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Hannibal 2: The Return

Chapter 1: A Phone Call
"Not in a thousand years? That's my girl." As Dr. Hannibal Lecter leaned forward to kiss her, Clarice Starling opened her eyes. Just another nightmare, but will they ever end? Although it was 5 years later, Clarice still had nightmares about that incident that had occurred when she was 32. That little incident, and the days before it, had led to a long investigation and ultimately Clarice's involuntary resignation from her beloved FBI job. She remembered the day very clearly. She had dressed in her blue suit and had driven to work, only to be called to the conference room to meet with Jack Crawford, Agent Pearsall, and Director Noonan.

Jack had been the one who had said the words, "Clarice Starling, due to the recent events, we here at the FBI feel that it'd be best if we let you go. I'm sorry, Starling," and he had sounded genuinely sorry. Clarice had then been instructed to turn in her badge and weapons. Now 5 years later, Clarice was a secretary at a law firm and was working to get her law degree to become a lawyer. She was also seeing a lawyer named Hardison Williams, who was a very respected man in DC. When Clarice arrived at work, another secretary named Paula told her she had a phone call from a man named Dr. Riley Tylers.

Clarice put her purse down in her office and listened to Dr. Tylers' message. Her hands shook as Dr. Lecter's voice poured out, "My dear Clarice, I am terribly sorry to hear about your job loss at the FBI. I know how fond you were of your job. I want you to meet me at the Citronelle restaurant at 8:30 tonight. I have put in reservations under Riley. Ta ta. Oh and by the way, tell Ms. Paula Livingston thank you again for passing along this message.

Chapter 2: Dinner Meeting
Clarice's phone rang then, so she didn't have time to really ponder Dr. Lecter's invitation until noon. At noon, Clarice met her best friend and old FBI roommate, Ardelia Mapp, at a small local café. Once their food arrived, Clarice filled Ardelia in on Dr. Lecter. "Hot damn, Clarice, that is the fanciest French restaurant within 50 miles. Are you going to meet him?" "I guess so, but what am I going to wear? The fanciest thing I own is my blue suit." Ardelia's eyes lit up and she said, "I have just the frock. My sister gave it to me a couple years ago. It's a little small for me, but it's just your size. It'll go great with your hair and eyes. Plus, I've got matching shoes. Come by at 6:45."

The rest of the day passed surprisingly quick and before she knew it, Clarice was driving to the restaurant. The dress that Ardelia had loaned her was a strapless long royal silk with gold sequins on the top. The shoes matched the sequins. Clarice had even allowed Ardelia to give her straight red hair some waves. Ardelia had also loaned her a small gold purse and a gold necklace. At 8:30, Clarice had arrived at the restaurant. The hostess looked up as she walked in and greeted her, "Good evening, Madam. Do you have a reservation?" "Yes it's Riley at 8:30," came a man's voice behind her. As the hostess checked the book, Dr. Lecter came up beside Clarice. "Good evening, Clarice." "Hello." "Right this way, please." Dr. Lecter motioned for Clarice to go ahead. The hostess seated Dr. Lecter and Clarice at a window seat table, with a candlestick containing two lit candles in the center.

Chapter 3: Dinner and Goodbye
"Angelic will be right here to take your drink orders." "Thank you, Tammy," Dr. Lecter told her. Tammy looked pleased as she replied, "You're very welcome. Enjoy your meal." "So, Clarice, how have you honestly been since your resignation at the FBI?" Dr. Lecter asked. "I've actually been doing really well. I'm finishing my law degree this semester, and the firm I'm working for has offered me a position as a defense attorney as soon as I graduate. I'm also seeing a very sweet lawyer." "Would his name be Hardison Williams by any chance, Clarice?" "How do you know his name, Dr. Lecter?" "Good evening," a waitress with willowy brown hair said, "my name is Angelic. I will be taking care of you this evening. What can I get you to drink?" "I would like a Chardany, and the lady will have a Domperion." "Okay, I will put in your drink orders and come back to get your food orders." Angelic walked off. "I'm impressed, you're actually allowing me to have wine with this meal," Clarice said referencing back to the meal 5 years ago. Dr. Lecter smiled at Clarice's words. Angelic brought their drinks and took their food orders. Clarice wasn't quite sure just what Dr. Lecter had ordered for her. When Angelic brought their food, Clarice again asked how Dr. Lecter knew Hardison. "Have you been spying on me?" Clarice demanded to know. "Oh, Clarice, you should know me better than that by now, my dear." Your local paper happened to interview Mr. Hardison Williams, and I caught the article. Where is Hardison anyways, Clarice?"

"He's on a business trip to Florence, Italy until next Saturday." Dr. Lecter reached into his pocket and handed Clarice a photograph. "Isn't that Hardison, Clarice? However I don't believe you are in Florence, nor are you blonde." In the photograph was Hardison, her Hardison, kissing a blonde Italian woman. "When did you take this?" "A few days ago, right after I read the online article." "He's dead, isn't he, Dr. Lecter?" "Well, I be lieve people who cheat are rude, and considering he cheated on my girl…" Dr. Lecter's voice trailed off. After Dr. Lecter paid the bill, they walked outside. Dr. Lecter took her hand and kissed it, saying, "It has truly been an honor seeing you again, Clarice. I wish you luck in law school. Goodbye, Clarice." "Goodbye, Dr. Lecter." "Clarice, you don't have to be formal with me anymore. Call me by my name." "Well, then, goodbye, Hannibal." Dr. Lecter smiled at her, got into his black Lexus, and drove off into the night. Clarice watched as his taillights vanished, and she knew that Dr. Lecter had driven out of her life, and tonight she could sleep without hearing the screaming of the lambs.





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