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The Business of Pleasure

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Hannibal checks his watch. It’s only a quarter to six. He should be done with this client by then. If not, well, the hooker can wait. He’s being paid to wait on someone’s pleasure anyway.

He took a chance this time, paying an exorbitant finder's fee to a seedy gentleman who apparently doesn't seem to care if his employees wind up dead or alive. That part was paid for by a credit card under another name, naturally, but he did have the hooker sent to his home. Therein lays the risk.

But all of life delights in risk now and again. Why else do we go on living?

Hannibal's appetite is whetted already. It's been weeks since he killed, longer since he planned a treat like this. He intends to enjoy tonight to its fullest.

 *  *  *

Will rings the doorbell and tries not to look too bored. It’s a nice house. Probably belongs to some rich asshole who wants to fuck around while his wife is out of town for the weekend.

He learned early on it’s easiest to do whatever the client wants. That way you get paid and there’s no trouble. He can do that. He can bend over and touch his toes while getting fucked. He can beg and pretend he's desperate for the client to give it to him. He can lie still and silent underneath someone who just wants a hole to fill. Will can do all that. Doesn't mean he likes it. Sometimes his mouth gets away from him. Sometimes he can't help himself.

He knows this job is partly a test. If he fucks it up, Martin won't give him another chance.

There's no answer at the door. He was supposed to be here at six on the dot. So it’s six, he’s here and the fucking client isn't.

Will glances around, half tempted to leave. That would probably get him into more trouble. He decides to give it at least five more minutes. He sits down on the front steps.

A long expensive car pulls into the driveway and past him into the garage. Will gets to his feet, and waits, looking at the garage door as it closes behind the car.

The guy doesn’t come out. It takes a second to register. The guy sure as fuck saw him sitting there on the steps, and went ahead on in leaving him there. Okay, so he’s dealing with an asshole. He's fucked assholes before.

Will shakes it off and presses the doorbell. He might press down a fraction longer and harder than he has to.

The door opens and he looks up, brushing his hand over the back of his neck. "Yeah, I had a six o'clock appointment?"

The businessman holds the door open. "Let me guess. You have a pressing meeting afterwards?"

He makes Will want to say yes, flip him off and go. Instead he grinds his teeth, quickly flattening them out in a non-threatening attempt at a smile, and says, "Nope, I'm all yours."

He walks in.

The client closes the door. "Then you can wait here."

He leaves Will standing there in the hall as he goes through one of several doors and closes it.

Will stares after him, then shrugs. Okay, okay, seriously. What does it matter what the man does as long as he pays up? And doesn't beat the shit out of him, he amends, leaning against the wall. He's had clients like that. It's not pleasant. This is annoying, but typical really.

Another door opens in the hallway and Will straightens up.

Hannibal surveys him as he stands in the hallway. This is not what he expected.

*  *  *

He had asked for something with no particularly close ties and the man had chuckled rudely. "You mean disposable."

Hannibal pursed his lips. "If you care to view it that way."

"Don't worry, I'll send you this nice little piece of ass. I don't care what you do with him."

*  *  *

Hannibal's gaze slides over him now, assessing him. This is disposable? He would make a delectable fillet, but there's more potential here than merely that.

The young man's waiting. "Uh, the payment..."

"Yes, of course." Hannibal takes the envelope form his jacket pocket and hands it to him before going back into his study. It's half politeness, the young man will want to count it, and half a test. If he makes a run with the money, that's that.

Hannibal glances through the open door to see him counting methodically.

Will stuffs the envelope in his jacket and knocks on the study door.

"Come in."

"So where do you want me?"

Hannibal’s not entirely sure that he does. He should break his neck here and now. This young man promises to be more trouble than he’s worth. This is what happens when you decide to leave some parts of the plan to someone else. Normally he rents a car for the night, selects a prostitute, and drives home. There is sex, and then there is death, with Hannibal reaping the benefits of the latter longer after the enjoyment of the former has faded.

"You may undress here if you like." Hannibal watches as he removes his jacket. He undresses with the gangly ease of youth, untying his shoes and slipping out of them. "How old are you?"

"Twenty-four." The age muffled by his t-shirt over his mouth.

He looks younger. "And your name?"

The young man hesitates, holding his t-shirt. "Danny."

It's a lie. Hannibal's skin prickles in a disappointment. "I see."

"No," surprisingly the young man answers. "It’s just... My boss makes us use fake names. He thinks I look like a Danny." He drops his t-shirt on the floor and reaches for the zipper on his jeans. The memory of Martin pressing his head down. “There, take it, good boy, yeah, you’re a Danny,” is among his least favorites.

"What do you think about it?" Hannibal watches his hands as he pulls his jeans down, revealing slender thighs.

"I hate being called it." It mostly doesn't matter. Not everyone asks. Will pulls his socks off, and then his boxers, letting them drop on top of his jeans.

"What is your name then?" Hannibal’s gaze skims over his naked form.

"Will. Will Graham." This is breaking the rules, but in the moment Will doesn't care. He finds that surprising.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Will." Hannibal holds out his hand. "My name is Hannibal Lecter."

Will has a good handgrip, firm but casual. Hannibal imagines bringing his wrist up to his mouth and scraping his teeth along the veins there.

"What do you want me to call you?"

"Hannibal will do for now. If you're uncomfortable with that, Mr. Lecter will suffice."

"I like Hannibal." Will looks around. The walls of the study are lined with bookshelves, paintings hung between them. The curtains to all the windows are drawn, leaving only a crack of sunlight as the evening approaches. The air in the house is cool, but not so much that he’s cold. Will stands there naked, waiting as Hannibal gazes at him.

"When was the last time you showered, Will?"

"Yesterday. Morning." Normally he would have lied. But this client is different. Somehow he’d know.

Hannibal nods. He moves closer, leaning in to sniff along the back of Will’s neck. Will holds himself absolutely still as Hannibal smells him. It's not unpleasant, just different.

Hannibal draws back. "There is a bathroom upstairs, first door on the left. Shower. Wash yourself with soap and water, but not too much soap. Then come downstairs."

Will nods and walks upstairs. Hannibal watches his body hungrily. The procurer was right about one thing. Will's ass is succulent.

He pours himself a drink.

 *  *  *

Will showers quickly but thoroughly. He uses enough soap to clean his skin, but not so much that the smell is over powering. He doesn't mind the chance to shower. He's had clients tell him to wash himself cause he stinks. But this isn't that. He has the sense it was more because Hannibal wanted to smell him.

When he’s done Will dries himself off and hangs the towel up. A brief look in the mirror. He knows he looks younger than he is. Naked, there's not enough to hide behind. He takes a breath, holding his gaze in the mirror, counts to thirteen and goes back downstairs.

The study door is open but Hannibal's not there. Will hesitates, but he hadn’t told him to wait there. So Will goes down the hall, coming at last to the kitchen where Hannibal's drinking a glass of wine. His tie is loosened slightly. His gaze sharpens as Will stands there in the doorway. One bare foot rests upon the threshold.

"Get back to the study."

Will retreats immediately. He's crossed some line by almost entering Hannibal's kitchen. Once safely in the study, he waits, heart beating double time. Will crosses his hands over his chest, trying to calm it down, but it just speeds up.

When he looks at the door, Hannibal’s there, blocking the exit.

"What are your instincts telling you right now?"

"That I'm in danger." Will’s gut won’t even let him lie. He drops his hands and faces Hannibal.

"So why don't you run?"

"With some threats, standing still is the best choice. Lions," he doesn’t finish the sentence as Hannibal circles him. Will wants to sink to his knees and cover his head. There is no safety here. He holds his ground as his throat tightens.

Abruptly Hannibal stops, and nods.

Will’s heart slows to normal; the danger recedes. He can breathe again.

Hannibal licks his lips, tasting the scent of wine still lingering there. Seeing Will there in the kitchen doorway, naked, like a willing sacrifice, the overwhelming instinct to seize him then and there. Even now, he wants to wrap his hands around Will’s neck, feeling the pulse of life before he rips Will's heart out with his teeth. He could do it, he could kill him quickly and then he would have the pleasure of his flesh, but the way Will looks now would be lost.

If he fucks Will quickly and breaks his neck, there is plenty of time to prepare a meal. Hannibal tells himself this, but then his attention is caught by Will looking around his office. Naked and vulnerable, he still takes time to look at the books.

I can always kill him later. Hannibal thinks. In the morning.

Will glances at him. Hannibal's working something over in his mind. That or he just likes having a young naked guy stand around in his study. That’s all right. Will's known weirder kinks.

Abruptly Hannibal decides. "Come here."

Will goes over to stand in front of him. Hannibal scans his body, searching for something, before he looks into Will’s eyes. There's a look there that makes Hannibal want to peel back and explore.

"Go over to the sofa and bend over the back of it."

Will does, relieved at last they're finally getting to this. He knows his place in this. He bends himself over the back, resting his hands on the wide cushion.

He can hear the faint brush of Hannibal's shoes on the carpet as he moves behind Will. The first touch is surprisingly not on his ass as Will expects, but upon the nape of his neck. Hannibal’s fingers rest there then travel down the slope of his spine, all the way down to his ass to between his legs. Will spreads his legs wider automatically. Hannibal strokes over his hole and balls, assessing.

Will never likes this part; it's so hard to get right. They always want to know how eager he is for it, how often he gets fucked, how tight or loose he is. And then they get angry and take it out on him. He waits for the first question, but it doesn't come. Hannibal's fingertips slide down his thighs, past his knees to his ankles. Then they’re gone.

“Straighten up and turn around.”

That Will isn't expecting. He turns, preparing himself for it. Facing Hannibal is harder. It shouldn’t be at this point, but Will still often finds it difficult to mask his thoughts. It’s one of the reasons he doesn’t get repeat clients.

Hannibal looks at his body first, those same light fingertips brushing along his hips, across the straight line of his chest down to his groin. He eyes Will’s cock, resting against the light pubic hair there.

“The bruise on your thigh, how did you get it?”

“I made someone angry.” He’d seen something during his last job; the image of it in the corner of his eye startling him. He'd jerked away and the client had retaliated by shoving him down harder and holding him on the bed.

Hannibal traces his thumb over the mark. Conflicting desires twist together inside him like a vine. This has never happened before. This was meant to be a special event and Will Graham has effectively put a wrench in the proceedings.

Hannibal wraps his hand around Will’s cock and tugs.

“Fuck.” Will stumbles forward, following his hand. Hannibal eyes the hard brightness in his eyes. If he did it again, Will would cry out. Instead he lets go, leaving Will smarting and red.

Hannibal goes over to his desk and draws out the lubricant he put there in the top drawer.

He tosses it to Will who catches it. “Sit on the sofa and get yourself ready. Slowly.”

Will obeys. This is easier than having someone shove their fingers inside your ass. This way it gets done properly, but it’s another level of surrender. Do it for them, so they don’t have to bother. Will slicks his fingers, spreading his knees far apart as he pushes the first finger into himself. A little further in and his sore cock stirs.

Hannibal watches from his desk. He’s so quiet. The quiet ones can go either way. Dirty talkers either need to show off, or they want to force Will into annoying them. Hannibal’s silence is disconcerting. Will adds a second finger, working himself open. Hannibal’s tall, his fingers long and well-portioned. Most likely he has the cock to match. The lube slides over Will’s fingers and he starts to add a third, but Hannibal shakes his head.

So Will waits, sitting there with two fingers inside himself, sweat gathering at the base of his neck.

Hannibal comes over to the sofa and sits down, stretching his arms out along the back of the sofa. “I want you to fuck yourself on my cock.”

Will pulls his fingers out, hesitating. Hannibal doesn’t move so he reaches over to undo his pants. Hannibal’s still under his hands, not hard yet. Will glances up at him, uncertain, but Hannibal just looks at him. Will lowers his head.

Hannibal resists placing his hand over Will’s hair. He watches the motion instead, the way Will’s head bobs in the rhythm of the act, his body curved over to reach Hannibal’s cock. It would be easy to sink his fingers into him, so Hannibal slides them down the crease of Will’s ass. He pushes two fingers into him and Will shifts his ass slightly to accommodate him, his mouth busy.

At last he pulls off, his lips spit-slicked and wet. Hannibal’s fingers still, and then pull out of him.

Will hesitates again.

Hannibal guesses what he wants to know. “Facing me.”

Will straddles his lap, daring to reach over Hannibal’s shoulders to rest his hands on the sofa back. Slowly he lowers himself onto Hannibal’s waiting cock.

Chapter Text

Hannibal inhales his scent as Will adjusts himself. The smell of the soap has mostly receded. Underneath that Will is clean fresh skin with the smell of new sweat here and there. Deeper, there’s the scent of outdoors, and faintly there, almost gone, but still there, the lingering residue of car grease.

The meal itself is out for tonight, but he can still feast upon Will's flesh.

 *  *  *

Hannibal’s control is perfect. He remains completely still as Will rides him.

Will sets the pace, starting out slow at first, settling into an easy rhythm. Hannibal just gazes back at him. Will rocks his hips harder causing Hannibal’s cock to ease further inside him. There's an imperceptible tightening of Hannibal's muscles, his fingers tense along the sofa.

Will speeds up slightly, watching Hannibal’s knuckles. He's not used to be the one making the decisions. He’s half convinced it’s all a game, and Hannibal is going to turn the tables any minute. If not for that, he'd like it. There's something satisfying about having Hannibal sitting there silently underneath him, with thighs spread wide. Will rises almost all the way off him, and sinks back down, watching how Hannibal's throat tightens. Impulsively, he leans in to lick a wet stripe across Hannibal's throat.

Hannibal’s hands rise to settle on Will's hips and Will pauses.

"Keep going," Hannibal tells him. He's stroking feathery motions along Will's torso with his fingertips, and Will obliges, moving steadily.

Hannibal looks down to Will's cock, swaying with each motion of his hips. He runs his fingertip down it, skimming over the head, and under, testing the weight of it. He pushes it up flat to Will's belly, watching Will struggle not to cry out.

When Hannibal releases it, it bounces free. The shudder that escapes Will vibrates marvelously around Hannibal. He does it again. And a third time, each time a little longer, watching the flush spread more prominently across Will's chest.

On the fourth time, Will's hand closes over his wrist and Hannibal looks at him.

"Please." Will's face is set in thin, tense lines; he's practically shaking on Hannibal's cock, ass clenching tightly.

Hannibal moves to take his wrist, and pulls it snugly around Will's back, causing him to cry out sharply. Hannibal reaches for his other arm, bringing it to join the other. He holds them there behind Will’s back as Will balances unsteadily on his cock.

"Go on."

Will keeps moving, with ragged tight breaths as Hannibal's cock sinks deeper inside his ass with each thrust.

Hannibal keeps hold of his wrists with one hand, while the other returns to Will's cock. He watches Will's face as he pushes Will’s cock hard against his belly and holds it there. When Will whimpers, a low, painfully forlorn sound, Hannibal releases him at last.

He holds his hand in front of Will's mouth. "Spit."

It takes Will a minute for the words to register, and then he does, warm saliva hitting the center of Hannibal's palm. He strokes Will in tight quick strokes until Will comes on the fifth stroke.

His cock spurts messily across Hannibal's crisp linen shirt as Will clenches even harder. Hannibal’s fingers dig into Will’s back as he comes silently inside Will.

Hannibal surveys the mess, and then looks at Will who hasn't dared move. He pulls his tie free and loops it around Will's neck, pulling it tight, creating a makeshift leash. Hannibal pulls on the end of it, bringing Will's face close to his.

Will licks his lips, nervously, waiting.

Hannibal tugs his face closer. "Clean it off."

Will leans down, licking across Hannibal's shirt, quick and light. The rasps of Will’s tongue tingle pleasantly through the material. His shirt will still need to be washed of course, but this is a good start.

Will can feel the heat of Hannibal’s his skin through his shirt. His tongue lingers too long in one spot, and the shirt clings to his tongue. At last he straightens up.

Hannibal's eyes stare back at him. In this light they appear an alarming shade of red and black. Will's startled, scrambling wildly off his lap, and landing heavily on the floor.

Hannibal stands, looming over him and Will starts to get to his feet. "Since you're already down there, stay."

Will sinks back down, abashed. The tie swings slightly around his neck.

"I need a shower." Hannibal doesn't want to take Will upstairs with him. He needs a moment to decide what to do next. But he doesn't want to progress to the bedroom yet either. He stares down at Will. What he wants is to tell Will to stay right there, but Hannibal also doesn't want to spend the evening punishing Will when he doesn't, and Hannibal's certain that he won't.

He reaches for the tie, pulling Will to his feet. Hannibal leads him over to the ladder leading up to the second level of his library and ties it to one of the rungs. "Wait here."

He leaves Will alone and goes upstairs. The shower he had Will use is a guest one. Hannibal pauses to consider it, but he doesn't want to shower there, drinking in the remainders of Will's scent. He continues on to the master bathroom. Removing his jacket he sets it aside and unbuttons his shirt. The damp patches from Will's tongue are almost dry.

Hannibal lifts his shirt to his face, smelling it deeply.

 *  *  *

Will could untie the tie obviously, but he doesn't, instead leaning back against the ladder. Hannibal likes control, but he doesn't want Will completely subdued either. The line is very fine.

He can feel the come slowly dripping out of him, but he can't reach the box of tissues on the nearest table. He'd like a fucking shower. But obviously Hannibal isn't done with him yet, so that's out. Okay, so another fuck, and then he's gone. He shifts, trying to ignore the sensation of dripping.

Will closes his eyes and drifts.

*   *   *

Hannibal's dressed in pajama bottoms and nothing else when he returns to the study. The picture he finds waiting for him is charming. Will, one leg drawn up, resting on a lower rung, arms crossed over his chest, the tie fastened around his neck, his eyes closed. It's tempting to tie him more firmly to the ladder and fuck him there, but this time Hannibal wants him in a bed.

Will starts, shaking slightly, as he returns to himself.

Interesting. Hannibal walks over to him and Will straightens up. Hannibal's eyes are drawn to the semen left on the lower rungs and the carpet. Will follows his gaze and flushes, a dark humiliated red.

Hannibal unties the tie, leaving it looped around Will's neck. "Kneel."

Will does reluctantly. He knows what's coming.

"Clean it up." Hannibal turns his back, heading for his desk, as though he has no need to see Will licking up his come.

The ladder rung is easily dealt with, but the carpet is a little more difficult. Will licks and licks at the spots until his tongue is sore, but there's still a stain.

He straightens up, making a face at the fuzziness of his tongue.

There are still traces on his thighs, but Hannibal doesn’t seem bothered by those. He looks at the floor thoughtfully. Will resists the urge to defend the stain still there. It’s not his fault.

“Come along then.” Hannibal leads the way upstairs. Will follows him down the hall, the tie slapping against his chest.

Hannibal’s bedroom is elegant, a dark mauve coverlet across crisp white sheets.

“Lie on the bed on your stomach.” Hannibal directs.

Will’s cock brushes the coverlet as he does.

“Spread your cheeks.”

Will obeys, focusing on the green wallpaper as he does. He’s not prepared for the first flick of Hannibal’s tongue down between his cheeks and over his hole. Will squirms in surprise. He's had clients who made him do this, but they've never. He groans as Hannibal's tongue pushes deeper, past sensitive muscles, making him tense and shiver.

Hannibal moves his hands away and spreads Will's ass apart himself. His tongue licks between Will's cheeks, until Will's pushing back to meet his mouth, frantic to have that tongue back inside him.

Hannibal pushes it inside again, fucking Will with his tongue until Will’s writhing against the coverlet.

Hannibal pulls back. He moves down to lick the come from Will’s thighs, and up along the crease of his ass once more. His mouth rests against Will’s tailbone.

“Turn over.” Hannibal goes into the bathroom to wash his mouth.

Will flops over on his back, breathing hard. Fucking hell. The tie sticks to his chest with sweat.

Hannibal returns. He kneels between Will’s thighs, surveying him before beginning. Hannibal starts with the nipples, licking them into stiffness, and then biting hard. Each time Will cries out, chest tensing against the jolt of pain.

His thighs deserve that attention too. Hannibal licks in delicate circles. When Will squirms Hannibal pinches the tip of his cock, loving the way Will's breath draws short and his hips strain.

"Do I need to tie you down?"

"Please," Will doesn't even know what he's asking for.

Hannibal lets him go. He licks at Will’s left nipple, and bites again, tugging it between his teeth. This time Will comes with a howl.

Hannibal settles back upon the coverlet with a satisfied expression.

Will rests his hands on his chest. He can breathe, sure he can. His chest is shaking. God, his nipples are sore. He’s dead exhausted.

He glances sideways at Hannibal. “Do you want me to…” His brain can barely work, but he’s fairly sure he’s supposed to do something more here.

Hannibal brushes his hand along his hip. “I’d like you to stay.”

Will blinks. “Oh.” He’s tired enough that the thought of not moving anywhere sounds good, but at the same time he’s never actually stayed a night with a client. “Okay.” There’s nobody waiting for him at home.

“What is it?” Hannibal notes the expression on his face.

“Can I… I need to relieve myself,” Will’s embarrassed, but he needs to go.

“I’d prefer you not to do it in the bed, so yes.” Hannibal removes his hand with a chuckle. He reaches up to pull the tie free from Will’s neck.

Will pees quickly and washes his hands, sliding a damp washcloth along his thighs and ass. He’d like to shower, but he’s tired enough that it doesn’t really matter. When he returns to the bedroom, Hannibal has the coverlet down and is stretched out, reading on an ipad. Will slips under the covers. Hannibal doesn’t touch him, and Will falls asleep watching the man read.

 *  *  *

Hannibal wakes first. Will is curled alongside him. Hannibal studies him contemplatively. It would be quick work to roll him over and press the pillow over his mouth.

Will’s lips are parted slightly, as he breathes.

Hannibal brushes his thumb over Will’s right nipple and simply watches the way the nub responds.

*  *  *

Will wakes to find Hannibal in the same position as he fell asleep last night, still reading. Except for the slightly mussed look to his hair, Will would guess he hadn’t slept at all.

Hannibal looks at him. “Did you sleep well?”

“Yes, actually.” Will looks around, before remembering his clothes are all downstairs. “So, I,”

Hannibal has already decided. "How much for the entire weekend?"

Will blinks. "Uh... I'm not sure?"

Hannibal looks at him languidly. "Not sure because you've never done that it or because you're trying to eke more money out of me?"

"Not sure because normally people just pay me, fuck me and tell me to get out." Will says flatly. Hannibal paid him two thousand for the first night. He calculates. "Seven thousand." Hannibal can afford it.

Hannibal would have paid twenty for the pleasure of keeping him there. The amount Will asks for is a pittance. “Very well. I’ll pay you the rest on Monday morning.”

“Okay.” Will rubs at his arm. “Then I need to make a phone call."

"There's a phone in the downstairs hallway."

There’s a phone right there beside the bed, but obviously Hannibal doesn’t give a fuck about him checking in with Martin. Will goes downstairs.

Hannibal counts to three, and then picks up the receiver.

"He wants me to stay the weekend."

"Your hole must be tighter than I remember."

Hannibal's lip curls. He dislikes the thought of touching something that that man has touched. It’s odd though. He finds the thought of Martin having his hands on Will even more distasteful.

Will doesn't answer back to the man, merely waits for his answer.

Martin belches. "How much?"

"Six thousand."

There. Hannibal smiles. Will is not stupid after all.

"That all? Blow him on the doorstep at the end of the weekend and get a tip."

“I’ll do my best.” Will says dryly, and hangs up. Okay, two whole days of this. Not exactly what he had planned for the weekend, but if he could actually get away with that extra thousand, he’d be set for a while.

He ducks into the lower bathroom to piss quickly. Washing his hands, he splashes water over his face, trying to relieve the heat that lingers after his dreams. His nipples are still sore. The spots where Hannibal bit him ache faintly. He goes back upstairs.

Hannibal’s got one arm behind his head, the other holding his ipad as he reads. Will sits down on the bed hesitantly. He’s not sure what to do next at this point.

“Everything sorted?”

“Yes.”

“No pressing engagements?”

“No.”

Hannibal sets his ipad aside. “Out of curiosity, last night you made no mention of a condom."

"You, didn't," Will fumbles.

"I'm merely curious."

"I figured if you wanted one, you'd have used one."

Hannibal just gives him a long steady look. "Would you have liked me to use one?"

Say no. Say it doesn't matter. "Yes."

"Then why not ask?" Hannibal looks truly perplexed.

"I’m tired of getting smacked for it." That says it all right there. His clientele. Everything. Will feels tired.

Hannibal nods. "I see. I usually prefer to," but this time he wanted to feel Will bare. It’s a slip he allows himself this once. He'd have to take extra care when he disposes of him. "As it so happens, I was tested a few months ago. You have no cause for alarm."

"What if I," Will mutters. He'd gone to a clinic recently. At the moment he’s in the clear.

"You should take better care of yourself." Hannibal reaches over sliding his hand across Will’s belly.

Will sinks down upon the bed as Hannibal straddles him. He doesn’t say the plaintive I’m trying aloud, merely sucks in his breath as Hannibal kisses his chest, working his way downward. Hannibal catalogues Will’s torso as he does. There’s the suppleness of Will's limbs, the light grazing of hair leading down to his groin. Hannibal rests his mouth upon Will's stomach, so simple, so tempting.

He leans down to bite along the curve of Will’s hip when he hears a distinctive gurgle. Will curls his arms over his chest protectively.

"When was the last time you ate?"

"It's fine." His stomach growls again.

"Answer the question."

"Yesterday...noon." Will’s hungry, but he doesn't want to ask for anything. Everything comes at a price.

Hannibal sits back. "You didn't eat before coming here?"

Will shakes his head.

"Why not?"

"Because I thought it'd be a quick job, couple hours at the most, and then I could get something to eat after." Then he would have had money to.

Hannibal stands. "Put something on, and come downstairs to the kitchen."

Will goes downstairs and gets his jeans and boxers from the study. He washes his face again in the bathroom, combing his fingers through his tangled hair. This job is not going how he expected.

*  *  *

Hannibal gets out his skillet and stares at it. He's been remiss in his hospitality and it's nobody's fault but his own. He never planned to cook for Will because he never intended him to still be alive at this juncture. He gets out a carton of eggs and studies the contents of his fridge.

"You're cooking." Will is standing shirtless in the doorway, slightly hesitant before entering the room. He remembers the expression on Hannibal’s face the last time he stood there.

"Sit down." It's evident no one has ever cooked for Will in his life. Hannibal finds this surprisingly depressing.

“What do you like to eat, Will?”

“Sausage.”

“That’s good,” Hannibal starts to say, and then stops because Will’s made a joke and now he’s trying his best to conceal his mirth.

“Amusing.” He wants to ask if Will truly enjoys that, but he doesn’t want to hear a lie so he refrains. Instead he opens the lower drawer and selects two thick sausage links from the container he has there, dropping them into the skillet.

Will ducks his head and grins. Okay, the guy can’t be all bad. He didn’t slap him or anything for mouthing off, like some of his clients. This one is hard to read. Some guys would want him on his knees after a remark like that, sucking off while he cooks, but Will can’t tell with Hannibal.

“What are you thinking?” Hannibal reaches for the eggs, cracking four of them in neat succession, his wrist movements quick and methodical. He drops the eggshells in the trash and washes his hands before getting out the bread.

“I’m trying to figure out if I’m supposed to blow you right now, or what.”

“Supposed to?” Two slices of bread go in the toaster. Hannibal turns the sausages over.

“This is a different sort of…”  Will can’t explain, especially not to a fucking client. They won’t understand, but Hannibal is eying him like he’s genuinely curious. “Usually if I made a crack like that, most clients would either just get pissed or expect me to follow up on it.”

Hannibal contemplates this, flipping the eggs. “Yet you made it anyway.”

“Yeah, sometimes I can’t,” Will shrugs. He’s still him, even if he is blowing some guy in a hotel or getting fucked over a desk. He can’t change that, and he’s not following rules he doesn’t have to, and can’t anyway.

The smell of cooking food makes his stomach gurgle even more.

“Sit down.” Hannibal indicates the stool. Will brings it over to the counter. Hannibal lays the sausages on the plate, arranging the eggs beside it. The toast pops up, and he butters it quickly, even swaths of butter across the crispness, before setting it on a side plate. He pours Will a glass of juice and pushes the plate and glass across the counter towards him.

Will just looks at him.

“Eat, before it gets cold.”

“What about you?” Will reaches for his fork. It smells amazing, tastes even better. He cuts another bite, stifling the groan of pure happiness.

“I’m not hungry at the moment.” Hannibal pours himself a glass of juice. He sips it slowly, watching Will eat.

Will licks toast crumbs from his fingers as he cuts another bite of sausage. Hannibal made this for him. Just knowing that makes the food taste even better. A hint of the ravenousness shows, but for the most part his table manners are fine.

Will lick his lips and reaches for his juice. “Thank you.” His stomach has reached the comfortably full state.

“My pleasure.” Hannibal takes the plates and rinses them while Will drinks his juice, eying the kitchen.

This morning Hannibal appears more relaxed here in the kitchen. Is it due to the sex, or the cooking? Will can’t figure it.

It seems rude to merely continue what they were doing before the confession of hunger. Hannibal dries the plates and puts them away. Will brings his juice glass to him.

“Go wait in the study.” Hannibal rinses the glass, smelling where Will’s lips pressed against the glass. It’s absurd to think of this in the morning light. But now that he has Will, what is he to do with him?

Will waits in the study, sitting on the arm of the sofa, but after a little while, he gets restless, wandering around the room. He peruses the shelves. For a businessman, Hannibal has a lot of books. He drifts around, coming at last to the desk. He’s been fucked across a lot of desks. This one would be moderately comfortable for such an activity. Will runs his fingers over the polished wood, and glances at the letter opener.

“Careful, that’s sharp.” Hannibal says from the doorway.

Will backs away from the desk.

Hannibal walks across the room and grips his face, examining him before he kisses Will. Will turns his face upward, giving Hannibal the access he seeks. Hannibal’s hand on his jaw is firm, but not cruel. He hasn’t been cruel once so far.

Will realizes he’s still waiting for that.

After a minute, Hannibal breaks the kiss and looks at Will thoughtfully. “You taste like…”

“What?”

“Breakfast.” Hannibal lets him go.

“So I taste good.”

At that Hannibal looks at him. “Yes, you taste good.” He tugs Will’s head back and kisses him again. This time Will leans more into it, pressing against Hannibal and then Hannibal’s pressing back.

He gets Will on the carpet underneath him, rubbing against Hannibal’s pajama pants. Hannibal unzips his jeans, pulling them off him. Will lies back on the carpet, and Hannibal brushes a hand over his hip. He slides down between Will’s legs, capturing his eager cock in his mouth.

“Shit,” Will’s hips buck upward and Hannibal holds them down warningly. He likes this, likes having Will on his floor like this. The trickles of sunlight dance across his skin. Will’s skin is a canvas. Hannibal brought that hue of red to his cheeks, as Will arches into his mouth. His pale chest, light strands of hair, with his delicate, bruised nipples. The slender curve of his hip, dappled gold by the morning light.

Hannibal drags off, eying Will’s cock, shiny, yearning for affection. He grazes his mouth along it and Will shudders.

"Lie still." Hannibal tells him. "I am going to hold the tip of your cock in my teeth. Be careful how fast you thrust."

Each careful measured thrust inside Hannibal's mouth scrapes Will's skin just a fraction. He's raw, Hannibal's breath hot on him, and then Will gasps and there's the slide of teeth sharp against him as he comes.

Chapter Text

Hannibal lets Will completely soften before he releases him from his mouth. His fingers linger on the hollows of Will’s hips.

Will’s breathing is still rapid. He’s staring at the ceiling, arms lax above his head.

Hannibal rests on his elbows, looking at him for a long considering moment before sitting up.

Will stirs. He reaches over, fingers brushing across Hannibal's crotch.

Hannibal stops his wrist. “Not right now.” He needs space to clear his head. Will’s looking up at him with half-lidded eyes and all Hannibal wants to do is run his tongue from Will’s stomach to his mouth. It's disconcerting. He’s not used to people being this interesting. 

Hannibal stands. “I’m going for a run.”

Will looks hopeful, like he wants to go too and Hannibal hesitates, entertaining the thought briefly. He’d like to take Will along, but someone could see him and then there would be the questions. Hannibal doesn’t need questions. This won’t do.

“Go upstairs and wait in the bedroom.”

Will pulls his boxers and jeans up and goes. Hannibal observes the disappointed slump to his shoulders.

He lets five minutes pass before going upstairs.

*  *  *

Hannibal has Will undress and lie flat on his belly. He ties his wrists to the bedposts with light cords. He does the same with both ankles until Will is left spread-eagled, limbs stretched just enough to make it appealing.

Hannibal runs a fingertip down Will's spine to his ass, pausing to inspect him. Next he goes to his cabinet and selects a plug from his collection. Inch by inch, he carefully inserts it into Will until he’s thoroughly filled.

“There.” Hannibal looks around for the final touch. He takes his tie from yesterday and raises Will’s head to look at him. “Don’t come before I get back.”

Will nods awkwardly.

“Say it.”

“I won’t come before you get back, sir.” He has no idea where the sir comes from; it just slips out.

Hannibal accepts this and fastens the tie around his mouth, tying it at the back.

Then he changes into running shorts and t-shirt. Will lies there silently as he does.

At the doorway Hannibal stops at the doorway and looks back at Will, restrained and spread, the plug sticking obscenely out of him.

Hannibal turns it on then, watching the way Will’s hips jerk in surprise, involuntarily rubbing against the sheets. There’s a 75% chance Will won’t be able to control himself and Hannibal will punish him for it. That should put things back into their proper place. He leaves the door open and goes down the stairs with a satisfied expression.

Hannibal collects his keys and ipod from the bowl he keeps on the stand in the hallway. He locks the front door, puts his ear buds in and jogs lightly down the drive, strains of Chopin flowing pleasantly as he does.

*  *  *

Will presses his face against the pillow. Breathe. Breathe. The plug’s a constant steady hum inside him, making him itch for it. He wants to rut against the sheets, bringing himself off again and again until there's nothing left in him.

The tie rasps against his tongue. He swallows dryly.

Will listens to the silence in the room, trying to focus on the particular sounds he can hear. The faint scratch of a branch against the bedroom window. His own breathing, harsh to his ears. The rustle of the sheets as he occasionally shifts his weight. The only clock is the bedside one which doesn’t tick. The whole situation feels surreal and he closes his eyes, but the darkness is worse, so he opens them again.

He’s alone.

What if something happens to Hannibal? How long would it be before they found him?

Will squirms and the plug sinks deeper. If this is an example of Hannibal’s typical Saturday mornings, well…jesus.

*  *  *

Hannibal slips off his shoes when he enters the house. He goes up the stairs in his socks, silent as death.

Hannibal pauses in the doorway, watching Will. His face is turned away from the doorway unfortunately, but his ass quivers subtly with the motion of the plug. There’s a delectable tension to his shoulders that suggests a level of control that Hannibal hadn't been expecting.

He reaches for the remote and speeds it up. There’s a muffled groan from the gagged mouth and then Will turns his head and sees him standing there. He doesn’t beg or plead with his eyes, merely stares at Hannibal with silent desperation. Hannibal lets it continue for another full minute, watching Will’s hips strain backwards towards the plug, but then he shuts it off. Will sinks down into the pillow, shoulders sagging in relief.

Hannibal strolls around to the side of the bed. Reaching under Will he’s astonished to find pre-come dripping from him, but his cock is still hard. Will hasn’t come.

Hannibal unties the tie thoughtfully. “How long can I make this last?” He grips Will’s cock, enjoying the way it thrusts instantly into his palm.

Will rests his head against the pillow. “However long you want, I expect.”

“How much do you want to come?”

“Very much.” Will whispers. He can beg, if he has to. If that’s what Hannibal wants.

Hannibal takes his time undressing. Will watches out of the corner of his eye.

"I'm going to fuck you now." Hannibal pulls the plug out, loving the way Will’s stretched open for him. He positions himself on the bed behind Will, slipping in so easily, he has to restrain a moan.

It's torture for Will. Each deep thrust sends his cock rubbing against the sheets. His full balls ache, heavy and painful. He senses Hannibal is disappointed he didn't come while he was running, and that this is punishment of another sort instead. All the fucking games. Will stares at the wall. Hannibal doesn't need an excuse to punish him. He could just do it. He can do whatever he wants to Will.

There's another particularly deep thrust and Will bites back a groan. Hannibal does it again and again. One hand is on the headboard above Will, the other on Will’s hair, pulling his head back.

“How much do you want to come?”

“Please.” Will arches into his hand. Please is a good word to use. It’s polite and people like how it sounds.

“Tell me.” Hannibal pulls harder.

“Please, I can’t,” Will stares up at him, his brow lined and red, his lips parted desperately.

Hannibal tugs his hair harder, watching the way his neck convulses. He thrusts again, feeling the pulse of Will’s life in his hands.

Will comes on the next thrust, heart pounding in his chest. Hannibal’s fingers tighten in his hair and he moans as Hannibal’s cock continues thrusting, seemingly endlessly, until at last he comes. Will’s neck is strained, Hannibal has his head drawn so tightly back, his body is curved like a bow. If Hannibal pulls any more, he’s going to shatter.

Hannibal releases his hair slowly, sinking down upon Will’s back. He licks a drop of sweat from the back of Will’s neck. Will closes his eyes, breathing deeply. Hannibal’s weight rests against him, heating him, and it’s gone.

Hannibal unties him, setting the cords aside. He sits there for a moment, leaning against the headboard. He can still feel the way Will’s flesh surrounded his cock, how intimately taut the cord of life was there in that moment.

Will slumps there on his stomach, completely drained. All he wants to do is lie there, even though it's what he's done all morning. Hannibal's hand rests on his hip.

"Shower."

Will’s legs are weak. He’s not sure his legs still work. Even the thought of walking all the way down the hall is tiring. He starts for the doorway.

"Through there." Hannibal nods towards his personal bathroom. Will doesn't let himself think about what that means. He just goes.

Will’s standing under the spray when Hannibal follows him. They rinse off, shoulders brushing together.

The strain of his orgasm resonates against Will’s spine like music. There’s a heaviness to his limbs that pulls at them. He watches Hannibal’s skin under the water, the drops dancing down his chest. Even his eyelids feel heavy.

Hannibal steps out first. He leaves no instructions for Will and the bedroom is empty when Will finally leaves the shower.

He pulls his boxers on and goes downstairs to the kitchen.

*  *  *

Hannibal regards Will as he leans against the doorjamb before turning his attention back to his coffee. As this was all supposed to be dealt with last night, he still has paperwork from the office that needs his attention, and Will looks shaky. If Hannibal’s going to keep him for the weekend he doesn’t want to break him just yet.

"I have some work I need to do."

Will nods, waiting to be told where to wait until Hannibal wants him. Hannibal’s dressed in gray slacks and a fresh white shirt. Somehow, Will guesses, this is casual for him. The first few buttons are undone at the neck.

"You look as though you could use some sunshine. Perhaps some time in the garden would be beneficial." Hannibal nods at the door beyond the counter. “Although you should probably get dressed first."

Will pulls his jeans and t-shirt on but goes out barefoot. Hannibal's garden is guarded by tall stone walls, covered in vines. There’s an avenue of dark leafy trees as well as a tidy flowerbed. Will walks across the grass, enjoying the feel of it under his feet.

He picks a spot under a tree and sits, until the urge is too much and he lifts himself up into the branches. He goes higher and from there he can see Hannibal through the study window as he works.

Will sits back against the trunk and watches him. He’s really working, but it's not that he's acting like he's too busy to pay attention to Will. Will concludes that it was a spontaneous, but careful decision to keep him the whole weekend.

Hannibal's house is neat and organized. There's no sign of a spouse. His furnishings are all well-chosen, dark colors prevailing, but there are surprising splashes of color as well. There's something splendid about all of it.

The garden is peaceful. Will drinks in the fresh air, the breeze ruffling through his hair, a curious contentment settling inside his chest.

*  *  *

Hannibal works until half past one, steadily for the most part, but there are moments of distraction. What to make for lunch, what to make of Will.

There's a quiet knock at the study. "Come."

Will pokes his head in. "Would it be okay if I got something to read, and took it out outside? I'd be careful with it."

"Of course." Hannibal stands. "Help yourself. I was just about to start preparations for lunch." He watches Will's bare feet pad across his carpet.

He leaves Will to his selection and goes to the kitchen.

Will picks a book, but instead of going back outside he follows Hannibal to the kitchen. Hannibal eyes him, rolling up his sleeves, and reaches for an apron. "Enough sun?"

"Yeah." Will sits on the stool watching him. "You like cooking."

"One of my passions." Hannibal ties the apron with a tight flourish and reaches for the cutting board.

"What are your others?"

Hannibal smiles. "Good food. Engaging music. Pleasurable conversations. Satisfying sex."

"Is there anything I can do to help, or would you rather I stay out of your way?"

"You may grate the cheese if you like." Hannibal gets the grater and a bowl. He cuts Will a large portion of feta. “Here.”

Will works carefully. "Am I the first one you've ever cooked for?"

"Yes." Hannibal glances at him, catching the quick smile. "That pleases you." He cuts the chicken into neat thin strips. Will will enjoy this, meat roasted in a tart sauce, basil and cheese lightly sprinkled over the top. Hannibal’s already used a fair amount of the lawyer he butchered last month, but there’s enough for this dish.

"Well, yeah,” Will admits, “but why?" Why bother? He sets the grater aside and passes the bowl across the counter to Hannibal.

"You were hungry. It would have been rude not to." Hannibal gives him a red pepper to cut, watching how Will handles the knife.

Will just looks at him. "That wouldn't have made a difference to most people."

"I'm not most people." Hannibal murmurs, and Will snorts in amusement, knuckles curving over the knife handle.

*  *  *

This time they eat in the dining room. Hannibal pours them both glasses of white wine, and Will drinks. The lightheaded feeling returns. He drinks more wine than he should, aware of it accentuating everything around him. The hint of bitter spice on his tongue from the sauce. The flavor and warmth from the meat spreads through his body and he feels his toes curling in enjoyment under the table.

He's also highly aware of Hannibal watching him as they eat.

“Tell me about yourself, Will?”

“Not to be rude,” Will says. “But why?”

“I’m curious.” Hannibal takes his time eating. It’s far more pleasurable to watch Will.

“About why I’m a hooker.”

“Is that the only thing you are?”

Will blinks. “No. But…” He reaches for his wineglass. How can he explain? And yet for the first time in years, he almost wants to.

“What?”

“Sometimes I feel like I…matter less and less as it goes on. It's like I’m drowning and I’ll never get out.” He stops. “I can’t believe I just said that.” What will Hannibal do?

“Don’t apologize.” Hannibal steps back. “You were merely being honest.”

“Honesty isn’t really appreciated when you hired a mouth to get you off.” Will says flippantly.

Hannibal just looks at him.

It’s a defense mechanism, Will knows this. Reminding Hannibal what he is, because he doesn’t expect any better. Because he can’t allow himself to want any better.

Hannibal moves on to the next question. “Why did you agree to stay for the entire weekend?”

"I could use the money," Will says honestly. "My last job didn't go so well. The client complained and Martin didn't send me out for a while." His jaw's still sore when he remembers it. The bruise on his thigh the only visible mark left.

Hannibal sees perfectly. A prostitute who's caused trouble, and now Martin has a chance where he could be gotten rid of. He pours more wine and watches as Will trails the fork tines through the remnants of his dinner.

 “I was going to be a cop.” Will says, his voice quiet and resigned. “That was the plan at least. But I never completed the course. Midway I started having these dreams. I couldn’t do it.”

“Dreams about the victims?” Hannibal takes a sip of wine.

“No. The killers.” Will sets his fork down.

Hannibal looks more closely at him.

“I could see them in my sleep. They were too close. I couldn’t focus, couldn’t do anything really. I ended up in a psych ward for a few weeks and after that…”

“I see.”

Will sees killers. A clearer sign was never offered. Leave Will Graham alone. Instinct tells Hannibal to crush his windpipe. Desire tells him to press his thumb to the pulse in Will’s throat and kiss him to feel it race more.

Instead he does neither and takes another sip of wine.

*  *  *

Will excuses himself and goes to the restroom. His head is pounding slightly, but not as much as his heart. He rubs cold water on his face, letting it drip down his cheeks, to his neck, dampening the collar of his shirt.

He never talks about himself, not with clients, not with anyone.  

*  *  *

After lunch, Hannibal lets the dishes wait for once and returns to his desk to do some more work. This time Will takes his book and curls up on the sofa, drawing his feet up under him. Hannibal opens his mouth to say something, and then says nothing as he eyes Will’s freshly scrubbed soles. Will already thought to wash his feet.

Will glances up from his book. Maybe he imagines it, but he thinks there’s a pleased curve to Hannibal’s lips.

*  *  *

Hannibal works for the rest of the afternoon. When he looks up at last, Will is stretched out on the floor, book open before him as he rests his chin on his folded arms.

Hannibal leans back in his chair, stroking his chin with his thumb as he just gazes at Will.

Will looks up expectantly.

“Coffee?” Hannibal suggests.

“Yes, please.” Will bounces upright.

Hannibal lets him walk ahead into the kitchen, appreciating the curve of Will’s ass. The jeans don’t do it justice. If Will was his...

No.

He’s not keeping Will. The concept is preposterous and responsible. Hannibal brews fresh coffee and reminds himself that this is all temporary.

 *  *  *

Dinner is light, tender pork and roasted garlic. Hannibal is saving the pièce de résistance for their final meal on Sunday.

After their conversation at lunch, Will seems reluctant to talk about himself any more. Hannibal’s still curious but doesn’t push. He lets Will eat in peace. Will clearly enjoys everything that’s put in front of him and Hannibal takes as much enjoyment from that as he does in the meat itself.

*  *  *

Once they’re finished Hannibal starts clearing the table.

“I can help wash,” Will offers, “Or dry, or get out of your way.”

“Why do you always assume you’re in the way?” Hannibal hands him a towel.

“Habit.” Will watches Hannibal’s hands as he rinses the plates, handing them to Will.

“The plates go in the first cupboard there, the glasses in the next cupboard over.”

The silence between them is pleasantly relaxed. Will likes the simple feel of it, helping Hannibal. Companionship isn’t a thing that comes easily to him, but this feels good. The glass under his hands is smooth and warm; Hannibal’s hands move rhythmically over each dish until they’re done.

“Your home is really nice.” Will offers. It’s feeble, but he means it.

“Thank you.” Hannibal turns the tap off. “Out of curiosity, what would you have stolen?”

The towel twists in Will’s fingers. He lays it down on the counter. The fact that Hannibal’s asking, instead of merely turning him over to the police is encouraging. “Probably the statuette on the stand besides your desk. It’s light enough, but looks pretty expensive.”

“You have a good eye.” Hannibal observes. “Unfortunately, you'd have found it very difficult to fence. I had it imported.”

Will nods. He leans against the counter, waiting. “So, now what?” Hannibal could still turn him over to the police. Of course then he’d have to explain what Will was doing in his home in the first place. Maybe Hannibal will just kick him out instead.

“It’s rude to steal from people, Will.”

“Ruder still to fuck someone and kick them out without payment.” Will says defiantly.

“So future clients pay for the sins of the past ones?”

“Sometimes.” Will stares at the floor for a second. “You don’t have to believe me, but I wasn’t going to.” He’d thought about it, the first night, but decided against it in the end.

“Oh, I believe you.” Hannibal moves in, trapping Will against the counter. His fingertips close on Will’s jaw, and when his lips touch Will’s it’s in a slow, arousing kiss that leaves Will breathless and hard.

Hannibal draws back and just looks at him. Every time it’s like he’s seeing Will in a new light.

“What are you going to do?” Will asks.

“I’m going to read for a bit and then I’m going to have a bath.”

“And me?” Will’s shirt is pressed against Hannibal’s chest. If he tries anything, Hannibal will stop him dead in his tracks. He’s fairly certain of that.

“You,” Hannibal leans in to kiss him again, “will be quite occupied.”

*  *  *

Once more in the study, Hannibal has Will sit on his couch, pants around his knees, hands slicked.

“You're to masturbate, but not come. If you do then I'll have to punish you.”

“How long are you going to read?” Will can already tell this is going to be agonizing.

“As long as I like.” Hannibal settles into his chair. He can see Will out of the corner of his eye if he likes, but it’s not too distracting. He picks up his ipad, returning to his place in the book.

Will slides his palm along his cock, rubbing the lube over his skin. It sounds obscene in the silence of the room. He tries to do it gradually, but it doesn’t make it any quieter. The sounds continue, the wet slick loud against his hand. Will takes it as slow as he can, jerking off generically, without any haste to his movements. He keeps his breathing even. He can do this. He can outlast Hannibal.

Hannibal reads on.

*  *  *

As time passes Will’s motions grow sloppier. By now it just sounds absurdly lewd. His cock strains hot and needy in his grip. He strokes over his balls and bites back a moan. His hips twitch. He can feel the sweat gathering under his arms and down his back.

Hannibal glances at the clock. It’s early yet. He wants Will just a tad more compliant. Hannibal gets up and goes to the sidebar to pour himself a glass of wine. Will’s hand slows hopefully.

“Keep going.” Hannibal has his back to him. Will starts up again, swearing under his breath.

Hannibal returns to his seat and sips his wine.

At eight o’clock, Hannibal finally sets his reader aside and takes a final sip of wine. He listens to the soft guttural sound of Will’s controlled breathing.

Hannibal stands. “Upstairs, master bathroom.”

Will pulls his boxers and jeans up, groaning as the material brushes over his cock. He walks as swiftly as he can, but it just aches. Hannibal enjoys making him wait. He’s fucking getting off on it. It just makes Will harder. He pauses halfway up the stairs to adjust himself. It doesn’t help.

In the bathroom Will faces himself in the mirror. His cheeks are flushed, mouth red. His eyes have the half desperate look he gets when he’s close to coming. Oh god, he’s so hard. How long is Hannibal going to make him wait this time?

Hannibal enters the bedroom. Will watches through the door as he undresses. Each item of clothing laid carefully aside. He watches as Hannibal removes his briefs, biting his lip as he looks hungrily at Hannibal’s cock.

Will knows it’s a job, knows he’s getting paid, but it’s not difficult to want this. It’s not hard to want Hannibal with his lean body, all lithe and muscled. The beautiful symmetry of his movements make Will yearn to touch him. The man has the grace of a predator.

Not to mention his voice. Will’s cock strains a little harder, thinking of it.

No, it’s not a hardship. In many ways this is a very easy job.

Hannibal pushes the door all the way open and looks at him. “Get undressed, Will.”

Hearing his name spurs Will on. He fumbles in his haste, pulling his t-shirt off, shoving his jeans and boxers down, freeing his cock at last. There’s a bead dripping from the slit and Hannibal just smiles.

“Put your clothes in the bedroom.”

Will scoops them up, sets them on a chair and returns to the bathroom.

“Face the mirror.”

Will does, cock twitching in anticipation. Hannibal stands directly behind him. Will watches his face in the mirror as Hannibal leans in close, his hand ducking between Will’s legs, cupping his balls.

Will’s fingers grip the sink counter. “I’m gonna.”

Hannibal’s lips brush his ear. “If you come before I say you’re allowed, you’ll spend tomorrow aching with no release.”

Oh god, there’s still tomorrow to get through. Will moans as his cock leaks more. There’s no way he can hold back. Hannibal cups his balls harder.

“Will.”

“I’m trying.” His teeth catch his lower lip and he moans again.

Hannibal pulls away to start the bath. Will leans on the counter, trying to calm his breathing. He can do this.

When he finally turns around, Hannibal’s stretched out in the tub, arms resting on either side, watching him.

“Come here, Will.”

Will steps into the tub. The water’s deliciously heated, rising up to his knees.

Hannibal settles Will along his body, Will’s ass resting comfortably along his cock. The tip of Will’s cock bobs above the water. Hannibal’s hand smooths over Will’s hair, as he kisses his way along Will’s neck. He repeats this, lulling Will into a slow, heated frenzy.

“Hannibal.” It’s the first time he’s said the name since Hannibal first introduced himself and Will said he liked it. He doesn’t have to say please this time.

The lips on his hair pause and then Hannibal adjusts his body, positioning Will so he’s seated right above his cock. He thrusts in languidly, making Will’s cock arch in the water. Then Hannibal just rests there, cock buried in Will. His hand brushes over Will’s stomach, stroking down between his legs. Will’s full of Hannibal; his mind is here, but distant as his eyes close. His skin is hot to the touch. Hannibal's hand is torment upon him.

“Hannibal, I’m so close.”

Hannibal’s other hand cups his mouth. “You know what I said.”

Will knows, but Hannibal’s body is fitted against his, the stretch of Hannibal’s cock filling him. The heat rises in the bathroom and Will’s eyes blur. He shudders, sinking deeper onto Hannibal’s cock. He grips the sides of the tub, struggling and the hand over his mouth tightens.

“Will. Will.”

Will shudders again. There’s a roaring in his ears. The heated mist draws back and there’s only cold. Everything is cold around him. He’s walking down a long hallway, the walls lined with faint echoes of death. Will screams into Hannibal’s hand, coming with a violent twist before sagging back against his chest.

Hannibal sits upright, letting go of him. Will pulls away immediately, edging to the opposite end of the tub before climbing out. He slips, sprawling painfully across the floor.

“Will.”

Will just lies there, waiting. “Go on.”

“What?” Hannibal stares down at him.

“I disobeyed you. Go ahead. Punish me.” His voice cracks. His knees aches. His entire body feels like he hasn’t been warm in days.

Hannibal crouches beside him, touching his hair gently. “Will, what did you see?”

“What?”

“You seemed to be reacting to something.” Hannibal eases him upright against the tub. “What was it?”

“I don’t…know exactly. It’s like death. I think I see death.”

Hannibal just looks at him. It sounds stupid, Will knows this. He wraps his arms around his knees. “I’m sorry.”

“Come.” Hannibal touches his shoulder briefly, and Will stands. “You’re shaking.”

He leads Will into the shower, starting it. The water is warm, but not overpowering. Gradually, Will stops shivering as his body relaxes. The cold recedes from his mind.

Hannibal has a towel waiting for him when he’s done.

Will dries off, one limb at a time, wrapping it around his waist. He doesn’t want to be naked right now. Hannibal just gives him a look, and reaches for his bathrobe. “Put this on.”

The robe is soothing, even if it makes Will feel like a kid.

Hannibal takes him downstairs and fixes him a hot toddy. “Drink this and I’ll be right back.”

Will does, putting his feet up on the rungs of the kitchen stool. It feels strange to be in the kitchen without Hannibal. He drinks slowly, savoring the mix of whiskey and lemon.

Hannibal reappears by the time he’s done and takes him back upstairs.  

Hannibal’s changed the sheets in the bedroom. Will sinks down on the freshly turned down bed with an exhausted sigh. All he wants to do is curl up and sleep. He looks up at Hannibal who nods.

Gratefully Will lies down, curling his head on his arms. He’s still wearing Hannibal’s robe, but Hannibal makes no comment.  Will doesn’t want to take it off so he doesn't.

Hannibal lies down beside him, drawing the sheets up over them both.

“Sleep, Will.” Hannibal’s fingers stroke over his neck. “It’s all right.”

Chapter Text

Hannibal stays at Will’s side until he drifts off to sleep. He listens to Will’s steady breathing and then rises silently from the bed. Hannibal has a spare bathrobe in his closet, but instead he just pulls on a pair of pajama bottoms and goes downstairs.

If this were an ordinary night, Hannibal would have enjoyed a good meal and then read until he went to bed. Will’s presence, though pleasant, is a deviation from his pattern.

Hannibal pours himself a glass of wine and reaches for his ipad. Currently he’s working his way through the collected works of Charles Dickens for the third time. He reads for nearly forty-five minutes, sipping his wine. The knowledge of Will upstairs in his bed lingers pleasantly at the back of his mind.

*  *  *

Will stirs in his sleep when Hannibal gets back into bed beside him. The bathrobe’s fallen open as he shifts. Hannibal gazes at his body, bare and pale in the darkness. He traces the curve of Will’s hip and then Will turns slightly, and Hannibal’s hand grazes over his crotch. Will’s cock is soft and still to the touch. Hannibal licks his lips at the memory of its taste.

He could take that first, biting it neatly off. He imagines Will’s limbs flailing, body jerking under his bite, and the taste of blood on his teeth. Instead, he runs his fingers through Will’s pubic hair, exploring the heat of his skin.

“Hannibal.” Will murmurs. His eyes are half-lidded, gazing up at him.

Hannibal brushes his other hand over his brow. “Shhh.” He kisses Will’s brow. Will’s a little warm, but there’s no fever.  His hair is soft under Hannibal’s lips, and Hannibal kisses his way down his neck to his collarbone.  Each brush of his lips makes Will turn a little closer to him. Hannibal kisses his way across Will’s chest, mouthing hungrily at the expanse of skin at his disposal.

There’s no reasonable explanation for why he finds Will so intoxicating. Mysteries usually infuriate Hannibal. But this is one he can’t help enjoying.

Will’s hand moves lazily up his thigh. Hannibal glances at it, before turning his attention back to Will’s mouth. Will’s lips part under his as Hannibal’s fingers curl in his hair. Will’s entire body leans in towards his warmth, his mouth receptive. He kisses Hannibal with a sleepy sort of enjoyment that makes Hannibal smile.

One more day of exploration then. One day to learn Will by heart and consume his secrets.

*  *  *

On Sunday Will wakes up first. He’s got that contentedly lethargic ache throughout his body. Hannibal doesn’t stir when he gets out of bed. Will grabs his boxers and goes downstairs. There he uses the bathroom in peace without worrying he’s going to wake Hannibal. There he looks himself over. Apart from the faint indents of his teeth around Will’s nipples, Hannibal hasn’t really left any marks.

Will finds that weird, frankly. He’s used to the sort of treatment that leaves him marked up, knows he’s the kind of hooker that clients expect to be able to bruise and get away with it. Hannibal clearly enjoys biting him, so why not mark him up more?

The house is serene in the silence of the early morning. He pulls his boxers on and goes exploring. While the study is obviously both Hannibal’s place of work and relaxation, the kitchen is clearly his inner sanctum. Will doesn’t go into the kitchen.

He glances in the dining room briefly, remembering last night, and the meal they shared there. All of Hannibal’s meals have been excellent. It’s the best Will’s eaten in, well, ever.  He’s hungry now, but it’s a natural hunger, not the familiar ache.

Will continues on into the study. The back garden looks fresh and cool in the morning sun. It’s tempting to go outside for a bit, but when he opens the door, the air is too chilly. Instead Will decides to climb up the ladder to the balcony to browse through the books.

 *  *  *

Hannibal sleeps longer than he intended. His body is completely sated; his sleep is sound and comfortable. When he finally wakes, Hannibal lies there considering what’s to be done. If he kills Will now, he could invite a few guests over for dinner this evening. If Hannibal waits and kills him later, he’ll have to make sure he has everything taken care of as soon as it’s done. He has a nine o’clock meeting tomorrow morning.

Will isn’t in his bed.

Hannibal gets up and goes downstairs. The phone rings just as he enters the study.

He picks up. “Yes?”

It’s Miss Lewis, his personal secretary, who has precise orders not to disturb him at home this weekend.

“I’m sorry sir, but the Carter reports were filed wrong yesterday and Mr. Jenkins –“

Hannibal makes a few notes as she goes on.  Each of his answers is clipped with annoyance. He rarely takes time from work; this weekend is an exception. On the other hand, if he goes in this afternoon he could have this problem dealt with properly and get a little more done so tomorrow isn’t so cluttered.

As his secretary continues talking, Hannibal keeps his annoyance from growing. Nothing this weekend is going as planned. He stretches his neck, listening to the sound of her voice. He should go into the office, but he doesn’t want to. Hannibal sighs. His eyes drift upward and he catches sight of Will sitting in the corner of his balcony, watching him.

Will’s breath catches, staring down at Hannibal. He should leave so Hannibal can have his conversation in privacy, but his body’s frozen in place as Hannibal gazes back at him. As he listens though, Will can’t help the weary frustration building up inside him. It’s clear Hannibal has prior responsibilities to tend to. Most likely he’s going to drive off to his fancy office and leave Will here, waiting for him all day. Fuck that. He’s tired of being told what to do by people who think they’re better than him.

Hannibal pauses then, still just gazing at Will. His decision is abrupt. He won’t be robbed of this time with Will. “I’ll deal with this tomorrow, Miss Lewis. The Carter reports can wait till tomorrow.” He hangs up.

“Come down, Will.”

Will does, eyes still on Hannibal as he approaches. He didn’t mean to eavesdrop and Hannibal knows it, but it’s still a slight. Hannibal keeps his personal and professional lives very separate indeed.

“You were listening.”

“Yeah.” Will can tell he’s irritated. Good, he thinks. He speaks first, before Hannibal can respond. “Why aren’t you going in to the office?”

Hannibal frowns. “Because the matter can wait.”

Will nods to himself, biting his lip. “Or maybe you just like fucking me so much you can’t be bothered to go in to work.”

Hannibal merely studies him until the flush deepens around Will’s neck. “Is that what you think?”

Will shrugs. “I’m sure your work is more important than me, so really I just don’t know.”

There’s something here, bothering Will, and then it clicks and Hannibal realizes what Will’s doing. He hides his smile at Will’s attempts to provoke him into tossing him out first so he won’t be abandoned when Hannibal returns to his job.

“Hands and knees.”

Will doesn’t move and Hannibal reaches out to cup his jaw. His fingers press into the bone and slowly Will kneels. He rests his palms flat against the carpet, waiting as Hannibal removes his pajama pants.

Hannibal tugs his boxers down to his ankles, leaning over him. He should take care; for once he doesn’t want to. Will’s positioned just right and Hannibal grips him by his hips. He enters Will with a brutal thrust, rocking him forward on his knees. Will’s head hangs between his shoulders, fingers clutching at the carpet as Hannibal fucks him roughly. Each jolt to his hips, impales Will further.

Will grits his teeth; bracing himself against the rush of pain and then pushes back to meet Hannibal’s thrusts. There’s danger here. He can’t define the cause. Maybe that’s what keeps him here instead of running the first time Hannibal turns his back, but part of it is curiosity. Whatever Will was trying to do, he doesn’t have to any more. Hannibal’s not going anywhere.

Hannibal’s body slinks along his own and they move together, a sweat-slicked creature. Ragged needy pleasure spikes through Will as Hannibal hits that spot and he gasps, tightening around Hannibal. There’s no thought of control here. Everything’s gone. Will spills across his chest, the carpet, his hands. Hannibal rides him out until he comes, breathing hard. His body goes lax, nestling his face in the back of Will’s hair.

Only when Hannibal eases out of him does Will wince.

It’s raining slightly, the drops hitting the study window. Hannibal watches it as he stands, pulling his pajama bottoms back up. Will shivers, and Hannibal glances down at him.

Hannibal leans down and pulls Will to his feet. He skims the palm of his hand over Will’s belly. “Here.” He presses Will down on his back on upon his desk, discarding his boxers entirely.

“What are you doing?”

Hannibal doesn’t answer, merely lowers his mouth to Will’s spent cock.

Will bites his lip hard against the cry that wants to escape. He can’t come again that quickly; surely Hannibal knows that. The velvet hollow of Hannibal’s throat around his cock makes him whimper.  He pushes himself up from the desk and Hannibal’s grip tightens. The message is clear. Will lies back down. He squeezes his eyes shut because if he keeps them open he’s going to start crying, and he’s not going to fucking cry over getting his dick sucked, but it hurts.

The darkness surrounding him is sensitive and painful. Will opens his eyes and focuses on the clock besides the desk. Hannibal sucks him off for exactly twenty-three minutes, nursing him steadily to stiffness. When Will comes the second time, his teeth tear at the tender flesh of his lower lip, his hips bucking unabashedly against Hannibal’s mouth.

Hannibal moves up to rest his chin on Will’s chest, gazing at him. “Satisfied?”

“What do you think?” Will rubs at his eyes. He’s exhausted. If Hannibal touches his dick again he’s going to bawl like a fucking baby.

Hannibal chuckles. “I think you need a nap.”

“I just woke up.” Will protests. His back aches through when he straightens up. The thought of more sleep isn’t unpleasant. Hannibal says nothing, merely motions to the sofa and Will goes.

*  *  *

When he wakes a second time, Hannibal has fresh coffee brewed and there’s a plate of bacon and pastries waiting for Will.

Will drinks two cups of coffee and watches Hannibal while he eats the bacon. His ass is sore. So’s his dick. He tries not to squirm as he sits on the stool. The bacon crunches in a gratifying manner under his teeth.

“Why didn’t you go in?”

“Because this is my day off.” Hannibal sets his coffee cup down. “And I do enjoy fucking you.”

Will blushes. “I just said that to...”

“To provoke me, yes. I know.”  Hannibal pours himself more coffee. “You thought I would leave you waiting here again.” He’d considered doing exactly that.

Will keeps his gaze on the counter. Hannibal remains silent though, and eventually Will glances up to find Hannibal watching him. There’s no anger, or annoyance upon the smooth lines of his face, merely a slight curiosity. What’s strange is Will realizes he doesn’t mind Hannibal’s curiosity. At least it’s not patronizing.

“Have you had many episodes like you did last night?” Hannibal asks instead. The way Will reacted has stayed with him.

“No.” Will says shortly. He doesn’t want to remember last night. Okay, he wants to remember after what happened in the bathtub, the part where Hannibal lay beside him, and then…Will thinks he remembers kissing. Did they kiss? He’s not entirely certain whether that was real or if he dreamed it.

“Are you sure?”

That gives Will pause. “No, I’m not sure. It’s never happened with a client before.” Usually he’s alone when this sort of thing happens. This, having someone else around to witness it, this is all new.

“You said you thought you saw death.”

“I know how it sounds.” Will folds his arms on the counter, resting his chin on them. He knows exactly how it sounds. This is the kind of thing that gets you sent to see a psychiatrist. 

Hannibal takes another sip of coffee. “Does it scare you?”

Will’s shoulders hunch inward slowly. He focuses on the buttons of Hannibal’s shirt. Pearl white. They would be hard on his tongue. He imagines pulling at them with his teeth until they’re free.

“Yes.” He says at last.

“Why?”

Will thinks about that. “Because it seems so familiar when I see it. So easy to access. Like all I have to do is open a door and it will be there waiting for me.”

“But it’s not death itself that truly frightens you.”

“Not so much, no.” Will straightens up. “So if you’re not going in to work…what are we going to do today?”

Hannibal accepts the change of topic. “We are going to shower, and then have a walk in the garden, and then I’m going to cook you dinner.”

Will raises an eyebrow. “It’s barely eleven and you’re already thinking of dinner?”

Hannibal leans across the counter, his thumb tracing over Will’s lower lip. “The finest feasts require a great deal of preparation, Will.”

*  *  *

In the shower Will watches Hannibal wash himself, drawn to the way his hands move familiarly over his own skin. He can still feel the imprint of Hannibal’s fingers on his hips from earlier. This time, Will thinks, there will be marks.

He eyes Hannibal’s cock, remembering how it felt in him. Will’s not sentimental. Sex is sex, and one of the reasons he finds it easier to do this than to have a real relationship is the communication. The constant assessment of whether the other person is all right, what they are thinking, do they understand what you mean, etc – all of it exhausts him. Far easier to get fucked for money than to try to explain once again that he doesn’t mind cuddling, he just doesn’t want to do it all the time.

Sex with Hannibal is different.

He’s still just a client, Will reminds himself. But he can’t stop gazing at Hannibal’s cock, and thinking how good it felt to be stretched open by it.

He starts to harden and turns around to face the wall before Hannibal can see.

Hannibal moves in close, resting his hands on the shower wall on either side of Will’s head. “Feel better?”

Will nods. Hannibal’s body presses against his, his nipples brushing Will’s back. His cock rubs along the crease of Will’s ass, which just serves to make Will harden even more.

Hannibal’s lips graze over the side of his neck. “Not until later.” He smiles at Will’s groan of disappointment. “Come on.”

Will follows him out of the shower, thoroughly frustrated. It’s going to be a long day.

*   *   *

Once they’re both dressed Hannibal leads the way out into the garden. They walk in silence along the brick path. Tomorrow this will all be over, but for now Will’s enjoying himself. Even if he is still half hard.

“Do you look after your garden yourself?”

Hannibal shakes his head. “I have someone who comes in twice a week to weed and water the beds, and cut the grass.” He has his hands in his pockets as he studies the flowerbed in front of them. “Gardening is not my specialty.”

*   *   *

They go back inside. Hannibal selects some Bach at whim to play in the study before heading to the kitchen. Will takes off his shoes, listening to the chords drifting through the hallway.

In the kitchen Hannibal reaches for his apron, tying it around his waist.

Will watches him from the doorway before crossing the floor. “So what are you planning for dinner?”

Sometimes Hannibal likes to make his guests guess what they’re eating. Of course, whatever they guess, the answer is always wrong, but it doesn’t cease his amusement. Today he simply smiles at the question.

“I had a particular dish in mind.” Hannibal reaches for the knife and the cutting board he has set to one side.

“Have you made it before?” Will glances around the kitchen, turning his neck for an instant and then looking back at Hannibal.

Hannibal’s fingers grip the knife. For a moment he gazes at Will’s face, sees the expectation there in his eyes, the slight part to his lips, the way his damp hair clings to his scalp. Will’s tongue is warm in his mouth, and his heart beats evenly in his chest. He’s not afraid; he should be, but he’s not.

The knife is solid in Hannibal’s grip. All it needs is to be raised. He looks at it, and then up again at Will, still waiting.

Hannibal sets the knife aside. “I think perhaps a glass of wine, while we prepare.”

He pours two glasses of Cabernet and gives one to Will before returning to the preparations at hand. In the end, the decision isn’t truly much of a surprise. Will is intriguing, amusing, stirring Hannibal’s senses like the scent of a fresh hunt. There will be other prey. For now, Will shall remain.

“Well?” Will asks, and Hannibal blinks at him. “Are you making that particular dish?”

“No,” Hannibal says. “I think instead, salt and herb-crusted lamb with a red wine sauce.”

“Sounds good.” Will remarks.

Hannibal gives him the garlic cloves to cut up while he gets the lamb from his fridge. He had put it to thaw earlier on Thursday morning,  intending to have guests for dinner the beginning of the next week, but it will do instead for tonight. It’s not as tasty a cut as Will would have made, but quite savory as all the same. He pre-heats the oven and then brings the ingredients over to the counter where Will’s working.

“Tell me about the first food you remember eating.” Hannibal cuts up the rosemary, oregano and thyme, mixing them together.

Will tries to remember. He thinks back, to when he was little, sitting under the kitchen table while his dad fried fish over the stove. The smell of it wafts through the air, and Will drums his fingers on the kitchen floor as he plays with his wooden boat.

“Fish, I think. My dad fished.” He finishes the garlic and passes it over to Hannibal who adds it to the bowl.

“An enjoyable pastime.” Hannibal muses. “Waiting for the right one to venture right up to your lure.”

Will watches as Hannibal tips the whole bowl into the food processor on the counter and chops it up. When that’s done, he adds the oil, salt and pepper, mixing them in as well. Then Hannibal rubs the mixture over the cut of lamb. His hands stroke it liberally into the meat and Will tries not to think about how it would feel to have Hannibal doing that to him. It’s so easy though. His hands work the lamb thoroughly, making sure to rub the oil into every last crevice of flesh. Will imagines those fingers on his limbs, stroking his muscles like that. He leans against the counter, willing his dick to relax.

“There.” Hannibal reaches for the sea salt. He pats it gently over the lamb, fingers kneading carefully.

Will grabs his glass of wine, gulping half of it.

Hannibal eyes him. “Are you all right?”

“Yeah,” Will licks the wine from his lips. “What else can I do?”

Hannibal gives him carrots, celery and onion to chop up while he puts the lamb in the oven.

“Now for the sauce.” He starts to wash his hands, but Will half-sighs, and Hannibal turns to him instead, holding his hand up to him in invitation.

Will imagines sucking his fingers into his mouth, as he licks the oil from Hannibal’s palm. The salt is sharp and coarse upon his tongue. Then Hannibal simply slides his finger along Will’s lower lip and lets him do exactly that. Will sucks his forefinger all the way into his mouth, running his tongue over the knuckle. He glances at Hannibal as he does, and the look he sees there makes the crotch of his jeans tighten over his dick.

Hannibal reaches for his wine with his free hand, taking a sip while he watches Will suck at his finger. He pulls free when Will’s tongue starts laving around the base. Will’s lips are glossy with wine and spit, and Hannibal thinks that keeping him alive is possibly the best decision he’s ever made.

"Tell me of your first fantasy." Now he washes his hands and takes another sip of wine before giving Will more garlic to cut up. The other vegetables go in the saucepan. He stirs them, glancing at Will over his shoulder.

Focus, Will, focus. "My first…I can’t even remember.” He stops. “The other night though, I had this,” His skin grows warm, remembering.

“What was it?” Hannibal inquires.

“I was walking down this long empty stretch of road in the middle of the night, and then there was a noise and when I turned to look, there was a stag following me, silently. I was aroused, terrified, but aroused." He hesitates. "I know that's not really what you meant."

“It’s interesting all the same.” Hannibal pauses from stirring. “What happened?”

“It followed me all the way home. Every step I took on the road, I knew it was there, just behind me. I could feel its breath on the back of my neck. The brush of the antlers against the back of my head, like it was nudging me, or…caressing me, I don’t know.” Will’s chest tightens as he remembers it. “When I woke up, I’d ejaculated in my sleep.”

Hannibal considers this as he mixes the garlic in. He adds the rest of the ingredients, stirring them in smoothly and setting the sauce to simmer.

“Were you afraid of the stag?”

“Yes.” Will whispers. “I was afraid of what it would see in me. What it would make me do.”

The air in the kitchen draws close, the spices thick in the air. Hannibal’s eyes devour him. Will can’t breathe; the heat spreads outward from his groin and he wants to rub shamelessly against the kitchen counter until he comes.

Hannibal’s taste and sophistication, sensuality and desire. Will is nothing like that. He doesn’t belong here. What’s he even doing here?

*  *  *

Will leaves the kitchen and goes to wash his face in the downstairs bathroom. It’s beginning to be a pattern. He can’t escape the heat. His face is flushed, and he knows the outline of his erection is visible against his jeans. At least Hannibal’s not having him wear only his boxers. He leans his forehead against the mirror, forcing himself to take deep breaths.

He lowers his mouth to the faucet, taking a long drink of water. It dribbles down his chin and he wipes his lips on the back of his arm.

 Talking about the dream made it seem more real. When he looks up, for a moment he swears he can see the stag now in the mirror.

*  *  *

Hannibal looks up when Will returns. “Here.” He pushes a glass of cool water towards him. “This will help.”

Will takes silently. He doesn’t ask how Hannibal knows his head aches, or that he’s drowning in desire. He empties the glass and sets it down.

Hannibal checks the oven. There’s still an hour to go. He glances at Will and pours more wine.

“Tell me about your first sexual experience.”

Will sips his wine, and exhales. “I was young, I don’t remember how old exactly. There was a girl who lived across the street. She would undress in the evening without closing her windows. I’d be playing outside and I’d watch her. One night it made me hard, just watching her careless, casual nudity. It wasn’t for anybody, or anything. It was just life. I liked how comfortable she was.” He takes another sip of wine and glances at Hannibal. “Do you want to know about my first time with a client?”

“Do you want to tell me?”

“Not particularly, no.” Will sets the glass down again.

Hannibal nods. “Tell me of the last one then. The one that didn’t end well.”

Will rests his elbows on the counter, watching as Hannibal stirs the sauce again. “It started normal, but the man had this latent anger in him. He wouldn’t stop, and I started struggling.” He watches the way Hannibal’s shoulders stiffen slightly.

“He kept me there with a pillowcase over my head until he was hard again, and then he made me beg him to let me suck him off.” Will remembers the way the pillowcase flattened over his mouth; how much it hurt to breathe.

“What did you do?” Hannibal turns the heat off on the stove and looks at him.

Will gazes back. “I begged.” What else was there to do?

Hannibal opens the oven and draws the lamb out from the heat.

*  *  *

Dinner is superb. The meat is flaky and light in his mouth. Will practically comes just from eating it. By now he knows that Hannibal enjoys watching his enjoyment, and knowing that is exquisite agony in itself. His hard-on aches under the table and he presses the heel of his hand hard against his crotch.

Hannibal gives him a look. “Not at the table, Will.”

Slowly Will removes his hand, and Hannibal pours him a little more wine. The ache has settled into his bones and he knows all too well that Hannibal will continue to take his time.

“What made you change your mind?”

“Regarding what?” Hannibal takes a bite and chews.

“Keeping me after the first night.”

“What makes you think that wasn’t my intention all along?”

Will shakes his head. “No, somewhere during that first evening, you changed your mind.”

Hannibal reaches for his wine. “If you truly want to know, I was pleasantly surprised by you. Simply put, I wanted more.”

It leaves Will wordless. He reaches for his wineglass and drains it, to keep himself from asking ‘for fuck’s sake, why?’ Hannibal doesn’t have to explain his desires to him.

Hannibal starts clearing the table. He carries the dishes into the kitchen, rinsing them but leaving them in the sink just this once.

He straightens the few items left on the counter as Will follows him into the kitchen.

“Now,” Hannibal starts, but Will’s looking up at him, as he reaches for his trousers. Hannibal just watches Will as he unfastens them, drawing the band of Hannibal’s briefs down to take out his cock. Will kneels then, lowering his mouth to lick over the head.

Hannibal rests his hands against the counter; the heat of Will's mouth is intoxicating. Each deft lick of his tongue is wet and slick around Hannibal. His cheeks hollow as he takes him deeper, brushing his nose against the dark hair at Hannibal’s groin.

The scent of sex saturates the air in the kitchen. Hannibal’s fingers dig into the countertop as Will slides his tongue up and down along his length. He pulls off, letting the head brush wetly over his lips before leaning closer to lick at Hannibal’s balls.

Hannibal sucks in a breath. This isn’t what he had intended at all. His intention had been to fuck Will one final time, but this, the heat of his mouth, with Will initiating it, he can’t resist this. All too soon, Hannibal's absurdly close, and with a sigh, his release comes.

His fingers tighten in Will’s hair automatically, tugging close to the scalp. "Don't swallow."

Will hesitates, glancing upward. He's going to choke. Hannibal just gazes down at him, his eyes remote. Will holds the semen in his mouth, waiting desperately for Hannibal’s decision.

Hannibal holds him there, thinking of how long it would take the boy to digest it, how long it would lie in his stomach, but he’s not going to cut Will open, and he knows it.

"Swallow," he decides at last. Even if he were, a hint of bitter flavor wouldn’t change the meat too much.

Will swallows gratefully, his throat working rapidly. He's never seen anyone take that much thought over it.

Hannibal closes his eyes, savoring the feel of Will’s throat around him. At least, he exhales softly and opens his eyes again.

“That was very pleasant, Will, but not quite what I had in mind for after dinner.” He draws him up by his collar, fingers light on his collarbone.

“What were you going to do?” Will’s voice is hoarse. He’s going to come from the sound of Hannibal’s voice alone if he just keeps talking.

Hannibal leans in, brushing the backs of his fingers across Will’s neck. “I meant to fuck you.”

He nudges Will back into the dining room, pressing him down over the table. “I still will, but,” his hand closes on the bone handle knife lying on the table and Will’s fingers splay wide as he realizes what Hannibal intends.

Hannibal pushes Will’s jeans and boxers down to his ankles, pulls his shirt up to rest below his neck.

He holds the knife out in front of Will’s lips. “Wet it.”

Will takes the handle in his mouth, coating it with his saliva. The handle is cool and hard against his tongue, rounded at the tip. He thinks of how that will feel in his ass and moans a little around the handle. Hannibal makes sure it’s well slicked before pulling it from him.

That first push inside makes Will grunt. His chest flattens against the table. It’s polished so smoothly he can see the vague wavery reflection of Hannibal standing above him.

“I thought you said not at the table.” Will murmurs.

Hannibal chuckles, running his fingertips down Will’s spine. He pushes the knife handle in further, watching Will’s body strive to accept it.

“How does that feel?”

“Like you’re gonna split me open.” Will whispers. His breath is hot on the table top. Hannibal maneuvers him upright for a moment, and Will groans as his cock is trapped between the table and his chest.

Hannibal swivels the knife handle inside him and Will’s palms slide across the table, damp with sweat.

The knife sinks deeper and Will arches back against the handle as Hannibal fucks him with it. His cock drips over the table, one excruciating drop at a time. Hannibal pulls the knife free and Will whimpers at the sensation of loss. Hannibal’s left hand wraps around his balls, cupping them.

“Fuck, fuck,” Will shudders as the knife slides back into him all the way to the end of the hilt. He imagines it pushing all the way inside him, cool steel tearing against his tender skin and he moans, cock jerking and spilling across the table. Hannibal holds his balls until Will’s drained, keeps the knife in him until he’s stopped shuddering.

Then he pulls the knife free and sets it down. Will’s semen trails across the table. Even his dining room centerpiece is stained. Hannibal considers this, as Will just slumps there upon the table.

Hannibal rests his hand on his ass, feeling Will tremble slightly.

Will turns his head, resting his cheek on the wood.

Hannibal hand travels up his back, skirting along his backbone up to his neck, and through his hair. He pulls Will’s head up and back, leaning in to breathe in the scent of Will just like this, sweat and salt and pure desire.

Abruptly, he rolls Will over, holding him there on his back.  Will rests there on his table, gazing up at Hannibal. He can feel the slick of his own come on his back and shirt. Hannibal leans in, trapping Will flat upon the table.

Will’s cock nestles softly against Hannibal’s groin. Hannibal tangles his fingers through Will’s curls and Will’s neck arches upward. He swallows helplessly as Hannibal’s teeth set against his Adam’s apple, and then they’re on his lips and Will’s no long sure whether he’s being kissed or consumed.

Chapter Text

“Hannibal.” Will murmurs.

His lips are ravaged.

This is good. The sight of Will lain out upon his dining table, sweat cooling, come drying upon his skin. Will’s legs still curved around his hips. This is how Hannibal would like to keep him.

Hannibal dips his tongue inside Will’s navel, enjoying the faint intake of breath from above.

He’s not ready for this weekend to be over. Suddenly the stink of it ending is too thick in his nostrils, like spoiled meat. If he lets Will go, which he must…

Hannibal reaches down, gripping Will's hips. He pushes Will bodily across the table until Will’s head is hanging off the other side, before he leans down to sniff at Will’s groin. The scent of him wafts over Hannibal, and Hannibal can resist no longer. The flesh of Will’s thigh is ripe beneath him. Hannibal kisses it, licking it tenderly, and then he bites hard through Will's skin.

“Fuck!” Will roars, rearing upward. His hands brace himself shakily against the table as he stares at Hannibal.

Hannibal licks blood from his teeth and grins at him. Now Will will keep his mark no matter where he goes. The satisfying taste of it, hot and sharp, spreads across his tongue. Hannibal smiles again, keeping the taste, keeping Will.

He presses his thumb over the bite and Will moans, head falling backward again. Hannibal kisses it one final time, licking away the blood before he straightens up.

“Come, let me wash that.”

Will rests against his elbows, gazing up at him. His breath’s still coming in shallow pants. He can barely focus. Hannibal stands over him, his hands on Will’s thighs. The scent of blood is in the air. His blood. Will looks at Hannibal's eyes and thinks, he's proud of his handiwork.

“Will.”

A heartbeat passes, and another, and another. Will stares at the speck of blood lingering on Hannibal’s lips. He can still feel the cut of Hannibal’s teeth on his skin. He straightens up from the table, wincing.

He’ll remember this job all right.

*  *  *

Hannibal takes Will upstairs to the bathroom. Will sits on the side of the tub, thighs spread wide, jeans down to his ankles. Hannibal washes the bite carefully. He disinfects it, taping a pad of gauze over it before smoothing it over Will’s skin with his fingers.

Will just sits there, gazing at him. Hannibal touches his cheek. “Take off your shirt and jeans.”

Hannibal wets a washcloth in the sink as Will slips his jeans off. Will pulls his shirt off over his head and sits there in his boxers. Hannibal washes the dried semen and sweat from his skin. Will lets the cloth pass over his body, closing his eyes as Hannibal cleans him off.

“There.” Hannibal hangs the washcloth over the side of the tub. “Come. Let’s go to bed.” His hand touches lightly over WIll's hair.

Will stretches out flat on his back on bed. His fingers brush over the bandage on his thigh. He still can’t believe Hannibal bit him, but the shock of it is wearing off. It’s been a long day and though he wants to sleep, he doesn’t want to surrender this moment.

Hannibal brings him a drink, ice cooling the glass. “Here, drink this.”

Will drinks, coughing as the whiskey hits his throat hard. He sets the glass on the table and settles back down. His thigh throbs. He places his palm against it, and the ache abides somewhat.

Hannibal stretches out beside him. He rests his hand on Will’s belly, feeling the warmth of Will's skin.

Will exhales as Hannibal’s hand just stays there on his stomach. His eyelids blink wearily. He rubs at his chin and yawns. There’s something he wants to say, lingering at the back of his mind, but he can’t think of it right now. Sleep is too close. He yawns again, his eyelids fluttering closed at last.

*  *  *

The night is quiet. Hannibal lays awake, arms folded behind his head as he gazes up into the darkness. Will sleeps soundly beside him. How often does he sleep like this? Hannibal keeps considering it, even as he knows it’s not his concern. Tomorrow he returns to work, and Will goes back to his life, and that’s that.

*  *  *

Monday –

Hannibal’s already in the shower by the time Will wakes. He lies there in the wide bed where he’s dreamed, sweated, and come apart under Hannibal’s hands and mouth. Will rolls over and breathes in the scent on Hannibal’s pillows. It’s an aroma of comfort and stability and desire and Will wants to bury his face in it and never surface again.

His fingers tighten on the pillow casing, and then with a sigh, he gets out of bed.

“You should shower.” Hannibal walks past him naked, heading for his walk-in closet.

Will showers quickly and gets dressed. The bedroom is empty when he’s done. Hannibal will be waiting downstairs. There’s no time, but Will turns to the bureau. Carefully, he opens first one drawer, and then another until he gives up and looks in the closet instead. There he finds a rack of Hannibal’s ties. Will studies them, brushing his fingertips over them. He wants something to remember Hannibal by. Something that matters, something that won’t be missed, but he knows Hannibal will miss it eventually. It’s a calculated risk that Will’s willing to take.

At last Will selects a dark blue tie with thin silver strands coursing through it. It smells like Hannibal when he brings it up to his nose, the silk sleek on his fingertips. Will folds it up and pushes it deep down in his pocket before heading downstairs.

Hannibal’s drinking coffee, one eye on his phone when Will enters the kitchen.

“Breakfast.” He nods to the plate he has ready for Will. It’s similar to the first breakfast Hannibal prepared for him, sausage and toast and eggs.

It’s the last meal Hannibal will cook for him. Will tries to eat, but the thought of going back sticks in his craw. He has a thousand from Hannibal and the cut he’ll get paid from Martin. If he works another job or two he could just vanish. He can stick it out till then.

He can’t finish the food. “I’m sorry.”

Hannibal glances at him. “It’s all right.” He takes the plate from Will and tilts down the garbage disposal.

Will slides down from the stool and goes to find his jacket. It’s hanging in the hallway. The envelope with the money is still stashed inside. He hasn’t checked it once throughout the weekend. Will pulls his jacket on, lets the weight of the money rest against his chest.

Hannibal has another envelop waiting for him. He holds it out and Will puts it alongside the other without counting it this time.

He hesitates and Hannibal remembers Martin’s words to him on the telephone. Would Will do it just to get a tip? In the kitchen Hannibal sensed his motivation was simply desire. Every other time Will had been responding to Hannibal’s advances, but that one time had been entirely him.

If he goes to his knees now, Hannibal will not be responsible for what happens.

Will just licks his lips. “I just wanted to say, thank you. For cooking for me, I mean.”

Hannibal smiles at that. “You’re most welcome, Will. It was my pleasure.”

“Anyway.” Will’s smile is awkward and brief, before he starts heading for the door.

“Will, I can give you a ride.”

“I can take the bus.” Will already has the front door open.

The distance to the bus stop from Hannibal’s house is more than a few blocks. Did Will walk here that first day? Hannibal realizes he never asked.

“Just wait there.” He gathers his keys, his phone and his briefcase and then joins Will at the door.

Hannibal locks the door and opens the garage.  “Get in.”

“Nice car.” Will comments.

Hannibal chuckles. “Is that what you thought that first day?” He remembers the way Will looked when he pulled up the drive, sitting there on his steps. Like a stray who had wandered up to his door.

Will coughs, and shakes his head. “Not so much.”

Hannibal starts the car and they pull out of the garage. Will glances back before he can stop himself, watching the house as it fades amongst the trees. He shouldn’t have, but the impulse was too strong. You’re not supposed to look back and Will knows this. On the other hand, he’s eaten Hannibal’s food more than once. If this were a fairy tale, he’d already be screwed.

*  *  *

Will keeps his eyes on the window as they drive into the city. He can feel Hannibal glancing at him from time to time, but he’s doing his best to detach now. Not looking at Hannibal helps.

“What will you do with your thousand?” Hannibal inquires.

Will’s not even surprised he knows. It makes sense. If the slight twinge of danger concerns him for a second, it doesn’t last long. So what if Hannibal listened in on his conversation? What’s it matter now?

“Save it for when I need an out.” Abruptly, Will realizes just how tired he is. The last two days were like something out of a weird, but also strangely relaxing dream. Now though, he’s just tired.

“Where shall I take you?”

“You can drop me anywhere.” Will assures him, and when Hannibal just looks at him, Will gives in and tells him an address.

 “It’s an auto shop. You can drop me there. I work there some days. So if you ever need your car checked..."

“That explains the grease.”  Hannibal murmurs to himself.

Will just nods. “Yeah.”

Hannibal pulls up in front of the garage and they sit there in silence. Will’s been paid. There’s no reason to keep him longer. Hannibal keeps his hands on the steering wheel to resist pulling Will over towards him.

“Well,” Will clears his throat.

Hannibal looks over at him. Will’s heart would taste so lovely on his tongue.

“See you around.” Before Hannibal reacts Will leans over and brushes his lips across Hannibal’s and then he’s out of the car, striding up the pavement towards the shop.

Hannibal watches him go, and then drives away.

*  *  *

Hannibal’s Monday passes slowly. It’s just the urge, he thinks. Suppressing the promise that he made himself and supplying another in its place didn’t do the trick. If he killed Will, would Will stop distracting him?

Hannibal doubts it.

*  *  *

Almost as an afterthought, Hannibal drives by the garage on his way home. He spots Will bent over a car engine. Will looks comfortably in his element, busy with purpose as he works.

Hannibal keeps driving.

Will Graham is messy, a trap waiting for Hannibal to fall into. Will, with his open mind and shuttered eyes, is nothing but trouble waiting to happen.

Hannibal doesn’t like messy things, or trouble. But he likes Will. The contradiction of it keep him distracted throughout the evening.

*  *  *

Will wipes his arm across his forehead and straightens up. The familiar atmosphere of the auto shop soothes him. He told Hannibal he worked there, but it’s only every so often, and not in any official capacity. As much as they need another mechanic, they can’t afford to hire him full-time now. So Will works when he can, they pay him what they can and sometimes they let him sleep in the back room on the couch.

He hides the thousand from Hannibal under one of the cushions. It’s safe enough there. Safest place Will has at any rate.

*  *  *

Later he has to go to meet Martin to hand over the rest.  At least it’s in public this time. Will hates going to Martin’s apartment.

At the bar, Martin’s ensconced in a back booth. He’s eating a sandwich as he watches the game on the bar TV when Will approaches. Cigarette’s smoking away in the ashtray, sitting next to his beer.

“Finally.” Martin takes another bite. “Where the fuck have you been all day?”

“Working.” Will just stands there, hands in his pockets. The smell of onions and garlic washes over him and he presses his lips together in an effort not to gag.

“On the side?” Martin stares at him. “Sit your ass down.”

“No.” Will sits. “At the garage.” Martin knows he has a legitimate, albeit under-the-table job but every single time he does his best to make Will feel like shit over it anyway.

“Fuck you, smart ass.” Martin licks his wide lips, catching a fleck of sauerkraut with his tongue. “Hand it over.”

Will passes the envelope over the table, watching Martin silently as he opens it, thumbing through the bills with greasy fingers.

Martin nods approvingly at the amount, then looks at him. “So how was it?”

“Fine.” Will shrugs.

“Nothing weird then?” Martin asks idly, taking a swig of beer. He looks Will over with open curiosity making Will’s skin crawl like something slithered over him in his sleep.

Why’s he asking that? Martin never asks. Sometimes he wants filthy details, particularly if he’s making Will suck him off, but this is just flat-out weird.

Will shakes his head. “No. Why?”

“No reason.” Martin drains the last of his beer and gets to his feet. He nods at Will. “Come on.”

“I have to go.” Will stands.

Martin just pushes at his shoulder and Will gives in, unwilling to make a scene, even here in a crappy bar with only the bartender and a few customers there to see. He follows Martin into the bathroom. It’s squalid, stinking to high heaven of smoke and god knows what else. Martin nudges him into the first stall and squeezes the door shut. It’s too close. Will’s backed up, his legs against the rim of the toilet. His stomach sinks as Martin unzips his pants.

“What was he like?” Martin asks.

“Alright.”

“That’s not an answer.” Martin nods at him. “Get on with it.”

There’s barely enough space to kneel, but Will manages it less than gracefully.

The last cock in his mouth was there because he wanted it. Will closes his eyes and goes back to that moment, thinking of the initial surprise on Hannibal’s face as Will went down on him. Yes, Hannibal had been intending something else, but he’d let Will continue. Let Will do what he wanted.

Had Hannibal known how much that mattered to him? Would it matter if he did?

Martin’s fingers tug at his hair and Will gags. He starts moving his dick harder, thrusting quickly into Will’s mouth.

Will braces his hands on either side of the stall as Martin just keeps fucking his mouth. It’s all he can do not to shove violently at the man just to get him away. He tries to focus, but there’s nothing to focus on. Hannibal’s faded into the shadows. Martin’s crotch, Martin’s trousers, Martin. Will chokes, helpless, tears leaking futilely from the corners of his eyes.

Martin finishes, and Will gulps it down, his throat raw and painful. If he vomits now, he knows what will happen.

Martin pulls out, his dick slapping wetly over Will’s lips. Will wrinkles his nose in disgust. He wipes his mouth as Martin refastens his pants and opens the door, stepping out into the bathroom. “Come out here.”

“What now?” Will gets to his feet.

“Let’s see.”

Will looks around the bathroom. Anyone could walk in and see them here. “No.”

Martin snaps his fingers at him. “I want to see what he did. Come on.”

“He didn’t do anything to me.”

“Fucking little liar, aren’t you?” Martin always moves quicker than Will thinks he can. The smack catches him across Will’s left cheek. “Lift your shirt.”

He doesn’t want to, but Will does, hands tense. Martin looks at his chest, studying his torso. “Those his marks?”

Will nods, holding himself stiffly as Martin leans in, hand over his chest invasively. Marks from clients have never been personal before, but these ones are. Hannibal didn’t leave a lot on him, but the ones he has Will wants desperately to keep covered. They belong to him, not under Martin's.

“Biter, huh?” Martin examines one, then twists Will’s nipple casually. “Did you scream when he bite you?”

“No.” Will says.  

“You like screaming for me though.” Martin smirks. “Come on, let’s see the rest.”

Will bites his lip and unzips his jeans. He pushes them down just enough so that Martin can see his cock, but Martin tugs them down along with his boxers so his ass is bare.

“What happened there?” Martin nods at the bandage on his thigh.

“I cut myself.” The bite’s intimate in a way that nothing else is. Will keeps his hands by his side to keep from covering it from Martin’s eyes. It’s almost a relief when Martin cups Will’s ass instead, sliding his fingers between Will’s cheeks.

“Sure you’re not keeping anything back?” Martin asks.

“Why would I do that?” Will tries to sound bored. The trick to lying is to keep your gaze steady and act like it’s the dullest thing in the world.

“Bend over.”

Will does, resting his hands against his knees as Martin examines his ass. His heart thumps louder. Martin sticks his thumb in him, making Will jump as he wriggles it around.

“Nothing?”

“What exactly are you expecting to find up there?” Will inquires.

Martin responds with a smack across the ass. “Get your pants up.”

He washes his hands, whistling as Will does.  “Thought you might be trying to keep that tip for yourself.”

“I told you. He didn’t tip me.” Will fastens his jeans. “Can I go?”

“Next time, you’re going to have to do better then, won’t you?” Martin says. “I’ll have a job for you next week. Come by Monday morning for the details.”

Will nods. 

Martin goes back to his booth and Will walks out of the bar.

Outside, he ducks down the alley. His knees tremble, and he vomits, the taste of Martin choking his already painful throat. Will heaves until there’s nothing left, and then he wipes his mouth and leans back against the bricks, staring up at the dark city.

He can’t keep doing this. One of these days he’s not going to be able to hide the contempt he feels, or he’ll say something really stupid, and that’ll be it. Done.

Will takes a deep breath and heads back out on the sidewalk. For a moment, the hair on the back of his neck prickles like someone’s watching him from the shadows, but when he turns his head to look, there’s no one there.

*  *  *

The rest of the week passes gradually. Hannibal’s kept late at the office almost every afternoon. He finds no reason to hurry home.

After the weekly laundry on Thursday, his sheets no longer smell like Will.

The following weekend is long and empty. Hannibal spends Saturday making fricassee, and working out, but by Sunday he’s back in the office going over the delayed reports.

*  *  *

On Monday morning, Hannibal drinks his coffee and looks around his kitchen until his gaze comes to rest on the spot where Will knelt voluntarily, fingers nimble and sure on Hannibal’s zipper. He can still see the sensuous motion of Will’s throat as he took Hannibal in his mouth.

He rinses his mug out and sets it aside.

This isn’t working. Keeping Will for the weekend wasn’t the plan, but Hannibal adapted that and it worked.

So he’ll change the plan once again.

*  *  *

At five thirty, Hannibal leaves his office and drives to the auto shop, parking carefully down the street. He waits, gloved hands resting on the steering wheel.

Will leaves at a quarter after. He walks two blocks to the bus stop and rides the bus uptown to a hotel.

Hannibal follows him casually into the lobby. Will takes the elevator to the sixth floor and Hannibal follows in the next. When Hannibal steps off the elevator, he can see Will walking down to the end of the hallway. Hannibal moves to stand around the corner, watching as Will knocks on 623, and waits, hands shoved low in his pockets.

The door opens and Will steps inside.

Hannibal moves down the hall once more as the door closes.

The room next to the one Will enters is empty, fortunately.  Hannibal enters it using the key card he borrowed from the maid’s cart left outside a room as she cleans.

There’s no sound from the room.

Hannibal opens the door to the balcony and checks the distance between them. Sliding over the one bordering this room to the next is only the work of a moment. The curtains are partly drawn. Hannibal glances in.

The client, an average looking man in his mid-forties, hands Will a handful of bills. Will tucks them away in his jacket pocket before taking it off. He reaches to take off his t-shirt but the man just grabs his head, pushing him to his knees.

Hannibal observes the systematic way Will works, avoiding looking up into the man’s eyes. The client pulls out before he’s done, dick still hard. He motions Will to get up. Will does, just looking at the floor. The client says something that Hannibal can’t catch and Will shrugs. He grabs Will by the back of the neck and shoves him towards the bed.

Will’s legs hit the mattress hard. The client presses him flat on his back, straddling him. He smacks Will across the mouth, then moves on to both cheeks. The blows are quick and routine as though he’s done this so often, he doesn’t even see the young man under him. The client does this for three minutes by Hannibal’s count until Will’s face is red and smarting. The man leaves him there and goes into the bathroom to piss. He leaves the door half open.

Will sits up gradually. He touches his face almost absentmindedly as he glances at the bathroom door. Then he leans over to stick his hand into the client’s jacket, drawing out the man’s wallet.

“Not smart, Will,” Hannibal murmurs.

Will extracts a fifty and adds it to the rest of the money in his own pocket then goes back to just waiting on the bed.

The client comes back out, naked, still hard. He gestures for Will to get undressed.

Will removes his clothes expressionlessly. Once he’s naked, the client pushes him flat on his back again. Will lies there as the client straddles his face this time, and then starts sucking him again, the client’s cock sliding rapidly in and out of his mouth. Then the client rolls him over. There's a bottle of lotion standing on the bedside table. The client slicks his finers pushing two of them into Will. He works Will open crudely and briefly, before entering him.

Hannibal watches Will, his hands flat on the bed, head facing the balcony. Hannibal draws back behind the curtain, but Will’s eyes are half-closed.

The client doesn’t take very long, balls slapping against Will’s ass. Once again he pulls out before he’s done, jacking himself off over Will’s back, until Will’s back is slathered in come. The client rolls over on his back and lies there on the bed, eyes closed. Will turns on his side, eying him for a second, and then slips into the bathroom, closing the door.

There’s a very short window of time here.

Hannibal makes his decision.

He ducks back inside the other hotel room and makes a quick call to the police. There seems to be a disturbance in the hotel room next door to me. I saw two men enter. It seemed…

He hangs up and goes back, easing along the balconies silently.

The client is still lying on the bed with his eyes closed. The shower’s running in the bathroom.

Hannibal eases the balcony door open and goes inside. He reaches for one of the pillows lying to the side of the client’s head.

The client opens his eyes then, blinking sleepily as Hannibal steps in front of him. “Who the f-”

Hannibal presses the pillow against his mouth, holding man down on the bed. The client’s arms flail in vain as the life leaves him. Hannibal lets him go limp on the bed and checks his pulse. He returns the pillow to where it was and slips back out on the balcony, closing the door behind him.

*  *  *

Will rinses his back off in the shower. For once he doesn’t care if the client just wants him to leave. He’s not going till he’s clean. When he’s done, he towels off quickly.

He takes a minute at the mirror, gingerly inspecting the damage. His cheeks ache, red from the slapping. His face will be swollen tomorrow. But all he has to do now is get dressed and go. He hangs the towel up.

Will opens the door and walks out.

The client is still lying there on the bed. Will glances at him as he reaches for his jeans and then freezes. The client’s not moving, just lying here. He…he looks dead. Shit. How the hell did that happen?

Will needs to get out of there, needs to run, but somehow his legs are frozen to the carpet. A drop of water runs down the back of his neck. Will shivers.

He’s still frozen when the police come through the door. He’s pushed to the carpet, hands cuffed behind his back as they read him his rights. The carpet smells damp beneath his face. His throat closes tightly and then he vomits there on the hotel floor as the police mill around him.

For all his dreams of death, Will knows he didn’t kill this man. But who’s gonna believe him?

*  *  *

The cell just reminds him of death. Will sits with his legs drawn up, resting his arms on them. The air is cold, and he can’t stop shivering. He’s not sure how long they bothered to question him, but it’s obvious they think he did it.

Will keeps his eyes closed. I was in the bathroom in the shower. I didn’t kill him. I did not kill that man.

He opens his eyes again. The question is, if he didn’t do it, who did?

*  *  *

The police hold Will for 24 hours, and then abruptly, without any explanation, they release him.

Will stands on the pavement outside the police station, rubbing at his arms, trying to warm up. The night air doesn’t help. Who the fuck would pay his bail? Who had that kind of money? Even if Martin had it to begin with, he wouldn’t bother.

He looks around and finally sees Hannibal’s car parked across the street.

Will hesitates, and then walks over to him.

Hannibal unlocks the door and Will gets in. He sits there for a few seconds, looking at his shoes, thinking how out of place they look against the floor of Hannibal’s car. Hannibal starts the car.

It’s only once they’re driving that Will asks the question that’s been circling endlessly in his head. “How did you know I’d been arrested?”

Hannibal glances at him. “Did you think I wouldn’t keep tabs on you?”

Will shrugs. “Is that normal? Do you do that with all the hookers you hire?”

“Not all of them.” Hannibal knows precisely where three of them are at this exact moment. They haven’t moved location in the last two years, but he doesn’t think Will would be comforted by the knowledge so he keeps it to himself.

“Where are we going?” Will phrases it like that so that he doesn’t have to ask “Where are you taking me?” Hannibal paid his bail. Will doesn’t know exactly how much money that took, but it had to be a fair amount. They were going to charge him with murder, and then they let him go.

The uneasy bile that’s been brewing in Will’s stomach churns again. “Can you pull over?”

Hannibal does, and Will’s barely got the door open before he vomits across the concrete. At this point there’s nothing left in his stomach to bring up. He retches again anyway, and straightens up, leaning back against the seat.

“Here.” Hannibal passes over a handkerchief. Will stares at it, feeling the crisp pressed linen against the skin of his palms before he finally wipes his mouth.

“To answer your question, I’m taking you home.” Hannibal says at last.

“Why?” Will folds the handkerchief over and balls it up in his hand, gripping it tight.

“Is there somewhere else you’d rather go?”

Will doesn’t have an answer for that obviously, so Hannibal drives on.

*  *  *

“Why don’t you take a shower?” Hannibal suggests once they reach the house.

Will just nods and goes upstairs. Hannibal waits until the sound of his footsteps have receded and then goes into the kitchen. Will’s stomach will take a while to settle. He sets aside his dinner preparations for now.

Will automatically showers in the master bathroom without thinking about it. His scalp aches from the questioning he endured. Nobody believed him, nobody wanted to believe him.

He sinks down in the shower, wrapping his arms around his knees.

So why the fuck had Hannibal bailed him out?

*  *  *

When he gets out of the shower, Will can’t put his clothes back on. He leaves them in a pile on the bathroom floor.

There’s a plain gray t-shirt and a pair of pajama pants set out on the bed. Will pulls them on. He doesn’t want to go downstairs either. It’s barely eight o’clock, but instead he curls up in Hannibal’s bed, pulling the blankets up over him.

*  *  *

Hannibal finds him there, curled up under the covers. He goes over to turn off the bedside lamp.

“Are you staying?” Will whispers.

“Do you want me to?”

Will nods. He watches as Hannibal undresses, pulling on his pajamas and getting under the blankets with him.

He doesn’t move closer to Hannibal automatically, but slowly his body drifts nearer until he’s nestled up against Hannibal’s back. At last he’s warm.

Hannibal turns out the light.

*  *  *

In the middle of the night Hannibal wakes to heat sheathing his cock. His fingers press against the sheets momentarily, and then his hand slinks down between his legs to grasp the head moving there. His fingers move over smooth skin, clasping a neck. Hannibal jerks it up automatically, only pausing when he hears a yelp.

Hannibal leans over to switch on the light and blinks. “Will.” He releases his grip on Will’s neck.

Will looks up at him, licking his lips. “What?” Somehow he looks even younger here, tangled in Hannibal’s sheets with his sleepy eyes and tousled hair.

Hannibal slumps back against the pillows, his cock sticking out through the front of his pajama trousers. “Why’re you doing that?”

Will sits up. “I wanted to say thank you for bailing me out.” He rubs his neck ruefully.

“You don’t have to thank me like that.” Hannibal tucks himself away.

“It’s the only thing I have.”

“That’s not true.” Hannibal says, only just managing to keep the annoyance from his tone.

“Really.” Will swings his legs over the side of the bed, flattening his palms against his thighs as he stares at the carpet. He glances at Hannibal over his shoulder. “You bailed me out for my witty conversation skills then?”

“Would you believe me if I said yes?”

Will snorts. “No.”

Hannibal leans forward, resting his hand gently on the back of Will’s neck. “Did I hurt you?”

“No.”

“Will.” Hannibal traces his fingertips along the redness he can see there.

“It’s little sore. It’s not the end of the world.” Will shrugs. “It felt like you were going to break my neck.”

Hannibal’s fingers stiffen and then fall away. “Come downstairs. I’ll fix you something to eat.” He pulls his bathrobe on and goes.

Will sits there a moment longer before he can make himself leave the safety of Hannibal’s bed.

*  *  *

He watches Hannibal from the kitchen doorway, as he gets out the ingredients he has ready.

“Feeling better?” Hannibal inquires without looking up.

“A little.” Will moves to sit at the counter across from him. “Are you making jambalaya? At,” he turns to look at the clock on the wall, “one in the morning?”

“I thought you might like it.” Hannibal turns the stove on and looks at him. “Would it help to talk about it?”

“What’s there to talk about?” Will rubs at his eyes. “I was with a client. Everything was perfectly normal. When I walked out of the bathroom, he was dead.”

“Perfectly normal.” Hannibal repeats thoughtfully.

“Yes. “

Hannibal leans across the counter, his fingers touching Will’s cheeks, still swollen after yesterday. “This is normal?”

Will starts to shake his head, but instead finds himself leaning in to that palm as Hannibal gently cups his face. He wants to sleep until this all goes away. No, what he really wants is to disappear.

“Will.”

Hannibal only breaks the hold to circle the counter. His hand returns to Will’s cheek as soon as he’s standing in front of him.

“Why did you keep tabs on me?” Will whispers. He can’t imagine anyone bothering to do that.

“I was curious.” With his other hand Hannibal gently threads his fingers through Will’s hair. “I find you fascinating.”

“Fascinating.” Will chuckles, but it half-strangles in his throat. “You’re not worried I’m a murderer?”

“No.” Hannibal says simply.

There’s not the slightest concern in his voice and Will cocks his head at that, glancing at Hannibal’s eyes briefly.

“Why not? You already know I’m a thief.” Why couldn’t he have killed the man? It’s not like he’s never been angry at clients. He was angry then as the man hit him. It wasn’t the blows themselves, but the manner in which the man took it for granted. He’d paid for it, so he had a right to visit violence upon Will’s body.

How could Hannibal be so certain Will hadn’t done it when Will could imagine it so very clearly?

“Just because you have the potential to kill doesn’t mean you act upon it.” Hannibal tells him. He strokes his knuckles along Will’s cheek. “You didn’t kill that man.”

“You can’t be sure of that.” Will starts to pull away. “Not unless.” He freezes and Hannibal’s hand in his hair tightens for a moment before moving away. The hand on his cheek remains.

“Unless what, Will?”

“Unless you know who did.” The fingers on his skin are cool and careful. Will shakes slightly as Hannibal grips his jaw. “Did you set this up?”

“Why would you ask that, Will?”

“How did you know I’d been arrested?” Will spits the words out. “Why would you waste all that money getting me out of jail? They were going to charge me with murder, and then they just dropped it.”

“Will.”

Will pulls out of his grip, sliding off the stool. He retreats halfway across the kitchen, torn between running to the hall, or the  door behind Hannibal leading outside. Hannibal merely watches him as he goes to check on the stove.

Will’s head is pounding, as he tries to work it out. “Did you set me up?” He asks again. It’s the only thing he can think of, but why?

“What suggests to you that I would do such a thing?”

“Well, did you?” Will demands “Did you have me followed? Did you fucking set me up for murder so that you could just bring me home again?” It doesn’t make any sense. That’s what he can’t work out.

Hannibal considers, eying Will. “What if I did?”

“Jesus.”  Will stares at him, sick with the idea that Hannibal, that anyone could just do that. His chest tightens and he thinks again of running. “Why?”

“I didn’t want to lose you.” Hannibal finds it surprising even as he says it. He’s never said anything like that to anyone. Never felt the slightest urge to keep anyone before Will. It’s unique.

It takes a second for this to sink in, and then Will laughs, a note of hysteria evident in his voice. “You could have just asked me to stay.” This isn’t happening. It has to be a dream.

Hannibal had thought of that, but it’s a little late now. “If I had, would you have stayed?” He walks around the counter towards Will.

“Maybe.” Will stands his ground as Hannibal approaches him. “I don’t know. Fuck, I don’t know. I don’t like being manipulated.”

Hannibal merely gazes at him, taking in Will’s ragged breath, the uncertainty and the fear in the hollows of his eyes. “You know I could keep you whether you wanted it or not.” He’s considered that too. That, Hannibal knows, would be easy enough.

“Is that supposed to turn me on?” Will snarls.

Hannibal smiles. “It already does.”

“Maybe, but I don’t like it.” Will starts past him.

Hannibal catches his wrist, pressing it back to his side. “It does, and you do like it. It’s just you don’t want to like it.” He holds Will there against the doorjamb, his other hand sliding inside Will’s pajama pants.

“I’m not arguing the point,” Will bites his lip as Hannibal’s fingers stroke over his cock. “Well?”

“Well what?”

“Are you just going to keep me? Tied up in your house? Leashed to your desk like some stray dog you picked up by the side of road,” His breath catches as Hannibal’s fingers tighten on his cock.

Hannibal doesn’t ask if he’d like that, for which Will is grateful. He merely strokes his hand down Will’s cock again.

“What do you want, Will?” Hannibal murmurs.

“I want some space to think. I…” Will squeezes his eyes shut. Hannibal’s nails scrape the underside ever so lightly.

“Yes?”

Will opens his eyes, gazing directly at Hannibal. “I don’t want to lose myself.”

“I understand.” Hannibal’s nails scrape him again, and Will groans.

Will swallows. “Why?”

“I told you.” Hannibal cups him, loving the way Will tenses against his palm, the heat of his cock filling Hannibal’s hand.

“But why? Why would you go to that much effort?” Why kill the guy unless Hannibal didn’t want to leave Will any other option than to accept what he’s offering. “Is that it?”

“What?”

“I accept whatever offer you make me, or I get sent to prison for murder?” Hannibal’s hand tightens on him, but Will grits his teeth against the pain. “Is that why you had that man killed?” His eyes widen as he realizes, “Shit, no, it was you. You killed him and left me there to get caught.” Will stands there trapped in the doorway, Hannibal’s hand gripping him in place as Will stares at him.

“Why?”

“I didn’t like the way he touched you.” It’s not the question that Will’s really asking, but it’s the one Hannibal feels like answering.

“That’s creepily possessive.”

 “Do you want to hit me, Will?” Hannibal asks, curious.

 “Yes.”

“Why don’t you?”

“You’re stronger than I am. It wouldn’t solve anything.”

“You’re right about that.” Hannibal nods and finally removes his hand. He steps back, allowing Will a measure of space.

Will leans his head against the doorjamb, watching him. “Now what?”

“Now we’re going to have a glass of wine and discuss this.” Hannibal goes past him, heading for the study. He doesn’t look back to see if Will follows.

Will looks at the front door, weighing his options of escape. He could get out, but then what? Where’s he gonna go next? He has his money stashed at the garage, but that’s all he has.

And he can’t help it. As fucked up as it is, for some reason, he wants to hear what Hannibal will say.

*  *  *

Hannibal has the wine ready when Will enters the study. He holds out a glass and Will accepts it.

Hannibal takes a sip. “You said you didn’t want to lose yourself, that you don’t like to be manipulated.”

Will waits, gripping the wine glass. He knows Hannibal could have put something in it, but why talk to him at all if he just intends to drug him?

“So I will offer you a choice.” Hannibal tells him. “You can remain here with me, or you can go. Whichever you choose, the murder charges will not be a concern. I give you my word upon that.” It was only a push to head Will in his direction. He doesn’t want Will in prison.

Will takes a sip of wine, letting it wet his tongue. The wine is expensive. He knows that much. Good wine, good food, good sex. It would be easy to stay. Yeah, and then there’s the little fact that Hannibal killed someone apparently just for the hell of it.

Will licks the wine from his lips. “How soon do I have to make up my mind?”

“Take as long as you like.” Hannibal goes to his desk. He opens a drawer and pulls out the envelope he placed there earlier in the week. He sets it in the middle of his desk.

“What’s that?”

“Five thousand dollars and an airline voucher that can be redeemed for a ticket to a location of your choice.” Hannibal reaches for his wine and drinks. “If you do decide to go, you should be able to go where you want.”

“Why would you do that?” All Will can do is stare at him, confused.

“Because I want to see what choice you make.” Hannibal sets his wine aside. He walks around the desk, going over to Will.

“The choice is yours.” He touches Will’s cheek for a moment. “But if you’re still here in the morning, I will assume that you decided to stay.” With that he leaves the room.

Will stands there, clutching his wineglass, staring at the envelope. It’s enough to go wherever he wants, enough to start over.

Or he could stay.

What would that be like?

Briefly, Will lets himself picture it. He could go upstairs, slip back into bed beside Hannibal. Tomorrow he’d wake there, and that life would start.

He can’t picture it beyond that initial moment of waking.

*  *  *

The lights are off in the bedroom. Hannibal lies there silently, listening to the sound of Will’s light footsteps on the carpet. They pause there in the middle of the room, and then they enter the bathroom. There’s the rustle of clothing, and then the footsteps retreat across the carpet, back down the stairs.

Hannibal releases the breath he’s been holding.

He hears the front door ease open, and then shut again, and he knows that Will is gone.

*  *  *

Hannibal keeps an eye on the voucher. For three days it’s not used, and then one afternoon, Hannibal checks it, and it’s done. Apparently Will decided upon Biloxi in the end.

Hannibal files that away with the memory of Will’s scent and the way he would catch at his lower lip with teeth as he came. He doesn’t have the carpet of his study cleaned right away, even though part of him wants to.

For now Hannibal relegates the memory of Will Graham to a folder in his mind simply marked Unfinished Business.

*  *  *

Biloxi – three months later.

Will swings down from the deck and reaches for the wrench he dropped earlier. The sun’s hot on the back of his neck and he wipes at the sweat absently as he works on the engine.

When it hits late afternoon, Will knocks off work and heads down the road. There’s a six-pack of beer waiting in his tiny apartment. He opens one, pressing the condensation against his forehead as he waits for the AC to kick in.

He doesn’t think much about Baltimore these days.

At night though, when Will strips down to his underwear to sleep in his hammock, the scar on his thigh inevitably catches his eye. Hannibal’s mark on his skin. More often than not Will falls asleep with his hand pressed against the scar.