Find the artist and their art here.
12:35 a.m. — Wolftrap, Virginia
Hannibal Lecter was a man of many secrets. He had to be, all things considered. He was a serial killer masquerading as a psychiatrist—secrets were a bygone conclusion.
But he was far too curious to allow such secrets to exist in others, hence why he was in the tree line outside Will Graham’s house on a freezing cold evening, breath puffing around his face and fingers growing stiff, all because Will had canceled his appointment under very suspicious circumstances.
Namely, he’d called and said, “I just remembered I can’t make it.”
Lights went off inside, leaving Will’s little house dark and adrift on a plain of moonlit snow. It was a full one, Hannibal knew. He always kept track, considering the effect it had on the behavior of those around him. He usually wound up with an addition or two to his freezer every month thanks to the moon’s influence.
The door creaked. He faintly heard Will admonish one of his dogs as it tried to come out with him. The door shut with a click and Will bounded into his yard in the moonlight.
Several things hit Hannibal hard all at once which, thankfully, his voracious mind was more than capable of processing simultaneously.
Will was in incredible shape.
Will was entirely naked.
Will was coming directly towards him.
Hannibal drew back into the deeper darkness, already furiously trying to imagine what on earth Will was up to and even more curious than he’d been before.
Will left a smattering of footprints in the snow behind him and stretched his stride, every muscle bunching and sliding beneath his smooth, pale skin, as if the cold and the night invigorated him. His face wore a wild, happy grin, baring long, lupine teeth Hannibal could see even from such a distance and knew damned well hadn’t been there before.
There wasn’t time to be surprised by what happened, it just... did.
Will lunged forward and his hands hit the snow as broad, claw-tipped paws, the ripple of his movement flowing down his spine as he shifted from sleek, swift human into a large, dangerous beast.
‘Randall Tier would eat his heart out,’ Hannibal thought, staring, enraptured. So enraptured, in fact, that he didn’t even flinch when the massive, dark wolf burst into the tree line and nearly crashed right into him.
Will skittered to a stop, his powerful back legs spreading, clawed toes gouging furrows in the earth. He straightened, looming over Hannibal by a head and more, his wolfish head hanging as he glared down his long snout at the man before him.
“You’re astonishing,” Hannibal murmured, the thought that Will might open his long jaws and bite his head off not worrying him in the least. What a glorious way to leave this world, shredded by such powerful teeth and gobbled down into Will’s greedy gullet to become part of his untamed wildness.
Will balanced precariously on his hind feet, arms spread wide and broad chest heaving. His nose twitched, testing Hannibal’s scent. Even in the darkness his eyes glowed bright blue, lit from within by sheer ferocity.
Something subtle shifted through him, the barest change, a slight retraction of the beast just enough that Hannibal understood him when Will said, “Doctor Lecter?”
It was undeniably Will’s voice, deepened to a throaty growl, undeniably the undertone of exasperated laughter Hannibal could recognize in his sleep. He almost responded in kind, but Will’s nose twitched again and he said on a soft, rumbling snarl, “What are you doing here?”
Hannibal took a step back, grasping at his dignity, absurd as it was in this situation.
“What are you doing here?” Will asked again, taking a step after him, his large, spread wolf foot pushing snow and underbrush aside as he did so, the vibration of it shimmering through Hannibal’s weak knees.
“You canceled your appointment,” Hannibal said, one step back the only concession he could make, even under such surprising circumstances.
Will cocked his head. The wild fluff of his mane-like fur gave the appearance of his usual curls, familiar enough that Hannibal could see Will—his nervous, twitchy Will—just beneath the surface of this powerful, silken beast.
This beast who was more Will than the indecisive, tormented, and lost man who sat across from him at Jack’s behest. This Will was vital and alive, every bit the dangerous predator Hannibal had always sensed within him.
He decided then and there that dog hair was not a deal-breaker. He’d wash the sheets every morning if this man would spend the night in his bed.
“People cancel appointments, Doctor Lecter. Why are you here?” Will asked, cocking his head the other direction, ears perked. It might have been comical, but there was nothing remotely amusing about the sharp white teeth bared with his words.
“I have a twenty-four-hour cancelation pol—”
“Not now,” Will snapped, quite literally.
Hannibal cleared his throat, noting with some pleasure Will’s temper was not terribly improved by a change in form. “I’m a curious man, Will. You canceled suddenly with no explanation. I felt compelled to check on you.”
“From the tree line?” Will snorted, wrinkling his wolfish nose. He shuddered again, drawing more of the wolf back.
Hannibal fought the urge to touch his fur, just as he always fought the urge to touch Will’s curly hair.
“I didn’t want to betray my presence.”
“You didn’t want me to catch you being creepy, you mean,” Will said, advancing another step, close enough Hannibal could feel the heat coming off of him like a furnace, hot enough the snow melted beneath his spread, clawed toes.
Hannibal cleared his throat again, not even grasping for pretense of disinterest.
“Hannibal,” Will said, drawing out the first syllable, “You were spying on me. Why?”
“I thought perhaps something was wrong, Will. Your call worried me,” Hannibal said. The moon came out from behind the clouds, silver-bright and full, raining frost on Will’s dark fur and turning his eyes into twin moons in answer, blue and brilliant.
Will spread his arms wide, baring his deep chest and the ripple of his belly, furred and firm. His body narrowed into lean loins, his bunched and heavy legs braced open to balance himself, every inch of him a supple and lethally honed predator.
Hannibal swallowed hard, his pulse pounding in his throat. He tipped his chin, baring his neck in a flash of vulnerable skin, a calculated show of submission.
“Don’t suppose you’ll stop worrying now,” Will said, the words rumbling with amusement, the manipulation not lost on him.
“Actually,” Hannibal said, his own sharp teeth bared in an awed smile, “I have.”
Will reared back, chuffing, his gaze leery.
“I find all of my worries for you have drowned in the realization of my hopes,” Hannibal said, enraptured by the pure poetry of his fluid movements, each one a note in a symphony only for him, down the quiver of his nose and the faint tremor through his groin, which demanded a double take Hannibal was hard-pressed not to give.
“You hoped I was a wolf?” Will asked, incredulous.
Hannibal knew just by the tone of his voice the salty expression he’d be making as a human, head tipped down, mouth smirking, blue eyes uplifted under high-arched brows, forehead wrinkled. He had long since memorized that expression. It happened to be his favorite.
“Secret dog fetish, Doctor Lecter?”
“I hoped you were a predator,” Hannibal said, reaching out to touch his chest, flattening his palm over Will’s thundering heart. “Someone like me.”
“You’re not one of my Kind,” Will said, but he didn’t pull away. Having him towering so tall was heady and Hannibal sank his fingers in Will’s silky fur until he felt the hot skin beneath, stepping even closer. “Hannibal... You’re pushing it.”
Hannibal wet his lower lip with his tongue and smiled, sheer anticipation dripping from his voice when he whispered, “Good.”
How thrilling to be thrown onto his back in the snow, helpless for the first time in his adult life, completely at the mercy of the beast dropping over him. Will abandoned the shadow of humanity and trapped him against the frozen earth, front paws framing Hannibal’s head, back paws braced for quick movement.
It knocked the breath from Hannibal’s lungs, though the sight of Will snarling over him had already made him breathless. He smiled, unafraid, and reached up to touch the long muzzle bearing down toward his exposed throat.
Will stopped short, his breath spilling over Hannibal’s neck with tingling heat, his huge body shuddering as he panted.
“I should kill you,” he snarled, teeth grazing Hannibal’s skin.
“You haven’t so far,” Hannibal said, daring to settle his hand on Will’s jaw, muscle shifting to his touch. “Why start now?”
“You know my secret.”
Will twitched his head back, blue eyes blinking as thoughts spun within him.
“You know mine,” Hannibal countered, arm dropping beside him, his wonder softening his voice. “Or will you still pretend otherwise?”
Will chuffed a displeased snort, shaking his shaggy head and glaring.
“I can’t say it, Hannibal,” he told him, raking the snow next to Hannibal’s shoulder in frustration. “If I say it, I have to act on it.”
“Then don’t,” Hannibal said. He sat up, Will giving ground to allow it, and grasped Will’s furry jaws with both hands. “You needn’t be alone any longer, Will. I may not have your strength or your ability to change my shape, but I am a hunter just as you are. We could hunt together... be together.”
Will’s nose twitched, brushing down Hannibal’s throat and lower to find unmistakable evidence of his arousal. Hannibal made no move to hide it, unashamed in this as in all things.
“Pervert,” Will snorted, the word accompanied by a deep, rumbling laugh.
Hannibal dropped a serene look at the swaying bulk of Will’s heavy groin and pointed out, “The thought of us being together doesn’t seem to disturb you.”
“You’re horny for outdoor sex with a shifted werewolf, Hannibal,” Will rasped, his chuckle the same no matter his form. “I don’t get that much.”
“You could have it as often as you wish, Will,” Hannibal said, his voice silky. “To say the idea excites me is a vast understatement.”
“I can see that,” Will purred, amused. He cocked his head, considering it, and a trace of his human uncertainty tinged his words when he asked, “You’d do that for me?”
“No, Will, not just for you,” Hannibal answered, smoothing his hands down Will’s mane to the bunched muscles of his shoulders and chest. “For both of us.”
“In that case,” Will said, knocking him back again, urgent but playful, “I accept.”
To be continued?