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Dinner in the castle with Greta has the potential to be either a quiet, pleasant evening or a loud, boisterous occasion depending on several factors, most if not all of them involving wine.

Tonight it’s the latter. They’ve finished nearly three bottles between the four of them, which Trevor and Greta had scrounged up from the very depths of the wine cellar. They’re probably centuries old, and potent enough to make even Alucard ever so slightly tipsy after a few glasses. They’d all switched to water after Isabelle had reached for Sypha’s glass and began wailing when she forbade her from taking a sip, but the damage had been done; they’re not drunk, not really, but they’re teetering on the cusp of drunkenness, which is just as bad in Alucard’s opinion.

It makes laughter a lot easier though, which counts for something.

Trevor is regaling them all with yet another excruciating tale from his pre-Gresit days, this one complete with accompanying hand gestures and multitudes of swear words, which Sypha frowns at because Isabelle is beginning to pick up words quicker than they’d expected, and the last thing they need is for her first coherent sentence to include several curse words she’d learned from her father.

“…and then he hit me with a fucking chair, but I was still the last one on my feet,” Trevor concludes, sitting back with a self-satisfied smirk on his face. “I mean, I puked my guts out afterwards and had a hell of a hangover the next morning, but I still won. That was the last bar fight I was ever in before the two of you domesticated me.” He raises a brow at Alucard and Sypha. “Can’t say I miss it, but those were the days, you know?”

“No,” Alucard says.

“Yeah,” Greta says at the same time.

They all turn to look at her and she gives a modest shrug. “I’ve been in my fair share of drunken bar fights,” she says. “Last one I remember was just a few years ago, actually.”

“Ooh, do tell,” Sypha says, leaning across the table, her eyes sparkling.

“Well,” Greta says, “I was in some shithole of a town trying to recruit people to help in Danesti, because we were being swarmed by night hordes. I’d had no luck, so I went to the local inn to get totally sloshed, because sometimes that’s the only way to handle negativity in your life—”

“Very true,” Trevor says.

“—and this stuck-up fucker singles me out because, well.” She gestures down at herself. “Anyway, he calls me a bunch of rude words, then says I probably can’t even hold my liquor because I’m just a stupid little girl. I’m drunk and belligerent so I agree to his stupid drinking game or competition or whatever the hell it was. Long story short, he passes out within the first fifteen minutes and I win, but then after it’s all over he gets up and starts needling me because he was a sore loser. I lost it and punched him in the face. Broke his nose, too.” She smiles wistfully. “Well, a hell of a fight ensued, and I nearly lost a tooth or two, but—it was pretty fucking great.”

“Incredible.” Alucard shakes his head. “You’re both incorrigible, you know that?”

“That’s not quite true,” Trevor says, leaning back with an arm thrown over the back of his chair as he grins at Alucard. “You and Sypha turned us soft quickly enough.”

“Plus, bar fights can be fun,” Greta goes on, unabashed. “Especially if people are constantly being arseholes to you for being a woman or being a Belmont or just being not like they expect you to be. It feels like righteous comeuppance when you get to knock a few of their teeth out. And then you can blame the alcohol for making you do it. It’s foolproof.”

“Exactly!” Trevor says, slapping a hand on the tabletop. “Finally, someone who understands.”

Sypha laughs. “Alucard is right. You’re both hopeless.”

There’s a lull in conversation after that, all of them a little tipsy and a little drowsy, with Isabelle doodling swirls on the table with sauce in her high chair at the other end of the table. It’s a cloudless night, and Alucard can see the moon through the window from where he’s sitting, a silver coin in the sky. It’s chilly outside but here in the kitchen it’s warm, the wine and the food and the laughter keeping the cold at bay.

He jumps as he feels a light, teasing pressure on his leg, and he looks beside him to raise a brow at Sypha, sitting beside him. She meets his eyes then looks away, a sly little smirk curling her lips as her hand finds his leg beneath the table, her palm sliding up his thigh. He tenses as her wandering fingers venture higher and higher, stopping just shy of total and utter impropriety. Her fingers linger there, a teasing weight.

Out of the corner of his eye he sees Trevor tense a little too, his eyes dropping beneath the table as well. Someone’s feeling adventurous tonight, he thinks, hooking his pinky finger around Sypha’s where her hand still rests dangerously high on his thigh. He carefully traces a nail across the inside of her wrist where he knows she’s sensitive and is rewarded with the barest shiver and the flutter of her lashes as she looks down and then away quickly.

But her little scheme has worked; he hears Trevor’s pulse rise just as his own has risen, and the faint scent of arousal has colored the air between the three of them. Just as he registers it, Sypha’s hand slides up the barest fraction of inch and he clenches his teeth hard to keep from reacting.

Well, Alucard thinks, turning to look at her. If that’s the way you want it.

“Greta,” he says, his eyes never leaving Sypha’s face, “would you mind taking Isabelle home tonight?”

Sypha starts to smile a little, the slightest of blushes rising to her cheeks. She stares right back at him, and then she lifts a single coy eyebrow, an unmistakable challenge. He has to clench his fingers into fists to keep them in place, wanting to rise to the bait, wanting to take the invitation that’s so clear in her eyes. He can see Trevor watching him out of his periphery, his own gaze clinging to the hunger that’s probably evident in his eyes.

Greta raises her eyebrows, clearly fighting a smile as her eyes move slowly between the three of them. “We’d love to have her,” she says, standing, then kneels in front of Isabelle’s chair, brushing her hair out of her eyes. “You want to come sleep with Aunt Greta tonight, Izzy?” she asks, leaning forward and kissing her cheek. “You want to come with me? I can show you all of my books and my hammers.”

Isabelle giggles and lifts her arms, nodding enthusiastically. “Hammers!” she shrieks, and Greta laughs, picking her up and balancing her on her hip. “You’re a little warrior, aren’t you? We’ll have such fun together, my darling,” she coos, then turns to Alucard, Sypha and Trevor. “Well, good night, you three,” she says cryptically, moving towards the door. “And try not to wake the whole village this time, will you?” She winks at them with a knowing little smirk on her face and then she’s gone, the door swinging shut behind her.

It’s barely even fallen shut all the way before Alucard blurs forward in a flash of red, backing Sypha into the counter as he skids to a stop. His hands come to rest on either side of her, caging her between his body and the counter behind her. She looks up at him through her lashes, her eyes glittering. There’s a teasing little smile on her face, and her cheeks are still pink.

“Waiting to get us alone?” she asks softly, her fingers hooking into the waistband of his trousers. Her knuckles brush against the skin there and he holds back a shiver. “Minx,” he murmurs, and then she laughs aloud, the sound of her mirth high and clear and electrifying.

It’s the last straw. He leans down and kisses her, catching the rest of her muffled giggles in his mouth. She arches up to kiss him back, arms twining around his shoulders. It isn’t gentle or slow by any stretch of the imagination; it’s rough and demanding, Sypha’s teeth sliding along his upper lip and his hand reaching up to slide into her hair, tilting her head to deepen the kiss, crushing her lips against his. He wedges a knee between her legs and she moans, her lips parting. He seizes the opportunity, thrusting his tongue into her mouth, tasting and taking. It’s a violent onslaught of a kiss, a clash of tongues and teeth, of pleasure and pain. She shudders against him, her palms sliding beneath his shirt and smoothing up his back, her nails digging into his shoulder blades in silent, tacit approval.

When he finally pulls away she’s out of breath, her pupils blown wide and her lips as flushed as her cheeks. She swallows hard, then says, “Well, we’re going to have to do better than that, won’t we?” She reaches a hand out, her fingers curling upward in an expectant beckon. “Treffy,” she says. “You’re so far away. And I need someone to warm me up properly, don’t I?”

“As do I,” Alucard says, half-twisting around as Trevor moves around the counter, a brow raised.

“I think we’ve already established in so many ways that I am hot enough for the both of us,” Trevor says with a smirk, coming to a stop behind Alucard. One of his hands alights, butterfly-soft, on his hip. He leans forward, the other hand lifting to sweep Alucard’s hair over one shoulder before he places the softest of kisses at his nape. His other hand inches beneath the hem of his shirt, a thumb stroking over the arch of his hipbone. It makes a little shiver skitter up his spine, and he feels his eyes drift shut.

Trevor’s fingers find his cheek, turning Alucard’s face towards his. Their lips meet in a searing, openmouthed kiss, all breath and tongues tangling together. Sypha’s own mouth traces a slow path down the column of his throat, and the heat of her breath against the sensitive skin there makes a pleased little sound free itself from his throat. Her nails scratch lightly over his chest and it sends a dart of heat down to where his trousers now feel almost uncomfortably tight. He feels Sypha smile against his neck, and then without warning her other hand presses between his thighs, her touch firm and sure. He gasps against Trevor’s lips as she palms his erection through his trousers, and almost involuntarily his hips buck into her fingers. He feels his lips slide against Trevor’s mouth unevenly, and then the edge of a fang catches on Trevor’s lower lip, dragging along the skin and opening it in a long, ragged cut. Blood wells up at the tear and fills his mouth, sharp and coppery and sweet and Trevor.

He jerks back, a hand flying up to his mouth. “I—”

Trevor only shakes his head wordlessly and leans in again, his thumb gently stroking Alucard’s hip again as if to say it’s all right, you can take it. And so he does, a hand reaching up to cup Trevor’s cheek as he sucks his lower lip into his mouth, his tongue swiping across the cut there, tasting Trevor’s blood in his mouth and coating the back of his throat, rich and intoxicating. He allows for a fleeting moment to fantasize about how it would be to bite him while he fucks him, letting his teeth sink readily into the skin at his throat when he’s spread out beneath Alucard’s hands, feeling every bit of his want and desire both through his cock and through his blood. Just the thought of it makes his own cock twitch and he groans into Trevor’s mouth, pressing forward into Sypha’s open hand, desperate for the friction of it.

Her fingers deftly unbuckle his belt and then her hand is sliding beneath the waistband of his trousers, wasting no time. And when her fingers wrap firmly around his cock—dear God, finally—he moans so loudly he’s sure half the village hears it. But he doesn’t care about that now; everything else has faded, the whole world, the whole universe narrowing down to just two bright pinpricks of space where their bodies meet.

“Bedroom,” he manages to choke out, the taste of Trevor’s blood still lingering in his mouth and Sypha’s fingers still between his legs. And while he wouldn’t have minded desecrating the kitchen counter once upon a time, now it’s pretty much out of the question. He feels Trevor groan roughly against his mouth as he breaks away and Sypha’s hand withdraw, both somewhat regretfully.

They’re not even halfway to their bedroom when Sypha yanks them into one of the shadowy alcoves that lines the corridors, pulling the curtains shut with a sharp jerk. It’s a small little pocket of space and it’s made even smaller by the press of their bodies on either side of him, Sypha’s bruising kisses and Trevor’s hands sliding down his body slowly, fingers finding every ridge and every dip in his skin. He can barely see, can barely make out whose hands are whose.

He pushes Sypha up against the stone wall, his hands twisting in the fabric of her robes, pushing it up her thighs until it bunches around her hips. She murmurs something too soft for him to hear, her breath hot on his mouth. He manages to wriggle a hand beneath the waistband of her leggings and down to the heat that has gathered between her thighs. She gasps, her hands clenching into his hair hard enough to sting as he drags the pad of his finger along her slick heat, relishing in the hitch in her breath.

He feels Trevor appear out of nowhere between them, nudging him back a step. He disappears again a second later and Alucard only has time to wonder where he went for half a second before he feels his fingers hook into Alucard’s trousers and push them down all the way as he kneels in between him and Sypha. He hopes with a sort of half-hysterical lightheadedness that nobody is around, that nobody walks by and hears them. But that’s the last coherent thought he manages to think, because a second later Trevor’s lips are on his cock, taking him into his mouth. He gasps something unintelligible that he thinks was meant to be Trevor’s name, heat and pleasure sluicing through his veins and making his head spin.

His fingers are still between Sypha’s legs and he puts them to good use, rubbing slow circles on the sensitive bud of nerves at her core as she gasps and urges him on with little jerks of her hips and murmurs in his ear. He tries to get a grasp on reality but it’s getting more and more difficult with every passing second, every sound Sypha is making and every movement of Trevor’s tongue and lips on him. God, he isn’t going to last very long at this rate.

Sypha moans as he dips his thumb shallowly inside her, and he feels her clench immediately around the slight intrusion. She says his name, her hands tightening on his shoulders as he withdraws slightly, softening her and easing her up with light kisses and nips to her throat, before slowly sinking a finger into her slick, waiting heat. She cries out then, her head falling back, sweat shining on her skin as her eyes close. He can smell the raw arousal on her blood, the heady scent of it rising through her skin and making his head spin. He feels drunk on this, on both of them and their hands and mouths.

One of his hands reaches down to grasp a fistful of Trevor’s hair as he moves even closer somehow, the head of Alucard’s cock hitting the back of his throat. Alucard groans, his hips thrusting almost against his will into Trevor’s mouth. Trevor makes a muffled noise and draws back, then moves back in, his nails digging into the backs of Alucard’s thighs.

He slips another finger into Sypha and she swears softly, the heat of her on his fingers irresistible. He leans forward, mouthing at her hammering pulse as he pushes a third finger into her, biting gently at her neck, licking the sweat off her skin to taste the desire rolling off her in dizzying waves. She moans again, and he savors the drawn-out sound of her pleasure, his thumb dipping down to tease the sensitive bud of nerves there. Her breath hitches one last time before she comes apart in the circle of his arms, shuddering and gasping, her head falling back against the wall as her lips shape his name.

He eases her down gradually with gentler strokes of his fingers and soft little nips to her throat, leaning to press a kiss to her panting, parted lips once she alights from the high of it. His own hand clenches in Trevor’s hair, and his fingers are beginning to shake. He feels his own body starting to tense, every nerve ending under his skin firing at once. Sypha leans forward as best as she can with Trevor still kneeling between them and kisses his forehead, his throat, whispering tender nothings into his ear, her cheek against his. The searing heat coiling at the base of his spine triples in intensity and then without warning his climax slams into him and he gasps, rendered breathless under the sudden force of it. The air between them is thick with shadows but his vision still manages to go white, and for half a second he’s not in his body anymore but he’s still acutely aware of Sypha’s fingers in his hair and Trevor swallowing around his cock as he comes.

He comes to, unsteady and nearly falling over, a few seconds later. He slumps against Trevor, standing now, trying to catch his breath. “Fuck,” is all he manages to gasp out.

“Yes,” Sypha agrees faintly.

“Let’s just hope nobody walked by in the last fifteen minutes,” Trevor murmurs, his lips moving against Alucard’s throat. “Now let’s please find a fucking bedroom before spiders start to crawl all over us.”

Two minutes and the click of their bedroom door locking later Alucard pins Trevor to the back of the door, one hand in his hair and the other sliding downward. He moans into Alucard’s mouth, his fingers bunching into the fabric of Alucard’s shirt as he pulls it over his head. Alucard’s own fingers scrabble at the fastenings of Trevor’s shirt, impatient. When they don’t come loose immediately he draws back, cursing softly as he tugs at them harder. Trevor’s ocean eyes open and glance down at his own chest, where Alucard’s hands are trying and failing to get his shirt off. They glitter with thinly veiled amusement as he looks up, his lips tilting into a little smile.

“Need a little help?”

“No,” Alucard growls, and then he gives up, digging his nails into the fabric and giving a single, hard yank. The shirt rips open unevenly, tearing down the middle as it comes apart in his hands, two unequal halves. He tosses them away heedlessly, his waiting hands settling on Trevor’s now-bare chest.

“You owe me a new shirt,” Trevor says, leaning forward. Alucard seizes his wrist, pulling him up and away from the door and onto the bed. He goes without complaint, merely watching him with heavily hooded eyes that darken with every passing second. Sypha crawls onto the bed beside him, tugging at the laces of his trousers. “Off,” she demands, and he leans in to kiss her as she fumbles to take the garment off. After a few seconds of swiping Trevor kicks them off, his own fingers reaching for the clasp of Sypha’s robe. He dismantles everything with a sort of practiced ease, his fingers clearly familiar with the way her clothes come off. Practiced intimacy, Alucard thinks, and realizes with a jolt that he doesn’t feel any jealousy.

And then it’s like something inside him cracks and breaks, the slender cord holding back his self-control, worn thin over the last year or so, finally snapping. There will be no more barriers between them, he decides, no more invasive memories. No more cringing back and saying wait, I’m not ready yet. Not tonight. Never again.

“Alucard, darling, I love your pants, I really do—but they do need to come off now,” Sypha says, smiling at him from her perch on the bed, glorious and beautiful and unashamed in her nakedness. The moonlight slanting in muted silver sheets through the windows behind the bed coats her body, turning her hair to licks of flame and her skin to sweet cream. She holds a hand out to him and he takes it, letting her tug him forward towards them. Her fingers come to rest on the buttons of his pants, fastened incorrectly in his apparent haste. She tugs them free of their hooks and then pulls his pants down his hips easily—a little too easily.

“I think you left my belt on the kitchen floor,” he informs her archly as he kicks the now-discarded pants away.

“I think I don’t care,” she replies with a cat’s smile, and then she pulls him down onto the bed.

They all tangle together, a mess of naked limbs, arms and legs and hands in each other’s hair. All he’s conscious of is skin against skin against skin, breath and whispers and the heat that comes with closeness. He loses track of everything here with them; time, space, reality, whose hands are whose. But if this is how he is brought asunder and taken apart, with Trevor and Sypha’s hands on his body, then he lets it sweep him away without hesitation, lets it destroy him.

Because he can feel the memory of that night so many nights ago being erased bit by bit with every touch and every kiss. By morning it will be but a faint impression in his mind, the barest suggestion of fear and loneliness and blind, desperate trust. Even now he feels it slipping away, and he makes no effort to stop it. He simply watches it recede, and amidst the untangling knot of conflicted emotion in his chest, he feels regret and fear fall away from him.

His lips on theirs is a promise, and it’s one he intends to keep.

Shadowy alcoves are all well and good, Trevor thinks, but everything is just so much easier on a bed.

The silk sheets are familiar against his skin, as familiar as Sypha and Alucard have become to him. He’s spent a long year loving them, loving both of them, and somehow he’s both used to it and consistently surprised by it. He’s learned to look out for the little things, learned to remember them; that Sypha likes to get to the point and gets impatient quickly, that Alucard is most sensitive at his throat and at the small of his back. It’s a blind spot, one he guards just as fiercely in bed as he does on the battlefield. So when Trevor’s fingers seek out the smooth, unscarred skin there when he leans in to kiss him and he doesn’t flinch or stiffen, he feels another barrier fall away. It isn’t the first one he’s felt disintegrate tonight, and he can’t help but hope it isn’t the last, either.

He sees Sypha’s bare legs wrap around Alucard’s waist, and he can see the curve of her thighs, the smooth expanse of pale skin the movement bares. She presses a hand flat to his chest and then suddenly Trevor is trapped beneath Alucard, pinned to the mattress by his back, with Sypha seated atop him like the queen she is on the throne they make for her.

She leans down, and Trevor tilts his head up to meet her lips with his, and her fingers curve around his face, tangling in his hair. She feels and tastes like heat, like heat and power and moonlight. He feels her teeth slide along his upper lip when she draws away, her tongue in his mouth leaving behind the heady taste of her, lingering and heavy.

She leans back, and the moonlight leaching in from the windows drenches her in liquid silver, outlining her in pale light and pooling into every dip and curve of her body. It turns her into a stained-glass painting of light and dark, a study in erotic shadows. He feels something inside him clench at the sight of her, something desperate, something that spreads its dark wings wide and makes him want.

She tilts Alucard’s chin up with a finger, leaning down, and he sees Alucard’s eyes close when she kisses him, his whole body arching up in response, every movement of which Trevor can feel, pressed up as he is against him. It begins slowly, just soft presses of lips, but it blossoms out of control within seconds, both of them straining to get closer, both devouring each other’s breath and the gasps they give against each other’s lips.

Trevor tries to look away. But his eyes refuse, and rather than averting his gaze they cling to the press of their mouths, the lock of their hips, the way their tongues curl against each other, how Alucard’s hands are dipping lower and lower with each kiss. His fingers find Sypha’s thighs and then he pulls her closer, slotting their hips together.

She moans and the sound makes a shock of heat travel down his spine, where it curls low in his stomach, a slow ache. They’re doing this on purpose—just to make him go crazy. And God fucking damn it, it’s working. He’s hard already, his throbbing cock trapped between Alucard’s thighs. Fuck.

Alucard’s fingers are winding themselves into Sypha’s hair, her tongue in his mouth, and then she’s rocking her hips into his, arching her back, purring softly between his lips. Trevor can feel every movement of it, every time she grinds against him, pressing him further into the mattress. He squeezes his eyes shut, feeling heat sliding down his body. He wants them to stop; he wants them to go on.

He lets himself imagine for one moment that it’s him underneath Sypha and not Alucard, feeling the press of her hips against his, the heat between her legs, her hot breath on his lips and her irresistible taste in his mouth, and it’s Alucard pinned helplessly beneath, feeling his breath on Trevor’s back, erratic and quick—

The moan that comes out of his own mouth startles him, makes his breath choke off in his throat. His eyes flutter open and he sees Sypha’s eyes lingering on his face, lips parted, breathing hard. Their gazes lock and he imagines he looks as desperate, as wild, as pleading as he feels.

Slowly, measuredly, she exhales, then he sees the barest hints of a smile tilting her lips. Her hands find Alucard’s shoulders, her tongue tracing a path down the graceful line of his throat. Alucard gasps softly, and Trevor sees the elegant grooves of his spine, his muscles hard and ridged from the tension in his shoulders. His whole body is one single perfectly rendered line outlined in moonlight, planes and curves and edges meeting seamlessly. A fine sheen of sweat slicks his skin, makes the friction of it against Trevor even sweeter.

He sees Sypha’s fingers tighten on Alucard’s shoulders, sees Alucard’s head fall back to look at her just as she takes him inside her, her lips parting and her cheeks flushing. He sees Alucard lean closer, softening her with light kisses and nips to her throat, his fingers in her hair. And then she sinks into his lap, their hips locked, and he hears Alucard groan, rough and satisfied as she sheaths him inside her all the way.

Sypha’s eyes find Trevor as she begins slowly, with tentative rocks of her hips against Alucard’s, her breath hitching and her eyes darkening with the force of her desire, black swallowing blue. She leans forward and Alucard leans back, and Trevor can feel each thrust, each time they separate and connect, separate and connect, hears Alucard’s moans and Sypha’s gasps.

He flinches when Alucard’s head tips back, his hair showering down onto Trevor’s chest, and if he shuts his eyes and let it drown him they could be his hands, tracing across his skin as they move against him. He feels lightheaded, trying as hard as he can not to look—but his eyes are drinking in the sight of them anyway, and every sound, every movement, every push, bypasses his brain entirely and travels straight to his cock, still trapped between Alucard’s legs.

It’s heat and desire and sweet poison sliding down his throat—because fuck fighting and besting Death itself, this is probably going to be what ends up killing him in the end.

He feels it when Alucard climaxes, feels his whole body tense, go completely still like a statue—and then his back bows in a breathtakingly sensual arch, a ragged gasp tearing itself from his throat as his fingers dig into Sypha’s hips. Sypha follows a few moments later, Alucard’s name dragging itself from her throat on a moan. Her eyes are closed halfway, her face filled with pleasure.

Trevor shuts his eyes, his whole body aching, his head spinning. It feels like every ounce of blood in his body has rushed downward, where it isn’t supposed to be. He feels Alucard drape himself across Trevor’s body, relaxed and limp, his skin cooled by sweat. Sypha is curled up on his chest, equally as lax.

She rolls over, then grins at Trevor. “Enjoyed the show, Trevor?”

He feels Alucard laugh softly, carefully untangling his limbs from Trevor’s and lying down on his other side. “Oh, he did. I could feel it.”

“You’re... you’re both horrible.” He winces at the sound of his own voice, breathless and strained as it is. “I hate you both so much.”

“Mmhmm.” Sypha’s fingers slide down his chest, her other hand lightly brushing his damp hair out of his eyes. She drops a light kiss on his shoulder as she shifts closer, slender fingers slowly wrapping around his cock. “I can certainly feel exactly how much you hate us right now,” she murmurs, biting his lip gently. All the breath seems to rush out of his lungs at once at the sudden, overwhelming pleasure of it.

“Let us make it up to you then.” Alucard moves closer, gently tilting his head to press his lips to Trevor’s. One of his hands tangles in his hair, gripping with slender fingers and dictating the angle of his head, his tongue stroking into Trevor’s mouth evenly. He can taste gold and musk and Alucard, and he hears himself moan into the kiss.

Sypha’s hands are still moving, generous strokes against him—he isn’t going to last very long and they know it. And just as the thought passes through his mind Sypha shifts, sliding down his body, and when her lips replace her hands all he can think is oh God, she’s good at this, she knows how to use her mouth in more ways than one.

Alucard’s lips slide tantalizingly across his, his breath hot on Trevor’s, sending goosebumps breaking out on his skin. Pleasure curls up inside him like slow, hot steam, writhing in on itself, coiling and uncoiling seamlessly. It’s slow and then it’s all at once, the way paper catches fire; charring slowly at the edges first and then being devoured entirely, consumed in a burst of flames between one heartbeat and another.

He feels Sypha do something with her tongue and it makes every thought in his head splinter, shatter and break, each shard tipped with glittering light. His fingers clench in her hair, the short curls twined around his grip, and Alucard’s lips against his own are rough and soft and adoring all at once, his breath hot and his tongue heavy and his hands on him slowly undoing him bit by bit.

And when he finally does break, it’s with both their names on his lips, with Alucard’s tongue in his mouth and Sypha’s mouth still on him—and it shatters him and blinds him and it feels like taking a breath after drowning for a thousand years. Alucard nips gently at his lips and swallows down the gasps Trevor gives against his mouth through it all, sealing their mouths together in a slow, wet kiss.

He returns to his body a few seconds later, lying half on top of Alucard and half underneath Sypha, her arm thrown carelessly over his chest and Alucard’s knee hooked over his thigh. They simply lie like that for a while, and besides the uneven tandem of their breathing, it’s quiet and still. Eventually there are little shifts and turns and murmurs, languidly groping hands on each other’s skin and lazy kisses. Sypha props her chin on his shoulder, smiling at him with her cheeks still flushed and her eyes still bright.

“Well, that was fun,” she says, her eyes flicking to Alucard, who’s curled up on Trevor’s other side.

“Spent already?” He props himself up on an elbow, his starry hair cascading over one shoulder. It’s grown out a little since Sypha had last attacked it with a pair of scissors as she’s taken to doing every few months, and now it’s about as long as it was when they’d first met him. It falls in mesmerizing loops of gold, the ends strewn across the white sheets. He flashes them a grin that’s about eighty percent fang, moonlight running off their razor-sharp edges in a spark of silver. It manages to look more sexy than predatory, and not for the first time he finds himself transfixed by them, finds himself wondering how it would feel to let Alucard bite him. And contrary to what he’d thought he’d ever feel if he thought about this, the spike in his pulse isn’t from revulsion or fear.

God, his ancestors are probably rolling in their graves right now. But if this is what defiling his family’s sacred age-old values is like, then the lot of them must have led unimaginably boring lives.

“I wouldn’t say spent,” Sypha says, a finger tracing lazily over a scar on Trevor’s side. “But we do need to stop to breathe, you know.”

“Yeah, we can’t always keep up with your constant vampiric horniness,” Trevor agrees, turning his head to acquiesce Alucard’s seeking lips with a quick kiss. “You’re lucky there’s two of us, or you’d wring one of us out.”

“You’ll get used to it,” Alucard murmurs, his lips following the line of Trevor’s jaw downward. His hands are beginning to wander. “I’ll teach your bodies to keep up. Maybe someday you’ll even be able to keep up with me all night.”

“Ominous.” He tilts his head back to allow Alucard’s mouth better access to his throat. “But hot.”

“Agreed,” Sypha says, her fingers skating over his sides. “But we need to work on your pillow-talking skills nevertheless.”

“Oh?” A pale hand reaches across Trevor to skim over the curves of Sypha’s skin, traveling slowly up the dip of her waist and the flare of her hips. “Am I not properly seducing you with my words?”

“You are, but we can do better,” she says blithely, smirking at him over Trevor’s shoulder. Trevor feels Alucard press closer, and he hears Sypha’s breath hitch a second later as his marauding fingers find the gentle swell of her chest, cupping her breast in his palm. He runs a calculating thumb over the hardening bud of her nipple and she exhales sharply, her nails digging into Trevor’s arm.

“Well, I suppose I’ll just have to show and not tell you then,” Alucard murmurs, his breath stirring Trevor’s hair. “And we can work on my… oral skills later.”

Trevor chokes on his own breath.

Sypha huffs out a laugh. “I’ll hold you to that one,” she says, then she sits up. Her hair is mussed, and there’s a darkening bruise on her throat from where either Trevor or Alucard had bitten the tender skin there. She looks like a goddess, soaked in moonlight that gilds the edges of her body in limned silver. Gone are thoughts of catching his breath, of just lying next to them for a while. He tugs her towards him and she leans down to kiss him, her hands curving around his face. His fingers inch up the smooth skin of her thigh, feeling the warmth of her against him.

Distantly he’s aware that Alucard’s weight behind him has vanished. All he’s conscious of is Sypha; the sweet taste of her in his mouth, her careful hands on his face, her soft skin under his hands. She pulls away oh so slowly, a slender string of saliva still connecting their mouths. She sweeps a thumb along his lower lip to break it, pressing another soft kiss to the corner of his mouth before withdrawing and turning towards Alucard. He makes to tug her down over him and she hesitates, concern written all over her face. She pulls back just a little bit, biting her lip.

“It’s okay,” he whispers, blinking out at them, the moonlight leaching his eyes of color. They look more silver than gold now, but only a slim ring of it is visible, his eyes nearly black what with the darkness and their closeness. He’s never allowed them to pin him down before, never allowed even a shadow of that night to resurface or be recreated, no matter how different the circumstances. He pulls her close, fingers sliding into her hair. “I want you to.”

Trevor shoves himself up on his elbows, shaking his hair out of his eyes. “Are you—”

“I’m sure.” The fingers of his other hand slide across the sheets to grip Trevor’s. “I want this—if you do.”

“If we want to?” Sypha laughs quietly, leaning her forehead against his as her eyes close. “Can’t you tell?” And before he can say anything in reply she closes the distance between them and kisses him fiercely, one hand in his hair dictating the angle of his mouth against hers and the other pressing flat to his chest, slowly pushing him down onto the mattress. He goes willingly, and there’s no panic in his face or evident in his hands, no consternation and no hesitation. The hand that’s still clutching Trevor’s pulls him closer, and the moment Sypha pulls away he leans in, careful to be gentle as his mouth finds Alucard’s.

He can taste both of them on his tongue, Sypha’s wine-sweet tang mingling with Alucard’s spicier, more masculine one. He’s kissed Alucard hundreds of times, maybe even thousands, but for some reason this feels different, feels like he should remember it. So he lets this, all of this, embed itself into his head, trying to pick out every individual detail; the wet heat of Alucard’s tongue curling against his, the familiarity of his fingers against Trevor’s and the way their hands seem to fit together perfectly, the cold of the ring he and Sypha had slid there against his skin. He hopes it’ll stay in his mind, hopes he’ll be able to recall all of it no matter how much time passes.

He draws away slowly, and when Alucard’s eyes open they’re shining as if with tears, but Trevor can’t quite tell. He lifts a hand, his fingers tracing across Trevor’s cheek, a butterfly-soft touch. He drinks in the sight of it, of Alucard on his back beneath him, relaxed and expectant and open and willing. Willing to let the memory of that night go, willing to allow them to help him exorcise the ghosts. An ache of love knots in Trevor’s chest, almost painfully. He’s died for them once before, but he knows he’d do it again in a heartbeat. That’s the only way he feels like he’ll really be able to make them realize it, how much he loves them. Giving them the gift of all gifts—his life, his very being. Cutting himself open and giving them his heart, even if they have it already. But he wants them to actually feel it, on their skin and in their blood, in their marrow. Everywhere. But for now, maybe this will have to be enough.

Words were never Trevor’s strong suit. If he tries to tell them this then it’ll get all muddled and he’ll fuck it up, he knows it. So instead he grips Sypha’s hand and Alucard’s shoulder, hoping they understand, and starts to ask, “Can—can I—?”

“Please,” is all Alucard says. He nods, draws him down, his eyes half closed and his head tipped back, the portrait of an angel in ecstasy. “Trevor, please.”

A beat of wanting pulses through Trevor suddenly, so sudden and overpowering that it smashes all the air from his lungs for a moment. Everything else falls away, and all he knows is that he wants, wants them both, Sypha and Alucard, right now. And if he doesn’t have them then he may well go mad.

He hears himself swear quietly, reaches out to the nightstand by the bed and yanks the middle drawer open. A few seconds of rummaging later he manages to extricate the little bottle of oil they keep in there, pulling the cork out with his teeth. Sypha is curling up beside Alucard, her arms twining around his neck and shoulders. She pulls him closer, turning so that she’s caged beneath him, effectively pinning him between herself and Trevor. He doesn’t resist, leaning down to kiss her, his long hair like a pale golden curtain strewn across his back.

There’s nothing that might betray any nervousness, any fear, any residual panic. His shoulders are relaxed, his movements languid. Trevor’s own fingers are steady, steadier than he thought they would be if it ever came to this. If they ever came to this. He has to admit he’d thought it might take even longer, years and years, for the phantoms to evaporate entirely. But tonight is as good a night as any.

Alucard stiffens with a gasp that’s muffled against Sypha’s lips as Trevor’s fingers find what they were looking for. Sypha murmurs something to him, her hands in his hair. Trevor allows his other hand to settle carefully on Alucard’s back, feeling the delicate wings of his shoulder blades and the cords of muscle jumping beneath. With his porcelain looks and fragile beauty it becomes easy to forget how strong he is, how underneath his artifice of doll-like prettiness he’s inhumanly powerful.

“This all right?” he asks softly, and he sees Alucard half-turn his head, affording Trevor a glimpse of his sharp profile. He nods, a hectic flush spreading across his cheeks. “Yes,” he says, and he’s half-breathless already. “Yes, it is.”

He goes slowly anyway, making sure the friction of his fingers is never too much. Before long the quiet noises start, soft moans and gasps, his hips bucking up into Trevor’s hand. He sees his fingers tightening where they clench on the sheets on either side of Sypha’s hips, his knuckles blanching. Trevor finds himself wishing he could see his face, drink in that completely unrestrained look of rapture that always suffuses his features at times like this.

His fingers scissor and then Alucard moans, his back arching. Sypha is peppering light, adoring kisses on his face, on his cheeks and his nose and his forehead, his body braced against hers. He allows her to take his weight, pulling back only slightly. Knowing he can trust her to be there, knowing he can trust both of them to be there.

He sets the bottle down on the bed, careful not to let it fall over and spill the contents. One hand reaches to settle on Alucard’s shoulder, steadying himself. He leans forward as far as he can, turning his face into Alucard’s neck.

“Adrian,” he says, and just saying that name—his real name—feels like reaching into the fabric of the universe and stripping away every bit of pretense, flaying open the stars and touching something hidden away that makes it all so incredibly intimate that it makes both of them shiver. Feeling stripped bare, left completely open and vulnerable and raw, all he can manage to ask is, “Yes?”

Alucard turns his head, their lips not quite touching. His eyes close, and there’s a radiant sort of calm on his face, and when he speaks Trevor feels his breath on his skin. “Yes,” he says.

He doesn’t know if it’s nervousness or anticipation or something else that makes his fingers shake as they go to Alucard’s shoulder, gripping tight as he moves up, then forward, thrusting into Alucard in a single smooth movement.

He sees Sypha’s legs wrap around Alucard’s hips, hears him gasp as the movement jerks them both forward. Sypha shifts a little as he does, sliding downward as she uses the momentum to guide Alucard between her legs, her lips parting in a gasp of pleasure as he slides into her. He hears Alucard groan, a bitten-off curse scraping past his throat as they all still a moment, all their breath catching in tandem. There’s nothing between them now but skin, and Trevor knows this is the closest they’ve ever been to each other, that some invisible line that had they’d once barely toed has finally been crossed.

He releases a shaky breath, then draws back, making sure to be as gentle as possible before he moves into Alucard again, Sypha tilting her own hips upward to meet Alucard’s as he’s pushed forward. They both moan, Alucard’s golden head bowed, his shoulders a rigid line. Every muscle in his back is tense, but somehow Trevor knows it isn’t from fear or panic.

It takes a little while to find some semblance of a rhythm, for the erratic stutters of their hips to smoothen, for them all to get more used to each other like this, all moving together. He sees Alucard press his lips to Sypha’s, sees his fingers dart between her legs to where they’re joined, hears her breath hitch and sees her eyes half fall shut, her face filling with pleasure. Another minute or so and it seems to slot into place a little easier, Alucard’s back arching as he moans Trevor’s name, telling him to go faster, Sypha’s face flushing as her ankles lock at the small of Alucard’s back, her head tipping back.

It’s more instinct than anything else that guides him now, chasing the high he knows is lying just out of reach. He doesn’t want to lose control, doesn’t want this to be painful or uncomfortable for any of them. It must be evident, because a few seconds later Alucard half-turns his head, breathing hard and his teeth gritted, and says in a voice so rough it’s almost a growl, “Just fuck me, Trevor.”

Well shit. Who the fuck is he to say no to that?

“Since you asked so nicely,” he manages to say, then he grasps a fistful of Alucard’s hair, steadying himself as he obliges, allowing his hesitation to fall away. He feels so fucking good—just tight enough, just hot enough, just smooth enough. He can’t help the little twinges of satisfaction he feels every time Alucard moans when their hips meet, raw, throaty, drawn-out sounds. Sypha tugs him down for a kiss, swallowing down his gasps, her fingernails scratching down his back and leaving behind red marks. This is what it’s supposed to be like, he thinks, what all of it is supposed to be like. This.

They’re starting to get a bit sloppy now, all caution gone. One of Alucard’s hands is braced on the bedframe behind Sypha’s head to hold himself up, the other dipping between her thighs again. She’s saying his name in between gasps, her eyes closed. His hair showers across her neck and chest, the ridges of his spine slick with sweat. Trevor’s self-control is beginning to slip, and it’s getting harder and harder to keep a steady pace. One part of him wants this to be something careful and more intimate, wants to remember this as something loving and gentle. The other is some untamable instinct that rears up inside his chest like a wild horse, telling him to just give in and fuck Adrian senseless, to make sure he’s the only one who’ll ever be here, the only one who’ll be able to do this to him.

He’s momentarily torn between the two, but before he can do anything about it he feels Alucard tense up beneath him, his whole body going rigid for a split second. He manages a vague, slurred, “I think I’m—” before his words choke off into a gasp as he comes apart between them, his face buried into the crook of Sypha’s neck and his fingers still gripping the bedframe hard enough for Trevor to hear a loud, distinct crack. He feels him clench around Trevor’s cock, drawing him somehow, impossibly, even closer. He hears himself swear mostly out of reflex, his fingers tightening in Alucard’s hair.

It proves to be the last straw; he breaks a second later, everything blurring in front of his eyes into a polychromatic haze of lights. Small but intense waves of pleasure crest over him one after the other, rolling through him and leaving him entirely breathless in their wake. Distantly through it all he hears Sypha cry out as she follows, hears her say Alucard’s name, hears the sigh in her voice.

Somehow they all end up side by side on the bed on their backs with Alucard sandwiched between them, all breathing hard. Trevor feels like he’s just run fifty miles; he can’t quite catch his breath, and he’s covered in sweat. He stares at the ceiling far above his head, completely winded. He’s never been this done in after a round in his life.

“Holy shit,” he hears Sypha say, and a second later they’re all laughing.

It’s half-hysterical and mostly a by-product of how tired and how intense the last fifteen minutes were, in more ways than one. It feels good to just laugh with them, half out of their minds, hearing Sypha’s higher giggles and Alucard’s softer, quieter chuckles, closing his eyes and allowing the tension he hadn’t even realized had gathered in him to melt away like ice into water.

Their laughter eventually trails off, and then it’s quiet again, just the sound of their breath filling the space between them. Eventually Alucard turns, curled up on his side facing Trevor, his eyes shining like molten gold. Trevor reaches out, tucking a wayward lock of his hair behind an ear. “Are you—”

“I’m fine, Belmont.” He leans in, pecking Trevor’s lips. “Though I worry you may have ruined me.”

“Well, that makes two of us.”

“Make that three,” Sypha’s voice says, and he sees her slender arms wrap around Alucard’s waist from behind. Her finger traces a hesitant pattern along the scar that bisects his chest from shoulder to hip. “You didn’t…” She sounds tentative. “I mean, we didn’t…”

“No,” he says firmly, his fingers lacing with hers. “No, everything was perfect. You were both perfect.” He raises their entwined hands to his lips, presses a chaste kiss to her knuckles. “Not for one moment did I feel unsafe, or… or overwhelmed.”

He hears her exhale, mostly out of relief. “Okay,” she says softly. “Good.” He sees her snuggle closer, sees her lay her curly strawberry-blonde head on his shoulder. “That being said, that was probably—no, definitely—the most mind-blowing sex I have ever had.”

“Seconded,” Trevor says.

“Thirded,” Alucard says with a little laugh. “But maybe we can work towards raising the bar in the future.”

“Let’s maybe not think about doing that again for a little while,” Trevor says, feeling his eyelids starting to droop. “I’m so fucking spent I don’t think I’ll be able to get my dick up for at least another twelve hours.”

“I don’t have a dick, but me too,” Sypha says sleepily from Alucard’s other side. “I think I’m going to take a nap, actually.”

“That sounds nice,” Trevor mumbles, his eyes closing.

He hears Alucard laugh quietly again, feels him drape an arm over Trevor’s side as he moves closer, pressing a featherlight kiss to the corner of his mouth. “I love you,” he says softly. “Both of you. So much.”

“We love you more,” Sypha says, and Trevor makes an inarticulate sound of agreement.

“Then I will rest easy,” he hears Alucard say, and that’s the last thing Trevor hears before his eyes close and exhaustion drags him under.

Sypha wakes up to the feeling of something tickling her face.

She breaks the surface of consciousness just barely, still partly asleep. The first thing she registers is that it’s bright, searing golden sunlight slanting in thick bars through the windows and coating the whole bed in its buttery warmth. The second is that the something she had felt tickling her face is a lock of pale blond hair.

She moves backwards a little, blinking herself awake. Alucard is still fast asleep beside her, turned towards her with one arm thrown loosely around her waist. His lips are parted, showing just the tips of his fangs, and there’s high color in his cheeks from warmth and sleep. She simply watches him for a while, the way the sunlight creates shadows that hug the sharp angles of his face, softening them, the bruises beginning to form on his lips, the artful fall of his hair. Not for the first time she wonders what on earth this ethereal, inhumanly gorgeous creature sees in her of all people—scrawny, flyaway-haired Sypha who trips over her own feet sometimes.

She’s still staring at him when his eyes flutter open, a gold as bright as the light coming in through the windows. He blinks at her sleepily, then smiles a little, as if there’s nothing in the world he would rather wake up in the morning and open his eyes to than her beside him. It hits her suddenly, how incredibly lucky she is that they will be what she wakes up to every morning for the rest of her life. That this is her future, this is her life now. That they are her life now. And even if she doesn’t know what will come next she wonders how it’s going to be five, six, seven years from now. Wonders if there can be another child, one with eyes the color of honey and hair like spun copper.

“Good morning, Sypha,” Alucard says, his arm tightening around her waist.

“Good morning.” She shakes off her daydreams of the future and leans in to kiss his sun-warmed cheek. “Did you sleep well?”

“Like the dead.” She feels him stretch languidly. “Maybe that’s an inappropriate simile,” he amends when she raises an eyebrow at him. “Like a baby, perhaps.”

“Better.” She drops another little kiss on his temple. His finger draws idle, lazy patterns on her hip. “You?”

“I slept fine. Is Treffy still asleep?”

“He’s out cold.” He scoots closer to her, still smiling a little. He looks soft and drowsy and adorable. “I don’t think he’s waking up anytime soon.”

“It must be nearly noon,” she observes, glancing at the window. The sun seems to be directly overhead. “We should go down, bring Isabelle home for her bath and her breakfast…”

“Greta will take good care of her,” Alucard says, his fingers still tracing slow circles on the arch of her hip. “We can stay in bed a little longer; I think we’ve earned some rest.”

“How late was it?” She stretches her legs, sighing as she feels her sore, aching muscles relax a little. “I don’t remember looking at the time.”

“It was a little after three in the morning,” he says.

“Oh, God.” She scrubs a hand across her face. “What irresponsible adults we are, going to bed at three in the morning and with a child besides.”

“I think one night hardly counts as a dereliction of duty,” Alucard says, raising a brow. “Moreover, I do seem to remember that it was you who instigated the whole thing.”

It startles a laugh out of her, bubbling up in sleepy little giggles. “That’s right, I did,” she says. “I must have been quite drunk, or on the way to being spectacularly so.”

“I think we all were.” He sighs, shaking his head. “Quite a bit also happened in one of the hallways’ empty niches, if I recall correctly.”

Sypha is still giggling, reaching up to cover her blushing face. “My God, we were like horny teenagers, weren’t we?”

He laughs too, and she feels it through where his chest is pressed to hers. “We were.” His fingers move upward to the indentation between her shoulder blades, tracing absently over the soft skin there. His eyes are slightly unfocused, as if his mind is far away. “I suppose it was somewhat overdue, though,” he goes on, absently. “Last night. Especially after… after what happened.”

She watches him carefully, and not without some concern. He hasn’t really told them everything about that night, and they had never expected him to. She can’t imagine how it had been for him afterward, how ripped apart and used he must have felt, but if she can be here to help knit him back together then it has to be enough.

She lifts a hand, placing it gently on his cheek. He turns his face into her palm, his eyes closing. There’s nothing in his expression that betrays any sadness or anger, and he looks—he looks at peace, she realizes with a jolt. No longer haunted and chased by memories.

“But I hadn’t been expecting it then, I hadn’t really… thought about whether that was even something I might have wanted from them,” he goes on. His eyes open and his gaze finds hers, tender and soft, and her breath catches in her throat. “Not the way I thought about you.”

“You… you thought about us?” Her finger traces absently across the arch of his cheekbone. “Like that?”

His lips twist into a little half smile. “All the time.”

She can’t help but ask. “How long?”

He raises an eyebrow almost challengingly. “Since that night we fought the night hordes between Gresit and Arges,” he says.

They’d known each other maybe a week then, perhaps ten days. She doesn’t quite know what to say in reply; the first time she realized she ever thought of Alucard that way was when they had fought Dracula, when she had felt that explosion of fear and panic when she’d thought he was going to die as she and Trevor had run through corridor after corridor, hearing splintering wood and breaking bones and his unmistakable cries of pain as his father had beat him bloody. She had realized she didn’t want him to die—not because of what would happen if they failed, but because unbeknownst to her over those few weeks traveling together and laughing at Trevor’s terrible jokes together she had fallen hard for them both, and the thought of losing him was so overwhelmingly terrifying that she had been shocked into acknowledging it outright. They had turned the last corner into that bedroom and she had seen Dracula’s rotting corpse reaching for his son, arms out as if to take him in one last phantom embrace, and she had thought they were too late and all she could think was that she couldn’t even tell him what she’d just realized and she would carry that weight for the rest of her life.

But then he hadn’t been dead, and they had killed Dracula and they had saved the world. And she had been too much of a coward to tell him how she’d felt, and then they had left. And look what happened because of it… a voice in her head whispers, unbidden.

“Don’t,” Alucard says suddenly.

The sound of his voice breaks her out of her reverie. “Don’t what?”

“Blame yourself for what happened to me.”

She sighs, unable to meet his eyes. “Am I that obvious?”

“Only to one who knows you as well as I do.” His other hand tilts her chin up, forcing her to meet his gaze. “Sypha, you mustn’t feel any guilt for leaving me here. It was a choice you had to make, and I have come to terms with it. The world would be far worse off should you have stayed.”

“But you would not have suffered as you did.”

“Maybe,” he acknowledges. “But blaming ourselves gets us nowhere. And you’re here now. That’s all that matters to me. I have you and Trevor, and we have Greta and we have a beautiful daughter. My parents are alive and happy together, my father is trying to change. Everything is just as it should be. And perhaps that night was something that had to happen for us to end up here. And if that’s true, then I will make my peace with it.”

Her eyes sting. How can he still look at the world that way? After everything he had endured, everything he had suffered, he’s still willing to believe there’s more good in the world than they give it credit for. She shakes her head. “Sometimes I feel I don’t deserve you.”

“And sometimes I feel the same about you.” He smiles at her, and it’s like seeing the sun come out from behind a cloud. “I love you, Sypha. You and Trevor. Nothing will ever change that.”

“I know.” She leans up, her arms looping around his neck. He leans down to kiss her, his breath warm and his lips soft, his fingers spreading steadily across her back, five warm lines on her skin. She floats in the bliss of it for a few minutes, her mind emptying. All she’s aware of is his careful hands on her back, the furrow of his brows as if he’s entirely focused on nothing else but kissing her so carefully she may well be made of glass.

She draws back for air, an aching, pulsing interest stirring low in her belly. She leans in again, but this time it’s hungrier, more demanding. Her fingers go to his hair, tugging hard enough for her to feel a soft groan puff out against her lips. She’s noticed both he and Trevor like her fingers in their hair, like it when she pulls it to dictate the angle of their mouths against hers. She feels his hands starting to slip lower and lower down her back, his lips parting invitingly. She pulls herself up, a knee hooking over his waist as she licks into his mouth, gathering the taste of him. He shudders against her, pulling away with a sudden jerk, breathing hard. She can see him trying to gather the tattered remains of his self-control, his eyes already hazed through with shadows.


“Did you ever think about us like this? About me?” Her hands grow bolder, smoothing over the planes of his chest and down to his flat, muscled stomach. He sucks in a breath, his eyes never leaving her face.

“Did you ever think about kissing me? About touching me?” Her hands dip a shade too low and his fingers catch her wrists, holding them in an iron grip. “Don’t,” he says roughly.

“Did you?”

“I—” She sees the line of his throat move as he swallows hard. “Too many times.”

“What did you think about?” She feels his fingers tighten around her wrists and feels a twinge of satisfaction at the flush that spreads across his cheeks. Even if they’ve had each other like this for more than a year now it’s easy to fluster him with this sort of talk, easy to make him blush and stutter by asking him what he wants, what he’s thinking.

She remembers the very first night they’d all tangled together in bed, remembers it in all its awkwardness and their inexperience. She remembers harsh breaths in her ear, the frictionless slide of sweat-slicked skin against skin, Alucard’s trembling hands unsure of where they should be, of who he should touch. She had still been pregnant then, with a few months’ worth of a belly too. It had been decidedly less than spectacular, but she’d known even then that it was something they’d have to work towards slowly; they all had. They’d grown more used to each other over the next few months, more familiar with each other’s likes and dislikes, with each other’s hands and mouths. Now it feels like the most natural thing in the world to come together like this, seamless and practiced, intimate and familiar.

Fighting had been their love language once. Back when the war was the only thing they knew and the only way they knew each other, they had come together in battle and not in bed. Sypha had learned the way they fought and the way they cut their enemies down long before she had learned the way they kissed or the way they made love.

It isn’t all that different, she thinks, not really. She thinks of when she and Trevor had returned to the castle to Alucard’s side, the way they had immediately leaped into battle side by side without so much as a strategy planned. They had fought together as if they’d never been separated, as if they were one and not three. She’d been so conscious of them yet she moved with them like she was a part of them, knowing where they would be and how they would strike before they even attacked. And they had done the same with her, because even after everything, even if they might not have known it, their bodies and their minds had remembered each other. Remembered the way they moved and the way they thought and how they seemed to meld into one entity. How is this any different from that?

“I… after we fought together that night,” Alucard says hoarsely, “it was the first time we’d ever fought together, and I hadn’t expected either of you to be as powerful as you were, hadn’t expected us to work so well together. We killed the last of the night creatures and I remember just wanting to kiss you until I could taste your blood, both of you. Even Belmont, though I would rather have cut off my own hand than admit it then.” He huffs out a laugh. “I imagined that if fucking him were anything like fighting him then perhaps we’d find a more productive way to expend… whatever it was between us. I thought I hated him.”

“I hear that makes the sex even better,” Sypha says knowingly, nodding.

He jerks back—and then he bursts out laughing, his face now bright red. “Sypha!”

“What?” She grins up at him. “I remember I half expected the two of you to just tumble the tension away in some barn halfway to the castle. I wouldn’t have been surprised if you did.”

“I was sure he hated me back then,” Alucard says, and his tone is almost fond. “Sometimes I think back to that time and I still think he probably did.”

“He didn’t hate you, he was just needled by your constant jabs at him,” she reminds him. “His hackles were always up around you, and yours around him. Being in the middle of it was infuriating.”

“Yes, well.” He smiles at her. “Being between us now is nicer, isn’t it?”

“My, my. Was that innuendo I heard there, Alucard?”

“You’re rubbing off on me.” He winces immediately after the words leave his mouth, and Sypha dissolves into giggles. “See? I did it again. You’re a bad influence, Miss Belnades.”

She beams at him, wriggling beneath him so that he’s pinning her to the mattress. “It’s my evil plan,” she says. “To turn you into a raunchy heathen before next year.”

“What’s all this about raunchy heathens?” She turns her head to see Trevor grinning sleepily at her from behind Alucard’s shoulder. “You were talking about me, I presume.”

“Surprisingly enough, no,” Alucard says.

“How dare.” He scoots closer, blinking the sleep from his eyes. “I’ll have you know I’m the raunchiest heathen in all the land.”

“You’ve been the worst influence of all,” Alucard says with mock accusation, jabbing a finger into Trevor’s chest. “I actually started to talk like you and act like you before I dredged up the last of my dignity and stopped drinking. The very thought of becoming like you was enough for me to get my shit together.”

“Agreed,” Sypha says. “I actually started to curse because of you.”

“And what a torrent of filth it was that came out of your mouth, too,” Trevor says admiringly. “I was actually impressed, but if I’d said anything I’d have gotten a mouthful of fire.” He glances up at Alucard. “But I want to hear more about your degeneracy. Did you really start acting like me?”

“Unhealthy coping mechanisms,” Alucard says dismissively. “I didn’t bathe for weeks, all I did was drink, I was filthy, I picked fights with night creatures and staked their bodies outside my door… standard Belmont protocol for handling a traumatic event.”

“I do recall you telling me something about making dolls after we left,” Trevor says, squinting at Alucard. “Did you ever mention dolls?”

Alucard’s ears go red. “You remember me telling you that?”


“Oh, God.” He lets his head fall onto the pillow. “Just kill me now.”

“What dolls?” Sypha asks, her interest piqued. “You made dolls?”

He mumbles something unintelligible, then raises his head with a sigh. “I… sewed dolls of you both to keep me company, and on the not-so rare occasion I had too much wine I would… converse with them. I was lonely, all right? I missed you.” His cheeks are a bright pink. “And I’m a maudlin drunk.”

“That’s both touching and troubling,” Trevor says. “Where are these famed dolls? I’d like to meet Doll Trevor. Is he better-looking than me?”

“They were torn apart in the battle at the castle,” Alucard says. “I discovered their remains a few days after we all thought you were…” His voice trails off for a moment. “Anyway. Yes, I made sure Doll Trevor was much better-looking than you. Even a semblance of your ugly mug in my kitchen would have put my appetite off.”

“You like my ugly mug,” Trevor says, unbothered, reaching up and tugging Alucard towards him.

“I think it would be pointless to deny that.” He ducks his head willingly, allowing Trevor to kiss him. “How about Doll Sypha? What was she like?” Sypha asks musingly of thin air, ignoring Trevor and Alucard shoving their tongues down each other’s throats beside her. “I wonder if we’d get along if we ever met. I guess we’ll never know.”

She waits impatiently for them to finish, and finally after what feels to her like several hours Alucard resurfaces, accompanied by a loud, wet sound. Sypha makes a face. “Really,” she says. “I’m right here, you know.”

“Blame Trevor,” Alucard says immediately. “He has an irresistible mouth.”

“You’ll get there someday,” Trevor says breezily, turning onto his side and propping himself up on an elbow.

“Why not start now?” Sypha flicks a lock of Alucard’s hair out of her face. “I do seem to remember you promising to refine your oral skills with me last night…”

Alucard grins at her, widely enough for his fangs to flash deadly sharp. “Then it seems I owe you a lesson,” he says, then effortlessly slides down her body, spreading her legs apart and settling between them, the backs of her knees hooked over each of his shoulders.

“Make sure to give me a good show, all right?” Trevor says, shifting to drape an arm over Sypha’s waist as he leans in to kiss her neck. “I’m counting on it.”

“I have two hands, Trevor,” Sypha reminds him pleasantly. “I’ll help you out if things get a little… hard for you.”

“You’re both awful,” Alucard complains, but it’s completely and instantly invalidated by the fact that he’s sitting in between Sypha’s spread thighs. Trevor grins at him, drowsiness still clinging to his skin and his coal-black lashes. “Yeah, but you like it when we’re awful.”

“Yes, but fuck me if I know why,” Alucard mutters.

“Maybe later,” Sypha and Trevor say at the same time, and Alucard groans as they both begin to snigger uncontrollably. “I hate you both,” he announces. “So much.”

“We know,” Sypha says warmly, her fingers tangling in his hair, and hearing Trevor’s laughter and Alucard’s grumbling and feeling happiness expanding slowly in her chest like a flower blooming in the sun where before there had only been darkness, she realizes she’s exactly where she needs to be.

It feels good to be home.