Christmas was around the corner, Hannibal had everything set and decorated inside and outside the house since the first day of December. Mistletoe in the foyer, the Christmas tree in the living room, the change of decorations around the sitting room and two new centerpieces for the dining room.
Will was helping in the kitchen to get the Christmas dinner ingredients ready in time, Abby scribbled in her drawing book in the corner, her legs dangling from the high chair by the kitchen isle. Will was dicing carrots when he noticed the number of guests for that Christmas night written over the yellowish stationary paper Hannibal used for the recipes.
“There’s someone else joining us this Monday?”
“Oh yes, Chiyoh called me, she’s in town so she will come for dinner”
The knife Will was holding clattered over the marbled surface of the counter as it fell, a full body shiver shaking his bones like someone had opened all the doors and windows of the house, letting the blizzard in.
“Yes! Aunt Chiyoh aunt Chiyoh!” Abby cried in joy as she jumped from the chair running and jumping around the kitchen with happiness breaking the tense moment.
“Yes Abby, Chiyoh is very happy to finally meet you.”
Will looked at every window around them, waiting for a glass to break and start a fight with the alpha.
“Daddy what are you doing?” Abby asked with a little laugh at her father’s attitude.
“Nothing pup, just looking for your aunt.”
“But she’s not here daddy!” Abby chuckled.
“Aunt Chiyoh loves daddy in a very special way my love.” Hannibal told her while cleaning the plates.
“Like in a meat pie, or a roast…” Will mumbled to himself
Hannibal frowned softly at his husband who resumed his work dicing carrots with shaking hands, the reunion with one of Hannibal’s closest family members had been delayed enough.
“It’s ok daddy, I won’t let aunt Chiyoh eat you!” Abby squealed and ran between them.
“Well said Abby,” Hannibal said petting her hair and shooing her to her chair again, “That privilege is just for me” the omega whispered to his husband.
Will could remember, like it was yesterday, the first letter Chiyoh had sent to him, wax sealed and written in a delicate but sharp calligraphy. He found it in his mailbox in Wolftrap shortly after he and Hannibal had mated for the first time after that heat, the strong female alpha explained with just a handful of lines why she thought their relationship was not the best for her dear cousin, also explaining the things she would do with Will’s innards after she had severed his head for tainting the Lecter’s family honor with his lesser being.
Like an eviction notice the letters kept coming, every month into their relationship, the courting process, that even after mating in that unexpected heat that pushed them together and lit the strong flame of their love they took the process seriously, going out in dates, meeting for scent marking each other until Hannibal asked Will to stay the night and maybe stay forever.
Will told Hannibal about the letters and showed them to him shortly after they started arriving to his door, earning a little chuckle and a bunch of childhood stories about the unknown alpha that lately threatened his life with being a good hunter.
“Do you even told her we have a child? that we married?” Will asked raising a brow, remembering the weeks before their wedding when the letters came almost daily.
“Yes, my love, she’s updated with all our romantic and legal developments as a couple since we first mated, she always wanted the best for me, she’s just a very busy, intelligent, capable woman.” Hannibal replied not minding the little hint of anxiety in his mate.
“Capable of hunting me down for… almost six years now.”
“Oh my love, if she wanted to hunt you down, she would have succeeded.” Hannibal replied with a toothy smile.
“Will auntie Chiyoh play with me?” Abby interrupted raising her head from the scribbled paper, her crayons making her little hands shine with colors
“Yes my petit choux, I’m sure she will.” Hannibal smiled.
“Will she like me?.” The three year old asked with a smile.
“Oh I don’t know my love, have you been good?”
“Papa! Aunt Chiyoh is not Santa!”
“Oh, are you sure? She always knows when someone has been rude.” Hannibal told her raising a pale brow.
Abby gasped covering her mouth with both color stained hands, smudging color in her milky pale face, every time her papa or daddy said the word rude she did that to earn a smile.
Both her parents smiled and chuckled at her cute little act before telling her to go clean her face and hands for dinner.
Will paced the kitchen while Hannibal looked for something in his rolodex, Abby was soundly asleep after her dinner.
“You will scratch the ceramics if you keep pacing like that.”
“What should I tell her?”
“I will not tell her that I’m sorry, I am not sorry for having a family with you.”
“Will…” Hannibal frowned.
Will sighed heavily letting his body fall into the kitchen chair.
“My cousin is the last of a long line of warriors-” Hannibal said with his soothing practiced tone.
“That is not helping Hannibal”
“She’s prepared to fight everything and everyone milymasis, but I know who I mated.” Hannibal purred from where he was standing, looking at the nervous mess of the alpha crumpled over in the chair, meeting the in-laws was harder than he thought.
Will stood and held Hannibal between his arms, feasting from his neck and lips before parting with a sigh purring in harmony with his mate.
Hannibal held him three different cards from the rolodex, they had a Christmas dinner to hunt.
Hannibal closed the oven and Will felt like it was the last nail of this Christmas decorated coffin, the house smelled like rosemary and thyme mingling with the scent of Will’s nervous state and Hannibal’s calming one.
The doorbell rang five times that evening, every time sending a spark of ice cold down Will’s spine when he stood with Hannibal in the foyer to greet the guests, every time they opened the door he feared that he would see the face he had only known from old fading photos.
The fifth time the doorbell rang it was her.
There in front of them, wearing a navy blue jacket and a deep red scarf stood the cold stare of Chiyoh, immediately after giving a small smile to his cousin, she fixed her dark piercing stare on the blue eyes of the alpha.
Hannibal and Will let her in, the apha trying to help her with her coat and failing in the process.
“So, you finally let me meet your mate, Hanni.” Chiyoh said breaking the tightness in the air, her strong scent filling the space and her voice heavy with her accent caused Will to be ready to lunge.
“Patience is something that your mother taught me Chiyoh.” the omega answered raising a brow.
“Five years is enough.” She turned on her heels to look directly at Will, being close enough he could feel her breath taking him in.
“This scurry alpha of yours, never answered a single letter. More importantly thought even less about asking your blood relatives for your hand before marrying you.”
“There was no need since I’m completely capable of knowing what’s best for me.”
“I see.” Chiyoh smiled looking at Will, no challenge in her eyes but a spark of relief after taking in their scents, looking at the pink fresh bites mirrored in their necks.
“You were invited to our wedding and past celebrations Chiyoh.”
“I was busy.”
“You were stubborn. What kind of alpha leaves his family behind like that?” Will replied stepping closer to the other alpha.
“You don’t know anything about my duty to our family.” She hissed.
Will saw Hannibal open his mouth when light feet tapped behind the adults in the tense scene, making the three of them to look at the little intruder.
“Daddy?” Abby asked hiding behind the alpha’s legs.
“Abby, this is aunt Chiyoh, say hello.” Hannibal smiled.
“Aunt Chiyoh!” The three year old ran to her from behind her dad, hugging her legs and raising her arms at the alpha who effortlessly picked her up.
Will saw how all the hard feelings of the woman melted with the little girl in her arms, hugging her fondly and burying her nose between the half curls of her light brown hair.
“It’s like her.” She whispered.
“They quite look alike.” Hannibal answered, Will felt the omega’s hand in his, interlacing their fingers while their child scented and touched her new aunt.
“It’s nice to finally see who wrote the letters, I’m Will.” Will offered his hand, wrist held up to offer the other alpha his scent, placating any possible violence.
“Chiyoh.” She answered showing her hand the same way, peace was settled.
“Well, it’s time for dinner, I hope you are hungry. Will fought very hard to bring the meat to our table.” The omega said guiding them to the dining room.
“I’m starving” She smiled.