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“I’m a virgin,” Hannibal slurred.

Will nearly choked on his mouthful of wine. “You can’t be serious,” he managed after a forceful swallow.

“I am.” Hannibal teetered to his feet, steadying himself on the arm of his chair. “Untouched as the day I was born.” He flopped back down in his chair after a moment, utterly defeated.

Will’s face grew hot as the flames dancing before them in the hearth. “Why are you telling me this exactly?”

“We’re bonding. I’m telling you about myself. It’s a detail I’ve shared with hardly anyone else.”

Will downed the remainder of his glass then filled it again to the brim. Clearly he had some catching up to do. “Well… thank you… for that.”

Hannibal reached for the wine and swigged it right from the bottle. What a mess. “I’ve been wondering what it’s like, lying with another. Though I am saving myself for marriage.”

This time Will did choke, deep red port dribbling down his chin and staining the collar of his shirt. “Jesus, Hannibal. I’m cutting you off,” he said when he could speak again, snatching the bottle from Hannibal’s hand, setting it next to the row of empties that littered the table.

“You don’t believe me.” Hannibal sounded genuinely hurt. “I’m not lying. I wouldn’t lie about such a thing, you know. I decided early on I should wait until my wedding night, though sadly I’ve had little desire to settle down with anyone.”

Will chugged his glass. His head was beginning to feel sufficiently light. “Okay. You’re serious.” He gazed over at Hannibal, his face red from wine and firelight. “So just get married then. I’m sure you’d have no shortage of takers.”

Hannibal’s whole body shook with drunken laughter. “I can’t marry just anyone. It must be someone exceptional.”

Will’s glass was gone. He filled it once again, letting his mouth form words before his brain could chime in. “I’ll marry you.”

Fuck. The glass fell from Will’s hand mid-pour and shattered between his feet. At his side, Hannibal was smiling.

“Yes,” Hannibal said, voice threaded with awe and disbelief. “Yes. It must be you.”

Obtaining a marriage license was easy enough, though they found themselves with 48 hours to kill before their courthouse wedding. Will sighed in quiet relief when they were told the state of Maryland required no witnesses be present at the ceremony.

“I should head home,” Will said after. “My dogs…”

“I’ll join you,” Hannibal said.

The drive to Wolf Trap was 90 minutes of awkward silence in Hannibal’s car. At Will’s house, after the dogs had been let out, they stood in the kitchen, talking of lunch, deciding on sandwiches since it was all Will had to offer.

“Would you like to discuss our forthcoming nuptials?” Hannibal asked as he sliced tomatoes.

“Not really. But I guess we should probably discuss why we’re even doing this.”

“You’re going to take my virginity.”

Will’s heart was pounding in his ears, rattling his chest. He hadn’t allowed himself to consider it as they filed for the license, though he’d known what he had agreed to the moment the words passed his wine-stained lips.

“Yes,” was all Will managed, fingers shaking as he arranged bread on the cutting board.

“Are you sexually attracted to men?”

One deep breath. Will focused on assembling the sandwiches, avoiding Hannibal’s face. “Yeah. I guess so. It’s been a long time since I’ve been with anyone though.”

“Are you sexually attracted to me?”

Will nearly sliced his fingertip off cutting a sandwich in two. “Uh... “ Will let the knife fall from his fingers. “I need to go let the dogs in.”

Hannibal caught Will’s shoulder when he turned away. “Will. Look at me.”

Will allowed Hannibal to swing him back around, though he struggled to meet his eyes. “I’m sorry. This is all just happening a little fast.”

“If you’re having second thoughts, I understand.”

Will met Hannibal’s eyes then. They shone with depthless hunger. “No. No… I’m not. It’s just… Can we eat first? I just need a minute to think.”

Hannibal gave a smile and a nod, backing out of Will’s personal space. “Of course.”

Will let the dogs in and they bustled around the table as he and Hannibal ate their sandwiches. Will couldn’t help but let his eyes wander to Hannibal, watching the sharp lines of his face as he chewed. He was handsome, though that much was a given. When they first met, Will thought Hannibal’s face more bone than flesh, but over time his appearance had softened to Will’s eyes. The bow of his lips, the slope of his nose, the curve of his chin and strong line of his jaw.

He was beautiful. Will’s face grew hot at the thoughts forming in his mind. Hannibal watched Will watching him, shooting knowing glances and smirks. They didn’t speak at the table. Perhaps they didn’t need to. By the time their meal was through, the tension in the air had thinned considerably.

“I want you to stay the night,” Will said.

Hannibal smiled. “I would love to.”

They lay in the quiet of the dark, dogs snoring gently on the floor. Hannibal spilled heat into the small gap between them. Will turned on his side and curled toward it. In the safety of the night, words came easier.

“Are you awake?” Will asked.

“I am. Is something on your mind?”

“You’ve really never been sexual with anyone? In any way?”

“I’ve kissed. On occasion, I enjoy the pleasure of my own hand. Nothing more.”

Damn. Will sighed the day’s tension out of his bones, replacing it with something deep and warm. Will allowed himself to move a little closer to Hannibal. “Do you really want to wait until our wedding night?”

“I’m afraid I must insist,” Hannibal said, turning his head to see Will through the dark.

“Why is this so important to you?”

“It started as a game of control in my youth. As years stretched on, I saw no point in going back on my promise.”

Will laughed into his pillow. “You realize how bizarre that sounds.”

“Perhaps it does. Lying here with you now however, it’s hard to regret my wait. I can think of no one else I’d rather give myself to.”

Will was thankful for the cover of dark as the flush grew from his cheeks up to his ears, dappling down his chest. Anticipation of the coming days curled his toes into the mattress.

“You’re aroused,” Hannibal said after a moment.

It was only then that Will realized he had grown hard, his erection jabbing into Hannibal’s hip. “Sorry. Forgot how good it feels being close to someone.”

“I’m sorry to have to deny you.”

“It’s okay. Are you...” Will swallowed and steadied his breathing. “Are you hard?”

“Yes. But I’ll be alright. If you’d like to take care of yourself, I don’t mind.”

Will was suddenly aching, the night closing around them in perfect honesty. He recalled an evening spent with his first high school girlfriend, what they’d done to preserve her chastity. “Do you trust me?”

Hannibal’s answer came without hesitation. “I do.”

“Turn your back to me. Push your pants down.”

Hannibal hesitated only a moment, turning over in silence. He pushed his pants off entirely and kicked them to the floor. From the bedside table Will fetched a bottle of lubrication.

Will shoved his own pants down and slicked his cock. “I’m going to get myself off between your thighs. Is that okay? It’s okay if you say no.”

Hannibal’s breathing audibly quickened, his body going stiff before relaxing again. “Alright,” he whispered.

Will pressed himself up against Hannibal’s back, blindly slicking the meeting of Hannibal’s thighs beneath the covers. Hannibal still had his underwear on, silky briefs that cut into his hips. Will bunched them in his grip as he slipped in between the warmth of Hannibal’s flesh.

“Fuck,” Will groaned, burying his face between Hannibal’s shoulders. His cock slid into the slickness with such ease.

Through the dark, Will could see Hannibal clinging to his pillow, pressing it to his face to muffle his desperate whimpers.

“I’d use my hand on you if you’d allow it,” Will breathed, rocking his hips in a steady rhythm. Hannibal clenched his thighs and Will could feel himself teetering so close to the edge.

“No,” Hannibal pleaded. Will was certain he was crying. “No. We must wait.”

“I want you,” Will groaned, nipping at Hannibal’s shoulder through his t-shirt. “Fuck, Hannibal, I want you so bad.”

“I’ve wanted you since the moment we first met,” Hannibal said, breathless. “I’ve never wanted anyone more.”

Hannibal reached back and grasped at Will in every place he could reach. His hair. His arms. His hips. He pressed himself tightly together, moving his body in time with Will’s own erratic thrusts. The night cracked open to dawn behind Will’s eyes, sparks bursting like veins of lightning as he came between Hannibal’s thighs.

Will panted into the crook of Hannibal’s neck. “So good,” were the only words he could manage, distantly aware of Hannibal reaching into his own briefs and bringing himself off with his hand.

They lay there after breathing and tangled together, dreams folding in sweetly to take them.

The next day Will bought wedding bands from an antique shop after refusing Hannibal’s offer to buy them. The rings didn’t match, though the sizes were right, and for now that’s all that mattered. Will’s was made of steel and inlaid with abalone; Hannibal’s ivory and silver.

One last thing caught Will’s eye before making his way back home, and he bought it without hesitation. A surprise for the night of their wedding. The ideal finishing touch for the picture Will knew Hannibal wished them to paint together.

They married in the evening, the sky flaring pink with whispers of the waning autumn sun. Hannibal wore a dove-gray suit that matched where his hair was turning silver. Will wore his only good dinner jacket. They exchanged rings and pecks on the cheek and the ceremony was over in minutes.

Will allowed Hannibal to shell out for the best hotel suite Baltimore had to offer, a compromise for the rings and refusing Hannibal’s last minute tailor. A place away from their respective homes would make it feel like a honeymoon, he’d reasoned, though Will still felt ridiculous about it when Hannibal lived so close by.

Their room was scattered with rose petals and candles, windows overlooking the harbor nearby. It was something right out of a teenagers high school fantasy, Will thought, hanging his gift for Hannibal on the bathroom door.

“There’s something for you in there,” Will said. “You don’t have to wear it if you don’t want to. But I think you’ll want to.”

Hannibal disappeared into the bathroom. Will popped the cork on a vintage Krug, taking two glasses to the bed and waiting for Hannibal to emerge. When he did, had to set the champagne down for fear of another disaster.

“Oh…” Will stood and met Hannibal near the foot of the bed. “You look…” Words felt insufficient, though Will couldn’t form them even if he tried. Instead, he reached out a hand to brush along Hannibal’s bare shoulder, catching the strap of the long white gown whose hem just skimmed the floor.

There was a blush forming on Hannibal’s cheeks. “It’s beautiful,” he whispered, eyes darting down to his feet.

“You’re beautiful,” Will breathed, taking Hannibal’s hand and moving him onto the bed.

In spite of his broad shoulders and muscled chest covered in a thick patch of graying hair, Hannibal looked delicate in his gown. He trembled when Will put his hands on him and pushed him to lie back on the pillows.

“I’m going to take care of you,” Will said, crawling up Hannibal’s body. “But I’d like to kiss you first.”

Hannibal could only nod, sighing deeply as Will slotted their lips together. The kiss was soft and languid, and by the time they were through Hannibal’s erection was tenting the front of his gown.

Will got back to his feet and stripped down to his boxers, eyes locked on Hannibal’s face as he discarded his clothing to the floor. He was hard but he ignored it, crawling back onto the bed and straddling Hannibal’s hips.

He began by sucking kisses into the line of Hannibal’s neck, the hollow of his throat, the jut of his collarbone. Hannibal writhed and their hard cocks rubbed together through thin fabric. Will pulled at the straps of the gown, exposing Hannibal’s chest.

Will peppered kisses around Hannibal’s nipples, then took each one between his lips, sucking gently, then more firmly as Hannibal began to moan. He trailed kisses back up his chest, across the line of his jaw, finally claiming his mouth again in a tangle of teeth and tongues.

Will could taste the pleasure pouring from Hannibal’s skin, a static charge choking the air between them. It was so good just like this, kissing as their hips rocked slowly together. Will knew they could both come from that alone and forced himself to pull away.

“Let’s get this off of you,” Will said, motioning to Hannibal’s gown. He pulled it quickly down and Hannibal kicked it to the floor.

Hannibal’s cock lay against his belly, painfully hard. Will ached in sympathy.

“Do you want me to fuck you? Or would you rather have it the other way around?”

“I want you inside me,” Hannibal purred, voice dripping thick and dark.

Will settled down between Hannibal’s legs, pushing his knees back and spreading his thighs wide. He trailed the pads of two fingers down Hannibal’s cock, feeling the throb of his desperation, the slick of the pre-come leaking down his shaft.

Will’s fingers continued down, across his balls and that sensitive flesh behind. When he reached Hannibal’s hole he circled them there, teasing, before bending down to lick a long stripe back up again. Will continued this—fingers and tongue, tongue and fingers, from the head of his cock to his entrance—until Hannibal was pleading.

Will finally settled on lapping at Hannibal’s hole with broad swipes of his tongue, pressing in a finger when Hannibal begun to open to the attention. “How does that feel?” Will asked, crooking his finger and ghosting around the edges of Hannibal’s prostate.

“Wonderful,” Hannibal croaked, utterly breathless, back arching up from the bed.

“I’ll be right back,” Will said, pulling his finger free. Hannibal whimpered from the loss as Will crossed the room to fetch the lube from his bag.

He slicked Hannibal and his own fingers before slipping back in again, this time two fingers deep. Hannibal keened when Will found that sweet spot again, calling out in broken Italian. Will continued on until Hannibal was taking three fingers, then pulled them free and set about slicking himself and Hannibal with more lubrication.

“Tell me if I hurt you,” Will said, stroking himself in a steady rhythm.

“You won’t,” Hannibal said, tears springing from the corners of his eyes. “Please. Please.”

Will’s own arousal grew deafening, a rush of blood thumping like drums in his ears. He pushed the head of his cock against Hannibal’s entrance, drizzled more lube on just to be safe, and began to slip in as gently as his eager hips could manage.

Will bundled Hannibal into his arms, burying his face in the crook of Hannibal’s neck as slowly he slid further in and back out again. The walls rattled with their cries. Hannibal pleading, Will grunting deep with every shallow thrust.

“I want it all,” Hannibal purred into Will’s ear. “Every inch. Give it to me. Please.”

Will wasn’t going to last. He bottomed out quickly, giving Hannibal the entirety of his length. Between their bodies Hannibal was coming in an instant, strangled sobs escaping from his throat as Will rocked ever so gently into him.

Will stumbled with him into completion, filling Hannibal to the brim with the warmth of his release. They collapsed together in a heap of heaving chests and whimpers. Tangled limbs and come and sweat.

When Will could finally move again, he rolled from Hannibal laughing. “A virgin no more. How do you feel?”

Hannibal reached for Will and pulled him close. “I feel as though my skin has turned to music.”

Will smiled so wide his cheeks ached. “Thought you’d say something like that.”

“You played me masterfully.”

“I should hope so. I composed this one myself.”

Hannibal pressed a kiss into Will’s hair. “But our symphony has only just begun.”