*** I must apologize for taking so long to post. I am my own worst critic when it comes to my writing. Also life tends to throw things at me that cause large amounts of stress which causes writer's block. This is a short chapter but I hope you enjoy it all the same. ***
The week passed quickly. Friday morning saw the couple on their way to deliver Clarice's resignation. She fingered the envelope as Dr. Lecter drove. He noticed the action.
"Having second thoughts, Clarice?" he asked.
She glanced at him.
"No, why do you ask?"
"You seem agitated."
"I'm a bit anxious." she admitted. "I know all the things he'll say and all the things I'll want to say. Some of the things I want to say though I know I shouldn't."
"He has no control over you, Clarice. You may say anything you wish."
"In time he's going to need help again. I don't want to say anything that would make him reconsider asking you for help."
"There are many others he can turn to if he should need assistance with a case."
"None as good as you."
"I'm glad you think so."
"I know so. Your profiles are the best I've read. I studied a lot of cases. I've read profiles from agents and doctors. None were as good as yours." Clarice stated. "I know there will be a case that will stump them. They may find someone to help but how many bodies will pile up before that person's profile is effective. Your profiles drop body counts and cut days off investigation time. I know they do because I've done the math."
"What math is that, my dear?"
"There are no more than three deaths once you deliver a profile. The killers are usually caught within a month."
"I didn't know my record was so impressive."
"Neither did I until Graham drove me half crazy talking about you. I couldn't believe you were as good as he said so I did some research of my own."
"Did you begin your research about three weeks ago?"
"Around then I believe, why?"
"I noticed your behavior shifted towards me then and Graham's towards you began to change as well."
"I thought he would be happy I finally agreed taking the time to talk with you was worth our time."
"You thought me not worth you time?" he asked casting her a glance.
"I found you interesting but I did not agree with Graham to consult you at every turn. He acted like he was afraid to make a decision without your advice."
"He has behaved so since the Buffalo Bill case."
"That case was not pleasant for anyone."
"You were the one to find him I recall."
"It didn't end well for him."
"It didn't end well for anyone. Catherine Martin survived but she'll likely be traumatized for the rest of her life."
"You're alive. Some would say it ended well for you."
"I am and I'm grateful for that. For me though it was a sign of things to come."
"Frequent hospital visits."
Dr. Lecter glanced at her and raise an eyebrow.
"In the year since the Buffalo Bill case I have been sent to the hospital eleven times." she remarked. "That is more than the rest of my life combined."
"That is more than most people have by your age. Why so many?"
"I was put on an interdepartmental task force."
"I recall you mentioning it. You said it was mostly sitting in a surveillance van."
"Mostly."she replied. "The rest of it was being shot at by drug dealers, gun runners, and their associates."
"Were you ever shot?"
"Shot five times. Stabbed once."
"And what happened to those who dared to harm you?"
She glanced his way and noticed a dangerous glint in his eye.
"I'm afraid I took care of them myself."
"All safely looked away then." Dr. Lecter said. "No parole, I suppose."
"All buried." Clarice replied. "All determined justified though one was considered slightly excessive force."
"Slightly excessive? What could you have done to have earned that distinction?"
"I knocked him out a fifth floor window." she replied. "The review board members felt if I hadn't hit him as hard he may not have gone out the window. I explained that since I had been shot twice at that point and my backup was two floors away I wanted to be sure he couldn't get to his gun again before I could secure him."
"You had been shot twice and still manage to strike him hard enough to knock him out a window?"
"He was close to the window."
"Less than five feet." she replied. "I thought he'd hit the wall beside the window but he tripped."
"That is still impressive considering you were injured."
"The injuries weren't that bad. One was only a graze."
"And the other?"
"The bullet lodged in my thigh. It didn't do much damage. It was a ricochet."
"Here.." Dr. Lecter asked touching the side of her thigh.
"It healed very well. The scar is barely noticeable."
"You noticed it."
"Not visually." he said giving her a heated looked.
She felt a blush creep across her skin. He smiled returning his full attention to the road.
"Where else were you shot?"
"Cataloging my scars, Doctor?" she asked.
"I'm surprised you haven't noticed."
"Perhaps I have."
"Care to venture a guess?"
"Your left hip, it is a longer wound, I would guess that was the graze." Clarice nodded. "You have another scar on your right shoulder and another longer wound along your ribs below your left breast. Possibly another graze. Where is the fifth?"
"I took two in the shoulder less than an inch apart. The one along my ribs was a graze."
"Where were you stabbed?"
"In my right calf." she replied. "Luckily it wasn't a very big knife."
"How did the others die?"
"They were shot."
"All of them?"
"Yes." she replied. "That tends to happen when you try to flee an F.B.I. agent."
"Were those your only casualties?"
He glanced her way again.
"Twenty seven dead, another dozen or so wounded."
"In only a year. You are certainly a force to be reckoned with."
"The places we went into usually have a couple dozen people in them, sometimes more. I wasn't the only one shooting but my shots tended to cause more lethal wounds so I was given the credit for their deaths."
"How many raids have you been part of?"
"So you shot approximately five people per raid resulting in the death of three."
"As I said before you are as deadly as I am." Dr. Lecter remarked. "Perhaps more so. Your count has exceeded my own."
She studied him for a moment.
"Are you thinking about evening the score?"
"Not at present."
"Good." Clarice replied. "I may have the quantity but you have all the artistic flair."
*I hope you enjoyed this. Reviews are appreciated.***