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What's In a Name?

copyright 2002, by TalismanicalOne

Disclaimer:    These characters were created by Thomas Harris.  They are used herein without permission, but in the spirit of admiration and respect.  No infringement of copyright is intended, and no profit, of any kind, is made by the creator, maintainer or contributors to this site.

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"I will be having Clarice, for the very last time. No other apartment will do-"

The man on the phone in the lobby of the Hotel Lombardy closes his eyes. His words and this one physical gesture are the only indications of his frustration.

Across the fossil square stone floor of the Lombardy's lobby a young woman enters the arched doorway. Her face is all eyes, and she sweeps the room with its lofty ceilings and ornate molding with her honey hazel gaze.

Oh Toto, she thinks, we are most definitely not in West Virginia any more.

Best find a place to sit while we get checked in.

Her heels announce her to the man, still arguing with a persistent clerk from the Palazzo Belfiore Apartments. His eyes open and catch sight of the woman as she takes a seat beside him.

The voice on the other end of the phone "Si, Dottore, si. Fine, you may have it."

"The Clarice, Donatello, correct? Excellent. I will arrive in Florence tomorrow morning. I look forward to leasing from you again."

The woman tried hard not to notice the conversation beside her but it was to no avail. Clarice. She smiled tightly to herself. She looked at the man in the next chair. What strange eyes he has. Unbidden, a fairytale line from her past emerges. All the better to see you with, my dear. He rises and looks at her. A hint of smile.

"Good morning," and he is off, to do whatever the young folk of Washington DC do on a cold morning.

"Baby, we're all checked in. Shall we?" She is startled from her thoughts and is brought back into the present, her brand new husband before her, offering his elbow.

"Baby? It's Mrs. Starling to you," she winks at him.

"Was this the kind of thing you were thinking of?" It is his honeymoon and he is anxious to please.

"No, it's much, much more." She whispers this last, her eyes still absorbing her surroundings, her left arm joined with her husband's right as they make their way to their room.

Later, after he had loved her and made her with child, she slept fitfully and spent her dream sleep running from undefined monsters.


Thirty-four years later, Palazzo Belfiore Apartments, Florence. More specifically, the Clarice, so named for a Roman noblewoman from the Rossini family, the bride of Lorenzo il Magnifico.

Fifteenth century frescoes witness a seduction of unparalleled lust tempered with respect, and perhaps a bit of fear.

He has resided within these walls at different times in his life, but never like this, the colors are brighter, they swim, and he can only attribute it to the fact that she is here with him. She is here and he can smell her, her want of him jolts him where he lies.

When his tongue laps at her gently, her legs open almost at their own volition. She is unused to this, but her fears of inexperience waver and then flow away as his mouth works upon her. In her pleasure she cries out and then is muffled by his mouth on hers. He mounts her, and in penetrating becomes enveloped beyond the boundaries of his experience.

Later, after he has loved her, she whispers to him in the dark. Was this the kind of thing you were thinking of?
The monster breathes, and considers, and answers his lover.

"No, it's much, much more."

Her face is all eyes, and she sweeps the room with its lofty ceilings and ornate molding with her honey hazel gaze.

Dr. Lecter is offered another view inside Starling, as he experiences aligning windows of his own.

"Tell me former Special Agent Starling, did your parents have a honeymoon?"

Silence only for a moment and then she answered him with what he already knew.

"Yes. My mother was so proud of it. The Hotel Lombardy, in Washington DC. The only time either of my parents ever stayed in a hotel. In a non work capacity."

Starling did not question his curiousity, she was experiencing a profound yet pleasant fatique inspired by travel and lovemaking.

Dr. Lecter took her into his arms, and their sleep was quiet and safe within the warm walls of her namesake.


Author's Note: The Clarice apartment does exist, and there are a few lovely pictures of it available on the net.

copyright 2002, by TalismanicalOne

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