FULL SUMMARY: Adrian is beginning to think that Wallachia will be a smoking pile of ash long before he, Trevor, and Sypha can stop Dracula's war on humanity. They've been chasing the castle for months, but each time they get close, it vanishes. Traveling with such genuine and trustworthy allies has been unexpectedly pleasant; Adrian doesn't mind that Trevor and Sypha are involved with each other, but he is taken entirely by surprise when they open their relationship to him one evening. Hopelessly in over his head, his heart keeps urging him forward, even when he's forced to confront the darkest aspects of his nature. Adrian must learn to swallow his pride and let himself be vulnerable if he wants a chance at happiness. Unfortunately, there isn't much time for looking within when the world is drenched in blood and magic, and the path to victory may destroy him completely.

Set Sometime in Season 2, Canon Divergent

Warnings: Slow Build, Self Discovery, Violence, Blood, Gore, Fluff, Sexual Content, Nudity, Masturbation, Oral Sex, Blood Drinking, OT3, Childhood Memories

05/27/2020 - After 20 chapters and 150k words (and counting) I have to drop in here and say that I never expected to write such a long crazy story. I started this as a character study of Adrian with some smut thrown in the mix. I intended for it to be maybe three of four chapters. But as I began to explore Adrian and the dynamic between he, Sypha and Trevor, I was pulled deeply in and I have yet to come up for air. I am overwhelmed by how many people have followed along with this story and how it has evolved into so much more than what it was originally intended to be.

I don't want to spoil anything for new readers, but this journey of Adrian's discovery of himself as a man, a partner, a dhampir, and a son has been incredible so far, and I am eager to continue it. Thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time to read this work, and especially to those who have chosen to leave commentary. Your encouragement is incredible, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

A/N: Trevor, Sypha and Alucard are absolutely adorable as a threesome and I wanted to explore that.

I have taken liberties here and there with the show's timeline and have tweaked some of the rules of the Castlevania universe to suit my tastes. Spelling and grammatical errors are my own, hopefully I got them all.

Disclaimer: I'm using these characters and the Castlevania universe, but I didn't create them, I don't own them, and I make no profit from this work.

A Night at the Inn

Trevor Belmont had a way of drawing attention, especially when he was trying not to. Adrian was generally appalled by his crass indecency, yet he was sharing a table with the man, watching him lick the grease of a roasted quail from his fingertips and spit the bones into an undignified heap on the worn tabletop. Certainly the last Belmont left a great deal to be desired in terms of hygiene, not to mention every sentence he spoke was marred by profanity that would put a seaman to shame. For a man raised in a fine house he certainly hadn't picked up any manners. He stuck out like a sore thumb even tucked into the back corner of a tavern, ruff of thick white fur catching the eye easily when everyone else was huddled in their peasant rags slurping mugs of warm ale to forget their woes. Trevor's mug was empty, since he'd downed the whole thing the moment it was placed before him. Adrian didn't miss the way the tavern girl's eye had lingered on him as she set down the ale. Curiosity and interest flickered briefly, as expected in the wake of such a handsome and robust specimen. That look quickly changed to one of disgust when he tipped the mug back and gulped the contents down so quickly a trail leaked from one corner of his mouth and soaked into the fur of his collar. He belched and pushed the empty cup towards her with a flat look of expectation, wiping his face with the back of his hand before shoving the rest of the quail into his mouth and chewing it loudly, pulling bones out as he came across them.

"Did you want another, sir?" she asked him in an uninterested voice as she glanced at Adrian, straightening and smiling shyly when she met his eyes.

"Well I didn't come here to get fucking sober," Trevor punctuated that with another burp, scratching his head. Adrian thought there was a strong likelihood that he had fleas or lice after the last several weeks on the road, especially with his habit of passing out wherever he landed, bedding notwithstanding.

"Of course," the barmaid answered him, refilling the cup. She muttered under her breath when she was out of Trevor's earshot, but Adrian could hear her quite clearly. "I doubt you remember the last time you were sober anyway."

Adrian smiled slightly at this comment as Trevor wiped his greasy fingers on his pants, the ale bringing a contented glaze to his eyes. Upon the delivery of the next mug he tossed a coin at the barmaid. "One more," he instructed, curling his large hand around the mug in a practiced way. At this point he turned his attention to their other traveling companion. Sypha had managed to avoid looking filthy and worn down despite spending just as much time on the road as Trevor. She was sitting at the bar proper, perched on a stool and deeply engaged in conversation with some of the local patrons. Her animated movements and gestures indicated that she was telling a story, and the indiscreet glances over to Trevor by her audience made it clear that the story involved him doing something embarrassing or stupid. He was already accustomed to being the butt of the joke and didn't pay much attention to what she was saying. In fact Adrian hypothesized that he relished being the subject of her stories, the more mortifying the better.

To the untrained eye he looked to be enjoying his descent into alcoholic stupor, but Adrian knew he was keeping a close eye on Sypha and the room in general and would not miss a beat if trouble stirred. Not that she would need his help, of course. She was a rare woman, and a talented fighter to boot. She could quite easily hold her own against Dracula's hordes – the townsfolk were unlikely to present any challenge she couldn't manage with one hand behind her back and both eyes closed.

Sypha was fine boned and beautiful, her bright blue eyes glittering, a blush on her cheeks from her own cup of ale. She was doing what came naturally to her as a Speaker – telling stories and listening to the stories of others. Trevor was also doing what came naturally to him at present; it was Adrian who didn't know what to do with himself and wished he could just leave and wait for them outside. He knew he drew just as much attention as Trevor did. His height and fair colouration always turned heads. His clothing was of a quality that was not overlooked when they passed through small towns and the countryside – people assumed he was a nobleman. He had the education and mannerisms to confirm that suspicion, but he was not about to advertise his identity to everyone they met. He had made an effort to blend in this evening, a cup of ale sat going flat before him, his long fingers tracing the rim of his mug with disinterest. The smell of dirty people, sweat, old beer and food on the verge of spoiling really killed his desire to consume anything this tavern offered.

The trio had been following the hordes for months. It was a seemingly endless journey of hunting and killing that had somehow gotten stuck in an infinite loop. No matter how far they traveled they never seemed to get any closer to the castle. When they did, it disappeared entirely and reappeared hundreds of miles away, thus rendering their progress fruitless once more. Finally they had decided that they needed a new tactic and had diverted their course towards Trevor's ancestral home, the Belmont Hold. They were getting closer, hopefully they would reach it in a few more days. Within the extensive libraries of the Hold they hoped to discover some method for isolating the castle and entering it. Only then would they be able to confront Dracula and put an end to the mass genocide he was carrying out. Adrian knew his father was mad with grief but that hardly justified this war. His heart broke at the repeated tragedy of entire countrysides rendered to ash, death everywhere in sight. Whole populations slaughtered, or worse, transformed into night creatures bent on rending flesh from bone and destroying everything everywhere for no other reason than to placate one maddened but very powerful man. It went against nature, it went against morals, it defied logic. Did he really expect to kill the whole world?

Adrian sighed, leaning his chin on his palm, gaze sweeping up to Trevor across the table from him. The third mug of beer was now emptied and he had an impatient look of impending sobriety on his face. His traveling companions were unusual, sure, but Adrian had become used to having them around, and they breathed life into everything in a way he felt incapable of. He had never had very many friends, between growing up in the castle and then living in the cottage with his mother. He had grown up physically so much faster than human children that connecting with them was awkward. He couldn't be honest with humans about his nature, but they could sense something from him that set them on edge. Most people were naturally wary of him. He hadn't pushed very hard to move past that as a teenager, and had chosen to keep to himself. Trevor and Sypha were the first people he'd really gotten to know more deeply. He liked them both more as time passed, as he got to know them better. It was challenging in the beginning, trying to warm up to these two. Well, Sypha had been easy from the start. She had a very high opinion of him, which helped, and he tried his best to live up to that. Trevor… well he was more difficult. They argued regularly, but had developed a mutual respect for one another as fighters which eased the everyday tension somewhat. Adrian was always honest with himself, and he had grown quite attached to his traveling companions. They were like a bridge for him between his two natures. They knew exactly what he was and didn't care. It felt good to be accepted by them.

When his mother Lisa had been killed his father became hellbent on genocide, so Adrian had made it his mission to stop his father in the name of his mother. He was thoroughly stricken by grief and anger at her death, but he understood the human's fearful motivations. He recognized that the actions of a few did not represent the human race as a whole. Not only that, but he reminded himself often that he was in fact half human, even though he didn't feel that way most of the time. He felt like he was more vampire than human, because he could not fit in with the humans as easily as he could with the other vampires. He had lived the earlier years of his life at the castle. Those were his happiest times, with both his parents and a whole community of vampires around him. He had come to see some differences of course, but they were mitigated by his status as Son of Dracula. He was respected, though his sensitive nature was not something to be proud of in that culture. He had been self-assured enough not to care what others thought when he was growing up. He was stronger, much faster and more powerful than most full vampires, which certainly helped. Adrian had accepted a long time ago that it would always be his lot in life to be stuck somewhere between the two, not entirely one or the other, but part of each. That was the thing that drove him pointedly to avoidance and solitude. It was easier not to think about it if he stayed away from them both and made his own path. His father's insanity was making that easier, at least. He had a clear purpose now. Kill his own father and save the world.

Which is what brought him to the present moment. Sypha's laughter broke him from his thoughts. She was giggling as she told her audience how Trevor had been so drunk when they left the last town that he mistook a bull ox for his horse and tried to mount it but got thrown off into the dung heap and nearly trampled to death. Whenever she laughed really hard she snorted, as she was doing now. Just one of the cute little things that Adrian had noticed about her over time.

She finished her story and excused herself from the little half circle of listeners that had formed around her and left the tavern to find the privy, cool night air blowing in when she opened the door. Trevor rose from his bench and followed her out on short order, leaving Adrian with his cup of ale and the rest of the tavern patrons. When the pair left the room it seemed to him the life went out of it. People returned to their mundane activities, but the laughter died down, and the colours fell flat. He sighed to himself and left the cup on the table with a coin, following his companions into the night.

Outside of the tavern there was a cool dampness in the air. It felt lovely on his skin after the smoky confines and the smells of so many people pressed close to him. Crickets sang their night songs to the stars, which where hidden by swaths of patchy clouds like plumes of smoke in the night sky. He took a deep breath, boots squelching in the mud. He could hear Sypha and Trevor talking to each other; her laughter and his muttered profanity floated over the trees from a path that led to the latrines. Adrian wrinkled his nose and went the other way – away from the human smells and torchlight – into the darkness that he found both a comfort and a balm to his senses. He wandered away from the tavern until its lights disappeared from his peripheral vision and the smell of smoke and piss was overtaken by the smells of grass and pine needles. He settled down with his back against a tree, sinking against it, relaxing his frame. He could hear Trevor and Sypha still, if he listened for them. She was chastising him for his terrible stench and suggesting he might bathe at some point, preferably before he passed out for the night.

"Trevor we haven't slept in an actual bed for over a month, its a luxury I'm very much looking forward to. Don't spoil it for me, go wash up. The tavern keeper said they will even wash our clothes for us."

Adrian could hear the smile in her voice, and could picture the Belmont heir rolling his eyes. "Oh fine, have it your way. I'll be in the bath, then. Find Alucard, he went off into those trees." Adrian could hear the shhhk shhhk noise of boots in the mud getting further away, back towards the inn and tavern.

Alucard. The name he had taken to represent his opposition to his father. It had become well-known in Wallachia, thanks largely in part to the nomadic Speakers spreading stories of him in the year since he had taken refuge beneath Gresit to rest. He'd needed to recover from his injuries as much as from the emotional wounds of losing his mother and father in such a short time. If Sypha and Trevor hadn't woken him he had no doubt that he would have spent a great deal longer recovering in somnolence. He still could hardly think of his father without unraveling a little, and he tried not to think of his mother at all lest he be overwhelmed by the pain of her death. He used the moniker generally now, and did not use his given name, Adrian, except in his own thoughts. It seemed too personal. Nobody knew Adrian. They all knew Alucard – a fighter, a warrior. Alucard was a force against Dracula, a hope for the world that the evil would be stopped. Adrian was a young man who's family was gone, largely alone in the world with little on his horizon but patricide and then probably suicide. The last thing he wanted was to develop close personal ties – that didn't fit into his destiny.

He pulled a blade of grass and ran his fingers over it, feeling the tiny razor edge, imagining it like a line of little teeth along its length. He let his legs stretch out before him, running his thumb over the textured surface of the grass, listening to the nearly imperceptible sound of the ridges in his skin passing over the surface of the grass. What good was making friends if he only had one purpose? What did it matter what he did with his personal time, so long as he fulfilled his duty when the day came? As long as he honed his skills to their sharpest and did everything he could to stop his father, the rest was moot. Before the horror of his mother's capture, imprisonment and murder at the hands of the church, Adrian had pictured something very different for himself. He'd still struggled to feel accepted in some areas because he was not born a true vampire, but it was easy to be confident when you were taught by one of the greatest minds to ever walk the earth. His father was someone he loved, respected, and had hoped to one day make proud. He had fully expected to live the life of a prince, and to defend the castle and his family with all the skills he'd been honing since he was a small child. He'd never dreamed he'd be using his abilities to try to take the castle from his father. To kill his own father.

At one time Dracula had wrestled with the idea of turning Adrian into a full vampire. It would be the best way to ensure the longevity and capability of his heir,but he didn't do it because of his selfish fear that he would be usurped. There was no mistaking Vlad Dracula Tepes' personal shortcomings, the least of which were his virulent temper, his jealousy and his greed. Lisa had been the force of balance which had tempered the evil within him for many years, but with her death, all of that progress had been consumed by Dracula's fire and wrath.

Now Adrian only saw one possible path before him, and it consisted of violence for the sake of the greater good. For the sake of the humans, who already endured so many hardships, he would dedicate his entire life to stopping Dracula and his armies. In order to do that he needed to compartmentalize to some extent, hence Alucard. Alucard would be strong when Adrian couldn't be. Alucard would be the hero that Adrian didn't know how to be.

He heard Sypha's robes rustling against themselves as she walked, and the sound of grass being gently crushed beneath her feet as she made her way into the trees towards him. He saw a small glow of light as she approached, her index and pinkie held up with a little ball of flame dancing between them, lighting her way in the dark. She came into the small clearing where he was sitting and let the flame go out, plunging them both into darkness again. He could see her clearly, her eyes glittering in the small amount of light from the sky, her short copper hair appearing brown in the dimness. He knew she couldn't see him in this low light, he probably just looked like a blotch of white against the dark tree trunk.

"Alucard, what are you doing out here in the dark alone?"

"I'm just getting some air," he responded, not wanting to discuss his personal thoughts. He was fine. He simply needed to remind himself of why he was doing this, of what was important. Sometimes he needed to be alone to gain perspective.

"We've been on the road for so long, I can't imagine you'd want to spend more time outside when we have a room in the inn for the night. Won't you come inside and get cleaned up?" She extended her hand to him, meaning to help him up in a friendly gesture.

Adrian looked at her hand, rising to his feet without taking the assistance. He nodded, "Very well, it would be nice to be clean."

She smiled and slipped her hand into his anyway, tugging him forward. Her touch was warm in his palm, her small fingers strong. She held up her other hand, the small ball of fire popping back into existence to light her way back to the tavern. She extinguished it before they broke through the trees, torchlight making the going easier for her. Adrian let himself be guided by her, up the back set of stairs of the inn and to the room they had rented for the night. There was no sign of Trevor, he hadn't returned yet. Sypha closed the door and lit the lantern which sat on a small desk, the only furniture in the room aside from a rough-hewn bed frame topped with a few straw mattresses and two quilts. A rigid chair tucked against the desk, and the single window was covered in an oiled skin, keeping out the cold but also trapping the smoke from the lantern inside. Adrian sniffed, a slight wrinkle on the bridge of his nose belying his ability to smell whoever had been in the room before them, and the fact that the linens on the bed weren't the freshest. Admittedly, the dhampir was accustomed to some measure of finery in his life, and this time spent traveling had been an adjustment from his typical comforts. He had no problem spending the nights outside, keeping watch when his companions rested, but he found it unpleasant to be cramped in small quarters, his head nearly brushing the low rafters if he stood up straight. Sypha was oblivious to all of this. The Speakers were nomadic people, so life on the road was her normal. The occasional room in an inn was simply a rare treat. She gratefully threw herself onto the bed, moaning in pleasure at the feeling of an actual mattress beneath her tired frame.

"Oh this is divine, its been far too long since I felt a real bed. I'm going to sleep like a baby."

Adrian removed his trench, folding the long black coat in half and draping it over the chair. His linen shirt was still somewhat clean, but it would be nice to have it washed along with his other clothing. He liked to be clean, he couldn't stand dirt under his nails, or the scent of his own perspiration. Every person around smelled far worse than he ever did, but he was somehow much more tolerant of other people's dirt. His own was insufferable. Sypha eyed him from her position perched on the edge of the bed.

"Come down for a bath," she instructed and left her outer cloak and a few of her things on the bed, giving him an expectant look. "I know you hate to be dirty." Her smile was teasing. She and Trevor found his hatred of being dirty to be most amusing.

Adrian nodded and followed her from the room. He always did what she asked of him anyway. He just couldn't seem to deny Sypha. She was impossible to say no to. And forget arguing with her, it was a lost cause. She had an answer for everything and it would be an exercise in futility to challenge her. He thought it was because she was so petite – people wouldn't take her seriously unless she could stand up for herself. It helped that she could light them on fire or freeze them in a block of ice if they didn't acquiesce.


The town was one of the nicest places they'd been on their journey thus far. It helped that it had managed to escape the worst of the hordes and only had a few damaged homes. The crops had been spared as well, and the water ran clean and cold. The edge of the horde was always advancing further, consuming town after town. Adrian thought that next time he saw this place it would probably not look so quaint. They had encountered some roving scouts on the last leg of their journey before they'd come here. They had dispatched them, but there were always more to take their place. As soon as the main horde got word that there were humans to feast on here, they would be on their way and the same destruction and death they'd left everywhere else would be repeated.

For the time being this place was like an oasis. The elaborate bath house was certainly an unexpected rarity. It was a medium sized squat building with an entrance on each side, one for men, one for women. In the middle of the two entrances was a trench where a fire burned, and the hot air was sucked under the building, warming the stone bath from beneath. A shriveled woman who resembled a shrunken apple was tending the fire. She was also tending a large barrel where she pushed clothing around with a paddle, washing it. Other women were working nearby at similar washbasins. It was getting rather late, so many of the basins now stood empty for the night. Racks were set up off to the side for the clothing to dry.

Adrian and Sypha went into their respective entrances. Adrian removed his boots and worked the strings on his shirt free, slipping it off over his head. Next were his breeches, which he untied and loosened until he could slip out of them as well. He left the clothing to be laundered and noted Trevor's fur cloak over a hook on the wall, and his muddy boots kicked into a heap on the floor. He could hear the man's relaxed breathing as he entered the main bath area, which was divided, one side for men, one for women, a partition creating a visual barrier between the two sides.

Naked, Adrian padded silently to the edge of the deep bathing pool and slowly tested the water with a toe. It was blissfully hot. Trevor was draped on a bench in the water, his back against the edge of the stones, his arms stretched casually to either side. He was flushed, chest reddened from the heat and his tan skin beaded with sweat and criss-crossed with scars. A bottle that had previously been on the shelf behind the bar was just beside his fingertips, the cork laying on its side on the stones. The smells of liquor and the other man were apparent.

Trevor gave a groan of contentment and sank another inch into the water, cracking an eye open and running it slowly over Adrian's knew Trevor probably couldn't see straight based on the half empty bottle beside him, but he also knew the man found his body attractive. He was well aware that his skin was so white as to nearly glow in the torchlight, along with the gold in his hair and was never shy about his inclinations and he had made it clear to Adrian that he found him pretty. It wasn't offered as a compliment; it was more like teasing. At least, he was pretty sure it was. The Belmont heir had made repeated cracks over Adrian's somewhat effeminate features. He was always teasing him, especially the beginning of their travels together it had been very uncomfortable to be around this man in close quarters, with his complete disregard for personal space and total absence of tact, but he had become accustomed to being around both Trevor and Sypha after spending months living alongside 'd certainly never allowed himself into any kind of compromising position with either of his friends. He was still adjusting to the company, and he always tried to maintain a certain amount of personal distance. Whenever their trio had down time he did his best to occupy himself with hunting game or making preparations for the next part of their journey, lest he have nothing to occupy his time and be drawn into something that was outside of his scope of comfort. Adrian had yet to admit to himself that he was avoiding close contact with Trevor and Sypha because he sensed that they might be open to something more than friendship.

He waded into the heat of the pool and lowered himself onto the bench opposite the grizzled man, resting his back against the stones. He exhaled, allowing himself to relax. He could hear Sypha's bare feet on the stones on the other side of the partition. She peered around it, taking stock of the two men, then boldly crossed the barrier, hanging her towel on a hook on the wall and striding naked into the bath. Her eyes first swept over Adrian, who tried not to stare at her creamy breasts, nipples sharp in the open air. He looked to the side to avoid meeting her eyes. She only smiled at him then moved to sit beside Trevor, curling against him and leaning her head on his shoulder. Sypha's small frame tucked against the hunter's larger one perfectly. Her breasts were only half submerged below the water line, so Adrian did his best to be respectful and stared down into the pool where their three pairs of legs were tangled together at its center.

Trevor's arm came around Sypha and he crushed her against his side, burying his nose in her hair and inhaling deeply. He kissed her temple then brought the bottle to his lips, taking a draw from it and setting it back down. Adrian was fairly certain that they had not been sleeping together when they had awakened him. It had happened sometime afterwards. He didn't know exactly when it had turned sexual – they were drawn to one another like magnets, and they fit together like it was the most natural thing in the world. What he found less natural was they way they were parading it in front of him. Sypha was fearless and bold and she was anything but shy. She had a particular and recent disregard for her own nakedness in Adrian's presence which made him question her intentions. Trevor had surprised him by being completely nonchalant about the whole thing, and he had been increasingly open with his affections towards her in front of the dhampir. Initially Adrian assumed he was doing it in a territorial sense, as in 'hands off, she's mine,' but he didn't think that was it anymore. He didn't know what to think. At the moment he was thinking how very small and crowded this bath was.

Somewhere behind them condensation was dripping from the rafters, drip drip drip.

Sypha's eyes drifted shut. She was completely at ease, not in the slightest concerned that she was baring all to both of them.

"This is nice," she said in a relaxed voice.

Trevor made a low noise of agreement in his chest. "Mhmm, its a nice change from sleeping in pig shit, though I imagine we'll be back to shoving swords up monster's asses by this time tomorrow. I'm going to enjoy this while it lasts."

Sypha squirmed out from under his arm and smacked him lightly on the back of the head. "I'm not the one who passed out drunk in pig shit. I slept quite well that night in fact. Alucard and I stayed up talking, then I went to sleep under a big tree."

Trevor snorted at her comment. "Well you couldn't have slept that well, because I distinctly remember a wave of night creatures trying to kill us all, then running for our lives half asleep while Alucard destroyed them with his floating sword. Lucky break that he'd rather brood all night than sleep. I admit I was almost killed because they ran over me, not because they were trying to attack me, but they were actually trying to eat you."

"I don't think night creatures have a taste for filthy drunks anyway, you would have been fine," Sypha retorted without missing a beat.

"Oh but they definitely have a taste for redheads," Trevor grinned at her, his large palm mussing her hair.

She squirmed out from under his hand and promptly splashed him in the face with water. He sputtered and splashed her back but she moved out of the way and the water got Adrian instead, soaking his hair and making it curl against his face and chest. He had been listening to their banter with some enjoyment and was caught unawares by the action. He wiped water from his face, blinking in surprise.

"You splashed me," he observed and Trevor shot him a mocking look and pointedly aimed another splash at him.

"I did. Twice. Guess you weren't fast enough vamp boy. What're you gonna do about it?"

The challenge was an invitation to join them in joking around, but Adrian didn't intend to sink to the level of children splashing about. Sypha interrupted the moment by dumping a bucket of water over Trevor's head, thereby silencing him. She laughed heartily.

"You smell like beer and dung, let me help you wash up," she offered with feigned sincerity, grabbing the cake of soap and shooting Adrian a disarming 's arm came around her while her head was turned and he dunked her under the water with a triumphant "Hah!" She resurfaced quickly, splashing them both. She was still laughing as she wiped rivulets of water from her face, smiling fondly and searching around for the soap which had escaped her grasp. Trevor snatched it and held it out to her. When she reached for it he deftly moved his hand away, snickering at her and tossing the cake of soap into the water in the middle of the pool. Sypha went for it, kicking her legs out and diving towards it. She closed her fingers over her prize and moved to settle on the bench beside Adrian, her hip pressing against his. He felt their skin touch together, her soft heat made slippery by the water. She snuggled against him like she had against Trevor moments before. Adrian stiffened, remaining very still. He schooled his expression to one of neutrality, eyes flicking down to Sypha's breasts floating against him in the water, and Trevor's leg leaning easily against his in the small pool.

They were so open with each other, and with him. They touched easily, like it was the most normal thing in the world. Their laughter came freely too, naturally. They were both trustworthy, brave and strong. They were people Adrian respected and cared for, but he didn't feel comfortable with this. He knew it was unusual, the way neither of them seemed to have any boundaries, neither of them minded their nakedness around each other or him. At first they had been more discreet but as the days rolled into weeks and now months they had opened the possibility of a physical connection to him a little at a time, but never in so many words. Reading between the lines was not one of Adrian's strengths but he could see that much plainly. He was completely inexperienced in all matters of sexuality. He had not even kissed anyone, much less lay with a woman. He had never pictured himself forming any sexual relationships. How could he? He was only twenty, but that hardly mattered. He felt somehow much older, like the fate of the world rested on his shoulders, which, to be fair, it did. How could he be so selfish as to delve into pleasures of the flesh when his own father was presently murdering entire nations? He knew well enough that humans and vampires could have sex and that it could be very enjoyable for both parties, but he was neither human nor vampire. Where were the rules for dhampir? Most of the draw between humans and vampires had to do with one being the other's food. Adrian did benefit greatly from drinking blood, but he didn't experience it the same way as a full vampire. It wasn't an all-encompassing thirst that drove him mad. Sure, he'd starved himself of that particular pleasure for some time, detesting the idea of such indulgent gluttony, but he knew it would likely play a role if he allowed himself to become deeply intimate with others. It was unpleasant to think of Trevor or Sypha seeing that side of him, even though they were well and truly familiar with his nature.

If he were to become involved intimately with a human, perhaps even fall in love, how would he deal with their difference in lifespan? Adrian didn't know what his natural lifespan would be. There weren't very many of his kind, and none who were also son of Dracula. He may well be immortal, and then again perhaps he would live only a few hundred years as other dhampir did. He was fairly certain, however, that he would not die unless beheaded and burned to ashes. He felt it in his blood, a strength that he couldn't imagine would ever wane from natural knew he could not turn a human into a vampire, but he was aware that he could become one himself if a vampire were to turn him. Either way, human lives were so short. Most didn't live even fifty years, though some lived nearly twice that. It would only lead him to heartache if he allowed his friendship with Sypha and Trevor to evolve into something more. It was very difficult for him to deny how much he wanted to explore them both, especially with Sypha so close beside him he could hear her heart in her chest, but he had to remain objective. That was hard to do with a wet naked girl practically in his lap. He was inexperienced, not blind. His body reacted as he imagined any man's would to her proximity.

Heat blazing on his cheeks, he promptly extricated himself from the pool and wrapped a towel around his hips. "I should see to the itinerary and provisions for tomorrow's departure. Please excuse me," he turned and exited the room, leaving both Sypha and Trevor looking after him in surprise.

Do I smell that bad?" Trevor asked Sypha in genuine confusion.

"I don't think that was it," she answered with a little frown. She knew she was pushing Alucard. She also knew that she had a keen sense for people and she felt his loneliness and isolation as though she could poke it with a finger. She wished that he could see what was right in front of him. "I think we made him uncomfortable."

Trevor rubbed his chin, as if considering her words, though he knew them to be true. He shrugged. "No shit. Don't feel bad, he was gonna be uncomfortable either way. Let's finish up here and get some rest. I'm fucking beat."

Trevor then dipped himself under the water and got down to the business of scrubbing a month of grime from his hair.

Sypha looked to the empty doorway through which their companion had hastily exited. Or more accurately, fled. It certainly wasn't the first time they'd been in a 'naked' situation. She had thought she was reading things right, that Alucard had seemed both relaxed and to be enjoying himself. Over the past few weeks there had been a few instances where she and Trevor had seemed to be getting past their companion's rigid walls, but each time there was a moment of intimacy, or almost intimacy, he disappeared. He always came back, and never talked about it. He seemed to want their companionship, their friendship. He seemed to be curious about more than that, but he just shut down any time that they turned their attention towards him. She sighed and turned back to the bath.


A/N: Thanks for reading. Comments and criticism are always welcome and very much appreciated.