The day was not going as smoothly as Hannibal would have liked. First off the new recruits were completely useless. There were only three of them and had started at the beginning of the week, yet Hannibal was already thinking of recipes that would go well with the newly acquired vintage wine from the latest heist. Hannibal needed competent betas who could handle a gun and get in and out of a job without being spotted or detected by the local police. The Chesapeake Mafia was known in the media for being ruthless and efficient.
However, with these fools they were making a mockery of Hannibal's organization along with any future plan to obtain a rare collection of paintings that had just arrived at the local museum. Weeks of planning were wasted as the fools were caught talking about the upcoming heist by one of Agent Jack Crawford's lapdogs. Now the usual lacking security at the museum was impenetrable, making any attempts to steal the paintings impossible. When Hannibal found out he about ripped the throat out of the nearest recruit, but he was in control of his actions. He would not lower his image by mindlessly killing the deserving betas. It had to be done artfully, and carefully if he wanted to use any of their organs for a dish.
As he was thinking, the door to his office opened revealing Hannibal's trusted body guard Barney. The man had been part of Hannibal's gang for years and was well trusted and respected in the community. If there was ever any trouble, or if someone wanted to get information to Hannibal without having to face him they went to Barney. The man waited for Hannibal's full attention before speaking.
“Some of the boys are worried that Jack is aware of our hideout now that he know at least two of the underlings,” Barney began, straight to the point. “They think he might have had people follow them here.”
Hannibal considered this before nodding. “That may be the case. I doubt the man who over heard our plans followed them here, but we can't take that chance.” Hannibal stood from his desk and walked to the window. The sky was starting to get dark, but he knew that if he was to correct this mistake he would have to stay longer than he would have liked. Turning back to Barney, Hannibal ordered “tell the men to start packing up. I don't want any evidence that we were ever here. Take what you can to the other hangers and wait for my instructions. If we have to we will burn the building.” It was a good thing this was not the main operations building, otherwise it would take days to move everything. Very lucky indeed.
Barney nodded and turned to leave. He stopped before he reached the door and asked, “what about the new recruits?”
There was a long pause before Hannibal smiled.
“I'll take care of it.”
Barney nodded and left the office, leaving Hannibal to once again mull over the situation. He didn't get far in his musings as his cellphone went off in his front pocket. There were only three individuals who knew his cellphone and two of them were already in the building. A smile was already threatening to break onto his face as he quietly answered.
“Hey, Hannibal,” the soft yet raspy voice of his mate answered causing Hannibal's features to finally break into a smile. The sound of his mate's voice instantly made him relax, his worries about Crawford and his doomed recruits pushed to the back of his mind for a moment. It was as if the omega knew he was needed.
“How are you Will? Are you feeling okay?” Hannibal listened as Will gave a quiet chuckle.
“I'm fine, though I've almost eaten everything in the fridge and still could eat more,” Will laughed again, but Hannibal could tell this one was self-conscience. He could imagine his mate shuffling his feet into the carpet or tucking his legs underneath him on the couch, his hand slowly rubbing his growing stomach. Hannibal smiled again at the image, wanting nothing more than to go home and hold Will, showing him there was nothing to be worried about and that he was loved.
“There is nothing wrong with your appetite, Will. It is natural and you need all the strength you can get for you and the child.” Hannibal listened as Will let out a sigh, but knew he had comforted his mate enough to settle his mind temporarily. However, he knew there was something he needed if he called when he knew Hannibal was working. And he was correct. In one breath Will uttered, “I felt a kick.”
Hannibal sat up straighter in his chair. “Did you? When?”
“A couple minutes ago. I called immediately as soon as it happened. I thought you should know.”
Pride swelled in Hannibal's chest as well as the disappointment of having missed the first movements of their child. He didn't dwell on it too much. He decided the first thing he was going to to when he gets home was to take Will to bed and caress his mate's body, listening and feeling for their child's kicks. It gave him incentive to get everything done tonight as quickly as possible.
“That's wonderful, Will,” Hannibal cooed, knowing his mate was waiting for the alpha's approval. Even though Will was not like most omegas, he still had the inherited drive to please his alpha, and he was even more so now that he was pregnant. “I hope she's still moving when I get home.”
“Hannibal,” Will chided, “We don't know if the child's a girl or a boy.”
“I know, but you know I'm hoping for a girl."
Will laughed again before making a sound of surprise. “Oh! She did it again.” Hannibal wisely didn't point out that Will referred to their child as a “she” and smiled as he listened to his mate coo at his stomach. It was ridiculously out of character and Will would deny he ever talked to the unborn child, but Hannibal found it adorable when he first discovered him doing it and encouraged it enough for Will to do it without thinking about who was around.
They talked for a few minutes more before Hannibal had to force himself to say good-bye, telling Will he would see him in a couple hours.
“Alright, I'll see you soon,” Will responded, and before Hannibal could say anything else Will quickly muttered “I love you” and hung up the phone. Hannibal's heart swelled and his smile threatened to split his face in half. His mood now thoroughly improved, Hannibal readied to get back into his usual alpha mode and see to the plans of moving everything out of the hanger. He decided, as he walked out of his office, that he would spare the bumbling recruits for another day. The need to see Will as soon as possible consumed his every being and made it hard to concentrate. He wondered if he would oppose of some “play” before bed tonight. With a smile still on his face he resumed his role as leader of the Chesapeake Mafia with thoughts of his lovely mate and their child circling around his head.
Special Agent Jack Crawford was getting frustrated. More than frustrated, he was becoming furious. While he was able prevent the Chesapeake Mafia's heist on the museum, any leads he had gained were destroyed. The hanger that was thought to belong to the leader was empty, not a single piece of evidence left behind. To make it worse, one of his men tried to find the men who were discovered to be working for the mafia, but couldn't find any trace they had ever existed. That is until a couple days ago when their heads were found in the river.
Crawford gritted his teeth. It didn't help that the local police didn't do a damn thing. They practically let the Chesapeake Mafia do whatever they wanted because they kept the other criminals at bay. No one wanted to mess with the Alpha in charge of the mafia. To make it worse, no one has ever seen what the Alpha looked like.
Slamming his fist into his desk, Crawford stormed out of his office and headed out into the city. While the majority of the cops weren't helping him, he was able to scope out a few dirty cops. They were able to tell him where some of the hide outs were located and pick out who might be working for the Chesapeake Mafia. They might have something new.
He went to a club downtown and waited until someone tapped his shoulder four times. Acknowledging the man, they moved to a secluded booth in a corner of the club. Crawford waited until they were both seated to question him.
“Any news, Patterson?” The man, a beta, shrugged before reclining in his seat.
“Nothin' in particular,” he began, eyes moving from person to person in the club. “The Mafia probably won't be doing anythin' for awhile. Lie low, you know?”
Jack gritted his teeth and rubbed at his eyes. He didn't have time for this. He needed evidence. He needed an ace to win this game, but so far the Mafia leader was the only one with both of them. Sensing his anger, the man shifted in his seat uncomfortably. The beta made himself slide down in the seat, appearing smaller to try and take the anger away from him.
“Nothing?” Crawford gritted out. “You have nothing?” Patterson stilled as he heard the threat in his voice. Desperate, he held his hands up.
“Wait! I-I think I know who can help,” he begged, eyes wide. Crawford sat up straighter.
“Tell me now.” The beta swallowed before continuing.
“His name's Will Graham. He use to work as an officer a few years back, but he left when he was injured by some wannabe crime lord. Haven't heard from him in awhile, but I think he's still in town.” Patterson spilled, avoiding eye contact. “He's good. He can get into anyone's mind better than a therapist. Good at getting into the criminal mind.”
Crawford stood from the table and left without a second glance back. He had an address to look up.
“I was thinking Mark would be a good name if it's a boy.” Will remarks, spread out on the bed with his hands gently rubbing at his stomach. He was in his second trimester and his stomach was beginning to noticeable no matter how much baggy clothing he wore. His clothing choice was becoming fewer and fewer by the by. Hannibal would not let him wear anything but the best.
Hannibal smiled from where he stood, taking his clothes off and carefully hanging them in the closet. Now that things were taken care of since the failed heist a week ago, Hannibal allowed himself a chance to relax. Since he couldn't do anything until he could throw Jack Crawford off his scent again, he decided to spend the time with his mate as much as possible.
Climbing onto the bed, Hannibal straddled Will's thighs and replaced his hands with his own. Will laughed quietly as Hannibal's fingers trailed along his sides making him squirm in the bed sheets.
“I like Mark,” Hannibal replied, smiling as he purposefully tickled Will earning a light slap on his hand. “But what if we do have a girl?”
Will rolled his eyes a laughed again when Hannibal playfully pinched him in retaliation. “I don't know.” He said, becoming serious. Hannibal massaged Will's stomach as he waited for the Omega to reply. After a moment, Will suggested: “How about Abby?”
Hannibal paused and thought about it before shaking his head. “No, I don't think so. There are so many girls named Abigail these days.”
“And Mark is not an over used name?” Will shot back mischievously. Hannibal laughed.
“Fine, we'll keep it on the table.” Will smiled before sitting up to wrap his arms around Hannibal's neck. The Alpha allowed himself to be captured and brought in for a kiss. The kiss stayed chaste and the two were soon under the covers with Will's back to Hannibal's chest. The Alpha's hands were once again holding Will's belly, the grip a touch possessive. Will didn't mind. He placed his hands on top of Hannibal's, softly kneading his knuckles. They were quiet for a while before Will brought one of the hands up to his face and kissed it.
“What do you think?” He whispered. “I haven't heard you come up with any names.”
Hannibal was silent, thumb gently tracing Will's lips. “I haven't really thought of names yet.” He replied, snuggling closer to the Omega. “I think you should name our child. I'll name the next one.”
“The next one?” Will laughed, but his body tensed. “We'll be having more?”
“Of course,” Hannibal soothed. “This one is going to need a playmate.” Hannibal didn't need to be facing Will to know the other man rolled his eyes. He squeezed Will closer to himself, breathing in the warm scent from his neck. He was rewarded with a soft chuckle.
“We'll have to see,” Will mumbled, a yawn breaking through his lips. Hannibal placed a kiss on his neck before burying his face into the junction of his neck and shoulder where his claiming mark was. He was about to nod off when Will whispered: “I think Mischa is a lovely name for a girl.”
Hannibal was suddenly not feeling tired anymore.
Will tidied up around the house, his hand absently rubbing his belly. He had just eaten a late breakfast about an hour ago and was seriously considering if it was too soon to eat again. He didn't want to eat all of the food in Hannibal's home, but the Alpha seemed to light up when he discovered he had to get more food. It was in his instincts to provide for his Omega, no matter how times have changed. He just wanted to see his mate and their child cared for and content, and Will was very content.
He smiled and rubbed at the bite marks around his neck. He was completely sore, but it was worth it. Will knew Hannibal was under a lot of stress with trying to run his organization and wanted him to relax. The decision to pick Mischa as the potential girl's name was the right choice.
Sighing, Will began to hum as he finished up his chores and decided he was going to have more food. It was past twelve thirty after all, he reasoned. Perfect time to have lunch. He was about to reach the kitchen when his cellphone began to ring. Thinking it was Hannibal, he quickly grabbed it and was about to flip it open when he saw it was an unknown number. There were only so many people in his life that were important enough to be in his contact list. If it as Hannibal he would have used his cellphone. He never uses his office phone, just in case someone traced the call he said.
Will waited until the phone stopped ringing and put it on the counter. If they didn't leave a message, then Will wouldn't worry about it anymore. Probably a telemarketer, or a wrong number.
The phone began to ring again, the same unknown number popping up like before. After a moment's consideration, Will answered.
“Is this Officer Will Graham?” a deep gruff voice asked. Will felt the hairs on his neck begin to stand at the mention of his old title and the hint of authority in the other's voice.
This man was an Alpha.
Swallowing, Will responded. “Yes, this is Will Graham, though I'm no longer a cop.”
“Yes, so I've been told,” The voice said. “This is Special Agent Jack Crawford of the FBI. I've heard about your specialty in being able to read the criminal mind. Do you perhaps have a moment, Mr. Graham?”
Will froze, his body shaking. This was the man who was trying to capture his mate, the one who would take everything from him if he got the chance. Anxiety flooded his body, his free hand clasping tightly onto the counter, and his old wound from where he was stabbed began to send phantom pains.
“Sir?” Crawford asked, a trickle of concern leaking through the ear piece. Gaining his composure, Will took a breath.
“I'm sorry, Special Agent Crawford, but those days are behind me. I left for a reason. I don't go into minds like that anymore.”
“Will.” the voice was suddenly cold, frightening. The Omega in him flinched. “I need you to track down a killer for me. The one who runs the Chesapeake Mafia. I know you know about him. He was around when you were on the force.”
“I don't do that anymore.” Will gritted out, anger over riding the fear. “I was savagely attacked. I got out when I could. Don't ask me to do this. Please don't call me again.”
Will snapped his phone shut. His body was shaking violently and he eventually found himself kneeling on the floor. Tears sprang to his eyes and little sobs began to fall out of his mouth. His cellphone began to ring again, but he ignored it, clutching his head between his hands. He didn't want his life with Hannibal to end. He was finally happy. Finally found somewhere to call home, to be needed and wanted. He didn't want to let it go.
He couldn't stop crying. He was on the brink, he could feel it. It had been so long since he last had an episode. It was sometime after Hannibal asked him to move into his home; to be come his mate. Hannibal kept the hallucinations away; kept the dreams at bay. However, he soon had images flashing in his mind, images of dead men and women split open and everything covered in red. Among the flashes and hallucinations was Hannibal's corpse, mangled and torn with his eyes staring blankly into Will's.
Still clutching his phone, Will didn't even realize he had dialed Hannibal's number until the Alpha picked up.
“Will? What's wrong?”
Hearing his voice, Will broke down in sobs, relief overwhelming him. He wasn't dead. He wasn't gone. He was still here.
Will could barely pick out what Hannibal was saying, most of the words were pacifying and soothing. Once he had calmed down enough, Will was able to form words once more.
“Please,” he begged. He never begged, never wanted to succumb to any baser Omega instinct, but at least this would let Hannibal know he was truly at his wits end. “Please, I'm sorry, but please come home. I need you to come home.” His voice broke again and he cried, holding the phone tightly to his ear. Hannibal shushed and soothed him, his voice soft and gentle.
“It'll be okay, Will. I'll be home as soon as I can. Can you wait for me just a little bit?”
Will managed out a “yes” before hanging up. He took a couple deep breaths before dragging himself to his feet and stumbling back to his room. Will didn't remember much after he got to his room. One moment he was collapsing onto the bed, the next he was wrapped tightly in Hannibal's arms.
“Shh, shh,” Hannibal soothed when Will tried to untangle himself from the Alpha's grip. He calmed down once more, hand clutching tightly to Hannibal's shirt.
“You're not dead.” Will whimpered.
“Of course not, Will. What would make you think that?” There was a pause before Hannibal brought a hand to Will's forehead. “Did you have a hallucination?”
Will nodded his head before trying to sit up, but Hannibal wouldn't let him. He brought the man closer to his chest, making Will duck his head into his neck. Will breathed in deeply, the familiar scent of his Alpha calming him down. They stayed like that for who knows how long before Will broke the silence.
“He called me,”
“Who called you?” Hannibal asked, hand carding through Will's curls.
“...Jack Crawford.” Hannibal froze. Will continued anyway. “He said that he wanted me to help him catch the leader of the Chesapeake Mafia. Said he knew what I did for a living when I was a cop.” Tears began to come back to Will's eyes and he clutched tighter to Hannibal's shirt. “Don't let him catch you. I'll die. We'll die.” he whimpered and Hannibal shushed him, resuming his petting.
“He won't catch me,” Hannibal reassured. “I'm too good at what I do. Don't worry Will, I'll make sure he never bothers you again.”
His voice was absolutely dangerous, but to Will it made him feel protected. Yes, Hannibal wasn't going to go anywhere. He would stay here and they would start a family. Just him, Hannibal, and little Mischa.
Jack never called again, but Hannibal didn't take any chances and within an hour Will found himself a new cellphone. Will played with it, flipping the slider open and closed. He didn't want anything fancy like a smart phone. If he wanted to play games he would borrow Hannibal's, but he didn't want to have to ask. Hannibal was a busy man now with Jack in the city. He needed his phone on him at all times, even when he was resting in his own home.
Sliding the phone shut once more, Will looked through his contacts before noticing something.
“Beverly isn't in my contacts...” he murmured, finding his best friend and ex-partner's name missing from where it should have been.
“I'm sorry, but until I find how Crawford got a hold of you I can't risk letting her have your number.” Hannibal apologized, arm wrapped around Will's shoulders. The Alpha liked Officer Katz. She kept things in line and was one of the cops that kept out of the Chesapeake Mafia's business. While he didn't believe she would have given out Will's number, he didn't want to take the risk.
Hugging Will closer, Hannibal placed his warm hand onto the Omega's belly, rubbing soothing circles. Will was still exhausted from his panic attack and Hannibal didn't have the heart to leave him alone. Barney had everything under control, and he had his other in command, Bedelia, looking out over the operations. He could spare one day.
“Tomorrow is your appointment with Dr. Bloom, correct?” Hannibal asked, nuzzling Will's hair and gently mouthing at his ear. Of course he knew of the appointment, but if it helped Will keep his mind away from the earlier events, he was willing to pretend to be ignorant.
“Yes,” Will replied, falling into the small talk. “It's just a check up. She wants to see how I'm doing and probably ask to throw me a baby shower.” Will snorted, a smile crawling to his face. Hannibal smiles too and kisses his forehead.
“Do you want me to come with you? I'll wait outside.” Will is silent for a moment before he shakes his head.
“No. You're busy as it is with new recruits and Jack hovering over your every move,” Will shivered and snuggled closer. “I'll be fine on my own. Besides,” Will gave a playful smirk as he poked Hannibal's side. “I'm not so dependent on you for everything. I think I can handle driving and walking outside for a few minutes.”
Hannibal laughed and kissed Will again, this time on the cheek. “I'm not sure. If I remember correctly, when we first met you tried to jump into oncoming traffic to avoid me.”
“That's because I knew you as 'the scary Alpha that likes to stalk me'.” Will digs back, scowling playfully. “Also, that was not the first time we met.”
“Fine, the first time you were aware of your actions.” Hannibal amended.
Will rolled his eyes. “Seriously, my mind was shattered and you were an unknown Alpha. What else did you expect a mentally ill Omega to do?”
The room fell silent, and Will realized he struck a nerve. Wincing, he tried to apologize but Hannibal shushed him.
“It must have been hard,” he said, rubbing Will's stomach. “Before we met.” Hannibal was silent, his face blank and leaving Will clueless as to what he was thinking. Instead, he reached up and pecked the corner of the Alpha's mouth. Hannibal finally smiled and nuzzled Will.
“It's been a long day. Let's go to bed.”
But Will didn't want to sleep. He feared he might have nightmares, visions of death and blood. He feared this relapse would become permanent, that it wouldn't go away and he would be stuck with the night terrors once more. What if this hurt their child? What if he lost the child due to his visions? What if Hannibal left?
Hannibal kissed along Will's neck, biting gently at their bonding mark. “Will, let's go to bed.”
Will closed his eyes at his mate's attention, a purr escaping his throat before he could stop it. Will finally relented and allowed Hannibal to pull him upstairs and to their bedroom.
That night, Will's dreams were filled with warmth and laughter of Hannibal and a little girl with brown curly hair.
Jack was losing his patience. William Graham was proving to be more of a hindrance than anything. He figured the man would be unwilling to talk or help on the Chesapeake Mafia case, but going as far as to disconnecting his phone spoke volumes.
“In his defense,” Patterson spoke, eyes skimming through documents containing Will Graham's records. “He was sufferin' from hallucinations and vivid visions before he quit the force. He even was seeing a shrink on the side.” Jack mulled over the information. It explained Will's reluctance and the down right terror Jack heard in his voice when he brought up the case.
“Ah-ha!” Patterson exclaimed, holding up the file he was searching for. “This here is the last case Graham worked on.”
Jack snatched the file out of the Beta's hands before shuffling through the papers. The document contained information on Tobias Budge, a man who was once a member of the Chesapeake Mafia. However, about a year or two ago he went rogue and formed his own organization, the Catgut Gang. There was a big turf war between the two opponents, and caught in the fire was little ol' Officer Graham and his partner, Officer Katz. They had caught wind of the Catgut's hide out and were going to make a bust, but the Chesapeake Mafia got there before them and laid explosives around the area. The whole ordeal was a complete mess.
“It says here Graham was the one to kill Budge,” Jack began, flipping through the pages once more. “But no body found.”
“Mr. Graham, as he probably told you yesterday, was attacked on the scene. He claims it was Budge who stabbed him, and he was able to throw him off and shoot him. After the attack he said he began to black out, and the next time he came to he was in the hospital.”
“What of his partner, Officer Katz?”
Patterson shook his head. “Katz said she and him got separated when they were on the scene. Said she didn't even know Graham was hurt until she got the call he was in the hospital. And before you ask, no one on our side knows who helped him.”
“So, what you're saying is someone of either the Catgut Gang or the Chesapeake Mafia rescued Graham.” That didn't make sense to Crawford. The men under both Budge and the Chesapeake Mafia hated police and any law enforcement. Why spare one little cop? Unless...
“Did Graham ever try and interfere with the Chesapeake Mafia's plans?” Jack inquired, already knowing the answer before Patterson shook his head.
“Nope. He and Officer Katz stayed away from them. Any dealings, any bodies they found leadin' to the Mafia or their leader, the Chesapeake Ripper as some like to call him, were either dropped completely or passed to another officer. As you know, most of the boys and girls here on the force try not to meddle with the Mafia. We don't bother them, they don't bother us.”
“Was Graham's abilities known to the public?”
Patterson laughed. “If it was, nobody complained of the police havin' an insane officer workin' for them.”
“Would it be possible for the Chesapeake Mafia to know?”
Patterson was quiet, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. Finally, he said, “Yes, it could have been possible, but I doubt Graham was workin' for them on the side if that's what you're thinkin'.”
But that's not what Crawford was thinking. Graham was a peculiar thing, if by what he read in the case files was true. If anyone caught wind of Graham's abilities, the Mafia would know about it. And if he had managed to catch the leader's attention...
“Why exactly did Graham leave?”
“He said he worried for his mind and health,” Patterson replied. “I don't blame him. Poor kid hid away in his apartment for weeks after the attack. When he did leave the apartment he was all skittish, as if thinkin' someone was goin' to get him.”
Crawford was quiet, gazing out the office window. He stood abruptly, startling Patterson as he stormed out of the room.
“Sir! Where are you going?” Patterson stumbled after him.
“To Graham's house. I think we need to have a talk.”
Will cursed his luck as he tried to turn the key to start the ignition. The car merely clicked at him and fell silent as he relented and flopped into his seat. Of all the times for his car to die, it was now. He was already running late for his appointment with Alana, but at least he was her last client before her lunch hour. Perhaps when he did show up they could continue their session over lunch. Taking his phone out, Will made to call Beverly to see if she could take him, but remembered he no longer had her number and couldn't remember which order the last four digits were placed. And there was no way he was making Hannibal leave work to tend to him again.
Groaning, Will stepped out of his car and began walking. Alana's practice was only a fifteen, twenty minute walk from their house. A little exercise and fresh air wouldn't hurt. Will suspected some of Hannibal's men were around the area anyway, just to keep things in line and make sure the lesser criminals were in their place. One of them might spot him, or he might see one. Will was on good terms with most of the men. Before Hannibal was his mate, when he was just an interest to the Alpha, Will would be followed and find the Mafia members lounging about the vicinity of his apartment. Once or twice they would say hello, or help him open his door if he had his hands full.
Or, hand at the time. He was injured when Hannibal and he met, wasn't he? His left arm contained in a dark blue sling.
Will shook his head and patted his growing belly. Now was not a time to reminisce. Now was the time to set up a good pace and get to Alana's office before he was too late. Pulling his phone out once more, Will dialed her number and waited two rings.
“Will, where are you?” Alana demanded, irritation and worry laced in her tone.
“Sorry, Alana,” Will apologized, unconsciously ducking his head. “My car won't start, but I'm on my way now. Might take me a few minutes.” Will heard Alana sigh, whether it was out of frustration or relief he wasn't sure.
“Alright, that's good to hear. I thought something terrible had happened.” Will momentarily wondered if Alana wasn't actually a Beta with how much she worried over Will, but pushed the thought away. Alana wasn't like most Alphas Will has met. While she still exudes authority and power, Alana's gentle nature made it easy for Betas and Omegas to come to her for help.
“Everything is fine,” Will assured, rubbing his hand along his stomach as he waited at the crosswalk. Glancing around, Will caught the eye of two men and recognized them as Hannibal's men. When they saw Will they immediately rushed toward him, worry lacing their faces. “I have to go, Alana, I'll see you soon.”
“Alright. See you soon, Will.”
As Will pocketed his phone, the two Betas reached him, their posture submissive and nonthreatening.
“Sir, what are you doing here?” The first one asked, Alex if Will remembered correctly. His eyes flitted around the area before coming to rest on Will. “Don't you have an appointment at eleven?” Will smiled at them and their postures relaxed, but they were still on alert. “I'm on my way now, actually. However, my car wouldn't start, so I decided to walk.”
“We'll walk with you,” the second Beta said and Will recognized him as Paul. “I mean, if you want us to walk with you we mean.”
“Thank-you, Paul,” Will said and the man brightly smiled. “I could use some company.”
Walking together, Will caught up on their lives since he last saw them. Paul talked about his girlfriend, a woman he used to go to school with, while Alex went on about his mate and children. Will smiled the whole time, hands gently resting on his stomach.
“Sir, what are you wearing?” Alex teased, picking at the baggy flannel shirt. “I thought for sure the boss would have gotten rid of these by now.”
“Alex be nice!” Paul scolded, but Will didn't mind. He was glad he still had some of his old clothes from before he moved in with Hannibal. They were still comfortable, and they hid his baby bump perfectly.
He felt at peace, but he couldn't help but feel a twinge of unease as they walked down the street. He had felt it before. Felt it all the time when he was a cop.
Someone was watching him.
After arriving ten minutes late for his appointment and apologizing once more to Alana, Will sat in his at one time usual spot; Alana sat across from him. It had been so long since Will had been in need to see a psychiatrist, let alone be willing to come in for a check-up. Ever since he left the police force his visions and mind settled and became calm; and once Hannibal fully entered his life they completely went away. Well, except for yesterday.
“What was your hallucination about, Will?” Alana asked when he told her about his panic attack. Will shrugged, wanting to push the memory to the back of his mind and forget about it.
“It was similar to my old visions,” he began. “There were blood and bodies everywhere.”
“Where there any you recognized?”
Will remained silent, the image of Hannibal's mangled, blank eyed corpse filled his mind before he was able to banish it away.
“My mate was one of the bodies.” He finally muttered.
“Hannibal?” Alana clarified and Will nodded. It was strange hearing his mate's name on another's lips. He had to be careful with who he gave out information about Hannibal. While he was a powerful man, he still had enemies. Will worried constantly that someone would find Hannibal's true identity and take him away.
Alana wrote something down before asking, “What caused the attack, Will?”
“I... Someone called me. Wanted my input on the Chesapeake Mafia,” Will laughed before slumping into his chair. “Wanted me to come back into the field.”
“You... You said no, right?” Alana asked, her face painted with worry. “You're not going back to the police force are you?”
“I'm pretty positive this relapse proves going back would be a bad call on my part,” Will jokes. “Even if I wanted to, I'm a little preoccupied with other things.” Moving his hands up and down on his stomach, Will forced his hands to rest on the chair arms before looking up at Alana's face. She smiled.
“Your problem with eye-contact has improved as well.”
While it was common for Omega's to avert their gazes when around Alphas and some Betas, Will's phobia of eye-contact excelled well beyond what would be considered normal for Omegas.
Will smiled. “You could say Hannibal has helped me with that.”
They lapsed into silence, but it wasn't uncomfortable. The office window was open, letting a slight breeze waft in. Documents and papers shifted slightly at the movement, adding to the white noise of traffic and pedestrians outside.
“How have you been, Will?”
Will looked at her, confused before it dawned on him she was asking as a friend instead of a doctor.
“I've been good. No visions or bad dreams. Well, except for yesterday.” Will laughed before clasping his hands together. “I've been... So happy. I've never been this happy before.”
“He treats you well?” She added, leaning forward in her chair. Will's curious about that question as well, but remembers Alana and Hannibal have only met a handful of times. He thinks he should ask Alana over for dinner some time soon.
“Yes,” he paused before mimicking her posture. “Why? Do you think he's not?”
“That's not it at all, Will” Alana scowled, offended by the accusation. “It's just... I never see you anymore.”
“What do you mean?” Will asked, surprised at the turn of the conversation. “I saw you last week at the grocery store. And before that I-”
“No, that's not what I mean.” Alana interrupted, rubbing her forehead. “Will, when was the last time you came to me as a patient?”
Will sat a moment before shrugging. “I don't know... Almost a year, maybe.”
“And when was the last time we talked, as in going out to eat and getting a few drinks?” She asked, folding her hands over her crossed legs.
It took longer for Will to respond. “It was before I found out I was pregnant...”
“Which was months ago,” Alana sighed. “Will, I know that we never really got together before, but now I feel like we never see each other. Ever since you and Hannibal became mates I feel like you're distancing yourself.”
“Alana,” Will said calmly, his face blank of any emotions. “Are you suggesting Hannibal's tying to isolate me?” The Omega's lips curled and his arms came to rest protectively around his stomach. Will knew he didn't have anything to worry about with Alana, knew Alana was just worried, but the Omega in him felt like Alana was treading on dangerous territory.
Alana put her hands up in a calming manner, hunching her shoulders inward.
“I'm sorry, Will, but I just need to know. Whenever we do get together you never talk about Hannibal. I barely know anything about him. I don't know what kind of person he is, or what he does for a living. Hell, I don't even know how you two met.”
Will glared down at the floor, refusing to look up. Alana sighed and slumped into her chair. “I just... I just want you to be safe.”
They fall into an uncomfortable silence; neither one wanting to be the one to break it. The silence, however, is broken by a third party and Will makes a surprised noise.
“What? What's wrong?” Alana asked, concern written all over her face. Will laughed, rubbing at his stomach.
“Nothing! Nothing is wrong. She kicked me is all.”
“She?” Alana asked before realization dawned on her. “You're having a girl?”
“Ah, sorry. No, I don't know whether it's a girl or a boy. We decided for it to be a surprise,” Will began, rubbing at the spot where the baby kicked. “It's just Hannibal is so adamant on it being a girl that I've begun to call it a she, too.” Chuckling, Will leaned forward and offered a hand. “Do you want to feel?”
Alana looked taken aback before allowing Will to take her hand and place it on his stomach. They waited a moment before the baby kicked again causing Alana to gasp and Will to laugh.
“She gets restless around now. Probably knows it's time to eat.”
As he said this, both Alana and Will looked at the clock on the wall, finding there were only seven minutes left to their session. Turning back to Will, Alana smiled.
“Want to grab lunch with me down at the cafe down the street?” Will smiled in return.
“I'd be happy to.”
“No, Alana,” Will tried to be stern, but his face was splitting into a smile. Alana chuckled in return, hand covering her mouth.
“But I'm serious, Will! Let me organize a baby shower for you!” She demanded, her eyes twinkling mischievously.
“And who would we invite?” Will retorted, trying to ease the smile off his face. “I only have so many friends.”
“Well, there's me, Beverly, Hannibal-”
“I don't think the husband is supposed to come to a baby shower.” Will rolled his eyes, bringing his glass of water to his lips. However, he paused when Alana gave him a shocked look. “...What?”
“Are you and Hannibal...married?”
Will blinked before realizing what he had said earlier.
“Oh... No... We aren't,” In fact, Will thinks somewhat bitterly, the topic has never been brought up. They were mates for sure, but married...
Will finishes taking his sip before setting the glass down. “I know some Betas we could invite,” Will suggests. “I'm sure they would be delighted to come.”
Alana seems to know Will is trying to steer the topic away, but smiles in victory. “So I can throw you a baby shower?”
“Yes,” Will relented, eyes rolling. “You can give me a baby shower.”
Alana's grin grows bigger. She seems to want to say more, but after glancing at her watch she abruptly stands.
“Oh no. I'm going to be late for my next appointment. Will, do you mind...?”
“No, no I don't mind,” he reassures, and Alana give him a quick kiss on the cheek before rushing out of the cafe. Will grabs the attention of the nearest waitress to pick up the tab before reclining peacefully in his booth. The visit had gone rather pleasantly, and it was always good to see Alana. He decided then and there that he and Hannibal would have a small party, a get together of sorts. Maybe next week sometime.
Someone walked up beside the booth, and Will, expecting it to be the waitress, turned to them with a smile.
“So, you're Will Graham.” Will's smile fell off his face as he took in who was standing beside him. It was not his waitress. It was a man. A tall, intimidating Alpha man. Will winced as the man's scent came barreling onto him, making Will want to curl in his booth and pray the Alpha wouldn't hurt him.
Quickly getting a hold of himself, Will straightened and looked under the man's right eye. While he was improving on his inability to make eye-contact, he wasn't dumb enough to make direct contact with an unknown Alpha.
“Yes, I am.” Will growled, a hand straying to his stomach. “And you are...?”
The man remained quiet as he sat down, folding his hands on the table as he took in Will's appearance.
“...You're an Omega,” the man finally said, disappointment filling his voice.
“Yes, I am. Now, I would appreciate it if you told me who you are.” Will hoped his voice was threatening. He was slipping back into his role as a cop, but he was also on suppressants at the time. With his Omegan hormones it made it hard to be anything but submissive to an intimidating Alpha.
“It was hard to track you down, Mr. Graham.” The man said, not once looking away. “The address you are marked under is vacant, and when I tried to call you back yesterday the number was disconnected.”
Will could feel the blood drain from his face as it dawned on him who this man was and what he represented.
The Alpha continued, “Luckily, I was on my way to question your ex-partner when one of my men happened to see you walking down the street. Who were those men with you?”
Will swallowed the lump in his throat, trying to will the blood back into his brain. So Crawford wasn't alone. He wanted to look around, try and spot out his man, but he had to focus on staying calm. He had to come up with something and fast. He could feel the edges of panic begin to creep upon him. He didn't want to break down again so soon.
The waitress from earlier arrived with his tab and he quickly gave her the money. As he did this, he also dug his phone out of his pocket, hitting the speed dial for Hannibal before answering the man's question.
“They were some friends of mine,” he answered, hoping Hannibal would be able to hear them through the phone. “You do realize that stalking is a crime, Special Agent Crawford.”
“Mr. Graham, I just want to have a moment of your time.” Crawford replied, digging out a case file from his jacket. Will watched as photos and documents of his last case were spread out on the table before glancing away. He had to stay calm, just enough so Hannibal could send someone to help.
“I have some questions about your last case. It would be appreciated if you answered them honestly.” Will turned his attention back to Jack, his brow furrowed.
“I don't understand. I thought you wanted help on the Chesapeake Mafia case. Why dig through an old-”
“He threatened you, didn't he?” Jack interrupted. When Will continued to be silent, Jack leaned forward and whispered. “You left because you were threatened by the Mafia, weren't you? You saw the leader, the Chesapeake Ripper, or found out who it was, didn't you?”
Will blinked. This was not what he expected from this surprise visit. He let out a rueful snort, looking down at his lap.
“Sir, if I had seen the leader, do you think I would be sitting here right now?” Will said, rubbing a hand through his hair. It was a lie. Will did see the leader during the case. He was the last person he saw before he woke in the hospital. However, Crawford didn't need to know that. “I know you know what kind of man he is. You've been trying to track him down long before he settled in Baltimore; before I was a cop.” Looking up, he stared straight into the Alpha's eyes and whispered, “You know what he does to those who get in his way.”
Unwillingly, Will's empathy kicked in as he recalled bodies of Hannibal's victims. The precise way the limbs were cut off, the delicate care of removing organs from their bodies. Tears sprang to his eyes before he could hold them back. He knew Hannibal only killed those who interfered with his plans, caused dire trouble for him, or were exceedingly rude; but he could not help but remember a time when Hannibal was a faceless thug who played the role of God. He leader of the Chesapeake Mafia; the Chesapeake Ripper.
But he loved that man. The man who had stalked him after their first meeting, who broke into his apartment and cooked him a meal when he realized he wasn't eating properly, and who stayed by his bedside when his nightmares ruled his dreams. Will could not help but love and cherish Hannibal Lecter, and he prayed he would never get caught. Will broke eye-contact with Jack.
“I left...Because of what happened after Budge attacked me.” Will watched in his peripheral vision as Jack sat up straighter, attention completely drawn. “While I was honest in my statement, I didn't mention what happened after that because...”
“Because what, Will?” Will started at the use of his name, but answered.
“...I had a hallucination, worse than any other I've ever had. I was injured, alone, and scared. Judging by your reaction to finding I'm an Omega you probably don't think we should be allowed to be in the police.”
“Omegas are too sensitive,” Jack replied, looking away when Will gives him a look. “Omegas tend to stay at home, or find jobs where they won't be put at risk.” He looked back at Will, his face blank. “You knew what you were getting into.”
“Yes, but not all Omegas want that kind of life, Special Agent Crawford. I didn't want to be cooped up in some house being waited on by my mate. Time are changing.”
He could tell Crawford had a different opinion on the matter, but Will wouldn't let him get started on backward stereotypes.
“Because of my injury and my hallucinations, my body took over. Are you aware of an Omega Cry?”
“It's a distress call,” The special agent answered. “It compels whomever is in the vicinity to come to their aid. “
“Correct. Because my mind was elsewhere, my body took over. After that, I blacked out and when I woke I found myself in the hospital.”
This, however, wasn't completely true. Will didn't black out. In fact, he remembered what happened after he made the cry vividly.
Unfortunately, Jack seemed to realize this as well. His features hardened, making Will flinch.
Will shook his head, his face beginning to pale again. No, no, no! Don't freak out, William!
“What happened after you made the cry, Mr. Graham.”
“I told you, I don't-”
“Listen here, Omega,” Will flinched as Crawford unleashed his pheromones, ripping a whimper out of his throat. “I'm done playing around. You're hiding something and I will find out one way or another. You will tell me what happened that night, and you will help me catch the Chesapeake Ripper.”
Will could feel the panic settling in, his vision beginning to narrow.
Not now! Not here!
Will refused to have a panic attack in public, and especially not in front of Jack Crawford. In his attempts to push away his growing hysteria, Will let down his guards - his own pheromones settling in the air. He always tried to hide his identity in public, but now his natural scent was loose. Still trying to reign in his mind, Will saw Jack's nose twitch. He was confused at first, but realization came over him. A similar look appeared on Jack's.
“I'm not helping you,” Will gritted out, baring his teeth and placing a hand over his belly. “I have other priorities.”
With a mass of effort, Will stood and fled from his booth and out of the cafe. He heard Crawford call after him, but he was long gone. He ran in the direction of Alana's office, hoping to take refuge until help could arrive. However, it came sooner than the thought. A black car honked and pulled up beside him and Will didn't think twice.
Once he was in, he was pulled into Paul's protective embrace.
“Is he following, Alex?” Paul asked, attention focused on keeping Will from being consumed in a panic.
“No, no signs of him getting into a vehicle, but he might have seen the license plate.” Alex replied, weaving them through traffic and peeking in his rear view mirror. “We'll have to ditch the car, sooner the better.”
“Deep breaths, Sir.” Paul soothed, combing his fingers through Will's hair. While it wasn't the same as Hannibal's technique, it did its job. Will could feel the edges of his hysteria ebb away, and his breathing became easier. Gulping down a breath, Will unfurled himself from his position, but stayed in Paul's arms. Looking at where they were, however, he panicked again.
“Don't take me home!” He received puzzled looks from both Betas, both unsure of his meaning. “Crawford mentioned he had a partner nearby. He could be following us.”
“Damn it,” Alex cursed before taking a different direction. It was quiet in the car before Alex said: “We'll take you to the safe house in Wolftrap.”
“But if we are being followed, how will we lose him?”
Alex laughed. “It's an hour's drive to Wolftrap, Sir. If anyone is following us we'll be able to tell.”
Will nodded before slumping down in his seat. Paul released him and began to type quickly on his phone, no doubt pulling strings and getting other members to keep an eye out for Jack Crawford. Will sighed and pulled out his own phone, wishing he could call Beverly and warn her about the situation.
However, glancing at his phone he realized it was still connected to Hannibal and the man was still on the other line.
“William!” Will flinched, whimpering quietly. Hannibal sounded furious, but if his anger was directed at him or Jack he couldn't tell. “What is going on?”
Will explained, trying to make the situation seem like nothing, but the other man didn't buy it. Hannibal growled and the line became silent. Will wondered if Hannibal hung up, but that would have been rude.
When Hannibal finally spoke, his voice was devoid of emotion. “Where are you now?”
“I'm on my way to Wolftrap.” Will answered, glancing over at Paul. The Beta's body was stock still even as he texted furiously. The poor man could probably hear Hannibal's voice clear as if the earpiece was against his own head. Will switched ears and moved closer to the door, away from Paul.
“Everything is fine now.” He soothed, trying to calm his mate down before the man did anything rash. Hannibal was a cool, collected man, but Will found during the year of knowing him if anything precious to him was poked at, he became the most possessive creature. “I'm fine, we are both fine. Your men came to the rescue in the nick of time.”
It was quiet on Hannibal's end before he sighed. “I'll take care of this. Stay in Wolftrap with my men. I'll see you soon.”
Will nodded to himself before making a noise in agreement. “Hannibal, I...”
I love you. I love you so much.
But Will didn't say anything. He was afraid Hannibal wouldn't appreciate Will's affections if they were in front of his men.
“I know, Will.” Hannibal murmured, his voice soft and full of warmth. “Don't worry. I'll take care of everything. I'll see you tonight.”
The call ended, and while Will was comforted by his mate's assurance this ordeal would end, a bubble of doubt wedged itself in the front of his mind. Will gently clutched at his stomach and curled into his seat, a sense of dread falling over him as he was transported to the safe house.
Thank-you all for the kudos and comments! They mean the world to me and always bring a smile to my face. I apologize for not submitting earlier. I plan on finishing up this story before my school semester begins (26-27th). To those who are reading "Protector", this is currently on hold until I finish this story.
Also, a little side comment: Would anyone be interested in a prequel story? A "how did Hannibal and Will meet?" sort of story?
The first thing Hannibal did when he arrived at the safe house in Wolftrap was lock Will in the bedroom, push him onto the bed, and hold him down. Will allowed himself to be manhandled, knowing both he and Hannibal needed to reestablish their scents on one another. Will closed his eyes and inhaled Hannibal's scent as the man nuzzled into his neck. The older man growled when he discovered Jack's scent and roughly tugged at Will's clothes.
“Off. Now.” he growled, and Will was quick to obey. He had seen Hannibal in this state before, but that was before they were mates and much more terrifying. Now, however, the possessiveness of Hannibal's behavior made Will whine with need. He pawed at Hannibal's suit, trying to get the tie off when he was gently stopped.
“Not now, impatient one,” Hannibal chided, nibbling on Will's collar bone. “We're not alone in the house, remember?”
Will face heated up at the thought of Paul and Alex being able to hear and probably smell the noises and pheromones they were giving off. His embarrassment didn't last as Hannibal latched onto their mating mark, making Will moan.
“We will continue this later, dear one, but I cannot stand his scent on you.”
“He didn't touch me.” Will breathed, trying to gain control of his body, but Hannibal wouldn't let him. The Alpha bit down his sternum, rubbing circles gently on Will's stomach.
“It doesn't matter, William,” Will shuttered as Hannibal grew dangerously close to his nipples, squirming as he mouthed around the right pectoral. While Will's belly grew with the upcoming pregnancy, his breasts did not. They still remained unchanged, which concerned Hannibal for they should have been gaining milk by now. Nosing over, he took the Omega's right nipple between his lips and sucked. Will choked on a gasp, arching as Hannibal laved at the pinked bud.
“I thought we weren't going to do this now.” Will moaned, whimpering as one of Hannibal's hands left his belly to gently grasp his hardening member.
“We aren't.” Hannibal agreed, pumping Will with his fist. Will continued to gasp and groan underneath him, hands grasping at his mate's still clothed form. He tried to keep his noises under control; tried to stifle them, but his body and mind were exhausted. It took Hannibal no time at all to make Will climax under his touch.
Hannibal waited while his mate climbed down from ecstasy, littering his body with kisses from his stomach to parted lips. The kiss was slow and sloppy, but it was just what Will wanted. After the kiss, Will tried to cuddle up to Hannibal, but the older man moved away.
“But what about you?” He murmured, eyes falling on the tent in Hannibal's trousers. He reached out to reel the man back in, but Hannibal was too far our of reach.
“Don't worry about me. Just rest.” he answered back, running his hand through Will's curls one last time before disappearing into the connecting bathroom. Will was too drained, physically and mentally, to try and reach after him, so he stayed put.
He must have dozed off a tiny bit, for Hannibal was gently shaking him. The man had finally taken off his clothes, wearing nothing but a bath robe.
“Come on, dear one,” Hannibal coaxed as he pulled Will's compliant body out of bed and into his arms. “I think a bath is in order, don't you think?”
“It's because I still smell, isn't it?” Will complained as he was settled in a warm bath, head resting on the side of the tub.
“That is part of it,” Hannibal admitted, chuckling when Will's nose scrunched in distaste. Hannibal slipped the robe off before climbing into the tub as well, pulling Will against his chest. The other man murmured something, but a peaceful lull fell over the bathroom. Water splashed as Hannibal washed Will's body, but there was no rush to his movements. As he cleaned his front, his hands fell over the flat chest, and he clicked his tongue.
“If these don't show any growth in the next couple weeks I'm having Bedelia check you over.”
Will snorted, moving his hands to cover Hannibal's.
“There's nothing to worry about. Male pregnancies are different from females. They'll come along, you'll see,” Will murmured, ducking his head under Hannibal's chin. Hannibal wasn't convinced, clutching Will closer.
“I just don't want anything bad to happen.”
“Nothing bad will happen, Hannibal,” Will assured, nibbling at any skin he could reach. “This is my first pregnancy which is usually the hardest. The next one will be better.” He felt Hannibal stiffen under him, his hands flying to rest on his belly.
“You mean you...?”
Will shrugged. “It's only been a few days since we've talked about it,” was his only answer. Hannibal took it as a positive and latched onto Will's shoulder, causing him to laugh at his mate's enthusiasm. His laugh soon turned into a gasp when he felt something hard push up against his back, and he closed his eyes as Hannibal's hand traveled down.
“I think now's a perfect time, don't you?” Hannibal growled, and Will could only purr in agreement.
“It's been four days, Patterson. Four days, and you still can't find heads or tails of Graham's whereabouts?” Crawford shouted, cornering the quivering Beta in his office. Ever since the day Graham disappeared Jack had hit a full stop in his investigation of the Chesapeake Mafia. If the Ripper was laying low before, he was definitely playing it safe now. There were no signs of any of his men, no signs of activity, no nothing. The only leads Crawford had were a burnt down hanger with the hopes of finding the owner of the property, and Will Graham.
He was hiding something, Crawford didn't know what, but the man was definitely hiding something. The Ripper must have threatened him, or paid him off to keep quiet, but that didn't make sense. Why not kill Graham after finding out his identity? Graham was a cop, a worker of justice. He should have been killed on the spot, unless what Graham had said about making the Omega Cry was true...
But that didn't add up either. The Ripper has killed Omegas in the past. Most of his victims were other Alphas and Betas, but he was no stranger to Omegas. Those he killed must have made the Cry, unless he or his men had been wearing ear protection to prevent hearing the distress call. And Graham...
“Why didn't you tell me Graham was an Omega?” Crawford asked, focusing his attention on Patterson. “Did anybody know about his status?”
Patterson whimpered before trying to make eye contact, but failing. “Only some of us knew of Graham's status. Times are changin', Agent Crawford. Omegas are allowed to take position in law enforcement.”
“But why keep it a secret if no one would have objected?” Crawford pushed.
“Our chief at the time was worried some of the Alphas and Betas might take advantage of him.” Patterson explained. “The only ones who knew about Graham's status were the superiors and his partner. The rest of us found out once he left.”
“Must have been taking suppressants,” Crawford thought aloud, rubbing his face. He was silent before asking, “Would anyone in the Mafia know about this?”
“No,” Patterson answered surely. “From what I've gathered, Graham had been pretending to be a Beta for a long time. He's not a native to Baltimore, you know. He's from--”
“Louisiana,” Crawford finished. “So only a handful of people knew he was an Omega.” Patterson nodded.
So if no one knew, then neither the Mafia nor the Catguts would have been aware of it either. Meaning, when Graham gave the Cry, they weren't prepared. The affects of the Cry last up to two hours, enough time to make an escape if necessary, but if Graham was injured on scene then one of them must have taken him to the hospital.
But why not take him to a “safe” place, wait for the affects to wear off, place ear protection, and then kill him? One did not have to completely obey an Omega Cry. Which means, whomever found him willingly helped him.
Perhaps it was because he was an Omega he was spared, or because he was an Omega with the ability to empathize with anyone. He would be a prize for any Alpha if they could get their hands on him, and he was pregnant now.
Jack's eyes widened, his mind putting two and two together.
Will Graham was the Chesapeake Ripper's mate.
Hannibal stood silently in the middle of his office, but the aura around him was anything but calm with the only people daring to get near the Alpha were his two in command. Barney and Bedelia watched their leader, each waiting with different emotions on how he would finally react to the news they delivered. Bedelia, being an Alpha herself, was calm and bore an expression of disinterest. Barney, on the other hand, was a Beta, and no matter how long he and Hannibal had known each other he sat as stiff as a board. This is probably the reason why when Hannibal finally broke the silence he turned to Bedelia.
“Are you certain? All the facts are straight, none of the boys messed up?”
Whereas Barney would have undoubtedly flinched if the Alpha's cold tone was directed towards him, Bedelia kept unwavering eye-contact.
“Double checked them myself, Mr. Lecter,” She replied coolly. “It appears Special Agent Crawford has left Baltimore.”
Hannibal was quiet before he sat behind his desk. That didn't make sense. Why hound Hannibal and anything dealing with the Chesapeake Mafia for months before disappearing? Hannibal had made sure all leads went straight to dead ends with the last piece Crawford needing being safely tucked away in Wolftrap for nearly a week and a half.
“All my informants told me Crawford had been called away on a different case,” Barney added. “None of these details seem to be false or misleading.” Bedelia nodded in agreement.
Even with both his commands and their trusted informants, Hannibal didn't believe it. There was no way Jack would have let himself be easily pulled away from Baltimore when he was so close. It was a trap, but Hannibal was frustratingly in the dark. If it was true, he could safely move Will back home and continue hiding him there. However, if it was a ruse and he moved Will prematurely, Crawford could pounce upon him once more.
“Any sign of his men? Will mentioned Crawford brought along another when he ambushed him at the cafe.”
“All Special Agents under or through Crawford have vanished as well,” Bedelia said coolly, clasping her hands together. “It seems likely his superiors grew tired with a fruitless chase.”
Still not buying it, Hannibal dismissed Bedelia and Barney and as soon as the door was closed he fished his phone from his pocket.
It took just one ring before Will picked up.
Hannibal smiled, imagining Will lounging on the bed with discarded books surrounding him. Hannibal tried his best in keeping his mate entertained by bringing him the books he would have read at home, but it appeared his sweetheart had already read, or grew bored with them.
“Try to keep yourself busy, dear Will. You could always rearrange-”
“I've cleaned every aspect of this this house, rearranged the furniture, practically rubbed myself on everything because it smells funny,” Hannibal laughed at that, “And I've talked poor Alex and Paul's ears off.” There was a pause, before Will whispered “I'm hungry too.”
“But I left you a good couple days worth of food.” Hannibal smirked before teasing, “Did you eat it all?”
Hannibal sighed playfully before replying “Oh dear. I'll simply have to bring more.”
“You know you enjoy it.” Will teased back, but when he next spoke it was tentative. “They... they're bad people right? The ones you...” Will didn't finish his sentence.
Hannibal gently smiled. “Will, I only feed you what's best for you and our child.” It was a cryptic answer, but it seemed to placate the Omega. For now, anyway.
“Are you coming to visit?” Will asked. “But, only if you want to. I actually do have enough food, and it is such a long drive-”
“It's only an hour,” Hannibal reassured. “Less if I speed,”
“But you won't do that. You're too prim and proper.”
Hannibal laughed again, gripping his phone close to his ear. “I miss you, Will. This will be over soon. I promise.”
“I miss you too, and I hope so.”
Hannibal ended the call, a frown marring his features.
Staring out the kitchen windows, it wasn't the first time Will wished he could live in the country and own a dog. The safe house was hidden within the trees, the yard in front and in back open so dogs – and an upcoming child – could run around without hindrance or worry they would collide with branches. Will could also virtually watch them from wherever he stood in the house. If they were in the front yard he could sit on the front porch or watch from the kitchen window. If they wanted to be in the back, he would go to the living room window. The house was a perfect family home. It was a shame it was only a safe house.
Sighing, Will listened as Paul moved around upstairs, most likely on the phone with Alex or another member of the Mafia. Will didn't like how he kept the two from their ordinary lives, making them have to take turns and drive two hours a day from Baltimore to Wolftrap, but he figured they knew what they were getting themselves into when they joined Hannibal. Besides, once in the Mafia, there was virtually no way out. Only through death.
The hum of a car drew Will's attention back to the window, watching hopefully as a black car pulled into the driveway. His excitement died down when he saw it was Alex, but it was still early. Hannibal said he would arrive sometime in the evening, and it was only beginning to become dark.
Will greeted Alex as he walked in, and the man nodded in return with a tired smile. There were bags under the Beta's eyes, and Will felt a pang of guilt. He knew it wasn't his fault, but he couldn't help but feel somewhat responsible for the current state of Hannibal's men.
He watched as Alex disappeared to the upper rooms before Paul returned in his place.
“I'm going to take a smoke,” Paul informed, pulling out a pack for Will to see. “I'll be right outside and Alex is upstairs.”
Will thanked the Beta and was once more left alone in the kitchen, waiting in anticipation for Hannibal's arrival and daydreaming about his future. However, he didn't get far when his pocket began to vibrate. Digging his phone out, Will was more than surprised to see it was Alana calling.
“Hey, Alana.” Will smiled. “I've been meaning to call-”
“Will, are you alright?”
Will paused, confused. Alana's voice was shaking, her words catching as if she was trying to contain her emotions.
“What's wrong, Alana?”
Alana took deep breaths before she finally answered. “I was... Attacked. A man broke into my office, a Beta. I almost had him, almost made him submit but he had a taser and I blacked out.”
“Are you hurt?” Will asked, his heart beginning to race. “Did he...”
“No, no I'm fine. But Will, when I woke up my office was ransacked. The police came and checked over everything, but the only thing missing was your file.”
Will sat forward, his breathing coming faster and faster. He'd told Alana many things, about his mental health and personal life, but he knew Hannibal's name would undoubtedly be on file as well. . While he never said anything about the man to her, keeping everything about Hannibal a mystery, the idea of someone having his file, having Hannibal's name, and possibly his current address made Will suddenly cold.
Will stood from his chair, pacing about the kitchen, trying hard to control his breathing. “What all did you put in my file? What my address--”
“The file contained anything you were willing to give to me during your past sessions: Hallucinations, dreams, medications you were on. The only current thing on file is what you told me at our last session. As for your address, the one I have is your old apartment address. Will I'm worried. Are you in danger?”
Will wanted to tell her, but he didn't want to drag her into into his world or get her into trouble. Instead, he answered with, “I'm fine, Alana. I'll keep an eye out, and please stay safe.”
As he hung up, he took a deep breath, trying to get his nerves to calm as he started dialing Hannibal's number. However, he paused when he realized something was wrong. The kitchen window was open, letting in a breeze. He could smell the grass and trees, still a little damp from the morning rain. What he could not smell was cigarette smoke. Taking another sniff, he took in the scents of Alex, Paul, and his own, but now as he concentrated he found a different smell. One that smelled like Jack Crawford.
Jumping from his seat, Will started to run upstairs, but was intercepted by Alex. Gun drawn, Will knew either the Beta was responding to Will's elevated heart or he could smell the intruder as well.
“Get upstairs, Sir.” Will hesitated, worried about Paul, but with his mind starting to shut down he hastily climbed the stairs to his room. Once there, he reached under the bed and grabbed his own gun. While Hannibal didn't like the idea of Will using his gun, the Omega was a cop and knew how to handle it properly.
Checked and fitted, Will locked the bedroom door and positioned himself behind a desk for cover. Straining his senses, he tried to listen to the movements outside, but they were too muffled to hear properly. He he was left in the dark until he heard gunshots, but they didn't last long. Panicking, Will scented the air, but found no traces of blood. Whoever did the shooting, they missed their target.
Suddenly, the door downstairs slammed open and the sound of bodies colliding with each other and objects echoed throughout the house. Will stood, ready to help when another gunshot went off, this time with an accompaniment of the smell of blood. Will gasped as he heard someone fall, hoping, praying it was the intruder who fell and not Alex. He wasn't even sure if Paul was alive. Please, let this be over.
But it wasn't over. As Will coward under the desk, he heard someone moving up the stairs. As they drew closer, Will squeezed his eyes shut in pain at the realization it was not Alex coming up the stairs. Hoping the Beta was still alive, Will rubbed his stomach one last time before positioning himself in view of the door, gun ready.
The footsteps climbed closer and closer to Will's room, only stopping once they reached the door. With his mind on the verge of taking over any rational thought, Will waited, his finger on the trigger. All that mattered was the man on the other side was not any of his Beta bodyguards and he reeked of Crawford's scent.
The doorknob jingled as the intruder tried to open it. Will flinched when he began to knock.
“Mr. Graham,” the man called out, his voice pacifying and calm. Will didn't buy the act, noting the man was not Jack Crawford, but someone else. One of his men, perhaps. “Open the door, Mr. Graham. This doesn't have to end in bloodshed. Just open the door and I won't have to harm you or the precious load you're carryin'.”
Will pushed the urge to cover his belly, instead steadying the gun with both hands. It was quiet before the man sighed. “Very well then.”
Before the intruder could attempt at breaking the door down, Will fired his gun. He let out three shots, hoping it had enough power to get through the door. The man let out a pained groan before something hit the floor hard. Will stayed where he was, thinking it was a rouse before pungent smell of blood assaulted his nose. Still remaining cautious, Will left the safety of the desk and tread carefully to the door. He listened for a few more moments, but heard no sounds of the man's breathing or attempts to get back up. Unlocking the door, Will peeked outside and met the image of a man laying in a pool of blood.
Will took a moment to check on the body and was surprised to see he was still alive, but barely. Unconscious, the man had two bullet wounds: one in the shoulder and the other in his stomach. Will doubted the man would live long without assistance.
Steping around the the bleeding man, Will made it downstairs, taking in the damage of the intruder's and Alex's fight. However, he was pulled by the pained groan from the kitchen, and soon found a barely conscious Alex on the floor.
Rushing to the Beta, Will put his gun on the floor and applied pressure to the wound. “It's going to be okay,” he reassured, trying to keep his calm and hallucinations at bay. He kept gently whispering to the injured Beta, risking to remove one hand to grab his phone. He he was already calling Hannibal when Alex tried to remove his hand.
“Sir,” he wheezed” You need to... get out of here.”
“The man is close to death. I took care of him.” Will said, waiting for Hannibal to pick up as well as look for a towel or apron to apply to the wound.
“No, Sir... You need to run... There...” he began to cough, blood running down the corner of of his mouth. “There's... another...” Suddenly, Alex's eyes widened. At the same time, Hannibal picked up.
“Will, I'm just heading out--”
Will didn't get the chance to be surprised or shout as a cloth fell over his mouth and nose. He struggled, elbowing his attacker's ribs and stomach while clawing at the hand on his face, but it was no use. He couldn't hold his breath long enough and inhaled the sweet smell of chloroform. His vision blurred and he slumped against his attacker. Closing his eyes, he could hear Alex shouting into his dropped phone.
“It's Special Agent Crawford! He's here. He's--”
There was a click, and a gun went off close to Will's ears. The last thing Will could hear was the ringing in his head, and the lack of the Beta's voice.
I was going to just upload one more chapter, but it was getting too long without posting I decided to stick with the same amount of chapters I originally planned. I'm sorry for not posting sooner, but I've been just a tad too stressed at school. Hopefully this has been amended and I'm going to be back on track with my stories (as disarrayed as it was to begin with).
Hannibal got to the safe house before any of his lackeys, but Crawford was long gone with his William. Moving around the perimeter, he found Paul unconscious outside the front door, blood dripping from his head. Seeing he was in no dire need of attention, Hannibal turned his attention to inside the house. His senses were overwhelmed by the smell of blood, Will, and Crawford. He took in the disheveled remains of the kitchen and living room, pausing at the body of Alex. The Beta held Will's phone, his other outstretched for Will's discarded gun. Hannibal took a moment to feel regret for the fallen guard before returning to his inspection.
As he neared the stairs, he caught the smell of an unknown Beta, and he snarled. He found the intruder outside of Will's room, but he was alive. He had his eyes closed, hands clutching tightly at his wounds. Hannibal took in the situation, taking in the damage on both the Beta and the door. A small smile came forth when he saw which direction the bullets had come through the door, answering the state of the Beta. However, the smile did not stay as the scent of Crawford filled his nose once more. He looked down at the unaware Beta, before walking forward and stepping firmly on his stomach. The Beta gasped, eyes flinging open.
“It appears William is getting rusty with his aiming skills. Then again, he never liked to kill, did he?” Hannibal pressed harder, the intruder letting out a gutted croak before passing out. “How unfortunate for you.”
Will woke, his vision blurry. He groaned, rubbing his face into his pillow. His stomach rumbled and he wondered if Hannibal was making breakfast. He suddenly paused his movements, sniffing around him. This wasn't his home. It didn't smell anything like him or Hannibal. This wasn't even the safe house in Wolftrap, which would definitely smell like him.
Jolting up, Will tried to get out of bed when his head began to hurt. He clutched at it uselessly, memories of what happened coming back to him. There was gun fire and blood and... Crawford!
Disregarding the pain in his head, Will stumbled around the room, trying to find a door or a window. It was completely black, and Will guessed the room was windowless. Feeling around the walls, he bumped into something near the bed. He grasped around and processed it was a desk with a lamp. Will sighed with relief when he turned the lamp on, the orange light momentarily blinding him. He didn't mind, basking in the artificial light. When he could finally see, he fixed his attention on the door at the far side of the room. Without thinking, Will grasped the handle and pulled.
It wouldn't budge.
Panic began to sink in as he tried again. And again. And again. But the door wouldn't open.
A whimper escaped as Will gave one last pull before falling to his knees. He couldn't do it. He couldn't escape. It was his fault Alex was dead and Hannibal must be worried sick. What if because of this he slips? What if he's not careful? Crawford could use him as bait to draw the Alpha into a trap. He could be arrested, or worse, he could be killed.
Will's vision began to warp and blacken, images of Hannibal's dead body rising behind closed eyes. He would be alone. So alone. On top of that, he too would be arrested for aiding a notorious killer. Locked away behind bars. And when the time came, his little Mischa would be taken away from him. His last reminder of Hannibal.
Tears swelled and streamed down his face, sobs pouring through his lips. Alone. He didn't want to be alone. He wouldn't survive without Hannibal or Mishca. His mind spiraled even more, the black becoming stained in red as bodies began to fill his mind, his old visions combing with the new. He couldn't handle this!
A small tap broke through Will's panic attack, bringing his mind out of the red haze. As his focus came back to the real world he felt it again, but this time he was able to pin point the cause.
Laying his hands on his stomach, Will gently rubbed the area Mischa kicked, waiting to see if she'd do it again. When there was a repeat kick, Will sighed.
“I'm sorry, darling, but papa is unable to feed you right now. If you're patient maybe daddy will come with some food, okay?”
For his trouble, the unborn child kicked again.
Will chucked, giving his belly one last rub before picking himself off the floor. Falling into despair would not solve anything. If he couldn't keep it together for himself, then he'd do it for his child. He had to remain calm, think positive thoughts. If he couldn't get out, then he'd wait. Crawford wouldn't leave him to rot, not when he had valuable information. Hostages were kept safe as long as they were useful.
Will also didn't see Crawford as the sort of person to kill pregnant Omegas, even if they were connected to the Chesapeake Mafia. His current condition kept him safe for at least a few more months, give or take. But how much did Crawford know? This seemed extreme if all he wanted was information, so he must know more.
Will sighed and paced the room, hands massaging his belly as he tried to calm his way ward thoughts. He turned away from his mind, keeping himself grounded in the present as he looked around the room. The walls were white, currently bathed in the orange light of the lamp. The tile floor was also white and cold against his bare feet. The only items to grace the room were a bed, a desk, and a lamp, but there was nothing in the drawers or under the bed. Will turned back to the door, noting it was just as white as the rest of the room. Upon further inspection, he saw that it had two sliding windows: one up top and one at the bottom. He figured it was so his captor could look in and give him food. There was no way to open them from inside.
Will continued to stare at the door before turning and crawling back into the bed. There was nothing he could do now. He just had to wait for either Crawford to come and talk, or for Hannibal to rescue him.
His stomach rumbled, and he fought back the sense of unease when he felt a kick again.
Paul's body hurt. It took him a moment for reality to come to him, remembering the ambush and the pain running through him before he blacked out. Gasping, he tried to sit up, but his head protested harshly.
“Don't try to move, Mr. Caser,” a voice called to him and hands pushed him back down. “You are in no condition to move.”
Paul opened his eyes and saw Dr. Du Maurier standing over him. He tried to speak, but he began to cough instead. Dr. Du Maurier moved around the bed, checking vitals on the monitors before handing him a plastic cup with water. He accepted the cup, but found he couldn't hold onto it with his shaking hands. The Alpha helped him and soon the injured Beta downed the entire cup.
“You are in Location 34B,” Dr. Du Maurier continued, giving him another drink. “It has been almost twelve hours since we found you.”
“Please.” Paul croaked as Dr. Du Maurier put the cup on the night stand. “Please, where is Mr. Graham? Where is Alex?” He cried out softly when he saw the look on her face, bringing a hand up to rub at his face. “Please no, tell me they're not dead.”
“Unfortunately, Mr. Reese did not make it. However, we don't know about Mr. Graham,” Dr. Du Maurier pacified. “Mr. Graham is missing. Tell me, what happened at the safe house?”
The Alpha's voice was soothing the the frayed nerves of the Beta, but Paul couldn't calm down. Tears streaked down his face and he began to whine softly.
“Mr. Caser, I know this is hard, but you need to focus,” the Alpha ordered, dropping her pheromones enough to get the Beta to listen to her. “What happened at the safe house?”
“I...I don't know. It was later in the evening, maybe six or seven o' clock. Alex had just come back from town, and Mr. Graham was in the kitchen waiting by the window. I went out to smoke, and...I heard a noise...” he recalled, furrowing his brows. “I thought it was Mr. Graham, but it didn't smell like him. When I turned around, a man had hit me in the head with something. Maybe the back of a gun. That was the last thing I saw or remember.” Paul rubbed his head, pain blooming all around his forehead.
Dr. Du Maurier nodded before turning away from the Beta, glancing up at the camera hidden in the corner of the room. She waited a moment before grabbing a file from her bag and placing an assortment of pictures in front of Paul.
“We believe one of these men is responsible for Mr. Graham's kidnapping. I need you to point out which man attacked you.”
Paul looked up at her before looking at the pictures. He stared at them for a long time, and Bedelia feared he had not gotten a clear look at the attacker.
Or, that Mr. Caser had a hand in Mr. Graham's kidnapping.
Finally, Paul hesitantly pointed at the third picture. “Him, I think. He looks familiar.”
“You think? You need to be sure.” Bedelia said, her tone cold. Paul flinched before nodding.
“Yes, it's him. I caught a glimpse, but I'm sure.” There was a pause before he added. “But I've seen his face somewhere else...” The Beta flinched as the pain in his head became unbearable, laying down once more. Bedelia checked over his vitals one last time before gathering her things and leaving him to rest.
She didn't waste time and went straight to Hannibal's office. The man was still watching the feed from the camera in the Beta's room, his face unreadable. Bedelia waited to be addressed before speaking.
“I don't believe he's a traitor, sir,” She said as she placed the files on the the desk. “From past experience and his reaction to the attack I see him as a victim.”
“But he still allowed himself to be attacked.” Hannibal reminded, his voice cold. “I do not tolerate slackers, especially ones who are supposed to be protecting my mate.”
Bedelia didn't flinch at Hannibal's words, instead trying at a different approach. “Once we get William back do you really want to tell him you killed someone he considers a friend, especially after he finds out what happened to Mr. Reese.”
Hannibal's eyes narrowed, but it was the only sign of his anger Bedelia could see from him. He was remarkably calm, which put everybody on edge.
She tried again. “You heard him point out the intruder from the pictures. If he were a traitor he would have picked a different one.”
Hannibal remained silent, once more watching the feed. The Beta was now curled in the bed, his body shaking and faint sobbing could be heard. He continued to watch before turning the screen off. It was all Bedelia had to assure her the Alpha no longer had thoughts to get rid of the Beta. For now.
Hannibal stood from his chair and picked up the file, pulling out the picture of the intruder.
“He does look familiar, doesn't he?” he said slowly. He handed it over to Bedelia and ordered, “I want the names of all the officers who work Baltimore from the time William was an officer to now. Let me know what you find as soon as you do.”
Bedelia nodded and headed out the door. She paused, and turned back to her superior.
“What shall we do with the intruder, sir? He still hasn't woken.”
Hannibal was quiet before a smile slowly formed.
“Let me handle it.” He answered, and Bedelia couldn't suppress the shiver.
Will didn't sleep; he couldn't get comfortable enough. The springs in the mattress dug into his back every time he moved, and the blankets weren't warm enough. However, it was the smell that drove him crazy. Nothing smelled like him. It reminded him of the first night he slept at his new home with Hannibal. While his mate's scent soothed him enough to help him sleep, he was too uncomfortable with the idea. The next day, when Hannibal had gone out to work, Will proceeded to get his scent onto everything the Alpha owned. Clothes, bedding, furniture, curtains. Anything and everything. Except the kitchen. He knew that room was meant only for Hannibal.
The thought of Hannibal and his cooking made Will's stomach gurgle. Mishca had settled down and wasn't moving as much, but Will knew she would be squirming away soon enough. He sighed and tried to find a soft spot when he heard something faint beyond the door. He froze, straining his ears. The shuffling grew closer and closer, but didn't come close to the door. Will watched the door and remained still. When the noises didn't continue he slowly sat up. He closed his eyes and sniffed, catching the whiff of food and Crawford.
Will was torn between growling or staying quiet, but he decided on the latter. Easing his feet onto the cold floor, Will stood and walked over to the door. The person on the other side, whom Will assumed to be Crawford, didn't move. Will waited a few moments before raising his hand and knocked three times.
There was no response.
He did it again, harder this time, but the other side was quiet.
“Hello?” Will called out tentatively. “Hello? Anyone there?”
His stomach rumbled, followed by a kick. Will gritted his teeth in agitation before calming himself. “I never would have though you would resort to kidnapping, Special Agent Crawford. What would your superiors think?”
This produced a reaction. The person on the other side of the door moved forward, but instead of opening the door the sliding panel at the bottom opened, allowing a tray of food to enter. Before Will could react, a voice growled, “Best you eat it all, for your sake. You're no good to me dead.”
Will growled back, but the Alpha was already gone. Will eyed the tray of food. He was surprised to see it filled with similar foods Hannibal would feed him. It had everything recommended to give a pregnant Omega. Will wasn't sure if he should feel reassured that Crawford was making sure he stayed healthy, or intimidated by the thought of Crawford intending to keep him until he was of no further use.
Will sighed. It was no good to think about it now. His stomach ached for food, and it wasn't good for Mishca. With one more growl, Will picked up the tray and returned to his spot on the bed. The food tasted terrible, but he ended up eating it all. However, he was still not satisfied. He licked his fingers before setting the tray on the desk and curling up on the bed once more. There was no way he was going to give Crawford the satisfaction of hearing him beg for food. He wouldn't stoop so low. He clasped his belly gently, feeling Mischa move and kick, and fell into a light doze.
Hannibal walked slowly around the chair, his “guest” bound and gagged. He flipped through the papers Bedelia had given him, and when he was finished he stopped in front of the man.
“Sam Patterson. Age 34, born and raised in Baltimore to a Beta father and mother, and an only child. Joined the Baltimore police force seven years ago and currently employed. Also, unmated and no current partners. Am I forgetting anything?”
But Patterson couldn't reply. His eyes were wide open, staring unblinkingly at the Chesapeake Ripper. He was heavily shaking, his breathing uneven. Hannibal didn't look up from the file and continued to leaf through the file once more, lingering on pages before moving onto the next one. Patterson, on the other hand, had not taken his eyes off of Hannibal.
Finally, Hannibal put the file down and crossed his arms, his face blank as he stared at the Beta. Patterson flinched at the eye contact, but did not look away. It was as if he was unable to.
“I hope your wounds aren't bothering you too much,” Hannibal said casually. “I know how much William hates to kill, but I believe he was trying. I can't mock his shooting abilities, for it is hard to aim through a door.” The Alpha moved from his spot against the wall and moved behind Patterson's chair to a small table covered in cloth. Patterson tried to keep Hannibal within his sight, but was unable to turn his head or move without his wounds flaring up.
“I will tell you,” Hannibal continued. “he would have killed you quickly. He's not one to prolong pain or suffering. He is an Omega after all. However, I'm surprised he didn't put a bullet in your head when he left the room.” he tisked. The sound of clinking could be heard, followed by a scrape of metal. Hannibal stepped back into the Beta's vision, and Patterson's eyes widened even more at the sight of the knife in the Alpha's hands.
“I, on the other hand, like to prolong the experience, but you already know that, don't you?” Hannibal's eyes hardened and finally Patterson began to try and escape from his chair. The pain from the bullet wounds hampered his efforts, causing him to cry out behind his gag. Hannibal put a stop to his useless struggle by grasping the man's hair and pulling his head back, exposing his neck. The hand holding the knife inched closer to his throat, halting all movement. The Beta shook as Hannibal raised the knife to cut away the gag. With Patterson's mouth free, Hannibal laid the knife against his face.
“Now, tell me, where is my Will.”
Will's eyes shot open when he heard the creak from the door. He sat up, watching as Crawford entered with a tray of food in his hands. He closed the door, his eyes fixed on Will. The Alpha lowered his guards, his pheromones flooding the small room. Will growled and moved closer to the corner of his bed. He didn't like how Crawford was caging him in, making it so he could only be in one spot. The bed finally smelled like him, and he wasn't going to let it be sullied by the Alpha's stench.
Crawford gave him one more look before ignoring him. He moved over to the desk, picking up the empty tray and replacing it with the new one. Will hoped it wasn't obvious he was hungry, his nose taking in the smell. He was also hoping Crawford was going to walk out the door and leave him to his meal, but he was in no such luck. The Alpha sat at the edge of the desk, and he moved the tray of food in Will's direction.
“What time is it?” Will asked, unsure if Crawford was going to answer him or not.
“It's morning.” Crawford answered back, keeping his answers vague. Will decided he couldn't have been knocked out for two days, and thus it must have been the morning after he was kidnapped.
“Where am I?” Will knew he wasn't going to get an answer, but he thought he could try anyway. He was rewarded with a somewhat amused look before Crawford became serious.
“I just want to talk.” Crawford said, but Will heard the command behind it. He bit back a growl, and let out a huff.
“We did talk, Special Agent Crawford, back at the cafe. I told you everything you needed to know.”
“But you failed to mention you are the mate of a killer.” Crawford growled, but this time Will growled back.
“You only asked about my last case. I told you everything.”
“No, you didn't,” Crawford stood and Will feared he was going to come closer, but the Alpha began to pace the room. He stopped and pointed at Will, his voice grave. “You best start telling the truth, Graham, otherwise--”
“Otherwise what, Special Agent Crawford? Threaten me with violence? Threaten to take my mate away? You've already succeeded in separating us, so what then? Are you going to torture the information out? If I don't cooperate are you going to kill me? Kill a pregnant Omega? I'm sure you'll go far in your career if your superiors catch wind of what you're doing.” Will snapped, a new side coming through as he bared his teeth. At the cafe, Will was cowed and frightened to be talking with Crawford, but not now. No, he was scared, but he would not go down without a fight. He was not some Omega that could be bossed around. He had others to look out for, and he failed to protect Alex and Paul. He would not fail in protecting Hannibal and Mischa.
Crawford was taken aback for a moment before he growled. Will was unfazed as he watched the man storm out of the room and slam the door. It was a small victory, but Will didn't feel triumphant. The more he thought about it, the more he wondered if he should have bended just a little. What harm could have come from revealing what actually happened the night of the fight between the Catgut gang and the Chesapeake Mafia? From what Will could gather, Crawford had gone rogue, or no one knew he was going through such extremes to get the Chesapeake Ripper. He could have bargained or made a deal of some sort with Crawford until the danger had cleared. Now, now he couldn't. Crawford wouldn't be in the mood to negotiate. He was angry, and anything Will tried to propose would be shot down.
No. Crawford wouldn't have negotiated anyway. No matter what Will did the Alpha would make sure he was the one victorious, with the Chesapeake Ripper destroyed one way or another.
Will dragged his hand through his hair, but his thought process didn't go far. The call of food became too strong and he edged toward the desk, and he picked through the food tentatively. He wished he could be with Hannibal, back home safe and sound. If it was truly morning like Crawford said, then Hannibal would be away at work while Will stayed at home. Before he became pregnant, Will was trying to find a teaching job after he left the force, but he couldn't find one with his record of mental lapses. He would have kept looking, but Hannibal convinced him it would be better for him and their child if he stayed home.
“I know you don't like it,” Hannibal had said, curling his arms around the Omega. “But think about it: do you really want a stranger to look after our child while we are at work? He or she will become more attached to them then they are to us. You don't want that, do you?”
Will had known Hannibal was manipulating him, trying to coddle and hide him away, but he had been right. At the time, it had been almost a year without an episode, and Hannibal was looking out for his health. He put up a fight for a few more days before giving in. The Alpha promised when their child started to go to school he would help him find a job, but for now he needed not to worry about such things.
Will tried to smile at the memory, but his spirits were starting to wane. He had two worries right now, but they were out of his control. He needed to get out, to escape. As much as it pained him, he had to remove the thought of rescue. He knew Hannibal wouldn't stop until either Crawford was dead with Will safe, or if he was dead. Right now Will had to focus on the concept that he was alone with no help. He was trained for this, at one point. He would figure it out, and he would escape.
No matter what, he was going to be back with Hannibal.
Hannibal paced in his office, his control was wearing thin. It had been three days. Three days since Will had been taken. Hannibal hadn't been able to sleep properly since his disappearance, snapping and snarling at his subordinates. The Betas did everything they could to find their boss's mate, but they couldn't find anything. Instead, many went out of their way to avoid the murderous Alpha. Even Bedelia avoided him as much as possible.
Hannibal slammed his fists against the wall, ignoring the pain in his reddened knuckles. The Beta, Patterson, was of no use. He squealed even before Hannibal could try to interrogate him, but none of the information helped. Hannibal had every place the Beta had suggested Crawford could have taken Will, but they all turned up empty. Hannibal couldn't find a trace of joy when he killed Patterson, his worry and anger over the situation at hand ruining it.
The Alpha fell into his chair and cradled his head in his hands. A yawn tried to force its way past his lips, but he pushed the feeling away. He couldn't sleep, couldn't eat. He wanted his Will and their child back safe and sound in his arms. He wouldn't rest until he had them back. One way or another.
Will moved into position as he heard Crawford come closer. He crouched behind the door, the lamp in hand. He listened as Crawford opened the peep hole, and after a pause, the lock turned. The door swung open and Will shifted so he wouldn't get hit.
“Graham?” Crawford cautiously entered the dark room and used the light of the hallway to set the food on the desk. Will waited until the Alpha moved to the bed before striking. With a leap Will bashed the lamp over Crawford's head. The man stumbled and Will tripped him so he fell completely. Not wasting any time, Will jumped onto his back and tied his hands with the lamp cord. It wouldn't hold, but it would give Will enough time to find a way out. The Omega snarled down at the fallen Alpha before taking off, using his nose to try and smell out an exit. His senses, while not as good as Hannibal's, enhanced during his pregnancy. He wasn't going to lose. He was going to find a way out.
Sprinting down the dim halls, Will's bare feet slapped noisily as he determined where he was. It looked like a hospital, but there was no one to be found. Will continued on through the corridors, finding rows upon rows of doors padded with locks. Suddenly, realization overcame him. This wasn't a hospital, this was an asylum. Old Dr. Chilton's asylum. Will stopped and held his head as his empathy went out of his control, showing him visions of what transpired behind closed doors and screams began to fill the air.
Will growled. “Enough!”
Everything became silent. Will huffed and caught his breath, a hand on his chest and one on his belly.
“Enough. Come and haunt me later. I need to get out.”
When the visions remained silent and nothing popped in front of his mind, Will continued on.
“Sir,” Barney entered the office with a folder in his hand. “I think we found something.”
Hannibal was by his side and snatched the folder. “What is it?”
Barney flinched as the Alpha's unchecked pheromones ran wild, but he regained his composure.
“Some of the boys have seen activity over at the old asylum. A lone car driving has been going to and fro' at different intervals of the day.”
Hannibal paused. The old asylum used to be Dr. Chilton's domain. Oh, how Hannibal enjoyed ripping the man apart.
Still, the asylum had been empty for almost two years now. It was a few miles out of town and surrounded by trees and fences. Young upstarts enjoyed hanging around the building proclaiming it was haunted from the inmates who died, but otherwise no one went over there. Hannibal had a feeling that was where his William was. There were plenty of empty rooms to lock someone away.
Not taking any chances, Hannibal grabbed his gun and gestured to Barney.
Will couldn't hear Crawford and he didn't know if that was a good or bad sign. The asylum remained quiet with his footsteps and breathing breaking the silence. The damned building was huge, and Will couldn't find a room or hallway with windows.
Must be in the basement, he thought as he turned corners and ducked into corridors. He continued to sniff, following his nose to fresh air. It was mostly stale air consisting of dust and old long gone medicine, but he would catch whiffs of the outside on occasion. He could also smell Crawford, but it was an old scent. Perhaps he could follow it? It might lead him to the front doors.
In all his years of living and working in Baltimore he had never stepped foot into the asylum. He knew of it, but who didn't know of the barbaric place. He had heard rumors and stories of what happened behind closed doors, and with his ever increasing visions and insanity Will did his best to avoid the mad doctor's attention. Luckily, the place was shut down after Dr. Chilton went missing. Many believed it was the work of the Chesapeake Mafia and the Ripper, and Will was inclined to believe them. Will had asked Hannibal once, but the man just smiled and told him not to worry about it.
Shivering, Will picked up the pace once more and finally found a staircase, and the only option was up. As Will climbed, he looked over his shoulder.
Still no sign of Crawford. Will was starting to become uneasy, but he pushed it from his mind as he felt a soft kick.
Sorry Mischa, Will thought as he rubbed his stomach, not daring to talk out loud. Sorry I'm jostling you about, but I promise as soon as we are out I won't leave the house until after you are born.
Will doubted that promise, knowing Hannibal liked to drag him to fancy dinners where he could show him off. It was annoying, but Hannibal would beam at the sight of him dressed in a suit or smile if he saw Will was grudgingly having fun. The omega hoped Hannibal would leave him at home for a little while once this was all said and done. He couldn't wait to get home.
But what if you don't? A dark thought asked. What if Crawford wins?
Will bared his teeth at the thought and shoved it away. He will get home, Crawford will be punished for interfering in his life, and Will is going to remain in a semi peaceful life with little bumps here and there from Hannibal's work. He is willing to move if it ensures the safety f his family. He will see to that.
The next floor was just as the basement, but Will wasn't sure if this was the ground floor or a floor just below it. He had heard of asylums having multiple basements, but he wasn't sure if this was the case. Will sighed, and he froze.
Crawford's scent was stronger here and the mute sounds of footsteps alerted him the alpha was near. Not only was he near, but he was ahead of him. Will cursed his luck and realized there must have been another way up from the basement. He could no longer go forward. Trying to stay as silent as he could, Will turned around and retraced his steps. There was a fork in the hall a little ways back near the stair case. He would try that before coming to a decision. Crawford was still far away, but the Alpha must have caught his scent for Will could hear him coming faster.
Still trying to be quiet, Will picked up the pace and walked on the balls of his feet. He continued to look over his shoulder as he retreated, but he was still in the clear. He took the hall in the other direction and saw it was a medical ward of some sort. Will hoped he could find something to use as a weapon, but the open rooms he passed were all empty. Will gritted his teeth and continued to scan.
I'm not finding anything, he thought and sweat began to form on his brow. Will hastily wiped it away, but he knew he was running out of time. Thinking quickly, Will took off his shirt and mopped up as much sweat as he could. He then threw the shirt into a room and slammed the door shut. He ran for the end of the hall and rounded the corner. He could hear footfalls running in his direction, and he hoped Crawford would be attracted to the scent and noise behind the door than to bother with the leading trail going in a different direction.
Will sprinted as long as he could before stopping. He would have been embarrassed if anyone saw him: a half dressed Omega running with a nearing five month baby bump. How scandalous. He planned on getting Dr. Du Maurier to check him over after he returned. Even though she wasn't an OBGYN, he felt comfortable around the Alpha.
The omega gave his belly a quick pat before ducking into another hall. He couldn't hear Crawford.
Will continued on in the maze of corridors before seeing a lovely sight: a map. He scanned the map and found his current location. He was indeed a level below the ground floor. He smiled and would have danced were it not for the pain in his feet. Soon, he would be going home. Will knew he could evade Crawford in the forest. If there was one thing his father had taught him growing up it was how to survive in the wilderness. That, and it will be much easier to mask his scent in the foliage. Giving the map a good look, Will leaped back into action and eagerly headed toward the ground floor.
As soon as Will saw the light of day and caught the smell of fresh air he knew he was free. He raced to the doors, his eyes set on the greenery outside.
Suddenly, his vision tumbled and he was slammed against the wall. Will gasped in pain before baring his teeth and chomping down on the arm wrapped around him. He worked his arms free and jabbed Crawford in the stomach with his elbow. The Alpha grunted, but he didn't let go. Will growled, his anger rising and his maternity instincts flaring up. This Alpha could hurt his child. He wasn't going to have it.
The Omega used all his training as a cop to fight, even going as far as fighting dirty. He was going to escape and there was noting Crawford could do about it.
The Alpha roared in anger before slamming Will back against the wall, causing the Omega's head to crash against it as well. Will hissed in pain and he felt his arms being pulled behind him. He struggled and used his feet to slam down on Crawford's arch just as he felt the sting of handcuffs dig into one of his writs.
Crawford yelled in pain and stepped back. Will used his weight and toppled them over, finally slipping away. He stood up, and his vision blurred. He felt blood run down the side of his head and he quickly brushed it away before it could get into his eye. He righted himself and saw with despair Crawford stood between him and the doors. He made to get past him, but the Alpha was on his feet in an instant. The man had blood running down the side of his head from where Will hit him down in the basement and he was breathing heavily. Will bared his teeth, but Crawford didn't move.
“Get out of my way,” Will growled.
“You are going back to your cell.” Crawford answered, and Will hissed at him.
“This won't end well for you.” Will grounded out, edging towards what used to be a receptionist's desk. Crawford followed the movement. “If you let me go you'll be able to leave town without getting yourself killed immediately. You'll probably get a few weeks, maybe less depending on my Alpha's mood.”
“You will get back into your cell, and I might just put in a good word with the judge to lessen your sentence. I've see your medical file--”
“You were the one who broke into Alana's office!” Will realized. “You should be ashamed. Breaking and entering on top of kidnapping?”
“I've seen your medical files, Mr. Graham.” Crawford continued. “History of hallucinations, visions, thoughts of suicide.” Crawford rattled off as he came closer. Will kept the receptionist's desk between them. “I have enough information to lock you away for the rest of your life. You won't see your mate again, and,” He gestured to Will's stomach which made Will want to cover himself. “That will also be taken away. With your background and mate, that child is diseased.”
Will froze, the implementations clear. He began to see red, but it wasn't like one of his hallucinations. He bared his teeth again, and flexed his body. How dare he threaten his child. Will wasn't going to go down, not without a fight at least. Glancing down to make sure he had room to run, the Omega noticed the legs of the desk. They weren't bolted down.
Thinking fast, Will feigned to run to the left which caused Crawford to move. Using his momentum, Will grasped the desk and turned it over. The heavy desk fell, and before the Alpha could do anything knocked into his legs and toppled him over. He tried to get out, but Will was upon him in an instant. He pinned Crawford's arms down with his knees and used the handcuffs that were still attached to his left wrist to strangle him. The Alpha fought back, managing to snake his arm out from beneath Will to punch him in the face. Will ducked away in time before latching onto the hand and biting down hard enough to feel the bones crack. Crawford howled in pain, and Will punched him in the face. Blood was spurting out of the Special Agent's nose as Will wrestled his hands back under him and started chocking him again. Will didn't relent. He kept at it, listening to the gurgling and snarling noises coming from Crawford. He continued on even long after they stopped.
The red haze lifted, and Will stopped. He looked down at what he had done and jumped off. He panted and stared down at the Special Agent's body.
He didn't move.
Not daring to reach down and see if he was still alive, Will backed away and slumped down to the floor. He ached all over and all he wanted to do was sleep. He brought a hand up as his vision blurred, but he didn't close his eyes. He couldn't afford the risk.
Will didn't know how long he sat there. He kept a hand on his bleeding temple and tried to focus. The slight ringing in his ears were making it difficult to concentrate. Neither was the slamming of doors.
Will managed to lift his head high enough to catch sight of multiple black cars parked outside with lots of people dressed in black running around. He recognized those outfits even before a man burst through the doors and raced to his side.
“William!” Hannibal grabbed hold of him. He took one look at all the blood and his face shifted from concern to fury. Will shook his head and looked over to the side where Crawford's body was partially hidden behind the desk.
“Not mine,” he said and looked back at his mate. Hannibal was looking at Crawford's body before looking back at the gash in the Omega's head. He gently removed Will's hands and examined it before pulling Will into his arms.
“Are you alright?” Hannibal asked. He placed his hand upon Will's belly, and Will merged their fingers together.
“What took you so long?” Will slurred and his head lolled to the side. His eyes slipped momentarily closed, but they re-opened as Hannibal wrapped him in his jacket. Will didn't realize how cold he was. He snuggled close to his Alpha as he was lifted him into his arms. “You're useless. I have to do everything myself.” Will laughed, but Hannibal's face remained full of concern.
“Are you alright?” he asked again, but Will laid his head upon his mate's shoulder.
“I'm really tired, Hannibal, can we go home?” Will asked, taking in as much of the Alpha's scent as he could. “I should probably see a doctor too. My head feels funny. And I've been doing a lot of running around...”
“Of course we can,” Hannibal reassured him as he placed kisses along his forehead. “Lets take you home.”
They were almost outside when Will spoke up, “Did I kill him?”
Hannibal hushed his pregnant Omega with a kiss and gently laid him in the back seat of his car. “You don't need to worry about that right now, dear Will. Just rest.”
Will didn't have the energy nor the ability to care as he closed his eyes. Hannibal stayed with him as he succumbed to sleep, making sure the coat was covering him. As he closed the door, one of the Betas ran up to him.
“Sir, the Special Agent is still alive. How do you wish to proceed?”
Hannibal gave the lackey a horrible smile, and the Beta whimpered.
“I want him alive, for now.”
Hannibal watched as Crawford struggled in his bonds. The Special Agent was blindfolded and gagged, but that wouldn't last long. Hannibal planned on keeping the blindfold on; the man didn't deserve it. He stayed quiet, but he knew Crawford could smell him. He waited for the other Alpha to tire out and still before speaking.
“We finally meet, Special Agent Jack Crawford. I apologize for the lack of formalities, but you have been very rude for the past couple months.”
The Agent's thrashing renewed as he spoke, grunting and trying to yell behind the gag. Hannibal allowed his control to slip as he punched the Alpha in the face. He quieted.
“I was willing to overlook the fiasco with the museum, but you continued to step in my territory.” Hannibal circled Crawford, his mask slowly breaking to show his fury. “This I would have also overlooked. However, by including ex-Officer Graham you forced my hand.”
Hannibal cut the gag and let it fall out of Crawford's mouth.
“You won't get away with this! You're a wanted man, Ripper. You'll get what's coming to you.”
“I simply want to live my life peacefully with my family, Agent Crawford. Is that too much to ask? So a few livestock are taken here and there, but I keep my citizens safe.”
“You control them with fear.”
“But they are still safe as long as they follow my rules.”
Hannibal looked over at his tools for tonight's fun, mulling over what he should use first. The bone saw was good.
“This won't be the end--”
Or perhaps the drill. Not eloquent or neat, but it worked well with his current temper.
“You can't stop the FBI, Ripper. They'll send more.”
Hannibal decided on the clippers. Start on the fingers and toes before working his way inward.
“You and Graham will get what's coming for you.”
Hannibal picked up the clippers and turned a cold eye on his prey.
“So nice of you to think of William. He's doing well now that he's back home. Gave him a check up and both he and the baby are fine.” The Alpha didn't mention Will was in a state of hallucination and reality and that he had to be strapped to the bed while the best nurses and doctors working for the Mafia check him over. They had given him a low dose of a pregnancy safe narcotic and Will finally calmed long enough to finish the exam. After they had left, Hannibal held his mate tightly and almost thought to hell with Crawford when he tried to remove himself from the bed. Each time he tried to leave, Will would cry out and whine causing Hannibal's body to climb back in bed and comfort him. It was only when Will fell deeply asleep was he able to come and meet with his guest.
“You should be glad my mate and child are safe, Agent Crawford. Had they not, well,” Hannibal chuckled as he lifted the clippers. “You wouldn't like it. Then again, you won't like this either.”
“We will have to make this short, Agent Crawford. I hope you understand I have an Omega who needs me.” Hannibal grabbed the back of the chair and forced it to recline and expose Crawford's bare feet. He took the left bound foot in one hand and lined the clippers up against the pinky toe. “So much to do and so little time.”
He made the first snip and Crawford's screams echoed throughout the room.
Hannibal entered the house and took a deep breath, taking in the fresh smell of his Omega safe in their home. He took off his shoes and made his way to the liqueur cabinet in the study. He wasn't one to drink hard scotch, that was Will's favorite before the pregnancy, but it had a certain appeal now.
He had kept the Special Agent alive; he wasn't through with him yet. He got most of his pent up energy out, but his anger continued to boil. The man was smart, clever even, but Hannibal was smarter. Still, even though he had won Hannibal had to stay on alert. The medical file Crawford had stolen had his name documented and he wasn't sure who all he had told. He hoped Patterson was the only one, but he couldn't take chances. He was going to lay low for a bit and plan out his next move before he made any big plans. It was such a hindrance.
Soft footsteps pulled him from his thoughts, and he turned to find Will standing in the doorway.
“Darling, what are you doing up?” Hannibal asked.
Will didn't answer, and Hannibal noticed the far away look in his eyes.
“Oh, sweet heart, you're sleep walking.”
He quickly went to the Omega's side, but he didn't touch him. It had been nearly a year since the last sleep walking episode, and Hannibal figured it was due to his stress and semi-drugged state that the caused symptoms to returned. He watched Will as the Omega blinked slowly, his eyes staring at nothing. Hannibal held a hand out.
“Will, would you like to hold my hand?” he asked. “I would like to go to bed, but I don't know if I can find it. Can you take me to our room?”
Will did nothing, but Hannibal wasn't discouraged. He continued to hold his hand up for Will to take, wiggling his fingers as he did so.
“I can't find our room, Will. Can you lead me there?” he asked again, and this time Will grabbed the offered hand.
“Sure.” came the soft reply. “Sure.”
Hannibal pulled Will along, escorting him back to their bedroom on the second floor. If the Omega's old sleeping habits returned, then he was going to have to start locking the bedroom door at night again. He didn't like the idea of Will climbing down the stairs in his sleep, especially now with his pregnancy.
Once they entered the room Hannibal guided his lover back into bed and tucked him in. He stroked his hair until his eyes slipped closed and remained closed. Hannibal let out a soft breath before loosening his tie. It had been a long three days. He could worry about Crawford later. After all, it wasn't like he could go anywhere.
Hannibal smiled before slipping his pajamas on and climbing in behind Will. He pulled him tightly to his chest and burrowed his face into his neck. Will sighed in his sleep and turned over.
“I love you.”
Hannibal stilled and looked down, but Will's eyes were still shut. Hannibal leaned in a kissed him on the lips.
“I love you, too.”
–One Week Later –
The guests mingled and talked with one another as they admired the décor in the dining room. Will went from person to person and greeted them and had small talk with each one. Most of the guests at the party were high ranking Chesapeake Mafia members and their families with the rest being Will's friends. Will caught Beverly's eye as she talked with Alex's widow and waved before tracking down Alana. The Beta was with Hannibal and by the looks of it were having a pleasant conversation. They were laughing about something when Hannibal saw him coming toward them and his smile brightened.
“Will, you never told me Hannibal used to be a psychologist.” Alana said. Will shrugged a shoulder, discreetly giving Hannibal a look. The Alpha took a sip of his wine and looked at him expectantly.
“Yes, William, why didn't you?” Hannibal teased. “It's not a secret.”
Will would have rolled his eyes and scoffed, but he knew that was rude so he opted to change the subject.
“Are we ready to eat?” He asked.
“Yes, I believe our meal is almost done. I'll go check on it.”
Hannibal gave Will a quick kiss before disappearing into the kitchen. Alana smiled at Will and nudged him.
“I'm so glad we could do this, Will. I missed this.”
“Yeah, this is nice.” Will admitted. “This sense of... Normalcy.”
Alana gave him a smile and leaned against him. They talked for a few more minutes before Hannibal reappeared announcing that dinner was ready, and the small group relocated in the spacious dining room. Will took his place near the head of the table where Hannibal's chair sat, and he watched the guests wonder and marvel at the concealed trays and fine cutlery before them.. Beverly was seated across from him and they quickly struck up a conversation about her new position in the police force as well as a new guy she had met. Oh yes, Will had missed this.
Once the meal started conversation fell into a quiet murmur, many too busy enjoying the meal to talk. Beverly had nearly finished her plate when she asked: “What exactly is this again?”
“Simply beef liver heated over a flame with onions and asparagus.” Hannibal answered, sneaking a glance at Will. The man smiled around his fork.
“Really? This tastes better than anything I've ever had, not that I eat liver often.”
“You're more of a take out kind of girl.” Will bantered back, and Beverly gave him a friendly kick under the table causing him to laugh.
“Seriously though what's your secret?” the Beta inquired, and both Hannibal and Will looked at each other. They shared a smile before turning to Beverly.
“Cooking skill and practice, nothing else. However, it took me a long time to perfect it.” Hannibal said modestly.
Beverly continued to awe over the meal and Alana and a few other guests chimed in. As they talked Hannibal took Will's hand from under the table. He traced his thumb over his knuckles, catching briefly on the new silver band on Will's ring finger.
He squeezed gently, and Will squeezed back.
I would like to thank everyone who stuck with this story and waited patiently for me to update. This story is finished, but there is a prequel in the works. Look out for that in the near future :D