The Dreamer Has Awakened

"Will that be all for tonight, Master?" Alucard looked down, regarding the teenaged woman sitting on her bed.

Integra was dressed for sleep in exquisitely tailored satin pajamas. Though the large bedroom contained many of the trappings of the teenage years from the stuffed animals carelessly strewn about the room to the finely crafted dollhouse in the corner, the young girl's demeanor belied a sharp intelligence far beyond her present years.

"No, servant," Integra replied. " I want you to stay with me tonight."

Alucard was not immediately shocked by this request. Though Integra had not asked this of him in a year or two, it had been common for her to request his presence near her while she slept. However, this sleeping arrangement dictated that the vampire change his shape. Alucard most often chose a wolf form. It was the most practical and comfortable. Besides, large dogs on beds were common. And they wouldn't scare the household help. Large man-sized bats were a different story. So, Alucard mentally prepared to spend another night in his wolf form.

The vampire was just about to morph into his canine form when his master shouted, "Stop Alucard!"

He stopped, confused. Alucard looked questioningly at the girl for guidance. The vampire did not like what he saw on his master's face. It was cunning, yes, but there was also something unreadable in her eyes. He tried to delve into her mind. He couldn't. She was blocking him again. Which meant that this was going to be one Hell of a night.

"Alucard," Integra continued evenly, "I want you to sleep with me tonight as a man."

The vampire started once, surprised. "Are you asking me, Master to have sex with you?" Alucard wanted all the cards on the table. And, as soon as possible into this little game. She was a shrewd opponent and he felt he was losing already.

Integra laughed once, harshly. "No, Alucard, I'm not that desperate." The laugh cut through the powerful vampire as easily as sharp knife. He flinched visibly which satisfied Integra.

She continued," I'm seventeen and I'm eager for new experiences. Of all kinds. So, while you've often slept on my bed in your wolf-form, I want to experience how it would feel to lie with you… your human form." Integra smiled smugly at the vampire, thoroughly pleased with herself.

"As my master commands." Alucard bowed once, low to Integra, keeping his eyes on her the way that one would keep their eyes on a better opponent in a fight.

He disappeared before her very eyes and reappeared almost within the very second, clad only in dark black sleep pants. His perfectly sculpted chest was bare as was his feet. Alucard was an exquisite sight indeed to behold. With his black hair, hanging loose, thick and wavy about his shoulders, he looked more like a beautiful statue than something real, tangible. The vampire heard his master gulp audibly. This, plus the increase in her pulse, pleased him greatly. Alucard smiled internally to himself. The balance of power in this game had shifted in his favor. Now, it was Integra's turn to be uncertain. Would she continue this game? Well, of course. The vampire had never met a more worthy mortal. He was certain she would. However, his appearance had introduced lust into the equation. A point in his favor.

Alucard felt himself harden even as he heard his master remind him, as the vampire walked toward her bed, "Remember the parameters that I set, Alucard. No sex tonight. And, if you think to disobey me, those seals are going to hurt like Hell.

Though the vampire's hands were now bare, the Hellsing seals appeared seemingly etched lightly upon the bare backs of his hands. They appeared light, ghostlike, in the dim lamplight.

The vampire stopped by Integra's large, brass bed. She slid over and made room for him next to her. Alucard gingerly sat on the bed. He moved around slowly, unsure, testing the structure beneath him. And then, there she was, a warm, pulsing human presence, so close to him that it threatened to overwhelm all of his vampiric senses at once. Integra read Alucard's confusion on his face and looked quizzically back at him.

"I'm sorry Master but it's been a long time since I was in a human bed. I'd feel more comfortable if I didn't have to actually lay down."

Integra moved, found some pillows and tossed them to the vampire who propped them up against her sturdy, ornately scrolled headboard. Alucard leaned back upon the pillows, softly at first, then slowly, relaxed. Integra reached over and turned out the light on the table next to the bed. Her vision was much hampered but the vampire could still see as if it were daylight.

Alucard held out his arms and felt, rather than saw, Integra move his embrace, her long hair blanketing his chest, caressing it gently as she moved more comfortably into position against him.

"I thought your body would be cold." Integra looked up, into Alucard's gaze.

"I fed tonight, as you requested," the vampire assured her. "Besides, we powerful vampires can easily adjust our body temperature to match that of a human's."

Even in situations like this that unnerved him, the vampire still strove to find his pride. " I even used some magic to make it appear that my heart beats. Only for your comfort, of course."

Integra hesitantly put her hand out, laying it onto Alucard's bare chest. She moved her hand to where his heart would be and sure enough, she felt a beating sound. But this was just illusion. A good one, yes, but an illusion all the same. Like the temperature of the skin. Integra thought to herself and sighed once. It was unfair that monsters could masquerade and trick humans this way. She shifted against the vampire and settled in, against him, readying herself for sleep.

The vampire heard Integra sigh and silently bet with himself that his master would be unable to sleep in this new, unfamiliar position. However, soon enough, he heard Integra's heart slow and her breathing become deep and regular. Damn, but she had indeed fallen asleep. Silently, Alucard found himself gaining a new respect for Integra. She was much more disciplined and determined than he had thought to take her for.

Alucard shifted his weight and Integra slightly, straining to see the time on the digital clock positioned on the nightstand next to the bed. The time said "11 pm" in large, bold numbers. Unfortunately, he had hours and hours until dawn.

As a human, Alucard rarely slept more than four to five hours at night. Becoming a vampire ensured that he would never sleep at night again. So, tonight, Alucard didn't even try for sleep. He knew it was impossible. Instead, he used the time at hand to think back to other beds. And to other women.

The last time the vampire had been in bed with a beautiful woman, she was called Mina. Mina Harker. Alucard, then known as Dracula, had first put the cuckolded husband into a deep sleep, then physically moved the poor fellow to a nearby chair. After Jonathan was tucked neatly into the tufted chair, Dracula turned toward Mina and smiled, taking a running leap and landing hard, in the bed. Amused, Mina laughed loudly and then leaned in toward a prone Dracula who, in turn, wrapped his arms around her, pulling her down against him. Then, there, they had made love, slowly, passionately, well into the night.

The sound of birds stirred Mina who was asleep against him. She moved drowsily, waking slowly. Dracula disentangled himself from her embrace and urged her back to sleep. He dressed slowly, humanly, watching her sleep. Just before leaving by dissolving into mist, the vampire redeposited the still entranced Harker in the spot recently vacated by himself. With one final glance toward Mina, Dracula had dissolved into mist.

Alucard's thoughts came back to the present as he felt Integra move against him. He turned a bit, succeeding in bringing a still sleeping Integra even closer into his embrace. His master's body was a light but familiar presence at his side. Alucard let his thoughts wander back to another night and another woman in his bed. This time, though, he was human and the woman was his first wife. She was little more than Integra's age now on their wedding night so many years ago. He remembered her soft, feather light touches on his skin as she soothed his fears before a major battle. But then, she had been quite a lover in bed. As was his other wife. As was Mina, several hundred years later.

Ah, well, most men didn't realize that, with just the right, strategically placed kisses and caresses any woman could become insatiable. And to Alucard's practiced gaze, Integra would probably turn out just as wanton. He could hardly wait until that time. Yes, it would definitely be worth the wait, so to speak, Alucard thought to himself, amused.

Integra slept deeply against Alucard, the steady breathing providing the only sound in the dark bedroom. For the vampire did not need to breath. As expected, the birds began chirping lightly at first, but then, with more agility as morning approached.

Alucard could feel the dawn and the approaching lethargy that came with it. The vampire strove to disentangle himself from his still sleeping master. She protested weakly, unconsciously, but soon, Alucard was standing over her prone figure by her bed.

The vampire gazed down at his master. In the large bed, she looked young, slight. However, determination was etched into her sleeping face. Integra cried out once in sleep, balling her hands into fists. Even dreaming, she was confident, aggressive.

Alucard regarded Integra quietly. He had lost his two wives, the first one to war and the second one, to his death. The vampire had then subsequently, lost Mina. Though centuries later, unchangeable situations and conflicting circumstances in his life had forced his hand. In the end, he finally had to let Mina go back to her world of sunlight and humanity.

And now, he had Integra. Standing by her bed, Alucard realized that this might be his last chance to turn a strong woman into his partner, his equal. The vampire knew that rarely did second chances come a person's way in life. Silently, standing by Integra's bed, Alucard now understood that it was much more than the Hellsing seals that kept him serving in the Hellsing organization.