Dexter was a man of his word.
Within a week, Will Graham had been released after new evidence had been discovered implicating the impeccable Hannibal Lecter in the Chesapeake Murders.
As he stood, shivering slightly on the pavement shadowed by the large prison he looked around himself, trying to get his bearings.
The world seemed so bright. So uninviting.
Then a horn honked and Will looked over to the car park. He could see Dexter's grinning face through the windshield and walked over to his saviour.
The window rolled down and Dexter winked at Will. "Going my way?"
"If you'll let me," Will opened the passenger door and climbed in next to Morgan. "I didn't think you would kill Lecter. Battle of the giants. Was it good?"
"Oh, yes." Dexter stifled a laugh and sat back into his seat. He started the engine and the two men rolled out of the car park and into medium traffic. He then proceeded to tell Graham the whole story, which had the smaller man laughing hysterically in his seat.
"Where are we going?" Graham asked suddenly, watching the city flash by and rolling hills come into view. "Don't tell me I'm next on the table."
Dexter looked genuinely hurt. "I'm not going to kill you, Will Graham. I know innocence when I see it."
"I am not innocent." Will muttered, watching the first patters of rain hit the windscreen.
"That's not your fault," Dexter said softly, monitoring the road with intense concentration. His had gripped the steering wheel. "I found out everything. He'd been manipulating you from the beginning."
"So, it begins again." Graham sighed. The rain was becoming heavier. A bolt of lightning lit the road in front and Dexter swerved violently. The car juddered to a stop on the embankment of the road and Dexter turned to face Will, his eyes almost glowing with displeasure.
"No. I'm not going to manipulate you." Dexter reached across Will's chest, his hand lingering over the clothed flesh and then reaching beyond… to the seat belt. With one tug, he draped the belt over Graham's tense form and buckled him in tightly. "Buckle up. I'm not going to be responsible for your brain matter all over this vehicle.
Graham sighed in relief as Morgan started the car again and returned to the centre of the traffic. "Do you want payment yet? Maybe as you're driving?"
Dexter shot Will a confused look. "What?"
Will smiled grimly. "I thought a blow job might lighten your mood."
"No, thank you." Dexter gripped the wheel even harder. "Don't worry about sex. I have absolutely no drive at all. I'm more interested in… what you told me. About you knowing me."
Graham visibly relaxed into his seat. "I confess you'd be my first. Male lover that is. I'm not experienced with this at all."
"Stop worrying about sex. It doesn't matter. I only told Hannibal all that drivel to wind him up. He's so easy to manipulate." Dexter shot a wide grin at his companion. "If we ever do the sex thing, we'll both be willing and wanting or not at all."
Graham had relaxed completely. "So, you have absolutely no desire for me then?"
"I wouldn't say that. I've had physical relationships before. I can definitely give you what you need." Dexter promised. "I just don't feel much myself. I can get hard, play the part, spill the seed… all of that. Not with a man yet, though. You'll be my first too, Will."
"I'm afraid that I won't be much good at all that," Will confessed, his hands balling together nervously. "I haven't felt real desire for such a long time."
"All you need is something to spark it up again." Dexter stifled a laugh. "Stop worrying about it. I told you, it's not important. I'm more interested in what you know about me."
Graham smiled grimly. "I've known about you for years, Dexter Morgan. I have been conflicted by what to do about you for a long time now. I knew you murdered… but you habitually killed those who deserved to meet such an end. I found your methods quite varied and inevitably became enamoured with your history. You've had such a rough time, losing Rita and Deb. My heart truly went out to you."
"You haven't had an easy life, either. Will… can I trust you?" Dexter shot Will a worried glance. "Are you going to try and put me in a prison cell?"
"I would never report you to the authorities, Dexter. You… you gave me my revenge and granted me my freedom." Will's eyes were glistening with gratitude and honesty. "I would try and help you in your endeavours. The world is full of predators."
"Yes it is. Do you think I'm a predator?" Dexter stopped the car at the roadside, his eyes boring into Will's tearful ones. "You'd be right. I'm a killer too."
Will reached forward and took Dexter's head in his hands. He was crying now, his breathing erratic and laboured. "I know who you are, Morgan. I'm not running."
Dexter closed his eyes and his hands gently closed over Will's. He enjoyed the sensation of Will's warm hands against his face and felt himself stir at the proximity.
Slowly, Dexter opened his eyes. Will was a mess. His eyes were bloodshot and raw from crying. His nose was leaking and his breath was coming in short, gasping hiccups.
Leaning forward, Dexter brushed lips with the distraught man, embracing him and holding him in his arms. His mouth grazed Will's forehead and he took in the scent of Graham's hair. "I'm going to take care of you, Will Graham. I give you my word. Nothing will harm you."
"You can't promise that," Will replied, darkly. He was nestled comfortably against Dexter, his arms winding around the other man's back.
"I feel sorry for anyone that threatens you," Dexter vowed, his voice resolute and determined. "I'll make them pay dearly."
"Where are we going?" Will asked. The comfort of being in Dexter's embrace was now overshadowed by the uncomfortable gear stick prodding him in the thigh. "We're heading out of state?"
"We're going to the airport. I have everything worked out. I want to be in Hawaii as quickly as possible." Dexter let go of Will reluctantly and started the engine again. "This is just a rental, it's not mine."
"Hawaii?" Will raised an eyebrow. "Business or pleasure?"
"Both," Dexter winked. "There is someone I want you to meet."
"Let me guess," Will grinned. He seemed less distraught now and willing to play the game. "Would we be going to investigate the Blonde Trap Killings?"
Dexter chuckled. "Not so much investigation. I already know who is behind the killings."
"Do I get to see it?" Will asked sincerely. "I want to see you do it."
"I'll let you make the first cut," Dexter promised. "We'll hold the knife together when we take his life. You can imagine it's Hannibal lying on my table."
"That would be satisfying," Will admitted.
"Graham, reach into my bag on the seat behind," Dexter instructed. "I have a present for you."
Will reached back and brought the bag into the front, rummaging through until he felt a book-like object grazing his fingers. "For me?"
"For you." Dexter confirmed.
Will took the book out. "Ah, War and Peace. An interesting choice, Morgan."
"Turn to page 352." Dexter smiled.
Will turned to the page specified and found a photograph nestling between the pages. His smile widened when he saw the image was of Hannibal strapped to Dexter's kill table.
"Each page tells a story," Dexter explained.
Will turned the next page to see Dexter in the shot with a broad knife in his left hand. He was winking at the camera. "I like where this is going."
"Keep turning the pages," Dexter instructed. "There's more to see."
The next photograph had both Hannibal and Dexter in it. Hannibal was gagged and wide-eyed as Dexter was approaching with the knife in his hand. Will chuckled and turned the page, his hands shaking with excitement.
"Enjoying the story so far?" Dexter asked, noting Will's satisfied chuckle.
"Immensely," Will looked at the next picture. The knife was poised on Hannibal's broad chest. "I see with this one, you were barely scratching the surface."
Dexter exploded into a hearty laugh. "If you like that one you'll love the next one."
Turning the page, Will let out a choked gasp of relief. For there, in the photograph stood Dexter, the knife buried deep into Hannibal's chest. Dexter was blowing a kiss with his other hand, Hannibal's expression the vacant stare of a dead man. He was gone. Will Graham was free.
"My favourite." Will gasped, taking out the photograph and holding it against his chest. "You tell a wonderful story."
"I thought you'd like it." Dexter pulled into the airport car park and stilled the vehicle next to a large camper van. "We're here. Listen, I'm not going to force you to come with me Will. I don't want to force you to do anything. You have your revenge; you can do what you want from now on."
"I am doing what I want." Will was solemn. "I've been studying your habits for years. Adoring you from afar, you might say. The revenge you meted out means everything to me. So do you. I want to be part of your life, Morgan. I want to be your partner."
"My partner," Dexter sounded out the words. It was a pleasing term. "In all things."
"All things." Will promised.
Both men departed from the vehicle and made their way into the airport. Dexter reached out to hold Will's hand and the smaller man shuffled closer.
As they embraced waiting for their flight, darkness seemed to flee from Will Graham like a bird escaping from its cage and entering the sweet feeling of complete freedom, flying free and far from all the evils that had once been cast upon it.