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The Cabin at the Edge of the Lake, Under the Silver-Blue Patagonian Sky

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Six weeks after they resurfaced from the Atlantic, they set foot in Esquel. There had been mundane travel arrangements---at first a stolen car, then a hurriedly purchased boat where they hid as they healed, a train and then more cars...

But to Will, it felt like the ocean had deposited them there in one smooth, continuous flow of current. They may as well have tumbled off the bluff and then washed up, mere moments later, on the shore of the lake that sprawled in front of their newly acquired cabin.

"Do you like it?" Hannibal asked him.

"I'm not sure it feels real to me," Will said. "I keep expecting to wake up and find out we're still dying."

"I could help you with some grounding exercises," Hannibal offered.

Will laughed softly. "Still my therapist after all these years?"

"At the very least," Hannibal said.

Will pressed a kiss to his lips for the first time and agreed: "At the very least." 



* The Lenga beech trees in the stony hills behind their cabin *


Hannibal's "grounding exercise" was for him to name everything in their surroundings with as much specificity as he could.

"These are lenga, a kind of beech," Hannibal said, leading him over the hills that rose up behind their cabin.

"They look like bones," Will said. "Like bones and antlers."

"Does that bother you?" Hannibal asked.

For an answer, he backed Hannibal up against one of those trees, which seemed to embrace him with skeletal arms and hold him fast. He kissed Hannibal again, dimly thinking how crazy this should be only the second time he'd ever done so. He should have kissed him a thousand times by now. He even loved the herbal-medicinal taste of Hannibal's aftershave as he kissed all along his jaw.

With shaking hands, he pulled Hannibal's impeccably pressed shirt out of the waistband of his trousers so that he could get his hands on more skin.

Hannibal sucked in a sharp breath the moment Will's fingers touched his bare belly.

"Too close to the bullet wound?" Will asked.

Hannibal nodded, then shook his head. "It doesn't matter."

A shift in the clouds high overhead seemed to bring the skeletal branches to life, and they sprang like antlers from behind Hannibal's head. For a moment, he was the leather-skinned Wendigo again, but Will found his instincts were not as they once were. The memory of the monster wasn't rageful, but enticing.

There against the lenga birch tree in the stony hills behind their cabin, Will locked his hips to Hannibal's and desperately rutted with him until they came in their trousers.



* The cold, clear water of the lake where the rainbow trout swim *


The fly fishing lesson didn't last long. Really, it hadn't even started.

They'd barely gotten ankle-deep into the water before Hannibal was unburdening Will of his waders.

Will wanted to laugh, because he could hardly imagine a less sexy set of circumstances, but then the wet heat of Hannibal's mouth was on his soft cock, insistently sucking him to hardness, and the laugh died with a gasp in the back of his throat.

Will's hands scrabbled over Hannibal's shoulders until he could get enough of a grip to pull him up.

"I need," was all he managed to get out. "I need."

He turned Hannibal roughly around before shoving his waders and jeans down around his knees.

"Bend over for me," he said.

When Hannibal arched his back and presented his bare ass, it was the most inviting thing Will had ever seen in his life.

Taking his cock in hand, he let it fall heavily against the small of Hannibal's back before dipping down into the crack of his ass. He pressed against the tight ring of muscle without trying to push inside---that was for another time, with better planning---but just hard enough for Hannibal to feel the promise of intrusion. Hannibal responded by sweetly pushing back with his hips, silently begging for more.

When he came, he spilled all down the back of Hannibal's thighs, as they stood shaking in the cold, clear water of the lake where the rainbow trout swim.



* The Field Near Their Cabin at the Edge of the Lake Under the Silver-Blue Patagonian Sky *


This time, Will planned better.

There had been ample lubricant and patience, and twisting and massaging his fingers in places he once might have considered unlikely. There had been Hannibal sprawled out on his back on a blanket in the field that ran between their cabin and the lake, writhing and lifting up his hips for deeper contact, and softly chanting Will, Will like a mantra.

Now there was Hannibal flinging one leg around Will's back and planting his other foot firm against the ground for traction, and Will was pressing in as slowly as he could bear.

"More," Hannibal demanded. "Give me more."

Will pushed in another inch. "When I come, do you want it inside? I'm asking now because I don't know what state I'll be in to ask in a minute or so."

Hannibal lifted up to kiss him before saying, "Yes, inside, and I could remind you if you forget."

"You might not be in a state to remember, either," Will said, and have one last, sharp push of his hips so that he was seated fully in that tight, welcoming heat.

Hannibal's head fell back and his eyes fluttered closed. He let out a long, tremulous breath echoed in the shudder that went through his body.

"Look at me," Will said, as he pulled back and pushed in again. "Look at me."

"What if it's not real?" Hannibal asked, eyes still shut.

"Where are we?" Will asked. "Name your surroundings---our surroundings."

Hannibal finally opened his eyes to glance around before looking up at him again.

"We're in the field near--near the cabin at the edge of the lake," Hannibal said, obviously having to struggle to remain verbal. "The lake under the---ah!---the silver-blue Patagonian sky."

"We're in the field," Will echoed as he picked up the pace. "We're in the field, near the---near OUR cabin at the edge of OUR lake."

"Our cabin and our lake," Hannibal agreed.

The rest was a nonsensical chant of parts of possibly their names and choked-down sobs, but everything was real, from the mythical fall to the mundane journey that had brought them to that field, to the searing liquid heat that flowed between them.