a Oneshot by Sphekso (@ on twitter)
Closer, he thought, head cocked, peering at her from across the table.
She leaned forward, cabernet in one hand, her other hand gripping the edge of the tablecloth.
“Hannibal?” she inquired, the three syllables sloppily strung together. It would be a wonder if she could still stand.
“You’re deep in your cups, Alana,” he replied.
She drew back into her chair. “Are you judging me?”
“I wouldn’t think of it,” he said. “Would you like another?”
“Only if you stop looking at me like that.” She took one last sip, and the dregs of her wine disappeared down her throat.
Like I want to eat you?
“How do you think I’m looking at you?” he asked, tipping the bottle over her glass.
She blinked and shook her head in an attempt to steady her vision. “Like you want something.”
“I do want something,” he said, a mild but playful lilt to his voice.
“That something being…?”
He decided to ignore the question. “How was the meal?”
She took a generous sip of her fresh wine. “Fantastic, as ever.”
“A chef is always pleased to hear a happy review,” he said, but he didn’t have any designs on impressing her with the food. Not tonight.
Come now. Closer.
She leaned in toward him again. He could see sweat beginning to slick her brow.
There we are.
“Consider yourself reviewed, then,” she said. She tightened her grip on the tablecloth. “What’s going on here?”
“Going on? I’m not sure I follow.”
“With you. There’s something going on with you.” She looked him straight in the eyes, hers watery and doe-eyed, his steely and unreadable.
He swirled his own wine under his nose and took a sip. Then: “A mentor is merely seeing his mentee for the woman she is, rather than the girl she once was.”
Hook, line, and sinker.
“A mentor and mentee? Hannibal, that’s… you’re…” She blinked at him as the cogs slogged against each other in her mind. “You flatter me,” she said.
“Flattery is a funny thing,” he said. “It can mean many things. It can spring from half-truths and falsehoods, or it can be more… realistic.“
“There aren’t any half-truths at play here,” she said, slurring the ‘s’ in ‘truths’.
Sure of ourselves, aren’t we?
“No,” he said. The slightest hint of a smile curled itself across his lips. “There aren’t.”
She nursed her glass. “What does this ‘mentor’ think about the woman he sees?”
“He thinks she’s lovely.”
She set her wine on the table. “I… I think I’ve had enough for now. My thoughts are running away with me.”
“Perhaps you should continue,” he said. “I don’t begrudge anyone a little indulgence every now and then, and your thoughts intrigue me besides.”
“Maybe…” she bit her bottom lip.
“Come now, Alana. Finish your glass. There’s no sense in letting the wine go to waste.”
The alcohol resumed its travels to her belly.
That’s right. Drink up.
“And what does the mentee think of the mentor?” he asked.
She averted her gaze. “You know I’ve always had a high opinion of you.”
A beat passed before she answered. “And otherwise.”
“Well,” he said, his smile flattening. “I think I’d like to hear exactly what that ‘otherwise’ entails.”
She released the tablecloth and held up one finger until she’d finished draining her glass. “Oh,” she began, and ran her now-free hand through her hair. “I’ve had thoughts. Thoughts about you…” she pointed at him, and then herself, “and me.” A giggle rose in her throat, but she managed to stifle it. She was a grown woman, after all.
She nodded once in response.
“Why didn’t you act on these thoughts?” he asked.
“You seemed unobtainable.”
“I’m not unobtainable. Not for you.”
She studied him. “What kind of game are you playing here, Hannibal?”
“I’m not playing any games,” he said, a little off-put by her scrutiny.
“Then… are you saying you want me?” she asked, refocusing her sight on him.
“That’s my intention.” He raised himself from his seat.
“What are you—“
He rounded the table to stand over her seat, and extended his hand. “Come,” he said.
She blinked at him again.
Dear God, is she drunk.
“Alana, dear, you don’t want to sit at this table forever, do you? Take my hand.”
She reached for him, and he helped her to her feet. They were close now, mere inches apart. “What do you want with me?” she asked.
“It’s more of a question of what I want to do to you than what I want to do with you.”
“Then what do you want to do to me?” She quivered a little.
He clicked his tongue. “Are you nervous?”
“Should I be?”
“I don’t think so, but I won’t deign to tell you how you should feel,” he said.
“Answer my question, then.”
He placed his hand at the small of her back, and she ceased her shivering. “If you’ll permit me, I’d like to kiss you.”
Her eyes widened, then fluttered shut. She nodded slowly.
He leaned down until his lips nearly touched hers.
She closed the distance to engage him.
“Bed?” he asked when they parted.
He kissed her again, and repeated, “Bed?”
She sighed, her breath hot against his cheek. “Bed.”
Good, good girl.
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