I recognized his voice. I knew that familiar taste when I ate at his table.
But I didn't want to believe it.
I still don't want to believe it.
This is the room where my father tried to kill me. It's the room where Hannibal will kill me. It seems fitting, somehow.
I fought Father. I panicked. I saw my mother sliced open and screamed. He grabbed me and I struggled against him, pleading for him to stop.
There's no point in fighting Hannibal. I stand rooted into place as he moves around me, removing his coat. Death lurks as a specter over my head. I surrender to it, watching his movements with a clinical eye.
Gentle hands touch my shoulder and he pulls me against him. Fear grips me, terror that shouts at me to fight, but it lasts but an instant as he cuts my throat. I go down hard, choking again on that familiar bitter taste.
He stands over me and watches, emotionlessly, tilting his head, in the same place I first saw him. Then, he knelt to save me. Now, he watches me die.
I'm no longer afraid of the darkness. I'm no longer afraid of the truth. I'm no longer the daughter of a murderer. I'm the murdered. I'm the victim.
In some strange way, Hannibal has saved me.