AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a series of one-shot sequels to The Way to an Heir and The Way to Raise an Heir. Some people expressed interest in stories focusing on Alucard and Integra's "happily ever after", so I'm writing some short stories about their travels around the globe after they both earned their freedom. If you haven't read those two stories I mentioned, I recommend reading them first, but the general gist is, they finally got together and had a daughter after much hardships, and she has taken over Hellsing, leaving Alucard and Integra to peruse their own happiness. Integra had accepted Alucard's offer and became a vampire. This is set a few years after The Way to Raise an Heir. If you are a fan of the two prequels, I hope you like these little shorts as well.
Enjoy and Review!
Orange sunlight painted the Maui beaches. The day was just ending as Integra took her stroll barefoot on the sand.
The view was nothing short of marvelous – the setting sun against the deep violet sky, thin tendrils of clouds chasing each other, and the silhouettes of the palm trees swayed in the gentle breeze. The air smelled of the sea, the jungles, and romance. The waters were beginning to take on a dark shadowy blue shroud as the sun slid behind the horizon.
It was their third week in Hawaii. She hadn't planned on staying this long, but it was awfully hard to tear herself away from the beautiful islands after all those years of pacing between haunted nights and that stuffy office. She had forgotten how much she loved the outdoors, the warm air and open sky, and the feeling of wind caressing her skin. She loved being outside, walking on the beach with her sand between her toes. Although Alucard had said it would take another couple of years before her sensitivity to sunlight start to fade, the setting sun only irritated her a little. Night was falling. Soon the moon will rise.
Integra stood at the edge of the sea and let the tide wash over her feet. Maui certainly agreed with her.
The less could be said for Alucard, however, who had elected to stay in the bungalow they rented on this particular fine night. Over the last two and a half weeks he had only ventured onto the beach three times, and absolutely refused to step outside in a bathing suit, or even purchase one, claiming they were ridiculous looking and even more ridiculous to wear, though Integra suspected it was because he didn't want to place his pasty chest above a pair of banana-yellow shorts. After much argument, she failed to convince him at the store. He had refused to even though on a single one, but was not the least bit hesitant to pick up the skimpiest string bikini in the place for her. After much more argument, she agreed to buy a much more conservative blue two-piece, which she was currently sporting.
She sat down on the sand, which was held the remainder of the day's heat in them. Running her fingers through it, she considered building a sand castle, one of the many privileges denied her as a child. But the warm air was making her sluggish, so she laid on her back instead and closed her eyes.
As for the young man, she had sensed his presence without even opening her eyes. Alucard would've been proud.
He was about twenty-five, with a tan that was either the result of a lifetime of hitting on women laying on the beach or fake. Integra wrinkled her nose as his shadow fell over her. He was wearing cologne that reminded her of Conningwell.
"Hey there, babe," he said. She kept her eyes closed.
"Sorry to disappoint you," she said, raising her left hand. "I'm married."
There was a sifting sound. He had squatted down next to her. "That's alright," he said. "I'm not picky."
I'm sure, she thought. "But I am," she replied, turning her head away from him. "You're too young for me."
"What makes you think that?"
Judging by his silence, he was surprised. "No sweat," he said after a moment. "I happen to like older women. And from the looks of you, you got a body that just won't quit."
She had to open her eyes in order to roll them. Facing him, she saw that he looked exactly how she pictured – tanned, well-muscled, with sun-bleached blond hair, and a smile that probably cost many under-aged girls their virginity. "You have no idea," she said flatly.
The dense boy grinned, taking it as a flirtatious comment. "I'm Edward," he said. "So how about I buy you a drink and you can show it to me after?"
Integra sighed. Half way around the world and the men don't change a bit. Maybe she should have held out for a more conservative suit after all. "Look," she said, "I don't think that's a good idea. My husband's the jealous type."
The grin widened. Yep, definitely like Conningwell.
"What's he gonna do, babe? Beat me down?"
Actually, more like pull your lungs out through your nose, Integra thought. In fact, Alucard had demonstrated that particular technique last month, after she had teased him repeatedly one day about how such a thing could've be done. A class-D vampire with especially bad luck had picked that night to make a vulgar remark at her on their hunt. Although Alucard had done a relatively clean job for such a thing, and she had seen more than her fair share of violence and gore, Integra found herself lacking an appetite for the next four or five days.
"More likely," she said in the end. There was no need to scar the boy unnecessarily, no matter how slimy a thing he was.
"What he doesn't know won't hurt him." Edward reached out to stroke her arm.
Instead of flinching away, an idea struck her. She allowed him to touch her as she sat up and tossed her long hair over her shoulders. "Alright," she said. "Follow me."
When she walked into the bungalow, Alucard was on the phone. He looked up as she entered.
"Back already?" he asked. Then, spotting the dazed-looking man behind her, "oh. I'll take care of it. Want to talk to Annie?"
"Sure." Integra made a come-hither gesture to the young man. "Sit." Like a puppet, Edward plopped down on the nearest bed, his eyes glassy. She took the receiver.
"You're getting better," he told her, kissing her cheek. "While you're at it, tell Annie that pet she keeps around is hideous, and that if she gets rid of it, I'll buy her a puppy."
"I heard that, Dad!" came Annie's voice from the receiver. Integra smiled and brought it to her ear.
"How are you, dear?"
"I'm fine, Mom." There was an exasperated sigh. "I wish Dad would lay off Seth. He's doing great here."
"I know. Your father is set in his ways." Integra tossed a glance at Alucard as he disappeared into the bathroom and reappeared a minute later with a small blade. "You know what they say about old dogs."
As Annie carried on about her day, the Convention, her semi-but-not-quite-because-duty-comes-first boyfriend, and Walter's constant nagging that she's over twenty, running one of the most powerful organizations on the continent, and still can't pick up her socks, Integra watched Alucard lure Edward into a deeper hypnosis. He handed the boy the blade. Edward turned his left palm upward and made a careful slit. Fresh blood oozed out of the wound. Alucard filled two glasses, then took the blade and sent the boy on his way. The poor thing would probably spent an hour or so wandering the beach in a daze, only to come to his senses and unable to remember how he had hurt his hand. Integra said goodbye to her daughter.
He handed her one of the glasses and kissed her lovingly on the lips. Then they both took a sip, tasted the blood, and winced.
"Smokers always leave an aftertaste," Integra said, taking another small sip.
Alucard shrugged. "Can't be helped. We'll find something better later." He slipped an arm around her waist. "You're getting better at the hypnosis. The last guy you tried to bring back didn't even make it half way."
"This one was more willing. That helped." She put one finger on his chin and lifted. "Also, my eyes are up here."
He nuzzled her neck. "I thought I had an excuse now that we are no longer master and servant."
"You do." She went to the bed and laid down. "But not when I'm talking. However, I could stop talking for a bit."
She giggled as he wrapped himself around her. A few years ago she would never have imagined herself giggling, or even letting out a light laugh. Nowadays it felt… natural. In fact, it felt good.
"Where to next?" he asked.
"We're not staying until the end of the week?"
He groaned. "I'm sick of this place. It's too much sun for me."
"You're just embarrassed because you can't tan." She kissed him. "Just three more days. I promise."
He sighed in resignation. "I suppose," he said, undoing her suit. "So, would you like me to call you 'master'?"