Rigel99 would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Come Dine With Me

By Rigel99

Adventure / Romance

Interlude Beneath The Botticelli

“Every crime of yours feels like one I am guilty of. Not just Abigail's murder, but every murder stretching backward and forward in time,” I said softly.

“Then what's left to do? Freeing yourself from me and me freeing myself from you, they're the same,” replied Hannibal, shifting his body closer to bring his arm into contact with mine. I felt his gaze as it explored the lines of my face, as his hand followed their path to ghost his fingertips along my temple. I flinched under the unexpected contact.

“What are you doing, Hannibal?,” I asked, the confusion in my eyes barely concealed.

“I am introducing another dynamic to our renewed relationship. Do you approve?,” he whispered against his cheek.

“I— I’m not sure…,” I replied hesitantly not yet making any move to resist Hannibal’s attentions, my eyes slipping shut involuntarily under Hannibal’s assault of my jawline.

Hannibal ran his hand down my side and reached into his pocket to pull out the knife. I was unable to resist. He put it into his own pocket without pausing the feathersoft lingering brush of lips against my neck.

“And there I was thinking you were just happy to see me. How foolish of me,” he murmured. He drew back and followed the path of my eyes.

“Beautiful, is it not?,” he asked, as he watched me intent in my attempts to ground myself by focussing on La Primavera before us.

“Breathtaking,” I whispered. I shook my head and drew myself along the seat and out of Hannibal’s immediate space. “Somewhat overwhelming, I’d venture to say.”

Not to be deterred, Hannibal followed me, moving along the bench to wrap his aura around my own. My empathy felt both our curiosities piqued by this turn of events.

“Tell me, Will. When you gaze upon Botticelli’s arguably finest work, what do you see?”

“It’s more what— I feel…”

“Oh? And what do you feel?,” Hannibal enquired, as a confident hand came to rest on the small of my back.

“You, as the wind, surrounding me, touching me relentlessly, ignoring my denial, my resistance to your cold allure.”

“Then you see yourself as Chloris? As I swoop down to free you from your self-defined trappings to make you mine?,” Hannibal asked, continuing his gentle caress while evidently drinking in the effect his touch was eliciting on my body.

I stood and stepped closer to the painting, trying to clear my mind of the seductive sound of Hannibal’s voice.

“Chloris had no choice but to surrender to Zephyrus. Defined as she is by the season she represents.”

Hannibal stood and stepped up behind me. "And you think you have a choice, Will?,” he asked, warm breath imprinting the words on the nape of my neck.

“Where you and I are concerned? I would like to think so.”

“What we like to think and what is by design are up for debate,” he replied, placing warm, strong hands on my waist. I didn’t resist Hannibal’s move as he turned me so as to face each other.

I looked at Hannibal’s lips with an expression of curiosity, a curiosity I could sense Hannibal would be more than content to satisfy, though not before I asked, “And you, Hannibal. What do you see?”

He tilted his head and brought his attention back to the canvas. “I had thought I had discovered all La Primavera had to offer until this moment.” He kept his hands on my waist as he drew us both back to the bench and continued. “I do tend to think of you as my Chloris, the endless supply of burgeoning fertility you lavish on my mind.”

He sat down and guided me into the place beside him. “Now, I also consider the gaze of Love as she watches Mercury, the first blossoming of attraction, our roles interchangeable between the two. We are moving beyond our neoplatonic sensibilities, past the canvas of what is before our eyes.”

Hannibal leaned his body into mine, gently pushing me down to lay on the bench, hands resting either side of my reclining head on the flat surface beneath. “That said, I would still wish to be your Zephyrus, should you choose to allow it…”

The first kiss was unexpectedly soft and gentle, as I felt myself easing into the move with a familiarity that belied the time we had been apart. Much like falling in love with the female form captured in a work by Botticelli, the accompanying stab of emotion as the blade of passion pierces the gut was not dissimilar to the feeling of Hannibal’s lips on mine. I watched the scene from above, my civilised sensibilities screaming at the wrongness of yielding to the act, but devotion devoured and melted away the time during which we had been apart. Who was I to fight instinct? I had evolved new sensibilities. I had strived to know him better before laying eyes on him again. In doing so, I had achieved something else. The knowledge that in the gravitational presence of Hannibal Lecter, Will Graham is more than mere mortal. He shines. He emanates a wisdom that extends beyond the experiences that have bookmarked his existence pre-Hannibal Lecter.

With small reluctance, Hannibal drew back, even as I attempted to maintain the surprisingly enrapturing contact. He sat up, pulling me close, placing warm, kiss-swollen lips against my temple as he spoke.

“Now's the hardest test: not letting rage and frustration, nor forgiveness, keep you from wanting this. Allowing us. Can you do that, Will?”

Why strive and agonise over a world that blindly refuses to agonise over itself? Death is inevitable. And now, as I leave the Uffizi Gallery by Hannibal’s side, I know the true power of life over death. Walking beside Death himself - knowing where he is always - has its advantages.

He will not kill me. Unless of course I ask him to do so.

My shallow, husked breath supplied agreement enough. For now. “I can try, Hannibal.”

Hannibal rose slowly. “Then try we shall. After you, Will,” he said, raising an outstretched open palm towards the entrance. I do not know where he is taking me, but the singular expression he casts my way tells me that he is intent on finishing what he started beneath La Primavera. I was about to discover what it meant to be devoured by Hannibal Lecter. But unlike his countless prior main courses, while I may grace the centre of his dinner table, I will be Aperitivo, Digestivo and everything in between. I will leave the table sated, as will the Wendigo that haunts my nightmares and fantasies…

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Carole Troup: A good read for a paranormal lover. There are multiple different types of beings here a dragon ,warlock , witch, vampire Slayer, gargoyle, vampires a few more I am not listing. this is a nice read not overly violent. However there is fighting and bloodshed. A Love story, wrapped in a vampire war,...

Marijana1: The melancholy present throughout this story has the power to influence and etch into the minds of the readers, to stay there and refuse to leave even after they have finished reading the story. This is a deep, powerful story, making the readers wonder about everything – about love, about their e...

KerryMI: One would think the idea of vampire loving man has been over flogged, yet this story's fresh perspective on Vampires, how they live and how they connect with humans is so effortlessly narrated that it almost becomes truth. Your writing was fast enough to keep me greedily turning each page but slo...

Sonali Srivastava: It is very Fancinating to read a story full of Fantasy and specially when love is not complete as story , I really like the Imagination of Author and his writing skill, u dictated everything so beautifuly that when I read it I lost in the story and I hope I will read soon the second year of Zakir...

William Elliott Kern: Long story, the plot uncovered midway through the story. From beginning, the story was fast moving. Then dragged on for quite some time. The Author was good in describing her characters, their clothing, etc. but a lot of that disclosure distracted from the story moving fast.Not withstanding, the...

More Recommendations

larry: I’ m not a professional book reviewer, but this is a good one! I liked it enough to read it non stop!

Mary Abigail: I have always been a serious reader but reading romance has always been an outlet for me to be happy and this, makes me happy. It's entertaining with just enough drama and maybe a bit more - I do need more.

Wendi Getz: Very powerful and moving story! A great read, especially for young women. I loved how it pulled the reader down the slippery slope that is domestic abuse and gave us an inside view of how easy it is to end up in that situation.

Lauren Kabanyana: It's simply amazing, the story is touching and has you captivated while reading! I loved it! Would read it over and over again. I applaud the way this book was able to evoke a mixture of feelings. I felt everything the two main characters felt from the start to end, i would recommend this novel t...

_Dusks_kiss: I never knew that one of my favourite childhood cartoons could turn into such a beautiful story. Tho there are many grammatical errors and writing errors, this story warmed my heart to 100%. I would definitely want this book to get published and I would also buy it. It’s amazing character develop...

Ro-Ange Olson: This is such a different romance story. I loved it. The book was very long and could be split into 2-3 books in my opinion, but I'd hate to have to wait to read the next part too. I loved the chapter from Darius's point of view. It was a really different way for the writer to cover time and also ...

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.