Liberty Belle

Back to Main Page

Back to Male Stories

"Questo, signora?" the salesgirl inquired, leaning forward with the small glass stopper held in her fingertips.  Clarice looked up from the wall of drying herbs and bottled oils, bending delicately over the proffered sample before giving a small, faint shake of head.

"No, that’s not quite it," she said, a hint of country Southern coming out in her voice.  When the girl’s olive-black eyes were confused, she smiled an apology and switched to her still-tender Italian.  "No, non abbastanza.  Ma grazie."

The girl smiled apologetically, placing the stopper back into its original bottle before turning off in search of fragrances more to the American woman’s tastes.  Rarely were customers shown such politeness or liberty in their purchases--even the wealthiest of clients were expected to have some idea of what sort of perfumes they were looking for--but Clarice had something special.  Back in the bureau it would have been referred to, with all appropriate respect,  as the right connections.

"Found something you like yet, Clarice?"

She turned towards the slim, masculine figure as he appeared at her right hand, emerging from the nothingness of thin air like a cat to the chirp of an unwary songbird.  His hand settled warmly, possessively at the small of her back, his fingers broadening into a splay to cover more area with his touch.  As usual, she shivered.

She confessed, dissatisfied, "Not yet.  I’m a simple woman, Hannibal... I’ve never really put too much thought into smelling anything but clean."

"You liked that L'Air du Temps well enough..."

There was teasing in his honeyed voice which made her want to shiver all the more, and link her hand through his elbow like a little girl on her Daddy’s arm.  They stood close, even within the crowded perfumery, as if all the world could ebb and flow around them without ever hoping to know their stories, their identities, or the unlikely events by which the two had become intertwined.  Clarice leaned back slightly, felt his chest expand against her back as he drew a deep breath, and then smiled at the soft rumble of his eventual exhale.

Hannibal murmured close to her ear, tickling the lobe with the warmth of his breath, "Mmmm... perhaps you’re right.  You are a treat to the senses just as you are..."

Her hand snaked up along his cheek, palm brushing against the subtle, snagging grain of stubble she had convinced him to leave behind. She loved when he was textured, when every sense of her could experience him at once: the warm, metallic smell of his Italian cologne, the faintly sweet taste of tobacco that lingered so briefly on his tongue, the copper-and-honey pleasure of his voice purring in her ear, and the feel of his skin against her own... bare, warm, with nothing but air and desire in between.


A timid female voice interrupted them from the prelude to what might have been an inappropriately intimate kiss for such a public setting.  Clarice turned her lips away from Hannibal’s waiting mouth, and the two looked with irritated expectation towards the poor Italian salesgirl now offering out another glass stopper.  "gradite provare questo?"

Clarice sighed, taking the little stopper and waving it delicately beneath her nose, testing the scent.  The fragrance was not what she’d been expecting: softly musky, but with floral undertones that sweetened it, and gave it an alluringly seductive after-aroma.  With real surprise she murmured, "...You know, I think this is the one."  Handing it backwards slightly, she encouraged her companion, "Tell me what you think."

Obligingly Hannibal bent his sleek head over the stopper, nostrils flaring discretely as he inhaled the perfumic concoction.  Rather than expressing his delight over its subtleties, however, both women blinked as he drew back from them, curling his wrist to his nose before giving a potent but precise sneeze.

"ISH!"  Once, strongly, and then he was all right, blinking open his dark maroon eyes and returning to Clarice’s side with a small, polite sniff.

"Not that one, I think," he advised, turning an apologetic look on his lover... and halting at the fox-eyed expression of interest she had suddenly fixed him with.  He touched his nose for a moment, then lowered the hand back to her hip, letting her fingers coil like eager young serpents through his own.  "Now that is an expression both unusual and pleasing upon your face, my dear..."

"Hannibal," she told him.  "Would you indulge me?"

"In every way at my disposal...", he agreed, guileless.

She looked towards the salesgirl, smiling at her smartly.

"I’d like an ounce of that, if you wouldn’t mind?" Her voice twanged again faintly, the English falling upon the girl’s ears like Egyptian to the Greeks.  She looked between the couple, confused but still weakly smiling.

Bemused, Hannibal translated into rich, purring Italian, "La signora vorrebbe comprare un' oncia di quel profumo, prego"  He paused to make certain she understood, then added, "Potete aggiungerli alla mia fattura."

Left alone again in the center of the very crowded perfumery, Clarice turned to face Hannibal Lecter, the man with whom she had obsessed herself for more years than she had been an agent of the FBI... who had both saved and ended her career, and who had promised her a life of love and luxury beyond any she had imagined as a little girl in Backwater USA.  He was still smiling, but reservedly, the store lights creating twin reflections upon the maroon of his eyes, like liquid drops of dark blood.

"Clarice Starling," he murmured, bending his head near to hers. "...What are you thinking?"

Her arms slid, sleek and slow as pale asps, around his neck.

"Only, Doctor," she returned. "That we’re going to be very busy tonight."


The French doors were open, and the Florentine night fanned itself like a peacock to the adulation of the world, a shade of blue-violet that would have made the great Renaissance painters weep with want.  Daubs of smoke-like clouds huddled over the horizon, not quite thinly enough to mask the soft white of the stars, or the shivering vertical reflection of the moon upon the waters to the West.

Clarice stood at the balcony, letting warm winds toy the long scarf back from her collar, fluttering it as if it had life of its own.  Her slim throat and pale shoulders were naked beneath the moon’s sheepish eye, and every so often the clouds would shift enough to reveal her, pale and luminous, captivating to behold.

Hannibal stood for several minutes within the frame of the open doors, hands in the pockets of his smoking jacket and eyes fixed upon the bare U of his lover’s back.  The clinging velvet of her dress hugged her as if it ached to be an extension of her skin, letting shadow play in the shallow river between her perfect shoulder-blades, and run the narrow tributary along her spine.  She was light and shadow and perfection, and he loved her...  he had eaten men’s hearts, but he loved her.

"Clarice," he addressed her, saying the name as one might request the favor of God.  She turned, breathtaking in her grace, and smiled her Southern smile at him while the wind continued to caress her hair, and the gauzy scarf at her throat coiled and shivered with that same seeming of life.  On another woman that smile might have seemed contrived, but it was, to him, like a vein of opal in an otherwise precious metal: individually appreciable, but collectively priceless.

"Are you ready?" she wondered, lingering on the balcony.  She was playing a game.  He relaxed his hands from the jacket and moved forward, lean and fluid as a tiger setting out to hunt.

"You still haven’t told me what it is I’m to be preparing for... but I suppose so."

Her smaller hands curled through his, and she turned her back towards the French doors, leading him from the balcony and into the bedroom which adjoined it.  The walls were papered maroon, complimented by sprawling oriental rugs and framed artwork from various unrelated historical periods.  An antique bed dominated one wall, with tall, carved mahogany pillars supporting an elegant canopy that draped dark red veiling on each side.  These curtains were drawn back now, but during their intimate moments together--which were admittedly many--they would be closed, letting only shameless silhouettes remain visible.

At her request Hannibal had festooned the room with pockets of candlelight, and many a wick now cured the darkness with tiny, shivering flames and soft halos.

"You said today that you’d indulge me, didn’t you?  I’d like to try a little experiment."


Clarice released his hands once they had passed through the French doors, making  no effort to close them against the intrusion of the night wind.  Holding his gaze she drifted barefoot across the carpet, vanishing into the small powder room, and returning a moment later with a glass bottle in hand.  He recognized it immediately as the scent she had purchased that afternoon, but did not question her on it any further; after all, how many times had he chastised her for inquiring of dinner courses before they were served.  ‘It ruins the surprise’, he’d told her... and he had a sense this was going to be some surprise.

"Do you know, doctor," she addressed him, softly clicking the stopper within the bottle’s mouth.  "That before today I had never seen you sneeze?  It didn’t occur to me until you did... but all the months we’ve been in Florence, all that time before..." She trailed off in allusion to their unconventional beginning.  "Not once."

His eyes followed her as she continued to play with that little bottle, trying to follow her train of thought and finding it impossible... which only excited him more to the possibilities of this woman.

"Go on," he encouraged, turning his chin up slightly to gaze at her down the length of his nose:  Not loftily, but curiously.

"...It made me realize what a departure it is from your normal composure.  Not that I don’t enjoy that, too, because you know I do... but I think you’ll admit that you’re a creature of reserve and propriety."  Her lips twitched with both amusement and chastisement, "...minus a few prior deviations, for the sake of your culinary tastes."

He smiled in the same way: twitching, fleet, reminded of the dark secret shared between them.

"That you yourself enjoyed at least once, as I recall," he replied.

"Just once, Doctor."

"Very well, then.  You were saying?"

"I was saying... that I rather enjoyed that, today.  Enjoyed it in a way that was more than just passing fancy.  And I didn’t think you’d mind a little experiment, if it were to our mutual benefit."

Hannibal inhaled deeply through his nose, feigning deliberation on the matter, though in truth he was simply indulging in a long gaze down into the symmetry of her décolletage.  Shadows cupped the velvet beneath her breasts where they glided away to her slender waist... if he could have been jealous of shadows, he would have.

"Doctor," she prompted him, not bothering to conceal her mild amusement.  She liked undoing him in small ways, though she wouldn’t come right out and admit it.  He made a show of emerging from his private reverie, a patronizing smile crimping the corners of his mouth as he met her eyes.

"What would you have me do, Clarice?" he purred, honey and copper.

The glass stopper made a soft, frosted sound against the bottle’s mouth as it was removed, and her pale hand held it up to him.  The doctor switched a glance from her face, to the stopper, then back again before he took it from her, unsure where this was leading.

"You’d like me to--"

"Very much so, yes."

Well... he could never say that she didn’t keep him guessing.

Without ceremony, and with Clarice’s eyes burrowing into him, he passed the stopper in a light-wristed wave beneath his nose, as if he were sampling it for purchase.  The reaction was nearly immediate: a frowning flinch of his lips as he parted them, a suggestion of dismay across his forehead, and then he turned from her, curling the stopper-bearing wrist as a shield to his nose as he was overcome by a single, potent, "ISH!"

Hannibal Lecter’s sneeze...  Clarice swallowed in reflex, and felt an unexpected warmth blossom upwards from her thighs, trading chills across her bare back.

He was blinking when he finally turned back to her, either unaccustomed to the reaction or to any loss of control... even of the momentary variety.  She had that vulpine look in her eyes again, hungry and narrow, that gave him definite, appreciating pause.

"I seem to be allergic to it," he reported, which--oddly enough--only seemed to incite the rapacious gleam of her eyes.  Where exactly was this leading?

"To the bed," said Starling.  It was a command.

"To the..." he began, and then the significance struck him in full.  In a tango glide they moved towards the waiting canopy bed, Clarice backwards and Hannibal forward, long and sliding steps carrying them to its cushioned edge in the space of a few breaths.  Already his hands were at her bare shoulders, cupping the smooth, pale contours of them, gliding his palms down the lengths of her arms as he eyed her with his own sort of hunger.  As he went about the lingering process of undressing her, Clarice stoppered the perfume bottle with her forefinger, then touched the end of his nose with her wetted fingertip.

Hannibal leaned back from her again, once more using his wrist as a shield, holding it at an angle to his nose as he gave the first of what would be three nearly successive sneezes.  "ISH!"  Powerful, precise.

Her heart was starting to beat faster now, and the tickle of her arousal began to increase as she focused wholly upon his reaction, his expression.  A delicate sniff preceded a murmured, "Forgive me," as the doctor turned back to her, then stopped, staring upward as if at the bed’s canopy.  He sniffed a second time... then a third, before closing his eyes and giving his head a small, short shake.  Something was coming...

"Hannibal," she moaned softly, sliding herself backwards across the silk coverlet, delicately parting her knees outward.  But there was no helping it; even as he tossed the glass stopper to the carpet, crawling overtop her with his mink-sleek head bowed, the second sneeze was rapidly approaching.  His wrist bent against the tip of his nose, his head turned, eyes cinching shut.

"H’ISSH!"  His slender body wrenched overtop her, a note of strangled urgency audible in the strength of the sneeze; he was putting effort into trying to control it.  He sniffled wetly, began to turn back to her...

And then turned away swiftly, unexpectedly releasing yet another,  "H’ISSH!"

While the doctor’s sneezing was growing progressively more intense, Clarice was slowly and steadily building towards an unavoidable end... though one she wished to draw out as long as possible.  Even through allergic tears Hannibal was not blind to the reaction his sneezing was having upon his lover... and what a marvelous reaction it was.  To think, something so innocuous as sneezing--something which, in truth, he usually made every effort to conceal or downplay--could place her in such a state of eagerness and desire...

"Clarice," he breathed against the bare hollow between her breasts, gliding his hand over the velvet of her dress. "Remove these...  I’ll be back shortly."

"Where are you going?" she groaned unhappily, wrapping her hands around his lapels and pulling him gently.  He extracted himself from her grasp with a small, scolding smile, untying the curtains of the bed as he slipped out into the candlelit dimness of the room beyond.

"I’ll be only a moment."

True to his word he did not keep her long in the agony of anticipation, his silhouette preceding his arrival through the bedcurtains by only a moment.  By then she had discarded the velvet dress and lay, pale and bare, upon the red silk, every inch of her aching for the touch of him.  With the mastery of a soulmate Hannibal tucked himself into the shadowed interior of the canopy bed, his jacket already discarded and his white silk sleeves rolled to mid-forearm.  A white handkerchief of heavy fabric was held in one hand, but he set this alongside her for a moment as his eyes roved her body, suckling on the sight of her.

"Have I kept you waiting," he purred, fingertips touching her bare stomach as one might caress something of great delicacy, fearful of leaving a mark but still rapturous of its beauty.  Clarice arched her back from the bed, her hand settling over his own, pressing his palm flat against her skin.

"Hannibal, please... make love to me, now... I don’t want to wait..."

"I’m not sure you’re ready, beloved..."

His hand lifted from her stomach, removing itself from her urgings, and replaced firmly between her thighs.  The heat of her burned against his palm, and with a little pressure he guided his fingers towards the moist pearl of her clitoris, stroking it softly with the callus of a fingertip.

Electric sensation leapt the length of her body, and again she arched from the bed, clenching the coverlet in both hands.  A groan escaped onto the air, shuddering in release as he withdrew from her, not yet permitting her the escape of a climax.  But he was smiling... oh, he was smiling that wolf’s smile, with his strange eyes gleaming that seductive red-brown, tickled by diffused candlelight.  With humor Hannibal commented, "...As I said... not quite ready."

"Hnnnn... please...," she whispered, trenching her brow, unconsciously flexing her hips forward against an absent lover.

Again his gaze caressed her, more intimately, surely, than any man’s hand could have, and Hannibal went on a silent search for something in the dark.  The little perfume bottle had been stoppered and laid upon the bed, and it was for this that he now reached, careful to hold his breath as he splashed some into his palm.   The floral musk was strong in the air, making it a difficult task for him as he knelt himself over her long body, beginning to massage the perfume onto her breasts.

Hannibal’s hands laid, palm down, at midline, spreading outward as his fingers opened, taking the firm warmth of both breasts, moisturizing them with the heady scent, and toying his fingertips at her nipples until she was again moaning for him not to tease her...

In a whisper, as he set the perfume aside and picked up the handkerchief, he told her, "You will have to excuse my propriety... you were quite correct in that observation, and I’m afraid it’s something I cannot overlook, even for the sake of your indulgence."  Stretching out, almost precisely alongside her, he kissed the corner of her mouth and promised, "...But I will indulge you."

With the handkerchief in his right hand he closed his body near to hers, pulling her against him so that they were on their sides and facing one another in the half-light of the canopied bed.  Clarice’s arms weakly encircled him, one long leg curving overtop his, eyes heavy with confusion and anticipation.  Hannibal again kissed her mouth, then slid an arm around her, supporting her shoulder-blades as he dipped his dark head to her breasts and nuzzled his nose into the greatly perfumic warmth in between them.

Starling felt the slight suction of his inhale, and then reveled in the expression on his face as he brought his head back, making certain she had full view of the first sneeze as it assaulted him.  It did not come all at once but hovered powerfully, and for many seconds Hannibal’s features were slack with a look of weakness and desire, nostrils flaring and relaxing, overwhelmed.  His free hand went into a frenzy of motion suddenly, scrambling for the handkerchief, closing it over his nose just as his lean body wrenched hard against her with a thunderous, "IIIISSH!"

"Oh God," she groaned out loud, clutching at him, pushing and relaxing her hips into him, barely able to keep the breath in her lungs.  Hannibal leaned hard into her weak, clutching embrace, but could not lift his head, keeping the handkerchief firmly pressed to his nose.  With a succession broken only by small, snagging breaths and sounds of mild distress, the doctor began sneezing again in reaction to the perfume.

"H’ISH!  H’ISH!  H’ISH!" :one after another, with little opportunity for an intake of air in between.  On the realization that he was about to sneeze for a fourth time he picked his head up, again letting her see the allergic expression of his face.  It verged on him and he clamped his nose a little too tightly with the handkerchief, stifling it with a still-loud, "H’NKXT!"

Wanting badly the feeling of Hannibal inside her, Clarice took the handkerchief from him, cradling him into a protective embrace.  One of her slender arms held him against her, while the other held the fabric close to his face, at the ready.  He needed no verbal prompting to use his newly freed hand upon her... crawling his fingers the length of her flat stomach, nestling again between her thighs, slipping expertly, with an artist’s accuracy, into the moist depth of her.  Clarice resisted the urge to twist herself in pleasure at his touch, curving her leg higher on his hip, where it was out of way.

Hannibal recomposed himself for a moment, fingers still inside her, then again nosed at her breasts, inhaling a deep but delicate sniff, letting it tickle at him with an allergic fierceness.  He uttered a weak, "...Euhh," as his head withdrew again slightly, Clarice’s unsteady hand hovering near to his face, trying not to block the delicious expression of his face and yet remain convenient when he finally had to sneeze.

He made no effort to conceal or downplay the extent to which the approaching sneezing was affecting him, breathing loudly with each exhale, each inhale coming more slowly and weakly.  It was the most erotic thing she had ever witnessed, and yet warred over the desire to have it continue, and the desire to see him finally release in full.  The urgency with which the desire built was translated into the increasing activity of his fingers, seizing the opportunity of her arousal, doubling it exponentially as he assaulted nearly all of her senses at once.  One of them would have to give in first--but which would it be?

Wanting both the sound of her pleasure and the release from his suspended state, it was Hannibal who allowed himself to buckle first beneath the desire, his free arm pulling her chest towards him as he buried his face into the valley between her breasts, pinning the handkerchief between himself and her bare skin.  His body strained violently, every muscle pressing hard against her as he snatched a final breath, and then abandoned all release to an overwhelming sneeze.

"HEH-IIISSSH!"  Striking, explosive--matching in intensity the orgasm that the final stroke of his fingers unleashed upon Clarice.  Gripping his arms, their bodies came together suddenly as she writhed in gasping elation.  Every nerve sang with pleasure, lungs suddenly snagging at the air as her muscles continued to tremble of their own accord.  Unfinished, or perhaps unsatisfied, Hannibal’s brow pressed against her chest several times as he was overcome by several smaller sneezes, each mimicking the strength and brevity of that which had seized him in the perfumery:  "ISHISHISH!"

Long minutes went by until they were both breathless and spent, collapsed against one another in a limp overlay of damp limbs and ticking muscles.  Clarice felt the pleasure of exhaustion in every part of her body, moaning faintly as Hannibal’s hand withdrew with a final, tender caress from between her thighs, and settled more possessively over her stomach.  The night air that swept in through the yawning balcony doors shivered at the bedcurtains and tickled her skin;  she could not recall a contentment which ran so deeply.

Hannibal, perhaps planning the requests that he would make of her for his own indulgence, was as still and sprawling as a lion surveying well-guarded territory, sniffling as discretely as he could without disturbing her, and yet glad for the mild congestion which prevented him from succumbing to another attack, too soon.  He had found something to make her cry out in pleasure... how could he himself not be pleased?

Her logy hand slid across his chest, touching his cheek gently as her head lolled towards him.  Clarice was sleepy-eyed but satisfied, and it showed in the glow of her skin and the healthy flush of her cheeks.

"...That was amazing," she murmured, twanging very faintly, fingertip caressing a tiny scar on the underside of his jaw.  She amended, "You were amazing."

Hannibal took the hand that caressed him, bringing it to his lips for a soft but still ardent kiss.

"When one is inspired, one can perform in surprising ways.  I’m glad that I’ve pleased you..."

"Pleased me?" Clarice echoed, then sat up slightly, vulpine eyes catching the light of the melting candles beyond their bed, reflecting it back to him as her shadow painted him.  "Doctor... for what I just felt, we need an entirely unique definition."

He reclined upon the great silk pillows of the bed, lacing his fingers together across his stomach, exposing the small vertical scar between two of his knuckles like another little secret that they shared.

"Indeed?" he purred, caressing the air with his voice, studying his liberator and his lover like the main course of a long-awaited meal.  Was his mouth watering?  "I have always been intrigued by etymology."

Nude and lovely as an alabaster Venus, feeling her strength renewing itself with each passing moment, the woman shamelessly straddled him, pressing her hips down suggestively against his own, satisfied at the way he stirred beneath her naked warmth.  The Bureau’s finest had been unable to find this man, and as yet no prison had been built that could contain him, but at this time, this moment, he was almost leashed to her with desire.  Even in the cool but appraising expression he wore, Clarice saw within the maroon eyes a bristling hunger.

"Well then, Doctor," she smiled, and glided her hand down between his thighs in a caress she had learned only that evening.  "...Tonight I think I’m going to teach you a few new words."