Coral lips close about the brim of a delicate china cup. Blue eyes drift to the elegant buildings surrounding the little outdoor cafe where she sits, and Clarice Starling allows herself to imagine that different circumstances brought her to this place. She always thought it might be nice to honeymoon here in a hotel with a view of the tower from the window or perhaps a small balcony like she can see jutting from the faces of the surrounding apartment buildings. It must be terrible to live here, she thinks to herself. It must be terrible to have such beautiful buildings and sights such as the Eiffel Tower grow familiar.

It had been a difficult few months since she had woken up in Lecter’s home to find his side of the bed cold and empty. It hadn’t been entirely surprising- even with all of the promises that he had made, she couldn’t shake the feeling that what he had really been saying was goodbye. It hurt, but she had been prepared. What she had not been entirely prepared for was the investigation that followed- at least, she hadn’t been prepared for how much questioning she would have to endure, the suspicion, the way her name was dragged through the papers and the tabloids, the way whispers followed her through the halls of the Academy.

They hadn’t allowed her on the case officially- in fact, they had strongly suggested that she take a bit of time away until this whole thing calmed down. So she had. She had done her own investigating and when her leads all began to point overseas, she scraped together enough money for a plane ticket. It had been a long and rather rough flight considering the turbulence, the storms, the child kicking the back of her seat, but she had made it. She was staying in a small bed and breakfast for a little less than fifty dollars a night. It was a cramped little room, but it did have a Marilyn Monroe shower curtain and that had to count for something.

“One of your customers just hit my car and drove off,” She said desperately from behind the counter of a wine shop. “Late forties, greying brown hair, about six feet?” The man hadn’t been able to give her much information- he always pays in cash- but he had told her that he came in around the same time every couple of weeks.

It was that that had brought her to this moment, sitting at a cafe across the street from the shop with her now dark brown hair pulled into a tight bun at the back of her head and her eyes hidden behind a pair of large sunglasses, sipping at her coffee while watching the store. She planned to sit there all day if that is what it took.